December 26 in Germany, Poland and Sweden is St. Stephen’s Day. December 26 in Australia, New Zealand and Canada is Boxing Day. The post-Christmas tradition of boxing gifts to the needy began in the Middle Ages and became a British proxy around 1830. It has evolved into celebration of discounted merchandise not unlike “Black Friday”
Ted Johnson joked that it would be a cold day in hell before his World of Outlaws ever laid rubber on asphalt. Yet on November 9, 1991 a decade of dismissals proved prophetic at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, KS. Thermometers never crested 40 degrees and winds were stiff. Outlaws were late to the 1988-92
Never get caught staring at the standings. You hear it after two months of a six-month baseball campaign or Week Five of a 17-game football season. The message is clear: just do your job, play hard, and let the chips fall wherever they may. Do not waste concern on rival teams. Strengthen your own program.
“All he does is catch touchdowns.” That was coach Buddy Ryan’s sarcastic dismissal of Cris Carter before Carter starred for someone else. Well, all that Kyle Larson does is catch checkered flags. Whether his demoralized pursuers are scattered across asphalt or dirt, oval or road course pressing eight cylinders or four does not matter one
It was their last year without wings. Four decades ago, the 1981 World of Outlaws season was 102 days and nights on 45 plots of dirt in 20 North American states and provinces. It was the first to crown a champion other than Steve Kinser. To dethrone “The King” after three years demanded diversity from
It is the Yankee Stadium or Soldier Field of Sprint Car Racing. To step into the 82-year-old Williams Grove Speedway is to step back in time. Anyone with any sense of history can feel the ghosts, aura and spirit of its early warriors. And as dirt ovals go, The Grove is as quirky as Fenway
Cedar Lake Speedway staged the greatest race that I ever saw. It was one manic Monday conclusion to the World of Outlaws visit of 1988. To read headlines, Cedar Lake looked like another case of Steve Kinser stomping everyone in the dust, something he did 27 times that season. But it was so much more.
April Fools’ Day is no holiday. No child is excused from school. No mail carriers hit the golf course. Auto racing does not circle the date as part of a three-day weekend. April Fools’ Day is basically a 24-hour moratorium on lying. The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series has raced nine
I knew this World of Outlaws thing would stick. Sure, anyone can say that now, 41 years after “The Greatest Show On Dirt” lifted its curtain. But the sprint car climate of 1978 was very ready for a roving salesman from Wichita Falls, Texas named Ted Johnson. Critics later argued that his World of Outlaws