Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 74




I’m starting this column on Sunday, the 25th of September.  While doing so, I’m attempting to do four other things – watch football and the NASCAR race on TV and also doing a weeks worth of laundry, along with checking out the Internet, and what’s going on, both racing wise and world-wise.  Oh!  Giants TD!



Speaking of watching TV – will NASCAR ever realize that it cannot compete with the NFL?  For a while, NASCAR was boasting of how many millions of fans it had, but, really, where have they all gone?  Later on, in this column, you’ll see where NASCAR is still trying to do things to hopefully help the mess of auto racing that they’ve caused with their rules.




Not that it really matters all that much, since this writer sees a gradually decline in oval tracks for the Indycar races, where it might well end up with maybe a half dozen ovals and up to maybe 16 road/street/parking lot courses in the very near future, but how about this:


Nazareth Speedway rebirth taking slow turns

In part:

Once known as the world’s "fastest mile," the Nazareth Speedway today has slowed to a halt.

It’s been seven years since auto racers lapped around the Nazareth Speedway, six years since the property went on the sales block.

All that's left are a few rusty signs and some overgrown grass. The track’s grandstands and most of the signage has been removed. A fence surrounds the site.

Still, municipal officials, business owners and residents are optimistic the now shuttered property, listed since January 2005 for $18.8 million, will be resurrected and help bring back the township’s identity.

The property is owned by Daytona-based International Speedway Corp., also known as ISC, which owns or operates about 13 motorsports facilities.

"We did lose an icon and an identity," Township Manager Timm Tenges said about the speedway’s closure in 2004. "It was the focal point. It was cool to have events of that caliber come to your community."

Dilsaver said spectators patronized local businesses, flooding into restaurants and overbooking hotels. He said the speedway put Lower Nazareth Township on the map financially.”

“Luis Gonzalez, manager of Pizza Joe’s on South Main Street in Nazareth, remembers when his phone would ring and it would be speedway representatives at the other end, requesting 50 pies.

"That was a big help for the business," Gonzalez recalled. "We would deliver all day there."

What isn’t being envisioned by municipal officials is a massive housing development, which is what the last potential buyer pitched. Ashley Development Corp. of Bethlehem, Lewis Ronca of Wind-Drift Real Estate, and Norton Herrick of Herrick Development Co. in Morrisville, N.J., had proposed 1,400 homes in a mixed-use development in February 2006. The deal fell through in October 2006 when municipal officials and developers couldn’t agree on the zoning.

In May 2005, Abraham Atiyeh wanted to build an 8,000-seat professional hockey arena. Atiyeh was unable to solidify his deal and time ran out on his agreement to buy it.”

Interested?  More, followed by some comments, can be found here:  http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/nazareth/index.ssf/2011/06/future_uncertain_for_shuttered.html

Note:  Just for “Ha-has”, I thought I’d e-mail that article to a friend of mine that lives in Nazareth and has been associated with auto racing for almost as long as me, to find out what he knows or thinks about this.  I also did ask him if I could use what his response, if any, could be used in my column and he had no problem with that.

From what he says, via e-mail:

“Yes you can use it.

In my opinion the writer of this story was not very knowledgeable of the situation.  So many times these things happen with a daily newspaper and when they should go to racing people for the facts they fail to do so.

To be truthful I don't know what the property is good for other then a racetrack.  Under the topsoil is limestone and the area is dotted with sinkholes.  When they built the media center it took tons of explosives to blast for the footer.  The main problem is the high tension wires that go through the property.  There is not enough acreage for any type of major development if these obstacles could be overcome.

There were developers interested but what I understood is it was a deal where they wanted taxpayers money and it could not be obtained.

The track was missed opportunities from day one when jerry Fried opened it.  the towns people did not want it and all the township did was give trouble to everyone that tried to operate the track.  The problems they gave Lindy was unbelievable and it continued with Penske and ISC.  I think with today's economic conditions people might have a much different approach.   All homes and no industry equals schools, roads, and other infrastructure that have to be paid for and with no industry it comes from the taxpayers pockets.

Just like with the Andretti's.  No one gave a shit about them until they became famous and then everyone was their friends.  The people in Nazareth except the race fans just plain suck.

For them to say there was not enough interest is crap.  The track was never promoted to the local people that would put asses in the seats.  We are not talking a wine and caviar crowd but a beer and hot dogs crowd that should have been targeted.

If ISC was serious about running the track it could of easily been changed.  the warm-up apron could of been merged to widen the track which would of shortened it a bit but it would of made for better racing.

If someone would have the financial backing it could be made to work.  Keep the mile tri-oval and put a 3/8-mile dirt track in the infield for modifieds, sprints, late model, and a 1/7-mile track for the small cars.  Fairs, concerts, car shows could be held.  The possibilities are endless if it was done right. The track always was like a cat with nine lives but I think it is at the end.  It could be done if you had the money.

What makes me laugh is everyday when I go to the end of town I sit in traffic for 10 minutes and it gets worse by the day and how the good town folks bitch.  People complained when the races left out of the congestion, which there was none.  The half-mile maybe for 15 minutes late at night when no one was on the streets and the big track a few weekends a year and then it was only for an hour or so.  Now I get pleasure in thinking you assholes wished for it and now you got it.”

Note # 1:  I must say that there was just a little bit more said about the track and property, but for now, it was between just the two of us.

Note # 2:  Damn, but I’d love to see that track open up again in some form!



Remember in last weeks column – those $16.00 Muffins?


$16 muffins? No, says Hilton

The government did not pay $16 apiece for breakfast muffins at a Justice Department conference, no matter what the department's inspector general thinks.

So says Hilton Worldwide, which hosted the 2009 legal training conference in Washington. Even the IG's own report issued this week acknowledges that for the price paid, they also got some free fruit and drinks.

Hilton Worldwide, which manages and franchises hotels including the Capital Hilton where the conference took place, says the price included not only breakfast baked goods but also fresh fruit, coffee, tea, soft drinks, tax and tips. It says the report misinterpreted its invoices, which often use shorthand and don't reflect the full menu and service provided.

The IG's report allocates $4,200 for the muffins but also noted 15 gallons of complimentary coffee, 30 gallons of complimentary ice tea and 200 pieces of free fruit included in the overall price of $39,360.

The IG says that the total cost per person at the reception was $14.74 — 2 cents over the allowable Justice Department limit. Totaling up the items in the IG's report, the 534 attendees over five days were given 1,150 pastries, 1,350 pieces of candy and fruit, 1,250 cups of coffee and tea and 250 soft drinks.

The IG's audit of excessive spending at 10 Justice Department conferences was one of those news stories that make the public sit up and take notice. Once again, the profligate government was overspending. But it wasn't billions. Or even millions. It was muffins at $16 apiece, according to the IG's office.

The report referenced the $16 muffins half a dozen times and it said their cost was one of many food items that "appeared extravagant and potentially wasteful."

Not so, Hilton Worldwide said in a statement Thursday.

"In Washington, the contracted breakfast included fresh fruit, coffee, juice, muffins, tax and gratuity, for an inclusive price of $16 per person," Hilton Worldwide said in a statement.

"Dining receipts are often abbreviated and do not reflect the full pre-contracted menu and service provided, as is the case with recent media reports of breakfast items approved for some government meetings," Hilton Worldwide's statement added.

On Thursday night, IG spokesman Jay Lerner said that "we stand by our report."

In its report, the IG's office said the cost of the muffins was one of many food items that "appeared extravagant and potentially wasteful."

"Many individual food and beverage items listed on conference invoices and paid by the" Executive Office for Immigration Review for a legal training conference "were very costly," said the IG report. "The EOIR spent $4,200 on 250 muffins and $2,880 on 300 cookies and brownies. By itemizing these costs, we determined that, with service and gratuity, muffins cost over $16 each and cookies and brownies cost almost $10 each."

Hilton Worldwide is owned by private equity firm Blackstone Group LP.






From my 72nd Column:



There’s a young man in my area by the name of Erwin Benz – or as we all know him as “Benzee”.  He organizes bus trips to various events, including some auto races at tracks that are not too far from the area.  There was talk of a possible Indycar race at Richmond in 2012, and I made mention of this to Benzee, and asked if a bus trip might be possible.  It would.  However, now it looks like that race might not be scheduled.  I then suggested the Indycar race at Loudon in August of 2012.  Quite promising on that one, per Benzee.  More about this later on down the road.  I believe the busses leave from Monroe, N.Y. or Middletown, N.Y.  Interested?  Let me know!”

