Mostly Racin' Stuff

                                                   By Tom Avenengo

                                                      Volume # 200




Some personal/family stuff:






My wife, who left us on July 3, 2014.


Remember, photos can only be seen on the New England Tractor/Race Report website, which is linked to at the end of my columns.


This coming November 10th would have been my wife's 76th birthday.  We're really gonna miss having cake & Ice Cream with her.  However, I think we'll have a little celebration in her honor, anyway.





When I arrived down her in Cape Coral, back in September, I hit the scales at 195.

This morning, (11/2/14), I weighed in at 149.5.  A great loss, but not a way 99% of you would want to go through to lose that much.  Now, it's keeping track of the diet.  Pretty remarkable how much junk is out there for us to consume.  Can only warn ya - be careful as to what you're eating, folks!  Over time, it will catch up to ya!


I really miss her when I'm out on my own, driving around.  Yes, at times I take my four legged furry friend, Max, with me, but I really realized it on Tuesday, 11/4/2014 when I knew how much she liked it down here, and never made it back to the Cape Coral area.



More memories:


Since I've basically taken you to after I've had my by-pass surgery, back in 1996, I thought I'd go back a little more and tell ya more about my family and its involvement in racing.  We started out with a fun Kart.  We heard about a Go  Kart track out in Cuddebackville, NY, and the wife, our daughter, Judy, son Tom, Jr. and son Eric took a fun Kart to the track - which was a small paved road course.  Heck, I'm not sure if Sarah was even born then.  Neither boy seemed to want to "race" on the track, so Judy stepped up and gave it a try.  Of course she was pretty much out-classed, and it didn't take long for her to get lapped.

Then the boys got older, and another Kart was obtained.  We lived in Maybrook, NY, and at the time, they were in the process of putting up the distribution center for Yellow Freight.  The place was pretty well graded off - dirt being nice and smooth, back on a Mothers Day.  We loaded up one Kart in the station wagon, and another up on the roof, and proceeded down across Rt. 208 to where we would set up a small "track".  Eric, being the younger and lighter of the two boys was difficult to catch.  Tom tried like heck, but couldn't.  The Kart he was on required a push to get it started.  I figured what the heck, I know I can catch the little sh*t, so I got on the Kart Tom was on.  Forget it!  Eric was long gone.  Well, until he threw it into a turn, hit a small rut, and barrel -rolled his Kart.  After the first roll-over, the kid was standing on his feet!  The Kart - it kept on going.  Scared the bejesus outta me, that's for sure.  Tom came running over, not knowing what had happened since he was really watching me in my futile attempt to catch Eric.  When I told him Eric had rolled the Kart over, Tom asked Eric if he had closed his eyes.  Eric came back with, "Heck no, one minute I was sitting in the Kart, next thing, I was standing here.  He had worn a brand new face shield that day.  Scraped the heck out of it.  We loaded the Karts into and onto the car, and got ready to get back home for dinner.  Tom was kinda worried, so he did say we shouldn't  tell mom.  We got back home, unloaded, and went into the house.  In a nice way, I told mom that I had to get another face shield for Eric's helmet.  When she asked why, I told her "He wore it".  She went into the living room, looked at both boys and said:  "That's why you wear a helmet".




Racin’ stuff:


I'm not a real fan of "Joonyer", but one has to feel for his fans - here he is with four wins this year and not a chance now at the championship.  Why does NASCRAP have to screw things up so much?


That little excitement after the Cup race from Texas sure lit up the Internet, didn't it?  Lotsa videos of the fight on You Tube.  Facebook lit up with all kinds of postings - some for, some against both drivers - oh and yes, the "instigator" Happy Harvick, who pushed Brad towards Jeff.  I've read after he pushed Brad he went back  - and watched.  Of course NASCRAP is probably as happy as a pig in you-know-what about the goings on.  Hell, they need something to stimulate interest in the crummy racing they bring us.


Penske: Keselowski has my '100 percent support'




Last Sunday, ACOT had their Banquet.  I was hoping to attend, but had to pass.  Chances are that  I  will never be able to make any in the future.



Oakland Valley's Dirt Oval:

I have heard rumors of what's been happening at the Dirt Oval at Oakland Valley Race Park, where I used to do the race reports for, and had a son (Eric) and grandson (Brett) race there over the years.  As you know, I've kept track of those that I can recall having raced there and moved onto bigger forms of racing.  Yes, I've had up to 45 names in a column, and some have really done quite well over these past few years.  Last weekend  they had their annual "Novemberfest" racing weekend.  Looking at the results, I found only two that used to race there making a return - BK Rizzo and Tyler Pirone.  BK left after one race after noted photographer Ralph Corwin was "asked to leave".  Seems Ralph isn't the only one that, over time has been "asked to leave".  As for last week's results - I counted 70 names, and some were in more than one class.  Going back a few years, to 2007,  when I did my last Novemberfest report, there were over 184 entrants.  One has to wonder - are the Dirt Oval days kinda limited, now?  Is the Diotte family just tired of running the track, and at times dealing with the BS?  I'm pretty sure that a few years ago, John Diotte did purchase the Dirt Oval from OVRP.  Maybe it's time for someone else to take it over - if it's not too late, which it just might be?



Back in time:


November 6th wasn't a very good day for race drivers, as you can see:

On November 6th in:


Rex Mays... Died ... AAA driver from the 1930's and 40's. He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1995 and was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in the first class in 1990. He ran in 12 Indy 500's with a best finish of 2nd in both 1940 & 1941. He was killed in a crash during the only Champ Car race held at Del Mar Speedway in Del Mar, California in 1949. 



Jack McGrath... Died ... AAA driver from the 1940's & 50's, ran 8 Indy 500's. He was killed in the final race of the 1955 season in Phoenix, Arizona. 



Bill Cheesbourg ... Died ... Cheesbourg started racing jalopies in Tucson and successfully moved into midgets racing all over Arizona after World War II. He drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1956-1962 and 1964-1966 seasons with 31 starts, including the Indianapolis 500 races in 1957-1959, 1961, 1964, and 1965. He finished in the top ten 8 times, with his best finish in 7th position in 1959 at Daytona and in 1966 at Fuji. Cheesbourg returned to the local dirt short track racing scene after his Indy Car career was finished. 




