Racin' & Internet Stuff:
By Tom Avenengo
Not racing related, but this really could suck:
I found this on Yahoo! this past Sunday night:
“Millions of retired and
disabled people in the
The government is projecting a slight cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits next year, the first increase since 2009. But for most beneficiaries, rising Medicare premiums threaten to wipe out any increase in payments, leaving them without a raise for a third straight year.”
“David Certner of AARP estimates that as many as three-fourths of beneficiaries will have their entire Social Security increase swallowed by rising Medicare premiums next year.”
“Medicare premiums are absorbing a growing share of Social Security benefits, leaving retired and disabled people with less money for other expenses, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.”
“Consumer prices dropped, but Social Security benefits didn't drop, Biggs said. At the same time, health care costs went up, but Part B premiums stayed the same for most beneficiaries.”
Note: Huh? When did consumer prices drop? Not in my area over these last few years.
Some coming up items:
April 6th OPEN PRACTICE All Divisions - 5pm to 9pm (Rain Date - April 8th 5pm-9pm)
Note: Long range weather forecast, as of Tuesday, 3/29, for 4/6 for OCFS is 60% chance of showers, with a 50% chance of showers on 4/5
April 9th - OPENING NIGHT
April 1-Open Practice & Safety Inspection rain date 4/2
Note: Forecast for Accord - as of 3/29 is:
Tomorrow: Snow showers becoming mixed with rain later. High near 40F. Winds ENE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precip 70%.
Tomorrow night: Rain and snow in the evening turning to all snow late. Low 32F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precip 80%. 3 to 5 inches of snow expected.
Friday: Windy. Snow during the morning will mix with rain at times during the afternoon. High 39F. Winds NW at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of precip 80%. Snow accumulating 1 to 3 inches.
Saturday: Windy with a mix of rain and snow. Highs in the upper 30s and lows in the low 30s.
April 8 – Open practice with rain date of April 9th, if needed.
April 15th: Opening night.
Note: For you Brett Hearn fans, I see that he is scheduled to race at Accord on the 15th, and now on the 22nd, also. And, I’ve also read that Danny Johnson will not be running at the Accord Speedway this year – at least on a steady basis, I should add. That’s sad. Danny always puts on a good show at the “Big A”.
The 21st annual Vintage Open Wheel Race Car meet will be on May 17, 18 & 19 – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – the usual days. This meet is one of, if not the biggest Vintage Open Wheel Race car meet in the country.
From their website:
“From Tuesday, May 17, to Sunday, May 22, history will come alive as legendary racing machines from around the world gather to compete in the 21st Annual Vintage Racing Celebration.
Beginning Tuesday, May 17, through Thursday, May 19 some of the world’s best vintage midgets, sprint cars, champ cars, roadsters and NASCAR stock cars will race on the speedway’s 1.058-mile oval.
From Friday, May 20, through Sunday, May 22, New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s tricky 1.6-mile road course will challenge vintage road racers from around the world. Classic car enthusiasts can see vintage sports cars, formula cars and motorcycles compete for bragging rights on the 12- turn NHMS course.
Join us on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22 for the Classic and Custom Car Show along with an Automotive Flea Market. If you love cars, this event is for you!
Gates open each day at 9:00 a.m.”
Info for the Open Wheel portion of the show can be found here: http://www.vintagecelebration.com/accomodations.htm
Practice this Saturday for Karts and Slingshots – weather permitting. First point race is scheduled for April 8th.
As of 1:00 PM on Tuesday, it wasn’t all that promising, weather wise:
Friday: Snow. Highs in the low 40s and lows in the low 30s.
Saturday: Rain and snow showers. Highs in the low 40s and lows in the low 30s.
Do you watch NASCAR races on TV? If so, then surely you’ve seen the drivers get interviewed, and as soon as the camera goes on them, up goes the bottle of Coke or Pepsi or what ever – more than likely to satisfy a sponsor, right? Have you also noticed that in most cases, those bottles are FULL?
