Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 43




Has it been cold enough for ya?  How about snow – want more?  Sure is some wicked “wintry” weather we’ve been having, that’s for sure!




My hat goes off to Jeff Johnson, he of New England Tractor website, for working through an awful lot of pain and getting my photo article up, last week.  “Old racing injuries” is what he says has now caused more problems, and he says that every driver than can, should use a self containment seat and a HANS device.




Seeing some videos and still pictures of Shane Hmiel – after his wicked accident last year, and figuring that he had a HANS device on, I do imagine that in some cases, even the use of that safety item isn’t enough.  On Facebook, they usually keep us well informed as to how Shane is progressing.  Hopefully, in the future, he’ll be able to get around without any assistance.  However, I believe his racing days are over..  That’s a shame, too, since he was really getting to be a pretty good open wheel driver.




Again, I don’t get anything from this, but if you’re a race driver and race a vehicle that has a roll cage and you’re belted in, then check out this insurance:  http://www.stida.com/

And, speaking of insurance, have you, the race drivers that read this – ever asked how much insurance the track has where you race?



On occasions, I get e-mails from what’s in my columns or about my photo articles.  Late on Monday afternoon, I receive this, below, from Wayne Keller, son of the late Al Keller, after I had sent him the link to my photo article of last week:


“Hello Tom,

I want to thank you for continuing to cc on emails such as this.  I did not get much of a chance to go racing very much with my Dad and when I did it was but to a hand full of races late in his career when I was 15 – 16 yrs old.  Shortly after I got to spend some time with him I did get to go to a few races and he took me to Indy and I got to meet AJ, Parnelli, Bobby Marshman, Eddie Sachs and Roger Ward - all in one afternoon in the garage area at the track – REAL BIG DEAL for a skinny little kid from Medina, New York!!!  Same day we went to Tony Hulman’s home to a seemingly impromptu party / dinner with many of the racers present.  Quite the day for me. 

I have been trying to gather as much info on my Dad as I can – kind’a like making up for lost time, so to speak.  BTW - that was a true story about the glove a fan gave back to my father at Langhorne a year a after he had a bad wreck – Dad’s thumb was still in the glove – I saw it personally when I lived with my Dad in Greenacres City, FL - I was 16 and going to school in Lake Worth, FL.  He was telling me about his racing career and looking at his trophy room and he pulled out this old glove and told me the story about the accident and the guy giving him the glove back a year or so later and out dropped the thumb – from the entire first knuckle!

I have a neat story I’ll write you back about next time – its about my Dad, Daytona and a real old check! 

Thanks Tom!!




Really, is it worth it?


In a couple of weeks, a lot of the Modified race teams from up here in the north will be heading south, down to Florida.  There’s a thread on DTD’s Forum about John Wight not taking his modifieds down to Florida, but is taking some Late Models.  Here, below, in part, are some of the things that have been said.  In a way, I kind of have to agree about how much it does cost and what, say a small team, might be able to get, money wise.  Kinda makes me wonder – Really is it worth it? 


Except for the John Wight name, some other names might have been “*” out.


“Given the amount of money that they race for in volusia coupled with the rising fuel costs I can't say as though I blame John Wight for not sending his fleet of modifieds down there. It's gotta be hard to even break even on a trip to Florida for the modified guys.”


“Wow, but what ***** *** said is dead on. The mods get paid terrible, especially when you consider there are zero local teams to draw from - every car in the field has to come 1000+ miles. It's usually a good race but it's so incredibly not worth it.”


“Probably because the late model races pay decently, and Tim & Larry are running with the WoO, some of those races at Volusa are point races.”


“Even though WRG owns the both WoO series and DIRTcar, they are pretty much all run as seperate entities. Just ask Tim McCreadie, the WoO officials were very unhappy with him running a modified at the World Championships and went out of their way to make it very tough on him to do both. Usually when you have a driver running both your series they try to work with you.”


“More and more people I've talked to have stopped going to Volusia in the past few years and most of them cite the same reason ... money. John Wight may have a lot of money, but he didn't get rich by pissing his money away on non-profitable ventures. Volusia is fun, but it's not really a money maker for anyone but WRG and the track.”


“Numbers don't lie! If you win all 4 nights of mod racing, you take home 11,000$. If you win the 4 late model features those exact same nights you take home 37,000$. And with the late models there are 2 more 7000$ to win nights that week so add another potential 14,000$ to the winners take. In addition they can race at East Bay with the Lucas Oil series Feb 7-12 for another 47,000$ to win. And after the week at Volusia if you're still not tired a late model team can drop in a crate engine and return to East Bay for 3 more nights of racing for another 7000$ to win.

All that makes towing modifieds to Florida for 4 days of racing seem like a really poor business decision.”


Link:  http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/forums/topic/37657-gypsum-mods-skipping-volusia/



As most of you know, I was brought up watching the midgets of the ARDC.  Unfortunately, today, the ARDC races at tracks where I don’t get to go to.  At least it’s that way, so far, for the 2011 season.  These last few years, they have raced at Accord, and have put on some real good racing, too.  So far, for 2011, they’re not listed to go to the “Big A”.  It’s my unerstanding that there could possibly still be some talks gong on between the ARDC and Accord.  Last I had heard, there was this, posted on the ARDC’s message board, regarding the two:


The ball is in their court.