Well, sad to say, but it sure looks like there will not be an Indycar race at Loudon in 2012, as one has to figure, when reading this:

Allen Lessels Motor Sports: IndyCar series unlikely to return to NHMS


Published Sep 22, 2011 at 3:00 am (Updated Sep 21, 2011)


LOUDON -- Jerry Gappens and his New Hampshire Motor Speedway team geared up on Wednesday for what he hopes will be a crowd of 100,000-plus people for the Sylvania 300, the second race in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, and the final major event of the track's busiest season ever.

Gappens sat in his office and talked excitedly about how the results Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. had on Monday at Chicagoland Speedway energized their championship runs and about how tight the competition is as the Chase continues with Sunday's race.

The track's general manager and executive vice president was much more subdued when he discussed how next season is apt to be a little less busy at the track.

Gappens said it is “highly unlikely,” that the Izod IndyCar series will be returning to the track next summer.

“Based on the information I have right now, I'd say they won't be coming back,” Gappens said.

It is not an assessment Gappens expected, or wanted, to make.

He pushed hard for three years to get the Indy cars, which last raced at the speedway in 1998, back on the track's schedule and was thrilled a year ago when he landed a date for this August.

But then a crowd of about 28,000 showed up.

“Forty thousand was what it was going to take to have a chance to make money,” Gappens said. “When the bills got paid, it was a significant loss.”

A final decision has not been made and Gappens said the door is not closed on a return for the series, but he's not at all optimistic about the event happening again.

“I'd say it's highly unlikely at this point,” Gappens said. “If they wanted to come in and rent the track and assume the risk, they could do that. Or if they brought in some corporate sponsorship that would help underwrite some of it, those are really the only two ways we could look at continuing it.”

Gappens said he enjoyed working with Randy Bernard, who runs IndyCar, and the series.

“I like Randy, the series people were good and the drivers were very cooperative,” Gappens said. “I have nothing negative to say about the series. The bottom line is we didn't sell enough tickets to cover the expenses of putting on one of those races. I'm responsible for selling tickets here and at the end of the day I didn't get the job done.”

He's not quite sure why and he feels especially bad for the fans who did come and support the event, many of whom sent him notes in praise of it afterwards.

The track advertised the race — which carries an expense in sanction and purse fees of more than seven figures, Gappens said — and he's proud of how hard his team worked, with the help of the Indy people, at promoting and marketing it.

Perhaps, he said, having three major events over the span of three months was too much. Perhaps the IndyCar series, which has been down in recent years, has not sufficiently recovered.

 “I can't figure out why there weren't more advanced ticket sales,” Gappens said. “As I've said before, we're in a business where people vote by buying tickets whether they like it or not, or want to support it.”
It appears likely that race fans have voted out Indy cars, as they continue to vote NASCAR in.
The Chase resumes with Stewart, who won at Chicagoland, in second place and trailing leader Kevin Harvick by seven points. Carl Edwards is 10 points behind Harvick, Kurt Busch 11 back and Earnhardt, Jr. 13 out of the lead.



Andretti Autosport and Chevrolet Confirm IndyCar Series Partnership


In part:

09.23.11 – Andretti Autosport™ and Chevrolet announced today that the famed auto manufacturer will provide the Andretti Autosport™ entries with its new Chevy IndyCar V-6 racing engine. The announcement marks the reunion of two of racing’s most famous brands for the 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series.

Andretti Autosport™, led by team owner and CEO Michael Andretti, has recorded 39 victories in the IZOD IndyCar Series dating back to the team’s entry into IndyCar in 2003. In addition, Andretti Autosport™ has captured three driver championships and two Indianapolis 500 victories.

Chevrolet, a leader in motorsports for 100 years, has totaled 104 Indy car wins, including six series crowns and seven Indy 500 championships. The 2012 Chevrolet IndyCar V-6 will have an aluminum block and cylinder heads, direct injection and twin-turbochargers. The engine will also be a fully stressed chassis member supporting the gearbox and rear suspension”

More can be found if you go here:  http://andrettiautosport.com/news/?p=893



If you read my column last week, in this, the AARN’s section, you would have read this:


“Guy Smith, the “Race chaser” was down in Florida on August 12th, and visited the Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, FL.  Mr. Smith says that the Volusia track had started out the year by being the most successful Saturday night track in Florida, but by mid-season, had switched their race night to Friday.  As usual, for Florida, it had rained in the afternoon, and was still slightly raining as race time drew near.  Some teams had already entered the pit area, but most remained outside, waiting to see what “Mother Nature” was going to do.  The promoter attempted to get those that were outside, to get their pit passes and enter the pits.  They refused.  Words were said by both race teams and the promoter.  In fact, Mr. Smith says that the promoter actually banned one team from the track.  During this, only one pick-up truck was circling the muddy track.  Some of those in the pits attempted to move, but got stuck.  Whether they were attempting to move out of the pits, or to another pit area is unknown.  Those outside wanted assurances from the promoter that once they got their pit passes etc etc, that racing would actually go on.  This went on for some 75 minutes, with little, if anything, being done to the track surface.  Then it started to rain again, and that seems to have solved the big problem – or did it?”


Well, believe it or not, Guy Smith made a return visit to Volusia the following Friday, the 19th of August.  On the 19th Mr. Smith says this about the car counts:  12 Late Models, 11 Sportsman, 16 Economy Modifieds and 9 Street Stocks.  One of those in action that night was Buzzie Reutimann, who Mr. Smith used to watch race at the Nazareth Speedway, “back in the day”.  He also made mention that the crowd was fairly small, too.  Admission was $12.00.  The track, he said, was in great shape.

After hot laps, it looked like they might get started fairly close to the advertised starting time.  Then things went down hill.  A transformer fire knocked out the electric to the front stretch lights, refreshment stand and announcer tower.  The PA system for the stands wasn’t working, but the system in the pit area was.  It was heard that it would take the power company 45 minutes to an hour for them to get there and shut the power off so the transformer could be taken care of.  They had no idea as to how long that might take.  Mr. Smith goes on to say that during the down time, he watched various customers try to either get a refund or a rain check, as several said they had to get home by a certain time.  The track would not budge on either a refund or a rain check.  Mr. Smith did say he supported the track in the no refunds, but thought the track could have issued rain checks as a good will purpose.  Rather than attempt to diffuse the situation, track people seemed to escalate it, by yelling back at the fans, insulting them, and then calling security on them.  He goes on to say that it wasn’t somewhat deserved, or that the track people did not have the right to be frustrated too, but they certainly did themselves no favors by most likely driving off race fans when they clearly didn’t have a lot to spare. 

Once the power company got there, things went a lot faster than everyone thought they would, and the racing started two hours late.  Mr. Smith repeated some of what he said the previous week – about the track going to be the most successful Saturday night track in Florida, and then having to go to Friday nights.  He says he is concerned about the track, especially after those last two Friday night volatile experiences.





Kyle Larson


No, I’m not talking about the football player, but rather a 19 year old that has been setting the Open Wheel Racing scene on fire, lately.

A little about him – found on the Internet:


Full Name: Kyle Miyata Larson

Birth Date: July 31, 1992 – 19 yrs old


2011 Midgets, Non-Wing Sprints Cars, Silver Crown, Winged Sprint Cars (410 & 360) & Outlaw Sprint Karts:
(As of Sept. 14, 2011)
Currently 12 Feature Wins – Seven Midget/Four Sprint Car/1 Silver Crown
World of Outlaw Gold Cup Race of Champion, Silver Dollar Speedway, Chico, CA (youngest to win GC)
1st USAC Driver to win in each division in 2011 - Midget, Sprint Car & Silver Crown Car
USAC Silver Crown Ted Horn Memorial 100, DuQuoin, IL
Ultimate Challenge USAC Non Wing 410 Sprint Car Feature Winner – Oskaloosa, IA.
Belleville Midget Nationals Champion
Two USAC National Midget Feature Wins
American Sprint Car Series National 360 Feature Winner – Hanford, CA.
American Sprint Car Series Northwest Regional 360 Speedweek Champion
Fast Time Qualifier in First Pavement Attempt- USAC Silver Crown, Nonwing Sprint Car, Midget
Lakeport Speedway 500cc Outlaw Karts Perpetual Trophy Champion

Just swept all 3 of the USAC National races at Eldora Speedway...Midget, Sprint & Silver Crown.


