Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 79



Special message:


Chances are that due to the storm over the past weekend, and with Connecticut getting hit pretty hard, there’s a chance this column might get to you a little late.



Some storm, huh?  I have to say that we were pretty lucky where we live.  I think we got 4” of snow, which is a lot less than what others nearby received.  For the first time since we’ve been in our house, and it’s been 8 years since we closed on it back on 10/31/2003, this is really about the first time we’ve had an extended power outage, and that was from about 10:00 PM on Friday night to 7:42 AM on Saturday morning.  And by Monday, I’d say that 95% of the snow we had was gone.  .  Like I said, we were lucky. 



I have to say that the weather might have a lot to do with how many Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves and other assorted monsters and creatures we’ll have at our place this year.  In the past it’s been between like 350 – 400 of them out “Trick or Treating”.  This year – 400 when we turned off our front porch light.



Some “Bad” news:  Well, in a way it’s bad – this coming Saturday night/Sunday morning, at 2:00 AM, we have to turn our clocks back an hour.  Of course that means it will get darker earlier.  On top of that, the daylight hours get shorter, too.  I don’t know about you, but anymore, I hate driving at night anymore, especially on regular roadways with quite a few cars now having those nice BRIGHT “Bluish” headlights.



From our local paper on Monday, October 31st:

Frank Cerabino: Let's put the brakes on NASCAR tax cut

In part:

"In these contentious political times, it's good to know that there's one thing that our elected officials can agree on: We need to help out NASCAR more.

Yes, this is one issue where partisan divides suddenly heal, where Republicans and Democrats can come together to find ways to give back to the for-profit business that has given so much to them over the years in the form of campaign contributions.

So it's not surprising that Florida congressman Vern Buchanan was the lead sponsor for this month's filing of something called the Motorsports Fairness and Permanency Act of 2011, a bill that would essentially put another $40 million hole in the federal government's tax collections."

More can be seen if you go here:





Back in the day, engines for Midgets weren’t all that expensive, in a way.  However, if you are fortunate to have a Midget Offy engine today, then it gets pretty expensive, especially if you run it.  This past Monday, Gordon White has a restored Offy powered Midget, sent this message out to the Yahoo! Race History Group:

“The Offy midget engine was originally 97 cubic inches when Leo Goossen designed it in 1934, but it soon was a bit larger, 102 cu in being common after WW II and eventually by the late 1950s-early 1960s 110 cu in. Most 102's were expanded to 110. By this time, more than 60 years after the bulk of the engines were built, I'd guess almost every one has been rebuilt several times and hardly any have all the original parts. Many are a conglomeration of pieces of several engines. I know one of mine was put together of parts from a number of shops. With the passing of the old Offy mechanics, getting an engine repaired or even refreshed is VERY expensive. Ken Hickey used to freshen up my Offy engine each year for $750. Now I guess you are looking at several thousand dollars, plus parts. Cranks and pistons are still made. Valve springs, I guess valves, rings, are available but when you get to rods, water or oil pumps, etc. you are looking at real money. $15,000 for a fresh Offy midget engine would actually be just the cost of a major overhaul. - Gordon White, Hardyville, VA



Every evening we see some clown running across our TV in a huge ball telling us how much the New York Power Ball Lottery is worth.  The last one I saw was that it was worth $140 million.

Questions:  Where does that money come from, and might it be possible to use those monies in helping out those that have had some severe problems thanks to last weekends storm?



Have you seen the ads on TV for the film “J Edgar”?  Might you have any idea as to how many students in High School or College actually know who J Edgar was?



Question:  With today’s technology, why do Security Video Cameras have such lousy videos? 



Before you know it, Christmas will be here.  Here are a couple of links where you might find that special gift:






How can you win 3 of the 7 "chase races" and not be in first place?


An interesting thread over on the Track Forum.


Interested?  Check it out, here:








Another one from the Track Forum:


Danica to Honor Wheldon at Texas with Custom Helmet and Car Paint Scheme


Danica will honor Dan Wheldon this weekend by wearing a special paint-out of her helmet, which will be auctioned off to benefit Susie and the children. She will also be donating her winnings this weekend. Also, her car will feature a black hood with the "Lionheart" logo.

Comments on wearing a special Dan Wheldon Tribute Helmet this weekend: "I am humbled and proud to be wearing a special paint-out of my helmet in honor of Dan this weekend at Texas. This helmet will be auctioned off after the race with all proceeds, along with my prize money from this race, going to the Dan Wheldon Foundation. Dan was a good friend, and I will miss his great personality and positive attitude. I hope everyone will join me in supporting Susie and their two young boys at DanWheldonMemorial.com."




Some Indy car stuff from the Track Forum:

What should IMS do to honor Dan next May?




Anyone go to the test at IMS today?

Scroll down a little and check out the video.




Believe it or not, this thread started back in 2007 on April 1st.  Now, it’s up to 4 pages in length.

IRL wants to replace safety fences.




Coming up:


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/

Note:  I wonder how many former Dirt Oval runners will return to run this event?

Some info for ya:

50% of the Entry Fee goes toward the Prize Purse

3 Rounds of FEATURE Races...ALL 3 Count Towards Overall Finishes

Friday November 4th - Open Practice

Gates Open - 2:00 pm

Registration - 2:00 - 7:00 pm

Open Practice - 4:00 - 9:00 pm

Break from Practice - 7:30 - 8:00 pm

Barbecue - 7:30 pm


Saturday November 5th - Race Day #1

Gates Open - 8:00 am

Registration - 8:00 - 10:30 am

Practice - 10:00 am

We will do our best to get in 2 rounds of feature races complete. We will take a break at 7:00 pm for the Beef and Ham Roast.

