KERCHNER: Friday Morning Heat Race


March is here and so is this week’s edition of the Friday Morning Heat Race.

Ten laps is the distance:

1. Having made more than a few visits to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course during our childhood and young adult years, we were slightly saddened by the news Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course was sold by the Trueman family to Green Savoree Racing earlier this week. We were privy to the great work that the late Jim Trueman put into the Central Ohio road course, taking it from a glorified auto cross course to one of the country’s most scenic and fan friendly road courses. Though Trueman died in 1986, his company TrueSports, Inc., led by his daughter Michelle Trueman Gajoch, continued to operate the race track, which will celebrate its 50th season in 2011.

2. There’s no question that Kyle Busch is arguably the most talented driver in all of racing, but like many of the readers who write letters to National Speed Sport News, we are tired of his participation in the Nationwide and Truck Series companion races. The hundreds of college basketball games on the tube on a Saturday afternoon certainly offer better entertainment than a race where one driver leads all 200 laps. That’s just not interesting.

3. Tony Stewart climbed into one of his sprint cars Wednesday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and may have negatively impacted the championship hopes of one of his other cars. Stewart made contact with the car wheeled by point-leader Steve Kinser and was finished for the night after four laps. Kinser, who had three victories and a runner-up finish in the first five WoO races this season, wound up 10th. If Kinser loses the championship by a handful of races, will anyone remember what happened in Vegas?

4. One of the questions we pondered prior to the start of the NHRA drag racing season was whether or not any Top Fuel car not owned by Don Schumacher or Al-Anabi Racing would win a race. It took one event to put that question on the shelf as the Lucas Racing team sent both its cars to the final with Morgan Lucas beating Shawn Langdon for the first Wally of the year.

Jason Line drove a Pontiac to victory Sunday at California's Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. (Angela Barraza photo)

5. It’s been nearly two years since General Motors has manufactured a Pontiac and a consumer certainly can’t go to the showroom and buy one, but a pair of Pontiacs faced off in the final round of the NHRA’s Winternationals Pro Stock program Sunday at Pomona, Calif.

6. It took Jeff Gordon and new crew chief Alan Gustafson two weeks to win. Do I feel an avalanche of Jeff Gordon victories on the horizon?

7. Amazing to hear that F-1 czar Bernie Ecclestone decided not to charge Bahrain Grand Prix organizers the $31 million sanction fee that would have been due had next month’s race not been canceled because of the social unrest in the country. Seems like it would have been more like Bernie to sue for damages.

8. Eight of the 25 entries for Wednesday’s World of Outlaws race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway were owned by three men — Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Dennis Roth.

9. Despite being snowed out last weekend, Pennsylvania’s Lincoln Speedway is still hoping to open the Eastern sprint-car season this Saturday (March 5) at 2 p.m.

10. Checkered flag. Remember if you’d like to comment on any of the opinions offered in this column or offer one of your own, click on the “comments” link below.

Previous articleFrench Showgirl Became A Popular Racing Driver
Next articleWOO: Las Vegas Night Two
Mike Kerchner
Mike Kerchner is a veteran racing journalist and has been a member of the SPEED SPORT family since joining Chris Economaki at National Speed Sport News in 1991. He is now the Editor-in-Chief of SPEED SPORT Magazine.