Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 45

                                           02/ 24/2011





I have to imagine that most of my readers were like me about who might win the Daytona 500 – not giving Trevor Bayne much of a chance.  After all, he just turned 20 years old the day before, and he did have that big yellow stripe on his rear bumper, meaning he was a rookie.  Granted, the kid looked pretty impressive earlier on when he teamed up with Jeff Gordon on Thursday, and they “two-by two’d” it during the qualifying race. 

We had some over for the race, one of which was our family’s former race driver – Brett.  After the race he commented – “Geez, he’s younger than me”!




With NASCAR coming out by limiting the drivers as to what one of the three major series that they have, as far as running for points, it’s strange to see someone that won the 500 not being in the point chase.  Same goes for the Nationwide race, too.  Questions came up about Trevor Bayne and if he might decide to switch from the Nationwide to the Cup Series, which he could do.  One little problem with that, though – he still would not get points for his 500 win, per this, from Jayski’s website:

Bayne unlikely to run for Sprint Cup points: Daytona 500 winner #21-Trevor Bayne said Monday he's probably not going to attempt to run for the Sprint Cup championship this year. The 20-year-old became the youngest winner in Daytona 500 history Sunday with a surprise victory in NASCAR's biggest race. He's scheduled to run only 17 Cup races this season for the Wood Brothers while he competes for the Nationwide Series title for Roush-Fenway Racing. NASCAR rules this season made drivers pick just one series to collect points, and Bayne chose the second-tier Nationwide Series. He can change his mind, but he would not be given retroactive points for the Daytona 500. NASCAR officials said Monday the win would count toward seeding in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, but he would not receive any points for Sunday's race. NASCAR this year changed the format for the 12-driver Chase field. The top 10 in points after the 26th race of the season make the Chase, with the final two spots going to drivers with the most wins who aren't already eligible. The drivers would have to be ranked inside the top 20.(Associated Press), the team has added at least one race to it's 2011 schedule, selecting to run at Martinsville in April, the sixth race of the 2011 season.(2-21-2011)”





Here’s a surprise – next years Daytona 500 will be a week later!

Again, from Jayski’s website:

Daytona 500 pushed back a week in 2012: The 2012 Daytona 500 will be held a week later than normal, eliminating the early off date and shortening the Sprint Cup season. The "Great American Race'' will be held next year on February 26. "We have a very short offseason,'' said Steve O'Donnell, a senior vice president with NASCAR. "This gives us a little more time shortening up the season.'' Beyond moving the date to shorten the season, O'Donnell said NASCAR wanted to get ahead of any potential moves to an 18-game schedule by the NFL that could push the Super Bowl later than normal. There are no plans to condense the length of Speedweeks, although the date of the Budweiser Shootout has not been officially set at the weekend before the 500 (would be Feb 18th].(ESPN.com)
AND Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III announced today that the 54th Annual Daytona 500 will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2012. "The decision to kick-off to the NASCAR racing season one week later was made in close partnership with the sanctioning body, our broadcast partners including FOX, community partners and others within the industry," said Chitwood. "This move shortens the racing season by one week, which is something the teams and competitors will surely enjoy, and it eliminates the off-weekend typically scheduled in March, which many fans and media partners have said created a drop in momentum in the early part of the racing season. We also know some of our great fans like to plan their visit to the 'World Center of Racing' well in advance so we are announcing the 2012 date much earlier in the season to minimize any inconveniences in planning their visit." The dates of Daytona International Speedway's other racing events that comprise Speedweeks, in addition to the motorcycle events in March, will be determined in the near future.(DIS)(2-20-2011)”




Kinda makes one think a little – I found this on the Internet on Sunday night, after the Daytona 500 was run:

“So Trevor at 20 drives an outstanding 500 mile race and wins. Meanwhile Danica with much more experience and age shouts "tell me what to do!!!" If Trevor had said that he would be out of a ride. See the difference and bias. Trever is the real deal. Danica isn't but know one in her camp will ever admit it. Experience isn't the problem. You either have instinct/skills or you don't regardless of age,gender or race. This weekend just highlighted it. Great run Trevor, hope Woods/Roush lets you run the full year as you are a wheel man.”



Big monies are coming up for a midget race.  But here’s something probably a lot of race fans don’t know – check out the last paragraph!

Found on Track Forum:

FOR $20,000 PAYOUT MAY 29!

A prize of $20,000 awaits the winner of the May 29 “Night Before the 500” USAC Mopar Midget race at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis! The prize matches the largest single race winner’s share in Midget racing history and is a result of an endowment left by long-time Midget racing scribe and historian Crocky Wright, who passed away in December of 2009 at age 90.

The “Night Before the 500” Classic, was among beneficiaries of Mr. Wright’s last will and testament and the winner’s share matches the $20,000 claimed by Jason Leffler for his victory at the 1999 “Summer Sizzle” at Indianapolis’ 16th Street Speedway.

"The $20,000 payday this year only adds to the lure of this race,” says Bryan Clauson, who won USAC’s 2010 Narional Driver Championship and Mopar National Midget title. “The Night Before the 500 midget race is one of the crown jewels of midget racing, and it is definitely circled on every midget driver’s calendar each year. With a winners share that matches the highest ever in our sport, fans will see a lot of tough guys show up for this one. After finishing second the last two years in this race, I can't think of a better year to finally breakthrough and add my name to the winners list for this great event."