As for OCFS and the ARDC – that seems to be a no-go.  Word I’ve had is that OCFS was not too happy with the car turnout the ARDC had the last time they ran there (forget when that was).  And, there are quite a few that think the big 5/8 mile hard clay track is too big for the midgets.  Uh huh.  Hey “back in the day” tracks of up to a mile were not too big for the midgets.  But the ARDC is different today, so…………  Also, forget about an Accord on Friday night and OCFS on Saturday night for the ARDC.  There’s one little problem with that



Rumors – you gotta love ‘em.  There have been rumors going around that OCFS will go back to being sanctioned by DIRT in 2011.  If that was to be all classes, then I’d be against it, for now, just because of the lower classes – especially the Sportsman class because they utilize both crate and race or open engines in that class.  A DIRT sanction for that class would eliminate the cars not powered by the crate engines.  And tires – DIRT is Hoosier and OCFS is American Racer.

Now, prior to me closing out this weeks column, I thought I’d check out the Internet to see if there might be something that might be of interest – for my column.  Well, low and behold, a “rumor” has appeared on one of the message boards.forums that I frequent.  Here it is:


O.C.F.S. Big Blocks

by goldenbolt, 01/26/11 6:14 PM

To be DIRT Sanctioned,as I was told today by a little birdie on the wall.”


Personally, I can see this probably working – DIRT sanction just for the big blocks, in 2011.  Heck, that’s what is done at the Valley, I believe?

If so, could the DIRT sanction entice Brett Hearn to run OC in 2011?  There have been rumors of his return if OC went DIRT.  How about Danny Johnson?  It’s being said – and/or rumored, that Danny will be at Accord on Friday nights in a Sherlock owned # 10, and then at New Egypt on Saturday’s in a Petruska # 66.  Could his Saturday night track change?


Going back, in time:

Note:  Most of the following information was found here: 



Covering the days of January 14th to 27th:




Johnny Matera ... Died ... AAA driver from the 1930's and 40's.


Myron Fohr ... Died ... AAA driver from the 1940's.


Thomas Binford, founding member of USAC, former USAC president and Indy 500 Chief Steward, dies of cerebral hemorrhage in his office in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Carl Hogan former CART team owner, died at home in New Hampshire




William Lynn Jr.... Born ... aka : "Tee Linn", used the alias to escape the clutches of his prominent Philadelphia family. Lynn was an up and coming driver with a great future until an August 11, 1934 race at Langhorne, Pennsylvania where he crashed into the fence to avoid hitting a boy who ran across the racetrack.


Bill Stroppe... Born ... Car builder and off-road racer


Rick Treadway... Born ... Indy Racing League driver. Finished 29th in the 2002 Indy 500


Sonny Easley... Died ... Easley was best known for competing in the NASCAR Winston West Series and a handful of Winston Cup Series events. Easley tallied nine Winston West victories over his career, including a victory in the first stock car race ever held at the Laguna Seca Raceway road course. He finished 2nd in Winston West points on two different occasions, in 1973 and 1975. In 19 career Cup starts, Easley had a best finish of 5th place at the January 16, 1977 Winston Western 500 at Riverside International Raceway. During practice for a NASCAR modified sportsman race at Riverside on January 15, 1978, Easley was killed when his 1968 Camaro slid across the track into a trailer and pickup truck near pit road. A pit crew member for Tiny Keith, Douglas Grunst, was also killed in the incident.



Rollie Beale... Born ... USAC driver from the 60's & 70's


A.J. Foyt... Born ... Considered by many as the greatest American automobile racing driver of all time.


Bill Tempero ... Born ... Indy car driver. He raced in the CART Championship Car series from 1980 to 1984.


Benny Parsons... Died ... BP drove in Winston Cup for almost 20 years and won the 1973 championship, and is the answer to a popular trivia question of who is the only driver to win championships in Cup and ARCA (1969). In 1988 he retired from driving and went straight into the TV booth, where he was a regular for ABC, ESPN, and from 2001-06 NBC; BP was the first star driver to make such a full-time career change, and he became even more loved by the public because of it. Benny died of cancer, he was 65.




Mickey Rupp... Born ... Started the Rupp Kart Co. in 1959 that lasted until 1978. Drove USAC Sprints & 1 Indy 500 (1965)


Carl Forberg... Died ... Midget driver, midget and sprint car owner, and Duane "Pancho" Carter's father-in- law




Johnny White... Born ... USAC sprint & Indy car driver from the 1960's


Pedro Rodriguez... Born ... F1 and sportscar racer.


Jimmy Caruthers... Born ... USAC midget, sprint and Indy car driver from California.


Gilles Villeneuve... Born ... F1 driver


John DePalma... Died ... AAA driver, he was the brother of 1915 Indy winner Ralph DePalma and the uncle of 1925 Indy winner Pete DePaolo.


Andy Granatelli sued USAC for witholding his membership, preventing him from racing, and passing "illegal" rules (broke 3-year engine rule) that crippled his turbine-car racing effort.


Christian Fittipaldi... Born ... Brazilian racing driver who competed in Formula One, Champ Car and NASCAR.




Red Amick... Born ... USAC driver


Don Nordhorn ... Born ... USAC driver


Joe Weatherly... Died ... NASCAR driver. He died from head injuries sustained in a racing accident at the fifth race of the 1964 season at Riverside International Raceway. His head went outside the car and struck a retaining wall. Weatherly's death would light the fire under NASCAR to mandate the window net, which was mandated in 1971. Window nets are used in most stockcar racing series to this day.


Ray Harroun ... Died ... The winner of the first Indianapolis 500



Los Angeles, California The banked 5/8 mile dirt Legion Ascot Speedway opens.


Edward Glenn "Fireball" Roberts, Jr.... Born ... Despite having his career cut short and having never won a Grand National title, Fireball Roberts was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers.


