Racin' & Different Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 135



Thoughts and prayers sent out to those that were affected by the bombings in Boston.





Going to do something different beginning with this weeks column.  In the past, I’ve had problems, at times, posting my column on Dirt Track Digest.  Last week was one of those times.  One little thing, it seems, keeps me from publishing.  So, in an attempt to overcome that, I’ve elected to put in items, but will eliminate the link – for Dirt Track Digest, only.  Links will remain on New England Tractor.  So, you the reader will have a choice – if you’re interested in a particular item, you can e-mail me and I’ll forward the link to you, or you can see it on New England Tractor.  The choice is yours.  I constantly check my e-mail, so, no problem there.

New England Tractor - http://newenglandtractor.com/racereport/






We took in opening night at OCFS last Saturday night.  At first, I thought my son and I would go together, but he said he’d be going in the pits after the races, so I went by myself.  It was close to 5:20 when I got onto East Main Street in Middletown, from Shutt Road.  After about 100-200 yards, traffic came to a stop.  The reason?  The track has a new policy now, gates for the stands and drive in do no open until 5:00.  After 5-10 minutes, those headed for the stands were able to pass cars that were on the shoulder, in line for the drive in.  My thoughts:  Either the track should open the drive in earlier, or I have a feeling they will be told to do so by the local police.  It does cause a hazardous condition with all that traffic.





It was a little hard from the ½ covered stands to see that the track has moved the Jersey barriers in at both ends of the track, making the track a little wider (and shorter, too).  I have to compliment OCFS for having a dust free racing surface.  Of course I have something negative to say, too.  The track is still too fast which eliminates most passing.  True, there were a couple that had the balls to go up top and pass, like Tim Hindley did.  One of the worries that Bobby Varin had about coming to OCFS was that it would be hard to pass.  His fears came true – well for him, at least.  Varin started 7th, fell to 9th, and at the end ended up 8th.  More than likely Varin will start closer to the front the next time?




I am completely against “heads-up” starts – where the winner of the first heat starts on pole in the feature etc etc.  What I find remarkable, and to be suspicious, is how, in the case of OCFS, last years champion draws pole position in the first heat, like it happened this past Saturday.  Hey, don’t get me wrong.  I like Jerry Higbie.  And, I like the “luckiest” driver of all, as far as drawings goes – Brett Hearn – but damn, when they were lining up the Modified heat, I tapped my son and pointed.  His response – “Told ya Hig would be on the pole”.  Kinda put a damper on the whole night, ya know?  What could be done is have a re-draw for the top three finishers in the heats.  What really should/could be done is have the original draw held on the track at the start/finish line, in front of the fans.  It can’t be that hard to do, can it?  How much time would it take?  Have a bucket with numbers inside for each class.  Prior to drawing any numbers, it should be announced that there would be a certain amount of heats with a certain amount of cars in each, too.

Note:  It was posted on the Internet that Lebanon Valley uses points from the previous season for handicapping purposes on opening night.  Kinda surprised it isn’t done that way at OC, since Howie Commander is involved with promoting at both tracks (I believe?)




I started on this column on Sunday evening.  Now, as I type this, it is 1:10 PM on Tuesday.  Guess what?  Not one word about the racing this past Saturday night has appeared in the Middletown NY Times Herald-Record – yet!  Why?

Ah hah!  I figured I’d check with the Times Herald-Record, to see why the newspaper has not had the results. 

Their response:  We have a policy that results from a live event must be sent to us the day it happens and run in the newspaper the following day. If something happens on Saturday, we expect the results on Saturday in order for it to appear in the newspaper on Sunday.”





Local Modified driver Clinton Mills, who damn near won the Eastern States 200 a couple of years ago, had motor problems this past Saturday night at OCFS.  A back-up car was brought in, on a flat bed, just as the consi cars were about to pull out onto the track.  Mills was buckling into the car while it was still on the flat bed, and picked up the tail of the starting field, with no hood on the car.  Yes, he put that back-up car into the feature.  But now he’s looking for a rid for this coming Saturday night at OC.  Can anyone help him out?

His message:

“Motor is pulled out of the 21 car. Don't have any options to this point, no offers from anyones back up car last night. This week the team and I need a hand to keep this season alive. Either a full ride this week or a reliable motor to drop into our car. I'll drive anything and if its a big block I'll drive it to the front.


Note:  It was posted on Facebook on Tuesday, that Mills has an engine for Saturday.






A good amount of cars in the Drive-in section at OCFS last Saturday.  Meanwhile, the stands were maybe 1/8th  to 1/10th of capacity, at most.  The advantage of the Drive-in now is that when it gets cold, you can get in your vehicle, start it up, and get warmed up.  Some disadvantages – it’s a long walk to the bathrooms and food concession, and you really can’t see the cars on the front stretch, due to the lighting being on the stands.  All you see are silhouettes of the cars.  If you get there late, you might not be able to get up high enough to see over the trailers in the pits.  And, last week, they didn’t open the Drive-in until 5:00.  Cars were lined up out on East Main Street, waiting.


Advantages for the grandstands – a lot closer to the bathrooms and food concessions.  You can park earlier than 5:00, when the gates open.  You can duck into the 31st lap, if you so desire.  More food concessions.  You can sit most anywhere, unfortunately.  Disadvantages – you can’t just get into your car and get warmed up.  In both the Drive-in and stands, hearing the announcers is quite difficult. 







Normally at night, when we’re eating dinner, we will have FOXNews on from 6:00 to 6:30, and then switch over to NBC.  On Tuesday, it was mentioned on FOX that Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi was sent a toxin letter.  I told the wife – “Betcha Brian Williams, on NBC won’t mention that”.  I was right.

Also, on FOX, they made mention that there was now surplus blood on hand in Boston now, due to so many donating it.  On NBC, which was live from Boston, they told us that more blood was needed.  Gotta love it!


On top of that, a similar “letter” was sent to our President.


Authorities arrest Mississippi man in ricin letters to Obama, senator


Link:  http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/letter-addressed-obama-contained-suspicious-substance-153931701--politics.html





OK, bust my chops if you must, but, yes, I’m a Mets fan.  I’m trying to figure out who in the hell made up this schedule they’ve had over these last few days.  I mean, night games in Minnesota and Denver?  Never mind they’ve been snowed out, I can’t see why they have to play at night.




The tragic events in Boston has led to a thread over on the Track Forum about “Security”.  Mainly security for the Indy 500 being covered.  Other large crowd gatherings, like the Kentucky Derby, are also mentioned.  It did not take long for the thread to be up to 5 pages, as of 11:00 AM on Wednesday.

Link:  http://www.trackforum.com/forums/showthread.php?175054-Security




Going back in time:


On April 18th in:



Jochen Rindt... Born ... Rindt was a German-Austrian racing driver. He is the only driver to posthumously win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship (in 1970), after being killed in practice for the Italian Grand Prix. Away from Formula One Rindt was highly successful in other single-seat formulae, as well as sports car racing. In 1965 he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, driving a Ferrari 250LM in partnership with American Masten Gregory.




Ted Horn won the AAA sprint car feature at the 1 mile oval in Trenton, New Jersey. He also set a 1-lap record of 40.36 seconds.




Geoffrey Bodine... Born ... The oldest of the three Bodine brothers (Brett Bodine and Todd Bodine) who are all NASCAR drivers.




Pat O'Connor won the 30 lap AAA Sprint Car race at the Lakeside Speedway, Kansas City, KS .




Pat O'Connor won the USAC Sprint Car race at the Birmingham Fairgrounds in Birmingham, AL .




Glen Wood scored his first career NASCAR GN win, leading all 200 laps on the 1/4 mile paved Bowman-Gray Stadium (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) oval in his Ford.




Junior Johnson, taking the lead when a blown tire sent Marvin Panch into the wall with 11 laps to go, won the NASCAR GN 'Gwyn Staley Memorial' on the .625 mile paved North Wilkesboro Speedway in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Johnson had led a total of 345 laps when he made an unscheduled stop for a tire change on lap 370. Panch then took a comfortable lead in the Wood Brothers Ford until a tire blew and he hit the wall on lap 389. Johnson moved his Ford back out front and led to the checkered, finishing 7 seconds ahead of Bobby Johns in a Holman-Moody Ford.


Jud Larson drove the Watson car to victory in the USAC Sprint Car feature on the high banked 1/2 mile dirt Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.





Bobby Isaac won the 100 mile NASCAR GN race on the 1/2 mile dirt Columbia Speedway in Columbia, South Carolina. It was Isaac's first win since February 1964. Isaac took the lead on lap 15 and led the rest of the way. Isaac's lead was so great that on lap 138, he ran out of gas and coasted to the pits without losing the lead. Charlie Glotzbach got around James Hylton late in the race to take 2nd as Dodges swept the top 4 spots. Richard Petty earned no points for his 5th place finish as he failed to submit written entries for the second straight race.




