Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 54




Well, “She” did it again – “Mother Nature” sure likes to let the raindrops fall on Saturdays, doesn’t she?  I think about the only track, in my area, that got their show in was OVRP’s Dirt Oval.  Very strange how early in the afternoon the rain stops, and though still overcast, enough damage had been done, or caused enough, for most tracks to cancel their nights racing activities.




OMG!  While checking out SJDR’s message board the other day, I came across a thread that really had quite a lot of postings to it.  The thread was titled:  “Big Bore, short stroke engine controversy”.

What started off the thread was this:


“By Brett Deyo

Reading Eagle correspondent


 Who's cheating who?


The country song lyrics convey added meaning this year in the region's 358-modified pit areas.


Phone lines are ringing; race shops are abuzz with speculation; and tech inspection teams at Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville and Big Diamond Speedway in Minersville have been bombarded with accusations of engines not conforming to the rules.


The illegal engines are alleged to be "big bore-short stroke" combinations, forbidden by the engine guidelines published by both speedways.


The engines are desirable to teams because they produce additional power and perform at a higher RPM, according to Grandview race director Ed Scott, a former 358-modified driver.


"The advantage these guys get is 5-10 horsepower (on an engine dyno), but that horsepower is multiplied at the rear wheels, which we can't measure unless we get the cars on a chassis dyno," Scott said. "They can run a higher RPM. With the ability for them to turn more RPMs, they can run lower gears, which is an advantage on restarts.


"These guys wouldn't have spent the money (estimated at an additional $7,000) on it if there wasn't an advantage."


Norm Hansell, the car owner for championship driver Jeff Strunk, believes the time has come for the tracks to legalize the engines or disqualify teams running them.


Hansell admits to owning at least one of the engines in question. He says, however, that his No. 357 has been outfitted with a legal combination for the early season events.


"I'm 100 percent legal right now," Hansell said. "I'm not going to run it (the engine in question) until these tracks figure out what they're doing. People won't step up and tell the truth. They won't admit what they have. Honestly, if everyone that has one admits to it, they'll have to do something. They (the tracks) can't throw everyone out."


Hansell believes a large number of cars are outfitted with these engines. He estimates more than a dozen between the two tracks.


He would not be opposed to a compromise, such as allowing the illegal engines to race with additional weight bolted to the car as an equalizer.


Hansell says strict technical inspections are necessary if the tracks do not plan to alter rules to allow the engines.


"For three weeks now, these tracks have threatened to check them," he said. "They haven't pulled one apart yet. Every week we're losing money finishing behind these guys and falling behind in the points because the tracks aren't doing anything about it."


If action is not taken soon, Hansell said, he will leave the 358-mod circuit in favor of big-block racing at New Egypt, N.J.


"All the money I spend, I can't continue to race like this," he said. "It's not fun, and it isn't right. There's too much at stake."


Craig Von Dohren of Boyertown, the leading winner at Big D and Grandview, agrees with Hansell. He wants tech inspection sooner rather than later.


"They've got to be checked," Von Dohren said. "A rule is a rule. It is unfair for them not to do anything. If we get to the Forrest Rogers (at Grandview) or Coalcracker (at Big Diamond), and I have a suspicion with $10,000 on the line, I'm going to (file a) protest."


Von Dohren wants all cars checked, not just the top performers.


"It doesn't matter if they're 18th in points; they are still illegal, and they're taking a spot away from a legal car in a heat race," he said. "I don't have a problem with letting them run with a smaller carburetor or making them add 100 pounds. The point is the tracks aren't doing anything right now, and that's hurting a team like us."


The inspection process required is an intrusive and tedious one. Inspectors need to pull oil pans on the cars.


"The night we get pulled for tech isn't going to be fun," Von Dohren said. "But it's the only way they can do it, and it needs to be done."


Big Diamond and Grandview management teams have met and agreed to enforce the rule at both tracks. They do not plan to alter engine rules.


"They are illegal; they break three rules: maximum overbore, crank and block rules," Scott said. "We are going to tech for them. All of them will be teched by the end of the season. There are some petitioning to make these engines legal. That's not going to happen."


Big Diamond management also told the Reading Eagle that there are plans to pull oil pans for inspection. Scott, in his first year as Grandview's race director, acknowledges it is a larger issue than he had envisioned.


"I assumed there were maybe a couple of these (engines) around," he said. "I can't tell you everyone out there that has one as a fact; it's all hearsay. But I've been handed a real bucket of worms here."


Like Big Diamond, Grandview plans to tech the engines on its own agenda.


"We will be checking," he said. "They (the racers) aren't going to tell us when and who to tech. The tail isn't going to wag the dog."


Contact Brett Deyo: sports@readingeagle.com.”




Note # 1: You might have to register to read, and if not, you would have to register in order to comment.  As of this past Monday, I counted at least 116 postings/comments on the subject.


Note # 2:  I went to SJDR’s message board and could not find this particular thread.  I then clicked on the link, above, and it came up.  Maybe it will work, maybe not.






For those of you that follow the CRSA 305 Sprint Car Series, their opening show, scheduled for the Fonda Speedway, last Saturday, was one of those victims of the weather, so their opening show will now be at Fonda this coming Saturday.




