Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 84





It’s been a little hectic – this last week or so.  The e-mail problem, as of Sunday evening when I’m doing this part of the column, is basically fixed so I can both send and receive e-mails on my Yahoo mail.  I’m still waiting to see if either part or all of what was deleted from my mail can be restored, no thanks to some hacker.  My apologies to all that received the bogus e-mail about me being in London, out of money, and looking for monies from anyone that would be willing to help me out.  I trust no actual monies had been sent?  From what I/we can see, any mails that were sent to my Yahoo Mail were going to an e-mail address similar to mine – mine is:  ygordad@yahoo.com whereas, from what we can figure out, anything sent to me after the hack job went to”  ygorrdad@yahoo.com - that is up until Saturday night, when we got the Yahoo thing figured out.

The broken shifter cable was replaced, thanks to my son, Eric, grandsons Josh and Brett and Mike Jr. – co-owner where my son works.  It’s kind of remarkable how difficult some things can be when working on today’s cars, isn’t it?



Somehow, this isn't a surprise.  Sponsors were not happy.


Penske Racing fires Kurt Busch


For the second time in his Sprint Cup Series career, an off-track issue has cost Kurt Busch his job.


Busch will not return next season to drive Penske Racing's No. 22 Dodge, multiple sources confirmed to the Observer and ThatsRacin.com on Sunday night.


An official announcement of Busch's departure from the organization is expected from Penske on Monday.


Just over a week ago NASCAR fined Busch $50,000 for the use of an obscene gesture and a profanity-laced tirade directed toward a media member during the Cup series finale race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.


The incident with ESPN reporter Dr. Jerry Punch, which took place in the garage after Busch's car broke its transmission, was caught on video and posted on YouTube.


At the time, Penske Racing officials issued a statement saying they were reviewing the matter internally.


Asked if he could confirm Busch as the driver of the No. 22 team in 2012, Penske spokesman Jonathan Gibson referred to its previous statement and said the organization would have no further comment at this time.


In November 2005, less than one year after winning his first Cup series championship, Busch was fired by Roush Fenway Racing after he was cited for criminal reckless in Avondale, Ariz., in what police described as an alcohol-related incident.


Busch sat out the remaining two races of the 2005 season. He began driving for team owner Roger Penske in the 2006 season.


Since joining Penske, Busch has won 10 races and his highest finish in the series standings was fourth in 2009.


This decision comes very late in the year and puts both Busch and Penske in a difficult position.


There are no quality rides currently available for next season for Busch to pursue, and no drivers with a resume on the track similar to Busch's presumably available for Penske to hire.


Several drivers who competed in the Cup series this season remain without rides, including David Ragan, Brian Vickers and David Reutimann.


Link:  http://www.thatsracin.com/2011/12/04/80040/penske-racing-fires-kurt-busch.html



And more on the above:


Kurt Busch leaving Penske Racing


In part:

“Kurt Busch and Penske Racing have agreed to a mutual split, the team said Monday.”


More can be read about it here:





Note:  Uh say what?  A “mutual” split?  I take it Kurt does realize that there are not that many rides available for the 2012 season?




On the subject of Kurt Busch and where he might end up – there’s an interesting thread on this over on the Track Forum, titled:  Kurt Busch to RLLR?  - for those of you tha tmight not know – that’s the Rahal/Letterman race team.  Has Kurt ever been in an Indy car?  Yes, he has.  And, according to one of the postings on the thread, he’s also driven a Ford Focus Midget, too.   So, might it be possible for him to end up driving in the Indycar Series? 

Check out what’s being said, over on the Track Forum, here:





Further down in this column, I make mention of a Richard Golardi.  I got to meet him back in 2006 when the wife and I took a trip down to Florida.  Rich wanted to tag along with me when I went to a few races down there – to see what goes on when up close with the action, so to say, since he had visions of doing some writing for Motor Sports.  Up until that hack job on my e-mail, I had those “conversations” still in my “In-box”.  Hopefully, they’ll be returned, although as time goes bye, it gets more and more doubtful every day.

Rich has come quite a long way as far as his writing and taking photos goes.  Here is his latest:

Red Bull Kart Fight - IndyCar Driver Participation – some excellent photos from Richard Golardi





And over on the Track Forum, he, Rich Golardi, posted a link to a video.  Check it out!

Somehow, I just can't visualize today's Indycar drivers doing this, whereas, back in the day, they did.  How the times have changed!  Yes, to turn left, you must turn right.  In a way, methinks that what is missing from today’s Indycar racing and it losing fans is due to the fact that the drivers don’t race other types of race cars, like Midgets and Sprint Cars, like they used to do when an Indy car (Silver Crown) race was close by. 





Four-time Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon breakdances

A video of it can be seen here:  http://sports.yahoo.com/nascar/blog/from_the_marbles/post/Four-time-Sprint-Cup-champion-Jeff-Gordon-breakd?urn=nascar-wp5547

Note:  Sorry, but Jeff Gordon is NOT a FOUR TIME SPRINT CUP champion.  Sprint wasn't sponsoring Cup racing when he won championships.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (often shortened to Sprint Cup or the Cup Series) is the top racing series of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). The series was originally known as the Strictly Stock Series (1949) and Grand National Series (1950–1970). While leasing its naming rights to R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, it was known as the Winston Cup Series (1971–2003). When a similar deal was made with Sprint Nextel Corporation, it became the NEXTEL Cup Series (2004–2007).[1]




I wonder how this might affect his popularity?

Joonyer has a girl friend!





As for that "Bogus" e-mail that was sent out saying I was stranded in London with no money and needed some so I could return home, there were some responses via e-mail, and also some via phone calls, too.  Thankfully, most everyone figured out the message was bogus. 

Here are a couple that were sent to me via e-mail - with no names mentioned.

“Dear Tom..    You now owe me $78,561.25 as that is the amount I sent to your London address....If you don't have the cash now you can move into my garage and maintain my race cars and be our chief cook and bottle washer !

 Dusting, snow shoveling and toilet cleaning will also be among your duties until the debt is repaid..

 Have a great day”



“I sent you $1,000 and now I want it back.”

As for that second one, I copied the first one and sent it to the second one telling him he'd have to wait in line until I finished with the first one.

As for the phone calls – it’s really great to know that there are some out there that will help a friend that is in need.  The callers had an idea the message was bogus, but they checked on my well being anyway.  Yes, they would have assisted me if it were true.




I’d say that the majority of those that read my columns are located here in the Northeast.

I guess we can all expect some troubling times – with some possible BIG troubles in the not so distant future.

From our local paper on Monday, December 5th:

Questions we should all be asking about New York state's infrastructure.By Judy Rife

Published: 2:00 AM - 12/05/11

If you think Bob Dennison, after 36 years of building roads and bridges, has answers, you'd think wrong.

What Dennison, a third-generation civil engineer at the state Department of Transportation, has instead are questions.

Perhaps more questions than he had four years ago, when he was promoted to chief engineer — the DOT's No. 3 job — following an eight-year stint as its Hudson Valley director.

The big question, before he started overseeing the $1 billion-plus that the DOT spends on capital improvements every year, was "How do we fund infrastructure?"

Now, from the perch of a post-retirement gig at VHB Engineering, Dennison says the big question is still the big challenge, especially in the Northeast, where roads and bridges — and water and sewer systems — are among the oldest in the country:

I'm fearful we'll lose our infrastructure to gradual decay, rather than catastrophic failure, if we don't start investing in it soon. Our roads and bridges are old; they're safe — if they're open — but they have to be maintained. It will start on the edges with the secondary roads; it won't be the interstates. We'll find a crack and suddenly another piece of the system will no longer be in service. Is this where we're going? Are we becoming a third-world country?

A tipping point?

