COR Dirt City 2022 Wrap

stephenrjking

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The last two race weekends have been off-road racing at its finest.

No real thoughts to add on the facility, as I haven't been able to attend since the first year, but crowds seemed about the same as last year. They got good weather on both days, for once, which helps a lot. I think Dirt City is a valuable track to have in the portfolio, a purpose-built track that is tight and narrow, almost all visible (albeit at a very low angle) from the spectator hill, producing races that are all about track position with a dash of chaos that punishes drivers for running just a little bit wide out of key corners. I actually enjoyed how track degredation, properly managed, played a role in the racing. It's fun. The one thing that still needs work is the split lane, which still has a right and a wrong answer. It took ERX a couple of years to balance the split lane so that both sides could become viable options for the high-powered pro races, and Dirt City isn't there yet.

The tightness of the track does shine a big light on the starting draw. This is particularly notable in Pro-2, both because Jerrett Brooks is willing to complain publicly about a bad draw and because the reality that there are so many good trucks and drivers in the class means that you can easily get an ultra-fast truck stuck in 8th and barely able to move up.

And no time more so than at Dirt City. It's not to say that there isn't passing--in fact, the work it can take to make a pass makes the passes on track thrilling--but it *does* take some time and often some planning, which means that charging your way through the entire field is impossible.

Well, almost impossible, but let's save discussion of the Pro-4 race Sunday for last.

Thoughts on the races
Not a lot to say about Pro Stock and Pro Spec; the Greaves team appears to be improving rapidly in the Polaris UTVs, and that made for some good on-track action between Brock and CJ on Sunday, but Pro Stock remains basically what it has been. Which is a credit to Heger, but still. Pro Spec is capable of producing some good on-track action, but it really needs more trucks. Of note: A field that size or only slightly larger used to be a common thing in Pro-2 and Pro-4, it says very good things about the series that a field size of 4 looks really out of place.

Pro Turbo
Pick a name out of the hat and they might win. Hamish Kelsey, not someone I had on my "pay close attention" list at the beginning of the year, gets a win after a string of good results. And Robert Loire somehow netted his second on Sunday; absolutely crushing loss for Andrew Carlson on Sunday, who would have won if he had crossed the finish line 8 seconds later on his previous lap instead of breaking as he approached the white flag.

*Stream note: My flo sports stream broke and was inoperable for a half hour, inaccessible from any device. I missed the pro turbo race as a result and had to review it later. At least it came back on in time for me to watch Pro-2. Several messages sent to various social media and email accounts weren't really addressed promptly.

Pro Lite
It's not the Heger show anymore. The astonishing run of results continues, and it was Trey Gibbs following up a brilliant drive at ERX with a stunning weekend where he appeared to be the fastest driver in the class. He was the fastest guy on Saturday, rising to first by passing Kyle Greaves and Brock Heger *on track* with some magnificent driving. His arcs through turn one, finding grip and speed where no one else could, were eye-opening.

Of course, one small hang-up and he didn't win Saturday. So he won Sunday instead, in an excellent race. His exceptional second-place at ERX wasn't a fluke; Gibbs has arrived. Great drives from Eggleston and Wood, too, and really something to see Wood tearing up on the podium.

Pro-2
What a class.

We haven't had a really brilliant down-to-the-wire battle for the win yet, but we've had everything else.

As I wrote above, no class is affected by the random start draw than this one. You can qualify first and wind up 8th or worse, queued up behind Kyle Kleiman, Ryan Beat, Mickey Thomas, Cory Winner, Doug Mittag... these are race-winning drivers with fast trucks.

Starting with good track position is a huge asset. It also isn't something to apologize for, because a guy that wins from the first row has also spent a whole race in an electric battle with a former series champion for sixth place because they got a tough draw.

Here are three stars of the series who are fast and have great trucks: Jerrett Brooks, Ryan Beat, and Keegan Kincaid. What do they have in common? They haven't won a race this year.

Mickey Thomas won Saturday, and it was great to see Mittag get his first win since coming back to the midwest Sunday. The best racing action happened behind them, and it was *really* good action. Both days, but the racing behind Mittag Sunday was as good as it gets. There was also drama, with Kincaid biffing a turn out of the lead early on Saturday and Mittag's truck leaking water Sunday (which, I should add, was very well covered by the production crew; great camera work to zoom in on the leak, and a good job by Cheyne and Brent to discuss it, and then periodically check back on it without getting repetitive).