Billy Foster ... Died ... The first Canadian to ever race in the Indianapolis 500. He was the 1965 USAC Rookie of the Year, and died in a crash while practicing for the 'Motor Trend 500' NASCAR GN race at Riverside International Raceway. Foster's Rudy Hoerr Dodge crashed hard into the turn 9 wall after the brakes failed at the end of the mile long backstraight. The 29 year old driver from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, finished 9th in Champ Car points in 1966 and impressed with a great drive in the season ending non-points race at Fuji, where he retired while leading late in the race after battling (and passing) Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart.



Jud Larson... Born ... He was a hard-drinking, hard-driving racer, a colorful character from the days when few drivers survived to retire, and roll cages were for sissies. Larson drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1956-1959 and 1964-1965 seasons with 53 starts, including the 1958 and 1959 Indianapolis 500 races. He finished in the top ten 38 times, with 7 victories. He had a 27-year career, competing in hundreds of races. He spent his early years racing in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Iowa on the half mile dirt bullrings that spawned many fierce competitions in the post war years. In 1964 he broke into the USAC sprint ranks, proving he was a serious competitor . In his first year in the ranks, he won six out of 19 sprint races and finished a strong second in the rugged sprint division point standings. In 1965 he won four of the first six sprint races and led the points standings for more than half the season, but mechanical ailments hit during the last half of the season and he slid to ninth in the final standings. In the '66 season, Jud was once again leading the sprint division until the night of June 11 at Reading Speedway in Reading, Pennsylvania. During that race Jud Larson and Red Riegel were running side by side going into the first turn. There was contact between the two cars and both started flipping. Jud Larson's sprinter ended up upside down on the guard rail with Red Reigel's, which was also upside down a little further down the track. The crash killed both drivers. Jud Larson was a very popular personality, who was always surrounded by autograph hunters win or lose.


Ernie Saxton... Born ... Columnist, Announcer, Motorsports Marketing and former President of the Eastern Motorsports Press Association.



Bob Sall ... Born ... AAA Sprint car ace who later became NASCAR's Eastern field manager.


URC , the United Racing Club, held its first awards dinner at the Hotel Stacy-Trent in Trenton, New Jersey. The URC, through the visionary leadership of Harry Johnson (and later Louie Kunz) became known for innovative ideas that always seemed to be one step ahead of the other groups. One of the earliest of these innovations was that of an actual sit-down championship awards banquet. The AAA never held such an affair and although some of the Eastern independent groups would have a "gathering" to celebrate the past season, the URC was first to have a real awards dinner. In addition to the usual driver awards, another first was introduced with recognition of the car owners through their own set of points.


Felipe Giaffone ... Born ... Indy car driver, 6 Indy 500 starts. Best finish 3rd in 2002


Bill Cantrell... Died ... Midget, sprint and Indy car driver from the late 1930's to mid 50's and later he became the West Coast supervisor for USAC.



Jerry Grant... Born ... USAC Indy car driver from the 1960's & 70's. Raced in 10 Indy 500's with a beat finish of 7th in 1970. Grant was the first USAC driver to break 200 miles per hour. He accomplished the feat in qualifying at the Ontario Motor Speedway on September 3, 1972, completing a 2.5 mile lap in 44.7 seconds. Later in his career, Grant was the racing representative for Champion Spark Plugs followed by Prolong oil conditioner.


Don Whittington... Born ... Road racing driver who ran also raced in five Indianapolis 500's, with a best finish of sixth. He also made 10 NASCAR Winston Cup starts. In 1987, Don Whittington plead guilty to money laundering charges in association with his brother Bill's 1986 guilty plea to income tax evasion and conspiracy to smuggle marijuana into the United States from Colombia. Don Whittington received an 18 month prison sentence. In addition to Bill and Don Whittington, Randy Lanier and John Paul Sr. and Jr. were part of the IMSA drug smuggling scandal of the 1980s, where a number of drivers financed their racing activities with the proceeds from drug smuggling.


James McElreath... Born ... USAC Sprint Car driver, son of Jim McElreath.


Cliff Griffith... Died ... AAA and USAC driver from the 1950's & 60's. He drove in four Indy races, '51, '52, '56 and '61 with his best result, a 9th place finish in 1952.




Art Cross... Born ...  One of the ARDC’s top drivers, and an AAA driver. He was the first recipient of the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Award in 1952. He raced in 4 Indy 500 with a best finish of 2nd in 1953.


Al Gordon... Died ... The 1933 AAA Pacific Coast champion and Indy 500 veteran died in a crash in what would prove to be the last race held at Legion Ascot Speedway in Los Angeles California, as the grandstands at the track burned down shortly after the race.


Jerry Nemire... Born ... USAC driver from the 1980's




Arthur MacDonald of Great Britain set a new land speed record of 149.875 miles per hour at Daytona Beach. Florida.


Lou Johnson... Born ... Eastern stock, and sprint car driver. Two time URC Sprint Car Champion (1955 & 1959 )


Buddy Baker ... Born ... NASCAR driver and the son of two time winner of the NASCAR Championship and a Hall of Fame member Buck Baker. Buddy retired from racing in 1992. He was an inductee in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1997 and was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.


Jaques Lazier... Born ... Indy Racing League driver and is the younger brother of 1996 Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Lazier and son of former Indy racer Bob Lazier. He raced in 7 Indy 500's with a best finish of 13th in year 2000.




Fred Marriott sets a Land Speed record of 127.659 mph on Ormand Beach in Florida. The car was powered by a Stanley steam engine and used an upside down Robertson canoe for the body.