I'm reading "The Big Roads" (Earl Swift's history of the interstates) and what's striking is how people, back then, wanted the roads to be fixed. We don't have that today. Every time a water main breaks, it's always a 100-year-old main, but people don't say fix the water system; they're not dying of cholera. All we have is a bunch of engineers talking about how bad it is. How do we get public opinion to a tipping point?

Who decides?

Who chooses what has to be done? If engineers choose, then we get a federal transportation bill with 6,000 earmarks, with somebody else's choices. Do we widen Route 17 and then not be able to drive anywhere else in Orange County? Do we keep investing in intelligent transportation systems when we know it's all going to be car-based — you have GPS, right? - now, not highway-based? And what's a car going to look like in a hundred years anyhow?

Is there a will?

The work is there, the need is there, but is the will there? We're still dependent on state and federal gasoline taxes to pay for roads and bridges, but we haven't raised them in years, in part because we've always assumed people would drive more and more. Well, they haven't, and now we're promoting alternative-fuel vehicles and more fuel-efficient vehicles. Think about it. Is this a plan?

Then, just in case you don't get the big picture, Dennison gives you a little one:

Do you have any detours because of Irene? Are you used to them yet? You will be.


Note:  The sad thing is – it isn’t just in our area, but nationwide where things are getting old and failing.




Some more "local" stuff from my area: 


I know where you live there are nursing homes.  How are they funded?  Tax monies?  Here in my area there's kind of an on going battle on one particular Nursing home.  The county wants to unload it.  The majority of the citizens in the county want to leave it as is.  Here's something that came out in our local paper - the Middletown Times Herald-Record on Monday, December 5th.  Quite interesting, to say the least!


MY VIEW: Orange County Legislator to CSEA: Why don't you buy Valley View


By By Patrick J. Berardinelli

Published: 7:41 AM - 11/29/11

Last updated: 7:43 AM - 11/29/11


It's time to set the record straight on Valley View. It is despicable that the CSEA Union and its members have the audacity to terrify the residents of Valley View with half-truths and outright lies about the closure of Valley View. A recent county-wide mailing by CSEA starts out with a quote that read, “County Executive Ed Diana is attempting to unload the Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation and use the proceeds to build himself a sprawling new Government Center. Don't let your Legislator vote to kick Orange County seniors to the curb just to get a fancy new government center for the county executive…”


A second flyer said, “Please call and email targeted legislative members daily until they amend the 2012 Budget…tell them to avoid the closure of Valley View, and Valley View budget must be fully funded!”

While it is the Legislature's responsibility to review and approve or change the County Executive's proposed budget, it is also our responsibility to approve a budge that is fair to all the residents of our county and meets the county's needs within the revenues currently available. We cannot budget on assumptions, or possibilities. Unlike our friends at the State and Federal level, we must have a budget adopted by Dec. 15 that is balanced. That is not only our responsibility under the Orange County charter; it is what's right and prudent.


What is not right is that the residents and family members of Valley View are given prepared statements that state Valley View will simply close its doors and residents will be put out on the street. It is also not right, in fact it's downright hateful, that residents are urged to call legislators and tell them not to support Ed Diana and his new castle. The issues surrounding Valley View have nothing to do with the repair, replacement or renovation of the Orange County Government Center and to infer that individual legislators are incapable or unwilling, to separate these issues is insulting and just not truthful.


I have been to every public meeting and listened to the public The vast majority of speakers or participants at those meetings were primarily CSEA members voicing concerns about losing their jobs if Valley View were to close. They have that right and the legislators listened to their comments and concerns. However, despite all the rhetoric and suggestions by CSEA, the bottom line has not changed. County taxpayers will have to continue paying millions more each year to keep Valley View solvent.


Having listened to their suggestions, I have the following suggestion for the CSEA Union: CSEA should buy Valley View. This would be a first in Orange County and in New York State, and would be a wonderful opportunity for the union to demonstrate how their suggestions on how to run this facility could work.


Let me recap for our readers some of the union's suggestions to save money:


Fire the county management team and hire a new county administrator.


Fire the professional security company and hire more CSEA employees to do the same job.


Purchase a new lift system to transport patients to showers without having to lift them.


The union thinks they could do what is needed to save the facility. If what is being said by the union and the Valley View employees – that they could do a better job running Valley View – is true, then I think they should be given that chance. They should be given a chance to implement the changes that they say are needed to turn Valley View's financial problems around and make it into a profitable business.


CSEA is quick to talk about solutions to the Valley View problem and quick to point fingers about what Orange County Government has not done.


For those reason, I say to the CSEA Union and its members: If you think that you have the solutions, then put your money where your mouth is and buy Valley View. Show those of us in county government what we are doing wrong and how you can do it right. I, for one, am not afraid to learn from the experience of others.


Patrick J. Berardinelli is the chairman of the Ways and Means committee in the Orange County Legislature.


Link:  http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111129/OPINION/111129814/-1/OPINION04






I have to imagine that by now you’ve either read about or heard about the US Mail will be “slowing down” some – supposedly that happening by next spring.  It will affect most all types of mail, but I’m somewhat concerned about racing publications like the AARN that get published on weekly basis.  Hey, folks bitch and moan now when their paper is late – imagine what will happen when things “slow down”?  Yes, I think the US Post Office will be putting some more nails in the coffins of magazines and papers due to the lateness of deliveries – along with most info almost instantly available for us on the Internet.






So how do you fail a majority of the time in your “job” and still make a million bucks or more a year?  Well, per a small article in my local paper this past Tuesday, the average salary of a major league baseball player is now $3,095,183.00.  That’s for 913 players.  Oh, and the New York Yankees topped the list with a payroll of $6.54 million.  Now when I say “fail”, I’m looking at batting averages.  You’re considered to be a great player if you only get one hit for every three times up – an average of .333.  As far as I’m concerned, the pay for athletes has really gotten out of hand, and way overboard.  I’d venture to say that, as an example, the Yankees might have a difficult time paying their highest paid player his salary for one game if it depended on the fans in the stands.  Oh, right, ticket prices are also rising, right?  No more “common folk” able to even afford going to a game, today.

Think about this:  Who could very well be responsible for the high salaries in professional sports today?  Any idea?  I have.  For those of you old enough - think back to “Broadway Joe” Namath and the New York Jets.  Way back when, it was big news when the Jets signed Joe to a contract at the unheard of amount of $400,000.00 a year.  Uh huh!  And one other thing – why don’t the contracts between the teams and players have some kind of “performance clauses” in them?  And once a player signs a contract, why is it possible to not fulfill that contract, but to re-negotiate for a different one?







For sure, it ain't easy for a guy named Suh (Remember the Johnny Cash tune “A Boy Named Sue”?)


If you recall, Suh was suspended for two games after stomping on an opponents arm while the player was on the ground.  Then he had a car accident.  Now, more about that accident has come up:


Passengers: Ndamukong Suh lied about car accident:


In part:


"According to one of the passengers in Ndamukong Suh's(notes) car when the Detroit Lions defensive tackle hit a tree early Saturday morning in Portland, Ore., Suh lied to the police about the reason for the accident, the number of passengers in the car and the extent of the injuries one of them suffered."


More on this can be seen here:









Maybe it’s me and the fact that I’m getting older and more cranky, but ya know what bothers me – watching sports announcers on TV when there are a few of them at the station, and when they talk to one another, they look at the TV camera rather than who they’re talking to.  Yeah, I know, I’m weird.





When is news really “New”?


As you probably know, I usually post news items that I find on Yahoo! in my columns, on occasion.  So, one has to wonder - how authentic are the news items on Yahoo?  Case in point:  While checking out Yahoo! News on Tuesday evening, I came across an item about a house that burned down in the state of Tennessee. 