Don Brown... Died ... USAC Sprint and INDY Car driver from the 1960's and 70's. He was also one of the best car fabricators. 




Coming up:


At Accord:


SATURDAY, November 8th:

Sponsored by Liggan Insurance


4 Cylinder Enduro $1500 to win

4 Cylinder Demo Derby $1000 to win

Run What Ya Brung $1000 to win

Pro Stock $300 to win*

Pure Stock $200 to win*

Jr Slingshot $200 to win*

All Star Slingshot $200 to win*

Powder Puff


Pit gate opens at 11am - Spectator gate opens at 12 noon

Grandstand Admission

Adult $14 - Seniors $12 - Kids $3

Family 4 Pack $44 -  Indoor seating $20

Pit Admission $35



Five Mile:   National Quarter Mile Dirt Track Championship Weekend.



The annual Lobitz auction, lunch, sit down dinner - all free


Lobitz Catering Hall

Rt 940

Hazleton, PA

(Behind Fairway Chevrolet Dealership on 309 N)

Things usually start around 9:00 AM and sit down dinner a little while after 5:00 PM


One never knows who will show up as far as well known people from auto racing.


Note:  This is an event I really planned on attending this year, since I was down in Florida last year.  However, I'll miss it again, since the health issues I've had required another early return to Florida.  Will surely miss all the fun & meeting old friends - again, dammit!

As of now, my daughter, Judy is planning on attending and will have some of my stuff for the auction.


From Port Jervis, via I-84 West & I-81 South, and getting off on Rt 80 East to the first exit, then to Hazleton, it's 90 minutes.




From Jayski:


·                     Clinch Scenarios For Phoenix International Raceway: 

·                     Below are the finishes each driver needs in Sunday's race at Phoenix International Raceway to guarantee a spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway, regardless of the finish of any other driver:
#22-Joey Logano and #11-Denny Hamlin: 11th or better; 12th and at least one lap led; 13th and most laps led
#31-Ryan Newman: 9th or better; 10th and at least one lap led; 11th and most laps led
#24-Jeff Gordon, #20-Matt Kenseth, #99-Carl Edwards, #2-Brad Keselowski and #4-Kevin Harvick only control their own destiny by winning Sunday at Phoenix.(NASCAR)(11-3-2014)




Gurney Receives Edison-Ford Medal From The Henry Ford: 

The Henry Ford paid tribute to racing legend Dan Gurney on Wednesday (Oct 30th) during a special ceremony at Henry Ford Museum, awarding him the Edison-Ford Medal for his ingenuity and lifetime of innovative achievements. The Edison-Ford Medal is designed to honor those who fully leverage the creative, innovative and entrepreneurial spirit that resides in every one of us. Special guest Charlie Rose, talk show host, journalist and co-anchor of "CBS This Morning," served as Master of Ceremonies. In addition to a number of memorable wins in a variety of racing categories, Gurney established himself not only as one of racing's most successful drivers, but also as an innovative car builder and team owner. Gurney's wide-ranging curiosity and hands-on attitude have resulted in a number of innovations including the downforce-increasing "Gurney flap" and the "rolling wind tunnel," built at his race shop, All American Racers, to test the at-speed aerodynamics of scale models. Gurney is also tied to several automobiles that are part of The Henry Ford's world premier automotive collection, including the 1962 Ford Mustang I Concept Car driven at Watkins Glen, the 1965 Lotus-Ford Race Car that Jim Clark used to win the 1965 Indianapolis 500, and the 1967 Ford Mark IV Race Car, used for perhaps his most famous win at the 1967 24 Hours of LeMans. After winning that race, Gurney famously sprayed the crowd with champagne, starting a racing tradition. Dan Gurney is only the second recipient of the Edison-Ford Medal. Established in 1989 on the 60th anniversary of The Henry Ford, the medal was awarded that year to Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the Father of the Quality Evolution.(Ford Racing)(10-31-2014)



Raikkonen interested in return to NASCAR: 

F1 driver, Kimi Raikkonen loved his two-race stint in NASCAR so much, he'd like to try it again someday. Raikkonen raced in two NASCAR events at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2011. He finished 27th in a Nationwide Series race and 15th in a Camping World Truck Series race for Kyle Busch Motorsports. "I hope one day (to come back)," he said Thursday in Austin, where he and his Ferrari team are preparing for Sunday's United States Grand Prix. "Obviously I didn't know how it is, so when I came to U.S. to do that, I was very pleasantly surprised by how nice and how fun it was. It's not easy, like any popular sport, but I really enjoyed the time. Hopefully I can do more of those and hopefully in the future -- some Sprint Cup. We'll see what happens." Of course, Raikkonen still has some years left in F1. Any NASCAR racing would only come after his F1 career was complete. This time, though, Raikkonen said he'd "like to have a good proper run at it."(USA Today)(10-31-2014)



NASCAR Test Ban May Not Be Cast In Stone: 

NASCAR's Senior Vice President for Innovation and Racing Development Gene Stefanyshyn commented today on a statement by Roush Fenway Racing co-owner Jack Roush that the sanctioning body's ban on independent testing in 2015 may not be cast in stone. "I think the final word on testing for next year has not been uttered yet by NASCAR," said Roush on Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Dialed In yesterday (Wed, Oct 29th). "My understanding is there is substantial resistance from Goodyear on what's... on the table right now in terms of their being able to supply the tires for the number of teams that NASCAR anticipates going to the Goodyear tire tests. I will be less surprised if it changes than if it stays the way it is"
Stefanyshyn appeared to lend credence to those comments today (Thurs, Oct 30th), saying in a written release, "When we announced on Sept. 23 the rules package for the 2015 season, we stated that we were eliminating all team testing and would be working with Goodyear to build a unified testing plan in which the teams could participate. We currently are working through that process and have had on-going discussions with Goodyear to develop a proposal that we will share with the teams in the near future."(
Godfather Motorsports)(10-31-2014)




·                     NASCAR to review the Brawl: 

