Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                                                                  By Tom Avenengo

                                                                                      Volume # 40





Between this column and my next one, due out on December 30th, most of us will be celebrating the Christmas Holiday.  So, let me wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!



Next - # 1:


It’s always nice to see where some of the things I’ve written about, in the past, turn up when someone else does an Internet search on something, and I get this:


e-mail received on 12/2/2010


“Mr. Avenengo:

                I was browsing the web today after talking with some co workers about “Midget Racing”.  Read your article about sitting in the restored Darrell-Villa-Offy.  In my younger days back in 1970 or so when I was 21, I was working for Eddie Darrell at his Gulf Station in Clark, NJ and actually worked on the 83’s that had the offy’s in them and later the SESCO.  Remember hot ironing cutting the tires, trying to pick up the right side of the Don Edmonds frame, the smell of Methanol, etc.   Brought back a lot of memories.  I was actually at Flemington Speedway when Len Duncan went sailing through the air with the greatest of ease.  I still think I have the newspaper clipping of that incident.  Again if memory serves me right Darrell had two cars that year, Duncan drove the 83 and since Darrell was no. 1 the previous year a driver named Hubbard was driving the No.1.  Went to all of them in those years, Boyertown, Pa., Hagerstown, Wall Stadium (Depress accelerator and keep steering left), Nazareth, Lime Rock, etc.  The rivalry between Darrell and Brenn. Those were some fun days I will always remember. 

Thanks for jogging my memory.

 Steven H. Mazurek”


Next - # 2:

I was on my computer yesterday, Wednesday, when a notice popped up on my Yahoo Messenger notifying me that “John LeVan” was online.  It was his son, Craig LeVan.  We had a short on-line chat.  One thing that he said that did trouble me some, and I guess I’m as guilty as anyone, is that ever since the passing of John, which was on December 18, 2008, the LeVan family really hasn’t heard from anyone from the past – those that were part of what I could say were “family” – those involved in racing in some sort of way.  So, if you’d like to send an e-mail to either Craig, or LuAnn, John’s widow, here are their e-mail addresses:

Craig:  owrcraig@yahoo.com

LuAnn:  blondetide@aol.com

Also, their home address is:  1147 N. 9th St  Reading, PA 19604


And, yes, this week’s column is dedicated to John LeVan.  Without him, you would not be reading this stuff!


Next - # 3:

There was supposed to be a practice session at the Daytona Speedway on Wednesday, so I’ve held off until late on Wednesday night to see if there are nay results posted.  A little after 10:00 PM, this was on Jayski’s website:


Some Day 1 testing news from Daytona:

Statement From NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton About Goodyear Tire Test At Daytona International Speedway: "It was a very good day. The teams came well-prepared. Goodyear came well-prepared. The racetrack has a lot of grip. The surface is very smooth. It appears in drafting practice that they immediately went three-wide."(NASCAR)

AND Mark Martin awarded high marks to all parties after Day One of a Goodyear tire test at Daytona International Speedway today. Speaking to Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody, Martin said, "I think we ran six laps without even wearing the sticker off the left front tire. In fact, we could probably run the full 500 miles on the same set of tires. There will be zero tire issues during Speedweeks. The track is smooth, its fast and it's not wearing the tires at all. The grip is obscene, and I'm sure the guys from Goodyear are probably having a party tonight." Martin also offered his prediction for the upcoming Daytona 500, saying, "The race is going to be crazy. Everybody better start getting ready right now." Sources say speeds were in the neighborhood of 195 mph, with three-wide (and some four-wide) racing common. "we ran three-wide quite a bit," said Martin, "and toward the end, we got a little braver and tried four-wide. That's not going to work for very long before someone gets into the side of the guy next to him and causes a wreck." Only one major incident slowed the day's test, when David Ragan crashed his Roush-Fenway Racing UPS Ford.


Going back, in time:

Note:  Most of the following information was found here: 



Covering the days of December 3rd to December 16th.



Bobby Allison ... Born


Rick Mears ... Born


Bobby Marshman ... Died ... Born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Marshman died in San Antonio, Texas from injuries sustained in a tire test in Phoenix, Arizona. He drove in the USAC Midget, Sprint and Championship Car series, racing in the 1961-1964 seasons, with 49 career starts, including each Indianapolis 500 contest in that span. He finished in the top ten 25 times, with one victory, in 1962 at Phoenix. His 7th place finish at the 1961 Indianapolis 500 earned him co-Rookie of the Year honors with Parnelli Jones.


Alex "Al" Tasnady... Died ... A modified stock driver for more than 23 years, he had more than 600 victories at tracks along the East Coast. During his career he won point championships at the Reading Fair Grounds, the Nazareth and Hatfield speedways in Pennsylvania; the Flemington, Vineland, Pitman, Atco and Pleasantville speedways in New Jersey, and the speedway in Dover, Del. The first modified driver to have an organized fan club, Tasnady received the Outstanding Achievement Award for modified stock car driving from the Greater New York Auto Racing Fraternity, honoring him as the No.1 driver in the country in 1963. Tasnady was the first driver to win four feature races in one day in 1967 at the Reading Fair Grounds. The next year he was inducted into the Eastern Old Timers Hall of Fame, and in 1974, was the first inductee into the Eastern Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame and was voted by them as one of the the 3 greatest Modified Stock Car dirt track racers ever. After retiring from driving he was race director at the Flemington Fair Speedway, 1973-83.