Doc Shanebrook... Born ... ARDC and AAA driver 1930’s to 1950's


Paul Newman... Born ... Actor, movie star, champion road racing driver and Indy Car owner.


Al Gordon... Died ... AAA driver, died in a racing accident at Legion Ascot Speedway in California. Rex Mays won the race.


Nick Fornoro Jr.... Born ... Eastern midget, sprint and supermodified driver. Son of one of the sport’s premier flagman, and Chief Starter for the Championship Auto Racing Teams Indy Car Series from 1979-1992 Nick Fornoro.  Many time ARDC driving champion.


Scott Wimmer... Born ... NASCAR driver


Eddie Leavitt... Died ... Sprint car driver from the 1970's & 80's. He was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2001 and was in the Knoxville Raceway Hall of Fame. He was a two-time National Sprint Car Champion.



George Follmer... Born ... One of the most successful road racers of the 1970's also raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1967-1971 and 1974 seasons.


Craig Dollansky... Born ... World of Outlaws Sprint Car driver.


Travis "Spider" Webb... Died ... AAA driver, ran 6 Indy 500's


Buzz Calkins won the very first INDY Racing League race, the Indy 200 at Florida's Walt Disney Orlando Speedway




The History of the Sport:

January 27, 1979:

The place:  Atlantic City Convention Hall in Atlantic City, NJ.

The event:  Indoor TQ races on 1/5 mile track.

Difference:  Back then, for this race, they started 24 cars – 8 rows with 3 cars per row – like the Indy 500.

Entrants:  40 cars signed in.

Race length:  40 laps.

Some participants:  Jack Bertling (he’s entered in this yrs race), Bob Cicconi, Dave Thompson, Joe Osite, Bruce Kindberg, Lenny Boyd, Phil Davoulas, Mike Osite, Johnny Coy, Sr., Guy Cicconi, George Ferguson, Jr., Bruce Landry, Tom White, George Kattau, Johnny Coy, Jr., Billy Courtwright, Pete Mourad and Jack Duffy


Billy Courtwright had the fastest time trial with a lap of 12.074

Jack Bertling qualified 32nd out of the 40 cars, which proved to be beneficial, since the slower cars started up front.


Feature finish – top 10:

1.     Jack Bertling

2.     Dave Thompson

3.     Bob Cicconi

4.     Lenny Boyd

5.     Johnny Coy, Sr.

6.     George Ferguson, Jr.

7.     George Kattau

8.     Johnny Coy, Jr.

9.     Billy Courtwright

10. Tom White




More racin’ stuff:

From an Accord Speedway press release:

“Accord Speedway is pleased to announce that Dave Rocket along with his wife Joann and son Ryan, will be the American Racer Tire dealers for the 2011 racing season. They will be selling American Racer tires, VP racing fuel and a full inventory of racing parts.”



Found this, by Mike Kolka, on Dirt Track Digest:
"I would like to extend an invitation to all business that may be interested to join our team as we pursue this year’s goal to contact me at mikejr@mikekolka.com. We are currently scheduled to display our team in Rockland County Community College car show, Middletown's car show and a weekend in the Middletown Galleria mall. These are just 3 of the shows that we are doing so far this year."

Note # 1:  A car show in the Mall!  When I find out the dates, I’ll let ya know!


Note #2:  Forgetaboutit!  Mike has now posted this:

Well I have some bad news regarding the mall. It’s a no go now. To many requirements and no available dates that would help us. Now this is not the town of Wallkill doing this, it is the mall itself. After long deliberation with them to achieve some common ground, we had failed to meet.

We are now going to look into an alternate location in the public’s eye. I shall keep you posted.”




Some Racin’ stuff from the AARN:


From the January 11th issue:


Might there be some scheduling problems with the 360 Sprint Car challenge race at Cayuga County next October?  Time will tell.


This is the last year for the Hoosier Tire deal with DIRTcar.


There will be an RoC race at the New Egypt Speedway on March 26th.  Both Modified and Sportsman cars will see action that night.


The Knoxville Nationals, on August 10-13 will now be sanctioned by the WoO.


The Knoxville Nationals will be televised, but the telecast will be two weeks after the show.


Also, it appears that there will be no live WoO races on TV, with only a few being seen on tape delay.  The WoO finals, from Charlotte, will be on TV live, though.


Rick Laubach won the New Egypt Modified championship.  For that he received a check for $10,000.00


Look for a possible $60,000.00 point fund for the URC in 2011.


At the OCFS Banquet, the champions in the four divisions all received rings or watches and American Racer jackets, along with trophies and a point fund check.  I believe the modified champion got $3,500.00.


Speaking of OCFS – it is now official – Ken Sands has left.  It was said that he is purchasing a track in Florida – maybe it’s Bronson Motor Speedway, a 1/3 mile highly banked paved oval?  But I’m wondering, is Ken the buyer or is it Stanley Kolan who is the buyer?  On a somewhat sad note on the Bronson track, a daughter of mine went there a while back and said that the stands were basically empty on race night.

Note:  I’ve heard that as of now, no one particular person would be taking Ken’s place, but that Mike Gurda would also fill those shoes, himself.


Is Albany/Saratoga for sale and if so, is Kim Duell a possibly buyer.  If so, it’s said that the track would return to weekly dirt racing.


There was a photo, but no article, about the reopening of Mototown USA in Windsor, CT. 

Note:  There was supposed to be some scheduled Kart races this past Saturday, but not enough Karts showed up.  I’m wondering if more should be said about this place other than what’s been said on the 4 Cycle Forum – in order to get more interest into racing indoors up there.


