Mostly Racin' Stuff
By Tom Avenengo
Volume # 216
This week’s photo:
The above photo is of Russ Klar in the Nagy # 36, after a race win. The other gentleman is Nick Fornoro, Sr. Russ's daughter, Anne is married to Nick's son,
Drew. More about Russ is below in my "Mystery Race" section.
Some personal/family stuff:
Pretty quiet this week. Our "Baby" , Sarah, has a birthday coming up on the 9th of March. Won't tell ya how old she is, but she was born in 1973. She lives a little of north of where I am, in North Port, Florida. My son, Eric, left on Saturday afternoon, heading to North Carolina and searching for a job down there. He, like me and so many others just can't afford living in New York, anymore. He'd like to stay in the same form of work - being a car painter.
Over on Facebook, there have been quite a few photos posted of some Eastern States races from back in the day. Back when it was a one day show and featured only modifieds. Photos showed jam packed pits, drive-in and stands. One day in, get it all done, and go home. Now, it seems that you have to get there on Thursday, if you're race team, spend extra bucks on lodging & eats and wait around. On top of that, besides the modifieds, there are now 358 modifieds, sportsman, sprint cars, street stocks and maybe a truck or two. Each team has maybe at least 3-4 members who pay "extra" because of it being a big "show". Tire wear has been an issue, since the track is basically almost hard pan now, instead of real clay. There's an additional cost. Back in the day, you had quite a few choices as to what you could eat. Today, that's down to basically one vendor - Maxwell's.
People making mention of the track on Social Media consider it to be a "dump", and, maybe they're right. All one has to do is look around to see how the whole place has deteriorated. This is not good. What's worse is, when they race there weekly, the stands are, well, let's say - not full. One can arrive just as the racing is starting and sit anywhere you desire.
Talk of no more Super Dirt Week up in Syracuse after 2015. Somehow, I can see the same thing happening in Middletown, NY. Sad to have to say this about a place that has been around for so long, a place that has bought such happiness & joy to thousands over the years and a place where some well known drivers got their start. I should be quite interesting to see just what the future holds.
Eldora Speedway website hacked with ISIS message
NASCAR reinstates Kurt Busch; grants him waiver for Chase
Keselowski crew chief placed on probation for rest of season
The "Mystery Race":
It had to be in the late 60's - 68 or 69 (Aug 31, 1969?), when I ventured out to the Pocono Speedway to take in a 100 lap midget race on the 3/4 mile oval. Both the ARDC and NEMA were sanctioning the event. The big track still had not been completed yet. Best I know, it was the first race ever held at Pocono. There were some concerns about tire wear, and they had a tire test. After the test, they felt it would be best to have a mandatory pit stop during that 100 lapper.
From what I can recall, Jimmy Kirk had the fastest qualifying time in the Mike Sheehan Sesco. Maybe a tad too fast. The NEMA contingent said that if that car ran, they would pull out of the race. It didn't race. Keep in mind, this is when midgets ran on both dirt and paved tracks, with the same cars, too. Oh, and no wings, either.
I had my eye on Russ Klar, in the Nagy Offy, throughout the duration of the race, noticing that as the laps wound down, he had not pitted for that tire change. Come around - maybe lap 85, the announcer also made a comment about Russ not pitting yet. Lap 90 passed - still he had not pitted. Lap 95 - same thing - he continued to lead the race and no pit stop. Lap 99 and Russ took the white flag, still leading. As he came out of the 4th turn, he went onto pit road. His crew physically picked up the front end, changed the left front tire, and attempted to push him towards the track and the checkered flag. An official stopped them. And there the car sat. Apparently that mandatory pit stop had to be made between certain laps, or prior to the last lap? I don't know, for sure. When I left, I really wasn't sure who had won.
Note: This was posted on Facebook on Sunday AM:
Paul Weisel - I was speaking of the 1972 Pocono race on the .75 mile. I have no personal recollections of who won -- I was busy. My records indicate the 9-4-72 event at Pocono was run in two segments with Jimmy Kirk the winner of both. An event on 8-31-69 at Pocono was won by Hubbard.
In fact, I wasn't sure for quite a few years.
Then one night at an "Enduro" race at OCFS, who was sitting in front of me buy Guy Smith. He's a writer for the AARN. I asked him if he had any idea as to who won. He told me he'd check it out and get back to me, which he did. He said the winner was Johnny Hubbard. OK. But now, that seems to be debatable. No where can I find any info on this race. So and so says "Joe Doe " won. Another says "so and so" won.
The Pocono records don't show the results. Checking a win list for Johnny Hubbard and nothing comes up on this particular race. So, the mystery remains - who won?
Back in the day:
It sure was different back in the day. You happen to catch the last few laps of the XFINITYrace from Lost Wages? Ryan Blaney was coming on like a tiger and about to pass the leader, Austin Dillon. Back in the day, it would not have been a problem, but things are different today. They don't race anymore - they block. I'd love to see all racing do away with spotters and mirrors. All that really should be necessary would be radio communication between the track and the drivers.
Just wondering - NASCAR check the engine in Dillons car? I see he was a lot faster in qualifying. Oh wait - car is owned by Richard Childress - sorry!
Super DIRT Week CEO says this year's event will be at fairgrounds. After that? He isn't sure
Super DIRT week: It's more than a race.
Toby LaGrange has a nice article about SDW and his memories and thoughts.
