Dirt Track Racing Jeremy #20

Saturday, May 26, 2012

When Dirt Track Winning Gets Dirty - A Commentary

Dirt track auto racing is fun for family and friends, but it is downright competitive and at times, downright dirty for the drivers themselves.

Last week's race results at Dog Hollow were as follows:  STOYSTOWN AUTO WRECKERS FASTRAK Late Models (22): Andrew Satterlee, Joe Martin, Dan Angelicchio, Joe Moyer, Tim Snare, Jr., Rich Logan, Jeremy Zufall, Joe Petyak, John Eckenrod, Brad Kling, Dave Padula, Jeremy Shaffer, Shane Weaver, John Mazey, Ed Kline, Mike Laughard, Josh Valenti, Wes McKeel, WL Stile, Scott Fitch, DNS: Andrew Wylie. Heats: Moyer, Angelicchio, Martin.

As you can see, Jeremy Zufall came in 7th.  He had moved from the middle of the pack starting at 13 due to a mediocre pill pull.

This week's race was different.  Jeremy pulled for 4th place in the Feature.  This was his big break by actually getting to start near the front of this regularly crowded field of dirt track auto racers.  It took him less than a few laps to pass his top three opponents, all solid, experienced dirt track racers, and maintain the lead during the majority of the race, at times, even being two to three full car lengths ahead of his competitors through numerous start and stop cautions.  At the last caution, a red flag, with only a few laps to go, Jeremy lost the lead, but not because he should have.  You can't win them all, right?  It is my opinion that Jeremy won this race but lost due to the unsportsmanlike conduct of  competitors who felt a win was justified at all costs, even if it was by using "down and dirty" methods.

The Fastrak cars who win their races or finish at the top are always under great pressure to win again the next week. Jeremy kept last weeks winning drivers in the dust and dirt during the the majority of the feature race, but at a price. The bumping, which occurred many times during the 20 lap race was just so obvious.  I thought there were rules to cover that kind of conduct, so why weren't they enforced?  During the last few laps, I was told that his car was bumped so hard that it knocked the steering wheel out of his hand, causing him to lose some control, which he regained, but not in enough time.  As a result, in the last four laps, he went from being first virtually the entire feature, and at times, several car lengths ahead, back to his original starting position of fourth place.

I know there are many factors involved in winning a dirt track race, but his fans had a reason to be hopeful.  Jeremy is an excellent driver and he proved it last night on the dirt track at Dog Hollow Speedway.  Winning by unsportsmenlike conduct isn't really a win at all.  When a driver can't win simply because they are good enough, and they have to resort to this type of conduct, what signal does that send to future wannabee dirt track racers and to the fans?  When threatened with a loss, apparently anything goes on the down, and in this case, truly dirty, dirt track. 

Jeremy will be back again.  When he pulls the pills for the front spots on the track, watch out because he is going to get his break again. He deserves it.

Jeremy was and still is, in our eyes, the true winner of this race on this Friday night, May 25th at Dog Hollow.

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