An article about NEMA and their attempt to cut costs for their racers was on page 34.  What I found rather interesting was that it quoted prices for a set of steel rods at $1,000.00.  Expensive?  Not really when they also quote a price for a single titanium rod also going for $1,000.00 per each.


John Snyder was voicing his thoughts against the “Crate” engines in racing. 

Note:  I do know that quite a few drivers have come out and said that if it weren’t for the “Crate” engines, they would not be racing today.  As for myself, I’m for the “Crate” engines, BUT I feel they should have had an engine claimer rule in effect.  There are a lot of stories out there about the legality of some of the “Crate” engines, and it’s also said that teching on them leaves a lot to be deisired.



From the January 18th issue:


There were daily racing results and articles from each days racing at the Chili Bowl.  There was also an extra large amount said, and pictured, about the up-coming motor sports show last weekend, down in Oaks, PA.


Maybe you’ve seen it, maybe not, but time trials for the Pocono races will now be on Saturday instead of Friday.  The same goes for Phoenix.  Add Martinsville to the list, too.


Ernie Saxton has this in his column:  “Every Promoter of a local short track racing facility should make a resolution to sit in the grandstands during one of their events to find out what can be done to improve their shows.  Several would probably find that long drawn out shows that take until midnight to finish are not really crowd pleasers.”

Note:  I could also add that it isn’t too crowd pleasing when, due to too many classes on the nights schedule, that at times, the complete show doesn’t get to be completed, and that features get held over, creating more log jams at future nights of racing.


In 2011, it’s being said that the champion of the URC will get $12,000.00.  20th place will get an even $1,000.00


Also, the All Star Circuit of Champions champion will get $10,000.00


Kind of hard to believe that Jac Haudenschild is still looking for a full time ride for on the road.


Stephanie Stevens is leaving the ARDC in order to run a 305 Sprint Car.  She’s planning on running in NY, NJ and PA.  When her schedule permits it, she might also pick up a midget ride.


March 18th and 19th are the opening races for the RoC dirt tour.  The Small Blocks will run on the 18th and the Big Blocks on the 19th – both events being at Selinsgrove.

Note:  As of now I see seven RoC races to be held in PA, with one in Jersey and five in NY.  How I wish there would be an RoC race held at OCFS.  Wouldn’t it be nice if ESW were an RoC event?


Bethel Motor Speedway – are the Rockets still involved there?  Info released has no mention of them at all.


Todd Bodine is scheduled to race in the three different NASCAR racing series events at Daytona – the Trucks, Nationwide and Cup.


Have you read about the Richmond International Speedway going to “smokeless” grandstands?

Note:  I believe the covered stands at OCFS are smokeless.


Another name for that 5/8 mile track out in Indianapolis.  Lucas Oil Products have now acquired the naming rights to what was, at one time, known as Indianapolis Raceway Park.


At the DIRTcar UMP “Night of Champions” Awards Banquet, held out in Springfield, IL. Rusty Schlenk was honored as the 2010 Late Model national champion.  For that, he received $20,000.00.  He also got $2,000.00 for winning the Ohio/Pennsylvania/Canada points title.  Mike Harrison also won the same amounts - $20,000.00 for the national UMP Modified championship and $2,000.00 for the Illinois/Indiana State championships.  Jason Feger ended up with $37,000.00 – with $25,000.00 coming from the Summer Nationals, $10,000.00 for finishing second in the national standings and $2,000.00 for the Illinois State title.


Note.  There were other championships announced at various other banquets, but no actual money figures were mentioned.





Additional Racin’ stuff:


Some Jayski news:


NASCAR looking to change qualifying rainout procedure: The days of the starting order being set by rank in points when qualifying is rained out might be coming to an end. Multiple sources said after Monday meetings with NASCAR that plans are in place to set the qualifying order based on practice speeds, and the starting order based on practice speeds if qualifying is rained out. The qualifying order currently is set by a draw, with the team whose owner has the most owner points picking first. Under the proposed plan, which is expected to be announced Wednesday by chairman Brian France, the only way the starting order will be based on points is if both practice and qualifying are rained out. The sources said NASCAR remains consistent with its plan to change the points structure to a 43-1 format, giving 43 points for first, 42 for second and one point less for each spot through last.(ESPN.com)(1-25-2011)



NASCAR wants lane stripes at Daytona: NASCAR will ask Daytona International Speedway to add broken, white lane stripes between Turns 1 and 2 and Turns 3 and 4 before returning in February. Sprint Cup director John Darby said before NASCAR returns for Speed Weeks, the track will add lane markers in all the 31-degree banked areas. "We've had some conversations with a few drivers and they've told us that would be helpful to them when they are three wide in a draft," Darby said Saturday. "The hash marks will give them some sort of a guide to understand how much room they have above and below them. In talking with the Speedway (Saturday) morning, they said they will probably paint those right before the stock cars start running in February." Darby said the double-yellow lines, which separate the racing surface from the out-of-bounds area for NASCAR races at Daytona, will not be moved from the apron to the track surface.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-23-2011)