·                     NASCAR will study film of the post-race fight [at Texas Motor Speedway at the end of the race] involving #24-Jeff Gordon, #2-Brad Keselowski and a host of crew members, but according to Robin Pemberton, the sanctioning body's senior vice president of competition and racing development, NASCAR has no issue with the incident that caused it. "I think it was hard racing, and this is a contact sport," Pemberton said of Keselowski's up-the-middle attempt pass on the next-to-last restart, a move that left Gordon with a cut tire and diminished championship chances. "You look at what drivers are trying to do. We had a couple shots at a green-white-checkered finish, and everybody was going for it. Nobody was leaving anything behind." The brawl itself is a different story. NASCAR will review the incident in its entirety and decide if penalties are warranted. Keselowski already is on probation from post-race actions three weeks ago at Charlotte. "We knew the (new Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup) format was going to put a lot of pressure on people to perform and make aggressive moves and decisions out there on the race track," Pemberton said. "You could see the result of that after the race. We're going to take our time. We've got a lot of film to review and things like that. The important thing is to make the right decision at the end of the day." Pemberton says NASCAR draws the line when drivers and crew members come to blows. "You shouldn't punch somebody," he said. "Everybody gets together, and when you're holding onto each other and grabbing and this, that and the other, that's one thing. When punches are landed, that's a different scenario...We have a lot of work to do this week."(NASCAR Wire Service)(11-3-2014)



·                     NASCAR penalizes crew members and crew chiefs: 

·                     NASCAR has assessed penalties to crew members from the #5 and #24 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams for their involvement in post-race incidents on Nov. 2 at Texas Motor Speedway. In addition, the crew chiefs from those two teams also have been penalized.
Jeremy Fuller, a crew member with the #5 team, along with Dwayne Doucette and Jason Ingle, crew members with the #24 team, each have been fined $25,000 and suspended from NASCAR through the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points races. All three were found to be in violation of:
" Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
" Section 12-4.9: Behavioral penalty - involved in a post-race physical altercation with a driver on pit road
Dean Mozingo, a crew member with the #24 team, has been fined $10,000 and suspended from NASCAR through the completion of the next three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points races. He was found to be in violation of:
" Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
" Section 12-4.9: Behavioral penalty - involved in a post-race physical altercation with another crew member on pit road
Kenny Francis, crew chief of the #5 team, and Alan Gustafson, crew chief of the No. 24 team, have each been fined $50,000 and placed on NASCAR probation through the completion of the next six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points races. They were found to be in violation of:
" Section 9-4A: Crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his team members
" Section 12-1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing
" Section 12-4.9: Behavioral penalty
"While the intensity and emotions are high as we continue through the final rounds of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the actions that we saw from several crew members Sunday following the race at Texas are unacceptable," said Robin Pemberton, NASCAR senior vice president, competition and racing development. "We reviewed the content that was available to us of the post-race incident along pit road, and identified several crew members who crossed the line with their actions, specifically punching others. We therefore have penalized four crew members as well as their crew chiefs, as they ultimately are responsible for members of their team per the NASCAR rule book," Pemberton continued. "A NASCAR championship is at stake, but we can't allow behavior that crosses the line to go unchecked, particularly when it puts others in harm's way."(NASCAR)(11-4-2014)





·                     Gordon, Keselowski and Harvick comment on the 'brawl': 

·                     #2-Brad Keselowski made a move on 1st the green-white-checkered finish at Texas Motor Speedway Sunday night, moving past #24-Jeff Gordon. Keselowski's move resulted in contact with Gordon causing a tire to go down, sending the #24 scraping the wall and to the pits, losing a lap. The move was not well received by Gordon, his team or Harvick and his team as both drivers took issue with Keselowski on pit road, resulting in a three-team brawl after the race.
Gordon's comments: "We drove down into Turn 1 and he just decided to body slam us and cut our left-rear tire. It ruined our night. It ruined our chances, ruined our night, might of even ruined our Chase hopes. It's just uncalled for. I had to show my displeasure. It got ugly down there, obviously, and you know that is alright. A lot of things are going to happen in the next couple of weeks."


"It's emotion that is a part of this Chase and this format as well as towards people that make dumb decisions. He has been making a lot of them lately. That is why people have been running after him and chasing him down. It's why his team has got to defend him over there because of what he does on the race track."

·                      "We were sitting there on a little bit older tires. I spun the tires a little bit but got a pretty decent start. We went down into Turn 1 and I just wanted to get on the outside of the 48 and out of nowhere I just got slammed by the 2 and it cut my left-rear tire. He's just a (expletive). The way he races, I don't know how he's ever won a championship and I'm just sick and tired. That's why everyone is fighting him and running him down. Your emotions are high. That was a huge, huge race for us. We had the car and had the position. I'm so proud of my team and I'm proud of Jimmie Johnson for winning that race and not letting that little you-know-what win that race."


"There wasn't a conversation. You can't have a conversation with him. He gets himself in this position and he has to pay the consequences. I'm going to race him the same way he races me. That kind of stuff is just uncalled for and I'm not going to stand for it."


"To them, I'm sure it's a racing incident. But to me, it's just a bunch of crap. The kid is just doing stuff way over his head. That's just uncalled for. You're racing for a win and a championship. You don't go slam someone and cut their left-rear tire. If that's what it takes, then no problem. We can do the same thing to him."


: "I wanted to do a lot more than that."
Keselowski's comments: "I am doing everything I can to win this championship racing at 100-percent and that is something I am not going to be ashamed for," Keselowski said, bloodied from pit road. If I was out there wrecking guys to do it, that would be one thing, but a little bit of rubbing is how this sport was created and probably how it should move forward. I don't mind getting raced that way and I don't mind racing that way. I got a little rub there at the end too from the 4 car and that was just good racing. I am proud of our effort but just wish I would have been able to make two more spots out of it. We were very close and will keep fighting the good fight."

"There was a hole and I went for it. It closed up and we bounced off each other and kept going. It was just a battle for the win."


"Kevin likes everybody to fight for some reason. I came here to race, not to fight. I raced as hard as I could and these guys just didn't like it."

"I mean if you are going to run into people all the time you are going to have to fight your own fight, so I helped him get into it."

