Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 58





Well, it was a rather successful weekend for major league racing, wasn’t it?  Funny how both the Indy 500 and World 600 had basically the same endings with the leaders losing the lead on the last turn on the last lap.  Another funny thing about that –if I’m not mistaken, both cars were sponsored by the National Guard.  Ironic, huh?





Last week, on Thursday evening, we had some pretty wicked storms come through our area.  With basically the same weather prediction for Friday, and with Accord being an hour north, I opted to stay home with the “War Department” and my furry four-legged friend, Max, our “Beast”, who, like most dogs, does not really care for thunderboomers.  Of course it never rained.

And I could have gotten into OCFS free on Saturday night, being a Veteran, but I would have been the only one from the family going, so, again, I opted to stay at home.  Yes, the weather forecast wasn’t all that great for Saturday night either, and since I stayed home, well, like Friday, it didn’t rain.




Found on Facebook:


Its karma…car counts from Albany Saratoga…13 Sportsman, 12 Late Models, 5 Street Stocks, 0 Legends, not sure on 4 Cyl – probably 5 or 6…that means 35-36 cars total! In comparison, 40 total Sportsman at Glen Ridge.


New Cayuga County Speedway -Eric Kinglsey wanted to relate that the racing has been great for the Stock Cars but the #s just aren't there. They won't run again till June 19th to see the car counts and then make a decision about their future from there.





Prelude to the Dream info can be found here:




Drivers entered:


Bowyer, Clint

Capps, Ron

Edwards, Carl

Gilliland, David

Logano, Joey

Newman, Ryan

Schrader, Ken

Almirola, Aric

Ambrose, Marcos

Blaney, Dave

Kanaan, Tony

Kenseth, Matt

Stewart, Tony

Vickers, Brian

Dillon, Austin

Elliott, Bill

Evernham, Ray

Hamlin, Denny

Johnson, Jimmie

Pedregon, Cruz

Reutimann, David

Allgaier, Justin

Busch,  Kyle

Carmichael, Ricky

Hornaday, Ron

Kahne, Kasey

Labonte, Bobby

Wallace, Kenny


Note:  What?   No Jeff Gordon?  No Red Farmer?  I don’t know if an invitation was sent to the winner of the Indy 500 – Dan Wheldon, or not, but I believe there was one last year.  Kanaan was already signed prior to this years 500.  I’m somewhat puzzled as to some of the names on the list.





Remember this:


It is the VETERAN,
not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the VETERAN,
not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN,
not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN,
not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN,
not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN,
not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.





This coming Saturday, at OCFS, they’ll be running the Modified Elimination race with the top ten in points as of May 14th.  The driver that’s 10th in points races against the 9th place driver.  The winner goes up against the 8th place driver -  and so on and so on, until there is a final winner.  And for the Modifieds, it’s a qualifier for the Lebanon Valley Mr. Dirt race which is on Thursday, August 25th, and pays $17,500.00 to the winner.  Also on the OCFS schedule are 4 Cylinders.  It will be quite interesting to see how many 4 cylinders show up.  They’ve been schedule when the 4 Cylinders do not race at Lebanon Valley.  Last week, at the Valley, there was a total of 26 4 Cylinder cars in two classes.


The following week, on June 11th, it’s “Nostalgia Night”.  Also on the OCFS schedule for that night are the restored cars of ACOT and the Northeast Vintage Modifieds.  I did notice that in a Newsletter that I received from ACOT that they’re scheduled for a visit to a track in Vermont that weekend, with no mention of OCFS on their schedule.  I was told, while up in Loudon, that there will be some ACOT cars at OC, however.


2010 Weekly Admission: Adult grandstand admission will be $14, seniors $12, and kids 12 and under will be admitted free. Those entering the racing pits with an Orange County Fair Speedway member-ship card will be charged $25; non-members $35.





At Accord, this coming Friday night:

Modifieds $2000 to win

Plus: Sportsman, Spec Sportsman, Pro Stocks-Pure Stocks & Lightning Sprints.

Pit gates open at 4:30 Spectator gates 5:00. Warm ups 6:30 Racing at 7:00

Adult admission $12 Kids $3 (11 & under)


Wednesday, June 8: OPENING NIGHT FOR 2011 Mid Week Madness SEASON!-Racing: Jr Quads, Karts, Jr & Sr Slingshots, Jr & Sr 4 cylinders, 600 & 270 Micro Sprints, Legends, Bandoleros




From an e-mail in the Yahoo! Race History Group:


The press from the NY Times to ESPN are all falling all over themselves
about how "Indy is back". Personally, I'd wait and see.

