Thursday, November 16, 2017

2018 TDN Calendar Now Available

It's that time once again! Our annual TDN Calendar is now available! Our staff photo chief, Patrick Miller has once again put together a great looking selection of photographs for you to hang in your home or office, or to give to the dirt racing fan in your life!

For just $18, you can enjoy moments from the season that was with drivers from our area featured across the months of the year. The price includes shipping and all calendars are 11x17.

This year's calendar features the following drivers:

-AJ Flick 
-Dan Shetler 
-Carl Bowser
-Michael Norris 
-Alex Ferree
-Clayton Kennedy
-Mat Williamson
-Brian Swartzlander
-Rex King Jr
-Corey McPherson
-Tyler Dietz
-Joey Zambotti

To reserve your copy, just message Patrick Miller Photography HERE on their facebook page!  Or email him at

We hope you enjoy this year's edition!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Hashbrown Reflections:2017 World Finals Made Memories Of A Different Kind

Garry Ferguson Photo

A Waffle House in NC (November 4,2017) There's about 15 different ways to order hash browns at any Waffle House, if you use your imagination plus the listed versions on a menu which are all very good. I like them traditional, which is to say scattered, covered and smothered.

So I'm at this Waffle House outside of Gastonia, NC. And, somewhere in the midnight hour following the final night of the World of Outlaws World Finals, my thoughts began to drift as I finished the last of my double order of aforementioned hash browns, which followed the pecan waffle I inhaled moments before.

As I drifted, I found myself going back over the weekend that was and the things that stood out, the things I, and about 15,000-20,000 other people will probably keep as memories to add to our collection of World Finals memories.

So without further are this year's Hash Brown Reflections.....

David Gravel's Hunt And Capture of Donny Schatz

It's not like it can't happen on any night, it happens to the best of them. But when it happens the way it did on Saturday night in front of a packed, stadium sized granstand, it's going to stay in your memory.  The Connecticut Yankee in the Outlaw Court showed his hand to Schatz around the halfway point of the night with a turn two slide job and Schatz mitigated fairly quickly. But, on the last lap of the 30-lap A-Main, Gravel completed the task as he made the pass for the win in turn one and never looked back after a relentless pursuit of Schatz in lapped traffic.

It's one moment we'll remember going into the off season. It served as a reminder that no matter how dominant Schatz has been, is and will continue to be for the near future, Gravel is getting closer to that level at a staggering rate. And we'll also remember the moment the pass was made, how seemingly everyone in the stands stood up and screamed which is fairly abnormal for a World of Outlaw Sprint race there.

Garry Ferguson Photo

Mat Williamson's Friday Night Victory

I heard it called an upset by more than one media outlet. What a crock! It was no upset to anybody had really been paying attention to Williamson's progression the last few years, knew he had 19 wins on the year coming into the weekend, or saw his Small Block performance during Super Dirt Week. Williamson took Super Dirt Car Series champion Matt Sheppard around the outside early in the 40-lap feature on Friday night. I'd like to say he never looked back, but Sheppard lurked, waiting for one slip from Williamson to get back around. The St. Catharines, Ontario driver gave him nothing.

Williamson hit his marks on every lap, never got unnerved in lapped traffic with Sheppard breathing down his neck, and earned a career moment in his victory. But it was no upset. Not if you can do all of those things with the weight of them bearing down on you. An upset, that's a bit different. That's a tire popping for a leader, or misfortune of another kind that affects the outcome. Williamson just drove a perfect race and showed what he's been showing us at Lernerville for years.

Brandon Sheppard Is A Ninja

I'm not sure if I was distracted or what, but I never noticed Brandon Sheppard moving to the top side on Friday night in World of Outlaw Late Model action until the end of the race. Neither did any of the other front runners either. If they had, they might have tried taking the line. He was a ninja and came out of nowhere to snag yet another series victory in one of the most thrilling races of 2017.

Garry Ferguson Phoso

Dennis Erb Jr's Weekend

If you would have told me that Dennis Erb Jr. would be a major factor in the top five on both nights of racing and take a victory in the process before the weekend, I probably wouldn't have believed you. Not with Josh Richards, Sheppard, Owens, Madden and other top cars in the field. It's not that it's out of the realm of possibility, any driver that can win a Dream 100 can certainly win at Charlotte, but it just seemed so uncertain.

And yet, when all was said and done, he was the fastest car of the weekend wit Mike Marlar and Sheppard being close seconds.  Erb made all the grooves work, was patient, and got rewarded for picking the perfect moment for his charge towards the win. It was great to see a new winner in Charlotte and a huge win for the one man band, Dennis Erb Jr.

Garry Ferguson Photo

The Uke Tire That Got It's Revenge

What a great start to the racing on Saturday night. A true display of poetic justice occurred when a Big Block Modified driver competing in the B-Main, I think it may have been Marcus Dinkins but don't quote me, imposed physical harm to one of the white uke tires in the infield.  The driver spun on the backstretch and then had to suffer the revenge of the tire as he watched it stand up, roll halfway down the back stretch and bang into the rear end of his car. That'll teach him.