Len Sutton... Died ... Sutton became involved in auto racing after serving in the Navy during World War II. He spun out in the first corner on his first lap at a dirt track. Sutton won Oregon Racing Association championships in 1949, 1950, 1954, and 1955. He flipped his car to avoid cattle during the 1954 Carrera Panamericana road race (now Baja 1000). He was in a body cast for 4 months. He also won midget car racing championships in Portland before he headed east to become a national touring driver. He raced in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series from 1955 to 1965, with 76 career starts, 43 top ten finishes, and 3 victories. Sutton completed his rookie test for the Indianapolis 500 in 1956. He flipped his car while attempting 140 miles per hour for the 1957 Indianapolis 500. He slide upside down with his helmet scraping the asphalt for nearly 1000 feet. A report in the following day's Indianapolis News said "Sutton was at first believed dead by observers on the scene." His injuries included broken shoulder, serious abrasions on his back, and a fractured skull. He returned to Indianapolis the the following year and made his first start in the event. That year he finished 32nd after being eliminated in a multi-car accident during the first lap. He competed in the 500 six more times and had his best result in 1962. After starting the race 4th, he led 9 laps and finished second behind his teammate Rodger Ward. The next year, he set an unofficial Indianapolis Motor Speedway record when he went over 155 miles per hour during a tire test. Known for his versatility as a driver, Sutton also competed in roadsters, midgets, sprint cars, and stock cars. He finished 31st in the 1963 Daytona 500. Sutton decided to retire from driving during a 1965 race at Langhorne Speedway. Fellow competitor Mel Kenyon was severely burned in the race. After retiring from driving, Sutton went into broadcasting and was a member of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network for many years. Sutton died at his home in Portland at age 81 after a long battle with cancer.


Rick Weld... Died ... He was the youngest of the four "Weld" brothers, passed away after losing his battle with cancer. Rick started his sprint car driving career in 1971 in his father's car, winning 29 feature events in his first two years.




Richard "Mitch" Smith... Born ... From Linglestown, PA., Mitch was known throughout the world of auto racing. When Mitch was in his prime in the 1960's and 70's, fans would come to Central, PA just to watch Mitch Smith.


Jim Hurtubise ... Born ... An American race car driver who raced in USAC Champ Cars (including the Indianapolis 500), as well as sprint cars and stock cars (USAC and NASCAR). He was from North Tonawanda, New York. Despite his limited success, he was a fan favorite throughout much of his career as many characterized him as an "old style" racecar driver. Hurtubise raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1959-1968 and 1970-1974 seasons, with 97 career starts. He finished in the top ten 38 times, with 4 victories, in 1959 at Sacramento, 1960 at Langhorne, and 1961 and 1962 at Springfield. In 1964, after suffering serious burns in an accident during the Rex Mays Classic, in Milwaukee, doctors asked Hurtubise how he wanted his hands shaped permanently. "Just make 'em so I can hold a steering wheel," he replied. Hurtubise died January 6, 1989 after suffering a heart attack near his home in Port Arthur, Texas. He was 56 years old.


J. D. (John Delphus) McDuffie ... Born ... A NASCAR Series driver.



Willard "Bill" Cantrell... Born ... Nicknamed the "Silver Fox" because of his gray hair and the sly tricks he used to win races.




I find it hard to believe how much the media – especially the newspapers, have forgotten what happened on 12/07/1941, and don’t recall the events of that day and what happened at Pearl Harbor.


LeeRoy Yarbrough... Died ... A NASCAR racer. His best season was 1969 when he won seven races and tallied 21 Top Ten finishes. During his entire career from 1960-1972, he competed in 198 races, scoring 14 wins, 65 top fives, 92 top tens, and 10 poles. His racing number was 98. LeeRoy ran the Indy 500 3 times with a best finish of 19th in 1970. A succession of crashes ended his career and he struggled to cope without driving. After an attack on his mother, Lee Roy, real name, Lonnie, was committed to a mental hospital for life. In 1984, he suffered a seizure and fell, hitting his head and died the next day, from his head injury.



George Snider ... Born ... A longtime driver in the United States Automobile Club Sprint and Silver Crown series, Snider is also a 22-time starter of the Indianapolis 500, the most starts without winning the race.



Ed Elisian ... Born ... Ed was an American racing driver, mainly competing in the National Championship. He died in a crash at the Milwaukee Mile. n the 1955 Indianapolis 500, he stopped his car in a futile attempt to help Bill Vukovich when Vukovich's car crashed and burned during the race. He is the only driver in Indy 500 history to stop a non-damaged car to help another driver. He received a sportsmanship award for his efforts, as well as the wrath of the car owner. In the 1958 Indianapolis 500, Dick Rathmann and Elisian started the race on the front row, with Jimmy Reece on the outside of the front row. Elisian spun in turn 3 of the first lap, and collected Rathmann, sending them both into the wall, and starting a 15-car pileup. According to AJ Foyt, Pat O'Connor's car hit Reece's car, sailed fifty feet in the air, landed upside down, and burst into flames. Although medical officials said that O'Connor was probably killed instantly from a fractured skull, he was incinerated in the accident, in full view of fans and drivers. Widely blamed for the accident, Elisian was suspended by USAC for the accident (reinstated a few days later), and was shunned by the racing community. Rumors spread that Elisian tried to lead the first lap in order to pay gambling debts owed to a syndicate. In June, 1958, Elisian was involved in a multi-car sprint car crash at New Bremen Speedway in Saint Marys, Ohio, which claimed the life of Jim Davis. While absolved of blame in the incident, Elisian's unpopularity with drivers deepened. In August 1959, Elisian entered the USAC Indy car 200 mile race at the "Milwaukee Mile," known in those days as Wisconsin State Fair Park. Driving a metallic green Watson-style roadster owned by Ernie Ruiz, he crashed on lap 29 when he spun in oil from AJ Foyt's engine. The car hit the wall, rupturing the fuel cell, and rolled over. Some sixty gallons of fuel caught fire, and took over 9 minutes to extinguish. Allegedly, the other drivers failed to slow down in order to prevent fire fighters' effort to extinguish the flames, but the red flag was not displayed until the fire was well underway. Elisian burned to death in the flames.