Beef and Ham Roast - 7:00 pm


Sunday November 6th - Race Day #2

Gates Open - 8:00 am

Practice - 10:00 am

Racing will resume after practice

Feature 2 will be lined up by the invert of draw.

My note here:  A bit Feature 1 will be lined up by draw.

confusing, but the first two races are run on Saturday – not three races per class, on Sunday.

Feature 3 will be lined up by total points awarded for Feature 1 and 2


Point Break Down as Follows:

1st - 30 point 2nd - 25 points 3rd - 22 points 4th - 20 points 5th - 19 points 6th - 18 points 7th - 17 points 8th - 16 points 9th - 15 points 10th - 14 points 11th - 13 points 12th - 12 points 13th - 11 points 14th - 10 points 15th - 9 points 16th - 8 points 17th - 7 points 18th - 6 points 19th - 5 points 20th - 4 points DNS - 1 point DQ - 0 points DNMW - 0 points DNWI - 0 points

If there are 20 or more entries...there will be time trials and the fastest 20 racers will make it to the A main and receive 75% of the total prize purse. The B main will receive 25% of the total prize purse.

Entry Fee* - $75.00 per class (includes the Beef and Ham Roast)

Friday Night Practice * - $25.00 (includes Barbecue)

1 Day Pit Pass - $12.00

2 Day Pit Pass - $20.00 (save $4.00)

3 Day Pit Pass - $30.00 (save $6.00)

Friday Night Barbecue - $7.00

Saturday Night Beef and Ham Roast - $11.00

*Price do not include pit passes

Classes: (must have 5 entries for class to be recognized)

Kid Kart – 150 lbs. (ages 5-7) – SATURDAY only - $25.00 price does not include pit pass

Kid Champ Karts – 260 lbs. (ages 5-7) – SATURDAY only - $25.00 price does not include pit pass

Junior 1 – 250 lbs. (ages 8-10) – flat head motor only – purple plate

Junior 2 – 275 lbs. (ages 10-12) – flat head motor only – turquoise plate

Junior 3 – 300 lbs. (ages 12-15) – flat head motor only – gold plate

Junior Stock* – 310 lbs. (ages 12-15) – flat head motor only

Sportsman 1 Champ – 300 lbs. (ages 8-10) – flathead motor – purple plate

Sportsman 2 Champ - 315 lbs. (ages 10-12) – turquoise plate for flathead & purple plate for animals

Junior Champ – 345 lbs. (ages 12-15) – no plate for flathead & black plate for animals

Lights – 325 lbs.

Mediums – 350 lbs.

Heavys – 375 lbs.

Super Heavys – 400 lbs.

Senior Stock – 375 lbs. (age 35+)

Animal Lights – 325 lbs.

Animal Heavys – 375 lbs.

Senior Champ – Flathead 410 lbs. and Animals run 425 lbs. w/a black restrictor plate.

KT 100 - 350 lbs.

Junior Slingshot - (up to 15 years old) - 685 lbs.

Senior Slingshot (14+) - 760 lbs.

World Formula Modified Tour - SATURDAY only

WKA Engine Rules Apply

Must have a drilled head, carburetor, and side cover bolts

Burris Tire Rule - 33s or 55s only

For Further Information please call Denise at 203.241.5741 or email denise.ovspeedway@gmail.com

Note:  Late last week I thought I’d venture over to the 4 Cycle website.  While there I noticed that there was a “PM” for me.  I was being asked if I might be able to get some kind of special rate for the Karters that would be coming to Novemberfest at some of the local motels – something I was able to do in the past.  Unfortunately, I thought that it was too late by the time I saw that message.  But then I got to thinking – maybe that is something that the track should do?



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 5:00 -  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:

Three lap penalty for intentionally causing a caution:

NASCAR officials announced during the drivers meeting Sunday morning at Martinsville that they would enforce a three lap penatly for any driver that intentionally causes a caution during the race. The rule will be in effect for at least the remainder of the year.(10-30-2011)


NASCAR looking for ways to limit two-car drafting:

NASCAR is looking at further changes in order to reduce the amount of two-car drafting in time for the 2012 Daytona 500, sources close to the situation said Thursday. NASCAR has made two changes designed to affect drafting at Sunday's race at Talladega Superspeedway, enlarging the size of the restrictor plate hole to increase speed and adjusting the pop-off valve in the cooling system to increase the threat of overheating. However, the changes did not work as hoped and the two-car draft received harsh criticism from fans and caused controversy among teams. Sources close to the situation told ESPN one of the possible solutions is a smaller spoiler which teams experimented with during the final 45 minutes of last Thursday's fuel injection test at Talladega. Sources said driver feedback indicated the smaller spoiler made it harder to draft and harder to back up into the car pushing it. Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president for competition, said during the Talladega fuel injection test that NASCAR is concerned about the apparent unhappiness of fans with the two-car tandem, "but you have to be careful because the cure can be way worse than the disease."(ESPN.com)(10-28-2011)


Ragan wants to stay in Cup, but open to Nationwide ride:

David Ragan believes he likely will compete in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series in 2012. For whom he will be driving, though, has yet to be determined. UPS, Ragan's current primary sponsor on the Roush Fenway Racing #6 Ford, announced earlier this week that the company would scale back it's racing program next season. Minus funding, Ragan said Saturday he isn't sure in which direction his career is headed. While he's hopeful that funding can be found that will allow him to remain at Roush Fenway, Ragan knows the odds are less than favorable. But he says he's "confident" that he will run in Cup. "With a competitive team," he said. "I'm not going to be in a back-marker car just to say I'm driving a Sprint Cup car," Ragan, who won his first Cup race at Daytona in July, said. "I'm not too proud to go back to the Nationwide Series and contend for a championship. Ragan, 25, is under contract to Roush Fenway for 2012, meaning Roush could "loan" the driver to another Ford organization next season. But he said it's not a given that he would end up with a Ford team.(Scene Daily)(10-30-2011)


Martin to MWR? Reutimann out? UPDATE:

The puzzle pieces for the 2012 season continue to fall into place with the latest speculation putting Mark Martin in the Michael Waltrip Racing stable for a partial schedule next year. #56-Martin Truex Jr. will return to drive MWR's NAPA Toyota with newcomer Clint Bowyer coming on board in a partner Toyota entry carrying 5-Hour Energy sponsorship for the bulk of the campaign. Sponsorship for the #00 entry driven by David Reutimann will not be in place for the entire 2012 schedule opening the door for Martin to take over and compete on a partial basis. Michael Waltrip Racing has an announcement planned Friday at Texas Motor Speedway where it is expected the team's firm 2012 plans will be unveiled.(CBS Sports)(11-1-2011)


Mark Martin is expected to drive a part-time 2012 Sprint Cup schedule for Michael Waltrip Racing in the #00 Toyota currently driven by David Reutimann, multiple sources close to the situation confirmed Tuesday. Sources said team owner Michael Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, likely will drive all or a portion of the four restrictor-plate races at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. MWR's lineup for 2012 will be Martin, recently signed Clint Bowyer from Richard Childress Racing, and Martin Truex Jr. Sources said an announcement could come Friday at Texas Motor Speedway, where MWR has a 10:30 a.m. local time news conference scheduled. MWR officials declined to comment. Reutimann, attending the SEMA Auto Show for Toyota, would neither confirm nor deny the information. "Talk to Michael," Reutimann told ESPN.com, referring to his owner.(ESPN)(11-1-2011)


Rick Hendrick's plane runs off runway: UPDATES:

Early Monday evening, a Gulfstream G150 aircraft operated by Hendrick Motorsports ran off the runway after experiencing braking issues upon landing at Key West International Airport in Key West, Fla. There were no serious injuries to any of the four people on board, including two pilots, Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick and his wife, Linda Hendrick. All four were taken to a local hospital for evaluation. Hendrick Motorsports is gathering additional information on the incident.(Hendrick Motorsports)(10-31-2011)


A private G150 Gulfstream jet containing four people missed the runway while landing at Key West International Airport and ran into the salt ponds at 7:45 p.m. No one was seriously injured. The airplane was co-owned by Jimmie Johnson Racing II Inc. and Hendrick Motorsports LLC of Charlotte, N.C. Some officials said it did not appear that the NASCAR driver was on board, but that has not been officially confirmed. Everyone was taken by ambulance to Lower Keys Medical Center for evaluation. Only two complained of injuries: one for neck pain and one for shortness of breath/heart palpitations, according to Monroe County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Deputy Becky Herrin. There were two pilots and two passengers, but it was unclear who was injured. The airport was closed for about an hour, but has reopened. Some fuel spilled, but it was unknown how much. (Key West News)

AND Jenna Fryer, of the Associated Press, posted a photo from the sheriff's office.(10-31-2011)


A small jet carrying the owner of NASCAR's top team and his wife lost its brakes and crash landed at a Key West, Fla., airport Monday evening, and the couple suffered minor injuries, officials said. According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, the pilot and co-pilot radioed that the plane had no brakes upon landing in Key West. Horton said the plane ran off the runway, and then 100 feet beyond a 600-foot safety area that was finished in May. "If we hadn't done that, it likely would have been a different story," Horton said of the safety area that is meant as a runway overrun space. The National Transportation and Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.(Associated Press/ESPN)(11-1-2011)


All four people on board - Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, his wife, Linda Hendrick, and two Hendrick Motorsports pilots - were released from Lower Keys Medical Center early Tuesday morning. Rick Hendrick was diagnosed with a broken rib and a broken clavicle, and Linda Hendrick was treated for minor cuts and bruises. Both pilots were evaluated and released without injury. All four have safely returned to North Carolina. The aircraft, which is joint-owned by Hendrick Motorsports and Jimmie Johnson Racing, remains in Key West.(Hendrick Motorsports)(11-1-2011)


Upon returning home to Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, Mr. Hendrick was further evaluated as a precautionary measure by his personal physician. He was diagnosed with four broken ribs (previously stated as one broken rib), a broken clavicle (as previously stated) and bruising. No other injuries have been identified. Due to discomfort from the injuries, Mr. Hendrick was admitted Tuesday afternoon to a medical facility in the Charlotte area, where doctors believe the pain can most effectively be managed. He is in good spirits and is expected to be released by the end of the week.

Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports: "Linda and I have been overwhelmed by all the words of encouragement and genuine concern we've received. We are blessed to have such a wonderful support system, and our family is extremely grateful for the thoughts and prayers. We extend our sincere thanks to everyone. I'm so proud of how our pilots handled the situation, and we're extremely appreciative of the folks in Key West who went above and beyond to help us. It's good to be back in Charlotte as we regroup and focus on our family."(Hendrick Motorsports)(11-2-2011)


Reba To Host Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony:

NASCAR announced that renowned multimedia superstar Reba will serve as the host for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Ceremony on Dec. 2 at Wynn Las Vegas. The ceremony honors the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and other drivers who finished in the top 10 of the final series standings. Increasingly, it has become a full-fledged entertainment experience with appearances by major celebrities. In addition to her host duties, Reba will perform the song "Turn on the Radio" from her recently released album "All the Women I Am," on The Valory Music Co. Other special segments involving Reba also are planned for the season-ending celebration that will be broadcast by SPEED, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio and MRN Radio from the Wynn's LaFite Ballroom. Other entertainment-related announcements regarding the awards ceremony are expected in the near future.(NASCAR)(11-2-2011)


Mayfield arrested on meth charges:

Authorities say NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield was arrested Tuesday night on drug charges. Mayfield was arrested in his home in the town of Catawba on possession of methamphetamine charges, according to the Catawba County Sheriff's Office. Deputies had gone to Mayfield's home to execute a search warrant on a tip there were stolen goods in the house. During the search, deputies found the methamphetamine. They also found items that may be stolen but deputies have not verified the items taken are in fact stolen property. Mayfield has a scheduled court appearance Wednesday morning. He is out of jail on a $3,000 bond.(WBTV)(11-2-2011)


A "large amount" of stolen goods were recovered from Mayfield's property, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office. Detectives said they recovered items that had been stolen from Lee Boy, Inc., which is located on Highway 16 north, and Larry Grant, Inc., a trucking company in Lincolnton. The items recovered for Lee Boy, Inc., included heavy equipment parts, scrap metal, welders and welding accessories, the Sheriff's Office said. Investigators said the items recovered for Larry Grant, Inc., including truck parts, an engraving machine, truck mirrors and electric motor controllers. The items recovered are worth around $100,000, the Sheriff's Office said. They were found in a building and trailers on Mayfield's property and were returned to the owners, investigators said.(WSOC)(11-2-2011)


Statement from NASCAR: "Having just heard and read the news about the Jeremy Mayfield incident, we will have to see how the facts play out. NASCAR's goal in its Substance Abuse program has always been to keep competitors safe and create treatment opportunities for those who need it."(11-2-2011)

Note:  There have been hard feelings between NASCAR and Mayfield for quite some time now.  I find it rather funny that the police were “tipped” off.  Yes, I have some doubt on this, knowing how NASCAR works.



Blaney and Bodine switch cars for rest of year:

Tommy Baldwin Racing drivers Dave Blaney and Geoffrey Bodine will swap numbers and crews starting this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway in an effort to continue to build TBR and give the team the best chance to qualify both cars for Sunday's event. Dave Blaney will drive the #35 Big Red Chevy and attempt to qualify for the AAA Texas 500. Geoffrey Bodine will pilot the #36 Luke & Associates Chevy and is guaranteed a starting spot in Sunday's race. Both cars will compete for kids to eat free in Golden Corral's â"Racing for America's Families" promotion, where kids eat free on Monday, November 7th if either car finishes in the top-10. The teams will keep the switch for the final two events of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Blaney will drive the #35 Golden Corral Chevy and attempt to qualify for both events at Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Bodine will stay in the #36 Luke & Associates Chevy and be guaranteed a spot in both events.(Tommy Baldwin Racing)(11-2-2011)


NASCAR schedules fuel injection test at Daytona:

NASCAR has scheduled an electronic fuel injection test at Daytona International Speedway in an effort to better prepare baseline packages for the January 12-14, 2012 Preseason Thunder testing at DIS. The test will be conducted on Tuesday, November 15 from 10:00am-5:00pm/et. Teams participating will be determined and released next week.(NASCAR)
AND: NASCAR has been looking for ways to break up the two-car tandem drafts that have become the norm at Daytona and Talladega, where the series requires the use of restrictor plates to limit speeds. Using a different restrictor plate, a smaller spoiler and a different cooling system are among the options being considered by NASCAR.(Scene Daily)(11-2-2011)



Former Oakland Valley Speedway (Dirt Oval) runners:

Last week, I had this in my column:

Brittany Tresch was 8th in her heat after hard contact with the wall in turn two.  She was a DNQ for the feature, but I did notice a car on the track in the feature with her number 2T on its wing.  She was not listed on My Laps for the feature results, however.  Was she in that car with the 2T on the wing?  No reply from her when I questioned her on it.”

Well, Brittany did get back to me after my column went in.  She said she was in the “18” car.  Unfortunately, there is no “18” car listed on My Laps, and she’s not mentioned in the race results that are on the CRSA’s website, either.

I did spot an error in the latest issue of the AARN, too, when they had in the caption under the Dan Hennessy accident that it was Chuck Alessi in the car.  Yes, at times, one never knows who might be in the seat of the Alessi # 19.  I’d have to say it was Danny though, since he was announced as the driver and the My Laps and CRSA’s website say it was him.