Oh and congrats to those that remove their sunglasses when interviewed, too.
Question: Why does NASCAR wave a black flag and a red flag to show the end of practice? Wouldn’t a checkered flag do the exact same thing?
Question: Why in major league racing, like NASCAR and Indycar, do they hide “
OOPS! Spoke too soon! Out in
Prior to the Indycar race this past Sunday; I posted this on the Track Forum:
“So, what are the odds of them making it through the first turn, at the start, with no problems? What are the odds of them making it through the first lap with no problems? Slim to none?”
Guess what happened? Uh huh – 1st turn, 1st lap.
A couple of 7’s.
It was said, during the Cup race from
looked at the starting lineup for the Indycar race at
Watching the start of the Cup race from
Not too many race fans were happy with the “demo derby” Indycar race last Sunday, as you would see if you go to this particular thread over on the Track Forum:
One of the forums/message boards that I frequent had this as a topic:
“I almost wouldn't mind gas prices...”
With theses comments:
“...if the quality was any good!! I live in Pa and everyone is bitchin but how their mileage has gone in the toilet. Anyone else feel this way?”
“its all this wonderful, green burning ethanol they're mixing in our fuel. sure it burns cleaner but does it really in the long run with how much more we have to burn?”
“yes I feel same way. My 88 Chevy Beretta I was getting
around 30-35 mpg. Now I'm down to 23-25 if I'm lucky. I did find this gas
“My 99 F250 started bucking a few weeks ago. Took it to my mechanic and he said to do an injector cleaner. He sees this every day since the intro of ethanol in the gas. He also told me to use a fuel stabilizer and it will help with the adverse effects of E10.”
“I went from being able to drive 400 miles on a tank..to about 330ish. But im assuming that it’s because of winter”
“Its the ethanol more than the winter, definintely. My car has a miss in it at 50 mph. Ethanol sucks. Just more tree huggin' hippie crap from the environmentalists. Costs more in the long run for all of us to run that junk. It's not saving anybody anything.”
Believe it or not, I found a link to what’s below on Facebook!
“OCALA, Fla. — World of Outlaw Late Model Series stalwart Tim Fuller told NSSN prior to Friday night’s Sunshine 50 that the three-race Southern Swing would mark the end of his tenure with car owner John Wight.
“John wants nothing to do with World Racing Group anymore,” explained the New Yorker succinctly. “My Gypsum Express deal is all done.”
Fuller is the apparent victim of a WRG vs. Wight feud revolving around Wight’s two speedways — Brewerton and Fulton which recently dropped their DIRTcar sanction for 2011.
The dispute began
over Wight’s desire to advertise Sunoco’s
This led to a
Super DIRT Week scheduling battle, with Brewerton losing its satellite
small-block event, Rolling Wheels moving its Friday night DIRT event, with the WoO LMs added to Brewerton’s
traditional Thursday night date and Friday afternoon’s
With Wight talking of running against both weeknight DIRT programs, the dispute is far from settled.
Also affected are Wight’s other race teams, with DIRT ace Billy Decker reportedly not running the DIRTcar tour this season and Wight’s son, Larry, committed to the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. The third Gypsum Express team, with driver Pat Ward, has not run the DIRT tour for a number of years, instead concentrating on the Race of Champions tour and independent events.
As for Fuller, he will continue to run modified events for the Knoth/Hastings No. 74 team and says, “I’m working on a lot of things, including with the late model series. I’ll know for sure this week.”