As for the Glenn Donnelly track:
I sent an email to one that is very much involved with it, just to get an idea how things are progressing. He came back, with this:
"Tom: Things are going well. By mid month or so, depending on the weather, Riccelli will begin moving 200 trucks a day off the site of excess dirt. We have sold it to Honeywell to cleanup the area around the lake.. The state will be opening up the rest area for us to do so. Lan-Co will finish with the cut and fill and layout of the oval and road course. by Spring. After that, ModSpace will start the buildings and we will begin the tracks. We expect to be ready for a late Spring to Early Summer opening in 2016"
Note: More on this below in the Track Forum section.
I don't know about you, but I find it's getting very tiring watching drivers sip from their soda bottles when being interviewed.
And, why is it necessary to put "Victory lane" in the middle of the infield instead of on the track in front of the fans? Surely with today's cameras it could be held on the track instead of adding to the "show".
Well, I'll be dam*ed:
A few months ago, if you recall, the TBARA decided not to race in 2015. Who stepped forward to help bail out Florida winged sprint car racing but Davey Hamilton. My friend, Rich Golardi, kept us informed, on www.hoseheads.com as to what was happening.
From his first article on this - in part:
"Hamilton Moves Forward With 2015 Plans for Florida King of the Wing Races
By Richard Golardi
Davey Hamilton spoke at the Sunday meeting with Florida’s sprint car racing community in Gibsonton, FL. "I'm doing it then. I'll tell you right now I'm doing it," he stated after hearing support from the racing community. During the meeting, no one openly urged him not to go forward with his plans. The new Southeast regional winged pavement sprint carseries would operate under the banner of the King of the Wing Series. "I am going to start working on it immediately," Hamilton stated. There were 16 Florida pavement sprint car owners present at the meeting, which came to a little over half of the number of entrants for The Frank Riddle Memorial in October (which had 31 entrants)."
And Davey also answered some questions, too - again, in part:
spoke to Davey Hamilton shortly after he had left the Southern California video
production facilities of MAVTV in Corona. The meeting concerned plans for the
airing of the 2015 King of the Wing sprint car races on MAVTV. After conducting
six races in 2014, the series will expand to twelve races in 2015, and Florida
will be included for the first time. But Davey Hamilton’s plans for Florida go
beyond one weekend of racing with three Florida races. He has planned a meeting
for this coming weekend in Gibsonton, and has invited the entire Florida sprint
car racing community to attend.
The following interview will serve to provide a summary of the points that Hamilton plans to present at the meeting on Sunday.
Q. Why bring the King of the Wing Series to Florida, and what are your intentions with bringing the series to Florida?
want to keep the King of the Wing as a national tour, and we hope to race in
Florida. We have nine races confirmed, and we’d like to make it a twelve race
series, which would be four weekends, twelve races. We want to be in the
Midwest, we want to be in the Southeast, we want to be in California and the
Northwest. We’ve got everything but the Southeast taken care of. To kind of
clarify – the King of the Wing, that is the national races. Now Florida, that
would be under the King of the Wing banner. I haven’t completely come up with a
name, because I’m not going to move forward until after the meeting on Sunday
to make sure that everybody’s on board with my plan. Without the racers and
without cooperation, I’m nobody. I need support. I’m doing the regional series
in California. I’m doing the regional series in the Midwest. The Northwest has
called about me coming up there and taking over their regional part. I’m trying
to get every sprint car that runs on pavement with a wing on the same rules
I spent over a year reading everybody’s rule book, and dissecting it and seeing where the differences are. The difficult part was the engines. Some were 360s, some were cast iron, there were 410s, I mean it was just all over the place. I had to put them on dynos, and then the chassis dynos, just to make sure that at the end of the day we had the same numbers. Now that that’s worked, and we’ve been able to prove that it’s worked, it’s allowed us to do the regional type programs where no matter what kind of engine you have, you could participate. You could get the car count up, and make it much less expensive at the end of the day.
To make the series stronger as a whole, I’m willing to come down to Florida and work directly with the promoters. A lot of the tracks told me that they are behind the concept. Without the racers, we don’t have anything. It’s like I’m going to explain to the racers – without you, I’m nothing. I’m going to make the best decisions possible for you guys, because it’s my money on the line. I don’t want to lose it. This is a very important meeting on Sunday. As a club, when they had their club meeting, I wasn’t invited to the meeting because I’m not a member and I didn’t race with their series.
Q. You are referring to the TBARA meeting that was held earlier this month?
A. That’s correct. At the meeting, they basically decided no one wanted to run it anymore. Dave Steele said the checkbook was like a hot potato. Nobody wanted to hang onto that darn thing. So they made a decision that let’s have Davey come in and tell what he has to offer, and let’s just put TBARA on hiatus for a little while, just to see if this is a better program. Here’s who I’ve invited to the meeting on Sunday – I’ve invited owners, drivers, sponsors, promoters, media, fans, whoever.
To see all of what was said, when you go to Hoseheads, scroll down to "Florida Open Wheel".