Wayne Weiler ... Born ... Weiler started as a dirt track driver in Arizona in 1951. He drove in the USAC Championship Car series from 1958 to 1961 with 19 starts. He finished in the top ten 10 times, with his best finish in 3rd position, in 1960 at Phoenix.


Sheldon Kinser... Born ... 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.


Larry McCoy... Died ... Larry was born in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, McCoy died by suicide in 1979. He made his Midget debut in 1966 with ARDC. Larry toured USAC with the Midgets and Sprints. He drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1972-1976 seasons with 24 starts, including the 1975 and 1976 Indianapolis 500. His best finish was 12th place at Pocono Raceway in 1974.


Colby Scroggin ... Died ... AAA/USAC driver 1954 to 1963


Dave Steele won the Sprint Car race over Tony Elliott, Troy DeCaire, Jason Blonde and Mike Ling at the DeSoto Super Speedway ,Bradenton, FL


Note # 1:  I was at that race!  I went there with my daughter, Sarah, and we met up with an aspiring motor sports writer - Richard Golardi, who wanted to tag along to see how I “worked”, so he could also do some writing in the future, which he did, and continues to do so, today, with most of his writings appearing here:  http://www.hoseheads.com/


It was a 400-lap race.  Unfortunately, sanctioning problems arose, just prior to the event and a lot of those that were scheduled to appear - didn’t.  The field was made up mainly with TBARA Sprint Cars, which use wings.  This event was wingless, leaving some of the TBARA guys “out to lunch”, racing wise.  Two pit stops were required – one before lap 200 and one after.


Note # 2:  As far as I know, DeSoto Super Speedway is still for sale. 




Johnnie Parsons won the AAA sanctioned Darlington 200 on the 1.25 Mile Paved Oval Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina. Bill Schindler was second followed by Henry Banks, Cecil Green and Duke Dinsmore.





Sammy Swindell won the MARA Midget race at the Tulsa Expo Raceway ,Tulsa, OK. Steve Knepper was second followed by Lealand McSpadden, Scott Hatton, Mike Wente and Rich Vogler.



Rex Easton ... Born ... Rex competed in some sprint cars, but was mainly a midget chauffeur who was always up front in competition. His career was evenly divided between the AAA and USAC years. In USAC competition, he won 21 features which places him 21st in the all- time USAC feature wins ranking. Rex Easton won the 1954 Midwest Midget title and just missed taking the National Championship that year, losing out to Jack Turner in the last race of the season. Rex placed second in the 1957 and 1958 USAC National Midget Division points races and won the USAC Midwest Championship in 1958.


Wally Dallenbach ... Born ... East Brunswick New Jersey Modified Stock Car driver who went on to drive URC and USAC Sprint cars and 180 USAC/CART Indy Car races between 1965 and 1979, winning five times. He is the father of NASCAR driver and commentator, Wally Dallenbach, Jr.


Emerson Fittipaldi ... Born ... A highly successful Brazilian race driver, winning world championships in both Formula One and CART, and the Indianapolis 500 twice.



Bill Vukovich ... Born ... Before he began Indy racing, Vukovich drove midget cars for the Edelbrock dirt track racing team. He raced on the West Coast of the United States in the URA, and won the series' 1945 and 1946 midget car championships. Vukovich won the 1948 Turkey Night Grand Prix at Gilmore Stadium, and six of the last eight races at the stadium track before it was closed for good. He won the 1950 AAA National Midget championship. In 1952, his sophomore year in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 500-Mile Race, he quickly moved up from his starting position in the middle of the third row to take the lead, and led 150 laps in dominant fashion before suffering steering failure on the 192nd of the 200 laps. He returned to win the race in consecutive years, 1953 and 1954. He led an astounding 71.7% of laps that he drove in competition at the track, and remains the only driver ever to lead the most laps in the race three consecutive years. He was killed in a chain-reaction crash while holding a 17-second lead on the 57th lap of the 1955 Indianapolis 500. Vukovich was exiting the second turn, trailing three slower cars — driven by Rodger Ward, Al Keller, and Johnny Boyd — when Ward's car swerved as the result of a strong gust of wind. Keller, swerving into the infield to avoid Ward, lost control and slid back onto the track, striking Boyd's car and pushing it into Vukovich's oncoming path. Vukovich's car struck Boyd's, became airborne, and landed upside down after going over the outside backstretch retaining wall and somersaulting several times, killing him. His son, Bill Vukovich II, and his grandson, Bill Vukovich III, also competed in the Indianapolis 500, with Vukovich II taking second in 1973, and Vukovich III being named Rookie of the Year in 1988. Vukovich was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1992 and the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1990.


Mike Mosley... Born ... USAC/CART driver from 1967 to 1983. Mosley died in an off-road vehicle accident.


Bobby Santos III , in the Carl Edwards # 99, won the PRA / Champ Car race over Bobby East, Teddy Beach, Chet Fillip, and Dave Steele at the USA International Speedway,Lakeland, FL.


Note:  I was at that race, too, along with Sarah, Richard and a friend of Sarah’s – Terry.  That was the first time that Travis Pastrana drove a Silver Crown car.  His biggest fear:  How soon he’d get lapped.  Well, to be honest, he didn’t get lapped, and ran the full 100 laps, even gaining a couple of spots.  That was also the race where Johnny Heydenreich had his serious looking accident/fire, which will be linked to in the “Video” section of this column, down a little in the column.