Found on Jayski’s website:
restrictor plate for Dega: Sirius NASCAR Radio's
Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams
have been notified that they will be using a 7/8 inch diameter restrictor plate
in next month's event at
Bryan Keith had a rather interesting article about the Cup race from
Knowing race fans want convenience when they attend NASCAR events, Americrown and Michigan International Speedway officials have announced credit card systems will be installed at most of the track's concessions stands in time for the 2011 season. Concession stands will accept credit cards at most locations including the Coca-Cola Champions Grill at the base of the center grandstand tower near the start-finish line, inside the MIS Champions Club and at the permanent infield stand just off the Pit Patio, to name a few. All major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover will be accepted. Stands that accept credit cards will be marked.(MIS)(3-28-2011)
Down at the New Egypt Speedway, this past Saturday night, they had a couple of RoC races – one for the Sportsman and one for the Modifieds.
Mike Mammana had a 3rd in his heat and a 22nd in the feature. Anthony Perrego had an 8th in his heat and is not listed for a consi. Brad Szulewski had a 9th in his heat, a first in his consi and was 8th in the feature – that after breaking a RR shock on the 7th lap.
Johnny Guarino broke a transmission in hot laps and was done for the day. Danny Creeden had a 7th in his heat and is not listed in any consi. Mike Mammana had a 6th in his heat and a 6th in his consi.
Note: Did you know that Tom Hager is the uncle of Mike Mammana?
Going back, in time – in racing history:
Note: Most of the following information was found here:
Covering the days of April 1st to April 7th.
David Gilliland ... Born ... NASCAR driver
... Died ... AAA driver from 1923 to 1927. Fengler
acted as Chief Steward of the
Died ... NASCAR Winston Cup racecar driver. He arrived
at the highest and most expensive level of stock car racing in the
Jack Brabham... Born ... An Australian racing driver who was Formula One champion in 1959, 1960 and 1966. He ran the Indy 500 four times with a best finish of 9th in 1961.
Died ... AAA driver from the 1930's. He died in a horrifying
accident witnessed by 6500 spectators during the third midget event of 1939 at
Fabrizio Barbazza... Born ... USAC / CART driver from the 1980's and 90's.
Alfred "Speedy" Thompson... Died ... A NASCAR pioneer and driver in the Grand National (now Cup ) series from 1950 to 1971, capturing 20 wins along the way. During a late model race on April 2, 1972 at Metrolina Fairgrounds in Charlotte, where he started the race despite reporting he was not feeling well, Thompson suffered a suspected heart attack during the race and crashed his car, breaking his neck as well. He died on the way to the hospital, one day before his 46th birthday.
Mark Light... Died ... Mark
Light drove Sprint Cars, Stock Cars and Midgets at tracks mostly around
Edgar Elder... Born ... AAA driver from the early 1950's.
Chuck Weyant... Born ... AAA / USAC driver from the 1940's to the early 1970's.
Alfred "Speedy" Thompson... Born ... A NASCAR pioneer and driver in the Grand National (now Cup ) series from 1950 to 1971, capturing 20 wins along the way.
Fermin Velez... Born ... He was a two-time winner of the 12 Hours
of Sebring. He was also a driver in the Indy Racing League, racing in the
1996-1997 seasons with 6 career starts, including 2 at the
Walter H. "Curly" Boyd... Died ... AAA / USAC driver from the 1950's and 60's.
won a match race at Ascot in
Bob Christie ... Born ... Christie raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1956-1963 seasons, with 15 career starts, including every Indianapolis 500 race in that span. He finished in the top ten 5 times, with his best finish in 3rd position in 1959 at Daytona.
Born ... USAC driver from 1957 to 1972 in the Midget, Sprint,
Stock Car and Championship Car series. In the Championship Cars he raced
in the 1960-1971 seasons with 120 starts, including the
John Force ... Born ... 14 time NHRA Funny Car Champion.
Chet Fillip... Born ... A former driver in the CART Championship Car series.
He raced in the 1982-1985 seasons, with 9 career starts, and started in the
Christian Danner... Born ... A Formula One racer from 1985 to 1989 who also raced on the road courses in the CART series from 1992 to 1997.
