T.J.’s Takeaways from the High Limit Event at Burlington

Anthony Macri (#39M) and Kyle Larson racing for position at 34 Raceway. (Mark Funderburk photo)

The High Limit Sprint Car Series now has three events in the records books over the past two seasons. Here are T.J.’s Takeaways from Tuesday’s event at 34 Raceway at Burlington, Iowa.

• Anthony Macri is best known for his thrilling runs bouncing off the fence of Port Royal Speedway. Macri has become more a more formidable foe away from his home state of Pennsylvania, but Tuesday was one of the more impressive performances I’ve seen out of Macri.

Keeping his cool during a disjointed first half of the main event during multiple red and caution flags, making the right choices at the choose cone, hitting his marks on track that became increasingly tricky as it slicked off throughout the feature, and making the right move in slower traffic were all elements on Macri’s route to victory.

Throw in the fact this was all done with his brakes sparking and having Kyle Larson on his back bumper until the final two laps made the victory even more impressive.

Macri has been vocal about critics that have argued he is a one-track wonder or only fast in Pennsylvania, but Tuesday’s victory with the High Limit Series with a formidable field of cars showed the continued growth of the “Concrete Kid” and shows he could be a player in some of the big races to come later in the year.

• While the first half of the main event was a tough watch due to all the carnage, the High Limit Series is proving they can put on compelling races. Even though the leaders never hit slower traffic the first 2/3 of the race, which is typically were most of the drama takes place in a winged 410 sprint car feature, once the field stringed together some laps the feature had comers and goers, good racing for the lead, and drivers moving up from the back with the choose cone.

Zeb Wise and Kyle Larson charged from 11th and 10th starting positions respectively to grab the last two spots on the podium, Tyler Courtney charged from 13th and looked like he might have something for the leaders before leveling off in fifth.

Throwing in three lead changes with the minimal amount of slower traffic and I was entertained by the main event. This bodes well with the series going to the action-packed Kokomo Speedway for their next event.

• I enjoyed watching Brad Sweet and Kyle Larson put together with the High Limit Sprint Car Series. Through two events the fields of cars have been compelling and both features have been entertaining this season.

The part I admire the most though is building a new product with such a large spotlight on their effort. There wasn’t a “soft opening” for the High Limit Series. They are figuring things out in front of a captive pay-per-view audience around the country with no other events taking place the nights they have run.

I’ve seen improvement from Putnamville last year to the event in Burlington on Tuesday, and I imagine everyone involved would agree there is still a lot of improvement that needs to happen. Once they figure out the formula to get the show tightened up so it doesn’t run past 11:00 EST baring any kind of craziness I think the program will flow better (pun intended).