Racin' & Different Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 124





Started setting up this weeks column on Sunday, as usual.  However, not much done on it.  This week, will be a busy one for the first couple of days with the wife having to have some blood work done and then a visit to her Oncologist, both on Monday.  Tuesday, it’s what is supposed to be the last IV Chemo treatment.  I’m doing this part on Monday – and it’s been snowing, with sleet and freezing rain being forecast.  Nice!  At least the bitter cold has left us.  Had a few close calls with the car not wanting to start.




From Jayski’s website:

Ganassi team wins Rolex 24 At Daytona: 

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates was clearly the team to beat throughout the 51st running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. A couple teams, however, came close to doing just that over the final few hours of the twice-around-the-clock race around the 3.56-mile Daytona International Speedway road course. In the end, however, the #01 TELMEX/Target BMW/Riley team of Scott Pruett, Memo Rojas, Juan Pablo Montoya and Charlie Kimball gave CGRFS its fifth victory in 10 attempts at the Rolex 24. In the process, Pruett joined Hurley Haywood  who served as the event's grand marshal  as the only drivers to claim five overall Rolex 24 victories. Finishng 2nd was Max Angelelli/Jordan Taylor/Ryan Hunter-Reay and 3rd was John Pew/Ozz Negri/AJ Allmendinger/Justin Wilson/Marcos Ambrose. Other NASCAR drivers finishes: Nelson Piquet Jr. was 8th overall, 8th in class(DP); Clint Bowyer and Michael Waltrip were 18th, 8th(GT); Boris Said was 28th, 18th; Max Papis was 31st, 21st; Jamie McMurray 37th, 11th; Former NASCAR driver David Donohue was part of a team that won the GX Class.(more at Grand-Am.com)(1-28-2013)

Note:  What I find kind of disturbing about this event is that in our local paper, as far as sports on TV went, the extended hours of coverage on SPEED was never listed.  Isn’t this one of the worlds bigger auto races?  Nothing in my local paper until Monday, then a small article about the Ganassi team win.  Yes, I know – it ain’t NASCAR, still there were some NASCAR drivers in the show. 



Rolex 24 results:




Found on Facebook:


Long Pond, PA (January 28, 2013) ― Joseph R. Mattioli, III, the son of Dr. Rose Mattioli and the late Dr. Joseph Mattioli, announced today that he is stepping down as a member of Pocono Raceway’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

Mattioli’s tenure at Pocono started in 1974 following his graduation from Lehigh University and spanned over 40 years, with him serving as a member of the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and as its past President and COO. In 1995, with Pocono enjoying unprecedented success, Mattioli stepped down as President and COO, but continued to assist the family business as a member of the Board and Executive Committee.

“After college, Joe was heading to law school, but his father asked him to take a year off and help us at the track,” remembered Joe’s mother and Pocono’s current Chairman of the Board, Dr. Rose Mattioli. “We were still practicing medicine in Philadelphia and needed him there at the track. One year turned into over 20, and he was very instrumental in the Raceway’s success in the early years.”

Joe Mattioli is especially proud of Pocono’s success through the 70’s and 80’s, when debt service, a hurricane, a recession, an oil crisis and two sanctioning body boycotts during the USAC – CART wars threatened to shut the track down. “This was a family business, so failure was not an option. With a lot of help, including major assistance from the France and Hulman families, somehow we fought our way to success,” Mattioli concluded.

According to Mattioli, it makes a lot of sense to leave Pocono Raceway’s management structure at this point in his life. “My dad told me that the secret to happiness is to completely change directions about every 15 years, and with the track now in the very capable hands of our next generation, I feel free to do just that,” Mattioli commented. “My nephews, nieces and sons are the future of Pocono Raceway, and I have no doubt they will continue to provide leadership, meet the challenges and guide Pocono Raceway into the future as my Dad’s legacy had always intended.”

Mattioli’s future plans include focusing more time on non-profit and veterans’ organizations that he supports, such as the Military Warriors Support Foundation, which provides housing assistance to returning veterans, and the Motor Sports Institute, which promotes academic success through engagement with motor racing. He also plans to develop Group 341, a consulting business he began 2011. With offices in California, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma, Group 341 provides strategic planning, marketing, branding, and event management consulting services. Group 341 commercial clients include America’s Woodshops and Active International.

The entire Mattioli family, the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee wish to thank Joe for all he has done for the Raceway over the past 40 years and wish him well as he begins the next chapter in his life.

Contact: Bob Pleban, 570-646-2300, bpleban@poconoraceway.com



More found on Facebook – this from Monday:

Accord Speedway Announces Changes for the 2013 Racing Season

Plans are underway to make 2013 a banner year at the speedway. The new racing season is quickly approaching and Promoter Gary Palmer is busy finalizing the schedule, contacting sponsors and making changes in some key positions.

After five seasons as head announcer Steve Pados will be unable to continue his role due to personal reasons, Joel Murns who was Steve’s assistant has agreed to take over the responsibilities of head announcer. “We will miss Steve but wish him well in his future endeavors, I am very confident that Joel will be excellent and I know he will continue the same high level of announcing that our fans have come to expect” said Palmer

Palmer will also welcome Steve Otten as head flagger. Steve worked in previous years as an assistant flagger at the speedway and has a tremendous amount of racing experience. Friday nights will find Steve on the flag stand at Accord and on Saturdays he will continue his Pit Steward duties at Orange County Fair Speedway. “I’ve known Steve for many years and I am confident that with his background in racing he will be excellent as the head flagger” added Palmer.

Frank Catizone will be writing all the race result articles for the speedway this year. Frank presently works at the speedway in the scoring tower and will add his skill as a writer to his list of duties. He currently writes for Area Auto Racing News and has submitted racing articles to the Times Herald Record.

There will also be a new man behind the video camera. Beginning in April Jim Liegoat of Northeast Racing Videos will be taking over the speedway video job. Jim can be contacted through his website, www.northeastvideos.com, or his facebook page. Check out his videos on Youtube.

The speedway will kick off the 2013 season with a practice and safety inspection on April 5th, rain date of April 6th if needed. Opening night is April 12th with the Scott Harvey Memorial race sponsored by William’s Lumber. All divisions will be returning to the speedway. Competing weekly will be modifieds, sportsman, spec sportsman, pro stock and pure stock. The Lightning Sprints and the Fireball 4 Cylinders will be alternating weekly with the Lightning Sprints starting their season on opening night.

Mid Week Madness sponsored by Hudson Valley Cycles will begin June 5th with racing every Wednesday until August 28th. Scheduled to compete on the quarter mile are Karts, Quads, Slingshots, 4 Cylinders and this season a Rookie Spec Sportsman class has been added. Palmer is excited about the Rookie Spec Sportsman racing on Wednesdays, he feels it is an opportunity for new drivers to get seat time and to sharpen their driving skills. Rookie drivers are still eligible to compete on Fridays but the Mid Week Madness division will be exclusively for the division rookies.

As the countdown to opening day continues it’s time to send in membership and driver info forms as well as reserving your parking spot. All forms can be found on the speedway website.

The 2012 Award Banquet is being held on March 23rd at the Hillside Manor in Kingston NY. Banquet reservation forms and further information can be found on the speedway website-www.accordspeedway.com. Updates are also posted frequently on the speedway Facebook page.



Might you be going to Atlantic City this weekend for the Indoor races?  Might you also be interested as far as just who might be racing:

Here ya go:





Coming up at Local tracks:


OCFS Awards Banquet  Saturday, March 9, 2013 - OC Fair Arena

OCFS Motorsports Show | March 23 & 24, 2013 - OC Fair Arena

OCFS Opening Night | Saturday, April 13, 2013



Accord Speedway’s 2012 Award Banquet

March 23, 2013, 6:30pm

Hillside Manor in Kingston NY

Buffet dinner with dessert and cash bar

$45 for adults $40 for children under 10


Practice and safety inspection on April 5th, rain date of April 6th if needed.


