Racin' & Different Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 144




Racin’ & short’ stuff:


I was quite disappointed to see only 8 cars in the Indy Lights race at Milwaukee.  Along with that, the empty stands.  No idea as to where the people were for that race, unless there was an additional admission above the Indycar race that was held later on in the afternoon, last Saturday.  I really did not check out each of those 8 drivers as to their nationality, but am wondering just how many are American drivers – American drivers that most of the fans (Other than those NASCAR fans, who are in a world of their own) have heard about or seen racing?


And as for the Indy Lights – This from the Track Forum:


“Both Lights and Star Mazda need to go away and come back when they actually have enough cars for an actual race.


When combined between the two series, you only have 18 cars at Milwaukee, that is laughable.”


Note:  Now these series are supposed to be the new “Road to Indy” racing events?  Kind of a dismal looking future for Indycar, I’d say.



I have a Hard Clay racing program from OCFS from back in 1977 – July 30th, more than likely.  In the “Sportsman” class, there are 214 names listed.  In the Modified class – 126 names.  Times sure have changed!  Yup, back then, if you didn’t get there early, you didn’t get a seat or a good seat.  The stands, first turn bleachers, covered stands, half covered and fourth turn bleachers were just plum full of bodies, as was the drive-in section.  On a weekly basis you would have 60- 70 cars for that “Sportsman” class.  Today, you might hit 70 cars total.  It’s called progress.



I wrote up a special article on the late Jason (LEFturn) Leffler.  It came out this past Tuesday on Dirt Track Digest - http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/

Go to Recent Columns and scroll down until you come to Jason “LEFturn” Leffler

and also it came out on Wednesday, on New England Tractor - http://newenglandtractor.com/racereport/ta/jason.htm



I asked Keith Flach if I could post what he had said about Jason in my column and he had no problem with it.




Note:  Photos can be seen if you click on the link at the end of this article.


The last year in particular, it seems as though every other week or month we hear of some kind of tragedy involving fellow racers.  Death is sort of a funny thing, in the sense that we don't understand it. When we hear of tragedies in the racing, it's a unique scene as people we don't even know pull together for comfort to try and gain at least some understanding. Often times, we start to think of those we know and love, and even sometimes those we don't.  We question our priorities and passions, and wonder if what we do is really worth the risk.


I can honestly say that I did not sleep at all last night. From the moment I read about the wreck of Jason Leffler and uncertainty, until after I read that he was no longer with us, my mind couldn't stop working in overdrive.  I didn't know him personally, but the whole situation just hit me too close to home. I've seen how untimely death can affect a mass of people in the past, but more recently, I've had to live it.


Jason wasn't much older than my brother, at just 37 years. You never think in a million years that people so young would be cut from the world so short, and then it happens. I've lived it. I've seen how it has affected my parents losing a son so young.  My heart literally breaks for his parents and the rest of his family, especially his young son Charlie. Until it happens to you, you cannot even begin to comprehend the feelings that go through your head.  It's the weirdest combination of feelings and emotions you've ever seen, and you don't even know how to begin to deal.


I know that Jason Leffler's family will never forget yesterday/last night, and carry it with them 'til the end.  I can remember every detail of that day for me, down to what exactly I was wearing, whether I want to or not.  My thoughts and prayers are surely with them at this time, and I wish them comfort in their time of need.


The other reason I did not sleep, was that whether we all want to admit it or not, as a driver, this affects you big time.


I know every time I've seen or dealt with loss in the racing community, it makes me re-evaluate my life and priorities.  If you're not a driver, chances are someone you know is, and the same applies.  You wonder if the hard work you put in for trophies, records or your name going written somewhere, and the small amount of money you make outweigh the possibility of you not returning home.  After all, for most of the racers out there, racing isn't something we have to do, but rather something we want, have a passion for, and love to do. Most of us will agree that it does outweigh all of that, but it's always in the back of your mind.


Instead of wondering if it's worth it, I start to re-evaluate other things, like spending time with people important to me.  We don't like to think about or agree with it, but we are all limited in some way in the amount of time we have here.  We get so caught up in life that we forget about the important things, like friends and family. We need to do our best to not let that happen and keep our priorities in line while still doing the things we love.


"[Jesus said,] I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me.  Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because i have overcome the world." John 16:33


"God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Matthew 5:4


Lastly, "The lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed." Psalm 34:18


Rest in Peace, Jason.  Your impact on the people around you will never be lost nor forgotten.


#RIP13 #Lefturn








In honor of NASCAR driver Jason Leffler, who lost his life in a racing accident last week, a trust fund has been established for his five-year-old son, Charlie Dean. This trust will serve as the official Leffler Family fund, with all monies going directly to Charlie's needs. Turner Scott Motorsports co-owner Harry Scott Jr., former Braun Racing owner Todd Braun and Steve Overholser, CFO of Great Clips, will serve as trustees.


Kasey Kahne Racing is selling LEFturn hats in honor of Jason with proceeds going to the The Charlie Dean Leffler Discretionary Trust c/o SunTrust Bank.




Embroidered Flex Fit hats are $20 and come in sizes: S/M and L/XL


Purchase a LEFturn hat-


* www.kaseykahnestore.com/product.php?id=427


* Order by phone 704-662-8549 x201


·        Kasey Kahne Racing in Mooresville North Carolina, located at 265 Cayuga Drive, Mooresville, NC. Hours : Monday-Friday 11 AM – 3 PM





And I found this around 9:00 PM this past Monday evening:


Leffler planned for young son in case of death




CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Jason Leffler, like every other racer, understood the risks of his profession. It's a conversation he had with his longtime girlfriend when his NASCAR prospects dried up and a return to the sprint car circuit was the only way he could compete on a regular basis.

It wasn't a glamorous life, and it certainly wasn't going to make him rich. But it was a chance to race and, man, did Leffler love racing.

''We'd talked a lot about these cars and the dangers involved and Jason accepted it because he said all the time, 'I'd rather my son see me live a happy life then see me sitting in a job I hate being miserable,''' Julianna Patterson told The Associated Press on Monday. ''Jason was amazing. He was ornery. His life was Charlie, racing, family and friends. In that order. But Charlie was the most important. Charlie was his entire world.''

That was evident long before Leffler's death in an accident at a dirt track in New Jersey last Wednesday. The 37-year-old divorced father's Twitter feed and Instagram account were a loving tribute to 5-year-old Charlie Dean, his only child. There were photos of the first day of school, the two eating ice cream together, playing on the floor, hanging out at a race track, wearing matching sunglasses and, last month, Charlie's kindergarten graduation.

''Everybody knows how racers are, it's all they focus on,'' Leffler's older brother, Chris, told AP. ''But fatherhood really changed him, that's for sure. It was all about Charlie. Jason took Charlie wherever he could, tried to show him everything. He really grew as an adult after Charlie was born because all his best intentions were for Charlie. He wasn't worried so much for himself anymore.''

Although Leffler spent a decade racing in NASCAR, he wasn't a star and he certainly wasn't a household name. But he was extremely popular among his peers and everyone knew about his love for Charlie. It was plain to see on Sunday, as Greg Biffle held his own daughter in Victory Lane at Michigan, lamenting how Leffler didn't get to spend Father's Day with his son, and after Kasey Kahne climbed from his burning car he spoke not of the cut tire that cost him a win, but of the friend he lost.

''Jason Leffler was a good buddy of mine and it's neat to see how the racing world and the fans and his friends and everybody has supported him for the last four or five days,'' Kahne said. ''That showed the person and the racer that he was.''

Far more important than a racer was Leffler's job as father.

On Monday, Leffler's girlfriend, brother and representatives at Spire Sports discussed his financial situation to clear up growing misconceptions and rumors about the estate he left behind for Charlie.

