Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 51





Well, this writer was looking forward to this coming weekend when OCFS has its opening night on Saturday.  However, being it’s April, and there‘s such a thing as “April showers” – well, maybe Mother Nature might put a “damper” on the activities for Saturday.  Damn!

Actually, as of noontime on Tuesday, there’s a forecast for showers every day up to and including next Tuesday.


And, as of almost midnight on Wednesday, it’s improved a lot for Friday and Saturday.  Of course TV weather says maybe into the 70’s by Monday – of course!


Friday: Mostly cloudy skies. High 53F. Winds light and variable.

Saturday: Mostly cloudy. Highs in the low 50s and lows in the low 40s.




Some coming up items:





April 8th:  If the scheduled practice session for Wednesday was rained out, then the rain date is for Friday, April 8th.


Note:  It was rained out – from OCFS:

Practice has been canceled for Wednesday, April 6th. The Rain Date will be Friday, April 8, from 5pm-9pm. The Pit gate will open at 4:00pm.





April 8 – Open practice with rain date of April 9th, if needed.

April 15th:  Opening night.


New Hampshire Motor Speedway (Loudon)

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



I don’t know – maybe it’s just me, but even though I’ve had some “lame” – to me – anyway, excuses as to why the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame’s website isn’t up to date, it’s pretty hard seeing that their last “newsletter” that is on their website is from the fall of 2008.  That’s the Newsletter that makes mention of Kevin Doty, Jeff Gordon, Dave Humphrey, Ted Tappett, and others being inducted into their HoF.  Yeah, and those names still are not listed on the HoF’s website yet, as inductees.

The website:  http://www.worthyofhonor.com/

The Fall 2008 Newsletter:  http://www.worthyofhonor.com/NewsLetters/Fall%2008%20Newsletter.pdf



Last Saturday, there was a practice session scheduled for OVRP’s Dirt Oval.  Unfortunately, things didn’t go to well, and they had to cut the session short and also cancel the practice session for Bikes & Quads that was shceduled for this past Sunday, too.

The track has posted this, on one of the forums I frequent:

We would like to start by apologizing for the track conditions on Saturday April 2nd. We did not forsee the track being so soft, otherwise we would have cancelled earlier in the day.

We are going to have a non-points race on Saturday April 9th, regular time are in effect.

All the people that were there this past weekend will receive a discount for this coming weekend ONLY. I have kept tracked of all the people that were in attendance, so no wristbands are needed to receive the discount. Once again, we are sorry.”


While checking out things on the Track Forum, I came across a thread about former race driver, the late Mike Mosley.  One thing that was said was this:  Only twice in champ car history, has a driver started dead last, and won. It was Mosley.......both times.”

If you’re interested in reading more about this driver, go here:



After the Cup race this past Sunday at Martinsville, when they interviewed Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – did you happen to notice how “out of it” he seemed?  Like he was just drained.


I imagine you’ve received these “money” e-mails, similar to this, right?

“There are several unusual things about the year 2011, and they happen in every 823 Years. According to Chinese Feng Shui, these particular years are known as Moneybags.


1. In 2011 we have experienced and are going to experience four unusual dates:

1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11.

2. Take the last two digits of the year in which you were born. Then add the age you will be this year. The result will be 111 for everyone. 

(For example - Harry was born in 1957, and 57 + 54 = 111 )
3. In October 2011, there will be 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays and 5 Saturdays. 
This happens only every 823 years. 


These particular years are known as 'Moneybags'. If you send this message to eight 
good friends, money will appear in the next four days as is explained in Chinese feng-shui.” 

Well, how about this:

April has five Fridays Saturdays and Sundays
May has five Sundays Mondays and Tuesdays

July has five Fridays Saturdays and Sundays

August has five Mondays Tuesdays and Wednesdays

October has five Saturdays Sundays and Mondays

December has five Thursdays Fridays and Saturdays

January 2012 has five Sundays Mondays and Tuesdays


Actually, if you notice - all months that have 31 days have three days that have five during those months.




When we were watching the Nationwide race from Martinsville, last Saturday, I made mention to my wife about all the stands on the backstretch that were covered over.  I told her they’d be full of fans on Sunday for the Cup race.  I was wrong!  The lower stands were still covered on Sunday.  Never would have believed that if I hadn’t seen it.