Opening Night

April 12th

Scott Harvey Memorial

Racing all divisions plus the Lightning Sprints



Bethel Motor Speedway:

April 13 Open Practice for all divisions

INEX Points Races for Legends and Bandoleros

FREE grandstand admission!

April 20

date:  April 21)

Open Practice for all divisions

INEX Points Races for Legends and Bandoleros

FREE grandstand admission!

April 27

(Rain date:  April28)

Opening Night­ Points Begin

Sportsman, Legends, Bandoleros, Pro Stock,

Street Stock, BMS Modified, 4 Cylinder



The Hamlin Speedway:




Sun 2/17/13          Hamlin Speedway RULES MEETING -  2pm at S&S Speedways, Stroudsburg, PA

Pit Spot Reservations begin at Noon with Ron Brown



Sat 4/13/13 BUG DAY - Gate opens 1pm, practice from 2-6pm, $15 per pit pass - No Entry Fee!










Injured Winter X snowmobiler Caleb Moore critical, 'prognosis not good'






High school offers class on go kart racing






I’m trying to think back as to when was the last time I attended a race with my two sons, Tom, Jr. and Eric.  I’m pretty sure it was a few years ago at OCFS.  We’d been hashing it out about maybe going to the indoor races this coming Saturday night in Atlantic City.  Son, Tom, thought it would be great if we all went.  Keep in mind – he lives up in Dexter, NY – close to Watertown.  Son, Eric, took care of ordering our tickets and also tickets for a couple of others.  Son, Tom, took care of the cost of my, Eric and his tickets.  So what could go wrong?  Well, first, even though Tom had two other things he could have attended if he had stayed home – a school function with his daughter, Marisa, or the annual “Holiday” party for where he’s employed, Tom was opting for the races.   Then I had to make mention of the difficulty I have when walking for distances, and how I was debating if I should go or not.  That was told to Tom.  He, in turn, told me he was only going because the three of us (a couple of others will go, too), so no biggie if I decided not to go – he’d attend one of the functions that were also on his table.  I decided, what the heck, if they can put up with me stopping along the way, then we would go to Atlantic City.  All well and good – until “Mother Nature” threw a Monkey Wrench into every thing with some not so nice weather being forecast for up where Tom lives.  So he’s opted to stay home.  I’ve opted to not go, due to the walking etc.  The wife would be watching Erics son, Dillon, and maybe it’s for the best, since she just came off of her last IV Chemo treatment this past Tuesday, that I stay home and help her out on that.




While finishing up this weeks column, I had a slight problem looking for a photo to put in the photo section.  I came across a story that was posted on the Internet – a story about one of the most famous Indy (Champ) Cars ever run – “Basement Bessie”.


Posted 15 January 2008 - 08:24 PM by a Chuck Painter.

Paul Russo and Ray Nichels constructed this car in the basement of Russo's Hammond, Indiana home during the winter of 1949-1950. Qualifying in the 7th row, the Russo-Nichels Special captured the imagination of the American racing public by running with the leaders for much of the day, before the rain-shortened race ended at 345 miles. The Russo-Nichels Special soon became affectionately known as "Basement Bessie" as it was campaigned on the AAA Championship Trail during the 1950 season.  Ray Nichels and Paul Russo and their hand-built "basement" creation missed the chance to win the National Championship only after a season-ending injury to Russo in the November AAA Indy car race in Phoenix. Sam Hanks drove the car to second at Bay Meadows. The car collected wins at the Illinois State Fair at Springfield with Russo and with Johnnie Parsons at the first ever Indy car race at the newly built Darlington Raceway, SC in December and collected 1568 car owner points over the Lou Moore's driver's Henry Banks' 1498 points. So this car and the team of Russo-Nichels would have been the Car Owner's Champion in 1950.

As good as 1950 was 1951 started out with Bessie being too slow to make the 500 field as it appears the year old car was a bit outdated. As the season went on though Bessie performed and won at the Detroit Mile at the State Fairgrounds and finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th and collected 700 points for the season. Far behind the Belanger #99 that carried Lee Wallard to victory at Indy and Tony Bettenhausen to the National Title.

In 1952, Russo did not enter Bessie at the 500 and missed the show in Lutes Truck Parts Kurtis 4000 Dirt Offy. The car was sold to H. A. Chapman and was known as the Chapman Special at Milwaukee with his driver, one legged Midget star Bill Schindler driving Bessie to 3rd ,finishing behind winner Mike Nazaruk and Russo in the Lutes car in second after Bill started 18th out of 18 cars that started. There were 18 cars also missing the show including the previous race's winner, Troy Ruttman in the 500 winning car and the outstanding Johnny McDowell crashing his Kurtis Offy in the north end when his spindle broke and being thrown from the car. Schindler qualified 2nd at the Raleigh, NC paved mile but lost his brakes 43 laps into the race. Bill set 3rd fastest time at Springfield and took the lead on lap 67 and led the final 34 laps for the car's second win at Springfield and fourth overall. A week later he ran second behind Chuck Stevenson in the dirt at Milwaukee for 200 miles. He did take the Pole at DuQuoin but had not been finishing races. At Syracuse Bill and Manual Ayulo crashed hard in turn 3 on lap 37 and the caution flew until lap 61 but Schindler was uninjured. 14 days later, Bill left us in a horrible crash in a Sprint car race at Allentown, PA.  Buzz Barton replaced him in Bessie at Denver and brought Bessie in 5th place. He missed the show at the San Jose, CA mile, the race that took Joe James from us. Buzz did qualify 3rd on the very tough Phoenix Mile but spun out on lap 81. The car collected a very creditable 780 points for the season with 680 being credited to the late Bill Schindler.

In 1953 East Coast veteran Midget racer, Ernie McCoy put Bessie in her second 500 and the finished the "hottest 500" ever in 8th finishing all 500 miles at 123.404MPH. He drove to 5th behind Jack McGrath, Jimmy Bryan, Jerry Hoyt and Bessie's father, Paul Russo at Milwaukee and still in the dirt. After a short June Springfield race Ernie was involved in a strange deal. At Detroit on lap 73 Ernie flipped Bessie, bringing out the Red Flag. It was so long that people worked on cars, illegal in those days so the race reverted to lap 51 and Ernie then was credited with 6th but knocked out of the car due to injuries. Bob Scott took over Bessie for the second Springfield race and brought her home 9th. Ernie got in for the tough Milwaukee 200 but was too slow and missed the field. At DuQuoin, Cal Niday brought Bessie in 8th after qualifying 4th, Bessie's second one legged driver. Cal missed the Syracuse show and Bob Scott missed the Hoosier 100 by being too slow for the 18 car fields. Bob did finish 5th with Bessie at Sacramento after starting 12th and 5th again after starting 13th on the Arizona Fairgrounds Mile.  Bessie garnered 691 points for the season with three drivers scoring points.

Now for 1954 bring in another East Coast star, Johnny Thomson and Johnny put Bessie in the inside of row two at the Greatest Spectacle but had the steering freeze up on lap 165 and was credited with 24th place in the low attrition race. Interesting that Johnny Thomson would die at Allentown over 6 years later in basically the same race that took Schindler. After Indy, the car landed in the able hands of Walt Faulkner. He started 7th and finished 8th completing 100 miles in the first pavement race on the Milwaukee Mile. Interesting this race had 19 cars out of 22 finish 100 miles unheard of in those days.  Then the car and driver passed on Langhorne and showed up at Darlington but started 23rd and finished 13th. In this race Bob Scott lost his life on the Backstretch on lap 109 becoming the second driver to die that drove Bessie. At Springfield Duke Nalon took a shot and missed the field as Bessie was showing her age. Duke also missed the Milwaukee 200 a week later with Chapman's aging car. At DuQuoin Andy Linden gets in and sets 3rd fastest time and was running 6th when the race flagged when Clay Smith a Champion Mechanic  for Chuck Stevenson in 1952 was hit by Rodger Ward and killed. After passing on Syracuse they proceeded to miss the Hoosier 100 by being 24th fastest, unfortunately 18 started the race. At Sacramento Andy went to set 14th fastest and Cut it in half with a fine 7th. At Phoenix Bessie showed her teeth as came from 7th to finished 4th her best finish of the year. He finished with a 7th to 5th at the Las Vegas Dirt Mile ending up 2 miles behind Jimmy Bryan the new National Champion. 410 points put the H.A. Chapman #43 Russo/Nichels Offy in the middle of the car owner points with Andy picking up 360 of the points.