His former sister-in-law told Sporting News on Friday that Leffler did not have life insurance when he died. But it's not that simple and some believe that was a deliberate attempt to solicit donations to an account that had been established for both Charlie and Leffler's ex-wife.

''It's insane that someone would bring this up, would bring up life insurance, within a day of this happening. We haven't even had the funeral yet,'' Patterson said. ''Jason would never have left Charlie with nothing. Never. To suggest otherwise is not true and it's evil.

''I remember he went into Charlie's room one night before bed and said to him, 'Everything I do is for you,' and Charlie hugged him and said, 'You almost made me cry, Dad.' Those two loved each other more than anything in the entire world.''

The reality is that disability and life insurance for race car drivers are expensive and difficult to get - usually issued only by Lloyds of London - and the premiums are substantial. Leffler's last full Nationwide season was in 2011, and he'd run just 12 NASCAR races in 2012.

He didn't have deep resources to buy insurance anymore; the night he was killed, the winner was guaranteed just $7,000. So perhaps Leffler didn't think life insurance was the best investment for Charlie Dean's future.

But Leffler still invested specifically with his son in mind, his loved ones say, and took steps to ensure his son would be cared for before his death and in the event of his death. He had disability insurance and other policies, and funds established for Charlie.

''He absolutely bent over backward to do whatever was best for Charlie,'' said Chris Leffler, executor of the drivers' will. ''He probably could have held on to a lot more in the divorce. But he sacrificed, did without, and has done whatever necessary to make sure Charlie is taken care of. I've seen a little bit of what's been insinuated and it's disappointing.''

Although Leffler made sure Charlie was provided for, The Charlie Dean Leffler Discretionary Trust was announced Saturday with three trustees. It was created in part because the racing community and fans often contribute regardless of need - more than $650,000 was raised for two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon's family following his 2011 death - and to ensure any money donated went solely to Charlie's needs.

Leffler, Charlie and Patterson had planned to move into a new apartment this weekend, and Charlie had been so excited for his new bed and the flags that were going to be hung in his new room. He'd only in the last year begun to understand his father's place in the racing world, and at Christmas when he was given Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne trading cards, Charlie only wanted cards of his dad.

He'd recently learned how to Google his father, Patterson said, and once even asked Leffler for his autograph. They lived together as a little family for two years, baking cookies and making every color of Jell-O possible, taking long walks with Charlie's compass and binoculars and playing sprint cars on the floor.

''All Jason would want now is for Charlie to know who his dad was, to be cared for and to know how much he loved his little dude,'' Patterson said. ''He wasn't irresponsible, he wasn't careless and he wasn't reckless. He took every step possible because Charlie was his world.''






Between running errands on Wednesday, I checked out Facebook and came across a video, from someone called “Loudpedal” on Jason:





Note:  I chose not to put any photos of Jason in this column, since photos can’t be seen on Dirt Track Digest.  One of these days I’ll figure it out – how to post them!  However, in most links to anything about him, there are photos.





The race driver that gave Ferrari its first ever F-1 race win has passed away.


"The Pampas Bull" - José Froilán Gonzalez - left us on June 15th, at the age of 90.  It was said, back then, in a caption of a photo of Gonzalez:

"In my day, the drivers were fat and the tires were skinny".


From the Track Forum:  http://www.trackforum.com/forums/showthread.php?177681-quot-The-Pampas-Bull-quot



And another:  http://forums.autosport.com/index.php?showtopic=187220&st=0&p=6316039&#entry6316039




Talking about F-1 – this weekend is the 24 hours of LeMans.  A good portion of it will be covered on SPEED.  Back a while, F-1 drivers would also run events like LeMans.  Nowadays they don’t in a majority of the cases.  It’s called “Progress”.




This coming Saturday, at the Bethel Motor Speedway, they’re having a special night for Jack Duffy.  I’m not positive just how old Jack is, but I know he’s in his 80’s, and I’m pretty sure he’s still racing TQ’s down in Florida.  He started his racing career here in the Northeast, in midgets.




This, in a way, hits the nail on the head – taken from the DTD Forum:


“But the difference between our sport and the other sports is that the rules and penalties that are in our sport are not clear. Hey, if you have a light weight cam and you are caught, then let's specify a penalty. I don't care if it's a weekend ban, a year, a motor confiscation or an outright "never race again". But don't tell me the penalty is a ban, and then change your mind because you have poorly written rules.”



Going along with the above, there was a protest on the winning car driven by Brian Krummel in the Sportsman feature last Saturday, at OCFS.  From what I’ve been reading, the car was taken, supposedly to a “secured” place, so it could be put on a dyno.  It seems something went wrong.


This, from Facebook:

“I heard Krummel already got his car back and Bonaface retracted the protest because Krummels car had been moved and motor possibly switched in middle of night.  So nothing wil go any further in this case.  Not sure of the accuracy of claim though but got it from a reliable source.”


Another poster also said he had heard the same “from a reliable source”.  So, now I’m wondering, just where was the car stored, and if it had been taken, why was it so easy to take it from where it was being held?


I still think everyone screwed up when these Crate engines came out with not one track or, in most instances, any organization having a claimer rule.

Yes, quite a few are saying that now the tracks don’t want to lose cars, so “tech” isn’t what it should be.  That’s a shame, especially for those that race on the up and up – ya know – legally.



Quite some interesting things being said on the Dirt Track Digest Forum on the protest of the Krummel car.





And, what if a car is supposedly “locked up” waiting for tech, and something happens, as it’s being said in this instance?  Who comes out looking like a village idiot?  The team?  The track?  Both parties?  Or what?




While on the subject of OCFS – this Saturday there is a 51 lap Small Block feature (more on that below from Dr. Dirt).  The winner will get the seventh starting spot in the Eastern States Small Block race (I figure).  A few weeks ago, Brett Hearn won the (Small Block) feature at Albany/Saratoga.  That win got him a starting spot at Eastern States, too.  No idea as to what race Hearn has a spot in.  As usual, OC sees fit not to respond to me on that.

Let’s hope they are able to draw more Small Blocks than what was at OC a couple of weeks ago – what was it 12 or 14 cars?





Sunday September 1, 2013 we will have a race car show at Hinchcliffe Stadium in Paterson, NJ



Here is the admission information for the Accord mid-week show on Tuesday, August 6, 2013:


Pits: $35 (everyone)



Adults - $20

Seniors(65 and over) - $16

Kids 11 and under - $5




It kind of looks like we can say goodbye to a race at the Daytona Speedway.  The track is getting a major face lift, and a big part of that face lift is the tearing down of the grandstands that are on the backstretch.  I’d venture to say that the races mentioned, below, will be eliminated.  Where else could they (NASCAR & Daytona) move them, anyway?


Found via Jayski’s webite:


“Well, it's a pretty ominous one: Daytona's seating capacity has dropped from 168,000 to the current 146,000. And part of the announcement today is that the entire backstretch grandstands, known as the Superstretch, will be dismantled and moved away.

There are 45,000 seats back there. So Daytona is eliminating a third of its already-diminished capacity. Granted, those seats sit pretty much empty for every event except the Daytona 500 -- except, of course, for the “Battle on the Beach” race in February, where late model and modified stock cars competed on a little oval track carved out of the back straight, so that event will have to be moved or eliminated.




ISC approves Daytona frontstretch redevelopment









Every couple of days I go on Facebook and post midget racing results from back in the 40’s – mostly from the Northeast area, in a couple of different pages.  Back then, it was common for the midget teams to have quite a selection of race tracks to run on, on any given day.  One must keep in mind that back then, the race teams and fans did not have the luxury of traveling on an Interstate Highway system like we have, today.  Here’s an example of what I posted the other day:


June 16, 1948:


Atlantic Rural Exposition, Richmond,  VA

16th June 1948

1 Charlie Miller

2 Dutch Schaefer

3 Lloyd Christopher

ARDC Southern midget races.


