Mostly Racin' Stuff  

By Tom Avenengo  

Volume # 246



This week's special photo:


C:\Users\Dad\Pictures\Polo Grounds # 1.JPG


Back in the late 40's, there was a banked, board midget track that was set up in the Polo Grounds in New York.  My father and brother attended either one or both races held there.  I didn't, more than likely due to the impending divorce between my father & mother.  Yes, there were only two midget races at the Polo Grounds on this track.  It was moved to the Rose Bowl out in California, and from what I've seen, they held quite a few midget races on it.  Further down in this week's column are two more photos taken of this track in the Polo Grounds.



Special from me:


My son, Eric, his wife, Catherine, both still up in New York, were giving some thought of going to the Modified races in February at the Volusia Speedway.  A bunch of us have given some serious thoughts about joining them.  Well, it looks like neither Eric and Catherine will make it - along with son Tom Jr and his wife, Penny.  Biggest problem - the cost of air fare.  So for us down here in Florida, it's still up in the air.




Racin’ stuff:


Former STP CEO, Indy 500-winning owner Andy Granatelli dead at 90 (VIDEO)





Racing from back in the day:


Sad to say, but it seems that the "History" of the TQ racing held in the Teaneck, NJ Armory, back in the late 50's, is gone, as best I know.  Same goes for some of the history of full sized midgets racing in the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx, NY.  Yes, I do have the racing results from Kingsbridge in my computer.  There were times when they ran there once a week, and also some times when they ran twice a week.  All were basically held during the "winter" months.  Hard to believe, but out of all the records I have, there's only one race that was cancelled due to weather (snow). 


How I wish I had some records and/or photos from Teaneck!

My future wife, Joan, and I would leave the Monsey, NY Grand Union and head to Teaneck.  We always sat in the front row, on the backstretch, opposite the S/F line.  There was a wall approximately 4' high in front of where we sat, and it was rather convenient for us to put our feet up on that wall.  After the nights racing, we always stopped at the ticket booth and would re-order our same seats for the following week.  Teaneck, like the Kingsbridge Armory really didn't suffer from many cancellations due to weather - and they only ran there during the winter months, too.   Yes, I miss those days!  Today, I guess we're lucky to see 2 or 3 indoor races during the winter months.




Did Kevin Harvick perform a celebratory burnout just to skirt NASCAR inspection?

C:\Users\Dad\Pictures\Polo Grounds # 2.JPG


As you can see, it looks like it was quite a job getting the riggings up, then laying the boards down.



Found on Jayski:


Preece to make another start at Homestead: 


Ryan Preece got his first taste of competition at the highest level of NASCAR when he made his series debut in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway Sunday. And the Berlin driver will get a second plateful of Sprint Cup action before the close of the 2015 season. Preece will get a front row of seat NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series championship deciding event. He'll be watching as part of the lineup. Preece will compete in the Sprint Cup Series season finale on Nov. 22 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla. "That's definitely happening," Preece said. "There's been some talk about maybe some other stuff. I don't know yet. But Homestead is a definite right now. It's good to have opportunities like this." Like he did at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Preece - a regular on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and at Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway - will compete for Premium Motorsports in an effort also backed by Tommy Baldwin Racing. It will mark Preece's second experience at the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway. He started the XFINITY Series season finale in 2014 at the track in a Tommy Baldwin Racing ride. He finished 28th in that event.(RaceDayCT)(10-4-2015)



Johnson doesn't have retirement in mind: 


On the heels of Tony Stewart's announcement Wednesday that he would retire after next season, #48-Jimmie Johnson was asked Friday if he's decided when to quit racing:
Q: Do you have a time in mind of when you are going to hang it up and do something else?
Johnson: "No, I do not have a number and I have not picked a number. As a kid growing up racing and as I got in the sport, I didn't say, 'when I get to this age, I am going to step down.' I haven't had that conversation and have not picked a number with my wife and said, 'okay honey, this is the point that I am going to stop'. It's really been based on feel and I have Chani's support on that as well. When I feel like it's time, I am going to make that decision. Certainly don't feel like it's time now. I remember watching Rusty (Wallace) pick a number and then remember talking to Rusty in years following that and I still think he's mad he stopped. I still think he feels like he could be out here racing with us and winning races. So conversations with him, with Dale Jarrett, with other guys....I have always been curious. Why, when, what tells you to stop? Mark (Martin) tried a half dozen times to retire and couldn't walk away. So I want to make sure I do it once and not keep coming back. What I am looking for is that moment. That moment that you say, 'alright, it's time'. When that shows up, then I will step down."(Chevy Racing)(10-3-2015)