In 1955 the combo of Tony Bettenhausen and Paul Russo drove the Chapman #10 to second, unfortunately the car was a Kurtis 500. Tony drove Bessie at Milwaukee but missed the show and then passed on Langhorne. Tony then missed the Springfield show and it was off to Milwaukee. In the second longest race of the season, now a 250 miler Bessie chased Pat Flaherty home finishing second. Then she missed the race at DuQuoin with Tony and Jack Turner missed the race at Syracuse and the Hoosier 100 with old Bessie as she is not working on dirt all of a sudden. The car was not at Sacramento and now Bob Veith got into the car for the Arizona Fairgrounds and old "Traction" got Bessie to run 5th fastest but faded to 8th 4 laps down. The race ended early as Jack McGrath was killed on lap 85. Not a good way for AAA to end its connection to Championship Racing and all ladders. Bessie only got 450 and ended its time in AAA with 4629 points. Before she would race in 1956 three drivers who drove her were now gone. April 22nd at Vallejo, CA, Walt Faulkner was killed in a USAC Stock Car race on his first qualifying lap. He joined Bill Schindler and Bob Scott that also drove Bessie but did not survive the sport.

She won Springfield twice, once with Russo and with Schindler, won at Detroit with Russo and Darlington with Johnnie Parsons. Interesting she would still hang around for another 10 years.


USAC YEARS----10 more Seasons.

A bit misleading as Bessie raced some and sat in the garage other times so 1956 after Indy she was now in the hands of the very capable Andy Linden.  The big problem was that Bessie did not perform as usual. She was first Alternate at the Rex Mays Milwaukee deal after finishing third in the consolation race. This cause Linden to look other places and Tucson's Bill Cheesbourg took over the #5 and missed the show at Langhorne, 14th at Darlington, no showed for the make up date at Atlanta Lakewood, with a 16th at Springfield and no showed again at the 200 miler at Milwaukee. Bill missed the show at DuQuoin and vacated the car for "greener pastures" as Jimmy Reece climbed into Bessie and missed the show at Syracuse like Cheesbourg did in his new "ride. For the Hoosier 100, exit Reece enter Van Johnson and he wrecked Bessie in practice. At Sacramento another driver from Tucson made his first attempt at stardom with Bessie and missed the show. Name this time was Roger McCluskey. Van Johnson got back into the car at Arizona Fairgrounds and was 19th fastest. When Rodger Ward failed to start, Van did and spun out in turn 2 on lap 25 and finished 18th.  Not a good year as a 14th was her best finish and no points. Interesting like the two one legged drivers, Tucson's only contribution to the sport both drove her in the same year.

In 1957 the new driver was one time attempter Jimmy Reece. Jimmy got flagged 10 laps down at Langhorne in 14th, 12th at the Milwaukee Mays after getting in by winning the consolation race beating 1952 500 winner Troy Ruttman and eventual first alternate Ed Elisian. Jimmy got Bessie up to 9th at the Detroit Mile but Jimmy was gone from the car and after not towing to Atlanta, James "Dick" Rathmann landed in the car for the Williams Grove non pointer and then off to Springfield.  Dick grabbed a 12th place in his return after a bout in NASCAR. Bessie got into the Milwaukee 200 by being 26th fastest but spun out on lap 156 and finished 16th.

At DuQuoin another driver made his second attempt at Championship Racing and put Bessie in the field, Champaign, Illinois' Don Branson. Don set 4th fastest time and faded to 9th one lap down. The team elected not to tow to Syracuse and got ready for the big paying Hoosier 100 and missed the show with Rathmann. They did go to the newly paved Trenton New Jersey State Fairgrounds and set 13th fastest time but finished 5 laps down in the 100 miler and was credited with 16th.  The team passed on Sacramento and then missed the show at Phoenix with Dick and ended the season with 100 points.

The car was sold and delivered to New Jersey into the garage of Joe Barzda and his California Speed Shop. She was renumbered #33 and was going to be an East Coast Car and Joe showed up for a cold Trenton show and only 14 cars started and Bessie broke on lap 60 and Joe got 9th. Joe ventured to Milwaukee and finished 13th after starting 16th. Then back east to Langhorne but only went 9 laps before ending the day. No trip to the Final Atlanta Lakewood race that killed Art Bisch, the Milwaukee winner in the same car.  Joe got ready for another Midwest trip to pay for the car and drove from 16th at Springfield to finish 4th behind Thomson, George and Freeland, not bad for the old car. Then he scored a 11th at Milwaukee from 16th again so he was moving up in the points. Then he headed east and passed on DuQuoin and went to Syracuse finishing 13th and scoring no points. Barzda qualified 12th for the Hoosier 100 but got hit by a rock and withdrew on lap 94 and got no points. Back to Trenton and the top 4 qualifiers were Bessie drivers, Jimmy Reece, non Bessie driver Ward, Bessie drivers, Branson and Barzda. Joe got fourth but Jimmy Reece as fatally injured on the last lap while fighting with Thomson for 2nd on the final lap.  That was now the 4th driver to have driven this famous car to lose his life while racing. There was no trip west as Joe was more than likely ahead of the deal with these good finishes. Joe and Bessie got 320 points and the driver finished 18th in the points and the car 22nd. With this year, Bessie had scored more than 5049 points through her career so far with more points to come, maybe.

The 1959 Season started at Daytona on April 4th and after Marshall Teague was killed in World Record Attempt in February, many owners thought the place too fast for Indy/Champ cars. Joe must have been one of those as he kept Bessie home. This 100 mile race was over in 35 minutes and 14 seconds but killed George Amick on lap 40. The last time Indy Type equipment would run there. 15 days later Joe showed up at Trenton and instead of the California Speed Shop Special it was now #33 Harden Special and would remain that way the rest of her racing life. Joe qualified 19th and finished 9th in a race that Jake Vargo's new driver Dick Linder crashed in turn three in the Kurtis 4000 Dirt car, killing him. 1959 started out real bad two races and 3 dead.

Joe and the Harden team passed on Indy as Rookie Bob Cortner and Veteran Jerry Unser did not survive practice although the race was safe. Joe failed to qualify at the Milwaukee mile but chased Tony Bettenhausen home in the consolation race to get to start last in the Mays' Century. He made it 7 laps farther than Tony as each spun in the south turn at different times.

Joe failed to qualify at Langhorne and rooted Van Johnson home to victory in the Jake Vargo Kurtis 4000 Dirt car.  The next race would be a month away and a non point race at Williams Grove. Joe was there but not in Bessie but Peter Wale’s Kurtis 4000. Unfortunately on lap 3 in turn 3 Joe and Van Johnson in the Vargo car tangled and the end results were Vargo lost another driver, Joe lost a close friend, Van became the 5th driver to have driven Bessie and crashed to his death and Joe called it quits. The next time Bessie would be seen was Syracuse with John Kapustinski, "Johnny Kay" as the new driver qualified 18th and finished 18th after breaking a rod 22 laps into the race. That would be the final race of the bloody 1959 season that also saw Veteran Ed Elisian lose his life at the Milwaukee 200. 40 points and 4 attempts and 3 starts are as far as Bessie will go that season. Hopefully 1960 would be more kind that 1959.