Empire Raceways , Menands Speedway, NY

16th June 1948

1 Ray Nestor

2 Al Keller

3 Dee Toran

ARDC Midget races.


Lonsdale Arena, RI

16th June 1948

1 Bud Tatro

2 Jim Florian

3 Frank Simonetti

Midget races


Riverside Park Speedway, MA

16th June 1948

1 Bob Minor

2 Bill Randall

3 Ray Janelle

Midget races



June 17, 1948


Dracut Speedway, MA

17th June 1948

1 Dick Shuebruk

Midget races


Victory Speedway, Orange County Fairgrounds, NY

17th June 1948 – 1/5 mile oval

1 Vernon Land

2 Stan Disbrow

3 Joe Barzda

ARDC midget races


West Haven Speedway, CT

17th June 1948

25 laps - Feature

1 Art Cross

2 Rex Records

2 Bill Schindler

ARDC Midget races.


Yellow Jacket Speedway, PA

17th June 1948

1 Charlie Miller

2 Tony Bonadies

3 George Fonder

Midget races


Note:  Today, the ARDC might have 4 races in a month – maybe 5.  NEMA, I believe is close to that amount, too.





Has Short Track Racing Been Given Unfair Scrutiny From the Main Stream Media?






From “Doctor Dirt”:


Race scheduled 6/22/2013....not on July 27th. 358 feature. Winner goes home with $1,210. 51 laps..




By Bill Boyle



Life is short, and one must squeeze every ounce of breath out of it. My friend Charlie Loder did exactly that, living life his way with his bride Sharon. Until he retired, Charlie was a Fireman in the City of Newburgh during the day, and in his off time he tinkered with race cars.




On November 20, 2012, Charlie Loder took is final checkered flag, leaving a lot of us at a loss for words. Charlie Loder was not a race car driver, nor was he a well financed car owner. He was a crew chief and knew just about everyone in the pits at Orange County Fair Speedway and Accord Speedway in New York.


In the late 70’s, Charlie and Nick Illobre, childhood buddies, teamed up to field a Small Block Modified, with the Dapper Nick handling the throttle and Charlie turning the screws that made the throttle work. The car was numbered 51 in honor of Charlie’s badge number


Follow their debut in racing, Charlie then teamed up with the infamous Higbie Brothers #97, turning wrenches to assist Bobby Bottcher and the team in their quest for checkered flags.


As we moved into the early 80’s, Charlie moved to the sidelines and visited the tracks drive-in section to keep up on the OCFS action. It was during those years that he met his soon to be wife Sharon. “Charlie asked me out on a date” Sharon recalled, “so I went and had my hair and nails done, and was dressed all in white when he picked me up early on a Saturday evening in 1981. To make a long story short, it was a hot, muggy evening, and the wind was blowing up into the drive-in section. It was and experience.”


Charlie proposed to Sharon on New Year’s Eve 1981, and on September 11, 1982 the two received their Green Flag to act as a married couple. As a young couple, they continued viewing the races from the tree line off the second turn, a place where I first met them.


What a couple, the quiet, shy and reserved Charlie, and the entertaining, and overt Sharon. It was a match made in heaven, and approved by God.


Illobre and Loder teamed up again in 1994, this time taking a raw and eager driver under their wings. As a team, they won countless features and of utmost importance to them, the 1994 Track Championship at Accord Speedway. The young kid did quite well after moving up the ladder, combining for six more championships and over 20 feature wins at the super fast OCFS. The kids name is Jerry Higbie.


Charlie worked as a fire fighter for the city of Newburgh for over 32 years, and was highly decorated when he retired in 2001. But our brave defender still had his socket wrenches in his back pocket, and wasn’t about to retire them too.


Firemen are a special breed, and somehow they search and find each other. As is the case with Brian Smith, and FDNY smoke eater from ladder company 44 in New York City. Smith and his Slate Hill based Superior Remodeling Company were assembling a new team for a potential rising star by the name of Brian Krummel, and Charlie was there to head the team as the Crew Chief. As Charlie molded the team, he was also molding Cody Hunt as his prodigy for the future.


In 2010, the electrifying young wizard Brian Krummel capped off the team effort with the Sportsman Championship in the Smith #44 at the Orange County Fair Speedway. Charlie’s job as Crew Chief was now done, he had reached two objectives, a Championship for Krummel and his own replacement in Cody Hunt. Charlie had taken an active step backward, but not far enough where he couldn’t advise the Superior Remolding Racing team.


The defining moment for Charlie was when Krummel swept both Sportsman races at the 2012 Eastern States Championships. One month later, we grieved for our fallen comrade and consoled his spouse of over 30 years.


Charlie and Sharon were a team, and would do anything for you. When I ran my car show in Wayne, NJ, they were there with their RV to support my effort, parking overnight and heading back to Middletown in the morning after breakfast. Charlie was a gentleman, and never had a bad word for anyone.


Charlie and Sharon were lovers and best friends. God knew what he was doing when he put them together, and now has asked Charlie to return home until the rest of us can join them. Charlie always said that Crew Chiefs and crew members were the heart and soul of racing, toiling away in the background for the good of the team and its star. Now Charlie is setting up our next adventure behind one of our stars in the heavens.


On June 8th, Brian Smith and Brian Krummel debuted a new Small Block Modified, and Krummel sped to victory on the first night out in the 358 racer. The number on the car was #51, in honor of Charlie’s badge number. I bet Charlie was pushing that car when no one was looking.


This week, OCFS will be running a 51 lap feature in honor of our fallen friend Charlie Loder. In addition to the normal purse, Sharon is adding an additional $510 as a remembrance of her Charlie. Because of his affiliation to Crew Chief’s, Sharon is also presenting a $100 gift certificate to ECS to the winning car chief.


Charlie had a quote that we will use in ending this column. All of us, from his beloved Sharon, his boyhood friend Nick Illobre, fellow firemen including Brian Smith, all the drivers and crews and mere friends like myself and other fans, we all know you were a unique individual and may you rest in peace.


Charlie, SIT BACK, FASTEN YOU SEAT BELTS, WERE IN FOR A GREAT ONE TONIGHT. That’s right Charlie, this one’s for you. Amen





Hot/Not: Greg Biffle on right side of Carl Edwards flap


Greg Biffle rightly chose to go for the race win instead of helping Out His Teammate at Michigan


I read elsewhere on the Internet that Edwards crew chief said to Edwards that they had no help from their team mate.  Edwards responded with "He ain't our team mate".


Any more these drivers are really getting to be cry babies.  And, it's not only in the upper echelon, either.






McDreamy part of all-American team at Le Mans


The only all-American lineup at the 24 Hours of Le Mans might very well be the one that draws the most interest from non-racing fans.

The No. 77 Dempsey Del Piero-Proton Porsche will be headlined by Patrick Dempsey — you know, "McDreamy" of "Grey's Anatomy" fame. He is joining co-drivers Joe Foster and Patrick Long in the GTE Am division and driving a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.


More can be seen here:







Any idea as to what all these eight drivers have in common?


Justin Marks, Alex Kennedy, Boris Said, Ron Fellows, Victor Gonzalez, Jr., Paulie Harraka, Tomy Drissi and Jacques Villeneuve.


Answer is below.





Here’s a good one that was/is on Facebook on Wednesday:


Anyone know if President Obama intends to perform background checks on the Syrian rebels before providing them with weapons? 

Supposedly asked by Senator Ted Cruz.





Boston Children’s Hospital Finds Root Cause of Diabetes


They say that with just a little more study, they could possibly cure type 1 diabetes.







Ya know, it kind of disturbs me to see some of the decisions that come from judges and even our highest court – the Supreme Court – with the Supreme Court now saying you don’t have to produce a driver’s license, or prove that you’re a citizen, in Arizona in order to vote.  Ya know what’s gonna happen there – “Illegals” will be voting in various places more than once.  Watch and see.