From last weeks column:

"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"

Well, there have been some changes:

“Mr Gurda said any legal dirt Hoosier pro stock tire opening night.”


“Now its 500 to win.  Here’s the top 5 pay out!

1st- $500
2nd- $200
3rd- $150
4th- $125
5th- $100”



On Tuesday, April 5th, at around 11:45 AM, it was announced that Donald Trump would be the pace car driver for this years Indy 500.  In a way, I was hoping for someone more involved in auto racing to land that job.  The pace car will be a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro convertible.  Mr. Trump did say that chances are pretty good that he’d wear a hat while driving.  And, yes, he did say that he does have a license to drive.


Note:  This is the 100th anniversary and 95th running of the Indy 500.  In a way, I was hoping that there would be someone a little more associated with auto racing as the pace car driver.  If I’m not mistaken, Mr. Trump will only be driving the pace car for the initial start.  After that, I believe Johnny Rutherford takes over.  I could be wrong on that, too.





Received the following in an e-mail this past Tuesday:


Tuesday April 5th, 2011

Dirt Midget Association Schedules Five Races at Bear Ridge Speedway



ELLINGTON, CT The Dirt Midget Association (DMA) has reached an agreement with Bear Ridge Speedway owner and operator Butch Elms for a five race schedule at the legendary Bradford, VT dirt track.

“We’re thrilled that Bear Ridge is taking us in,” said DMA member Skip Matczak.  “Butch Elms is a racer’s racer and we appreciate his confidence in our efforts. We have 19 cars registered so far and we’re looking forward to putting on a great show for the fans at Bear Ridge.”

The DMA is in its first season of presenting traditional, non-winged Midget auto racing and evolved from the Quad 4 Midgets which ran at Whip City Speedway for the last several years. 

Three members of the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame are active in the DMA.  In addition to car owner Matczak, Hall of Famers Denny Zimmerman and Ray Miller will be racing the full DMA schedule this year. Zimmerman is a former Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year and Miller is former winner of the Thompson 300, a three time winner of the Ferrara 100 at Stafford Motor Speedway, as well as numerous other prestigious Modified Stock Car events.

In addition to trying his hand back behind the throttle, Miller will be fielding two additional cars.  “I really want to do everything I can to support this group,” Miller says.  “We had a setback when Big Daddy’s closed and Whip City is uncertain, but things are starting to come together now with these dates at Bear Ridge.”

Among those joining Zimmerman and Miller behind the wheel of a DMA Midget are former Empire Super Sprints star Scott Holcomb,  2010 Whip City Champion Joe Krawiec and 30 time Quad 4 Midget feature winner Scott Viets.

The first DMA show at Bear Ridge Speedway is set for Saturday May 28, with additional Saturday shows on June 18, July 16, August 20 and September 10 Nationally known as “The Home of the Coupes” Bear Ridge Speedway is the only track in New England with Modified Sportsmen sanctioned by DIRTCar, a division of World Racing Group, the parent organization of the World of Outlaws.

DMA is currently negotiating with other venues and additional dates may be announced soon. For more information, visit us at www.dmaracing.org






Raikkonen To Try NASCAR


In part:

MARTINSVILLE, Va.After tasting success as the Formula One World Champion in 2007, Kimi Raikkonen of Finland is switching gears to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Raikkonen has reached agreement on a three-to-five race deal to drive for Kyle Busch beginning at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May.”




There’s been a purse increase at the Accord Speedway for their Spec Sportsman class.  $500.00 to win if they get a 20-car field.

While on the subject of Accord, when they had a practice session last Saturday, I was told that there were some CRSA 305 Sprint cars on hand.  There’s been some talk amongst some CRSA members about the possibility of maybe running a show or two without wings.  None of the CRSA cars at Accord ran topless.  Would have been a perfect time to try it out, maybe?







            “The series has expanded so much for the 2011 season so to be able to add incentives for teams running the tour series this year is a sweet deal”, explained series owner and promoter Doug Borger, “Three tracks signed on over the winter. Lindas Speedway will run the 600 mods as a weekly division on Friday nights, Borgers Speedway will run the sportsman division on Saturday nights and Kutztown Fairgrounds has added the sportsman division to their weekly Wednesday night events.”

