Hello and welcome to 2015 race fans. This week I want to touch on a subject and shed some light on something that I think needs to be looked at. But first I want to ask everyone a question. OK ready? What do these drivers all have in common?
Pat Cannon the 2008 National 410 ROY, 2009 and 2011 Central PA 358 Point Series Champion.
Brad McClelland 2010 National 410 ROY, 2014 Central PA 358 Point Series Champion.
Logan Schuchart 2012 National 410 ROY, 2011 Central PA 358 Point Series Champion.
AND LAST BUT DEFINITELY NOT LEAST....
Austin Hogue the 2014 National 410 ROY, 2013 Central PA 358 Point Series Champion.
Add in Adam Wilt who was voted the 2009 National ROY and you have not only 4 358 Point Series Champions voted National ROY in the 410 division, but also 5 different 358 drivers who where voted to that prestigious award.
Now excuse me if you all knew this, because you must be a die hard race fan, because I have yet to hear anyone anywhere mention this fact or feat. Wonder why that is? How can a division produce 5 National ROY drivers in 7 years and not get any press about it? Even more dumbfounding to me is 2 of these drivers won the 358 Point Series Championship 1 year, and the very next year won the ROY award, yet no mention of that is ever made.
Yeah I know what your saying, Bill just stop now, we all know you do the 358 point series and your looking to make a mountain out a mole hill, and yeah to a point your correct. But let me ask you all another question. If any of these drivers where 360 champions don't you think that would make headlines the next year when they won the National ROY? Why is it they don't say anything about being a 358 champion? Are 358's really that bad? Does 2 C.I. and a "Funny looking" wing really matter that much?
I understand that 358 sprint cars only run in Central PA which makes them an oddball in a country full of 360's and 410 sprint cars. But shouldn't they count non the less? I mean for those reading this that are not from Central PA, but follow the 410 division lets take a look at all the 410 drivers who got their start in and won in a 358 sprint car...
Is that enough names for you to get the point?
What the hell is my point you ask?
Why is it with all of this talent racing the 410 division in Central PA, why doesn't anyone talk about the 358 division? Winged Nation which is the leader when it comes to National racing talk shows wont give the division the time of day, and when they have a driver on the show that ran the 358's or for that matter is the defending or past Champion of the 358 series they don't ask anything about it.Why? Why is it our local podcast host who writes for a local news paper wont give any of the drivers an interview unless they do something in a 410?
But hey I'm not here to go on another rant about the media bias towards the 358 division, go back and look at the title of this article.....Go ahead Ill wait AGAIN....
Yep its BACK TO THE FUTURE. Why did I call it that you ask? Its really simple, if you want to look at who the future of our sport is, especially in the 410 division for the next 10 or 15 years in Central PA, you should look no farther then the 358 division. Just as they should have been watching closely for the past 10 or more years as guys like Layton and Heimbach who both where ripping up Selinsgrove Speedway, are now both 410 Champions at Port Royal Speedway. Or some guy named Esh who won the National Open at Williams Grove and also collected the Track Championship at Lincoln Speedway. What about the 2014 Lincoln Speedway track champion? Yep Alan Krimes got his start in the same division. Dont even get me started on some kid named Danny Dietrich who is a 2 time World of Outlaws winner and track champion at Lincoln Speedway.
This year saw Kyle Moody win the Speedweek race at Lincoln Speedway,and some in the racing media had no clue who he was, Tim Wagaman a duel track Champion in 358's get his first win at Lincoln. Plus guys like Robbie Kendell who picked up his 1st career 410 feature win this year, and Ryan Wilson who has been real close to getting his 1st career 410 win.
Now lets jump ahead shall we? Wanna know a secret? Wanna know who the racing media should be paying attention to right now, and should be lining up to talk to?
Who is he? Oh he's just some high school kid who went from 358 ROY to 358 Track Champion at Lincoln Speedway. Whats so special about that? Know who the last kid was to do that? Some kid named Logan Schuchart who is now running full time with the World of Outlaws.
Lets add Matt Campbell a 5 time winner in the 358 division to that list....
Issac Sneeringer, a 7 time feature winner
Chandler Leiby , Doug Hammaker and Dwight Leppo three youngsters who picked up two wins in the division.How bout the 2014 Central PA 358 Point Series ROY Wyatt Hinkle who at just 14 years old won his 1st career feature win.
Those drivers right there are the future of 410 racing for years to come in Central PA, but you would be hard pressed to know that, since nobody outside of the fans who watch them and their family's even know they race. I think it's time for members of the racing media to start paying attention to the 358 division, that way when they start winning in a 410, they aren't so surprised and asking people" Who the hell is he and where did he come from". Remember folks to see the future all you need to do is look at the past, and almost all the great drivers right now all started in the 358 division.
Well that's it for this week. As always please feel free to let me know what your feelings are on this or any other topics I have written about, as I love to hear from all of you. Do you all agree with me, or am I just beating a dead horse with a funny leg? Leave a comment here in the comment section, but dont be a chicken and sign your real name to it. You can hit me up on twitter as my handle is @ or you can send me an email, my address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until then have a great weekend, and lets all hope for no snow the next few weeks so we can all see some racing action soo.