All it will probably take is for some of the newly interested people to
watch a "street race" on TV and they'll go back to sleep.”


Note:  Sad, but probably true.  I feel that Indycar/IRL has lost a lot of fans due to the road racing.





Some years back, my son, Eric, grandson, Brett, and I went to a Cup race at Pocono.  The race got rained out on Sunday and was held on Monday.  When we went back on Monday, there was no one to check our tickets and/or coolers – if they check them.  Anyone could have gone in to see the racing free.  Finding a seat would have been a problem though, since it sure seemed like everyone from Sunday was there on Monday.

What gets me to mention this is some of the things I’ve been reading on the Track Forum about the Indy 500:


Here are some things:


Hearing that the security will all be outsourced, and that the carry-in restrictions will be more in line with the newest of the ISC/SMI tracks.”


Security? My wife and I entered at SW Vista and they didn't even check our tickets, let alone our coolers.”

“Same with us. Anyone could enter the grounds through Gate 1 without a ticket, and coolers weren't checked. The people that were there working were tip top, however. We needed some help to get an elderly fan down to the bottom of the grandstands, and a couple of them came to assist without being asked. Nice guys who thanked us for coming.”

“You must have gotten there after us. My wife and I entered there also and the lady ripped of the stubs to our tickets and they searched my wifes bag. As things got more hectic they must have given up.

Edit: I failed to mention we got there at 6:30”

“I will confirm that there was no ticket takers at the main gate 12:00pm

Been attending since 1964.
Never have seen it this bad before.
Staffing seemed to be half of what it should have been.
Tony must have been the only one to listen to grandpa.”

“Been going for 30 years. Do I think it will be sold NO. Was a lack of Yellow Shirts noticeable. YES. I had a guest in from Scotland and got our seats on top of the NORTH EAST VISTA section 7 The Two rows just below the spotters. 150.00 each and awesome seats as my NE vista brothers know. Not ONE check of tickets getting into the track or all the way up to our seats. Also there were people up there hanging out that had NO tickets. Dont know what that was all about but our four tickets are all in tact and where never checked ONCE? Was interesting for me? Go getem openwheelers.”

“Our tickets are still intact, too. Of course our vantage was somewhat less exclusive than yours, but we remarked at the time walking in that it was only a cursory glance at the tickets and no examination of our cooler bags whatsoever.”

“We entered the main gate at 10:00am and nobody tore our tickets. I was glad since I always save my tickets and this year's is obviously a very special ticket.”

”I held open my cooler and they just waved me by. Never really understood why they would spend so much time checking coolers but not cars entering the track...”

”Only had one poor soul at the entrance to our vista. Usually there are 3-4 of them making sure we were in the right place. This guy had no chance to look at (much less tear) the tickets. I also noticed people standing on the landing at the bottom of the vista. In year's past that wasn't allowed.”

“The Main Gate was a free for all. No one took tickets or inspected much of anything. But the very few employees there were extremely pleasant.”



Found this on Yahoo!

Solve the Mystery of a Check Engine Light

In part:

Perhaps the most mysterious warning light on your car's dashboard is the "check engine" light, which can illuminate seemingly for no reason whatsoever and lead to an unexpected bill just for diagnosing the cause. However, it is possible to diagnose, and sometimes even fix, the cause of this warning light without paying a mechanic.”

“Before you find yourself in a situation with the check engine light illuminated, read your owner's manual to understand why it may illuminate and if it has different warnings to help you understand whether the problem is minor or more serious. In many cars, a check engine light that flashes rhythmically -- not just flickers on and off -- indicates a severe problem that needs immediate attention, while a steadily illuminated light indicates a less serious problem.”




There was a “Poll” on my local papers website about whether you traveled during the Memorial Day Weekend.  I voted “No” since all I did was get some ice for a Sunday BBQ.

Results, as of 2:30 PM on Tuesday:

Record Poll

Did you travel for the Memorial Day weekend?

Poll Results

Total Votes:362



Ralph Corwin

Congrats going out to racing photographer Ralph Corwin.  Ralph has been a steady visitor the Indy 500 for I don’t know how many years.  A few years ago, with the help of the late John LeVan and www.openwheelracers.com Ralph was fortunate to get credentials for the 500.

Oh, the “Congrats”?  In this weeks AARN, a photo Ralph took, of the start of the Indy 500, is on the top of the front page!  Ralph, I believe, will be as happy as a pig in sh*t!  Nice job, Ralph!




