Mostly Racin' Stuff
By Tom Avenengo
Volume # 237
This week’s photo:
Note: I have no idea as to what happened to the photo from last week that should have appeared on Dirt Track Digest.
The late Johnny Ritter is shown in his Canary Yellow #
3 Offy. I
believe the photo was taken at
Special from me:
With me now basically having moved down to
On Monday, I did get my
The other day I get a notice from one of my doctors down here, that I'm quite low on iron. So, starting this Thursday, I'll be getting some iron via an IV. From what I can see this will be for five visits getting the IV's.
Quite a bit being said about a certain Modified driver up in the Northeast with him being banned from quite a few tracks in the area. Every time one goes on Facebook, or DTD, there are more tracks telling this driver that he's not welcome at their tracks.
Found on Jayski:
Pocono TV Ratings:
NASCAR Sprint Cup racing from Pocono drew a 2.6 final rating and 4.3 million viewers on NBCSN Sunday afternoon, down 7% in ratings and 2% in viewership from last year (2.8, 4.4M) and down 19% and 15%, respectively, from 2013 (3.2, 5.1M), both on ESPN. The 2.6 rating is the lowest for the race since at least 1998, falling below the previous mark set last year. Viewership ranks as the lowest since at least 2000, again falling below last year's previous low. All ten Sprint Cup races on cable this season have had a decline in ratings and viewership, including eight that hit at least a ten-year low.(Sports Media Watch / NBC Sports PR Twitter)(8-4-2015)
Note: At least, from what I could see, the stands were pretty full.
Gordon, no plans to race Sprint Cup after 2015:
Gordon met with media and was asked about racing after 2015:
Q) AFTER LAST WEEK, THE OUTPOURING OF FANS ON TWITTER WAS PRETTY INTENSE. DO YOU EVER SEE A POINT WHERE YOU WOULD GET BACK IN A STOCK CAR FOR A ONE-OFF RACE? OR, ONCE YOU GET OUT OF THE CAR AT
Gordon: "Right now, I don't have any plans to. You have to understand it's far more than just what maybe I would desire or want to do. It takes a team to do it. And that's a total disruption to the organization to go do a one-off race. It's not that it can't be done. But, as somebody who is an equity owner in the organization, I recognize the challenges that would come along with that and what it would do to our four teams competing for the wins and championships. So, I probably wouldn't ask them to do that. And if I were going to do it, it would probably be at a short track like
Kurt Busch staying at Stewart-Haas Racing:
says he and Kurt Busch had a "handshake deal" that enable Busch to
drive the #41 Haas Automation Chevy beyond this season. "Kurt Busch is one
of those unique personalities," Haas said. "We're in the process (of
re-signing)....three weeks ago, we had a handshake deal that he would come
back. But we're still working on his contract, too. So we expect him to be
back. We expect to have more sponsors for him. We expect a lot of things and
when it all sorts out, we'll have an announcement then."
"I really enjoy driving for Gene and Tony, and it's my intention to continue driving for them," Kurt told Motorsport.com. "My focus right now is finishing the regular season strong, then going for a championship."(Motorsport)(8-3-2015)
UPDATE: In the midst of his second season with Stewart-Haas Racing, Kurt Busch appears bound for a third year with the organization in 2016. Although a new contract to keep Busch at SHR beyond 2015 has not been finalized, a team spokesman has corroborated recent comments from team co-owner Gene Haas that the 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion will be back in the #41 SHR Chevy next year. "What Gene said is accurate," team spokesman Mike Arning wrote in an email to FOXSports.com late Tuesday. "He has a handshake agreement with Kurt and once the contract is signed, we'll let everyone know it's official."(Fox Sports)(8-5-2015)
NASCAR prepared to run in the rain at Watkins Glen:
second time this season, NASCAR will bring a new rain package to a road course
for the Sprint Cup tour. Last September, the sanctioning body introduced new
rules for racing in inclement weather. While it seldom rains at
Should the race start in "wet" weather conditions (10.13.2) the cars will (.a) start on the grid in "dry equipment configuration. After the series director declares "a 'wet' weather start (when the track surface is entirely covered with moisture)," the drivers will take a pace lap behind the caution car, (c) "return to their assigned pit stall and "install rain tires, front windshield wiper(s), and activate the rear flashing light for the Race.