It’s been a few weeks (right after opening night) since I e-mailed OCFS, inquiring about the status of JP’s Snack Bar, and whether it was just closed for opening night or if it’s a permanent closure.  I’m still waiting for a response.  I wonder – do those that run OCFS really know how popular JP’s is – or maybe was? 

My thoughts:  Somewhere down the line, in the past, someone really screwed up by signing what I’ve heard is about a 100 year contract with Maxwell’s.  While I was in conversation with one of the previous owners of JP’s, I was informed that when they were moved to the present location, there was some kind of a deal that put them in ownership of that little piece of property where JP’s is located.  I wonder what happened about that, if true?




Coming up – from the New Hampshire Motor Speedway website:


21st Vintage Racing Celebration

Tuesday, May 17 - Sunday, May 22, 2011

Oval & Road Course - Cars

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.

Note:  I plan on being there from Tuesday afternoon until around noon on Thursday, accompanied by my daughter, Judy.


Just a quick reminder:  Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8th.



NASCAR at Richmond – As of Wednesday, there were 44 entrants for the Cup race and only 42 for the Nationwide race.




Just wondering – are there a certain amount of races that tracks should run when they are sanctioned with DIRTcar, as far as points go?  I’m questioning this because as of the three scheduled point races at OCFS,  they’ve only had one event run.





On Tuesday, I received a schedule and a 2011 Membership Application from the Northeastern Vintage Dirt Modified Racing Club.  Cost for being a regular member – not a car owner, etc etc, is $20.00 for a year.  Interested?  Check them out, here:  http://www.vintagedirtmodified.webs.com/




At times, I suppose I could say that I’ve been a “thorn in the sides” of OCFS.  Hey, I’ve had my complaints and they’ve been seen on the Internet.  You really don’t want to see what’s been sent to me from OCFS at times, and if you did, you’d wonder why I even attend the races there, from what’s been said to me.  At times, I’ve asked questions and did receive responses.  Other times, like quite recently – no responses.  When they had the OCFS backed Car show at the arena, on the fair property, there were daily ads in the Middletown Times Herald-Record. – ADVERTISING it. I was hoping that OCFS would also advertise in the Th-R when the racing season opened up – about the Saturday night races – something that just didn’t happen last year and in previous years, too.  Maybe that’s why the Saturday night racing results don’t appear in the Sunday edition of the paper anymore – who knows?  At times I’ve seen them posted on Tuesday.  Seems to me that if Th-R can put in Yankee baseball results when the Yankees play a night game out on the west coast, and the game ends after midnight, our time, then they should be able to get OCFS results in, when the races end around 11:00.  Sorry, my way of thinking. 

Of course they still insist on getting the “Spas” and “Girlie show” ads in the SPORTS SECTION. – Or a couple of pages of car dealer ads, too – in the SPORTS SECTION.

When one goes to the OCFS website, and clicks on the “Contact us” link, three e-mail addresses come up.  I’ve sent my inquiries to the first one.  But note – the other two are listed as “Advertising”.  So, with two e-mail addresses for “Advertising”, I really wonder – advertising where?  Uh huh, certainly not in the Th-R.

Note:  In the Wednesday, April 27th Th-R, in the sports pages, there was an ad for auto racing for this coming Saturday.  No, it wasn’t OCFS, but the little Ľ mile paved track – Bethel Motor Speedway.




Last week, as I was getting ready to go to Accord, on Friday, I noticed that my gas gauge was a tick over Ľ tank.  No sweat, I figured, since Accord is, no matter what speed you go, still an hour ride each way.  Well, with what little driving I did since then, when I had to go do some shopping on Wednesday (yesterday), it still wasn’t quite on empty.  With me having to pick up a granddaughter Thursday morning at the Westchester County Airport, I figured it best I get some gas.  I think I can honestly say that I’ve never put $40.00 worth of gas in any of my cars.  I did this time.  What hurts worse – it only took the fuel gauge a tick past the ľ full mark.  I got my gas in New Jersey and it was 3.73 & 9/10 per gal.




I’m trying to figure out why it took Donald Trump to complain about a certain “Birth Certificate” in order for us to supposedly see the one that Trump was questioning.  Seems this certain “Birth Certificate” has been questioned and been in the news since prior to our last Presidential election, yet it took Trump to have it shown to us?  Gimme a break!  As far as I’m concerned, this particular “Birth Certificate” – when questioned, years ago, should have been shown to us then – not now.  Somehow, I still have some doubts, and I guess I’m not alone on that, too.


Note:  prior to closing this column out, I came upon a few things – things like:

Orly Taitz: Obama's Long-Form Birth Certificate Should Say 'Negro' Not 'African'

In part:

In those years ... when they wrote race, they were writing 'Negro' not 'African'," Taitz says. "In those days nobody wrote African as a race, it just wasn't one of the options. It sounds like it would be written today, in the age of political correctness, and not in 1961 when they wrote white or Asian or 'Negro'."

“Obama predicted this type of reaction from Taitz and those he described as "carnival barkers" in his comments to reporters on Wednesday.”


Birtherist response highlights racial undertones of ‘debate’




White House releases Obama birth certificate

Note:  A photo of the certificate is viewable on the link, below.  And yes, it does not say “Negro” as it would have back in 1961.   Hmmmmm?

African or African/American didn’t come onto the scene until way later, in years.