Now, it seems there might be a huge "Monkey Wrench" thrown into this -
An email I received from USAC this past Monday:
USAC Racing Announces Major Organizational Changes
Davey Hamilton Named Executive Director of USAC Racing
Note: Quite a bit being said on this on the Internet. I've heard that Davey will be in charge of winged midgets & sprint cars, with USAC. Also heard that, in Florida, the newly created winged sprint car series would be USAC. Then I get this, via Facebook, from 3 Palms Speedway, one of the tracks that was supposed to host one of the newly sanctioned winged sprints:
"Tbra is coming back to life.. Sprints should be here in apirl"
Note: I've had the OK from Rich Golardi as far as me taking things from his articles on Hoseheads and putting them in my columns. On Wedensday, 3/11/15, Rich linked to what follows, via Facebook. Yeah, it's a little long.
TBARA and King of the Wing and USAC – Florida’s Winged Sprint Car Cocktail
By Richard Golardi
USAC racing wasn’t always open wheel cars on dirt, as it is mainly viewed today. For nearly thirty years, the USAC Stock Car Division once rivaled NASCAR in popularity, racing mainly in the Midwest and Northeast. They raced on pavement tracks as well as dirt tracks and road courses. Winged pavement sprint car racing is USAC racing’s new venture, to be led by King of the Wing series founder and owner Davey Hamilton. It’s a major departure from non-wing dirt sprint cars, USAC’s core series. On Monday, Hamilton was announced as the new Executive Director of USAC Racing, effective immediately. He will retain his ownership of the King of the Wing series, which will now be USAC sanctioned. The previously announced eleven race schedule for the series, racing exclusively on pavement with wings, will be retained. A Florida race on April 10th at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola will begin the 2015 season.
“King of the Wing will be run the same just under the USAC banner,” Hamilton told me on Monday. “I am full steam ahead with King of the Wing and it will be under the USAC banner and want to continue with the Southern Sprint Car Series,” he added. The Southern Sprint Car Series is a regional series for Florida, Alabama and Georgia, to be run under the King of the Wing aegis. The new series was announced earlier this year, when it appeared that the TBARA would not race in 2015 and two February TBARA races were cancelled by New Smyrna Speedway. Subsequently, a February TBARA member meeting was held, which resulted in the election of some new club officers and the stated intention to race this year. I spoke to both TBARA Vice President Josh Wichers and Davey Hamilton and asked about their plans for Florida, and if both series can co-exist in The Sunshine State.
Davey Hamilton got a very positive response from all but one of the Florida track owners that he contacted regarding scheduling races this year under the Southern Sprint Car Series banner. Many remarked that they never had anyone offer to do co-promotion with them to try to build the series. He found that the track owners like sprint cars, but they know of the controversy and the discontent within the pavement sprint car ranks. He has been driving to each race track, to meet face-to-face with each track owner or promoter. Hamilton has also spoken to Josh Wichers about TBARA’s plans for this year.
“The Southern Sprint Car Series has points races scheduled at Pensacola and at Mobile, on April 10th and 11th. After that, if TBARA does decide to reactivate, then I’ll probably just stand back and let TBARA do their thing. If they do not decide to reactivate, then I’ll continue on going to Florida to schedule additional races for the year,” Hamilton said. But instead of 8 to 10 races in the Southern Series, would there be only half that number this year, because of the delay in the 2015 schedule being finalized? “My goal would be 7 to 10. I think that’s really doable. I talked to Three Palms (in Punta Gorda), and he talked about doing four races with our series. We need to start racing for better money. I think the opportunities are huge down there. You probably heard my excitement in the meeting. The opportunity is there to get a lot of additional cars down there during the winter months from up here in the north. I had some sponsors. Everything seemed to be really in the right direction. I’m not a controversial guy. I think I even said it – if you guys want me, I’m here. If you don’t want me, and want somebody else to do it, that’s great too, just as long as it’s going to happen, right?”
“That’s why I talked to Josh,” Hamilton said, referring to his last phone call to TBARA officer Josh Wichers. “I asked him, do you intend on scheduling races and moving ahead, pursuing TBARA races at the same tracks as usual? He said yes. I said OK, if you’re going to do that, then I’m not going to step in your way. There’s no sense in me coming in there. I’ll support you in any way to make it strong. That’s kind of where I made the final decision. If he told me, ‘no I’m not even going to do it this year’, well I’m not even slowing down. I told them if anything changes, and you don’t think you’re going to be able to move forward, please give me a call and let me know. And then I’ll proceed on.I don’t want to have two series down there working against each other, because somebody’s always the bad guy in that. My hope is that Josh calls up and says you know what, we are going to put it on ice for one year to allow you to come and see what you can pull off down here,” according to Davey Hamilton.
Winged pavement sprint car racing teams, drivers and fans may need to wait a couple of months with the holding pattern that has developed for Florida sprint car racing. Without an announced schedule for either TBARA or the Southern Sprint Car Series beyond April, will one of the two parties step aside and allow the other to be the sole winged pavement series for Florida this year? Will Florida tracks run their own winged pavement sprint car races to fill the void? Desoto Speedway and Showtime Speedway did exactly that during February.
“He did call me and we did speak,” Josh Wichers told me, referring to his phone call with Davey Hamilton. “He asked what my plans were, and I told him that following our annual meeting that we planned on, as a series, moving forward. We are still going to run down here as TBARA with our 360s. He said that there’s not enough room for both of us, and I kind of concur. We talked about a lot of stuff. Some ideas back and forth. I wished him luck. I said that if you can come down here and run a few, it gives their guys a place to go run. For now, I think we’re just going to continue with our weekend warrior series.”