Petty expected to continue running Fords: 


Richard Petty Motorsports will continue its relationship with Ford Performance. An announcement is expected at the team's Mooresville, N.C. shop on Tuesday. The organization enjoys a storied past under the guidance of seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty. RPM currently fields two Sprint Cup teams and an Xfinity Series program. The foundation of RPM stems from Evernham Motorsports, which debuted in 2000. RPM evolved from the four-Dodge team from Gillett Evernham Motorsports and began making the transition to Ford at the end of the 2009 season. The organization is currently evaluating the status of the #9 Ford as Sam Hornish Jr. has struggled to remain in the top 25 despite a change of crew chiefs. The relationship with Ford Performance and the King dates back to 1969 when Petty piloted the #43 Ford Torino to nine wins and a second-place finish in the point standings to fellow Ford racer David Pearson.(Motorsport)(10-4-2015)



Michael Waltrip to run 2016 Daytona 500; Talladega in Oct? #98?: 


Michael Waltrip still plans to run the 2016 Daytona 500. He just needs to figure out how he'll do it. A two-time winner of the Daytona 500, Waltrip had announced in April that he would attempt to make his 29th start in the sport's biggest race with sponsorship from Maxwell House. But when Waltrip announced in August that Michael Waltrip Racing would shut down after this season, it created an obvious question of whether the deal would fall through. Waltrip, at an event Wednesday where Maxwell House gave away a free tank of gas and coffee to 250 people, said the deal is still on and he plans to put on the helmet to compete next February. He could field the car himself -- the process of shutting down MWR will take until April -- or bring the sponsorship to another team that fields Toyotas. "I'm going to Daytona in February with Maxwell House," said Waltrip, who retired from full-time racing after the 2009 season but still competes in select restrictor-plate events. "There will be some cars left over at MWR and I'm probably in line to get a good Toyota engine, being a partner with those guys from the beginning."(ESPN)
AND was sent an image of a #98 Maxwell House Toyota seen at Michael Waltrip Racing. Looks like Waltrip will team up with the #98 Premium Motorsports team to run at Talladega in October and/or the Daytona 500 in 2016. See an image of the car on the 
#98 Team Schemes page.(10-7-2015)



Las Vegas Speedway had plans for SAFER barrier before Truck crash: 


A Las Vegas Motor Speedway official said plans were already in place to put an energy-absorbing barrier on the outside wall that Austin Theriault smashed into head-on during the Camping World Truck Series race Saturday night. Theriault suffered a compression fracture in his lower back from the accident into an unprotected concrete barrier on the frontstretch. LVMS spokesman Jeff Motley said Tuesday that a plan was already in place to add a SAFER barrier to that section before the Sprint Cup Series race there March 6. Since Kyle Busch wrecked into a concrete barrier at Daytona International Speedway in February and suffered a broken right leg and broken left foot, NASCAR has worked with the tracks to review whether to add additional energy-absorbing barriers to areas other than the turns, which NASCAR mandated in 2005. NASCAR, which can dictate to the tracks what safety improvements they must make for NASCAR to race there, declined to comment or acknowledge publicly its plans or the results of its review earlier this year, deferring to the tracks.(ESPN)(10-7-2015)



Hornish Jr. one and done at RPM?: 