The “Night Before the 500” race is one of America’s most traditional motorsports events and has made its home at the Indianapolis oval since 1980. It was also held at the then-named Indianapolis Raceway Park from 1969-1971 and 1974-1978. Other Indiana facilities which have hosted the race include 16th Street Speedway (1948-1958), Kokomo Speedway (1959-1961 and 1965-1968), the Indianapolis Speedrome (1962-1964 and 1979) and the Indiana State Fairgrounds (1972-73).

Tanner Swanson of Kingsburg, Calif. would like nothing better than to repeat as the race winner. “This is going to be huge. Repeating as the race winner would be one thing but to take home that kind of money would be fantastic. Last year I hadn’t even planned on running the race. The deal came together at the last minute and we put the seat in the car Tuesday, the motor Wednesday and the driver on Saturday! I had never turned a lap at the track until the night we won! I’d like to walk away with that trophy again and put my name in the record books alongside Jason Leffler as the biggest prize winners in Midget racing history.”

To put this race in some perspective, Mel Kenyon won 17 races on his way to the 1967 USAC National Midget championship. His total take for the 49 Midget races that year was just over $11,000!

The 1999 “Summer Sizzle” victory still gives Jason Leffler a considerable amount of pride. “I was nearly broke when I won that race at 16th Street,” Leffler admits. “It’s really special that Crocky has done this and hopefully some racer can share the joy I had when I collected that big paycheck. It’s going to be a special night for Midget racing and I only wish I could be there. We all share Crocky’s passion for the sport and I’m happy to see this happen at a race I will always cherish having won (2002).”

Crocky Wright’s legacy is one of extreme dedication to the sport of Midget auto racing. A 2005 inductee into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame, he was presented his award that year by his hero, Tony Stewart, whom many consider was a key beneficiary of Crocky’s many columns and writings. A racer himself, Wright, whose real German-born name was Ernest Schlausky, witnessed his first Midget race the same year the sport was born, 1933, and is one of only two motorcycle stuntmen honored by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the other being Evel Knievel! In 2004 Crocky was awarded the prestigious “Jim Blunk Award” at the USAC Awards Banquet in honor of his many contributions to the sport he loved.

“We feel this purse will add to the excitement and historic significance this race holds in the race community,” said Wes Collier, general manager of Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. “The purse will pull the finest Midget racers from across the country and fans are sure to see thrilling racing during the feature event as they battle to the checkered flag.”

“It’s a fitting tribute to Crocky that this race honors his memory,” adds USAC President/CEO Kevin Miller. “He was so much a part of the fabric of this sport and we are honored to be part of this celebration of his life and his contributions to Midget auto racing.”

For the sake of history, it should be noted that Dave Steele claimed the largest single night payout in Midget racing history in 2002 when he won back-to-back 25-lap feature races at the then-named Indianapolis Raceway Park. Those two wins, worth $10,280, earned a bonus of $50,000 posted by a lubricant company, plus other contingencies, resulting in a total take for Steele of $64,560!


As I made mention a while back, there will now be two motor sport shows that will more than likely have race cars in them from tracks like OCFS and the Accord Speedway.

Motor Sports shows





Not racing related, but a subject that will be discussed over and over in the coming future – What are those that are in college, studying to be teachers, and upon graduating, find there are no jobs available due to the on-coming mass lay-offs of teachers, which sure looks like a coming thing, for sure, going to do?

Well, there was an article about this in my local paper on Wednesday, the 23rd:  http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110223/NEWS/102230348/-1/NEWS


Remember President Obama and his State of the Union speech?  How he wanted to improve our education system?  Uh huh.  And what is (probably will in the immediate future) every state now looking to cut back on?  Uh huh!

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m right, but as far as I’m concerned, last one hired is the first to be let go.  Teachers are now fighting this.  Big time problems ahead of us, for sure!



Think we’ll see more of this – short fields in the Nationwide Series?  As of Wednesday night, according to the entry list for the Nationwide race that is on Jayski’s website, this coming weekend at Phoenix, there are only 40 entrants!



And, from Jayski:

Short field at Phoenix? UPDATE: Conducting a survey of all 45 teams at the track, Frontstretch discovered it's questionable whether the series will have a full field next weekend in Phoenix. In fact, multiple sources confirmed there's a worry less than 43 cars will show, a combination of the economy, a new car design and a 20 percent purse reduction causing several teams to pack their bags and stay away for good. Among those on the definite "no" list for next week include Kevin Harvick, Inc.'s #4, Penske Racing's #12, and Germain Racing's #15. Phoenix Racing's #1, JR Motorsports' #5, 2nd Chance's #79 (after a DNQ) and Means Motorsports' #52 (following their practice crash) are also unlikely to show, which would drop the entry list total to just 38 cars. It's unknown at this point whether NASCAR would ask several teams to bring out their backups, what they've done in order to ensure the field remains filled during past years. Key Motorsports and MacDonald Motorsports would be likely candidates, but even in a best-case scenario that leaves the grid one to two spots short with a surprising lack of new ownership stepping in along with a popular new car design. The last short Nationwide field was in February, 2008 at Fontana with 42 cars. (Frontstretch)(2-19-2011)
UPDATE: Am told by the team that 2nd Chance Motorsports will be in Phoenix with Jennifer Jo Cobb.(2-19-2011)

Cassill doesn't have Phoenix Ride: Nationwide Series points leader Landon Cassill has declared for the Nationwide Series points Championship but has no confirmed ride for the Phoenix. His 2011 Schedule will include select Sprint Cup races with Germain Racing and Phoenix Racing.(Spire Sports+Entertainment)(2-19-2011)





Former OVRP Speedway (Dirt Oval) racers:


The dirt modifieds ran some races down in Florida last week – at Volusia.  Billy VanInwegen was there and his feature finishes were 18, 17, 22 and 19.  Somehow, I don’t think he made much money, though.