Another disturbing bit of news:


NY man who says 4 kids vandalized home is charged


In part:


"CLYDE, N.Y. (AP) — A man who says he caught four boys vandalizing his father-in-law's home has been charged with child endangerment after corralling them in a closet until police arrived.

Jesse Daniels was arraigned on four counts of endangering the welfare of a child after authorities say he interrupted the vandalism at the empty home in the Wayne County village of Clyde, midway between Rochester and Syracuse.




Note:  Hard to believe some of this crap, really!





From Jayski:



Ragan to Drive #34 Hauler Cross-Country to Sonoma: Before David Ragan climbs into his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car for Sunday's race at Sonoma Raceway, he's going to climb into the driver's seat of the 18-wheeler that will carry that race car 2,700 miles from North Carolina to California. The driver of the #34 Taco Bell Ford will be at the wheel of the team's 80-foot, 80,000-pound transporter early Tuesday morning when it pulls out of the Front Row Motorsports race shop for the cross-country trip. Team truck driver Mike Smith, the rig's primary operator throughout the season, will accompany Ragan and split the seat time during the 42-hour journey. "I've always had a fascination with big trucks," Ragan said. "I wanted to get my CDL (commercial driver's license), so I got that a little while ago. And I thought it would be fun to take a trip across the country on the open roads and see everything, and at the same time get to spend some time with my truck driver." Smith had his doubts when Ragan first told him he wanted to drive the hauler to one of the race venues, much less the farthest one on the Sprint Cup Series map. "At first, he didn't really believe me," Ragan said. "But I showed him my license and told him I'd been driving the transporter for my late model team a little. Now, I think he's excited. It's going to be something different and something fun. Although he's probably going to sleep with one eye open just to make sure I'm not driving too crazy." The 27-year-old Ragan, who has been racing within NASCAR's top three series since he was 18, received his commercial learner's permit last year and earned his full provisional CDL several months ago. "I was surprised when he said he wanted to do it, but it should be neat," truck driver Smith said. "I think he's the first driver to ever do this. But we're going to have a good time and he's going to be just fine behind the wheel." On Sunday, Ragan will strap into his #34 Taco Bell Ford Fusion to drive 219 miles on the winding Sonoma Raceway road course. After 110 demanding laps on the twisting terrain, will he have to climb back into the hauler for the 2,700-mile trip back to North Carolina? "I'll be taking a plane home."(FRM)(6-17-2013)


New sponsor for Earnhardt Jr? UPDATE: #88 Team owner Rick Hendrick on Monday said Hendrick Motorsports was "very close" to a new multi-year sponsorship deal for Dale Earnhardt's #88 ride in the Sprint Cup Series. "I've not been worried about it because we could sell it if we wanted to piecemeal it. We've been looking for the future," Hendrick told the Charlotte Observer. "We don't want to get into (sponsor relationships) where you see somebody one time and you don't seem them anymore after that. I am very confident that in the next couple of weeks we should have not only this year (covered) but we should have a lot done for next year, too." The majority of the #88's season is currently sponsored by the National Guard, Diet Mountain Dew and AMP Energy.(Charlotte Observer)(6-10-2013)

UPDATE: The sponsor Hendrick Motorsports is close to signing to a multiyear deal for Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be new to NASCAR. HMS owner Rick Hendrick said the deal likely won't be completed in time for the sponsor to be on the hood for the July 6 race at Daytona International Speedway -- the first race in which the No. 88 was unsponsored. Hendrick said National Guard likely would be on the car at DIS. "We're going to have to switch some stuff around,'' Hendrick said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. NASCAR's most popular driver entered the season with 13 unsponsored races. Hendrick insisted in February there was plenty of interest and he was looking for a long-term fit for the 88 and not a quick fix for this season. "This will be a pretty neat deal when we get to announce it, but I think we're in good shape,'' said Hendrick, not naming the sponsor other than to say it is new to the sport. "There hasn't been a lot of new sponsors in the sport just because of the economy and the way people go to market, a combination of a lot of things. [But] there's always been a lot of interest in him.''(ESPN)(6-17-2013)


Villeneuve to drive #51 at Sonoma: There will be a familiar name to road course racing next weekend as Jacques Villeneuve takes over the #51 TAG Heuer Eyewear Chevy for Phoenix Racing at Sonoma Raceway. The 42-year-old native of Montreal, Quebec, CAN isn't a stranger to NASCAR competition making three previous Sprint Cup Series, nine Nationwide and seven Camping World Truck Series starts. His best results were in the Nationwide Series where he earned four top-fives and six top-10 finishes; all on road courses. Villeneuve has also competed in F1, CART, and USAC races. He was most successful in F1 winning 11 times and CART where he won five times and was the series champion in 1995. "We wanted to put a driver in our #51 Chevy who would give us the best chance to win at Sonoma Raceway," said James Finch, team owner. "When the opportunity came up to have someone like Jacques Villeneuve in our car, we were very happy to make that happen. It's a long way out there to not be competitive. He gives us the chance to not only do really well, but to actually win the race. We led laps there last year and almost did win it; we plan on getting the trophy this time." Sponsorship from TAG Heuer Eyewear isn't a new thing for Villeneuve as the two were partnered up during his F1 competition days. "We are very happy to have Jacques Villeneuve representing our eyewear in the race at Sonoma Raceway," said Robert Cooper, Racing Director for TAG Heuer Eyewear. "He was an excellent ambassador for us during his F1 days and we're glad to be part of his return to NASCAR racing. We'd like to thank James Finch and Phoenix Racing for making this possible. We know Jacques is going to be looking good in our TAG Heuer Eyewear, and on the track in the #51 Chevrolet."(PR), see an image of the scheme on the #51 Team Schemes page.(6-17-2013)


Jack Roush reveals Ford Racing alliance with Penske Racing: Jack Roush had been around long enough to know that something had to change for his Roush Fenway Racing program to be successful. Roush explained how the team had doubled its engineering efforts. After the race, Roush elaborated more on what had transpired to make the Ford Fusion Gen 6 car more competitive. "We had a summit meeting with the Penske guys last week, and talked about some of the strategies,'' Roush said of the launch of two Ford Racing teams working together. "We have had one cooperative wind tunnel test. We just scratched the surface. It will be great to have someone to share information with.'' Penske Racing, with drivers #2-Brad Keselowski and #22-Joey Logano, switched over to Fords this season. Roush identified aerodynamics and front suspensions as the areas the Ford Fusion needs to make up ground. "We have to find that last tweak in the front suspension or aerodynamics,'' Roush said. "When we started on Gen 6 (car development), it was a jump ball, and the car changed during its development to have more downforce than was anticipated to start with. We are on the path, and we have nice, light cars that I'm not the least bit unhappy about.''(Michigan Live)(6-17-2013)


Carlisle extends with Penske Racing: Penske Racing announced Friday that it has extended its partnership with Carlisle Companies Incorporated through the 2016 season. In addition to Carlisle's continued support of the #2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion driven by 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, the new agreement will also include associate branding for the company on a Team Penske IZOD IndyCar Series car beginning in 2014. Carlisle Companies joined the #2 Miller Lite Ford team prior to the 2011 NASCAR season  the same year that Keselowski began competing in the iconic race car.(Penske Racing)(6-16-2013)



Leffler's funeral held Wednesday afternoon: They came to honor Jason Leffler, but they left with instructions to do more. "We have something that all we have a part in, every single one of you,'' Jeff Dickerson said at a service Wednesday afternoon celebrating his friend's life. "We all have a responsibility in making sure that his son knows exactly who he was and how much he loved his son. From his grandparents to those who maybe met him in passing, we must make sure he is not forgotten. When we see Charlie and that same little playful grin that his dad had, we must let him know at every chance we get to tell him that he hung the moon with his dad. That Jason savored every minute he spent with his son. We must let him know about Jason as a driver, a man and a father. That's what Jason would want from us. It's up to all of us to make that happen.'' Dickerson spoke to hundreds of mourners, including about a dozen NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers, at Grace Covenant Church. Among those who attended were Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne. President Mike Helton led a NASCAR contingent. Leffler raced in NASCAR's top three series from 1999 to this season. Leffler's passion for racing and his son were the themes of the nearly hour-long service that featured laughter, applause and tears.(Motor Racing Network)(6-19-2013)