The #33 Harden Special started the season with East Coast Veteran Len Duncan and qualified 14th but suffered some problems and came home 15th. The car was now an official East Coast car as the next race for her was Langhorne with East Coast great, Jiggs Peters in the car. Jiggs scores the only points that Bessie would get with a 12th place drive 15 laps in arrears in the race that Jimmy Bryan was lost in. Jiggs did go to the Milwaukee 200 but failed to make the show in attempt to practice on pavement, win some money and get ready for Trenton.  They hung around for DuQuoin but watched the race from the infield as A.J. Foyt scored win #1. They missed the show at Syracuse but put in Ralph "The Racer" Ligouri for the Hoosier 100 but to no avail as the car and crew watched Foyt win #2. Off to Trenton with Bruce Jacobi in the car but once again no joy as they were too slow. This was a day after Bessie’s last 500 driver, Johnny Thomson died following a crash at Allentown in a Sprint Car making him the 6th driver to have driver her to die in racing. That ended the efforts for 1960 and gave the car a career total 5099 points  with a new decade starting in 1961 it appeared Bessie would grow old in a garage  someplace.

So a new season and Bruce Jacobi would finish 14th at Trenton and fail to make the Milwaukee show based on time. With a tragedy at the Speedway when Tony Bettenhausen was testing the Stearly Motor Freight #24 Watson Offy for Bessie’s father Paul Russo crashed becoming the 7th driver to have driven Bessie that did not survive this great sport.

Bruce ran 10th at Langhorne and scored her only points for the season finishing 82 laps when flagged with broken hood straps on the rough oiled dirt surface. Next Bruce and Bessie went to the three fair shows and missed all the races, Milwaukee, Springfield and DuQuoin. One thing that did happen was the number was changed overnight between Milwaukee and Springfield to the number that Bessie would wear the rest of her career, #58. Once again off to the Syracuse-Hoosier 100 and two more races that Bessie and Bruce were not up to. At Trenton Bruce moved out of Bessie and Ray Brown moved in and both went home as did Bessie for the rest of the season with 30 points, 2 races made out of 9 appearances. In 1962 Bruce Jacobi got back in and finished 11th at Trenton, the only points the car scored for the season as the highlight was in the first race. Ralph "the Racer" made Langhorne starting 18th and finishing in the same spot in the race that Hugh Randall relieved Elmer George who was relieving starter Bob Mathouser in the Jake Vargo Kurtis 4000 Dirt car never made it though Puke Hollow. That Kurtis got another driver. At Trenton Ralph was 25th fastest at the new 150 mile summer event and 24 start. Bill Cheesbourg failed to start and Bessie got to start her third race but the Offy went sour after 43 laps. That was it for the season and it looked like the end of the road with 5149 points for its great career. So would she grace us with an appearance in 1963?

Not until DuQuoin and Jacobi spun her out while qualifying. Too slow at the Hoosier 100 and the Trenton 200 ended her season with 3 attempts and no starts as this great lady was rapidly become a joke.

1964 would be her 15th season in competition but she never left the garage but she would come back for a swan song in 1965. Veteran racer and former drag racing star Art Malone put her in the field at Trenton and dropped out on lap 57 in the rain shortened race. Then Bruce Jacobi missed the first pavement race held at Langhorne by being 29th fastest. The next race was the Trenton Summer 150 and a new driver, Garden Grove, California's Gary Congdon and he was 21st fastest and brought her the most points, 45 for 10th since 1958 if her season ended now. Would you believe in the first attempt at a Road Course race would have Bessie in the starting field qualifying 21st beating 3 Roadsters and a Rear Engine Car. Too bad Gary crashed her on lap 17. The next race was a 125 at Langhorne and Gary grabbed 10th picking up 38 points so 83 for the season so far. They brought Bessie to the site of two of her wins and Gary qualified 14th finished 5 laps down and got 40 more points for 9th at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. They took her to DuQuoin and she came in 11th spinning out in turn 1 on lap 65 and then came in 2 laps down at the Hoosier 100 and finishing eleventh. So 163 points so far for 1965 and Bessie was done. She no longer showed her face at a race track.


Total Points: 5312

Total Wins: 4 wins.

500 Starts: 3


Epilogue: 28 drivers would drive this car over 15 seasons. 7 of those drivers died while that car was still competing but unfortunately there would still be more to die in racing crashes.

In 1966: Don Branson who drove her in his second Champ start was killed in a Sprint Car crash with Dick Atkins at Ascot Park in California. He became #8

In 1967: Gary Congdon was killed at the Hut 100 at Terre Haute making him #9.

In 1983: Bruce Jacobi crashed at Daytona in a 125 and suffered a brain stem injury and he died in Bloomington, IN, in 1987. Bruce was number 10

In 1988: Cal Niday while driving a Midget at a vintage event at Willow Springs in

California had a crash in a Midget that may have resulted from a heart attack but he became #11.

So 39.29% of her drivers did not survive the sport. The only one still around that can tell you about that car are Ralph Ligouri as all others have passed away or are very sick.

Where is she? I do not know but very few cars have scored as many points as she did in 15 seasons or over 354 points average per season. The car as Congdon showed was a finishing car if you let her find her own level.

Gone are cars that have history and raced against the best of its time and later gave some their first chances to compete. It is interesting only one of her drivers won the 500, Sam Hanks but many won races away from her. Like Tony Bettenhausen, Johnny Thomson, Walt Faulkner, Van Johnson, Roger McCluskey and Don Branson.


Too bad she can't talk to tell us the technique of each driver as many of the greats sat in her and trusted her. She was a last of a kind but I am currently researching three cars built by Joe Silnes and another built by  Joe Silnes and rebuilt by Roy Sherman. A couple were still competing when the USAC Championship Trail split dirt off the circuit at the end of 1970 and scored points after being built in 1951! The era of disposable cars left a giant void in the history of the sport.



Found on Jayski’s website:


Joe Gibbs Racing and Kyle Busch Agree to Contract Extension: 

Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced today that it has signed driver Kyle Busch to a long-term contract extension. In addition, JGR will field the #54 Monster Energy Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013 with Busch serving as the primary driver. "I'm passionate about winning and that was a big factor in deciding to re-sign with Joe Gibbs Racing," said Busch. "I think JGR gives me the best opportunity to win a championship in the Cup Series for M&M's and Interstate Batteries. I know that everyone on our team is committed to that goal and will push towards making that a reality in 2013. I'm also looking forward to the opportunity to work with Adam Stevens in the Nationwide Series and put Monster Energy in Victory Lane where they belong. "I'm extremely proud of what we have accomplished in a short period of time at KBM in both the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series. When we started KBM our attention was to build something for the long term and now we are going to put a greater focus on our future with Parker (Kligerman) competing in Nationwide and Joey (Coulter) running trucks."
The #54 Monster Energy Toyota will run a full season schedule for JGR with crew chief Adam Stevens calling the shots from atop the pit box. Busch is currently scheduled to drive the majority of the races in 2013. Additional drivers for the 54 team will be announced soon. "This is a big deal for us," said JGR President J.D. Gibbs. "It's no secret that you have to have great drivers to win in NASCAR and in the past year we've been able to secure long-term deals with Kyle and Denny and of course we were able to add Matt as well. Kyle is a big part of our success at JGR and we're thrilled to know he will be with us for a long time."(JGR)(1-24-2013)


Martin doesn't expect to drive #55 in 2014, but not retiring: 

Mark Martin said Tuesday he doesn't plan to drive the #55 Toyota after this season. "My goal is to make this car one of the most wanted rides in NASCAR for 2014," Martin said Tuesday. "I want to help [crew chief] Rodney Childers get there and see him race for a championship." Martin still can race for a championship this year at age 54 -- an owner's championship. He is driving 25 of 36 Cup events this year, sharing the ride again this season with Brian Vickers and team owner Michael Waltrip. But Martin wouldn't say if his driving career would end after this season. "It's way too early to speculate on that," Martin said. "I really enjoy working at Michael Waltrip Racing. I'll be around no matter what. But I want to do everything I can to get this team in position to race for a [driver's] championship in 2014." Martin also would not speculate on who might drive the car in 2014, but Vickers is an obvious candidate.(ESPN)(1-24-2013)