Sam Sessions wins the USAC Sprint Car race at the New Bremen Speedway, New Bremen, OH.


Gary Ponzini wins the USAC Midget race at the Vallejo Speedway, Vallejo, CA




Gary Bettenhausen wins the USAC Sprint Car race at the New Bremen Speedway, New Bremen, OH.




Fred Rahmer won the Pro-Sportsman Stock Car race at the Grandview Speedway, Bechtelsville, PA.


Dave Kelly won the Modified Stock Car race at the Bridgeport Speedway, Bridgeport, NJ.


Richie Eurich won the Modified Stock Car race at the Orange County Fair Speedway, Middletown, NY.


Dave Lape won the Modified Stock Car race at the Fonda Speedway, Fonda, NY.


Fred Orchard won the Sportsman Stock Car race at the Bridgeport Speedway, Bridgeport, NJ.


Lynn Paxton won the Super Sprint Car race at the Selinsgrove Speedway, Selinsgrove, PA.


Jay Myers won the Super Sprint Car race at the Lincoln Speedway, Abbottstown, PA.


Keith Kauffman won the Super Sprint Car race at the Port Royal Speedway, Port Royal, PA.


Note:  That was 32 years ago - 4/18/1981.  Rahmer, Eurich, Lape and Kauffman are still at it!




Darrell Waltrip wins the NW Bank 400 over Terry Labonte at the North Wilkesboro Speedway , North Wilkesboro, NC.




Bruce Field wins the USAC Midget race at the Winchester Speedway, Winchester, IN.





Lealand McSpadden wins the USAC Midget race and Rick Hendrix wins the USAC TQ Midget race at the Ventura Raceway, Ventura, CA.




Rusty Wallace wins the First Union 400 over Kyle Petty at the North Wilkesboro Speedway , North Wilkesboro, NC.




John Andretti wins the Goody's Body Pain 500 over Jeff Burton at the Martinsville Speedway , Martinsville, VA.




J.J. Yeley wins the USAC Midget race at the Madera Speedway, Madera, CA.




Rusty Wallace wins the Advance Auto Parts 500 over Bobby Labonte at the Martinsville Speedway , Martinsville, VA.







Some racin’ stuff:


Are you an Indy Car fan?  How about the 500?  When do you think it was at it’s highest in popularity?


At What Point Was the '500' at the Peak of Its Popularity?


Link:  http://www.trackforum.com/forums/showthread.php?174794-At-What-Point-Was-the-500-at-the-Peak-of-Its-Popularity




I was watching Wind Tunnel the other night – Dave Despain seems to have the same thoughts that I’ve had for some time now – a Cup race at Bristol, on dirt.  As he said, the spring race really didn’t draw all that good, fan wise, so maybe covering that ½ mile with dirt, again, as they did for the WoO Sprint Cars some years back, might be a way to get butts in those seats.  Those that run Bristol did have a major complaint though, when it was covered with dirt – it made the place dirty.  So, now I’m wondering – would having the place packed with fans offset the cost of hauling in the red clay and the after race clean up?


And on this subject – if NASCAR wants to make it like a regular Saturday night race – I’ll go along with time trials, heat races, a consi or two and maybe a 100 lap feature – BUT – if ya don’t qualify, ya go home – no money – no points – no guaranteed starters – earn your way into the feature!



Aston Martin reveals hydrogen powered race car: seeking PR, performance or both?


Link:  http://autos.yahoo.com/blogs/motoramic/aston-martin-reveals-hydrogen-powered-race-car-144517852.html




NASCAR could take closer look at sponsorships


Link:  http://news.yahoo.com/nascar-could-closer-look-sponsorships-173107061.html




From what I’ve been told, there are some that are working on another “Racing Expo” to be held at the Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, NJ – where I saw my first ever Midget race, back in 1946.  There have been previous Expos at Hinchliffe, and they’ve been held on the Sunday of the Labor Day Weekend.  As far as I know, that would be the date for the next Expo.

However, the stadium did make the news the other day:


Hinchliffe Stadium – to be an Historical Landmark


Link:  http://news.yahoo.com/nj-city-seeks-capitalize-twin-landmarks-163442587.html





Chasing Hendrick 'not in spirit' of NASCAR rules?


Link:  http://sports.yahoo.com/news/chasing-hendrick-not-spirit-nascar-204110378--nascar.html





Motor racing-Women lack 'mental aptitude' for F1, says Moss


Link:  http://sports.yahoo.com/news/motor-racing-women-lack-mental-aptitude-f1-says-160216322--f1.html





Coming up:

Accord got rained out last Friday night.  So far, the forecast for this coming Friday isn’t all that great, either.  Showers around 2:00 PM and Thunderboomers around 8:00 PM – as of 10:00 PM on Wednesday.

However, for Accord:

April 19th Opening Night for 2013! Scott Harvey Memorial Night sponsored by Mombaccus Excavating. Six divisions are ready for side by side racing action - Racing Modifieds, Sportsman, Spec Sportsman, Pro Stock, Pure Stock and Fireball 4 Cylinders. $2 off admission price for the first 50 adult grandstand general admission race fans! Indoor seating available also. Pit gates open at 4:30 Spectator gates open at 5 Racing at 7. See you at the races!



At OCFS, this coming Saturday, the 358 Small Block Modifieds will be part of the program, while the Rookie Sportsman get a night off.  It should be interesting to see how many SB’s show up.   As of 10:00 PM on Wednesday, the forecast is quite promising for the Middletown area.




Found on Jayski’s website:



Keselowski lashes out at NASCAR UPDATE - no fine: #2-Brad Keselowski lashed out at NASCAR officials after Saturday's race at Texas Motor Speedway because of NASCAR inspectors forcing his team to change the rear-end housing in the #2 Ford before the race. Both cars for Penske Racing, including teammate #22-Joey Logano, had to make the change moments before the race. Logano barely made it out in time for the green flag. Logano started in the back, but finished fifth. Keselowski finished ninth. "I have one good thing to say," Keselowski said. "That's my team and effort they put in today in fighting back with the absolute bull that's been the last seven days in this garage area. The things I've seen over the last seven days have me questioning everything that I believe in, and I'm not happy about it. I don't have anything positive to say and I probably should just leave it at that."

But he didn't. Knowing major penalties are likely for his team, the defending Sprint Cup champion made his feelings clear. "There's so much stuff going on ... you have no f------ idea what's going on,'' he said. "And that's not your fault and that's not a slam on you. I could tell you there's nobody, no team in this garage with the integrity of the 2 team. And the way we've been treated over the last seven days is absolutely shameful. I feel like we've been targeted over the last seven days more than I've ever seen a team targeted. But my guys kept their heads on straight and they showcased why they are a winning team and championship team. We're not going to take it. We're not going to be treated this way."(see more at ESPN.com)(4-14-2013)


UPDATE: Interviewed Monday morning on Fox Business, NASCAR Chairman Brian France said Keselowski would not be fined for his comments Saturday night. France said he disagrees with everything Keselowski said, but understands that he was blowing off steam. France also defended NASCAR's fine of Denny Hamlin earlier in the year.(4-15-2013)



NASCAR Penalties announced for three teams: Penalties have been handed down to three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams following last Saturday's race at Texas Motor Speedway. The #56 car was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20-12.8.1B (the car failed to meet the minimum front car heights during post-race inspection) of the 2013 rule book.

As a result of this violation, crew chief Chad Johnston has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until June 5. The team has also been docked six championship driver (Martin Truex Jr.) and six championship owner (Michael Waltrip) points.

The #2 and #22 cars have also been penalized. Both cars were found to be in violation of Sections 12-1; 12-4J and 20-12 (all suspension systems and components must be approved by NASCAR. Prior to being used in competition, all suspension systems and components must be submitted, in a completed form/assembly, to the office of the NASCAR Competition Administrator for consideration of approval and approved by NASCAR. Each such part may thereafter be used until NASCAR determines that such part is no longer eligible. All suspension fasteners and mounting hardware must be made of solid magnetic steel. All front end and rear end suspension mounts with mounting hardware assembled must have single round mounting holes that are the correct size for the fastener being used. All front end and rear end suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension component beyond normal rotation or suspension travel.)

As a result of this violation and as it pertains to the #2 car the following penalties have been assessed:

· Crew chief Paul Wolfe has been fined $100,000 and suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.

· Car chief Jerry Kelley, team engineer Brian Wilson and team manager Travis Geisler (serves as team manager for both the #2 and #22 cars) have been suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.

· The loss of 25 championship driver (Brad Keselowski) and 25 championship owner (Roger Penske) points.

As it pertains to the #22 car the following penalties have been assessed:

· Crew chief Todd Gordon has been fined $100,000 and suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.

· Car chief Raymond Fox and team engineer Samuel Stanley have been suspended from NASCAR until the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events (including the non-points Sprint All-Star Race) and placed on probation until Dec. 31.

