Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                       By Tom Avenengo

                                           Volume # 24




I had a major problem with my computer, starting Sunday AM when I turned it on – all the way up to about 4:00 on Tuesday, so this weeks column might be a little shorter than usual, with maybe some parts not even being used.  Hope you don’t mind!





Weather permitting, tonight is the night for the 358 Modified Hard Clay Challenge race at OCFS – 40 green flag laps with $10,000.00 going to the winner, and $400.00 to take the green.  In a way, I hate seeing time trials for this event, but, hey, I ain’t promoting it.  I just hope that all those drivers that are shown in the “Entry list” show up.  No, I have no idea as to why the entry list hasn’t been updated in a couple of weeks, either.  And, I’ve read that some of those names on that list will not be in attendance, too.  Guess we’ll find our either tonight or next Thursday – the rain date.

Any additional info on this event can be found if you go here:





Some of my thoughts:


I see Castroneves was penalized a nice piece of change (no to him, maybe) and put on probation for his touching an official a week ago.  That never should have happened, as far as I’m concerned, since I still can’t see where he actually blocked another car during the race.



Going back, in time:

Note:  Most of the following information was found here: 



Covering the days of July 29th to August 4th.




Cecil Green ... Died ... An American racecar driver from Dallas, Texas. Green won 34 races between 1948 and 1950 in Oklahoma and Missouri, and many more in Texas. He won the 1949 Oklahoma City and Southwest AAA titles. He won in seven different Offenhauser cars. Green place fourth in his first Indianapolis 500 in 1950. He finished 22nd in the 1951 Indianapolis 500. He died in a qualifying crash at Winchester Speedway in Winchester, Indiana in 1951, which became known as "Black Sunday". Green was inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2003.

Walt Brown ... Died ... AAA driver from the 1940's and early 50's who ran in 3 Indy 500's with a best finish of 7th in 1947. He died in a race at the Williams Grove Speedway (PA).

Bill Mackey ... Died ... AAA driver from 1949 to 1951. His name at birth was William Gretsinger, Jr. He was killed in a sprint car crash at Winchester Speedway.

Black Sunday .. On this day, three big-time drivers, each of whom were veterans of the Indianapolis 500, and who together constituted the 11th (last) row for the 1951 starting field, lost their lives on this day. At the Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania, Walt Brown was warming up an ill-handling car, the Jack Robbins Special. This car, as the Noc-Out Hose Clamp Special, had been driven to victory in the 1941 Indianapolis 500 by Floyd Davis and Mauri Rose. Brown suffered critical injuries during a slow tumbling accident in the second turn, and died just after arriving at Carlisle Hospital. Meanwhile, at the Winchester Speedway in Indiana, Cecil Green lost control and went over the embankment between the first and second turn while attempting to qualify the J.C. Agajanian "98jr." car. He died on the way to the hospital while the other drivers waited for the ambulance to return. Next in the qualifying line was Bill Mackey, driver of the Joe Langley Special. No sooner had the ambulance returned than Mackey began his qualifying attempt, only to fly out of the track at the same spot Green had, also suffering fatal injuries. Mackey, whose real name was William C. Gretsinger, Jr., had been having reservations about continuing his racing career, in spite of a run of recent success, including the recent participation in his first Indianapolis 500 in May. During the second wait for the ambulance to return, drivers in the qualifying line had considerable time to ponder the hazards of their profession. Fortunately, the next driver up was the inimitable Duane Carter, the defending AAA Midwest sprint car champion. He had come to Winchester only because promoter Frank Funk had offered him a special appearance bonus to assure himself of at least one "headliner," while most of the stars were racing at Williams Grove. Without a flicker of reluctance, Carter raced through three consecutive laps, all under the track record. After establishing these records and winning the fast qualifier of the day accolades, he proceeded to win both his preliminary heat race and the day's feature race.



Neil Bonnett ... Born ... NASCAR driver who compiled 18 victories and 20 poles over his 18-year career and died from injuries suffered in a practice crash at Daytona. He was part of the famous "Alabama Gang". Bonnett was inducted into the National Motorsports Press Association's Hall of Fame in 1997, was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2001 and was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.


