Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 56





Just a reminder – there’s a good possibility that there will be no column next week.  If there is one, it will be out on Friday and will be quite short, more than likely.




Last weekend – Friday and Saturday, I hit two completely different race tracks – the tight, banked Ľ mile track at Accord and the big, basically flat 5/8 mile Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, N.Y.



Classes:  Modifieds – both Big Block and Small Block, combined – with Sail Panels, Sportsman, Spec Sportsman, Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks and the Lightning Sprints.


Classes:  Modifieds – with regular bodies, Sportsman – both Crate and race engines combined, Pro Stocks, Street Stocks and the CRSA 305 Sprint Cars.


Accord:  Stands were basically pretty full.  Show started on time.

OCFS:  Where I sit, in the ˝ covered stands – pretty empty.  The drive-in wasn’t all that bad as far as the amount of cars, and they were really into getting the lights on when the feature fields went past them on their pace laps.  Since there’s no need for me to leave my seat – to get a sammich from what I take it is now closed – JP’s Snack Bar, I really don’t know how the main grandstand was, spectator wise.  Show started on time.


Accord:  Got dusty at the end of the night, for the first time this year, especially with the Modified feature.

OCFS:  Very little dust.


Accord:  A lot of side-by-side, multi-groove racing with drivers capable of coming from the rear and up to the front.

OCFS:  Basically what one could call “Freight Train” racing, starting from the first heat of the night.  There were a couple of drivers that were able to advance from the rear, especially in the feature.  Tommy Meier probably would have won the feature if it were 31 laps, and not 30.  And there was no yellow flag waving during the feature, too, which didn’t help Meier much.


Accord:  Victory Lane” is behind the grandstands, and the drivers are interviewed right after their wins, which can be hard to hear since the next race is already in progress.  If you want to attend, you’ll miss part of the next race.  It is what it is, and I’m fine with that.

OCFS:  Victory Lane” is on the front stretch, and over the course of a night there might be a couple of times when feature winners are spoken to, with the main ceremonies being after the final race of the night.  Again, I’m fine with how they do their “Victory Lane” deal, too.


Accord:  Yes. I’ll eat some of their food.

OCFS:  Can’t say the same here, since JP’s is closed.  In fact, I bought a sammich from home.  You don’t want to hear what my son said about the food he bought, though.  Why JP’s is closed – I have no idea.  It’s just a shame, that’s all I can say. 


My son, Eric, was also at both tracks, although he misses some of the action at Accord when he’s in the pits helping out a couple of teams.  However, he was late getting to OCFS, due to his son having to attend a birthday party.  When he finally got to OC and got to sit next to me, I looked at him and said:  “It ain’t Accord” – meaning how much the competition differed.  He knew what I was talking about.


Accord:  Do the “Lightning Sprints” bring in more fans?  I doubt it.

OCFS:  Did the CRSA Sprint Cars bring in more fans?  Again, I doubt it.


Both tracks were done at a reasonable hour, considering the amount of classes they run.

You could not hear the announcers at either track when the cars are racing, and I guess that’s to be expected.


One possible drawback to OCFS in the future is that when the fair is running this summer, it’s been extended to almost three weeks now – from Friday, July 15th to Sunday the 31st.  On July 30th, the CRSA 305 Sprint Cars return, and the 358 Modifieds will also run – in place of the Big Block Modifieds, that night.  I imagine the drive-in will be pretty full when racing is featured during the fair.  And, I’m not sure if one can go from the Drive-in to the fair, without paying the fair admission.  Parking, during the fair – well, it isn’t very good.  I love Sprint Car racing & Midgets, too, but I think I’ll probably miss the next CRSA show.





Earlier, it was said that due to time and lack of time to get sponsors, there would be no “Big Show III” at OCFS in 2011 – that’s the racing night that’s promoted by Brett Hearn at OCFS, and is a DIRTcar SDS event.

Well, all that changed last Saturday.  Just as I was about to shut my ‘puter down, and head to OCFS, I checked my e-mails.


Here’s one that put a small smile on my face, and hopefully, by June 21st, OCFS will be a multi-grooved track with some passing!


Contact: DIRTcar Racing
Chris Dolack, VP Media/PR
704-795-7223 / cdolack@dirtcar.com

Brett Hearn’s ‘The Big Show III’ Returns to Orange County Fair Speedway

Friesen seeking redemption on historic Middletown, N.Y., track where McCreadie won last fall

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. - May 7, 2011 - Brett Hearn's hugely popular "The Big Show" featuring the Big-Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series returns Tuesday, June 21, to Orange County Fair Speedway for the third consecutive season.

Can Stewart Friesen avenge his controversial defeat in last fall's Eastern States Weekend? Will Tim McCreadie win again on the legendary speedway? Hearn, together with Orange County Fair Speedway and DIRTcar Racing, will provide the venue to answer those questions and more when the Super DIRTcar Series invades this June to renew rivalries both old and new in a spectacular 100-lap event.

"I always felt it was imperative for the series to have an event at Orange County," said Hearn, a seven-time Super DIRTcar Series champion who is only eight victories from an astonishing 800 wins in his career. "It's the perfect battleground to mix the upstate with the downstate with the New Jersey and Pennsylvania guys. It's a central location to bring all of the Modifieds together from north and south and meet in one place on neutral ground."

Hearn's third annual The Big Show will no doubt bring together all of the superstars of Big-Block Modified racing, including defending Super DIRTcar Series champion Matt Sheppard, title contender Jimmy Phelps, inaugural All-Star 100 winner Ryan Phelps, and SEF Small Engine Fuels 200 winner Friesen, who was robbed of a victory last year at Orange County during Eastern States Weekend.