In Kart racing, down in PA in “Motorama”, in Briggs Heavy “A”, Clinton Mills was 7th and Bobby Hassenmayer was a DNS.  In Briggs Heavy “B” – Chris Daley was 1st.  Chris was also first in Briggs Medium “A”, while Clinton had a second in the “B”.  In Briggs Super Heavy, Bobby was 4th.  Chris was 6th in the Pro Flat Head race.

Randy Brundage was at Motorama too, but was a DNS in both the Senior Champ and 35 and over classes.


When the had the indoor racing in Rhode Island, in the Champ Kart race, Eric Zeh was 23rd and Randy Brundage was a DNQ.



Going back, in time:

Note:  Most of the following information was found here: 



Covering the days of February 11th to February 24th:



Fred Offenhauser... Born


Anton "Tony" Hulman... Born ... Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner.


John Surtees ...Born ... A former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and Formula One driver from England. He remains the only person to have won World Championships on both two and four wheels.


Marshall Teague... Died ... NASCAR, AAA and USAC driver. Finished 7th in the 1957 Indy 500. Teague, 37, died in a crash during a closed course speed record attempt at the new Daytona International Speedway. Teague was driving a Chapman Root owned Indy roadster with an enclosed canopy and covered wheels. He had just turned a 3rd lap at 160.25 mph before losing control in turn 1. The record at the time was 177.038 mph set by Tony Bettenhausen at Monza, Italy the year before. In an earlier shakedown run, Teague had unofficially gone 171.82 mph. NASCAR's original treasurer, Teague won 7 NASCAR Grand National races in Hudson Hornet "Teaguemobiles" he built and owned, including back to back wins on his hometown Daytona beach course in 1951 & '52. Teague scored 5 of his 7 wins in '51, but was stripped of points for running an AAA Stock Car race. In 1952, with an eye on Indianapolis, Teague left NASCAR and joined the rival AAA where he went on to become a 2-time Stock Car champion and made two Indy 500 starts.

Roberto Moreno... Born ... Formula One and Indy car driver from Brazil.


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


Dave Schultz... Died ... Legendary, six-time NHRA Pro Stock Bike champion died of colon cancer at age 52.



Floyd Roberts... Born ... AAA driver who raced in the 1930's.


Jack Turner ... Born ... AAA/USAC driver from 1955 -1963


Ronnie Duman... Born ... USAC driver from 1961 to 1968


Dick Tobias ... Born ... He was modified stock car driver that went on to run URC sprints, USAC sprints and Championship Dirt Cars. He was an innovator and race car builder.


Kevin Doty... Born ... Sprint car driver


Floyd Samuel "Sam" Nunis ... Died ... The dean of American Automobile Association race promoters.




Jim Crawford... Born ... USAC/CART driver 1984 to 1995. Ran the Indy 500 eight times with a best finish of 6th in 1988.


Ronnie Johncox... Born ... A former driver in the Indy Racing League. He raced in the 1999-2000 seasons with 8 career starts.


Louis Durant... Died ... AAA driver 1939 to 1948


Paul Russo... Died ... AAA / USAC driver from 1934 to 1965. He started racing midget cars in 1934. He went with a contigent of midget car drivers to Hawaii in the winter of 1934-35. He was the 1938 AAA Eastern Midget Champion. Russo won the first race held at the Nutley Velodrome in New Jersey in 1938. He drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1940-1941, 1946-1954, 1956-1959 and 1962 seasons with 85 starts, including the Indianapolis 500 races in each year but 1951 and 1952. He finished in the top ten 49 times, with 3 victories, at Springfield (1950), Detroit (1951), and Williams Grove (1952). His best finish at Indy was fourth in 1957, although he co-drove with Tony Bettenhausen to a second place finish in 1955. His brother Joe and nephew Eddie have also raced at the Indianapolis 500. Russo was inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1992.


Lance Blevins... Born ... World of Outlaws racer.




Edwin Keith "Banjo" Matthews... Born ... A NASCAR driver, car owner and builder.


Scott Sharp... Born ... Trans-Am and Indycar racer.


Tony Bettenhausen Jr. ... Died ... Tony Lee Bettenhausen Jr. was one of three racing brothers and a son of two-time U.S. Auto Club national champion Melvin "Tony" Bettenhausen, who ran at the Indianapolis 500 from 1946-60 and was killed in practice in 1961. Tony Jr. drove Indy cars from 1979-93 and also competed in 33 Nextel Cup Series series events in his career, most coming in 1974 when he scored a career best 7th place effort at Richmond International Raceway. He raced in 11 Indy 500 with his best finish of 7th in 1981. He died in a plane crash that he was piloting, he was 48.