            Over the fourth of July weekend, 5 to 6 teams plan on coming east from Wisconsin, where the 600 mods run weekly on Saturday nights, to hopefully take home some of the extra incentive. Mississippi Thunder Speedway, located in Fountain City, has played host to some teams from the east so now the tables will be turned.

                “One of the biggest positives coming from the 2010 season was paying $20.00 for every heat race win so I decided to run the same program this year with the final check issued at the banquet. New for the 2011 season will be a team receiving a new RR tire at the end of each tour  race”, stated Doug,” after tech is completed and the finish deemed official, the nights feature winner will then pull a pill and  the driver that finished in that position gets the tire. The winner of the feature will also be eligible to win making him one lucky guy or girl for that night.  I gave it a lot of thought and this will give everybody a chance to take home something extra that night.”


            The Xcel Chassis tour division is one of the few that pay money thru the entire field at nights end and with economics being a factor threw out the racing community it has to make you wonder” Does the future of racing need to get smaller to get bigger?”





Go back in time – back to when we first started getting cable TV.  Weren’t we told that with cable we’d have no commercials?  What happened to that?  Now we get bombarded with them – 10 at a time.  Oh, and another thing – let the TV stations absorb the cost of their newscasts.  No commercials during the news!


Found on Jayski’s website:

Shane Hmiel returns home from rehab center:

Shane Hmiel went home Friday from the Atlanta rehabilitation center he's been at since Nov. 17 as he continues to recover from a devastating sprint car crash that left him with a bruised spinal chord and other injures last year. Shane is expected to return to the rehab center and that this is just a break, his father Steve said. "It's like lifting weights, you've got to let your muscles rest, so they'll heal and that's basically where he's at,'' Steve Hmiel said. Also, Shane is set to go to the Mayo Clinic in two weeks. Steve Hmiel said that Shane can move his arms and he has limited motion his hands. He can bend his knee up, tap his foot and wiggle his feet but does not have strength in his legs as he remains in a wheelchair. He's also passed all his tests measuring cognizance, Steve said. For more info and quotes, see the article at the Virginian Pilot.(4-4-2011)


NASCAR getting ready to test fuel injectors:

The first on-track test of fuel injection in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series could come as early as July 7 at Kentucky Speedway, provided NASCAR finalizes specifications for system hardware and software in time for teams to prepare. Because the Cup series will race at Kentucky for the first time on July 9, NASCAR has OK'd extra practice on Thursday, July 7. Cup teams are scheduled to spend four hours on the track that day, and Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines chief engine builder Danny Lawrence hopes that will also provide the first test of fuel injection for the series. "Hopefully they'll know (about specifications) in a week or two, because there's getting to be a pretty big push for people to run at the Kentucky test," Lawrence told Sporting News on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. "They're going to have a test day before the race, and if they have everything spec'ed out by then, we'll try to run therethat'll be our first deal. I know they're working on it really hard, and hopefully, they'll have it figured out in a few days." NASCAR announced in February at Daytona International Speedway that McLaren and Freescale Semiconductor will partner in the development and manufacture of engine control units (ECUs) designed to manage fuel and ignition systems in Cup cars. Fuel injection will replace the carburetors that have been part of Cup engines since the series' inception in 1949, with the transition targeted for the 2012 season.(Sporting News)(4-5-2011)


Johnson apologizes for questioning pit road penalty: #48-Jimmie Johnson apologized on Tuesday for ripping NASCAR for what he believed to be a bogus speeding penalty on pit road Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Johnson called out the governing body during his post-race interview and again on Twitter after the penalty left him with an 11th-place finish that left him one short of tying the NASCAR record for the most consecutive top-10 finishes at 18. On Tuesday, Johnson said he was mistaken, that the timing segment that NASCAR accused him of speeding through was different from what he believed during the race. "The fact is we were wrong," Johnson said. "I was referring to a segment I knew I couldn't get busted in. At the end of the day it wasn't the segment we were busted on." Johnson said he shouldn't have made the comments without all the correct information, although he said NASCAR could take care of misinformation by making pit road speeds instantly available for drivers and fans to see. NASCAR says it has no plans to do that.(ESPN.com)(4-5-2011)

Note:  My thoughts – Uh huh, ok, Jimmie.  Yeah, right.  Might Mr. Helton have had a few words with Jimmie?


