Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 99




As you are well aware, I haven’t had a column since April 26th – over two months ago.  Volume # 99 was originally set to go off, per this, below:

Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 99



Now, I’m back, and hope that the columns will continue on a weekly basis.


Note:  Due to Jeff Johnson (New England Tractor) being away, until Monday, this column will not appear on his website until next week.

Some health issues at home, with the wife, are mainly the reasons for no columns. She was hospitalized, twice, and on the second hospitalization, was operated on for a blockage in her colon.  Sadly, we later found out that what was removed was cancerous, and we’ve been told that she is in what’s called “Stage 3”, as far as cancers go.

CT-Scans after surgery showed no signs of additional cancer.  Whether they’ll do a “Pet Scan” later on, we do not know.  As of now it looks like she’ll be undergoing some chemo therapy as a preventive measure to make sure there’s no return of cancer.  No, you don’t want to know what that cost – especially when one only has Medicare.




This column will more than likely be quite a bit different than those in the past.  Some things won’t be covered, but will return in the near future, as long as those chemo treatments don’t affect the wife too much, and find me having to care for her as it’s been over these past couple of months.  Yes, it’s possible that some columns could very well be missed in the near future.




I really haven’t been to any races over these past two months, either.  In fact, last Friday, June 29th, was the first – that being at the Accord Speedway.  Well, I did find out a couple of things about Accord

1.  It sure looks like the Sail Panels weren’t the reason for all the dust, in the past.  Granted, it was hot, and Gary Palmer wasn’t afraid to use his water truck, still and all, the dust seems to have been like it was in the past.  Am I complaining – not really.  After all, it is a dirt track.  Just reporting on what I witnessed.

2.  I see that track announcer Steve Pados has inherited the “Tim Pitts” mic from OCFS.  Whenever Tim was interviewing someone, the mic always cut out when the person interviewed had something to say.  Same thing happened at Accord when Steve was interviewing one of the nights sponsors.  One could hear Steve perfectly, then mostly dead silence when the sponsor was talking about their graphic business (ArtCraft Graphix) and the “wrapping” of race cars.

3.  One thing that did bother me a little about Accord was that there was no assistant starter up on the starters stand.  A grandson, John, had come up from Florida and wanted to go to a race, and Accord was it.  He wanted to get a program.  The track no longer has them for sale.  At least they had a young lady selling 50/50 tickets again, though.  No, I didn’t win any of the three prizes.



Ever since last year, this writer has been very uncomfortable when going down the steps on the half covered grandstand at OCFS.  Guess I can blame it on age, maybe?  I thought if I sat in the covered stands, it would be better, since I’d be able to hold onto the seat backs when going down those stairs.  Not so.  Last year, during ESW, I had another fan fall on top of me – I was sitting in the seat next to the stairway.  Four people in was my son, Eric.  Eric got nailed by a rock, just under his right eye.  We were not sitting low, but rather quite high – the row in front of the poles, to be exact.

After seeing a photo on Facebook, of a rock coming through a rock screen on a Sportsman car, at OCFS, my son said he will not go to OCFS anymore – well, until they fix that rock problem.  So, it looks like I won’t either, since he’s my assistant when I go down the steps.  I’ve sent a few e-mails to OC requesting that maybe they could install hand rails on the half covered, but either they fell on deaf ears, or Mr. Gurda isn’t interested in fan safety and spending a few bucks.



As for OCFS:  Quite often I guess I’m a “Thorn in their sides”.  Hey, I can’t help it - I come out and say what I think.  Maybe that’s one of the reasons I get no responses from my e-mails.  Although I must say that, on occasion, “Suitcase” has gotten back to me.

As those of you that have gone to OCFS, you have also noticed how the place has deteriorated over the years.  Sad?  Of course!  Due to physical (building) problems, the fresh made French Fries that one could purchase, along with the fired dough, from under the main stands, has been closed for a couple of years now.  JP’s, who I was told was sold to one of their (JP’s owners) employees sometime during the last season that JP’s was open.  I’d have to imagine the new owner was to have taken over the nest season (last year).  I’ve been told why that never happened, and I’ll give you three guesses, as to why, and the first two don’t count.  One of America’s favorite – Pizza – not available at OCFS.  Why?  Ah – maybe because it wasn’t run by Maxwell?