Earl Motter... Born ... AAA/USAC driver from1955 to 1959


Graham Hill... Born ... British racing driver and two-time Formula One World Champion. Graham Hill is the only driver to win the so-called Triple Crown of Motorsport, which is alternatively defined as winning either: the Indianapolis 500 (won by Hill in 1966), the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1972) and the Monaco Grand Prix (1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1969) or the Indianapolis 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Formula One World Championship (1962, 1968). Using either definition, Hill is still the only person ever to have accomplished this feat.


NASCAR , a week before the organization was officially incorporated, held its first race for modified stock cars on a 3.2 mile-course at Daytona Beach. In the 150-mile race that featured almost exclusively prewar Fords, Red Byron edged Marshall Teague to become NASCAR's first champion. Stock car racing would become a tradition at Daytona, but prewar Fords would not. By 1949 the Olds 88 had become NASCAR's dominant vehicle.


Jimmy Spencer ... Born ... NASCAR driver and commentator. During his days racing modifieds, he was nicknamed "Mr. Excitement" for his sometimes aggressive racing style.


Billy Garrett ... Died ... USAC driver 1956 to 1958

Bill Lipkey ... Died ... He organized the first USAC sanctioned race.


Ray Knepper ... Died ... Drove AAA Indy Cars 1950 & 1951, drove sprint cars in 1956.




Fred Wagner , the starter of the race, waved what is believed to be the first checkered flag used to signify the finish of an auto race as Louis Wagner was about to win the 1906 Vanderbilt Cup Race.


Walt Faulkner... Born ... AAA driver from 1949 to 1955. He also competed in NASCAR races. In 1950 Faulkner became the first rookie to win pole position at the Indianapolis 500. He died after a racing crash at a USAC Stock Car event in West Coast Speedway California on April 22 1956


Russ Klar ... Died ... He was a race driver in the Northeast. He drove TQ’s,  midgets , sprint cars and 'big cars' in the 1940s and '50s and late in his career modifieds (stock cars).


Jerry Karl ... Died ... Jerry was a 6 time Indianapolis 500 Starter. He started racing at Freeport Stadium on Long Island in 1957. Jerry competed in ARDC, ATQMRA, URC,and USAC in the Midget,Sprint,Silver Crown,Formula 5000, and Indianpolis Cars. Jerry raced in the Indy 500 in 1973,1974,1975,1978,1980 and 1981

Note:  Notice anything about the two drivers above?  Both passed away on a February 16th, and both last names contain the same four letters.  They both  ran with the ARDC and ATQMRA




Louis Tomei... Born ... AAA driver 1932 to 1949


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


Frank Kurtis ... Died ... Pioneer race car designer and builder.



Jim McElreath ... Born ... USAC/CART driver. He raced in the 1961-1983 seasons, with 178 combined career starts, including 15 in the Indianapolis 500 in 1962-1970, 1973-1974, and 1977-1980. He finished in the top ten 101 times, with five victories. In 1962, he was named Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year, a result of his 6th place finish. McElreath was a 2002 inductee to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. Jim's son, James Jr., was killed in a sprint car crash in 1977. Jim's daughter, Shirley, married Tony Bettenhausen, Jr., with whom she died when their private plane crashed in Kentucky in February, 2000.


Gary Congdon ... Born ... USAC midget, sprint and Indy car driver. Congdon died in Terre Haute, Indiana in a crash in a midget car race (1967).


Scott Kalitta ... Born ... American drag racer and son to veteran NHRA driver and crew chief Connie Kalitta, and is cousin to teammate Doug Kalitta.


Jimmy Kite ... Born ... USAC midget, sprint, silver crown and Indy car driver.


Dale Earnhardt, Sr.... Died ...Earnhardt is known for his success in the Winston Cup Series, now known as the Sprint Cup Series. He won seventy-six races (including his only Daytona 500 victory in 1998), and his seven championships are tied for most all-time with Richard Petty. His highly aggressive driving style made him a fan favorite and earned him the nicknames "Ironhead", "Mr. Restrictor Plate", "The Man in Black" and most famously, "The Intimidator." Earnhardt died in a last-lap crash during the 2001 Daytona 500.



Ernie McCoy... Born ... Eastern midget, sprint and Indy car driver.


Malcolm Campbell set a Land Speed Record of 206.956 MPH in his Bluebird at Daytona.


Paul Pitzer... Born ... Central Pennsylvania Sprint Car Driver.


John Paul, Jr.... Born ...A former race car driver in CART and the Indy Racing League and winner of the 1982 12 Hours of Sebring while co-driving with his father John Paul, Sr.



Tony Willman ... Born ... AAA driver 1926 to 1941, died in a midget race at Thompson, CT on October 12, 1941.


Bobby Unser ... Born ... One of the greatest Indycar racing stars of all time, Unser was twice the USAC/Indy Car champion (1968 and 1974) and three times winner of the Indianapolis 500. The brother of Al Unser and Jerry Unser, the father of Robby Unser, and the uncle of Al Unser, Jr. and Johnny Unser. He was the undisputed king of the Pikes Peak hillclimb, winning the championship 13 times. An accomplished Sprint Car driver he also ran in 19 Indy 500's He is one of nine drivers to win the Indianapolis 500 three times, and one of only two to have won the 500 in three different decades (1968, 75, 81).