Wichers said that he met with a track owner on Saturday, in his duty of developing a TBARA race schedule for this year. The track was Three Palms Speedway in Punta Gorda. The two parties plan to race at the southwest Florida track once the spectator grandstands are completed. Tentative talks have outlined three possible races at Three Palms, with one in the spring and two in the fall. Other possible tracks include New Smyrna Speedway and Citrus County Speedway, with a pair of races at each track. Auburndale Speedway was mentioned also, for a desired total of eight races for 2015. “If I can get eight races this year, I think I’ll be pretty satisfied moving forward, considering where we’re at right now,” Wichers said.
Would it be best for Florida for TBARA to step aside, now that the King of The Wing has USAC sanctioning, and the possibility of greater media exposure, sponsor involvement, and prize money for its Southeast regional sprint car series? “Do I think that our guys are ready for something like that? I would have to say the majority are not,” Wichers responded. “Now don’t get me wrong. I feel that we have some of the most talented drivers anywhere in the country. But we’ve been running 360s for forty plus years. And for them to try to make the transition to 410s, I think it’s going to be a bit of a process for them. More than three years. I think it’ll take a lot more than three years to make that happen. As far as them coming down if that’s going to change anything that we’re going to do? I would say, not at this point. I don’t know what their plans are, but Jerry (Mathis) and I still plan on moving forward and doing our thing down here.” Jerry Mathis is the newly elected club President, elected during last month’s Sarasota club meeting. Ann Gimmler is the Secretary, and the appointed Treasurer is Ernie Teed Sr.
“I hope we would hold our first race by mid-April.”A tentative race schedule readied by mid-April is also planned. “It’s going to be very difficult for a lot of tracks to maneuver their schedules around, trying to fit us in.” What if the King of the Wing series states that they will back out of their southeast regional plans if TBARA announces a 2015 race schedule for Florida? “We’re going to move forward regardless,” Josh Wichers stated emphatically. “Whether he’s in or not. We have to. We can’t sit on our hands any longer. We’ve been stalled too long. Our guys want to go race. The tracks are now doing their own thing and that’s going to diminish our product.”
Could TBARA transform itself into something different for the future, perhaps going to non-wing 360 racing only, and thereby not competing with other winged pavement series planning to race in Florida? “I’ve always said change is inevitable. We have to transition with the times and we have to do what is best for our racers. We did discuss in our annual meeting about scheduling some non-wing races this year. And there was overwhelming support on doing that. I’m the Vice President of the TBARA, so I have to look out for what’s good for the members.”
The most recent race video from the Florida Open Wheel channel, “USAC National Sprint Cars at East Bay Raceway Park, February 2015”is here:
Another driver hits unprotected wall:
third week in a row, a NASCAR race car went headfirst into a concrete wall
unprotected by a SAFER barrier, though this time the driver was uninjured. On a
Lap 173 restart during Saturday's Boyd Gaming 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at
Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Ryan Blaney got loose on the bottom lane, his Team
Penske Ford drifting up into the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Erik Jones. After the
contact, Jones lost control of his car, which first swung left and then turned
back to the right, where it went hard headfirst into a concrete wall. Jones was
able to get under the car on his own and appeared uninjured.
Last week, Jeff Gordon crashed headfirst into a concrete infield wall at Atlanta Motor Speedway after being hit by Jamie McMurray and turned down the track. During the same incident, Denny Hamlin hit a section of the outside wall that had no SAFER barrier. In the season-opening XFINITIY race at Daytona International Speedway last month, JGR driver Kyle Busch suffered a compound fracture of the lower-right leg and a mid-foot fracture of his left foot when his car hit an unprotected infield wall. Numerous tracks have begun programs to improve safety, either by adding more SAFER barriers, tire walls and other enhancements. Gordon has a meeting with NASCAR next week to discuss safety.(FoxSports)(3-8-2015)
PIR considering SAFER upgrade to safety tire wall:
NASCAR drivers apparently won't know until after Sunday's CampingWorld.com 500 if the tires stacked inside Phoenix International Raceway's Turn 4, near pit entrance, will be replaced with a permanent SAFER barrier to soften impact against the concrete wall. Safety - specifically, increased use of so-called "soft" wall technology - has been a major issue since Kyle Busch suffered leg and foot fractures last month at Daytona International Speedway. He's sidelined indefinitely. Jeff Gordon avoided injury after a hard hit two weeks ago at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Both struck walls not protected with SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barriers, first used at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2002, which reduces G-force impact kinetic energy by over 50%. A NASCAR official last week recommended the 160-foot long tire wall - four high and two deep - after a track inspection. "The way we're going to approach this is work closely with NASCAR and ISC (International Speedway Corp., PIR's parent) on a thorough and updated review," said PIR President Bryan Sperber. "We'll be thoughtful about it. It will be a constant evolution." SAFER costs about $500 a foot. Race cars have sometimes bounced off tire walls and back into oncoming traffic. "If that was a concern, it wasn't mentioned to me," Sperber said.(Arizona Republic)(3-10-2015)
Financial reports provide insight into seating capacities for tracks that host NASCAR races:
Each year, publicly traded companies that own race tracks must list their grandstand seating capacities. International Speedway Corp., which owns 12 tracks that NASCAR races, issued its report in January. Speedway Motorsports Inc., which owns eight tracks NASCAR races, and Dover Motorsports Inc., which owns one track with Sprint Cup races, issued their reports last week. With those reports, a list of seating capacities can be compiled for the NASCAR circuit. Only Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Pocono Raceway - both privately owned - do not release such information. The Indianapolis Star has reported the seating capacity at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as 235,000. Among tracks that report seating capacity, Daytona International Speedway remains the largest at 147,000 - but that won't last much longer. Once the Daytona Rising project is completed, Daytona will have about 101,000 seats. That project is set to be completed in time for next year's Daytona 500. Six of the top 10 tracks that report seating capacities are owned by Speedway Motorsports Inc., including Bristol Motor Speedway, which is set to take over the No. 1 spot next year with its seating capacity of 146,000.(see more at NBC Sports)(3-10-2015)
Kurt Busch discusses reinstatement:
#41-Kurt Busch held a teleconference Wednesday afternoon:
KURT BUSCH: It means the world to me to be back in the car. It's been a tough situation the last few months, and I've gone through this with confidence knowing that I know the truth and that I never did any of the things that I was accused of. It was a complete fabrication. But it's unfortunate that my personal life crossed over and affected my business life, but I can't wait to get to the track, to see my team, to shake their hands and say thanks for the support, and to go out there and make my first lap this weekend.
