Mostly Racin' Stuff  

By Tom Avenengo  

Volume # 238



This week’s photo:


C:\Users\Dad\Pictures\Rice in # 1 Offy.JPG


I really have no idea as to how many photos I have of midgets, sprint cars & Indy cars I have in my computer.  The above photo is the late George Rice.  As for the car - believe it or not, I really can't recall seeing that particular one.  I've been attending races since back in 1946, and sometime the old memories don't seem to work as they should.  One thing for sure - the car above sure is a beauty!

However, with the help of some others that are/were into racing - especially the midgets, and with the help of his daughter, Sarah, I was able to nominate George Rice for the Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame.  I have no way of knowing if it was my nominating him or someone else's, but he is in it.

His race record can be found further down in this week's column.





Special from me:


So last Thursday I had my first IV of iron.  I have either three or four more to get.

Normally, at night, I take an 0.25 MG of Alprazolam (Generic for Xanax) to help me get a fairly good night's sleep.  This past Sunday, I decided to try it without the pill.  I guess it was close to 10:00 PM that my daughter remembered that I had to take my great grandson, Naji, to school for some kind of special program being conducted by the police department.  Had to have him there by 8:00 in the morning.  However, it was a little too late to take my pill, so I figured what the h*ll, I should be able to get through the night ok.  WRONG!  I think I might have had about an hours sleep.  Yes, I did take a short nap a little while after dropping him off at the school.  Still quite tired, though.  Of course he has to be at school again on Tuesday & Wednesday, too - same time, too.  At least my daughter will not have to work on Wednesday.  Ya know what - this "getting old" really is a b*tch.





Racin’ stuff:


The "Racing Family" is a close knit of various people that are, in one way or another, involved with racing, as you might have guessed.  At times, some get a little "pissed" off at others, as can be expected.  Hey, in life, everything isn't quite "rosey", if ya get what I'm saying.

I've known Ric Ryder for quite a few years now.  He's had some rough times (as a lot of us have had), but over this past weekend, he lost his wife.

Below are a few things that came up on Facebook today, Monday.  If you're on Facebook, I imagine you could get more info if you went to Eric Haubrich's page.  If I'm not mistaken, Ric also has a page on Facebook.


Eric Haubrich

49 mins · 

The kindness that the racing community is already after a very short period of time beginning to show for the family of Ric Ryder is truly remarkable.... This is overwhelming just to witness and be a part of!! You have been there for me personally in my battle with CANCER and now are showing Ric and his family much needed support and love threw donations.... There's NOT beyond a shadow of doubt a better group of friends that are tighter and come to each other's needs then the family known as racers!!

·                     Sara Jane Coddington and 10 others like this.


Cathi Osterholt Did you set up a acct for Ric?


GoFundMe: #1 for Crowdfunding & Fundraising Websites

Over $1.25 Billion raised for personal causes!...


Like · Reply · 4 mins


Cathi Osterholt Just saw it on your page!!! Should have looked there first. Thank you!

Like · Reply · 1 · 3 mins


Eric Haubrich Yes Cathi Osterholt... It's ALL in place after I spoke personally to Ric and got his approval

Like · Reply · 2 mins · Edited


Eric Haubrich


Click here to support Help for the Ryder family by Eric Haubrich






Found on Jayski:

Keselowski talks about Michigan rules package: 