Article by Robin Miller:  http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/usac-larson-sweeps-4-crown


Over these last few days, Kyle has made it to a couple of forums, and some interesting things have been, and are being, said about this young man.











I see that the Cup race at Loudon was no different than the rest of them – just not quite as much aluminum showing where fans should have been sitting as has been seen at other venues.

Oh, and as for Dover, I expect there will be an abundant amount of aluminum showing there.  Remember when it was hard to get tickets?  Not anymore.  As for Dover, I see there are only 45 entrants for the Cup race and 46 for the Nationwide event.  Sad thing – between the two races, I’d venture to say at least ten will be “Start and Park” cars.





It sure seems like every Cup race is now being decided on who has enough fuel or who doesn’t.  So, when NASCAR does go with fuel injection, will it all change?





Injuries – So two quarterbacks get injured last week – one with a supposed “concussion” and another with a broken rib and punctured lung.  The one with the concussion, Michael Vick, was cleared to play against the NY Giants, this past Sunday.  He left at the end of the third quarter with a broken hand*, and later was kind of complaining about the refereeing and getting hit.  I’m trying to figure out why he was cleared to play in the first place.  The other quarterback, Tony Romo, is scheduled to play on Monday night.  Huh?  Broken rib and punctured lung, and he’s cleared to play, too?  OK, let me see – has Brad Keselowski set a precedent with participating in a sport even with a rather serious injury?  Heck, even “A-Roid” has been playing with a sore thumb.


*An up-date on Michael Vick as of Monday, 9/26:

PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Michael Vick’s(notes) injured right hand is bruised, not broken as originally thought.

Eagles coach Andy Reid said a CT scan Monday showed the star quarterback bruised his hand in Philadelphia’s 29-16 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday. Reid said X-rays taken during the game showed Vick may have a fracture.

“Today, he had a scan and it showed there was no break,” Reid said. “It was a blood vessel sitting above the bone. That happens at times with X-rays. The blood vessel makes it look like it was a fracture. There is still a bunch of swelling. It is sensitive to the touch. The positive is there is not a fracture there.”

It’s uncertain if Vick, who throws left-handed, will play when the Eagles (1-2) host the San Francisco 49ers (2-1) next Sunday.

“We will see how he does over the next couple of days,” Reid said. “We have to get the swelling where it is manageable and he feels comfortable.”

Vick was injured on a hit from Chris Canty(notes) after completing a 23-yard pass to Jeremy Maclin(notes) in the third quarter. He finished off the series and led the Eagles to a go-ahead field goal.

Vick left for X-rays, but returned without missing a play. He then left the game for good after another series.

The hit from Canty didn’t sit well with Vick. He blasted officials for not calling a roughing-the-passer penalty, and said he wants to be treated like other quarterbacks.

“His best interest is always in my mind, when he’s on the football field, in particular,” Reid said. “I know he’s a marked man. I think it’s important that we all keep a close eye on him.”

And, info on Romo:

Despite a cracked rib that led to a punctured lung last Sunday, Romo seems to have healed enough to start for the Dallas Cowboys when they play host to Hall and the Washington Redskins on Monday night.  He did lead the team to a win, even though the Cowboys scored no TD’s, but six field goals.





Speaking of other sports, and especially football, is it really necessary for the players to “show boat” and act the way they do after completing a play.  “Back in the day” it hardly ever happened.





While watching a football game this past weekend, there was, what I would say, was a real bad call against the N.Y. Jets – a “roughing the passer” call.  True, he was contacted after throwing a pass, but was only moved back a few steps.  Ah, but that call was made prior to a second penalty, one the announcers made mention of, even before the roughing the passer call – “Intentional grounding” was called on the quarterback and the pass he threw.  Maybe the ref and other officials saw their error and made a slight correction?  The entire play was nullified due to both penalties, however.





Checking out a forum I frequent, I see the following was posted about the 200 lap Big Block race for Super Dirt Week up in Syracuse in another week.  Not sure, since I have not really seen a link to this, but this is what’s said:

 REVISDED FOR OCTOBER 9th, 2011 – ONLY: In a 200-lap event, there will be one (1) mandatory pit stop any time after the completion of lap 50. During caution periods after the conclusion of lap 50, the caution will remain out to give teams the opportunity to pit and for the field to‘cycle’ through required pit stops (a minimum of three (3) laps of caution). REVISED – For the ‘SEF 200’ the one (1) mandatory pit stop must take place any between the completion of lap 150 and the completion of lap 175.”

Verification on the above:  http://www.superdirtweekonline.com/images/stories/PDF/SDW40CompetitorsGuide.pdf

It also says this:  For a pit stop to be considered official, the car must come to a complete stop in its assigned pit stall.”

There’s quite a bit being said about this on the Dirt Track Digest’s Forum, which you can check out if you go here:   http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/DTD/index.php?/topic/41240-stupid-rule-2-by-dirt/

Note:  Sure!  At least they have a pit road a little longer than OCFS has, but I’ve seen some “double file” pit stops up there in the past.  At OCFS, that’s almost a gimmie – double file pit stops during ESW.



While on the subject of the 200 at Syracuse, it was said that all re-starts would be single file.  That kinda sucks, I’d say, especially when Syracuse is pretty well known for “freight train” type of racing.

Meanwhile, just the opposite will happen at Easter States with their 200.  All restarts will be double-file.  Well, maybe as long as it doesn’t take three or four re-starts for one particular re-start, then I imagine they have the option to go single file, as they’ve done on occasion during some regular shows at OCFS.



Here ya go:


Remember who it was, in NASCAR, that gave some Media people a hard time recently?  Kurt Busch, right?  So, is this a surprise?  It sure wasn’t to me!


It took a while, but this finally came out on Jayski’s website:

Kurt Busch's car held up going through pre-race inspection:

The car of Kurt Busch did not pass prerace inspection the first time through Sunday morning, and NASCAR sent a message to the team to stop having small issues in technical inspection. NASCAR did not release the car until 10 minutes before the engines were fired for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Penske Racing team fixed the rear-end issue and the car rolled out to pit road following the national anthem. Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said after the race there would be no penalties for Busch's Penske Racing team. After the race, team owner Roger Penske indicated Darby was sending a message to his team. "The problem was we had been the last two or three weeks late getting through tech," Penske said. "Then if we had a little bit of a problem, we had to go back through again and they said, 'We've had enough of you going back through for just little things.'(Scene Daily)(9-26-2011)

Note:  You know what?  After reading things on this, I truly believe that even Roger Penske is somewhat afraid of NASCAR.  Yup, you can’t bite the hand that feeds ya, right?



And now it seems that Tony Stewart also had a slight problem with some Media folks:

Then, after his win at Loudon –

Stewart doesn't elaborate on Victory Lane comment about 'dead weight':

From a Team Chevy Post-Race Winner's Press Conference Transcript:
Q. Tony, ever since you were on TV in Victory Lane, the buzz all around the track and Internet is wondering what you meant when you said, We dropped some dead weight earlier this week.
TONY STEWART: We're just going to leave it at that.
Q. Could we ask if that was
TONY STEWART: You can't ask anything. It is what it is. That's all it was is what you said. That's where we'll leave it.
Q. Darian said there's not been any personnel changes on the team.
TONY STEWART: No, there hasn't. (Team Chevy)(9-25-2011)

OK, making you a little bet here – Tony has a slight problem within the next couple of races, maybe – like Kurt Busch had?  Hmm, car # 14 – too fast on pit road!



Last year, for the Eastern States 200, there was a special “Hard Charger” award of $500.00 in the memory of the late Eric Koster.  Some of us on the Victory Speedway Forum have gotten together to continue this award again for this years race – each chipping in with some dollars to hit that same figure again.  In two days we’ve got the figure up to $550.00!  Interested in helping out?  E-mail me.  My address is at the end of each and every column.

A message from OCFS to Pete Kessler regarding this:

“Hi, Pete got your e-mail.