· The loss of 25 championship driver (Joey Logano) and 25 championship owner (Walt Czarnecki) points.(NASCAR)




Penske Racing to appeal penalties: "Penske Racing received communication today from NASCAR regarding penalties they have issued against the #2 and #22 teams. Penske Racing will appeal utilizing the appropriate NASCAR process. We have no further comment at this time."(Penske Racing Facebook)(4-17-2013)




Statement by MWR regarding penalty: The following statement is in response to Wednesday's penalty issued by NASCAR to Michael Waltrip Racing. "Michael Waltrip Racing is sensitive to working within the guidelines of NASCAR policy. This infraction clearly occurred as a result of a malfunction caused by race conditions. Therefore, we will not appeal. We thank NASCAR for providing a fair and equitable platform for all of its competitors and respect its decisions."(MWR)(4-17-2013)




Kansas officials: Expect longer waits: Fans attending NASCAR events at Kansas Speedway this weekend should expect slightly longer waits for security checks as a part of heightened security due to Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon. "We've had several meetings with our local contact with the Kansas police department which interphases with Homeland Security and the FBI," track president Pat Warren said on Tuesday. "We don't discuss publicly the things we do because we don't want somebody who might do something bad to know what our plans, policies and procedures are. What I would say is that we treat every event seriously, and we treat the safety and security of our fans seriously. Probably it's a good idea for people to plan on a little more time getting through the gates, having their backpacks checked, their coolers checked, those kind of things." Warren said track security policies and procedures are the same now that were put in place after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. In regards to a fan dying of a self-inflicted gunshot during last weekend's Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway, Warren said it always has been track policy based on state and local law not to allow weapons at events. "Certainly we're paying attention to what happened at Boston and we're not ignoring that," he said. "The policies and procedures we have in place we feel are sufficient. Certainly people are going to be paying more attention."(ESPN)(4-16-2013)






Dish Network to make bid for Sprint Nextel: Dish Network Corp, the No. 2 U.S. satellite television provider, offered to buy Sprint Nextel Corp for $25.5 billion in cash and stock, a move that could thwart the proposed acquisition of Sprint by Japan's SoftBank Corp. Sprint shares soared 16.2 percent to their highest level since September 2008, leaving them well above the value of the Dish offer on Monday. Dish's surprise bid is the latest development as the U.S. wireless business undergoes a wave of consolidation. Dish was already in the midst of an unsolicited offer for Clearwire Corp, the wireless company majority-owned by Sprint. Dish said it would pay $4.76 per share in cash and about 0.05953 shares in Dish stock for each Sprint share. The offer, which works out to $7 per share, represents a premium of roughly 12 percent to Sprint's close on Friday. Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. mobile services provider, agreed in October to sell 70 percent of its shares to SoftBank for $20 billion. No date has been set yet for a vote on that deal. Sprint declined to comment on the Dish offer.(Reuters)(4-15-2013)





Penske penalties will set precedent for Gen-6 cars: It might not have been all that tough a decision for NASCAR to confiscate rear-end housing and pieces from the Penske Racing cars Saturday afternoon. If the parts are illegal, they're illegal and must be removed. Now comes the hard part. The penalties. NASCAR has not taken a rear-end housing in Cup in nearly five years, with Kyle Busch having rear-end housing taken postrace in 2008 but then having it determined legal. With NASCAR having made several rules this year to reduce the amount of chicanery being done to the rear-ends the car, it is likely they're not going to treat Penske teams with kid gloves. The only question is how many points and if a suspension is involved. Because it is a new car, NASCAR doesn't really have precedent for what the penalties are. Whatever they do sets the bar for future "Gen-6" car penalties.

This will be an interesting week no doubt. Keselowski and team owner Roger Penske will be alongside NASCAR brass in meeting with President Barack Obama on Tuesday. So expect no penalties to be announced that day. Maybe Monday. More likely Wednesday.(Sporting News)(4-15-2013)





Chip Ganassi selling to John Menard? UPDATE:


Don't put too much stock in John Menard to buy Ganassi team rumors. Ganassi likes competing in various series and his NASCAR teams are showing a little improvement in recent weeks. That's not to say that Paul Menard couldn't end up taking his sponsorship to Ganassi, but he could pick other stronger operations to bring his money.(Sporting News)(4-15-2013)





Truex, Jr's car too low UPDATE: NASCAR determined that second place finisher #56-Martin Truex, Jr's car was "too low in the front" in postrace inspection. NASCAR will examine it further and address any possible penalties early in the week.(4-14-2013)


UPDATE: Martin Truex Jr. faces a possible six-point penalty for the front of his car being too low following his second-place finish in the NRA 500 Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway. Crew chief Chad Johnston said the shocks on Truex's car would not rebound after the race. "We tried to pull the shaft out of the body, and it's just (stuck)," he said. "There's something going on, whether it's debris (inside) or parts and pieces of the shock." NASCAR will announce any penalties in the next few days. Being too low in tech cost Kyle Busch six points in 2011 and a $25,000 fine for his crew chief.(Sporting News)(4-14-2013)





NASCAR takes parts from both Penske cars UPDATE: Sprint Cup champion #2-Brad Keselowski, teammate #22-Joey Logano and their Penske Racing teams face potential penalties as NASCAR confiscated rear-end housing parts and pieces from their cars during prerace inspection Saturday at Texas Motor Speedways. The teams frantically worked to replace the pieces an hour prior to the scheduled start of the NRA 500. "We're taking (rear-end) housing and some other things. & It's a group of pieces that surrounds the rear suspension area," NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said. "It's just something that is not in the spirit of the rules." Pemberton said the sanctioning body would not eject the crew chiefs from the speedways and the drivers would keep their starting positions for the race Saturday night. Any penalties could be announced as early as Monday, although NASCAR typically waits until Tuesday to announce penalties. Possible penalties typically could include points penalties, fines and crew suspensions. (Sporting News)(4-13-2013)


UPDATE: Keselowski was able to keep his 16th-place starting spot. But both teams might be in for penalties due to parts that Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president for competition, told reporters were "not in the spirit of the rule." "In pre-race inspection they felt like there was something that was a questionable item that they wanted replaced," said Travis Geisler, Penske's director of competition. "We replaced all the parts in question. They have them all. We're working through the process here as it goes to get through inspection. Unfortunately a little tighter timeline here than we'd like to be on, but I certainly understand their position and don't disagree with where they are." The Penske vehicles were the last two vehicles in the garage area, and Keselowski's car successfully cleared the laser inspection platform as driver introductions wound down. Crewmen continued to scramble under the rear of the #22 car, which needed three passes to get though the laser platform, and passed the final stages of inspection just as the command to start engines was given. "That's what these guys do for a living, so it's not really a crisis," Geisler said of the 11th-hour changeover. "We do those kinds of things during practice at times. Everybody's set up for it. It's obviously not expected at this point in the day, but that's racing. You have to expect the unexpected, and that's the way it goes." Having gotten the cars on track in time for the start of the race, the Penske team now faces the prospect of penalties from NASCAR. "We always have a good, open dialogue with them. They'll keep us in the loop about how they feel about what's going on there," Geisler said. "I'm sure well all discuss that in the upcoming days."(NASCAR.com)(4-14-2013)


UPDATE 2: If garage gossip is to be believed, somebody dropped a dime on NASCAR champion Brad Keselowski and his Penske Racing team at Texas Motor Speedway. The story blowing like wildfire Monday through NASCAR goes like this: Keselowski was parked at Texas next to Jimmie Johnson, while teammate Joey Logano was further down the garage parked next to Jeff Gordon. The assigned spots gave Hendrick Motorsports crews crystal clear views of the Penske cars all weekend As the story goes, there may have been eavesdropping on team chatter over the scanner during practice runs. Did someone from Hendrick ask NASCAR to take a closer look at the Penske cars? On race day, NASCAR inspectors were indeed sniffing around looking for an infraction. What they found in the rear-end housings on the #2 and #22 Fords were confiscated - Logano barely made the start of the race - though NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton curiously avoided a very important word in explaining the problem with the Penske cars. Pemberton never said the cars were illegal.

When the dust settles, crew chiefs Paul Wolfe and Todd Gordon will likely be sidelined for several weeks while Keselowski and Logano are stripped of critical points in the standings. Remember, it will be for something that hasn't been deemed illegal, at least not yet. It's more likely this is a case of something in development that the Penske crew was trying and NASCAR decided was too close to the edge. And there's the rub in all of this. NASCAR gets to decide when a team has crept too close to a non-existent line in the rule book.

Should the Penske organization get hit with stiff penalties this week, then NASCAR needs to answer the what, why and how to help everyone understand exactly what is and isn't "in the spirit of the rule."(Associated Press)(4-16-2013)






Former OVRP Dirt Oval runners:


Have a little more to report on this week.


Roger Coss was 5th in the Modified feature at Mahoning, Nick Pecko was 13th, while Tiffany Wambold was a DNQ in the Street Stocks.