#2-Brad Keselowski spoke Tuesday morning on NASCAR's weekly teleconference and was asked about Michigan's high downforce rules package:
Keselowski: "I think the heat is gonna be even worse this weekend. There's a large amount of concern across both the teams and drivers, really all members, for this rules package coming up to Michigan specific to the fact that even though the track is wider and bigger, the significance of the draft is gonna be even more important, so you're gonna have to stay in line as much as possible. As you stay in line the car gets less and less air because that's essentially how the draft works and the speeds at Michigan are higher than they are at Indianapolis, which means the parts, specifically the drivetrain are gonna be even hotter. I know the team is very, very concerned about the drivetrain, everything from the engine all the way back to the axles because they're really not made for these temperatures. I would not be surprised to see a lot of car failures this weekend, specific to heat relation as it pertains to the aero package and its kind of cause and effects. And inside the car I would not be surprised to see a lot of hot and worn out drivers after the race.
Keselowski: " I don't expect it to be much different as far as the way the cars handle behind each other. Perhaps the only difference could be between the two tracks is Michigan has a much wider groove in theory and the potential to run different lanes in the corners. The way the aerodynamics work specific to this high draft package certainly you want to be in line down the straightaway to get the maximum effect of the loss of drag, but you kind of want to be staggered in the corners to try to keep your downforce in the corner when you need it to keep the car going through the corners as fast as possible."
Keselowski: "Oh yeah. I think clearly if you have two races on this package, that was really made for Michigan and Indianapolis, we should have a very strong indication as to the success factors for this package. I would say after these two races we'll know exactly where we stand."(Ford Performance PR)(8-12-2015)



Chase rules package, 2016 schedule coming soon: 


NASCAR Sprint Cup teams could know within a week what aero package will be used during the Chase for the Sprint Cup and could know within about a month the 2016 schedule, NASCAR's Steve O'Donnell said Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. This weekend's Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway marks the return of the high-drag aero package first tried last month at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. While the package was criticized by some drivers after that race, NASCAR hopes the package will work better at Michigan. O'Donnell told "The Morning Drive" on Tuesday that Sprint Cup teams will be told what aero package will be used for the Chase "either towards the end of this week or coming right out of Michigan. Want to lock that in for the race teams. Not lost on us is how much work has been done by all our teams to prepare to even get us to Michigan and then Darlington. We're really appreciative of the hard work, and we owe it to them to get the word out now and let them prepare for the Chase." O'Donnell said talks continue as NASCAR looks to finalize the 2016 schedule. As for when the schedule could be ready, O'Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio: "I think we're probably three to four weeks away. We've got some work still with the racetracks."(NBC Sports)(8-11-2015)



NASCAR could run "the boot" again at Watkins Glen: 


Now that Watkins Glen has started repaving its racing surface, running "the Boot" may be back on the table for NASCAR races. The current configuration of the Glen for NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series races eliminates the Boot, which contains Turns 6 through 9, and shortens the course from 3.40 miles to 2.45 miles. But with repaving already having taken place in the Boot, smoothing the bumps in that portion of the track, NASCAR is considering running the full Grand Prix Course, which currently is used for the Tudor United Sports Car Championship. "We could," NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development officer Steve O'Donnell told the NASCAR Wire Service before Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at the Glen. "We're discussing it with the track. It's something we're looking at down the road." Even with the addition of the Boot, Watkins Glen wouldn't be the longest road course on the NASCAR rotation. Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, which hosts the XFINITY Series, measures 4.048 miles.(NASCAR Wire Service)(8-10-2015)








From Track Forum:


So really, why are dirt tracks fans supposedly not into IndyCar?


Note:  this one is now up to 22 pages!




From the Dirt Track Digest Forum:


stewart/ward jr


Note:  So far this is on its 5th page.




From the AARN:


Three Days, Three Tracks, Four WinsWeekend Put Together By Kenny Tremont


Hanbury Goes From Third To First Late Tor Chemung RoC Score


Rich Forrest Rogers Memorial Grandview Mod Win – And $10l – Earned By Craig Von Dohren


Preece Whips Stafford NASCAR WMT Field Decisively


Ward Family Serves Tony Stewart With Civil Suit Papers


Joey Logano Sweeps Watkins Glen NASCAR Weekend


JohnScarboough’s GlenRidge Fight Leads To Suspensions At Eight Tracks


Port Royal Living Legends Dream Race Cash Pocketed By Greg Hodnett


David Van Horn Takes Down Huge Win At Delaware International


Billy Pauch Is Back In Victory Lane At New Egypt

And some other news found in the AARN:


The Bridgeport, N.J. Speedway will be having its 1000 thousandth modified feature the next time they race there.


Asphalt Modified star Ryan Preece is scheduled to run in the Cup race at New Hampshire in a Tom Baldwin car.