Stewart could be in more trouble in Australia: The repercussions for the Tony Stewart fracas in Australia may still reverberate, and Australian media is now reporting that not only was the incident more serious than first reported, but that the possibility of formal charges being filed is still a very real possibility. After spending nearly a month in Australia vacationing and dirt racing, Stewart got into a confrontation with the co-owner of the Parramatta City Raceway Brett Morris, himself a former racer, on the final night of his trip last Saturday. Witnesses reported that Stewart was upset over the condition of the track and threw a helmet at Morris. Morris retaliated with his fist and the two exchanged several blows before being pulled apart. First reports said Stewart had sustained a cut over his eye but had been questioned and released by police. But as it turns out the injuries to Morris appear more serious and include a broken eye socket which will require Morris to undergo surgery next week. It also turns out that Stewart was placed in a patrol car, in the front seat, and then placed in a holding cell at the police station. He was later released and allowed to travel back to the US. According to one report Stewart was held for a couple of hours in the holding cell 'to reflect on the benefits of controlling his temper.'(NASCAR Examiner and see the full story at the Sydney Morning Herald )(1-23-2011)



Nationwide Series scoring revealed: According to NASCAR officials, the only drivers who will receive points in Nationwide Series races will be those eligible for the series championship. Full-time Sprint Cup drivers running for that title are de facto ineligible. The top Nationwide driver, however, won't receive first-place points unless he or she wins the race. In other words, if Justin Allgaier runs fourth behind Cup drivers Tony Stewart, Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvickas was the case in last year's season-opening Nationwide race at Daytona International SpeedwayAllgaier will receive fourth-place points and money. NASCAR announced Friday that drivers had to select the one championship they'll seek before the start of the season, unlike in years past when they were eligible for championships in all series.(Sporting News)(1-23-2011)



Pastrana to make NNS debut at Indy: Boost Mobile and Samsung Mobile will sponsor Travis Pastrana when the action sports icon embarks on his NASCAR Nationwide Series career in 2011. Pastrana will drive the #99 Boost Mobile Toyota for Pastrana-Waltrip Racing in seven Nationwide Series races this season, including a mid-summer debut in Indianapolis designed to bridge NASCAR with the ESPN X Games. Pastrana plans to compete in at least 20 races in 2012. See full story on Jayski's Nationwide Series site.(1-23-2011)



Change in Sprint Cup qualifying? NASCAR is considering a new system that would change the order of qualifying. Instead of drawing for qualifying order as teams have done in previous seasons, the qualifying order would at least in part be determined by speed in the practice prior to qualifying. Teams in the Camping World Truck Series already use the system [a few times in 2010]. "It is a possibility. & We're throwing a bunch of ideas around in the meetings with the teams," NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said Friday. "We want to finish all the meetings, get everybody's input and then finalize some stuff." The idea is to have the faster drivers, the ones who will challenge for the pole, qualify near the end of the session and add drama to the qualifying show. It is possible that the drivers not locked in the field because their teams are outside the top 35 in owner points will still be grouped together at the end of the session.(SceneDaily)(1-22-2011)




Some highlights from Friday's NASCAR Press Conference: NASCAR president Mike Helton and vice president of competition Robin Pemberton held a press conference at Daytona International Speedway on Friday. Some notes and highlights:
NASCAR president Mike Helton confirmed Friday that drivers will be allowed to race for only one championship this season. The rule is designed to prevent Sprint Cup drivers from dominating the second-tier Nationwide Series. Full-time Cup drivers have won the last five Nationwide titles. Helton also said NASCAR is leaning toward a simpler points system for all three of its national series. Helton says bonus points would be added to put an emphasis on winning races (ESPN).
Helton also indicated that a new points system is coming to the top three series. It likely will be one in which points are awarded one per position from with the winner getting 43 points and the last place driver just one. There likely will be bonus points offered to encourage drivers to race for wins and to keep championships from being decided by consistency alone. And there are expected to be provisions that allow drivers who don't finish the regular season in the elite group but have won races to have a shot at being added to the Chase field. He said the goal is to make the points system easier to understand for casual fans as well as those more familiar with the sport.
The rookie of the year program also is expected to undergo some changes. With no rookie drivers signed up to run full-time in Cup this year, adjustments likely will be made to deal with a rookie like Trevor Bayne, who is signed to drive the Wood Brothers' #21 Ford but only has 17 races scheduled this year.
Helton said starting times for Cup races, which were standardized last year, could see some changes. He said the times might need to be adjusted given the length of the NASCAR season. Last year, races started just after 1 pm, 3 pm. or 7:30 pm depending on the location of the track.
NASCAR appears to be on pace to switch from carburetors to fuel injection, but fuel injection won't be used in points-paying Cup races this year. Cars will run on an ethanol blend fuel and a new fueling system that doesn't require a traditional vent will be used.(RacinToday)
Helton also said the sanctioning body has not made a decision concerning possible changes to the championship point systems for the 2011 Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. He admitted, however, that the move is receiving serious consideration in an attempt to make those championships simpler for fans to understand. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France is expected to announce the sanctioning body's final decision next Wednesday (Sirius Speedway)(1-21-2011)



LVMS to hold open auditions to determine national anthem singer: For the third consecutive year, one aspiring singer will get the opportunity of a lifetime before the start of the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Race sponsor Sam’s Town Hotel and Gambling Hall KVVU-FOX5 and LVMS are staging an open audition called Speedway Superstar to find a singer to perform the national anthem prior to the March 5 NASCAR Nationwide Series event at the speedway. The first audition will be conducted Saturday, Feb. 5 at Sam’s Town on Boulder Highway. All performers must sing the national anthem a cappella. The top 25 singers chosen will advance to the next round of competition on Saturday, Feb. 12. On that day, the winner will be announced. The Feb. 5 auditions will begin at 10 a.m. Registration will open at 9 a.m. Anyone wishing to audition must arrive at Sam’s Town before noon on Feb. 5. The first 150 applicants are guaranteed an audition. For more information go to lvms.com.(LVMS)(1-13-2011)