Paul Quear (Queer?) was a DNS at Borgers in the wingless 600 Micro Sprints.

Bobby Hackel, IV was 10th, Kyle Armstrong 17th and Kolby Schroder 24th in the Modified feature at Lebanon Valley.

Danny Creeden was 11th in the RoC Modified race at 5 Mile.  Tyler Boniface was 2nd, Tyler Dipple 3rd and Kyle Rohner 7th in the Sportsman feature.

At OCFS, in the Modified feature, Tim Hindley was 2nd, Billy VanInwegen 3rd, Mike Ruggiero 14th, Clinton Mills 17th and Danny Creeden 24th.  Joey Bruning, who I believe was running a 358 Small Block, did not qualify for the feature.  In the Sportsman feature, Tyler Dipple was 2nd, Brian Krummel 3rd, Tyler Boniface 5th, Joe Conklin 6th, Matt Janiak 10th, Joey Falanga 16th, John Illanovsky 18th, LJ Lombardo 21st, Anthony Perrego 23rd and Zach Vavricka is shown as 25th in the tracks run down, but shown as a DNQ in another set of results.  Seth Pacella won the Rookie Sportsman feature.


From what I see, that’s 25 names this week.  I’d be interested in seeing how many other Kart tracks have “graduated” Kart drivers up into larger forms of racing.







News from the AARN:



Note:  Don’t forget – if you’re a subscriber to the AARN, you can have the free digital version.  That is available on Tuesday mornings.


From their April 16th edition – picked up from the Digital Service:



Lenny Sammons:


He makes mention of Tyler Walker making a return to the Pennsylvania area to run a Sprint Car.  Walkers problems with drugs, his being banned by NASCAR, and there not really being any drug testing at local tracks is also covered, along with news that one driver (at least) will hold the Sprint Car owners responsible if there are any problems with Walker racing.



Ernie Saxton:


Ernie complains (as most of us do) about “Snail mail” and the fact that something was mailed to him from the AARN, in Trenton, to his house in Langhorne, Pa – a distance of about 12 miles, and it taking 11 days from the time it was mailed.


He quotes a message sent to him from a disgruntled race fan about how to save the Indy 500.  Said fan thinks there should be a 500 mile race at Indy on Labor Day, with front engined cars only, and an invitation extended to every Sprint Car driver in the country.  Said race fan makes mention of how the American race fan cannot relate to rear engine cars or drivers from places like Brazil.

At the very end o fhis column, he makes mention that Bruton Smith has told a few in the media,  that he has a sponsor for the pit stop competition for the All-star weekend – an event that, as of now, will not be held due to lack of a sponsor.



Jeff Ulrich:


Jeff tells us that Denny Bonebrake, who has been racing Late Models since 1968, is looking to wind down his career.  Bonebrake has scored wins in five decades, with close to 220 feature wins. 



Todd Heintzelman:


Makes mention of the Tommy Hinnershitz Memorial Spring Classic for Sprint Cars being held this coming Friday night. 

Note:  Believe it or not, but this writer has only been to the “Grove” one time – back in 1951, for the Ted Horn Memorial race.  My father was a huge Bill Schindler fan, and Schindler was in that race, and from what I can recall, it was the last race of the season, and Schindler and Hinnershitz were in a fight for the championship here in the East.  Later, I found out there were a couple of more races down in the Carolinas.  That Ted Horn Memorial race ended up being the Ted Horn/Bill Schindler Memorial race, after Schindler was fatally injured.  I wonder why the Grove dropped that event?



Mike Mallett:


Tells us that after the RoC race at 5 Mile, Bobby Varin is leading in points.  Kinda hard to believe that Dale Plank, in Larry Wight’s 99L did not qualify for the feature at 5 Mile – having finished 8th in the consi.



Deb Smith:


Deb has a whole page about the ARDC, its drivers and the 2013 season.  Quite a few rookies will be with the ARDC this season:  Austin Burke, Tony DiMattia, John Barnett, Jr. and Kyle Lick, to name some.  They’ll do battle with a host of ARDC regulars – names like Craig, Bull, Heydenreich, Heistand, Penny and Courtwright.



Don & Jo Ann Davies:


It looks like Matt Sheppard will be traveling to Albany/Saratoga on Fridays and Lebanon Valley on Saturdays in 2013.  Pro Stocks have been added to the “Big Show 5” on July 9th, at A/S.



Steve Barrick:


Steve had a write-up on the tire test at Pocono with some Indy Cars.  About 400 fans were in attendance throughout the 8 hour testing session.  Marco Andretti turned several laps over 218 MPH.  Will Power topped out at 216, while Dario Franchitti and Simon Pageanud were at 215. 

Note:  Seeing a little on this test, and a driver interview on TV, Dario was, in a way, kinda shook up at the speeds.  The race – a 400 miler – is scheduled for July 7th.



Chuck Bollinger:


Tells us that Ed Lynch was in the Kevin Bolland # 777 Modifed at Lernerville.  Bolland, under suspension from DIRT Modified competition due to a lawsuit against the World Racing Group, does not know if he’ll race in 2013, or not.  His car and trailer are for sale.



John Snyder:


I have to agree with John and his take on the after race “tech” that NASCAR has.  Hey, if the car passes the pre-race tech. it should pass the after race tech, too, as far as body stuff goes.  John wonders if there is/was a vendetta against the Penske drivers.  I think so.  It will be interesting to see what is down the road for Brad Keselowski, after his little talk with the media after the Texas race.

John makes mention of the Big Block drivers being able to run the Small Blocks at OCFS in 2013, and ends his column with:  “Shades of the old Danny v Brett rivalry of the early 1990’s”

Sorry, John, no where close to that rivalry.  Brett by-passes OC for the Valley on Saturday nights, and one can’t blame him for that.  He does, after all, race for a living.  Granted, if he ran at OC he more than likely would be its driving champion, but from what this writer has heard, getting 9 grand at the Valley kinda off sets the 2500 one gets at OC for the championship.  On top of that, Brett runs at A/S on Fridays, too, and will be promoting another one of his “Big Shows” at that track.  I am not aware if that was ever brought up when Brett ran Accord a couple of years ago.  From what I’ve heard, Accord, although wanting desperately to add more seating, has not had the approval of the town to do so.  As for the “Doctor” – who really knows.  Have to admit it – that rivalry sure was exciting and drew the fans.



Scott Pacich:


Scott makes a return to his “Kodak Moments”, so to say.  He makes mention of:

Ray Tilley’s crash at Puke Hollow in Langhorne, Maynard Troyer barrel rolling at Daytona (19 times he counted!), Geoff Bodine hitting the wall, head on, right in front of him, at Langhorne, Al Tasnady, anywhere and in any car, Bobbt Hauer gong through the turns at Reading, with his front wheels in full  lock, turning right, Johnny Botz leaving the ball park at Reading after he never lifted going into the third turn, Billy Osmun trailing fire while driving Jay Stong’s 505 at Nazareth on the ½ mile, then pulling into the pits.  The car burned up.  Buzzie, in a coupe, of course.  Ron Zuckerman, while starting his racing career, flipping the former Carl Van Horn driven Garrett 2A coupe on the OCFS backstretch, and seeing his helmet come flying out when the car stopped.  No one wanted to pick up that helmet, fearing what it might have inside.  It was empty.  Getting the call about Toby being fatally injured at Flemington.  Dave Kneisel’s Pacer bodied Modified.  Roger Penske taking their Indy Car to Wall Stadium to see if they corrected the problems they had, when CART had a race at the Meadowlands.  AJ Foyt, sitting on a golf cart and scowling at Scott as he took his picture.

Note:  I have to tell you a little story hear about AJ.  The late John LeVan, who is really the one responsible for me getting into this writing business, was at Trenton for an Indy Car race.  AJ was in conversation with another person, and LeVan stood off to the side, waiting for them to finish, before he would attempt to take a photo of AJ.  When the two were finished, AJ looked over at LeVan, and asked if he could help him.  LeVan asked if he could take a photo.  AJ obliged.  Later on, when LeVan was at the end of pit road, who comes down pit road, ready for some practice laps, but AJ.  AJ, seeing  LeVan there, with his camera, flipped up his face shield so LeVan could get a photo that would show AJ’s eyes, etc.

Mario Andretti, at the Meadowlands, inviting Scotts late sister-in-law to join him in a photo Scott was going to take.  The TQ races at the 1/10 mile track in Pine Brook, NJ – the best years of his life, being there with his kids.  And, last but not least, spending time with Stan Lobitz in his barn in Hazelton, PA, and seeing the history that the barn holds.

Note:  I’ve been in A barn in Hazelton, but have yet to be in THE barn that houses all of the stuff that Lobitz has.  Maybe some day?




Race driver Jimmy Smith, 62, passed away after running a heat race at Thompson.  Also listed as passing away are former car owner Dewey Cali and drag racer/Indy driver Art Malone.