Dave Darland got his 100th USAC win.  Three others have done that:  A.J. Foyt, Rich Vogler and Mel Kenyon.


Rico Abreu was 12th in the K&N Series race at Watkins Glen on Friday.  On Saturday, he was 2nd in the POWRi Midget feature in Missouri.


Rod Spalding, Tom Green and car owner Mike Budka have passed away.  Spalding had to retire from racing back in 1988 due to a head injury.  In 1989, the Spalding Foundation for injured race drivers was formed in his honor.  Tom Green was a former driver and car owner in New Jersey.  A few of those that drove for Mike Budka were:  C.D. Coville, Jack Johnson and Jeff Trombley.


Jeremie Corcoran  has announced that he is stepping back from promoting races at Canadaigua.


Per Bill Utter - the new molded plastic seats for the main grandstand at OCFS have been ordered.


Here ya go:  How about a race with these drivers in it?

Keith Kauffman, Doug Wolfgang, Steve Smith, Sr., Steve Stambaugh, Lynn Paxton, Chris Eash, Kenny Adams, Bill Pauch, Todd Shaffer, Steve Siegel, Bobby Weaver and Jeff Shepard.  Well, they'll all be in competition at the Lincoln (PA) Speedway on Wednesday, August 26th, thanks to former driver Fred Rahmer.



Nice to see a field of 19 TQ's racing at Borger's Speedway.






Former OVRP Dirt Oval racers:


Brian Sobus was 2nd in the 45 lap Super Modified feature at Oswego.

A.J. Filbeck was 3rd in the Sportsman feature at U/R

Brad Szulewski was 2nd in the Sportsman main at Thunder Mountain.

Tyler Dippel was 16th in the 100 lap Modified race at Weedsport.

L.J. Lombardo won the Modified feature at OCFS.  Mike Ruggiero  was 2nd, Tim HIndley 8th, Billy V 9th, Craig Mitchel 11th, Anthony Perrego 13th and Mike Kolka 18th.

In the Small Block feature, Tim HIndley was 3rd, Tom Hindley 4th, L.J. Lombardo 5th, Matt Janiak 6th and Billy V 12th

In the Sportsman feature, Brian Krummel was 2nd, Joey Bruning 3rd, Dominic Roselli, Jr. 4th, Matt Hitchcock 7th, Joe Conklin 11th, Anthony Falanga 17th, Zack Vavricka 23rd and Joe Falanga 24th.

In the CRSA feature, Josh Pieniazek was 4th, Joe Kata 7th, Brian Krummel 13th, Tyler Jashembowski 15th and Emily VanInwegen 17th.

A.J. Filbeck had finishes of 13th and 17th in the two Sportsman features at Glen Ridge.

Roger Coss was 3rd in the RoC race at Chemung.  Nick Pecko was 13th.

Tyler Dippel was 6th in the Forrest Rodgers Memorial race at Grandview.

Anthony Perrego was 14th in the Modified 50 lap feature at Delmar.

Davie Franek was 16th in the Sprint Car feature at Selinsgrove.

David Webb was 12th in the SK Modified feature at Stafford.

Tyler Dippel was 23rd and Alex Bell 24th in the Modified feature at A/S.  Hunter Bates was 11th in the Sportsman main.

Kyle Armstrong was 5th and Kolby Schroder was 20th in the Modified feature at Lebanon Valley.  John Virgilio was 2nd and Matt Pappa 4th in the Sportsman feature.

Dom Roselli, Sr. was 12th and Dom Roselli, Jr. 15th in the Modified feature at Accord.  Winter Mead was 4th in the Spec Sportsman feature.  Wyatt Clark was 2nd in the Slingshot feature.

Charlie Lawrence won the All-Star Slingshot feature at Hamlin.

Rich Coons was 4th and Kyle Redner 11th in the 358/Sportsman feature at Bethel.  JB Morris was 9th and Joe Morris 10th in the 4 Cylinder Advanced feature.

Anthony Perrego was 22nd in the Brett Deyo race at Woodhull Raceway.