Died ... AAA / USAC driver 1954 to 1959. He was killed
in a crash in a USAC 100-mile Indy car race at Daytona International
Jim Rathmann won the 100 mile USAC Championship race at Daytona International Speedway, averaging 170.261 mph. As Rathmann took the checkered, George Amick died in a crash on the backstretch, possibly from the nose of the car lifting off the track. USAC immediately cancelled a 300 mile race scheduled for July 4th due to safety concerns. Amick was the fastest qualifier with a speed of 176.887, a speed not exceeded by an Indy Car for another nine years.
... Died ... Jimmy drove AAA sprint cars and in the AAA and USAC Championship
Car series, racing in the 1950, 1953-1957, 1959, and 1961-1962 seasons with 20
starts. He finished in the top ten 3 times. His best finish was in the 1953
Mario Andretti achieved his
last CART victory with a win at
John W. Rollins... Died ... One
of the founders of
Andy Linden... Born ... AAA driver from the1940's and 1950's. Ran in 7 Indy 500's with a best finish of 4th in 1951.
Mike Bliss... Born ... Started driving USAC in 1993 and NASCAR in 1995.
Hall of Fame Museum at the
Lee Petty... Died ... Was an
American stock car driver in the 1950s and 60s. He was one of the pioneers of
NASCAR, and one of its first superstars. He is the father of Richard Petty, who
would become NASCAR's all-time race winner. With sons Richard and Maurice, he
founded Petty Enterprises, which became NASCAR's most successful racing team.
He was the grandfather of Kyle Petty, and great grandfather of Adam Petty. In
1990, Lee Petty was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
He was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of
Born ... AAA driver from 1913 to 1923. He was a Grand
Prix racing champion and the first Frenchman to win the
Born ... AAA driver from 1922 to 1934. He won the 1925
Born ... Eastern AAA driver from 1932 to 1960. Also known as "The Flying
Dutchman", Hinnershitz ran in the Indy 500 three
times with a best finish of 9th in 1948. He captured seven Eastern sprint-car
championships and posted 103 feature victories during his 30-year racing
career. While he first gained success and popularity near his
Dick Linder... Born ... In the
late 1940's and early 1950's, the Linder name was one of the biggest in racing
in the entire country. Dick Linder's career was cut short in a USAC "big
car" event at
Herb Thomas... Born ... A NASCAR pioneer who won the Grand National Racing (now Winston Cup) championship in 1951 and 1953; ranks 12th on the career victory list with 48 wins in 230 starts; won Southern 500 three times in the 1950s; inducted in International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1994.
Don "The Snake" Prudhomme... Born ... Funny Car and Top Fuel racer.
Affonso Giaffone... Born ... IRL driver 1996-1998.
scored a milestone victory, earning his 50th career USAC Champ Car win in the
200 mile race at
Shane Hammond ... Died ... Shane was a NEMA midget driver that died as a result of crash at the Thompson International Speedway , Thompson, CT.
Roger West... Born ... USAC driver from the 1960's
Bert Dingley... Died ... AAA driver from the early 1900's.
Died ... A driver from the
Loy Allen Jr. ... Born ... NASCAR stockcar driver.
Jim (or Jimmy)
News from the AARN:
From their March 22nd issue:
Issue # 14, due out on April 5th, is the issue that will have all the schedules for all those tracks that send their schedules into the AARN. I did notice that there was a $100.00 charge for that, so I imagine some tracks might hold off sending.
Daddy” Mike Rivers will not open Big Daddy’s
Big Daddy’s closed, the
Raceway, up in
On a lighter side, there’s some talk about some drivers having a meeting last week to see if the could get Whip City opened up for racing in 2011.
The National Sprint Car Hall of Fame has announced the launching of the “Racers at Rest” project to place markers on the unmarked graves of open-wheeled race drivers who have perished in racing crashes. Donations are being accepted. More information is available from Tom Schmeh at: tschmeh@sprintcar hof.com
Lebanon Valley Speedway had their banquet and they paid out over $100,000.00 to their top drivers from the 2010 racing season.
