T.J.’s Notebook: 10 Most Viewed Storylines of 2023

Kyle Larson (#57) inside of Anthony Macri (#7) Thursday at Knoxville Raceway. (Action Photo)

By T.J. Buffenbarger

Mike Bowman made headlines by winning big at Ohsweken Speedway in 2023. (Image courtesy of Dale Calnan)

To try something different to end the 2023 season I spent some time breaking down what you our readers thought the biggest stories were in 2023. Using statistics of what stories you read about and aligning them with topics we use to file items on the website going through our 500 most read posts of 2023.

After the analysis was compete I was able to come up with the 10 storylines you our readers could not get enough of on TJSlideways.com last year.

10. The Technical Protest of Canadian Sprint Car Nationals Winner Mike Bowman: This is the most surprising topic to end up in the top 10 for 2023. Technical protests are far and few between in sprint car racing, so when there was a protest of Mike Bowman’s winning entry for the 2023 Northern Sprint Car Nationals (formerly Canadian Sprint Car Nationals) readers were fascinated by it.

When one brings up $30,000 for a weekend sweep that backed up two big wins earlier in the year it raised some eyebrows.

It was determined later on that Bowman’s car was determined legal and his victory upheld, which was ironically the least read of all the stories on this topic.

Jack Trainor and the Matt Seymour Racing team after winning the 75th Little 500 at Anderson Speedway. (T.J. Buffenbarger photo)

9. Jake Trainor’s Upset Victory at the Little 500: When I wrote that Jake Trainor from Medway, Massachusetts “Shocked the World” by winning the Little 500 at Anderson Speedway in 2023, it resonated among our readers with some big numbers waiting to learn more about the 18 year old driver with his 26 year old car owner, Matt Seymour, winning the most unique event in all of sprint car racing.

The race report and takeaways from that event were among the most read of 2023.

8. Logan Seavey’s Sweep of the 4-Crown Nationals: 2023 will long be remembered for the magical run Logan Seavey went on throughout the entire year. From winning the Chili Bowl Nationals to later becoming only the third driver in history to win the USAC Midget, Sprint Car, and Silver Crown features in the same night at the 4-Crown Nationals. Everyone enjoys witnessing history, and our readers particularly liked reading about the Seavey sweep.

Throw in the amazing race for the car owner’s championship between Zeb Wise and Tyler Courtney, which is one of the most amicable I’ve seen between two drivers battling for a championship and the 4-Crown was a hot topic last year.

7. Donny Schatz Wins his Sixth Kings Royal Crown: It was a wet and wild Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in 2023. Rain delayed the start of the event by several hours. The track soaking water up like a sponge made the event extraordinarily challenging for all the drivers and teams involved.

Readers wanted to know all about Schatz’s victory and takeaways from the mud soaked day at the Big E.

Carson Macedo celebrates after winning the feature Thursday at Knoxville Raceway. (Mark Funderburk photo)

6. Carson Macedo’s wild flip at Knoxville, recovery, and comeback: I didn’t see Carson Macedo’s major crash happen at Knoxville Raceway in real time, but based on the text messages that came in after and figured it was big.

It was nice to see the news of Macedo being released from the hospital was the most read story on the topic.

Macedo was able to quickly bounce back, grinding though several World of Outlaws races while still recovering from his injuries in the accident. Readers were invested all the way through Macedo’s progress which culminated by winning a preliminary feature during the Knoxville Nationals in his first appearance at the track since the crash took place.

Hopefully Macedo finds a different way to make this list in 2024.

5. Millstream Speedway being Sold to Matt and Beth Cogley: Stories of hope along with a comeback are always popular with readers. One of the best examples of this was the announcement that Millstream Speedway near Findlay, Ohio was purchased by Matt and Beth Cogley with the intention of reopening the racetrack.

Since the announcement and podcast, which was the most listened to of 2023, it was announced that Rich Farmer would be promoting races at Millstream next season and they would be part of Ohio Sprint Speedweek has stoked the fire even hotter for racers and fans seeking a return to Millstream.

Hopefully the Cogley’s can find a fraction of the volunteer help to get this popular speedway back into action as people that wanted to read about Millstream reopening.

Anthony Macri (Serena Dalhamer photo)

4. Anthony Macri Parting Ways with his Family Owned Team: The last moment breakup of Anthony Macri from his family owned race team on the eve of the Eldora Million was a story that took off like wildfire.

The initial story that was run about Macri’s situation was the most single read story on the website in 2024. Subsequent stories of Macri’s plans along with what the Macri family team was up to with Lance Dewease and Justin Sanders were hot stories as well.

Thankfully the Macri’s came to some common ground with Anthony returning to the family owned cars at the end of the year, but this wild turn of events will be one people will remember about the 2023 season.

3. Logan Schuchart Wins the Eldora Million: The Eldora Million was one of the most talked about events of the 2023 season. Logan Schuchart’s rags to riches storyline with the rise of Shark Racing culminating in the ultimate underdogs winning the biggest winners prize in sprint car racing history was a story a lot of you were happy to read about.

The Eldora Million also produced our most popular pre-race feature ever when I decided to seed the entire Eldora Million field. True my word I even recapped how I did seeding the field, not leaving my predictions forgotten in the wind.

The format for the Eldora Million also drew a lot of readers an positive feedback, which Eldora clearly saw as well with the High Limit Sprint Car Series event in July appears to be using a similar or identical format.

Check out all of our coverage from the Eldora Million here.

Brad Sweet. (T.J. Buffenbarger photo)

2. Kyle Larson Winning the Knoxville Nationals in Dominating Fashion: The week of the Knoxville Nationals always makes it one of the most read about topics every season. This year Kyle Larson’s dominating performance did not sway readers interest to read how Larson accomplished his second Knoxville Nationals triumph.

I’m appreciative that so many people enjoy reading my takeaways from the biggest event in all of sprint car racing, the daily event schedules, stories, and photo galleries throughout the week.

You can check out all of our coverage from the 2023 Knoxville Nationals here (https://tjslideways.com/category/knoxville/knoxville-nationals/)

1. High Limit Sprint Car Series Going National: Even though most of the content for this storyline came during the fourth quarter of 2023, it was by far the most read about topic on the website last year.

From my the High Limit Series announcement of going national and acquisition of the All Star Circuit of Champions, my takeaways on the topic, and stronger takeaways after the introductory press conference it was clear this was the hot button topic of 2023 and will be one of the hottest throughout the 2024 season.