A Legend is Honored, Plenty Of Right Hand Turns on National TV

Spike RoganContributor IJune 21, 2009

Father's day weekend 2009 had some real good racing action. Who needs a neck tie, and Brut when you can see some real high power action?

First was the great short track racing ARCA did at Mansfield Motorsports Park. The inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial 200 was won, by a eight teen year old Parker Kilgerman.

Kilgerman held off several teenage racers in sixteen year old Chris Buescher, and nineteen year old Joey Coulter. They would finish third and second respectively. Twenty three year old Justin Lofton came home in fourth. The old man of the top five Steve Arpin at twenty five years old came home fifth. 

Nine time ARCA champion forty seven year old Frank Kimmel finished in ninth place out of the eleven cars on the lead lap. 1966 NASCAR Cup rookie of the Year, seventy four years young, James Harvey Hylton only finished thirty three laps in twenty sixth place.

Kilgerman remains the points leader, the Penske development driver was only supposed to race eight races in 2009. After eight races the teen will keep racing his un-sponsored No. 77 Dodge until money runs out or a sponsor jumps on. Considering this kid is the points leader, let's hope he can stay in the thick of this.

Justin Lofton is second in points forty five points back. Nine time ARCA champ Frank Kimmel is third in points one hundred and seventy five points back. James Hylton is fifthteen in points.

Mansfield Motorsports Park had great classic, stock car short track action. ARCA ran a live webcast of the event. It lacked multiple cameras, and often was out of focus, had poor audio, and many times the race the announcers were calling was not on screen.

However the racing I could see was great three and four wide at times. Lots of beating and banging, and plenty of hard charging. It was a great race to honor the memory of my all time hero.

Tim Richmond gave you all out "balls to the wall" racing. I'm glad to see ARCA honor one of the sports greatest. Now if only NASCAR and Indianapolis Speedway could follow ARCA's lead.

Red Bull had a driver win a road race on national TV. Only it was not the pole sitter for the Cup race at Sears Point. Sebastian Vette did win in F1 from the pole followed by teammate  Mark Weber who started third. 

There was some great action further back in the race, with Felipe Massa going from eleventh to fourth. Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella had a solid day starting sixteenth and placing tenth. Nice to see makes other than McLaren Mercedes and Ferrari up front. 

In the home of Corn, the IRL put on a good show to a near sell out crowd. At what may be the second best crowd for the 2009 Indy Car series after the Indy 500. Dario Franchitti took the Chip Gannassi Target Racing No. 10 "TomTom" Honda to the checkered flag (that is a mouth full of corn powered motorsports!).

Only four of the twenty cars finished on the lead lap, and Franchitti took the lead from, of course his pit stop under yellow. Was nice to see his wife Ashley who is "Magically delicious" there. Even when she dresses like Jackie Onasis in disguise. 

Perhaps the sad part is the lack of passing on ovals lately. This current IRL tech package is poison for racing much like the COT has become to NASCAR. The main problem comes in the "spec" nature of the series.

While Honda claims everyone has the same motor, let's be real! What big three (Penske, Gannasi, Andtretti - Green) get is not the same motors teams like Sarah Fisher racing, Vision, and Dreyer and Reinbold get.

Listening to "Trackside" on ESPN 1070 Indy last week, they spoke of the rumor of VW to the IRL.(2011) It looks to be more than "rumor" and more, a matter of if they will race under their Audi name or VW. Considering all the SCCA amateurs that have cut their teeth in "Formula Vee" racing "Veedub" powered open wheel cars. They have to go VW!

I did hear a slight rumor the Koreans at Hyundai may want to get their feet wet in US racing. Both the IRL and NASCAR have been named. But no accurate sources have said anything on this. I hope if they go IRL they have something better than the Tiburon which was riddled with problems. 

NASCAR made one of sadly two visits, a season to a track where you also turn right. Kasey Kahne beat Tony Stewart and Marcos Ambrose giving Richard Petty Motorsports it's first win. The win was also the first win for any car owned by the King since 1999. 

The new restart rules made a liar out of me. I told Kyle Petty via twitter I thought it would be a lame race. While the finish for the top three was not that amazing. It did produce some hot action further back. 

Although NASCAR's tech package made for some major problems racing as well. When will they make it standard that on road courses, using working brake lights? Let's be real how many pile ups in turns today were a result of people not knowing the guy in front was on the brakes? Heck Ambrose busted up his car's front end in happy hour for that.

You would have less yellow flags, and less wrecked cars as a result of this simple rule change. How many times do you see cars in the 24 Hours of Daytona doing the same? They have more cars on track as well, it's not rocket science.

Also it is 2009, why is NASCAR still racing the "four on the floor: in the "Car of Tomorrow"? I use to race a 1984 Mazada RX-7 in SCCA with a five speed. My daily driver has a five speed, and fuel injection. 

I guess I just keep beating that horse into the ground. But if NASCAR would modernize their cars more, the racing would improve ten fold. in the days of Richard Petty, Bobby Allison, James Hylton, and the Silver Fox, the cars would always have new technology. Isn't that what every gearhead wants? Shouldn't racing push street tech?