Note: I think one can see why Brett Hearn will be traveling up the NY Thruway to run at the Valley, instead of OCFS on Saturday nights. He was the track champion for both the Big Block and Small Block modifieds at the Valley last year. It’s said that he received $7,000.00. I’m not sure if that was for both titles or just the Small Block title since it’s shown that the Budget Sportsman champion, Jeff Watson got just over $3,400.00. I would think that the Small Block champion would get more than the Budget Sportsman champ, and if so, well, you can see where I’m heading, right?
At Port Royal Speedway, Keith Kauffman leads in feature wins with 128. He’s followed by Todd Shaffer with 94 and Lance Dewease with 92.
In a write-up about the OCFS car show, it more or less says the same thing about ESW as what was said in a PR I received about the OCFS 2011 season – pertaining to ESW. It says time trials on Friday, heats on Saturday – so I have to assume they’re just talking about the Big Block Modifieds, and that the Small Block Modifieds will still have their heat races on Friday.
I’m also attempting to get clarification about the Sportsman class at OC for ESW, too. Supposedly they are supposed to have two Sportsman events – one for the OCFS “Open” engined cars and one for the DIRTcar “Crate” engined cars – those events on two different days. At least that’s what promoter Mike Gurda had to say in an interview on Doug’s Dirt Diary a while back.
Five Mile Point Speedway handed out $70,000.00 in point fund monies. Also, new for 2011 is that those 17 and under can get into the stands free on Saturday nights.
Down at the Punta Gorda
When they have opening night at OCFS on April 9th, the Pro Stock feature will be for 20 laps and the winner will get $400.00
Since 1950, there have been only 11 opening night winners at OCFS that have gone on to win the years track championship.
At Port Royal Speedway last week, both Lance Dewease and Daryn Pittman were clocked at over 128 MPH as they got to the end of the backstretch. The 358 Sprinters were hitting 115-116.
Bob Perran is the track
photographer at the Volusia Speedway down in
Vinnie Salerno expects to enter 30 – 35 races in 2011 with T-Mac driving for him. First race might very well be at Fonda on the 9th of April. Vinnie has two Big Blocks and one Small Block.
More racin’ stuff:
MILLER: There’s No Cure For Stupid
“Big cars, Indy
cars, champ cars … whatever you want to term them have been doing flying starts
for over 100 years – roughly twice as long as NASCAR has existed. That
breathtaking moment when 33 cars stormed down the straightaway and into Turn 1
For much of this period the start was the most exciting part of any race but, during the past decade, it’s become more strung out, more single-file, more predictable and a lot less exciting.
At most street shows or road courses, the start is about the only prayer of improving one’s position because it quickly becomes follow-the-leader and it can get boring in a heartbeat.
It’s amazing to think 24 midgets can gang up on each other at a quarter mile dirt track like the Chili Bowl for 20 laps and not crash into each other. Or the old Hut Hundred at Terre Haute when 11 rows of three managed to run four and five wide at a half mile and not bring out a yellow for 25 laps.
Sure, Indy cars are wider, faster and less maneuverable than midgets and sprint cars and stock cars are a lot stouter along with having bumpers and much slower acceleration.
But watch the start of the Indy 500 in the ‘50s or ‘60s when the entire field was nose-to-tail and nary a wheel was fed to anybody because they were respectful of each other and a permanent trip to Conkel’s Funeral Home was the consequence.
What seemed to get lost in the translation Sunday afternoon was
that the big accident happened on the original start – which has always been
two abreast (except for Indy, Pocono, Ontario MIS 500-milers which were three)
–not a restart.
And there have always been first-lap crashes at St. Pete with that long straightaway and inviting braking zone going into Turn 1 so don’t try to suddenly say this new procedure was the culprit.