TELL US ABOUT THE END OF YOUR RACE. "Yeah, you just try to do all you can do. Obviously it was no-holds barred there with the 2. He was in bulldoze mode. I'm proud of all my guys on our Budweiser team. We fought all day and put ourselves in position to win. A lot happened at the end of this race, and we were able to put ourselves back in the hunt."(
Ford Racing / Team Chevy)(11-3-2014)



·                     Knaus, Johnson confirm they will be back together next season: 

·                     Following #48-Jimmie Johnson's victory in Sunday's AAA Texas 500 at Texas, his longtime crew chief Chad Knaus confirmed he will be back as the leader of the #48 Hendrick Motorsports team next season. Rumors have swirled in recent weeks that Knaus might step down or head elsewhere after a disappointing 2014 season for the six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. But Knaus said Sunday night he'll be back on the pit box next year. During his post-race press conference at Texas Motor Speedway, Knaus was asked about the rumors he might be leaving. "I haven't heard any of that stuff," Knaus said. "You write all the bad stuff, don't tell me the good stuff. No, man, I'm set. I don't foresee a change with the 48 car from a driver or crew chief standpoint in the near future. I don't foresee that happening. If it does, I'll have to be a reporter because I don't know what the hell I'm going to do after that."(FoxSports)(11-3-2014)




·                     HMS will pay fines for crew members: 

·                     Hendrick Motorsports will pay the $185,000 in fines levied against six crew members for their role in a post-race fight at Texas between #24-Jeff Gordon and #2-Brad Keselowski. NASCAR fined and suspended four Hendrick team members, while the crew chiefs for Gordon and Kasey Kahne were also fined. Hendrick Motorsports general manager Doug Duchardt said Wednesday on Sirius XM that the organization would cover all the fines (ESPN/AP). Listen at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.(11-5-2014)



·                     Changes at Roush Fenway Racing: 

·                     Roush Fenway Racing is taking steps to right the ship. On Wednesday, RFR will announce the addition of respected motosports manager Mark McArdle as engineering director. McArdle will oversee all engineering for the organization and report to general manager Robbie Reiser. "My role is to provide the organization with better vision, increased levels of direction and communication to allow all the available resources to work together to find the solutions to the basic core problem of car performance," McArdle said. McArdle most recently was director of racing operations at Richard Childress Racing. He held the position since the summer of 2013 after four seasons with Furniture Row Racing in Denver. The last two years at FRR, McArdle served as an intermediary in the teams' technical alliance. He moved back to North Carolina to be closer to his family - ultimately the reason McArdle chose to leave RCR and join RFR, which cuts his commute in half. McArdle acknowledged he was grateful for the opportunity with Richard Childress and still has tremendous respect for the organization. Although McArdle will join RFR at the track this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway, he only expects to be on the road 25-percent of the time in order to focus on the challenges back at the Concord, N.C.-based shop.
RFR has also hired Kevin Kidd as its Sprint Cup team manager. Kidd, who currently oversees the #20 Nationwide Series team for Joe Gibbs Racing, earned an engineering degree at Virginia Tech. He also worked with McArdle as the race engineer on the #19 at Evernham Motorsports. Kidd's role will be similar to Eric Peterson, who was Roush Fenway's operations manager before overseeing the Nationwide Series program.(



·                     Watkins Glen International Set to Repave in 2015: 

·                     Watkins Glen International President Michael Printup announced Wednesday that the historic track will conduct a repaving project in the summer of 2015. It is the first time the track will be repaved since 1998. The repave will begin with "The Boot" in July, followed by the short course immediately following the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend in August. The repave is slated for completion in advance of the 2016 race season. "This is a significant project for Watkins Glen International, our competitors, fans and track rental customers," Printup stated. "The repave is a tremendous undertaking and next summer is the right time to begin this historic project and prepare The Glen for the future." Asphalt specialists and engineers conducted a thorough evaluation of The Glen's entire circuit and recommended the current timeline. Further details and project specifics will be released at a later date. As a result of the repave, the Glenora Wine Cellars U.S. Vintage Grand Prix presented by Welliver will take place July 24-26. Information regarding renewals and ticket sales will be shared with customers in the coming weeks. Fans will be able to witness the project from the Fans R1st Viewing Area in the Argetsinger Grandstand. That area will continue to be free and open to the public through the end of October. Fans will also be able to follow the progress of the project via Facebook, Twitter




From Track Forum:


ASCS Carolina 305 Sprints.

Nine races were on the schedule in 2014. Eight of them were cancelled and the one race they ran drew three cars. 
One of those cars had engine problems so the one feature they ran had 2 cars running for 25 laps. One of those drivers has years of experience and the other had been in a sprint car about three times before that night

Needless to say, the promoter and fans were furious. Oh yeah, they forgot to bring methanol to the track that night too.

There will be no 2015 season for the ASCS 305's in the Carolinas.
Matter of fact there no longer IS an ASCS 305 series in the Carolinas

Meanwhile the Carolina Racesaver Sprint Car Series is already putting dates together for the
2015 season

Free advice for anyone who thinks they are the next Promoter of the Year;

You cant run a successful series simply because you dont like the guy who already has a series where you live and it doesnt help when you call the local drivers stupid for not supporting your series.

I love it when dip-$h!ts fall on their face in front of everybody



  In somewhat related news, Susquehanna Speedway Park tried to run a wingless midget race without ARDC at their annual Candy Bowl event. 1 car showed up.



I did read that somewhere. 

Sounds like no one wanted to go against ARDC?

I wonder what the one driver was thinking since everyone probably figured out pretty quickly who it was.



Fred Schell had his midget there. He'd been having motor troubles and want to try and work them out at the track. He was give track time in 3 session and ran about 15 total laps. 

The track owner had a falling out with ARDC and canceled the last two races there and then thought he put on a $1000 to win Midget race without ARDC. Needless to say he thought wrong!


And this - kinda my thought exactly:


One post of many:  "Of course, those drivers from the 50's and 60's didn't have today's safety... so they took care of each other better.

Today's drivers overestimate just how safe they are. Everything is fun until someone gets hurt."



What might have been?


The first post:  "With all the talk of Greg Moore and the anninversary of his demise, a large lump rose in my throat when I realized it was twenty four years ago this month that we lost Billy Vukovich III. This was just days after he had signed a deal to run the 1991 Indy 500. The former Rookie of the Year was looking forward six months for his next attempt at the 500. Instead, he became the fallen hero in the second largest funeral ever held in Fresno, Calif. The largest was 35 years earlier for his Grandfather. RIP Billy III."



