Mostly Racin' Stuff
By Tom Avenengo
Volume # 247
This week's special photo:
The late Bill Vukovich is shown in the Agajanian # 98 dirt Indy car. There will be a few more Indy car photos from back in the day, in this week's column in between some of my usual "stuff".
Special from me:
I really missed not being able to head north to see the final race at Syracuse. Looking at videos of the starts of some of the races, in a way, I'm somewhat glad I didn't make it. Personally, even though it was the last racing events held on that historic mile track, one would think that DIRTcar would have had the decency to have a track that was not as dusty. Thank God no serious injuries incurred due to the blinding dusty conditions.
Chances are quite good that I will NOT have a column next week, unless some BIG news comes out.
So I got to thinking - Hmmm, 5/8 mile (for Glenn's new track). Heck, the Syracuse replacement race could still be a 200 lapper, with a pit stop required. They've done that at OCFS for years. I imagine time will tell?
As of now, next year's "Super Dirt Week" is scheduled for the new Glenn Donnelly track. My son, Eric, was at Syracuse this year, and on Sunday, he was sitting next to John Lehman.
" Guess who I'm sitting with? John lehman
Yes the same one from Donnelly new track
The new track will be the same size as middletown and rolling wheels. And yes it will Def be ready for next year. He said it's amazing how quick everything just gets pushed through now that syracuse is closing."
Racing from back in the day:
Bill Schindler in "Basement Bessie". I believe this Walt Imlay photo was taken at Williams Grove. Yes, back in the day, the Indy cars ran at the Grove,
Found on Jayski:
Drivers not happy with track cleanup:
Busch and #88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. were angry at NASCAR for what they felt was a
lousy job cleaning up the track in the top of the groove between Turns 1 and 2
from a #51-Justin Allgaier oil spill on lap 182 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Both drivers hit the wall as they tried to put themselves in position to finish
on the lead lap. Earnhardt, one lap down, ended up in the wall shortly before
lap 200 and wound up four laps down in 28th. Busch hit it about 15 laps later,
finishing one lap down in 20th. "You can't pass anybody -- it's a
single-lane race track and then [a driver] put oil on the top lane [where we]
to try to make anything happen and then you put yourself in the fence -- so
thanks to NASCAR for cleaning that up," Busch said sarcastically.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director Richard Buck said NASCAR had cleanup workers actually walk the areas where drivers complained about oil, and they felt no oil, just the kitty litter-type absorbent. Earnhardt said NASCAR might have missed the oil because of shadows on the track, but Buck said workers and the pace-car driver did not feel any oil. "I've raced this [stuff] for 20 years," Earnhardt said. "I know what oil and [the absorbent] Speedi Dri is. We hit fluid, flew into the freaking wall hard. That's not Speedi Dri. There was oil up there. ... I hit the f---ing wall. I know I hit oil. I hit it. I promise. I'll argue with them all day long because I know I'm right."(ESPN)(10-11-2015)
Green-white-checkered policy may be altered for Talladega:
Will there be new rules for NASCAR's "crapshoot " race of the Chase for the Sprint Cup - the CampingWorld.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway? The sanctioning body and competitors have discussed different formats for the finish that should make the ending less precarious should the race go into overtime on restrictor-plate tracks. One scenario would use just one green-white-checkered finish to determine the outcome. Multiple restarts mean multiple opportunities to wreck race cars. Another format would could be a single-file restart which would discourage side-by-side contact coming to the green. "They're trying to eliminate the Austin Dillon situation - the big wad of cars at the end of the race," Denny Hamlin said, referring to the #3 car flipping into the catchfence at Daytona in July after making contact with the #11 Toyota and collecting a dozen cars in the process. Despite the dialogue, as of Saturday afternoon a representative from NASCAR says nothing has been determined for Talladega.(Motorsport)(10-11-2015)
Kasey Kahne on baby watch:
Kahne's girlfriend, Samantha Sheets, is due to deliver Kahne's son on October
10 - the same day as the Sprint Cup Series Bank of America 500. When asked what
the status was, Kahne told Kickin' the Tires that his impending fatherhood was
"It's close, it's really close," Kahne said, as he walked back to his hauler from qualifying on the outside pole for tonight's (Friday) Drive for the Cure 300 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina. "Sam's like, very close." Kahne didn't say whether or not he had a backup plan in place should Sheets go into labor before, or during, the race. He said he was hoping the baby would wait to make its debut until after the race weekend. "I think it will be Sunday night or Monday, is what I am hoping for. After the race tomorrow night and then we have our foundation's 5-k on Sunday morning at 10:00am down at the (NASCAR) Hall of Fame, which is always a fun event. We get a lot of support for that and enjoy it and then we will probably spend a little time at the hospital for the next few days after that. "I am actually a little nervous. I think about it more and more each day and wake earlier each morning just thinking about it. It's going to be a big change but I'm looking forward to it."(Kickin' the Tires)(10-10-2015)
Kahne tweeted Tuesday morning, "I officially became a dad at 1:11 AM to Tanner Lee Kahne. Mom and tanner are doing great. On no sleep but we can't put this little guy down."(10-13-2015).