Q. I'm wondering during the last few weeks what you felt you were fighting for, and maybe the answer is all of the above, if you were fighting for your reputation, your innocence, or your career?
KURT BUSCH: Well, I understand why NASCAR needed to take the action that it did. This is a very serious issue. I mean, the way that NASCAR reacted, it was different than what we had been told all along. They were more focused on the criminal side, as were we, but the commissioner's ruling was not necessarily what was the important factor here. The important factor is that what I was accused of was a complete fabrication, and I never wavered through this whole process because of the confidence in the truth, and I had the support from Gene Haas and everybody at SHR, and that's where my focus has been. It's been on the racing side of it, and I never lost that confidence and that drive, and so it's a humbling experience, but it's made me more focused and determined.
Q. Kurt, you talked about kind of regaining your reputation. Will you still keep "Outlaw" above the door to your car? Do you still kind of go with that outlaw persona? Does that have to change or is that still who you are?
KURT BUSCH: You know, my focus is the race car. My reputation has always been what I've done behind the wheel, and it's moments that I hope to battle and put out on the track like I did with Ricky Craven in the closest finish in the history of NASCAR, it's to focus on the wins at the tracks that I haven't won on or to deliver for Gene Haas on the trophies that he signed me on for that he wants in his trophy room. My reputation will iron itself out in whichever way that it is, but my focus is the race car, and as I move forward, I'm putting my signature above the door of the car, and I'm proud to have my signature on the side of a car that Gene Haas has and to carry his name into victory lane.
Q. I'm curious if you can give any details about what NASCAR and the outside expert that they summoned to put you through the paces here required of you, and secondly, what's been the hardest part about this whole thing for you?
KURT BUSCH: You know, I'm appreciative of the process, of the road to recovery. To me it's a roadmap that they laid out that I am respecting. It's created such a good foundation to utilize moving forward that I wish I would have done it sooner. And the hardest part about all of this has been sitting out watching the 41 car go around the racetrack, especially at the Daytona 500. Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks, and Las Vegas is my hometown track. It's been torture sitting out of the car.
Q. What did you learn being out of the race car, because difficult times teach everybody something. As you sat out of the car and went through all of this for a very long time, what did you learn being out of the car? What did you learn during this time period? And will it be hard to race the way that you race with all attention on you as you move forward?
KURT BUSCH: You know what I learned, the best thing is or what I have been to deal with and what's been the hardest is out of the race car. Being in that race car is a privilege, and it's a feeling that you can't describe when you go out there for practice each and every weekend. You drive down into the corner, the car sticks, you stand on the gas, and you drive out of the corner, it's an experience that not a lot of people get to do, and I get a chance to race against the best in the world in NASCAR. Talking with Brian France and going through this road, he told me, he says, don't change. Don't be the person that's different in the car, but be a different person outside of the car, and so Brian said, go be yourself in that car. That's what we really love. We love Kurt Busch behind the wheel. Go out there, use that passion, go for those wins, and that's my focus is to be humble through this whole process but let actions speak louder than words. (Chevy Racing)(3-11-2015)
From Track Forum:
From the Dirt Track Digest Forum:
A lot more now about New York State, Syracuse, the Fairgrounds and Super Dirt Week:
super dirt week
Jumpin Jack Night at FONDA
‘Hard Clay Open’ Awards &
Bonuses: Orange County Fair Speedway/Middletown, N.Y. April 7, 2015
*Last updated March 11, 2015
American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses: Via a random drawing, one driver finishing in positions 6-10 and another driver placing in positions 11-15 will each receive a certificate for a FREE American Racer tire courtesy of Lias Tire, the regional American Racer distributor in Indiana, Pa. Lias Tire is online atwww.liastireonline.com.
ATL Fuel Cell Bonus: The fifth-place finisher in the ‘Hard Clay Open’ 50-lap Modified event will receive a $100 product certificate for use at ATL Fuel Cells. The official ATL Fuel Cells website is:www.atlfuelcells.com.
