2024 02 13 Asa Stars Tour Bubba Pollard New Smyrna Speedway Rich Corbett Photo 129
Bubba Pollard. (Rich Corbett 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: A Short Pull

Much like the Easter weekend racing schedule, this week’s Heat Race will be an abbreviated version. As the season heats up next month, we’ll kick it into full gear.

Until then, have a great weekend, and check out the Toilet Bowl and other weekend events on SPEEDSPORT.tv.

Qualifying: Public Shaming?

Wondering why some of the penalties being issued to racers today take two and three news alerts instead of one? There’s a notification of an infraction, followed by a fine/suspension and finally an appeals hearing update.

Three attempts to sully one’s name for a single misstep.

First Heat: Good Luck Taylor

Best of luck to SPEED SPORT columnist and open-wheel ace Taylor Ferns as she gets the opportunity to tackle four Indy NXT races this season. The whole sprint car and midget world will be watching.

Second Heat: Texas Time

Watching the follow-the-leader parades the IndyCar Series presented at St. Petersburg and Thermal Club, only makes this writer miss the annual event at Texas Motor Speedway even more. The 1.5-mile superspeedway is absent from the schedule for the first time since 1997.

Third Heat: Bubba Watch

Veteran asphalt late model racer Bubba Pollard gets a crack at the NASCAR Xfinity Series this weekend, wheeling a Dale Earnhardt Jr.-owned JR Motorsports entry Saturday at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. A lot of aspiring stock car racers, and their fans, will be monitoring how the 37-year-old Georgia native performs.

B Main: Eliminations

For decades, the IndyCar Series has fought perceptions that it had a low car count.

Now, the field is full at 27 or 28 entries for every event, but officials decided to put eliminations into play. Yes, we know last week’s event at Thermal Club was an exhibition, but still watching 10 cars take the green flag for the final segment of the race felt unsatisfying.

It looked like some of the club races we witnessed as a kid at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Feature: All Tied Up

After eight World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series races this season, Giovanni Scelzi and David Gravel are tied atop the series standings.

While five events have been canceled because of weather this spring, both drivers have 1,126 points heading into this weekend’s events in Oklahoma and Kansas. Scelzi has eight top-10 finishes and Gravel has amassed seven top-10 efforts.

Donny Schatz is a mere 16 points behind the lead duo.