The Orange County Fair Speedway DIRTcar Sportsman Modifieds also will be competing in a 30-lap event on the 5/8-mile track.

"We're excited to work with Orange County Fair Speedway and Brett Hearn to bring the Super DIRTcar Series to Middletown for a big night of racing," said DIRTcar Director of Series and Sanctioning Joe Skotnicki. "The past two Big Shows definitely have been exciting, and this year's will no doubt be the best one yet."

Orange County Fair Speedway has long played a key part of the Super DIRTcar Series schedule, with The Big Show III playing a pivotal role in the 2011 championship.

"The Big Show III is going to be a great night of action with all the big stars from the Super DIRTcar Series taking on racers from all over the Northeast," said Orange County Fair Speedway promoter Michael Gurda. "We can't wait to have them all come to Middletown."

Tickets will be on sale soon through DIRTcar.com and SuperDIRTcarSeries.com.

DIRTcar Racing in the Northeast Region is brought to fans by several sponsors and partners; including Hoosier Racing Tire; VP Racing Fuels; GM Performance Parts and Safety-Kleen. Promotional partners include the University of Northwestern Ohio and Chizmark & Larson Insurance. Contingency sponsors are ASI; Bert Transmissions; Bicknell Racing Products; Bilstein Shocks; Brodix; ButlerBuilt; Comp Cams; Intercomp; JE Pistons; KSE Racing Products; Motorsports Safety Systems; MSD Ignition; Penske Shocks; Racing Electronics; R2C; Super Flow; Vicci Racing Apparel; WIX Filters; Wrisco Industries; Xtreme Lubricants and Extreme Mufflers.”

Note # 1:  Brett Hearn won the feature at Accord last Friday night, so he’s now only 7 wins from 800.

Note # 2:  From above:  Can Stewart Friesen avenge his controversial defeat in last fall's Eastern States Weekend?” 

Ah hah!  That’s a good question!  If you recall, last year, after ESW, Mr. Friesen came right out and said that he’ll no longer race at OCFS as long as “Suitcase” is there.  Well, guess who’s still at OCFS?  Uh huh.  Now, one wonders, what happened down in Charlotte last year when, after the season ending races, there was supposed to be a meeting between Friesen and a couple of others (promoters) regarding what occurred at ESW.  There’s never been anything released on that – nothing that I’ve seen, anyway, and I check out various forums and message boards daily.  My take:  Friesen will be at the “Big Show III”. 



IRS chasing after Indy 500 champ – again

In part:

Indy 500 champ Helio Castroneves beat the government in a criminal tax-evasion case two years ago, and paid $5 million in income taxes after the Miami trial was over.

But apparently that wasn’t enough for the Internal Revenue Service, which again says he owes millions more in back taxes.

In U.S. Tax Court, the IRS asserts the Brazilian race car star still owes more than $6 million in additional taxes and fraud penalties on the very same licensing income he earned from Penske Racing Team from 2000-04.”




From my April 7th column – column # 51:




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.”


Well, in case you haven’t heard, Mr. Trump is now out of a ride.  I have my own suspicions as to why, but will keep them to myself.  Over on the Track Forum, there were some discussions on this – Trump doing the driving, while a lot of people were thinking that maybe a former driver should be the one, since it’s the 100 anniversary of the 500.


Well, a driver has been selected.  Why he wasn’t originally thought of, I have no idea.


A.J. Foyt has no problem being 2nd choice to drive Indy 500 pace car


In part:


Foyt was offered the honor Friday via a phone call from his longtime friend, Mari Hulman George, the Speedway's board chair.

The call came almost 24 hours after Donald Trump withdrew.”




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

Note:  The long range weasther forecast really kinda sucks, if ya know what I mean – especially for Tues, Wed & Thurs when we’ll be there.



It looks like the Cooper family is getting out of racing.  I can’t blame them, in a way, what with the expense to be half way competitive, today.  Their daughter, Lauren, was racing in the SK Light class at the Stafford Speedway, and was a multi-time champion at OVRP’s Dirt Oval and other tracks, too.

Here’s some info on what they have for sale:

For Sale...2007 Chassis Dynamic"s S.K. Light Modified race ready minus seat with many extra parts. Lots of brand new parts installed and never ran. $15,000 Also 2007 Haulmark 36' gooseneck trailer with hitch to acommadate 6 1/2' bed with loading winch. $13,0000 Rolling pit cart $1,000 Longacre rolloff leveler scales $1,800 E-mail coopermotorsports25@yahoo.com


On one of the message boards/forums that I frequent, someone came out and said that there’s a good possiblity of the need for a pit stop during the “Big Show III”, which is a 100 lap event.  There reasoning is because of the lesser amount of rubber being put on the Hoosier tires.  True?  If so, I hope the “powers that be” don’t decide to make it two 50 lap races.  But, if they do, maybe they can invert the whole field for the second 50 lapper?  And, how I wish they’d do away with time trials!  On a track the size of OCFS, and with all cars basically all the same today -with everything, that only increases the opportunity for us to watch “freight train” racing.  Would be nice if they’d open JP’s Snack Bar on June 21st, too.