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses: The drivers finishing fourth and ninth, respectively, in the ‘Hard Clay Open’ 50-lap Modified event will receive $50 gift cards courtesy of Behrent’s Performance Warehouse in Florida, N.Y. Behrent’s is online at www.behrents.com.
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Bonuses: The drivers finishing second, 12th and 22nd in the ‘Hard Clay Open’ 50-lap Modified event will each receive a $100 gift certificate for use at Bob Hilbert Sportswear in Boyertown, Pa. Bob Hilbert Sportswear is on the web at www.bobhilbert.com.
Elmo’s Speed & Supply Crate 602 Sportsman Bonuses: The winner of the ‘Hard Clay Open’ Crate 602 Sportsman 25-lap main will receive an increased $1,250 thanks to Elmo’s Speed & Supply of Ballston Lake, N.Y. The highest-finishing Crate 602 driver with an Elmo’s Speed & Supply decal on their car will also receive $100 cash and a $50 store credit. Find Elmo’s Speed & Supply on the web at:www.elmosspeedandsupply.com.
Fast Axle Bonus: The driver finishing seventh in the ‘Hard Clay Open’ 50-lap Modified main will receive a $50 product certificate for use at Fast Axle. To learn more about Fast Axle and Front Axle Special Technology LLC, visit www.fastaxle.com.
Grand Rental Station of Middletown Hard Charger Award: The driver advancing the most positions in the ‘Hard Clay Open’ event from their scheduled starting position to the finish of the 50-lap Modified main will receive a $500 cash bonus courtesy of Grand Rental Station Tool & Party Rental Center of Middletown, N.Y. Grand Rental Station is on the web at www.grandrentalmiddletown.com.
Hi-Tek Race Fuel/VP Racing Fuel Bonuses: The top-three drivers in the ‘Hard Clay Open’ Modified event utilizing Hi-Tek Race Fuel or VP Racing Fuel, and displaying the corresponding decal on their car, will each receive $50 Hi-Tek/VP credits. VP Racing Fuel is online at www.vpracingfuels.com and Hi-Tek Race Fuel is on the web at www.hitekfuels.com.
‘Lucky 7’ Lap Money: Lap money, at a minimum of $20 per lap, will be distributed to drivers running inside the top-seven during the ‘Hard Clay Open’ 50-lap Modified main event. More than $700 in lap money has already been collected for the event.
McGannon Excavating 21st-Place Bonus: The driver placing 21st in the 50-lap ‘Hard Clay Open’ Modified event will earn a cash bonus of $210 courtesy of McGannon Excavating in Garnerville, N.Y. The bonus brings a driver’s payout for 21st to an astounding $710!
Rock Fantasy Halfway Bonus: The driver leading the halfway lap, 25, in the 50-lap ‘Hard Clay Open’ Modified main event will receive $400 cash thanks to Rock Fantasy Hard Rock, Metal, and Classic Rock Concert Shop & Smoke Shop owner Stephen Keeler. Rock Fantasy, located in Middletown, N.Y., is on the web at www.rockfantasy.com.
Shiley Fabrication Hard Luck Award: A driver selected by officials and media members as the ‘Hard Clay Open’ Hard Luck Award recipient will receive a set of bumpers and rubrails from Shiley Fabrication of Williamstown, Pa. Shiley Fabrication is online at www.shileyfabrication.com.
S&W Awards & Photos Provides Winner’s Hardware: The ‘Hard Clay Open’ Modified and Crate 602 Sportsman event winners will receive custom-produced hardware from S&W Awards & Photos of Lindley, N.Y.
Vahlco Wheels Bonus: The driver finishing fifth in the 50-lap ‘Hard Clay Open’ Modified main event will receive a FREE wheel courtesy of Vahlco Wheels. The wheels will be given out on-site; no certificates needed. To learn more about Vahlco Wheels, visit www.vahlco.com.
Zubi’s Racing Heat Race Hard Charger Awards: The driver advancing the most positions from scheduled starting position to the finish of each ‘Hard Clay Open’ Modified heat race will receive a $50 cash bonus courtesy of Zubi’s Racing owner David Zubikowski.
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From the AARN:
This week in the AARN
Syracuse Super DIRT Week In Jeopardy For 2016 And Beyond
Weather Cancellations Continue To Plague Northeastern Speedway Promoters; Openers Delayed
No Repeat Winners: McCarl, Brown Swell WoO Swell WoO ‘15 Sprint List
All Stars Release Sprint Schedule; Some Pennsy Renegade Races Cut
Bradford Speedway To Reopen In 2015 Under New Ownership
Church Worshipped By PASS South Rivals In S.C. Opener
‘Specials Only’ For Lake Erie After Track Sale Talks Collapse
Trail-Way Says 360s, 305s Can Run Together In 2015
NEMA To Journey To Chemung Speedrome For First Time
29th Motorsports Expo To Open Central New York State Racing Season This Weekend
New Ohio Late Model Speedweek Is Announced
And some other stuff I dug up:
After being closed for two years, the Bradford Speedway, in PA will see racing action again in 2015.
Andy Bachetti will run at the I-88 Speedway, rather than Accord, on Friday nights. He'll still make a few appearances at the "Big A".
Rolling Wheels, Central New York Raceway Park, Bridgeport and the Atlantic City Race Course - some 5 hours south of Syracuse, and a one mile dirt horse track, are being mentioned in Lenny Sammons column as to alternatives IF the Syracuse track is lost. The Atlantic City track ceased operations on January 16, 2015. Some major work would have to be done at that track.
