Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 48






I figure we all know the force that water has.  But did we ever wonder the force that a Tsunami has?  Some horrifying videos from the Japanese earthquake and the tsunami that followed, might convince us of the power that water and/or a tsunami has.  It’s remarkable how well the buildings held up during the quake.  Untold thousands have lost their lives, and those that survived both the quake and tsunami, have more than likely lost their homes and all of their possessions.  Truly, Japan will have a long recovery period.


I hope the following link works.  If it does, the top photo will be before the Tsunami, and the following photo will be after it hit.  There are two parts.



And, if this link works, you might be able to just move your mouse from right to left, over the photo, and the damages appear.



Well, how about that!  Both the same.  Try ‘em both, I guess!





Did you get enough rain?  Imagine if it was all snow?  At least we would not have as much flooding as we’ve had.  I’m about two blocks from the Delaware River, here in Port Jervis, NY.  My next door neighbor, in her 90’s, and has lived in her house for all those years, has never had water in her basement.  Oh, we’ve been told to evacuate a few times in years gone bye, but we could have stayed right where we are since the river never overflowed in an area where it would get to our place or on our street.





The Charlie Musselman Langhorne crash photos.  Hey, I was there that day.  Charlie was as high in the air as I was in the stands!  For sure, if he had remained in the car, it would have been fatal.

Here’s a link to the photos.  Just one little thing needs correcting – it wasn’t an AAA sanctioned race, but a USAC sanctioned one.  AAA pulled out of racing at the end of 1955.






From last weeks column:

Additional Racin’ stuff:


March 4th:


INDYCAR: Firestone Confirms Open-Wheel Exodus


In part:


“It’s hard to imagine the IZOD INDYCAR Series without Firestone but the manufacturer synonymous with amazing dependability and success will be gone following this season.


INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard and Terry Angstadt, president of commercial division Terry Angstadt, have traveled to Nashville several times in the past two months to try and reach some kind of common ground so Firestone would be around for the debut of the new cars in 2012.

Bernard has been talking with Goodyear, Hoosier, Michelin and Avon about replacing Firestone in 2012.”



Well, some good news – found on the Track Forum:


Firestone is staying through 2013!

MEGA news!

NASHVILLE, Tenn. and INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 11, 2011) - Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC (BATO) and INDYCAR have announced that Firestone will continue to serve as the sole tire supplier to the IZOD IndyCar Series through the 2013 race season.
Late last week the companies announced that they would allow the Firestone sponsorship and supply contract to expire at the end of the 2011 season.
"At the end of last week, we had reached the deadline where both organizations had to make a decision regarding the future to prepare our individual operations for the long term," said Randy Bernard, CEO, INDYCAR. "This is one of those decisions that it is imperative that you have the team owners 100 percent behind you. Early this week we called a meeting to walk the team owners through the process and hear their input. I'm happy to say we walk as one with Firestone.
"We feel that this new supply agreement will benefit everyone. It provides a proven safe and reliable Firestone product for the transition to the all-new cars for 2012. We have to thank everyone at Firestone for working with us to help ensure the best for the long-term growth of our sport," Bernard concluded.
"INDYCAR called a meeting to inform the team owners of Firestone's departure," said Dennis Reinbold, Team Owner, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. "When we learned of this, we encouraged INDYCAR to check with Firestone to see if there might be any chance to continue. We feel that it is important to maintain continuity with their excellent tires as we transition to the new car for 2012. The team owners are collectively very relieved that Firestone had an open mind and that they were able to reach this agreement with INDYCAR. Firestone racing tires are not only important from a safety and reliability standpoint, but they contribute greatly to the wheel-to-wheel competition for which our sport is famous."
"We are pleased that we were able to reach this agreement with INDYCAR," said Al Speyer, Executive Director, Firestone Racing. "As we prepare to celebrate our involvement in the 100th anniversary of the first Indianapolis 500 Mile Race, we are also
focused on the future and the great opportunities that lie ahead. While we've reached the pinnacle of success in the IndyCar racing, we're happy to extend our relationship with the IZOD IndyCar Series through 2013, and to continue our winning partnership. Meanwhile, we will continue to evaluate all options for promoting the Firestone brand inside and outside of motorsports, as the Firestone Brand is a very important part of our business."