Some Rules Changes in 2013: 

NASCAR is going back in time with a series of changes related to qualifying and testing. Series officials met with Sprint Cup drivers and crew chiefs Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway to detail next year's changes.
" The top 35 rule, in existence since 2005, will be eliminated. This rule was in place to ensure teams in the top 35 in car owner points (and their sponsors) would be in the race in an era when 50 or more cars were attempting to qualify for races.
" The top 36 positions will be set by qualifying speed with the remaining spots set by provisionals, including a champion's provisional. Provisionals are based on car owner points rankings.
" A random draw will set the qualifying order. The past two seasons, the order was determined by speeds in the first practice session.
" Provisionals for the first three races next year will be based on the final car owner points standings this year instead of the first five races as in previous years.
" Each organization can test at four tracks of its choosing next season where NASCAR competes, the first time teams can do so since 2008. The series' sanctioning body banned testing in 2009, and since then teams could not test at tracks where NASCAR held races, but they could test on other tracks.(
USA Today)(repost 1-27-2013)


New name for the Shootout - The Sprint Unlimited: 

Sprint has partnered with Daytona International Speedway to sponsor The Sprint Unlimited At Daytona, the fan-favorite non-points event formerly known as the Daytona Shootout that traditionally kicks off the stock car portion of Budweiser Speedweeks 2013 and the NASCAR season. The race will once again be held under the lights on Saturday night, Feb. 16 (FOX 8:00pm/et) but will feature several new elements that will make this event even more of a fan favorite. Fans in attendance will be eligible to receive special upgraded race experiences from Sprint including roles as Grand Marshal, Honorary Starter, and trophy presenter. Fans can also help deliver the trophy to Gatorade Victory Lane or participate in driver introductions during pre-race ceremonies.
“Sprint is entering its 10th season as title sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,” said Steve Gaffney, vice president of marketing for Sprint. “From the outset, we promised unprecedented access for race fans, and each year we challenge ourselves to honor that commitment in innovative ways. Thanks to the strength of our partnership with NASCAR and Daytona International Speedway, we have designed The Sprint Unlimited so that fans play a major role in all aspects of the event. It is the ideal way to start this milestone season, and we look forward to sharing all of the details later this month.”
In addition to the new fan elements, The Sprint Unlimited marks the first time the new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race cars will compete on-track in an event. Dubbed “Gen 6,” the new-look sixth generation cars highlight greater brand identity for the manufacturers and are expected to heighten the rivalries among drivers and manufacturers. “Now more than ever, through our growing partnership with Sprint, The Sprint Unlimited will be the fans’ race,” said Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III. “Sprint has been a great partner with Daytona and NASCAR, and they continue to raise the bar by engaging race fans in new and innovative ways. We look forward to hearing about additional unique elements for this race in the coming weeks. We are also excited for the debut of the new Sprint Cup Series car, which we believe will provide thrilling on-track action and make The Sprint Unlimited an unforgettable launch to the 2013 season.”
As announced earlier in the year, the format for selecting the field of drivers in the invitation-only event will return to its roots for 2013. The eligible field of drivers will consist of pole winners from the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season and past winners of The Sprint Unlimited who have attempted to qualify for at least one race during the 2012 season.
Tickets for The Sprint Unlimited start at $39 and are available for purchase at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Children 12 and under are free in general admission grandstands and the Sprint FANZONE.(DIS)(1-7-2013)

The field for The Sprint Unlimited is currently at 22 drivers and features a who’s who of NASCAR stars.:
2012 Pole Winners:
Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr., Tony Stewart, AJ Allmendinger, Aric Almirola, Joey Logano, Marcos Ambrose, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya.
Past champions of The Sprint Unlimited:
Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Bill Elliott, Terry Labonte, Ken Schrader.(DIS)(1-7-2013)


Danica and Stenhouse Jr. are dating: 

#10-Danica Patrick revealed to The Associated Press she and #17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are a couple, ending widespread speculation about the nature of their relationship. "I have a boyfriend, his name is Richard," she said during an exclusive telephone interview with AP. The couple waited until the end of Charlotte Motor Speedway's weeklong annual media tour to go public with their relationship, which started as a friendship as they raced each other the last two seasons in the Nationwide Series. Stenhouse became a mentor of sorts to the 30-year-old Patrick, who left IndyCar after the 2011 season to make the full-time switch to NASCAR. Stenhouse, 25, confirmed the relationship. "Yes we are dating," he said. "I don't normally say too much about my private life, always been focused on the track. I didn't want to confirm at media day so that we could keep the focus on the season, the Gen-6 (car), my sponsors and team. That's what it's all about for me." Patrick announced in November she and husband Paul Hospenthal were divorcing after seven years, and said in the Jan. 3 filing that her marriage to the 47-year-old Hospenthal was "irretrievably broken."(full story at the Associated Press)(1-25-2013)

Note:  In a way, I’m surprised the Patrick/Hospenthal marriage lasted as long as it did, considering some things that have happened in the past.


Golden Corral Renews partnership with Tommy Baldwin; Yeley to drive #36: 

Tommy Baldwin Racing announced that Golden Corral will return to the organization in 2013 as a primary sponsor on the #36 Chevy to be driven by J.J. Yeley at the four superspeedway races. This will mark the third year that the Raleigh, N.C. based company has been a partner with TBR. Driving the #36 Chevy will add to an already impressive resume for Yeley. Also returning is the popular "Top 10 Kids Eat Free" promotion. Each time the #36 Golden Corral Chevy finishes in the top 10, Golden Corral will offer a one day "Kids Eat Free" promotion called "J.J.'s Mondays" on the Monday immediately following the top-10 event.(TBR)(1-28-2013)

Note:  I’ve always been a fan of JJ.  Now I’m hoping that while he’s in the # 36 car, it isn’t a “Start & Park” ride.


United Mining Equipment sponsoring Yeley for three races: 

Tommy Baldwin Racing announced that United Mining Equipment (UME) will be a primary sponsor on JJ Yeley's #36 Chevy for three races in 2013. The Butler, PA-based company will be on board for both races at Bristol Motor Speedway, and the annual summer race at Kentucky Speedway. Team owner Tommy Baldwin, Jr. is happy to bring new sponsors to NASCAR's top level. "United Mining Equipment tested TBR and NASCAR out at Homestead-Miami Speedway last year and really liked what they saw. By expanding their program this year emphasizes that our program and NASCAR can work for any business category." United Mining Equipment (UME) has been developing, repairing and supplying long wall equipment for 20 years. Together with their sister company PittLite they now offer low cost, leading technology cap lamps throughout the mining industry.(TBR/140 BUZZ), see an image of the car on the #36 team paint schemes page.(1-29-2013)


Accell Construction will sponsor Yeley for 6 races: 

Accell Construction will be back with Tommy Baldwin Racing and the #36 Chevy of JJ Yeley for six races in 2013. This marks the third year that the Oklahoma-based company will partner with TBR, serving as a primary sponsor at both events at Phoenix International Raceway, Texas Motor Speedway, and Kansas Speedway. Accell Construction, Inc. operates as a full service site civil contractor for the petroleum terminal and bulk storage industries and specializes in tank farm construction, tank foundations and other related site civil construction.(TBR/140 BUZZ), see an image of the car on the #36 team paint schemes page.(1-30-2013)


Interstate Batteries returns to sponsor the #18: 

Interstate Batteries will return for the 21st season to sponsor the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for six races in 2013. Kyle Busch is scheduled to drive the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota at: Auto Club (3/24), Texas (4/13), Daytona (7/6), New Hampshire (7/14), Michigan (8/11) and Dover (9/29). See an image of the scheme on the #18 Team & Schemes page.(1-26-2013)


No more Cup races for Bill Elliott? 