Logan Schuchart will drive a replica Weikert # 29 at the Port Royal Bob Weikert Memorial race.  Heat winners will get $100.00 in memory of Jerry Reigle.  Logan is a grandson of Bobby Allen.  Jerry was a well known Motor Sports writer, who left us way too soon, losing a battle with cancer.  He was always the “Life of the party” at the EMPA Conventions when I was a member.


The June 9th NASCAR race at Pocono will be known as the “Party in the Poconos 400 presented by Walmart


Some items covered in this week issue:


Jester, Ellliott

Claim Opening Night

Delaware International




Long Time Paved Track Driver

Jimmy Smith Suffers Heart Attack

At Thompson, Dies


Friesen Gets RoC Job Done

At Five Mile

After Prior '13 Disappointments



Stefanik Breaks The Ice,

Rejuvenates Career

With NASCAR WMT Opener Win



VonDohren, Manmiller

Split Grandview 358 Mod Twin 35s



Young Kochenash Sweeps

Mahoning Mod, Late Model Features



Fast Freddie

Is Sunday Susky 410 King



Kyle Busch Sweeps Cup,

Nationwide Races At Texas



New Team Clicks:

Doug Esh, Chappellis 

Claim Port Royal 410 Victory



IndyCar Pocono Tire Testers

Shatter Track Record








Press releases:


NEWS FROM                                                                                                             

Orange County Fair Speedway                                                                                    

239 Wisner Avenue                                                                                                    

Middletown, NY10940 



Mike Gurda







MIDDLETOWN, NY (April 12)……..With Opening Night jitters out of the way, the more than 100 Orange County Fair Speedway race car drivers are primed for the second night of exciting stock car racing Saturday night, April 20 at the historic Middletown, New York track. Following a lapse of several years, this week marks the return of the Small Block Modifieds to the Hard Clay on a regular basis. The Small Block Modifieds, previously known as 358 Modifieds, will see action ten Saturday nights this season as well as the traditional Eastern States Championship race.


“With our Sportsman division going to “Crate” engine specs, many of our former Sportsman teams had engines more suited to Small Block Modified status,” said Orange County promoter Mike Gurda. “We’ve also listened to our fans who remember the exceptional competitiveness of this division in the past. And as in the past, our Modified drivers will be eligible to compete in both divisions, giving fans a chance to see our top stars racing in two feature events.”


The sponsor for the night of action is Johnston Toyota of Middletown and Monticello , with racing action getting under way at 6:30 PM.


Admission prices for the April 20 race meet remain at $14 adults, $12 seniors, and free for children 12 and under.


With just a month until the thrilling World of Outlaws Sprint Cars return to Orange County on Sunday, May 19, advance ticket sales and track information is available at the website, www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net, or from at the Track Office. Call 845-342-2573 during business hours.





News from Friesen-Deyo Promotions – Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. ‘Dirty Jersey 60’

Media Contact: Brett Deyo – 845.728.2781 or Deyo99H@aol.com

For Immediate Release/April 17, 2013

Big-Block Modifieds Return To New Egypt Speedway On June 18 With Super DIRTcar Series Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. ‘Dirty Jersey 60’ Event;  Stan Friesen Memorial Lap 52 Among Bonuses Adding Up As Inaugural Race Approaches

NEW EGYPT, NJ – They’re back!

On Tuesday night, June 18, the big-block Modifieds return to New Egypt Speedway for the inaugural running of the Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. ‘Dirty Jersey 60’ Super DIRTcar Series event. The first Super DIRTcar Series stop in New Jersey since 2007 is a Friesen-Deyo Promotions special co-promoted by Stewart Friesen and Brett Deyo.

During the off-season, 358-Modifieds were named the Saturday night headline division at New Egypt, replacing the big-blocks. The ‘Dirty Jersey 60’ marks a return of the 467 cubic inch engines to the first-class 7/16ths-mile D-shaped facility.

The program also ends a long absence for the Northeast’s premier dirt Modified touring series at New Egypt. The most recent Super DIRTcar Series stop at the Garden State facility was Oct. 13, 2007 with Twins 50s won by Keith Hoffman of Whitehall, Pa., and Matt Sheppard of Waterloo, N.Y.  A total of 12 Super DIRTcar Series events have been contested at NES: the first June 18, 1998 through the aforementioned ’07 date.

A massive $27,500 purse has been posted for the event with a minimum of $6,000 earmarked for the winner.  Joining the big-block Modifieds on the program is the first ‘Turnpike 25’ featuring Open vs. Crate Sportsman vying for a minimum top prize of $750.

Rules and event information have been posted on the ‘Dirty Jersey 60’ website at www.bdmotorsportsmedia.com outlining prices, a complete time schedules, specs for both divisions and more.

A number of special awards are coming together for competitors in the event.

The 52nd lap of the 60-lap big-block Modified event is dedicated to the memory of the late driver, promoter and friend of the sport Stan Friesen. The patriarch of the Friesen family passed away during the off-season, leaving a large void in the dirt Modified community.

In honor of his grandfather’s memory, $10 will be posted to lap 52 (his former car number) each time Stewart Friesen wins a feature event leading up to June 18. Currently, very early in the season, his total stands at two ($20) following victories at Volusia (Fla.) Speedway Park and Five Mile Point (N.Y.) Speedway. Stewart Friesen has led the Northeast in victories twice during the last three years, meaning the lap-52 bonus could be lucrative for the race leader.

Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, N.Y., will reward the ‘Dirty Jersey 60’ winner with a guaranteed starting spot in their New Yorker 200 special on Labor Day (Monday, Sept. 2). The fully paid position is worth a minimum of $400. The 100-lap event pays $10,000 to the winner and $400 to take the green flag.

BFP Specialty in Bethel, Pa., owned and operated by Jason Bashore, has signed on to offer a $500 certificate toward the purchase of a new body for a Modified driver finishing 11th or worse (including non-qualifiers). The recipient will be decided by a random draw.

The ‘Hard Luck Award’ for the program is backed by Shiley Fabrication of Williamstown, Pa., and will reward a Modified driver enduring misfortune with a front bumper, rear bumper and left- and right-side rubrails.

Previously announced, Avis - serving the Jersey Shore with locations in Monmouth, Ocean and Burlington counties – presents the $300 cash “We Try Harder” Award for a Modified driver recovering from early obstacles to salvage a respectable finish.

For Sportsman racers, the event winner or first Crate competitor across the line will receive a spot in the ‘Last Chance Qualifier’ to be held at the Black Rock (N.Y.) Speedway ‘Crate Classic’ on Saturday, Nov. 9. The historic event pays $4,000 to the winner and $400 to start.

Marketing opportunities remain for the ‘Dirty Jersey 60’ inaugural event. Lap sponsorships are on sale for the Modifieds ($25 per lap) and Sportsman ($20 per lap).  To inquire about lap or bonus award sponsorships, contact Brett Deyo at Deyo99H@aol.com or by phone: 845.728.2781.

For the ‘Dirty Jersey 60’ pit gates will unlock at 4 p.m.  Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. Hot laps are planned for 6:45 p.m. and Modified qualifying begins at 7:15 p.m.  A rain date for Wednesday, June 19 has been established.


To learn more about Friesen-Deyo Promotions or the 'Dirty Jersey 60' log onto www.bdmotorsportsmedia.com, "like" BD Motorsports Media on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bdmotorsportsmedia or follow on Twitter @BrettDeyo.

The ‘Dirty Jersey 60’ is presented by Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc., Avis Rental Car, Shiley Fabrication, BFP Specialty, Utica-Rome Speedway, Black Rock Speedway, VP Racing Fuels and many other fine marketing partners

About New Egypt Speedway

Located in New Egypt, N.J., New Egypt Speedway features a daylight-quality lighting system and excellent sightlines from any seat in the house. There are clean, heated restrooms, a monitored playground area for young fans and restaurant-quality concession stands serving up a full menu at family style prices. The racy, 7/16ths-mile clay oval hosts tight, wheel-to-wheel, all-out competition. New Egypt Speedway’s GPS address is 720 Route 539 New Egypt, NJ 08533 and the speedway website is www.newegyptspeedway.net.

About Friesen-Deyo Promotions

A collaboration between dirt Modified standout driver Stewart Friesen and special events promoter and motorsports writer Brett Deyo, Friesen-Deyo Promotions anticipates its first event at New Egypt Speedway in June 2013 with a goal of additional events in the future.





I get e-mails:



The media doesn't give us all the story as to why Speaker Boehner did what he did


Subject : Rest of the story!!



This is why Speaker of the House John Boehner would not sign off on the $51 BILLION relief bill for Hurricane Sandy and Chris Christie made a big stink over it........turns out Boehner knew what he was doing......



If you think the government doesn't have a spending problem, just check the items added to the Hurricane Sandy Relief bill sent by the Senate to the House. Do any of them have any relation to the hurricane?


$4 million for the Kennedy Space Center .


$8 million to buy cars and equipment for the Homeland Security and Justice departments.