Roger S. Penske ... Born ... A national sports car driving champion (1964); established the Penske racing team in 1961; co-founder of Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART). Penske Racing has won 12 Indianapolis 500s and 9 CART points titles.


Scott Brayton ... Born ... USAC/CART driver 1981 to 1996. Scott tragically lost his life in a fatal crash during practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Six days before the accident, Scott captured his second consecutive Indy 500 pole position.

Daytona Beach ... The first races on the 2.5 mile Daytona International Speedway took place, twin 100 mile qualifiers for the first 'Daytona 500'. One for Convertibles and one for Hardtops. The Convertible race started 21 cars with Glen Wood, Richard Petty, Marvin Panch and Shorty Rollins pulling clear of the field. The foursome swapped the lead 5 times in the last 9 laps before Rollins edged Panch by a bumper for the win. In the Hardtop 100, Bob Welborn moved his Chevy from 7th starting to the lead by lap 2, but couldn't shake Denver's Fritz Wilson. Welborn beat Wilson's T-Bird by a half car length to take the win. Peruvian driver Eduardo Dibos finished 5th.


Buster Warke... Died ... AAA driver from the 1930's , 40's to the mid 1950's.




Scott Lagasse Sr.... Born ... A Southern Florida Stock car racer and car builder.


Jean Marcenac ... Died ... Veteran race mechanic died of a heart attack.  He was famous for working on the Novi Indy cars.



Emil Andres ... Born ... AAA driver from 1935 to 1950


Georgie Rice (Viola) was born – he was the 1947 ARDC driving champion and now a member of the National Midget Auto Racing Hall f Fame.  Sadly, he left us on February 26, 2003.


Ray Knepper ... Born ... Drove AAA Indy Cars 1950 & 1951, drove sprint cars in 1956.


Marshall Teague... Born ... NASCAR, AAA and USAC driver. Finished 7th in the 1957 Indy 500.


Malcolm Campbell drives his Napier-Campbell to a One-Mile Speed record of 272.109 mph on the beach at Daytona, Florida


Lee Petty edged Johnny Beauchamp in a photo finish of two feet to win the first Daytona 500.


Larry Foyt... Born ... Raced in NASCAR and IRL . He is the grandson and adopted son of A. J. Foyt, and the older brother of A. J. Foyt IV. He also drove in the 2004, 2005, and the 2006 Indianapolis 500 for A. J. Foyt Enterprises.




Paul Goldsmith wins the final NASCAR race held on the beach at Daytona, Florida


Richard Petty won his first NASCAR Daytona 500.



George Robson... Born ... AAA driver 1938 to 1946. Had 3 Indy 500 starts with a win in 1946. Robson died with George Barringer in an accident at the Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, Georgia.


Rosemarie (Tiny) Avenengo was born.  She’s my older sister.  I think out of all the Avenengos that lived in Montvale, NJ back in the 40’s, she might very well now be the oldest.  Right after high school she married Norman G. Back.  He has since passed on. Tiny still lives in the house that her and Norman built in Montvale.


Sir Malcolm Campbell in his Bluebird set a new land speed record of 253.968 mph at Daytona Beach, FL


Connie Kalitta... Born ... In a career that spans all eras of drag racing, Connie Kalitta has done almost everything and done absolutely all of it his way.


Alain Prost... Born ... F1 World Champion


Joshua A. Goodchild was born.  He’s one of our grandsons.  For a while, Josh lived in Hockley, Texas.  While there, he and AJ Foyt, IV, really didn’t get along all that well, and there was once a meeting of nose and fist between the two.  Won’t tell ya who’s nose or fist, but I think you’ll have an idea. J




The History of the Sport:


Again, I’m going to take you back to an indoor TQ race that was held in the Teaneck, NJ Armory – on February 20, 1960.


Dick Peterman was the night’s feature winner, after having missed a few of the previous weeks racing events.  A massive 8-car accident on the 21st lap of the feature sure did change things.  It kinda hurts when, racing on a flat, painted concrete floor, and you’re in 5th place, in front of a bunch of cars, that you break a water hose – especially on a tight 1/10 mile track, as you enter the third turn.  That’s what happened to George Sweeten.

Tony Bonadies ran in almost every race that night, and still didn’t make the cut to the main event, mainly due to engine problems.  When Sweeten blew his water hose, not only did it take him out of the feature, but also Johnny Zeke, who won the previous week, and Bobby Marshman, too.

Don Stumpf was second in the feaure, with Ssonny Sanders, Sy Kaback, Len Duncan, Fred Clifton, Jim Lacy and Ernie McCoy following.

Heat winners were Sweeten, Duncan and Bonadies – who’s car couldn’t make it out for the feature.

The semi-final winners were Sweeten and Duncan, while Johnny Zeke won the consi.


As I said, my future wife and I hit every one of those Teaneck TQ racing events that were held in the winter of 1959 and 1960.  In the Armory, there was seating on both sides of the track – front stretch and backstretch.  Off of turns one and two there was a pretty good-sized balcony, which usually got to be difficult to see as the nights racing program went on – due to smoke.  We always sat on the backstretch, opposite the start/finish line and in the front row, where we could relax and put our feet up on the wall that was right in front of us.  With that tiny 1/10 mile track, it was quite easy to take in all the action and not miss any.