Bud Tingelstad... Died ... USAC driver from 1957 to 1972 in the Midget, Sprint, Stock Car and Championship Car series. In the Championship Cars he raced in the 1960-1971 seasons with 120 starts, including the Indianapolis 500 in each year except 1961 and 1970. He finished in the top ten 56 times, with his one victory in 1966 at DuQuoin.


Louise Smith ... Born ... She was tied for the second woman to race in NASCAR at the top level. She was known as "the first lady of racing." She went as a spectator to the her first NASCAR race at the Daytona Beach Road Course in 1949. She couldn't stand watching the races, so she entered her family's shiny new Ford coupe in the race and rolled it. Her hometown Greenville, South Carolina paper featured photos of the wreck, and the town knew about it before she got home. The race was the first race to feature three female drivers (Ethel Mobley and Sara Christian). The trio also competed later that season at the Langley Speedway. She raced from 1949 to 1956. She won 38 races in her career in numerous formats: late models, modifieds (28 victories), midgets, and sportsman. She returned in 1971 as a car owner for numerous drivers. She sponsored Ronnie Thomas' Rookie of the Year attempt in 1978. She became the first woman inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1999.


Bill Randall ... Died ... He raced sprint cars and midgets, winning the Eastern USAC Sprint Car title in 1957 and finishing third in the ARDC Midget Championship in 1961. In Champ Cars he raced at Daytona in 1959 in the USAC event driving a Kurtis 500C Offy, finishing 14th. He tried to qualify for the Indy 500 in 1961 but was unsuccessful. In 1962 he qualified for a race at Trenton driving a Kuzma but went out with a broken throttle. In other series he enjoyed considerable success winning races in events sanctioned by NEMA, BSRA, UCOA, ARDC and USAC. He was killed in an ARDC Midget race at Lime Rock, a road course, in July 1963. As Midgets almost always raced on ovals many of the drivers were unfamiliar with right hand bends at racing speeds. On the first lap he colided with Len Thrall and Bert Brooks and rolled, sliding over 100 feet up side down. He died four days later from his injuries.


Al Loquasto ... Died ... Al drove in the USAC and CART Championship Car series, racing in the 1969-1980 and 1982-1983 seasons, with 61 combined career starts, including the 1976 and 1977 Indianapolis 500. He finished in the top ten 11 times, with his best finish in 7th position in 1975 at Ontario. He also drove in the USAC Sprint Car division and competed in six NASCAR Cup Series events in his career. Loquasto died in a plane crash in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania July 31, 1991.




"Big Daddy" Don Garlits became the first drag racer to run the 1/4 mile at over 200 mph. He drove his Swamprat dragster to 201.34 mph at Island Dragway in New Jersey.


Richard Petty became the first NASCAR driver to win over $1 million in a career when he won the Dixie 500 at Atlanta, Georgia. It was also the 551st start in his NASCAR professional career.


Sheldon Kinser... Died ... He was the 1977, 81, 82 United States Auto Club (USAC) National Sprint Car Champion. Winner of the prestigious Tony Hulman Classic at the Terre Haute Action Track, 1981. Six time starter of the Indianapolis 500, 1975-79, 81. Best finish, 6th, 1981. Sheldon had never driven a rear engine car or raced on pavement until he quailified 26th and finished 12th in the 1975 Indianapolis 500. Quite an accomplishment for a rookie driver. Son-in-law of the late Bobby Grim, 1959 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year. Nephew of former sprint car driver Bobby Kinser and cousin of World of Outlaw drivers Steve, Kelly, Randy and Mark Kinser. He was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1992.


Len Duncan... Died ... Len Duncan, of Lansdale, PA, had a racing career spanning seven decades, beginning in 1928 and continuing into the 1980s in TQ midgets! In 1953, 1954 and 1955, when AAA had a working agreement with the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC), he was the AAA Eastern Midget Champion, and during the thirteen years between 1955 and 1967, he won the ARDC title eight times. During World War II, Len had the honor of being assigned as President Truman's driver during one of his visits to England. He drove in the Indianapolis 500 in 1954 and had relief from George Fonder. The pair completed 101 laps and placed 31st. Mario Andretti credits Duncan with having a great influence on his professional life.