According to the NASCAR Rulebook section 10.13.3, for race starts under "damp" conditions (when only portions of the track are wet), once the course has been deemed "damp" by the series director and after the pace lap, the cars (.c) "will return to their assigned pit stall and may elect, at the team's discretion, to install the rain tires and/or front windshield wiper(s). The rear flashing light must be activated for the Race under "damp" conditions.(Motorsport)(8-5-2015)
Boris Said returns to the #32 at Watkins Glen:
into Sunday's Cheez-It 355, Boris Said will be
looking to make his 51st career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, and his 15th at
"The Glen." The
No Cup race planned for
not being discussed," Jimmy Small,
NASCAR revises warnings system:
Sprint Cup Series teams will now face only the loss of pit stall selection for
multiple warnings, according to a bulletin issued to teams by the sanctioning
body Wednesday. The change removes the potential for multiple warnings to
result in the escalation of the severity of the penalty (to a P1 level or
higher), and eliminates all but one of the penalty options previously included
in the 2015 NASCAR Deterrence Policy under the warnings category. For every
fourth warning issued to a team, whether during a championship (points) or
non-championship (non-points) event, the loss of pit stall selection will be
enforced. If the fourth warning is issued before pit selection has occurred,
the loss of pit selection will be assessed at that event. If the fourth warning
occurs after pit selection has already taken place, the penalty will be
enforced at the next points event. The modification of the rule takes effect
immediately. Any previous warnings issued to teams prior to Wednesday have been
rescinded. Once a team has served its penalty, it begins the next event with a
clean slate and no warnings on its record. Also, warnings will not carry over
into the following season.
Previously, the loss of pit stall selection was just one possible penalty for teams that incurred two warnings during the same event, or two warnings during consecutive events. Other penalties included: track time deductions for practice; track time deductions for qualifying; delay in order of inspection; selection for post-race inspection; specified time delay before unloading vehicle at track; temporary suspension of annual hard card credential(s); reduction or suspension of other event privileges; community service.(NASCAR.com)(8-5-2015)
From Track Forum:
An interesting thread that pertains to Danica and Ricky Stenhouse:
From the Dirt Track Digest Forum:
"Very interesting approach that Devi'ls Bowl and Airborne Speedway have taken with a "Banned" graphic on social media for John Scarborough.
Not entering this fight on either side but just interesting to see the evolution of things like this and now seeing how much John's actions are going to affect him on Facebook. His name is going to be everywhere and not in a good light.
It seems like its picking up steam with other organizations and tracks."
From the AARN:
Three Win Week For Friesen Includes WoO Sprint, Jack Johnson Tribute Modified Race
Tragedy At The Track: Mike Bailey Succumbs, Carnie Fryfogle Dies In Crash
Danny Bohn Conquers Southern Tour Mods At Bowman-Gray
Kenseth’s Pocono Sprint Cup Win Is Won On Fumes As Rivals Run Dry
Dale Blaney Runs Roughshod Over All Star Sprint Circuit
Ailing Jack Johnson, All Time Fonda Great, Honored With Tribute Race
Clauson Dominates USAC Midget
Teddy Hodgdon Is Bethel’s Youngest Winner Of ‘Legendstock’
And more from this week's issue:
I always read
Ernie Saxton's column. This week he started
off about Indycar racing and a possible race in - of
all places -
The USAC Midgets
make a return to the east after some 25 years (?), with races scheduled for
Path Valley on Aug 18th, Lincoln Speedway on the 19th and Susquehanna on the
20th. From the ad in this week's AARN,
the ARDC will join USAC at
Note: This was found on Facebook this past Tuesday:
ARDC / USAC just 2 weeks away!!!!