I found this over on the Track Forum in the Indycar section – about a showing of the 2012 Indycar:


“Randy Bernard spoke at a luncheon today in Danville, Indiana on marketing and promoting Indy Car. He included three slides showing the actual 2012 "Iconic" car. The car will debut live on the Letterman Show May 11. The car has a beautiful nose and the sidepods reminded me of the 1995 Reynard. The car is 15 inches wider but the wheel width is the same. The wheels are actually recessed into the body with the hope of reducing tire to tire contact. There are no mirrors but rather six cameras available that a driver can choose which one to look at with the flip of a switch. I think most everyone will be pleased with what they have developed. He asked that no one take pictures. It will be interesting to see if someone pulled that off. There were probably about 200 people at the lunch.

Other mentionables included that when they had to almost recover from Firestone pulling out only one tire manufacturer was interested - Michelin!

There is a list of 25 drivers who have shown interest in driving in Las Vegas. He said only one has a guarantee to drive and that is Alex Zanardi in a Chip Ganassi car if Alex wants to do it.

14,000 people have already upgraded their "free" Las Vegas tickets.

Mattel has become a big open wheel sponsor and Randy is using this to get to 9 to 14 year old boys. 9 year olds will be able to be in the Garage area this year at the Speedway. When asked about the Mattel truck jump at the Speedway, he said "If you don't like it, close your eyes". The average fan is a 50 something male. With 4 - 5 female drivers and IZOD he is trying to bring youth into the picture and leverage female drivers to attract more female fans.

They are trying to extend the Mazda Road to Indy by going into karting. He said there are five karting sanctioning bodies and they all hate each other. He is trying to take the top 20 from each santioning group (100 total) and bring them to the Speedway to be mentored by some top Indy Car drivers and given history takes from Donald Davidson.

The AJ Foyt Oval Champ and the Mario Andretti Road Champ is an effort to keep big names in the sport from dissappearing and add additional branding.

I was extremely impressed as so many others have indicated. He is 95% promotion and marketing. Professional Bull Riding began in 1995 when the 24 top bull riders each pitched in $1000 to form PBR. Some of them had to borrow it from friends and family because they were so broke. When PBR was sold in 2007 one of the riders asked if they had made any money, maybe $100,000.00? Each of the orginal riders got $4.2M and they still owned 35% of PBR! I wish him this kind of success in Indy Car.”


Note:  Lots (six pages so far) being said about this, and you can read it if you go here:  http://www.trackforum.com/forums/showthread.php?149210-Randy-Bernard-Shows-2012-Car..





Found on Jayski’s website:

1st Quarter Driver of the Year named: #18-Kyle Busch won races in all three of NASCAR's top divisions tallying the most first-place votes in the 1st quarter Driver of the Year 2011 balloting by leading broadcasters and journalists in the United States. The driver of the #18 Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup series, #18 Z-Line Designs Toyota in the Nationwide Series for Joe Gibbs Racing and is the owner/driver of the #18 Dollar General Toyota Tundra in the Camping World Truck series credited his teams for his early 2011 success. "It's been a great start to the season in all three series' and that's because of the great people we have at JGR and KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports)," said Busch. "This award is testament to all of those guys. Each of my teams have done a great job bringing me good cars to the racetrack each week and if we haven't won, we've been in contention more times than not. In particular, Dave Rogers and all the guys on the M&M's Toyota team and everyone at JGR are working very hard and we hope to have a shot at bringing home a Sprint Cup championship at the end of the year." Busch, 25, won the Bristol Motor Speedway Sprint Cup race, four Nationwide races and one Camping World Truck race in the first quarter voting.
Barry Schmoyer, President of the Driver of the Year Foundation, said "calling Kyle Busch versatile would be an understatement. He certainly proved that he is a triple-threat to win on any given weekend. And he's only 25-years-old. I wouldn't be surprised if, some year soon, I will be handing him the Driver of the Year trophy."
In the voting Busch took nine first-place ballots and totaled 121 points according to the Driver of the Year points system. NASCAR drivers swept the virtual podium with Carl Edwards garnering six first-place votes and 89 points and Kevin Harvick also earning six first-place votes and 84 points. A total of 14 drivers scored points in the first quarter voting. In its' 45th year, the Driver of the Year title is unique. A panel of 21 leading journalists from across the U.S. determines the winner. In quarterly voting, points are awarded on a declining 9, 6, 4,3,2,1 basis. Busch will receive a trophy and a Tissot wristwatch to be presented at Infineon Raceway on the SaveMart 350 weekend.(Driver of the Year Foundation)(4-25-2011)

And, he’s till in the news – Jeremy Mayfield:

Mayfield's Dogs Attack Mail Carrier: When a mail carrier tried to deliver a package too big for Jeremy Mayfield's mailbox, she tried to drop it off at the home's front door, but when she went to the house, police say she was attacked by five dogs. The pit bull-lab mix dogs are currently in quarantine at the Catawba County Animal Shelter. Firefighters said it was at former NACSAR driver Jeremy Mayfield's home where mail carrier Mary Bolton was attacked. Firefighters said she was hospitalized with bite marks and cuts all over her legs, arms and shoulders. Neighbors were stunned to hear news of the attack. Police have confirmed that Mayfield came outside to intervene, scooping up the badly injured carrier and taking her back inside the home. The police chief in Catawba said the dogs are being quarantined for ten days because he is not sure they are up to date on rabies shots. No decision has been made yet on what will happen to the dogs or if anyone will face charges.(WSOCtv.com)(4-23-2011)