Note:  Chances are I might have missed some!





Racing from "Back in the Day":


Some race results (as best I know) for George Rice:


The following information was sent to me from John DaDalt.


George Rice



Feature wins:

West Haven Speedway; West Haven, CT-6/22

Newfield Park; Bridgeport, CT- 6/12  6/26  7/3


Notes: June 26 Bridgeport, CT set 1 lap, 5 lap and 25 lap track records



Feature wins:

West Haven Speedway; West Haven, CT-6/13

Cedarhurst Speedway; Cedarhurst, NY- 8/7

Bronx Coliseum; Bronx, NY- 3/17



Feature wins:

West Haven Speedway; West Haven, CT-6/19  6/26  8/7

Danbury Speedway; Danbury, CT- 5/18  6/27

Bronx Coliseum; Bronx, NY- 1/19  3/16  4/6  4/27-60 laps 


Notes: Champion at Bronx, NY Coliseum indoor racing series held during the winter/spring.

Drove Bourgnon #11 to Bronx Coliseum title.




Feature wins:

West Haven Speedway; West Haven, CT-6/13  6/27  8/18  9/2  9/19-50 laps

Cherry Park Speedway; Avon, CT: 9/15

Thompson Speedway; Thompson, CT-5/19

Springfield Speedway; West Springfield, MA- 5/25 6/18 6/22 6/29  7/6

                                                          7/13  7/27  9/7 10/5-100 laps

Hatfield, PA-6/16-2 laps


Notes: Champion at West Haven, CT and West Springfield, MA

May 19 Thompson, CT-set 50 lap track record in 1st race after the war (not confirmed)

won 5 straight features at West Springfield, MA

June 16 won at the Montgomery County Fair in Hatfield, PA in a race halted after 2 laps,

had set a 1 lap track record in time trials.

Set 25 lap track record at Avon on Sept. 15th, 6:30.20



1947:          ARDC Champion

Feature wins:

Cherry Park Speedway; Avon, CT: 5/14  6/1  9/21

Springfield Speedway; West Springfield, MA- 7/12  9/13  9/17-50 laps for V-8    9/27

West Haven Speedway; West Haven, CT- 5/8 6/19 6/26 7/10 7/17 9/4 9/11 9/18 9/25-75 laps

Danbury Fairgrounds; Danbury, CT- 8/30  9/20  10/5  10/11-100 laps

Candlelite Stadium; Bridgeport, CT-6/30  7/7  7/28  8/18 9/1 9/22  10/6-100 laps

Deer Park Speedway; Deer Park, NY- 4/6

Hinchliffe Stadium; Paterson, NJ- 7/18  7/25-50 laps  8/12  9/5  9/23


Notes: Champion: West Haven, CT  Bridgeport, CT Danbury, CT  Deer Park, NY

won 39 feature races  and 4 track championships

Started season in the Curtis Offy, switched to Bourgnon cycle powered car in July, Bourgnon installed an Offy in August.

Drove Bourgnon cycle powered car, one of the lightest in the country 525 lbs.

Oct. 12 - Langhorne, PA ARDC race 100 laps- started 23rd, took the lead on lap

24 and lead until lap 49 when he ran out of fuel. He returned to the race in 4th and worked his way

back to 2nd and was challenging for the lead with 2 laps to go when he had to pit for more fuel.

Danbury, CT- set 25 lap track record on August 30th, broke his own record on Sept. 20th.

Bridgeport, CT set the 25 lap track record 4 times that year, won races at Bridgeport in a cycle powered car, a Ford V-8

and an Offenhauser in 1947.