Oswego Speedway has been sold.  Info on that can be found if you go here:



Over on the Syracuse Forum, there was a link to some photos that were taken at the Brewerton Speedway - with cars on the Glenn Donnelly “Synthetic” racing surface.  Here’s the link:


And, on Dirt Track Digest’s Forum, there’s an interview with Glenn Donnelly by Mike Mallett, and also a video of the first test session on the new surface.  They can be heard and seen if you go here:


And some comments about how the test went, can be seen if you go here:




If you recall, I made mention of the crowds, or lack of, in comparing Accord and OCFS, up above.

Well, while having my morning cup on Wednesday, I thought I’d copy down the attendance figures for Major League Baseball – those that had results in my local paper.

The attendance is the first number, and seating capacity is the second number.

Kansas City at Yankees – 41,275 & 50,291

Mets at Colorado – 31,007 & 50,490

Florida at Philadelphia – 21,955 & 38, 560

Washington at Atlanta – 16,143 & 49,856

Dodgers at Pittsburgh – 13,497 & 38,362

Cincinnati at Houston – 24,499 & 40,963

Seattle at Baltimore – 11,485 & 45,438

Boston at Toronto – 17,820 & 49,260

Oakland at Texas – 31,655 & 49,170

Note:  So now when you watch some racing on TV, and see a lot of aluminum, think of all the empty seats at baseball games.  Oh – by the way, the NBA playoffs – sold out and you don’t get to see too many empty seats at NFL games, either.  So why are people staying away from racing?


Speedways and racetracks – I wonder why some of them have no direct links to their weekly results.  Anyone know why?  Also, why don’t they have a link directing you to their “My Laps’?  Why is it that some tracks use the transponders and you still can’t find the results on “My Laps”?


Wow!  Big time stuff going on over on SJDR’s message board between a couple of PR people and race fans – all from that “Illegal Engine” article a short time ago.  A link to SJDR’s message board can be found, below, in Other forums/message boards and websites.


Note:  Since I know both PR people, personally, I’m not going to comment – either way.




Found on the Track Forum:


“Is Nascar getting fickle?

Well--well--first off Nascar says "have at it boys" meaning race hard as you want as the fans want more excitement, bumping and banging etc, but now---Woaa--now they are investigating scuffles etc between drivers. How pathitic or fickle has Nascar become telling the drivers to have at it, then now calling them on it. Looks like Nascar doesnt know what to do or how to do it, much like some Indycar decisions being made are widely critisized, guess nothing is perfect.”

And some comments:

they change stuff a lot so writers have a lot of stuff to write about to keep them in the "papers"

nascar understands marketing”

“NASCAR doesn't mind beatin' and bangin' and wreckin' and wrasslin' and cussin' and fightin' as long as:
A) The safety of the paying customers isn't in obvious jeopardy.
B) It shows an increase in TV numbers or ticket sales
C) It isn't "Going too far" (the definition of which is determined at a particular moment and is valid only in that specific instance).”


Found on Jayski’s website:

NASCAR says teams can use fuel injection at some tests:

NASCAR told Sprint Cup teams Saturday that they can use fuel injection at NASCAR-sanctioned tests this season. The Cup series will switch from carburetors, used since the series' inception in 1949, to fuel injection next year. NASCAR told teams that they'll be allowed to test fuel injection at Kentucky in July - where teams will be given an extra day of practice since this will be the first Cup race there - at Goodyear tire tests, and at a test later this year on Phoenix's repaved surface. John Darby, Sprint Cup series director, also said that he would like to have additional fuel injection tests for all teams at a restrictor-plate track and a 1.5-mile track. A possibility is for teams to test at Talladega the day after the Cup race there in October and to a test at Charlotte Motor Speedway, since most teams are located near that 1.5-mile track, sometime this fall. Another option would be for teams to test in Daytona in January. Two years ago, teams did not test at Daytona, as part of NASCAR's testing ban. Last year, teams tested at Daytona because it had a new track surface. Fuel injection could allow Cup teams to test at Daytona in January for the second year in a row.(Virginian-Pilot)(5-8-2011)


NASCAR will look into driver altercations:

NASCAR will address altercations that occurred between Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya in the sanctioning body's hauler and the dustup on and off the track between Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. "We'll look at both of those," Kerry Tharp, NASCAR's senior director of communications, said Sunday morning. Montoya requested a meeting with NASCAR after his feud with Newman was reignited at Richmond International Raceway last weekend. Newman and officials from Stewart Haas Racing elected to meet with NASCAR immediately after the Richmond race. When the drivers gathered in the hauler on Friday morning, a punch was thrown by Newman, according to sources. Harvick vs. Busch came to a crescendo last November at Homestead Miami Speedway when the driver of the #29 complained that Busch was racing him too hard and Harvick then dumped Busch's #18 Toyota, which erupted into flames. The rivalry was rekindled Saturday night at Darlington Raceway on the second-to-last restart on Lap 363 as the drivers jockeyed for position among the top 10 on the lead lap. After the race, Harvick chased Busch onto the entrance of pit road, where the #29 crew waited to defend their driver. Harvick climbed from the car and approached Busch's vehicle. Harvick attempted to throw a haymaker, but Busch hit the gas and plowed the #29 into the wall. Both drivers were called to the NASCAR hauler after the incident. The last time a NASCAR driver intentionally hit another car on pit road was Steven Wallace at Memphis Motorsports Park in October 2009. Wallace was fined $5,000 and placed on probation.(Fox Sports)(5-9-2011)


Montoya, Newman feud continues at Darlington: UPDATE:

Tempers were still raging Friday between #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #39-Ryan Newman, who had a heated discussion at Darlington Raceway about an extended on-track feud. Newman, asked if he hit Montoya during what sources called a heated session inside the NASCAR hauler, said, "That's speculation." Asked the same question Montoya said, "I don't know. Ask him." Both drivers tried to downplay their latest flare-up in their morning media sessions, but a later meeting moderated by NASCAR did not go well. The two were called in to discuss their actions last Saturday night at Richmond, where Newman wrecked Montoya early in the race, and Montoya later retaliated by intentionally crashing Newman. "We did have a meeting with both Ryan and Juan relative to their incident, and we made it clear to them that this is their final warning. We also made it clear to them that we will be watching them very closely," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "The meeting did not go as well as we had hoped it would." NASCAR told the two drivers the discussion is not finished.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(5-6-2011)

The Juan Pablo Montoya/Ryan Newman feud erupted Friday afternoon at Darlington Raceway. Sources tell FOXSports.com that an altercation broke out between the drivers in the NASCAR hauler, the sanctioning body's at-track office where private meetings can be held. One source told FOXSports.com that Montoya said after the incident that "Newman hits like a girl." When asked directly about the incident after his qualifying run Friday, Montoya said, "I'm not going to tell you s---. Let's leave it at that. What happened in the trailer was between me, Ryan Newman and NASCAR. That's it." Asked about whether Newman threw a punch, Montoya smiled and said, "That's just speculation. It was a private meeting; that's why we met in the hauler."(Fox Sports)(5-7-2011)


NASCAR community helps victims for tornados:

A few examples of what NASCAR the community has done to help folks with relief efforts from the storms that hit Alabama and the South last week.
Between the Red Bull Racing and Hendrick Motorsports transporters approx 65-70,000 lbs of relief items/donations were delivered to Pell City, Ala. to help St. Clair County residents (where 14 people were killed and small communities destroyed) on Weds., May 4; more than 230 people lost their lives on April 27, 2011 due to the outbreak of tornadoes in the state of Alabama.
Items were collected from the following in the NASCAR community: Red Bull, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing, Stewart-Haas Motorsports, Michael Waltrip Racing, RCR, JRMotorsports, MRN and Victory Junction Gang Camp;
Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation raised more than $5,000 last weekend, with the monies going towards purchases for baby/children's needs (food, diapers, bottles, socks, underwear, etc..)
More than 16 pallets of water, soda and Red Bull were delivered along with a generator, dozens of coolers, cleaning supplies, canned goods, clothing and items for children (food, formula, sunscreen, clothing, shoes and even brand-new toys)
Plus this today thru Sunday, Talladega Superspeedway will aid the American Red Cross in relief efforts from the storms that tore through Alabama with a $100,000 commitment. And race fans can do their part as well and get a chance at tackling the high-banks of Talladega in turn. For a $50 donation to the American Red Cross race fans will be able to drive their personal vehicle around the track and participate in a blood drive there on Saturday. More info at talladegasuperspeedway.com.(5-6/8-2011)


Harvick -Busch fined, probation:

per a Kevin Harvick tweet: "4 weeks probation and $25,000 fine....I understand because of the car on pit road.." And from ESPN.com: Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch were placed on four weeks' probation and fined $25,000 Tuesday for their pit road confrontation following Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway. Harvick tweeted about his penalty and officials from Kevin Harvick Inc. confirmed the punishment Tuesday. Both drivers are on probation until June 15.(5-10-2011)


NASCAR has penalized NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick as a result of rules infractions committed at last weekend's event at Darlington Raceway. Busch, driver of the #18 car, and Harvick, driver of the #29 car, have each been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation for the next four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship points events until June 15 for violating Section 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing  involved in an altercation on pit road after the conclusion of the race). "These penalties are a result of what occurred on pit road after the race was over," said Kerry Tharp, senior director for communications, competition. "They are about maintaining a safe environment on pit road."(NASCAR)(5-10-2011)

Note:  Well, so much for “Go at it boys”, huh?

NASCAR "Needed To Send A Message":

NASCAR's Senior Director of Communication Kerry Tharp told Sirius/XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that the $25,000 fines and four-race probations handed down to drivers Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch are in response to what happened on pit road after Saturday night's Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, and not for anything that transpired in the final laps of the race. "We look very closely at what happens on the race track," said Tharp. "But more importantly after the race, (where) the actions of those two competitors led to putting some people in harm's way on pit road. We've got to maintain a safe environment on pit road, and we're going to maintain a safe environment there. That's why we reacted with the penalties.
Tharp said NASCAR fined both drivers equally because, "both had skin in the game. Both had opportunities to make other decisions that would not have put them in this situation, so the penalty was assessed to both." He said the sanctioning body has reached out to both Busch and Harvick to clarify what is expected of them going forward, saying, "Anytime we penalize a driver, we have a conversation with that individual and their team owner. We feel like we owe it to both parties to give them a heads-up on what the penalties will be, so they can notify their respective teams and sponsors. We've had conversations with Kevin and Kyle and explained why we were penalizing them."
He said the penalties do not signal a change in NASCAR's "Boys Have At It" policy, adding, "The drivers have done a very good job of that. We've seen some terrific, hard racing over the last couple of years, and I think (the policy) is alive and well. We certainly want it to be.