The “Big Show III” is scheduled for Tuesday, June 21st – 100 lap Big Block Modified SDS race at the Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, NY.

From the OCFS website:

The Big Show III Ticket Sales
Posted: May 26th, 2011

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE! http://dirtcar.ticketforce.com/

Quick Info:

Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing starting at 7:30.

Advanced Reserve tickets are available for Adults and Children. Tickets are $25 in advanced for adults and $10 for children.

Adult Reserve prices increase to $28 the day of the show. Children's pricing remains the same.

Advanced General Admission are also available. Adults are $20 in advance and increase to $25 the day of the show. Children 12 and under are FREE in General Admission only and those tickets must be obtained the day of the show.

Reserved seating is available in the Main Covered Grandstands as well as the Half Covered Grandstands.
Seats in Row A are closest to the track and the highest seats are in Row O and Q.

***Number of Reserved Rows are subject to change***


You CAN’T get advanced tickets at the OCFS office!  You will be able to purchase them at the track the day of the race, at an increase in their price.  That’s as of June 1st.  If you desire to order either reserved or general admission tickets, in advance of the race date, you must order them through the link, above, where it says to PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE!

Info from DIRTcar on ordering tickets:



Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 7:00 pm EST at  Orange County Fair Speedway
See Description

Important: Advanced Reserve tickets are available for Adults and Children. Tickets are $25 in advanced for adults and $10 for children.

Adult Reserve prices increase to $28 the day of the show. Children's pricing remains the same.

Advanced General Admission are also available. Adults are $20 in advance and increase to $25 the day of the show. Children 12 and under are FREE in General Admission only and those tickets must be obtained the day of the show.

Reserved seating is available in the Main Covered Grandstands as well as the Half Covered Grandstands.

Seats in Row A are closest to the track and the highest seats are in Row O and Q.

***Number of Reserved Rows are subject to change***





The above link will lead you to how to order tickets and shows both the covered and ½ covered seating, and what is available.  From what I was told, from DIRTcar in Carolina, tickets can be mailed to you (at a charge) or you can have them saved for a pick up at the track.  I was also told to check closer to race day to see if they’ve changed the reserved seating, in case one was thinking of sitting in the top row of the general admission.



Found on Jayski’s website:

Hendrick & Penske...in Indycar?:

Spotted on the grid of the Centennial Indy 500 were Hendrick Motorsport decals on the wings of two Team Penske Racers. The decals were on the inside rear wingplate on Will Power's #6 Dallara Honda and #12 Ryan Honda. This leads to speculation of an alliance of Penske and Hendrick in IndyCar especially due to the entry of Chevrolet engines into the open wheel series in 2012. Penske officials are keen to add Simona de Silvestro to their team but are having financial issues with three cars and would not comment on the why HMS decals were on the two cars. An alliance with Hendrick, a big Chevrolet dealer, could help.(see image at Auto123)(5-30-2011)


Danica's sponsor expects her to move to NASCAR; sponsor Kahne?

Bob Parsons, CEO and founder of Danica Patrick sponsor GoDaddy.com, said Sunday he expects her to make the move full-time to NASCAR next season. "She hasn't told me she will, but I believe she will and we'll be ready," Parsons said. "Here's the fact: She loves [NASCAR], it's much more exciting than IndyCar, with all due respect, and the TV audience for NASCAR is off the hook." Parsons was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday to watch Patrick compete in the event. Patrick is working on a plan to race full-time in the Nationwide Series is 2012 and move to Sprint Cup in 2013, sources confirmed earlier this week. "She came up to me right after she did her first NASCAR race [the 2010 Nationwide race at Daytona]," Parson said. "She said to me, 'I absolutely loved it. This is what I was born to do.' " Parsons emphasized he is behind her whatever decision she makes. "As long as I can stroke the check," he said. "I tell you what, she doesn't exactly work for minimum wage. I usually don't get into that too much until the decision's been made. But I've told her I would sponsor her if she started ice skating." Along with Patrick's IndyCar ride at Andretti Autosport and her Nationwide car at JR Motorsports, GoDaddy also sponsors Mark Martin's Cup car at Hendrick Motorsports. Martin is leaving after this season and Kasey Kahne is taking over in that car. Will GoDaddy sponsor Kahne in 2012? "We're working on that," Parsons said. "I can tell you Mr. [Rick] Hendrick runs an awfully good team and he's been a great business partner for us."(ESPN.com)(5-29-2011)