From the Dirt Track Digest Forum:


Amphitheater's approval could set the stage for another Syracuse Crunch outdoor game

In part:  "Syracuse, N.Y. — As the curtain rises on the era of an amphitheater on Onondaga Lake, Syracuse Crunch owner Howard Dolgon's mind is racing about a farewell act for the facility it will replace.

Dolgon is musing about holding another outdoor game for the Crunch, which hosted the first such game in AHL history in 2010.

That game was played at the State Fairgrounds grandstand, a facility that likely will be demolished once the amphitheater is built and takes over as a site for summertime concerts.

Dolgon has said he would consider running another outdoor game at the Fairgrounds under one condition. He would want that event to be the final one held at the grandstand before its demolition."







From the AARN:


This week in AARN:


Preece Scores North South Shootout Win In Maiden Ride With Partridge Team

Pauch Romps In One Day SpeedSTR Fall Jamboree At Grandview; Takes SpeedSTR Title

Timmy Solomito Named To Drive Flamingo Motorsports Entry On NWMT For ‘15

Western NYDirt LMAce Dick Barton Officially Retires

Oswego Speedway Gala Kicks Off Banquet Season

Waterford Speedbowl Sale To Glastonbury, Ct., Businessman Is Delayed By Court

Major Shakeup With NHRA’s John Force: Old Crew Chief Leaves, New Sponsors Signed


Also:  Wayne Lesher is now the President of the ARDC.  I don't know if that's a good thing, or not.  Mr. Lesher is wanting to get to run races on some Micro Sprint tracks and 1/4 mile tracks.  He first became involved in racing via 600 Micros.  I guess that we no longer will see the ARDC go back to some of their "roots", like running on larger tracks and a few long distance races on their schedule.  Yup, gone are those days for all midget racing, it seems, where we don't see anymore 100 mile or more events being staged.


As of now, it looks like Brett Deyo will have one of his events at the New Egypt, NJ Speedway - possible date:  June 9th.


Still up in the air are Big Diamond and OCFS as far as going with Mr. Deyo or staying with DIRTcar.

Big D operator Jake Smulley is said to have said:  "Skotnicki made it very clear, in a rude, disrespectful, unprofessional way, that if I didn't cancel Brett's show, they will drop our DIRT show.

As for OCFS - Mr. Gurda has received his American Tire proposal.  As of now, it looks like decisions will be made prior to the DIRT Banquet on 11/22/2014.  One thing - what about Howie Commander - DIRT & OCFS?  I read that new clay has been put down on two of his tracks - Albany/Saratoga and Lebanon Valley.  Why none at OCFS?  Will Mr. Commander have any say-so in what Mr. Gurda does?  As far as this writer is concerned, I'd like to see Mr. Commander leave OCFS.  I mean, really, what has he done for the track, anyway?


Ernie Saxton makes mention of an interview he had seen with Dave Despain - about short track racing.  Mr. Despain might be on something, with saying that short track racing is ceasing to be a spectator sport, and is becoming a participant driven sport.  More back gate profit instead of spectator profit.


Damn!  Another example of how time flies - Jeff Heotzler has been racing since 1978!


The 1964 USAC Champion was AJ Foyt.  He ran 48 races in 1964.  In "Champ" cars, he won 10 of 13 races.  He also won 5 USAC Sprint Car races, SCCA's 250 Mile American Challenge Cup at Daytona, NASCAR's Firecracker 400, at Daytona and a pair of USAC Stock Car races.  It's a shame today's "Champions" more or less don't race anywhere else besides their main sanctioned races.


Tyler Walkers pleas agreement has been postponed, again.


What with things not going so good at OVRP's Dirt Oval, it is a shame that there were no results or photos in the AARN from their Novemberfest racing weekend.  Seems they no longer have any connection to the media, except for Facebook, since photographer Ralph Corwin was "asked to leave".





Racin' stuff found on Facebook:


Quite a bit on Facebook.  If you're not a member, you're missing quite a lot.





Press Releases:


News from Thunder Mountain Speedway

Media Contact: BD Motorsports Media LLC – or 845.728.2781

For Immediate Release/Oct. 31, 2014

Thunder Mountain Speedway 2014 Season Capped By Awards Banquet Saturday, November 22 At Marathon, N.Y., Civic Center; Top Performers To Be Honored; Tickets On Sale Now

CENTER LISLE, NY The 2014 season of competition at Thunder Mountain Speedway will reach its official conclusion with the year-end Awards Banquet.

Management of the three-eighths-mile clay oval will honor its top performers on Saturday, Nov. 22 with a celebration to be held at the Marathon Civic Center, located at Brink & Peck Streets in Marathon, N.Y.

2014 was a resurgent season for Thunder Mountain Speedway. After seven years away, speedway founder Karl Spoonhower returned to the helm of the track with marketing and public relations support from BD Motorsports Media LLC. Modifieds headlined weekly racing on Saturday nights. Major special events highlighted the season including the ‘Lightning on the Mountain’ for Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP Modifieds, the Wade Decker Memorial race and the ‘Sprint Car Saturday’ headlined by the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints (ESS) 360 Sprint Cars.

Brent Wilcox of Binghamton, N.Y., earned his second career Modified championship at Thunder Mountain driving the Coar-Clark Motorsports No. 27. Wilcox won the $1,992-to-win Season Opener in May and topped the point standings for the remainder of the season.

Other 2014 champions included Billy Spoonhower (Sportsman), Shayne Spoonhower (Rookie Sportsman), Steven Deinhardt (Street Stock), Jason Tuttle (IMCA-Modified), Michael Morse (Pure Stock), Brandon Clapperton (Empire Sport Truck) and Isaiah Forward (Four Cylinder).

The Awards Banquet will recognize the top-10 drivers in the Modified, Sportsman and Street Stock standings; the top-five drivers in the Rookie Sportsman, IMCA-Modified, Pure Stock and Four Cylinder points; and the top-three Empire Sport Truck competitors.

Special awards will also be distributed at the year-end gala.

Tickets to the Awards Banquet are on sale now for $30 each and must be reserved by Nov. 15. The ticket order form has been posted at the following link:

Tickets include a dinner of barbecue chicken, pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, salt potatoes, salad, dessert, soft drinks and draft beer. There will be a cash bar for other mixed drinks, etc. The awards celebration and musical entertainment will be part of the festive night.