Tharp said he does not expect NASCAR to sanction either #39-Ryan Newman or #42-Juan Pablo Montoya for a reported physical confrontation during a closed-door meeting at Darlington Raceway last Friday. "You go into some meetings thinking they're going to go well, and most of the time they hit the mark. Sometimes, they don't," he said. "We met with Ryan and Juan Friday and made it clear to them that this was their final warning and we will be watching them very closely. I believe both of them understood where we were coming from. They got the message, loud and clear. They raced hard Saturday night at Darlington, but they raced cleanly. I believe they will continue to do so moving forward."(Sirius Speedway)(5-11-2011)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. calls team meeting, apologizes:

#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. called a team meeting following Saturday night's Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway and apologized for his pit road mistake that cost the team a top 10 finish -- and possibly a win. Earnhardt was running sixth coming to pit road with 38 laps remaining when he came in too fast and hit the commitment cone, knocking it onto the track. Because he wasn't all the way inside the cone, Earnhardt Jr. most popular driver was given a pass-through penalty under green conditions, dropping him to 21st. Despite rallying to finish 14th and maintaining his position of fourth in the points standings, Earnhardt felt bad enough about his mistake to gather his team and apologize. "It was a good thing to do, especially immediately after the event, to clear the air," Earnhardt said on Tuesday during a demonstration at Charlotte Motor Speedway to show off the world's largest HD screen. "That way nobody goes home wondering what anyone's thinking. They know how I feel and I know how they feel. It was just a good way to put it behind us as quick as we could." Earnhardt knew the penalty was coming as soon as he hit the cone. He said crew chief Steve Letarte and the rest of his team told him post-apology that they "were fine and they understood."
"We hold team meetings every day in the hauler and before the races," Earnhardt said. "Steve does all the talking and I really don't talk that much. So I felt like I needed to get vocal right there for a second. I made a mistake getting on pit road and I wanted to tell the guys that my focus was strong, it wasn't because there was a lack of focus or lack of concentration, [and] that I'll try to minimize my mistakes going forward and to continue working hard and loading up great race cars."(ESPN.com)(5-11-2011)


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!


Before I get into any results, here’s something quite interesting about one of those that ran at OVRP’s Dirt Oval – Alex Gross.


While at Accord last Friday, Alex was called to the announcer’s booth by Steve Pados, one of the Accord announcers.  It seems that Alex won something else, something a little bigger than a Go-Kart race.  Maybe you’ve heard of it – the National Automotive Technology Competition?


Orange-Ulster BOCES Career & Technical Education Auto Technology Students Are Tops in the Nation at 2011 National Automotive Technology Competition - Their CTEC Instructor Unrivaled with Three National Wins


In part:

“Alex Gross and Dan White, two Orange-Ulster BOCES Auto Technology students, won first place at the 2011 National Automotive Technology Competition held on April 27 at the Javits Center as part of the NY International Auto Show. This momentous win is a once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment for these talented students. With their win, their instructor, Tony Gualtieri, became the only instructor in the United States to have trained three first place teams in the National Automotive Technology Competition, a feat Gualtieri accomplished in only five trips to the Nationals.”



In his very first ride in his Ford Focus NEMA Lights car, Kenney Johnson finished 12th in the feature at Waterford.

At Hamlin, Charlie Lawrence was 11th in the Slingshot feature.  Rick Casario was 21st in the 270 Micro Sprint feature.  Joe Kata was 21st in the 600 Micro Sprint feature.  Jacob Hendershot was 13th in the 600 Rookie Micro Sprint feature.

Corey Ziegler was 6th in the Crate Sportsman feature at Penn Can.

Mike Mammana was the feature winner at Big Diamond, in the Sportsman feature, but was DQ’d in tech.  Something about a crankshaft?

At Wall Stadium, in the Modified feature, Roger Coss finished 5th.

Johnny Guarino had a 26th place finish at New Egypt.

At Borgers, Tiffany Wambold was 11th in the 270 Micro Sprint feature.

Rich Coons was 8th and Kyle Redner 14th in the Sportsman feature at Bethel.  Last week I missed the Bethel results, and Rich was 5th and Kyle 11th in the Sportsman feature.

Nick Pecko had a 7th place finish in the Modified feature at Mountain Speedway.

At Lebanon Valley, Kolby Schroder was the Sportsman feature winner.  Kyle Armstrong was 16th in the Modified feature.

At Accord, Danny Creeden was 7th, Michael Storms 18th and Anthony Perrego 19th in the Modified feature.  Kyle Rohner was the winner in the Spec Sportsman feature, while Matt Hitchcock finished 2nd.  Brad Szulewski finished 8th in the Sportsman feature.

At OCFS, Michael Storms won the Modified feature.  Mike Ruggiero was 15th, Danny Creeden 16th, Clinton Mills 18th and Billy VanInwegen 21st.  In the Sportsman feature, Matt Hitchcock was 1st, Keith Still 4th, John Lodini 6th, Brian Krummel 11th, RJ Smykla 20th and Matt Janiak 23rd, after being involved in an accident between turns one and two at the start.  Zack Vavricka was a DNQ.  Keith Still had the race won, but for some unknown reason, he slowed down drastically on the backstretch as he was getting ready to take the white flag.  Jump out of gear, maybe?

In the CRSA 305 Sprint Car portion of the nights racing, Josh Pieniazek was 6th, Billy VanInwegen 7th, Danny Hennessy 8th and Brittany Tresch 21st in the feature.  Brittany looked good in winning her heat race.

At Greenwood Valley Action Track, in the 600 Micro Sprints, Molly Chambers is listed as a DNF in the 18th slot while sister Cait, is also listed as a DNF and in the 20th slot.

Last week, I missed Geordan Farry finishing 16th at GVAT in the 600 Micro Sprints.  Not sure on the Chambers girls last week, or Geordan this past Saturday, since only 25 of the almost 50 entrants are listed.




Hope I didn’t miss anyone!