NASCAR Announces Base 2016 Rules Package:
announced the base NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rules package to be used during the
2016 season. The package was delivered to teams after an extensive
collaborative process between NASCAR and industry stakeholders. The base
package will include a 3.5-inch spoiler, a 0.25-inch front leading splitter
edge and a 33-inch wide radiator pan. These components will provide lower
downforce on the cars, and Goodyear will develop tires to complement them.
Earlier this season, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Kentucky Speedway and
Darlington Raceway featured a similar aero package.
"NASCAR has worked tirelessly with our teams, drivers, manufacturers and Goodyear to develop a rules package that provides fans with the best racing possible," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. "The success of the races at Kentucky and Darlington in similar trim proved extremely valuable in accelerating rules development for 2016. Now, as teams have even more time to prepare and a strong baseline of data, we anticipate the racing to be even better."
Characteristics of the lower downforce rules package includes more off-throttle time for drivers and decreasing corner speeds. This generates more passing zones over the entire track, and allows for multiple tire combinations to be levered. In addition to the base package, each track will continue to feature specific rules, including tire combinations and drive train configurations, to create the best racing for each track length, layout and surface. Rear gear ratios will be adjusted to maintain a maximum engine speed of 9,000 RPM and a 1.38 third gear ratio will be used at all tracks smaller than 1.25 miles. The digital dashboard, which was optional for teams during the second half of this season, will be mandatory in all vehicles.
"Our team at the NASCAR R&D Center is constantly looking at the racing, and evaluating ways to continue to improve it," O'Donnell said. "Using science and technology and qualitative data compiled from world-class engineers throughout the industry as our guideposts, we will always look to make the racing better for our fans."
Several safety updates have been instituted, including a double NACA duct where a right-hand side window is used, a fire suppression system activation cable routed to the dash or right-hand side leg board and a seat belt restraint system that meets SFI 16.6 specification.(NASCAR)(10-14-2015)
No word yet
when the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Schedule will be announced. BUT, three
more race dates released: Atlanta on Sunday, Feb. 28, Charlotte on Sunday, May 29th and Kentuckyon Saturday, July 9th.
Any rumors or news about the schedule will be posted. There have been reports it would come out in mid-to-late September but that came and went, so it is expected sometime this week (Oct 12-16 range). Also see the 2016 Schedule News and Rumors page. As a reference, in 2014 the 2015 schedule was announced on 8/26/2014; the 2014 schedule wasn't announced until 10/15/2013; and the 2013 schedule was announced on 9/25/2012. Have posted a very unofficial Tentative 2016 Sprint Cup Series schedule, but 14 dates are confirmed.