Doctor's still do not know what ails Bayne:

Having been out since late April, Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne hopes to return to the track next weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. It has been week to week for the driver since his health issues surfaced in April. So far, Bayne still doesn't have a diagnosis for what was wrong with him. When he checked into the Mayo Clinic a month ago, his main symptoms were nausea, fatigue and double vision. He was admitted to a Charlotte hospital the week before. "I think I finally just had to accept that nobody knows," Bayne said. "I can promise if I was just tired or not feeling great I would've still been in the race car because I'm a racer. But I went to bed Monday feeling great and woke up Tuesday seeing double." He said he's felt fine for about a week, but team officials wanted to stay on the cautious side and hold him out of Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. "Last week I took off as a caution, and this week, they made me take it off as a caution," Bayne said.(Charlotte Observer)(5-27-2011)


Bayne will return for Chicago Nationwide race:

Trevor Bayne will make his ninth start of the season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Chicagoland Speedway in the STP 300. Bayne: "I'm looking forward to concentrating on our Nationwide program this weekend at Chicago. I am thankful to be able to get back into a race car and I am going to savor this moment forever. We as race car drivers are so blessed to be doing this for a living and I think we take that for granted sometimes. I am ready to get back to work and compete at the highest level. Our Nationwide program has been unstoppable as of late and I want to contribute to that success as much as I can. Chris Andrews and the guys give me awesome race cars to drive, so there is no doubt in my mind that we can win this thing on Saturday night."(Roush Fenway Racing)(5-31-2011)



Sadler suing Petty Motorsports:

Elliott Sadler is suing Richard Petty Motorsports for an unspecified amount of money, claiming in court documents that his former team is withholding a payment to him because it is wrongly accusing him of influencing Hunt Brothers Pizza to leave RPM and sponsor him at Kevin Harvick Inc. Sadler filed the lawsuit Tuesday in North Carolina Superior Court in Concord, N.C. The lawsuit is against the new ownership group of RPM, which was sold by the Gillett family to Richard Petty and two investors last November. Sadler drove for RPM from 2006-2010 and has a separation agreement with the new owners of RPM that require payments to him, according to the lawsuit. That separation agreement had a non-solicitation provision and RPM alleged that Sadler violated it after Hunt Brothers, which sponsored Sadler in 2010, announced it was sponsoring him and driver Kevin Harvick at KHI this year. In the lawsuit, Sadler claims that RPM is accusing him of violating the non-solicitation clause in their separation agreement in order not to pay him. RPM did not make an April 20 payment, Sadler alleges in the lawsuit.(Scene Daily)(6-1-2011)


Former Oakland Valley Speedway (Dirt Oval) runners:


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


At Kutztown last Wednesday, both Molly and Cait Chambers were DNQ’s

in the 600 Micro Sprints.

Mike Mammana won the Sportsman feature at Big Diamond.

Justin Grosz was 20th in the ARDC feature at Penn Can.

At Rolling Wheels in the 60 lap SDS race, Billy VanInwegen was 19th.  In the Sportsman feature, Matt Hitchcock was 13th.

Kolby Schroder was 2nd and John Virgilio was 18th in the Sportsman feature while Kyle Armstrong was a DNS in the Modified feature at Lebanon Valley.

At Wall Stadium, in two Modified 35 lap features, Roger Coss had finishes of 6th and 2nd.

Johnny Guarino was a DNQ at New Egypt.

On Friday, at Borgers, in the  600 wingless Micro Sprint features, Tiffany Wambold had two 7th place finishes.  On Saturday, she had a 6th in the 270 Micro Sprint feature.

Danny Creeden was 8th in the Modified feature at Five Mile Point on Saturday.

Rich Coons was 6th in the Sportsman feature at Bethel.

AJ Filbeck was 5th in the Sportsman feature at Utica/Rome.  Josh Pieniazek was 12th in the ESS Sprint Car main.

Nick Pecko was 5th in the 5/15 make up Modified feature and then 6th in the regular nights Modified feature at Mountain Speedway.

Brittany Tresch was the TSRS 305 Sprint Car feature winner at the Bridgeport Speedway.

Bobby Hackel, IV was 4th in the Modified feature at A/S.

Tim Hindley was 4th,Michael Storms 8th, Mike Ruggiero 13th, Billy VanInwegen 23rd and Clinton Mills 26th in the Modified feature at OCFS.

