Rocket1 Racing. (Rocket1 Racing Photo)

KERCHNER: Friday Morning Heat Race

It’s time for our weekly Friday morning tour around the racing world. From hot laps to the main event, here’s what’s on our mind this week.

Hot Laps: Not Too Old

With all the hype around young drivers these days, we find it fascinating that 49-year-old Tim McCreadie has been hired to drive the Rocket1 Racing dirt late model, one of the most prominent rides in late model racing.

Good luck T-Mac!

Qualifying: Spring Weather

While it is not unusual, the rainy spring weather has taken its toll on events with numerous cancellations throughout the month of March. Maybe we start the season too soon?

First Heat: Bristol Debacle

Sometimes I think controversy is what sanctioning bodies covet most.

Last week’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway had plenty of it. Though officials adding “stick-um” to the outer grooves and tires that didn’t last were the key storylines, a dull race on one of the sport’s most exciting tracks is what we’ll remember.

Second Heat: Final Laps at Sebring

Meanwhile, you had to wait 11 hours to get it, but the final laps of the 72nd running of the 12 Hours of Sebring were captivating. With the top two cars — an Acura and a Cadillac — trading the lead through lapped traffic in the darkness as the clock ran out in the once-around-the-clock endurance test, the finish provided tremendous entertainment.

Fascinating how two cars can be so close together after 12 hours on a challenging road course.

Third Heat: Go Figure

The margin of victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring IMSA sports car race was closer than in the Food City 500 NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway. Denny Hamlin beat Martin Truex Jr. by 1.083 seconds, while Louis Deletraz brought his Acura home .891 seconds ahead of Sebastien Bourdais’ Caddy after 12 hours of racing.

Fourth Heat: A Spring Crown Jewel?

Does sprint car racing need a spring crown jewel?

No doubt it would be a huge boost to the sport that hosts the majority of its big events in June, July and August. The problem of course is the unpredictable weather this time of year. Where would you stage it? Event Arizona had events rained out last weekend.

Dash: Road Racers

Did you know there are 14 active NASCAR Cup Series drivers who have won on a road course?

They are Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Michael McDowell, A.J. Allmendinger, Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Martin Truex Jr., Ross Chastain, Daniel Suarez, Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson.

Shane van Gisbergen, who runs a limited schedule in the Cup Series, would make it 15.

B Main: Enough Already

Enough already with the use of the term GOAT.

We recently saw a headline asking if Denny Hamlin is the greatest NASCAR racer of all time. Who are these people? Denny Hamlin is easily one of the best drivers of his era of NASCAR racing, but to rank him ahead of Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Darrell Waltrip, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough and others is naïve.

Feature: I Am a Member of the Country Club

Can you imagine if short tracks required memberships for fans and participants? We’re talking making them private clubs. If your bank account is too small or you are from the wrong side of the tracks, sorry, no admittance.

Well, there are more than a few road courses with exclusive membership programs, and the NTT IndyCar Series will race at one of them this weekend — Thermal Club. The membership-only facility is hosting the $1 Million Challenge, an exhibition race open to the full Indy car field. No, it’s not located in Des Moines. It’s in Palm Springs, Calif.

Can’t help but wonder what A.J. Foyt thinks about this?