The headline:  Tennessee family home burns while firefighters watch. 


Guess what, folks!  There was a similar storyon Yahoo! News - maybe a year or so ago.  And, I was not the only one to comment about it really being OLD news in the comment section, either.  So, why was something that is/was so old being re-released again on Yahoo! News?  Heck, if my memory serves me right, I even made mention of this exact same news item in a column of mine - way back when.  But, guess what?  This is actually the SECOND time this has happened in the same town/county.


In part:

"A Tennessee couple helplessly watched their home burn to the ground, along with all of their possessions, because they did not pay a $75 annual fee to the local fire department.


Vicky Bell told the NBC affiliate WPSD-TV that she called 911 when her mobile home in Obion County caught fire. Firefighters arrived on the scene but as the fire raged, they simply stood by and did nothing. "In an emergency, the first thing you think of, 'Call 9-1-1," homeowner Bell said. However, Bell and her husband were forced to walk into the burning home in an attempt to retrieve their own belongings. "You could look out my mom's trailer and see the trucks sitting at a distance," Bell said. "We just wished we could've gotten more out."


South Fulton Mayor David Crocker defended the fire department, saying that if firefighters responded to non-subscribers, no one would have an incentive to pay the fee. Residents in the city of South Fulton receive the service automatically, but it is not extended to those living in the greater county-wide area.


"There's no way to go to every fire and keep up the manpower, the equipment, and just the funding for the fire department," Crocker said."


More on this news item can be found if you go here:



If you check it out, read some of the comments that are under the article.


So, me being inquisitive, “Googled” the Tennessee house fire and – yup, it was in the news on October 4, 2010.

Check out the original article about ANOTHER residence that burned down, due to the family not paying that $75.00 yearly fee.  As one posted in the linked to article above, the family didn’t spend the $6.75/month for the cost, yet probably spend more a day or a week on other stuff.








Back to Kurt Busch – found on Jayski’s website:


Kurt Busch Statement:

Kurt Busch issued the following statement Monday regarding the news that the 24-time NASCAR Sprint Cup winner and 2004 Cup champion had reached a mutual agreement with Penske Racing to leave the team: "I am grateful to Penske Racing for six very productive years. Together we won a lot of races  16 in all. I'm proud that we won on a variety of tracks and this past season reached Victory Lane four times. Another highlight was pushing my teammate to a Daytona 500 win. I also appreciate the lasting friendships I've made while working with our great sponsors through the years, including Miller Lite, Shell and Dodge.
Coming to a mutual agreement to go our separate ways is a positive step for me. Over the Thanksgiving holiday I took time to reflect on what is most important to me and realized I need to find a way to put the fun back into racing. It's time for a fresh start. Leaving a great organization and a lucrative contract is not easy, but it allows me to take a deep breath and work on things that can make me a better driver and a better person.
I recognize the passion and emotion that have helped me succeed on the track need to be better channeled off the track. The past few months I began working with a sports psychologist to help me better deal with my emotions, especially following moments of frustration during competition. I never want to take for granted that it's a privilege to earn a living as a NASCAR driver. As I begin this new chapter in my career, I'm excited about the future and committed to making the changes necessary for me to enjoy racing again, to compete for championships and to better represent NASCAR, my sponsors, my team and my fans. I want to personally thank Roger Penske for the opportunity he gave me and for his friendship, which will continue long into the future."(KurtBusch.com)
More quotes by Busch at the Associated Press and SPEED.(12-6-2011)

Note:  From above:  “The past few months I began working with a sports psychologist to help me better deal with my emotions, especially following moments of frustration during competition.”

Hmmm, doesn’t seem to have helped any, does it – past few months????





Chili Bowl on TV:


As of now, it looks like it will NOT be telecast on a tape delay on SPEED TV.  Kinda figures, I guess?  I've seen postings on the Internet and also on Facebook that the telecast will be tape delayed on CBS and then on CBS Sports. 


Asking about CBS Sports on the Track Forum, I was led to this link:





What you have to do is type in your Zip Code and who is your cable provider.  I'm supposed to get CBS Sports on channels 457 & 467.  Uh huh!  So I checked and yes, we get 457, as of now.  Cool!







How I wish that both Jim Clark and Dan Gurney had taken some laps in this “Champ” car back in 1963!









December 7, 1941


The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.  Here is a link to what our President, Franklin D. Roosevelt had to say about it on December 8, 1941.





And a video of the speech – although the President is not shown giving the actual speech, every word can be heard and photos show some of the attacks damage.









Are you interested in Indycar racing?  If so, here are some of the threads that are now on the Track Forum:


If the 1.5 milers go away, what about.....2 pages, so far.


Listening to Marshal Pruett on 1070 - I have no idea who he is, but it's up to 7 pages, so far.


If the DW12 remains slow....The DW12 is what they're calling the new Indy Car - named after Dan Wheldon. - 2 pages so far


The Mickyard revisited...What?  Might Indy racing return to Orlando? - 2 pages, so far.


Had it with the oval moaning... (and the moaning about the moaning) - lack of oval tracks - only one page so far.


Kurt Busch to RLLR? - That's the Rahal Indy Car team - 3 pages so far


All the above, and many, many more topics can be read, if you have the time, if you go here:









Coming up:

Indoor Go-Kart racing in Syracuse:

Yup, almost that time again – December 10, 2011.  Back when my grandson was racing Karts, we made a few of those shows.  The racing was top notch; the building the track is in was both heated and ventilated.  The only downfall was the possible weather conditions – you know – Syracuse, N.Y. early December – Mother Nature.  However bad the weather was or had been, they always got their racing in.

Info on this event can be found if you go here, below, and check out the upper left hand corner for additional links.




The AARN's annual Motor Sports show - January 20th, 21st & 22nd, 2012.

Greater Philadelphia  Expo Center At Oaks 100 Station Ave. Oaks, PA 19456

For GPS use this address:

1601 Egypt Road  Phoenixville, PA 19460 (Upper Providence Township)




Atlantic City Indoor Race 2012

February 3rd & 4th, 2012

Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall  2301 Boardwalk  Atlantic City, NJ 08401




West Springfield, MA Motorsports Expo


Are you aware that the West Springfield, MA Motorsports Expo is returning?  It will be held at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA on March 2, 3 & 4 in 2012.

It’s website:  www.needforspeedexpo.com





Orange County Fair Speedway Banquet from their website:


2011 OCFS Awards Banquet - January 7th, 2012

Posted: November 21st, 2011


Saturday, January 7th @ 5:30pm

@ Kuhls Highland House


For ticket info contact Bob Perran at 352-503-3847




Accord Speedway Banquet info from their website:



In an effort to be sensitive to the economic environment a decision has been made to change the venue for the 2011 banquet.
The 2011 Award Banquet is being held at the Brookside Manor in Middletown NY on March 3, 2012. A buffet dinner with cash bar for $40 per person. It will be open seating-with reservations for tables of 10. The top 10 drivers in each Friday division will be honored as well as Mid Week Madness drivers. As per our rules, drivers must be an Accord Speedway member and must attend the banquet to receive their award.






Found on Facebook (and also seen on fence between full and half covered stands at OCFS during ESW):


‎2nd annual OCFS Motorsports Show March 30th - April 1st. Entry forms and vendor applications available soon. Any questions feel free to ask here or call the speedway office at 845-342-2573 or ocfsmotorsportsshow@yahoo.com


Note:  The above was posted on Facebook by Ken Reed.





Found on Jayski’s website:

The winners of the 2011 ‘Stewie Awards’ are:

Best Original Drama – For the year’s most dramatic moment or sequence.