The award last year for the Hard Charger was $500.00. According to your e-mail you will come up with the money. We will provide a page in the Hard Clay for a carton drawing (Todd Lewis?) of the 62 car and a small write-up about Eric and include the same info as was on the bottom of the page in last years book. I will have a large check for $500.00 made to present to the winner, just let me know what sponsors you want mentioned.

If you have any questions please call me at the speedway.”



If you’re a regular reader of my columns, you might remember a few columns back when I made mention of me getting an itemized bill from when I was in the hospital at the end of July.  Some of the prices that I was charged, for “meds”, seemed kind of high.  This past Tuesday I needed a new prescription on a medication I’ve been taking for blood pressure.  At Wal-Mart it cost me $10.00 for 90 pills, a three-month supply.  The hospital did not have that exact medication, but gave me a different medication for my blood pressure and I was charged $9.65 for each pill.  Uh huh!  You know what I think?  We should be able to bring in our own meds.  No wonder Medicare and/or Medicaid are in such big trouble!



This past Tuesday I had the Nick Fornoro piece out on the Internet.  Some nice responses about it, too.

Things like:

“Just read your note on the track forum website. Thanks for posting it! I met Mr. Fornoro in the 1960's. I really do not remember much, is anything about him other than he was very pleasant and answered several questions I had pertaining to starting races.”

“Thanks Tom, that was great.  I had the good fortune to spend many hours with Nick in my years covering NEMA.

I remember one day walking through the pits with him at Oswego.  Everybody stopped to shake his hand.  It was like walking with the Pope.”


“My brother Jimmy and Nicky were very good friends, being Italian they were really "Brothers" in the early days of racing where the other Italian brothers were the Andrettis.”


“Sorry but I forgot to sign my name to an email I sent you a short while ago. Can I use your article on Nick Fornoro as a post on our site today? Your name will be the author.

Mike Calla

Wheels of Speed”

“Thank You Tom.  Memory's are not gone, They in our hearts forever, He was a great person and he is missed.”

“Thank you Tom, for never forgetting! He is still missed so much… I think of him every single day and keep his ashes, just as all of his children and grandchildren do. We all wanted an extra piece of him forever!”


“Outstanding driver and racing official. I met him when ASA ran its first companion race with CART at Michigan. We became good friends, talked a lot about flagging. He invited me up on the flagstand with him for CART practice, and I reciprocated.”

“Thanks for posting this again Tom!”

“Mr. Fornoro always stopped by to say hello at the races. He made me proud to be part of midget racing.”

“Years ago Lenny Sammons had driver cards made up for his Motorsports show.  Nick signed one for me from 1993.  The photo is from him in the 50's in helmet and goggles with that familiar grin.  I've got it on my desk overlooking my laptop.  Probably more valuable than the laptop!”


“Thanks for the link Tom, I added it to my favorites list. I first saw Nick when he drove at the Bloomsburg Fair back in the early 50s. I remember him well as the ARDC flagman a few years later when the flagmen still stood on the track. As we were lined up on the straightaway waiting to be pushed off, Nick would come up to each car and say, "Be safe out there," and we all knew that he really meant it.”





For what it’s worth, especially for those fans of IndyCar racing, there’s a thread on the Track Forum about testing the “New” car.  In a way, I’m not that all excited about this new car since what was supposed to happen in some areas, has now been pushed back to a year or two more.  However, it seems that the V-6 Turbo engines will be in effect in 2012.


On page nine, in the link, below, there’s a video of this new car on track at Indy, in a test.  I have to agree, to an extent, that it is kind of “fugly” – especially at the rear, as one poster put it.







From a PR that I received on Wednesday, 9/28:




Going back to the basics and a time when things were settled face to face and not thru channels has come to the Xcel Chassis 600 series. Doug Borger, series owner, sat down and had an open discussion with his fellow drivers. Anyone involved with the series was invited to talk openly with their opinions and concerns with out having to worry about be bashed for voicing the opinion. After much discussion plans were put into place and a decision was made.

Doug explained his decision and why that Sunday afternoon, “ We are now shifting all news releases, schedules, forms, and updates to an in house system that will allow the public and anyone directly associated with the series an outlet to express their opinions and not be bashed for it. Most forum boards and web sites don’t hold accountable the users for what they chose to put in print. As an example you can post anything you want on Facebook, whether it be true or not, and not see consequences for those words. I want to change that and the first step is to bring everything back in house. “explained Doug, “Starting immediately a rule has been implemented as follows: Any and all actions by person or persons ruled detrimental to the series, officials, drivers and owners will receive a $75.00 fine or higher along with possible suspensions and/or will possibly receive a life time ban.

“I strongly believe we have got to start being held accountable for our actions not only with words but with words in print because what you write on the internet is there forever. You can sign up for the forum board thru my website xcelchassis.com and you scroll down and the link will be on the left. You are required to sign in with your name along with a display name if you chose. I will be deleting our group page on face book within the next week. My phone number is 610-681-2689 and is always open so feel free to call and I can discuss it further.”



Coming up:



From their website:


From the Accord Speedway’s website, last Friday:

King of the Catskills
Due to the weather
Has been rescheduled for next weekend .  Events on Friday 9/23 will be held on Friday 9/30.  Events on Sat. 9/24 will be held on Sat. October 1st.
See you next weekend!”




With last weeks entire weekend rained out, here is a repeat of what was in last weeks column, with just the dates changed.


Friday September 30th


Roc Modifieds  $7000 to win* 100 laps

Sportsman 50 laps

Lightning Sprints 25 laps

4 cylinders 20 laps




Adult admission $23 Kids $5  Family 4 Pack $66** Indoor $30 Reserved $25

Pit gates open 3:30  Warm ups 6:30 Spectator gate opens at 5pm

For Tickets call the speedway:  845-626-3478


Saturday October 1st


Spec Sportsman 50 laps

Pro Stock 25 laps

Pure Stock 25 laps

Jr Slingshots 20 laps

305 Sprints 20 laps



Adult admission $20 Kids $4 Family 4 Pack $58** Indoor $25 Reserved $22

Pit gates open 3:30  Warm ups 6:30 Spectator gate opens at 5pm

*Modified payout is based on 40 entries

** Family 4 Pack is admission for 2 adults, 2 kids and $20 in food vouchers






Dave & Joanne Rocket



Note:  As of 12:30 PM on Wednesday, 9/28, here’s the weather forecast for Accord:

Today: Overcast with rain showers at times. High 66F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph. Locally heavy rainfall possible.

Tonight: Rain showers early then thundershowers overnight. Low near 65F. Winds E at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

Tomorrow: Rain showers in the morning then thundershowers in the afternoon. A few storms may be severe. High 68F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

Tomorrow night: Partly to mostly cloudy skies with scattered thunderstorms before midnight. Low near 55F. Winds SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

Friday: Morning showers. Highs in the mid 60s and lows in the low 50s.

Saturday: Chance of showers. Highs in the mid 50s and lows in the mid 40s.



All the info for Eastern States Weekend should come up if you go here:



Oakland Valley Speedway (Dirt Oval)


Their Novemberfest races are scheduled for November 4th, 5th and 6th.

