Mid-season offers chance to look ahead

It's getting to that point in the season where things can get a little interesting.

The summer heat is ready to set in. Drivers are starting to look at point standings -- or they're lying about not looking at point standings. And, there've been enough races to have a few bumps and spins that just might have gotten under some people's skin.

Gotta love racing, right? July usually marks about the middle of the racing season, which means it's all downhill from here for drivers chasing track, state, regional and national points. That means drivers will be trying to push the limits of what they and their car can do.

Drive over your head? Yep, that's going to happen to a few guys. But you'll definitely see the cream rise to the top during these final few races before the big shows at the end of the year. And expect the social media drama to escalate during these months, if it hasn't reached a boiling point already. It seems track promoters can't please everyone -- or anyone -- in some instances. One person might love a track, while others can't figure out why maintenance wasn't done. You win some, you lose some -- right Facebook Drama Queens?

I prefer letting drivers do the talking on the track. That seems to be the best way to settle things. It takes a bit of humble pie at times for some people to wise up. Enjoy the taste, but learn from your experiences.

* Speaking of experiences, a pair of NASCAR drivers will be competing at Thomas County Speedway in Colby on July 20. Kenny Schrader and Kenny Wallace will be driving modifieds that night. Race begin at 7 p.m. If you haven't talked to Schrader during his trips to RPM Speedway in Hays, do it in Colby. He's one of the most down-to-earth guys around. Reminds me of a western Kansan. Always gracious and willing to give anyone and everyone the time of day. Wallace? Well, from what I've seen of him on Twitter, TV and at NASCAR races, he'll have you rolling in the dirt laughing hysterically. He's a guy who reminds me of a little kid after eating about 50 Pixy Stixs. He's high-energy and a barrel of fun to watch. Can't wait until July 20.

* Another event you won't want to miss is the Wheatshocker Nationals during the Ellis County Fair in Hays. The United Rebel Sprint Series is highlighting the two nights of races July 12 and 13 at RPM Speedway. Things will get exciting when more money is on the line for the winged warriors. The fair board opted to go with the regular five IMCA classes a year ago and increase the purse in those classes. This year, the board is bringing back the 305 sprint cars. Hopefully there will be a big turnout -- both car-wise and crowd-wise. The good thing is the two-days won't conflict with the always popular Hutchinson Nationals. In past years when the sprints have competed during the fair, the Hutch Nationals have wrapped up that Saturday. Not this year. Could bring a few more big names to the 3รขÑ8-mile dirt oval this time around.

* And if you want to see one of the biggest and best racing events in the U.S., mark your calendars for Sept. 1-6. That's the dates of this year's IMCA Super Nationals in Boone, Iowa. I've had the pleasure of covering week-long event the last few years, and -- if you're a racing ran -- it's definitely a bucket-list type of deal. The multitude of cars in every class, along with some bumping and slide jobs, makes for an amazing six days of racing in Boone, Iowa. Sure, it takes awhile to get up there, but it's definitely worth the drive. If you've never been before, go at least once. You won't regret it.

Nick Schwien is managing editor of The Hays Daily News.