Mostly Racin' Stuff  

By Tom Avenengo  

Volume # 233



This week’s photo:




Going back to the mid-late '40's this week with a photo of Johnny Zeke in the Eddie Allen owned # 18 midget powered with an Outboard engine.  As usual with the Allen cars, this one was also a nice light blue color, with silver numbers.  More on the Outboard powered midgets further on in this week's column, with a few more photos.



Special from me:


Hey!  At times I might ruffle some feathers by some things I might say.  Well, if I feel the need to make mention of something, I'm gonna.

Now I do know that "back in the day", little children were not allowed in the pit area of race tracks.  That seems not to be the case, today.  I suppose, with the tracks needing all the bucks they can pull in, the little ones are now allowed pit side.  My question is - do they get in free, or do the tracks charge for them?  Are the little ones covered by insurance, if they're charged some kind of a fee to be in those pits?  Are the parents the ones that have to sign paperwork that will allow them in the pits - say for a little one that can't even write yet?  And what happens if, God forbid, a little one gets hit by a race car while in the pits?  That could possibly cause all kinds of problems, ya know?




Racin’ stuff:


NASCAR legend Buddy Baker has inoperable cancer



If you're a "racing fan" as I am, and "Back in the Day" you went to various forms of Open Wheel races, then I venture to say that you might have seen A.J. Foyt, on occasion.

"Back in the Day", some 50 years ago, A.J. had a problem at an Indy Car race when his Indy Car transporter ran into problems, and couldn't get to the track in time.  A.J. had run his dirt Silver Crown car the day before, and he had brought it with him to this particular race.  Hearing that his RE Indy Car would not get there in time, he unloaded his dirt car, made some adjustments, changed tires and figured at least he'd try to qualify it for the 200 mile race.


From Mr. Foyt:

"This year marks the 50th anniversary of A.J. Foyt’s 1965 pole-winning run at Milwaukee: 

Although Foyt won many poles in his career (53), including the pole for the Rex Mays Classic at Milwaukee in June, 1965, his pole-winning run for the Tony Bettenhausen 200 in August was incredible! Not because of the speed (107.881 mph) which was 3 mph slower than his previous pole in June (110.756 mph), but because he turned it in the Sheraton-Thompson Meskowski/Offy, i.e. an upright dirt car against a field of low-slung rear-engine cars! Indeed the next closest upright car started in row 10—Bobby Unser in Gordon Van Liew’s Vita Fresh Orange Juice No. 88. As Foyt tells it, “When my crew warmed up the oil to start the motor on the Lotus, it blew out the tank and they couldn’t fix it in time. I had gone there anyway from Springfield [Ill.], and was waiting for them. When they didn’t show up, I called and found out what happened. So I unloaded my dirt car which I had won Springfield with the day before, and figured I’d at least try to make the race. I had nobody there to help me but Steve Stapp. They gave me two laps of practice because I had to mount tires and all. And Stapp said, “You’re a second faster than the field!” and I said, “You don’t even know how to read a stopwatch.” Then I went out and qualified and set on the pole. I couldn’t believe it. Lining up I felt like I was in a Greyhound bus against a bunch of sports cars. Normally you didn’t make pit stops in the dirt track races because you carried enough fuel for 100 miles but I had to pit since this was a 200-mile race—and he had to change my right rear tire. It took more time. With the dirt car, you had dump cans like those used with a stock car, and with the rear engine cars you plugged in. I finished second. It’s one of the highlights of my career.” Gordon Johncock won the race—his first of 25.



Well, more and more it looks like this up-coming Super Dirt Week for the racing at Syracuse in October will indeed, be the last time for the roar of the might stock cars on that famed mile track.