For more info, please go here:  http://www.oaklandvalleyspeedway.com/schedules-fees/



Found on Jayski’s website:


NASCAR prohibiting teams from greasing bumpers at Talladega:

Along with changes to the size of the restrictor-plate and the pressure release valves of Sprint Cup cars there is another change mandated by NASCAR that will affect the racing there next month. In the technical bulletin issued to teams this week outlining the changes at Talladega, there was also a note that "the addition of lubricants to the rear bumper cover will not be permitted." To keep the pushing car from spinning out the lead car in the two-car tandems, teams have used everything from grease, to ointment to cooking spray to keep the bumpers from getting locked up when they meet.(Charlotte Observers)(9-25-2011)


NASCAR changes Phoenix schedule; Goodyear chooses tire:

NASCAR has eliminated a scheduled Sprint Cup practice on Thursday of race weekend at Phoenix International Raceway Nov. 11-13. Sprint Cup teams are scheduled to participate in an open test at Phoenix Oct. 4-5. Those testing sessions were scheduled because the track has been reconfigured and resurfaced since NASCAR's last visit. The Thursday practice apparently was eliminated because of the October testing opportunities. Teams are approaching the Phoenix race as one of the most important in the Chase not only because it is the next-to-last event but also because the new surface will make most notes from previous PIR races virtually obsolete.(SPEED)
AND: Goodyear has selected its tire for Phoenix International Raceway. Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager/Worldwide Racing, said that when the Sprint Cup tour returns to PIR for the two-day test, Oct. 4-5, teams will use the same left-side tires as they did at Indianapolis. They also will go with a right side similar to what they used in Indy in terms of construction, compound and mold, but with a little different gauge and tread thickness for heat resistance.(Fox Sports)(9-25-2011)


Villeneuve interested in Red Bull: UPDATE:

Brian Vickers says he isn't feeling pressure to prove himself on the track, but that doesn't mean his future is secure or he knows where he'll be racing in 2012. Red Bull announced in late June that it was selling the team and it's been nearly three months with no announcement of a buyer. Vickers has even worked to line up potential buyers but nothing has materialized. There could be some rides available with other teams, depending on sponsorship. Among those who have inquired about purchasing the Red Bull assets is former Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve. His business manager confirmed that Villeneuve has inquired about buying the team, but gave no indication of whether talks have been productive. Villeneuve has never hidden his interest in Cup racing and if the Canadian driver can find investors to put him in a seat, he likely would do it. He also could have investors purchase the team with the idea of him running a partial Cup schedule along with another driver.(Scene Daily)(9-21-2011)


In June it was reported that Red Bull will put the brakes on its involvement with NASCAR at the end of this year but this seems to be premature. [Red Bull owner Dietrich] Mateschitz says "this is not yet a final decision but we had many reasons to re-analyse our involvement with the goal of either to confirm our participation in NASCAR or to question it." He adds that the key factors which will affect Red Bull's decision are target groups, marketing, media values, the engine, the fact that NASCAR is a purely American series and of course success and the cost to benefit ratio.(PitPass)(9-23-2011)



Red Bull Racing expects to layoff 152 employees when it shutters operations in December. Red Bull Racing filed a notice this week as part of North Carolina's Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act that the layoffs were expected by Dec. 17, 2011. Red Bull says the closure is permanent.(ESPN)


The notification with the state does not mean the team will or will not be sold but covers Red Bull if it does not sell the team and shuts it down or sells the team to a buyer that lays off workers. North Carolina law requires the 60-day notice to the state and employees if at least 50 employees will be laid off because of the closure or shutdown of a business unit or if a company has layoffs of at least 50 people that impact 33 percent of a workforce at a single site. A team spokesman said the team had no comment on the WARN filing. If an employer does not notify the state and its employees of layoffs, it could be responsible for 60 days of wages plus a $500 fine for each violation.(Scene Daily)(9-24-2011)



JTG Daugherty ending alliance with MWR? UPDATE - Bowyer in, JTG out?:

Michael Waltrip Racing currently fields two teams with #56-Martin Truex Jr. and #00-David Reutimann, and supplies cars for #47-Bobby Labonte and JTG Daugherty Racing out of its Mooresville, N.C., shop. Sources said JTG Daugherty Racing may cut its tie to MWR but remain in the sport with Labonte as its driver in 2012.(ESPN)(9-16-2011)



MWR has paved the way for a third full-time entry [with Clint Bowyer] by ending its affiliation with JTG Daugherty Racing, which had housed its #47 entry at the team's headquarters as part of its alliance. Team owner Brad Daugherty plans to keep his organization on track next season but is currently looking at options to align with another team, with speculation of a partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports. Daugherty's affinity to and admiration of Petty has even included the former college basketball and NBA star wearing the #43 throughout his career. An association as NASCAR business partners would further that connection. RPM was close to launching a third team with Bowyer before contract talks with the driver broke down so the desire to expand is evident.(CBS Sports)(9-22-2011)



JTG Daugherty Racing hasn't decided on an affiliation for next season, and retaining its relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing is still an option, team owner Tad Geschickter told Sporting News on Thursday. Geschickter said his phone had been "blowing up" in the wake of a report on CBSsports.com that MWR had terminated its relationship with JTG Daugherty, which fields Toyotas for Bobby Labonte, and speculation in the same story that JTG Daugherty might align itself with Richard Petty Motorsports. "I haven't talked with Richard Petty Motorsports," Geschickter said. "There's no truth to that at all." Geschickter said that, to his knowledge, MWR was still exploring its capacity to supply cars to JTG in light of possible expansion.(Sporting News)(9-23-2011)


Michael Waltrip Racing is preparing to add a driver but not a team. Team co-owner Michael Waltrip said Friday he hopes to have a deal completed with driver Clint Bowyer and a sponsor within seven to 10 days. The move will not necessitate the addition of new personnel or expansion, however. MWR has been providing resources for the JTG Daugherty team - in essence a third team - but that relationship will end at year's end. Beginning next season, all three Cup teams operated out of the MWR shop will be owned by the organization.(Charlotte Observer)(9-24-2011)


Katie Kenseth in wreck practicing for Better Half Dash:

The wife of NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth left Charlotte Motor Speedway by stretcher early Monday evening after a crash at the race track during a practice session for a charity race next month. Katie Kenseth crashed in to what typically is the pit stop wall in a driving school bandolero vehicle after taking a sharp turn. Her husband rushed to check on her, and emergency track officials loaded her onto a stretcher. Other NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Casey Mears, Michael McDowell and David Ragan were also in attendance to watch their wives and girlfriends practice for the inaugural Better Half Dash on October 15. The charity race will benefit Speedway Children's Charities and Motor Racing Outreach and will feature a 25-lap race on the front stretch quarter-mile oval before the Bank of American 500.(WCNC)
AND: Monday night, Kenseth tweeted, "That didn't turn out so well. Katie and I are home, she has a broken scapula and some bumps and bruises. Thanks for all the well wishes."(9-27-2011)


NASCAR Releases 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Schedule:

NASCAR announced the 2012 schedule for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, with a lineup featuring a number of adjustments from the 2011 edition.
"We believe the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule will once again provide fans with what they've come to expect every season  the world's most exciting and competitive form of motorsports," said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. "Next year's schedule has a few adjustments that we think will be good for the fans and good for the overall flow of the season. One thing will remain constant, however, and that's the intense competition we see week in and week out from our drivers and race teams."
One of those adjustments takes place during NASCAR's playoffs  the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup  and could affect the strategy during the championship run. Talladega Superspeedway's Chase event moves up two weeks to Oct. 7, becoming the fourth race in the Chase. Often labeled as the wild-card track in the Chase, Talladega's grueling test is now staged during the first half of the Chase.
Talladega swaps its Chase date with Kansas Speedway (Oct. 21) to accommodate Kansas' repave, scheduled for after the track's spring event. As such, Kansas' spring date has also been moved. Kansas now will be the eighth race of the season on April 22. Talladega's spring event moves to May 6, and Dover International Speedway's spring event returns to its traditional spot on June 3.
As previously announced, the season-opening Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway will start one week later with the running of the preseason "non-points" Shootout at Daytona on Feb. 18. The 54th annual Daytona 500 will run on Feb. 26. The race dates for Phoenix International Raceway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway have likewise been moved a week later, to March 4 and March 11, respectively.