If you recall, it was said that OCFS was going to come out with an inner ¼ mile track.  Well, apparently whoever came out and said that has no idea as to just how large a ¼ mile track is, huh?  What they’ve come out with is a “Mickey Mouse track” (my thoughts) using part of the front stretch and part of pit road.  Their vision of having 600 Micro Sprints didn’t materialize, since I know of one that did go to practice and found it quite unsuitable for those cars.  I can’t see them racing “Legends” cars on it, either.  Bandeleros?  They are not meant for dirt track racing, so I doubt they’ll get any of them.  Oh, they’ll get bikes & quads, maybe, and some Slingshots, too, but Karts are not listed, now, and from what I’ve read, the track would have been way to rough for them. Personally, I wish them the best in this new endeavor, but for some reasons, I don’t see it being a success.

By the way, there were some photos put out on Facebook that showed both tracks at OC from “back in the day”.  I’ll put one in here.  However, it will not be available to be seen on DTD, but rather over on the New England Tractor’s website. -  http://newenglandtractor.com/racereport/

Note:  To be perfectly honest, I can’t recall if that “inner” track, which was paved, was ¼ or 1/5 mile.  Racing, for the most part was on Thursday nights, then on July 8, 1948, switched to Wednesday nights.  I also have a photo from 1948, with the midgets, and the half covered grandstand was full.  Notice where the ½ covered is situated compared to the track in the photo?  As you can see, even if the inner track was 1/5 mile, it takes up quite a lot of room inside the big track.  How they could even come out and say that the track was going to be ¼ mile – well, I can’t figure that out.  I’d have to figure that on occasion those that run OC have maybe visited Accord?

There has been talk (maybe even plans are being made, still?) to move the pit area from the infield to outside of the track, off of turns 3 & 4.  I’d imagine that cars would enter off of 4 and exit off of 3, maybe?  But if that were ever to happen, then, BY ALL MEANS, THEY SHOULD PUT A ¼ MILE TRACK INSIDE THE BIG TRACK!!  Oh, and bank it a little too.

There was talk going around about the possibility of having the ARDC Midgets come in for Eastern States Weekend.  If you recall, the CRSA 305 Sprint Cars had been at ESW in the past.  Well, you can forget about the ARDC.  One reason is it seems that some of them are not interested in racing on the track – that it’s to “big”.  Still, they love racing at Williams Grove, which ain’t that much smaller that OC.

Word was out that Tetz was putting up $5,000.00 when the World of Outlaws Sprint Cars ran at OC - IF the winner was not a regular WoO driver.  Not much of a gamble there, I’d say., since the WoO were at OCFS on a Saturday night, and that would eliminate almost 100% of the “Pennsylvania Posse” from racing at OC that night. The question is:  How generous would Tetz be – would they be willing to put up that amount of money as an enticement to, say, having the ESS Sprint Car guys come to ESW?  Personally, I think the ESS would put on a helluva show at OC.  Who knows, maybe some other 360 sprinters, from other groups, like the URC or others, would also come?



Keeping with OCFS – there are a couple of threads on the Internet about the place:

What changes would you like to see at the Middletown track?


Note:  You might have to register to be able to read/post on the above forum.



It was brought to my attention the other night, while at Accord that we must realize that the owner of OCFS really isn’t interested in improving and/or fixing the place up.  Shortly the fair will be held, and after that, racing will more than likely continue.  For sure it isn’t a “Build it and they will come” deal.  It’s been there for years.  Back a short time ago, if you didn’t get there early, you didn’t get a good seat.  Not so today.  Seems the owner is just biding his time and hoping that he’s able to sell the place.  Hmmm, I wonder – all that oil, anti-freeze and gas that’s been dumped on the ground in the pit area – might that cause a problem?



As one can expect, car counts are somewhat down, mainly due to the economy and price for fuel.  I see that Lebanon Valley only had 25 modifieds last Saturday.



I have no idea as to how many open wheel race fans there are in this area, but there is more and more talk about having the Indy cars coming back to the Pocono Speedway.  Some thought that Pocono might sneak in for the 16th Indycar race for this year, but it looks like that won’t happen.  However, things are brighter looking for 2013.  Should be interesting to see how fast they’ll go on that long straight at Pocono.



This Saturday night is NASCAR Cup racing from Daytona.  Only 44 entrants for the 43 car field, as of Monday.  It’s a shame that one car has to go home.


The Nationwide race is on Friday night.  Only 44 entrants, as of Monday, for that race, too.