This past Friday at Five Mile Point, in the ROC Sportsman race, Brian Krummel was 2nd, Brad Szulewski 8th, Tyler Dippel 10th and Anthony Perrego 27th.  On Sunday, in the Crate Sportsman race, Anthony Perrego was 2nd, Tyler Boniface 3rd and Tyler Dippel 25th.

Last week I missed Davey Franek getting a 3rd at Williams Grove in the 358 Sprint Car Billy Kimmel Memorial race, and a 2nd in the 358 Sprint Fall Festival feature, also at Williams Grove.

And I also missed Roger Coss who finished 5th in the modified feature at Wall Stadium.

Don’t be surprised if I missed someone this week!


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 mostly from Open Wheel racing from “Back in the day”.


Covering the days from November 4th to the 10th:




Lee Ann Roberts Breedlove , wife of land speed record-holder Craig Breedlove, became the first female driver to exceed 300 mph when she sped to 308.50 mph in the Spirit of America - Sonic 1 vehicle over the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The Sonic 1 was a four-wheel vehicle powered by a J79 jet engine. A few hours after Lee Ann jet-powered across the one-mile course, Craig Breedlove shattered his own record from the previous year when he reached 555.49 mph in the Spirit of America.




Joe James ... Died ... AAA driver from the 1950's. Joe started racing in the AAA National Championship in 1950 when he made five starts with a best finish of seventh at Detroit. In 1951 had had a best finish of fourth on the dirt oval at Denver. At Indy he retired after just eight laps with a broken driveshaft. He made 12 starts during the year. He had a number of top ten finishes in 1952. At Indy, driving a Kurtis Kraft 4000 Offy he finished 13th. Then late in the year, on the 2nd November, in the San Jose 100-Mile Race at the 1.0-mile dirt oval San Jose Speedway at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, James had qualified his Bob Estes Lincoln-Mercury entered Watson roadster second. At the start he grabbed the lead and led the first five laps before he was passed by Bobby Ball in his Kurtis 4000. James retook the lead on lap 26 and was dicing with Mike Nazaruk for first place when he clipped one of Nazaruk's tires. James' car was flipped into a series of rolls down the main straight before hitting the wall in Turn 1. Seriousely injured he was taken to hospital in San Jose but passed away three days later.


Elton Sawyer ... Born ... NASCAR Stockcar driver.




Joe Nikrent drove a Buick to victory in the Los Angeles-to-Phoenix race. Nikrent covered the 480 miles in 19 hours and 13 minutes for an average speed of 24.98 mph.


Rex Mays... Died ... AAA driver from the 1930's and 40's. He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1995 and was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in the first class in 1990. He ran in 12 Indy 500's with a best finish of 2nd in both 1940 & 1941. He was killed in a crash during the only Champ Car race held at Del Mar Speedway in Del Mar, California in 1949.

Jimmy Davies won the AAA sanctioned Del Mar 100 on the 1 Mile Dirt Oval Del Mar Speedway in Del Mar, California. Lee Wallard finished second followed by Myron Fohr, Mack Hellings and Paul Russo.


Jack McGrath... Died ... 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.

Jimmy Bryan won the Bobby Ball Memorial AAA Championship Race on the 1 Mile Dirt Oval Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix, Arizona. Johnny Thomson finished second followed by George Amick, Andy Linden and Pat O'Connor.


Bill Cheesbourg ... Died ... Cheesbourg started racing jalopies in Tucson and successfully moved into midgets racing all over Arizona after World War II. He drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1956-1962 and 1964-1966 seasons with 31 starts, including the Indianapolis 500 races in 1957-1959, 1961, 1964, and 1965. He finished in the top ten 8 times, with his best finish in 7th position in 1959 at Daytona and in 1966 at Fuji. Cheesbourg returned to the local dirt short track racing scene after his Indy Car career was finished.

Larry "Boom Boom" Cannon... Died ... USAC Sprint and USAC / CART Championship car driver from the mid 1960's to 1984.


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




Art Arfons returned to the Bonneville Salt Flats in a revamped Green Monster, and shattered Breedlove's record from the previous year, when he raced to 576.553 mph across the one-mile course.


Steve McQueen , actor, enduro rider, sometimes sports car racer, and star of the movie "Le Mans", died of cancer.




Herman Schurch... Died ... AAA driver from the 1920's and 30's.


A.J. Foyt set an unofficial Indianapolis Motor Speedway track record of 154.5 mph in tire testing.




A.J. Foyt won the USAC sanctioned Bobby Ball 150 on the 1 Mile Paved Oval Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Tom Sneva was second followed by Mario Andretti, Billy Vukovich Jr and Al Unser.

Dick Tobias won the Super Sprint Car race over Lynn Paxton, Smokey Snellbaker, Van May and Lee Osborne at the Reading Fairgrounds, Reading,PA.

Buddy Baker won the NASCAR Winston Cup Dixie 500 over Dave Marcis at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, GA.




Buster Warke... Born ... AAA driver from the 1930's , 40's to the mid 1950's.


Art Bisch ... Born ... Bisch started racing midgets in 1948 before moving on to Sprint Cars in California, dominating the 1956 season, winning 10 of the 27 races. He moved up to Champ cars in 1958 and won his first race in the Rex Mays 100. Sadly his career was cut short when he crashed at the Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, Georgia and succumbed to his injuries.


Joan Marie Rose was born.  Later on in her life she would marry Norman T. (Tom) Avenengo on September 11, 1960.  Somehow, she's managed to put up with me for all these years!






News from the AARN:



From their October 25th issue:


Kyle Hardner had quite an extensive special article about Borgers Speedway and it now being closed due to complaints by some neighbors, mainly because it’s a “nuisance”. 


Note:  Let’s hope this isn’t the “tip of the Iceberg” so to say, as far as neighbors close to race tracks winning about their complaints of noise, dust etc etc.  Both OCFS and Fulton have managed to stay open when neighbors had complaints about dust and noise – Fulton just recently.


I make errors while doing these columns.  I made mention of someone on a forum that I frequent about where to use “there”, “their” and “they’re”.  I knew I’d get some folks posting about me, and they were busting my chops just as I was busting on the original writer.  Someone was wondering if I was an English teacher.  No, never was, but I paid attention in English class, and was always kind of fascinated with words and spelling – to the extent that I usually was on top in Spelling B’s.  Oh, and I was just a High School graduate, too.  Of course, in today’s world, correct spelling really doesn’t exist, when they use “r” for are, and “u” for you, when sending messages or posting things on things like Facebook.  Lord help those that do those things when and if they have to fill out an application for employment!  Yes, in most cases, one can spot “typo” errors, and also can spot words that are not spelled correctly.  At times, words are even used that should not be, like “should of” instead of “should have” or “should’ve”.  What got me going on this was that I spotted a “typo” error in the AARN where they were advertising what was coming up on TV – the telecast of the Syracuse Modified race was shown to be on at 8:00A – 10:00.  It should have been 8:00P for the evening hour.


Lenny Sammons, in his column, had a lot to say about Scott Fisher.  Who is Scott Fisher, you ask?  Well, a few columns back I made mention that Scott got hit by a Sprint Car while in the pits at Bridgeport, while he was working on the Sprint Car that was owned and driven by Ray Evernham.  That happened on 9/10.   Scott got messed up pretty badly.  If you’d like to send him a note or a card to help cheer him up, please send it here:

Scott Fisher c/o REE 130  Infield Ct Mooresville, N.C. 28117.  There’s also a fund set up for him, and that is:  Sun Trust Bank, Scott Fisher Fund, Attn:  Jessica Miller – 232 Williamson Rd – Mooresville, N.C. 28117.



Question:  What do Johnny Thomson, Bill Randall and Bobby Santos, III, all have in common?  Any idea?  Answer is at the end of the column.



Ray Evernham, and his wife, the former Erin Crocker, were to present a million dollar check to the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, N.C. on October 25th.  Why?  Well, during his son Ray J’s treatment to fight Leukemia, he stayed there, and is showing his appreciation not only with the donation, but by hosting a Halloween party for the families and patients staying at the house, providing costumes for everyone and candy for the children.



Ernie Saxton, in his column had a lot about Dan Wheldon.  He also made mention that quite a few NASCAR fans would like to see more Saturday night Cup races.  He does make mention that NASCAR might really want to give this some serious consideration, since, after all, they do sanction quite a few short tracks in the U.S that race on Saturday nights.  Surely they would not want to take fans away from those Saturday night races, would they?  Uh, wait, we’re talking NASCAR – TV – you get my drift?



Simpson now has a second head restraint system that’s been approved for use by NASCAR – the Simpson Hybrid Pro Head Restraint.  Simpson is only one of two approved manufacturers worldwide for NASCAR and SFI 38.1 approved head restraint systems.



Daytona – no more smoking in the grandstands effective with the July 2012 racing event.  Fans going to the Daytona 500 will be asked to “light up” in special areas.

Note:  This is happening at quite a few places – even outdoor stadiums.  At OCFS, the announcers make mention that if one were to smoke, they would have to leave the grand stand and go behind them to do so.



Ernie, like me, thinks that NASCAR screwed up as to where their Hall of fame is located – in the middle of Charlotte.  He and I agree – it should have been erected outside the city – I’d say in the Mooresville area, where it would be easier to find, and to park, also.  No, I have no idea as to whom it was that decided to put it in Charlotte.



Ron Mentus, in his column had quite a bit to say about the state of Indycar racing – especially with less and less races being held on ovals and more on made up courses and road races.

Note:  What can you expect when the series is made up mostly of road racers to begin with?  I could see this coming years ago by the way the drivers were reacting when there were only two or three races a year on tracks other than ovals.



Todd Heintzelman, in his column about Sprint Car racing kind of says that maybe we’ve seen the last of 30 wins, 20 or maybe even 10 wins, by one driver in the Pennsylvania area tracks.  As an example, for 2011 – Brian Montieth, Greg Hodnett and Lance Dewease lead the feature win department and all only have seven wins, so far.



Volusia, for their 41st Annual Winternationals opens up on February 15th and 16th, with the All Star Sprints. Then the WoO comes in on the 17th 18th and 19th.

Note:  I wonder who will be running Volusia in 2012?  Seems to me that DIRTcar is now the owner of Volusia?



Randy Kane had his whole page column all about Eastern States Weekend and the racing that went on there.



Robin Gillespie-Yasinsac had quite a bit about Lebanon Valley and Albany/Saratoga race tracks, and made mention of why C.J. Richards has stepped down as far as running any more tracks.  She also says that the Valley Management is involved with:  OCFS (consultant), the Valley Drag racing, the Speedway, a new Go-Kart track due to open in 2012 and now with Albany/Saratoga.

Note:  In the past, I believe that Howie Commander was also known to be part of the promotional team at OCFS.  Is he now just a “consultant”?



Kyle Hardner, in his regular column, talks about the good and bad (mostly bad) about the Asphalt Modifieds possibly going to 10” tires in 2012.  He cites three tracks that had done so in the past – going to skinnier tires - Wall Stadium in 1993, Flemington in 2000 and Mountain Speedway in PA in 2004.  In each case, it didn’t work out.



Mike Mallett, in his column, mostly talked about car owner Mike Payne and his association with driver Danny Johnson.



Don and JoAnn Davies, in their full page column - it was all about Eastern States, until the very end, when they made mention of after 20 years, Pierre Degenais is ending his car owner career, citing work commitments as the reason.  Pierre would be interested in driving for other car owners in special shows, however.



There will be a lot of racing at the Bridgeport Speedway on November 19th and 20th, for the Charlie Bray Memorial races.  Races will be held on both the inner ¼ mile track and also on the bigger 5/8 mile track.



Jeff Ulrich, in his column, was making mention of the many improvements that have been made to the Hesston Speedway in PA.



There were three more that were associated with auto racing that have left us – Ken Rush, 80, the 1957 NASCAR Rookie of the year and 1959 Grand American Series Champion, left us as the result of a stroke.  He was from High Point, N.C.

J T Kerr, 81, who was a Tennessee racing legend and Sebastian “Luper” Parno, 78, a New Jersey stock car driver from the 60’s.  He lived in Trenton, N.J.  His nick-name was “Mad Man Lupe”.



Some info on Dan Wheldon:

There is a Dan Wheldon Family Trust.  It is at the Fifth Third Private Bank – ATTN:  Dan Wheldon Family Trust – 251 North Illinois Street – Suite 1000 – Indianapolis, IN. 46204.  All Fifth Third Private Banks in Indianapolis are accepting contributions, in person, and then those will be routed to the account.



Gary Herrmann, owner of the Big Block Modified # 7 that is driven by Rick Laubach, wanted to go to Delaware the weekend of ESW, but the crew wanted to go to ESW.  Mr. Herrmann is not forgetting Syracuse, and the team still wants to go to Charlotte, this weekend.  As of the printing of last weeks AARN, he had not yet agreed to make that trip.



It was said that during Eastern States Weekend, that on Thursday - by noon, 187 trailers had been parked in the infield pit area at OCFS.

Note:  Rumors are still floating around out there that moving the pit area out of the infield at OC is still being thought about.  About the only place I can see that happening might be off of turns 3 & 4.  Or – would they do away with the drive-in?  I doubt that would happen.



It was said that Larry Wight was 8th in the 358 Small Block feature at ESW with a DIRT legal motor.  He finished just ahead of Billy Decker who had an “Open” motor.  OK, I’m not really up to all these DIRTcar rules for engines, so can someone tell me what is the difference between a “DIRTcar legal motor” and an “Open” motor in the 358 Small Block class?



Speaking of DIRTcar legal engines, I read where Johnny Guarino bought the DIRT spec 500 cu in engine that was in his # 9 car, at a price that was about one half of what a regular Big Block engine goes for.  The parts for the spec 500 cu in engine sell for around $15,000.00.  Johnny had Morrison Engines put it together for him.  The engine is an on-going project of DIRT tech inspector Bob Dini, who has had the engine run at different times in different cars.  Guarino does use the engine at New Egypt, but to do so, he is at a weight disadvantage.  Dini worked together with Guarino and Morrison to relax a few of the mandated parts being used.  No longer do all parts have to be purchased through CV Products.  Spec parts include a DART block and DART heads.  The oiling system must be spec Stef products.  The engine must remain a maximum of 500 cu in.  Now, any engine builder can now put this engine together using their own bore-stroke combination and any cam can be used.  Peer Dini, the entire engine cam be made race ready for $20,000.00.  Other new short track big block engines now sell for $30-35,000.00.  An engine for Syracuse cost around $45,000.00.  There are now six of the Spec Engines built.  Two new ones will debut at Charlotte for the World Finals this coming weekend.  Dini did not say who would be using them, however.



John Snyder, in his column, was making mention of the fatal injuries that occur in football – just two days before the Dan Wheldon accident, a High School player dies from injuries that reportedly were from helmet to helmet contact.  He was not the first High School student to die from football related things, either.  In August, there were four that passed away down south from heat-related complications.  In most cases, football related deaths are kind of kept “hush-hush”, although I did see mention of the young man that died from that helmet to helmet contact in our local paper.  Probably because it was from a school in New York State.  Mr. Snyder does come out with an interesting thing – what with school budgets being so tight, today, are helmets, which have a limited life, being replaced on a regular basis, and if so, are those that are bought still of the highest quality and not the cheapest that are available?  Mr. Snyder goes on to say that in racing, especially at the local and regional level, that the tracks have to focus more on safety issues.  Walls, fences, lighting and pit conditions should all be examined and problems corrected on an on-going basis.

