Racin' & Internet Stuff:
By Tom Avenengo
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: 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 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Hearn’s ‘The Big Show III’ Returns to Orange County Fair
Friesen seeking redemption on historic Middletown, N.Y., track where McCreadie won last fall
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.
always felt it was imperative for the series to have an event at
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.
excited to work with Orange County Fair Speedway and Brett Hearn to bring the
Super DIRTcar Series to
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.
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
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
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?”
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
“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
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
“Foyt was offered the honor Friday via a phone call from
his longtime friend, Mari Hulman George, the
The call came almost 24 hours after Donald Trump withdrew.”
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:
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.
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:
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
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
feud continues at
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
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
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
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":
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
Dale Earnhardt Jr. calls team meeting, apologizes:
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
"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)
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
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
his very first ride in his Ford Focus NEMA Lights car, Kenney Johnson finished
12th in the feature at
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.
Coons was 8th and Kyle Redner 14th
in the Sportsman feature at
Nick Pecko had a 7th place finish in the Modified feature at Mountain Speedway.
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?
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
... Born ... Driver from
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
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
Stevie Reeves... Born ... USAC / NASCAR driver... 1992 and 1993 USAC NationalMidget Champion.
Red Amick... Died ... AAA &USAC driver
Jerry Unser... Died ... He
was the 1957 USAC Stock Car champion. Jerry was the first of the Unser family
to compete at
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.
Earl Cooper... Born ... AAA driver 1911 to 1927
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
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
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
after winning the pole, died in a practice accident for the
John Force set an NHRA
Funny Car top speed record of 323.89 mph at Englishtown, New,
... 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
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
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
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:
Looking at the
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
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:
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/
Jayski: - http://www.jayski.com/
Open Wheel Racers3: http://www.openwheelracers3.com/
Race Pro Weekly: http://raceproweekly.com/
(Must register to post)
Yahoo Race History Group:
http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/RacingHistory/ (when one posts something on an e-mail to the group, they do have what is called the “Len Sutton rule” – you put in your name and where you live. And, yes, things are “policed” too.
Wheels of Speed: http://www.wheelsofspeed.com/
First Turn Pro: http://www.firstturnpro.com/
Vintage Sprint Car:
Vintage Midget: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=337192
Briggs Cunningham race team – history:
Note: Disregard the “error” notice on top left.
Vintage Dirt Modifieds: http://www.vintagedirtmodified.webs.com/
Racing and television:
Racing on TV - http://www.racefantv.com/USTV.htm
Some non-racing stuff:
“Singer Lady Gaga
says she doesn't agree with
Lady Gaga is in
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."
“After the raging
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.”
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
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.
Kinda looks like it from what’s said in the article.
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
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
"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."
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:
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
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!
Don’t forget – a good possibility on no column next week!
As usual, you can reach me at: email@example.com