Note:  I see that Bobby Santos, III, is listed as driving the # 36 car.  Now there’s a young man that surely deserves a ride in big time racing!  He more than likely would be already if it was for the “money” thing, today.



Earlier this year I had a phone conversation with Tom Deery of WRG/DIRTcar.  Damned if I can find his number now!  Anyway, during that conversation, I asked about a Syracuse Qualifier Super Dirt Series race for the big block modifieds at OCFS, since there was none listed on the OCFS schedule.  The last few years it was the Brett Hearn “Big Show” that was the SDW qualifier, which DIRTcar really was the promoter of, last year.  Mr. Deery informed me that as of then, it looked like they (WRG/DIRTcar) would have to promote that event again in 2012, at OCFS.  So far I have not seen or heard anything about this.  Personally, I think it’s a damn shame if one isn’t held.  After all, OCFS is WRG/DIRTcar sanctioned!



I’ve never been to Albany/Saratoga/Malta for races.  However, for the scheduled “Big Show” on Tuesday, July 10th, I sure hope what was posted over on the Dirt Track Digests forum isn’t quite true or tells of what might possibly happen.

With one of the highest anticipated modified events of the year, Hearn's big show, happening at one of the smallest venues, how will it all play out? last Friday the parking lot at Malta was filled up and people were packed like sardines in the grandstands. With all the best drivers coming to the SDS race next Tuesday at Malta, i expect a huge crowed to follow. But the place only fills about 2-3 thousand people. If a regular Friday night show fills the stands, then i expect to see a lot of people have to turn around and go home Tuesday. there simply isn't enough seating to contain the fans that will come out for this show. I'm planning on getting there a half hour or even an hour before the gates open so i could go reserve a seat. I'd hate to travel 2 hours to get turned down at the front gate because the place is sold out. I'm very interested to see how an event goes when one of the biggest crowd's flock to one of the smallest venues...”





This past Tuesday we lost one of the great comedians – Andy Griffith, at the age of 86.  Back in the ‘50’s, Andy had a novelty recording called: “What it was, was football”.  I found a video that was made later on about that recording. 

Enjoy:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FibbKyBTJX4&feature=related






Quite a few years ago, when my son, Eric, ran Karts at the Accord Speedway on Saturday nights, and on occasion, when we’d go to the races at Accord on Fridays, on our way back home, down Rt. 209, we’d stop in the Rainbow Diner in Kerhonkson.  Sad to say, this past Monday, the Rainbow Diner burned to the ground.  Quite a few race drivers and teams stopped there to get some eats and do some “bench racing” over the burgers.





There was an article about what follows in our local paper this past Monday, but for some unknown reasons, I could not bring it up via a search on the papers website.  Yahoo!  to the rescue!


Cost grounding states' airborne speed traps

In part:


NEW YORK -- Highway signs throughout New York warn that when it comes to catching speeders, the long arm of the law extends even into the sky. "State Police aircraft used in speed enforcement," they say.


Actually, lead-footed drivers hitting the interstates for the Independence Day holiday can keep their eyes on the road. The New York State Police, who once routinely used planes to clock motorists, haven't writtena single ticket in that manner since at least 2005.


"It hasn't been entirely eliminated," Sgt. Kern Swoboda, a state police spokesman, said of the signs. "We still have the airplanes."

But in these budget-conscious times, he said, launching aircraft to catch speeders just isn't fiscally prudent.


New York is one of several states to scale back the use of aircraft for traffic enforcement in recent years because of budget cuts or concerns about cost-effectiveness.”


More can be seen here: 







I imagine that many of you know of people – maybe even relatives, that are having some hard times today.  I was tipped off by Ralph Stevens, Jr. about “one of our own” – one who’s devoted to auto racing, has his own website, and maybe you’ve even heard some of his interviews.  I’m talking about Doug Elkins – he of “Doug’s Dirt Diary”.  Might I suggest you visit his website to see what Doug has to say regarding his website, some of his difficulties and some of the things that might occur?

Link:  http://www.dougsdirtdiary.com/




TV listings:


Mainly NASCAR stuff.







Coming up:


The fair is coming to Orange County.  Dates are July 13th to July 29th.

On July 19th, there’s a 358 modified race at OCFS – 40 laps $2,5000.00 to the winner.  Open tire rule, too.