Firestone has supplied tires to the IZOD IndyCar Series since 1996. The new agreement does not include Firestone Indy Lights, the developmental series for drivers and teams striving to reach the top level of open-wheel racing in North America. Firestone will remain as title sponsor and tire supplier of the development series through 2011.”




Chris Carr.  Ever hear of him?  He’s a motorcycle racer.  This year is his final year of racing, so he says.

From his bio:

“Championships, Chris has won the 1992, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 Grand National Championship, a series competed on “750cc” motorcycles. In addition Chris also competed in the “600 Series”, winning seven Championships, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995 and won the 2000 Formula USA Dirt Track Championship.”

“Land Speed Record, On September 5, 2006 Chris Carr broke the land speed record on a motorcycle at the Bonneville Salt Flats with a two-pass run averaging 350.8 mph. His fastest run was 354 mph and his successful run was established aboard the BUB’S racing “Number Seven Streamliner”. Chris remains the fastest man in the world on two wheels…and this record is recorded in the 2008 edition of the Guinness book of world records”





With the devestation in Japan, from the earthquake, the after shocks, the tsunami and problems with the nuclear powered electrict plants, it sure looks like the whole worlds economy will be affected.  Things like computer chips to new automobiles have been affected, and surely prices will go up.




In case you haven’t heard, there’s talk going around about a $5,000.000.00 to win Indycar race at Las Vegas at the end of the season – on October 16th.  That’s if a driver that’s not an Indycar regular can do it.

There’s quite a discussion going on, on the Track Forum – so far six pages worth, about this event – both pro and con – like this:

I have a feeling a bunch of driver's that want to go for the $5 million will find they don't 'Meet Requirements' and that limits the chance of Indycar having to award the $5 million even less likely. It's all a ploy to be able to market and promote the race to Nascar fans with the possibility of a Nascar driver winning $5 million.”



Quite a few names being thrown about.  One slight problem for any NASCAR drivers – there’s a Cup race the previous day (night) at Charlotte.


It would be interesting if it were to happen – especially if one or more of the top NASCAR drivers were to attempt it, which I highly doubt.





From last week:


Jamie McMurray and Scott Dixon to swap rides at Talladega and Barber Motorsports Park.

In part:

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jamie McMurray and IZOD IndyCar Series driver Scott Dixon will get a chance to swap rides for an exhibition performance at Barber Motorsports Park and Talladega Superspeedway.

McMurray, the 2010 Daytona 500 winner, will take Dixon's No. 9 Target Indy car for a spin on the 2.36-mile road course at Barber.

Dixon, the 2008 Indy 500 winner, will then drive McMurray's No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevy on the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway.”


Well, Jamie did make that run, as did Scott.  Jamie was pretty much surprised about the handling, acceleration and braking on the Indy car, and didn’t think Scott would have as much fun in the Cup car as he did in the Indy car.  Jamie was 7 seconds slower than Scott was, on the road course. – a lap at 79.8 seconds to Scott turning a quick 72.28.

For a short article, please go here:






For Sale:


This, below, was in last week’s column.


Might you be looking for a Tobias SpeedSTR?  If so, check this out:


Less Than 10 Races since new.
race ready, comes with everything you need to start racing Includes: 
dirt wheels and tires, pavement wheels and tires

good assortment of shocks and springs
axle nut wrench
spare front axle
set-up info.

ASKING $10,500 

Jeff Johnson
203-393-0642 days
203-393-0790 evenings

Note:  I really should have had these figures for a new Tobias SpeedSTR, along with the ad:

Price:  $17,466.30 Kit

Price:  $18,186.63 Assembled              



Going back, in time – in racing history:

Note:  Most of the following information was found here: 



Covering the days of March 18th to March 24th.