Tony Stewart overcomes pit road issues, debris damage, a lengthy red flag and down-to-the-wire challenge from Carl Edwards to win season finale Ford 400 at Homestead. Smoke has to climb his way to the front of the field twice and he and Edwards trade lead several times. The 1-2 finish leaves them tied in points but tie-breaker, and championship, goes to Stewart.


Bonehead Move of the Year Award

JJ Yeley pushes Matt Kenseth when #17 runs out of gas at Geico 400 at Chicagoland but, since it is illegal to receive assistance on final lap, Kenseth is dropped from 8th to 21st place finish.

“Feels Like The First Time” Award – For the most notable “first” of the NASCAR season.

On the day after his 20th birthday, Trevor Bayne wins Daytona 500 in his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start.

Best Vocal Performance – For the year’s most memorable quote. (Visit www.siriusxm.com/stewieawards to hear audio.)

Pastor Joe Nelms of Family Baptist Church in Lebanon, TN, channels his inner “Ricky Bobby” during the pre-race invocation for the Federated Auto Parts 300 at Nashville.

Best “Driver2Crew Chatter” – (Visit www.siriusxm.com/stewieawards to hear audio.)

The #88 crew helps Dale Earnhardt Jr. mark his pit stall in the STP 400 at Kansas.

Best Original Comedy – For the year’s most entertaining “incident.”

Thinking Greg Biffle was racing dirty in the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen, Boris Said requests a “meeting” with “The Biff” after the race. In the ensuing encounter, Biffle takes a swing at Said and Said answers back with verbal TKO.

Hal Needham Award (Best Stunt Sequence) – For the year’s most remarkable crash.

At the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen, David Ragan hits wall at 100 mph. Ragan then hits David Reutimann who cartwheels into Turn 2 fence. Everyone emerges safely.

‘Boys, Have At It” Award – For the year’s most memorable on- or off-track bumping and/or dumping.

Nearing the checkered flag in the Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega, Jeff Gordon gets dumped by his tandem draft partner, Trevor Bayne, for another Ford driver. Gordon goes from being a contender to win to finishing 27th, 12 spots behind Bayne.

The Social Stewie Award – For the year’s best social media quote.

Matt Kenseth via Twitter after his wife’s “Better Half Dash” practice injury. @matt_kenseth17: “Katie is feeling pretty good today, and I got to learn something new…how to put a bra ON!”

Stewie” Lifetime Achievement Award – Chosen by Stewart and Yocum, this award was presented to Leonard Wood.



Sprint - NASCAR extend partnership:


Transcript: Sprint CEO Dan Hesse from 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards Banquet:
Good evening. I agree with many of you. This was the best Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup ever. Congratulations to all of the drivers and teams who contributed to the excitement of this amazing series. Your passion for the sport and commitment to excellence continue to "wow" us.
I am privileged to be among those recognizing Tony Stewart and the number 14 team for their third NASCAR Sprint Cup championship  joining the ranks of legendary drivers Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson and Lee Petty, who all hold three Cup titles. Tony's down-to-the-last second duel with Carl Edwards was a stunning example of the competitive spirit that drives the sport and why we love NASCAR.
Tony would not be here without the exceptional support of the Stewart-Haas Racing organization, including co-owner, Gene Haas, crew chief Darian Grubb, and other number 14 crew members here tonight.
Tony, on behalf of Sprint, I want to thank you for everything you do to support our brand. You deliver value to your sponsors, which is evident in the great relationships you and your team share with Chevy, Office Depot and Mobil 1. Of course, tonight would not be possible without the resolute leadership of NASCAR. They have made a number of bold changes over the past 18 months, from adding Chase "wild card" spots, to revising the points system, to allowing NASCAR drivers to BE NASCAR drivers. This leadership creates an environment that allows the best drivers, crew members and engineers in the world to deliver racing excitement that captivates us every week.

So, I could not be more pleased than to announce and celebrate tonight, that Sprint and NASCAR have agreed to an extension of our relationship, ensuring that through at least the 2016 season, every Champion crowned will be a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion.

I would like to wish everyone in the audience, and watching at home, a very happy and safe holiday season. And Tony, I have a gift for you  one that should make your holiday brighter. On behalf of everyone at Sprint, I am proud to present this check for $5.8 million to our 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion, Tony Stewart.(NASCAR)




NASCAR and Sprint (NYSE:S) have signed a multiyear agreement for Sprint to remain the entitlement partner of the sport's premier series. The extension keeps NASCAR and Sprint as partners through 2016, and ensures that the No. 1 finisher in the sport's top series will be a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series" champion. The agreement coincides with NASCAR's Five-Year Industry Action Plan, which is designed to help grow the sport and reach new audiences.
"Sprint has been very successful in using our sport as a platform to enhance its brand and drive their business," said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. "They have been a fantastic partner and we are immensely pleased to continue with Sprint as the entitlement partner for our premier series. This new agreement aligns perfectly with our aggressive five-year plan, which is laser-focused on continuing to improve our product, keep our existing fans engaged, and reach new fans."
"NASCAR fans are great customers who reward us with their loyalty," said Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO. "We're very pleased to continue to have our brand associated with the most competitive and exciting form of racing in the world."
Since Sprint became the title sponsor in February 2004, it has activated the sponsorship in a number of creative and innovative ways, including the introduction of NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile, the exclusive application that allows millions of Sprint customers to keep up with every lap of NASCAR action on their wireless devices each year; the Sprint Experience mobile marketing display, which entertains more than 500,000 fans each year at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events across the country; and the introduction of Miss Sprint Cup, a fan favorite who boasts more than 1.2 million followers in the social media space on Facebook and Twitter.(Sprint)(12-3-2011)



Andy Lally honored as Sprint Cup rookie of the year:

Andy Lally was in an odd position this year as the only Sprint Cup driver eligible for NASCAR's annual rookie of the year award. Lally had a clear path to the title, yet that, he said, brought more pressure than if he had competed against other drivers. "It has been kind of an odd pressure this year of being the only rookie eligible for this deal," said Lally, who was honored Thursday as the Sunoco Rookie of the Year for the Sprint Cup Series. "I think it was actually more pressure doing it this way than having to beat two or three other guys because I knew we didn't have much to compare to and we were going to be compared to the other 42 superstars that compete week in and week out and trying to go for those top-10s, which were so far away, and try to qualify as good as we could every weekend so I could try to earn the respect of the 12 guys in this room and the others guys. [That] was a monumental task and something that I really wanted to achieve so I could earn their respect." Lally, who was driving for TRG Motorsports, didn't score any top-10 finishes and finished in the top 20 only once. He made 30 of the 36 races, failing to qualify three times and wasn't entered in three races. Lally, a three-time Grand-Am Rolex Series champion and former Nationwide and Truck Series driver, got his first opportunity to run in the Sprint Cup Series this year.(SceneDaily)(12-3-2011)

Note:  I could swear that I had read that Lally was leaving NASCAR and going back to Sports Car racing.


Top-12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Drivers Hold Nothing Back:

The 2011 top-12 NASCAR Sprint Cup SeriesTM drivers held nothing back today at the third annual, fan-favorite NASCAR After The Lap held at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas and sponsored by Coca-Cola and Ford. ESPN pit road reporter Jamie Little hosted the event along with co-host Miss Sprint Cup Monica Palumbo. A list of the top-10 unfiltered, driver "tell-all" comments are outlined below.
Top-10 List

Number 1
· Ryan Newman was asked if he purchased his boss (2011 Champion Tony Stewart) anything special after winning the championship.
· "No!"
· Jamie Little followed with "Ryan, you told me earlier there was a waxing appointment but that no appointment was long enough to cover Tony's needs."

Number 2
· Question for Kyle Busch: "Kyle, we hear your wife cooked her first Thanksgiving this year&How did she do?"
· Response: "It was good. That's what she said."