Although it's been a quarter of a century, Bill Elliott remembers his first short track win at Bristol Motor Speedway like it was yesterday. In a recent interview, Elliott talked about that win, racing at BMS and his son Chase's career, among other topics. Following is a transcript in part about his plans to race in 2013:

Q) You competed some last year. Will that continue?
Bill Elliott:
 I ran twice last year and that was enough for me. Now about all I do is try to keep up with Chase and our Late Model program. We've helped Ben Kennedy some, T.J. Reed and Mason Massey and between those three and what Chase has going on, I haven't had time to do anything else. It was fun to run that car at Daytona last year for Turner. That was the best car I've been in in I don't know when. But, the way I look at it, if I keep doing that then I'm taking away from somebody else getting in a car so it's kind of a doubled-edge sword.(BMS)(1-29-2013)


Zac Brown Band to Perform at the Daytona 500: 

Grammy-award winning musicians Zac Brown Band will perform the Daytona 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show leading up to the start of "The Great American Race" at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, Feb. 24. Zac Brown Band will perform several songs prior to the start of the 55th annual Daytona 500  the prestigious season-opening event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the biggest stock car race in the world. Zac Brown Band member and Southern Ground recording artist Clay Cook will sing the National Anthem. All race fans that purchase a Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access pass for the Daytona 500 will be able to enjoy Zac Brown Band's Daytona 500 Budweiser Pre-Race Show, as well as driver introductions, from the grass tri-oval area. In addition to his concert, a special ticket package designed around the Zac Brown Band has been created that includes a Daytona 500 grandstand ticket, Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access and VIP area access to Zac Brown Band's performance. Packages start at $164. Fans that already have race tickets can add Pre-Race/Sprint FANZONE access along with VIP area access for $99.(DIS)(1-29-2013)

Note:  If memory serves me right, the Zak Brown Band did have a fairly good rendition of our National Anthem just a short time ago.


Race start times released: 

NASCAR has released the start times and television networks for its 2013 races in its three national series. The Sprint Cup Series times have primarily remained the same, with only a slight change to Darlington Raceway's start time to 6:45 p.m. Although most night races are set for 7:30 p.m. ET, Darlington was moved to 7 p.m. last year because of the time it takes to complete 500 miles at the track. Two Nationwide Series races will be on ESPNNEWS. The Richmond race in April conflicts with ESPN's coverage of the NFL draft and the NBA playoffs and the ABC Friday night prime-time lineup. The Kentucky race in September, which was initially an afternoon race but has been moved to night, conflicts with previously scheduled college football on ABC and other ESPN networks.(Sporting News), see all the schedules on the 2013 Sprint Cup Series schedule, 2013 Nationwide Series schedule, and 2013 Camping World Truck Series schedule pages.(1-30-2013)


2013 silly season notes for #44 Xxxtreme Motorsports:: 

The team made its debut at Phoenix last November with David Reutimann driving. Supposedly the team was to make an announcement just after the holiday's but have not seen any. The team did not test at Daytona or Charlotte. Reutimann recently signed with BK Racing for the 2013 season. Crew chief Frank Kerr also signed a deal with Front Row Motorsports. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-29-2013)


On the Road to Glory: Fred Lorenzen: 

Fred Lorenzen The story of NASCAR legend and Elmhurst (IL) native Fred Lorenzen comes to life through photos, artifacts, and exciting race footage depicting a little-known local hero who etched his name in the annals of racing history. Find out how this Midwestern outsider, known as "Fearless Freddie," got the inside track in the early days of professional NASCAR racing to become a fan favorite and winner of the 1965 Daytona 500. See the Fred Lorenzen tribute car, an exact replica of Lorenzen's #28 1964 Ford Galaxie, on opening weekend, Feb. 1-3 from 1-5 p.m. and on Museum Day (May 19). This exhibit is supported by Chicagoland Speedway. On the Road to Glory is in exhibit from February 1 thru May 19, 2013 at the Elmhurst Historical Museum . There will be a special preview on Thursday, January 31st. More info atelmhurst.org.(1-28-2013)


Swindell to drive for Biagi-DenBeste: 

After competing for NASCAR Nationwide Series team #98-Biagi-DenBeste Racing last year at Texas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kevin Swindell will return to the team for select NNS races in 2013. The team plans to compete in 15 NNS events this season and will first race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 9. Swindell, a sprint car standout, has been building his stock car experience, competing in the NNS, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and the ARCA Racing Series, earning his first NASCAR pole in 2010 and taking home his first stock car win last year at Chicagoland Speedway. After competing in the NNS in 2002-2006, Biagi-DenBeste Racing returned to the series for select races in 2012. In total, the team has amassed 168 starts, one win, three top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. In addition to bringing back Swindell as the driver, Steve Plattenberger will continue to serve as the Team Manager and Competition Director with Jon Hanson as the crew chief.(Biagi-DenBeste Racing)(1-30-2013)


Rusty Wallace Racing returning for limited schedule: 

Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing announced that the organization will make a return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series, campaigning the #66 Ford Mustang in a limited 2013 campaign. At the helm of the #66 car will be 25 year-old Steve Wallace. Wallace, a perennial top-ten competitor in NNS competition, scored his third-straight top-ten finish in NNS points in 2011. Backing a portion of the effort will be Charlotte, NC-based mortgage and real estate firm, Richard Tocado Companies. Tocado will serve as primary sponsor of the #66 Ford Mustang beginning with the May 2013 NNS event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with additional events to be named later.(RWR)(1-29-2013)


Kenny Wallace to run limited schedule with RAB: 

Kenny Wallace will return to the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season to drive a limited schedule of races in a second Toyota Camry fielded by RAB Racing with Brack Maggard. The new, #29 entry will carry sponsorship from Toyota in three races, with horsepower from Joe Gibbs Racing. Wallace will tentatively make his first start of 2013 in the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway on Friday night, April 26. He will also compete in the History 300 on May 25 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with the balance of his schedule to be announced in the near future. Wallace is also schedule to drive a Toyota Tundra for RAB in the Mudsummer Night's Dream NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH, on July 24. Wallace will carry sponsorship from JEGS and the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) in that event. "My goal for the season is to run nine races," revealed Wallace. "That would give me 900 total starts in NASCAR's three national series. I made my first start in what is now the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 1988 at Martinsville Speedway, driving for Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and I'm proud to have stuck around for as long as I have. Ideally, I'd love to run every race," he said. "But the money just isn't there right now. We're looking, but it's not there yet. When Robby offered me the chance to run some races for him in a second RAB Toyota Camry this season, I jumped at it."(Godfather Motorsports)(1-25-2013)


Kyle Busch to drive Nationwide for Gibbs: 

Joe Gibbs Racing announced that it has signed driver Kyle Busch to a long-term contract extension. In addition, JGR will field the #54 Monster Energy Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013 with Busch serving as the primary driver. The #54 Monster Energy Toyota will run a full season schedule for JGR with crew chief Adam Stevens calling the shots from atop the pit box. Busch is currently scheduled to drive the majority of the races in 2013. Additional drivers for the 54 team will be announced soon.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(1-24-2013)


Piquet to Nationwide: 

Nelson Piquet, Jr., will graduate to the Nationwide Series this season, running for the series championship in a Chevy Camaro fielded by Turner Scott Motorsports. Piquet finished seventh in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship standings last season with Turner Scott, claiming a pair of wins at Michigan and Las Vegas, nine Top-5 and 15 Top-10 finishes in 22 events. He also made two Nationwide starts last year, highlighted by a win from the pole at Road America in late June. A spokesperson for Turner Scott Motorsports declined to confirm the move, and there is no word on who might replace Piquet at the wheel of the team's #30 Chevy Silverado. In a related story, sources say Turner Scott will continue its longstanding emphasis on fostering young talent in 2013, fielding at least three and as many as five entries on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.(Godfather Motorsports)(1-15-2013)



News from the AARN:



From last weeks column:

“Note:  I’m hoping to get the digital version of the AARN by this time next week.  If so, I should be able to give up to date info in my columns.”