Found on Jayski:


Daytona to offer Confederate flag exchange: 


Daytona International Speedway will implement a voluntary flag exchange program this weekend for any fans flying a Confederate flag during the track's traditional Independence Day race weekend. DIS President Joie Chitwood said Tuesday that because fans had purchased tickets, he would not change the flag policy for this weekend so close to the event. He said the track will offer United States flags in exchange for Confederate flags. "We want to be inclusive to everyone, and the last thing you want is for anyone to come to a sporting event and really not enjoy that experience because of symbols that really represent things we're not proud of," Chitwood told reporters after a news conference to announce a new track sponsor. "For us, we're celebrating the American flag this weekend. It's our nation's birthday. ... Going forward, we'll really have to look at where that other flag goes because it doesn't have a place in our sport and we've got to take a thoughtful process on how we get to that place."(ESPN)(6-30-2015)



Daytona International Speedway, along with the rest of the tracks that host NASCAR national series races, issued a statement Thursday asking fans to refrain from displaying the Confederate flag at the racetracks. DIS had a box of U.S. flags ready to exchange for Confederate flags to anyone who asked while checking in Thursday for the race weekend. A track spokesman said that as of 3:00pm/et -- seven hours after the check-in started -- no one had asked to exchange the flag. Those checking in the campers did not ask if they wanted to exchange.(ESPN)(7-3-2015)


Note:  I'm wondering, those U.S. flags - are they AMERICAN made, or foreign?  And from what I've heard, there were no takers on that flag exchange?





From Track Forum:


Semi O/T - Nazareth Speedway today,


Note:  Six pages worth of comments, so far.  Hey, I can remember quite well on going there when they ran opposite Syracuse. with mods & sprints.  For sure there were not too many empty seats.



From the Dirt Track Digest Forum:


Any update on the fairgrounds?


As of 5:30 on Wednesday, there are four pages of comments.



And, I also found this on DTD's Forum:


"Some groups are trying to get the vintage mods at syr for sdw, one last time a nod to history. sound like a good idea to me. can we start making some noise. side note i drive a vintage mod with the midstate club and ive always wanted to run syr once in my life and this will be my only chance." 





From the AARN:


There was a photo of Joe Kata, III in this week,s edition, about his very first trip to the famed Williams Grove Speedway.  No, it wasn't what one would call a "complimentary" type of photo, but one of his car completely up-side down and in mid air, while flipping.  Aside for some aches & bruises, Joe was ok.  Really can't say the same for his # 10 Sprint Car, though.


The ARDC drew 17 Midgets and Lanco.  At Linda's, they drew 22.


Rico Abreu won a 150 lap NASCAR K&N East Series race at the Columbus Motor Speedway, then won a Midget race at Sun Prairie, with a last lap last turn pass.




Former OVRP Dirt Oval racers:


Joey Bruning was 4th in the Spec Sportsman feature at Accord.  Winter Mead was 11th and Zack Mead 15th.

Wyatt Clark was 7th in the Slingshot feature.

Note, even though he never raced at the Dirt Oval at OVRP, it was nice to see Robbie Green get the Modified feature win at Accord.  Pretty sure he hasn't raced in something like 3 years.


Davie Franek was 24th in two ESS features at U/R.  He was 10th and 11th at Brewerton and 13th at Canandaigua.


At A/S  in the Modifieds from 6/12:  Alex Bell was 10th, Bobby Hackel IV 13th, Tyler Dippel 17th, L.J. Lombardo 18th.  Anthony Perrego and Brett Wright both were DNS's


In the July 3rd Modified featue, Alex Bell was 10th, Tyler Dippel 1th, L.J. Lobardo 14th, Bobby Hackel, IV 16th and Anthony Perrego 25th


In the Sportsman feature on July 3rd, Hunter Bates was 9th


A.J. Filbeck was 10th in the Sportsman main at U/R.


Mike Mammana won the Sportsman feature at Big Dimond.


Kenney Johnson was 10th in the NEMA feature at Seekonk.


Brian Krummel won the CRSA Sprint feature at I-88 Speedway.  Tyler Jashembowski was 2nd (He ever run the dirt oval?), Josh Peiniazek was 11th and  Emily VanInwegen 15th.


A.J. Filbeck was 2nd in the Sportsman feature at Glen Ridge.