Number 3
· Comment from host Little: "There are a lot of single women in Vegas."
· Response from Stewart: "Why do you think I'm just happy to be here?"

Number 4
After comments about brothers Kurt and Kyle Busch dressing alike and being confused for each other, Kurt Busch responded:
· "When the fine comes in the mail, they know how to spell our name right."

Number 5
· Question: What if Delana Harvick (wife of Kevin Harvick) showed up (to the race) without a fire suit?
· Special guest and Blue Comedy Tour comedian Bill Engvall responded: "We talking no suit at all? Cus, that would be awesome."
· Harvick followed with "If she walked out without a fire suit and I missed the race, you'd know why."
· "At least for the first 10 laps&" said Matt Kenseth.

Number 6
· Earnhardt Jr. was asked about his future wife&
· "Yea, she's real," said Earnhardt Jr.
· "Not real's a blow-up doll." Engvall
· Little asked if she was a blonde.
· "She's like Snooki ... he hasn't noticed," said Gordon. Earlier in the show, Stewart had commented that "For the first three episodes, I didn't even know Snooki had a head."

Number 7
· Stewart was positioned in a chair next to Little who was standing nearby. "Why do you think she sat me next to her? Always sit the fat kid next to the tall girl."

Number 8
· Kurt Busch noted that he was "camera shy. I think the best form of communication is cussing."

Number 9
· "I felt uncomfortable today for the first time in a long time because I was changing next to Carl." Stewart
· "You'll always have me beat with that back hair." Carl Edwards
· "Hey, I'm out here working hard to represent all fat kids." Stewart

Number 10
· Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Gordon break dancing for fans at NASCAR After The Lap.



Ragan in line for the #22 ride:

Been told Ragan has been released by Roush Fenway Racing and Ford to pursue other oppurtunities. Supposedly he was in line to run the #51 Chevy in 2012, but now hearing he will sign a one-year deal to run the #22 Dodge for Penske.(12-5-2011)


David Ragan was given his release from Roush Fenway Racing on Monday, opening the door for him to possibly replace 2004 Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch at Penske Racing. Ragan said he asked for his release Monday morning, after learning that Busch and Penske Racing had mutually agreed to split. He then talked to Penske Racing president Tim Cindric to express an interest in the vacant #22 ride. "I want to be in consideration for that car," Ragan said. Ragan said he had been disappointed when UPS informed Roush Fenway during the season that it was not returning to the #6 car as a sponsor. "Sometimes crazy things happen for a reason. I feel I've got a good shot to have a sit-down talk with the guys at Penske," Ragan said. "We haven't discussed that, but I have reached out to them and hopefully later on in the next week or two we'll have more to talk about." Although Ragan didn't have a Sprint Cup Series ride with RFR for 2012, he remained under contract until he was given the release. The move now clears him to pursue the Penske opening, as well as other potential vacancies in Sprint Cup and the Nationwide Series.
Penske Racing executive Bud Denker acknowledged that Ragan "and others" would be considered to replace Busch, whose behavior on and off the track led to the split. He did not give a timetable, but indicated it could be several weeks, as the process has just begun and sponsor Shell Pennzoil will have to approve the winning candidate. Others drivers who might be considered include David Reutimann and Brian Vickers. Reutimann was released from Michael Waltrip Racing, while Vickers was a part of Red Bull Racing, which is folding its NASCAR operation. Denker said that Sam Hornish Jr. will not be under consideration, as Penske wants the former IndyCar Series champion to focus on a full Nationwide Series run in 2012 before returning to Cup. Hornish drove full time in the Cup Series for Penske from 2008 through 2010, recording only two top-5 finishes and never finishing better than 28th in points.(ESPN)(12-5-2011)



Ford out as Hamlin's crew chief; Grubb in?:

Mike Ford was let go Tuesday as crew chief for #11-Denny Hamlin after a disappointing season in which the duo failed to contend for the championship. "I'm kind of relieved," Ford told The Associated Press. "It had been dragging on for so long, I'm actually relieved there's finally a resolution." Joe Gibbs Racing team owner Joe Gibbs met with championship-winning crew chief Darian Grubb [formerly of #14-Tony Stewart] last week in Las Vegas, the day after the season-ending awards ceremony. Grubb has also toured the JGR facility. Ford said JGR officials made no mention of Grubb in telling Ford he was out late Tuesday.(Associated Press), no word on Mike Ford's plans.(12-6-2011)


Joe Gibbs Racing announces that Mike Ford has been released from his duties as crew chief for its #11 Sprint Cup Series team. "Everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing appreciates what Mike has done for our organization over the past six seasons as crew chief with our #11 team," said Joe Gibbs, owner of Joe Gibbs Racing. "We've decided it was best to make a change with the team now to allow Mike the opportunity to pursue other opportunities." There will be no immediate announcement regarding a replacement crew chief for the #11 team.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(12-6-2011)


Darian Grubb says he's close to announcing his plans for 2012. The 2011 Sprint Cup championship crew chief attended Tuesday night's Stocks-for-Tots fundraising event at the NASCAR Technical Institute and said he hopes to reveal his plans by the end of the week. "I'm hoping to get it all ironed out by the end of the week because we have to get things rolling for 2012, and get things going no matter where I go." With today's announcement of the departure of Mike Ford as crew chief for the No. 11 FedEx Toyota and driver Denny Hamlin, the open slot at Joe Gibbs Racing is one possibility for Grubb. "It's all still rumors at this point," Grubb said. "I've talked to a lot of people and I have narrowed down my list a little bit and I still haven't made any decisions myself. Hopefully, by the end of the week we'll have some decisions made and get some announcements out there."(Motor Racing Network)(12-7-2011)


Kenseth expects team to find sponsorship:

Even in a tough economy, the fact that Matt Kenseth is riding into the off-season with a blank quarter-panel is a mystery. With Crown Royal's last sponsorship dollars having been poured from the glass, Kenseth's #17 Roush Fenway Racing team is looking toward 2012 from a rather lonely position. The team does not have a major sponsor for next season, and time is rapidly running out. Kenseth said he remains hopeful that his Fords will carry major sponsorship when the team reports to Daytona International Speedway in February. "I think they'll find something," he said. "I think we have too competitive of a team to be unsponsored. From my standpoint, it's frustrating because I don't know how the whole process works. But, from a driver standpoint, if you perform well and don't act like an idiot too much, things are good.(SPEED)(12-7-2011)


Quite a bit of interesting reading and thoughts can be found if you click on the link, below:



Might you be interested in who might be driving for whom in NASCAR Cup racing in 2012?  How about the 2012 “Silly Season”?






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 December 9th to December 15th.




Ed Elisian ... Born ... Ed was an American racing driver, mainly competing in the National Championship. He died in a crash at the Milwaukee Mile. In the 1955 Indianapolis 500, he stopped his car in a futile attempt to help Bill Vukovich when Vukovich's car crashed and burned during the race. He is the only driver in Indy 500 history to stop a non-damaged car to help another driver. He received a sportsmanship award for his efforts, as well as the wrath of the car owner. In the 1958 Indianapolis 500, Dick Rathmann and Elisian started the race on the front row, with Jimmy Reece on the outside of the front row. Elisian spun in turn 3 of the first lap, and collected Rathmann, sending them both into the wall, and starting a 15-car pileup. According to AJ Foyt, Pat O'Connor's car hit Reece's car, sailed fifty feet in the air, landed upside down, and burst into flames. Although medical officials said that O'Connor was probably killed instantly from a fractured skull, he was incinerated in the accident, in full view of fans and drivers. Widely blamed for the accident, Elisian was suspended by USAC for the accident (reinstated a few days later), and was shunned by the racing community. Rumors spread that Elisian tried to lead the first lap in order to pay gambling debts owed to a syndicate. In June, 1958, Elisian was involved in a multi-car sprint car crash at New Bremen Speedway in Saint Marys, Ohio, which claimed the life of Jim Davis. While absolved of blame in the incident, Elisian's unpopularity with drivers deepened. In August 1959, Elisian entered the USAC Indy car 200 mile race at the "Milwaukee Mile," known in those days as Wisconsin State Fair Park. Driving a metallic green Watson-style roadster owned by Ernie Ruiz, he crashed on lap 29 when he spun in oil from AJ Foyt's engine. The car hit the wall, rupturing the fuel cell, and rolled over. Some sixty gallons of fuel caught fire, and took over 9 minutes to extinguish. Allegedly, the other drivers failed to slow down in order to prevent fire fighters' effort to extinguish the flames, but the red flag was not displayed until the fire was well underway. Elisian burned to death in the flames.