Hershel McGriff... Born ... Hershel McGriff's racing career spans four decades of NASCAR competition -- from the rough-and-tumble 1950s to the finely tuned 1990s. In 1954, McGriff made the most of his opportunity to drive car owner Frank Christian's Oldsmobile and finished sixth in the NASCAR Cup Series points race despite missing the first 10 events of the year. McGriff won four of the last nine races in 1954, including back-to-back wins at Macon, Ga., and Charlotte, N.C., to account for all his career wins.


Denny Zimmerman ... Born ... Denny began racing at the Riverside Park Speedway in 1957, driving in the Sportsman Stock Car Division. From sportsman cars, Zimmerman moved on to sprint cars and then tried his hand running at Indianapolis. Denny owns NASCAR State Sportsman Championships in both Maryland and Virginia. He began running sprints in 1966 under the sanction of the United Racing Club, where he was named Rookie of the Year. Zimmerman later competed in USAC, and, in 1969, attempted to qualify for the Indy 500. The following year, he passed his driver’s test but again didn’t qualify. In 1971, he qualified, finishing eighth and winning the Indy 500 Rookie of the year honors. In 1972, Denny again made the field for the Indy 500, running as high as tenth before a blown engine took him out of competition. Denny Zimmerman retired in 1974. His final race was at Islip, driving a Sportsman Division car owned by Ed Flemke, Jr.


Alan Kulwicki... Born ... NASCAR Winston Cup racecar driver. He arrived at the highest and most expensive level of stock car racing in the United States, with only a borrowed pickup truck, a race car, no sponsor, and a limited budget. Kulwicki was a perfectionist and liked doing things his way: his scientific methodology approach to NASCAR racing inspired the way teams are currently run.He is known for driving for his own race team during most of his NASCAR career. Kulwicki was the 1986 NASCAR Rookie of the Year, and won the 1992 Winston Cup by the closest margin in NASCAR history. In 1998 he was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers] and he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2002. Kulwicki's nicknames were "Special K" and the "Polish Prince". Kulwicki died in a plane crash on April 1, 1993 at age 38. He was returning in a Hooters corporate plane from an appearance at the Knoxville Hooters prior to the spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway.



Walt Ader ... Born ... AAA driver from the 1940's to the early 50's.


Clint Brawner ... Born ... Indy Car mechanic. His skill, work ethic and focus led to 51 Indy car victories and four poles in the Indy 500.


Bill Mackey ... Born ... 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.


Ralph Pratt... Died ... AAA driver from the 1940's and 50's. Inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1998.




A.J. Allmendinger ... Born ... NASCAR driver.




The History of the Sport:

If you remember, a few weeks ago, one of the members of the Yahoo! Race History Group sent out some links (35 of them, to be precise) to some auto racing articles that appeared in Time magazine, many years ago, via e-mail.  So, if you don’t mind, here are the next five links.  Hope you get some enjoyment out of reading them.


A little about Barney Oldfield:


1967 & 225,00 for Indy qualifying


1965 at Indy – Tire problems?


1964 – Disaster at Indy


1963 – The rear engine cars are now here




More racin’ stuff:

While checking out some Racin’ stuff on the Internet, last week, I came across this:

As for the other Five "Worst things too happen to Sprint car racing".
Most were Mandatory and made life easier for all racers.. But didn't help the "coolness" of the sport.

In no order..

ENCLOSED TRAILERS. Kids need to see race cars going down the road and at rest stops. How many of you "old timers" Begged and pleaded your parents to take you to a race because you saw a race car go by your house every sat? (I've heard that story too many times!) You guys with hot rods know the deal.. You drive on the highway and kids go NUTS! Kids that are not in "Car families" While the parent talks on the phone and could give a shit less, the kid in the back seat is yelling "LOOK!!!" You know that kid told EVERYBODY he saw that day about it too!

ROCK GUARDS. (and any body panels around, above and over the driver) We need to see the driver WORKING! When I look at old video footage of guys racing, I notice how cool it is to see the drivers arms working. Imagine if they took the roofs and upper quarter panels off Modifieds and latemodels.. You'd be able to see they guy working and looking. Sure, the cars would be ugly, but FUN TO WATCH!!

SMALL FUEL CELLS. Not only back to, the "Readability of the number" But big fuel cells on sprint cars just LOOK BETTER!! The little midget tanks they run today are bullshit! ..and FUEL STOPS!! WTF!! If you can't run 50 laps in your sprint car, TOUGH SHIT! This isn't NASCAR. (thank god!)

VYNIL GRAPHICS. We've been over that..

and of coarse..

TRACK PROMOTERS. Of coarse, mandatory.. One can't survive without the other. But while the Racers have grown in EVERY way, Technically, money spent, speed, safety, etc. They are still racing for weekly purses that in general have not changed in DECADES!! I read these books about racers from years back and think, "that’s what they pay today!" The book I'm reading now takes place in the twenties when it cost WAY under a dollar to see the race and they are racing for $800 to $1500 to win the feature!! Sure, we have the Million, and a hand full of other big shows but weekly racing venues just haven't kept up with the rest of the show.
I know this is the broken record report, but think about one more thing. At our local track, the 50/50 is usually around $500. (That’s $1000 total) Most people buy $5 worth. And if I had to guess, I'd say only 30% of EVERYBODY that paid their $15 to get in (don't forget the racers and there families who paid $25 for pits) actually buy 50/50 tickets. Start doing the math.. They should pay a little more.”

Note:  As far as I’m concerned, the above just doesn’t apply to Sprint Cars.  How often does one see a racecar going to the race track on an open trailer, today? 