Cody Bleau was 9th and A.J. Filbeck 16th in the Sportsman feature at Fonda.


Alex Bell was 10th, Tyler Dippel 11th, LJ Lombardo 14th and Anthony Perrego 25th at A/S in the Modified feature.

Hunter Bates was 9th in the Sportsman feature.


Anthony Perrego was 6th and L.J. Lombardo 18th at Rolling Wheels.


The 100 lap Slingshot race that was held at the Hamlin Speedway, was won by Charlie Lawrence.  Tyler Pirone was 16th. 

Jacob Hendershot won the 270 Micro feature.


Hendershot was 3rd in the wingless 270 feature at Shellhammer's.


Kyle Armstrong (?) was 23rd in the Modified feature at Brewerton.


Brian Sobus was 15th in the 75 lap Super Modified feature at Oswego.


Looks like that's about it for this week.  Yes, there were some rain-outs, too.




Midget Racing from "Back in the Day":

As many of you know, I started going to midget races back in 1946 with my father and brother.  Back then there was quite a variety of engines that powered those midgets - Ford 60 V-8's, Cycle engines, Offies and Outboards.  Being all of nine years old back then, I was fascinated with those Outboards.  The roar of their engines, and the smoke trail they would leave as they raced around the track.  Most every Outboard powered midget used "Castor" oil as a lubricant.  That oil's smoke had a very distinctive odor - one that's extremely hard to forget.

I'd say that at most of the tracks we went to, up in the Northeast, there would be at least six Outboard powered cars in competition.  Some of them were extremely fast and competitive.  Granted, the drivers had a lot to do with how competitive they were.

In the photo at the beginning of this week's column, the Eddie Allen Outboard, well that car was usually driven by Charlie Breslin.  I don't every recall Johnny Zeke driving it, but more than likely, it happened at a track that we might not have gone to?

Charlie Miller was one of the top Outboard drivers.  He usually ran a dark blue # 2.  I believe the last name of the owner of that car was Gordon.  Vic Sloan was another that had a pretty quick Outbaord - a red & black # 16, from what I can recall.  Then of course was my favorite driver, little Johnny Ritter with his Canary Yellow Outboards, with two different numbers - #3 and #163.  I'm not sure why the # 163 was re-numbered to that number, but best I can recall, the "163" was more or less painted on the blank side of what sure looked like a brown, paper, grocery bag, and affixed to the tail - supposedly over that # 3.


A couple of those Outboards:


C:\Users\Dad\Pictures\Charlie Miller # 2 Outboard.jpg

Charlie Miller in the Gordon # 2


C:\Users\Dad\Pictures\Ritter Johnny 1946.JPG

Johnny Ritter in his # 163


C:\Users\Dad\Pictures\Ritter Johnny in # 3.JPG

And Ritter in his # 3.


I know both Ritter photos were taken at Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, NJ.  I also suspect the Miller photo was also taken at the same track. 

In 1946, Ritter was the track champion at Hinchliffe.  Later in 1947, he came out with an "Offy" powered # 3.  That was the car he was driving on October 12, 1948, when he had to pit in the infield to change a flat tire, and he, along with two others were hit by another midget that was out of control, with Ritter sustaining fatal injuries.  Some eleven years later, that midget, with the late Rodger Ward in the seat, won the "Formula Libra" race on the Lime Rock, Ct. road course.



Press Releases:


Contact: Tom Herzig

DIRTcar Racing PR 
802-249-2850 |


Big Show VII at Albany-Saratoga postponed by rain 

Super DIRTcar Series event reset to August 12

MALTA, N.Y. July 7, 2015 The Super DIRTcar Series Big Show VII scheduled for Tuesday, July 7 at Albany-Saratoga Speedway has been postponed with rain forecast.

Big Show VII promoter/driver Brett Hearns $10,000-to-win event has been rescheduled for Wednesday, August 12.

With the drizzle thats been falling at the track all morning and the pending thunderstorms coming this afternoon we felt it was best for everyone to postpone, Hearn said.

