It’s not the biggest or the best equipped but Franklin County Speedway, under the direction of Langley Austin (Race22), is making the best of it with good racing and some oddities thrown in for the fun of it.

The night of July 10th (Fabrication Associates, Inc) had yet another visitor series racing on the short track. Carolina Pro late Models, Carolina Crate Modifieds and East Coast Flatheads brought the show to the hills of Callaway. The track has also hosted the SMART Modifieds, the CARS Tour and more on the recent schedule.

The draw for MOD-4 and “Any Car” brought some spice to the night with the MOD-4 splitting the races with 2 winners. Darrell Chrisley took the starter and Trey Cooper took the second race as the sun was fading.
Hay bale racing was weird but entertaining as competitors ran the laps while having to round two hay bales at each end of the front stretch. (We probably should have grabbed some photos… But we were kind of taken in by the spectacle and just let the cameras dangle…) The late night “Any Car” event was taken with a clapped out 5th Gen Camaro which put the mirrors to the other entries.

Big engine racing with the visiting series of races was also a fun watch. Those East Coast Flatheads with the 1940’s car bodies were a pleasure. It took you back to those early moonshine days that started the sport. Johnny Johnson (#99), a veteran racer of 52 years, took top honors for the win. Wayne Lawson and Donovan Freeman took the 2nd and 3rd spots. *Freeman was driving the #6 with “James Rogers” over the window.

Any time you can throw Modifieds on the track at Franklin County you’ll have a show. The field of six cars representing the Carolina Crate Modifieds ran 62 fast laps with a few lead changes until Kevin Orlando made the front and held for the win. Dan Speeney and Cayden Lapcevich rounded the top 3.

The Carolina Pro Late Model Series easily had 14 cars on that little oval. The lead was challenged and changed over several times with some spins from speed or contact bringing out the cautions. Anyone questioning the draw of “young blood” into the sport of racing would be surprised by the young faces climbing in those cars as practice and racing filled the day. First time out on the Franklin County surface even brought a top 10 finish to a young lady barely 14 years old. She was holding her own with Late Model drivers well beyond her years behind the wheel. We’ll be looking forward to her, and these other young folks, to push this sport forward.

Katie Hettinger – 14 years old and racing in the Carolina Pro Late Model Series

At the checkers for the 100 lap CPLMS race, was Gus Dean for the win as Tyler Church and Nick Loden crossed for 2nd and 3rd.

Keep an eye on Franklin County Speedway… There are some fun, racey things on the books for the rest of the summer! Photos from July 10 are below!

Dominion Raceway… Usually it’s just a bit out of our radius but circumstances put us in Northern Virginia with a little time to make an introduction. Short notice “Thank You” to the staff and crew at Dominion and Dinah Mullins for opening the gates to the activities.

This place is more than a race track. The full name is Dominion Raceway & Entertainment. The “race way” portion also doubles up with a 4/10 mile oval and a road course. The oval features NASCAR sanctioned racing with points in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series, Modified, Sportsman, UCars, Mod-4 and more. The oval and grandstands are surrounded by the road course drawing club racing, driver training, “drive your own” and more. It is a “car culture” destination right off of I-95 between Richmond and Washington, DC.

Racing isn’t all there is. The “entertainment” goes beyond the speed of racing action as there is staging and rigs for concerts and live performances both inside and out. There is food and drink in a dedicated serve and dine area with options for rentals and private parties.

Dominion is more than racing. Check their website for upcoming shows, racing and info on how you can make some hot laps with your car.

For the racing, the Saturday evening Community Bank Night at the Races of June 26 brought a good show. The NAAPWS Late Models were first off the checkers for race 1 of 2 60 lap runs with a 17 car field. There was a bit of a surprise to see Peyton Sellers with his Clarence’s Steak House / Danville Toyota #26 on the grid and on the pole. Sellers was a bit north of his usual place of business at South Boston. He put the field behind him for the win in race 1 and came up from mid-pack in race 2 later in the night to sweep the Late Models.
Race 1 Top 3: 1st-Peyton Sellers (26) 2nd-John Goin (90) 3rd-Mason Bailey (05)
Race 2 Top 3: 1st-Peyton Sellers (26) 2nd-John Goin (90) 3rd-Conner Jones (14J)