More racin’ stuff:

Congresswoman wants to ban military from sponsoring NASCAR teams

In part:

How significant is this in terms of money saved? In 2009, the U.S. Army paid $11.6 million to sponsor Ryan Newman’s car. The National Guard sponsors Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s car, and the Air Force is a sponsor on AJ Allmendinger’s car.”


Note:  Well, if you haven’t heard, that bill got knocked down.  In a way, I kind of agree with her on this – taxpayers monies being used to sponsor  race cars/teams.  Prior to the results of the vote on this bill, I got to thinking about Dale Eanrhardt, Jr. and his sponsors – National Guard and AMP.  AMP, along with other types of drinks that are in the same area, are being “attacked” and face the possibility of maybe being taken off sale and off of the shelves, in case you haven’t heard.



Some Racin’ stuff from the AARN:





Note:  The annual issue that has all the schedules in it is due out any week now.


From the February 8th issue:


Some neat coverage and photos from the Indoor TQ race that was held in Rhode Island.  And some coverage of the racing that’s started down in Florida, too – along with photos.


Rich Ricci, Jr. will be calling Afton his new home track for 2011.  Also, it looks like he’ll make some visits to the Accord Speedway, too.


The Citrus County Speedway, down in Florida had a Sprint Cr race on their paved track.  The winner got $1,000.00.  Only 11 cars showed up.


Wall Stadium in New Jersey is scheduled to continue it’s Sunday racing events for Karts and Small Cars, in 2011.


March 4th through March 6th are the dates for the 8th annual Southern Tire Speedworld car show to be held at the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City, NY.


In 2006, at Daytona, there were 58 cars that attempted to qualify for the 500.  No, that’s not a “typo  Fifty Eight cars is correct.




From the February 15th issue:


This issue had a lot in it about Racecar trailers and safety.


It was said that Brett Hearn wasn’t sure about his “Big Show” event returning to OCFS in 2011.  He’s saying that he might not have enough time to work on the project.


The Las Vegas Speedway came out with a free ticket offer to those that had worthless Super Bowl tickets – for the March 4th to 6th racing weekend.  According to what was said, only two people took them up on the offer.


It was said the Chris Economaki has been having some health issues and has taken a break from doing his weekly columns in his paper the National Speed Sport News.  Chris is all of 90 years old, now.

Note:  Speaking of Chris, did you happen to see the photo of  him in a midget in my last photo article on http://newenglandtractor.com/racereport/


NASCAR has lowered the age limit in its regional touring series to 15.


There was a full page article about Cody Darrah and how he’s come back from those serious injuries he had when involved in an on the road car accident a year ago.  There was a photo of the “hardware” that was attached to his leg, while he was recovering.  I imagine you know that when he made his return to racing, late last year, he won his first time out?


Hendry County Speedway, down in Florida, had a wingless Sprint Car race.  Only 10 cars showed up.


The question was asked:  “Would a HANS Device have salved Dale Earnhardt?”  Not knowing for sure, but it’s said that they think it might have helped by keeping his head back. 

Note:  Then again, had he had his seat belts installed properly that might have helped, too, as far as I’m concerned.  I side with Bill Simpson on that.


One of those that had competed at OVRP’s Dirt Oval, and has been included when I make mention of how the former runners from that track have done in bigger racing vehicles, Alex Bell, is switching from dirt to pavement and will be racing at Albany/Saratoga and Devil’s Bowl, this season.


I have to imagine that some of you that read this column have, at one time or another, raced and won a trophy or two.  One of the writers for the AARN, Karen Mansfield, asked in her column “How many trophies does “King Steve” have?”  There is also some mention of how many other drivers have and where they are kept.  Some drivers do have special trophies that are kept “in house” so to say.


Here are some names for ya:  Martin Truex, Jr., Frankie Schneider, Jim Delaney, Wally Campbell, Pepper Cunningham, Tommy Coates, Al Tasnady, Carl Van Horn, Bob Pickell, Jimmy Horton, Tommie Elliott, Budd Olsen, Gene Coyle, Roscoe “Pappy” Hough, Bobby Vaughn, Nelson Applegate, Bobby Courtwright, Charlie Cregar, Pete Frazee, Jack Reynolds, Jack Choquette, Paul “Wimpy” Erwin, Dominic Persicketti, Jimmy Metzler, Don Stumpf, Chcik and Rocky DiNatale, Joe Bossard, Billy DeCoster, Ed Paskovich, Ed DeWolff, Phil Demola, Ben Cannizzaro and Bill Claren.

Any idea as to what they all have in common, other than being race drivers?  Well, all are/were from New Jersey and all have competed in the top class in NASCAR – known as the Cup Series, today.


Many years ago, while we were attending the first Enduro race at OCFS – a 200+ car and 200 laps, “Race chaser” Guy Smith happened to sit in front of us.  I always get a kick out of reading what Guy has to say in his columns.  He doesn’t pull any punches, that’s for sure.  When he feels something ain’t right, or he has a complaint about something, he’ll come right out and make mention of it.  So far, Guy has been to over 1,300 tracks.  One of those tracks is Mototown USA – the place that had it’s roof collapse a little over a week ago, due to all the snow that they had over in Connecticut.  It seems that Guy and I have kind of the same thoughts about Mototown USA – what has hurt the place – the cold temperatures that are inside the building.