Andy Granatelli... Born ... The entrepreneur of STP oil and gasoline treatment products and along with his brothers Vince and Joe fielded Indy cars from the 1960's until 1991. He clad his pit crews in white coveralls with the oval STP logo scattered all over them, and once wore a suit jacket with the same STP-laden design. His cars became a significant presence at the Indianapolis 500. While he first gained notoriety by re-introducing the legendary Novi, his most famous entries were his turbine-powered cars in 1967 and 1968. In both years, he endured the excruciating frustration of seeing probable race-winners fail near the end; Joe Leonard's breakdown with 10 laps remaining in 1968 had been topped the previous year when Parnelli Jones, leading comfortably with just three laps to go, suffered the failure of an inexpensive transmission bearing and retired, handing a sure victory to A.J. Foyt. He was finally rewarded with an Indianapolis 500 winner in 1969. After his innovative Lotus 4-wheel-drive car was destroyed in practice after establishing itself as one of the most dominants cars to date, his driver Mario Andretti, nursing the burns from the Lotus crash, won at the wheel of a year-old backup car. Before Andretti could be traditionally kissed in 'Victory Lane' by the Queen of the "500 Festival," Granatelli got there first, and his joyful kiss on Andretti's cheek is one of the 500's most memorable images. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2001.


Mark Donohue... Born ... Known for his ability to set up his own race car and drive it consistently on the absolute limit. Donohue is probably best-known as the driver of the 1500+ bhp “Can-Am Killer” Porsche 917-30, and as winner of the 1972 Indianapolis 500. Ran USAC INDY cars from 1968 to 1973.


Jochen Rindt ... Born ... F1 World Champion




Vern Schuppan... Born ... USAC / CART driver from the 1970's and 80's


Gordon Johncock set an Indianapolis Motor Speedway track record of 200.4 MPH. This was the first 200 mph lap at Indy.




Bert Brooks... Born ... Eastern midget and sprint car driver from the 1940's, 50's and 60's. He was the United Racing Club (URC) Sprint car champion in 1954, 1956, 1957 and 1958.


Chuck Engle... Born ... Midwest sprint car driver from the 1960's.


Bill Engelhart... Born ... Former driver in USAC and the CART Championship Car series.


Geoff Brabham... Born ... An Australian racing driver. He is the son of three-time Formula One World Champion Jack Brabham. Brabham spent the majority of his racing career in the United States. He raced successfully in CART early in his career. In ten appearances in the Indianapolis 500, with a best result of fourth in 1983. His greatest source of success was in various forms of sports cars, winning four IMSA GTP titles (1988 - 1991) and one Can-Am championship (1981). He also won the 1993 Le Mans 24 hours, took two race victories in the International Race of Champions (1992 and 1993), both at Michigan and started in the Brickyard 400 Nascar race.


Larry Crockett... Died ... AAA driver who ran the Championship series in 1954. He was killed in a sprint car accident at Langhorne Speedway.


Kenny Bernstein became the first drag racer to break 300 MPH in the quarter mile when he drove his Top Fuel Dragster 301.70 MPH in qualifications for the NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.


Al Hofmann ... Died ... Veteran NHRA Funny Car driver. Hofmann won 15 NHRA national events in just 32 final round appearances. Hofmann was a regular in the NHRA Drag Racing Series from 1991 through 1996 and raced on a more limited schedule through 2002.




Fonty Flock ... Born ... NASCAR great and one of the central figures in the formative days of NASCAR. He was the brother of NASCAR pioneers Tim Flock and Bob Flock, and the second female NASCAR driver Ethel Mobley. The four raced at the July 10, 1949 race at the Daytona Beach Road Course, which was the first event to feature a brother and a sister, and the only NASCAR event to feature four siblings. Ethel beat Fonty and Bob by finishing in eleventh.


Billy Shuman... Born ... West coast Super-Modified and Sprint car driver from the 1960's and 70's. Older brother of Ron Shuman.