On July 20, 21 & 22 MOTO & Monster Trucks at the fair.

The CRSA 305 Sprint Cars are at OC on July 28th.

August 4th is “Nostalgia Night”  It’s always interesting to see what old timers show up – usually Buzzie Reutimann and quite a few others come up for this show.


Also on July 28th, is the “Friends of Mike” 100 lap modified race at the New Egypt Speedway.


There’s an RoC 60 lap modified race and an RoC 40 lap Sportsman race at 5 Mile Points Speedway on July 17th.



Found on Jayski’s website:



Hamlin working on contract extension UPDATE: 

Joe Gibbs Racing could have a new Sprint Cup contract to announce within the next week, and it's not the driver everyone has been talking about. #11-Denny Hamlin is in final negotiations with JGR and sponsor FedEx on an extension of his deal, which runs through the 2013 season. "I think I'm up at the end of next year, but I know where my future is, and that's at Gibbs," Hamlin told USA Today Sports on Wednesday. "FedEx knows who they want driving their car. We typically try to do our deals together as a partnership, because that's what it is between the three of us. As long as FedEx likes me, I know I want to be with Gibbs. We're to all working together to solidify that for years to come. I think it'll be done within a week. Everything but the ink on the paper is pretty much done. Everything is pretty much locked in, and we know where we're going to be for the foreseeable future."(USA Today)(6-28-2012)


Denny Hamlin tweeted Saturday evening, "IT'S OFFICIAL. I've signed an extension with @JoeGibbsRacing. Happy to know where my future is. Excited for tonight and beyond with my team."(6-30-2012)



Andretti is considering forming NASCAR team: UPDATES - Dodge and Penske deny deal:

One of IndyCar's biggest names could branch out to the Sprint Cup Series as Michael Andretti told SI.com that he is hoping to start a NASCAR team. "We were looking at NASCAR real close last year, too, but it fell apart," Andretti said. "We were looking at it just as hard last year as this year and the year before." If Andretti is able to find the right sponsorship, he could team up with Dodge and base his team out of the old Evernham Motorsports shop at the Statesville Regional Airport in Statesville, N.C. A Dodge source told SI.com that Andretti could probably team up with the engine manufacturer for $5 million to $6 million. That's because Dodge is losing its primary team in Sprint Cup at the end of this season as Penske Racing switches to Ford. Because of that, it is looking for a flagship team and Andretti could be a good fit, especially if it were to team up with Richard Petty Motorsports -- currently a Ford team paired with Roush Fenway Racing, but has a long history with Dodge. "I'm always looking at all options," Andretti said. "I'd be stupid not to listen to Dodge or any other manufacturers. It doesn't matter that we are a Chevy IndyCar team. It might be nice if it was all under one roof but, in our contract, we're a Chevy IndyCar team."(Sports Illustrated)(6-27-2012)


Sources have confirmed to PitPass.net that Michael Andretti has purchased the engine program from Penske Racing and will field at least one full time Dodge in the Cup series in 2013 and beyond. No word on who the driver is, but with Matt Kenseth leaving Roush at the end of the season, the 2003 Cup series champ did confirm to the Journal Sentinel on Wednesday that he will drive for "a new cup team" in 2013 and beyond. One option on the table is for Andretti to base his team out of the old Evernham Motorsports shop at the Statesville Regional Airport in Statesville, N.C. Also hearing from this unnamed source that this new deal with Dodge is also with Richard Petty Motorsports -- currently a Ford team paired with Roush Fenway Racing, but has a long history with Dodge. (this is why we didn't get the announcement of Petty to Dodge in Michigan a few weeks ago, they were trying to get Kenseth). Hearing that an offical announcement could come as early as next weekend.(PitPass.net)(6-282012)



In response to inquiries about the company's NASCAR motorsports program, Beth Paretta, Director of Marketing and Operations - SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC, offers the following statement: "While we continue to evaluate plans in NASCAR for 2013 and beyond, we have no commitments with any partners at this time. We continue to be pleased with the amount of interest from the media and fans in our motorsports program and will continue to follow our process as established in a timely manner. When decisions are finalized, we will announce them at that time. Currently what is most important is that we have not lost any focus on 2012 and our partnership with Penske Racing. Our commitment to win races and compete for championships with Penske Racing in both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series this season remains firm. We will not lose focus on that partnership as we make decisions about our future in NASCAR."(Darnell Communications for Dodge)(6-29-2012)


Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing, issued the following statement: "Contrary to recent published speculation, Penske Racing has not sold its engine company. The team's focus continues to be on successfully completing the 2012 season, competing for championships and victories in the both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series for Dodge and our other sponsor partners."(Penske Racing)(6-30-2012)


Turner Motorsports making Cup debut at Daytona with Elliott: 

This weekend will mark a major milestone for Turner Motorsports, which fields three teams in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and three teams in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The team will make its debut in the Sprint Cup Series with veteran and legend, Bill Elliott. Elliott, who has accumulated 44 series wins over the course of his career, will drive the #50 Walmart Chevy in conjunction with the company's 50th birthday celebration. This will mark Elliott's 828th career NSCS start.(Turner Motorsports)(#50 teams paint schemes page.(7-3-2012)

Note:  In a way, I’m against this.  Why?  Because of the driver they chose – Bill Elliott.  Why?  Because if he doesn’t qualify, he’ll still start the race because he has a “Past Champions” provisional.  Yes, I’m not in favor of drivers being put into a race when they are not fast enough to qualify for it – regardless of who it might be.



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”.


Note 3:  What follows is from the first attempt at Volume 99.


Note 4:  I doubt I’ll be able to cover the two months that have been missed, but will catch up with the last two weeks in next week’s column.


For the original week, I’m covering from April 27th to May 10th.

April 27


Russ Klar ... Born ... He was a race driver in the Northeast. He drove midgets , sprint cars and 'big cars' in the 1940s and '50s and late in his career modifieds (stock cars).  A daughter, Anne, married Drew Fornoro, son of Nick & Bette, and Anne is the PR person for the AJ Foyt race team.


Bob Bondurant... Born ... An American former sports car driver who also raced for the Ferrari and Eagle teams in Formula One. He later started the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving.


April 28


Doc Williams... Died ... AAA driver from the 1930's and 1940's

April 29


Jerry Karl ... Born ... Jerry was a 6 time Indianapolis 500 Starter. He started racing at Freeport Stadium on Long Island in 1957. Jerry competed in ARDC, ATQMRA, URC,and USAC in the Midget,Sprint,Silver Crown,Formula 5000, and Indianpolis Cars. Jerry raced in the Indy 500 in 1973,1974,1975,1978,1980 and 1981.


Dale Earnhardt, Sr.... Born ...Earnhardt is known for his success in the Winston Cup Series, now known as the Sprint Cup Series. He won seventy-six races (including his only Daytona 500 victory in 1998), and his seven championships are tied for most all-time with Richard Petty. His highly aggressive driving style made him a fan favorite and earned him the nicknames "Ironhead", "Mr. Restrictor Plate", "The Man in Black" and most famously, "The Intimidator." Earnhardt died in a last-lap crash during the 2001 Daytona 500.


Chad Little... Born ... NASCAR driver

April 30


Norman Batten... Born ... AAA driver from the 1920's.


Leon Duray... Born ... AAA driver from the 1920's and 1930's.


Andy Hillenburg... Born ... He won the state quarter midget championships in 1975-1979. Hillenburg won the ARCA Super Car Series Championship in 1995, with 3 time ARCA Champion Bob Dotter as Crew Chief. He won the 1995 and 1997 Daytona ARCA 200, the premiere event in the series. He served as a test driver for the IROC series. He competed in the 2000 Indianapolis 500, finishing 28th, and has sixteen Winston Cup starts nine Busch Series starts and four in the Craftsman Truck Series. On October 2, 2007, Hillenburg purchased North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, North Carolina for $4.4 million (USD). The track was put up for auction by Speedway Motorsports Inc and chairman Bruton Smith. Rockingham has not hosted a NASCAR event since 2004, but Hillenburg hopes to bring lower-tier NASCAR series back to the track.

Michael Waltrip... Born ... NASCAR driver and owner of Michael Waltrip Racing. He is the younger brother of Darrell Waltrip, a three-time NASCAR champion (now retired). Waltrip is a two-time winner of the Daytona 500 (2001 & 2003), and drives a self-owned #55 NAPA Toyota Camry in the Sprint Cup Series. He is also a part-time commentator for SPEED TV's coverage of the Craftsman Truck Series and is a member of the "expert panel" on SPEED Channel's This Week in NASCAR program.


Darren Manning... Born ... Road racer and Indy Racing League driver.