Found this on Facebook:

S&S Speedways
This FRI 12/17-CHILE BOWL FUNDRAISER for Ryan Smith Racing at S&S! Raffle items include donations from: Bruce's Speed, Tireman, Dickie's Racing Parts, S&S, & KELLY FUELS! Plus RSR merchandise, food certs, ArmorAll Car Pack, & HESS"S Truck & JEt (great for kids of all ages!) Kelly's is donating 55 gallon drum of alcohol! INCREDIBLE! Time: 7pm, racing-racing-racing & reunions! Big News Coming Soon on Ryan's plans!
S&S Speedways’ website:  http://www.ssspeedways.com/

Note:  Ryan ended up 2nd in points with the ARDC in 2010.

Chili Bowl website:  http://www.chilibowl.com/home.asp?uUrl=12/8/200747805.13


And, there is this, in part, which was posted on Facebook,  on Wednesday night – some interesting news, for sure!

ARDC’s One Two Punch Partners Up For Eastern Assault At Tulsa’s Chili Bowl

By: Steve Pados, GA Motorsports Media

As drivers and owners settle into the off-season of racing and afforded the opportunity to sit back and relax, breathe a little easier and laugh a bit longer, a select group of drivers are already mapping out plans for the next venue in which they hitch their star too. 2010 ARDC Champion “The Royersford Rocket” Steve Buckwalter and number two man in points “Flyin” Ryan Smith have immersed themselves in some lengthy discussions since the close of the 2010 racing season and have decided to pair together and form a vaunted attack on the largest indoor racing event in the country in January, the prestigious running of the 25th Annual Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Oklahoma. With more than 250 entries expected in for the annual battle of the best of the best, the two talented and versatile campaigners form a stellar team to go against the best open wheel drivers in the world with this international in flavored event.”


Some Racin’ stuff from the AARN:

From the AARN’s November 30th issue:


There was about a 2/3 page article about Glenn Donnelly getting back into racing, now that the “no competition” clause has expired.  Some talk about a ¾ mile track right next door to the Brewerton Speedway, his “hooking up” with John Wight and Carl Myers – two of the bigger men in DIRTcar  and an attempt at coming our with a different surface for race tracks – a synthetic one.

Note:  With the departure of Cory Reed from DIRTcar, to work with John Wight at Brewerton and Fulton Speedways, I kind of have an idea that Mr. Reed can see some writing on the wall, so to say, and decided to make a move while looking at what he sees in the future of dirt track racing here in the northeast.


Track/Series/Club champions:

I really do wonder why the mentioning of monies, handed out at banquets, isn’t done in a lot of instances.


Russ Stoehr was crowned as the champion of NEMA, at their banquet.  No mention of monies handed out, though.

Bobby Varin is the Fonda champion, and got his awards at the tracks banquet.  Another track’s banquet article that did not mention monies awarded.

The ARDC crowned Steve Buckwalter as it’s champion, at their banquet, and another article that failed to show the amount of monies handed out.

Matt Tanner was crowned as the champion for the CRSA 305 Sprint Car Series – yup, no mention of monies in that release, either.

Ditto for the Hamlin Speedway press release about their year and champions being named – no monies mentioned.

And the same for Oshweken Speedway, and Lee Speedway in NH.

Steve Poirier is the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint Champion, and for that he got $10,000.00 out of $70,000.00 that was mentioned as being awarded at their banquet.

Bryan Clauson is the 2010 USAC National Driving Champion.  For that he received $40,000.00 in cash plus $300,000.00 scholarship monies for a Firestone Indy Lights ride – mostly just on oval tracks, I believe.

Jason Johnson is the Lucas Oil ASCS National Champion, and for that he got $60,000.00 out of $250,000.00 that was given out at their banquet.

Five Mile Point Speedway awarded their champion $6,000.00 

For the first time that I can recall, the dirt style modifieds competed in the Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium.  Reports are that they put on a real good show.

Quite a bit being said about the “driving” at the Turkey Derby – and not that good, I should add.  Hey, as long as the tracks don’t crack down and penalize the drivers for their actions, it ain’t gonna stop!

Brian Grisel has stepped down as the CEO of the CRSA, and Mike Van Dusen will be taking over.

Seems that things are all not all that “Honky-Dorey” with the 600 Micro Sprint folks out Pennsylvania way.  Engine rule problems, from what I read.  Heck, it wasn’t all that long ago that being “illegal” was “legal” with those that run the 600’s in PA.

It looks like there might be a problem with those that run ¼ Midgets at the Montgomery County (Pa) Quarter-Midget Racing Club as far as having a track to run on .  It seems the property that their track is on is behind in payments for taxes and mortgage payments.  Might there be a foreclosure in the near future?

No idea why, but it seems like there are getting to be more dirt modified races being scheduled for paved tracks.  Why?

John Snyder wrote about how it used to be at OCFS when Brett Hearn and Danny Johnson ran both Big and Small Block modifeds on the same nights every week, and how the crowds were.  Then tack manager Will Cagle put a stop to the Big Block guys running the Small Blocks, in hopes of getting more drivers into the Small Block class.  That didn’t work.  Mr. Snyder goes on to make mention of the same thing possibly happening with NASCAR with NASCAR probably coming out saying that Cup drivers could still run in the Nationwide Series, but would get no points.  When one watches either the Nationwide or Truck races on TV, one can see just how those two series do not attract fans – a the track.


From the December 7th issue:


As it is now, it looks like the CVRA will offer a point fund in 2011.  They had none in 2010.  Next year, the Crate Modified champion will get $3,000.00.  It’s a point fund system that will take the 10 best finishes from both tracks – Albany/Saratoga and Devils Bowl.  And, yes, A/S is still for sale, too.