Dominion Stocks ran hard with changes in position and challenges for the lead. Like the late Models, the DomStocks were swept by one driver. The #33 with Dan Rogers at the wheel took home a double with wins in both events.
Race 1 Top 3: 1st-Dan Rogers (33) 2nd-Richard Powers (57) 3rd-Gary Burke (4)
Race 2 Top 3: 1st-Dan Rogers (33) 2nd-Richard Powers (57) 3rd-Carson Higgs (46)

The UCARS put on a chase for the lead with a 3rd row starter coming to the front for the win.
1st-Cameron Ruggles (40) 2nd-Blane Schumann (32) 3rd-Mike Chapman (07)

Modifieds took the green with Wayne Hartley (37) on the pole but as the race moved forward he fell back to finish 4th. The lead was challenged and taken early by the #8 of Mike Rudy but later taken for the win by the #20 with Chris Humblet at the wheel. The purple Humblet cars took the 1st and 3rd slots.
1st-Chris Humblet (20) 2nd-Mike Rudy (8) 3rd-Jimmy Humblet (11)

The Mini-Cups… OK… This was a new one, for us, anyway. This was a fun to watch, fast batch of itty-bitty go-kart type chassis with stock car bodies over the top. It was as if the drivers put on the car like a driver suit rather than got in it. Either way, it was a cool thing to see. Tyler Warner started on the pole and kept the #12 up front for the win.
1st-Tyler Warriner (12) 2nd-Travis Shepherd (44) 3rd-Fred Daniels (6)

The “Any Car” brought the variety of practically anything. CJ Terczak quickly took the front with a Mazda (51) that was body modified to look like, in our mind, a BMW Z3 Coupe. The V8 field was won by Cam Hensley (55).

The first visit to Dominion Raceway was full of good racing, a wide variety and many options in the future for driving, music and a variety of options for entertainment. If you are into speed and fun, check it out. You might want to avoid I-95 and just cruise on Highway 1. The scenery is better and the traffic actually moves.

The Photo Gallery from Community Bank Night at Dominion Raceway is below!

The best laid plans of mice and men…

Uncertainty pops up all the time. Plans get changed for many reasons. Family and illness may be top on the list of forcing changes to schedules which, under any other circumstances, would be practically set in stone.

Such is the situation… With that, we’re away from where we thought we would be this weekend. However, we’re hoping the gears are in motion to make the best of it by paying a visit to a race track close to where we are as opposed to where we thought we would be…

Dominion Raceway. It’s an interesting and multi-faceted facility which current events have us close enough to skip out for a few hours and check out some racing from the northern portion of Virginia.

We keep in touch through social media with Dinah Mullins. She is an active photographer at Dominion and also keeps her husband, Willie Mullins, on track with their own car, team, activities and business. We’re shamelessly pulling a string or two… As long as we’re up here…

Dominion features an oval for Late Model, Modified, Sportsman and other standard “left turn” racing. There is also a road course which is open quite often for drivers to have some fun with their own cars – Daily drivers or track spec. The Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) has an event there this weekend. Concerts and other gatherings are also hosted.

Short track racing for many Saturdays or weekends feature the NASCAR sanctioned Advance Auto Parts All American Series. Such is the case for Saturday, June 26th. The CARS Tour ran last weekend. The SMART Modified Tour is set for later this year.

Dominion Raceway is a little speed jewel tucked up in Virginia between Richmond and Washington, DC. We’re looking forward to checking the place out in person.

The crowds are picking up at Motor Mile Speedway. Small track racing faces so many challenges it is hard to focus on generating interest with all the variables to consider. However, the Pulaski County Play Outside 250 on June 19th gave it a good push for family friendly fan attendance. Kids were in for free and the large play area is a great incentive for families at the track. The open “Pit Party” had all cars and drivers on the front stretch with fans on track to meet and greet. Several kids were also named to be honorary pit crew members for the evening events.

Seven races with five classes offered plenty of lap by lap racing with some good wheel battles on the track. The Advance Auto Parts Late Model races had good challenges from Ryan Wilson in the #2 with Kres Vandyke in the #15 in the first and Jacob Heafner in the #95 in the second. Ryan held for the second spot in both events. Kyle Dudley in the #4 grabbed the third slot in race 1 and Vandyke hit the third slot in race 2.

