KERCHNER: Friday Morning Heat Race


Let’s not waste any time with formalities.

This week’s Friday Morning Heat Race is 10 laps:

1. During a recent housecleaning project, members of the NSSN staff unearthed a copy of the 1950 NASCAR rulebook. The post-card sized booklet, which is colored blue, is only 24 pages in length. There is no mention anywhere in the book to “conduct detrimental to the sport of stock car racing.”

2. Racing’s January Reunion, the annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, begins Tuesday at Oklahoma’s Tulsa Expo Raceway. The annual Ice Bowl late-model race in Talladega, Ala., is this weekend.

3. Michael Waltrip is hosting Michael Waltrip’s Comedy Garage, a tour of comedians traveling the country. Wonder if he’ll share his racing statistics for big laughs.

4. Junior Johnson’s son Robert Johnson III will be trying his hand at the NASCAR K&N East tour next season in equipment owned by his Hall of Fame father. Click here to read Adam Fenwick’s informative feature on Johnson III.

5. Kudos to the leadership behind the International Motorsports Industry Trade Show in Indianapolis for having the guts and smarts to move the show’s 2011 dates back one week to Dec. 8-10 so not to conflict with Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Orlando Dec. 1-3. The industry is grateful.

6. IndyCar may be looking for a new tire supplier for the 2012 season. An agreement on a contract extension with Firestone has not yet been reached and the tire maker is said to be considering its marketing options.

7. It’s been 937 days since Dale Earnhardt, Jr. last won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

8. The American Le Mans Series is calling its new media (notice I did not say television) contract with ESPN/ABC groundbreaking. And it may be groundbreaking. However, much of the content is available only on, which is assessable only by computer. While this very well may be the wave of the future and may give the series opportunities, it seems to many a step back in terms of traditional television. All ALMS races will be shown on a tape delay basis on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2. Events will air live on

9. The Must See Racing winged-sprint-car series, which races exclusively on asphalt, is preparing to test American Racer tires and could switch to the manufacturer (from Hoosier) as soon as this upcoming season.

10. During a Dec. 30 trip to a Meijer (new sponsor for Penske Racing) store in Sandusky, Ohio, we saw more Dale Earnhardt No. 3 jackets and hats being worn than those representing the Cleveland Browns or Ohio State Buckeyes.