In just its third episode “The Morning Bullring” has become one of the centers of conversation in the short track world, especially after this weekend following the news that the Snowball Derby would go to controlled cautions this coming December for the 52nd running of the prestigious race.
Co-hosts Bob Dillner and Casey Lajoie went back and forth going over multiple aspects of the decision, first brining Speed51’s Lead Editor Brandon Paul into the discussion as well.
After that, the first to call into the Online Racing School hotline was Super Late Model driver Connor Okreszik, who was still on top of the world after scoring the ARCA/CRA Super Series win during CRA SpeedFest on Saturday evening at Watermelon Capital Speedway.
“It feels amazing feeling, it has been a surreal experience for the last two days," Okrzesik said. "Even as soon as the checkered flag fell, it’s just amazing. I haven’t gotten off of Cloud Nine since then, it has been absolutely incredible the last few days.”
Two-time and defending Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion Jonathan Davenport, who called in despite feeling a little bit under the weather, talked about his first title driving for Lance Landers and how a conservative effort combined with his nine wins on the year led to the big prize at year’s end.
“I knew our first championship with Lance Landers would be the hardest one to get and maybe I didn’t take as many chances last year as I would have been a little more conservative with setups and tire choices," Davenport said. "But I knew that was our ultimate goal when we first sat down and put together this team together was to win the championship.”
Circling back to the topic of the morning, the introduction of controlled cautions at the next Snowball Derby, Five Flags Speedway President Tim Bryant came on to talk about what went in to the decision and how it was far from an easy decision to make.
“This was certainly a tough decision and it has been kind of a work in progress; it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision by any means," Bryant stated. "I tell you it was tough and the aspect is, it’s a call we didn’t want to make. I’m right with Kyle Busch, it’s the freaking Snowball Derby man.”
Kicking off the second half of the show was Cale Gale of Gale Force Racing and the Online Racing School, which is gearing up for a number of seminars across the country. During the discussion, Gale talked about the origins of the Online Racing School and what its goals were from the outset.
“Bob Bolles and my dad (Bubba Gale) came together a couple of years ago; they thought it would be neat for someone to come online and be able to read a lot of important literature about race car suspension, anything about the race car. Just to further their knowledge.”
The always enthusiastic Kenny Wallace came on to discuss many topics on the show ranging from the state of short track racing, to his life as a grandfather, and how he has embraced being a “true racer” for the first time in many years as he prepares his UMP Modified for the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park (FL).
“This year will be my first time going to Daytona as a true racer, controlling my own destiny, driving my own truck and trailer," Wallace said. "This is something I am very excited about, it’s going to be a different feel, but one I’m so excited about.”
Calling in from California, 2018 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion and former SRL Winter Showdown winner Derek Thorn discussed the upcoming $30,000-to-win show on the schedule for this coming Saturday at Kern County Raceway Park. An event that is just down the road for Thorn and the No. 43 Campbell Motorsports team.
“To have the Winter Showdown in our backyard is always a special thing for us, the Snowball Derby is our Daytona 500, but this is right up there with it," Thorn commented. "I’m going to go into it with an open mind, like we always have. I have the best prepared equipment that I could think about with Campbell Motorsports. Hopefully come Saturday afternoon we’re holding that check.”
Thorn also indicated on the show that he's not currently scheduled to compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West in 2019.
To conclude the show, Wyoming driver Michael Scott called in to talk about his triumph in the Chilly Willy 150 at Tucson Speedway (AZ) last Saturday, including how he and his team overcame some crash damage from hitting the wall during Friday practice.
“We bent some parts, we haven’t actually done a post-race setup yet, but those bent parts seemed to help a little bit. So we’ll have to figure out what it is when we work on it again.”
In case you missed anything, fear not as this and all episodes of the "The Morning Bullring" are available free of charge for all on-demand on Speed51.com.
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-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor - Twitter: @Connor51CT