Craig Murto

Craig Murto

Most major racing series had Easter weekend off, but if you couldn’t make it to a local track and needed a racing fix, was the place to watch.

The streaming network, owned by NASCAR, has upped its game in 2019. All American Flat Track motorcycle races, NASCAR K&N Pro Series and Modified Tour races, and many Weathertec Sports Car events can be streamed live. Also available are local weekly racing series events, such as those from Langley Speedway in Hampton.

Last weekend the season-opening Super Late Model weekly event from Berlin Speedway in Marne, Michigan, was available for live streaming. Anyone who watched saw a fantastic feature race in which Illinois driver Boris “The Russian Assassin” Jurkovic beat Michigan’s Brian Campbell. It was Jurkovic’s first win at Berlin. Jurkovic, who works as a repo man in Chicago, is the brother of former NFL player John Jurkovic, who played defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins, the Green Bay Packers, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Cleveland Browns.

American Flat Track competed on the half-mile clay oval at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night and viewers came away with the sense that these motorcycle racers truly are “old school” in every sense of the word.

Cory Texter rode to the win in the Production Twins category, a division that will compete on half-mile and mile circuits. In his live interview following the race, he indicated that he slept in the back of his pickup truck “to make ends meet.” If you’ve ever read any books about motorsports in the ‘50s through the ‘70s, you know that even the top automobile racers in those decades often had to do the same thing. Flat track racing is enjoying a resurgence, partially because of, but also because of NBC Sports broadcasting the races on a delayed basis and factory involvement in the racing. Obviously, it still has a way to go to catch up with other forms of professional motorsports as far as compensating its athletes.

Shayna Texter, the only woman to ever win a Grand National Flat Track event, added to her win list by racing to the win in the Single category. Jared Mees, defending Flat Track champion, took the victory in the headlining Twins class.

Saturday night is slated to air the rain-delayed tour-type Modified race from North Carolina’s Bowman Gray Stadium. The 200-lap feature will attract many of the top pavement Modified racers in the country, all hoping to win on the quarter-mile circuit better known as “the Madhouse.”

It’s always better to attend a live race than to watch on TV or the computer, so consider an option if you can’t get out. The weather in our region should be fine, however, so there are better options locally to actually attend live racing.

The Super Cup Stock Car Series will compete at Dominion Raceway. Heavy racecars in the mold of old Pro Cup cars, the Super Cup cars put on a great show and often features veteran racers such as Bob Schacht.

Shenandoah Speedway features Late Models and Virginia Sprint Cars this weekend. And if the weather is nice, consider heading to South Boston, Langley or Southside Speedways for some action.

Motor Mile Speedway in Radford has been closed in recent years but will open for 10 race nights in 2019 beginning with this Saturday, featuring twin 50-lap features for NASCAR Late Model Stock Cars. Only three hours down Interstate 81, be sure to take in a race there this season.

If you prefer action on dirt, Virginia Motor Speedway opens its 50th season on Saturday night. Located on U.S. 17 just eight miles north of Saluda, Saturday’s program features Pro Late Models and Modifieds.

Closer to home, Super Late Models will headline the racing at Winchester Speedway this weekend. And Hagerstown features Late Model Sportsman.

And don’t forget about the Sports Car Club of America at Summit Point (West Virginia) motorsports park near Berryville. Saturday and Sunday spectator admission is free of charge. On-track action starts early, so be sure to arrive early, I’d recommend no later than 8:30 a.m. Keep in mind that camping also is free, and there’s nothing better than waking up on Sunday morning to the sound of racecars.

Veteran motorsports columnist Craig Murto is a Linden resident.