25th is the 100 lap "Mr. Dirt" race at
Ouch! There were only 7 POWRI Midgets shown as
running the feature at
Rich Eurich had two top 5 finishes n the Modified features at OCFS last Saturday. Hard to believe, but Rich has been racing for 6 decades!
Mini Tyrrell won the 75 lap Late Model feature at the Virginia Shehendoah Speedway. Guess what? He's only 10 years old!
The "Old Master" Frankie Schneider will turn 89 years young on August 11th.
Former OVRP Dirt Oval racers:
Anthony Perrego was 7th in the Modified feature at Accord. Kyle Rohner was 3rd in the Spec Sportsman feature while Winter Mead was 7th. Wyatt Clark was 2nd in the Slingshot feature.
Davie Franek was 9th in the URC feature at Williams Grove.
A.J. Filbeck was 10th in the Sportsman feature at U/R.
Some mixed results from the Jack Johnson race at Fonda - I had read that Tyler Dippel finished 4th, but was DQ'd due to being light on the scales. Then I had read that he retained his 4th place, but lost half of his winnings. The race write-up in this week's AARN shows him to be DQ'd.
Brian Sobus was 20th in the
Super Modified race at
Davie Franek was 5th in the URC feature at Selinsgrove.
Tiffany Wambold was 12th in the Hobby Stock feature at Mahoning. What was worse is she destroyed her car in a pretty violent crash. Latest I've read was that she was quite "soar" for a few days, but nothing was broken - except her car.
Molly Chambers was a DNQ in the 600 Micros at Kutztown.
Jacob Hendershot was 24th in
the 270 Micro Sprint feature at
Tyler Pirone was 3rd in the Slingshot feature at Hamlin.
Tyler Dippel was 5th and Bobby Hackel, IV, was 9th in the Modified feature at A/S. Alex Bell was a DNS. Hunter Bates was 6th in the Sportsman feature.
At OCFS, in the held over Modified feature, Anthony Perrego was 2nd, Mike Ruggiero 8th, Tim Hindley 11th, Mike Kolka 16th and Billy V 17th.
In the nights regular Modified feature, Hindley was 1st, Billy V 3rd, Ruggiero 8th, L.J. Lombardo 10th, Kyle Redner 16th, Perrego 17th and Kolka 21st.
In the Sportsman feature, Joey Bruning was 2nd, Mat Hitchcock 3rd, Brian Krummel 4th, Dominic Roselli 7th, Joey Falanga 8th, Brendon Findley 9th, Anthony Falanga 17th, Joe Conklin 19th and Zack Vavricka 22nd.
Cody Bleau was a DNS in the Sportsman feature at Fonda.
Kolby Schroder was 12th and Kyle Armstrong 18th in the
Modified feature at
More than likely, I might have missed some drivers. If so, I'm sorry!
A little sad news:
I found this posted on Facebook, by L.J. Lombardo:
the past couple of weeks we had some awesome runs. We just keep going forward.
But there are always obstacles in life and I reached one that's going to be
hard to get
around. As much as I don't want to take weeks off, I have to put my racing career on pause for the month of September as I go for back surgery at the end of this month. Anyone who sees me get out of a race car thinks I'm 80 years old. It's just time to get it done and over with. Let's just hope for a speedy recovery so we can get set to have a great weekend at
Racing from "Back in the Day":
I made mention above about having more on the late Johnny Ritter further down in this week's column.
Back when I first started to attend the
midget races, in 1946, there was a certain driver that I took to immediately. He
drove a little Canary Yellow, Outboard midget.
To be honest with ya, I've always been kinda "small".