$20 million for a nationwide "Water Resources Priorities Study".


$41 million for eight military bases including Guantanamo Bay .


$56.8 million for charting the debris from last year's Japanese tsunami.


$58.8 million for forest restoration on private land.


$100 million for the federal Head Start day care program.


$150 million in funding for Alaskan fisheries.


$188 million for new Amtrak lines (not repair, whole new lines).


$197 million "to. protect coastal ecosystems and habitat impacted by Hurricane Sandy."


$5.3 billion to the Army Corps of Engineers (that's more than their annual budget).


$10.78 billion for public transportation, most of which is allocated to future construction and improvements, not disaster relief.


$13 billion would go to "mitigation" projects to prepare for future storms.


$17 billion for wasteful Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), a program that has become notorious for its use as a backdoor earmark program.


How does any of this have anything to do with immediate emergency relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy?


Harry Reid passed this through the Senate then sent them all home, so that the House couldn't send it back in time to remove the pork. All they could do was vote it down. These Senators don't care about the victims of Sandy , it's all just business as usual.






Here’s a neat one that I received on Tuesday evening from another member of the Yahoo! Race History Group:


“After watching The Masters golf tournament last weekend I couldn't help but compare it to the Indianapolis 500. Both the Masters ("A Tradition Like No Other") and the Indianapolis 500 ("The Greatest Spectacle in Racing") have long histories going back many decades. And both have long winner's traditions. The Masters has the winner's green jacket and Indianapolis has the winner's bottle of milk in Victory Lane. And while both events have a champion each year just how that winner is determined in at least one of those events has changed greatly over the years.


When Adam Scott of Australia won the Masters last weekend he used the same skills and played under the same basic rules as did Horton Smith when he won the first event in 1934. And while he certainly had better equipment to play with than Smith the tournament itself is still conducted pretty much as it always has been.


The Indianapolis 500, on the other hand, bears little resemblance to earlier events at the Speedway in either the rules involved or how the race is conducted.


Every Indianapolis 500 from 1911 through 1978 was run in basically the same manner. Once the green flagged dropped you raced at whatever pace you were capable of until the end of the race. You pitted when you needed to but except for caution periods there was nothing to do but race if you wanted to either improve your position or just hold your own. But starting in 1979 it was determined that a pace car would bunch up the field under the caution so that any distance that the lead car might have earned on the track was taken away and the other cars behind were given a "do-over" and a chance to catch up or pass after the green came out again. That rule change was followed some years later with lapped cars and cars on different pit strategies being "waved around" if they happened to be between the leader and the pace car before the restart. Again, this resulted in certain cars being allowed to make up distance by the officials that the leader had earned on the track. But allowing some cars to catch up was considered secondary to possibly confusing the fans when the leader wasn't the first car to get the green flag as sometimes happened.


Tony Hulman was always adamantly opposed to the usage of a pace car to bunch up the field at Indianapolis. Even though pace cars had been used for that purpose for many years on the Championship Trail he always maintained that allowing slower cars to catch up under caution flag periods would undermine the integrity of the Indianapolis 500.


The next big change in how the Indianapolis 500 was conducted was the closing of the pits when a yellow flag was thrown. In earlier years the pits were always open and if you happened to be pitting under the green when the caution light came on it might put you at a disadvantage. But it might also just as easily work in your favor. In either case events on the track itself determined whether or not the caution light would come on. And the green would come out again as soon as possible regardless of where the leader was at the time. Today officials open and close the pits so that, once again, the cars that are behind get a chance to catch up to the leader. In fact, race officials have gotten more and more involved in impacting the outcome of the 500 over the years. After last year's 500 the Race Director admitted that he purposely stretched a late race yellow by several unnecessary laps because he was concerned that the leaders would otherwise not have enough fuel to complete 200 laps without pitting again. Anything to improve the "show" is apparently now fair game.


There are many other changes in the Indianapolis 500 that have taken place since 1978 and one way or another they have all been aimed at increasing the entertainment appeal of the event at the expense of it being an actual race. In fact, with all of the "do-overs" that now take place the race itself is more like the Indianapolis "50" or maybe the "75" since all that matters is being close to the front when the last nearly inevitable restart takes place. Unlike earlier 500's everything that has taken place previously in the race is basically meaningless today. Can you imagine the outcry if Augusta National gave all players the same score at the beginning of the final round of golf just to make things interesting?


It's certainly debatable whether or not these changes are part of the reason for the decline in the relative popularity of the Indianapolis 500 over the years. But the Masters has maintained the same traditional rules and style of play over the years to continued success as the tournament is far and away the most important golf event of the year just as it always has been. Conversely, the Indianapolis 500 is no longer even in the top ten in television audience size when compared to other forms of racing.


One way or another, the Indianapolis 500 of today bears little resemblance to those run through 1978. Whether it is the changes to Practice, the adoption of spec engines and chassis, or the constantly changing Time Trials rules there are no longer any constants that fans can use to compare to previous races.


From a historical perspective have all of these changes contributed to the decline in popularity of the Indianapolis 500 in recent years? The Masters tournament has steadfastly maintained the same basic procedures and operations over the years and is now more successful than ever. Would the 500 have been better off to have maintained an actual 500 mile race as it was originally intended to be run starting in 1911?


What thoughts does the Racing History Group have on this topic?”


And, a reply to the above:


“The 500 as an automobile race, as most all forms of auto racing no longer exists. During the earlier periods we had automobile racing, where men devoted all of their time and resources to the improvement of their cars for the purpose of outperforming their competitors. Little by little this method was converted to driver racing where all the drivers are compelled by rule to suffer the same automotive non-advantage. the results are obvious as you have stated.”


And, another response – seems that there might not be much of a difference between golf & Indy?


“I will open by noting that I am not a golfer- I played once and hated it. I mentioned this comparison to a co-worker who is a golfing "nut" and his strong response to the suggestion that the Masters has changed little over the years shocked me. Many of his comments are a reflection of our complaints about the Indianapolis 500. He pointed out that the Augusta course underwent changes in the 1970's and in the early 2000's. He also mentioned how in his view as an oldtimer that technologies such as graphite shafts, metal woods, huge drivers and weird putters have ruined the sport of golf. He claimed that the fan base has eroded due to the influx of foreign players from when he first visited the Masters with his father in the early nineteen fifties. He also remarked on how modern players have a workout regimen, which earlier players would have thought ridiculous. His final comment sounds familiar also "TV and marketing are the kings now."


My take away from the discussion was that `Masters' traditionalists are just as unhappy about the current state of their sport than racing traditionalists are about Indianapolis `500.'”



And quite a few more thoughts that have been sent:


“I've only been following racing since 1970 but I was involved in SCCA from about 1981-2008.  I've seen almost all professional racing change from a game of skill to become part of the entertainment industry.  The people in charge want racing to be more of a game of chance than a game of skill.  They believe fans don't want to see the best driver and team win every weekend.  The reason is of course money.  As a part of the entertainment industry, everyone in racing made more money.  As a game of skill, racing only appealed to a smaller, hardcore audience.   Unbelievable as it sounds, this change has even taken place in amateur roadracing, which nobody even watches.  Today's 'racer' wants to be handed a checkered flag, regardless of whether he/she has any skill at all.  Losing is 'mean' - it might hurt someone's 'feelings'.  I can't believe racing has come to this, but I saw it happen.”


In other words, there is no such thing as the good old days.


That's right”


“As I have so often remarked, the past is a great place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to have to live there.”


“For me the Legacy of  The Indianapolis 500 is about innovation and the ability to make the race with cars built in the shops of Americas innovators. Bud Wisecarver with the 2 911 engine attempt in 1967. The turbine cars, Grancor Millers and many others. I attended the race for the first time with 6 students last year in an attempt to connect our racing legacy with the need to inspire our youth to dream and set goals. When the race was over a number of students said that the hair on there arms was standing up when the cars passed at full speed.  We were able to see Zakiras shop and some of the Miller patterns. The work that was being performed on the remains and to reserect what they had to work with was really cool. We were able to have breakfast with Anita Millican and Johnny Parsons Jr. what fun that was. Our meeting with Mario Andretti was over the top. If the museum had a clue they would recreate the shops out back of the current museum and have one shop for every decade. With the tools of the time and a docent that would be able to use them and explain how they work. To know the future one must study the past not for romance but for guidance. Our goal is to build a recreation of an 1930's Indy car to give our students an experience that will be somthing that they will never forget. The feel of an open car the smell of the burned fuel and the sound of an offy at speed. If that will not crack the shell of electronics (cell Phones computer games) nothing will.

If you know of a great shop in the Indianapolis area please let me know I would love to show more of Americas racing history to my students. Our group will only be 4 people for the first couple of days. Feel free to call me with any ideas you may have.

This year we will take 12 students and young people that are interested in or are working in the automotive field.”