Prior to his full-time return to the Sprint Cup Series this season with Richard Petty Motorsports, #9-Sam Hornish had competed in just 23 series events over the course of the past four years. Twenty of those came from a partial schedule with his former employer Team Penske, and the other two were a fill-in stint for the injured Denny Hamlin and a one-off deal with Front Row Motorsports. RPM came into 2015 with a renewed feeling of promise and an extra skip in their step. The famed #43 team had made some great strides in 2014 with Aric Almirola, including a slot in the Chase and the return of Smithfield Foods. Prior to the Chase last season, Marcos Ambrose announced that he would not be returning to the team, leaving RPM with the task of finding a successor. David Ragan and Hornish were at the top of the list, and it had seemed as though Ragan was leading in the polls. Ultimately, Hornish got the nod and it was well received by his long-standing fan base, originating from his open-wheel days. This season, Hornish has scored just three top-10s; one in the Daytona 500 and the others in both road courses. He's currently 25th in the standings and has finished on the lead lap just seven times. Nine years in the series with a total of 153 starts, he's led less than 75 laps and finished in the top-10 only 12 times. After ten races this season, crew chief Drew Blickensderfer was out and Kevin "Bono" Manion was in, but that hasn't seemed to moved the needle in a positive direction. 2016 will probably have a different look and feel for RPM. The King [Richard Petty] has already moved into his new castle and they're rumored to be changing manufacturers. It's likely that Sam Hornish will be done at RPM. And with the impending demise of Michael Waltrip Racing, It is expected that David Ragan to be on a very short list of candidates - including Regan Smith.(Popular Speed)(8-15-2015)



Brian Moffitt, CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports, says that the team is not set on who will drive the #9 car next year. Sam Hornish Jr., in his first year with RPM, is 27th in the points heading into Charlotte. "Sam has been disappointed, we've been disappointed,'' said Moffitt, about the #9 car's performance this season. Hornish has three top-10 finishes and eight finishes of 30th or worse this year. He's scored five top-20 results in the last eight races. After struggles early in the season, Kevin Manion replaced Drew Blickensderfer as Hornish's crew chief in May. "We've seen good improvement,'' Moffitt said of Hornish. "He had a great race going at New Hampshire. He was in that range that we needed him to be, that 11th to 16th. We just need to finish. That's been our issue.'' Performance, though, isn't the only factor that will determine who will drive the #9 car next year. "Really, what it's going to boil down to is funding, where that funding comes from,'' Moffitt said. "We like Sam. We hope that that can continue there, but we're also looking at all options.'' Moffitt said the team does not have sponsorship set for the #9 car next year. Aric Almirola will return to the #43 next year - he and sponsor Smithfield signed a three-year extension in Jan. 2014. Smithfield is set to sponsor the car for 29 races annually. Moffitt says he's confident the other races will be set in the near future.(NBC Sports)(10-6-2015)



Axalta to sponsor Dale Jr. in 2016: 


Axalta Coatings Systems will continue its long-standing partnership with Hendrick Motorsports after agreeing to a contract extension that will expand its presence and take one of the most enduring sponsorships in NASCAR through 2018. Beginning in 2016, Axalta will become a primary sponsor of the #88 Chevy team of driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. for 13 Sprint Cup Series races annually, an increase of three per season. Axalta will also be featured as a major associate sponsor during all non-primary events.
The agreement extends a multi-faceted partnership -- now in its 23rd full season -- that began in November 1992 when the company (as DuPont) first sponsored driver Jeff Gordon and the #24 Hendrick Motorsports team. Gordon, who is in the midst of his final full-time Sprint Cup campaign, will continue to work with Axalta as a spokesperson and global business advisor. The multi-year relationship was announced earlier this year.(
Hendrick Motorsports)(10-6-2015)





From Track Forum:


Bad Boy Indy Invitational brings dirt racing indoors to Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Hmm, 40 midgets & Outlaw Kart races.  Sorry, no idea as to the size of the track!




From the Dirt Track Digest Forum:


Airborne Speedway back to dirt






From the AARN:


Super DIRTWeek Is At Hand; Giant 116 Page AARNLooks At Past, Present, Future Of Beloved Event


Stevie Smith Wins WoO Rain-Delayed Grove Race And $50,000


Airborne Motorsports Park Is Up For Sale


Coby. Preece Run One-Two In Stafford NWMT, Are Deadlocked For Season Title


Red Hot Billy Decker Wins Fulton 200


Hirschman Wins The First Chemung Race Of Champions


Paules Earns Mahoning Valley Mod Crown After Kochenach Wins Race


Tremont Stays Hot; Bests Devil’s Bowl Dirt Modifieds


And, a little ore from this weeks issue:


Note:  A majority of the articles are about SDW and the winners of those races.


