Kaylee Bryson Silver Crown Belleville 5 18 24 , Jeff Taylor Photo 4
Kaylee Bryson at the Belleville High Banks. (Jeff Taylor photo)

KERCHNER: Friday Morning Heat Race

It’s the best weekend of motorsports all year long, and with that in mind, 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: Ain’t That A Shame

Another NASCAR Hall of Fame vote has passed and Larry Phillips failed to be elected again. As Fats Domino once crooned, “Ain’t That A Shame.”

Qualifying: Grand Marshals & Singers

Ever wonder how grand marshals and National Anthem singers are selected for big racing events? I certainly have. Some of the choices are mind-boggling.

First Heat: She Did It

In recent seasons the race had been on among Kaylee Bryson, Jade Avedisian, Taylor Reimer and Taylor Ferns to become the first female racer to win a USAC national series feature.

Bryson got the job done when she topped Saturday’s USAC Silver Crown Series main event at the treacherous Belleville (Kan.) High Banks.

Second Heat: Dedicated Safety Teams

POWRi was the latest dirt-track racing sanctioning group to announce the addition of a Safety Team. Here’s hoping for the day when it’s no longer news that traveling series have Safety Teams that traverse the country along with them.

Third Heat: Macho Man

Who would have thought four-time USAC sprint car champion Brady Bacon would be starving for a victory in that series, but that may have been the case as Bacon picked up his first win of the season in USAC competition at Circle City Raceway.

The victory marked Bacon’s 14th consecutive season with at least one USAC National Sprint Car triumph, breaking the mark of 13 straight years set by Sheldon Kinser between 1974 and 1986.

Fourth Heat: Weather and the Double

If rain impacts Kyle Larson’s attempt at completing The Double on Sunday, it will not be the first time rain has ruined the big day for those trying to run the 1,100 miles of the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Robby Gordon had rain stop his pursuit of The Double twice, including 1997 when the Indy 500 was delayed two days.

C Main: Viewing Options

Have you heard? The SPEED SPORT 1 Network is now available on Amazon’s Freevee platform. Get it there or at the app store.

Dash: Little 500

The Little 500 will run for the 76th time Saturday at Anderson Speedway and it remains one of the most intriguing races on the planet.

Thirty-three sprint cars starting in 11 rows of three racing 500 laps on a quarter-mile asphalt track with live pit stops. It’s seat-of-the-pants stuff from the cockpits, to the pits and the grandstands.

Forty-five cars were entered for 33 spots this year.

B Main: Uncle Horst

My Uncle Horst Muehlbronner died in March. He was one of those who unknowingly fueled my love of motorsports as a youngster. Horst won countless SCCA national events in Showroom stock action, piloting primarily Volkswagen Rabbits and Ford Mustangs, but anyone in the family will tell you he did his best driving behind the wheel of a van while navigating Indianapolis 500 traffic from his northeast Indianapolis home to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Those were some wild rides. Gone but not forgotten.

Feature: Double Talk

There is so much I do not understand about NASCAR’s $75,000 fine of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Yes, Stenhouse punched a fellow competitor, and should face some type of penalty. However, if his actions were detrimental to the sport, why then did the sanctioning body use the video clips over and over in social media and in television advertisements to promote NASCAR and this weekend’s Coca-Cola 600?

Stenhouse and his altercation with Kyle Busch was the only thing exciting about the entire NASCAR All-Star Race. We can argue all day long whether or not Stenhouse was justified in his anger with Busch, or whether or not Busch deserved a sock in the kisser.

But why should the sanctioning body profit from “bad behavior,” and still levy financial penalties against those involved?