Zack Vavricka was 2nd, Brian Krummel 6th, Matt Hitchcock 11th, Keith Still 16th, Matt Janiak 22nd and John Lodini 23rd in the Sportsman feature at OCFS.  RJ Smykla and Jason Roe were both DNQ’s.

At Accord, Danny Creeden was 3rd, Clinton Mills 7th, Anthony Perrego 16th and Michael Storms 21st in the Modified feature.  Mike Ruggiero was a DNS.

In the Spec Sportsman feature, Matt Hitchcock was 3rd and Kyle Rohner 18th.

Brad Szulewski was 17th in the Sportsman feature.

At the Skyline Speedway, Brad was 10th in the Sportsman feature.


Note:  I missed Bobby Hackel, IV with a 6th place finish, and Alex Bell with a 14th place finish at A/S on May 6th.  And missed Bobby on May 13th with a 4th  place finish.

And also Davie Franek who was 17th on 5/6 at Williams Grove in the 358 Sprint Car feature, then he was 14th in the 360 Sprint Car feature at Black Rock on 5/7.


Wow, at least 34 names, above.


Again, 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 from June 3rd to the 9th:




Barney Oldfield ... Born ... AAA driver from 1905 to 1918. He was the first man to drive a car at 60 miles per hour (96 km/h). His accomplishments led to the expression "Who do you think you are? Barney Oldfield?" Oldfield was suspended by the AAA for his "outlaw" racing activities and was unable to race at sanctioned events for much of the prime of his career. Speed records, match races and exhibitions made up most of Oldfield's career. He was reinstated and he competed in the 1914 and 1916 Indianapolis 500, finishing fifth in each attempt but becoming the first person in Indianapolis history to run a 100 mile per hour lap. He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in the inaugural 1989 class. In 1990, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame.


Fred Frame... Born ... AAA driver from the 1920's and 1930's. Ran the Indy 500 8 times and won in 1932.


Art Malone... Born ... Malone is known primarily as a drag racer and was the 1963 AHRA Top Fuel World champion. Malone also raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1962-1965 seasons, with 10 career starts, including the 1963 and 1964 Indianapolis 500 races.


Bill Schindler won the AAA Eastern Sprint Car race over Tommy Hinnershitz at the Reading Fairgrounds, Reading, PA . Lee Wallard , after winning the Indy 500 a week before, was severely burned during the Sprint race. Although he survived, he never again competed in an Indy 500.




Ivan "The Iron Man" Stewart ... Born ... Many time Off-road Champion




Bubby Jones ... Born ... A former driver in the USAC Sprint Car series, with 22 victories, and a member of the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame, inducted in 1998. He also raced in the USAC Championship Car series, in the 1977-1978 seasons, with 2 career starts, including the 1977 Indianapolis 500. He failed in qualifying attempts at Indy in 1978 and 1981.


Mel Hansen ... Died ... AAA driver . In 21 starts between 1939 and 1949, he won twice (1948 Atlanta in Ray Carter's '39 Wetteroth/Offenhauser, the 1941 Speedway winner, and 1949 Springfield in the '49 Bowes Lesovsky/Offenhauser), was second once (1949 Trenton) and fourth once (1947 Milwaukee). His best championship position was 9th in 1940. He was also a noted midget driver, and won the important Turkey Night Grand Prix in 1939 and the URA (blue circuit) Midget Championship in 1945. His career ended in 1949 after a bad midget crash in Detroit.


A.J. Foyt crashes in flames during practice for the Rex Mays 100 Mile USAC Race at Milwaukee, ending his supreme reign of the USAC championship trail of recent years. Heir apparent Mario Andretti seizes the opportunity to snatch the win from Roger McCluskey and Joe Leonard , with the supercharged Gerhardt/Drake-Offenhauser of Art Pollard fourth and Chuck Hulse and Al Unser fifth and sixth, respectively.




Bill Puterbaugh ... Born ... A former driver in the USAC Sprint & Championship Car series. He raced in the 1967-1971 and 1975-1977, and 1979 seasons, with 31 career starts, including the 1975-1977 Indianapolis 500. He finished in the top ten 11 times, with his best finish in 6th position in 1968 at Springfield and in 1969 at Sacramento. His 7th place finish in the 1975 Indianapolis 500 earned him Rookie of the Year.