Kahne has surgery on knee again: Kasey Kahne tweeted that he had knee surgery again on Monday [April 18th] as he re tore his meniscus. Kahne says the knee just about feels better now then it has the last month and that he will be driving at Richmond [in The Sprint Cup race]. Kahne has surgery on both knee's in November 2010 to clean up the area surrounding the knees.(4-22-2011)

Fire destroys Smokey Yunick's former garage: The last remaining portion of legendary race car builder Smokey Yunick's former garage complex was destroyed Monday night as smoke and flames poured from the building onto North Beach Street [Daytona Beach FL]. "It's a shame to see it go," said Carrol Smith, who lives nearby. "That corner will be really empty." The relic of the innovative mechanic burst into flames about 7 pm, according to fire officials, and by 8:30 pm little of the building remained with the exception of portions of the block walls. Smoke was so thick at times the fire trucks battling the blaze couldn't be seen through the plumes. "I think this is it," Smith said to a friend sitting with her on the back of a pickup at the Riverside Trailer Park. "There was Smokey's, the Streamline Motel where NASCAR was really born, and their was a garage in Ormond Beach that's just marked with a sign that it used to be there." The age of the building and its former use as a garage made the blaze hazardous for firefighters. "We're not sending any of our guys in there," said Daytona Beach Fire Department spokesman Lt. Larry Stoney. "We're fighting this from outside. It's going to be difficult to figure out the cause of the fire." Yunick, who died in 2001 at age 77, wasn't shy about his mechanical skills, calling his business the "Best Damn Garage in Town." There were two sides to the shop. He worked on trucks on one side and race cars on the other. Inside the gray walls of his sprawling facility, Yunick made several significant gains for the automotive industry. Some of his inventions included variable-ratio power steering and the extended tip spark plug, a design utilized in most automobiles today. When Daytona International Speedway opened in 1959, Yunick's machines made an immediate impact. He built the cars that carried Marvin Panch and Fireball Roberts to Daytona 500 victories in 1961 and '63, respectively.(see full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal, some interesting info there)(4-26-2011)


Former Oakland Valley Speedway (Dirt Oval) runners:


I’ve been away from the track for a few years now, so it’s very possible that there have been other drivers – other than those I make mention of, that have also gone onto bigger forms or racing vehicles, so chances are real good that I do not know their names.  If you know of anyone that’s gone onto bigger things, and had run at the Dirt Oval, how about dropping me a line and let me know their names and where and with what they are now racing.  Thanks!

At Accord, last Friday night:

Danny Creeden was 3rd, Anthony Perrego 7th, Clinton Mills 20th and Michael Storms 22nd in the Modified feature.  Mills had the fastest lap in the race with a time of 13.334 and an average speed of 67.497 MPH

Brad Szulewski, after being involved in two separate incidents, still managed a 4th place finish, while John Lodini was 20th in the Sportsman feature, per My Laps, but shown as a DQ in a race results that’s shown on the Internet.  He was DQ’d.

Kyle Rohner was the feature winner in the Spec Sportsman class.  Matt Hitchcock, after a dispute about the finishing order, was DQ’d.  Seems that there was a caution right after Matt took the lead, but the lap wasn’t completed, so the scoring reverted back to the last completed lap.  Then the race, due to the hour, was curfewed, and considered complete.

Corey Ziegler was 3rd in the Sportsman feature at Penn Can.

Hope I didn’t miss anyone!

Once “Mother Nature” starts behaving, on the weekends, there will be more listings of what former Dirt Oval runners have done, racing wise.  At times, I think I’ve had like 25 names – weekly.



Going back, in time – in racing history:

Note:  Most of the following information was found here: 



Covering the days of April 29th to May 5th.


April 29


Jerry Karl ... Born ... 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 Indianapolis Cars. Jerry raced in the Indy 500 in 1973,1974,1975,1978,1980 and 1981.


Dale Earnhardt, Sr.... Born ...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.


Chad Little... Born ... NASCAR driver


Geoff Bodine scored his first career NASCAR GN win by taking the 500 lap race on the 1/2 mile Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. It also marked the first GN victory for car owner Rick Hendrick. Bodine took the lead from Bobby Allison with 49 laps left and took his Chevy across the line 6 seconds ahead of Ron Bouchard's Jack Beebe Buick.


April 30


Andy Hillenburg... Born ... He won the state quarter midget championships in 1975-1979. Hillenburg won the ARCA Super Car Series Championship in 1995, with 3 time ARCA Champion Bob Dotter as Crew Chief. He won the 1995 and 1997 Daytona ARCA 200, the premiere event in the series. He served as a test driver for the IROC series. He competed in the 2000 Indianapolis 500, finishing 28th, and has sixteen Winston Cup starts nine Busch Series starts and four in the Craftsman Truck Series. On October 2, 2007, Hillenburg purchased North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina for $4.4 million (USD). The track was put up for auction by Speedway Motorsports Inc and chairman Bruton Smith. Rockingham has not hosted a NASCAR event since 2004, but Hillenburg hopes to bring lower-tier NASCAR series back to the track.