Tommy Hinnershitz... Died ... Eastern AAA driver from 1932 to 1960. Also known as "The Flying Dutchman", Hinnershitz ran in the Indy 500 three times with a best finish of 9th in 1948. He captured seven Eastern sprint-car championships and posted 103 feature victories during his 30-year racing career. While he first gained success and popularity near his Pennsylvania home, racing at the Reading Fairgrounds and Williams Grove Speedway, he also was very popular with fans and fellow racers in the Corn Belt. From the very start of his career, Hinnershitz preferred driving his own cars as opposed to wheeling machinery owned by others. He was an excellent mechanic and did all the work on his cars, including rebuilds on his Offenhauser engines. During the midget racing boom in the late 1930s, Hinnershitz wheeled an outboard-engine car with great success on the board track at the Nutley (N.J.) Velodrome. He was one of a handful of racers, who won races on dirt, asphalt and boards. He retired from driving in 1960, only hours after his friend and rival, Johnny Thomson, was killed in a race at the Allentown Fairgrounds. Hinnershitz was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in the first class in 1990.




Eddie Johnson won the USAC Midget race at the Blue Island, Chicago, IL.

Dutch Schaefer won the ARDC Midget race at the Danbury Fairgrounds, Danbury,CT.


Bobby Marshman won the USAC Midget race at the 25th Street Fairgrounds, Columbus,IN.

Johnny Mann won the ARDC Midget race at the Freeport Speedway, Freeport, NY.


It was on this date that Lucien Gerard Avenengo left this world of ours.  Yes, he was my father and yes, I still miss him.  A lot of thanks have to go to him, for without him taking me to the races back in the ‘40’s and ‘50’s, you would not be reading this, now.




Lee Petty and his sons, Richard and Maurice, race against each other for the first and only time, at Birmingham, Alabama's, Dixie Speedway. Richard finished second, Lee third, and Maurice eighth.


Greg Ray ... Born ... Former IRL IndyCar Series driver.




Joe Leonard... Born ... American motorcycle racer and racecar driver. Leonard won the first AMA Grand National Championship Series in 1954 and won it again in 1956 and 1957. His record totals 27 wins, including the 1957 and 1958 Daytona 200. He retired from motorcycle racing at the completion of the 1961 season and turned his attention to auto racing. Leonard raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1964-1974 seasons, with 98 career starts, including the 1965-1973 Indianapolis 500, sitting on the pole in 1968 in the Granatelli turbine car. He finished in the top ten 60 times, including 6 wins: 3 times at Milwaukee (1965, 1970, 1972), and once each at Ontario Motor Speedway (1971), Brooklyn (1972), and Pocono (1972). His victories propelled him to the 1971 and 1972 USAC Championship Car Season Championship. Joe Leonard is the "Only Racer in the World" to have won multiple National Championships in both automobile and motorcycle racing back to back.


Jeff Gordon... Born ... NASCAR driver.


Greg Weld... Died ... Weld was known as both a driver and a racing entrepreneur. As a driver, Weld won the 1963 Knoxville Nationals, the premiere event in sprint car racing. Weld raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1965-1972 seasons, with 36 career starts, including the 1970 Indianapolis 500. He finished in the top ten 11 times, with his best finish in 4th position in 1970 at Sacramento. He was also the 1967 USAC Sprint Car Series champion. As a racing entrepreneur, he founded Weld Wheels in Kansas City. Weld’s wheels were considered by many as the best that automobile racers could buy and ran the firm until its acquisition by American Racing Equipment in 2006. He also promoted local auto races, including the Jerry Weld Memorial, which attracted national-level drivers.




Racing on TV - http://www.racefantv.com/USTV.htm


Here’s one casualty of my ‘puter problems.  This week, I’ll let you go to the link, above, and see what’s on and when.