Ayrton Senna... Born ... Three time F1 World Champion.


Kenny Brack... Born ... A race car driver from Sweden. Until his retirement from racing, he competed in the CART, Indy Racing League and the IROC series. He is the winner of the 1999 Indianapolis 500 and the 1998 driving champion of the Indy Racing League.


John Force set a NHRA Funny Car speed record of 324.05 mph at Gainesville, Florida. At the same event, Tony Pedregon set an NHRA Funny Car quarter mile e.t. record of 4.779 seconds.




Peter Revson... Died ... Formula One and the Indy car driver. The nephew of Revlon Cosmetics industry magnate Charles Revson, he was an heir to his father Martin's fortune (reportedly worth over $1 billion). During a practice run for the 1974 South African Grand Prix in Johannesburg, he was killed as a result of suspension failure on his Shadow Ford DN3.




Craig Breedlove... Born ... A five-time world land speed record holder. He was the first to reach 400 mph (640 km/h), 500 mph (800 km/h), and 600 mph (970 km/h), using several turbojet-powered vehicles that were all named "Spirit of America".


Robert Peterson ... Died ... An entrepreneur who single-handedly created the largest special-interest publishing company in America and was instrumental in the evolution of the hot-rodding culture. In January 1948 he launched Hot Rod Magazine, and hawked the magazine at local speedways for 25 cents a copy. Motor Trend, a more upscale publication for production car enthusiasts, and dozens of other titles aimed at specialty automotive segments soon followed.


Lloyd Ruby ... Died ... Ruby won seven times on the USAC Championship Car Series in his career and also had endurance racing victories in the 24 Hours of Daytona, the 12 Hours of Sebring and the United States Grand Prix. But he is best known for the race he didn't win. Ruby raced in 18 straight Indianapolis 500s from 1960-77, led in five of them and was out front for 126 laps. But he never won open wheel racing's most prestigious prize. Ruby's best finish at Indianapolis was third in 1964. His only top five finish at the 500 came in 1968. Five other times he placed in the top 10. In 1991, he was inducted into the Indianapolis 500 Hall of Fame.



Will Cagle... Born ... Florida racer who made his name in Northeast Modified racing in the 1960's , 70's and 80's. He is one of the all time great modified drivers.


Larry Rice... Born ... A former driver in the USAC and CART Championship Car series.


Roger Mears... Born ... A former off-road driver who also drove in the USAC and CART Championship Car series.


Jimmy Makar... Born ... NASCAR crew chief


Scott Pruett... Born ... An American race car driver who has competed in NASCAR, Champ Car, IMSA, Trans-Am and Grand-Am.



News from the AARN:


From the March 8th issue:


Alex Friesen was crowned the Five Mile Point 2010 champion.  For that he got at least $6,000.00


Plans are being made for the 61st season of racing at Oswego.  However, there is an offer to buy the property.  Time will tell, I suppose.


Bethel Speedway has signed up with Hoosier Tire for 2011.


It’s being said that there is a potential buyer for the Whip City Speedway.  Some of those that ran at Whip City are planning on running at Big Daddy’s  Speed Bowl, about 150 miles North of Whip City, up in Rumney, NH.


Another son of Steve Kinser – Kurt, is on the Indiana University wrestling team and he was third at the Big Ten Wrestling Championship.  That puts him into the NCAA Division 1 Wrestling Championship to be held in Philadelphia, PA.  I’ve read that the “King” might have a substitute driver for a race or two, so he can attend the wrestling event.


Utica-Rome Speedway will be starting their races at 6:00 PM in 2011.  The main reason was problems with the setting sun being in the drivers eyes, when they started at 5:30.  It’s said that they’ve also added over 400 truck loads of clay to the track, too.


New info about Volusia Speedway Park, down in Barberville, FL – with the track running in 2011, possibly under new management.  WRG is in negotiations with a party to lease the dirt track for the months of March through December.  Latest I had heard was that Ken Sands was “running” the track. 