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


Sheldon Kinser... Born ... He was the 1977, 81, 82 United States Auto Club (USAC) National Sprint Car Champion. Winner of the prestigious Tony Hulman Classic at the Terre Haute Action Track, 1981. Six time starter of the Indianapolis 500, 1975-79, 81. Best finish, 6th, 1981. Sheldon had never driven a rear engine car or raced on pavement until he quailified 26th and finished 12th in the 1975 Indianapolis 500. Quite an accomplishment for a rookie driver. Son-in-law of the late Bobby Grim, 1959 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year. Nephew of former sprint car driver Bobby Kinser and cousin of World of Outlaw drivers Steve, Kelly, Randy and Mark Kinser. He was inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1992.


P.J. Chesson... Born ... An American race car driver who most recently competed in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series.


Larry McCoy... Died ... Larry was born in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, McCoy died by suicide in 1979. He made his Midget debut in 1966 with ARDC. Larry toured USAC with the Midgets and Sprints. He drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1972-1976 seasons with 24 starts, including the 1975 and 1976 Indianapolis 500. His best finish was 12th place at Pocono Raceway in 1974.


Colby Scroggin ... Died ... AAA/USAC driver 1954 to 1963


Dave Steele won the Sprint Car race over Tony Elliott, Troy DeCaire, Jason Blonde and Mike Ling at the DeSoto Super Speedway, Bradenton, FL

Note:  That was a 400 lap Sprint Car race.  You had to pit once prior to lap 200 and then once after lap 200.  From what I can recall, due to problems just prior to the event being run, one of the organizations pulled out of the event, leaving basically only the Sprint Car group that ran at the track, with wings, to run in the race, minus their wings.  It was just prior to this event when I first met future Motor Sports writer Richard Golardi, who wanted to tag along with me and see if he could learn anything.  My daughter, Sarah, was also with me.  If things work out right, there are a few photos at the end of this column, with Sarah and Dave Steele, and two other drivers.




Johnnie Parsons won the AAA sanctioned Darlington 200 on the 1.25 Mile Paved Oval Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina. Bill Schindler was second followed by Henry Banks, Cecil Green and Duke Dinsmore.




Bill Holland won the AAA Eastern Sprint Car race at the Plant Field,Tampa, FL.




Rex Easton ... Born ... Rex competed in some sprint cars, but was mainly a midget chauffeur who was always up front in competition. His career was evenly divided between the AAA and USAC years. In USAC competition, he won 21 features which places him 21st in the all- time USAC feature wins ranking. Rex Easton won the 1954 Midwest Midget title and just missed taking the National Championship that year, losing out to Jack Turner in the last race of the season. Rex placed second in the 1957 and 1958 USAC National Midget Division points races and won the USAC Midwest Championship in 1958.


Wally Dallenbach ... Born ... East Brunswick New Jersey Modified Stock Car driver who went on to drive URC and USAC Sprint cars and 180 USAC/CART Indy Car races between 1965 and 1979, winning five times. He is the father of NASCAR driver and commentator, Wally Dallenbach, Jr.


Emerson Fittipaldi ... Born ... A highly successful Brazilian race driver, winning world championships in both Formula One and CART, and the Indianapolis 500 twice.




Bill Vukovich ... Born ... Before he began Indy racing, Vukovich drove midget cars for the Edelbrock dirt track racing team. He raced on the West Coast of the United States in the URA, and won the series' 1945 and 1946 midget car championships. Vukovich won the 1948 Turkey Night Grand Prix at Gilmore Stadium, and six of the last eight races at the stadium track before it was closed for good. He won the 1950 AAA National Midget championship. In 1952, his sophomore year in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's 500-Mile Race, he quickly moved up from his starting position in the middle of the third row to take the lead, and led 150 laps in dominant fashion before suffering steering failure on the 192nd of the 200 laps. He returned to win the race in consecutive years, 1953 and 1954. He led an astounding 71.7% of laps that he drove in competition at the track, and remains the only driver ever to lead the most laps in the race three consecutive years. He was killed in a chain-reaction crash while holding a 17-second lead on the 57th lap of the 1955 Indianapolis 500. Vukovich was exiting the second turn, trailing three slower cars — driven by Rodger Ward, Al Keller, and Johnny Boyd — when Ward's car swerved as the result of a strong gust of wind. Keller, swerving into the infield to avoid Ward, lost control and slid back onto the track, striking Boyd's car and pushing it into Vukovich's oncoming path. Vukovich's car struck Boyd's, became airborne, and landed upside down after going over the outside backstretch retaining wall and somersaulting several times, killing him. His son, Bill Vukovich II, and his grandson, Bill Vukovich III, also competed in the Indianapolis 500, with Vukovich II taking second in 1973, and Vukovich III being named Rookie of the Year in 1988. Vukovich was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1991, the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1992 and the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1990.

Note:  There is quite a large website devoted to Vuky and the day he died.  I must warn you, however, in the photos, there are some rather graphic ones, maybe not suitable for little ones.

It can be seen if you go here:





Mike Mosley... Born ... USAC/CART driver from 1967 to 1983. Mosley died in an off-road vehicle accident.


Bobby Santos III , in the Carl Edwards # 99, won the PRA / Champ Car race over Bobby East, Teddy Beach, Chet Fillip, and Dave Steele at the USA International Speedway,Lakeland, FL.

Note # 1:  I was there that day, too, along with my daughter Sarah and future Motor Sports writer Richard Golardi.  Check at the end of the column for a photo of Sarah and Bobby.

Note # 2:  It was during this race when Johnny Heydenreich had contact with another car and hit the concrete wall backwards, resulting in quite a fire.  A video of that is in the Video section in this weeks column.  Also, a photo of Sarah and Johnny, at the end of the column.






Hershel McGriff... Born ... Hershel McGriff's racing career spans four decades of NASCAR competition -- from the rough-and-tumble 1950s to the finely tuned 1990s. In 1954, McGriff made the most of his opportunity to drive car owner Frank Christian's Oldsmobile and finished sixth in the NASCAR Cup Series points race despite missing the first 10 events of the year. McGriff won four of the last nine races in 1954, including back-to-back wins at Macon, Ga., and Charlotte, N.C., to account for all his career wins.


Denny Zimmerman ... Born ... Denny began racing at the Riverside Park Speedway in 1957, driving in the Sportsman Stock Car Division. From sportsman cars, Zimmerman moved on to sprint cars and then tried his hand running at Indianapolis. Denny owns NASCAR State Sportsman Championships in both Maryland and Virginia. He began running sprints in 1966 under the sanction of the United Racing Club, where he was named Rookie of the Year. Zimmerman later competed in USAC, and, in 1969, attempted to qualify for the Indy 500. The following year, he passed his driver’s test but again didn’t qualify. In 1971, he qualified, finishing eighth and winning the Indy 500 Rookie of the year honors. In 1972, Denny again made the field for the Indy 500, running as high as tenth before a blown engine took him out of competition.  Believe it or not, Denny was still competing this past season with the USAC Dirt Midgets here in the Northeast.