In another article on Syracuse, by Sammons, he says that NY Governor Cuomo said there would be much discussion and public hearing before work begins.
Note: So what are those photos we've seen on the Internet with all the heavy equipment?
Your thoughts: Ernie Saxton thinks NASACAR should get rid of their current qualifying system and go to heat races.
Ernie and I think the same on quite a few things - like letting 3 year olds race.
Over 40 teams have signed an Oswego Commitment Roster to compete at every race in 2015. The speedway has agreed to pay the racers an increased and guaranteed purse for their loyalty.
Two pages were dedicated to a Q&A session between Lenny Sammons and Mike Laguzza (Pay Dirt - who bought Rolling Wheels).
I see a possible problem between Rolling Wheels and DIRTcar. The Wheels had scheduled a "Detonator" race for Wednesday, May 20th. DIRTcar has an SDS race that same date at Canandaigua. Per the Wheels, that May 20th event is sold out. When asked if they've been in touch with Jeremy Corcoran (Canandaigua), they have not, but did get a message from him saying he will not change his date.
Note: On that May 20th date - Q&A from the article:
Q: The Detonator opener on Wednesday, May 20th is scheduled against a Super Dirt car Series event at N,Y's Canandaigua Speedway. Has there been discussion regarding ending the date conflict?
A: Not much.
Q: Is a war developing between DIRTcar/Canandaigua and Pay Dirt with modified drivers caught in the crossfire? Can a drivr skip Wednesday and race Thursday and Sunday for the big money?
A: There is not a war developing, but we have asked for that date months and months ahead of any other track. Considering we revised our entire schedule so we did not conflict with other tracks is upsetting that this happened.
Mr. Skotnicki (former DIRTcar Northeast Director) was well aware of this and we have the appropriate documentation required to prove this.
John Matrafailo (he was a classmate of my daughter Judy in the Washingtonville NY High School) is looking for a three-peat as the driving champion with the CRSA 305 Sprints. First we knew he raced was at a midget race at OCFS when the ARDC raced there many, many years ago. After running some regular sprint cars, he was offered a ride in the Chuck Alessi owned 305. He's been in them ever since. He likes the 305's mainly because of the rules and Frenchy Grimes. Yes, he says there are a few $20,000.00 engines in the CRSA, but his is about half of that and he still manages to run up front.
Herb Anastor continued with part 2 of the Joe Barzda story. In the article was a beautiful photo of "Basement Bessie", a well known Champ car.
Found on the South Jersey Dirt Racing Forum:
Posted by New Egypt Speedway:
"Today was the first day our track crew was able to dig into the track and unfortunately after digging we discovered the frost is much deeper and thicker than expected. With the lows predicted in the 20s much of next week, we unfortunately have decided to cancel the Cabin Fever event scheduled for Saturday, March 21st. Our first event will now be Open Practice on Saturday, March 28th with a rain date of Wednesday, April 1st. Thank you to everyone who was getting ready and helping us with the event! We look forward to a great season opener on Saturday, April 4th."
Author: Warren Alston Date: 3/11/2015 1:46:30 PM
Last weekend, I was one of the instructors for the first annual Track Services Safety Summit. We had over 75 attendees from 4 states in addition to our safety teams and track operators from all three race tracks in NJ. I believe there is an article in this weeks AARN to further discuss the summit.
One of the items discussed was this new helmet removal device. This new device, which many of us feel, will improve the process of removing the helmet on an injured driver. I've have added the link below so you can see the device in action. The Stand 21 Lid Lifter provides the SFI protection of a head sock, as the lid lifter device is built in to the sock. If I recall Mark Blackwell from Metal Fab can order these for you and the cost was around $129.00. The video clip speaks for its self on how much the lid lifter reduces the movement in the C-Spine (neck).
Thank you for taking the time to look at the clip.
This weeks video:
This week it's not about a race, race driver, or accidents. Well, in a way, yes, accidents. It's about a well known personality in motor sports - Dr. Terry Trammel. If you have about 13 minutes to spare, might I suggest you watch this:
This came out on Tuesday evening. Any idea as to who might have posted it? Answer in next week's column.
The year was 2001 Flemington has closed there for ever. I lost everything in my life time prime, equipment, my mother home. Then it happen my son call me get home quickly. We were target of a home invasion thru out our street. I stuffer a Heart Attack when I enter the back door of my house.Follow with a stroke. I was saved because the police was already at my house writing the report. Rushing me too the Hospital half a mile up my street. The doctor told me it was a miracle I was alive. I believe today it was the hands of God. He wanted me to lived for a reason. Many racers supported me for my recovery including Doug Wolcott, Doug Wolfgang. Thank You both. Also two outstanding Ladies who help so hard to getting back too the tracks photography were the Late Janet Brice and Debbie Gastelu they knew what this mean for me. Thank You again for all your help.
Non racin' stuff:
Some accomplishments of our "President" - Part 1:
Obama has actually accomplished quite a bit, and here’s a long list of his accomplishments, so stop bashing, haters!
First President to be photographed smoking a joint.
First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.
First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in.
First President to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States.
First President to violate the War Powers Act.
First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party.
First President to spend a trillion dollars on “shovel-ready” jobs when there was no such thing as “shovel-ready” jobs.
First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.