Keegan's season continues to be awful. It seems like it's random and bizarre, no one thing to point to, just a bad year. He's an excellent driver and generally fields a great truck. Ryan Beat hasn't really had a good season, either, but it's not as acute and he's been a lot closer to winning than Keegan has. On the other hand, it should be noted that Kyle Kleiman has risen to the challenge and improved a lot this year, his race win being only one data point.

Pro-4
Kyle Leduc is back! He beat an encouragingly fast Cole Mamer Saturday, and CJ had some issues that kept him midfield. Of note: Lena's size and relatively low prominence means that it's one of those tracks that part-time Pro-4s are probably going to skip, and they did... and there were still 9 trucks in the field. That's a *great* field.

So, Sunday: The start was pretty crazy, and Kyle Leduc managed to push wide in the first turn and bang hard into the wall, costing a lot of track position, into fifth. Then he hit the gas and clawed back most of what he lost in the rest of the lap, and it looked like he was set up to get to second by the comp yellow and then have a shootout with CJ for the lead... and then he carried too much speed into turn one, went wide again, crashed, and then tried to climb straight over the outside wall. Hard to win if you crash every time you go through turn one. The yellow flew and the race looked like it was another Greaves win, with Leduc's truck sitting on the wall like a beached whale, tires spinning uselessly.

Still, they pulled him off, and he was at the back of the lead lap. And you never know...

It wasn't going to be simple, either. He did some work before the comp yellow, but he wasn't in second and track position is everything in Lena. Jimmy Henderson has really grown and is a competitive driver, and Andrew Carlson had a *great* race and put together a couple of laps where I thought he might be able to challenge CJ for the lead.

But Kyle would not be denied. He had a good restart, set up and passed Carlson, and then set out After CJ with a couple of seconds to make up without the benefit of a yellow.

And so he did. A good sign of how exciting a race has become is when I find myself involuntarily moving forward in my seat or standing up. That's what the Saturday Pro-4 race was at ERX, and that's what the Sunday Pro-4 was here. In this instance it was Leduc coming from behind, getting closer every lap, just barely getting to a workable position on the last lap, and CJ making the wrong move on the treacherously slick infield turn...

And Leduc took the win with a last-lap pass. Excellent. Really a perfect build of action all day, ramping up the excitement with every race to a satisfying conclusion.

An outstanding weekend of racing.
 
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I think crowds were probably larger to some degree. I believe this was the first year they put portable bleacher seating along most of the top of the hill- before it was just chairs on the hillside and standing room on top. I was only there Saturday, but by the time the pros ran not only was the hillside full (as always) but the bleachers were pretty full as well. Camping was sold out as well, and they have added quite a bit the past couple years. Not only the main pit area, but across the road next to the spectator parking and a significant amount added north of the track in what used to be woods. There were some incremental facility improvements as well, such as adding blacktop to some of the spectator pedestrian areas.
 
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Awesome Racing. Short tracks are great for short course. Need a few more! That is as close to a Lucac oil track as we will get. The only 3 things that would make it better is gravel pit area / or eventually some black top, more garbage cans and bathrooms / and Night racing. Night racing may pull more people for a quick evening from Green bay area. If the Pros raced under the lights it would be a great show. The track is small enough to light up the entire area. The carnage and viewing at night is next to no other. The tv doesnt do justice as to how close you are to the trucks going by. Their is action from green flag to checkers. Track prep was fast but the track prep in the offseason should be done better. The track needs ripped down and watered deep in the dirt so it hold moisture over a foot deep. The water thrown on the top just for the weekend turns to grease lightning.
Pro spec will be a great class to watch grow. Last year being 1 and this year 4. If it grows by 3-4 a year next year will be an exciting year for pro-spec. Pro lite is the class to watch. Those guys are crazy out there. Pro-2 and 4 are always great with classes this stacked. On to Bark River!
 

handmethemic

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I want to go out of my way here to let the following be heard:

The entire staff at Dirt City--everyone I interacted with from volunteers on up to Don Demeny (track president) himself--was extremely helpful and accommodating. They assembled a fantastic group of people to manage and operate that facility and event.
 