Track news – (for tracks in my area):

Accord:  http://www.accordspeedway.com/

A regular show this Friday at the “Big A”.  Next week, (Friday the 13th) the ARDC Midgets will return.  You can use your rain check for the rained out show on the 13th, if you haven’t used it yet.  You can also use it this Friday, too.  For additional info on that, go to the speedways website.


OCFS:  http://www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net/

After the Thursday show, there will be a regular show on Saturday.


Bethel:  http://www.bethelmotorspeedway.com/BethelMotorSpeedway/Home_Page.html

This Saturday - LegendStock 2010

Legends and Bandoleros (LegendStock 2010/INEX Asphalt Nationals Qualifier), Dirt Sportsman, Pro Stock, 4 Cylinder

Note:  Rain date for this show is Sunday, the 8th.


OVRP – the dirt track:  http://www.oaklandvalleyspeedway.com/

Karts and Slingshots on Saturday, along with the World Formula racers.  On Sunday, it’s Bikes and Quads.


Hamlin:  http://www.hamlinspeedway.com/

Hamlin will be closed this coming weekend.


The History of the Sport:

NASCAR – some race fans of today more than likely are not aware that “Back in the day” NASCAR also sanctioned some open wheel races.  Yep, sure did -  Midgets and cars similar to the days “Indy” cars.  Back then, most of their races were held on the east coast.

For the “Big” cars, they held 7 races in 1952 and 3 in 1953, not counting the measured mile runs at Daytona Beach.

Some of those that ran the “Big” cars back then:

Buck Baker, Tom Cherry, Al Keller, Jack Smith, Buddy Shuman, Jiggs Peters, Speedy Thompson, Wally Campbell, Steve McGrath, Tony Bonadies, Herb Swan, Frankie Schneider, Steve Yanigan, Bill Spear, Budd Olson, Mike Magill, Charlie Miller, Ed “Dutch” Schaefer and Dick Rathmann

So, are you interested in some of those races?

For 1952, go here:  http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1952n.htm

For 1953, go here:  http://www.champcarstats.com/year/1953n.htm

The late Ron Heddendorf had a website that pictured most of those “Big” cars, but with his passing the website was shut down.  I know who has those photos, and maybe one day they’ll be up on a website once more.

Next week:  Some of the NASCAR Midget racing history.


Former Dirt Oval (Oakland Valley Speedway) runners:

Last weekend, Michael Storms had a 6th at Brewerton, 7th at Fulton and a 30th at Merritville.

Corey Ziegler was 10th in the Sportsman feature at Penn Can.

At Big Diamond, Mike Mammana was 6th in the Sportsman feature.

Davie Franek was 6th in the 358 Sprint Car feature at Selinsgrove.

Luke Schostkewitz was 6th, Geordan Farry 11th and Brittany Tresch 22nd in the wingless 600 Micro Sprint feature at Hamlin.  I see where JJ Yeley was 9th.  Joe Kata was 1st in the 600 rookie Micro Sprint feature.  Emily VanInwegen was 14th and brother Billy was 15th in the Slingshot feature.

At Borgers, in the wingless 270 Micro Sprint feature, Tiffany Wambold was 6th on July 30th, while on the 31st she was 5th in the regular 270 feature and won the 270 rookie feature.

At Kutztown, last Wednesday, Tiffany was 11th in the 270 Micro feature.

Alex Bell was 9th, Kyle Armstrong 10th in the Sportsman feature at Lebanon Valley, while Kolby Schroder was a DNS.  In the Budget Sportsman feature, Bobby Hackel, III was 4th.

Johnny Guarino was 19th in the “Friend of Mike” 100 lap feature for Modifieds at New Egypt.

At Bethel, in the Sportsman feature, Rich Coons was 2nd while Kyle Redner was 9th.

Cori Tufano was 4th in the 750 Sportsman Micro Sprint feature at Whip City.

At Stafford, David Webb was 5th in the SK Light Modified feature.

Nick Pecko was 10th in the 100 lap Modified feature at Sundance Vacations Speedway.