Louis Chevrolet... Died ... AAA driver 1905 to 1923. He was a co-founder (with William C. Durant) of the Chevrolet Motor Car Company, which was acquired by General Motors and is their bestselling brand nationwide and in many cases synonymous with General Motors itself. Louis also competed in the Indianapolis 500 four times, with a best finish of 7th in 1919. Younger brother Gaston won there in 1920 in a car Louis built, and brother Arthur also competed twice.


Art Klein... Died ... AAA driver 1914 to 1923.


Arnie Knepper... Died ... USAC driver 1950's to 1983. He drove Midgets, Sprints and the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1963-1972 seasons, with 75 career starts, including the 1965-1969 Indianapolis 500 races. He finished in the top ten 21 times, with his best finish in 3rd position twice in 1966.




Tim Richmond ... Born ... USAC / CART and NASCAR driver from the 1970's and 80's. He had his career cut short when he contracted HIV and died of complications from AIDS.




Mike Nazaruk won the 100 Mile Rex Mays Classic AAA Indy Car race on the 1 mile dirt oval at the Milwaukee Mile, West Allis, WI. Paul Russo was second followed by Bill Schindler, Jim Rigsby and Jimmy Reece.

Johnny McDowell ... Died ... AAA driver from the mid 1930's to 1952. He drove Midgets and Indy Cars. McDowell competed in the 1949 to 1952 Indianapolis 500 races. He died in a qualifying crash at the Milwaukee Mile the week after the 1952 Indy 500.

Al Keller won the 100 Mile NASCAR Speedway Car race on the 1 mile dirt oval at the Lakewood Speedway, Atlanta, GA. Jack Smith was second followed by Wally Campbell, Buck Baker and Bill Miller.




Bill Spence ... Born ... AAA driver from the late 1920's. He was killed in the 1929 Indianapolis 500.


Merle Bettenhausen ... Born ... The second oldest member of the Bettenhausen racing family, he is the son of Tony Bettenhausen and the brother of Gary Bettenhausen and Tony Bettenhausen Jr. Merle's USAC Champ Car racing career was brief and tragic. Three laps into his first Champ Car race on a paved track, Michigan International Speedway on July 16, 1972, he tangled with Mike Hiss and crashed into the outside wall. The car exploded in flames and Merle tried to climb out while it was still moving. His right arm became trapped between the car and the wall and was torn off.


Keith Kauffman ... Born ... Keith won the 1982 USAC "Gold Crown" Nazareth 100 and is one of the more obscure drivers to be credited with a Championship Car victory. His only Championship Car experience was the three dirt races of the 1982 Gold Crown season. He continues to drive 410 winged sprint cars in Pennsylvania and surrounding states and has over 300 career wins. He was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2004 as a member of the "Pennsylvania Posse"..


Ronnie Duman... Died ... USAC driver from 1961 to 1968. Duman died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin during a fatal crash in the Rex Mays 150 at the Milwaukee Mile.





News from the AARN:


Trying to catch up, so here are two weeks worth.

From their May 10th issue:

The 270 Micro Sprints that race at the Bridgeport NJ Speedway do not need bladders inside their fuel tanks.  Most tanks are 5 gallon and most teams only put in from 3 to 4 gallons.

Ernie Saxton was asking why so very few track ads, in the latest editions of the AARN, don’t carry sponsor names.

Aaron Berryhill got a broken leg when racing in the

”B” Main in the ASCS race at Devil’s Bowl.

It was reported that the North Wilkesboro Speedway was closing for the remainder of the 2011 season.

Note:  With the May 17th issue, that has been changed.  There will be racing at North Wilkesboro in 2011.

Brian Danko, writing about the NASCAR Modifieds says that after walking the pits at Stafford, and talking with current and past car owners, crew members and drivers, he could sense that there are dark clouds building on the horizon that are concerns for everyone on the mod tour.  They only had 31 cars start the “Sizzler”.

Danny Smith won at Mercer Raceway Park, PA on May 7th.  That makes it 99 tracks that he’s won at.

“Yeah, I’m really starting to get used to this place” is what Brett Hearn had to say about the Accord Speedway.

Note:  Per his website, I see that he has scheduled every Friday night in June for Accord.


From their May 17th issue:

Some new clay was/is due for the Port Royal Speedway.  When, depends on the weather.

For Rick Eckert to continue running his self-owned # 24 Late Model on the WoO tour, he either needs a sponsor or has to keep winning races.

At Darlington, during qualifying for the Cup race, fans were invited to take turns waving the flags from the starters stand.