We talked with (DIRTCAR NE Director) Mike Perotte and agreed upon the date of August 12th that seemed to fit well for everyone. Our biggest concern was not having the same thing happen as last year, when fans had to come twice to see the show. It was important to us to make sure the full Big Show experience happened without a hitch or weather issue, Hearn added.

This Thursday, July 9, the Super DIRTcar Series is at Mohawk International Raceway in Hogansburg, N.Y. for the Mohawk 100.

The Big-Block Modifieds will then travel to Five Mile Point Speedway Tuesday, July 14 for the Greatest Drivers 65 five drivers will be added to Five Mile Points all-time greatest drivers list.

For more information on the Super DIRTcar Series, visit,, follow on Twitter@SuperDIRTcar, and like us on Facebook





News from the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Hi-Tek

Media Contact: Brett Deyo – or 845.728.2781

For Immediate Release/July 7, 2015

Delaware International Speedway ‘Diamond State 50’ Next Up For Short Track Super Series South Region; Huge 50-Lap Event Boasts $25,000-Plus Payout; Rick Laubach & Ryan Watt Tied For Point Lead

DELMAR, DE A tie for the series point lead, one of the richest Modified events in Delaware International Speedway history and the return of a storied event after a decade-long absence.

Yes, there is plenty of buzz for the 2015 ‘Diamond State 50’ spectacular.

On Tuesday, August 4 (rain date: Aug. 5), the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Hi-Tek big-block/small-block Modifieds journey south to Charlie Cathell’s half-mile oval for the ‘Diamond State 50’ for the Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. South Region presented by Scotty’s Speed & Diesel. STSS Modifieds race 50 laps for a minimum of $5,000 to win, $1,000 for 10th and $400 to take the green flag from a total purse of more than $25,000.

Lap money, series contingency awards, bonuses and more will further sweeten the pot for ‘Diamond State 50’ competitors.

The ‘Diamond State 50’ was last run at Delaware International Speedway in 2005. The race’s comeback is highly anticipated by the First State racing community.

“We used to attract cars from all over for this race,” noted Charlie Cathell, owner and promoter of the Route 13 facility. “There has been a lot of talk about its return from fans and racers down here.”

Taylor & Messick, home of the “Long Green Line” in Harrington, Del., and Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply of Hurlock, Md., have already pledged marketing support for the event.

After three races on the STSS South Region (held at N.J.’s Bridgeport, Pa.’s Big Diamond and N.J.’s New Egypt), there is a tie atop the point standings. Ryan Watt of Boyertown, Pa., is now dead even with Rick Laubach of Hellertown, Pa., the winner of the opening two events on the South circuit. Both drivers have accrued 242 points.

Lurking in third place, just five markers back, is New York State standout Anthony Perrego, a driver who has placed inside the Top-10 in every STSS event – North and South – run this season.

Just 19 points separate the first six drivers in the standings: Watt, Laubach, Perrego (237), Billy Pauch Jr. (228), David Van Horn Jr. (225) and Ryan Godown (223).

Joining the Modifieds at the ‘Diamond State 50’ are the Crate 602 Sportsman in a $1,000-to-win, $100-to-start 25-lap main and the Super Trucks, running 12 laps in a feature-only program.

Gates open at 3 p.m. for the ‘Diamond State 50’ with a drivers’ meeting planned for 5:45 p.m. Hot laps get underway at 6:20 p.m. and racing begins promptly at 7 p.m.

Adult grandstand admission is $22. Students (ages 7-13) pay $5. Kids 6 and under are FREE. Pit admission is $35 (no license required). Students (ages 7-13) pay $10 for pit admittance and Kids 6 and under are $2.

Complete rules and information have now been posted on the Short Track Super Series website:

Delaware International Speedway, located at 37854 Sussex Highway Delmar, Delaware 19940, is on the web at and can be contacted by phone, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at 302.846.3911.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series or BD Motorsports Media LLC, or, call 845.728.2781 or “Like” Short Track Super Series on Facebook or follow @ShortTrackSS on Twitter.