Charlotte TV Ratings:
Cup racing from Charlotte, the fourth race in the Chase for the Cup, drew a 1.4
overnight rating on NBCSN Sunday afternoon. The race was originally scheduled
to air Saturday night on the NBC broadcast network, but was postponed due to
rain. Last year's race, which aired on ABC in its scheduled timeslot, drew a
2.9 overnight.(Sports Media Watch)
See past race TV Ratings, five-year comparison chart and more on the 2015 TV Ratings page.(10-13-2015)
RTA members hold meeting at Hendrick Motorsports:
The Race Team Alliance met at Hendrick Motorsports on Thursday to discuss the options presented by NASCAR for future "framework concepts" in relation ownership structure. NASCAR invited all Sprint Cup owners to a meeting last Tuesday led by Chairman Brian France and Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar. NASCAR followed up with each individual team after the meeting. On Thursday, as the RTA lunched at HMS, France reiterated a three-point message via the SiriusXM NASCAR airwaves similar to what was stated to the owners. "Anytime we can improve the structure for our team owners, that's a good thing," France said. "So if we can improve their business model, we can improve their overall structure, then what's going to happen is new owners will be looking to participate in NASCAR and that's a good thing. The other good thing is the level of competition goes up. The more team owners there are, the better we're going to be." NASCAR hopes to have a program in place by season's end, but there's still a lot of work ahead on both sides of the proposal. In a release sent out by the sanctioning body last week, it cautioned not to speculate on possible formats before a final decision has been determined.(Motorsport)(10-9-2015)
From Track Forum:
Note: Pictures don't lie, do they? Guess DIRTcar ran out of water?
From the Dirt Track Digest Forum:
Another Walt Imlay photo. The start of the 1956 Champ car race at Langhorne. I was there with my brother, Jim. We had to leave right after the race so I could attend some graduation service at my school, in Pearl River, NY. Man, how time flies!
From the AARN:
Friesen Wins Bittersweet Finale On The Syracuse Mile
Rich Wyoming Co. Mod 100 Won By Zane Zeiner
Satterlee Cops Prestigious Winchester 200
Nick Sweet Kisses Thunder Road Milk Bowl Cow
New Operators Set To Take Over Clinton County Speedway
McKean County ‘Opener’ Is Max Blair’s
Doctor’s 358 Is Red Hot At Weedsport, Brewerton
‘Working Man’s Race’ At I-88 Is Won By ‘Working Man Creeden’
Pauch, Father And Son, Sweep FMP SpeedSTR, Modified Races
Danny Varin’s Utica-Rome 358 Mod Score Is His First
And a little more from this week's issue:
Something pretty interesting:
Al Heinke runs the races at NY's Weedsport Speedway. Weedsport is running on Fri & Sat against OCFS and their ESW event. Mr. Heinke says he'd love t see OC back in with DIRTcar for next year, and would be willing to drop his October event, should OC get back with DIRTcar.
How about sending out some prayers for Marylin Saxton, Ernie's wife. She's had some rather serious health issues, and due to them they've had to postpone their trip back to Florida until at least Christmas Day.
Elmer George and Bobby Grim each had only one win in Champ cars. Both won at the mile track in Syracuse.
USAC had 18 cars for their final race on the Syracuse mile.
Note: With news I've seen about the new Donnelly track, it will be 5/8 mile. To me that's plenty big enough to run the USAC Silver Crown cars. Biggest problem - not enough races in that area for SC cars to draw more than 18-20 cars. Maybe if there were some USAC Midget & Sprint Car races in the area, one might see more coming for the Silver Crown races?
Former OVRP Dirt Oval racers:
Dave Franek was 23rd in the 360 Sprint Car race at Rolling Wheels.
Tyler Dipple was 26th in the 100 lap Modified race at Weedsport. He was 39th in the 200 at Syracuse.
Rich Coons was 4th in the 358/Sportsman feature at Bethel.
Tyler Dipple was 15th and Matt Janiak 20th in the 358 race at Syracuse.
Note: It's been said that the race winner, Jimmy Phelps did not make a required FULL stop when he pitted during the event. Hmmm?
You might have noticed a name I haven't had in my weekly columns over the past couple of months - Danny Creeden. Seems some of the Creeden family members and I have had some "problems" on Facebook, basically about a comment by me about very young children being in the pit areas on race days, which I am completely against. Strange how a little bit of time changes things - we always got along real good when racing at OVRP's Dirt Oval. I felt it would be necessary for me to make mention of Danny in this race result from the I-88 Speedway.
Danny Creeden won the 50 lap Short Track Super Dirt Series race at I-88. Anthony Perrego was 27th while Kyle Rohner was a DNQ.
Zack Mead was 10th and sister Winter was 15th in the GRIT Series 602 Sportsman feature.
Cody Bleau was 18th in the Sportsman race at Syracuse.
Note: Could be a 17th place finish since the winner was DQ'd.