The latest:

While Volusia Speedway Park is still owned by World Racing Group and remains a UMP DIRTcar sanctioned facility, the track is now leased and under the leadership of New York native Ken Sands, who has returned to the Florida racing community after time spent as the general manager of New York's Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown.  Florida race fans may remember Sands from his stint in charge of Tampa's East Bay Raceway Park under Stan Kolan.  Sands is a sprint car owner in addition to being in charge of operations at Volusia Speedway, and he has a long career in and around racing, having done virtually every job that there is to do in and around a race track at one time or another.”


The Wyoming County International Speedway, in Perris, NY is adding the TQ Midgets to their weekly Friday night racing action.


Former Indy car driver, and now team owner Sam Schmidt, has announced that he has acquired the assets of the FAZZT Race Team, and will retain Alex Tagliani as his driver.  Tagliani was the driver for FAZZT.





Additional Racin’ stuff:


Are you interested in NASCAR racetracks and their amount of seating and also how they’ve drawn fans over these last few years?  If so, go here:



Note:  I’ve been in traffic, trying to get out of a Cup race, and I wonder, do they have the same traffic problems at other sporting events, like college or professional football or baseball?




The OC car show:


I had planned on going to the show on Sunday, but some family plans upset that a little, and I went on Saturday night, instead.  The show wasn’t all that bad, considering the short amount of time that they had to get it up and running.  It was nice seeing some of the fans and drivers again.  Racing photographer Ralph Corwin came out on top in at least two of the trivia contests.  I had a chance to speak to an official from OCFS, and I asked him if the track would be coming out with a rules package for the 4 Cylinder class.  I was informed that they will, shortly.  I noticed that there are four race meets that included the 4 Cylinder cars, and I also noted that on those four nights, Lebanon Valley does not have them scheduled.  Maybe if the two tracks work together on this, they’ll have a decent amount of cars at OC.





As of Monday afternoon, I see only 44 entrants for the Cup race and only 42 for the Nationwide race.


Note:  As of Wednesday, the Natiowide field has been increased by two more entrants, for a total of 44.





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




Video time:


Langhorne, when it was dirt, was a killer of a track.  Oiled dirt, and an almost perfect circle, which was one mile in length.  What one could call the first turn area had a nickname - “Puke Hollow”.

Click on the link, below, which should take you to page 701, then go to the second post (# 14002) then click on the video.






Closing with these:


-Blue is the favourite colour of 80% of Americans

-When a person shakes their head from side to side, he is saying "yes" in Sri Lanka.

-There are more chickens than people in the world.

-The thumbnail grows the slowest, and the middle nail grows the fastest.

-There are more telephones than people in Washington, D.C.

-The average four year-old child asks over four hundred questions a day

 -The average person presses the snooze button on their alarm clock three times each morning.

-The three wealthiest families in the world have more assets than the combined wealth of the forty-eight poorest nations.

-The first owner of the Marlboro cigarette company died of lung cancer.

-Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

(No idea about those that might be bald!)

-The world's youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910

-Our eyes remain the same size from birth onward, but our noses and ears Never stop growing.

-You burn more calories sleeping than you do watching TV

-A person will die from total lack of sleep sooner than from starvation. Death will occur about 10 days without sleep, while starvation takes a Few weeks.

-Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.

-The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows.

-When the moon is directly overhead, you weigh slightly less.

-Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, never telephoned his wife or mother because they were both deaf.

-A psychology student in New York rented out her spare room to a carpenter in order to nag him constantly and study his reactions.

 -After weeks of needling, he snapped and beat her repeatedly with an axe leaving her mentally retarded.

-"I am" is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

-Colgate faced a big obstacle marketing toothpaste in Spanish speaking countries because Colgate translates into the command "go hang Yourself."

-Like fingerprints, everyone's tongue print is different.

-"Bookkeeper" is the only word in English language with three consecutive double letters.

That’s the end of these little “tid-bits”.


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! 


Until next week!


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