Super Dirt week - what if:

CNYRP isn't completed by next October & it rains this week.

Still talks of SDW next year being at Oswego.

With the grandstands, concrete walls and guardrails to be torn down this fall, Brian Carter says the event will be held this week, no matter what happens.


Ernie Saxton makes mention of the proposed Indycar race for the Boston area, just might go the way the Formula 1 race has been planned for New Jersey for a few years.


Per Earl Krause, Bill Wilson is now 77 years "young".  Bill has never retired.  I, for a while was a fan of Mr. Wilson.  There was a time at OCFS when he pulled into the pits with his car on fire.  The late Bob Green helped him get out of his race car.  It wasn't too after that when Bob had those serious injuries while racing at Accord.   In order to raise some funds to help Bob with his medical expenses, the Greens were selling some things at OCFS.  Seems that Bill Wilson came over, looked at what they had, and walked away.  Strange, huh?


Kolten Gouse has been named as the promoter for the Susquehanna Speedway.


When Steve Smith won the William Grove National Open, it was his first Open win since 1991.


Tim Hindley, and his car owner, Dave Phillips, are foregoing the trip to Syracuse for SDW, but are concentrating on getting the car ready for Easter States.


Jack Johnson was the first New York driver to win at Syracuse, that being in 1979.


Saturday, November 28th, is the date for the "Gobbler" race at Accord.


Glenn Donnelly has a "Target" date for the opening of CYNRP - Memorial Day 2016.


Dave Blaney & Bobby Hearn will be together again this year at Syracuse.


OCFS will be opening next year on April 2nd with the "Hard Clay Open".



Former OVRP Dirt Oval racers:


Up at Devil's Bowl, on their dirt track, in the 100 lap Modified feature, Bobby Hackel, IV was 5th, while Bobby Hackel, III, was 23rd.


Nick Pecko was 9th in the 200 lap RoC race at Chemung.


Wow!  Believe it or not, that's basically all the results I could find in this week's AARN!





Back in time:

My father, Lucien G. Avenengo, was born on 10/13/02

Grandson, Brett Avenengo was born on 10/07/90

Ted Horn left us on 10/10/48

Johnny Ritter left us on 10/12/48

Curtis Turner left us on 10/04/70

Sarah Fisher was born on 10/04/80

Denny Hulme left us on 10/04/92

Blaise Alexander left us on 10/04/01

Michael Andretti was born on 10/05/62

JJ Yeley was born on 10/05/76



C:\Users\Dad\Pictures\Polo Grounds # 3.JPG


Some midgets in action at the Polo Grounds.  About the only car I can actually make out is the one shown in second - Johnny Ritter in his Offy # 3. 




From last week:


"Interesting, to say the least:


Checking out the schedule for Eastern States, I found this:


"OK, so what's the story now? At OCFS, for ESW, it's being said that time trials for the modifieds will be on Friday NIGHT. Yet, this is on the OCFS website: "Racing begins on Friday, October 23. The Fairgrounds and pits open at 9:30 am, with the car inspection beginning at 10:30 am and spectator gates at 11:00 am. Following car inspections, drivers meeting, and draw, on-track practice for time trials for the Big-Block Modified and Sportsman division and a hot lap session for the Small-Block Modifieds begins at 1:00 pm. After time trials are complete, Sportsman heats precede Modified heats, Sportsman consolation races, and the Sportsman and Modified Dashes for Cash" and now this: "Full weekend of racing, Friday night features the Modifieds doing time trials and heats along with a full show of Sportsman and small block hot laps." So, OCFS, which is it? I'd post this on their website, but I'm forbidden to post there.

Note:  Apparently the part that said Time Trials on Friday NIGHT, has been deleted.  Damned if I can find it, now."


Note:  A you can see, I did make a "correction" about the time trials.  But, man, did I get a lot of grief just mentioning the Friday night deal.  Oh, giving you a little hint here - do not attempt to find the above on the OCFS website.  Looks like it has been removed (after I was able to copy it!)