Bowman-Gray Stadium, in Winston-Salem, NC ran against the Cup race at Darlington on Saturday night – Mother’s Day Eve.  Women were charged only $1.00 for admission while the regular admission was $10.00.  It’s said that it was “Standing room only”.  That might mean there were 17,000 in attendance.  Wow!

Central PA Speedway is now closed for the 2011 season.

On August 1, 1980, Craig VonDohren won his first race at Big Diamond.  ON Friday, May 13th, he won his 70th feature there.

Some money problems between Race Tire America and Hoosier – seems that District Judge Terrence F.McVerry entered a ruling that requires Race Tire America, Inc. to pay Hoosier Racing Tire Corp and DIRT Motor Sports, Inc. over $417,000.00 in costs incurred over the life of the lawsuit.

The next time Steve Kinser gets a top 5 finish at Williams Grove, it will be his 100th top 5.

Joe Hall, who used to be associated with Flemington and Bridgeport Speedways, has been named as race director at Volusia – that being confirmed by track operator Ken Sands.  That’s effective as of May 28th.

Airborne Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY has a one hour weekly TV show that will be shown in 17 counties in New York State.  Anyone that gets the OTB channel on Time Warner can tune in and watch on Tuesday nights.

John Snyder and I seem to have the same questions about OCFS.  If Tommy Meier can run the top of the track, two weeks in a row, and pass cars, how come there are so few drivers that couldn’t or won’t do the same?

Scott Pacish was comparing racing “Back in the Day” to some more current racing.

Back in the Day, there were not as many drunks in the stands.  The pits were not open to anyone. Today, if you got the dough, you can get into the pits (and get in the way, too). 

Back in the Day, the cars all were different in looks.  Not so today.  And you could park anywhere you desired (inmost cases) in the pits.  Today, you best figure on “buying” a pit spot at a lot of tracks.

Back in the Day, you could use almost any number on your racecar.  It was mentioned that there is a track in Las Vegas that make you pay for your car number.

Back in the Day, you didn’t need a Pit License at some tracks.  Not so, today, at some tracks.  You could buy your fuel outside of the track, so there was no track or association fuel deals.  Not so today, at most tracks.

Back in the Day, you could use any tires, and any type of tires.  Not so today.  You were paid in cash – not by a check that gets mailed to your house.  And no 1099’s either.

Back in the Day, most teams built their own engines, and chassis.  Not much of that being done today.

Back in the Day, you had to qualify to run the feature.  Today, at some tracks, there are not enough cars for a full field, so as long as your car runs, you’re in the feature.  As for that track mentioned above, in Las Vegas, it’s said that they only have 11 cars in their top class.

Back in the Day, racers would help each other as far as parts, tires and other things.  Is it like that, today?

Note:  Next week I’ll catch up with the issues from May 24th and 31st.




More racin’ stuff:


From the National Speed Sport News – via an e-mail


Night Before The 500 Will Pay $20,000 To Win.


“CLERMONT, Ind. — One of the most prestigious midget races in the world, will have a winner’s purse to go with it this year.

The 66th annual Night Before the 500 USAC Mopar National Midget Series race My 29 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis will pay $20,000 to the winner.

The prize matches the largest single race winner’s share in midget racing history and is a result of an endowment left by longtime midget racing historian Crocky Wright, who died in December of 2009 at age 90.

The Night Before the 500 Classic, was among beneficiaries of Mr. Wright’s last will and testament and the winner’s share claimed by Jason Leffler for his victory at the 1999 Summer Sizzle at Indianapolis’ 16th Street Speedway. Tracy Hines claimed the largest single-race winner’s prize of $25,000 when he captured the 25th anniversary 4-Crown Nationals midget race at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio in 2006.

“The $20,000 payday this year only adds to the lure of this race,” says Bryan Clauson, who won USAC’s 2010 National Driver Championship and Mopar National Midget title. “The Night Before the 500 midget race is one of the crown jewels of midget racing, and it is definitely circled on every midget driver’s calendar each year. With a winner’s share that matches the highest ever in our sport, fans will see a lot of tough guys show up for this one. After finishing second the last two years in this race, I can’t think of a better year to finally breakthrough and add my name to the winners list for this great event.”

The Night Before the 500 is one of America’s most traditional motorsports events and has made its home at the Indianapolis oval since 1980. It was also held at the then-named Indianapolis Raceway Park from 1969-1971 and 1974-1978. Other Indiana facilities which have hosted the race include 16th Street Speedway (1948-1958), Kokomo Speedway (1959-1961 and 1965-1968), the Indianapolis Speedrome (1962-1964 and 1979) and the Indiana State Fairgrounds (1972-73).