Michael Waltrip... Born ... NASCAR driver and owner of Michael Waltrip Racing. He is the younger brother of Darrell Waltrip, a three-time NASCAR champion (now retired). Waltrip is a two-time winner of the Daytona 500 (2001 & 2003), and drives a self-owned #55 NAPA Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series. He is also a part-time commentator for SPEED TV's coverage of the Craftsman Truck Series and is a member of the "expert panel" on SPEED Channel's This Week in NASCAR program.


Darren Manning... Born ... Road racer and Indy Racing League driver.


Warren Johnson set an NHRA Pro Stock speed record of 202.24 mph at Richmond, Virginia.




Ray Keech ... Born ... He was a board and brick track racer in the 1920s. He is best remembered for winning the 1929 Indianapolis 500, and for setting a land speed record in the Triplex Spirit of Elkdom. This monster featured three 27-litre Liberty aero-engines! He died in a racing accident at the Altoona 200-Mile Race in 1929.


The Gates at Indianapolis Motor Speedway open for practice for the first Indy 500.


Mike Nazaruk... Died ... ARDC and AAA driver He raced midget cars, sprint cars, and IndyCars. He was nicknamed "Iron Mike." He won the track championships at Staten Island, New York, and Rhinebeck, New York in 1947. He scored over twenty feature wins at Middletown, New York enroute to winning the 1948 track championship. Nazaruk was the 1949 American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) midget car champion. [1] The series tours the East Coast of the United States. Nazaruk joined the AAA in 1950. He won 14 national midget tour events, including the 1950 Night Before the 500, and the first midget car event at Terre Haute Action Track in 1953. He finished fifth in the 1954 National Midget car points. Nazaruk finished second in his first Indianapolis 500 in 1951. He competed in two more Indianapolis 500, including a fifth place finish in 1954. Nazaruk was killed in an AAA sprint car race at the tricky 1 mile circular dirt Langhorne Speedway on May 1, 1955 in Langhorne, PA. while in the lead, during the days feature event.

Note:  I was in attendance that day.  It’s a day I’ll never forget.



Graham Hill passed his rookie test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indianapolis 500.


LeeRoy Yarbrough drove to his first career NASCAR GN victory, winning the 'Savannah 200' on the 1/2 mile dirt Savannah Speedway in Savannah, Georgia. Jimmy Pardue won the pole, jumped out front and was holding a big lead when the rear end failed on his Burton-Robinson Plymouth on lap 137, giving the lead to Yarbrough. Yarbrough went on to take his Louis Weatherby Plymouth under the checkered flag a lap ahead of Marvin Panch's Wood Brothers Ford. Only 12 cars were on hand and only 8 were running at the finish of the 200 laps.




Jerry Unser suffered very serious injuries in a crash during a practice session for the Indianapolis 500. He would die from his injuries 15 days later. Jerry was the first of the Unser family to compete at Indianapolis. His brothers Al and Bobby and his nephew Al Jr. have won the "500". His son Johnny and nephew Robby have also competed in the race.


Kevin Gobrecht... Born ... Pennsylvania Sprintcar driver. Kevin Gobrecht was 30 years old when he was killed in a violent sprint-car crash at I-80 Speedway in Nebraska. Today, the World of Outlaws rookie of the year receives the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award, named for the driver known on the Central Pennsylvania circuit as The G Man. After a successful career racing micro sprints, Gobrecht won his first sprint-car feature in mid-1995, and in 1996, victories came more frequently. He posted victories driving for various sprint-car owners before he got the call from Dave Blaney to drive his World of Outlaws car in 1999. Gobrecht posted his biggest victory when he picked up the $100,000 top prize for winning The Big One at Eldora Speedway. It was his last victory.


Buzz Calkins... Born ... Indy Racing League driver 1996 to 2001. He competed in the Indianapolis 500 six times, with a best finish of 10th in 1998

Note:  He won the IRL series' inaugural race, the 1996 Indy 200 at Walt Disney World and was that year's league co-champion with Scott Sharp.




Davey Allison recorded his first NASCAR Winston Cup victory at the Winston 500 in Talladega, Alabama, driving his #28 Ford Thunderbird. Terry Labonte was second. Also on this day in 1987, while Davey won his first race, his father Bobby suffered a terrible crash in which his rear tire was pierced by a chunk of metal, causing his car to flip into the fence and almost into the grandstands at over 200 mph. After the crash, NASCAR mandated that all cars would carry carburetor plates to restrict the intake of their engines.




Hurley Haywood... Born ... He won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1977 (Porsche 936), 1983 (Porsche 956) and 1994 (Dauer-Porsche 962) and is the most winning driver at the 24 Hours of Daytona with 5 (1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, and 1991). He also drove in the 1980 Indianapolis 500 finishing 18th. He also represented IMSA four times in the International Race of Champions (1986, 1989, 1992, 1995).


John Force... Born ... Many time NHRA Funny Car Champion


Jackie Stewart passed his rookie test for the Indianapolis 500.




Duane Carter ... Born ... AAA / USAC driver from the 1940's, 50's & 60's. He raced midget cars, sprint cars, and IndyCars. His son Pancho raced in Indy cars, along with Johnny Parsons (who he helped raise). He was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1991 and the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1989.


Art Pollard ... Born ... He drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1965-1973 seasons, with 84 career starts, including the 1967-1971 Indianapolis 500 races. He finished in the top ten 30 times, with 2 victories, both in 1969, at Milwaukee and Dover. Pollard died in Indianapolis, Indiana as a result of injuries sustained in practice for the 1973 Indianapolis 500.