“James, you are doing a comendable job. Getting students interested in auto racing, and recreating a 1930's Indy car, is a great way to learn the "way it was." Im sure the folks at Zakiras Garage can give you and your group good advice.”


“Let me say up front that I feel much the same about the 500 as well as F1, Le Mans, and, actually, about a lot of things in life.  That said, I'm always wary of this lament and remember clearly my grandparents saying these kind of things about what was happening at that time (mostly the 1950s) in their area of concern/interest.  As a fellow old guy (soon to be 65) I work hard to keep my perspective and see things through today's eyes.  Do I long to see Indy roadsters, Vanwall GP cars, Cobra Daytona coupes, a Chaparral 2E, and P-38Fs?  You bet I do and most of my reading focuses on these things.  I've gone a step further to take my reading back to WWI aviation, the early races in the states, Brooklands, Pescara, the old Spa and the original Nurburgring and I can't get enough of it.  But, I'm careful not to believe that if only we could get younger people interested in these things they would be converted to our understanding and our way of thinking.  I remind myself that to the average 30-year old these are the good old days in making.  When I saw the Lotus 49 at Watkins Glen in 1965 I didn't realize then that there were racing fans who could hardly bear to look at a rear-engined GP car having grown up with pre-war Silver Arrows (minus the Auto-Union, of course) and '50s beauties like the Maserati 250F or the glorious Novi.”


“Had I been able to freeze in time the beautiful Ferrari 312, Parnelli's '63 roadster, and Ford Mk IV and advance no further I would have missed the iconic Trans-Am cars, the Bruce and Denny Show in Can-Am, the Thrust SSC, etc.  Even Bonneville, with its focus on "backyard" builds and the "run what you brung" attitude (I'm not suggesting the cars aren't safe but just timeless), has some modern landspeed attempts and under the hood of that iconic '29 Ford roadster rests an engine with a 2013 induction system and frames that are anything but ol' school frames dug from a junkyard.”


“We walk a tightrope with time and technology, always struggling to preserve the past while thinking in the present and the future.  I will forever first love racing from the 60s because that was my first real exposure to racing but I want to expand my horizons and appreciate what's coming down the road.”


“I hope you all can appreciate my sentiment, a struggling pragmatic approach to something that resides more strongly in the heart than in the mind.  I know that because when I hear and see that McLaren M8B Can-Am car my soul sings and my mind swoons.”



“Mr. Long, what a wonderful thing you are doing.  I applaud you!!!”


“Thank you Stan I had the luck of  having a number of Mentors growing up. You know the guy 20 plus years older that worked on his cars outside and would tolerate the kid from the neighbor hood asking questions and learning as they watched. In our modern world a number of trends have emerged to limit this activity. First is the tendency for older guys into cars to work in what is called a "man cave". This limits the ability for a kid to ride by and see this activity going on. The second trend is the weird neighbor issues. And last but not least is the it's good enough or the made In China syndrome.

We try to help our students understand the importance of quality work performed by all things hammers files and simple work performed to a quality standard. What is difficult is to find the youth who have a passion for something beyond video games.

Please if you can share your skills or time.”


“Roadsters would still fill the joint, if we could find enough "real racers" to fill the cockpit. Time changes all things and NASCAR now eclipses open wheel racing. I stay interested because sprint car racers now go there instead of Indy racing. Adapt or die, my Labrador is named Jud Larson.”


“Randall, you have given us some thoughtful comments. My two cents:


A big distinction between the Masters and the 500 is that the audience for the Masters can probably relate more at a personal level to the participants because they played golf last week and watching the best golfers will pump them up to improve their game next week. Back in the day, many of the fans at a 500 could relate somewhat to drivers because they ran at local tracks, or because maybe they were local drivers coming up through the then traditional career path for professional drivers. There were opportunities for local drivers who were good. Today, without the ability to rent a ride, the opportunities in the US for acquiring credentials as a good driver with Indy potential are very limited. However, opportunities still remain for a career path from USAC / local stock racing to NASCAR. Fans at a NASCAR track can relate to the drivers.


Apart from connecting to the drivers, I think there are a several reasons why Indy is not the same.


Indy racing has to compete with a broad array of motorsports, including of course NASCAR, for fans in the seats and TV audiences.


Indy racing has to compete with other forms of sports and entertainment.


Economics has controlled Indy racing for 50 years. As Chris Economaki noted in the classic interview he gave Dave Despain several years ago (highly recommended; it's on YouTube), sponsorship and aerospace technology started changing racing in the 1960s. Before then, the cost of racing was limited by prize money and the moderate funds put up by individual sportsmen/car owners. The prize money was in turn defined by the number of fans in seats. Sponsorship and later TV broadcasting opened up these financial limits. Aerospace technology opened up new ways to spend money. This technology/cost trend has not been unique to Indy - it has applied to all forms of racing (a friend of mine's sons used to race shifter karts; after every session on the track, they would download and analyze something like 10 types of data from the karts).


One unfortunate result from the changing economics is that today Indy fans have to accept whatever spec car the rule makers throw over the wall. That is not the case with NASCAR where the fans relate to not only the drivers but also to the different cars (I know ... it's a joke to think those are real Fords on the track, but it has apparently been sufficiently proven to the people that count - decision makers -- that this perception helps to bring fans out). Neither is it the case with Formula One, where fans see a variety of interesting cars and engines. Indy fans do get to see some differentiation with engines, but it is very limited. And of course diversity of equipment is no issue with the Masters. No one watches the Masters to see how the equipment performs.


I understand your comments about bunching up the field. But I also understand the case for doing it. It has become the accepted practice in almost all motorsports today (although I think the wave around is limited). I remember the days of "maintain your position," but the enforcement was judgmental on the part of officials and it was sometimes a scene where drivers would creep up a little until they got warnings. If I recall correctly, the system that was in place for several years that actually measured intervals was also criticized.


Lastly, there is the question about to what extent the Indy 500 should strive to be entertaining and a good show. My thought is that the Indy 500 has to be successful, and that successful racing means good TV ratings and a good crowd in the grandstands. This is so because, again, the key decision makers think that's what successful racing means.


Most of us would like to believe that successful racing and good racing go hand in hand, just as good football should lead to successful football. But if you ask decision makers such as in promoters, sponsors and TV executives which is the priority, I am sure they will say that it is successful racing and that means successful entertainment. (Of course, we should always remember that the ultimate decision makers are the fans and TV audience)


Their focus on successful racing has been a key factor in NASCAR's success. They believe that successful racing comes from a combination of good racing and good theater. It is good entertainment. Bunching up the field adds to drama and entertainment. A new rule that applies to Chevrolets only, to slow them down because the past five or so races suggest they have an advantage, is calculated to add to the entertainment. So is a mysterious yellow flag. This is not unique to NASCAR. Other levels of racing have for many years had a tradition of spicing up events for the sake of putting on a good show. That's what tidbits like the inverted start or the Australian pursuit are supposed to do.


I worry a lot about the 500, but I accept that the event we will see next month has been defined considerably by economics. That doesn't seem to me to have been the case way back in the day, like in 1956, my first year at the 500. It is easy for us to think today that, if IMS would just do X or Y, they would attract an innovative field of cars and engines and enhance the event. But the question is: who is it out there that is going to develop an innovative new car or new engine that hasn't already been solicited by decision makers? We aren't going to see another Edgar Elder build a pair of top-notch cars in the garage next to his house. Today, a Smokey Yunick would have to get someone to front very substantial sums for designs, non-recurring engineering, wind tunnels, etc. for one of his one-off creations.


However, despite all of these concerns, one thing has been very encouraging for me: the racing in past two 500s and throughout the last IndyCar season was probably as good as one could reasonably expect. It was good theater and it was genuine. I really look forward to next month.”



“At 10 or 12 years of age, I probably had as much seat time in Fronty Fords, Dryer  big cars, and local home built midgets as the regular drivers. The Gilmore and Richfield garages in my neighborhood had one or two race cars parked in a stall, or sometimes out front near the street. I was never turned down to climb in the cars and imagine what it would be like at speed. I found out years later.”


“Just how many times I won Indy sitting in the cockpit of Dad’s midget I’ll never remember.

Wonder if the old man ever knew just how often I was in the seat of that pretty little car of his sawing on the wheel!

Sure wish I could find it if it still exists.”


“What an incredible life to have lived during the Golden age and been able to ride in and drive the greats and still be alive to tell the story. Thank you for sharing.”





Note:  Not only did I post that original e-mail here, but also on the Track Forum.  Some comments can be seen, if you’re interested, here:






Found on Facebook:


Way before the term “politically correct” there was a term “freedom of speech” and every American had it.





US Senate declares the entire USA to be a "Battleground".


Note:  This could prove to be quite interesting.  Who knows now what we can expect from certain individuals!


Link:  http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-711747





A nice read about NASCAR, its drivers, by Monte Dutton:


Do They Owe Their Souls to the Company Store?


