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  • Writer's pictureCraig & Scott

Kentuckiana Motorsports Presented by Lucas Oil

Time is running out to enjoy some great local racing! At the Sportsdrome Speedway on Saturday, it is the 35th Annual Figure 8 Madness! Also, fans can see oval action, other Figure 8 battles, Smack Talker, and more! That is this Saturday. Check out the Sportsdrome website and Facebook for details. September 9-10 (2 days) there is Drifting and it includes free camping. Then comes the 77th Annual Clark Nickles Excavating Season Ending Championships on September 17. After the titles have been decided, track owner Mike Gibson has a handful of more events through mid-October. Do check out the Facebook page for last minute ticket specials, changes, and weather updates. The Sportsdrome Speedway is just off I-65 in Jeffersonville, IN (About 5 minutes from downtown Louisville).

Other area tracks are also winding down the 2023 racing season the next couple are the Ponderosa Speedway in central Kentucky at Junction City near Danville (About an hour and fifteen minutes southeast of Louisville), Beech Bend in Bowling Green (KY), and just outside of Louisville in West Point Kentucky is the Ohio Valley Dragway. It is a small drag strip on Dixie Highway.

Another local track getting much attention: The High Banks of the Salem Speedway. It is about an hour from Louisville in Southern Indiana. Unlike the Sportsdrome, Salem does not run every weekend. But this year it has had a great schedule. And there is racing scheduled until late October. The last race is the historic Halloween 200. Labor Day weekend the stands will be full. On Sunday, fans will see the GAS racers, Scrappers, and Legends. See the website or Salem social media for more! A similar schedule is set for September 17. Then the stars of ARCA return September 30. Keep an eye on the Salem website and Facebook for those late updates.

Daytona is Daytona! Anything can happen, and it did! The big wreck wiping out about half the field. Then the non-stop flipping of the car driven by Stewart-Haas racer, Ryan Preece. He got out of the car and quickly was taken to a local hospital. The team released a statement that its driver was alert, mobile, and talking with family and friends. A short time later, Ryan sent a message on social media. "“If you want to be a race car driver, you better be tough. Dammit. ... I’m coming back". We haven't seen a barrel roll like the one Preece had at Daytona in some time. NASCAR will examine the car thoroughly. Safety is a priority. Changes in recent decades are keeping drivers safer.

As for the playoffs, Bubba Wallace made it in after Chris Buecher (A playoff driver who won his third event of the season) took the checkered flag in overtime. A "new" driver did not win. So, Wallace who held the 16th and final playoff spot, slipped in. The odds at Daytona went his way. Perhaps you noticed after the race he was still wound pretty tight. The pressure to get into the playoff field was immense. Yes, he is in. Now, what is he going to do with the opportunity? Others like Wallace have barely advanced in the past. Most were quickly bumped after the first playoff cut. Nothing wrong with his intensity. But going forward, Wallace will need to find a way to calm down or re-channel his emotions. Again, nothing wrong with being strongly competitive. But the elite drivers find a way to bottle it up and totally and evenly focus on racing. If not, he won't be a Cup driver for very long. He no longer is considered a young and growing driver. Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer, and A-J Allmendinger all raced Cup, then went back down to a lower NASCAR Division. Don't be surprised at the end of this season if a couple drivers lose their Cup rides for one reason, a lack of consistency and overall performance.

Congrats to Martin Truex Jr. for winning the regular season Cup title. And he earned some great playoff points to pad his post season points. Now, who might be the final four drivers to run for the Cup title at Phoenix? Scott says: Truex Jr., Byron, Logano, and a sentimental choice-Keven Harvick. Craig says: Logano, Hamlin, Busch, and a longshot but a past champion- Brad Keselowski. It all begins with The Track Too Tough to Tame, and that is Darlington! We want to give a shout out to Darlington Raceway president, Kerry Tharp. He's held the position for the past 7 years. Prior to that, he was a longtime NASCAR executive. Tharp has appeared on Kentuckiana Motorsports over the years. He grew up and went to Waggener High School in Louisville. He's a great guy. And he loves college football too! Prior to NASCAR, Kerry worked in college sports communications, including the University of South Carolina.