results for August 30 to Oct. 11th 1947

18 wins, 5 2nd place finishes, 3 third place finishes

Aug. 30         Danbury, CT               1st

Aug. 31         Avon, CT           2nd

Sept. 1  Bridgeport, CT 1st

Sept. 4  West Haven, CT         1st

Sept. 5  Paterson, NJ               1st

Sept. 8        Bridgeport, CT    3rd

Sept. 11 West Haven, CT        1st

Sept. 12 Paterson, NJ              2nd

Sept. 13 West Springfield, MA         1st

Sept. 14 Avon, CT                  2nd    50 laps

Sept. 17 West Springfield, MA         1st     50 laps for V-8 cars

Sept. 18 West Haven, CT        1st

Sept. 20 Danbury, CT             1st

Sept. 21 Avon, CT                  1st

Sept. 22 Bridgeport, CT          1st

Sept. 23 Paterson, NJ              1st

Sept. 25 West Haven, CT        1st

Sept. 27 Danbury, CT             3rd  afternoon Fair race

Sept. 27 West Springfield, MA         1st  evening

Sept. 28 Danbury, CT             3rd

Sept. 29 Bridgeport, CT          2nd

Sept. 30 Paterson, NJ              2nd

Oct. 4          West Springfield, MA    1st     100 laps

Oct. 5 Danbury, CT                1st

Oct. 6  Bridgeport, CT            1st     100 laps

Oct. 11 Danbury, CT              1st     100 laps




Feature wins:

Cherry Park Speedway; Avon, CT: 5/9  6/27  9/19

Springfield Speedway; West Springfield, MA: 7/24 9/4

Stafford Speedway; Stafford Springs, CT: 8/20  9/24  

West Haven Speedway; West Haven, CT: 5/6  5/27  9/23

Candlelite Stadium; Bridgeport, CT: 5/24  9/13

Hinchliffe Stadium; Paterson, NJ- 6/1 7/20


Notes: Champion at Bridgeport, CT and West Haven, CT

Drove a variety of cars, Bourgnon #36, Smith #21, Jolson #, Curtis #8 Hagedorn Cycle

Broke the 25 lap track record at Stafford Springs on August 20th, 6:18.52 his first race at Stafford.

June 5- Polo Grounds board track in New York City, finished in 2nd place.






Feature wins:

West Haven Speedway; West Haven, CT- 5/19  6/16  6/23  6/30

Candlelite Stadium; Bridgeport, CT- 5/9 5/9



Designed and built his own car and engine over the winter, Sally Strickland says that the car won it's first race out at either Thompson or

Avon. From what I have collected, it wasn't at Avon as Schindler won the opening race there and Rice was shut out of victory lane that year at

Avon. Need to look into this some more.

June 30th was final midget race of the season at West Haven.

Bridgeport also stopped weekly midget racing in late May. Both tracks switched to

weekly programs featuring stock cars.

Announced his retirement from racing at West Springfield on August 6th. Didn't last long

Oct. 3- Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, PA- finished 5th in 200 lap

AAA National Championship race.






Feature wins:

Cherry Park Speedway; Avon, CT: 6/4 (100 laps) Bob Smith Offy

Century Stadium; West Springfield, MA: 7/1  7/22  8/5 (75 laps)  8/12  9/16 (50 laps)


Notes: Had a bout with Polio in August, suffered from paralysis of portions of the left side including his arm and leg. Doctors were amazed at how

he responded to treatment.  One month later he was back at Century Stadium winning the 50 lap feature!



Syracuse racing and the one mile track:


Mahoney sees new heart of NYS Fair: Farewell to 'Moody Mile,' hello Main Street by the midway?







Press Releases:


NEWS FROM                                                                                                             

Orange County Fair Speedway                                                                                   

239 Wisner Avenue                                                                                                    

Middletown, NY10940 



Mike Gurda





Modified purse doubled as all feature race starters will earn extra dollars!


MIDDLETOWN, NY (August 9)……..History will be made Saturday, August 15 as the winner of the Big-Block Modified 30-lap feature race at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York will take home $5,000, the largest weekly first-place money in the track’s 66-years of stock car racing. But that’s not all. Thanks to the generous support from Halmar International, the entire Modified purse has been doubled, giving all feature race starters added prize money.


Extra-distance races like the season finale Eastern States 200 and other special events carry higher purses. But this is the largest purse for a weekly race meet since 1950, when stock car racing became a regular staple on the big five-eighths-mile Orange County Fair Speedway.