While on the subject of the CVRA, it looks like the 358 engines are now out at both A/S and Devils Bowl.


Now there’s a 358 Small Block Modified “Spec” engine that will be used in DIRTcar.  It seems more and more “Spec” engines are making the scene lately.  I wonder how those that make the RACE engines feel about this?  It’s said, per an articll ein the AARN, that a sealed-crate engine will sell for around $7,100.00.  With some “one time extras” that will be needed, the price goes to $11,000.00 – give or take some $.  It’s said that a “Top shelf” current 358 Modified engine will sell for about $22,000.00.


Even NASCAR is into “Spec” engines, with Roush/Yates Racing engines now the exclusive NASCAR “Spec” engine supplier.  Those engines will be used in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series.  There was no mention of the cost of those engines, though.


MasterCraft Safety has bought Bill Simpson’s Impact Racing.  It will now be known as Impact! Racing by MasterCraft Safety.


I was happy to see that I’m not the only one that comes out and mentions STIDA – a company that insures racers.  Ernie Saxton made mention of it in his column.  Their website:  http://www.stida.com/


With Bridgeport (NJ) Speedway dropping the Big Block Modified class in favor of a “Crate” class, it seems that there were 17 race teams at the meeting when it was announced about the change.  15 of the 17 did offer to run for a smaller –purse.


Sean Corr, a Pro Stock runner at OCFS and some other tracks in the area will now be full time in ARCA in 2011.  This past year, I had the opportunity to ask Sean if he might run the two dirt tracks that ARCA races on, and he wasn’t quite sure, with him making a run for Rookie of the Year in 2011, his 2010 racing can only be so many races.  No, he didn’t race on either dirt track in 2010.


Mike Gular was crowned as the track champion for Penn Can Speedway.  No monies mentioned as to being awarded.


Curt Michael and his car owner, Bill Gallagher, are the champions for the URC.  $45,000.00 was handed out at their banquet, with Curt and his owner getting $12,000.00.


Scott Bloomquist won the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship, and with it nice amount of cash - $75,000.00


Both Monadnock Speedway and Fremont Speedway had their banquets, and in both instances, no monies shown as being awarded.  Same goes for Attica Raceway Park and I-88 Speedway, too.


In an article about the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, it makes mention of this last championship being the 10th for car owner Rick Hendrick.  Funny thing, but on every race result I’ve seen lately, the car owner of the # 48 car is shown to be Jeff Gordon.


Quite a write up about the International Motorsports Industry show that was held in Indianapolis.  One thing that caught my eye was a photo of a new “Gold Crown” Series car.  These new “Gold Crown” cars are being made to run on larger tracks, say a mile and mile and a half tracks, along with some possible road courses.  They’ve been in the works for some time now, and I found out the other day that they wouldn’t see a racetrack, for racing, until at least 2012.  Tell ya what - I’m saying this Series will never make it to the track.  Watch and see.


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/

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

Syracuse forum:  http://www.syracuse.com/forums/motorsports/ (must register to post)

South Jersey Dirt Racing:  http://theboard.southjerseydirtracing.com/Msgboard.asp?ForumID=27&Return=Msgboard.asp&D83jsd=True

(must register to post)

Victory Speedway:  http://s2.excoboard.com/VictorySpeedwayForum (must register to post & no nonsense allowed)

Yahoo Race History Group:  http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/RacingHistory/ (when one posts something on an e-mail to the group, they do have what is called the “Len Sutton rule” – you put in your name and where you live.  And, yes, things are “policed” too.

New England Tractor:  http://newenglandtractor.com/racereport/

Wheels of Speed:  http://www.wheelsofspeed.com/


Found on Jayski’s website on Dec 10th:

NASCAR changing dress code in garage: According to a tweet by Ramsey Poston, NASCAR's Managing Director of Corporate Communications, the organization is changing the required dress code for visitors in the pits at races next season: "Another fan friendly move - NASCAR dress code in garage & cold pits now includes: shorts, short sleeve/sleeve-less shirts & open-toed shoes". The rule will not apply to hot pits. In previous years, the policy required everyone to wear long pants, close-toed shoes and shirts that fully covered the shoulders.(12-10-2010)



Even more Racin’ stuff:


Someone has come out with a “list” of the top 25 “dirtiest” race drivers, over on the South Jersey Dirt Racing’s message board.  The first part goes from 25th down to 11th.  I’m not positive when the top ten on the list will be released, but here are 11th through 25th:

Dec 4th

Dirtiest drivers Part 1 - # 25 to # 11:




#25 Greg Weld (03/04/44 – 08/04/08)

#24 Lee Arnold Petty (03/14/14 – 04/05/00)

#23 Elzie Wylie “Buck” Baker Sr (03/04/19 – 04/14/2002)

#22 Stick Elliott [Gene Daves] (07/27/34 – 11/01/80)

#21 Glen “Fireball” Roberts (01/20/29 – 7/2/64)

#20 Roy Hall (01/30/20 – 03-14-91)

#19 Frank Lockhart (04/08/03 – 04/25/28)

#18 Rufus Parnell “Parnelli” Jones (08/12/33 – )

#17 Rick Ferkel (02/19/39 – )

#16 DeWayne Louis “Tiny” Lund (11/14/29 – 08/17/75)

#15 Brett Hearn (09/01/58 – )

#14  Joseph “Joe” Weatherly (05/29/22 – 01/19/64)

#13 Jack Smith (05/24/24 – 10/17/01)

#12 Carl D. “Lightning” Lloyd Seay (12/14/19 – 09/02/41)

#11 Charles Water “Jud” Larson (01/21/23 – 06/11/66)





Some of my thoughts:


This, below, is really quite scary, as far as I’m concerned:


From an e-mail I received on Wednesday, December 15th:



Subject: FW: Muslim Student's True Opinion


We had better stay current with what's going on or we will lose everything. What is this girl doing at one of our universities?

it is really frightening to me. 