Mark Kinser... Born ... Sprint car driver. Son to car owner Karl and cousin to Steve Kinser, Mark won the 1996 and 1999 World of Outlaws championship and the 1996, 1999, and 2000 Knoxville Nationals.


Dana Carter ... Died ... USAC and CART driver from the 1970's & 80's. Son of Duane Carter, brother of Pancho Carter and half brother of Johnnie Parsons Jr. Dana died on May 5th in 1983 of a heart attack after finishing second in a midget race in Indianapolis .


Bill Homeier ... Died ... AAA and USAC driver. In the Championship Car series, racing in the 1953-1955 and 1958-1960 seasons with 14 starts, including the 1954 and 1960 Indianapolis 500 races. He finished in the top ten 5 times, with his best finish in 5th position, in 1959 at Sacramento. He holds a unique record from the 1954 Indianapolis 500; he finished in last place, but completed 74 laps, the most for a last place finisher.


Note # 1:  From this section, last week, I had this:


April 27


Russ Klar ... Born ... He was a race driver in the Northeast. He drove midgets , sprint cars and 'big cars' in the 1940s and '50s and late in his career modifieds (stock cars).  His daughter, Anne, is married to Drew Fornoro, son of Nick and Bette.  Anne is the PR person for the AJ Foyt race team.


Note # 2:  On the 27th, I made mention of this on the ARDC’s web site and also sent an e-mail to his daughter Anne, and his son, Greg.  I did question whether Russ had ever announced his retirement from racing – it being something that was said he never did do.


Anne got back to me with this:

"No he never did...never wanted to eliminate possibility of a ride!"


And Greg, with this:

“I don’t think he did! His last midget race occurred in 1983, subbing for Drew Fornoro in Gene Angelillo’s car at Thompson, Conn. He started 12th, got up to 2nd and finished 4th at age 69! He had not driven any race cars for five years prior to this event. I consider this feat to be one of his most remarkable achievements in his racing career.

Thanks for remembering him”

News from the AARN:


From their April 19th issue:

It looks like there are some problems with car counts as far as some classes go in the Asphalt Modified scene.  At the Thompson International Speedway, on April 9th, there were only 12 SK Modifieds.  In the NASCAR National Modified Championship Series, Keith Rocco has won two of the first four events.  However, due to there being less than 20 cars in each race, he’ll only get partial points awarded.

One of the reasons that New Egypt opted for a Friday night race a week ago, when so much rain was forecast for Saturday, their normal race night, rather than running on Sunday was that there is a 6:00 PM curfew on Sunday racing.

There was a special race scheduled for Williams Grove last Friday, April 22nd – the “Tommy Classic” – a special race in the memory of the late, great, Tommy Hinnershitz.  Ernie Saxton made note of this in his weekly column.  Ernie was wondering why there are no Memorial races for the late Johnny Th0mson, another racing great.  I wonder about that, too.

Note:  Believe it or not, I’ve only been to Williams Grove one time – that was in October of 1951 when I went there with my father and brother to see the “Ted Horn Memorial” race.  Hinnershitz and Bill Schindler were having a battle royal for the championship for Sprint Cars here in the east, and my father, being a big Schindler fan, just had to go see that race.  Later on, after Schindler was fatally injured on September 20, 1952, at Allentown, PA, the Ted Horn Memorial race was changed to the Horn/Schindler Memorial.  Somehow, I don’t think that “special” race is run anymore.  In fact, there are quite a few “Memorial” races that are not run anymore.  I wonder why?

A couple of top five finishers in a race up in Thompson, CT a short while ago did not pass tech.  Ted Christopher (1st) and Justin Bonsignore (5th) had some problems with “Altered carb boosters”.  Tony Corrente, their engine builder took the blame and was very apologetic about what happened.

Note:  Somehow, it would seem to me that an engine builder for cars that run in NASCAR events would kinda know what’s legal and what’s not.  Agree?

Did you know that booth spaces are already being claimed for the 2012 AARN’s Motorsports show that would be from January 20th to the 22nd.  If you had a booth, or are thinking of having one, you might want to contact Tim Hogue – 609-888-3618 or via e-mail at:  tim@aarn.com ASAP.

When Brett Hearn won the feature at the Accord Speedway, back on April 15th, that made it 791 features won, so far, over his racing career.

Glen Ridge has scheduled some Mini Sprint races at their track, since Whip City Speedway is now officially closed.  They’ll be combining 1200 cc and 750 cc powered cars.  It was requested that they have six races at Glen Ridge, but as of now, only three have been scheduled – with the track saying  they want to see how it works out.  Their scheduled races will be scheduled so not to interfere with the Accord Speedway.  It said that the 1200’s could compete with the “Lightning Sprints” at Accord.

“Race Chaser” Guy Smith is now up to 1,358 tracks that he’s visited over they years.

Note:  And I feel good about the little amount of tracks I’ve been to!

On June 13, 1954, Al Keller won a NASCAR race at the Linden, NJ Airport.  It was the first race ever won by a foreign car – Keller drove a Jaguar XK 120 Coupe.  10,000 fans paid $4.00 to sit in the stands, while others paid $3.00 to roam around.  A lot has been said about that race – a foreign car winning it, but that was not the first NASCAR race to have foreign cars in competition.  At Langhorne, on June 21, 1963 they had six Jaguars, 2 Porsches, 1 VW and 1 Aston Martin that ran in the 100 miler.  Bill Allwine was 6th in his Jag, Nick Fornoro 8th in a Porsche, Billy Oswald 9th in his Porsche and Frankie Schneider was 12th in a Jag.

