In seven races, Noah Gragson has only earned two top-10 finishes. (HHP/Chris Owens 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: Kudos

Congratulations to longtime SPEED SPORT and SprintCar & Midget photographers John Mahoney and Gene Crucean on their election to the USAC Hall of Fame. Take a bow, gentlemen.

Qualifying: One To Watch

Be on the lookout for rookie 410 winged sprint car Jace Park. Park has been turning heads through the early weeks of the season, wheeling a car owned and prepared by longtime World of Outlaws driver Johnny Herrera.

Park is a POWRi midget graduate from Kansas.

First Heat: Bumper Throw

Joey Gase tossed a bumper in disgust during the recent NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Richmond (Va.) Raceway and NASCAR fined him for unsafe practices. They should pay him a finder’s fee. A bumper-throwing contest would be a fitting replacement for the great racing attraction known as single-car qualifying.

I’d judge it on distance, accuracy and style.

Second Heat: Break Time

The NTT IndyCar Series is once again out of sight and out of mind. After it’s all-star race at the Thermal Club on March 24, the series doesn’t hit the track again until April 19-21 at the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Third Heat: Three Cheers For John

After more than 30 years covering motorsports, I rarely root for anyone, but I’ll be having good thoughts for ageless Funny Car legend John Force this weekend as he chases his 156th career Wally. Force is in the final round of the rained-out Winternationals that will conclude during this weekend’s event at Arizona’s Firebird Int’l Raceway.

Fourth Heat: High Limit Return

The Kubota High Limit Racing sprint cars will return from a nearly two-month hiatus with an April 9 visit to Riverside Int’l Speedway in West Memphis, Ark. The event at the quarter-mile dirt track on the banks of the Mississippi River will also be the opener for the Midweek Money schedule, with $20,000 earmarked for the winner.

Tyler Courtney has won two of the three High Limit races this season.

The event kicks off a busy stretch of seven races in 12 days for the series.

B Main: Short Career

The life of a Supercross racer may seem glamorous to many — and there is no doubt that it can be, but consider the fate of Adam Cianciarulo. At the tender age of 27, Cianciarulo is retiring from competition at the end of the season.

Riding since he was 7 years old, the 12-time Supercross winner has endured too many injuries to continue pursuing his passion. In so many other forms of racing, he’d just be hitting his prime.

Feature: Difficult Start

Ford is off to a difficult start in the NASCAR Cup Series, having not won any of the first seven races.

It’s even worse for Stewart-Haas Racing, which has accumulated only four top-10 finishes in 28 combined races among its four Ford Mustangs. Reigning series champion Ryan Blaney has been the best of the Ford contingent. The Team Penske driver ranks fifth in the standings and has three top-10 finishes.