Former Oakland Valley Speedway (Dirt Oval) runners:

Davey Franek finished 6th in the 358 Sprint Car feature at the Selinsgrove Speedway.

There’s a Jeffrey Gallup listed as finishing 13th in the SK Modified feature at the Waterford Speedbowl.  I’m not sure if that’s the same Jeff Gallup that ran at OVRP and also in the Tobias SpeedSTR Series.




Going back, in time – in racing history:

Note:  Most of the following information was found here: 



Covering the days of April 8th to April 14th


April 8

Frank Lockhart... Born ... AAA driver 1925 to 1927. Won the Indy 500 in 1926.


Fred Winnai... Born ... AAA driver 1927 to 1946.


The Los Angeles Motordome, the first board track built for Auto Racing opened near Playa Del Rey, California, under the direction of Fred Moskovics and Jack Prince. The 1 mile circular track had 20 degree banking. Barney Oldfield turned a lap of 99 mph in a Benz.


Junie Donlavey... Born ... NASCAR team owner.


Derrick Walker... Born ... CART team owner


Robert Pressley... Born ... NASCAR driver


Mark Blundell... Born ... F1, and CART driver 1996 to 2000


April 9

Johnny Thomson... Born ... AAA / USAC . He won the 1952 AAA Eastern division Midget championship. He drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1953-1960 seasons with 69 starts, including the Indianapolis 500 races in each season. He finished in the top ten 43 times, with 7 victories. His best Indy finish was third in 1959. Roy Sherman, the first National Midget Champion, was his chief mechanic for several Indy 500s. He was the first driver to win a 100 mile dirt track race in less than an hour at Langhorne, Pennsylvania. His champ car's average speed was 100.174 miles per hour. Thomson was the 1958 USAC Sprint Car Series champion. He won the Eastern Sprint Car championship in 1954. He died at a sprint car event at the 1960 edition of the Allentown Fair when his car crashed through the fence and flipped into the infield. Thomson was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1996 and the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1997.


Eddie Hill became the first person to run a 1/4-mile dragstrip in under 5 seconds when he ran a 4.990 second ET in his Top Fuel dragster in Dallas, Texas


Pat Flaherty... Died ... He drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1950, 1953-1956, 1958-1959, and 1963 seasons with 19 starts, including the Indianapolis 500 races in 1950, 1953, 1955, 1956, and 1959. He finished in the top ten 9 times, with victories in 1955 and 1956 at Milwaukee as well as the 1956 Indianapolis 500.



April 10

Duke Dinsmore... Born ... AAA / USAC driver from 1946 to 1960


Paul Russo... Born ... 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.


Mary Fendrich Hulman, widow of Tony Hulman and grandmother of Tony George, dies at age 93.


April 11

Ralph Hepburn... Born ... A pioneer of American motorcycle racing champion from 1914 to 1924 and a AAA and Indianapolis 500 racecar driver from 1924 to 1948.


Al Keller... Born ...ARDC Midget driver and AAA and USAC Sprint car and Indy car driver.   Keller participated in the NASCAR "Strictly Stock"/"Grand National" (predecessors to the current NEXTEL Cup) series from 1949 to 1956 with 29 career starts. He won two races during the 1954 season and is the first driver in the history of NASCAR's top division to have won a race in a foreign-built car, winning the 1954 Grand National road-race at the Linden Airport in New Jersey, driving a Jaguar. In 1954 Keller began a transition to champ cars. He drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1954-1959 and 1961 seasons with 32 starts, including the Indianapolis 500 races in all but the first of those years. He finished in the top ten 13 times, with his best finish in 2nd position, in 1956 at Atlanta and in 1961 at Milwaukee. His best Indy finish was 5th in 1961.


National Hot Rod Association holds its first sanctioned drag racing event, at Pomona, California.