The Limited Sportsman presented the largest group on the track and had some restart drama in the closing laps. A tight restart put the #99 of Dale Cline in the rear of the #17 with Tray Fitzgerald. The loose #17 was pushed out of line as the #99 hit on the start. As the field came back around under caution, the #17 had driven back down the front stretch and made an attempt of running at the #99. Fitzgerald was not in the second race. Damage or penalty…? We don’t know… But it was an interesting encounter to watch. Kyle Barnes (#00) swept both LS events with Cory Dunn and Scott Lancaster finish 2nd and 3rd in race 1. Chase Ratliff and Cory Dunn finished in 2nd and 3rd for the second race.

The Mod-4 put out a good field for racing but it was Doodle Lang who dominated with a front row start in the #22. The race for second was on between Scott Foley (#97), Dennis Holdren (#2) and Kevin Canter (#3). They finished in that order but the challenge was there for most of the race.

Ray Sowers (#71) and Wayne Corprew (#21) started up front but it was Hank Turman in the #0 that gained an advantage later in the race to grab the win from a second row start in the Super Street race. Sowers and Corprew finished 2nd and 3rd.

The UCar was dominated by Peyton Howell in the #11. He has been the one to chase in UCar at Motor Mile with 4 wins. Cary Thomason (#8) and Jamie Lafon (#93) came across 2nd and 3rd.

Next up at Motor Mile is a big weekend of big fun with Monster Trucks putting out big action. Tickets are on sale now and this should be a big crowd show!

Visit Motor Mile Speedway online for more info!

Full Gallery from the Pulaski County Play Outside 250 below!

Memorial Day Weekend – It is a big traditional race weekend back on track from the 2020 Covid schedule shake up. NASCAR is back in familiar territory after going swimming at Circuit Of The Americas. Charlotte and the Coca-Cola 600 are on for Sunday, May 30. Earlier in the day, the Indy 500 takes the track for the tradition back in its place for the day before Memorial Day.

These are the big races that catch people with watch parties and cookouts or even bigger weekends with fans at the tracks in Charlotte or Indianapolis. However… It’s 2021 and we have DVRs and digital replay. If you really want to see the big ones on TV, but have something else to do at race time, hit record and your Monday is there for play back. As for something else to do…? Perhaps some local racing would be the fix.

Bottom line… There is some good racing at tracks across Virginia. (Tracks across the Country, for that matter) It’s not just that local tracks need the support or the local drivers need the fans in the seats, it’s about racing. It’s about the fact that racing at Charlotte or Indy is, at the most common denominator, just like the racing at your local track. The cars, the sounds, the drivers that make local stars and the teams and sponsors that support them are all a part of it.
The largest part is you… The fans that love racing in all of its forms and styles. With that, Memorial Day Weekend offers everything from local to really big national racing events. Fans will have no shortage of options. Go racing!

Take away two wheels. Add a bit of leather. Throw in a touch of insanity. Keep the speed.

What you have now is Moto America motorcycle racing. One of their weekend rounds made its way around the turns of Virginia International Raceway. It’s mid May and Virginia is opening up for spectator events. Outdoor events like motor racing are prime examples of open area seating which still allows the opportunity for distancing and masks if going inside. With other Virginia short auto tracks already holding events, this was a first for open fans and the 2021 spectator season at VIR.

Three things to take away from the Moto America weekend. First of all, motorcycle road course racing is a fantastic watch. It is fast and colorful and full of variety. The classes of bikes range from high pitched screamers to rumbling power pushers. Watching these riders throw those bikes into the turns at speed seems to defy the laws of physics. Even if you haven’t ridden a motorcycle, chances are you’ve had something on a string and wound it in a circle. You know that the thing wants to fly off. You see a tiny patch of rubber holding all that force at severe angles and just get sucked into the magic that holds it on the road. These riders throw the weight from turn to turn with only hands and body keeping it in control. Motorcycle racing is on the edge from green to checkers. When that edge gets crossed it’s time to let go and take a tumble. Racing is dangerous and riders do go down. It is amazing to see them walk away from a tumble like this!