Note:  Talking with Nick Fornoro, he told me that as he was racing, he was listening to a Yankee baseball game on the cars radio.

The Petruska race team is said to be on a week-to-week basis – racing where Danny wants to – except in Canada.  They’ll chase the RoC Series, looking to win that championship.

Note:  Danny Johnson has made the first two shows at the Accord Speedway, and at one time on opening night had gotten the lead, then had a flat, came back out, was moving up and had another problem that took him out of the feature.  Last Friday he won the feature.  I know you can’t believe every thing you read on the Internet, but I did read the other day that Danny and the Petruska # 66 will be at Accord every Friday night for the rest of the season.  Time will tell?

John McGill is out of racing for the 2011 season, citing back problems and he also has two sons that are racing Slingshots.

Greg Hastie sold his # 21 and will not race in 2011.  No idea as to the future.

Brian Krummel, the Sportsman champion at both Accord and Orange County Fair Speedway, last year, will not be racing at Accord in 2011.

Kerry Graham, father of Brett Graham, is in the racecar chassis making business.  The “GRC” chassis are said to be wider, and easier to work on, with some parts as “bolt-ons” – like the front clip.  He’s already built four chassis.

And there’s more being said about the John Wight/WRG “problems” as this was in an article by Joe Johnson:

“John made his move after several attempts to reach a deal failed and WRG should have accepted it and moved on for this year and try to bring John back next year.  Instead they have chosen to start this war of scheduling conflicts and bullying tactics to try and get him to either cave in or fail and no one wins in that situation, not the parties involved or and certainly not the fans.  Maybe at this point it would be best if the World Racing Group left the local racing scene to the track promoters and the Race of Champions Tour so they can concentrate on the World of Outlaws Sprintcars and Late Models”.


More racin’ stuff:


Around 9:00 PM on Tuesday, I received the following, via e-mail.  If you’re thinking of making any of the racing events at Kutztown, PA, you might want to read this:


 News from the Kutztown Fair Speedway

Race Organizers: Kerry Meitzler, 610-683-8234 and Janelle Stump, racektown@aol.com.

Media Contact: Barry Angstadt, 484-256-4429 or email: bwa39@comcast.net.


 Kutztown, Pa. - April 26 -  While they will still travel in the same direction on the track, racers (and fans) may need some assistance getting to the Kutztown Fair Speedway when the 2011 season begins on Wednesday, May 11.

  Many competitors and spectators normally take Route 737 when traveling to and from the fairgrounds located in the shadows of Kutztown University. But that won't happen this year because, due to a bridge replacement, a significant section of that road is closed and will remain off-limits throughout the summer months.

  While a GPS might help, it really isn't necessary. There are some simple options for anyone needing to avoid Route 737: for those driving west on 78/22, take the Fogelsville exit (route 100 South). Turn right onto Shantz Road; then make a right onto route 222 South. Follow 222 until you see the exit for Kutztown.

  For those traveling east on 78, take the exit for route 61 South. Stay on 61 South, then turn left onto 662, or follow 61 until you can make a left onto route 73. Follow 73 for a few miles, then turn left on route 222 North. Stay on 222 until you see the exit for Kutztown.

  Another option is to take the exit for 737, then follow Old 22 to Long Lane, then turn right onto 222 South at the traffic light across from Valentinos Restaurant/Arby's.

  When the new season kicks off on May 11 with the running of the Goldie Meitzler Memorial, Phil Marabella of PhilMar Photography will be the official track photographer of the Kutztown Fair Speedway. As such, Marabella has sole rights to the sale of photos at the fairgrounds.

  PhilMar Photography will be rewarding a "Fan of the Week" with a photo of the fan as he/she poses with one of the feature-winning drivers each Wednesday. The "Fan of the Week" will be chosen by various methods throughout the season, and he/she will have the choice of visiting victory lane with the victorious driver from one of the speedway's weekly divisions...the wingless 600cc or winged 270cc Micro-Sprints; the All Star Slingshots; or the Xcel Sportsman Modifieds.

  Marabella will also present some photos to a few lucky drivers in each of the classes, and special awards will go to the 2011 Point Champions.

  With the brand new season just a few weeks away, anticipation is growing among competitors and fans. The action heats up on May 11 at 7 p.m. with the Goldie Meitzler Memorial, and the remaining Wednesdays in May will be rockin' with Racers Roundtable Night on the 18th and the Mike O'Pake Memorial Slingshot Tour Race on the 25th.

  For 2011, Kutztown Fair Speedway is a proud member of the 600 Pro Series. Drivers competing in the wingless 600cc Micros on Wild Wednesdays at the fairgrounds will be eligible for not only track points, but they will also earn valuable points toward the 600 Pro Series Championship, provided they are members of that sanctioning organization.

  The 600 Pro Series Tour will make a stop at the fairgrounds on June 15. Extra Pro Series points and cash will be up for grabs on the 15th, guaranteeing the best of the best 600cc wheel-twisters will be present for some wingless, midweek mud slingin' mayhem.

