DirtNews Digest Your Online News Source for Late Model Dirt Track Racing "Get Some Dirt On Your Computer!" Todd Turner, editor Email address: DirtNews@aol.com Web site: ...
DirtNews Digest Your Online News Source for Late Model Dirt Track Racing "Get Some Dirt On Your Computer!" Todd Turner, editor
Email address: DirtNews@aol.com Web site: http://members.aol.com/dirtnews/digest =================================== CONTENTS: Commentary (published June 12) =================================== FRYE WILL HAVE TOUGH DECISION ABOUT REVENGE
By TODD TURNER DirtNews Digest Commentary
The Southern All-Star Dirt Racing Series heralded its expected drivers for this weekend's $10,000-to-win event at Talladega (Ala.) Short Track in this order: Scott Bloomquist and Bill Frye.
That's no coincidence. No one ever accuses dirt late model publicists of being particularly insightful, but everyone can see this coming a quarter-mile away. The irony of Bloomquist's favorite dualistic symbol of the yin (evil) and the yang (good) on the side of his new Rayburn chassis isn't lost on anyone.
No doubt fans would want to see Bloomquist (he would be the yin) and Frye (he of the yang) face off as soon as possible after their, ahem, altercation at the $100,000-to-win Dream IV on Saturday at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
It appears, however, that fans will have to wait a bit longer as Frye says he doesn't plan on racing at Talladega this weekend. Nevertheless, Bloomquist and Frye can't complete too many more laps without crossing paths again. And what does every fender-thirsty fan expect when they do meet?
Try this scenario: Bloomquist and Frye qualify among the fastest cars, win their heats and start side-by-side on the front row for a $10,000-to-win race. Bloomquist leads 99 laps with Frye on his heels. Coming off Turn 4 for the checkered flag, Frye gets under Bloomquist, spins him and wins.
Here's hoping Frye doesn't follow that script.
Don't get me wrong. There's plenty of sympathy for Frye's predicament.
It's easy for us to sit on the fourth row of warped bleachers and think that Frye should do the right thing and forget about exacting revenge for Saturday night's spin. There's not many of us -- or many drivers on any circuit -- who have the slightest clue what it feels like to have the chance at $100,000 plucked away in the blink of an eye.
Frye had just passed Bloomquist for the lead a third of the way through Saturday night's race when the leaders blasted into Turn 1 at the historic half-mile Eldora oval. With Frye working the low side and Bloomquist in a higher groove, the yin-yang car slid into Frye's GRT house car, making contact as they entered the turn. Frye's car ended up at a standstill perpendicular to the wall between Turns 1 and 2 while Bloomquist accelerated on to keep the lead as the caution flag flew.
Suddenly it was just another $1,000-to-win Saturday night feature at Anytrack U.S.A. as Frye zipped to the front and bashed Bloomquist's left-rear fender under caution, then hit Bloomquist's car twice more in shoving him up against the front-stretch wall.
The raucous crowd roundly booed Bloomquist. Even his most dedicated fans -- unfazed by the switch from the No. 18 to the yin-yang and the hey-look-at-me outfits -- certainly have to be a little disillusioned and hope (along with the rest of us) that the contact with Frye was an honest mistake.
(Unbelievably, the turn of events at Eldora wasn't the nuttiest thing to happen in big-time auto racing Saturday night. How about A.J. Foyt attacking Arie Luyendyk in victory lane at Texas Motor Speedway? Hey, if you can't have more than one car on the lead lap when a race ends, you need something to improve TV ratings).
Frye's retaliation might have been satisfying for the crowd, but it cost him dearly. Because he was banished to the pits by Eldora officials, Frye will never know if he, not eventual winner Jimmy Mars, could have inherited the lead when Bloomquist's ignition failed on the 69th lap. Moreover, Frye has been suspended indefinitely at Eldora, which is home to September's prestigious World 100.
There's a recipe for guaranteeing Frye won't be invited back for the World 100: A highly publicized on-track retaliation and summer-long feud with Bloomquist.
There's also a recipe for opening the door to be invited back for the World 100: Don't go looking for revenge against Bloomquist.
Frye already knows a little bit about on-track grudges. He was 17 laps shy of a $29,000 payday at Wisconsin's Cedar Lake Speedway last August when he was spun by the lapped car of Jack Boggs and ended up third. (Ironically, Mars won that race, too). Frye said a week later: "What can you do? I could beat him to death and not get $20,000 out of him. All I can do is say I'll take it away from him someday ... all joking aside."
Frye hasn't retaliated against Boggs, but it may be tougher for him to let the Bloomquist incident pass. Frye admits he wasn't merely acting on the spur of the moment when he rammed Bloomquist's car. Had Frye known he would be banned for his relatively limited actions, there's no telling what he would've done on Eldora's front stretch.
Try this scenario: Next time the No. 66 and the No. 0 find themselves at the same race, Frye should ignore Bloomquist. Don't park near him in the pits. Don't talk to him. Sure, Frye might allow himself a harmless guess-who's-behind-you bump of Bloomquist in hot laps, but whatever he does, he shouldn't spin Bloomquist in a race. -------------------------------------------------------------