Chase will go to top 10, plus 2 biggest winners: Twelve NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers will make the Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2011 -- the top 10 in points and the two drivers not in the top 10 who have the most race victories in NASCAR's 26-race regular season. NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France is expected to confirm that arrangement, along with a points system that gives 43 points to race winners and then one-point increments down to just one point for the last-place finisher. Each driver who leads a lap will get one bonus point, and regular-season race winners are expected to get two or three Chase bonus points for each victory. There will be no knockout rounds in the Chase, as NASCAR had hinted at earlier.(SPEED)(1-26-2011)


Fox Sports chairman would like to see shorter races: Fox Sports chairman David Hill says he thinks NASCAR races are too long and would like to see them cut down to run during a three-hour window. Hill says Monday night that NASCAR recognizes it needs to make changes to stop its current slide in both attendance and television ratings. He says that NASCAR chairman Brian France is "really trying very hard" to find solutions, but nothing will happen overnight. Hill believes there are simply too many entertainment options to hold a fan's interest over the length of an entire race. Fox has three years remaining on its television deal with NASCAR, and Hill says it's too soon to tell if the network will renew.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)

AND: He's still against streaming races online and says noting is immiment in that area. And, he says that NASCAR needs to emphasize winning more with its points structural.(Hampton Roads)(1-25-2011)


NASCAR announces changes for 2011 season: NASCAR announced Wednesday that it has added a wild card element to setting the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field and it has simplified its points system for 2011, making it easier for fans, competitors and the industry to understand.
While the 12-driver Chase field remains intact, the final two spots will be determined by the number of wins during the first 26 races.
The top 10 in points following Race No. 26 -- the "cutoff" race -- continue to earn Chase berths.
Positions 11 and 12 are "wild card" qualifiers and will go to non-top-10-ranked drivers with the most wins, as long as they're ranked in the top 20 in points. The top-10 Chase drivers will continue to be seeded based on wins during the first 26 races, with each win worth three bonus points. The wild card drivers will not receive bonus points for wins and will be seeded 11th and 12th, respectively. It's a move aimed towards rewarding winning and consistency during the regular season.
Brian France, NASCAR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, made the announcements at the NASCAR Hall of Fame during
NASCAR's annual media event as part of the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour.
"The fans tell us that winning matters the most with them, so we're combining the tradition of consistency in our sport with the excitement that comes along with winning," said France. "This makes every race count leading into the 26th race of the season at Richmond, when we set the field for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup."
The new points system -- which applies to all NASCAR national series -- will award points in one-point increments. As an example, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, race winners will earn 43 points, plus three bonus points for the win. Winners also can earn an extra point for leading a lap and leading the most laps, bringing their total to a possible maximum of 48 points.
All other drivers in a finishing order will be separated by one-point increments. A second-place finisher will earn 42 points, a third-place driver 41 points, and so on. A last-place finisher  43rd place  earns one point. In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the last-place finisher receives eight points, to account for that series' 36-driver race field.
"Many of our most loyal fans don't fully understand the points system we have used to date," said France, referencing the system that has been in use since 1975. "So, we are simplifying the points system to one that is much easier to understand. Conceptually, it is comparable to our previous system, but it is easier to follow."
During his remarks Wednesday night, France reflected on the outstanding competition the sport enjoyed in 2010 and expected to see that high-caliber of racing to continue once the green flag drops for the 53rd running of the Daytona 500 Feb. 20.
"NASCAR enters 2011 with positive momentum and a great sense of excitement and optimism," said France. "We're extremely excited for the launch of the season. Leading the season off with Daytona, Phoenix and Las Vegas, we believe our fans are in store for some of the best racing the sport has to offer."
Other competitive enhancements announced Wednesday:

Pick a Series:  Drivers in all three national series now must select the series where they'll compete for a driver championship. Drivers still may compete in multiple series and help their teams win owner titles in series where they're not competing for a driver title. The move helps spotlight young talent in the NASCAR Nationwide and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

New Qualifying Procedure:  The qualifying order will be set based upon slowest to fastest practice speeds
Inclement Weather Qualifying:   If bad weather cancels qualifying, the final starting lineup will be determined by practice speeds. The same rule book procedures will be used to determine eligibility to start a race. If weather cancels practice sessions, then the starting lineup will be set by points, per the rule book.

Tire Rules Revision:  NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams now are allowed five sets of tires for practice and qualifying instead of six. They must return four of those sets to Goodyear in order to receive their race allotment, and may keep one set of practice/qualifying tires. Tire allotments for race weekends will vary according to historical performance data.

Closed Loop Fueling System:   Introduced in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, this goes into effect for all three national series in 2011. It combines a more efficient fueling system with the elimination of the catch-can man, considered the most "vulnerable" pit-crew member. Teams now will use six, rather than seven, over-the-wall pit-crew members.

Evolution Of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Car:   NASCAR continues to work with the manufacturers and teams to enhance the look of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. The cars have new fronts this season and the body makeover will continue to help appeal to fans and aid manufacturer identity.




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/

The Caruso Racing Museum website:  http://www.carusomidgetracing.com/  A great website if you are interested in the history of legendary Mike Caruso, his cars and his drivers.




Racing and television:

You best start checking the Racing on TV link, above, but for you Chili Bowl fans, here’s the info on it’s telecast:

It will be on SPEED on Saturday, February 5th from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM.  If like in years past, there will be some of each nights feature races then almost the complete 50 lap feature that was on Saturday night, closing out the week.