Doors open at 5 p.m. for the Awards Banquet, with dinner at 6 p.m. Seating is open on a first-come, first-served basis.

For off-season general information on Thunder Mountain Speedway, visit The speedway office number is 607.657.8202. On race day, call 607.849.7899. The speedway e-mail  “Like” Thunder Mountain Speedway on Facebook or follow @thundermtnspeed on Twitter.

Thunder Mountain Speedway is located at 91 Hunts Corners Road Center Lisle, NY 13797, approximately 25 miles north of Binghamton. The three-eighths-mile clay oval features hillside concrete seating, free parking and camping, a variety of concession items and novelties, a family environment and more.

Brett Deyo

Promotions, Public Relations & Marketing
Thunder Mountain Speedway

91 Hunts Corners Road Center Lisle, NY 13797

Cell: 845.728.2781

"Thunder Mountain Speedway" on Facebook
@thundermtnspeed on Twitter



News from Thunder Mountain Speedway

Media Contact: BD Motorsports Media LLC – or 845.728.2781

For Immediate Release/Oct. 31, 2014

Attachments: Reconfigured Turn-Three Photos

Thunder Mountain Speedway Turn-Three Reconfiguration Project Complete For Wider, Sweeping Corner; Clay Added To Surface; Planning & Scheduling Underway For 2015 As Crate 602 Sportsman Join Weekly Lineup

CENTER LISLE, NY It may be the ‘off-season’ but the continuous improvement at Thunder Mountain Speedway has not stopped.

Capitalizing on the mild autumn weather, Thunder Mountain owner Karl Spoonhower and the track crew have undertaken a track reconfiguration and resurfacing project in preparation for the 2015 campaign at the facility located in Center Lisle, N.Y., just miles outside of Whitney Point.

Following the completion of the final 2014 event in September, fill was brought in to lay the groundwork for a revamped turn three. The fill allowed turn three to be expanded and widened. The project will provide a more sweeping arc for competitors entering turn three and exiting turn four to allow for additional side-by-side racing.

The backstretch retaining wall and fencing, in addition to the turn-three outside barrier will be adjusted, as well.

Clay was also spread on the speedway in advance of the winter months to settle and mix with the existing surface.

Planning for the ’15 season at Thunder Mountain is currently underway.

Once again, the big-block/small-block Modifieds will headline weekly racing at the speedway. Open Sportsman return to the track paying a region-high $700 to win and $100 to take the green flag.

New for ’15 is the addition of the Crate 602 Sportsman division, which has grown significantly in the area. The Crate 602 Sportsman division will race weekly for a $400 winner’s share.

Also racing regularly in ’15 are the Street Stocks and Four Cylinder Stocks.

A number of touring/visiting divisions will visit the speedway including the Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP Modifieds, Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints (ESS) 360 Sprint Cars, CRSA 305 Sprint Cars, Vintage Cars, XCel 600 Modifieds, IMCA-style Modifieds, SRP Sprints and more.

An open practice is set for Saturday, April 18 with the Season Opener on the docket one week later on April 25.

A Small Car event is in the works for Sunday, May 3 to include 600cc Micro-Sprints, 270cc Micro-Sprints, Slingshots and more. Further details will be released on this event as they become available.

For off-season general information on Thunder Mountain Speedway, visit The speedway office number is 607.657.8202. On race day, call 607.849.7899. The speedway e-mail  “Like” Thunder Mountain Speedway on Facebook or follow @thundermtnspeed on Twitter.

Thunder Mountain Speedway is located at 91 Hunts Corners Road Center Lisle, NY 13797, approximately 25 miles north of Binghamton. The three-eighths-mile clay oval features hillside concrete seating, free parking and camping, a variety of concession items and novelties, a family environment and more.

Brett Deyo

Promotions, Public Relations & Marketing
Thunder Mountain Speedway

91 Hunts Corners Road Center Lisle, NY 13797

Cell: 845.728.2781

"Thunder Mountain Speedway" on Facebook
@thundermtnspeed on Twitter





Contact: Julia Foy

Promotions/PR Coordinator - DIRTcar NE 
315.834.2299 |


Clash at Charlotte: Sheppard, Hearn and Decker duel for Super DIRTcar Series championship

World of Outlaws World Finals kicks off Nov. 6 with feature races set for Nov. 7 and 8


WEEDSPORT, N.Y. - October 31, 2014 - A heated Super DIRTcar Series points battle will round out the season as the series heads into its final two feature races with the top two in point standings, Matt Sheppard and Billy Decker, within just one point of each other.

The World of Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, N.C., kicks off Thursday, Nov. 6, with qualifying events for the Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified Series, World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series and World of Outlaws Late Models Series. Racing Friday and Saturday, Nov. 7 and 8, includes a feature event for each series and champions will be crowned after the races Friday.

Sheppard, of Waterloo, N.Y., leads in Super DIRTcar Series points after an impressive run at Orange County Fair Speedway took him from a 43rd starting spot to second place. However, Decker's one-point disadvantage could be quickly overcome in Charlotte, where each feature race is worth 150 points.

"We're looking forward to going down there and trying to get this championship," said Sheppard, who claimed the Super DIRTcar Series title in Charlotte three years in a row: 2010, 2011 and 2012. "It's awesome. It's an unbelievable feeling, an unbelievable atmosphere. The way this series has shaken up with the points and everything at the end of the year, the fans should be in for quite a treat."

No stranger to the limelight at Charlotte, Sheppard is prepping for the finale races and hoping to win his first championship trophy with the new race team. Sheppard began racing this year under the Heinke-Baldwin Racing banner earlier this season.

"It's going to go right down to the wire," Sheppard said. "It's going to be exciting in Charlotte."

Decker, of Sidney, N.Y., has returned to full-time competition in the Super DIRTcar Series and hasn't missed a beat. Before Orange County Fair Speedway's Eastern States 200 earlier this October, Decker was leading in series points. He already has a total of three series wins to his name, and with the point lead within a few points, Decker is hoping for a strong run at Charlotte.