Tanner Swanson is the defending race winner.

“This is going to be huge. Repeating as the race winner would be one thing but to take home that kind of money would be fantastic,” Swanson said. “Last year I hadn’t even planned on running the race. The deal came together at the last minute and we put the seat in the car Tuesday, the motor Wednesday and the driver on Saturday! I had never turned a lap at the track until the night we won! I’d like to walk away with that trophy again and put my name in the record books alongside Jason Leffler as the biggest prize winners in midget racing history.”

Crocky Wright’s legacy is one of extreme dedication to midget auto racing. A 2005 inductee into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame, he was presented his award that year by his hero, Tony Stewart, whom many consider was a key beneficiary of Crocky’s many columns and writings.

A racer himself, Wright, whose real German-born name was Ernest Schlausky, witnessed his first midget race the same year the sport was born, 1933, and is one of only two motorcycle stuntmen honored by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the other being Evel Knievel.

“We feel this purse will add to the excitement and historic significance this race holds in the race community,” said Wes Collier, general manager of Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. “The purse will pull the finest midget racers from across the country and fans are sure to see thrilling racing during the feature as they battle to the checkered flag.”

“It’s a fitting tribute to Crocky that this race honors his memory,” adds USAC President/CEO Kevin Miller. “He was so much a part of the fabric of this sport and we are honored to be part of this celebration of his life and his contributions to midget auto racing.”

For the sake of history, it should be noted that Dave Steele claimed the largest single night payout in midget racing history in 2002 when he won back-to-back 25-lap feature races at the then-named Indianapolis Raceway Park. Those two wins, worth $10,280, earned a bonus of $50,000 posted by a lubricant company, plus other contingencies, resulting in a total take of $64,560.



Note # 1:  In another e-mail, this was said about the event:


There were 34 cars entered, 32 took times.”


Note # 2:  Say what?  Only 34 cars showed up for a Midget race that paid $20,000.00 to win?  I wonder why?  Might it have been “cost prohibitive” as far as entry fee and other fees?  That should not be, since the prize money, from Crocky, was already in.




Racing and television:

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




Some non-racing stuff and Is this true:


I got this in an e-mail a while back:


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


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


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


To add insult to injury, you label us "greedy" for calling "bullshit" on
your incompetence. Well, Captain Bullshit, I have a few questions for

1. How much money have you earned from the American taxpayers during
your pathetic 50-year political career?
2. At what age did you retire from your pathetic political career, and
how much are you receiving in annual retirement benefits from the
American taxpayers?
3. How much do you pay for YOUR government provided health insurance?
4.  What cuts in YOUR retirement and healthcare benefits are you
proposing in your disgusting deficit reduction proposal, or, as usual,
have you exempted yourself and your political cronies?


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

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

who have bankrupted America and stolen the American dream from

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

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

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

you know that we know it.

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

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

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



Video time:


This years Indy 500 – last laps:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EGq_yKp2-A


This years World 600 – last 13 laps.






Closing with this:



One day a woman's husband died, and on that clear, cold morning, in the warmth of their bedroom, the wife was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn't "anymore."  No more hugs, no more special moments to celebrate together, no more phone calls just to chat, no more "just one minute."


Sometimes, what we care about the most gets all used up and goes away, never to return before we can say good-bye, say "I love you."

So while we have it, it's best we love it, care for it, fix it when it's broken and heal it when it's sick.

This is true for marriage ..... and old cars, children with bad report cards, dogs with bad hips, family and aging parents and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it ...... because we are worth it..

Some things we keep -- like a friend who moved away or a sister-in-law after divorce.   There are just some things that make us happy, no matter what.

Life is important.  We only have one.

We only have one mom, one dad, one unique brother or sister or friend.   I received this from someone who thought I was a 'keeper'! Then I sent it to the people I think of in the same way.

Now it's your turn to send this to all those people who are "keepers" in your life, including the person who sent it, if you feel that way.

Suppose one morning you never wake up.  Do all your friends know you love them?

I was thinking....I could die today, tomorrow or next week, and I wondered if I had any wounds needing to be healed, friendships that needed rekindling or three words needing to be said.

Let every one of your friends and family know you love them. Even if you think they don't love you back, you would be amazed at what those three little words and a smile can do.


And just in case GOD calls me home . . .. here you go.

                              I LOVE YA !


Live today to the fullest because tomorrow is not promised to anyone.





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! 


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