02/13/00 (Mountain View, CA.)

Hello again from rainy California on a Sunday night. With a lot of racing going on in Florida this weekend and lots of racing last weekend in Arizona there is a whole lot to talk about. I had planned on talking about my first experience driving a sprint car, but weather and other commitments have kept me from doing that. Yep, that's right, BF is going to give driving a shot. I know what you are thinking, why haven't you driven anything in the first 32 years of your life? The answer is simple, I haven't had the right opportunity. It seemed like this is a chance for me to take a shot at driving as my dad Burt Sr. has asked me to drive his Stealth pavement sprinter on the USAC pavement series at selected shows throughout the year. I will try to make between 8 and 12 races this year, concentrating on California races. I will still be helping Brent Kaeding with his race team, but I will have to miss a few races during the year to go to the pavement shows. I will be busy but I am very excited about the new opportunity. My brother was the driver of my dad's car last year. He has raced with my dad for many years. But Burt Jr. decided to go a different direction this year and I wish him the best in whatever he decides to do. I am hoping to make it out next week to go practice on the pavement as I feel I will need plenty of laps before I am ready to do battle with the other driver's on the USAC Western States circuit. With Yak Graphics doing my decal work, my car looks very nice with a red and blue scheme with the number 101 on it. The number goes back to my dad's midget days when he built a car from the ground up to race at old San Jose Speedway. I am honored to be able to carry his number for my rookie campaign. I will have more about this in the future.

Over the last couple of weeks the action has been fast and furious from Florida to Arizona. Brian Tyler was the winner of the Silver Bullet opener at Disney World in Orlando, followed by Ryan Newman, Gary Hieber, Brad Noffsinger and Chet Fillip. The following weekend, Jason Leffler was the big winner at the Copper World Classic scoring a big victory before heading to the Busch Series to race for Joe Gibbs this year. Following Leffler was Tyler with a strong second, Noffsinger, Tracy Hines and Dave Darland rounded out the top five. In the midget portion of the Copper World, Tony Stewart made a surprise visit payoff with a last lap pass of Ryan Newman to take the exciting win on the mile oval. In the Super Modified class, Tony Stewart broke the track record before having a tire go down and going to the tail with only two laps to go, then charging back through the field to finish 5th. Troy Regier won his 3rd consecutive Super Modified race at the Copper World. The same weekend as the Copper World, SCRA put on a weekend show at nearby Manzanita Speedway. The first night of action it was all Richard "Gasman" Griffin as he rocketed to the first non-wing sprint car win of the year and most likely not his last. If you ever get a chance to take in a race at Manzy, watching Griffin and J.J Yeley run that place is a pleasure. Following Griffin the first night was Troy Cline, J.J Yeley, Brad Noffsinger and Rusty McClure. The 2nd night in the 40-lap main event it was Jeremy Sherman taking home the big prize with his first ever SCRA win at Manzanita, the track where he learned his trade. Following Sherman was Mike English, strong starting Brad Noffsinger, Dave Darland and Rodney Argo. Sherman inherited his lead when J.J Yeley flipped while in the lead.

This past weekend, SCRA was back at their home track and Troy Cline came out on top followed by Tony Jones, Mike English, Richard Griffin and Rodney Argo.

The same weekend as the Copper World, the ASCS 360 class was at East Bay Speedway in Gibsonton, Florida to crown the "King of 360's". Gary Wright opened up the weekend with a win in the 25-lap race followed by Kelly Kinser, Joey Saldana, Danny Lasoski and Tim Crawley. The next night, Wright was once again back in victory lane with former PA Posse member Kenny Adams, Kelly Kinser, Tim Crawley and Terry McCarl following. In the finale it was upstart Ronald Laney from Texas taking home the big money with an electrifying upset of Gary Wright, Kenny Adams, Terry McCarl and Kelly Kinser. The 360 class always seems to bring out the upset winner throughout the entire United States. The competition is so close that there are many different candidates to win on any given night.

This past weekend, The All Star Circuit Of Champions opened up their campaign with a 4-night show at Volusia County Speedway near Daytona. The first night started out with controversy as Danny Lasoski spanked the field with a new "All-Star weight rule" car that was built to meet the 1200-lb weight limit. I hope this doesn't make everyone have to build a special car to run with the different Series because that will defeat the whole purpose of the weight rule. But you have to give it to them for their ingenuity. Behind Lasoski the first night was California transplant Paul McMahan, James Chesson, Billy Pauch and Joey Saldana. The next night it was more of the same as Lasoski took the win followed by Craig Dollansky in his new ride (Caravan 27), Kasey Kahne, Kelly Kinser and Frankie Kerr. The third night looked like a carbon copy of the 2nd night as Lasoski won with Dollansky, Kelly Kinser, Kasey Kahne and Rodney Duncan trailing. The final night saw Danny Lasoski win his 4th feature in a row in the radical looking car that looks allot like the car Kenny Weld built when he made his comeback to sprint cars. Craig Dollansky was leading until his right rear tire gave up just a few laps from the finish. 2nd was Frankie Kerr then Joey Saldana, Rodney Duncan, Billy Pauch and Kasey Kahne.

Here are some quick notes from the past couple of weeks: My heart goes out to the family of Denise Bennett as she passed away a few weeks ago after a long battle with Cancer. I had the opportunity to meet this fine lady and she was a very nice and sweet person, and she sure could drive a midget. R.I.P Denise... Cory Kruseman has opened a driving school at Ventura Speedway, for more information go to Kruseman.com to check it out... Dave Rieff does an awesome impersonation of Danny Lasoski, it was almost eerie...Great to hear from my friends in Arizona, Melvin 'Belli" Patterson and Scott "Rude Dog" Sutton...Also great to hear from Arlene Filipich, one of NARC's true behind the scene hero's. ...It looks to be one of the toughest WoO season's to date with no less than 18-20 traveling teams to start the season...It will be interesting to see how many hang around after the Support Series starts...Rick Carelli was the Copper World Stock Car winner in his first start since a serious head injury last year in the truck series...Dale Jarrett looks strong as ever after winning the qualifier then the Bud Shootout in Daytona today...Ricky Rudd will be strong this year in the Yates 28...Did anybody see Mark Martin hit his jack man on his pit stop? That was ugly...Congrats to Dave Blaney on his strong run (10th) in Daytona qualifying...Even if you aren't an NBA fan you got to love what Vince Carter did in the slam dunk contest (oops wrong sport)...If you get a chance sign up for Raymond Karr's Pick Five contest by clicking on www.shorttrackin.com/thepickfive...That will just about do it as they have issued a flash flood warning in my county. Good thing I live on the 2nd floor! Hope everything is going well for all of you and I will see you at the races. BF

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