They are every where...and our politicians are making laws that allows them to come to America and get benifits that we the people who pay taxes and abide by the laws of our land do not get...

this  islamist extreamist is getting a free education at the expense of the people she hates.....................................

remember this when you vote..


David Horowitz speaking at USC in San Diego. 

A student member of the MSA (Muslim Students Assoc) asks him a question. 

Listen to her response when he asks HER a question.


 check out this short video......




Note:  If you scroll down some, there are some comments about the video.





Video time:

Video # 1 – as mentioned above in this column – the Johnny Heydenreich accident and fire:



And, video # 2 - since this is my last column prior to Christmas, “O Holy Night” by John Berry:




Non racing news:


From Dec 4th:

Court to hear arguments over Ariz. immigration law

In part:

“The impassioned debate over the nation's immigration policy takes center stage at the Supreme Court Wednesday in a dispute over an Arizona law that punishes employers who knowingly hire workers illegally in the U.S.

Arizona's employer sanctions law has been used just three times in three years, but business interests and civil rights groups, backed by the Obama administration, have banded together to argue that only the federal government may enforce immigration laws.”

“But dozens of business raids in metropolitan Phoenix during employer sanctions investigations have led to the arrests of 131 workers who are illegal immigrants on criminal charges, such as using forged documents or stolen identities to get jobs. The law intended to target employers has been used more often against workers.

Supporters said the law was needed because the federal government has done a lousy job of enforcing a similar federal law. They also say the state rules have discouraged countless employers from hiring illegal immigrants.”


NASA sold computers with sensitive data, report says

In part:

Fri Dec 10, 4:15 pm ET

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) – NASA failed to delete sensitive data on computers and hard drives before selling the equipment as part of its plan to end the Space Shuttle program, an audit released on Tuesday shows.

NASA is getting rid of thousands of surplus items as it prepares to end the space shuttle program next year.

The Office of Inspector General found what it termed "serious" security breaches at NASA centers in Florida, Texas, California and Virginia.

"Our review found serious breaches in NASA's IT (information technology) security practices that could lead to the improper release of sensitive information related to the Space Shuttle and other NASA programs," NASA Inspector General Paul Martin said in a statement.


Note:  Just how stupid are some of our government employees, anyway?

Add-ons turn tax cut bill into 'Christmas tree'

In part:

“In the spirit of the holiday season, President Barack Obama's tax-cut deal with Republicans is becoming a Christmas tree tinseled with gifts for lobbyists and lawmakers. But that hardly stopped the squabbling on Friday, with Bill Clinton even back at the White House pleading the president's case.”

“The tax deal, reached behind the scenes and still informal, now includes ethanol subsidies for rural folks, commuter tax breaks for their cousins in the cities and suburbs and wind and solar grants for the environmentalists — all aimed at winning votes, particularly from reluctant Democrats.”



More news:


I came across this, below, while on Facebook on Monday, December 13th:


Lies About the DREAM Act and the Congressmen Who Told Them

A review of the debates prior to last week's vote on the DREAM Act

By Frank Medina


  • All DREAMers would get jobs immediately upon obtaining legal employment authorization and that they would earn enough in wages so as not to receive income tax refunds.
  • No DREAMers would lose a job between 2011 and 2020 and thus would not need unemployment insurance assistance, social security, disability or other entitlement programs.
  • No DREAMers would utilize the public health care systems that most currently use between 2011 and 2020.
  • Only 15 percent of all DREAMers would apply for federal student loans (while approximately five times that amount of American students utilize the program).
  • No DREAMer would default on their federal student loan programs although the current rate for American students has been steadily increasing and is now at seven percent.

The most interesting part of the CBO study is that it conveniently covers only a 10 year period. After that tenth year, all DREAMers would become eligible to apply for welfare benefits. Even if all the aforementioned assumptions were correct and led to a revenue increase over ten years, an aging DREAMer population needing more services would definitely incur more deficits on the U.S. A comprehensive 15-20 year study would likely reveal that any revenues would be erased almost immediately after that initial ten year waiting period. Furthermore, the CBO estimate was $1.4 billion, not $1.7 billion.

The Senate debated on their version of the DREAM Act before the House vote. During that debate, various false statements about the DREAM Act were made. The most notable of all fallacies however, were made by none other than Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Il), the author and chief sponsor of nearly every Senate version of the bill since 2001.  He stated, "For 10 years, they cannot draw a Pell grant, a federal student loan, no Medicaid, no government health programs –they don't qualify for any of it for 10 years."

The version the Senate was about to vote on had also been authored by Durbin just a week earlier, the fourth version of the DREAM Act to be introduced by him since late September 2010.  Each of the versions not only had a provision that would allow illegal aliens to obtain federal student loans, it would also allow them to compete directly with the neediest American students for jobs under the federal work study program. Additionally, the Act would not prohibit states from offering state educational grants to illegal immigrants. 

His version of the bill did prohibit illegal them from participating in health care exchanges and similar programs under the health care reform law that passed earlier this year. Currently, when illegal immigrants get sick, they simply go to a local clinic or hospital and get treated and let local governments pick up the tab. In fact, for cities with sanctuary policies, the number one general expenditure is on health care, followed by education costs as a close second. Therefore, Durbin's implication that they would not be a burden on local hospitals and health care agencies does not hold any water.