  Each week on the Wild Wednesday schedule at Kutztown, gates will  open at 4 p.m. Warm-ups begin at 6:30, and the first heat race goes green at 7:00.

  Sponsorship opportunities are still available for both weekly events and the big Kutztown Fair races in August. For additional information on becoming a marketing partner at Kutztown, contact Kerry Meitzler at 610-683-8234 or Janelle Stump at racektown@aol.com.

  Keep tabs on all the action at the fairgrounds by logging on to www.kutztownfairspeedway.com.



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.

Vintage Dirt Modifieds:  http://www.vintagedirtmodified.webs.com/



Racing and television:

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


Some non-racing stuff:

Trump: Obama wasn't qualified for Ivy League

In part:

“Real estate mogul Donald Trump suggested in an interview Monday that President Barack Obama had been a poor student who did not deserve to be admitted to the Ivy League universities he attended. Trump, who is mulling a bid for the Republican presidential nomination, offered no proof for his claim but said he would continue to press the matter as he has the legitimacy of the president's birth certificate.

"I heard he was a terrible student, terrible. How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard?" Trump said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I'm thinking about it, I'm certainly looking into it. Let him show his records."



Is this true - Part 1:


From an e-mail I received, the other day:


Is it true, or not?


Alan Simpson, Senator from Wyoming , Co-Chair of Obama's deficit
commission, calls senior citizens the Greediest Generation as he
compared "Social Security" to a Milk Cow with 310 million teats.
August, 2010.
Here's a response in a letter from a unknown fellow in Montana ...
I think he is a little ticked off!   He also tells it like it is! 


"Hey Alan, let's get a few things straight..
1. As a career politician, you have been on the public dole for FIFTY
2. I have been paying Social Security taxes for 48 YEARS (since I was 15
years old. I am now 63).
3 My Social Security payments, and those of millions of other
Americans, were safely tucked away in an interest bearing account for
decades until you political pukes decided to raid the account and give
OUR money to a bunch of zero ambition losers in return for votes, thus
bankrupting the system and turning Social Security into a Ponzi scheme
that would have made Bernie Madoff proud.


4. Recently, just like Lucy & Charlie Brown, you and your ilk pulled the
proverbial football away from millions of American seniors nearing
retirement and moved the goalposts for full retirement from age 65 to
age 67.  NOW, you and your shill commission is proposing to move the
goalposts YET AGAIN.
5  I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying into Medicare
from Day One, and now you morons propose to change the rules of the
game. Why? Because you idiots mismanaged other parts of the economy 
to such an extent that you need to steal money from Medicare to pay 
the bills.
6.  I, and millions of other Americans, have been paying income taxes our
entire lives, and now you propose to increase our taxes yet again. Why?
Because you incompetent bastards spent our money so profligately that
you just kept on spending even after you ran out of money. Now, you come
to the American taxpayers and say you need more to pay off YOUR debt.


To add insult to injury, you label us "greedy" for calling "bullshit" on
your incompetence. Well, Captain Bullshit, I have a few questions for
1. How much money have you earned from the American taxpayers during
your pathetic 50-year political career?
2. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and
how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the
American taxpayers?
3. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance?
4.  What cuts in YOUR retirement and healthcare benefits are you
proposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or, as usual,
have you exempted yourself and your political cronies?


It is you, Captain Bullshit, and your political co-conspirators called

Congress who are the "greedy" ones.  It is you and your fellow nutcases

who have bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from

millions of loyal, patriotic taxpayers.  And for what?  Votes.  That's right,

sir.  You and yours have bankrupted America   for the sole purpose of

advancing your pathetic political careers.  You know it, we know it, and

you know that we know it.
And you can take that to the bank, you miserable son of a bitch.

If you like the way things are in America , delete this.  If you agree with

what a fellow Montana citizen says,  PASS IT ON!!!!”


Is this true – Part 2:

Some people love him, and some people hate him – Glen Beck.  To be honest, we’ve watched his show quite a lot.  He had something on his show this past Tuesday – something about a new form that one would fill out when applying for a US Passport.  This form, so he says, will NOT be required to be filled out by everyone, but some selected people.  It’s being said that it would only take 45 minutes to fill it out.  Uh huh!


Do you know who took care of your mother with pre-natal care when she was pregnant with you? 

Do you know when her appointments were?  Uh huh!  These are just two of the questions that one MUST answer or no Passport.

Click on this link and you’ll see just what MIGHT happen to you if you will be applying for a Passport:



And here’s another link:




And, a third:





Video time:


This past Monday, our daughter, Sandra (Sandy) put a link up to a video over on Facebook.  For all you mothers and fathers of teenage daughters, sit back, relax, and give some thoughts as you listen:





Closing with these:

TEACHER:     Maria, go to the map and find North America.
MARIA:          Here it is.
TEACHER:    Correct.  Now class, who discovered America ?
CLASS:          Maria.


TEACHER:     John, why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
JOHN:           You told me to do it without using tables.


TEACHER:  Glenn, how do you spell 'crocodile?'
GLENN:       K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L'
TEACHER:  No, that's wrong
GLENN:        Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.


TEACHER:    Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
DONALD:      H I J K L M N O.
TEACHER:    What are you talking about?
DONALD:    Yesterday you said it's H to O. 


TEACHER:   Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.
WINNIE:        Me.


TEACHER:   Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN:            Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.  

Six more of these will be in next weeks column.

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