Two other featured adjustments to the 2012 schedule: Texas Motor Speedway's spring date will be moved to April 14, to accommodate the traditional open week for the Easter holiday. Daytona's summer event and Kentucky Speedway's race will swap weekends in 2012, as the July 4th holiday falls mid-week next year. Kentucky's race will be June 30; Daytona will run on July 7. As in past years, FOX will broadcast the first 13 races of next year's schedule. TNT will follow, broadcasting the next six. ESPN/ABC will broadcast the final 17 events. Race start times will be announced at a later date. NASCAR will also release the 2012 schedules for the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at a later date.
 The schedule:



Pattie Petty Reveals Parkinson's Diagnosis MORE:

Pattie Petty, the wife of former NASCAR driver Kyle Petty, has revealed that she has Parkinson's disease. It was confirmed through a new test at the University of Kansas Hospital. Petty talked exclusively with FOX 4 medical reporter Meryl Lin McKean, and says Parkinson's won't stop her efforts to build a camp in Kansas City for kids with chronic illnesses. Petty is the sunny personality beside husband Kyle, and behind Victory Junction, a camp for sick kids. Petty noticed mood changes in recent years, and she linked them to the death of their son, Adam, in a crash 11 years ago. "I just assumed the depression or the emotional mood swings were that I'd lost my son, my husband's job had changed, I see the children at camp and they're not healthy and I can't fix it," she said. Petty is now living and working in Kansas City to build a camp like North Carolina's Victory Junction near the Speedway. The down economy was making fundraising harder, and she thought maybe that was behind the depression, too. But she had another symptom -- her hands shook. While having dinner with a doctor in Nashville 18 months ago, she asked if it could be Parkinson's Disease. "Because my hands are tremoring and he said, 'Oh, you have the disease,'" she said. It's the same disease her dad had. Petty began taking medicine to control Parkinson's symptoms, which include mood swings. She also began receiving care at the University of Kansas Hospital. Just last week, Petty had a brand new test called DaTscan to confirm the diagnosis. It looks at function of the brain instead of anatomy by spotting changes in brain chemistry. Petty wants others to know she has Parkinson's, but she hasn't lost her wits. "It's always nice to get all the facts that my cognitive skills are there," she said. And her desire is there to keep working for the kids. "Nothing's gonna stop me. I think anytime God puts something on your heart, to do," Petty said.(FOX 4 News)(9-27-2011)


Petty, 60, suspected she had Parkinson's in early 2010 when she began experiencing resting tremors and aching muscles  two symptoms her father suffered in the early stages of his 15 year battle with the disease. A doctor in Nashville, TN, confirmed her concerns giving her an initial diagnosis based on her distinctive outward symptoms and started her on anti-Parkinson's drugs last summer. "After watching my father live with Parkinson's, it was not a surprise when I was told that I may be suffering from this disease as well," explained Petty. "I followed my doctor's advice and began a series of medications, so that I could continue my plan of working a couple of weeks a month in Kansas City laying the ground work to open Victory Junction Midwest." Victory Junction Midwest is slated be the sister camp to Victory Junction in Randleman, NC, a camp for chronically ill children started by Petty and her husband in honor of their oldest son Adam who died in a NASCAR practice session in 2000. "When I was introduced to the medical staff at University of Kansas Hospital," Petty continued, "I knew immediately Victory Junction Midwest was not the only reason I was meant to be in Kansas City. Even after receiving the unfortunate results from DaTscan, I feel relief," explained Petty. "I am relieved that my family and I are confident in my diagnosis and can focus on the work we have ahead of us to live with Parkinson's disease. Kyle and I have already been blessed by the outpouring support to bring Victory Junction Midwest to Greater Kansas City and we feel doubly blessed that we have a strong and dedicated group of professionals at University of Kansas Hospital providing us with the latest medical technology and assisting us with this disease. This 'official' diagnosis does not change our efforts in Kansas City. My hands may not be still, and I might move a bit slower right now, but we are moving full-steam ahead to change the lives of chronically ill children in the Midwest."
"Pattie's dedication to Victory Junction Midwest is firm," said Kyle Petty, her husband of 33 years. "Staying active is an important part of managing Parkinson's and that will not be hard for my wife. Pattie will not let Parkinson's regulate her life. She will continue her initiative to expand Victory Junction, while our kids and I will support her and help her cope with this disease."(Victory Junction)(9-28-2011)


Former Oakland Valley Speedway (Dirt Oval) runners:

Here’s how some former OVRP Dirt Oval runners have done as far as OCFS Points goes for 2011:

OCFS Modified:

10) 1H Tim Hindley 530
11) 53 Mike Ruggiero 521
13) 23 Billy VanInwegen 510
14) 10S Mike Storms 508
23) 21 Clinton Mills 307
29) 11 Danny Creeden 170
41) 10H Matt Hitchcock 25

OCFS Sportsman:

3) 44 Brian Krummel 835
5) 33H Matt Hitchcock 714
9) 3S R J Smykla 564
10) 6L John Lodini 553
11) 17J Matt Janiak 550
14) 11 Keith Still 514
22) 18 Anthony Perrego 326
25) 91 Jason Roe 281
28) 78 Zack Vavricka 211
29) 69 Tyler Boniface 195
35) 77 Jimmy Johnson 118
44) 37J Jake Schlagel 30
45) 27 Corey Ziegler 30

And, how they did with Accord points:

Modified Points

.4) 16X Dan Creeden 690

.5) 15) 10S Mike Storms 416

18) 43 Clinton Mills 341

24) 18 Anthony Perrego 214

26) 4R Mike Ruggiero 186)

43 Tim Hindley 40


Sportsman Points

17) 14Z Brad Szulewski 314

18) 18 Anthony Perrego 304

22) 4T Michael Traver 151

28) 6L John Lodini 76

30) 69 Tyler Boniface 64

33) 6X Brian Krummel 42


Spec Sportsman Points

1) 1R Kyle Rohner 817

5) 33H Matt Hitchcock 574

8) 85 Kyle VanDuser 532

11) 1 Tyler Dippel 488

21) 69 Tyler Boniface 192 

30) 44 Brian Krummel 38

As for recent racing:

On September 24th, at Borgers, Tiffany Wambold was 7th in the 270 Micro Sprint feature,

In NEMA Lites, at Waterford, Kenney Johnson was 8th in their feature

The CRSA 305 Sprint Cars ran at Mohawk on the 17th of September and John Virgilio was 5th and Josh Pieniazek 6th, while Chuck Alessi did not start, having turned his car over to another competitor who had problems.

Roger Coss was 7th in the Modified feature at Wall Stadium.

At Lebanon Valley, back on September 10th, in the Budget Sportsman feature, Tyler Boniface was 9th and Bobby Hackel, IV 26th.  In the Sportsman feature, Kolby Schroder was 11th.

Anthony Perrego was 22nd in the Sportsman feature at Fonda on 9/24, while Tyler Dippel was a DNQ.  In the ESS Sprint Car feature, Josh Pieniazek was 10th.

Nick Pecko was 8th and Roger Coss 18th at Mountain Speedway in the Modified feature.

At the Greenwood Valley Action Tracks, both Molly and Cait Chambers were DNQ’s.





Going back, in time – in racing history:

Note# 1:  Most of the following information was found here: 



Note: 2:  Yes, most of this info is from Open Wheel racing from “Back in the day”.

Covering the days from September 30th to October 6th:




Cecil Green ... Born ... An American racecar driver from Dallas, Texas. Green won 34 races between 1948 and 1950 in Oklahoma and Missouri, and many more in Texas. He won the 1949 Oklahoma City and Southwest AAA titles. He won in seven different Offenhauser cars. Green place fourth in his first Indianapolis 500 in 1950. He finished 22nd in the 1951 Indianapolis 500. He died in a qualifying crash at Winchester Speedway in Winchester, Indiana in 1951, which became known as "Black Sunday". Green was inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2003.


Don Brown... Born ... USAC Sprint and INDY Car driver from the 1960's and 70's. He was also one of the best car fabricators.


Johnny Thomson won the USAC Eastern Sprint Car race over Tommy Hinnershitz at the Trenton International Speedway (1.0d) , Trenton, NJ.

Note:  How much have things changed since 1956?  Would you believe that I was there that day, and, as usual, I got there early.  After buying my ticket, I walked across the still dirt mile track and actually was able to talk to Sam Traylor and some of his drivers, including Thomson.  Try doing that today.




Alton Soules... Died ... AAA Board track driver 1920 & 1921. On October 1, 1921 at the 1 Mile Board Oval Fresno Speedway Fresno, California, Alton Soules and his mechanic Harry Earner went over the top rail on the southwest turn and dropped over 50 feet to their death.


A.J. Foyt won the USAC sanctioned Daily Empress Indy Silverstone on the 2.932 Mile Road Course Silverstone Circuit in Silverstone, England. Rick Mears was second followed by Tom Sneva, Gordon Johncock and Johnny Rutherford.

Note:  I'm kind of surprised that Indycar has not returned to this track.  After all, they've been going to Japan and South America, lately.




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


Paul Goldsmith... Born ... A motorcycle Hall of Famer and former USAC and NASCAR driver. Goldsmith was a famous AMA motorcycle racer during the late 1940s through the mid-1950s. He was the winner of the final stock car race at the famous Daytona Beach Road Course in 1958. He was also the only driver to win the Daytona Beach Road course both in a stock car and on a motorcycle. Goldsmith was the 1961 USAC Stock Car Champion, with 7 poles, 10 wins, 16 top-five finishes in 19 races. Goldsmith won his second consecutive USAC championship in 1962 with 6 poles, 8 wins, and 15 top-five finishes in 20 races. Goldsmith competed in 8 races in the USAC Championship Car series, between 1958 and 1963 with 6 of those starts in the Indianapolis 500. He finished in the top five twice at Indy, following up a 5th place finish in 1959 with a 3rd in 1960.


Lucky Lux... Died ... AAA driver from the 1940's. 

Note:  He also was a winner of the Eastern States race that is still held in October at the Orange County Fairgrounds in Middletown, N.Y.




Chuck Hulse ... Born ... USAC Sprint & Indy Car driver from the 1950's and 1960's . Hulse raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1959-1964 and 1966-1968 seasons, with 60 career starts, including the Indianapolis 500 races in 1962, 1963, 1966 and 1967. He finished in the top ten 26 times, with his best finish in 2nd position in 1963 at Phoenix and 1966 at Sacramento. Hulse stopped driving for 2 years in 1964-1966 due to vision problems caused in a sprint car accident in New Bremen, Ohio.


Max Papis ... Born ... Formula One, CART Champ Car driver and NASCAR driver from the 1990's and 2000's.


Richard "Mitch" Smith... Died ... From Linglestown, PA., Mitch was known throughout the world in auto racing. When Mitch was in his prime in the 1960's and 70's, fans would come to Central, PA just to watch Mitch Smith. His style was earth shattering and it was hard to sit in your seat during a race that he was in. Mitch was also involved in many wild crashes. Mitch captured 179 feature wins in his career. He raced at a lot of tracks and with a lot of racing sanctions in many different divisions. The one thing that sticks out the most was when he ran against the USAC sprints in Central, PA and he beat them just about every time. In those days the USAC teams thought they were unbeatable, which they were until they encountered Mitch Smith. Mitch not only beat them, but he made them mad and upset. One night at Williams Grove some of the USAC teams protested Mitch and his car. From that time on, USAC never seemed like they regained their composure and in time USAC sprint racing faded away from Central, PA.

Note:  You might want to check this out, about "Mitch":  http://www.wheelsofspeed.com/shaker.html



Jim Epler became the first man in NHRA history to break 300 mph in a Funny Car when he ran 300.40 mph at Topeka, Kansas.




Barney Oldfield ... Died ... 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.


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


Sarah Fisher ... Born ... As a child, she raced quarter midgets and go-karts until she was a teenager, winning the 1991, 1993 & 1994 World Karting Association Grand National Championships, the 1993 Circleville Points Championship and the 1994 WKA Grand National Championship. From 1995–99, she raced in the sprint car and midget ranks, winning the 1995 Dirt Track Racing Round-Up Rookie of the Year award. She had a very successful career racing in the World of Outlaws. In 1997, she was named to the 62-race All-Stars Circuit of Champions series, earning a second place finish at Eldora Speedway. She held the track record at historic Winchester Speedway until it was broken by NASCAR driver Ryan Newman. In 1998, Fisher and her father and then-crew chief Dave Fisher sought out new challenges in the world of asphalt midget racing. She raced in ARCA, NAMARS and USAC sanctioned events, a competitive schedule that helped prepare her for life in the IRL. She signed a contract in 1999 to compete at the top level of open-wheel racing and qualified for her first Indianapolis 500 in May 2000 at age 19, creating a media frenzy much like the modern-day frenzy around rival Danica Patrick.   In 2003, she set the record as the fastest woman to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 with a four-lap average of 229.439 mph

Fisher was a pioneer in the early days of her career, setting a wealth of first's for women in motorsports but later fell from the ranks in 2004. She returned to the IndyCar Series in late 2006, ran full time in the series in 2007 and ran a limited schedule under her own umbrella, having founded her own race team in January 2008, Sarah Fisher Racing.


Note:  Sarah just recently became a mother, having a daughter, Zoey Marie O'Gara, born on September 13th.

And a video of Sarah in the All-Star race from Eldora:




Denny Hulme... Died ... A New Zealand car racer, the 1967 Formula One World Champion for the Brabham team. Hulme later went on to race for McLaren in Formula One, the Canadian-American Challenge Cup series, and at Indianapolis. Hulme competed in the Indianapolis 500 on four occasions: 1967, 1968, 1969, and 1971. His best results in the event were in 1967 and 1968, both times finishing fourth. He did not compete in the 1970 race, due to methanol burns to the hands after a fire during practice. A favourite event of Hulme's was the Bathurst 1000, held at the famous Mount Panorama track in Australia. In the 1992 event he was sharing a Benson & Hedges-sponsored BMW M3 with Paul Morris. After complaining of blurred vision Hulme suffered a massive heart attack at the wheel while travelling part the way down the 200-mph Conrod Straight. After veering into the wall on the left side of the track, he managed to bring the car to a relatively controlled stop sliding against the safety railing and concrete wall. When marshals reached the scene they found Hulme still strapped in, dead.


Blaise Alexander ... Died ... Blaise was killed in a racing accident during the ARCA RE/MAX EasyCare 100 at the Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. Alexander had raced in several series during his career, including ARCA, NASCAR Busch and Truck Series.




Michael Andretti ... Born ... Retired CART, Formula One, IRL driver , IRL Car owner and the son of Mario Andretti .


A.J. Foyt won the USAC Sprint Car race at the Williams Grove Speedway, Williams Grove,PA. Roger McCluskey was second followed by Johnny White, Chuck Arnold and Chuck Hulse. Jim Maguire, in the Venezia # 27, finished first but was put back to 18th after a protest found his engine to be a few inches oversize.

Race report:  http://www.wheelsofspeed.com/report/10_5_63-2.html


Note:  That trophy, believe it or not, was fought over between AJ and Maguire, and in the process, was broken.  AJ ended up holding a small piece of a handle, while Jimmy had the remaining part.  The trophy has made appearances at the Stan Lobitz Movie Party/EMMR Auction that is held in Hazleton, Pa the second Sunday in November.  At the end of this column, on the New England Tractor's website, is a photo of the trophy, and you can see where it was broken.



J.J. Yeley ... Born ... USAC Midget, Sprint, Silver Crown, IRL and NASCAR driver.

Note:  Quite a few years ago, when they raced at the Nazareth paved mile track, there was a tire test for Midgets, and I was fortunate to be able to go there and take my grandson, Brett, with me.  We had a nice time with JJ, and he was impressing his crew the way he answered my question about driving a dirt modified at Syracuse, saying how "crazy" those drivers are, while using "body English" to describe how those cars leaned over in the turns.  He was also quite acceptable to having me take a photo of him, and Brett, together, and that photo, too, is towards the end of this column on the New England Tractors website.  In time I'll be able to post photos in my columns on Dirt Track Digest – once I get in gear and do what has to be done.




Tony Bettenhausen won the AAA sanctioned George Robson Memorial 100 Race on the 1 Mile Dirt Oval Good Time Park in Goshen, New York. Ted Horn was second followed by Duke Dinsmore, Emil Andres and Charlie Rogers.

Note:  While I was on Jury Duty, in Goshen, N.Y. for twelve days, recently, I had the opportunity to "drive" over a part of that track, which really isn't noticeable, today, where I drove.  There were a total of three "Champ" car races run on the triangular shaped Goshen dirt mile, 1936, 1946 & 1947.  Bettenhausen won both the 1946 & 1947 races, while Rex Mays won the race in 1936.  A slight historical oddity - at that 1936 race, that was the one and only time that two of racings greats, Ted Horn and Bill Schindler, ever competed against each other in a "Champ" car race, with neither driver able to qualify for it!  Later, in 1936, Schindler lost his left leg in a racing accident, and didn't return to racing cars bigger than midgets, until after Horn was fatally injured on October 10, 1948.





News from the AARN:



From my 9/15 column in the AARN section:


There was a “column” by Jerry Reigle – well sort of.  In the past, in his columns, he always had his “Final 50”.  In this weeks AARN, there was a “Final 50”, with things from 49 different people expressing their thoughts about Jerry.  Why only 49?  When Jerry had his, he always left # 43 open for “King Richard” Petty.  The AARN sought fit to do the same.”


While checking out the AARN’s website on 9/23, I found this last column by Jerry.  Hope this link works for you!




As I might have said, some nice photos of Jerry are in the article.



From their September 20th edition:


Ron Mentus, in his column makes mention of Keith Rocco and the possibility of him driving a truck for Kyle Busch in 2012.  Some things have to be worked out, however.  Rocco, as of the September 20th AARN issue, is the leading feature race winner here in the northeast with 28, so far for 2011.


Lenny Sammons, in his column makes mention of a split between Jimmy Blewitt and car owner Dick Barney.  Lou Cicconi got into a dirt modified at the Bridgeport Speedway, on their quarter mile track, and went home the winner of the nights feature – his first time ever racing on dirt.  Lou did say that he had a blast racing on the dirt and wants to do more of it.


It was said that all re-starts at Syracuse in the Big Block feature would be single file (ugh!).  Also, some “Musco” lighting is being brought in to help at night.


Ernie Saxton thinks that NASCAR does not treat all of their race people right, citing the Kurt Busch/Media deal and then LW Miller who had a problem with some rules at the NASCAR Whelen Modified race at Thompson, Ct, which led to some verbal abuse of officials, and some contact, too.  Seems Mr. Miller was fined $500.00 and placed on probation until the end of 2011.


Xcel 600 Modified racer Brian “Big Daddy” Mady has been diagnosed with Lymphoma in his throat area and is facing a long road to recovery.  He has a wife and a two year old daughter, and the family is having it rather tough, financially.  To help out, Ernie is helping out Joe “Geezer” Fanelli in an attempt to raise funds for the family by offering one of his sponsorship kits, valued at $200.00, to the highest bidder, with the money going to the Mady family.  You can send your bid to Mr. Saxton at:  Esaxton144@aol.com.  And if you desire to help the family out, donations can be sent to Cortney Mady191 Marcel DriveDingmans Ferry, Pa. 18326.


Craig Breedlove, the first person to exceed 400, 500 and 600 MPH on land, will receive the fourth annual Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum “Spirit of Competition” Award at a dinner at the Museum on Wednesday, October 19, 2011.  Others in racing that have won that award are Mario Andretti, Janet Guthrie and John Fitch.


An article in the AARN said that the winner of the URC’s final race for the 2011 season, held at the Grandview, Pa track could possibly win $4,000.00


Mike Mallett, in his column was talking about Andrew Harpell, Series Director for the ROC Asphalt Modified Series looking into making some changes to increase car counts in 2012.


There are full page ads for the Williams Grove WoO National Open races on 9/30, 10/1 and 10/2 and also for Super Dirt Week up in Syracuse – October 5th through the 9th.


Pavement drivers Ted Christopher and Chuck Hossfield will be attempting SDW in Big Block Modifieds, while Jimmy Blewett will be in a 358 Modified.


The column by Gary London was about race cars and their numbers and how some of them are and have been quite significant over the years.  Like AJ Foyt and the # 14, the Petty’s with # 43, Steve Kinser and his # 11 and Richard Childress with the # 3, as examples.


Brett Tonkin won his second feature of the season at Penn Can.  Ok, so what?  Well, would you believe he did it with an 11 year old TEO?


John Snyder, in his column makes mention of Frankie Schneider winning the first ESW race, a 100 lap event back on October 28, 1962.  He won by over a lap, beating Bob Mlazahn, Don Stumpf, Ernie Gahan and Kenny Shoemaker.


AJ Foyt and others – Larry Foyt, and several crew members in the area where they live, in Texas, were under evacuation orders last week due to the wildfires in the Houston area.


21 year old Jessica Bean, of Farmland, Ind is this years recipient of USAC’s prestigious Kara Hendrick Spirit Award, with the award being presented to her by Tricia Hecker, the Director of Mopar Service and Parts Marketing for Chrysler at the Lyn St. James “Women in the Winners Circle” gala.  Jessica is currently sixth in the USAC’s Midwest Ford Focus racing series.




More racin’ stuff:

From the Track Forum:

The oval track issue, and how to fix it


It was up to three pages as of last Friday night.  Personally, I still think that with hardly any American drivers - of note, not in the Indycar Series is also contributing to low fan counts.  Sadly, Open Wheel racing in the US has again taken a back seat to “Tin tops”, and I really don’t see it coming back much at all.  It seems that more and more the oval tracks are disappearing.  You don’t get to see Indy drivers in Midgets, Sprint Cars and even Silver Crown cars anymore either – not like it was “back in the day”.





Anne Fornoro does the PR for the AJ Foyt race team, and I’m on her mailing list.  On Wednesday I received a report, and in it was this:


“Race Driver to Ironman: (Vitor) Meira (along with fellow driver Tony Kanaan) will fly to Hawaii on Monday, Oct. 2 to compete in the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona on Saturday, Oct. 8. The record, set by professional triathlete Luc Van Lierde of Belgium in 1996, is 8 hours, 54 minutes, 2 seconds for the grueling contest which consists of swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running 26.2 miles in succession. Meira would be happy to finish the competition, which begins at 7 a.m., in daylight or under a total time of 11 hours. Meira will fly to Las Vegas on Tuesday, Oct. 11 as he prepares to compete in the IZOD IndyCar World Championship at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 16.




Racing and television:

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




Some non-racing stuff:


e-mail from an Internet friend of mine who lives in Florida, and was a midget race fan back in the day, up here in the northeast:


“Great going, Florida. You set the stage for the other 49 States to join! Kudos to Republican Governor Rick Scott for having the correctness and guts to move forward on this critical issue !


Hooray for Florida! !


I-75 will be jammed for the next month or so........Druggies and deadbeats heading North out of Florida..

Florida is the first state - Hooray for Florida!!!!

Florida is the first state requiring drug testing to receive welfare! In signing the new law,


Gov. Rick Scott said, "If Floridians want welfare, they better make sure they are drug-free.


Applicants who test positive for illicit substances won't be eligible for the funds for a year, or until they undergo treatment.


Those who fail a second time would be banned from receiving funds for three years!


Naturally, a few people are crying this is unconstitutional.


How is this unconstitutional?


It's completely legal that working people have to pass a drug test in order to get and/or keep a J-O-B which supports those on welfare!

Forward if you agree!!


Let's get Welfare back to the ones who NEED it, not those who WON'T get a JOB.....


I AGREE 100%”






Is this true?:


Something entirely different this week: Just to make you think about the things that happened on 9/11/2001.  Conspiracy theories?  Who really knows for sure!





















Video time:


Video # 1:


I was sent this video clip last Sunday.  To be perfectly honest, I’ve had, at times, doubts about some of those that enter this type of competition and have some kind of problems, either physical or other types – and getting what I call the “sympathy” vote.  Not true, in this case, though, I believe.




Video # 2:


Again, via an e-mail, this one on Wednesday, 9/28, and I just had to put it in this column.  Remember the “Space Junk” that just recently fell from space?

Well, here ya go!







Here are the two photos I made mention of, above – The broken trophy and the JJ Yeley and my grandson Brett, photo, taken at Nazareth a “few” years ago.

Look at the trophy photo closely, and you’ll notice the “arms” of the bottom right statue are broken.  That’s the little piece that AJ Foyt ended up with.

As for the JJ Yeley and my grandson Brett photo – JJ hasn’t changed much, but Brett sure has!  Damn, but how the time sure flies!

Note:  The two photos are not available for viewing on Dirt Track Digest, but can be seen in this column, if you go to the New England Tractor’s website:  http://newenglandtractor.com/racereport/  and click on volume # 74





Closing with these:


You think English is easy?? – Continued:


You lovers of the English language might enjoy this .


There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.'


It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ?

At a meeting, why does a topic come UP?

Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends.

And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen.

We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has real special meaning.

People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.

To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.

A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP.

We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary.

In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used.

It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may windUP with a hundred or more.

When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP.

When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.

When it doesn't rain for a while, things dry UP.


One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP,

for now my time is UP,

so........it is time to shut UP!

Now it's UP to you what you do with this email.


Note:  This ends this little series of the English class!




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