First President to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat.
First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S., including those with criminal convictions.
First President to demand a company hand-over $20 billion to one of his political appointees.
First President to tell a CEO of a major corporation (Chrysler) to resign.
Obama says learned about Clinton's emails from news reports: CBS
This came out on Tuesday:
Meanwhile, the White House has now admitted that President Obama did not tell the truth in a TV interview in which he claimed that he didn’t know his then-secretary of state was using private email and not an official government account, and that he only learned about the practice after seeing the news.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest acknowledged Monday that President Obama did exchange e-mails with Clinton while she was the nation’s top diplomat and knew she was using a private e-mail account.
Obama had said during a CBS News interview that he learned of Clinton’s non-governmental e-mail system “the same time everybody else learned it, through news reports.”
Read more at http://www.westernjournalism.com/breaking-heres-what-hillary-says-shell-now-do-as-trey-gowdy-blasts-state-dept-on-emails/#3jH0iy4fHsMbKc8s.99
Banning the American flag? Why UC Irvine flap might be glimpse of future
There was a photo posted on Facebook showing just who those students were that voted on banning the American flag. They are:
Mathew Guevara, Khaalidah Sidney, Naty Rico, John Salazar, Matthew Tsai and Negar Fatahi. Yup, not one is American.
Yup! This clown fits right in with the rest of the corrupt people that are running (ruining) our country!
Suspicious Fires Twice Destroyed Key Sharpton Records
by JILLIAN KAY MELCHIOR, National Review
As Al Sharpton ran for mayor of New York City in 1997 and for president in 2003, fires at his offices reportedly destroyed critical financial records, and he subsequently failed to comply with tax and campaign filing requirements.
The first fire began in the early hours of April 10, 1997, in a hair-and-nail salon one floor below Sharpton’s campaign headquarters at 70 West 125th Street. From the start, investigators deemed the fire “suspicious” because of “a heavy volume of fire on arrival” and because many of the doors remained unlocked after hours, according to the New York Fire Department’s fire-and-incident report.
As the fire crept upward into Sharpton’s headquarters, it destroyed nearly everything, including computers, files, and campaign records, the Reverend’s spokesperson at the time told Newsday, adding that “we have lost our entire Manhattan operation.” But a source knowledgeable about the investigation tells National Review Online that Sharpton’s office was mostly empty, and that the damage was not extensive.
Yes, quite a few times we get emails that might not seem believable. Check this one out that I got on Tuesday:
AMERICA'S HUNTERS Pretty Amazing!
A blogger added up the deer license sales in just a handful of states and arrived at a striking conclusion:
There were over 600,000 hunters this season in the state of Wisconsin .... Allow me to restate that number: 600,000!
Over the last several months, Wisconsin's hunters became the eighth largest army in the world.
(That’s more men under arms than in Iran .. More than France and Germany combined.)
These men, deployed to the woods of a single American state, Wisconsin, to hunt with firearms, And NO ONE WAS KILLED.
That number pales in comparison to the 750,000 who hunted the woods of Pennsylvania and Michigan's 700,000 hunters, ALL OF WHOM HAVE RETURNED HOME SAFELY.
Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia and it literally establishes the fact that the Hunters of those four states alone would comprise the largest army in the world.
And then add in the total number of hunters in the other 46 states. It's millions more.
________ The point? ________
America will forever be safe from foreign invasion with that kind of home-grown firepower! Hunting... it's not just a way to fill the freezer.
It's a matter of national security.
That's why all enemies, foreign and domestic, want to see us disarmed.
Food for thought, when next we consider gun control. Overall it's true, so if we disregard some assumptions that hunters don't possess the same skills as soldiers, the question would still remain... What army of 2 million would want to face 30 million, 40 million, or 50 million armed citizens??? For the sake of our freedom, don't ever allow gun control or confiscation of guns.
(If you agree, as I do, pass it on, I feel good that I have an army of millions who would protect our land and I sure don't want the government taking control of the possession of firearms)
AMERICA! Designed by geniuses, Run by idiots!
And, to go along with the above email, I had this sent to me on Tuesday evening:
Another interesting story about the Swiss is that during the early 1900s, Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany brought his 10 top rifle marksmen to Switzerland for a shooting competition. When the day was over, the Swiss had placed 1 through 10 and the Germans 11 through 20. Kaiser Wilhelm, visibly embarrassed, asked the Swiss how many men they had under arms. The Swiss replied that all Swiss men were armed – 1 million of them. The Kaiser said he had 4 million men in his army and asked what the Swiss would do if he invaded. The Swiss replied that each man would fire 4 shots and go home. The Germans never invaded Switzerland.
The Swiss don’t have as many hunters as we do but they have a law that REQUIRES every male over the age of 21 to maintain a fully automatic rifle and 1000 rounds of ammunition in their home. Every year they are required to demonstrate their proficiency with the weapon. Those that can’t must go to summer camp for two weeks of training. I don’t know of anyone planning to invade them either.
This weeks joke:
Well, not really a joke, but reality:
On Facebook on Tuesday evening:
Went to auto zone today: me:: I need a clutch for 1988 Toyota 4 runner (autozone worker) says is it standard or automatic? Really wtf?
I mean, really? More than likely the autozone worker is a college grad.
Until my next column – next week
Columns are available on the Dirt Track Digest at: http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/ at Contributing Columnists