Some OVRP former runners were at Syracuse, and here's how they timed in time trials:
In Modifieds, Tyler Dippel was 15th, Billy V 26th and Kyle Redner 73rd. Matt Janiak was 40th, Brett Wright 43rd, while Tyler Dipple was a DQ'd.
Jimmy Johnson was 3rd and Brad Szulewski 16th in the RoC Sportsman feature at 5 Mile.
At I-88, in a combined Open & Crate Sportsman feature, Winter Mead was 6th and Hunter Bates 11th.
Lloyd Ruby in pictured in one of the first RE Indy cars. Pretty sue this photo was taken at Trenton. Pretty sure it was "Offy" powered.
Charlotte (Southern Tour) race Oct.8, TV Oct.15, 7-8PM
Thompson race Oct.18, TV Oct.22, 8-9PM
All on NBCSN
Syracuse - some drivers thoughts:
Syracuse - some sad info:
on a sadder night it comes to my attention that some one decided to steal yes steal the body of the show car that was used in the infield for super dirt week, this is just plain wrong and i strongly urge if anyone knows any information or who it was to tell them to return the items and make it right, this is what takes a good thing and just ruins it...
How about this?
Contact: Chris Dolack
704-795-7223 | email@example.com
NAPA Super DIRT
Week Sportsman Modified Winner Found in Violation
of Rules During Post-Event Inspection
Victory awarded to races runner-up Rocky Warner
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Oct. 13, 2015 - The DIRTcar Sportsman Modified driven by James Michael Friesen in Sunday's DIRTcar Sportsman Modified feature event at NAPA Super DIRT Week was found to be in violation of DIRTcar rules.
The car was disqualified for violating DIRTcar Rule 15.1, which prohibits alterations to the Chevrolet Performance engine, including tampering with seals.
The penalty includes the loss of points and earnings from Sunday's race, and awards Rocky Warner with the victory.
Friesen is suspended from DIRTcar competition for 12 months and may apply for reinstatement on Oct. 11, 2016. Section 12 of the DIRTcar Rulebook allows the right to appeal the decision.
Note: Some drivers/teams just never learn.
INDYCAR: Pocono set to return in 2016
Eddie Sachs in the Schmidt # 44. Photo could have been taken at Langhorne.
Note: Best ya get prepared for whatever occurs, folks. Personally, I can think of some "Politicians" that I'd love to see leave the good old USA!
Another photo of "Vukie" - this one from the 1953 Indy 500, which he won. I often wonder - what if that accident in 1955, that took his life, had not happened, if he would have continued racing. He was on his way to his 3rd Indy 500 win that day.
Found on the Internet:
How time flies:
Yes, it's been four years already!
From Brian Caruso:
"Today marks the three year anniversary of the Red Bull Stratos jump when Felix Baumgartner jumped from 128,000 feet. Felix accelerated to 843 MPH on his way down breaking the sound barrier without a vehicle. I have to say it was the coolest project I have ever been involved in and feel honored that Micar was part of that history and were Global Partners of the Red Bull Stratos project.
Micar Fabrication & Design Company Inc., Red Bull, and
Flightline Films collaborated to design and manufacture the three white custom
pressurized housings mounted on the outside of the capsule as well as the
electrical cage housing inside the capsule.
It was great working with Red Bull, Jay Nemeth from Flightline Films, Mitch Schleis, Randy Fuchs, Ramsey & Son, A & N Fabrication, Electrostatic Painting and all involved. Thanks for the great memories!"
The start of the Small Block race at Syracuse. My thoughts: Absolutely no need for a track to be in that condition - dust wise. DIRTcar should hang their heads in shame. I don't care if it was the last weekend of racing there, or not, a track like that, with today's knowledge, should never have been like that. Imagine if there were any serious injuries or even a death or two, due to track conditions?
Yes, I was not there in person, but I was able to keep track of what was happening via the Internet. If I'm not mistaken, there was someone posting that they were watering the CINDER track.
This week's joke:
At times I get stumped as to what to put in this section. Thanks to my friend from up north, Elaine, for sending me "stuff" like these, below:
Now that food has replaced sex in my life, I can't even get into my own pants.
I don't do drugs, I get the same effect just standing up fast.
Sign in a Chinese Pet Store: "Buy one dog, get one flea."
If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal.
I don't approve of political jokes, I've seen too many of them get elected.
Until my next column, which as of now will be in two weeks.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org