Class Ceiling

Recapping the Dirty South No Prep drag racing series event at San Antonio Raceway

Mr. Mad made it to the semifinals. Tery Red/SportsMap

The Dirty South No Prep  Racing Series San Antonio is the  largest event in the USA of its kind.

Not to worry SportsMap is in the house!

This is a crazy event. No prep? Talk about hubris, machismo, bravado!!! No glue? No tractors to evenly administer the adhesive?

Seriously,  this event entails no track preparation,  which is usually how the cars hook up for a smooth pass and to win rounds. The better prepared the track is, the better traction racers have, the faster your pass may be. It is definitely safer, to be sure. Also of note is the meticulous detail given to ensure safety for driver and fan alike.

However,  this event  in my words is The Robin Hood of  Street Racing. The  idea was built as a novel way to knock out the high rollers in the Sportsman Racing World. The establishment of this  class was a long awaited venue to  give the small fry the upper hand. 

To give you an idea of how insane  this is, we asked mult -champion , King of the track, veteran racer A.D. Rigmaiden to try out  this No Prep Series in the SportsMap Black Camaro.

He quickly realized what No Prep really means as he swayed to and fro as the Camaro was wicked not just off the starting line, but shimmied all the way down the track . He says he felt as though he were in a Funny Car! "This event definitely requires practice and mental readjustment," A.D . said.  

Keep in mind that Matt Hagan , two-time NHRA Funny Car Champion  was none too happy after the NHRA changed the track prep solution. He stated that there's a lot less grip, everyone's smoking the tires and blowing up. Fast Jack Beckman,  Antron Brown, and J.R. Todd have also mentioned their concerns about this change.  

Please understand.  The NHRA did not discontinue track preparation,  they changed the solution from 75% track compound 25 % alcohol, to 65 % track compound to 35 % alcohol. This seemingly simple readjustment has  some of the pros troubled. Yet other arenas of racers seem to be thriving with No Track Prep. 

Now to the point, there are infamous racers who are legendary because of their mastery of the slick, non-stick asphalt jungle. Mike Murillo (&  Mustang LaFawnduh), John Doe , Kayla Morton- Hamilton and Chris "Boosted "Hamilton, (another amazing husband &wife team).

And of course the John Force of Street Outlaws, "Birdman." Yes. James "Birdman" Finny. Just to name a few.

There were also veteran racers of the side by side  like Ray Curly Top with a sweet 67 Nova, Mr Don with his cool Blue El Camino (Driven by D.D.)  who came to get their feet wet in this No Prep event.

They are the Guardians of The No Prep Galaxy. Their Social Media status is why they pack the stands.  These are the ones who put in the work. They eat, sleep and breathe the mechanics of the beast, the strategy of the track . They are major gear heads. They are the  guy/girl next door who always gave you a jump, clued you in on the miss in your engine, and changed that tire for you when you were stranded on the side of the road. 

Could it be possible that the pros could learn a thing or two from  the No Prep Series ? Only Time will reveal. 

The Winners:

Big Tire: Birdman

Most Honorable Mention: Mr. Mad made it to the semi-finals in Curly Tops sweet 67 Nova. Not bad for your first rodeo A.D.!

Check out Dirty South No Prep on  Facebook for complete results. 

Click here for rare footage of Birdman vs Mr. Mad.

 

 

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ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

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