Hey there people, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, and I’ve gotten the bug to write a bit, so I figured I’d address something Ive been thinking about lately. I’ve seen both national late model tours multiple times over, and will definitely continue to going into the future, but I’d like to see some new faces going into 2016 (and beyond, for that matter). I don’t expect you all to agree with my choices or reasoning, but still, it’s just something I’d like to see. We do have a comment section on these articles if you’d like to offer your own choices and offer feedback. Don’t be afraid to use it, it’s only going to give us a better idea of what our readers are thinking and what they’d like to see.
So what I’m gonna do is bring up five well known regional racers with seemingly large enough budgets to give a national tour a full time shot. Most of them have won a race on one of the two tours (or both), and a couple have even given a tour a hot, but dropped off before completing the season. I’d like to see all of them go for the big money at the end of the year, even if it is just one season.
Here they are, in no particular order….
Yeah, I know, the reasons He’s never tackled a tour have been laid out a number of times. He’s got a regular job with the family business, they don’t have that much money in the team, they can make more money spending less just running regionally as opposed to nationally, etc…
That said, I’d like to see him throw caution to the wind and give the WoO a legit shot. I understand 2015 was fairly disappointing by his standards, but sometimes, getting out on the road with some of the best the business has to offer will make an already good driver a great driver. And crew chief Robbie Allen has done the full WoO tour before, as Dale Beitler’s crew chief for Austin Hubbard and Steve Francis. So, running tracks that Robbie already knows makes the most sense to me.
Randy has started the season saying he’s going to follow the full Lucas schedule the past few years, but hasn’t followed through with it yet. He clearly thinks he’s got the money and equipment to pull it off, but for whatever reason, hasn’t committed yet. I mean, he’s won Lucas races arou nd his way before.
His ridiculous 8 race winning streak earlier this season proved he’s got top notch stuff and an assload of ability. I think it’s time he really gives it a legit shot. I think he’s be in the mix for the championship straight away. they understand how to make the car work to his favor, and he’s done enough traveling the past few seasons to get a feel for the tracks he hasn’t visited yet in a pretty quick manner. Plus, there’s enough Longhorn cars out there on tour (on both tours, really) that finding somebody else to bounce ideas off of shouldn’t really be a problem.
I know, I know, Jason’s budget isn’t as big as people think. He’s not the kind of guy to be able to raise the rumored 250k that it takes to compete on a national tour. And he had that issue with the WoO over the doped tires a couple years back.
But, he’s run a pile of WoO races since those issues, so it clearly isn’t a lingering issue. He’s run a pile of Lucas races too. He’s been pretty competitive in most of them. His foray into Black Diamond cars towards the end of 2015 seemed to be a great move that should improve his program quite a bunch going into 2016. The budget issue might not be as bad as he thinks if he can stay on tour for the full schedule and can get the show up money that the WoO regulars get. Also, a move to a national tour could possibly help his sponsorship situation.
Tony Jackson Jr.
I’m not going to pretend to know the full details of Tony’s funding situation, but his switch from Rocket, to Club 29, then back to Rocket, then back to Club 29 all within the same 2 year span tells me that he’s got a pretty big budget to spend on his racing if he so chooses.
His results have been getting better and better the last few years, and he’s been very competitive when the national touring guys come around. So I’d like to see him go to a national tour. He’s got the ability. It seems he’s pretty tight with Darrell Lanigan, and Lanigan is going with Lucas for 2016. Having Darrell around to bounce ideas off of is probably the best course of action for his racing program. Unless, of course,he changes chassis again. Plus, his cars are always some of the sharpest looking race cars in the pits. I always like looking at nice race cars.
I know, I know, Mike attempted the WoO in 2013 with Bryson motorsports, and dropped off pretty early in the season. I don’t think car owner Ronnie Delk is some millionaire flush with cash, either. And I believe Mike has a regular 9-5 that prevents him from really going all out in racing.
But he’s said multiple times over the years that he wants to commit to a tour full time. Maybe now is the time. He’s always been very fast when the big timers come around, or when he goes to the big timers at various races around the country. He picked up a pile of wins this year first in the Rocket, then the Capital race cars he piloted in 2015, and he’s definitely not afraid to go to new tracks, and he seems to figure them out pretty quickly. He’s obviously very versatile, because he’s driven a bunch of different cars that had a bunch of different chassis under them over the years. It doesn’t really matter to me which tour he tries, but it definitely seems like he prefers the WoO for whatever reason.
And that’s it. Five guys I’d like to see full time on national tours in 2016 and beyond. There are more, but I constrained myself to five racers, and these are the five I’d most like to see. Id’ like to hear your thoughts, too.
Have a good one, and see ya at the tracks in 2016.