“This certainly going to be the highlight of our 2015 weekly races,” says Orange County promoter Mike Gurda IV. “The anticipation for this race is already building, and I know the drivers can’t wait to hit the track.”


In addition the Big-Block Modifieds, the Sportsman, Rookie Sportsman, Street Stocks, Thunder Trucks and Four-Cylinder Cars, and the Vintage Modifieds will also see action in qualifying heats and feature races.


Holiday Inn of Middletown is the night’s presenting sponsor.


Admission prices for the August 15 race meet remain at $14 adults, $12 seniors, and $1.00 for children 12 and under. The exceptionally full night of racing begins promptly at 6:30 pm.


Advance ticket sales for all remaining 2015 races, including the September 19 Eve of Destruction and the October 23-25 54th Annual Eastern States Weekend, and track information are available at the Orange County website,, or from the Track Office. Call 845-342-2573 during business hours.





August 22 --- The Beer King and Rock Fantasy Concert and Smoke Shop present URC Sprints, Twin-15s for the Small-Block Modifieds, Sportsman, and Street Stocks (NO BIG-BLOCK MODIFIEDS)




A few interesting emails:


Just a few messages as to just what might be wrong with racing, today:

'David Schmidt' [RacingHistory]


Aug 8 at 9:50 PM


I’ve been sitting here in the cool trying to decide if I want to go the local track and suffer in the heat tonite.

Answer is finally no, but my reason may be a little complicated, and may also be a reason for the current decline in attendance at many tracks.

Remember back in our time when you went to the races there was always someone out there selling programs for that day’s show.

The programs were slick publications with driver bios, series history, maybe the track’s schedule for the season, and they ALWAYS included a sheet with the driver’s names, car numbers,

hometowns, maybe a column for qualifying times and speeds, heat results etc.

Point here is, if you purchased a program, you knew who was running in what class and which car he was in.

And the announcers were always very good at making sure they gave similar information over the PA system and it was able to be heard clearly.

Now, fast forward to todays scenario.

Nowdays if they sell programs at the gate there is seldom any info on the drivers etc.

Additionally the announcers are so busy being comedians that they seldom identify who is in what car and if they do you can’t hear what is being said because they are talking over engine noise etc.

This is most annoying when it is a travelling circuit like the SUPR Late models we have running out here tonite.

If you don’t follow that circuit you have no idea who you are watching.

And if you aren’t really involved in your local track you probably have no idea who is there from week to week either.

What I don’t understand is why the track can’t (or won’t) print these driver info sheets to hand out with your ticket.

I mean there is usually about an hour between the time most of the cars are signed in and the time the front gate opens.

Plenty of time to compile the list and get them printed and to the front gate.

Not knowing takes a lot of the fun out of it for me anyway.

Anyone else see this scenario?




John Gilbertson]


Aug 8 at 10:07 PM


$, promotion is dead taken over by focusing on the back gate. Most local sprint car shows in Florida with the exception of our big winter shows are combined with 5 or more "starter or junk classes" and they take 5 hrs plus to run the show. It's painful for me to go to a local

Show anymore. 
John Gilbertson

San Antonio, Fl


Aug 9 at 4:55 PM




I also mourn the loss of programs and driver lineup sheets. I often enter in the pit area at west coast sprint car races, and I continue to be surprised and more than a little disappointed at how little self-promotion today's drivers exhibit. I've lost track of the numbers of cars that I have no driver name on the cowl, and lost count of drivers whose own uniform does not carry their own name. 


If a writer is lucky, you might be able to catch the name over the public address system, but more than often one just asks "Hey who is your driver?"  If the causal fans in the grandstands don't know the identity of the drivers and their cars, how do these tracks and drivers expect those fans to return?  The art of promotion of short-track local race has died off I fear.


