Thursday, August 25, 2005

"Dirt From The Stands" by Greg Cybulski

"Dirt Dreamer"

Well race fans, it's been about one month since Victory Lane Speedway's NAPA Auto Parts Mid Canada Sprint Car Challenge took place and ol' NOSAfan has finally surfaced. What this month has allowed me to do is sit back and reflect a bit about what has been accomplished this year and what direction your's truly will steer the good ship Prairie Dirt into the future.

I am a dreamer. Ever since I was a young lad growing up in the prairies of Manitoba, staring up at the clouds and marveling at the different shapes they formed, I've always had a good imagination. In today's fast-paced world of facts, figures and deadlines rushing by, it would seem that the average person has lost their ability to kick back, relax and dream away the day as in our youth. Even I admit to be guilty of that from time to time.
That is why I value my quiet time with my family or by myself.

I am also a race fan. Having said this, when you have a race fan who is a dreamer, one never knows what can come of it. About five years ago, Victory Lane Speedway near Winnipeg, Manitoba hosted Sprint Car racing for what we all thought was the last time. I called it "Black Sunday".

During the next four years or so I used to think about what I would do if I had the opportunity to promote racing. How could I, if given the opportunity, make a difference in the way racing could be presented to make it bigger and better than it was before for everyone involved. The track, the fans and the teams.

To this day, I can not say for sure what it was that started the whole ball rolling, all I know is that sometimes dreams do come true. I promoted my first sprint car race in 2004 at Estevan Motor Speedway, SK and from there, two races this year. One for Victory Lane Speedway and then a return engagement at Estevan in September of this year. In both instances, so far, the results have been full houses of race fans and decent fields of cars to put on good shows. Promoting, however, is not a one man job. There are so many people involved in making a show of happen, that they are too numerous to count and not one is more important than the other. Trust me.

I feel truly blessed to have met so many great people in the racing community over the past few years of my life. Promoters, drivers and crews, photographers, race fans, chaplains and many more have all been part of my life in one way or another. Every one of them has been an inspiration to me.

As the old saying goes, a rolling stone gathers no moss. Not soon after the July 14 race in Winnipeg, this race fan started to look towards 2006 and beyond. Stay tuned.

Now, for a quick look at the local racing scene. The young guns are showing the way in the NOPA Street Stock division in 2005. Lead by the smooth driving style of Hallock, MN's Steffan Snare, both he and Winnipeg's Shane Edginton have put on some great shows for the fans at Victory Lane this season. Although, Snare leads VLS in wins with 8 and also leads the NOPA points race, it is the consistent top 5 finishes of Sheldon Vankooten that puts him on top of the Street Stock track points chase with only a few races remaining. What is keeping Snare out of the number one spot? Three missed races. Winnipeg's Ashley Donald, despite having troubles on her home track, is sitting in third place in NOPA points, thanks to travels to River Cities Speedway, Greenbush and her favorite, Rocket Speedway in Hallock, MN.

One division I have been watching more closely lately has been the NOPA 4 Cylinder class. One driver who should be in contention for the most improved, is the #48 of Jerome Guyot. Jerome likes running the high side and after watching him race not only weekly but also in a few Enduros, I would say the young man from Fannystelle, Manitoba is quite comfortable pushing the cushion. It makes one wonder if he will have designs on a Street Stock in the future.

Winnipeg's Trevor Rambow just keeps getting better and has earned the name "Mr Consistency" from this Dirt guy. The Bradley Racing #3, 4 Cylinder Enduro machine is about as consistent as anyone out on a Saturday night at Victory Lane Speedway. His top 5 finishes have him looking at a shot at the 2005 VLS points title. At last report he was sitting in second place.

Why is a Sprint Car junky watching the 4 Cylinder class? Stay tuned.

In NOPA Super Trucks, Jacques Beaulieu of St. Francois Xavier, MB. sits atop the NOPA points after 16 shows. He is currently running second to Winnipeg's Stu Fraser for the VLS track title.

Although not in the bag yet, Bill Mooney of Garson, MB appears to almost have a lock on another Wissota Super Stock title at Victory Lane Speedway.

In the Wissota Modified division, Kevin Sexton looks to reclaim his track title with only a few races remaining.
The best move by a track this season is by Rocket Speedway to include the NOPA Super Trucks regularly in their shows. By far, the most entertaining class in NOPA. If you don't believe me, just ask the good folks at Emo Speedway, ON. My 2 cents.

Mini Sprint racing seems to be picking up some in our region. The NOMSA Mini Sprints from Greenbush will be making a weekend, 2 night stint at Rocket Speedway, Hallock, MN on August 27 and 28 before returning for the big Greenbush finale on Labor Day weekend, September 3 and 4.

Out West, the Estevan/Williston Mini Sprints will be doing some traveling with trips to Swift Current, Saskatchewan on August 20 and then being a part of Minot, North Dakota's annual Motor Magic at Nodak Speedway on Labor Day weekend.

It would appear that tempers have flared over the track conditions of River Cities Speedway. After reading comments on local message boards regarding the Gold Cup race of Friday, August 19, hopefully this situation will be addressed.
One final note, no matter what they throw at him, the #13, 410 Outlaw sprinter of Mark Dobmeier keeps on winning at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND. He's the hottest driver in North Dakota right now, bar none. So I ask, why isn't he racing at the famous half-mile in Knoxville, Ia. every Saturday night? I sincerely wish to see this happen for Team 13 in 2006.

My 2 cents. That's about it for now race fans. Next time, I hope to have a big announcement for you. It will be worth the wait.

Take care and good racing,
Greg Cybulski

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