Warren Johnson set an NHRA Pro Stock speed record of 202.24 mph at Richmond, Virginia.



Ray Keech ... Born ... He was a board and brick track racer in the 1920s. He is best remembered for winning the 1929 Indianapolis 500, and for setting a land speed record in the Triplex Spirit of Elkdom. This monster featured three 27-litre Liberty aero-engines! He died in a racing accident at the Altoona 200-Mile Race in 1929.


The Gates at Indianapolis Motor Speedway open for practice for the first Indy 500.


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

Note:  I was there that day – it’s one of those events that one never forgets.




Jerry Unser suffered very serious injuries in a crash during a practice session for the Indianapolis 500. He would die from his injuries 15 days later. Jerry was the first of the Unser family to compete at Indianapolis. His brothers Al and Bobby and his nephew Al Jr. have won the "500". His son Johnny and nephew Robby have also competed in the race.


Kevin Gobrecht... Born ... Pennsylvania Sprintcar driver. Kevin Gobrecht was 30 years old when he was killed in a violent sprint-car crash at I-80 Speedway in Nebraska. Today, the World of Outlaws rookie of the year receives the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award, named for the driver known on the Central Pennsylvania circuit as The G Man. After a successful career racing micro sprints, Gobrecht won his first sprint-car feature in mid-1995, and in 1996, victories came more frequently. He posted victories driving for various sprint-car owners before he got the call from Dave Blaney to drive his World of Outlaws car in 1999. Gobrecht posted his biggest victory when he picked up the $100,000 top prize for winning The Big One at Eldora Speedway. It was his last victory.


Buzz Calkins... Born ... Indy Racing League driver 1996 to 2001. He competed in the Indianapolis 500 six times, with a best finish of 10th in 1998.   He won the series' inaugural race, the 1996 Indy 200 at Walt Disney World and was that year's league co-champion with Scott Sharp.




Davey Allison recorded his first NASCAR Winston Cup victory at the Winston 500 in Talladega, Alabama, driving his #28 Ford Thunderbird. Terry Labonte was second. Also on this day in 1987, while Davey won his first race, his father Bobby suffered a terrible crash in which his rear tire was pierced by a chunk of metal, causing his car to flip into the fence and almost into the grandstands at over 200 mph. After the crash, NASCAR mandated that all cars would carry carburetor plates to restrict the intake of their engines.




Hurley Haywood... Born ... He won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1977 (Porsche 936), 1983 (Porsche 956) and 1994 (Dauer-Porsche 962) and is the most winning driver at the 24 Hours of Daytona with 5 (1973, 1975, 1977, 1979, and 1991). He also drove in the 1980 Indianapolis 500 finishing 18th. He also represented IMSA four times in the International Race of Champions (1986, 1989, 1992, 1995).


John Force... Born ... Many time NHRA Funny Car Champion.




Duane Carter ... Born ... AAA / USAC driver from the 1940's, 50's & 60's. He raced midget cars, sprint cars, and IndyCars. His son Pancho raced in Indy cars, along with Johnny Parsons (who he helped raise). He was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1991 and the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1989.


Art Pollard ... Born ... He drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1965-1973 seasons, with 84 career starts, including the 1967-1971 Indianapolis 500 races. He finished in the top ten 30 times, with 2 victories, both in 1969, at Milwaukee and Dover. Pollard died in Indianapolis, Indiana as a result of injuries sustained in practice for the 1973 Indianapolis 500.


Mark Kinser... Born ... Sprint car driver. Son to car owner Karl and cousin to Steve Kinser, Mark won the 1996 and 1999 World of Outlaws championship and the 1996, 1999, and 2000 Knoxville Nationals.


Dana Carter ... Died ... USAC and CART driver from the 1970's & 80's. Son of Duane Carter, brother of Pancho Carter and half brother of Johnnie Parsons Jr. Dana died on May 5th in 1983 of a heart attack after finishing second in a midget race in Indianapolis .


Bill Homeier ... Died ... AAA and USAC driver. In the Championship Car series, racing in the 1953-1955 and 1958-1960 seasons with 14 starts, including the 1954 and 1960 Indianapolis 500 races. He finished in the top ten 5 times, with his best finish in 5th position, in 1959 at Sacramento. He holds a unique record from the 1954 Indianapolis 500; he finished in last place, but completed 74 laps, the most for a last place finisher.