Thirty five years ago, in 1976, the modifieds ran on the road course at Daytona.  Bobby Allison won that 200-mile race and was followed by Merv Treichler, Gene Felton, John Bryant, Buzzie Reutimann, Philip Smith, Fred Harbach, Geoff Bodine and George Wagner.

Note:  I recall some of those races being on TV.  Remember the Plymouth Valiant cars?  They were quite popular back in that era.




Additional Racin’ stuff:


Found on Jayski’s website:

Fuel Injection to NASCAR in 2012: NASCAR is expected to announce Friday that the Sprint Cup Series will shift to fuel injection in time for the 2012 season-opening Daytona 500. It is expected that Britain's McLaren Electronic Systems will provide the controller through a partnership with Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. out of Austin, Texas. Testing and development of the components will continue throughout the year.(FoxSports)(2-11-2011)

Also, from Jayski:

$5 million bonus for win in Indy Car finale by outsider: The Izod IndyCar Series confirmed its 2011 season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with an enticing twist: A $5 million reward to any driver from another series who can win the race. IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard says a selection committee would be created to select a group of five entrants from outside IndyCar, likely determined by mid-summer. A test session also will be held at Las Vegas, and Bernard singled out the series' top teams -- Penske Racing, Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Andretti Autosport -- as prime candidates for offering rides to the interlopers. Bernard wouldn't speculate on who might be interested in the proposition, but the race date was designed with NASCAR in mind. IndyCar will make its return to Las Vegas' for the Oct. 16 race, which will be held at 3:30 p.m. ET. The Sprint Cup Series will race the night before at Charlotte, with the Bank of America 500 ending sometime between 11-11:30 p.m. in Concord, N.C. The Charlotte race is the fifth of 10 Chase for the Sprint Cup, which might dissuade many big names in Cup from participating because of focus on the title hunt. The obvious candidates would be former IndyCar drivers Robby Gordon, Tony Stewart, Sam Hornish Jr. and Juan Pablo Montoya. But Montoya has indicated no interest in racing Indy cars again, and Stewart has said he doesn't want to do a one-off. Gordon and Hornish, however, might be interested in returning, and other veterans (such as Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne) have admitted intrigue in the prospect.(USA Today)(2-23-2010)

And, what about the change in time for the Indianapolis 500, now going to noon?  Might that make it a little more feasible to do the double?

Indianapolis 500 Moves To Noon




Tony Stewart’s race day schedule in 2001, when he did the double:

Tony Stewart's Double Duty II (May 27, 2001)

9:25 AM EST (10:25 AM EDT) TO 9:40 AM EST (10:40 EDT): Stewart's hospitality appearance at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

9:50 AM EST (10:50 AM EDT): In the Chip Ganassi Racing garage stall, Stewart changes into his fire suit. Ganassi lined up Richie

Hearn to take Stewart's place in the Indy race should he be forced to drop out.

10:15 AM EST (11:15 EDT): The drivers are introduced.

11:00 A.M EST (12:00 PM EDT): The start of the 85th Indianapolis 500. Stewart begins in seventh, but after a lap 47 pit stop and a

green flag stop on lap 80, Stewart charges near the front, By lap 139--after a few more flags and some flawless work in the pits by

his crew--Stewart jumps into the lead and holds it for 12 laps until a rain delay, which threatens his precisely timed departure for

North Carolina. Stewart feels cramping in his right leg on lap 150 and uses another red flag delay to receive medical attention.

2:30 PM EST (3:30 PM EDT): Stewart finishes the Indy 500 in sixth place.

2:35 PM EST (3:35 PM EDT): Stewart rides a golf cart to the infield care center.

2:45 PM EST (3:45 PM EDT): Stewart boards a helicopter to Signature/Combs Flight Center.

3:08 PM EST (4:08 PM EDT): Stewart leaves for Concord Regional Airport on a Citation 10 plane. On the flight--more than one hour

later than anticipated--Stewart is administered an IV of just under two liters of fluid in order to combat dehydration and


5:03 PM EDT: Stewart lands at Concord Regional Airport.

5:10 PM EDT: After relaxing briefly, Stewart changes into his Home Depot firesuit and walks to the helicopter that will take him to

the Lowe's Motor Speedway infield.

5:15 PM EDT: The drivers are introduced. Stewart, who qualified in 12th place, is forced to start 43rd because he missed the

mandatory driver's meeting.

5:20 PM EDT: After circling over the 1.5-mile facility, Stewart lands on the infield grass at the start/finish line.

5:37 PM EDT: "Gentlemen, start your engines!"

5:45 PM EDT: The Coca-Cola 600 begins. On the opening lap, Stewart spins coming off turn 3, but does not hit the wall and--thanks to

being penalized and forced to start in the back--no one is behind him and the fear of getting tagged by
another competitor is

negated. When the sun goes down, Stewart's performance level shoots up, and by lap 180 he is in the top 15. By lap 265, Stewart is

in the top 10. On lap 370--after being the fastest car on the track over the previous 100 laps--Stewart passes Dale Jarrett for

fifth place. He also would pass Jimmy Spencer and Mark Martin.

10 PM EDT: Stewart finishes the Coca-Cola 600 in third place, behind winner Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick.


Future Racin’ stuff?

How about a two cylinder, four piston engine?  Check it out, here:






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/

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.