Alan Kulwicki... Born ... NASCAR Winston Cup racecar driver. He arrived at the highest and most expensive level of stock car racing in the United States, with only a borrowed pickup truck, a race car, no sponsor, and a limited budget. Kulwicki was a perfectionist and liked doing things his way: his scientific methodology approach to NASCAR racing inspired the way teams are currently run.He is known for driving for his own race team during most of his NASCAR career. Kulwicki was the 1986 NASCAR Rookie of the Year, and won the 1992 Winston Cup by the closest margin in NASCAR history. In 1998 he was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers] and he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2002. Kulwicki's nicknames were "Special K" and the "Polish Prince". Kulwicki died in a plane crash on April 1, 1993 at age 38. He was returning in a Hooters corporate plane from an appearance at the Knoxville Hooters prior to the spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway.




Walt Ader ... Born ... AAA driver from the 1940's to the early 50's.


Clint Brawner ... Born ... Indy Car mechanic. His skill, work ethic and focus led to 51 Indy car victories and four poles in the Indy 500.


Bill Mackey ... Born ... AAA driver from 1949 to 1951. His name at birth was William Gretsinger, Jr. He was killed in a sprint car crash at Winchester Speedway.


Ralph Pratt... Died ... AAA driver from the 1940's and 50's. Inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1998.






News from the AARN:



From their November 29th issue:


There were a ton of articles and reports from the Turkey Derby race at Wall Stadium.


Sam Hafertepe, Jr. will be in the Zemko # 1 Sprint Car in 2012.


Raceway Park in Clearfield, Pa is now paved, again.


The “Rumble in Fort Wayne” is scheduled for December 30th and 31st.  Midgets, Outlaw Modified Midgets (600 cc Sidewinders), Karts and ¼ Midgets will be in action.


Doug Wolfgang, Brad Doty and Dave Argabright are three well-known Motor Sports people that will be at the AARN’s annual Motor Sports Show.


ARCA will be returning to New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 2012, with them racing at the New Jersey Motor Sports Park on July 1st, and at Pocono on June 9th and August 4th.  And they will also have their usual two races on the mile dirt tracks, too, with Springfield, Ill on August 19th and DuQuoin Ill on September 3rd – Labor Day.


Lotus Twin Turbo V-6 engines will power the Indycar race teams of Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, Bryan Herta Auto Sport and HVM Racing.  Other engines for next year – Chevrolet and Honda.  Nothing new on Ford, yet.


Lenny Sammons:

In his column, Mr. Sammons talks about how Matt Hirschman does not race like Kimmy Blewett (move ‘em out of the way, so to say), but is willing to settle for 2nd placel.  Lenny is wondering, as I imagine quite a few others are, as to why only 12 Dirt Modifieds showed up to race at the Turkey Derby at Wall Stadium.  Some of those “Modifieds” were actually Sportsman cars, I believe.  When the NASCAR Modifieds race at Loudon in 2012, they will have to have quick change rears in the cars. – Yeah, another expense for the teams, I guess?


Ernie Saxton:

Mr. Saxton was wondering, as are many others, today, did Steve Addington leave as Kurt Busch’s crew chief because of Kurt Busch?  TV viewer ship is up for NASCAR Cup racing, which in a way, is good, but on the other hand, more and more empty seats are seen at the tracks. The Philadelphia Daily News Sports Week Magazine – on Saturdays, covers the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and 76ers.  The day before the Cup race at Homestead (the last race of the year), not one word about the race was to be seen – not even a mention of the telecast in their sports TV schedule.  BUT – there was mention of “Beer Pong” in Atlantic City.  Mr. Saxton goes on to say that Bill Fleischman is an excellent Motor Sports writer that writes for that Philly paper, and suggests that people contact the papers editor, Larry Platt at:

Lplatt@phillynews.com to maybe have the paper put more in about auto racing.

Note:  I still can’t figure out why playing Poker is considered a sport, and gets TV time as such.HH





Earl Krause:

Mr. Krause makes mention that Cliff Krause – who I believe is no relation to Earl, now has a three year lease to promote and manage racing at Wall Stadium.


Brett Deyo:

Brett makes mention that Kenny Brightbill is looking for a ride for 2012.  As you might have heard, all drivers at the New Egypt Speedway, in 2012, will be able to race free – after they purchase a $100.00 pit license (for insurance).

The $10,000.00 to win “Clash at the Can” race at Penn Can, will be on June 12th, next year.  It’s a 60-lap race for both Big and Small Block Modifieds.  It will be a RoC sanctioned race, and to take the green a driver will get $300.00.


Todd Heintzleman:

The rookie of the year in 410 Sprint Cars at Williams Grove is 21 year old Nicole Bower.


Ron Mentus:

Mr. Mentus makes mention of how so many professional media contacts do not show the common courtesy to respond to legitimate inquiries.

Note:  I’m not sure if it was a “typo” or not, but in his column, there is no way to contact Mr. Mentus.  Just saying…………..


Kevin Rice:

Mr. Rice is letting us know of some changes for Loudon in 2012.  Gone are the K&N Pre Series East race in July and the NASCAR Trucks in September.  Loudon saw fit to not have an Indycar race in 2012, which means that ACT and the Whelen Modified Tour races are gone, too.  There will be a shorter schedule at Loudon, with no qualifying on Thursday for the Modifieds.  They’ll qualify on Friday.

Note:  As many of you know, I’ve attended a couple of the Vintage Race Car Meets at Loudon.  My daughter and I are planning on doing so again, this coming May.  That is IF they even have that show.  I’m not too fond of what I’ve been hearing lately about this show, that’s for sure.  It seems that the expense is maybe getting somewhat out of hand, is the best I can say, for now.


J R Kennereup:

J R is mentioning some of the changes for the NY/PA area in 2012 – like Thunder Mountain going back to Friday racing, no Late Models at Penn Can and new clay being put down at I-88.


Gary London:

Continues his coverage of the NASCAR “Cup” races here in the Northeast, covering the years 1956 – 1964.


John Snyder:

Mr. Snyder makes mention of there not being very many problems with Big Block Modified racing today, whereas there have been a ton of them in the Small Block class.  Mr. Snyder does have some suggestions – such as:

360 Cu in engines with any heads and intake manifolds.  Flat Tappet cams, dry sump only oil systems, 4 barrel carbs, basic MSD ignition, gas or alcohol, with no time out for re-fueling and mufflers that meet the prescribed decibel levels.

Note:  Sounds pretty good to me.  I’d also like to see some open tire rules, too.


Ken Kuhlman:

Ken wrote about Flemington and the 70’s.  There were 283 Modified features and 37 drivers won them.  Paul Kuhl came on the scene in 1971.

In 1970, Dick Havens had the most wins with 8.  In 1971, the Tri State Race Car Owners Organization came about, and caused some problems for a while.  Mr. Kuhl and Don Jones, the East Windsor owner/promoter worked together against the Tri State group.  Sammy Beavers won 12 races at Flemington in 1971.  In 1972, Stan Ploski won 11, in 1973, Ploski won 10, in 1974, Gerald Chamberlain won 12, Glen Fitzcharles won 13 in 1975, was the top winner in 1976 (no amount of wins shown), and had a leading 8 wins in 1977.  Kenny Brightbill was tops in wins at Flemington in 1978.  In 1979, Billy Pauch and Ken Brenn, Jr. tied with 6 wins each.  For the decade, Stan Ploski had 52 wins, Fitzcharles 33, Beavers 32, Billy Osmun and Chamberlain 31 wins.

Note:  I, along with countless thousands of race fans, drivers, car owners and other associated with racing at the Flemington Speedway sure as hell miss that place!  Strange, that as successful as it was, no one has come out with a similar track.


There’s mention of a couple people that were involved with racing that have left  us – Carolyn Boetticher, 74, on November 23rd.  She was the wife of TQ owner and mechanic Rudy Boetticher.  The second one to leave us was Micro Stock driver Brian Braddock on November 21st.


In AARN this Week’s issue of December 6th:



This Week:

New Central Pennsy-Based
360 Sprint Series Plans

Checkered Flag Fan Club
Hosts  60th Awards Banquet

Pocono Raceway, Mattioli Family
Honored By NASCAR

Keith Rocco Is Northeast's
Winningest Driver

Kurt Busch, 
Penske Racing  Part Ways

Ted Christopher Aims
For Atlantic City Indoor
TQ Repeat

Chase Elliott Wins
Snowball Derby at Pensacola's
Five Flags Speedway





Former Oakland Valley Speedway (Dirt Oval) runners:

Looking a the entry list for the Indoor racing at Atlantic City, I see that Eric Zeh is listed for the Champ Karts and Anthony Perrego listed for the Slingshots.

And for next year, in racing at OCFS and, I would suppose the Northeast area, word is that Billy VanInwegen will, in some way, be hooked up with the Sherlock team and Tri States Roofing.





More racin’ stuff:


Back to that guy from Florida – Richard Golardi.  He’s a steady writer for Hoseheads Sprint Car Photos & News.  The link, below, will take you to an article titled:  FLORIDA SHOULD HAVE ITS OWN “NIGHT BEFORE THE 500” – just scroll down a bit.


I found it rather interesting because he goes back in time, to 2006, when we first met, and he makes mention of the races that were held on December 9th, 13th, 14th and 15th and how they are no longer around.








Racing and television:

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


Note:  If you go to the link, above, you’ll see that it is now very much condensed with not much info, anymore, not like it was prior to George Webster leaving the website.

However, there are links at the top of the page to take you elsewhere, like this:  CLICK HERE FOR U.S. LISTINGS WITHOUT THE SPEED CHANNEL (PDF FORMAT)










Oh well, what can ya do?   It was nicer and more informative, previously, I think.




I get e-mails:


Here's an interesting one!


Not all thieves are stupid.


This gives us something to think about with all our new electronic technology.


A couple of weeks ago a friend told me that someone she knew had their car broken

into while they were at a football game. Their car was parked on the green which was adjacent to the football stadium and specially allotted to football fans. Things stolen from the car included a garage door remote control, some money and a GPS which had been prominently mounted on the dashboard.


When the victims got home, they found that their house had been ransacked and just about everything worth anything had been stolen. The thieves had used the GPS to guide them to the house. They then used the garage remote control to open the garage door and gain entry to the house. The thieves knew the owners were at the football game, they knew what time the game was scheduled to finish and so they knew how much time they had to clean

out the house. It would appear that they had brought a truck to empty the house of its contents.


Something to consider if you have a GPS - don't put your home address in it.. Put a nearby address (like a store or gas station) so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.




I never thought of this.......


This lady has now changed her habit of how she lists her names on her mobile phone after her handbag was stolen. Her handbag, which contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet... Etc...was stolen.


20 minutes later when she called her hubby, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, hubby says 'I received your text asking about our Pin number and I've replied a little while ago.' When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn. The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text 'hubby' in the contact list and got hold of the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.


Moral of the lesson:

Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list.


Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc....


And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM by calling back.


Also, when you're being texted by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came


from them. If you don't reach them, be very careful about going places to meet 'family and friends' who text you..



* I never thought about the above!

As of now, I no longer have 'home' listed on my cell phone.


Even if this does not pertain to you....Pass it on to your family & friends 






Some non-racing stuff:


How about this?  From an e-mail I received this past Sunday from a nephew of mine:





Jails and Nursing Homes


Here's the way it should be:


Let's put the seniors in jail and the criminals in nursing homes.


This would correct two things in one motion:


Seniors would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.


They would receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical

treatment, wheel chairs, etc.


They would receive money instead of having to pay it out.


They would have constant video monitoring, so they would be helped

instantly... if they fell or needed assistance.


Bedding would be washed twice a week and all clothing would be ironed and

returned to them.


A guard would check on them every 20 minutes.


All meals and snacks would be brought to them.


They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.

They would have access to a library, weight/fitness room, spiritual

counseling, a pool and education....and free admission to in-house concerts

by nationally recognized entertainment artists.



Simple clothing - ie. shoes, slippers, pj's - and legal aid would be free,

upon request.


There would be private, secure rooms provided for all with an outdoor

exercise yard complete with gardens.


Each senior would have a P.C., T.V., phone and radio in their room at no

cost .


They would receive daily phone calls.


There would be a board of directors to hear any complaints and the ACLU

would fight for their rights and protection.


The guards would have a code of conduct to be strictly adhered to, with

attorneys available, at no charge to protect the seniors and their families

from abuse or neglect.


As for the criminals:


They would receive cold food.


They would be left alone and unsupervised.


They would receive showers once a week.


They would live in tiny rooms, for which they would have to pay $5,000 per



They would have no hope of ever getting out.


"Sounds like justice to me!"





Is this true?:


U.S. Supreme Court Has Ruled on Obama’s Eligibility!!


In part:


"According to the United States Supreme Court, Obama is ineligible to be the President. That’s right, you read that correctly. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that Obama is ineligible to serve as President.


It’s not that you haven’t been paying attention lately and yes, you can be excused for missing the ruling as it came down, not in the last few days but back in 1875."


More on this can be seen here:






Video time:


Back on December 13, 2006, during the PRA Silver Crown race at the USA International Speedway, Johnny Heydenreich had contact with another car and hit the concrete wall backwards.  The result was a serious looking fire.  Thankfully, Johnny wasn’t seriously burned.










I’m posting a photo a week for a while.  Majority of them will be from “Back in the day”.  This week, hopefully three of them will appear.


Note:  The photos are not available on Dirt Track Digest, only on New England Tractor - http://newenglandtractor.com/racereport/


From our trip to Florida, back in 2006:


First, our daughter Sarah, pictured with the PRA Silver Crown race winner Bobby Santos, III – prior to his race win, below.



Next, below, Sarah with Dave Steele, winner of the 400 lap Sprint Car race at DeSoto Super Speedway.



And, Sarah with Johnny Heydenreich, below, before he was involved in that accident that is featured in the video section of this weeks column.







Closing with these:


Three friends from the local congregation were asked, 'When you're in your casket, and friends and congregation members are mourning over you, what would you like them to say?'

Artie said: ' I would like them to say I was a wonderful husband, a fine spiritual leader, and a great family man.'

Eugene commented: 'I would like them to say I was a wonderful teacher and servant of God who made a huge difference in people's lives.'

Al said: 'I'd like them to say, 'Look, he's moving!'


Smith climbs to the top of Mt. Sinai to get close enough to talk to God. Looking up, he asks the Lord... 'God, what does a million years mean to you?'

The Lord replies, 'A minute.'

Smith asks, 'And what does a million dollars mean to you?'

The Lord replies, 'A penny.'

'Smith asks, 'Can I have a penny?'

'The Lord replies, 'In a minute.'


John was on his deathbed and gasped pitifully. 'Give me one last request, dear,'he said.

'Of course, John,' his wife said softly.

'Six months after I die,' he said, 'I want you to marry George.'

'But I thought you hated George,' she said.

With his last breath John said, 'I do!'


More of these next week.






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


Note:  Thanks to my nephew, Robert Triebeneck, I was able to get my Yahoo e-mail working properly.