Jacob D

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Dirt City motorplex continues to improve, both the track and facility. Yeah, the split lane isn’t quite even yet, but I’m sure it’ll get there. Besides the super dusty conditions for a couple of the races, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience once again! I was amazed how many people were rooting for LeDuc on Sunday considering it’s the Greaves’ home track. I’ve never heard a crowd get that loud and into it in a while! (Besides the Dual of Champions race at Antigo-non point race). It was also a super nice surprise that Blake Wilkey stopped for the weekend and have his Trophy Bug on display downtown Lena Friday night, and for a bit by the track on Saturday! Excited for the remainder of the season, and looking forward to going back to Bark River!!
 

Spectator337

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I hope they can somehow ad height to the hill. Crandon you can walk in spectator entrance in a packed crowd, stand on the top and see pretty well. Lena is maybe not high enough, or the flat it different on the top? I don’t know, but I couldn’t see crap without being an azz and standing in the isle way.
And the Jumbotron I could probably see better from my house then the track.
Anyone else notice that?
Great facility, great people, great racing, and a LOT of pretty girls! WOW!
 
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Spectator337

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Thanks for the highlights, which brings me to another ‘issue’ I have.
Spend $158.00 on Flo racing to watch it live, which has had its fair share of glitches, but bottom line is (correct me if I’m wrong) you can watch highlights and replays on you tube within and hour of the live race!
 

handmethemic

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Thanks for the highlights, which brings me to another ‘issue’ I have.
Spend $158.00 on Flo racing to watch it live, which has had its fair share of glitches, but bottom line is (correct me if I’m wrong) you can watch highlights and replays on you tube within and hour of the live race!

Highlight packages are on YouTube (very quickly, apparently--I didn't realize it was same/next day), but full races are only available on Flo.
 

putorkdforbaskat

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I watched Pro4's sunday race on facebook, someone was filming from the stands. WHAT A DRIVE from Leduc. Jeeez. Pro4 is probably the best form of motorsport out there.
Hey, one doubt... The race runs on a reverse grid, right? Why dont the drivers run bad laps on qualy on porpouse just to start at the front?
 
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I watched Pro4's sunday race on facebook, someone was filming from the stands. WHAT A DRIVE from Leduc. Jeeez. Pro4 is probably the best form of motorsport out there.
Hey, one doubt... The race runs on a reverse grid, right? Why dont the drivers run bad laps on qualy on porpouse just to start at the front?
I think they draw for an invert number, right? So you don't really know what qualifying position will start up front. I believe in pro lite on Saturday there was an invert of only 2 (so the front row just swapped positions) and I think another class was like 8 so the fast qualifiers were starting way back. You could probably do a statistical analysis and figure out the optimum qualifying position (probably like 3-5) to give you the best chance at a consistently decent starting position, but in practice no one can really control their lap times that exact. So the choice is either run balls out or sandbag, and you will almost always end up with a better starting position doing the former.
 

putorkdforbaskat

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I think they draw for an invert number, right? So you don't really know what qualifying position will start up front. I believe in pro lite on Saturday there was an invert of only 2 (so the front row just swapped positions) and I think another class was like 8 so the fast qualifiers were starting way back. You could probably do a statistical analysis and figure out the optimum qualifying position (probably like 3-5) to give you the best chance at a consistently decent starting position, but in practice no one can really control their lap times that exact. So the choice is either run balls out or sandbag, and you will almost always end up with a better starting position doing the former.
AHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh thats so interesting! haha I think I have never heard of that but it sounds very interesting! haha Thanks mate
 

450grl

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They run one qualifier on Fridays.....top qualifier draws the "pill" for the invert. This can be anywhere from 10 to 0 I believe. The interesing part is, there is no qualifier for Sunday's race. They take your fastest lap time during Saturday's race for your qualifying time on Sunday. This means that, even if you have a crappy race or blow a tire and get it changed but are at the back of the field on Saturday, if you can still rip off a really fast lap time, you can still get top qualifier for Sunday. There is another pill draw for the inversion for Sunday's race. So....no sandbagging because you honestly don't know where you will end up after the inversion. I've never played those games - just go as fast as I can and let the Race Gods take care of the rest.
 
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