April 12

Curtis Turner ... Born ... One of NASCAR's earliest starts and among its most controversial drivers....won 17 poles and 17 races in his career, which spanned 1949 through 1968....he won the fourth Winston Cup race of its inaugural season of 1949, then won 16 more, almost all of them during the '50s....he was suspended fron competition by NASCAR president Bill France, Sr. in 1960 because he tried to organize the drivers for the Teamsters Union...was the first president of the Charlotte Motor Speedway, and needed a loan from the Teamsters in 1960 to repay creditors....when France got wind of it, he banned Turner until late in the 1965 season. During the time that he was banned from NASCAR Turner raced in the USAC stock car series....he died in a plane crash in 1970.


April 13


Dan Gurney... Born ... American racing driver, race car constructor, and team owner. He raced in Formula One, USAC Indy Car, NASCAR, Can-Am, and Trans-Am Series. In 1978, Gurney wrote an open memo to other race car owners with what is now known as the "White Letter" in which Gurney called for a series controlled more by the owners or "actual participants" than under the USAC banner. After much debate, CART was formed with Gurney and other owners like Roger Penske, Pat Patrick, and Bob Fletcher. CART began its first full season of competition in March, 1979 and thus the first split in open wheel racing began. In 1990, Gurney was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America, the Sebring International Raceway Hall of Fame, and the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame.


Larry "Boom Boom" Cannon... Born ... USAC Sprint and USAC / CART Championship car driver from the mid 1960's to 1984.


Joie Ray ... Died ... He was one of the nation's pioneer open wheel and Stock car race drivers. His racing career spanned 17 seasons (1947-1963) as a Sprint, Midget, and Stock car driver. Ray was the first African American AAA license holder and ran in the Central States Racing Association (CRSA), The International Motor Contest Association (IMCA), United States Auto Club (USAC) and the Midwest Dirt Track Racing Association.


April 14

George Rice "Joie" Chitwood ... Born ... American racecar driver and businessman. He is best known as a daredevil in the Joie Chitwood Thrill Show. He was dubbed "Joie" by a track promoter and the name stuck. Chitwood started his racecar driving career in 1934 at a dirt track in Winfield, Kansas. From there, he began racing at tracks all over the United States mid-west and between 1940 and 1950 competed at the Indianapolis 500 seven times finishing fifth on three different occasions. He was the first man ever to wear a safety belt at the Indy 500. Chitwood also operated the "Joie Chitwood Thrill Show", an exhibition of auto stunt driving that became so successful he gave up racing. Often called "Hell Drivers," he had five units that for more than forty years toured across North America thrilling audiences in large and small towns alike with their death-defying automobile stunts. His show was so popular, that in January 1967, the performance at the Islip, New York Speedway was broadcast on ABC television's Wide World of Sports. On May 13, 1978, Joie Chitwood set a world record when he drove a Chevrolet Chevette for 5.6 miles on just 2 wheels. His sons, Joie Jr. and Tim both joined the auto thrill show and continued to run the "Joie Chitwood Chevy Thunder Show" after their father's retirement. His grandson, Joie Chitwood III, is the COO for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Chitwood's show was credited by Evel Knievel as being his inspiration to become a daredevil. Chitwood was frequently hired by Hollywood film studios to either do stunt driving for films or to act as auto-stunt coordinator. On a few occasions he appeared in a minor role, notably with Clark Gable and Barbara Stanwyck in the 1950 film about the Indy 500, To Please a Lady. In 1973, Chitwood is credited as a Stunt Coordinator for the hugely successful James Bond film Live and Let Die . He was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1993.


Note:  Not to be confused with George Viola (George Rice) who was the ARDC’s 1947 driving champion.



Dan Drinan...Born ... American sprint car driver from Indianapolis who failed on three separate attempts to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. His first attempt came in 1996, the first year that the Indy Racing League sanctioned the race. Drinan crashed his 1991 Lola chassis, the oldest chassis entered as a potential qualifier, during practice although it is unlikely that his outdated chassis and Buick engine could have produced the speed necessary to make the field. Drinan bruised his lung and fractured his foot in the crash. He returned in 1998 and his Mann Motorsports Dallara again failed to find the necessary speed to make the field. His final attempt was in 2000, when he was given an outdated Dallara and a small crew by Hemelgarn Racing, but the car never handled properly and Drinan again crashed during practice, preventing him from qualifying. Drinan continued to be a top level competitior in USAC sprint car and midget racing.