"It's a hell of a racetrack," Decker said of Charlotte's 0.4-mile clay oval, where the driver, in 2011, lost his series point lead and his shot at the championship after mechanical failures in the first feature. "We went down there and had bad luck, broke an engine and just flat out missed it."

Also in contention for the series championship is eight-time Super DIRTcar Series Champion Brett "the Jet" Hearn. After a win at Orange County Fair Speedway, Hearn is third in series points and just 52 points behind leader Sheppard.

"It's become such a highlight for so many people's seasons," Hearn said of racing at the World of Outlaws World Finals. "In front of that crowd, and in front of people from all over the country, to me, that event has no rival."

The World of Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte is one out of only two events this season at which fans can watch the Super DIRTcar Series, World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series, and World of Outlaws Late Models Series at the same track, and it is the only chance during the season to see feature races for all three on the same night.

For more information and the latest updates about the Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified Series,, follow @SuperDIRTcar on Twitter or "like" the DIRTcar Racing Facebook page




News from the Accord Speedway ‘Gobbler’

Media Contact: Brett Deyo – 845.728.2781 or

For Immediate Release/Nov. 4, 2014

Accord Speedway ‘Gobbler’ Shaping Up As Lucrative Event For Competitors Saturday, November 29 At Accord Speedway; Long List Of Bonuses & Awards Posted For Drivers In Modified, Open vs. Crate 602 Sportsman & Pure Stock/Street Stock Competition

ACCORD, NY – The season’s final dirt-track event in late-November is also becoming one of its most lucrative.

A long list of marketing partners has sweetened the pot for competitors entering the post-Thanksgiving ‘Gobbler’ on Saturday, Nov. 29 at Accord Speedway. The event made its debut last year as an overwhelming success with more than 100 race cars in the pit area at the Ulster County facility and an overflow crowd.

Again in 2014, the big-block/small-block ‘Mashed Potato Modifieds’ headline the ‘Gobbler’ program in a 50-lap event offering $7,117.11 to the winner thanks to Sowle Trailer Repair located in Fultonville, N.Y. Fifth-place in the event pays $1,000, with $500 reserved for the 10th-place finisher and $300 just to take the green flag.

Sportsman, Open vs. Crate 602, compete in the ‘Turkey 25’ event paying $1,500-plus to win, $100 to start and Crate 602 bonuses. The Ron Wright Memorial for ‘Pumpkin Pie Pure Stocks/Street Stocks’ is a 20-lap affair paying $500 to the winner and $50 to start.

A complete list of special awards and bonuses, growing daily, can be found at the end of this release, listed alphabetically.

Complete times, rules and general information for the ‘Gobbler’ can be found at the following link:

Registration is currently open for both the Modified and Sportsman divisions.

The first official ‘Gobbler’ Modified entry has been filed by Dylan Scribner of East Greenbush, N.Y.

The Modified entry form can be found here:

The Sportsman entry form can be found here:


‘Gobbler’ grandstand admission is $22 for Adults, $20 for Seniors (ages 65 and over) and $5 for Kids 11 and under. Limited indoor seating is available at $35 per seat. Contact the speedway office at 845.626.1142 to reserve a seat with a credit card. Pit admission is $35, with no license required.

Gates open at 11 a.m., with a drivers’ meeting set for 12:30 p.m. Hot laps will follow the drivers’ meeting. Race time is 1:30 p.m.

Last November, young Anthony Perrego of Montgomery, N.Y., fended off the late challenges of Stewart Friesen to win the 'Gobbler' Modified 50-lap event. For Sportsman graduate Perrego, the win was his first in the Modified ranks and he earned $7,732.11 including lap money and bonuses.

Rocky Warner of Gloversville, N.Y., drove his crate-powered Sportsman to victory over a stout field and Charlie Houghtaling of Parksville, N.Y., registered the Ron Wright Memorial Pure/Street Stock score.

Marketing opportunities are available now for the ‘Gobbler’ event. To learn more, contact Brett Deyo by phone at 845.728.2781 or via e-mail at  BD Motorsports Media is on the web at “Like” BD Motorsports Media on Facebook or follow @BrettDeyo on Twitter.


Accord Speedway, a neat-and-tidy quarter-mile clay oval nestled in the hills of Ulster County, is located at 299 Whitfield Road Accord, NY 12404. The speedway is on the web at

Accord Speedway ‘Gobbler’ Special Awards & Bonuses (*as of Nov. 4)

Above All Auto Repair $500 Pure Stock/Street Stock “Purse Booster” Bonus: Above All Auto Repair located in Highland, N.Y., has contributed $500 to boost the purse in the Ron Wright Memorial Pure Stock/Street Stock 20-lap event. The extra cash will be distributed to drivers finishing throughout the field.

ASI Trophy & Awards ‘Longest Distance Towed’ Bonus: The driver towing the longest distance to compete in the Modified portion of the ‘Gobbler’ will receive a $100 cash award courtesy of ASI Trophy & Awards.

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses: All three ‘Gobbler’ feature winners – Modified, Open vs. Crate 602 Sportsman and Pure Stock/Street Stock – will receive a free tire courtesy of American Racer and Lias Tire, the regional distributor in Indiana, Pa. American Racer/Lias Tire is on the web at


Behrent’s Quick Time Bonuses: The two drivers turning the fastest laps in the 50-lap ‘Gobbler’ Modified feature, as recorded by the speedway’s transponder system, will receive $100 gift cards for use at Behrent’s Performance Warehouse in Florida, N.Y. Behrent’s is online at


DMJ Racing Photos Top Orange County Fair Speedway Regular Bonus: The highest-finishing representative from Orange County Fair Speedway in the ‘Gobbler’ 50-lap Modified order of finish will receive a cash bonus of $50 courtesy of DMJ Racing Photos and Boris Rudzinski.

Dwy’s Automotive Crate 602 Hard Charger: The Crate 602 Sportsman driver advancing the most positions in the 25-lap Open vs. Crate 602 Sportsman event from their scheduled starting position to the finish will receive a $50 cash bonus thanks to Dwy’s Automotive in Pleasant Valley, N.Y.

Ed Tauschman Memorial Crew Chief of the Race: The winning crew chief from the ‘Gobbler’ Modified event will earn a $50 cash bonus and a case of beer courtesy of Peter ‘Crackers’ Reynolds. Tauschman was a well-respected northeastern Pennsylvania speed shop owner and chassis specialist who passed away in 2010 at the age of 47.