More can be read if you go 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/
Jayski: - http://www.jayski.com/
Open Wheel Racers3: http://www.openwheelracers3.com/
Race Pro Weekly: http://raceproweekly.com/
(Must register to post)
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.
Wheels of Speed: http://www.wheelsofspeed.com/
First Turn Pro: http://www.firstturnpro.com/
Vintage Sprint Car:
Vintage Midget: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=337192
Briggs Cunningham race team – history:
Note: Disregard the “error” notice on top left.
Racing and television:
Racing on TV - http://www.racefantv.com/USTV.htm
Is these true?:
Got an e-mail the other night – Tuesday, to be precise. In it was this:
“Subject: Tyson Foods eliminates Labor Day in favor of Muslim Holiday!”
“Tyson Food in
paid holiday in favor of the last day of Ramadan because they have 700
Muslim employees. The fact that they have almost that many non-Muslim
employees is beside the point apparently!”
Then there was this: verified http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/outrage.asp
Well, apparently it is true, per the link above. Check it out.
“As the New Yorker's former press critic, A.J. Liebling, famously said, "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." Perhaps that quotation is framed somewhere in a boardroom at the General Electric Corp., which owns NBC News.
In spite of robust profits of $14.2 billion worldwide, GE has calculated a corporate tax bill for 2010 that adds up to zero, via a creative series of tax referrals and revenue shifts. (This was, indeed, the second year running that the company—which has an enormous, and famously nimble, 975-employee tax division, led by former Treasury official John Samuels—paid nothing in U.S. taxes; indeed by claiming a series of losses and deductions, GE came up with a negative tax of 10.5 percent in the admittedly dismal business year of 2009, and realized a $1.5 billion "tax benefit.")
The curious thing about this year's tax story is that it turned up in many major news outlets, with one key exception: NBC News. As the Washington Post's Paul Farhi notes, the network's "Nightly News" broadcast, hosted by Brian Williams, has not mentioned anything about its corporate parent's resourceful accounting, even though the story has been in wide circulation in the business and general-interest press for nearly a week. "This was a straightforward news decision, the kind we make daily around here" network spokeswoman Lauren Kapp told the Post.
One press critic who begs to differ: Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who noted that the Nightly News found the time for a dispatch on the inclusion of slang expressions in the Oxford English Dictionary, such as "LOL" and "OMG." Of course, Comedy Central's corporate parent, Viacom, is also no slouch when it comes to tax strategy: Earlier this year it sold its struggling videogame unit Harmonix for $50—so that it could claim a tax credit of $50 million.
Hope ya enjoy this one!
Closing with these:
Alas, where has all our innocence gone – part 1:
While I sat in the reception area of my doctor's office, a woman rolled an elderly man in a wheelchair into the room. As she went to the receptionist's desk, the man sat there, alone and silent. Just as I was thinking I should make small talk with him, a little boy slipped off his mother's lap and walked over to the wheelchair. Placing his hand on the man's, he said, I know how you feel. My mom makes me ride in the stroller too..'
As I was nursing my baby, my cousin's six-year-old daughter, Krissy, came into the room. Never having seen anyone breast feed before, she was intrigued and full of all kinds of questions about what I was doing.
After mulling over my answers, she remarked, 'My mom has some of those, but I don't think she knows how to use them..'
Out bicycling one day with my eight-year-old
granddaughter, Carolyn, I got a little wistful.
'In ten years,' I said, 'you'll want to be with
your friends and you won't go walking, biking, and swimming with me like
you do now. Carolyn shrugged. 'In ten years you'll be too old to do all
those things anyway.'
Working as a pediatric nurse, I had the difficult assignment of giving immunization shots to children.. One day, I entered the examining room to give four-year-old Lizzie her needle. 'No, no, no!' she screamed. 'Lizzie,' scolded her mother, 'that's not polite behavior.' With that, the girl yelled even louder, 'No, thank you! No, thank you!
More of these 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!
Until next week!
As usual, you can reach me at: email@example.com