Contact: Tom Herzig

DIRTcar Racing PR 
802-249-2850 |


Mohawk Modifieds set for Super DIRTcar Series invasion

HOGANSBURG, N.Y. July 6, 2015 The Super DIRTcar Series moves to Mohawk-International Raceway in Hogansburg, N.Y. Thursday, July 9 for the Mohawk 100, a Big-Block Modified event with a $30,000 purse paying $6,000-to-win.

Current Super DIRTcar point leader Matt Sheppard is glad to see Mohawk come up on the schedule. Sheppard has won the last two Series events at Mohawk, but he will meet with stiff opposition from regulars Billy Dunn the defending track champion and a series regular who is 5th in the SDS standings, Tim Fuller a two-time feature winner at Mohawk this season, Carey Terrance, Tom Conklin and Jordan McCreadie.

Jimmy Phelps of Baldwinsville, N.Y., Sheppards HBR Racing teammate with two Super DIRTcar wins at Mohawk on his resume will also be hand, joined by the likes of Danny Johnson, Brett Hearn, Stewart Friesen, Larry Wight and Peter Batman Britten.

Big-Block Modified time trials begin at 7 p.m. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Admission is adults/$30, kids 16 & under/$8.

For more information on the Super DIRTcar Series, visit,, follow on Twitter @SuperDIRTcar, and like us on Facebook atwww. Matt Sheppard going for 3rd straight Mohawk win


News from the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Hi-Tek

Media Contact: Brett Deyo – or 845.728.2781

For Immediate Release/July 6, 2015

‘Get Crazy’ At I-88 Speedway: Annual ‘Crazy 8s Special’ Set For Wednesday, July 22; Short Track Super Series Modified Event Offers Massive $8,888-Plus Winner’s Share For 48 Laps Of Racing; $29,000 Purse Posted!

AFTON, NY The richest race of 2015 in New York State’s Southern Tier region takes place on Wednesday, July 22 at I-88 Speedway.

The third edition of the ‘Crazy 8s Special’ is set for the pristine Afton Fairgrounds three-tenths-mile track, offering a massive $8,888-plus (*with “Gambler’s Fee” posted) to the victor of the 48-lap big-block/small-block Modified special. The event serves as round No. 5 of the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Hi-Tek Bob Hilbert Sportswear North Region. A Thursday, July 23 rain date has been posted.

Following the most recent STSS North Region event held at Thunder Mountain Speedway in Center Lisle, N.Y., on June 29, Stewart Friesen of Sprakers, N.Y., has moved to the top of the points chart in the chase for the $15,000 championship. Danny Johnson, Anthony Perrego, Tommy Meier and Jerry Higbie Jr. complete the front five in the standings.

The ‘Crazy 8s Special’ is a co-promotion involving I-88 Speedway managers Jamie and Denise Page and BD Motorsports Media LLC. Mike Mahaney of King Ferry, N.Y., won the inaugural edition in 2013 and last year’s victor was Wurtsboro, N.Y., driver Danny Creeden.

Aside from the hefty winner’s share, a massive posted purse of more than $29,000 has been posted for the STSS Modified showdown. Lap money, contingency awards and more will be distributed to racers at the anticipated event.

Defending victor Creeden pocketed more than $9,000 for his efforts in cash a year ago by fending off Friesen and Andy Bachetti.

The entire 2015 posted purse is as follows: 1) $8,888; 2) $3,888; 3) $2,288; 4) $1,688; 5) $1,488; 6) $1,288; 7) $1,188; 8) $1,088; 9) $988; 10) $888; 11) $688; 12) $588; 13) $488; 14-24): $388; Provisionals) $194.

All Modifieds weigh 2,400 lbs. for this event. Tire rules are as follows: American Racer 33 or harder across the front; 33 or harder left-rear; and 38 or harder right-rear. Sail panels are permitted. A draw for position will set heat-race lineups with a redraw of top qualifiers for the main.