First Turn Pro:  http://www.firstturnpro.com/

Vintage Sprint Car: 


Vintage Midget:  http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=337192




Racing and television:

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

Note:  You might want to check out this website every week now, since the racing season has begun.




2011 Track and other Schedules:


Penn Can:  http://www.penncan.com/

New Egypt:  http://www.newegyptspeedway.net/

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

Lebanon Valley:  http://www.lebanonvalley.com/Home.html



From Column # 42:

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

Big Diamond:  http://www.bigdiamondspeedway.net/

Selinsgrove:  http://www.selinsgrovespeedway.com/

Wyalusing:  http://www.wvmpracing.com/

Stafford:  http://www.staffordspeedway.com/

New Hampshire:  http://www.nhms.com/

Lincoln:  http://www.lincolnspeedway.com/

Hagerstown:  http://www.hagerstownspeedway.com/

CRSA Sprint Cars:  http://www.crsasprintcars.com/


From Column # 43:

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/


From Column # 44:

Indy car:  http://www.indyracing.com/

Kutztown:  http://www.kutztownfairspeedway.com/

RoC – Dirt: http://www.rocdirt.com/




Video time:

I haven’t had a “crash” video for quite a while, so check these out:





Going back a few columns:

If you recall, a few columns back, Column # 43, I had this:

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.”


Well, I believe this is one of the items that got lost:


Note:  Pretty scary – those that are running the country!




Non-racing news:

Ariz. governor counter sues federal government

In part:

“Gov. Jan Brewer sued the federal government Thursday for failing to control Arizona's border with Mexico and enforce immigration laws, and for sticking the state with huge costs associated with jailing illegal immigrants who commit crimes.

The lawsuit claims the federal government has failed to protect Arizona from an "invasion" of illegal immigrants. It seeks increased reimbursements and extra safeguards, such as additional border fences.”


America’s labor force hasn’t grown since ’08

In part:

“Call it the Mystery of the Missing Workers.

Since 2008, the American labor force--that is, the number of people either working or actively working for work--hasn't grown at all, The Economist reports, looking at Labor Department numbers.”



Future of NY schools, teachers on line in budget

In part:

“Cuomo proposes a historic cut of 7.3 percent in school aid.

Public school advocates say that will force thousands of teacher layoffs, larger classes and hurt students the most”



Help wanted — jobless need not apply

In part:

“In 2008, Michelle, a 53-year-old Illinois resident with 19 years experience in information technology, became another casualty of the Great Recession. More than a year later, after a long and fruitless job search, she finally heard from a headhunter who thought she sounded like a great fit for a post he was looking to fill.

But when Michelle told him how long she had been out of work, the headhunter turned apologetic: His client, he said, wouldn't accept people who had been unemployed for more than six months. Michelle would go on to stay jobless for so long that she ultimately exhausted all her unemployment benefits, and, for the first time in her life, was forced to apply for food stamps and welfare.”



Why the Wisconsin labor bill is a big deal

In part:

“Walker's legislation would end collective bargaining rights--the process by which employees band together to negotiate with employers--for almost all of Wisconsin's state, county and local workers (police, firefighters and the state patrol would be excepted). This would mean, among other things, that unions wouldn't be able to seek pay increases above inflation, unless voters approve those hikes in a special referendum. Unions also would not be able to require members to pay dues, and would have to hold yearly votes to stay organized.

The bill also would make public workers pay half the cost of their pensions, and at least 12.6 percent of their health care coverage. On average, state employees' share of their pension and health care costs would go up by 8 percent.

In exchange for all this, Walker has promised not to lay off or furlough public employees. But he has said that if the bill doesn't pass, he'll order layoffs of up to 6,000 state workers.”



Note:  I think this Wisconsin deal is just the tip of the iceberg, folks.  Gonna get real nasty in the very near future.  Watch and see.



Is this true?:

You're gonna love this one!!


From an e-mail I received:


Who says everyone in Florida is senile!!


Florida Court Sets Atheist Holy Day!   Gotta love this Judge!
You must read this.....a proper decision by the courts...for a change.


In Florida, an atheist created a case against the upcoming Easter and Passover Holy days.  He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians and Jews and observances of their holy days. The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days.  The case was brought before a judge.. After listening to the passionate  presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring, "Case dismissed!" The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, "Your honor, How can you possibly dismiss this case?  The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others.  The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays.." The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, "But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant." The lawyer said, "Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists.." The judge said, "The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day. Psalm 14:1 states,  'The fool says in his heart, there is no God.'  Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that, if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned." You gotta love a Judge that knows his scripture!  This is too good not to forward.   In GOD we trust!




Closing with this:

A man suffered a serious heart attack and had open heart bypass surgery.

He awakened from the surgery to find himself in the care of nuns at a Catholic Hospital .

As he was recovering, a nun asked him how he was going to pay for his treatment.

She asked, 'Do you have health insurance?'
He replied in a raspy voice, 'No health insurance.'

The nun asked, 'Do you have money in the bank?'
He replied, 'No money in the bank.'

The nun asked, 'Do you have a relative who could help you?'
He said, 'I only have a spinster sister, who is a nun.'

The nun became agitated and announced loudly, 'Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God.'

The patient replied, 'Perfect. Send the bill to my brother-in-law.'

Remember – My columns will be back on a regular weekly basis, again, starting next week.

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

Drive safe! 


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