Jeff Andretti ... Born ... American race car driver, with Italian heritage. He competed in CART, and was the series Rookie of the Year in 1991. From 1990 until 1994 he drove in the CART IndyCar series. He has driven in the Indianapolis 500 three times, with a best finish of 15th in 1991 in his first start at the track. In his second attempt at the "500" a year later in 1992, he became yet another victim of the infamous Andretti Curse at the famed race track when a right rear wheel came loose off his car at Turn 2 and crashed violently head-on into the wall, smashing both his legs. The accident pretty much hampered if not all together ended Jeff's career at least in terms of his competitiveness, since he was never the same again afterwards. He later managed however, to come back and race IndyLights for Canaska in 1995 and North American Supertouring Cars for Ford in 1996. Jeff made 3 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts in 1999 in the #94 EML Rockfort Entertainment Chevrolet. Jeff is the youngest son of the legendary Italian-born Mario Andretti, younger brother of Michael Andretti, and uncle of Marco Andretti. Jeff is the nephew of Mario's twin Aldo Andretti and cousin of Aldo's son's John Andretti and Adam Andretti . The Andretti family became the first family to have four relatives (Michael, Mario, Jeff, and John) compete in the same series (CART)


Buck Baker... Died ... One of the greatest drivers in NASCAR's history. He was the first back-to-back winner of the Grand National Championship in 1956 and 1957. He was second twice (1955 and 1958) and finished in the top five on four other occasions. After his retirement in 1976, Baker opened up the Buck Baker Racing School, where Jeff Gordon drove his first stock car. His son, Buddy Baker is a 34-year Winston Cup veteran and now teaches at the school along with Buck's daughter, Susie Baker.




News from the AARN:


From their March 29th issue:


Some excellent photos from the previous week end of racing, as usual.  It’s hard to believe some of the shots that were taken at New Egypt, though.  I guess a rough track will make the cars get into the positions they were in?


There will be no “Big Show III” for 2011.  Brett Hearn was looking at some different tracks to maybe hold it, but the tracks he was looking at were American Racer tire tracks, and the SDS Series is Hoosier tire only.


The end results of a driver going a little “haywire” at the I-80 Speedway, in Nebraska, resulted in his being sentenced to 18 months probation after being found guilty of 3rd degree assault and criminal mischief.  Seems he drove across the infield and intentionally hit another driver.


Dale Plank will be racing a Late Model a lot more this year, with his first LM race being in late April at the Lernerville Speedway.


The Wayne County Speedway, out in Orrville, Ohio, is up for auction on April 6th.


I find it hard to believe but the TBARA Sprint Car Series only has three dates for 2011?


Danny Lasoski – it’s said his 2011 plans are still not defined.


There was a nice article about Glenn “Fireball” Roberts in the AARN.   Hard to believe that he was never a NASCAR “Cup” champion.


Steve Francis, one of the top LM divers for WRG, is leaving the WRG to run with the Lucas Oil LM Series.


Speaking of the WRG – they have added another series to their roster – the National Championship Racing Association.  That makes 10 different series that are now under the WRG banner.


An article about some lost tracks from the area made mention of the Challenger Raceway.  It started out as a ¼ mile track then went to 4/10 or I guess you could say 2/5?  Owner Jack Lentz closed the track after some incidents at a “Fall Fest” race meet, when several accidents and lawsuits came up after the 2008 Fall Fest.  The track is for sale, and it’s said that there is some interest from some about possible buying it.


They’ve had 179 USAC race meets at the Eldora Speedway since 1962,  Over the years they’ve had 69 different winners.  Jack Hewitt leads with 13 wins.  Larry Dickson is next with 9, while Tracy Hines and Pancho Carter each have 8 wins.


Gary London, a writer for the now out of business National Speed Sport News (out of business as far as printing their race paper goes), sent in a nice article to the AARN describing his time with the NSSN.  Some nice things said about his boss, Chris Economaki.  Gary started with the NSSN when he was 19 years old, and was with the paper for 47 years.




Issue # 14, which was due out on April 5th, is the issue that will have all the schedules for all those tracks that sent their schedules into the AARN.





More racin’ stuff:


An Article on female drivers and their struggles.