See the latest news, reports, honors, service info, trusts set up for Charlie, Kahne offers LEFturn caps, links to many articles on Jason Leffler page





Edwards, Biffle work to clear up confusion over Michigan issues: #99-Carl Edwards understood when #16-Greg Biffle wouldn't give up a big lead to help clean paper off his grille with about 40 laps remaining in Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Edwards' issue with his Roush Fenway Racing teammate came around lap 70 when he wanted Biffle to drop about six car lengths to help with the same issue that was causing an overheating problem with them racing for sixth or seventh. "I want us to be the best teammates we can be," Edwards told ESPN.com on Tuesday. "I never want somebody to give up a shot at winning a race. ... My hope is he never heard the communication on lap 70." Biffle told ESPN.com he didn't recall getting a message from his spotter or crew chief on lap 70 and totally understood Edwards' frustration if there was a miscommunication that led to that. "I can see where he'd be upset under those circumstances,'' said Biffle, who went on to win the race. "All I can say is I'll help Carl absolutely anytime I can. We go out of our way to help each other. It's a team sport. None us do it all on our own." Edwards admitted he was frustrated the first time his spotter asked the #16 team for help. He said over his team radio that "he ain't my teammate'' when told Biffle wouldn't come back. After the race, when a reporter asked if Biffle should have helped and he responded with "it's his job to help," Edwards thought it was in reference to the first request. Edwards had no major issue with the second request as Biffle led by 20 to 25 car lengths. "That one I understood,'' Edwards said. "It was toward the end of the race and it was for the lead. And frankly, our car was pretty fast. That was probably wishful thinking [he would drop back]." The two discussed the situation briefly during Monday's team debriefing call, and even then Biffle was unclear they were talking about two different situations. They plan to meet on Friday at Sonoma to clear up any miscommunication there might have been so that it makes all RFR teams stronger moving forward.(ESPN.com)(6-19-2013)





Any idea as to what all these drivers have in common?

They are all entered in the Cup race at Sonoma this coming weekend.  And, with only 43 cars entered, I suppose they’re all going to start the race – barring problems, of course.



Harmon released on bond after arrest


NASCAR driver Mike Harmon answered arrest warrants Monday, turning himself in to authorities in Shelby, N.C.

The 55-year-old driver was released on a $10,000 bond shortly after additional warrants were issued earlier in the day by the Rowan County sheriff's office for both Harmon and business partner David Novak. Both were charged with breaking and entering and larceny.

Warrants for Harmon were previously executed in May for breaking and entering a motor vehicle and felony larceny in connection with the December 2012 theft of race equipment belonging to rival Jennifer Jo Cobb. He was released on bond.

Novak is a former business associate of Cobb's who now is aligned with Harmon. Novak has filed suit against Cobb in U.S. District Court in a dispute over ownership of the assets of JJC Racing, which the two former partners formed before the 2010 season.

Harmon said May 15 through his Twitter account that he was not involved in the theft. "I want it known that I have never stolen so much as a piece of bubble gum in my life," he tweeted.

Harmon is an occasional competitor in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide series. He last raced May 31 at Dover in the truck tour, finishing 32nd.

Cobb currently ranks 27th in the Truck Series points, having failed to qualify for one of the seven races this year. Her best finish this season is 17th at Kansas Speedway in April.







Former OVRP Dirt Oval racers:


Last Friday at A/S, John Virgilio was 19th in the Sportsman feature


Kyle Rohner won the Sportsman feature at Penn Can.


Brian Sobus was 12th and 7th in the Small Block Super Modifieds at Oswego.


Alex Bell finished 13th and 8th in the Modified features at Devil’s Bowl.


Bob Morris won the Sportsman feature at Bethel, and Rich Coons finished 3rd.


At Penn Can in the RoC races, Tyler Dippel was 18th in the Modified 60 lap race.  Billy VanInwegen and Danny Creeden were both DNQ’s.

Brian Krummel won the Sportsman feature with Dipple 2nd.


Roger Coss was 5th in the Modified feature at Mahoning Valley, while BJ Wambold was 7th in the Street Stock feature.  Sister Tiffany was a DNQ in the Street Stocks.


At Grandview in the URC feature, Davie Franek was 9th.


Danny Creeden won the Modified feature at 5 Mile.  Brad Szulewski was 8th and 3rd in the Sportsman features.


At OCFS in the twin 20’s for the Modifieds, Mike Ruggiero was 3rd & 13th, Tim Hindley had a pair of 5th place finishes, Billy V was 12th and 10th, Clinton Mills ended up 14th and 8th and RJ Smykla was 14th and 18th,

Brian Krummel won the Sportsman feature, Tyler Dippel 2nd, Tyler Boniface 5th, Matt Janiak 6th, Anthony Perrego 7th, LJ Lombardo 8th, Matt Hitchcock 9th, John Illanovsky 11th, Andrew Reeves 14th, Joey Falanga 15th, Mike Traver 16th and Joe Conklin 21st.


At Lebanon Valley, in the Modified feature, Kyle Armstrong was 8th, Kolby Schroder 10th and Bobby Hackel, IV 18th.  In the ESS feature, Josh Pieniazek was 23rd.


At Hamlin, Jacob Hendershot was 9th in the winged 270 Micro feature.  Tyler Pirone was 20th in the All Star Slingshots.  Paul Tigue was 3rd in the Junior Slingshots.  Corey Zeigler was 7th in the Rookie 600 feature.  Jacob was also 14th in the wingless 270 feature.  Kyle Rohner was 2nd and Molly Chambers 8th in the wingless 600 Micros.


At Kutztown, Molly was 14th and 16th in the 600 wingless features, while Jacob was 17th and 7th in the 270’s.


Mike Mammana was 14th in the Modified feature at Big Diamond.


Reading on Facebook at around 9:15 PM on Wednesday night, it’s being said that Billy VanInwegen was a DNQ at New Egypt for that SDS race.


40 names this week, that I know of, that is.





From the AARN:



From their June 18th issue:


As one could expect, this weeks AARN had quite a bit in it about Jason Leffler – articles & photos.


Lenny Sammons:


Lenny was quoting Tim Shaffer who was right behind Leffler when Leffler crashed.  “He didn’t have a chance to catch it”, Shaffer said.  “Something broke and he just went straight into the wall on a bad angle.  We’re not protected for that.”

From a left side hit into the wall, extreme damage was done to that side of the car with the engine headers smashed

Leffler was not using a full containment seat, and there didn’t appear to be a full left-side head rest.  He often used a protective net instead on the left side, but it was not on the car on Wednesday.

He was wearing a hy-brid head and neck device, but those safety devices are designed mainly for frontal impact.


Ernie Saxton:


Quite a bit from Ernie on Leffler, too.  Ernie wonders why drivers like Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne and Dave Blaney go back to running Sprint Cars.  All three are fairly successful – mainly from racing with NASCAR.  Surely they’re not “Hungry” like the drivers were back in the day – back when they raced to put food on the table.


Earl Krause:


Besides his regular column, Earl also had a write-up about the ATQMRA TQ’s racing at Wall Stadium, last week.  Ryan Tidman got his second win of the year at Wall.  The race run down shows 14 cars.  No, I have no idea where all the TQ’s are hiding.


Deb Smith:


Deb had a write-up on the ARDC’s visit to the Williams Grove Speedway – a track that most drivers always want to race on, mainly due to the history of the track.  ARDC had 17 cars shown in the feature finishing positions, and one car not starting.