Link:  http://montedutton.com/blog/2013/04/14/do-they-owe-their-souls-to-the-company-store/




Liberals won't read and understand this truth!! What a shame!!


Under Obama, 660,000 Americans dropped off the job rolls…just last month. 90 million working-age, able-bodied Americans are no longer in the workforce. 90 million. The workforce participation rate is the lowest since 1979. For men it’s the lowest since 1948 (when record keeping began).


Almost 50 million Americans are on food stamps (20% of all eligible adults). 14 million are on disability. Milli...ons more are on welfare, unemployment, housing allowances, aid to dependent children, or 100 other free government programs. Now, add in free healthcare plus 22 million government employees. Record-setting numbers of Americans are emptying their retirement accounts to survive. Student loan debt is a national disaster- with defaults up 36% from a year ago. 16.4 million Americans live in poverty…in the suburbs. Every day under Obama the private sector shrinks, while the government grows like a toxic malignant tumor.


Obama promised to cut the deficit in half; instead he gave us five consecutive trillion dollar deficits. He promised to spend responsibly; instead he became the biggest spender in world history. He called Bush’s $4 trillion in debt over 8 years reckless, then proceed to pile on $6 trillion in only 4 years. He swore to be on the side of small business, but he added 6,118 new rules, regulations and mandates in just the last 90 days. He claimed taxes are low, yet he just raised taxes to the same level as bankrupt EU countries like Greece, Spain, Italy and France. Our federal income taxes are now far higher than former Soviet Republics.


Folks, this is Cloward & Piven. This is Karl Marx, who despised the middle class and vowed to wipe it out. This is Saul Alinsky (Obama’s mentor) who dedicated his book (Obama’s favorite book) to Lucifer, the devil.





Found on the Internet:


Found on Tuesday, on the Syracuse Forum:

If OCFS races on Saturday night why is it now Tuesday and still there's basically nothing to be found anywhere about what went on there? There's no results (except for web site on Monday) and no information out there like all the other tracks offer the fans. No wonder OCFS has had the fan base go south. The Record gives no coverage. The web site offers some pictures and no one seems to care about those who could not be there but might have an interest. OCFS has an issue with public relations. No wonder the joint is like a ghost town on most nights. No one knows it is there because there's no way word is getting out there to draw the fans it. It is a failure waiting to happen. A real shame that the place is in such bad shape. JMO on things.”


Note # 1:  This person hits the nail on the head – especially with it now being Tuesday and not one word and/or results in the Middletown Times Herald Record.  Heck, results given out even differ, believe it or not.


Note # 2:  I sent an email to the paper asking why nothing in the paper, as of Wednesday, as far as results from last Saturday.

I got this response:


“We have a policy that results from a live event must be sent to us the day it happens and run in the newspaper the following day. If something happens on Saturday, we expect the results on Saturday in order for it to appear in the newspaper on Sunday.”


Note # 3:  When I responded, thanking her, I also made mention that this must be a new policy, since I could swear that last year, and the year before, results were in the paper on Monday or Tuesday.


Her response:


“We have had too many coaches calling and emailing results either after deadline or the next day.


But, with any rule, there are exceptions, and if we find that holding the race tracks to this policy is not working, we will go back to printing the results on Monday.”





Note:  Remarkable how much things cost today, isn’t it?  Once it was hundreds, then thousands, then millions – now…………….


$500M Wrigley Field renovation headed for court?


Link:  http://news.yahoo.com/500m-wrigley-field-renovation-headed-220541966.html




From an email:

This is OT, but below are some excerpts from an AP article that hit the newswire this morning.


I remember that in 2002 the track had heightened security/inspections at every gate which slowed considerably, but with about 45 minutes to go it pretty much broke down; the inspectors were simply overwhelmed by the flow of the spectators trying to enter the track.  More recently, they have only seemed  to be checking for glass containers.


We will all probably have to arrive earlier this year.  



Kentucky Derby, Indy 500 Expected To Have Toughened Security Measures


April 16, 2013 8:22 AM



INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, more toughened measures are expected as security is calibrated for major upcoming sports events that draw big crowds, such as next month’s Kentucky Derby and Indianapolis 500 ...


… Indianapolis Motor Speedway spokesman Doug Boles said Monday’s attack will be a part of future meetings to review what precautions should be taken at the auto race.


“I guess this will bring a new topic or dialogue to those discussions, to see if there’s anything more we need to do to prepare with respect to what’s happened in Boston,” Boles said. “And we will learn more about that over the next couple of days, as the folks in Boston do, and we will be prepared for that.” 


In view of the Boston incident I cannot see how Indy 500 staff could ignore the potential for a similar catastrophe. The last Buffalo Bills game I attended - every person was individually searched at the gate and there was a huge pile of spectator items behind the staff that were collected and forbidden to be brought into the stadium.




Some non-racing stuff:


In previous columns, I’ve made mention of my failure to see charging stations for electric cars.  It was in the paper that New York will start installing them.  Now the questions can be:

1.     How much to charge a car, money wise & how would one pay?

2.     How many cars could be charged at a time?

3.     How long would it take to charge the batteries?

4.     If your car is charging, can someone come along, un-hook your car, and plug their car into the charger, at your expense?  Hmm talk about “Road rage”!


New York to install 360 stations to charge electric vehicles


Link:  http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/BH/20130411/NEWS/304110058/New-York-install-360-stations-charge-electric-vehicles?nclick_check=1




AP source: Immigration bill could exclude many


Link:  http://news.yahoo.com/ap-source-immigration-bill-could-073959024.html




This past Monday, I was not a happy camper when I read about how our pensions might get “robbed”, in the future.  I’m one of those fortunate ones to be able to have a small pension thanks to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.  They take over pensions of companies that have gone belly-up, like the one I worked for did.  Now, it looks like even those pensions could very well get cut back.  Really!  Ah, you gotta love this sh*t, folks.  I can see some real long “Bread lines” in our future!


Pension-law proposal would hit some retirees


Link:  http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pension-law-proposal-would-hit-some-retirees-2013-04-15?siteid=yhoof2




This coming September I’ll be 76.  Over my lifetime, I’ve only flown in a plane one time – from Philadelphia to El Paso, Texas – courtesy of the US Government (Army).  However, this, below is pretty scary, if you ask me:


How one person can take over a plane while it’s in flight, and not be in it!


"You can use this system to modify approximately everything related to the navigation of the plane... that includes a lot of nasty things"

Hugo Teso, a security researcher from German consultancy agency N.Runs, claims he can hijack an airplane's navigation systems using a smartphone app, radio transmitter, and flight software he purchased off eBay.

Speaking at this week's Hack in the Box conference in Amsterdam, Tesso "employed a Samsung Galaxy smartphone to demonstrate how he could adjust the heading, altitude, and speed of a virtual airplane by sending it false navigation data," reports InformationWeek.

"You can use this system to modify approximately everything related to the navigation of the plane," Teso tells Forbes. "That includes a lot of nasty things."

The smartphone app he developed, nicknamed PlaneSploit, takes advantage of a plane's Aircraft Communications Addressing and Report System (ACARS), which uses short transmissions to beam data between aircraft and satellites. The problem, says Teso, is that "ACARS has no security at all." Anyone can transmit fake data to alter an aircraft's trajectory.

Link:  http://news.yahoo.com/hacker-claims-crash-plane-165000127.html





Video time – music:


Remember Sha Na Na?  They had a TV show way back when.







Video time – racing stuff:


How about a video from OCFS from last Saturday – the second Sportsman heat:







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

Back on April 15, 2005, we lost racing great Art Cross, at the age of 87.  Here’s a photo of him taken prior to the 1954 Indy 500.  Story goes that Art first saw the Indianapolis Speedway by looking over a fence and watching the cars go bye.  He commented to some friends of his – “I can do that”.  And he did.  In 1952 he won the first Rookie of the race award, after finishing 5th.  The next year, 1953, which was one of the hottest 500’s ever, Art finished second behind Bill Vukovich.  Art was one of the few drivers that ran the whole 500 without relief, and he was one of the last drivers to have been in that race that passed away.  He led the 500 in 1954 and in 1955, before retiring.  Prior to racing Indy cars, he was one of the top drivers with the ARDC, a Midget club here in the Northeast.  In 1992 he was inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame.





Closing with these:

America was founded by geniuses but over 200 years later is now loaded with idiots. Read the evidence below and LIKE if you agree.


1. If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for being in the country illegally… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.


2. If you have to get your parents permission to go on a field trip or take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.


3. If you have to show identification to board an airplane, cash a check or check out a library book, but not to vote… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.


4. If the government wants to ban stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines with more than ten rounds, but gives 20 F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt... you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.


5. If, in our largest city, you can buy "two" 16-ounce sodas, but not a 24-ounce soda because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.


6. If an 80-year-old woman and 3 yr old child can be stripped searched by the TSA, but a woman in a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched… you might live in a country founded by geniuses but run by idiots.

More on these next week folks!





Until next week, folks!


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