Four different drivers have visited STSS North Region Victory Lane already in 2015: Friesen (N.Y.’s Orange County Fair Speedway); Rick Laubach (Pa.’s Big Diamond Speedway); Jackie Brown Jr. (N.Y.’s Accord Speedway) and Brian Malcolm (Thunder Mountain).

Joining the Modifieds on the program are the GRIT Series Crate 602 Sportsman in a $1,000-to-win main and Doug Borger’s traveling XCel 600 Modifieds competing in a mini-series race also paying $1,000 to the victor.

I-88 Speedway is located conveniently off I-88 Exit 7 (Afton), approximately 25 miles north and east of Binghamton, at 46 East Main Street Afton, N.Y. 13730. There is plentiful space for parking and camping. To learn more about I-88 Speedway, visit

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series or BD Motorsports Media LLC, or, call 845.728.2781 or “Like” Short Track Super Series on Facebook or follow @ShortTrackSS on Twitter.



NEWS FROM                                                                                                             

Orange County Fair Speedway                                                                                   

239 Wisner Avenue                                                                                                    

Middletown, NY10940 



Mike Gurda







Big-Block Modifieds, Small-Block Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks and CRSA Sprint Cars Ready for Action on the Hard Clay


MIDDLETOWN, NY (July 6)......Following a three-week hiatus---two race meets lost to inclement weather and a scheduled July 4 break in the schedule---racing resumes this Saturday evening, July 11 at the historic five-eighths-mile Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York.


Fans will be treated to a full five-division racing program headlined by the Big-Block Modifieds and their high-speed 30-lap feature race. In addition, the Small-Block Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks, and CRSA Sprint Cars will all be in competition with qualifying heats and feature races. It’s the Paul Hyde Memorial Night for all divisions.


Also as part of the overall program, the Orange County Kids Club has activities planned for the youngsters.


Johnstons Toyota and Steve Dodd Plumbing & Heating are the evening’s sponsors.


At the season’s midpoint, two-time Orange County Modified point champion Tim Hindley is again on top the leaderboard with 779 points. Chasing him are former champion Jerry Higbie (797 points), young Anthony Perrego (795 points), Billy Vaninwegen and Mike Ruggiero, both with 747 points.


Randy Sweetman (825 points), Matt Hitchcock (815 points) and Matt Janiak (813 points), are the leaders in the Sportsman division, while Charlie Donald (942 points), and Emerson Cargain Sr. (935 points) rule the roost in the unpredictable Street Stock division.


Admission prices for both the July 11 race meet remains at $14 adults, $12 seniors, and $1.00 for children 12 and under. The full night of racing begin promptly at 6:30 pm.


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



Upcoming: July 22–August 2 -- The 175th Annual Orange County Fair!  


Note:  Looks like they'll finally get a race in at OCFS.  Forecast calls for a real nice day with a high of 84.






Music video:


Clint Black - Like the Rain.


Note;  First time I ever heard this is was wondering if he ever stopped to breathe.  Well, yes, he does - a few times, anyway.


And a second music video:


At the Kennedy Center Honors, a group of musicians performed a medley of Johnny Cash songs in front of then President Bill Clinton and the country music artist himself.


It’s been 19 years since the performances in this video.





Gotta love it:


A short video of one who might run for the Presidency of the USA:


And one from our current President:



Other News:


The IRS scandal just got even worse

Two fans hurt in Coke Zero 400 wreck retain lawyer







This week's joke:


Subject: A Best Seller




“So, I was walking through the mall and saw that there was a "Muslim Book Store."

I was wondering what exactly was in a Muslim bookstore so I went in.

As I was wandering around taking a look, the clerk stopped me and asked if he could help me.  I imagine I didn't look like his normal clientele , so I  asked, "Do have a copy of the U.S. Immigration Policy Book regarding  Muslims?"

The clerk said, " F*** off , get out and stay out!"

I said, "Yes, that's the one. Do you have it in paperback?"”




Until my next column – next week


Columns are available on the Dirt Track Digest at: at Contributing Columnists




Note:  Seems that I've neglected to put in my email address - just in case anyone wants to contact me.  It is: