Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 75




Maybe I’m wrong with this thinking about why auto racing isn’t, and will never be, the # 1 sport here in America – it isn’t a wet weather activity, for sure.  Heck, even when NASCAR races at a road course with the Cup cars, if it rains, and rain tires are available, they still don’t race.  You can’t race on a dirt track when it rains.  The same goes for paved oval tracks.  But other sports, football, baseball and soccer do get played in the rain.

And, from what I can see, football fans are a complete different breed of fans – they seem to enjoy sitting in stands during rain/sleet & snow, whereas once it gets cold out, race fans stay inside and watch on TV – in most cases.




Geez!  When ya win, ya lose?  Case in point:  The loss of a Dollar General to Sarah Fisher Racing.

That’s who was sponsoring the Sarah Fisher race team – Dollar Genereal.  This past Sunday, Ed Carpenter won the IndyCar race in Kentucky, and Sarah said after the race that Dollar General would not be back next year, with this: 

In a post race radio interview Sarah said that Dollar General had "much bigger plans for next year but unfortunately we are not part of them."

Thread on this over on the Track Forum can be found if you go here:



And, more on Dollar General from Jayski’s website:

Dollar General leaves Turner Motorsports; headed to JGR?

Turner Motorsports announced Tuesday that Reed Sorenson, who is currently third in the Nationwide Series standings, is out as driver of the #32 Dollar General Chevy. Brian Vickers will assume driving duties from Sorenson beginning this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Turner offered no reason why Sorenson has been sidelined despite the driver currently sitting third in the Nationwide Series points standings. "I'm pretty confused right now," Sorenson said. "I really don't know what's going on right now. I'm trying to figure some stuff out and get through this weekend. It's hard on me, it's hard on the guys that work on this car and where we finish in points. So it's a bad deal." The announcement comes on the same day that Turner Motorsports acknowledged that Dollar General was leaving at the end of the year. Dollar General is expected to be a limited sponsor on one of Joe Gibbs Racing's Sprint Cup cars and as a primary sponsor in the Nationwide Series. Calls to J.D. Gibbs were not returned.(FoxSports)(10-5-2011)


And this too – from the Frontstretch:






With the Orange County Fair Speedway’s 50th Annual Eastern States Weekend coming up, later in October, and with a Dash for Cash race listed for the top six qualifiers for the 200, I thought I’d send an e-mail to the track to see if maybe we could get a little extra excitement in that Dash for Cash race.  I sent this on October 1st:

“Might it be possible to have that race for 10 laps and throw in a pit stop to change a LR tire to make it more exciting for the fans?  It was done years ago, when I suggested it to Jay Castimore, but it got messed up when Doug Hoffman stopped on the second turn to bring out the yellow.  Today, you have transponders and that should/could eliminate any problems when holding this Dash for Cash with a pit stop thrown in.

 If you recall, the place went nuts when they were pitting to change tires since there is no speed limit on pit road.  Just have them pit between certain laps, like lap 4 to lap 7?

 Maybe hold it just prior to the Sportsman race on Friday, so more fans might be in attendance, rather than prior to the Street Stock feature?  Should be no problem with that slight schedule change, I'd say.


 Tom Avenengo”

Their response:  Nothing as of 11:45 PM on Wednesday, 10/5/2011.



How fast can a Sprint Car go on a half-mile track?  I guess that would depend on a few things – like whether it was using a wing, engine size, track surface and how the track might be banked, if at all.

How about Bristol, with a winged car?  Could it average, say, 150 MPH?  Oh yes!

150 MPH @ Bristol:  http://mustseeracing.com/news-pressreleases/205-gerster-grabs-ten-grand-with-bristol-win.html


A little from the article:

“Brian Gerster set a new track record when he posted a lap of 12.742 seconds. The new Bristol track record is also a new World's record for a half-mile speedway.  The average speed was 150.585 mph and was worth an additional $1,000 for Gerster.”


More on it can be seen here, too:




And a video of that lap:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kbuv18bLMw&sns=fb





I imagine you’ve seen some of the “Electric Car” commercials on TV, by now?  What I have failed to see, anywhere, are electric outlets for charging these electric cars.  Have you seen any?  How many can be charged at a time – one only?





I was watching some of the Indy Car race from Kentucky this past weekend, and it really is a shame that those racecars, so expensive, can’t take a slight bumping into a wall.





Do you watch the NFL on TV?  If so, isn’t it rather odd that most reviews of plays do not over rule the calls that were made?  And now, to make a one hour game last more than three hours, they’ve gone to reviewing touchdowns?  What I get a kick out of is when a TD is scored when the player manages to get the ball over the goal line, where the pylon is, with his body, in the air, completely out of bounds, yet it’s ruled a TD.  Meanwhile a receiver makes a catch in the end zone, one foot in and then one foot out, and it’s not a TD.  Geez, at least he made some kind of bodily contact with the end zone, whereas the player who just passes the ball over the goal line is scoring?





Pocono Getting Repaved




Some of the comments:

So Pocono announced today that they were repaving the entire track... do you guys think that will this open up chances for an IndyCar date there?

I sure do hope so because after the change making NASCAR races 400 miles, I am considering not going and need a replacement race”

“Make it happen”

 “I'd definitely be there for an Indycar race. I can be there in under 3 hours. Nazareth without the horrendous backups they used to have was ~2h15m. Everyone's calling for ovals where drivers would be forced to brake, well there's probably no better place than Pocono to guarantee that.”

I don’t know if this will work – link to their Facebook page:





Central New York Raceway Park

Glenn Donnelly’s new venture – two mile road course, drag strip and ½ mile synthetic surfaced dirt track.


Thread, as of 1:30 PM on Wednesday, 10/5 is up to three pages, already, with comments.








I have to figure that it is mostly males that read my columns.  So, just a little hint fellas – If you’re wondering what the little lady is doing with the grocery money, it’s going into the cash registers at the grocery store where she shops.  I do our shopping.  Yes, I also “coupon” shop, where, due to coporate greed, anymore, some coupons require multiple purchases of some items, to get the monies off.  No, I don’t use those ones 99% of the time.  But I can say one thing – the damn prices are getting pretty ridiculous anymore, and, no, they – the grocery stores really can’t blame it on high fuel prices.  I can’t see why beef, imported from Australia is a dollar a pound cheaper than US grown beef.  Why, were I live, in the NY, NJ & Pa area, when they get produce from local farms, it cost more than that which is grown in California?






How many more like this will we be seeing in the near future?


Friendly's chain files for bankruptcy


In part:

“Friendly's To close 63 weaker restaurants

424 restaurants to stay open for business

Friendly's, an ice cream parlor chain known for its Happy Ending sundaes, filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday as the sluggish economy and slow consumer spending claimed another casual dining operator.

Friendly's Ice Cream Corp blamed rising prices for cream and high rents for its problems. The company, which operates or franchises restaurants in the eastern United States, plans to close 63 of its weaker restaurants; 424 will remain open.

More on this can be seen here:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/05/friendlys-idUSL3E7L51GD20111005



Apple co-founder Steve Jobs dead at 56

In part:

“Apple Inc co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs, counted among the greatest American CEOs of his generation, died on Wednesday at the age of 56, after a years-long and highly public battle with cancer and other health issues.

Jobs' death was announced by Apple in a statement late on Wednesday.”

A little more can be found here:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/05/us-apple-jobs-idUSTRE79472K20111005




Just passing this info out to ya:

From an e-mail I received on Wednesday evening:

358-ModifiedsWednesday, Oct. 5th @ Weedsport Speedway

Super DIRT Week XL Comprehensive Coverage - Thursday, Oct. 6th @ NYSF

World of Outlaws Late Model Series & 358 -Modifieds – Thursday, Oct. 6th @ Rolling Wheels

Super DIRT Week XL Comprehensive Coverage – Friday, Oct. 7th @ NYSF

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series – Friday, Oct. 7th @ Williams Grove SpeedwaySuper DIRT Week XL Comprehensive Coverage – Saturday, Oct. 8th @ NYSF

World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series & “Win and You’re In” Modifieds – Saturday, Oct. 8th @ Rolling Wheels

Super DIRTcar Big Block Modified Series SEF 200Sunday, Oct. 9th @ NYSF

CONCORD, N.C. – October 5, 2011 – Tonight, DIRTVision.com kicks off the highly anticipated Super DIRT Week XL. As the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, NY fills with campers, haulers and fans, DIRTVision brings you all the action from the mile and surrounding NY tracks, beginning tonight at Weedsport Speedway.

For just $19.99, you can watch live video from the mile on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We bring you time trials, practice, Twin 20s, Triple 20s and we finish it all off with the Nationwide 150, the Safety-Kleen Shootout and the Sportsman Championship on Saturday. Tickets for these three days of jam-packed racing action price at just over $100, and you can see it all for only a fraction of that cost! Click here to see a schedule of all the events!

Sunday’s SEF 200 presented by Ferris and Snapper will be featured as an audio broadcast only on the site, and on October 29th, the video broadcast will be aired on the SPEED Channel at 8:00 p.m.

As the modified drivers gear up for the biggest event of their season, the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars and Late Models are also throwing their hat into the event as well. The Late Model series will be featured Thursday evening at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park for a showdown on the dirt as they join the 358-Modifieds for a double series showdown. Friday night, the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series will be in action at the Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, PA to run the $50,000 to win National Open that was rained out last weekend. Then, Saturday night, the Sprint Car Series heads to Rolling Wheels for another double event, as they join the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Blocks.

Free live audio will be available for all four days of racing at the New York State Fairgrounds, as well as the events at Weedsport, Rolling Wheels and Williams Grove. We’ve got you covered for the whole weekend! Johnny Gibson, Rick Eshelman and Shane Andrews will have live audio from the Grove, and we’ll have it all exclusively at DIRTVision.com.

Looking ahead, the next DIRTVision video Cybercast will be the World of Outlaws Late Model Series at the Dirt Track at Charlotte on October 12th  For the full Cybercast schedule, click the 2011 Cybercast Schedule at DIRTVision.com.

Fans can follow DIRTVision on Twitter by clicking http://twitter.com/dirtvision.

For technical questions about DIRTVision, please e-mail DIRTVision@dirtcar.com.

DIRTVision.com is brought to fans around the world by several important sponsors and partners, including ButlerBuilt Professional Seat Systems and Aggressive Hydraulics.

Note:  As I said above, just passing the info out to ya.  In the past I’ve seen a lot of negative things posted about how it does or does not work.





Sad news:


Found this on the ARDC’s message board Wednesday evening:


It is being reported that Larry "Smokey" Snellbaker passed away today. No word on the cause of death.”


And this, too:




Here’s wishing for safe racing for all the competitors during Super Dirt Week up in the Syracuse area.



Coming up:




Wreckage in the Catskills

4 cyl & 6 cyl Enduro $1000 to win – based on 25 entrants

4 cyl & 6 cyl Demo Derby $1000 to win – based on 25 entrants

“Run What Ya Brung” $1000 to win – based on 20 entrants

Pure Stocks $400 to win - based on 20 entrants

Pro Stocks $400.00 to win – based on 20 entrants

Powder Puff races – Note:  Not on the list anymore, as of 10/4/11

Junior Slingshot National Race - $400.00 to win – based on 20 entrants

Held over 50 lap Sportsman feature from 9/30/11

Pit Gate opens at 11 AM  -  Spectator Gate opens at 12  - Racing at 2


Note:  This is what is on the Accord Speedway website in the race report from last Friday’s King of the Catskill event:


“The postponed Sportsman 50 lap main event will be showcased at a remaining event on the Accord calendar.”


As of Monday, there’s no mention of the rained out Saturday show, and if it will be run, or not, but looking at the revised schedule, the whole Saturday show has been scrapped, except for the Slingshots and Pro Stocks.  The CRSA 305 Sprint Cars have a race previously scheduled for the 15th, at Penn Can Speedway.   No mention of the “Spec” Sportsman race, though, that was scheduled for Saturday, 10/1/2011 – That got scrapped, too, I’d say.




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


Here’s a PR release about Eastern States from John Snyder:

NEWS FROM                                                                                                


Orange County Fair Speedway

239 Wisner Avenue                                                                                       Middletown, NY10940    


CONTACT  Mike Gurda   845-342-2573








ard Clay





MIDDLETOWN, NY (September 30)……..In just three weeks the sound of race cars will echo across the historic Orange County Fairgrounds in Middletown, New York as Arkel Motors presents the 50th Annual Eastern States Weekend, the oldest consecutively-run championship event for dirt track Modified stock cars in the country. On October 21-23, 2011, get ready for three action-packed days of high speed racing excitement that culminates with the Eastern States 200, the “granddaddy” of all fall championship races.


Sunday’s Eastern States 200 is also a key race in the Super DIRTcar Modified Series and the point race to determine this year’s Mr. DIRTcar Modified champion, one of the sport’s most prestigious awards.


For a complete schedule of events, plus ticket, camping permit, and parking permit information, check the official Orange County website, www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net, or call the Track Office at 845-342-2573 Tuesday through Friday during business hours. 


MEDIA MEMBERS: Credentials requests for Eastern States Weekend should be made to Bobby Armbruster at 201-323-2913, or BArmbr6493@aol.com.  Deadline is October 10, 2011.       



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/




Lobitz Movie Party/Auction:


Sunday, November 13, 2011.  Lots of fun, plenty to eat/drink, racing movies are shown, and an auction to raise money for the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing.  You’d be surprised as to what gets put up for auction!


One never knows who might show up.


Things get started around 9:00 in the morning, with a swap meet, followed by most anything else.  Quite a few vendors selling race related items, too.


Sit down dinner at around 5:30 in the afternoon.


Lobitz Catering Hall

Rt 940

Hazleton, Pa

(Located directly behind the Fairway Chevrolet dealership on Rt 309 North)


Note:  One can usually visit the barn, out back, to see a ton of old racecars, too.




Found on Jayski’s website:


Court orders NHMS to pay ISC over radio fee:

A jury in New Hampshire has ordered Speedway Motorsports Inc.'s New Hampshire Motor Speedway to pay International Speedway Corp.'s Motor Racing Network approximately $950,000 after a weeklong trial to determine whether MRN deserved a contract termination fee from the race track, according to an ISC statement. When SMI bought the New Hampshire track in January 2008, it wanted its Sprint Cup and Nationwide races on its own radio network, Performance Racing Network. But NHIS had a contract with MRN that ISC said required a three-year notice of termination. MRN ended up broadcasting the June 2008 Nationwide and Cup races from the newly named New Hampshire Motor Speedway and then PRN got the Cup race in September 2008 and all Nationwide and Cup events beginning in 2009.(SceneDaily)(10-1-2011)


Daytona testing dates set for January:

NASCAR Preseason Thunder, the annual three-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test session at Daytona International Speedway in advance of the prestigious season-opening 54th annual Daytona 500, will be held on Jan. 12-14. All NASCAR Preseason Thunder test sessions begin at 9 am and end at 5 pm, weather permitting. Each includes a lunch break from noon until 1 pm. Race fans can also rev up their new year at the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest  the companion event to the January test sessions. Along with watching NASCAR Preseason Thunder track activity from the Sprint FANZONE, fans can enjoy two Fan Fest driver sessions  from 5-9 p.m., on Thursday, Jan. 12 and from 5-7 p.m., on Friday, Jan. 13.
The schedule of driver question-and-answer and autograph sessions will be finalized closer to the event. Tickets for the NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest, which include autograph session wristbands, will be available for purchase at a later date. For fans who would like to be contacted regarding NASCAR Preseason Thunder Fan Fest ticket information can sign up online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com/thunder. Fans can also watch each day's testing at no cost from a section of the Oldfield Grandstands. Information on tickets for both the NASCAR Preseason Thunder and the Roar Before The Rolex 24 will be available online at daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.(DIS)(9-29-2011)


Hamlin seeing sports psychologist:

#11-Denny Hamlin said Tuesday he's been working with a well-known sports psychologist in an attempt to improve his attitude and outlook. Hamlin has been in a miserable slump since the penultimate race of last season, when poor fuel mileage at Phoenix figured heavily in his failure to wrest the championship away from Jimmie Johnson. Although he was still the points leader heading into the final race of the year, he had a poor weekend and Johnson won his fifth consecutive title. Many have speculated he's not been the same on or off the track since the Phoenix race, and Hamlin admitted Tuesday he struggled with the pressure of the championship race. Hamlin was initially reluctant to elaborate on whom he was working with, but eventually revealed it was Rotella and he had been referred to him by team owner Joe Gibbs. He did not say how long he's been working with Rotella.(ESPN/Associated Press)(9-29-2011)



Wallace willing to shut down RWI:

Rusty Wallace is willing to put his race organization, RWI, "into mothballs" for a couple of seasons until the sponsorship landscape in NASCAR improves. RWI is losing backing from 5-hour Energy at the end of the season and has yet to secure full sponsorship for the teams for next year. 5-hour Energy is expected to sponsor Clint Bowyer at Michael Waltrip Racing in 2012. An announcement is scheduled for Friday in Kansas City. So what happens to RWI's existing NASCAR Nationwide Series teams? "I just want to find a good ride for Steven," Wallace said of his 24-year-old son, who is eighth in the point standings. Wallace added he's spoken with several Sprint Cup organizations that expressed interest in putting Steven in a Nationwide Series car next season.(FoxSports)(10-2-2011)


Rusty Wallace Racing, which will lose sponsor 5-Hour Energy after this season, is working with potential sponsors on a deal for Steven Wallace, Rusty's son, to continue racing in the Nationwide Series. RWR also will field a car next year for Michael Annett, who has brought sponsorship to the organization. 5-Hour Energy is leaving the team to sponsor Clint Bowyer at Michael Waltrip Racing, a deal expected to be announced this week. Team owner Rusty Wallace said Monday that he has no plans to shut down his team and is looking for new sponsors. Wallace said if he can't run a full Nationwide season with Steven, he would run a partial schedule. He didn't want to name the sponsors he has commitments from until the formal announcements. "We've got about five of our sponsors under contract," Wallace said in a phone interview Monday. "I don't plan on shutting my team down at all. & I might have to slow down a little bit. I can't put any of my personal money into this thing. I've already put personal money into this thing, more than I'm feeling comfortable with to keep it going. With that said, I'm not sitting here feeling sorry for myself because 90% of the garage area has this problem and my situation is no different." While moving to the Sprint Cup Series is the eventual goal for his team, making the move with 5-Hour Energy was not an option, Wallace said.(SceneDaily)(10-4-2011)


MWR likely to announce Bowyer as driver on Friday:

#33-Clint Bowyer is expected to be introduced as the new driver for Michael Waltrip Racing on Friday at Kansas Speedway. Team owner Michael Waltrip confirmed there is a press conference scheduled at the track on Friday afternoon to discuss "the future of Michael Waltrip Racing'' and that everything was looking good for Bowyer, a native of Emporia, Kan. "I feel good about everything we're doing,'' Waltrip said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway. Bowyer said he's in the process of finalizing the contract with MWR and that he was "hopeful'' it would be announced at his home track. Waltrip also hopes to keep his relationship with JTG Daugherty Racing, allowing the team to move that operation to its Harrisburg, N.C., shop but continue to receive cars and engines from MWR. Co-owner Brad Daugherty told ESPN.com earlier in the week that they had an offer from MWR and that the plan was to move from MWR to its own shop. "We'd like to think we will be together in some form or fashion,'' Waltrip said. Bowyer, wrapping up the final year of his contract with Richard Childress Racing, will give MWR three full-time Sprint Cup teams in 2012. He joins David Reutimann and Martin Truex Jr., the pole-sitter at Dover. Bowyer has spent all six of his Cup seasons at RCR, winning four races and making the Chase three times. Due to sponsorship issues, he was unable to renew a deal there even though both parties said they wanted to stay together. Bowyer will be sponsored for about half the 2012 season by 5-hour Energy drink. Waltrip said all other details will be revealed at Friday's press conference.(ESPN)(10-2-2011)


Goodyear and NASCAR Extend Agreement:

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and NASCAR today jointly announced they have signed an extended agreement for Goodyear to continue as the exclusive tire used in NASCAR's top three racing series for the next five years. The agreement, which extends through the 2017 season, renews Goodyear as the "Exclusive Tire Supplier" of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Goodyear has had an uninterrupted commitment to NASCAR since becoming a race tire supplier in the 1950s, making it one of the longest-running supply programs in any sport. In addition, Goodyear has been the exclusive tire supplier for all three of the circuit's top series since 1997.
"This extension is the continuation of a relationship between experts," said Pierre Jambon, vice president of Goodyear's off-highway business. "NASCAR is clearly the expert in stock car racing, and it has chosen Goodyear because of our expertise in delivering outstanding performance. Our tire performance on the track validates our brand, inspires confidence for drivers and helps create exciting racing for fans. We are proud to continue to be an integral part of NASCAR."
"Our longtime relationship with Goodyear is a testament to the company's consistent high-quality tire it supplies the race teams," said Jim O'Connell, NASCAR's chief sales officer. "Not only are they experts in tire performance, but they are also a brand that understands how to effectively engage and connect with our fans through creative activation."(Goodyear), see more quotes about this agreement, plus notes about past and future tire tests and news on tirs on my Tire Sponsor and Test news page.(10-3-2011)


Red Bull to sponsor a car in 2012?:

Red Bull will no longer own a NASCAR team at the end of 2011, but X Games legend and Red Bull athlete Travis Pastrana expressed confidence Sunday that the energy drink company will sponsor a car in the Sprint Cup Series next season. Pastrana, who was going to make his Nationwide debut for Pastrana-Waltrip Racing in July before suffering a severe ankle injury after crashing in the X Games Moto-X best trick competition, said Red Bull is "working out the details" of divesting its interest of the team. "[Red Bull] wants to sponsor a team, as opposed to the Formula 1 setup where they do own the team," Pastrana said following a press conference in the Dover media center.(As the World Turns Left)(10-3-2011)


Delaware raises tolls for race? no:

The state of Delaware didn't pass on the opportunity to cash in on race weekend [for the races at Dover International Speedway] by raising the tolls on Highway 1, the main road to the speedway from Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del. Tolls usually are $1, but raised to $2 on race weekend.(Augusta Chronicle), note: looking at Delaware DOT and EzPass info, tolls on Highway 1 for passenger vehicle are raised every weekend by $1.00 from 7:00pm/et Fridays to 11:00pm/et on Sundays since Oct 2007 and not just raised for the race weekend.(10-3-2011)



Former Oakland Valley Speedway (Dirt Oval) runners:

Every week this sections is getting smaller and smaller, what with the season slowly coming to an end.  For me to get results, I go to the various track websites, and in some cases, have to rely on the AARN for results, which are a week late.  And I know that I’ve missed some drivers and their results over this past season – not knowing just where they all race, or who might have advanced up the racing ladder after I left as the race reporter for the Dirt Oval.  Sorry ‘bout that!

Nick Pecko was 5th in the SpeedSTR feature race at Grandview, a week ago.

AJ Filbeck won the Sportsman feature at Thunder Mountain on September 24th.

At Accord last Friday, in the Modified feature, Michael Storms was 12th and Danny Creeden 17th.  Mike Ruggiero was a DNQ.  In the Sportsman action, with their feature postponed until October 15th, Anthony Perrego had a 2nd in his heat, Mike Traver an 8th and a DNS in the consy, Brad Szulewski a 6th in his heat and a win in the consy, Tyler Dippel a 7th in his heat and a 3rd in the Consy.  Looking at the “My Laps” from the Sportsman part of the night, it shows Brian Krummel with a 7th in his heat and an 11th in the consy.  However, his father was sitting with me in the stands, and as far as he knew, Brian was in Carolina working with Mike Doty at some Go-Kart races.  Was it a “Ford” in the car?  And, mentioned in the race write up was that Jamie Yannone had won a Modified heat, but I don’t think Jamie was racing last Friday.



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 October 7th to October 13th:




Buzz Barton... Born ... Raced in AAA/IMCA & USAC Sprints and Indy Cars


Grandson, Brett Avenengo was born – funny, but he was born on the day that Brett Hearn won at Syracuse.  Coincidence?


Louis Meyer... Died ... American Hall of Fame racecar driver best known as the first three-time winner of the Indianapolis 500. He raced in 12 Indy 500's with wins in 1928, 1933 and 1936.




Eddie Rickenbacker ... Born ... An American fighter ace in World War I and Medal of Honor recipient. He was also a racecar driver and automotive designer, a government consultant in military matters and a pioneer in air transportation. Rickenbacker raced in the 1912, 1914, 1915 and 1916 Indianapolis 500. His only finish in the race was in 1914 when he finished 10th. In the other three races, he did not finish due to car failure. Notably, in the 1916 race, he started on the front row in 2nd place.


Travis "Spider" Webb... Born ... AAA driver, ran 6 Indy 500's


Jack McGrath... Born ... AAA driver from the 1940's & 50's, ran 8 Indy 500's. He was killed in the final race of the 1955 season in Phoenix, Arizona.


Bill Elliott... Born ... A former champion of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Elliott was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America on August 15, 2007. He won the 1988 NASCAR Winston Cup Championship and has garnered 44 wins in that series. He had two Daytona 500 victories, and a record four consecutive wins at Michigan International Speedway during 1985-86. He holds the track record at both Talladega and Daytona International Speedway with speeds of more than 200 mph. Elliott won NASCAR's Most Popular Driver Award a record 16 times. He withdrew his name from the ballot for that award after winning it in 2002.




Pat O'Connor... Born ... AAA / USAC driver from the 1950's. He was killed in the 1958 INDY 500.


Jan Opperman won the Western World Sprint Car race at the Manzanita Speedway , Phoenix, AZ. The event was marred when veteran driver Jimmy Cox was fatally injured in a consolation race. Cox , 42, a 20-year veteran from San Diego that came out of a 1-year retirement, died in a two car mishap that also caused serious arm injuries to Dub May.




Ralph Liguori... Born ... NASCAR Grand National, USAC Midget, Sprint, Silver Crown & Indy Car Driver from the 1950's, 60's & 70's. He competed in the USAC Championship Car series from 1957 to 1971 making 61 starts. His best finish was 2nd place at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Speedway in 1970. 1966 was his most active year, when he made 7 starts and finished 28th in the National Championship. He attempted the Indianapolis 500 six times (1959, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1967, and 1968) but he failed to make the field each time. Liguori continued racing well into his 70's and won a minor race in 2000 at 73 years old.


Arnie Knepper... Born ... 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.


Ted Horn... Died ... AAA driver from the 1930's and 40's. Ted Horn has the best 9-year streak of finishes in Indianapolis 500 history. Over his Indianapolis 500 career, Ted Horn completed 1944 out of a possible 2000 laps (97%).  He was fatally injured in the Champ Car race at DuQuoin, Ill.




Cy Fairchild ... Born ... Supermodified and USAC Sprint Car Driver from the 1960's.


Jerry Weld ... Born ... Supermodified, Sprint and USAC Indy Car Driver from the 1960's. Brother of drivers Greg and Kenny.


Don Garlits ran the 1/4-mile in 5.636 seconds at 250.69 mph in his T/F dragster. This elapse time record would stand for another six years and the top speed record for 9 years.


Joe Barzda ... Died ...ARDC/AAA / USAC driver in the 1940’s & 1950's. Quit after Van Johnson's fatal crash in 1959, in which Joe was involved in. With brother Jim, he ran the Californian Speed and Sport Shop in New Brunswick, New Jersey, which fielded cars in lots of events, including CART and endurance racing.




Fred Comer... Died ... AAA driver 1923 to 1928. Killed in a crash at the Rockingham Board Track.


Tony Willman ... Died ... AAA driver 1926 to 1941, died in a midget race at Thompson, CT.


Johnny Ritter was fatally injured while changing a tire on the 20th lap during a 100 lap Midget race at the Medford Bowl.  He was born in Austria and his family came to the United States when he was a young boy, his family settling near Detroit, Michigan.  Late in the 1930’s he came east to race.  He was the track champion at the Castle Hill Speedway and also at the Nutley Velodrome in 1939, and was third in the AAA point standings (midgets), too.  Besides the two track championships mentioned, he was also the track champion at Castle Hill again, in 1940, Freeport in 1941 and the Hinchliffe Stadium (Paterson, NJ) champion in 1946.

Note:   He was, and always has been, this writer’s favorite driver even after all these years, even more so than the late Bill Vukovich, who ranks second on my list.  I’m planning on coming out with a photo article about Ritter in the near future.



Drew Fornoro... Born ... 9-time NEMA midget champion, son of Nick Fornoro Sr & older brother of Nick Jr.


Mark Dismore ... Born ... IRL driver from the 1990's and 2000's.


Duke Dinsmore... Died ... AAA / USAC driver from 1946 to 1960




Howard Wilcox ... Died ... AAA driver 1932 & 1933


Fred Agabashian... Died ... Born in Modesto, California, Frederik was the son of a genious mathematician, and just like his sisters, he wanted to become famous. While they became singers, Fred choose to race. The colorful Armenian with the big smile and terrific personality began racing cars while in his teens. He won his first midget championship in 1937 with the Northern California Racing Association against such drivers as Duane Carter, Lynn Deister, and Paul Swedberg. Driving for Jack London, Freddie captured the BCRA crown in 1946, then switched to the George Bignotti racing team in 1947. He was almost unbeatable for the next two years and captured the BCRA title twice more in 1947 and 1948. Agabashian did not limit his driving abilities to midgets. He won in big cars and stock cars as well which earned him a ride at Indianapolis for the 1947 race. He competed at Indy on eleven occasions and is best remembered for his pole winning effort in 1952 in the unique Cummins Diesel. His best finish at Indianapolis came the next year when he placed 4th with relief from Paul Russo. After his retirement, Agabashian did color commentary for the 500 Radio Network. Agabashian was inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame.


Wayne Weiler ... Died ... Weiler started as a dirt track driver in Arizona in 1951. He drove in the USAC Championship Car series from 1958 to 1961 with 19 starts. He finished in the top ten 10 times, with his best finish in 3rd position, in 1960 at Phoenix. Weiler competed in the Indianapolis 500 race in 1960 and 1961, with a best finish of 15th in 1961. Weiler retired from USAC driving following a severe accident in a sprint car race in Terre Haute, Indiana on June 11, 1961. He remained active as an owner and manager in auto racing up until his death.




News from the AARN:



From their September 27th issue:


DriverReggie Ruggiero and car owner Mario Fiore, along with driver Joey Kourafas and car owner/mechanic Jim Jorgenson and track owners Irene Venditti and Donald Hoenig, plus three choices from the Veterans Committee, will be inducted into the New England Auto Racing Hall of Fame at the NEAR’s 15th annual banquet, Sunday, January 29th, at the La Renaissance Hall in East Windsor, Ct.  The Veterans Committee will meet in October.


Lenny Sammons makes mention of “Labor Issues” with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, with the car owners having a difficult time getting volunteer help, especially for events not on weekends.  There are some owners, pretty well known, too, that are unsure of their plans for the 2012 season.


Quite a lot being mentioned about racing on Thursday night during Super Dirt Week, with two tracks competing – Brewerton and Rolling Wheels, with the Wheels being a DIRTcar race and Brewerton being “Open Competition”.  The Wheels using Hoosier tires and Brewerton opening up their tire rule, allowing both Hoosier and American Racer.


Ernie Saxton, in his column asks:  Would you buy a ticket to watch Danica Patrick race?”

Note:  I kinda think that Ms Patrick won’t do all that good in NASCAR, and after a few races, her popularity will dwindle.  “Go Daddy” will be spending a lot of money – with results not worth the expense.  How much time will Danica be on TV when she’s running, at best, mid-pack?  Of course, if “Go Daddy” is sponsoring the telecast, well…………….


Joey Saldana returned to the WoO Sprint Car wars after his injury at Eldora during the Kings Royal race, and won at the Hartford Motor Speedway, in Hartford, Michigan and then at Eldora.


With the passing of Jerry Riegle, Todd Heintzelman has more or less taken over the reporting on the Pennsylvania and nationwide Sprint Car racing scene.


Kasey Kahne will be promoting a “Talladega Sage Fruit Showdown” WoO Sprint Car race at the Talladega short track on October 22nd.


There will be an on-track demonstration run for the Vintage TQ’s when the races are held in Atlantic City -  February 3rd and 4th.


Ron Mentus had an interesting topic in his column – extra distance Midget races – like 100 lappers.  It seems that those NEMA drivers that he mentioned it to were in favor of it.  One of the main things would be tires.  Most think they’d have enough fuel to go 100 laps – depending on the track size, of course.  It’s being said that they’d have to go to a harder compound tire. 

Note:  A couple of things – first, NEMA has had low car counts during the 2011 season.  Would a track or promoter risk a big race with a small car count?  It would be quite difficult for NEMA to draw from other clubs, since NEMA is strictly a pavement and winged series.  Might they, if scheduling such a race, allow the NEMA “Lights” to also compete – to get more cars?  With the wings, we all know how much pressure that puts on drive lines, tires and the engines themselves – would that effect the racing?


Mentus tells of the race win by Keith Rocco at the Waterford Speedbowl in the 35-lap feature.  With nine laps to go, there were only 13 of the 24 original starters left, with a lot of yellows during the race.  It took 50:18 minutes to complete those 35 laps.


The Tobias SpeedSTR’s were in action a week ago at Grandview.  I see they are still having problems drawing cars, with 15 cars being shown in the race results.  That’s one of the problems when having a “Spec” class – especially in today’s economy and with all the various other “normal” classes that are available.


There’s an ad for the Indoor TQ race at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI on Saturday, March 10th and Sunday March 11th in 2012, advertising a 100 lap feature on Sunday.


The PRI Trade Show will be held on December 1st through 3rd, at the North/South Building of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fl.


Brian Danko, in his column, makes some valid points about how TV is/has hurt the sports scene all over.  He cites the qualifying for the Cup race at Loudon as an example – with the qualifying actually being held up while the ESPN “Talking Heads  spoke about the on-coming wet weather.  Their talking took ten minutes, at least, and qualifying, as you probably remember, had a rain interruption with five cars left to qualify.  A 45-minute delay to dry the track was the result.  He goes on to say that sports have become a slave to the TV executives and their dollars.  If you think back – back to “In the day”, in baseball, play-off and World Series games were actually played on week day days, not nights.  And. Look at night time NFL games, and their starting times.


The 32nd annual Parts Peddler Trade Show and Racers Auction, will be held on November 18, 19 & 20, at the New York State Fairgrounds.


Gary London has been a motor sports writer for as long as I can remember.  I have to agree, in a way, with him in his latest column – how Clint Bowyer is a victim of Nepotism.  Why, you ask?  Well, look at it this way – car owner Richard Childress has a grandson, Austin Dillon, who will be moving up to the Nationwide Series in 2012 (driving car # 3, of course), and just where do you think young Mr. Dillon will be the following year?  Uh huh – in Cup.  NASCAR limits teams to only four cars.  “Sponsor” problems for Mr. Bowyer, is being said as to why he’s being let go.  Uh huh.  It’s kind of hard to sign a driver for just ONE year, now.  Mr. London goes on to say that theother drivers that are signed under Mr. Childress, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth could very well be on shaky ground, too.  Why, you ask?  Uh huh – another grandson of Mr. Childress – Ty, will be on the scene pretty quickly, too.


I tend to agree with John Snyder on a lot of issues.  In his column this week, he is, in a way, complaining about the poor newspaper coverage of racing, down in Florida, where he has been for a short time, now.  I have a brother, Raymond, who lives in Satellite Beach, Florida, and that poor coverage has been confirmed by him, on numerous occasions.  If it isn’t NASCAR, you don’t read about it.  Heck, what was one of the biggest races in this country, the Twelve Hours of Sebring, held in Sebring, Florida, doesn’t even get mentioned in the papers, down there.

Mr. Snyder has come out with his thoughts on improving the racing here in the northeast.  No sail panels, open up the tire rules, loosen up suspension and body specs for Big Blocks, for Small Blocks – a single set of engine rules and weight specs.  For the Sportsman – sealed crate engines, two-barrel carbs and steel wheels.  All cars should have newer designed seats, and personal restraint items must be used by all drivers.  He also believes an on-board Fire Suppression System should be in all race cars, too.

Note:  I don’t agree with Mr. Snyder on the “Sail Panels”.  I really thought that DIRTcar would go with them when they announced that they were going to do some body changes for the Big Block Modifieds – something that has yet to be done, I should add.  As for “loosening up body specs” – it seems they’ve done this down in Delaware and it’s backfired, to an extent, with some pretty big bodies coming out.


Don and JoAnn Davies, in their column, made mention of the problems that the Fulton Speedway seems to be having, with some neighbors and “noise” from the track.  If a new ordnance is passed, it would be difficult, if not impossible to race at the track.  Corey Reed has said that the track, in existence for 50 years, would likely cease operation.

Note:  There is a thread about having people sign a petition that’s at the Speedway, on the Dirt Track Digest’s Forum.  However, with the last race rained out, where is that petition, now?  There’s mention of attending the town meeting on this, but no place or time is shown in the thread.

Years ago, a bunch of us attended such a meeting about “dust” and OCFS.  Enough of us stood up and fought for the track that any action that was thought of was dropped immediately.  I still have what was said at that meeting in my ‘puter, come to think of it.

The tread: 



There are a couple of racing people that have left us, recently – car owner Sam Flood, 91, who owned cars that raced at Bridgeport, Alcyon and Flemington, in New Jersey, backing the 50’s and 60’s.  Also Mark Bridges, 60, who was the chief mechanic on the 1983 Indy 500 winning car that was driven by Tom Sneva.


There’s a full page ad for the Short Track Super Nationals at Five Mile Point on Saturday, October 8th.  Some drivers that are listed to compete are:  Stewart Friesen, Billy Pauch, Sr & Jr, Doug Manmiller, Meme DeSantis and Jeff Strunk.


I noticed in the race results for the NASCAR Modified race at Loudon, that Ryan Newman finished 28th out of the 29 starters.  Hmmm?  He has been rather unbeatable there lately.


In the column by Dave Moody, he says that Travis Pastrana is hoping to race at Phoenix next March in the Nationwide race.  As for Pastrana, and his broken ankle, he’s had 8 screws, a plate, 5 pins and stabilizing wires in that ankle.  Yes, more surgery will be required.  Pastrana is actually hoping to get in the cockpit in late December.  However, he will not be able to race at Daytona, if February, though, with the time frame not allowing him to get NASCAR approval for the season opener.  Hmmmm?


In the column by Bill Utter, he makes mention that Ron Quackenbush competed at the Fonda Speedway when it opened in 1953.  He was only 14 years old at the time, being somewhat under age, and he raced under the name “Kip Allen”.  He raced, under age, until he went into the Marines at 18 years old.  He’s a member of the Fonda Hall of Fame.


On page 63, there are a bunch of photos.  One showed modifieds stacked three high in one accident at Mercer Speedway in Pa.


There are virtually hundreds of Sprint Car drivers in the US of A.  Some are quite well known, while others are not.  Would you say that Sprint Car driver Mike Larrison is pretty well known?  Personally, I’ve never heard of him.  No, that doesn’t mean he’s not well known, I know, but it seems that he was injured with back and foot injuries in a Firestone Indy Lights testing crash earlier in September, at the Kentucky Speedway.  He sustained a L2 lumbar spine fracture that will not require surgery or a brace.  A fractured left heel, however, will require surgery.  He was testing for the Andretti Autosport team, with a debut later this year at Las Vegas, which of course, won’t be happening, now, it seems.


For those Tim McCreadie fans, it is said that Tim will be back to defend his Eastern States 200 win from last year, again behind the wheel of the Vinnie Salerno modified.





More racin’ stuff:

From the Track Forum:

The 2012 IndyCar schedule – only 5 ovals, so far??   Now there are rumors of an IndyCar race at Loudon in 2012.  Time will tell, right?


And also this thread, too:  Why more ovals than street/road races?


Note:  What with Pocono now being re-paved, might that be another oval for IndyCar?


Racing and television:

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




Some non-racing stuff:


From Facebook, last Saturday, 10/1/2011:


No one has been able to explain to me why young men... and women serve in the U.S. Military for 20 years, risking their lives protecting freedom, and only get 50% of their pay. While Politicians hold their political positions in the safe confines of the capital, protected by these same men and women, and receiv...e full pay retirement after serving one term. It just does not make any sense.


On Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress family members are exempt from having to pay back student loans. This will get national attention if other news networks will broadcast it. When you add this to the below, just where will all of it stop?


35 States file lawsuit against the Federal Government


Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.


This will take less than thirty seconds to read. If you agree, please pass it on.


This is an idea that we should address.



For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform... in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop.


If each person that receives this will post it on their wall, in three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message.. This is one proposal that really should be passed around.


Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: "Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States .."


Now, what are you going to do about it? Read and delete, or work for reform? Share on the wall of EVERY congressman, representative, governor, the white house!!!!! Pass it around!!! Make calls, send fax's and email's...............


Note:  As many times as I’ve received similar messages, usually via e-mails, I seriously doubt there would ever be a 28th Amendment to our Constitution as it’s worded, above.




Is this true?:


Extracted from the Patriot Post:


Meanwhile, right behind Solyndra may be other companies for whom the DoE approved over $1 billion worth of loan guarantees this week for solar-generation projects in Nevada and Arizona. This includes a $737 million loan guarantee for the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, which will allegedly create 45 jobs. The big news, though, is that an investment partner in the project is Pacific Corporate Group, whose executive director is Ron Pelosi, who just happens to be Nancy Pelosi's brother-in-law. Suddenly, we understand the spending of $737 million to create 45 jobs.


Note:  Funny, isn’t it - that we never see this mentioned while watching the evening news?  Wonder why?






Video time:


You’re gonna love this one – in a way, it’s about how we got to where we’re at:




Oh, and this came out on Tuesday, 10/4/2011 – kinda about what the video is about:


Bernanke says economic recovery close to faltering.


In part:

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the economic recovery "is close to faltering" and the central bank is prepared to take further steps to support it.

The economy is growing more slowly than the Federal Reserve had expected, Bernanke said Tuesday before the congressional Joint Economic Committee. He said the biggest factor depressing consumer confidence is poor job growth.

"We need to make sure that the recovery continues and doesn't drop back and that the unemployment rate continues to fall downward," Bernanke said.

Bernanke offered his grim assessment after the economy barely grew in the first half of the year and it created no net jobs in August. Consumer confidence fell this summer to the lowest point since the recession. Europe's debt crisis has also intensified.

In August, the Fed said it planned to keep short-term rates at record lows until at least mid-2013, assuming the economy remained weak.

Both decisions drew three dissenting votes on the Fed's policy committee. The three dissents, all from regional Fed bank presidents, were the most dissents in nearly 20 years.

On Tuesday, Bernanke wasn't shy in offering Congress more advice: He reiterated his warning that lawmakers should not cut spending sharply while the economy is weak.

In a speech in Cleveland last week, Bernanke called long-term unemployment a "national crisis" and said Congress should take further steps to address it. Bernanke noted that about 45 percent of the unemployed have been out of work for at least six months — a level previously unseen in the six decades since World War II.

In that speech, Bernanke said there was only so much the Fed's interest rate policies could achieve. He said that long-term unemployment, budget deficits and the depressed housing market were three priority areas that Congress should address.

The economy slowed to an annual growth rate of just 0.9 percent in the first six months of this year. Forecasters think growth will rebound only slightly in the final half of this year — to an annual rate of 2 percent to 2.5 percent.

Growth at that pace would be far too weak to significantly lower the unemployment rate. The rate remained stuck at 9.1 percent in August, a month when employers didn't add any jobs at all.

On Friday, the government will issue the jobs report for September”

More can be seen if you go here: 




Closing with these:

Things I Have Learned in the South;

A possum is a flat animal that sleeps in the middle of the road.

There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 of them live in the South.

There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 of them live in the South, plus a couple no one has seen before.

If it grows, it'll stick ya. If it crawls, it'll bite cha.

Onced and Twiced are words.

It is not a shopping cart, it is a buggy!

Jaw-P? means Did y'all go to the bathroom?

People actually grow and eat okra.

Fixinto is one word. It means I'm fixing to do that.

There is no such thing as lunch. There is only dinner and then there is supper.

Iced tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're two. Folks in the south do like a little tea with their sugar.

Backards and forards means I know everything about you.

The word jeet is actually a phrase meaning, Did you eat?

You don't have to wear a watch, because it don't matter what time it is, you work until you're done or it's too dark to see.

You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH em.

You measure distance in minutes.

You switch from heat to A/C multiple times in the same day.

All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, insect, or animal.

You know what a DAWG is.

You carry jumper cables in your car - for your OWN car.

You only own six spices: salt, pepper, Dale Sauce, Tabasco , Creole Seasoning, and ketchup.

The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local high school sports, motor sports, and gossip.

Many think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.

You find 100 degrees Fahrenheit a bit warm.

You know what a hissy fit is.

Going to Wal-Mart is a favorite pastime known as goin Wal-Martin' or off to Wally World.

You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good chicken stew weather.

Fried catfish is the other white meat.

We don't need no dang Driver's Ed. If our mama says we can drive, we can drive.

You understand these jokes and forward them to your Southern and other friends. 




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