Note:  I’ve come out (and been ridiculed for it) when I complained about a small child being shown in the pit area at a local track.  This child couldn’t much older than 3 years old, if that.  Up above, in this AARN section, in where I refer to the column by Lenny Sammons, and make mention of the very serious injuries to Scott Fisher, is an example of just how dangerous the pit area can be.  Any track that is sanctioned by NASCAR – you will not see a three year old in the pit area.  And even in some ads in this current AARN, some tracks make mention of age limits, too.  I wonder just what would happen to the cost of insurance for these tracks that let “babies” in the pit area if, God forbid, one should get seriously injured by a racecar or even worse?  Is ti really worth getting the extra few dollars for that small child, compared to the possibility of maybe having your insurance canceled and having to close the track?  Oh, and one more thing I’m willing to bet that when drivers sign in to race an any particular track, no one even thinks of asking how much insurance does the track have.  Face it folks, today they are what I refer to as “Helicopter happy” as far as transporting from an accident scene to a hospital.  You have any idea as to whom much a helicopter ride goes for?  Uh huh, didn’t think so.



Not so nice:  On page 37 there was a write up of some races at Williams Grove.  Here is what was said about one of the events:  “Kyle Hieber won a 12-lap event for the Tobias SpeedSTR’s at the Grove.  That’s it – no race results or anything else.

Note:  Now one has to realize that the Tobias SpeedSTR cars are a “Spec” car and the cars, in 99.9% of the time, can only compete with other SpeedSTR cars.  I’ve only seen one event with these cars where there was a somewhat healthy field, and that was when there were both Canadian and US SpeedSTR’s were racing together.  In a way, I’m a little surprised that the class is even getting races scheduled.  Sad to say, but I can see the same thing happening with the Ray Evernham “Dirt” Legends cars – another “Spec” class that I can see having very little in the way of growing to something that would be recognized throughout the country.  Yes, they’re neat looking and might be pretty quick, but I can see them having the same fate as the SpeedSTR’s – low car counts.



There was a full page ad on the back page of the AARN advertising the up-coming World Finals at Charlotte this coming weekend.  Tickets starting at $20.00 for adults and $10.00 for kids.  A 3-day package goes for $69.00.  The number:  1-800-455- FANS (3267). 

Website:  charlottemotorspeedway.com



As for this weeks current edition, dated November 1st, they show this as featured stories, on their front page:


Rare October Snowstorm
Shakes Up Autumn Race Schedule

Two PA 358-Modified Owners
Say Goodbye

Swindell Takes Second
360 Short Track Nationals

Championships To Be Decided
At Charlotte This Weekend

Decker & Phelps
Share Modified Glory

Five Mile Point's Harpell
Beats The Weather




More racin’ stuff:


Are you interested in some auto racing history?  How about The A.J. Watson Story?  Any idea who he is?  You’ll find out a lot about him if you go here:








Racing and television:

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


Note:  The “World Finals” from the dirt track in Charlotte will be telecast LIVE this coming Saturday night on SPEED.  WoO Sprint Cars, WoO Late Models and Dirt Modifieds.  That’s from 8:00 PM to midnight, here in the east.


Also, a re-broadcast of the Syracuse Modified race is also on this coming Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM here in the east.






Some non-racing stuff:


Big Banks Say No to Debit Fees, Won't Follow Bank of America's Lead

In part:

"JPMorgan Chase has decided it will not charge customers who use their debit cards for purchases, joining a growing list of banks that will not follow the lead of financial giant Bank of America, which announced a $5 monthly fee last month.

JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, U.S. Bank, PNC Financial, and Key Bank have confirmed they are not planning to charge customers debit card fees when they make purchases.

Many in the banking industry had warned that higher fees to consumers would follow the Dodd-Frank's Durbin Amendment, which went into effect on Oct. 1. The amendment capped debit card interchange fees for merchants at 21 cents per transaction earlier this year. Before the amendment, debit card companies charged merchants an average interchange fee of 44 cents per transaction.

Bank of America, the second-largest bank in the country, announced at the end of September that it will charge a $5 monthly debit card fee starting early next year. The announcement led to outcry among consumers, including a petition against Bank of America's plans. The petition had over 153,000 signatures from irate customers across the country."

More can be seen, here:





Are these true?:


Lt. Gen. (Ret.) W.G. "Jerry" Boykin


Marxism in America



Shariah Law and the Constitution



The Basics of Shariah Law



The Yale King Story







Video time:


The four wide parade lap at Eastern States, along with the start of the ESW 200:




Question:  What do Johnny Thomson, Bill Randall and Bobby Santos, III, all have in common?  Any idea?


Answer:  They are the only three drivers from the New England area to have won a USAC Sprint Car championship.  Thomson in 1958, Randall in 1957 and Santos this past season in the USAC Sprint Car Pavement Series.




Closing with these:


Australian Idiot Sightings Ha ha!   If this doesn't make you smile you do have a problem...- Continued:

5.  I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked,

'Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?'

To which I replied, 'If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?'

He smiled knowingly and nodded, 'That's why we ask.'


This happened in Elizabeth S.A.

6.  The pedestrian light on the corner beeps when it's safe to cross the street.

I was crossing with an 'intellectually challenged' co-worker of mine.

She asked if I knew what the beeper was for.

I explained that it signals blind people when the light is red.

Appalled, she responded, 'What on earth are blind people doing driving?!'

She is a government employee in Adelaide P.O.

7.  When my husband and I arrived at a car dealership to pick up our car after a service, we were told the keys had been locked in it.

We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver’s side door.

As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door handle and discovered that it was unlocked.

‘Hey,' I announced to the technician, 'its open!'

His reply, 'I know. I already did that side.'


They walk among us... They vote!  They reproduce!




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