Upcoming Modified race/TV dates

Stafford race Oct.4, TV Oct.10, 4-5PM
Charlotte (Southern Tour) race Oct.8, TV Oct.15, 7-8PM
Thompson race Oct.18, TV Oct.22, 8-9PM

All on NBCSN






Weather - whether or not:


Some things being said on Facebook about the horrendous rain in the Carolinas:


Wow what a shame all the damage to South Carolina. Cars, houses, town houses, condos all wiped out and many will never see a dime for rebuilding. Going to be some real cheap property sales coming soon.


Haley stated just minutes ago that SC. Has not seen this much rain in 1000 years . Yes 1000 years.


All the gas stations are flooded and gas is contaminated as well as the soil.


It's amazing that kind of damage and deviation in just a few hours.






Press Releases:


NEWS FROM                                                                                                             

Orange County Fair Speedway                                                                                   

239 Wisner Avenue                                                                                                    

Middletown, NY10940 



Mike Gurda



Orange County Fair Speedway’s 2015 Eastern States Weekend

Sets a Record for Prize Money


More than $60,000 awaits a driver who can win both Modified championship races



MIDDLETOWN, NY (October 4)……..Six times in Orange County Fair Speedway’s Eastern States history, one driver has won both the Small Block Modified championship race and the headline Eastern States 200 in the same weekend. Danny Johnson swept both races in 1992 and Brett Hearn took top honors in both races five times---1986, 2002, 2004, 2012, and 2014.  But neither Johnson nor Hearn ever won as much money as a double victor will this year.


With $35,000 going to the winner of the 2015 Eastern States 200, and $15,000 to the Small-block Modified 100 victor, plus a $10,000 bonus for a sweep of the two races, one driver could leave the historic Middletown “Hard Clay” on Sunday evening, October 25 some $60,000 richer. And this doesn’t include special awards like $1,000 for fast time and the pole position in the 200 and $500 for the outside pole slot, nor the lap money in both races to the leader of each completed circuit.


The questions thus become, how many drivers will enter both races?  And who has to best chance of winning the double?


During Orange County’s 2015 weekly racing schedule, 19 different drivers raced one or more times in both the Big-Block Modified and the Small-Block Modified divisions. Of the 19, the best overall record was turned in by Tim Hindley, who was the runner up in the Big-Block standings and finished third in Small-Block points. Hindley has finished third in the last two Eastern States 200 races, but hasn’t had similar luck in the Small-Block event, dropping out last year and finishing 14th in 2013. Yet, based on his 2015 weekly performances in both divisions, Hindley has to be considered one of the favorites to join Johnson and Hearn in the exclusive weekend sweep club.


The 54th annual Eastern States Weekend presented by Halmar International, Arkel Motors, and WLR Construction Company, the oldest continuously-run championship race weekend for dirt track Modifieds, is set for Friday through Sunday, October 23-25 at the newly refurbished Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York. Advance ticket information and weekend schedules are available by calling the track office at 845-342-2573 during business hours, or by visiting





Contact: Tom Herzig

DIRTcar Racing PR 
802-249-2850 |


Dave Blaney Returning to Syracuse in a Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified for a Final Shot at NAPA Super DIRT Week Glory

SYRACUSE, N.Y. October. 6, 2015 - Dave Blaney, the Buckeye Bullet from Hartford, Ohio, and a former NASCAR star, will be among the entrants trying to capture Sundays Syracuse 200 during NAPA Super DIRT Weeks Finale at the Fairgrounds celebration this week.

Blaney, a former of champion of both the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and the USAC Silver Crown Series, will strap into the J&S Racing Big-Block Modified No. 74 Teo Pro Car built by Bobby Hearn and sponsored by Halmar International this week at the New York State Fairgrounds.

Blaney drove the first Teo chassis machine Hearn produced. He has teamed up with J&S Racing owners Steve Hastings and Joe Knoth with a good deal of success over the years.

Three times Blaney has been the Syracuse 200 Big-Block Modified runner-up (89,94,95), including long stints as the race leader. Hes won two World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series events on the Moody Mile.

Ive been doing this for a while, Blaney said. I grew up in Ohio and started out in sprint cars on dirt. Ive raced a lot with Steve, Joe and Bobby. Were all excited to get a Modified ready for Syracuse and go racing. Its been a while since Ive jumped in one, but I dont think Ill fall off.