Gary London:


This week, Gary talks about the race tracks that have closed, in this area, since he’s been a motor sports writer.  Langhorne, Reading, Nazareth (all tracks there), Freeport, Islip, Old Bridge, Teaneck Armory, Commack Arena, Island Garden, Dorney Park and Danbury.  I have a feeling there are others.



Stephen Kellogg:


He tells of something he learned a few years ago when Lynn Hough owned Black Rock Speedway.  When a track loses a show due to weather, it loses at least a few thousand dollars.  Pre race costs like track prep, advertising and concession food all add up.  And it’s worse if a track loses a couple of shows in a row.  You can’t hold fresh food for that long a time.



Any idea as to how old Denny Zimmerman is?  He’s still racing, and he was 17th in the USAC Dirt Midget Association feature at Bear Ridge.



Obituaries mentioned in the paper were for Bill McCarthy, 87, who raced at Wall Stadium in the 50’s & 60’s.  Former stock car owner in PA George “Blue” Burton, 83.  Gary Cook, Jr. a former UMP National Champion, from Illinois, 37.  Harold Edward “Pappy” Wilcox, a NASCAR driver from Maine, 86.  Ann Marie Kirsch, wife of the late racing photographer Miles “Red” Kirsch, 83.  Donnie Smith, a stock car driver from Maryland, who was residing in West Virginia, 41.  Mark Robinson, who was fatally injured while working during the FIA F-1 GP, in Canada, 38.




At Roaring Knob Motor Sports Complex, in Markleysburg, PA, the winner of the RUSH Late Model feature was Michael Lake.  Michael turned 12 years old this past May.



At the Lancaster NY Speedway, part of the show was TQ’s.  Nine cars signed in.



This Week




Jason Leffler’s Deadly Crash

Stops Bridgeport’s

‘Night Of Wings’ Program



Preece Races From Last To First

In Two Stafford Races

And Wins Both



Ryan Watt’s Career Defining Win

Comes In ‘Clash At The Can’



Matt Hirschman

Wins Another Open Mod Race

- At Star



PAPosse Picks

All Star Sprint Series

Touring Pros Pockets - Again



Should NASCAR Stars

Take The Chance Of Returning

To Local Tracks?



Bell Wins Two;

Claims USAC Indiana

Midget Week Crown



Blewett’s Return

To Wall Stadium Is Triumphant



Buffalino Sweeps

Twin Modifieds Mains At B’Port



Cisney Is First Time

Port Royal 410 Sprint Winner







This date in racing history:


Just a few of the events on June 20th, in:



Rex Mays won the AAA Championship race Goshen 100 on the 1 mile dirt Good Time Park in Goshen, New York. Wilbur Shaw was second followed by Doc MacKenzie, Floyd Roberts and Billy Winn.



Walt Brown won the 100 mile AAA Championship race on the 1 Mile Dirt Oval Langhorne Speedway, Langhorne, PA.



Jiggs Peters won the AAA Midget race at the Lonsdale Sports Arena, Lonsdale,RI

Duane Carter won the AAA Sprint Car race at the Illiana Motor Speedway, Schererville, IN



Jimmy Bryan won the 100 mile AAA Independence Day Sweepstakes race on the 1 Mile Dirt Oval Langhorne Speedway, Langhorne, PA. Jimmy Reece was second followed by Sam Hanks, Bob Sweikert and Eddie Sachs.

Bob Slater won the IMCA Sprint Car race at the Champaign County Fairgrounds,Urbana, IL



Al Herman won the ARDC Midget race at the Danbury Fairgrounds, Danbury,CT



Dave Humphrey won the URC Sprint Car race over Bobby Courtwright, Jack Soper and Tom Price at the Old Bridge Stadium, Old Bridge,NJ



Allen Heath won the USAC Midget race at the Ascot Park Speedway, Gardena,CA.

Len Duncan won the ARDC Midget race at the Hatfield Speedway, Hatfield,PA.

Red Riegel won the URC Sprint Car race at the Lincoln Speedway, Hanover,PA



Jim McElreath won the 100 mile USAC Championship race on the 1 Mile Paved Oval Langhorne Speedway, Langhorne, PA. Mario Andretti was second followed by Lloyd Ruby, Bud Tingelstad and Billy Foster.



Jan Opperman, in the Bogar # 99, won the All Star Super Sprint Car race at the Wayne County Speedway, Orrville, OH. Kenny Weld, in the Bob Weikert # 29, was second followed by Lynn Paxton, Rick Ferkel and Ralph Quarterson.





Press releases:


NEWS FROM                                                                                                             

Orange County Fair Speedway                                                                                    

239 Wisner Avenue                                                                                                    

Middletown, NY10940 



Mike Gurda








MIDDLETOWN, NY (June 17)......The spotlight turns to the Small-Block Modifieds this coming Saturday evening, June 22 at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York.


The lightning-quick Small-Block Modifieds will compete in a special 51-lap Charlie Loder Memorial feature race, with the winner receiving not only the trophy and cash prize, but also a guaranteed seventh starting position in the October 26 Eastern States Weekend Small-Block Modified championship race. Qualifying heat races will determine the starting lineup for this special race. Loder was a long-time supporter of all the racers at Orange County . The night’s activities are sponsored by Arkel Motors and Middletown Collision.


In addition to the Small-Block Modifieds, the evening’s racing program will also include the DIRTcar-sanctioned Big-Block earth-shaking Modifieds, the wild and wooly Sportsman cars, and the always unpredictable Street Stocks.


Admission prices for the June 22 race meet remain at $14 adults, $12 seniors, and free for children 12 and under. The full night of racing begins promptly at 6:30 pm.


Advance tickets are now on sale for the 52nd Annual Eastern States Weekend, October 25-27, 2013, headlined by the Eastern States 200, the oldest continuously-run championship race for dirt track Modifieds.


Information for all Orange County Fair Speedway action is available at the speedway website, www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net, or from at the Track Office. Call 845-342-2573 during business hours.         




June 29  ---  Sportsman Elimination Race added


July 06  ---  Little League Night; Kids Club; Small-Block Modifieds; Vintage Modifieds added




July 13  ---  CRSA 305 Sprint cars added





Racing video:


Kyle Larson won a Midget race last week.  I guess one could say that he did have some help from a yellow flag.  Still and all, it was an interesting race.  In case you did not know it, when Kyle does his “donuts”, he usually does it with the steering wheel disconnected from the steering shaft.  In watching the video, below, it kind of looks like he did that this time, too.  What he did do, and didn’t expect to do, was rolling the Midget over at the beginning of the “donuts”.  If you recall, a while back, Kyle had an accident with a wingless Sprint Car.  Right after that, Chip Ganassi told him that he could no longer race wingless Sprinters.  Hmm, I wonder if that might be in the future for Kyle – no more racing wingless Midgets?






Photo of the week:


Sorry, but photos can’t be seen on DTD.  To view them, you would have to go to:  http://newenglandtractor.com/racereport/


Over the many years that I’ve attended auto races, I’ve seen my share of accidents.  Some were accidents that resulted in fatal injuries.  Some, one would think the worst, but remarkably, the driver escaped with somewhat minor injuries, or no injuries at all.  Below are a series o fphotos that were taken of the Charlie Mussleman accident at the Langhorne Speedway.  I’m pretty sure Walt Chernokal is the photographer of these shots.  When Musselman was flying in the air, up over the flipping sprint car, he was as high in the air as I was in the stands.  From what I can recall, he had some bruises, but no broken bones.  Had he remained in the car, chances are he would have been fatally injured, since on one occasion, the car landed on the track, tail first, and the frame broke, and the back of the seat was almost touching the steering wheel.







Non racin’ stuff:


I’m gonna miss this big guy.  Always enjoyed watching him in the Sopranos.


