August 21, 2019

Furby has done it all in racing - Daily Leader Extra : Sports

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Furby has done it all in racing

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Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2019 3:13 pm

Dale Furby is a dominant force in auto racing circles, make no mistake about it.

Sometimes he is known as being a little tough to get along with, but that is because he is 100 percent dedicated to the sport of racing.

Furby is a driver of both sprint cars and late models, a car owner, master mechanic, engine builder and builder of extremely fast race cars. He runs a successful garage, is a source for speed parts and now is a track operator and promoter. It makes no difference which hat Furby might be wearing when racing; he wants it to be right.

"There was a major move to get rid of the 360s," said Furby, "Many in the sport said the medium-level sprint car class had grown too expensive."

Car numbers had dwindled somewhat, but Furby thought it was due mainly to poor promotion. There were lots of sprint cars with 360 motors in them, parked in garages. The new kid on the block was a smaller and less expensive engine, the 305. Fact is, Furby owns one.

"Many track operators failed to look into the future when some of the older 360 pilots and car owners cut back on their schedules or quit altogether," Furby said. "There was a bunch of young, eager drivers about ready to begin racing and they (track promoters) failed to see that. That was a mistake."

Furby wasn't about to admit the 360s were finished. He went to work and donned his promoter hat. The result is the highly popular Property Solutions of America Midwest Sprint Touring Series (MSTS). Furby contacted 360 car owners and drivers and visited with track operators.

The MSTS series was launched in 2015. This season, a 26-night racing series was announced for the 360 sprinters, including two new venues for the touring sprint car pros. The MSTS road warriors will travel to four states in pursuit of the checkered flag.

For the first time since 2016, MSTS will make the tow to I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb. Jackson Motorplex will welcome the MSTS for 10 nights of racing -- each of those teamed up with the National Sprint League Midwest Power Series and paying at least $3,000 to win. The first race this year at the Minnesota speed plant netted Jack Dover the win. Dover has the most career MSTS wins at Jackson with six victories, half which occurred last year. Gregg Bakker, Thomas Kennedy, Dominic Sceizi, Jordan Martens, Justin Henderson and Ryan Bickett also won MSTS events at Jackson last season.

On June 7, Trey Starks got second after starting in eighth place. Carson McCarl was third, Matt Juhl fourth and Dusty Zomer fifth.

The MSTS will also be featured at the newly reopened I-90 Speedway near Hartford. The Hartford races are set for both July 6 and July 20. Rapid Speedway in Iowa will run the 360 sprinters on July 23 during the Lyon County Fair races and again on Sept. 6. Other tracks on the MSTS schedule include Off Road Speedway just outside Norfolk, Neb., and Wagner Speedway.

The MSTS appearance at Hartford isn't by chance.

"I'd been talking to the owners of the track for several years. We've put together a terrific management team," Furby said. "I-90 had always had a solid fan base, drawing from 700 to 800 people a night. I expect to change that. Our goal is 1,500 spectators a night. If we can up that number to 2,500 it would be great."

Incidentally, Furby serves as competition director at I-90, along with working with three others on the management team.

But any racing organization is judged by its performance. So far, MSTS has been able to deliver.

"Since day one, we averaged 25 cars at each track we ran at. Jackson averages 35-37 360 cars each time we are in the pits," he said. "We've got great purses with first place always paying $1,500. Many races will pay $250 just to start and some will even pay $1,000 if you make the feature field."

Furby grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles. He caught the racing bug by attending races at the famed Ascot Raceway. An uncle owned a USAC midget. His dad was on the pit crew.

"Every Friday night we'd be at Ascot. It was great," he said.

Furby drove a few enduros, tried drag racing but realized "real racing occurred on dirt tracks."

Locally, he started in the sportsman stock car class but soon moved up to the faster late models.

"I honestly believe the 360 action we provide with the MSTS has set the standard. We have fast, competitive racing and put on a good show for the fans," he said.

"With the 410s and some other divisions, it doesn't seem like the racers are having fun anymore. It's expensive, serious and lots of bickering goes on," Furby said. "In days gone past, we'd leave our problems at the track. We had more fun. With MSTS we are very fortunate to see some of that returning. We are racing and having fun at the same time."

Furby said a set of universal rules would help racing.

"It had gotten to the point where each track had a different set of rules. You couldn't go from track to track without making lots of changes. With the MSTS, we are trying to change that, establish a base line of rules where if your local track gets rained out you could go someplace else to race. We are committed to putting the fun back in racing."

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