Well, I’m on the digital version.  However, it looks like one can’t copy & paste.  Oh well!  It will take a little time for this old man to get used to the digital form, and working off of it.  Due to a hectic week this week, I’ll give it a try next week.


January 22nd edition:


There was extensive coverage on the AARN’s Motor Sports Show from last weekend, with a ton of articles and even more photos.


The top 10 drivers – per the AARN, for the first 50 years that the AARN has been with us:

1.     Brett Hearn

2.     Richie Evans

3.     Billy Pauch

4.     Frankie Schneider

5.     Kenny Brightbill

6.     Fred Rahmer

7.     Dick Tobias

8.     Jimmy Horton

9.     Will Cagle

10.                        Danny Johnson


Aaron Ott had his 2012 Sprint Car season end early due to an accident that had him ending up with a second broken neck.


The Race of Champions Dirt Modified Tour will begin its season at the Selinsgrove Speedway on the weekend of March 15th & 16th.  The 358 Modifieds will race on Friday night with the RoC Dirt Modified big blocks on Saturday.


There were some banquets held, and in most cases, monies awarded were not mentioned, although Delaware International Speedway gave out almost $50,000.00 in cash and awards.

Mercer Raceway, Eldora and the Midwest Supermodified Association had their banquets, but no monies were listed.


At the Motor Sports show, Joe Grandinetti of TSRS 305 Racesaver Sprint Cars informed a packed room of racers about how the new affiliation with the IMCA will benefit the drivers who race in the TSRS Racesaver Series.  One of the changes is that those who race with the TSRS will now be eligible for IMCA national championship points.


This Week – January 29th edition:


Montoya Leads Ganassi Team 
To Rolex 24 Win At Daytona

Jimmy Wilson Named 
New NASCAR Whelen 
Mod Tour Director

Cicconi, McKennedy 
To Chase ISMA Tour 
In Legendary Cars

Larry Miller Revives 
York's Venerable 
Dirt Trackin' Show

Honors Top Achievers 
In New York State

Billy Pauch, Paul Kuhl 
Honored By Flemington Speedway 
Historical Society

Bruton Smith Sounds Off 

Indoor Racing Heads 
To Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall 
This Weekend

Stevie Smith Left Adrift 
As Clemens Sprint Team Folds



Press Releases:

Attention Slingshot racers: Slinger Warehouse will be sending out email updates periodically throughout the season to keep slingshot drivers and fans up to date on current used cars, part specials, technical information and much more. Slinger Warehouse will be representing the slingshot racing division  this coming weekend, February 1st and 2nd, at the Atlantic City Indoor Race. Slinger Warehouse will have a fully stocked trailer for any of your slingshot parts needs, or set up/maintenance assistance. 


Thank you,


Paul Lotier


Slinger Warehouse






From Race Suit to Race Team, Saldana Partners with Motter Motorsports

UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit starts WoO STP Sprint Car Series season


BARBERVILLE, Fla. - Jan. 30, 2013 - It was in the pits at the scenic Deer Creek Speedway last September when Joey Saldana began a conversation with opportunity.

It was a chance discussion between a former World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series car owner, Dan Motter, and one of the series' stars. What started with Motter - the president of Motter Equipment Inc. who owned, drove and crewed on various racing teams in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s - agreeing to get Saldana a racing suit for his offseason trip to compete in Australia turned into something much more significant.

Flash forward several weeks as Saldana began to wrap up 2012 by garnering his sixth top-four finish in the last seven seasons on the circuit. Saldana was informed of his release from Kasey Kahne Racing effective at the end of the season.

"You have to be at the right place at the right time," Saldana said. "Luckily I had that conversation with Dan about helping me out in Australia. When he heard I got released he was right there to step up and build a team to run for an Outlaws championship."

It's quite the jump from race suit to race team, but Motter went in head first. With a new truck, a trailer, five engines and six cars, Motter Motorsports was built in Minnesota, but will soon be based out of Saldana's hometown of Brownsburg, Ind.

Saldana recently returned stateside after three top fives in seven Australian races and as the team prepares to relocate to Indiana, Saldana is eying the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series week-long, season-opening event - the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment at Volusia Speedway Park beginning on Feb. 12 with a practice session.

"I definitely have a lot that I want to accomplish in sprint car racing," Saldana said. "I didn't want my last job to be my last job. I was very fortunate to have Dan Motter step up and provide me a team that can compete at a high level. I just want to prove to him and everybody else that I deserve to be out there racing with the World of Outlaws and hopefully we can succeed."

And what better place to start the new partnership than the fast half mile where Saldana has seven top-five finishes and 11 top 10s in 14 races during World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series competition since 2008. He also claimed the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit title in 2010 and 2011.

"You want to start the season out well and that can definitely lay the ground work for the season to come," he said. "If you start off strong it can flow over into the rest of the season. It seems like if you start off good at Volusia you seem like you can kinda carry it on throughout the season."

Tickets can be ordered online by clicking WorldofOutlaws.com/tickets or by calling 877-395-8606. Every night is a doubleheader and there are FREE Fan Pit Passes with every ticket.



I get e-mails:


When hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast even houses of worship were not spared.

A local television station interviewed a black woman from New Jersey and asked how the loss of churches in the area would affect their lives.

Without hesitation the woman replied, "I don't know 'bout dem other people but we ain't gone to Churches in years. We get our chicken from Popeye's."

The look on the interviewer's face was priceless. 
Now do you understand how we got our president?




This next one is kinda hard to believe:




One top fuel dragster 500 cubic inch Hemi engine makes more horsepower

than the first 4 rows of stock cars at the Daytona 500.


It takes just 15/100ths (0.15) of a second for all 6,000+ horsepower

(some believe 8,000 HP is more realistic - there are no dynamometers

capable of measuring) of an NHRA Top Fuel dragster engine to reach the rear wheels.


Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes 1-1/2 gallons of nitro methane per second;

a fully loaded 747 consumes jet fuel at the same rate with 25% less energy being produced.


A stock Dodge Hemi V8 engine cannot produce enough power to drive the dragster's supercharger.


With 3,000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on overdrive,

the fuel mixture is compressed into a near-solid form before ignition.


Cylinders run on the verge of hydraulic lock at full throttle.


At the stoichiometric (stoichiometry: methodology and technology

by which quantities of reactants and products in chemical reactions are determined)

1.7:1 air/fuel mixture of nitro methane, the flame front temperature measures

7,050 deg F. (Oxy-acetylene on "cut" is 6,300)


Nitro methane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above

the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from atmospheric

water vapor by the searing exhaust gases.


Dual magnetos supply 44 amps to each spark plug. This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.


Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed during one pass.

After halfway, the engine is dieseling from compression,

plus the glow of exhaust valves at 1,400 deg F.

The engine can only be shut down by cutting the fuel flow.


If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up

in the affected cylinders and then explodes with sufficient force to

blow cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in half.


In order to exceed 300 mph in 4.5 seconds, dragsters must accelerate

an average of over 4G's.  In order to reach 200 mph well before half-track,

the launch acceleration approaches 8G's.


Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have completed reading this sentence.


Top fuel engines turn approximately 540 revolutions from light to light!

Including the burnout, the engine must only survive 900 revolutions under load.


The redline is actually quite high at 9,500 rpm.


Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, and for once

NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an estimate $1,000.00 per second.


The current top fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.428 seconds

for the quarter mile (11/12/06, Tony Schumacher, at Pomona , CA ).

The top speed record is 336.15 mph as measured over the last 66'

of the run (05/25/05 Tony Schumacher, at Hebron , OH ).


This record has been broken since then.........