The Whisky River Adult Beverage And Libations Center

I have no idea who decided to enlist the Whisky River booze truck, Whisky River being the name of Dale Earnhardt Jr's restaurants/bars in the Charlotte area, but I want to shake their hand personally! A truck full of beer and mixed drinks which included almost a full bar was parked in the main concourse all weekend, and the bartenders were amazing! Well, a beer is a beer, but I bet they really made great drinks! Let's keep this place here going forward, the party zone was a welcome addition!

A Strange Meeting

Found myself in the head next to a World of Outlaws Late Model Driver in full fire suit before the main event Saturday night as he had his car staged and ready for action at the completion of the Sprint Car feature. Of course you know the rules in the head at the urinal. Eyes forward at all times, and do not acknowledge anybody. But after business was complete, I turned, smiled and said "good luck" which he returned smile to and gave thanks.  By the way, I won the race against him when it mattered most, hard to go faster than somebody with a few beers in them on a chilly night.

Sold Out.........Once Again

And lastly, for the fourth year in a row, the World Finals was sold out. The biggest three day attendance figures in the history of the event occurred this weekend. Needless to say, I don't think it's going anywhere for a while.  Those who love it, know why they do. Those who don't.....perhaps the ones that were complaining of dust all weekend, can basically find asphalt next door.

2017 World Finals Pick 'Em - Final Standings

Congrats to Justin Hartz on claiming the top spot in the 2017 World Finals Pick 'Em special event contest. Justin sat quietly in sixth place following night one's action, and made his move during the final three features of the weekend to catapult himself to the front. Hartz's winning driver combination consisted of Gravel, Schatz, Ian Madsen, Owens, Richards, Dennis Erb, Hearn and Matt Sheppard. For his win he'll receive the top prize of a $150 pre-paid Visa gift card.

Coming home in the runner-up spot was Jonathan Hornsby (@jhornsby2). He kept himself in contention all weekend after finding himself in fifth place following night one, but unfortunately he came up one point short. Jonathan's picks included Sweet, Schatz, Sheldon Haudenschild, Brandon Sheppard, McCreadie, Dennis Erb, Decker and Matt Sheppard. He'll receive the second place prize which includes a $25 pre-paid Visa gift card as well as his choice of t-shirt from R&R Racewear.

Rounding out the top three was myself, Tyler Beichner (@tyler_beichner). Of course I will not be getting a prize, but these bragging rights will certainly be put to use until we gather again for the 2018 World of Outlaws World Finals next November. My drivers were Sweet, Schatz, Schuchart, Brandon Sheppard, Richards, Moran, Matt Sheppard and Decker.

Coming home in fourth place and receiving the third place prize is Getzy (@tgetzt). He charged forward from his fifteenth place following night one to land firmly in the top five. His drivers were Brian Brown, Schatz, Schuchart, Brandon Sheppard, Madden, Clanton, Matt Sheppard and Britten. Getzy will be the lucky recipient of a $15 Subway gift card.

Optimal starting lineup for the weekend:
Donny Schatz - 58
Kerry Madsen - 50
Logan Schuchart - 45
Brandon Sheppard - 55
Mike Marlar - 54
Dennis Erb, Jr - 58
Matt Sheppard - 58
Billy Decker/Danny Johnson - 48

I would like to personally thank all contestants for playing this year. We shattered our previous record for any Pick 'Em contest - and by a wide margin. We will be in contact with our winners in the coming days. See everyone in February as we return for our annual DIRTcar Nationals Pick 'Em contest from Volusia Speedway.

Have a great offseason, and see everyone back in 2018!

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

World Finals Pick 'Em - Night #1 Results

The field receives the cross flags as we're halfway through the prestigious 2017 World Finals Pick 'Em contest.

Leading the way at the halfway point is Devin Watson (@devinwats) with an impressive 202 points tally following the first three features. Devin's picks were Donny Schatz, Kerry Madsen, Jason Johnson, Brandon Sheppard, Josh Richards, Shane Clanton, Mat Williamson and Matt Sheppard.

He holds a five point cushion over our current second place contestant Michael Scoble (@mscoble701), who's driver roster consists of Donny Schatz, Kerry Madsen, Ian Madsen, Brandon Sheppard, Josh Richards, Shane Clanton, Brett Hearn and Matt Sheppard. Michael will look to cut into the minimal deficit as he vies for the World Finals Pick 'Em crown.

Rounding out the top three is myself, Tyler Beichner (@tyler_beichner). No worries, I don't collect prizes. If I place, they get shifted down one position. But come on, you know I'm looking to lay claim to the bragging rights that go with this contest. My picks were Brad Sweet, Donny Schatz, Logan Schuchart, Brandon Sheppard, Josh Richards, Devin Moran, Billy Decker and Matt Sheppard.

The following drivers would have produced the highest possible point total following Night #1:
Donny Schatz - 30
Kerry Madsen - 25
Ian Madsen - 28
Brandon Sheppard - 30
Mike Marlar - 26
Dennis Erb, Jr - 28
Mat Williamson - 30
Matt Sheppard - 28

Good luck to all contestants on the final night, and may all your drivers find their way to the front.

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