Its all about Dave, Hastings said. Hes had a such a great career and hes come so close at Syracuse. The last fifty laps its a race all to itself and were happy to be a part of it.

Tickets are still available for this years heart-pounding Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified and DIRTcar Modified action at NAPA Super DIRT Week by clicking going and clicking the ticket link, or calling 844-DIRT-TIX (347-8849).

For more information about the Super DIRTcar Series and NAPA Super DIRT Week, check,, or follow us on Twitter at






Speedway Entertainment <>


Today at 3:57 PM (Tues)

Complete Tobias SpeedSTR for SALE


Complete Race Ready Tobias SpeedSTR for sale with numerous spare parts.


Car: 2013 Chassis with a 2015 body and all current 2015 updates on chassis.


Engine just completely rebuilt with only 2 races on it. Rebuild consisted of new cams, rocker arms, lifters, valves and Tobias Standard rebuild rings bearings gaskets. Rebuild was over $3,000.00. Spare parts valued $3,500.00. This value is based on 50% of original cost of new




List of spare parts:


(1)Complete vertex Magneto (Race ready just got back from Vertex)

(1) Hilborn fuel Injection pump (Race ready just got back from Hilborn)

(1) Aluminum Radiator (good shape)

(1) Spare front axle

(2) Spare Starters

(5) Coil springs various rates

(8) Shocks

(14) Sets of change gears

(8) Wheels and tires (light weight wheels)

(8) Asphalt slicks (good tires)

(1) Rear axle wheel nut wrench

(10)Complete set of spare radius rods, pan hard bars, front and rear, rear wishbones all rods include rod ends.

(2)Spare nerf bars Left and Right

(1)Spare rear bumper

(1) Spare rear only good for parts, ring and pinion good, bent axle and broken center section

(10 Assorted , hubs, adapter plates, rotors, birdcages, body panels, belts etc. Everything in shop for SpeedSTR goes with sale of car.


Contact: Wayne Weaver/ email: Car is located in Vineland NJ


Phone: 856.2017.6223 or 856.982.3371





Found on the Internet:


Obama Announces Plans To Cancel Thanksgiving And Replace It with THIS


"In his last term as president, Barack Obama has proven that he is determined to destroy traditional American culture. Now, it’s being reported that the Administration may be planning to eliminate Thanksgiving and replacing it with “Immigrant’s Day.”



Found on Facebook on Monday:
A disgrace to our nation. Arrive from abroad, get a luxury hotel all paid for. Heroes who have served our nation? Lucky if the government would fund a cardboard box for them!






Sorry folks, but no video this week.





This week's joke:


Getting older


Harold Schlumberg - An Inspiration To Us All


As we get older we sometimes begin to doubt our ability to make a difference in the world. It is at these times that our hopes are boosted by the remarkable achievements of other seniors who have found the courage to take on challenges that would make many of us wither.


Harold Schlumberg, born and raised in NY City is such a person.


 QUOTE FROM HAROLD:  “I've often been asked,  '... What do you old folks do now that you're retired?'  Well, I stay active and happy.  I'm fortunate to have a chemical engineering background and one of the things I enjoy most is converting beer and scotch into urine.  Then I take a jog out to the shed and piss on a picture of Obama.  I do this several times every day.  I really enjoy it and get my exercise too!”

Harold is an inspiration to all of us old folks.


Note:  Now I'm not really sure if there is/was such a person as Harold Schlumberg, but that's how I got the email, today - Tuesday.



Special from me:


Over the years, I've been able to attend the races at Syracuse, on occasion.  However, via doctors orders, I can't do that this year, nor can I get to ESW, either.  So, I'm hoping for some safe racing at both tracks.  Yes, I do have some that I'd like to see win, but - hey ya never know what could happen on the race track.

From what I've seen, weather wise, for Syracuse, the forecast for Friday is a real bummer.  At least it was over these past few days.

I figured I'd give it one more look see, and as of 9:52 PM on Wednesday night, this is the forecast for Friday:


Fri9. Oct



6° Overnight Low





Yes, I damned near fell out of my chair when I saw those low temps!




Until my next column – next week




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




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