11:00P-2:00A SPEED

NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown QUALIFYING, Toyota Speedway, Irwindale, CA, The top teams in NASCAR's Grand National and Elite divisions compete for national recognition and over $500,000 in posted awards



3:00P-10:00 SPEED

Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, Rolex 24 at Daytona, Daytona Intl. Speedway, Part 1


10:00P-2:00A SPEED

NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown Toyota Speedway, Irwindale, CA, The top teams in NASCAR's Grand National and Elite divisions compete for national recognition and over $500,000 in posted awards,



9:00A-4:00P SPEED

Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, Rolex 24 at Daytona, Daytona Intl. Speedway, Part 2,




2011 Track Schedules:


Here are some more track listings that have 2011 schedules listed as of the date of this column (last column there were other tracks):


NEMA:  http://www.nemaracing.com/

ARDC:  http://www.ardcmidgets.com/

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

Williams Grove:  http://www.williamsgrove.com/

Xcel 600 Modifieds:  http://www.xcelchassis.com/

Mountain Speedway:  http://www.mountainspeedway.com/





Video time:

Some awesome feats coming up!  I can only suggest to anyone out there – DO NOT attempt any of the things that follow!





Non racing news:


Believe it or not, I had about six different topics, and with that amount, I was just going to put in the headlines and links.  Lo and behold, after I did that, they did not appear in this spot.  No idea as to where they went – out in “internet space” I guess?  Anyway, I did remember some of them, and starting this week I’ll just be putting in the topic and the links.


U.S. Postal Service looking to close 2,000 offices




2 States Take Aim at Distracted Walkers, Runners




Law changes delay IRS start date to process returns



Virginia Bill Would Require Schools to Keep Tabs on Cost of Illegal Immigrant Students



Hawaii Law Bars Release of Obama Birth Certificate








Is this true? - # 1:

Got this in an e-mail on Tuesday:

Royal snub for the Obama’s:

Prince William and Kate Middleton wedding:  President Barack Obama and Michelle are not invited! 


Michelle is livid over the snub and Obama can’t believe it

What is happening and what can I do about it seems to be the thoughts in Obama’s head.  Meanwhile, William and Kate have it together.

Prince William and Kate Middleton are planning a royal wedding April 2011. Prince William personally told the wedding planners to strike the Obama’s from the guest list. He stated, "He did not want Michelle Obama trying to pull her center of attention ploy trying to upstage Kate on Kate’s wedding day".

Sources reveal that William states, "She may run Obama, but she doesn’t run him or England ". The Democrats and Obama would like to play the race card as they have done so many times in America, but it is difficult when other black heads of states are invited to the wedding and will be warmly received.

Now, what is the future King of England’s reasons for snubbing the Obama’s to the world and making them a laughing stock? It has nothing to do with America beyond being so stupid as to elect such low class imperfection to the office of President and First Lady. The decisions that they make can and will affect the world.

Secondly, Michelle called his mother, Diana, an over-sexed clothes horse and further stated that she, Michelle, was more popular than Diana ever was. Thirdly, Michelle Obama showed her butt at every major social function endeavoring to be the Queen in the lime light. In other words, just a lack of class. Fourthly, the Queen Mother, William’s grand mother, also has her reasons. Obama refused to bow to her but a few days later bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia and Michelle manhandled her by becoming too familiar by putting her arm around her. The Queen only shakes hands with gloves on… That is the tradition and it is still honored by the Royals. The Queen said to her staff, "Never allow that woman to be in the same room with me again" and she meant every word of it.

The gifts from Obama and Michelle were both tacky and in poor taste… It is all a matter of class. In addition, the Queen Mother supported Prince William in his decision due to the fact that the word is out about the lavish booze parties at the White House, the expensive vacations and state visits that cost the American tax payers millions of dollars un-necessarily when the American people need the resources… We here at True American can’t decide if it is just low class, no class, or all that has just been mentioned. The Obama’s are desperately trying to make it a slight against America. Every past Head of State has always been invited… This is not a state function and William is not yet a Sovereign. It is just a multi-million dollar private wedding and the Obama’s have been royally snubbed by the British Royals; not America, just the present classless leaders. 


Is this true? -  #2:

Arizona Governor VS: Phoenix Suns Owner

Way to go Jan!!  Maybe this is a language he can understand. 

The owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball team, Robert Sarver, opposes AZ's new immigration laws.

Arizona 's Governor, Jan Brewer, released the following statement in response to Sarver's criticism of the new law: 

"What if the owners of the Suns discovered that hordes of people were sneaking into games without paying?

What if they had a good idea who the gate-crashers are, but the ushers and security personnel were not allowed to

ask these folks to produce their ticket stubs, thus non-paying attendees couldn't be ejected.

Furthermore, what if Suns' ownership was expected to provide those who sneaked in with complimentary eats and drink? And what if, on those days when a gate-crasher became ill or injured, the Suns had to provide free medical care and shelter?"

 - Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer



Closing with these:

Here are the last five.  Enjoy!

BIRTH ORDER OF CHILDREN – Continued from two weeks ago:




1st baby: You change your baby's diapers every hour,
whether they need it or not.

2nd baby: You change their diaper every two to three hours, if needed.

3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to
complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.



1st baby:  You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing,
Baby Zoo, Baby Movies and Baby Story Hour.

2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.

3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaners.



Going Out:

1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter,
you call home five times.

2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to
leave a number where you can be reached.

3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.


At Home: 
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.

2nd baby: You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.

3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children



Swallowing Coins (a favorite):

1st child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays

2nd child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.

3rd child: When third child swallows a coin you deduct it from his allowance!




God's reward for allowing your children to live!




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 February 10th, with another possible photo article on New England Tractor on February 3rd – or thereabouts.


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