At OCFS last Saturday, in the 358 Small Block Modified feature, Danny Creeden was 6th and Tom Hindley 20th.  In the Sportsman feature, Matt Janiak was 2nd, Brian Krummel 8th, Joe Conklin 9th, Keith Still 11th, Zack Vavricka 17th, Matt Hitchcock 18th, John Lodini 20th and Doc Young 22nd.

Jimmy Johnson was 6th, Danny Creeden 19th, Greg Hastie 20th, Jamie Yannone 23rd, Clinton Mills 24th and Tom Hindley 25th in the Modified feature at Accord.  In the Sportsman feature, Anthony Perrego was 2nd, Mike Ruggiero 3rd, Brad Szulewski 14th and Brian Krummel 18th.  Kayla Smykla was 3rd, Kyle Rohner 6th, Jason Roe 19th and RJ Smykla 21st in the Spec Sportsman feature.


Hope I didn’t miss anyone!



More racin’ stuff:

If you’re a big fan of NASCAR, you might know what these eight drivers all have in common:

Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Mark Martin, Joey Logano and Brian Vickers.


Don’t know?  Well, you’ll have to scroll down towards the end of this column to find out.


I found this over on Jayski’s website – how hard did Elliott Sadler hit last week at Pocono.

Sadler's crash hardest recorded by NASCAR: #19-Elliott Sadler says NASCAR officials told him his head-on collision with the inside retaining wall at Pocono Racing on Sunday was the hardest recorded in the history of the sport. NASCAR did not give Sadler the number of G-forces recorded by the black box device and the governing body typically does not release that information. "We do not share those numbers except with the team and the folks at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility at the University of Nebraska," NASCAR said in a statement. "They want to meet with me this weekend," Sadler said on Tuesday. "But we were told this morning that it was the hardest one they have in their data in history."That means harder than Kyle Petty's 2003 crash at Bristol which, according to published reports, was the hardest at the time at more than 80 Gs (80 times the force of gravity). Other hard hits that NASCAR publicly has claimed among the hardest include Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s 2003 crash at Talladega, David Reutimann's 2007 crash at California and Jeff Gordon's 2008 crash at Las Vegas.(ESPN.com)(8-4-2010)



Other forums/message boards and websites:


You might find some interesting reading if you go to the links below.


Track Forum: - http://www.trackforum.com/forums/


Frontstretch.com:  http://www.frontstretch.com/

Jayski: - http://www.jayski.com/

Open Wheel Racers3:  http://www.openwheelracers3.com/

Race Pro Weekly:  http://raceproweekly.com/


Video time:

It was on August 5, 1968 – 42 years ago, when we lost Luther Perkins.  For those of you that don’t recognize the name, he was the guitar player for Johnny Cash.  Personally, I always admired the sounds that Luther could get out of his guitar.  I can still recall watching him in the Newburgh, NY Armory back in the mid ‘50’s when they were on their first tour (that I know of) – even before they had an album out.  There were some girls from the Clarkstown High School in the first row to the right of the stage.  Luther came over, sat down on the edge of the stage and proceeded to have a chat with the girls – while a song was going on, and he never missed a beat.

Doing a little research on Luther, I came across, this, in part:

Luther then sat down at the kitchen table and began to fill out the tax papers. At some point within the next hour or so, he decided to take a break. He lit up a cigarette and went into the den and laid down on the couch. He drifted off to sleep with that cigarette in his hand. When the burning cigarette hit the floor, the room was filled with smoke and flames within minutes. Luther woke and attempted to flee to the sliding glass doors which led outside, but was overcome by the smoke and heat and collapsed on the floor.

A little before 6:00 a.m., his little daughter Kathy found most of the den and kitchen in flames. She saw her dad lying on the floor, propped up against the sliding glass doors, surrounded by smoke and flames. Immediately, she went to wake Margie who called the fire department. She was then met by a neighbor, who with Margie's help, dragged Luther's body from the blaze that was consuming the den.