Going back, in time – in racing history:

Note:  Most of the following information was found here: 



Covering the days of May 13th to May 19th.


MAY 13


Rick Mears ran a lap of 220.453 mph in qualifying for the Indy 500. It was the first official 220 mph lap at the Speedway.


MAY 14


Norm Hall... Born ... He drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1961, 1964, and 1965 seasons, with 17 career starts, including the Indianapolis 500 races in 1961 and 1964. He finished in the top ten 8 times, with his best finish in 5th position twice in 1965, both at Trenton


Chuck Rodee... Died ... USAC driver from the 1950's and 1960's. He won 35 career features in USAC midget competition. He drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1957, 1958, 1960, and 1962-1965 seasons. He finished in the top ten 4 times, with his best finish in 5th position in 1965 at Atlanta. He had 16 career starts, including the Indianapolis 500 races in 1962 and 1965. He finished in 32nd in 1962 after crashing to avoid Jack Turner , and 28th in 1965. His career came to a halt on May 14th when he spun on his second warm-up lap during a qualifying attempt for the 1966 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. The car backed into the wall exiting the 1st turn, and one of midget racing’s great personalities was gone.


Nelson Stacy... Died ... Stacy was ARCA Champion for three years 1958, 1959, 1960, prior to entering Winston Cup racing when he was over 40. An "Old Man" for a rookie by today's standards. He still managed to win the World 600 and two races at Darlington and Martinsville before his health caused him to slow down after only 3 years in NASCAR.


MAY 15


Chet Miller ... Died ... AAA driver 1928 to 1953. Ran the Indy 500 sixteen times with a best finish of 3rd in 1938. He was killed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice for the 1953 Indianapolis 500.


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


Keith Andrews ... Died ... He started racing on oval tracks in 1946 driving Roadsters, progressing to midgets in 1947 and winning three feature races at Lakeside Speedway. He won the Colorado Midget Championship three years running from 1952 to 1954. In 1955 he moved up to big cars and entered in the Indianapolis 500 in 1955 and 1956. Finishing 20th in 1955, in 1956 he was involved in an accident early on, but got restarted to finished 26th. He was killed after crashing his car during testing for the 1957 Indianapolis 500.


Kenny Weld in his Sprint Car broke all existing track records except the Indy Car record while tire testing at the Dover International Speedway , Dover, DE.


Gordon Smiley... Died ... American race car driver from Omaha, Nebraska that ran SCCA Formula Atlantic, Can-Am, Formula 5000, Formula Super Vee and Indy cars. Smiley raced in the Indianapolis 500 twice, in 1980 and 1981, and was killed while trying to qualify for a third in 1982.


MAY 16


Luigi Villoresi ... Born ... Driver from Italy who ran the 1946 Indy 500 in a Maserati and finished 7th.


Curly Boyd... Born ... AAA / USAC driver from the 1950's and 60's.


Max Dudley... Born ... USAC Indy car driver from the 1960's and 70's.


Ralph Hepburn... Died ... A pioneer of American motorcycle racing champion from 1914 to 1924 and a AAA and Indianapolis 500 racecar driver from 1924 to 1948. Ralph Hepburn died during qualifying practice for the 1948 Indianapolis 500.


Manny Ayulo... Died ... AAA driver from the 1940's and 50's. His efforts, along with those of friend and teammate Jack McGrath, helped establish track roadsters as viable Indy race cars. He ran the Indianapolis 500 five times and was killed in a crash while practicing for the 1955 Indianapolis 500.


Stevie Reeves... Born ... USAC / NASCAR driver... 1992 and 1993 USAC NationalMidget Champion.


Red Amick... Died ... AAA &USAC driver


MAY 17


Jerry Unser... Died ... He was the 1957 USAC Stock Car champion. Jerry was the first of the Unser family to compete at Indianapolis. He died in a practice crash before the 1959 Indianapolis 500, leaving behind a widow, Jeanne Unser, and two sons, Jerry and Johnny Unser. 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.


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


MAY 18


Earl Cooper... Born ... AAA driver 1911 to 1927


Donnie Beechler... Born ... A former driver in USAC and the Indy Racing League. He raced in the 1998-2001 IRL seasons with 36 career starts, including 4 Indianapolis 500 showings.


Graham Hill is the first to break the 170 mph barrier in qualifying at Indy, and records a four-lap average of 171.208 mph in his STP-Lotus 56 turbine car, his fastest lap being 171.887 mph. Soon after, Joe Leonard improves on Hill's time and puts his own STP-Lotus 56 on pole, with a four-lap average of 171.559 mph, fastest lap 171.953 mph. These two gentlemen remain P1 and P2 on the final grid.


Jigger Sirois waved off his qualifying attempt on the first day of qualifying for the Indy 500. Because of rain, no other cars attempt to qualify that day. If Sirois had not waived it off, he would have sat on pole. Sirois failed to qualify for that year's 500 and also failed six more times and never got to race in the 500.


Jim Malloy... Died ... USAC driver 1950's , 60's and 70's. He drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1967-1972 seasons, with 61 career starts, including the 1968-1971 Indianapolis 500 races. He finished in the top ten 23 times, with his best finish in 2nd position in 1969 at Milwaukee. He also attempted to race in the 1966 Daytona 500 but only managed a 21st place finish in his qualifying race and failed to make the field. On Sunday Morning, May 14th 1972, he turned in a lap at 186mph and was going into the 3rd Turn when he lost control of the car. He had no time to apply the brakes and the Thermo King Eagle veered right and crashed almost head-on into the wall. There were skid marks for 75 feet and car parts scattered 150 yards away. A USAC official said it crumpled up the steering column and folded the tub right back into the rest of the car. It took more than 10 minutes to extricate Malloy, unconscious, fom the car. He had head injuries, fractures of both legs and hips, a broken right arm, and second-degree burns on his hands and feet. Never having regained consciousness, Malloy died four days later - five days before his 37th birthday.