3.701 seconds @ 338.3 mph on 10.8.12 by Antron Brown in Mohnton, Pa.



Putting all of this into perspective:


You are driving the average $140,000 Lingenfelter 'twin-turbo' powered Corvette Z06!


Over a mile up the road, a top fuel dragster is staged and

ready to launch down a quarter mile strip as you pass.

You have the advantage of a flying start.


You run the 'Vette hard up through the gears and blast across the starting line

and pass the dragster at an honest 200 mph. The 'tree' goes green for both

of you at that instant.


The dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your foot down hard,

but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums;

and within 3 seconds, the dragster catches and passes you.

He beats you to the finish line, a quarter mile away from where you just passed him.


Think about it, from a standing start, the dragster had spotted you 200 mph

and not only caught, but nearly blasted you off the road

when he passed you within a mere 1,320 foot long race course.


... and that, my friend, is ACCELERATION!




Found on Facebook:


There were so many things in Hillary’s testimony in front Congress today in which I was repulsed, I hardly know where to start. Maybe we can start with her name plaque on the table in front of her, with the title of “Honorable”… which almost made me lose my lunch! 
Ironically, Rand Paul was the only one who laid a glove on her… telling her that if he had been President and she botched her job that bad, “…I would have relieved you of your post.” 
Finally one Congressman got under her skin enough that Hillary blurted out… “What difference at this point, does it make…”. The first thing that came to my mind was, “So that is why she drug this out for so long… so she could say, “that is all old news; let’s move forward.”
Mostly I kept having Flash-backs to when the Clintons have lied in testimony back during the “White Water” investigations and the “Monica Lewinsky affair”. Both Clintons are masters of parsing words as in Bill Clinton’s famous phrase …”It depends on what the meaning of the word, ’Is, Is.” Deception is their key principle and the underlying motive for everything they do. 
Hillary summed up her bottom line feelings with her quote, “What difference, at this point, does it make?...”. Her shallow, uncaring statement shows how little she cared for what happened in Benghazi. Her attempt at humanizing her feelings by trying to cry and breaking her voice at the right moment almost worked… except she couldn’t get her lip to quiver or produce any tears. Damn! Bill had that mastered, why can’t I do that? Remember the Ron Brown funeral, when Clinton was laughing and telling an obvious joke to the fellow he was walking with?
Clinton spotted a Camera which was trained on him and in the time it took him to take one stride, he faked having tears in his eyes, got the quivering lip and started wiping tears from his eyes. It was a remarkable performance but Hillary’s, today was child’s play by comparison! It was as phony as she really is! “What difference, at this point, does it make?” The difference, is the difference between a Lie and the Truth. The Administration has lied to us since day one. The question which was not asked, was how the STORY of the supposed VIDEO came to be? Who suggested it and why? The whole day was just an artful dodge… nothing new was learned other than we know now, Hillary didn’t give a damn about what happened in Benghazi and neither did Obama. They had ample opportunity to send help and they chose not to. She tried to blame it on funding or the lack thereof but that was just another lie. This is America, we can do anything and there were 7 hours to do something but we did nothing. 
I’ll repeat what I said on day one. The Administration did nothing because what was happening in Benghazi didn’t fit their narrative of: “Osama is Dead and Al-Qaeda is on the run.” If they sent in the Seals or the 82nd Airborne, they would have to acknowledge that Al-Qaeda was on the run alright, right into our Embassy and killing Americans. The whole thing is a disgrace and was covered up by the Administration to give cover to Obama, so he could be re-elected. Well, they were successful but look at the cost. This whole Administration should be impeached! Those folks who voted for this guy should be ashamed for what they have done. They will just have to live with their decision… as do we!!
By Wyatt Goodwin 1-23-13



So they finally had to come out and admit it, now that the Coroner has released some info along with police.

An AR-15, or the so-called "Assault Weapon", was not used in the school shooting. The shooter even tried weeks earlier to buy a rifle but was turned down in the background check. So he had to kill his Mother to steal her rifle. There were initial reports, right after the shooting, that police found the AR-15 in his car, NOT IN THE SCHOOL. The rifle was not used. The shooter went into the school with 4 handguns, NOT an Assault Rifle as the media has charged. I remember in the initial hours of this shooting, the Police said they found the rifle in the car. But the Administration-controlled MSM had a pre-planned attack already waiting, to ban so-called assault weapons and jumped on that line of reporting, knowing it was a lie, which included people like Piers Morgan who said the shooter used an AR-15 that shoots hundreds of rounds per minute, as if it were a machine gun. Could it be that the Democrat Liberals and THEIR MEDIA were pushing for the new law, hoping they could do it, before the Coroner released the info? Absolutely.

VIDEO: http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/50208495#50208495


So, American citizens can't be trusted with 11 rounds of ammunition, but Egypt can be trusted with new war tanks and F-16s?
This is getting a little ridiculous.


There is only ONE reason for gun registration:  So the government will know who has them.  Gun Registration is the first step toward gun confiscation.



I imagine this could apply to the wife and me, and also for others:


Question:  How did we manage to stay together for a little over 62 years?

Answer:  We were born in a time when if something was broken we would fix it, not throw it away.



Hey call me I know 2 people one is in the Air Force the other just quit the Navy (after 8 years cause he couldnt put up with the bullshit) and BOTH ended up guarding the same prison in Afganistan. They were "lent" to the Army cause they had to keep rotating men.




Found on the Internet:


Indy Speedway agreement pledges ADA compliance






Ashley Judd Splits from Husband Dario Franchitti







Some non-racing stuff:


Hostess picks lead bidders for Twinkies, other snack cakes





Reagan’s Childhood Home to Become Parking Lot for Obama’s Library




A 4% Surcharge for Using a Credit Card?! Now Legal — but Not Likely



Gatorade to Remove Controversial Ingredient




Driving on empty: How far your car can go with the gas light on




Penalty could keep smokers out of health overhaul




Obama EPA kills power plant, 3,900 jobs in Texas





Senators’ ‘tough but fair’ immigration blueprint would make people wait for citizenship






Money fears vs. real benefits in Medicaid choice





Obama: I’ll introduce my own immigration bill if Congress doesn’t move




Study says leafy greens top food poisoning source





Ray Lewis doesn’t wish to discuss deer-antler spray or double murders at media day (VIDEO)




Joe Flacco draws criticism after using the ‘r-word’ to describe cold-weather Super Bowls




Alex Rodriguez the biggest name in a new PED report that could grow into BALCO-like scandal





Lindsay Lohan Claims She’s Too Sick to Appear in Court





Video time:


Over these next few weeks I’ll be putting in some links to videos of some of the world’s best drivers.  This week it is Juan Manuel Fangio.  I consider myself lucky to have been able to see him race, in person, back in 1957 in the Sebring 12 hour race.  This video is a shade over 48 minutes in length.







Note:  The photos are not available on Dirt Track Digest, only on New England Tractor - http://newenglandtractor.com/racereport/

Knowing that I had the photo, below, of Bill Schindler in “Basement Bessie”, just happened to make me put in that story about the car, above.  Here is a great shot of the car by noted photographer Walt Imlay – photo taken at the Williams Grove Speedway.



Closing with this:

A true story from the pages of the Manchester Evening Times ?

Last Wednesday a passenger in a taxi heading for Salford station leaned over to ask the driver a question and gently tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention.

 The driver screamed, lost control of the cab, nearly hit a bus, drove up over the cerb and stopped just inches from a large plate window.

 For a few moments everything was silent in the cab. Then the shaking driver said "Are you OK? I'm so sorry, but you scared the daylights out of me."

The badly shaken passenger apologized to the driver and said, "I didn't realize that a mere tap on the shoulder would startle someone so badly."

 The driver replied, "No, no, I'm the one who is sorry, it's entirely my fault. Today is my very first day driving a cab. I've been driving a hearse for 25 years."





Until next week, folks!


As usual, you can reach me at:  ygordad@yahoo.com