For this weekend, they raced the “North Course” which makes a right turn up the hill just after the cross over bridge. This makes a 2-1/4 mile course which the racers covered in less than 90 seconds. This makes an average speed over the distance at greater than 90 mph. The straights and mainlining through the “esses” were much faster! A BIG “Thank You” to Moto America and VIR for having us!

The second is the fan experience at VIR. For viewing a motorsport event, there is a lot to take in at this track. Compared to a traditional race track, for NASCAR or Late Models as an example, there are bleachers or seating around the track. You are pretty much watching from where you sit from start to finish. At VIR, the fans are free to roam most of the course. There are only two sections that have fencing beyond standing height. 90% of the course offers the fans a view without a fence in front of the sight line. For fans with cameras, VIR is a great place for getting photos of the action. You may see vested photographers inside the gates but there are plenty of angles along the fencing for fans to get great photos. (Many of the photos in our gallery were shot on the “fan side” of the fence.)

The paddock area is also open for fans to walk through to see the bikes (or cars) being worked on and see the riders (or drivers) just hanging about. VIR offers access and race action viewing from practically every angle.

And, the third… Virginia International Raceway has been praised by everyone from Carroll Shelby to Paul Newman to the hosts of the original BBC “Top Gear”… It is a beautiful, tree lined bit of racetrack that has everything for racers and fans… Except (and someone has to say it) a proper outlet for basic food. Granted, the Oak Tree Tavern offers a marvelous dining experience, however, it is not located for direct fan access during events. The paddock area dining is severely limited by size, scope and speed for the numbers of fans that can be there. On Saturday, during Moto America, with lines 30 deep they were ready to stop service shortly after 2pm. To be fair, it is our understanding that the Pagoda dining area is farmed out to a third party service and has operating hours to 2pm. They are slow, ill prepared for the volume and a bit pricey for what they offer.

Our advice, for what it’s worth… Get on the phone and find some good reputation food truck services with a variety of flavors and get them parked around the fan areas of the track. Make the fans happy with some food offerings without giant lines so they can watch the races they came to see. Take a percentage or whatever those deals are. Get happy fans and make some money. To quote Jeremy Clarkson of “Top Gear”… “How hard can it be?”

For fans… Virginia International Raceway is a race experience all its own in Virginia. The variety of events and views is like nothing else in the State. Plan ahead, however, and pack some sandwiches, or some pre-cooked hot dogs, or stop and get a pizza to go… Put your beverages in a cooler and enjoy the day of racing without the food lines.

Moto America was a great “Welcome Back” event for fans at VIR. Motorcycle racing is a different animal than racing with a full set of four wheels. It is fast and fun to watch. The season does not currently have any more motorcycle events but schedules change. For now, the next event is GT World Challenge. This event will offer world class sports car racing with exotic race cars from manufacturers such as Porsche, Lamborghini, Mercedes, BMW, McLaren, Aston Martin and more…

Check the full fan schedule HERE and enjoy our gallery from Moto America at VIR!

Where to go for racing this weekend? Your options are kind of wide open for May 21-23… However, you might want to pack the sunscreen for the day events. It’s forecast to be quite a burner. Beyond that, make sure you have some gas. (If it were up to us, we’d throw every resource at finding the ransomware perps and drop a little gift on them courtesy of the US Air Force… But that’s us…)

(Oh… We’d also save some left-over Covid toilet paper to highlight the yards of every idiot that put gas in plastic bags, storage totes and Tupperware. Face it, you’re dragging us all down with your stupidity…)

Late Models, Super Stocks, Dirt Mods… They are all running! Highlights for the weekend are on two wheels this weekend. Virginia International Raceway is hosting Moto America with 3 days of high speed and low leans on the road course. This is the first open fan event of the season for VIR! Virginia Motorsports Park is straight-lining it with XDA Drag Bikes.

Dominion Raceway, Motor Mile Speedway, Langley Speedway and Lonesome Pine are hosting Late Models, Sportsman, Super Trucks, UCars and more. Motor Mile even has NASCAR Champion and Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace hosting and signing autographs!

Virginia Motor Speedway, Wythe Raceway and Natural Bridge are slinging dirt with side by side, sideways action. The dirt tracks are hosting great events with some of the best racing in Virginia!

It does not matter what style of racing you prefer or where you are located… There is racing within your window of opportunity. It is forecast to be a little warm this weekend so hydrate, gas up and go racing!