For you ladies out there – and I guess for you guys, too, an interesting article about the pitfalls that the fairer sex have when getting into racing.  Some pretty famous names have some interesting things to say.








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

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



Foreclosure mess:


The other night, by accident, the wife put on 60 Minutes.  Shocking, to say the least.  It was about the mortgage mess.

In part:

“Weve told you before about how big banks cut corners on paperwork over the last few years in order to speed struggling homeowners into foreclosure. And a "60 Minutes" report that aired last night offers fresh anecdotal reporting on just how irresponsible--and potentially fraudulent--the banks' practices were.”

“And as the foreclosures unwind in a slew of court proceedings nationwide, many banks have produced dubiously rendered legal documents that seek to shore up the ownership paperwork long after the original mortgage transactions were on the books. In some cases, financial institutions paid contract companies who employed an army of "robo-signers"—office workers who forged signatures on mortgage documents that were then used to initiate foreclosures.”


Lots more, plus a video from 60 Minutes, can be read and seen if you go here:





Are these true?:


Sad to say, but, yes, these are true.  One really has to wonder about the logic of some of this stuff, ya know?


Rutgers University’s student association paid Jersey Shore’s “Snooki” $37,000.00 to talk to nearly 1,000 undergraduates Thursday night about hairstyling and lessons for life.

That's $2,000 more than the university is paying Nobel-winning novelist Toni Morrison to deliver the university's commencement address in May, the school newspaper, The Daily Tarqum reports.

The funds came out of the mandatory student activities fees paid by undergraduates at the New Jersey University, the Newark Star-Ledger reports.

"Snooki" was booked by the student-run organization, not technically by the university, which arranged the Morrison appearance.



In 2009, Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol joined a teen pregnancy prevention nonprofit called the Candie’s Foundation. Today, the Associated Press reported that the Candie’s Foundation released its 2009 tax information, revealing that Bristol was paid a salary of $262,500.
But a closer examination of the tax form by ThinkProgress shows that the group disbursed only $35,000 in grants to actual teen pregnancy health and counseling clinics: $25,000 to the Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center and $10,000 to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy.



Note:  She also received $165,000.00 for TV advertising, too.




Video time:


How about some racing accidents this week?


As I made mention above about the recovery of Shane Hmiel from his serious accident, for those of you that haven’t seen it, here ya go:



Michael Waltrip and his Bristol crash:



Mike Harmon also had a bad one at Bristrol:



Remember the Geoff Bodine truck crash at Daytona?



So you’re out there in your WoO Sprint Car, taking a time trial, and as you come flying down the front stretch, there’s a push truck on the track.  What do you do?  Miss it of course, right?  Well, no, not if you’re Sammy Swindell, one of the top WoO drivers:



And, a little over 4 minutes worth of Midget and Sprint Car accidents:







Closing with these:

Alas, where has all our innocence gone – part 2:


On the way back from a Cub Scout meeting, my grandson innocently said to my son,  'Dad, I know babies come from mommies' tummies, but how do they get there in the first place?'  After my son hemmed and hawed awhile,  my grandson finally spoke up in disgust, 'You don't have to make up something, Dad.  It's okay if you don't know the answer.'

Just before I was deployed to Iraq , I sat my eight-year-old son down and broke the news to him.  'I'm going to be away for a long time,' I told him.  'I'm going to Iraq .'   'Why?' he asked. 'Don't you know there's a war going on  over there?'

Paul Newman founded the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children stricken with cancer, AIDS, and blood diseases. One afternoon, he and his wife, Joanne Woodward, stopped by to have lunch with the kids.  A counselor at a nearby table, suspecting the young patients  wouldn't know Newman was a famous movie star, explained, That's the man who made this camp possible. Maybe you've seen his picture on his salad dressing bottle?'  Blank stares. 'Well, you've probably seen his face on his lemonade carton.'  An eight-year-old girl perked  up.  'How long was he missing?'

and my personal favorite is...........God's  Problem Now:

His wife's graveside service was just barely finished, when  there
was a massive clap of thunder, followed by a tremendous  bolt of
lightning, accompanied by even more thunder rumbling in the distance.
The little, old man looked at the pastor and calmly said,

'Well, she's there.'





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