Al Unser Sr. announced his retirement from auto racing, ending one of the greatest Indy Car careers of all time. With his win of the 1987 race, Unser became only the second man to win the Indy 500 four times after starting in the twentieth position. The next year he broke Ralph DePalma's seemingly unbreakable record for most laps led at the 500. His 1970 season was one of the greatest ever, as he won ten races on ovals, road courses and dirt tracks to capture the national championship. He won back-to-back Indy 500s in 1970 and 1971, and in 1978 he became the first driver to win the "Triple Crown" of Indy racing by placing first in the Pocono 500 and the California 500, as well as at Indy. In 1985, Al won his third and last national championship by edging his son, Al Unser Jr., by one point in the last race of the season. The win also made him the oldest Indy Car champion ever at age forty-six.


Scott Brayton, after winning the pole, died in a practice accident for the Indianapolis 500.


John Force set an NHRA Funny Car top speed record of 323.89 mph at Englishtown, New, Jersey.


MAY 19


Dario Franchitti ... Born ... A Scottish racing driver of Italian descent. He formerly competed in the CART series before switching to the IndyCar Series where he was 2007 champion, and won the rain-shortened 2007 Indianapolis 500. He also competed in the American Le Mans Series for Andretti Green Racing with his brother Marino and former IndyCar Series teammate Bryan Herta. In late 2007 he started driving in NASCAR and in 2009 went back to Indy Cars.


Troy Ruttman... Died ... AAA / USAC driver from the late 1940's to 1964. He raced in 12 Indy 500's and won in 1952. He was the older brother of NASCAR driver Joe Ruttman.


Johnny Baldwin... Died ... USAC driver from the 1950's. Started racing midgets in 1946 & retired from driving in 1966.




News from the AARN:


From their May 3rd issue:

Ray Fox will be 95 years old on May 28th.  Ray was one of those that was sitting in on the very first meeting about NASCAR, back in 1947.

The Need For Speed Motorsports Expo and Trade Show, on March 2nd through 4th, 2012 will be at the Eastern States Exposition in Springfield, MA. In the Better Living Center building.

All 24 cars that started in the ASCofC feature at Williams Grove, finished the 30 lap race.  Eight of them got flat tires on the last lap, too.

Next year’s Bob Weikert Memorial race at Port Royal, will pay $10,000.00 to win.

When Kramer Williamson won the URC feature race at the Delaware International Speedway, it was his 67th win with the URC.

The WoO Sprint Cars will be at Williams Grove this weekend – Friday and Saturday nights.  Fireworks will be displayed don both nights.  General admission is $28.00.

Roush/Yates engines have a big ad for their Ford & Chev DLM Engines – 410’s and 434’s.  Info can be had at:  www.roushyatesparts.com or 866-559-4107

Paul Miller won the Super Sportsman feature at Williams Grove on a used RR tire that he bought for $10.00.  After the feature, cords were seen.  Miller figures he had a couple of laps left until it blew.

Some bad news – there will be only two NASCAR Modified races on TV in 2011.  That’s a far cry from the almost 90% that were televised on either Versus or SPEED in 2010.  The two:  Bristol in August and New Hampshire in September.

Looking at the results from Bethel last weekend, I see they had 26 Legends cars in competition.  So why does Accord only get three?  Yes, one is asphalt and one is dirt, but those cars can’t be all that hard to run on either surface, I’d think.  Maybe it’s an “I don’t want to wreck on Friday and miss Saturday” thing?

RaceSaver “305” Sprint Cars will be a weekly thing at Dog Hollow Speedway in 2012.

The Teen Safe Driving organizations B.R.A.K.E.S. is getting support from Empire Racing and Sean Corr.  Corr races with ARCA and when his schedule permits, races a Pro Stock at OCFS.  They spread the word about Teen Safe Driving.  To join, TEXT the word CORR to 411247 or go to www.empireracingllc.com

Guy Smith went to the New Senoia Raceway Dirt Oval in Georgia, last week.  That makes it 1,360 tracks for him.

Gary London had Part One of some Indy Trivia in this week’s edition.  I’m hoping to do an article about what he has dug up, and am trying to contact him to make sure he’d have no objections.  Some very interesting things about Indy and the 500, for sure.


More racin’ stuff:


Found this over on the Track Forum:





Indycar owners reject multi-aerokits for 2012

Owners want just Dallara kit for 2012. Multi-kits delayed until 2013.
Owners voted 15-0. Foyt did not vote.
Penske is the leading the movement against multi-kits, Chevy might not be ready.
Mike Hull (Ganassi) pleaded with owners against this, but obviously owners chose to go with Penske.

Of course, owners don't make the rules.
Bernard has yet to make a decision regarding the multi-aerokits.


Note #1:  There was a link in the article to this: 



Note # 2:  Not sure what the outcome will be.  One must keep in mind, it is not the car owners that run Indycar – SUPPOSEDLY!

That’s what ruined CART.



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:

Lady Gaga criticizes Arizona immigration laws

In part:

“Singer Lady Gaga says she doesn't agree with Arizona's tough immigration law and wrote the song "Americano" as a response to it.

