Shots in the Darke

Let’s preface today’s award-winning column by stating that this is the slowest time of the sports year. Baseball, the WNBA, and soccer are basically the only games going although the The Open takes place next week in Merry Olde England at the Royal Liverpool Golf Course. With the start of both high school and college sports a month or more away, the next event circled on most fans’ calendars is the opening of NFL training camps beginning with rookies reporting July 18th.

However Eldora Speedway, the “World’s Greatest Dirt Track”, is ready to host the 50-lap Eldora Million, a two-day race that takes place this Wednesday and Thursday, with the winner being awarded a cool $1,002,023! This is the largest cash prize ever paid in sprint car racing history and the highest payout per mile of any motor sports race in the U.S.

In addition, the 40th Kings Royal race will be held on Friday and Saturday with an additional $175,000 winner’s prize, making the combined purses for the four-day extravaganza over $2,000,000! Lots of drama and action to entertain upwards of 30,000 fans at the famed track built by Earl Baltes and now owned and promoted by Tony Stewart.

On the Round Table discussion to be posted on this week one of the topics brought before the panel dealt with the cost of car collision repairs which led to the question “what was the worst car you ever owned?”. A Vega, a Ford Fairlane, and a ‘77 Cutlass Supreme were among the panel’s answers—what’s yours?

The Chrysler K-Cars built between 1981-89 were also mentioned, mainly because of how reliable but uninspiring they were. Chrysler at the time, like other American automakers, was struggling to compete with low cost, fuel efficient Japanese imports from Honda, Nissan, and Toyota. On the verge of bankruptcy, Chrysler turned to Lee Iacocca, the ‘Father of the Ford Mustang” to assume leadership and revive the corporation. Iacocca decided to adopt a standard chassis for most of the Chrysler models, internally designated the K. This platform eventually underpinned nearly FIFTY different models and basically saved the corporation.

Who can forget the Dodge Aries, Plymouth Reliant, Chrysler LeBaron, Dodge 400, and Dodge Dart among many others! Did you own one or, obviously, know of a friend or family member who had one of the famous K-Cars?

While going over to the Columbus area for the weekend my wife was driving and I happened to glance at the passenger side mirror, reading the words we’ve all seen a million times, “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear”. After all of these years I finally thought “why” and Googled the phrase (you have to love Google!). Do you know “why”? Answer to follow!

Driving through downtown Columbus on I-670 you can’t help but be impressed by not only the building boom going on in the capital city but by the three venues that host professional sports in the Arena District—Nationwide Arena (the NHL’s Blue Jackets), Huntington Park (home of the AAA Clippers, the Guardians top farm team), and Field (the new pitch for the MLS Crew). Three relatively new stadiums that are all within easy walking distance of downtown and the Short North Arts District!

The only All-Star contest I even casually watch is the MLB mid-summer game, to be played this week in Seattle. All of the other major pro sports “classics” are of little interest to me as competition and effort are both sadly missing. Let’s take a quick look at division leaders as the season passes the halfway mark—

In the American League East the Rays have come back to earth after winning the first 13 games of the season, holding only a two-game lead over the Orioles; in the weak Central, the Guardians with a mediocre 45-45 record have a half-game advantage over the Twins; and out West, the Rangers lead the Astros by two games.

In the National League East the Braves have a commanding lead over the Marlins; the young, talented, and frisky Reds are a game ahead of the Brewers in the Central; and the Diamondbacks (Les Serpents for those of you wishing to practice your Spanish) are a thin half game up on the Dodgers in the West.

The driver side mirror is flat while the passenger side mirror is slightly convex for two main reasons—the driver is closer to the mirror on the driver side than the passenger side and the angle which the driver views the passenger side mirror is different, rendering a flat mirror unreliable. The convexity of the passenger side mirror corrects this but also makes objects appear smaller and farther away than they actually are! I’ve gotten used to the Blind Spot Monitor on our cars which helps a lot in traffic! Safe driving for everyone the rest of the summer travel season!