Kevin Triplett

Walnut Creek CA






Found on the Internet:


Here's an interesting read about Open Wheel (Indy) racing here in the USA, that was found on Facebook:


Paul Weisel

Al Unser was the last true American open wheel champion in 1970, winning at all five dirt venues to seal the title. When the dirt miles were taken off the 1971 USAC National Championship schedule to please a small group of rear engine Indy car owners, USAC and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway doomed themselves to an ever-decreasing sphere of influence in the American open wheel scene.
Prior to the banishment of the dirt miles, drivers at Indy came predominantly from the USAC open wheel sprint car and midget ranks. Sure, occasionally a southern stock car driver cracked the field or Alberto Ascari, Jimmy Clark, Graham Hill, or some other world class road racer made a pilgrimage to Indy to support a foreign car builder, but for the most part, Indy drivers were American drivers developed on Saturday night quarter miles or Sunday afternoon fair tracks from all four corners of the country. Every one of those drivers had hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of fans from their days on American bullrings and each one of those fans had a keen interest in who would win Indy and how their local favorite would fare. Many of the Indy drivers continued to compete in USAC sanctioned events during the season and the sanctioning body held their eligibility at Indy as the ‘carrot on the stick’ to insure their exclusive participation in USAC sanctioned events. This allowed USAC to demand healthy midget and sprint car purses, kept enhanced public demand to see Indy drivers compete on local short tracks, and put Indy within grasp of the best open wheelers in America. If a driver wanted to compete only at Indy and/or only on the paved ovals and later road courses -- fine. However, that driver would find it very difficult to become the national champion because the points available on the dirt miles would make it virtually impossible to win the championship without ducking a few dirt clods.
Instead we now have a collection of road racers, who cringe at the thought of going fast on an oval. Forget a DIRT oval, they snivel about the paved ovals! You want to run Indy? Don’t get a midget or sprint car, just bring a suitcase full of money and you, too, can run the ‘500’. As a result, many American fans don’t know 20% of the drivers at Indy and, what’s worse, pretty much no longer care about the drivers, the cars, or the race.
While American open wheel fans continue to be rabid midget and sprint car fans, USAC has also suffered greatly without Indy as the anchor of a true American championship. USAC sprint cars still command good purses, but the pavement venues are gone and most of the sanctioned races are ‘on the road’, depending upon locals to fill the field and compete against the nationally known USAC drivers. When the USAC regulars go home to the mid-west, they go back to running the local Friday and Saturday night quarter miles for substantially lower purses. With Indy gone, keeping racers in line is like herding cats. The only saving grace is the racing, which is often outstanding.
When the national sanctioning body is essentially gone and the owners are running the railroad, the situation is predictably chaotic. A few years ago when Nazareth still held Indy car races, I took an informal survey, noting choice of shirts, as a random sample of 200 fans entered the track. Tee shirts for NASCAR drivers were worn by almost 50% of the fans, shirts touting Ivy League colleges were next, and any Indy car apparel accounted for less than 5% of the patrons. Decisions regarding Indy cars today involve TV contracts, sponsorship programs, and spec race car details. The barn door is open and an entire generation of fans are gone and scattered to the four winds. They’ve been gone for some time! There aren’t even any footprints left to track them. I believe there are more open wheel fans in the United States today who care about who won the Chili Bowl in the dead of winter than who won the most recent road race for Indy cars, wherever it was! 
If you want to see how far off course the whole open cockpit mess has strayed from its original goals, I invite you to read my post from March 19, 2015 regarding the 1955 AAA season and the formation of the United States Auto Club.






Subject: EMMR



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 See you there.



Michael Andretti's racing empire in trouble


And this, too, on the Andretti situation:







Remember this song, from "Grease"?  Bet ya haven't seen this one!





Other News:


Donald Trump Pledges To Support Republican Nominee, Walking Back Threat To Mount Third-Party Run





This week's joke:


Some of this is a little true about me!


I've sure gotten old! 


I've had  bypass surgery,  


and diabetes 


I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine (almost!), 


Take 40 different medications that 


Make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts.  Well a little less than 40!


Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; 



Can't remember if I'm 76 or 77. 


Have lost some of my friends. But, thank God, 


I have my Florida driver's license. 


Note:  Believe it or not, I just did get my Florida driver's license!





Until my next column – next week


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




Just in case anyone wants to contact me.  My email  is: