HEDGER: The Long Look


Similar conditions prevailed a few nights at Volusia, with the track getting the track so smooth and tacky that everyone was even. Drier surfaces may put some dust in the air but they do separate those who can keep adjusting their cars properly from the rest. But what the Volusia crew has figured out that many others haven’t is that when the track starts out sloppy on top but dry a couple of inches down, it goes away in a hurry. Their many hours of work each day getting water down into the clay always yields a track that’s racy all night long despite the multiple-division shows.

Dave Blaney had engine problems with his self-designed, homebuilt No. 10 sprint car at Volusia and brother Dale took a wicked flip when something in the frontend broke, so it was good to see them win last weekend at Port Royal and Attica, respectively.

A lot of modified owners have come and gone over our years in the sport, but one who stands out for both his success and his quiet appreciation of the sport is New Yorker Guy Madsen. In Florida, he split his hours between golf, his grandkids and watching Brett Hearn race his No. 20, a combination that’s hard to beat.

With his years as an owner topped by Hearn’s 2012 Syracuse win, Madsen’s long awaited first, Guy has an interesting perspective on the division. He brought Stewart Friesen to prominence in between runs with Hearn and while he spends a substantial amount to get his team up and down the road with first-class equipment in the trailer, he warns that escalating costs are killing the sport at the modified level. His thoughts were backed up by the Volusia field, which had less than a dozen top cars and a bunch of “field fillers” getting big track experience and trying out new cars. The contrast between the much deeper sprint car and late model fields was very noticeable, though it must be noted that the modified field comes from a much smaller pool inhabited by many racers with “real” jobs that inhibit their travels.

In closing, we offer our thanks to Tim Frost for sponsoring another successful SuperFans report and thank his associate, Dennis Michelson, for having us on race talk radio to discuss the history of SuperFans. Hopefully, the exposure will help build an even stronger field of entrants for 2013.



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Ron Hedger
A veteran of nearly 40 years with SPEED SPORT, Hedger has also covered auto racing for the Schenectady, N.Y., Daily Gazette and was a contributor to Stock Car Racing and Open Wheel magazines.