To be fair, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) also made a huge false statement about the version of the DREAM Act they were about to vote on. "There is a cost. In addition, for Pell grants—these are grants, not loans students get to go to college—these individuals would be eligible for those as soon as they get in college…" Although previous versions of the DREAM Act allowed loopholes for DREAMers to obtain Pell grants, that specific version did not allow it. The House version that was voted on would allow DREAMers to apply for Pell Grants only after they've adjusted status to permanent resident.

Senate democrats held off voting on their version of the DREAM Act on Wednesday and were unable to muster enough votes to invoke cloture on Thursday. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) intends to bring up a vote on the House's version of the act early this week.

With so many versions of the DREAM Act floating around and many Americans quoting their opinions on the bills, it became a challenge for even respected journalists such as the Washington Post's Michael Gerson to get his stories right. In an Op-Ed piece dated December 7, 2010, he discusses the provisions of older versions of the DREAM Act. A few paragraphs later, he references the CBO study and a UCLA study without realizing that they were actually based on other versions of the Act. That evening, the House introduced yet another version of the Act.

The many fallacies in the statements of these key members of Congress bring up questions with only two possible, equally scary answers. The question is, "why are these members of Congress making false statements?" Is it because they want to lie to us or is it because they don't really know what the provisions of the bill are? Whatever the answer, it's not a good thing.


Is this true?:

From Dec 6th:

Resigned NY state senator admits to tax evasion


The SMALL article:

“A former state legislator pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and tax evasion.
Ex-Sen. Vincent Leibell admitted in court Monday that he tried to influence a grand jury investigating corruption in Putnam County. He also admitted filing false tax returns for 2003 through 2006, failing to report a total of $43,000.

He said "guilty, your honor" to each of the two counts.

Sentencing was scheduled for March 7, 2011. Prosecutors said based on federal guidelines, Leibell's sentence would be between 18 and 24 months.

The 64-year-old Leibell had spent 28 years in the Senate and Assembly before resigning last week with a one-sentence letter that gave no reason for leaving. He had a month left in his term.

Last month he was elected Putnam county executive.”

Note:  One comment that was posted on this, had this to say:

NYS elected official can even get pensions in prison. Leibell’s $69,000. pension will pay 2 salaries of a state DPW worker.”

In the December 7th edition of the paper, it did verify that he could still draw his pension while serving time in prison.  Huh?


From Dec 7th:


Think tank: NY pension costs could explode

In part:

“The report said taxpayer contributions to the New York State Teachers' Retirement System could increase from about $900 million this year to about $4.5 billion in five years. State and local employer contributions to the New York State and Local Retirement System could more than double to add almost $4 billion to taxpayer costs, even with a cap that allows governments to defer a portion of higher pension contributions.”


Note:  Like we can’t see this happening, ourselves?


Are these true, too?

Top 5 Problems with the Tax Deal

Problem #1: The deal is a stealth attack on Social Security.

The deal will lower the payroll tax—the tax that funds the Social Security trust. This is a trap for Democrats. Republicans have been coming after Social Security for years and this cut is the biggest threat to the vital program in decades. It will cut one-third of Social Security's funding this year alone and when we need to restore the payroll tax back to its current level, Republicans will cry "tax increases" and could gut it permanently. 1

Problem #2: For nearly one in three workers, it's a tax increase.

Nearly 50 million working Americans—including all workers making less than $20,000 per year—and millions of federal, state, and municipal workers will see their taxes go up because of the deal.2

Problem #3: The deal has not one but TWO millionaire bailouts. 

In addition to extending all the Bush income tax breaks for the top 2%, the deal will slash the estate tax. If Congress did nothing, next year the estate tax would be 55% and apply to everyone inheriting $1 million or more. But the deal reduces it to 35% and only people who inherit more than $5 million will have to pay. This second bailout will give a gigantic tax giveaway to a few thousand of the richest families in the country and add hundreds of billions to the national debt.3

Problem #4: Unemployment help is insufficient and inadequate.

While the deal extends unemployment benefits for another 13 months for people currently receiving it, millions of unemployed workers who've struggled the most and been out of work more than 99 weeks—since the giant Wall Street banks wrecked the economy—will get no help at all under the deal.4 It's a gamble that there will be jobs in the next 13 months when the insurance runs out, but the tax cuts will go well beyond that. Better to just pass a stand-alone unemployment extension to help all struggling Americans.

Problem #5: Tax giveaways to the rich are a terrible way to create jobs.

Tax breaks for the rich are the least efficient way to create jobs and help the economy grow. In fact the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says extending all tax cuts would lower unemployment only 0.1% to 0.3% over the next year5 and that the cost of the tax deal would be $900 billion over the next five years.6


Closing with these:


Church Bulletins:


They're Back! Those wonderful Church Bulletins! Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences (with all the BLOOPERS) actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services


The Fasting & Prayer Conference 
includes meals


The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks 
on the Water.' The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.' 


Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale... 
It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. 
Bring your husbands. 


Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our community. Smile at someone who is hard to love. Say 'Hell' to someone who doesn't care much about you.


Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.. 


Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation. 


For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs. 


Next Thursday there will be tryouts for the choir. They need all the help they can get. 


Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days. 


A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow. 


At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice. 


Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones. 


Scouts are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children. 


Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered. 


The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility. 


Potluck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - 
prayer and medication to follow.


The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Friday afternoon



This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin. 


Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10 AM. All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B. S. is done. 


The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday. 


Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM. Please use the back door.


The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy. 


Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church.  Please use large double door at the side entrance. 


The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new campaign slogan last Sunday: 'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours.




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! 

Remember – My next column will be back on December 30th.


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