“Grandma’s Gravy” Gambler’s Program: Drivers in all three divisions – Modified, Open vs. Crate 602 Sportsman and Pure Stock/Street Stock – are eligible to participate in the “Grandma’s Gravy” Gambler’s Program. There will be a $20 optional “gambler’s fee” for each division. The total for each class will be divided two ways: the highest-finishing driver having posted the fee will get half and another randomly selected position, drawn in Victory Lane by the winner, takes the other half.

Hunt’s Machine Crate 602 Bonus: The highest-finishing Crate 602 Sportsman in the 25-lap Open vs. Crate 602 Sportsman event equipped with a Hunt’s Machine/Accord Speedway engine seal will earn a cash bonus of $200. This bonus is backed by Hunt’s Machine of Schenectady, N.Y., on the web at


Par 5 Landscaping Pure Stock/Street Stock Hard Charger Award: The driver advancing the most positions from their scheduled starting position to the finish of the 20-lap Ron Wright Memorial Pure Stock/Street Stock event will receive a $75 cash bonus posted by Par 5 Landscaping of New Windsor, N.Y.,  owner Dan Dulin.  

Rock Fantasy Hard Charger Award: The driver advancing the most positions in the ‘Gobbler’ Modified 50-lap feature will receive a $200 cash bonus courtesy of Rock Fantasy Hard Rock, Metal and Classic Rock Concert Shop and Smoke Shop located in Middletown, N.Y. Rock Fantasy proprietor Stephen Keeler will present the award. Look for Rock Fantasy on the web

“Santa Sowle” Modified Winner’s Bonus: The ‘Gobbler’ Modified winner will receive $7,117.11 – an increase from $5,000 – thanks to “Santa Sowle” and his Sowle Trailer Repair business located in Fulton, N.Y. Sowle is also the promoter of Glen Ridge Motorsports Park in Fultonville, N.Y.,

Shiley Fabrication Hard Luck Award: The Hard Luck Award recipient in the ‘Gobbler’ Modified division, as voted by visiting media members and event officials, will receive a certificate from Shiley Fabrication for a set of bumpers and rubrails. Based in Williamstown, Pa., Shiley Fabrication is on the web at


Simplicity Designs/Zubi’s Racing Dash for Cash: A Modified Dash for Cash paying a minimum of $300 to win for heat-race winners. The Dash is sponsored by Ryan Sacco of Simplicity Designs and Dave Zubikowski of Zubi’s Racing.  The heat winner drawing the worst number through the gate at registration will earn the pole for the Dash and the remainder of the lineup will be determined by an inversion of original draw numbers.

United Pump & Tank Modified Halfway Leader Bonus:  The leader at the halfway mark, lap 25, of the 50-lap ‘Gobbler’ Modified main event will earn a cash bonus of $300 thanks to United Pump & Tank, a leader in service station maintenance and technologies based in Newburgh, N.Y. United Pump & Tank is online at


United Pump & Tank Crate 602 Sportsman Bonuses:  The top-three Crate 602 Sportsman drivers across the line in the ‘Gobbler’ 25-lap Open vs. Crate 602 Sportsman event will receive cash bonuses of  $150, $125 and $125 thanks to United Pump & Tank a leader in service station maintenance and technologies based in Newburgh, N.Y. United Pump & Tank is online






Non Racin' Stuff found on Facebook:


I'm not sure if this is going to work, or not, but here is just one little reason why we're in so much trouble in the USA today - how "they" work the system:



Found on Facebook on 11/2/14:  Health Insurance Company CEO's compensation in 2013:

Joseph Sweedish - Well Point - 17.0 million = $49,853/day

Michale Neidorff - Centene - 14.5 million = $42,560/day

Stephen Hemsley - UniteHealth - 12.1 million = $35,484/day

David Cordana - Cigna - 13.5 million = $39,589/day

Bruce Broussard - Humana - 8.8 million = $25,807/day


Mark Bertolini - Aetna - 30.7 million = an astounding $90,029/day

And you that work today, how much do you make and you say you can't afford insurance.  See where the problem is?


Thanks to Nofri Fornoro for posting that news!








This week’s photo:


To quite a few, the late Bill Vukovich is said to be one of the greatest to have run in the Indy 500.  Were you aware that one year - 1953, I believe it was, when he was qualifying, it actually rained on his fourth lap?  Hard to imagine what it was like after he got the checkered flag and went into that first t urn with a very wet track.





This weeks joke:


Not a joke, really, but from an email I received this past week.  Of course Election Day is now over with, but really, what does the future hold for the next two years or so?




Did you receive your  Medicare Handbook for 2015 yesterday? If you have already received yours in the  mail please turn to page 12 and go down to the bottom of the page and read.  Find out what you pay for Medicare (Part A and Part  B) . It states that the premium and deductible amounts were not available at the time of  printing. It further states you may call 1-800-633-4227 to get the most  up-to-date info.


I did just that and  talked with a Medicare representative. She told me that they probably would not  have those figures in until the end of the first week or possibly the second  week of November. Now, let that sink in .


As soon as she stated  that to me I replied , My, isn't that convenient for the Obama  Administration to actually hold off on those figures until after the 2014  election results.  There was dead silence on the other end of the line.  I told her thank you and that I would call back.


I may be wrong, but I  really think that I am right!


You see on our Social Security increase for next year we are only receiving an increase of around 1%. Even the military are getting just over 1%. You  can bet after the November 4th election the increases for Medicare A & B will be greater than  any 1%. That is why they are delaying what the increases will be. Because if they had put it in that  handbook, any elderly would be voting against the Democrats. I also know that my Tricare For Life  plan will increase too, and I am only getting an increase on my military retirement of just over  1%.


So anyone voting for the Democrats in the forthcoming  elections deserves to get the increases that are coming after November  4th. 


Note:  Maybe even those that did not vote for Democrats?  Time will tell.





Until my next column – more than likely next week now.


Columns are available on the Dirt Track Digest at: (Click on “Recent Columns – and I hope it works!)




Where I also have some neat photo articles



I can be reached, via e-mail, at: