Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 77




I originally started this column around mid-day on Sunday, with the first  item about an article that “Doctor Dirt” Bill Boyle had written, followed by some more about the new ¼ mile track that will be making it’s appearance at the Orange County Fair Speedway, sometime in 2012.  However, the tragedy – the death of Dan Wheldon during the Indycar race at Las Vegas, has taken over both the number one and two spots this week.

I have to imagine that most everyone reading this has seen that 15-car accident over and over, already.  Scary – yes.  Tragic – yes.  Unavoidable – no.  No because there just is not enough time for driver reaction at high speed – whether it’s 100 MPH or over 200, as was the case on Sunday.  I’ve seen massive pile-ups at the start of aces at OCFS, and even with somewhat slower speeds, there isn’t much that a driver can do to miss being involved.  It is what it is, unfortunately.

There are a ton of threads about this tragedy out on the Internet, some of which will be linked to, below.  I’ve made my thoughts known about the catch fences – how I think it would be better if there was a clear Lexan covering on the track side of the catch fences, giving a smooth surface for the cars to contact, if and when they get up that high, rather than the rough wire fencing that seems to cause most of the problems with cars getting torn apart.  Some have agreed with that, but a majority thinks it wouldn’t work.

One poster to a thread was wondering why, with all the safety features of today, which the Indy cars still do not have some type of roll cage to protect the driver, rather than the small little roll bar that is presently in use.  It seems like they would – or should have them, I’d say.  It was said that the roll bar on the Wheldon car was taken right off.

Over my lifetime, as a race fan, I’ve seen my share of fatal accidents, in person.  Never once was a race stopped and considered to be official due to the death of one of the competitors.  Oh, there have been some – but not many.  Think back a little – Bill Vukovich in 1955, at Indianapolis.  Pat O’Connor, at Indianapolis.  Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald – at Indianapolis.  The worst of them all – the Pierre Levegh accident at LeMans in 1955 where many, many fans were fatally injured.  Those races continued on after the fatal accidents.  I can think of a couple of races that did not continue after a fatal accident – well, one for sure.  That happened at the Nutley, N.J. Velodrome back in the late 1930’s.  Another one at Nutley says the race was immediately red flagged, but does not go on to say if it was continued or not.  Strange, but in both cases, the same driver, Johnny Ritter was leading both of those races.  Some, but very few, have been stopped and not continued, due to spectators receiving fatal injuries.

It’s been said, and being said again today, that “Back in the day” the race drivers more or less shied away from getting very friendly with their competitors, since that fatality rate was so much higher, back then.  Today, what with all the safety improvements, fatal accidents to drivers are a rarity.  And, today, it seems that emotions have somehow changed from days gone bye.  That could easily be seen with drivers, and people associated with them, when it was known that Dan had passed on.

Has a precedent been set with the stopping of that race on Sunday?  True, it’s been reported that the track, itself, had some damage – was that one of the reasons for the stoppage?  One person made mention of how maybe things might have been different – the stopping of the event, if the driver that was fatally injured wasn’t a “name” driver, but maybe a “ride buyer”.

Yes, our hearts go out to the surviving Wheldon family members.  All we can do is hope and pray that he’s the last driver to be fatally injured while racing. 




Some links to various websites/forums and/or message boards that have things about the passing of Dan Wheldon:




Driver Paul Tracy video:


Note # 1:  I didn’t see the above video until Monday night around 8:30.  Many, many times I’ve suggested that clear Lexan be put up on the track side of the catch fencing – giving the cars something smooth to glance off of.  Many, many times I’ve been shot down on that thought.  Plexiglass will break, so that is not an alternative.  Lexan, in most cases will not break if left clear.  If painted, only certain types of paint are ok.  The wrong kind will have a chemical reaction to the Lexan and it will break and shatter.  Been there – done that with a clear then painted Lexan body for our Kart, many years ago.

Note # 2:  Oh, I know if anyone from Open Wheel racing reads this column, they’ll think I’m some kind of a nut case, but there’s talk about slowing the cars down.  Well, you won’t slow them down as long as you’re going to turbo charged V-6 engines and still keep the damn wings on the cars.  Get rid of the wings, and you’ll slow them down.  Don’t think so?  Think about it!

As I would expect, a ton of things being said on the Track Forum, with many threads:



From Jayski:

Sad News - Dan Wheldon:

Dan Wheldon, the 2011 Indianapolis 500 winner and one of the most popular drivers in open-wheel racing, died Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a horrific multi-car crash only 11 laps into the IndyCar Series season finale. Officials decided to call the race, but the drivers did a five-lap tribute to Wheldon. IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard made the officials announcmeent of Wheldon's death without further comment. "IndyCar is very sad to announce that Dan Wheldon has passed away from unsurvivable injuries," Bernard said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family today. IndyCar, its drivers and owners, have decided to end the race. In honor of Dan Wheldon, the drivers have decided to do a five-lap salute to in his honor." Wheldon, 33 and the 2005 series champion from Emberton, England, was competing in only his third IndyCar race of the season, trying to win the event and earn a $5 million bonus that was part of a league promotion for drivers who didn't compete full-time in the series this year.(ESPN)(10-16-2011)






As I said, I was going to start this column off with an interview that was held recently with Mike Gurda owner and General Manager of OCFS, by “Doctor Dirt” Bill Boyle.

Here it is:

By Bill Boyle

Last year we had a conversation with Mike Gurda, the General Manager and owner of the Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, NY, concerning the history of the hard clay oval and the possible sale of the speedway and the surrounding fair grounds. We are pleased to announce that the status of the estate hasn’t changed, and all plans for current and future racing remain intact.

As we approach the 50th running of the Eastern States classic, a 200 lap season ending event for Modifieds, we once again sat down with Mike Gurda to discuss the status of racing at the 5/8th mile oval.

Q - In 2010, we had a controversial ending to the ES feature. What assurances do we have that it will not happen again!

A – We made a bad call last year, but once the driver exited the car and climbed up the starters stand, and then parked the car on the track, any chance of reviewing the situation was gone. Had he stayed in the car and discussed his protest with the officials, everything would have been reviewed.

For this year, we are adding more scorers for the race. This means we will have more people watching the race, not only the leaders, but further back in the field too. The middle of the pack runners are just as important as the front runners, and we don’t want anyone jumping positions on restarts, regardless of where they are running.

We’ve also hired a professional to run and monitor the transponder system. This is where we had our
initial problems last year.

Lastly, we will coordinate all reviews prior to any restart. That means checking with the manual scorers, the transponder operator and a review of the video to insure at ALL drivers are in their respective positions. If it takes and extra lap under yellow, then so be.


Yes, we made a mistake last year, but I assure you it won’t happen again.

Q – You have made major changes to the Friday and Saturday shows. How will they benefit the participants and fans?

A – The changes are threefold:
- Create a better track for racing.
- Be more fan friendly.
- Respect for the drivers and crews.

The Friday show in the past began in the early afternoon with 358 time trials followed by heats. There were also time trials and hot laps for the Modifieds. Normally, the Friday show was finished by 4:30pm and the speedway would shut down for the evening. This put a lot of pressure on the race teams to get to the track early in the morning to prepare for the early start.

With the afternoon sun beating down on the racing surface, it beat the heck out of the racing surface, and put a lot of pressure on the track preparation team to prepare for Saturday’s racing. Now with the start of the show moved back to 5:30pm, racing teams from the area no longer have to head to the track on Thursday to prepare for an early start on Friday. In addition, fans no longer have to take a day off of work to catch the activities.

Friday’s Modified time trials and qualifying heats will now kick off at 5:30pm, just as the sun is starting to set. We’ve also expanded Friday’s racing card to include a 25 lap feature for the Street Stocks, and a complete Open Sportsman show of heats and a 50 lap feature. The Street Stock and Sportsman features will also be run under a strict time limit to insure an early completion of the activities. No more midnight racing.

Saturday was always the longest day of the weekend, beginning at 10am and running close to midnight. There was always a 2-3 hour break in the middle of the activities to move the Modifieds and 358th out and to bring in the Sprints and Sportsman cars.

To make things easier for everyone, the starting time has been moved back five hours to 3:30pm. At that point, there will be a complete show for the 358’s including time trials, qualifying heats and a 100 lap feature. The Crate Sportsman class will also be in action, capping off their night’s activities with a 30 lap feature event.

The finale of Saturday’s activity will be 20 lap feature for the 305 Sprint cars. Like Friday night, the Crate Sportsman and 305 Sprints will also be under a strict time limit.

Sunday’s schedule really hasn’t changed much. Heats for the Pro Stocks and the Modified consolations will kick off at 12:30, followed by a feature for the Vintage Modifieds and the Pro Stocks 30 lap event. Again, strict time limits will be enforced.


There will not be a late start for the Eastern States 200 like last year. Driver introductions will convene at 2:45pm, and the 44 car starting field will take the initial green flag at 3pm. In place will be double file restarts until lap 190, when single file restarts will be mandated,

Q – I heard a rumor that a quarter mile oval will be erected in the infield.

A – You heard correctly. We recently obtained Jersey barriers, and as we speak, the old guard rail on the front straightaway is being removed. That will be replaced by the barriers before ESW. The barriers will be safer for the drivers and race teams during their pit stops.

Once ESW in completed, we will begin construction of a quarter mile race track with the remaining Jersey barriers, and hopefully have it completed by early spring. It would utilize the existing front straight, then loop through the infield, exiting by the half covered grandstands. It will not replace any of the racing on the regular track for next year.

Our plans are to operate the track on Sunday afternoon. What type of racing will be held, you ask. That hasn’t been fully qualified yet. My answer is…anything with wheels, as long as there a 5 or more people that want to participate.

Mini-Sprints, Legends, Go Karts, Motorcycles, Quads, Slingshots and yes, even school buses and trailers if they want to bring them in.

The track will have no effect on infield parking for a regular Saturday night show.

We’ll have to add some lighting, that’s for sure. It’s really a time and labor effort more so than anything else, so there won’t be much in the way of out of pocket expenses. Clay for the surface is not an issue. Anyplace you dig in the infield, you’ll find at least six feet of good quality clay that has built up over the past 60 years. It’s not the river bottom sandy clay.

We’ll be in a better position to announce our plans next spring depending on how mild the winter is to us. There is no time frame for the project, so there are no deadlines.

Once again, I would like to thank Mike Gurda for spending the time with me, and answering my questions. Now, where can I find a half dozen automated bar stools for the Quarter mile track. He did say ANYTHING with wheels. I hope he doesn’t invite the local Roller Derby teams to participate.




OK, some things about the preceding:

Maybe it’s none of my business, but I posted about this on the ARDC’s message board.  The big 5/8-mile track at OCFS, per some members of the ARDC, is too big.  Heck, if the new ¼ mile track was good enough, I’d love to see some “Wingless Open Wheel Sunday” racing at OCFS.  I don’t know how the ¼ mile track at Bridgeport is, but I imagine it would be somewhat difficult to have some banking on the smaller track at OCFS, especially with the pit area in the infield.  “Wingless” Open Wheel racing seems to be making a comeback in this area, especially with the 600 Micro Sprints.  The ARDC has been wingless for quite a few seasons now.  It’s been rumored about the CRSA 305 Sprint Cars possibly having some wingless shows.  How about the “Lightning Sprints” – they run wings at Accord and other tracks.  Might they be enticed to go “topless”?

The one possible drawback on the whole deal is that it would be racing on Sunday – a day not too very good for getting butts in the stands, and OCFS has had a problem with that on Saturday nights.  ADVERTISE the hell out of it, maybe?

Some of the comments about this track, from the ARDC’s message board:

I didn't know about the OCFS Rumor... 1/4 miles are always intriguing to me. Sunday night commutes are tough and might hurt car counts, but the benefit of a Sunday program is that spectators don't typically have other races to go see (other than couch racing).

The gamble is how many cars from each division will participate (to cover the purse) and how many fans will show up so the track makes money.”

“A new 1/4 mile would be sweet. Hope it happens.”

we would be interested in hearing more”

“If they put a 1/4 inside the big track, I hope its a real 1/4 with decent shape & banking. Another track like Bridgeport which isn't a 1/4, has a poor shape, is too narrow with no banking would be a disappointment for me.”

That's a strong point Jeff. I'm interested to see if the rumors about expanding the Bport 1/4 (length width banking) come true. It would really bring that place to life. Ditto to any new 1/4 mile track. flat and narrow is a poor format unless it's indoors and well groomed (Tulsa).”


And, some things about it on the Dirt Track Digests Forum, too:

I hear rumors going around about ocfs building a 1/4 mile inside the 5/8 mile like the old track of years ago. Does anyone have info or is this just a rumor. Any info on classes supposed to run on sundays.”

“There is no way I can see this happening. The place has been for sale for approx. a year and a half and if Gurda has the money to build a 1/4 mile track in the infield, why doesn't he put that money into the place to fix it up. Plus, what happens to the parking for regular saturday night haulers and also what happens to pit road for ESW. I know bridgeport just did this but I believe thier pits are on the outside of the track. I am a lifelong attendee of OCFS and I would rather have them put money into the place to fix it up.”

“There's little more in racing that excites me more than going to a new track - whether it be brand new to everyone, or just new to me. And my interest in the lost and forgotten speedways just keeps getting stronger and stronger. If this 1/4 mile track is going to be built as a replica of what was once there years ago, this would be like Christmas to me.

But there's always a BUT... when I first read this, my thoughts were exactly the same as Ravens and are all valid points. As much as I'd love to see it happen, there's a part of me that is skeptical. Can't wait for your article, Tom. And I have my fingers crossed.”

“The new 1/4-mile circuit will differ from the old "Little Track" in that it will use the existing racing surface as its front stretch.

The "Litte Track," built in 1942, was originally a 1/5-mile dirt track. An ARDC race was scheduled for the summer of '42 to inaugurate this track, but there are no records to indicate that it was held.

A few weeks after the announcement, the government halted all motorsports "for the duration" due to shortages of steel, aluminum, gasoline and, especially, rubber.

Sometime during WWII, the "Little Track" was paved. It is said that high school track meets were run on it.

After the war, Midget races were run on the track on Wednesday nights.

The first official Stock Car race was run on the 1/2-mile oval, but many stock car races were held on the paved 1/5-mile little track.

No one seems to know exactly when the Little Track was bulldozed to make room in the pits for Modifieds and Limited Sportsman racers, but many people remember it being there in the early 60's.”

“Why waste money on another track when the current track doesn't draw that well?
If Gurda wants to sell the place he should put some money into making the whole property better.
Now the place looks like a worn-out old has been, just a shell of it's former glory days.
I've been going there since '65 and when I go now it's very depressing.”

I think the 1/4 mile is a smart move...lots of racers these days are getting their start in small car divisions like Slingshots. OCFS has been missing out on many of those racers when they begin and even when they "graduate" to full size cars. Since they don't get exposed to OCFS, they are more likely to end up at Accord or other tracks that have races for the small cars.

A bare-bones 4 cylinder Pure Stock/Enduro class would probably be smart too...for getting new people broken into the sport with very minimal investment.

I hope this new venture is a success for OCFS. The place still has tremendous potential and could return to the popularity it once had if new ideas are properly implemented.”

“I completely agree with you John, this is a smart move...although I'm wondering how they are going to do this with the pit configuration. (One of my big gripes about OCFS is the infield pits that makes it so hard to see the other half of the track).

But think, Sunday nights: Slingshots, 4-cyls & 6-cyl Enduro entry levels, Micro Sprints (tons of them at Hamlin, PA every Sat night), for $5-6 to get in...

Add in a couple of ARDC and 305 Sprint shows...the occasional Sportsman or 358 Special (either on the small track or the big track)...add in some racing with some of the "Night of Destruction" freak shows, keep the price affordable...

This could, if promoted properly, be a big shot in the arm for OCFS.”

With the cost of insurance and what it would take to build this track, I just dont see it happening. Just like everyone else has said, he hasnt spent $#!+ on this track in a decade, why would he build another track?”



This past racing season, the race track known as Albany/Saratoga, was paved.  From what I can recall, a new business has moved next door to the track – some kind of micro-chip business, I think it is.  Dust, from the track was going to be a big problem, so the track was paved, as was it’s sister track, Devils’ Bowl.

Well, it seems that A/S will have a dirt racing surface again in 2012.  I’m not sure about the Bowl, however, at this time.  I’ve read that Howie Commander is behind this deal now.  Somehow, I think Mr. Commander was still kind of involved with OCFS last year, too, along with his track – Lebanon Valley.  Racing would still be on Friday nights.  Dammit!  OK, being honest here – I’m a big fan of one Brett Hearn, and I was really thrilled to see him run at the Accord Speedway this past season – heck, he even won the track championship in the modified division.  But, Brett has, in the past run at A/S when it was dirt – since it was so close to the Valley.  Yes, I can see Brett leaving Accord in 2012 for A/S.  Face it, Brett races for a living – why do you think he would drive past OCFS on Saturday to run at the Valley – some almost three hours away?  Mr. Commander is no dummy.  He knows what has to be done to get fans in the stands.  And, he knows what has to be done to get some of the best drivers at his track (s).  Well, except for OGFS, that is, IF he’s still involved there.  Yup, I can see Hearn at A/S on Friday and the Valley on Saturdays.   Dammit!  There have been rumors floating around that A/S might run on Thursday nights.  Time will tell.



I take it you’ve seen where Dan Wheldon really had no permanent ride for the 2011 season, even after winning the Indy 500.  It’s been reported that he did secure a permanent ride for 2012 – with the Andretti race team.  Sad, that he’s now gone.  Dan was the “test driver” for the new car that is due out, to an extent, in 2012, and was trilled as to how progress was being made on it.  I say “extent” because the “Side pod” thing that was supposed to be more or less something available to other than the chassis makers, has been put off for a while.



Here’s a Press Release from Brett Deyo regarding the “King of the Can” race:

News from The King of the Can - 'It's Good To Be King'


Media Contact: Brett Deyo - 845.728.2781 or Deyo99H@aol.com


For Immediate Release/Oct. 17, 2011


Penn Can Speedway 'King of the Can' Rescheduled for Sunday, November 13 - Will Serve As Pennsylvania's Final Modified Race of 2011 Season


SUSQUEHANNA, PA - The outdoor Modified finale of 2011 in Pennsylvania.  One last chance to take in an event before the long, cold winter.  Yes, a high-paying Modified event in northeastern Pennsylvania - in November!


Following two consecutive rain-outs on Oct 14 (Friday) and Oct. 16 (Sunday) respectively, the 'King of the Can' 50-lap event paying $5,000 to the big-block/small-block Modified winner in addition to lap money and contingency awards plus GM 602 Crate Sportsman (25 laps - $1,000 to win) and Trackside Products Street Stocks (25 laps - $500 to win) will take place on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 13.


Gates open at 1 p.m. with hot laps at 3 p.m. and racing at 4 p.m.


Wristbands and ticket stubs from the Oct. 16 event WILL BE HONORED at the make-up date.


When rain intensified over the Susquehanna County oval on Sunday afternoon, two possible make-up dates had been announced in the pit and grandstand areas: Oct. 30 and Nov. 13. While the October date is more traditional, there were conflicts including a rain date for the Southern Tier 100 Race of Champions finale at Five Mile Point (N.Y.) Speedway and the feature event portion of the Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway 'Octoberfest 350' event.


"We knew there were teams that had already paid an entry fee for the Hagerstown event," event co-promoter. "While there is no solution that is 'absolutely right' for everyone, we tried to find a date that would work for the majority."


Draw numbers will be held for the drivers already in attendance at the original date. Additional drivers can participate in this event and will draw from the numbers remaining in the bucket.  Registration is $20 for the Modifieds. There is no registration fee for the GM 602 Crate Sportsman or Street Stocks.


A field of 40 Modifieds had signed in for competition on a threatening Sunday, including inaugural 'King of the Can' winner Brian Weaver of Windsor, N.Y., Alan Johnson of Middlesex, N.Y., Stewart Friesen of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., Duane Howard of Oley, Pa., Jeff Strunk of Bechtelsville, Pa., young lion Danny Tyler of Cottekill, N.Y., and many more. 


The '11 big-block/small-block Modified 'King of the Can' event pays $5,000 to the winner with a $20 "gambler's fee" at Penn Can. That is an increase of $1,000 over the 2010 event. Additionally, lap money has been collected to boost the possible cash take even higher! All laps have been sponsored at a $25 per lap minimum - for a total of $1,400.  'It's good to be king' at Penn Can Speedway in 2011. There are special awards and bonuses posted by Manmiller Electric, American Racer/Lias Tire, ERK Steering, S&D Bodyline, BFP Specialty, Selinsgrove Speedway/JGK Motorsports, Shiley Fabrication and more.


The 'King of the Can' has been the signature Penn Can event since 1999 when Brian Weaver took the inaugural victory. Kevin Bates of Lake Ariel, Pa., won last year's 50-lap 'King of the Can' event.


The 2011 King of the Can is presented by Don's Automotive Mall, Gary's U-Pull-It, Pioneer Pole Buildings, VP Racing Fuels, Trackside Products, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, BFP Specialty, S&D Bodyline, Shiley Fabrication, American Racer/Lias Tire and BD Motorsports Media. Delete ReplyReply ForwardSpamMove






A couple of things said about Indy car racing that were sent out to members of the Yahoo! Race History Group:


“What no one has mentioned, is the experience level of these drivers. You have young girls with only an Indy Lights background and James Jakes, I don't know where he came from? These guys have been running so many of those "Parking Lot" Street and Road course where the really never get going very fast and never run more than two abreast. They should all be sent to Midget, or Sprint Car series to learn how to race in close quarters and in close competition. This is where the old Ladder of Progression from USAC Midget, Sprint Car and Dirt Champ Car racing has broken down, plus all the young Open Wheel graduates now head for the NAPCAR Taxi cabs.I know we will never be able to return to the Glory Days of Jud Larson, AJ Foyt and so on, but something need to be addressed and quickly. They could start by getting a whole bunch of Qualified American Drivers. I know this sound calloused but Randy Bernard has done a lot of Good Things for Indy Car Racing, but he

is not a True Racer, he is s Showman. His decision not to finish the race yesterday was, in my Opinion, a Big Mistake. That would have been Unheard of back in my day. I personally saw Bill Vokovich buy the farm at Indy. They just threw a tarp over his body and kept on racing. The Show Must Go On”


And, in response:


“Subject: Re: Observations


You're right - training is inadequate.  And the managment guys are not racers. 


I don't think the technical experience you gain in oval track, open-wheel racing applies to the cars that IRL/Indycar/IZOD/whateverthef*ck runs.  The downforce cars are identical and they don't oversteer, like midgets and sprints (and even silver crown cars, on dirt). 


And they (the IRL) run road courses.  Ain't no openwheel road racing where training occurs, except for gokarts and small formula cars which are a bigger deal offshore than here in the US of A.  I don't think that background transfers or prepares you in any way for running cars on ovals that are dead even, wheel to wheel, flatfooted, clustered like bees, at 200+. 


I have done simulator time in an IRL car - an IRL buddy has one.  I will just say that the car is on the edge at a speed where no errors are tolerated.  Mistakes end up with Looooong slides and impacts.  It's quite different than hanging the ass-end of a roadster out at 130-150 mph.  


Mario says the IRL cars aren't going to fast - I disagree.  Currently, there's too much kinetic energy in play*.  He says they're too evenly matched, which results in clusters on the ovals - that shortens up reaction times.  I agree with him there. 


The IRL is a spec car series with the primary purpose being profits. The current cars are technological wonders that don't draw fans and are the antithesis of what racing used to be all about - guys building cars and competing.  You cannot build a car for the IRL.  WTF???


I feel like a broken record.  Chuck Schultz is right.  I'm done watching "champ cars" until the format changes.  That includes next year's new and improved IRL version - a different package, but the same crap inside.   Gotta get to the garage.  I got vintage cars to work on....”




Utica/Rome Speedway for sale:

Found this on DTD’s forum:

Asking Price Range
: $2.0M
Gross Revenues: Seller Will Provide
Cash Flow: Seller Will Provide
Cash Flow Type: Sellers Discretionary Cash

114 Acres - Plenty of room for expansion!
"Turn Key" Race Track For Sale
Just open the gates and collect the money!1/2 Mile Banked Clay Oval
Rt 5 Vernon, NYRacing Season: April - SeptemberLocated in Central NY, Utica Rome Speedway has been home to exciting racing action for 50 years.
Our speedway has been coined "The premier racing facility in the North East".
We are more than racing!
- Concerts - Corporate Events - Winter Snow Mobile Racing - Flea Markets
Our Facility can handle any occasion!

This facility is priced right and ready for racing action.
Please take a moment to browse our section for information and photo's”




Dan Wheldon Tragedy: Racetrack Officials Fire Back


In part:


"Officials in charge of the Las Vegas racetrack where two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon died in a fiery crash are defending the speedway's conditions.


Las Vegas Speedway President Chris Powell spoke after comments were made by critics and drivers that the track was unsafe leading to Sunday's 15-car pileup.


"We as a speedway make sure we provide a venue that they come in and make an assessment when they're ready to race -- and they did that exact thing," Powell said late Monday. "Our speedway conforms to every regulation that any sanctioning body has ever held it to, and we're very proud of that."


"As for the Las Vegas track's safety, drivers seem to be split. At least one driver, Scottish racer Dario Franchitti said Sunday after the crash and before it was announced Wheldon died that he felt the track was not fit for racing.


"This is not a suitable track, and we seen it today its nowhere to get away from anybody. One small mistake from somebody and there's a massive thing," Franchitti said.


New Zealand driver Wade Cunningham, who was also caught up in the wreck, said that crashes are a fact of the sport.


"Things happen in this kind of racing," said Cunningham. "It's so close. Not much room for error. I was near the front of what caused all this, so I'm not thrilled about it. At this point, whose fault it was is kind of immaterial."


More can be seen, here:





Quite an interesting thread over on the Track Forum about the Indy cars and wings.  Personally, I’d love to see the wings go away.  It would be one way of slowing the cars down and also put more of the driver into the equation.  It wasn’t all that long ago when even rear engined Indy cars didn’t have wings.

Leave it open wheel, get rid of the wings.





Social Security to hand out first raises since '09

In part:

"Social Security recipients will get a raise in January — their first increase in benefits since 2009. It's expected to be about 3.5 percent.

Some 55 million beneficiaries will find out for sure Wednesday when a government inflation measure that determines the annual cost-of-living adjustment is released."

Of course, you just know what follows, right?

"Some of the increase in January will be lost to higher Medicare premiums, which are deducted from Social Security payments. Medicare Part B premiums for 2012 are expected to be announced next week, and the trustees who oversee the program are projecting an increase."

Only twice since 1975 — the past two years — has there been no COLA.


Note:  It will be 3.6% per this:





Eventually, one of these days I’ll check out what I have to do to post photos in my columns when they appear on Dirt Track Digest.  I have had photos in some of my columns on the New England Tractor website - http://newenglandtractor.com/racereport/ with special thanks to Jeff Johnson for posting them.

I’ve also had some photo articles on New England Tractor, mostly about “Back in the Day”, and Open Wheel racing, and they can be seen if you go to these links:








Note:  I’ll have to check with Adam Ross at DTD to see how it might be possible to be able to just click on any links I have in my columns, to bring up the linked to item, rather than having to “copy and paste” the links, as it is now.




After what Jimmie Johnson had to say about Indycar racing on ovals:


A.J. Foyt, Mario Andretti defend IndyCar oval racing


In part:


With the Izod IndyCar Series facing scrutiny after Dan Wheldon's fatal crash Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the series' two greatest legends staunchly defended its oval-track tradition Tuesday.


A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti condemned five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson and others for calling on IndyCar stop racing on ovals because it was too easy for cars to get airborne.


"I don't think Jimmie Johnson knows what he's talking about," said Foyt, a four-time Indianapolis 500 winner whose name adorns the trophy given to IndyCar's best oval driver. "He's never drove one, and he's pretty stupid to make a statement like that. You could say the same about stock cars. I've driven both, and I've been hurt real bad in both."


Andretti said Wheldon's crash was "a fluke, freakish accident" that would be addressed next year with a new chassis designed to keep cars on the pavement by preventing wheel-to-wheel contact.


"We've come a long way," said Andretti, who, along with Foyt, won the Daytona 500 and the Indianapolis 500. "In the '60s and '70s, open-wheel drivers had a 35-40% chance of surviving a career. Today, it's a 99.9% chance of retiring on their own terms. Some things need to be revisited perhaps, but to say after 100 years that all of a sudden we don't have the knowledge to make these things safe enough for ovals is absolutely absurd."


More on this, with additional links and videos, can be found if you go here:






In last weeks column, when I made mention of the passing of singer John Denver, I had this link included:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uYag4yPdlA

Back last week, when I put that link into my column, that video had been seen by 97,374.  Yesterday, Wednesday, I see it has gone up to 97,484 views.  Now, I wonder – did my link send any viewers over to that video?



I found this on the ARDC’s forum:

Oct 23, 4 PM at Indy's Conseco Fieldhouse

For those interested... Versus will air the memorial service of Dan Wheldon from 4pm-5pm ET, LIVE on Sunday, 10/23.

Note:  I just realized that when I went to bring up this column to add the above, that this is column # 77 – that was Dan Wheldons car number last Sunday.


Coming up:


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/



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:


Teams test electronic fuel injection At Charlotte:

Teams representing 11 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars turned upwards of 400 miles Monday during a test of Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Both NASCAR officials and drivers were optimistic about the continued development of the system. Plans call for the full implementation of EFI in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning with the 2012 season. Four Hendrick Motorsports teams, two Stewart-Haas Racing teams, one team from Richard Childress Racing, one team from Michael Waltrip Racing, one Earnhardt-Ganassi team, a team from Joe Gibbs Racing and one team from Roush-Fenway Racing participated in Monday's test session. The #6 Roush Fenway Ford, driven by Trevor Bayne, turned in the day's fastest lap with a speed of 189.793 mph. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. also tested the #6 Ford on Monday. Another NASCAR EFI test is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 20 at Talladega Superspeedway. The test is set to run from 10 am - 4 pm/ct.(NASCAR)(10-18-2011)


Kahne gets in Hendrick #5 for first time:

Kasey Kahne climbed from the non-descript gray car, dusted off his non-descript firesuit noticeably lacking in sponsorship decoration, and smiled. His first day in the #5 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports had gone well. One of 11 drivers permitted to participate in an electronic fuel-injection (EFI) engine test for NASCAR on Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kahne said he thoroughly enjoyed his time behind the wheel of the car he will begin driving full-time in the Sprint Cup Series next season. "There were more differences than I expected. But then I thought back to Red Bull, and how much different that was from the prior year [at Richard Petty Motorsports], and how the cars are. It's all little things, but they keep adding up and it kind of takes time to kind of figure out that feel."(NASCAR.com)(10-18-2011)


2012 Nationwide schedule:

Highlighted by an inaugural visit to one of the most historic race tracks in motorsports, a return trip to Montreal and plenty of driver star power, NASCAR announced today the 2012 schedule for the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Full-time rides for Danica Patrick and Austin Dillon plus the addition of action sports superstar Travis Pastrana who plans to run the majority of the schedule, give the 2012 season a huge dose of anticipation. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series season features 33 race dates, including the series' first visit to Indianapolis Motor Speedway as part of a companion weekend with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and GRAND-AM Road Racing. The inaugural Brickyard event will take place on July 28. Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve  a fan-favorite that has evolved into a "crown jewel" for the series  returns for a fifth-consecutive season, on Aug. 18. The 14-turn layout is one of three road-course events on the calendar, joining Road America (June 23) and Watkins Glen International (Aug. 11). Additional 2012 schedule highlights:
· Daytona International Speedway again opens the season, on Feb. 25, a week later than past years.
· Iowa Speedway hosts the series' first stand-alone event on May 20, with a second date on Aug. 4.
· Homestead-Miami Speedway will once again host the season-finale, on Nov. 17.
· For the first time, Kentucky Speedway will have two NASCAR Nationwide race dates, on June 29 and Sept. 22.
· Chicagoland Speedway also returns with two dates, one a stand-alone affair on July 22.
· Daytona's summer event and Kentucky Speedway's race will swap weekends in 2012, as the July 4th holiday falls mid-week next year. Daytona will run on July 6.
· In conjunction with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' schedule shift, Kansas Speedway's date moves to Oct. 20 to accommodate the track's repave, scheduled for April of 2012.(NASCAR) See the full schedule on my 2012 Nationwide Series schedule page.(10-


The schedule:




Former Oakland Valley Speedway (Dirt Oval) runners:

Not much to report on this week, however, at Accord in the “Wreckage in the Catskills” races, Anthony Perrego won the ROC Sportsman feature with Brad Szulewski 7th and Tyler Dippel 17th.

At Penn Can in the “King of the Can” races, Perrego was 4th and Brad 9th in the ROC Sportsman feature.  Yes, both raced at Accord in the afternoon, and then headed to Penn Can for their second show of the day.

At Penn Can, in the CRSA 305 Sprint Car feature, John Virgilio was 4th, Brian Pomponio 14th and Josh Pieniazek 17th.  Emily VanInwegen, her brother, Billy and Chuck Alessi were DNQ’s.

Brian Krummel, Michael Storms, Jason Roe, Joe Kata, III and Brittany Tresch all made a return visit to OVRP’s Dirt Oval and ran Karts.  Krummel was 2nd, Storms 6th and Tresch 7th in the Mediums feature, Roe was a DNS in the Lights feature, Kata was 3rd in Junior 3.

Hoping I didn’t miss anyone!



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 21st to October 27th :




Jimmy Bryan won the Ted Horn Memorial AAA Eastern Sprint Car race at the Williams Grove Speedway (1/2d) , Mechanicsburg, PA

Note:  I was there that day, with my father, brother, and others, to see if Bill Schindler could win the Eastern AAA Sprint Car championship from Tommy Hinnershitz, not knowing that there was to be a couple more point races down in the Carolinas, after that race.  Believe it or not, that was the only time I've been to the "Grove".




Gus Schrader ...Died ... Schrader would become known as "King of the OUTLAW Dirt Tracks" during his storied career. Gus was the IMCA "big car" (sprint) champ from 1933-1941 except in 1938 when Emory Collins broke the string. He ran the Indy 500 in 1932 and finished 39th.

Note:  They started 40 cars in that race, not 33, as was the case later on.



Johnny Unser ... Born ... A former CART and IRL racecar driver. He is the son of open wheel driver Jerry Unser, cousin of Al Unser, Jr. and Robby Unser, nephew of Al Unser and Bobby Unser, and first cousin once removed of Alfred Unser.


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




Nick Fornoro Sr... Born ... Nick was the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) driving champion in 1950, and he was the first NASCAR Midget driving champion in 1953. After retiring, he went on to be one of the best starters (flaggers) ever, starting out here in the Northeast and eventually ending up as the flagger for two hundred consecutive Championship Auto Racing Teams Indy Car Series races (CART), serving in that position from 1979 to 1992. In 1993 he was the honorary starter for the Indianapolis 500.


Larry Crockett... Born ... AAA driver who ran the Championship series in 1954. He was killed in a sprint car accident at Langhorne Speedway on March 20, 1955.


Alex Zanardi ... Born ... An Italian racing driver. He won two CART championship titles in North America during the late 1990s. He also had a less successful career as a Formula One driver. More recently, he has attracted widespread praise for his return to competition in the aftermath of a crash in 2001 that resulted in the amputation of his legs. As of 2008, he competes in the FIA World Touring Car Championship for BMW Team Italy-Spain.

Larry Dixon ...Born ... NHRA Top Fuel driver.


Gary Gabelich, driving the Blue Flame, set at new Land Speed Record of 622.407 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats.


Ralph Mulford... Died ... AAA driver 1910 to 1926.


Bob Hurt... Died ... USAC driver from the 1960's.




George Amick... Born ... AAA / USAC driver 1954 to 1959. He was killed in a crash in a USAC 100-mile Indy car race at Daytona International Speedway on April 4, 1959. Major open-wheel racing would not return to the track for many years.


Richie Evans... Died ... Richie from Westernville, N.Y. was a 9 Time NASCAR National Modified Champion. Richie Evans' racing career began after leaving his father's farm in Westernville, N.Y. at the age of 16 to become a mechanic at a gas station. His first racing experience was as a drag racer, but he soon switched to running stock cars starting in the Utica-Rome Speedway Hobby Division in 1964. Richie won his first NASCAR National Modified Championship in 1973 and didn't win his second until 1978, but from 1978 through 1985 he won eight consecutive NASCAR Featherlite Modified titles. Richies 8 straight Championships is a record for any NASCAR Division to this day. For 13 years Richie finished 1st nine times and 2nd twice, only finishing out of the top 10 once. Evans also won a record nine Most Popular Driver Awards. He won over 30 track championships, including two at Stafford, four at Thompson, and one at Riverside Park. In 1980 he won 52 out of 84 races he entered. Richie was a 3-time Modified Race of Champions winner. Winning on the1.5 mile Trenton Speedway in 1973 and was the last driver to win on the big 2.5 mile Pocono Raceway Track in 1979 before his next win in 1980 when he was the first driver to win on the 3/4 mile Pocono Track. Richie won the Daytona International Speedway Modified race in 1979 and repeated the victory in 1980. Richie was the 1980 Riverside Park Speedway Champion and is 7th on the all-time Riverside Park Speedway win list with 32 wins between 1978 and 1984 in only 7 seasons of competition. The drivers in front of him competed in 10 to 23 different seasons. Richie was killed in a practice accident at Martinsville in 1985, while preparing for the final race of the season for the NASCAR Modified Tour.




Bob Frey ... Born ... Sprint Car and CART driver from the 1970's and 80's.


Johnny Mantz ... Died ... AAA / USAC and NASCAR driver from the 1940's and 50's. He made 17 starts in the AAA Championship Car series from 1948 to 1952, capturing a victory in his rookie season at the Milwaukee Mile as well as winning the Indianapolis Sweepstakes at Williams Grove Speedway. He was the first USAC Stock Car national champ in 1956. Mantz also made 12 NASCAR Grand National starts from 1950-1951 and 1955-1956. He won his third race, the first Southern 500 held at Darlington Raceway using truck tires, which did not wear while his competitors had to stop and pit for new tires. It was his only NASCAR win.


Charles "Sonny" Ates ... Died ... Ates raced in the USAC Championship Car series in the 1968-1970 seasons, with 15 career starts, including the 1969 Indianapolis 500. He finished in the top ten 5 times, with his best finish in 5th position in 1968 at Brooklyn. Sonny was one of the best Sprint Car racers during the 1960's and 1970's. He held the world speed record for a sprint car by being the fastest at the famed Winchester Speedway in Winchester, Indiana. He would often help new drivers find the right "groove" at that track."




Ray Crawford... Born ... AAA & USAC driver from the 1950's & 60's


Sammy Swindell... Born ... A three time World of Outlaws champion, winning the title in 1981, 1982, and 1997, with hundreds of A-main victories to his credit. He also competed in the CART series in 1985 and 1986 and failed to qualify for the 1987 Indianapolis 500 in a March-Pontiac. Swindell also competed in a full season of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1995, finishing 12th in points with 1 pole and 5 top-tens in the series' inaugural season. He also counts 10 Busch Series and 2 Winston Cup starts among his NASCAR accomplishments.


Jimmy Caruthers... Died ...ARDC Midget & USAC midget, sprint and Indy car driver from California. He won the 1975 USAC Silver Crown Series championship while suffering from cancer. He died of cancer before claiming his championship trophy.




Mark Light... Born ... Mark Light drove Sprint Cars, Stock Cars and Midgets at tracks mostly around Pennsylvania. He took 34 career wins but failed to qualify for the Indy 50 in his one attempt in 1950.


Art Arfons topped Craig Breedlove's twelve-day-old Land Speed Record by running 536.71 MPH/858.73 KPH in the Green Monster on the Bonneville Salt Flats. This record would stand just over one year.


Brian Tyler... Born ... He was a back-to-back USAC National Sprint car Champion for Larry Contos Racing in 1996 and 1997. He made 10 starts in the Indy Racing League in 1998 and 1999 for 3 different teams with a best finish of 6th at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Tyler has 9 NASCAR Busch Series starts, and one NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start, however with little success.


Andy Michner... Born ... USAC and IRL driver from the 1990's.


Bob Tattersall... Died ... The 1969 USAC National Midget Champion also raced in Australia and New Zealand for thirteen winters, winning over fifty percent of the races he competed in, as well as the World Championship at the Sydney Showgrounds on seven different occasions. He also drove sprint and championship cars and passed his rookie test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 1966. Bob started his career in stock cars and switched to midgets in 1950. He won the UARA Midget Championship twice and consistently beat the Offies with Frank Pavese's famous Ford 60 V-8. In 1955 he won a heat race at Terre Haute with the car against the top AAA drivers. He began racing with USAC on a full time basis in 1960 and in eleven years of competition was never lower than 8th in the point standings. During many of those years, he got off to a late start due to his schedule in Australia. He had recorded 63 USAC feature wins.


Anton "Tony" Hulman... Died ... Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner. Born into wealth, Anton Hulman Jr. embellished his personal resources with courage, foresight and a passion for automobile racing to become the savior of America's foremost motorsports facility and its greatest one-day sports spectacle, the Indianapolis 500.


Johnny Boyd ... Died ... Boyd drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series from 1954 to 1966 with 56 starts. He finished in the top ten 31 times, with his best finish in 2nd position, in 1959 at Milwaukee. Boyd qualified for the Indianapolis 500 for the first time in 1955 but finished 29th after being involved in an accident that killed driver Bill Vukovich. In a dozen starts, his best race was in 1958, when he led 18 laps and finished 3rd. In total, he finished in the Top 10 at the 500 five times. After 1949 Boyd had become close friends with Bob Sweikert of Hayward, California when he met him on the California racing circuit. The two often raced together, and Boyd qualified for entry in the 1955 Indianapolis 500 when Sweikert helped him overcome mechanical handling problems in Boyd's car. Sweikert won the race that day, but was overshadowed by the death of Vukovich. Boyd also raced against Sweikert in 1956 at Indy, but Sweikert was killed several weeks later in a Sprint car race. Boyd retired as a driver after failing to qualify for the Indy 500 and Milwaukee race in 1967. He died of cancer at age 77 in his hometown of Fresno.





News from the AARN:



From their October 11th issue:


Wow!  Checking over the AARN, I think I could easily do two or three columns to cover what was in this weeks issue.


Roger Slack has left the WRG to go to work for Tony Stewart at Eldora.


In Lenny Sammons column, he talks about the cost of going to Syracuse.  He hits on quite a few Syracuse subjects, too.  Ryan Godown ran out of fuel on the last lap of the 200 and went from 3rd place ($10,000.00) to 16th ($1,900.00).  As for cost – one owner gave an estimate on his – rooms, food for the crew, pit passes, tires, fuel and car expenses – around $9,000.00.  Aske dif it was cheaper for two cars, he said not really, maybe a little bit.  Ken Tremont couldn’t give a dollar figure, but says he gets a special price on the Hoosier tires at $160.00 per.  Billy VanInwegen bought a used Enders-built engine for $12,000.00.  It was said he had about 1,000 laps on it prior to SDW.  They estimated they spent an additional $7,000.00 to go to Syracuse.  Gary Herrmann, car owner for Rick Laubach had no idea but said he bought 35 Hoosier tires at $160.00 per tire.   Hoosier came out and said that some top teams bought upwards of 50 tires at $179.00 + tax.  (OK, figure out the price of tires – some say 160, while Hoosier says 179)


There was ¾ page just about Friesen winning the 200 and being fined $25,000.00.


Many more articles about the racing at Syracuse, too numerous to mention, really.  On top of the articles, photos galore, too.


Ernie Saxton, in his column says he gets upset when he sees how poorly many racers handle their sponsorship efforts and then after securing a sponsor.  He did make mention of not being able to attend races at Volusia Speedway, down in Florida, what with the track closed now until probably next February.  Mr. Saxton reports that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. ranks 7th in the worlds most valued athletes brands list, and that “Joonyer” (my spelling, folks) is the only one from racing on that list.


Earl Krause had a lot in his column about how he used to go to the races with his father, when he was a young kid – mainly to the races at the Old Bridge New Jersey track.  He makes mention that Carl Nosal had some serious heart and eye problems over the last year.  Carl worked for Sam Traylor, back in the day, when Traylor had drivers like Johnny Thomson, Al Keller, Van Johnson, Charlie Musselman and Wally Campbell.  They had three Sprint Cars, two Champ cars and a Midget, and Carl kept all of them in tip top running order.  After Traylor got out of racing, Carl went with Bruce Homeyer and his Konstant Hot race team.  Earl goes on to say that Carl would appreciate letters, etc etc from anyone and they could be sent to him at:  62 Victoria Drive in Barto, PA 19504.  Earl also makes mention of another one that would love to hear from anyone associated with racing – Ricky Miller.  He was associated with the Riverhead, Freeport and Islip Speedways on Long Island.  He receives his mail at PO Box 386 in Lynbrook, NY 11563.


There were a couple of articles in the paper on the late Smokey Snellbaker.


Brett Deyo, in his column, had a lot about young Danny Tyler and also quite a bit about Duane Howard.


Todd Heintzelman was making mention of Fred Rahmer qualifying 3rd fastest in time trials, qualifying via his heat to make the feature, then having to start 13th in the feature at the National Open at Williams Grove.  Lance Dewease, with his 6th place finish at the Grove earned him the Grove championship.  Lance, and his car owners, Donny and Lisa Owens, split the $20,000.00.  Dewease has won Grove championships with cars owned by Walt Dyer, Joe Harz and Al Hamilton.  Then the next night, at the Lincoln Speedway, Dewease received a broken neck while racing.  He had surgery to repair the breaks.  That was the third neck injury in the past month in Sprint Cars – Aaron Ott broke his neck at the Grove on 9/14 and Chad Criswell broke his at Lincoln on 9/24.


Jason Meyers won $58,000.00, Daryn Pittman $13,300.00, Steve Kinser $9,000.00, Greg Hodnett $5,000.00, Jason Sides $4,800.00 and Fred Rahmer $4,700.00 at the National Open at Williams Grove.


I really can’t comment on the deal with Rick Lauback at Syracuse, but in the AARN he’s quoted as saying that he did park the car since he felt he wasn’t really racing anymore after the speeding in the pits penalty, and was just making laps.  He said it doesn’t pay to run DIRTcar races, and that they wold stay at their home tracks, where the money is, and probably won’t go to anymore DIRTcar races.  Gary Herrmann, his car owner agreed on that.

Note:  Would be interesting to see if Lauback comes to OCFS for ESW this coming weekend.  He usually runs pretty good at OC.


There were over two pages covering the Short Track Supernationals at 5 Mile Point.


It was said that Billy Pauch, Sr. ran the Big Block time trials at Syracuse in the Lauback Small block.  That makes him an official Super DIRTcar Series entry, which now makes him eligible to enter the DIRTcar World Finals at Charlotte.

Note:  Kinda unbelievable, isn’t it?  I mean – what the h*ll?


Joe Johnson, in his column, pulled no punches in what he thought about certain happenings at Syracuse.  He made mention of how some teams had to change the noses on their cars while going through pre-race tech, while others, like Brett Hearn, with similar noses had no tech problems.  How Tim McCreadie pitted with the pits “closed”, then never had to make a pit stop afterwards, when the pits were open, and lost no places and was 3rd at the finish of the 358’s main event.  How Stewart Friesen passed the pace car on the final pit stop, sped down pit road, jumped several restarts, and received several warnings on that, and had an illegal fuel cell, yet managed to be the winner of the 200.  All that let to more questioning of the officials competence and fairness of rules applications.

He goes on to say that when you have your premier event, everyone should be on top of their game.  Drivers, crews, track crews and most everyone else were, but the officials were not and it was unfortunate because it tarnished one of the best Dirt Weeks in years.


John Snyder reports that 11 drivers have won SDW and also ESW.  Only three have done it in the same year. (I have to add technically, here, about Balough)  Buzzie Reutimann in 1972, Gary Balough in 1977 and Danny Johnson in 1997.  The Balough win really wasn’t in 1977, but in the spring of 1978, after SDW was rained out in 1977, so there’s the possibility of different and newer cars.

Mr. Snyder makes mention of Doug Hoffman, Brett Hearn, Bob McCreadie, Billy Pauch, Jimmy Horton, Jack, Alan and Danny Johnson – all big winners in modified racing here in the northeast, and they all won big at almost the same time.


Guy Smith hit track # 1,409 when he visited the Western Fairgrounds in London, Ontario, Canada.


Phil Smith had a nice column about Langhorne’s Race of Champions – races that were held form the 1950’s to the early 1970’s.


SAFER barriers will be installed at Rockingham after the running of the American 200 doubleheader, November 5th, and the Polar Bear 150 on the 6th.  The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series make sit debut at Rockingham on April 15, 2012.


The Mazda “Road to Indy” teams will get an early start on 2012 when Indycar hosts a two-day test open to USF2000 Star Mazda Championship and Firestone Indy Lights teams at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course on October 28th and 29th.


Dave Moody, in his column, makes mention of Travis Pastrana saying that he will compete in Rally Car events at the 2012 X Games and cold also return to Moto X Freestyle competition in addition to his approximately 20-race NASCAR schedule with Michael Waltrip Racing.


One thing I didn’t see, in this weeks AARN, were any photos of the Stewart Friesen bulged out fuel cell, as was seen on Dirt Track Digest.


I’d estimate that it would easily take five or six hours just to read most of what was in this last issue of the AARN.  Then to look at the many photos, takes some time, too.


Prior to finishing up this weeks column, I ventured over to the AARN’s website, and for this weeks issue, due to be mailed out on Tuesday, 10/18, I found these items to be covered in the paper:


Paved Track Goes Dirt,
Dirt Track Back To Pavement

Richards A Rocket In Charlotte

Decker, Doctor
Brockville 358 Stars

Weather Upsets
Weekend Specials

Curt Michael
Clinches URC Title

Wild NASCAR Mod Finish
At Thompson

Orange County's Michael Gurda
Previews Eastern States 2011


And I found out that the following is on page 46 of this weeks AARN – an article about Eastern States by Ralph Stevens.



50th Annual Eastern States a True Happening


By: Ralph Stevens


Today you are part of an historic event that is a true ‘happening’ and has been for fifty years now.


What do I mean by a ‘happening’? In sports and in particular motorsports, there are certain events that have evolved into true ‘happening’ events. Just mentioning a name or certain words evokes an immediate emotional response to the initiated.


Indy, Daytona, The Glen, Knoxville, The Grove Open, Manzanita, Tampa, Eldora, Laconia, Bellville, Flemington 100, Reading Fair, Syracuse, Seventy Sixer, Fonda 200, Race of Kings, Nazereth (the ½ mile) and the grand daddy The Eastern States. Ring a bell? These are events that are/were always on the calendar, they have/had history, character, and traditions. Some are gone now and some new events are making the attempt to become a ‘happening’, we’ll have to wait and see.


So who makes an event a true ‘happening’?


Not the promoter. He can only dream of his idea for an event to evolve into a ‘happening’. There is no recipe or sure fire plan to create an event that gains ‘happening’ status. The ‘World 100’ is a true ‘happening’ in the late model racing world, but the ‘Dream’ remains a pre-packaged, made for TV wanna be. The size of the purse doesn’t make it, although it can help. The MOPAR Million didn’t last long now, did it? But they run the Kings Royal every year the last I checked.


Many promoters try to create a ‘happening’ today by providing all sorts of peripheral entertainment, headline music acts, Hollywood stars, thrill shows, fireworks, you name the side show Dejur. But, for me it all comes off as a scripted entertainment agenda that is about as exciting and tasteful as a frozen TV dinner.


So, who raises an event like Eastern States to the level of a true happening? You do! The fan, the racer, the mechanics, the wives and husbands, the girlfriends and boyfriends, the families, all who attend the event because it is THE place to be.


We come to see, or participate in, the race, to reunite with old friends, to party, to laugh, to relive times past, to retell stories of past events, to speculate on this year’s outcome, we come just to see just who shows up. We make our own entertainment, our own music. It is the gathering of the modified racing fraternity.


We come just because we want to be part of it all. It is a spontaneous thing that has repeated itself year after year. And it is that repeatability, that sense of constancy that keeps us coming back. It is tradition, in many cases passed from generation to generation.


Fifty years ago, a promoter at Victory Speedway (now known as Orange County Fair Speedway) had an idea to stage a season ending race to bring the modified racing fraternity together one last time for the year to see who was best just before winter set in and before many of the racers of the day headed for their winter quarters in Florida.


He planted the seed in the year 1961 and hoped his race would be a success. Then year by year the race was held and the traditions and attendance grew, fans and racers alike. Soon, the competitor wanted that Eastern States win to validate his status as a racer and the fans wanted to be part of it all.


The promoters have changed, races have been added, sanctioning bodies have come and gone, there have been good times and bad, but through it all the Eastern States has remained. That seed planted fifty years ago had blossomed into a true ‘happening’. An event where, for at least a few days, the outside world seems to disappear as we are absorbed in this small world called the Eastern States, which is our own. It belongs only to us, the fan and the racer, because it was created by us.


There is one thing a ‘happening’ needs these days now more than ever, it is your stewardship. Only you can keep it alive, it is in all of our hands to keep it going.


I hope you thoroughly enjoy this year’s golden anniversary of the ‘happening’ we call Eastern States. To the fans, have a great time. To the racers, hammer down, it’s time to once again work for that classic win of a career at one ‘happening’ event.


The Eastern States



Ralph Stevens







More racin’ stuff:


From Frontstretch.com:


Five points to ponder - by Bryan Davis Keith


Tuesday October 18, 2011


ONE: Who Can Blame Addington for (Possibly) Leaving?


TWO: Danica…and Ryan Newman?

Note:  I believe Mr. Keith has a "typo" as far as the year (2011) goes, whereas it should be 2012.


THREE: Ty Dillon’s Tarnished ARCA Title


FOUR: Let’s Be Clear: The No. 48 Team Wasn’t Beaten


FIVE: No One is to Blame for Dan Wheldon’s Death


All of the above can be read about if you go here:








Racing and television:

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


Note:  Again - the Syracuse race will be on SPEED on Saturday, October 29th – 8:00 to 10:00 PM






Some non-racing stuff:


What do these places have in common?


Flagstaff, Ariz., Boone, N.C., Traverse City, Mich., Walnut Creek, Calif., Ithaca, N.Y., Lincoln, Neb., Pittsburgh, Pa., Port Charlotte, Fla., Pittsfield, Mass. and Santa Fe, N.M.


Supposedly, they're the 10 Best Places to Retire in 2012.


Reasons can be found, here: 






Is this true?:


More from that e-mail that I received:






*Readers tend to gloss over this, but it is as important as Mein Kampf was to the burgeoning Nazi movement in 1930s Germany that so many ignored.. You've read it before. Here, again, is their language taken from the Muslim Brotherhood manifesto, introduced at the Holy Land Foundation trial:*


*The process of settlement is a "Civilization-Jihadist Process" with all the means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and "sabotaging" its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and Allah's religion is made victorious."*




** The Muslim Brotherhood - or its affiliations - has infiltrated the highest levels of our government.*


** Hillary Clinton is either in denial, stupid, naive or complicit in having such a person with ties to the MB working within the highest levels of the State Department. That goes for the president as well.*


** There is certainly more to the story of the Weiner wedding, which we don't know about. If Anthony Weiner, in fact, converted to Islam,

it was done surreptitiously because it would have been a death knell to his political career. And, if so, Weiner certainly knew of the Muslim Brotherhood connections of his wife.*


** If the Islamic community has approved of, or ignores the marriage between Jewish born Weiner and Huma Abedin, it can be logically concluded that they - the Islamic community - know something we don't. An Imam from the Islamic Cultural center of New York, Omar Abu-Namous, not only approved of the union, he has encouraged Huma Abedin to stand by her man during the cybersex scandal. Thus, it must

be advantageous to the goals of Islamic jihad and the MB to have Huma Abedin inside the bowels of


the Department of State with daily access to governmental intelligence. Therefore, her "marriage" to a U.S. congressman, regardless of religion, was openly accepted.*


*That, folks, is an example of "Taqiyya" which I've often written about. Taqiyya is the Islamic

equivalent to using lies, deceit and concealment in order to advance the cause of spreading Islam.


The 9/11 al Qaeda terrorists blended with American society for months prior to the deadly attack, drinking alcohol, carousing with women and eating pork, in order to conceal who they truly were, in order to carry out their mission.*


*Their mission was to infiltrate and kill. The mission of the Muslim Brotherhood is to infiltrate and conquer, even if it takes 100 years.

In the Muslim Brotherhood planning document, "The Project," it clearly states - among their strategies:* ** Maintain the appearance of moderation* ** Use deception to mask the intended goals of Islamic Action* *We know about these things, the government knows about these things, the highest of officials know, yet they are inexplicably ignored.*


*Forget about the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. We are losing the war right here. And our government is helping.*






Video time:


How about watching some modified stock cars as they go down pit road at Syracuse, to show them what 35 MPH looks like?  I wasn’t there, so I can’t comment on whether everyone actually pitted in their assigned pit area or if they pitted out of it.  I betcha at ESW this coming Sunday, they’ll be pitted at least 3 wide on pit road.  If only they would eliminate pit stops under yellow – unless you are the reason for said yellow.  I think it would make it more interesting.  My thoughts, of course!








Closing with these:


These are actual comments made by South Carolina Troopers that were taken off their car videos:


1.   "You know, stop lights don't come any redder than the one you just went  through."

2. "Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch after you wear them a while."

3. "If you take your hands off the car, I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document." (My Favorite)
4. "If you run, you'll only go to jail tired."
5. "Can you run faster than 1200 feet per second? Because that's the speed of  the bullet that'll be chasing you." (LOVE IT)
6. "You don't know how fast you were going? I guess that means I can write anything I want to on the ticket, huh?"
7. "Yes, sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don't think it will help. O did I mention that I'm the shift supervisor?"
8. "Warning! You want a warning? O.K., I'm warning you not to do that again or I'll give you another ticket."
9. "The answer to this last question will determine whether you are drunk or not. Was Mickey Mouse a cat or a dog?"
10. "Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy and corn dogs"
11. "Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven."
12. "In God we trust; all others we run through NCIC." ( National Crime Information Center )
13. "Just how big were those 'two beers' you say you had?"
14. "No sir, we don't have quotas anymore. We used to, but now we're allowed to write as many tickets as we can."
15. "I'm glad to hear that the Chief (of Police) is a personal friend of
yours. So you know someone who can post your bail."

                      AND THE WINNER IS....

16. "You didn't think we give pretty women tickets? You're right, we don't.  Sign here."







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