T.J.’s Notebook: POWRi/WAR Partnership, “Codevember”, and Other Observations

Mario Clouser (#6) racing with James Lyerla Friday night at Jacksonville Speedway with the Wingless Racing Association. (Mark Funderburk Photo)
Mario Clouser (#6) racing with James Lyerla Friday night at Jacksonville Speedway with the Wingless Racing Association. (Mark Funderburk Photo)
Mario Clouser (#6) racing with James Lyerla Friday night at Jacksonville Speedway with the Wingless Racing Association. (Mark Funderburk Photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

Silly Season is not just for race teams and drivers. The Wingless Auto Racing series proved that on Tuesday when they announced their partnership for the 2017 season. WAR series owner Casey Shuman explained the potential with this partnership developed over the past couple of months.

The partnership gives the POWRi brand a sprint car division and WAR receives title backing from Lucas Oil. Even with that backing it doesn’t appear the WAR series will expand their geography dramatically

“I think (the partnership with POWRi) will get us ot a track or two in Missouri we were not at and will get us into Illinois a little more then we were,” said Shuman.

Shuman also indicated there is a lot of interest in the series from surrounding states as well, but is cognoscente of keeping the travel reasonable for the teams that support the WAR series.

WAR is the younger Shuman’s first foray into series promotion, following in the footsteps of his father Ron who was a former president of the SCRA. Shuman’s account of his first season running a racing series was positive.

“I’ve learned to look at it as a show,” said Shuman. “I try and tell our guys all the time, ‘lets not be the group holding up the show, lets make sure the fans are saying good things when they leave.’. Its honestly been a lot of fun. Our group has really turned into a big family, which is really cool”.

One things fans could see out of the partnership is more joint shows with the POWRi Midget and 600cc micro sprint divisions.

“That is one thing we will look at doing more of,” said Shuman. “Between the Micro, Midget, and Sprint Cars it should bring some pretty cool races to the fans.”

November is time for development and improvement for TJSlideways.com…

If you look around on social media there are posts from race tracks all over the country putting down new clay and making improvements. I’ve been doing the same thing at TJSlideways.com. You may have noticed things shuffled around a bit on the front page.

Every November I take a list of ideas that were conjured up during all hours throughout the racing season and start testing them out on the website for implementation for the upcoming racing season. I discovered years ago if I focus on these technical ideas during the actual racing season it takes away from producing content.

While around 75% of the ideas normally don’t make the final cut a few of them do. So far the trending stories box has been a big hit with the readers along with the regional news boxes towards the bottom of the site have proven popular. One week into the development month and there are still a handful of items to go including a remodel of the statistic section and a few other items still in testing.

Another aspect of this month is going over analytics from the past season to see what you the readers took time to check out on the website. After going over those numbers last weekend I have already began noting some adjustments to my personal race schedule for 2017.

One thing that was loud and clear was you want more original content from us. The items we produce tend to be the most popular on the website. While time is always at a premium, your voice was heard and I am already working on some concepts that the readers will enjoy and will not be too time consuming on my part.

Notes from around the country

Lucas Wolfe. (T.J. Buffenbarger Photo)
Lucas Wolfe will have a new ride for 2017. (T.J. Buffenbarger Photo)
  • Jeremy Elliott broke the news on Monday that Lucas Wolfe is moving over to the Michael Barshinger owned car full time for the 2017 season. Wolfe’s move leaves the seat of the Zemco 1Z car open for next year. While the Zemco car contests a smaller schedule, its already been proven by Lance Dewease and Don Kreitz Jr. that a smaller schedule can be a right fit for a team in the region to run well at big races. This move could end up benefiting two drivers in the long run.
  • Jacob Allen scored what might have been the most popular victory of the weekend Saturday at Susquehanna Speedway. Allen took his first career 410 victory the hard way outrunning Lance Dewease for the win. It’s interesting to see drivers go home to run races like the Susquehanna event after being on the road to see how much they have improved. Part way through 2016 it was almost like a light switch went on for Allen and started running up front on the road with the World of Outlaws. The Susquehanna victory is further evidence of one of the most improved drivers of the season.
  • Sean Michael returned to the driver’s seat at Saturday at Bridgeport Speedway with the United Racing Club. Michael’s first race since being injured in 2009. Tom Whittall and Justin Whittall supplied the car. Quick time in his first two laps in the car during qualifying. Scored a top five and top 10 finish, even with brake issues on Friday. Sean’s brother Curt won Friday’s feature at Bridgeport.
  • Zac Daum led the American contingent during the Magic Man 34 over the weekend at Perth Motorplex picking up the feature victory. Alex Bright was fourth with Justin Grant and Davey Ray finishing 16th and 17th. Sadly this was the 10th and final edition of the event that is contested as a tribute to Australian driver Mike Figliomeni that regularly drew a strong American contingent for the event.
  • While it’s not unusual to see a Dumesny in victory lane at Valvoline Raceway near Sydney, Australia Saturday was Matt Dumesny’s first trip to the winner’s circle in the 410 sprint car division. Making the win even sweeter was the fact it was the same day as his Mother’s birthday.
  • Best wishes on a speedy recovery go out to Australian sprint car driver Stacey Galliford after she fractured her T2 – T5 vertebrae following a crash on Saturday during the Australian Sprintcar Allstars event at Timmas Speedway in Mildura.
  • Keith Kunz not only announced his driver lineup for 2017 on Twitter, but also revealed his team would be doing a tour of Australia with Rico Abreu this winter.