Lady Gaga is in Mexico City for two concerts.

She said during a news conference Friday she has a strong relationship to Mexican culture, then added: "I don't stand by many of those unjust immigration laws in my country."

Love these comments:

“Well with all her money she probably doesnt have to live with all the illegals and the gangs/drugs etc etc
they bring to the areas they destroy. She doesnt have kids going to school where the teachers have to
spend all there time trying to teach english to the illegal children and ignoring english speaking US born
children. She doesnt have to go to a community hospital and spend hours waiting with hundreds of illegals who are recieving free medical care. If you have money you can live without all of what normal
americans are having to put up with. This is the problem with all our government officials they are shielded from the real world because of money. I would like Obama to come live in my area for a week.
It has been destroyed by illegal mexicans in the last 20 years its not safe to walk the streets. I dont even have a grocery store within 20 miles that they speak english. The parks are full of graffiti and drug dealers.Come live in the real world for a week and they will change there tune. My situation is happening to hundreds of communities in the US.”


“Maybe Lady Gag a should move somewhere along the Border and see how long she thinks that way...should she survive!
Perhaps lose her entourage and walk around Juarez after dark or any other place under Mexican influence.
It is easy for someone to criticize when they don't have to experience what they are being critical of!
Illegals are a real problem from many viewpoints.If they are in fact here illegally then they should be sent back.
It isn't discrimination to be asked for ID,I have to present one when asked there Gag a!”

Comments can be seen on most articles if you scroll down a little.


AP IMPACT: FEMA asks for return of disaster aid

In part:

After the raging Cedar River filled his home with 13 feet of water and ruined most of his possessions, Justin Van Fleet pleaded for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get back on his feet.

Dead broke and living in a FEMA trailer following the 2008 flood, Van Fleet repeatedly submitted paperwork and made countless phone calls arguing his case. After seven months, the agency finally gave him more than $20,000, which he said gave him his life back and allowed him to move into a house.

Then in March, a letter arrived from the government with a shocking message: He should never have gotten the money. And he had just 30 days to pay it all back.”

“Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that FEMA is seeking payments from more than 5,500 people who were affected by 129 separate disasters since 2005, including floods, tornados, hurricanes and other calamities from Arkansas to American Samoa. The agency is still reviewing records, and more repayment requests could go out soon, including to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

FEMA admits the payments were largely its own fault — the result of employees who misunderstood eligibility rules, approved duplicate assistance for costs that were already covered by insurance or other sources, or made accounting errors. But the agency is still obligated to try to recover the money.”


Note:  Here’s one that you should read some of the comments on.  Just scroll down from the article.  There were about 2,100 so far as of Tuesday night.


Quake shifted Japan; towns now flood at high tide.


Kinda looks like it from what’s said in the article.


In part:

“ISHINOMAKI, Japan – When water begins to trickle down the streets of her coastal neighborhood, Yoshiko Takahashi knows it is time to hurry home.

Twice a day, the flow steadily increases until it is knee-deep, carrying fish and debris by her front door and trapping people in their homes. Those still on the streets slosh through the sea water in rubber boots or on bicycle.

"I look out the window, and it's like our houses are in the middle of the ocean," says Takahashi, who moved in three years ago.

The March 11 earthquake that hit eastern Japan was so powerful it pulled the entire country out and down into the sea. The mostly devastated coastal communities now face regular flooding, because of their lower elevation and damage to sea walls from the massive tsunamis triggered by the quake.”




Is this true:


Hmmm, interesting to say the least.  Is it true that President Obama was not aware of the actual attack on Osama bin Laden until it was already started?


White House Insider:  Obama Hesitated – Panetta Issued Order to Kill Osama bin Laden


In part:

"What Valerie Jarrett, and the president, did not know is that Leon Panetta had already initiated a program that reported to him –and only him, involving a covert on the ground attack against the compound."




Video time:


It wasn’t all that long ago when Shane Hmiel had his awful wreck when attempting to qualify for a Silver Crown race.  The accident proved to be disastrous to his racing career – something that kind of looks like it’s all over and done with.

Here’s a short interview with Shane:






2011 Hoosier Hundred

Grand Marshal has been announced as Shane Hmiel - 2010 race winner, now confined to a wheel chair as a result of a 2010 Silver Crown practice accident at Terre Haute Action track.



Closing with this:


A redneck with a bucket full of live fish was approached recently by a game warden in Central Mississippi as he started to drive his boat away from a lake. 


The game warden asked the man, "May I see your fishing license please?"   "Naw, sir," replied the redneck. "I don't need none of them there papers. These here are my pet fish."  "Pet fish??"  "Yep. Once a week, I bring these here fish o'mine down to the lake and let 'em swim 'round for a while. Then when I whistle, they swim right back into my net and I take 'em home."  "What a line of bull....you're under arrest." 


The redneck said, "It's the truth, Mr. Gov'ment Man. I'll show ya! We do this all the time!!" "WE do, now, do WE?" smirked the warden. "PROVE it!"   The redneck released the fish into the lake and stood and waited. After a few minutes, the warden said, "Well?"   "Well, WHUT?" said the redneck.   The warden asked, "When are you going to call them back?"   "Call who back?"   "The FISH," replied the warden!   "Whut fish?" asked the redneck.


MORAL OF THE STORY:   We may not be as smart as some city slickers, but we ain't as dumb as some government employees.  You can say what you want about the South, but you never hear of anyone retiring and moving north.




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! 


Don’t forget – a good possibility on no column next week!


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