In the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series playoffs, Kansas is next on September 8th! After that race, two drivers will get cut from the playoffs and 8 will remain. Louisville's Ben Rhodes is now 9th in points (Dropping two positions) after finishing a disappointing 22nd at Milwaukee. Grant Enfinger won the race and looks secure to make the next round of the post-season field. Ben must gain a top 5 and collect any and all points he can at Kansas. A win is even better. We're not sure what is going on with Ben. Something is on his mind. Again, only eight drivers advance out of 10 in the playoff field. As for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. what a wild Daytona finish! Justin Allgaier narrowly, and we mean narrowly beat Sheldon Creed by inches. We still believe it likely is going to be John Hunter Nemechek or Austin Hill who will claim the title. They've been strong. Perhaps we should toss in Allgaier after his Daytona win. September 15th at Bristol, the Xfinity playoff excitement begins.

6-Time Indy Car Series Champion Scott Dixon dominated at World Wide Technology Park in Illinois to get the win. His 55th career victory. And it is his second in a row. Dixon is 74 points behind leader Alex Palou, who finished 7th. Next up is Portland this weekend. Josef Newgarden had a terrible race and is pretty much out of the championship title. Palou needs to finish 11th or better in the final two races to claim the 2023 championship. Both Palou and Dixon race for Chip Ganassi Racing meaning that organization will win the 2023 title!

Need something to do Labor Day weekend? Visit Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park over the holiday weekend! The US NHRA Nationals run Friday through Monday. You can bet Forrest, Charlotte, Moran, and Katie Lucas will be at this huge event. Morgan is serves as president of Lucas Oil, and knows a little about the NHRA! He began his NHRA Top Fuel career in 2004 and won many event championships. In 2016, he left racing to run the company his parents start in the late 1980's in Southern Indiana.

One big initiative backed by Lucas Oil is Protect the Harvest. It focuses on farmers and ranchers, and their families. Learn more at: www.protecttheharvest.com. We encourage you to take a look!

Kentuckiana Motorsports has provided fans, of all levels of racing, coverage for more than two decades. It started with a half hour program and specials on cable, then a major television channel, and as media has transformed, online and social media. Lucas Oil has been a huge part of it. They support local and grass roots. Always have. We remind you to make sure your car, truck, motorcycle, boat, other vehicles, and lawn equipment are all running efficiently. Think Lucas Oil Products. They do so much for racing communities across America. Other sponsors of KMS include PNC Bank (Sponsor of Scott Dixon's Indy Car Series Car), Sportsdrome Speedway (Celebrating more than 75 years of Racing!), locally owned Bright Pest Control and Bright Retail in Louisville, (Offering Do-It-Yourself Professional Pest Products with a retail store), and Knox Ford in Radcliff, Kentucky) (It also has a sister dealership, Tri-County Ford in Oldham County, KY). KMS friends also include: VoiceTel Kentucky (Offering telephone service for low as $25.00 a line per month), Temco Roofing, Jim Ellis/Attorney-At-Law, ICA Dumpsters, Kentucky Raceway Ministries, Nimlok Kentucky, Dynamic Healthcare, Lyndon Mower Repair, and Kentucky Medicare Plans (Serving Kentucky and Southern Indiana with Health and Medicare plans). We also thank our media connections in all series, NASCAR and with NASCAR Media, Indy Car, Monster Jam, ARCA, and NHRA for helping us bring the sport to the fans!

Be sure to check out the Lucas Oil/KMS Giveaway! It is a great Kentucky Speedway Picture Book. Very hard to find. Great memories of the first action at the NASCAR Kentucky track!

Here is the latest Lucas Oil Online Race Report!

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