Commentary by: Langley Austin ~ [email protected]

Radford, VA(June 22, 2012) — Motor Mile Speedway might not be considered a bullring by many with it’s wide layout, but it is a race track that for some reason creates rivalries almost every season.

Rivalries on the 4/10 mile track have been huge over the years and they even pre-date the ones I’m going to mention, but as this writer started his career covering Motor Mile and Franklin County Speedway every Saturday night in 1999, it started with Chad Harris and Philip Morris. Of course there were several more including Kelly Kingery and Tink Reedy, Frank Deiny and Philip Morris, Morris and Jason Lawrence, Deiny and Morris again, Deiny and Pulliam last season and so many more.

This season, the Deiny and Pulliam rivalry was again renewed last Saturday night as Pulliam got a nudge from Deiny that triggered a crash that took out several front runners including another ‘fan’ of Deiny’s, Derrick Lancaster, who had began a rivalry with the veteran two weeks earlier. The focus since the weekend has been put on Pulliam and Deiny, but sometimes even when you can see what’s developing, you can’t focus where you need to.

The focus should be on the other pair, Deiny and Lancaster. Lancaster three weeks ago in twin races, felt as if Deiny had spun him in the first race, while the two were battling for a top five spot. He retaliated in the second race and spun Deiny, who retaliated via an interview with, saying that Lancaster had “hit the lottery”. That comment didn’t sit well with Lancaster and after last weeks wreck that Lancaster squarely places the blame on Deiny for, this rivalry will be the one that everyone will be talking about.

Another thing that people are missing in this whole Pulliam-Deiny rivalry is that Pulliam can’t really do anything about it. His probation for last falls crash after the race with Philip Morris won’t allow him to retaliate. While I think that he’s probably feeling fed up with Deiny, who has been at it with him off and on for the last year and a half or so, including a ‘brake check’ moment at Motor Mile last season, he can’t afford to lose his NASCAR license again.

So with that said, he might get ‘wrecked’ as many fans view it, by Deiny every week and he’ll either have to take it or he’ll be sitting on the sidelines a lot in the future. Pulliam isn’t that stupid …. well, not after last fall’s run in with Morris, he can’t afford to be. Pulliam still wants to win the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National Title and maybe even the Virginia State, so he can’t afford to mess around with Deiny.

Deiny, on the other hand has nothing to lose, well except maybe his ride with Kiker Motorsports. But, if he can stay in the spotlight and win some races, he won’t even have to worry about that. The veteran driver has accomplished nearly everything a Late Model Stock Car driver can, short of winning a NASCAR National Title and he doesn’t really care about that. His time hasn’t come and gone as people think … in my opinion he’s living in his time right now.

It’s his time, because now he can do the things that he enjoys the most … he can mess with people, he can mess people up and he can stir up controversy at every turn. FDJ as known as, likes the prospect of being the driver that everyone talks about … for good or bad and his car owner Travis Kiker, in my opinion eats up the fact that his team gets more recognition for finishing 10th than any other team does to win.

Deiny is probably the only driver in the field that can run poorly and be talked about no matter what … he’s the only driver that no matter what happens, has something to say in his California “smart ass” way and for that reason he’s a fan favorite and also hated by many. Those many that hate him include, Derrick Lancaster, who says he also respects the driver that Frank is.

“You know everyone respects him as a racer,” said Lancaster during a phone interview. “We all know he’s talented, but he’s crossed the line with me.”

Lancaster in my opinion is one of two drivers that even Deiny with nothing to lose probably shouldn’t cross. The other driver is Kelly Kingery. Most know that these two will always give more than they take and they don’t take much from anyone. And unlike Kingery, Lancaster has the finances behind him to make things very difficult on a driver, who he finds himself in dislike of.

Those finances will certainly show this weekend when Lancaster unloads at least three, if not four Late Model Stock Cars this weekend. One of course is his, one for his brother, Scott Lancaster and a third will be rolled out with a 57 on the door. Driving it will be none other than Kelly Kingery. Kingery’s presence in a Lancaster owned car should strike fear in the heart of Deiny and everyone who has followed Kingery’s career knows why.

Lancaster in my opinion is the loose canon of sorts in this mix, while he loves racing and he certainly wants to continue to race, in the end, he doesn’t care. Lancaster won’t hold back when it comes time to ‘pay Frank back’ and that moment will come. Lancaster also revealed in a phone interview that he also has no respect for Deiny’s car owner, Travis Kiker.

“Everyone usually kind of tip toes around Deiny, because his car owner, (Travis) Kiker is such a good guy,” said Lancaster. “Well, Travis lost all my respect when he put his little comment out on the internet that Frank didn’t cause the wreck this past weekend and I did. Everyone who watched the race knows that, that is a lie.”

Lancaster isn’t likely to just go off the deep end and crash Deiny, but things will certainly get interesting and Lancaster knows that putting Kingery in one of his cars along with his brother, Scott will certainly by itself send a message to Deiny. There’s also the possibility of a fourth Derrick Lancaster Racing(DLR) entry, which could further send a message to Deiny that he isn’t to be messed with.

Either way you view the rivalry or more fittingly ‘rivalries’, things are destined to get interesting at Motor Mile Speedway over the next few races and maybe for the rest of the year. I just hope that the management and the officials, led by Randy Merriman, let these three guys settle it and they don’t get involved. Racing needs something to re-energize the fans and any track can take a page from Kingsport Speedway as to how to do that and that’s by letting the racers police themselves.

Anyways, that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it …