James Gandolfini, 'The Sopranos' Star, Dead at 51


Terrible news for TV fans: James Gandolfini, who played mobster Tony Soprano on HBO's seminal drama "The Sopranos," died suddenly today at the age of 51.

Gandolfini was traveling in Italy on vacation when he fell ill; conflicting reports have him suffering either a heart attack or a stroke. He is survived by his wife, Deborah Lin, and an eight-month-old daughter, Liliana, as well as a son, Michael, from a previous marriage.


More can be seen here: 





For sure, Judge Jeanine Pirro pulls no punches!


Judge Jeanine: The government can't be trusted






Rand Paul Exposes Plan to Arm Al-Qaeda


In part:


There are few patriots in DC, and even fewer in the senate. Individuals like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul are rare, but essential to anything close to a revival of limited government and constitutional rights in America.


For example, here’s Rand Paul’s latest bit, him explaining how the establishment of both parties are pushing for a plan to arm Syrian rebels… with taxpayer money. The problem? They’re the allies of Al Qaeda. You can’t make this stuff up.


To see video:  http://www.capitalisminstitute.org/rand-paul-fights-terrorists/




Treason: Obama to Arm the Allies of Al Qaeda





You’re gonna love watching this little video on light bulbs!






Supreme Court Ties Up Arizona Voters in Red Tape


In part:


"The U.S. Supreme Court took the easy step when it ruled yesterday that the state of Arizona must “accept and use” the form prepared by the federal Election Assistance Commission to register voters.

The harder question is just what “accept and use” means. Arizona was perfectly willing to accept the mandatory federal form for voter registration. It just wanted proof of citizenship, as well. Can a state require you to prove that you are eligible to vote, that you meet the state voter-qualification requirements?


When you go to the airport, it isn’t enough to show your boarding pass. You must also show a government-issued picture identification to prove that it is your boarding pass. Your bank requires proof of identity when you want to gain access to your account, even if you have your checkbook or account number.

Banks, merchants, airlines -- all “accept and use” different types of documents and require proof of identity.

In a world-class blunder, however, the majority of the Supreme Court rejected our ordinary, everyday understanding of these words. In Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, it ruled instead that federal law prohibited Arizona from requiring anything other than the federal voter-registration form.


To reach this conclusion, the court ignored the Constitution, which gives Congress the power to regulate the “time, place, and manner of elections,” and only the states the power to regulate voter qualifications.

In deciding that Congress probably intended its voter-registration law to prohibit Arizona from requiring additional information, the Supreme Court seems to be saying that Congress meant to prohibit states from enforcing state voter-qualification rules. Yet the court recognized that Congress has no such power.

The solution, according to the 7-2 majority, is for Arizona to apply to the Election Assistance Commission to alter the federal form so that it includes Arizona’s proof-of-citizenship requirement. Indeed, the court suggests that this federal commission is probably required to grant such a request by Arizona.


There is only one obstacle: This commission currently has no members and is therefore legally incapable of acting on Arizona’s request. In a footnote, the court said that Arizona could always sue the commission for failure to act on its application to amend the voter-registration form. The court also acknowledged, however, that it may not have the power to order a commission that has no commissioners to take action.


This ruling creates a perfect ball of bureaucratic red tape. Let’s get this straight: Sure, Arizona has the exclusive institutional power to set qualifications for voters, but it must first ask permission of a nonexistent commission which legally can’t take any action. Then Arizona must jump through the hoop of suing the commission for failing to take the action that the law prohibits it from taking. The federal court, however, may have no power to order the commission to act because the commission can’t act without commissioners.







I get emails:


This is a

Subject close to my heart. Do you know that we have

Adult students at the school where I teach who are NOT

U.S. Citizens and who get the PELL

Grant, which is a federal grant (no

Payback required) plus other federal grants to go

To school?


One student from the Dominican Republic

Told me that she didn't want me to find a job for her

After she finished my program, because she was getting

Housing from our housing department and

She was getting a PELL Grant which paid for her total

Tuition and books, plus money leftover.



Was looking into WAIT which gives students a CREDIT

CARD for gas to come to school, and into CARIBE which

Is a special program (check it out - I did) for

Immigrants and it pays for child

Care and all sorts of needs while they go to

School or training. The one student I just mentioned

Told me she was not going to be a U.S. Citizen because

She plans to return to the Dominican Republic someday

And that she 'loves HER country.'


I asked her

If she felt guilty taking what the U.S. Is giving her

And then not even bothering to become a citizen and

She told me that it doesn't bother her, because that

Is what the money is there for!


I asked the

CARIBE administration about their program and if you

ARE a U.S. Citizen, you don't qualify for their

Program. And all the while, I am working a full day,

My son-in-law works more than 60 hours a week, and

Everyone in my family works and pays for our



Something is wrong here. I am

Sorry, but after hearing that they want to sing the

National Anthem in

Spanish - enough is enough. That's a real slap in the

Face. It was written by Francis Scott Key and

Should be sung word for word the way it was written.

The news broadcasts even gave the translation -- not

Even close.

I don't

Care whether this offends someone or not but this is


Pass this along. I am not against immigration -- I

Just expect immigrants to come through like everyone

Else. Get a sponsor; have a place to lay your head;

Have a job; pay your taxes, live by the rules AND

LEARN THE LANGUAGE as all other immigrants have in the




PART OF THE PROBLEM - Think about this: If you

Don't want to forward this for fear of offending

Someone - YOU'RE PART OF THE PROBLEM! It is Time for

Americato speak up. If you agree -- pass this along,

If you don't agree -- delete







      I would say every US fighter pilot, retired or on active duty, knows that Panetta and Dempsey both are full of crap when they said there was no time to send help to Benghazi.

      They claim it was a problem of "time/space." All my friends and I said, "Bullshit." We know they could have gotten F-16s there

from Aviano.

    "Hands" Handley is a well-respected USAF fighter pilot. Here is  his short resume and what he just wrote about Benghazi below that. If anything, Handley is pessimistic in his timeline of when F-16s could have reached Benghazi . I think they could have been airborne even sooner and turned quicker at Sig. The decision to not try was not based on capability. We had the operational capability in every way.

    I hope Handley's taxes are in order. His IRS audit is forthcoming.  Eagle Biography  Colonel Phil "Hands" Handley

    Colonel Phil "Hands" Handley is credited with the highest speed air- to-air gun kill in the history of aerial combat. He flew operationally for all but 11 months of a 26-year career, in aircraft such as the F-86 Sabre, F-15 Eagle, and the C-130A Hercules. Additionally, he flew 275 combat missions during two tours in Southeast Asia in the F- 4D and F-4E. His awards include 21 Air

Medals, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and the Silver Star.



Betrayal in Benghazi

Phil "Hands" Handley


      Colonel, USAF (Ret.)

    The combat code of the US Military is that we don't abandon our dead or wounded on the battlefield. In US Air Force lingo, fighter pilots don't    run off and leave their wingmen. If one of our own is shot down, still alive and not yet in enemy captivity, we will either come to get him or die trying.

    Among America 's fighting forces, the calm, sure knowledge that such an irrevocable bond exists is priceless. Along with individual faith and personal grit, it is a sacred trust that has often sustained hope in the face of terribly long odds.

    The disgraceful abandonment of our Ambassador and those brave ex-SEAL’S who fought to their deaths to save others in that compound is nothing short of dereliction-of-duty.

    Additionally, the patently absurd cover-up scenario that was fabricated    in the aftermath was an outright lie in an attempt to shield the President and the Secretary of State from responsibility.

    It has been over eight months since the attack on our compound in Benghazi. The White House strategy, with the aid of a "lap dog" press has been to run out the clock before the truth is forthcoming.