Hendersonville Fire Department received a call about a house fire on Riverwood Drive at 6:05 a.m. The blaze, resulting in $30,000-40,000 of damage, was extinguished within twenty-five minutes. Meanwhile, Luther was rushed to ICU at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, unconscious with severe second and third degree burns covering almost fifty percent of his body. Margie called Johnny Cash as soon as she could. Cash came down with Marshall Grant and Carl Perkins. They were told by doctors that Luther seemed to be doing just fine, though he was still unconscious. Cash later stated that when they went into the room to see Luther, it immediately hit him that his friend was not going to wake up.[citation needed]

The Saturday night Grand Ole Opry show had a moment of prayer for Luther before the regular show.[citation needed]

Perkins never regained consciousness and died at the age of 40 as a result of severe burns and smoke inhalation. He was buried on August 7 at Hendersonville Memory Gardens in Hendersonville, Tennessee. His pallbearers were Marshall Grant, WS Holland, Roger Miller, Billy Graves, Gene Ferguson, Charlie Dick (Patsy Cline's husband), and Johnny Cash. At the burial, before Luther's casket was lowered into the ground, the mourners stepped back to let Cash have a moment by himself. Tommy Cash recalls over-hearing Johnny say, "Thank you Luther."

Yes, I agree – Thank you Luther!

The above was found here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luther_Perkins

Here are some of the sounds that Luther was able to get from his guitar:


And, to the best of my knowledge, here is probably the only video of him singing.  Note:  The volume on this video is very low, so you might want to increase the volume on your computer.



Other (non racing) news:


This might be a big waste of time and taxpayers monies, but check this out:

Republicans want review of birthright citizenship


In part:  “Leading Republicans are joining a push to reconsider the constitutional amendment that grants automatic citizenship to people born in the United States.”




I think this will be another waste of time – fighting the proposed mosque that they want to have close to “Ground Zero” in NYC.  Why all the politicians are so much for this I can’t figure out.


Group sues to stop mosque near NYC's ground zero

In part:

The debate over a planned Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero became a court fight Wednesday, as a conservative advocacy group sued to try to stop a project that has become a fulcrum for balancing religious freedom and the legacy of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The American Center for Law and Justice, founded by the Rev. Pat Robertson, filed suit Wednesday to challenge a city panel's decision to let developers tear down a building to make way for the mosque two blocks from ground zero.”



Is this true?:

Skipping this part this week.  Will return next week.


From above (More racin’ stuff):

“If you’re a big fan of NASCAR, you might know what these eight drivers all have in common:

Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Mark Martin, Joey Logano and Brian Vickers.”

Answer:  They all won at least one Cup race in 2009, but have yet to win a Cup race in 2010


Closing with this:

Dear Child,

I am writing this slow because I know that you can't read fast.

We don't live where we did when you left home.


Your dad read in the paper that most accidents happen within 20 miles from your home so we moved.

I won't be able to send you the address, as the last family that lived here took the house numbers when they left so that they wouldn't have to change their address.

This place is real nice. It even has a washing machine. I'm not sure if it works too well though.

Last week I put a load in, pulled the chain, and haven't seen them since.

The weather isn't too bad here., it only rained twice last week, The first time it rained for three days and the second time for four days. The coat you wanted me to send you, your Uncle Steve said it would be a little too heavy to send in the mail with the buttons on, so we cut them off and put them in the pockets. We got another bill from the funeral home.

They said if we don't make the last payment on Grandma's grave, up she comes. John locked his keys in the car yesterday. We were worried because it took him two hours to get me and Shelby out.

Your sister had a baby this morning but I haven't found out what it is yet, so I don't know if you're an aunt or an uncle. If the baby is a girl, your sister is going to name it after me, she's going to call it Mom.

Uncle Pete fell in a whiskey vat last week. Some man tried to pull him out but he fought them off and drowned. We had him cremated and he burned for three days.

Three of your friends went off a bridge in a pick-up truck. Ralph was driving. He rolled down the window and swam to safety. Your two friends were in the back. They drowned because they couldn't get the tailgate down.

There isn't much more news at this time. Nothing much has happened.

PS, I was going to send you some money but the envelope was already sealed.



May “Guardian Angels” sit on the shoulders of all of our race drivers and race fans, and guide them safely around the tracks!

Drive safe! 

As usual, you can reach me at:  ygordad@yahoo.com