So, I would imagine that's what attracted me to Johnny Ritter, who was a
tad over five feet in height. Not sure
about his driving style, but he sure wasn't afraid to throw that midget
around. I can still remember, like it
was only a few months ago, when he first came out with his # 3 Offy midget. And I
can still remember the one night at
Later on, Johnny was fatally injured
while, of all things, changing a tire on his car, in the infield at a track in
Over time, I made contact with his daughter, and she was kind enough to give me some information and quite a few photos of her father. With what I had, I was able to make a five part article about Johnny Ritter - on the Internet. If you think you might be interested in it, you can email me - my email address is at the end of my columns, and I'd be happy to send the articles to ya!
Orange County Fair
CRSA SPRINT CARS ADDED TO AUGUST 8
RACING PROGRAM AT
Small-Block Modifieds also on the card as just four point races remain
to determine the champion
MIDDLETOWN, NY (August 02)……..The always exciting Capital Region Sprint Cars (CRSA) Sprint Cars will be back in action this coming Saturday evening, August 8 at the Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York. That’s in addition to “Hard Clay” track’s weekly regimen of Big-Block Modifieds, Small-Block Modifieds, Sportsman, and Street Stock racing divisions.
three previous 2015 outings at
With just four races remaining in this year’s season-long point chase for the Small-Block Modifieds, drivers will be looking to cut into Gary Edwards Jr.’s 26-point lead. Tommy Meier and Tim Hindley are Edwards’ closest challengers. All three top drivers have won previously this season.
Halmar International and Goldenarea Furniture of
Admission prices for the August 8 race meet remain at $14 adults, $12 seniors, and $1.00 for children 12 and under. The full night of racing begins promptly at 6:30 pm.
ticket sales and track information for all remaining Orange County Fair
Speedway race dates, including the 54th Annual Eastern States Weekend, can be
found at the
August 15 --- Johnstons Subaru and Holiday Inn of Middletown present Halmar International’s Modified Double Purse Night
News from the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Hi-Tek
Media Contact: Brett Deyo – firstname.lastname@example.org or 845.728.2781
For Immediate Release/August 3, 2015
Woodhull Raceway ‘Hustlin the High Banks 51’ Gets Richer; Maple City Dodge Signs On To Boost Short Track Super Series Event On Tuesday, August 11; Heat-Race Money Posted
Each of the 10-lap STSS Modified heat races will offer $100 cash to the winner thanks to the support of Maple City Dodge. Additionally, each heat race will have a Hard Charger Award for the driver advancing the most positions from the scheduled starting position to the finish. The heat-race Hard Charger recipient earns $50 cash.
Lap money has been piling in for the 51-lap STSS Modified feature, currently totaling $1,432! All laps have been sold – some twice – at a minimum of $20 per lap. Lap money will be distributed among the top-seven running order during the main with additional bonus positions included.
Crate 602 Sportsman have also been included in the bonus cash. All GRIT Series heat-race victors will receive $75 cash.
The ‘Hustlin’ the High Banks’ event at Woodhull is the sixth round of the eight-race STSS Bob Hilbert Sportswear North Region. Four of the top-five drivers in the North Region standings have never turned a lap at the track: point leader Stewart Friesen of Sprakers, N.Y., third-place Anthony Perrego of Montgomery, N.Y., fourth-place Tommy Meier of Waldwick, N.J., and fifth-place Andy Bachetti of Sheffield, Mass.
The last midweek Modified event contested at Woodhull was June 5, 2012, more than three years ago.
For the ‘Hustlin’ the High Banks 51’ event, all Modifieds weight a minimum of 2,400 lbs. American Racer tire options are as follows: 33 or harder across the front; 33 or harder left-rear; 38 or harder right-rear. Sail panels, even, with a maximum height of 65 inches at the tallest point are permitted.
The complete ‘Hustlin’ the High Banks 51’ payout is: 1) $5,100; 2) $3,000; 3) $2,000; 4) $1,500; 5) $1,400; 6) $1,150; 7) $1,125; 8) $1,100; 9) $1,050; 10) $1,000; 11) $750; 12) $650; 13) $550; 14) $450; 15) $425; 16) $415; 17) $405; 18-Last): $400; Provisionals) -$200.
GRIT Series Crate 602 Sportsman will compete in a $1,000-to-win, $100-to-start 25-lap main and a Quad C Challenge completes the program.
Complete rules, times and general information are now posted on the series website:http://bdmotorsportsmedia.com/hustlin-the-high-banks-51-general-information-prices-rules/
The ‘Hustlin’ the High Banks 51’ is presented by NAPA Auto Parts, Two Rivers Timber, Outman Equipment and Maple City Dodge.
Raceway is located on Steuben County Route 20, just off New York State 417 in
To learn more about the Short Track Super Series or BD Motorsports Media LLC, visitwww.shortttracksuperseries.com or www.bdmotorsportsmedia.com, call 845.728.2781 or email@example.com. “Like” Short Track Super Series on Facebook or follow @ShortTrackSS on Twitter.
Contact: Chris Dolack
DIRTcar Racing PR
704-795-7223 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Fast Friday on Oct. 9 at
Reserved camping sold out, general camping still available
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Aug. 3, 2015 - Tradition is key during NAPA Super DIRT Week, and after four years of racing on Friday nights at the New York State Fairgrounds, the action is moving back under the sun for Camping World Fast Friday at the Moody Mile.
The day will be absolutely packed with racing action beginning at 9:30 a.m. and featuring five different classes of cars as the USAC Silver Crown Series will join the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series, the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series, the DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Series and the DIRTcar Pro Stock Series in qualifying events for the weekend's features.
In addition, the next generation of drivers get their shots at the Mile in the DIRTcar Futures races, exciting showcases on a huge stage for the sport's rising stars.
At night, the racing action shifts to Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in Elbridge, N.Y., as 358-Modifieds and 360 Sprint Cars will tackle "The Fast Track" about a half hour west of Syracuse.
"Our long-time fans are used to seeing racing on Friday at the Fairgrounds and Friday night at Rolling Wheels so we're excited to return that tradition NAPA Super DIRT Week this year," said DIRTcar's Jeff Hachmann. "Camping World has been a big part of the Friday night events at the Mile for four years now, and we're really pleased they are continuing as a partner with the racing shifting back to the daytime. Camping World Fast Friday is going to be full of non-stop action."
JOIN YOUR FRIENDS: Reserved camping is already sold out for this year's NAPA Super DIRT Week, but there still are general camping locations left at the New York State Fairgrounds. Don't wait too long to lock up a spot to see history by going to www.DIRTcar.com/tickets or calling 844-DIRT-TIX (347-8849)., or follow us on Twitter at @SuperDIRTWeek.
Found on the Internet:
Written by Tom Higgins Tue, 2015-07-28 14:58
Buddy Baker has a special wish—call it a plea—as he faces the end of his life.
“Please, please, please!” Buddy said to Humpy Wheeler and Waddell Wilson as I joined them Saturday to visit the cancer-stricken driving star of NASCAR’s golden era, the 1970s and ‘80s.
two get the other great minds of racing like Richard Petty, Rick Hendrick and Junior Johnson together with NASCAR and figure
out a way to get the fans back to races. Attendance is pitiful.
Save the sport that so many of us worked so hard to build.”
Buddy faces his fate with the same courage he demonstrated during
a long NASCAR career when he sometimes drove at over 200 mph.
“I’m right with The Man Upstairs,” Buddy said at the Baker home on the western shore of Lake Norman, north of Charlotte. “If I feared death I never would have driven a race car.”
Buddy, 74, has inoperable lung cancer, which was discovered in
It was a touching reunion for each of us.
Wheeler, recognized as stock car racing’s premier promoter in his years at Charlotte Motor Speedway, nurtured Buddy early on as he joined the sport’s top level in 1959.
I have written about motorsports since 1957 and became friends with Buddy in 1964.
Buddy retired in ’94 after logging 699 starts, posting 19 victories and 40 poles. He followed his colorful late father Buck, a two-time champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer, into the sport.
Bakers are on NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers list and Buddy is a Hall of Fame
When we arrived Buddy had his TV tuned to the Xfinity Series race
at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Attendance was woeful, prompting his plea.
Hanging on a wall was a print of the No. 28 Oldsmobile that Buddy drove to his memorable Daytona 500 victory.
“The Gray Ghost,” I said, pointing to the framed print.
Buddy and Wilson glowed.
“The greatest car I ever drove!” gushed Buddy. “No one could touch us at Daytona and
Indeed, the black and gray Olds was so fast in ’80 at Daytona that it blended in with the asphalt track. Rival drivers complained they couldn’t see Baker as he overtook them in practice. So NASCAR
ordered that day-glo pink strips be taped to its front. The nickname “Gray Ghost” was born.
Buddy recalled the ’80 Winston 500 at
“After the last pit stops I was 19 seconds behind Dale Earnhardt,
who was leading,” said Buddy. “He was nowhere to be seen, but I drafted every car in sight, ran him down and won by 3 feet. It was only Dale’s second season, so I’m lucky to have caught him when he was a cub.”
The eyes of Buddy, the 6-4 “Gentle Giant” of NASCAR during his long career, moistened as we prepared to leave after about an hour-long visit.
“The sport has been great to me and given me a wonderful life,” Buddy said. “And the friends I’ve made! Lots have either called or come by. Darrell Waltrip and his wife Stevie phoned just the other day and we prayed for 20 minutes. I hope to hear from others. I want to tell all of them goodbye for now and see you later.”
Coming up on August 21-23 the annual Old
Timers Convention at the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing at the Latimore Valley Fairgrounds.
A weekend of fun and old friends you may not have seen for years. If you were involved with ARDC in the past or today come out and have a great time remembering or learning about the history of all types of motorsports in the East. You never know who you might run into and the museum is great. As always there is no admission to the fairgrounds or the museum. For a schedule of the weekends events, directions or information on camping go to www.EMMR.org See you there.
I've known Elaine Allen for quite a few years now. We first met when a bunch of us race fans thought it would be a good idea to start a club at OCFS. It was called "Strictly Dirt". Maybe some of you will remember it. As usual I received an email from Elaine on Tuesday. It was a video of a man that had lost his left leg, and was living on a shade over $600.00/month. Of course, in today's world, that is damn near impossible to do. Just a hint - one never knows what one might have and just how much it might be worth. Watch and see:
And a music video:
Uh, really? What next?
City Appoints Two Illegal Immigrants to Commission
This week's joke:
A woman happened to be following a grandfather and his badly-behaved
grandson while grocery shopping. The grandfather certainly had his hands
full with the child who continually screamed for candy and cookies. But, the
grandfather spoke in a controlled voice: "Easy, William, we won't be long,
The boy continued with the outbursts and the grandfather calmly said : "It's
okay William. Just a couple more minutes and we'll be out of here. Hang in
At the checkout the little horror continued his bad conduct by throwing
items out of the shopping cart, but the Grandfather remained steady and said
in a controlled voice, "William, William, relax buddy, don't get upset.
We'll be home in five minutes, stay cool William."
Very impressed, the woman walked outside to where the grandfather was
loading his groceries and the little boy into the car. She said. "It's none
of my business, but you were amazing in there. I don't know how you did it.
That whole time you kept your composure, and no matter how loud and
disruptive he got, you just calmly kept saying things would be okay. William
certainly is lucky to have you as his grandfather."
"Thanks," said the grandfather, "but I am William. This little bast*rd's
name is Kevin."
Until my next column – next week
Columns are available on the Dirt Track Digest at: http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/ at Contributing Columnists
Just in case anyone wants to contact me. My email is: email@example.com