    The recent testimonies of the three "whistle blowers" have reopened the subject and hopefully will lead to exposure and disgrace of those responsible for this embarrassing debacle. It would appear that the most recent firewall which the Administration is counting on is the contention "that there were simply no military assets that could be brought to bear in time to make a difference" mainly due to the unavailability of tanker support for fighter aircraft.  This is simply BS, regardless how many supposed "experts" the Administration trot out to make such an assertion. The bottom line is that even if the closest asset capable of response was half-way around the world, you don't just sit on your penguin ass and do nothing. The fact is that the closest asset was not half-way around the world, but as near as Aviano Air Base, Italy where two squadrons of F-16Cs are based.

    Consider the following scenario (all times Benghazi local): When Hicks in Tripoli receives a call at 9:40 PM from Ambassador Stevens informing him "Greg, we are under attack!"

(his last words), he immediately notifies all agencies and prepares for the immediate initiation of an existing "Emergency Response Plan."

    At AFRICON, General Carter Ham attempts to mount a rescue effort, but is told to "stand down". By 10:30 PM an unarmed drone is overhead the compound and streaming live feed to various "Command and Control Agencies" and everyone watching that feed knew damn well what was going on.  At 11:30 PM Woods, Doherty and five others leave Tripoli, arriving in Benghazi at 1:30 AM on Wednesday morning, where they hold off the attacking mob from the roof of the compound until they are killed by a mortar direct hit at 4:00 AM.

    So nothing could have been done, eh? Nonsense. If one assumes that tanker support really "was not available" what about this:

    When at 10:00 PM AFRICON alerts the 31st TFW Command Post in Aviano Air Base, Italy of the attack, the Wing Commander orders preparation for the launch of two F-16s and advises the Command Post at NAS Sigonella to prepare for hot pit refueling and quick turn of the jets.  By 11:30 PM, two F-16Cs with drop tanks and each armed with five hundred 20 MM rounds are airborne. Flying at 0.92 mach they will cover the 522 nautical miles directly to NAS Sigonella in 1.08 hours. While in-route, the flight lead is informed of the tactical situation, rules of engagement, and radio frequencies to use. The jets depart Sigonella at 1:10 AM with full fuel load and cover the 377 nautical miles directly to Benghazi in 0.8 hours, arriving at 1:50 AM which would be 20 minutes after the arrival of Woods, Doherty and their team.  Providing that the two F-16s initial pass over the mob, in full afterburner at 200 feet and 550 knots did not stop the attack in its tracks, only a few well placed strafing runs on targets of opportunity would assuredly do the trick. Were the F-16s fuel state insufficient to recover at Sigonelli after jettisoning their external drop tanks, they could easily do so   Tripoli International Airport , only one-half hour away. As for those hand-wringing naysayers who would worry about IFR clearances, border crossing authority, collateral damage, landing rights, political correctness and dozens of other reasons not to act" screw them. It is high time that our "leadership" get their priorities straight and put America's interests first.

    The end result would be that Woods and Doherty would be alive. Dozens in the attacking rabble would be rendezvousing with "72 virgins" and a clear message would have been sent to the next worthless POS terrorist contemplating an attack on Americans that it is not really a good idea to "tug" on Superman's cape. Of course all this would depend upon a Commander In Chief that was more

concerned with saving the lives of those he put in harm's way than getting his crew rested for a campaign fund raising event in Las Vegas the next day. As well as a Secretary of State that actually understood "What difference did it make?", or a Secretary of Defense whose immediate response was not to the effect that "One of the military tenants is that you don't commit assets until you fully understand the tactical situation." Was he not watching a live feed from the unarmed drone, and he didn't understand the tactical


    YGBSM!  Ultimately it comes down to the question of who gave that order to stand down? Whoever that coward turns out to be should be exposed, removed from office, and face criminal charges for dereliction of duty. The combat forces of the Untied States of America deserve leadership that really does "have their back" when the chips are down.





Music video:


Back when I was a teenager, I liked to listen to Country Music on the radio.  Drove some of my kids nuts, when I always had the car radio on a country station.  I still enjoy some country music today.  One of those that I enjoyed listening to was Slim Whitman.  Slim left us, yesterday, June 19th, at the age of 90.


Country singer Slim Whitman, the high-pitched yodeler who sold millions of records through ever-present TV ads in the 1980s and 1990s and whose song saved the world in the film comedy "Mars Attacks!," died Wednesday of heart failure at a Florida hospital, according to his son-in-law. He was 90.


Whitman's tenor falsetto and ebony mustache and sideburns became global trademarks -- and an inspiration for countless jokes -- thanks to the TV commercials that pitched his records.


But he was a serious musical influence on early rock, and in the British Isles, he was known as a pioneer of country music for popularizing the style there. Whitman also encouraged a teenaged Elvis Presley when he was the headliner on the bill and the young singer was making his professional debut.


Whitman recorded more than 65 albums and sold millions of records, including 4 million of "All My Best" that was marketed on TV.


His career spanned six decades, beginning in the late 1940s, but he achieved cult figure status in the 1980s. His visage as an ordinary guy singing romantic ballads struck a responsive chord with the public.


"That TV ad is the reason I'm still here," Whitman told The Associated Press in 1991. "It buys fuel for the boat."


In 1952, Whitman had his first hit record, "Love Song of the Waterfall," which 25 years later became part of the soundtrack of the movie "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." Another Whitman hit from that year, "Indian Love Call," was used to humorous effect in the 1996 "Mars Attacks!"-- his yodel causes the Martians' heads to explode.


He was survived by his daughter, Sharon Beagle, and his son, Byron Whitman.


Whitman told the AP in 1991 that he wanted to be remembered as "a nice guy."


"I don't think you've ever heard anything bad about me, and I'd like to keep it that way. I'd like my son (Bryon) to remember me as a good dad. I'd like the people to remember me as having a good voice and a clean suit."


The above was found here:  http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-207_162-57590051/slim-whitman-country-singer-dies-at-age-90/


Note:  I’m pretty sure that Slim had to change his way of playing the guitar due to an accident that cut off an end of his index finger on his left hand.  You’ll notice it in a couple of the videos, below.














This week I’m continuing a five part series of things about our bodies.  Enjoy!




The human body is a treasure trove of mysteries, one that still confounds doctors and scientists about the details of its working. It's not an overstatement to say that every part of your body is a miracle.


Here are 11 through 20 of the fifty facts about your body, some of which will leave you stunned...


11.  Your body has enough iron in it to make a nail 3 inches long.


12.  Earwax production is necessary for good ear health.  It protects the delicate inner ear from bacteria, fungus, dirt and even insects.  It also cleans and lubricates the ear canal.


13.   Everyone has a unique smell, except for identical twins, who smell the same.


14.   Your teeth start growing 6 months before you are born.  This is why one out of every 2,000 newborn infants has a tooth when they are born.


15.   A baby's head is one-quarter of its total length, but by the age of 25 will  only be one-eighth of its total length.  This is because people's heads grow at a much slower rate than the rest of their bodies.


16.   Babies are born with 300 bones, but by adulthood the number is reduced to 206.  Some of the bones, like skull bones, get fused into each other, bringing down the total number.


17.   It's not possible to tickle yourself.  This is because when you attempt to tickle yourself you are totally aware of the exact time and manner in which the tickling will occur, unlike when someone else tickles you.


18.  Less than one third of the human race has 20-20 vision.  This means that two out of three people cannot see perfectly.


19.  Your nose can remember 50,000 different scents.  But if you are a woman, you are a better smeller than men, and will remain a better smeller throughout your life.


20.    The human body is estimated to have 60,000 miles of blood vessels.


More in the next column.




Joke of the week:


Two boys were walking home from Sunday school

after hearing a strong preaching on the devil.

One said to the other, 'What do you think about

all this Satan stuff?'

The other boy replied, 'Well, you know how

Santa Claus turned out.

It's probably just your Dad.'





Until the next column!


I can be reached, via e-mail, at:  ygordad@yahoo.com