Walter Christie... Born ... Race car driver, designed a front-wheel-drive race car, designer and builder of military equipment.


Al Putnam... Born ... AAA driver from the 1930's and 40's. Putnam was killed during qualifying for the first dirt-car race to be held at the Indiana State Fair.




Frank Lockhart Set the record for the fastest single lap driven on a board track (championship car) in a Miller 91 rear drive with an average speed of 147.229mph at the Atlantic City track. This track was the fastest and last major board track constructed.


Mike Spence, Grand Prix and Sports car driver, died when he was killed in practice in the Lotus turbine car at Indianapolis. He crashed and the front right wheel of his car struck him on the head. Later that same night, Carroll Shelby withdrew his two uncompetitive turbine cars from the Indy 500.




A. J. Watson ... Born ... Watson was a car builder and chief mechanic from 1949 through 1984 in the Indianapolis 500. During a 10-year stretch from the mid-1950s, Watson roadsters were virtually unbeatable at Indy. They finished one-two four times, including the famous 1960 race when Jim Rathmann and Rodger Ward swapped the lead countless times before Rathmann prevailed at the end. Watson-built cars won the Indianapolis 500 six times, and a Watson copy by Floyd Trevis won with A.J. Foyt in 1961.


Bobby Labonte ... Born ... NASCAR Cup driver.


Colin Chapman, affected by the previous day's death of Mike Spence and the recent death of Jim Clark, leaves Indy and flies back to England, leaving the STP Indy team to be run solely by Andy Granatelli.


Alvin Junior "A. J." Shepherd ... Died ... CRA , IMCA and USAC Midget and Sprint car driver . He drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1960-1961 seasons with 7 starts, including the 1961 Indianapolis 500. He finished in the top ten 4 times, with his best finish in 4th position, in 1961 at Springfield. He finished 26 in his only race at Indy.




Mario Andretti ran the first unofficial 210 mph lap (210.575) at Indy.


Roberto Guerrero set an Indianapolis 500 qualifying record, driving his Lola-Buick to an average speed of 232.483 mph and set the single lap record at 232.618 mph.


Smokey Yunick... Died ... NASCAR and Indy mechanic and owner of the "Best Damn Garage in Town" in Daytona, Florida, died of leukemia at age 77.


MAY 10


George Barringer ... Born ... AAA driver from the 1930's and 40's. He ran the Indy 500 six times with a best finish of 6th in 1939. He and George Robson were killed in same multi-car pile-up at the Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, Georgia(Sept 2, 1946).


Buck Baker drove his Cadillac powered car to victory in a 200 mile event at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina. It was the debut race for the NASCAR Speedway division, a class for Championship cars powered by stock block engines. The class first appeared in February with "speed trials" on the Daytona beach during Speedweek, but Darlington marked the first race. When qualifications during the week before the race saw many cars not ready and those on hand plagued terribly by overheating, worried officials quickly added a Grand National Stock Car event as a support race. 21 cars started, led by New Jersey speed shop operator Tom Cherry, who won the pole by turning 4 laps around the 1.25 mile oval at 102.42 mph in his Mercury powered car. Ford powered the most entries with 6, but other engines represented were Cadillac, Mercury, Hudson, Studebaker, Nash, DeSoto and even one GMC. The race was remarkably competitive with 15 lead changes among 5 drivers. Baker took the lead to stay on lap 114 and went on to take the checkered 3 laps ahead of Bill Miller's Olds powered car. Cherry wound up another lap back in 3rd. Surprisingly, 14 cars were running at the finish. Notable drivers in the field: future Indy drivers Al Keller and Dick Rathmann (both then regulars on the GN circuit), fellow GN regulars Jack Smith and brothers Jimmy & Speedy Thompson, Modified ace Buddy Shuman and New Jersey's Wally Campbell, who was at home in both Stocks and open wheelers. The division would have car count problems, which in turn made promoters reluctant to schedule events. After 7 races in May and June, NASCAR pulled the plug on the season.

Note:  A photo of Buck Baker in that car is towards the end of this weeks column.


Erwin George "Cannon Ball" Baker... Died ... He was a motorcycle and automobile racing driver and organizer in the first half of the 20th century. In 1908, Baker purchased an Indian motorcycle and began entering and winning local races. His most famous victory came in 1909 at the first race ever held at the newly built Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Baker also raced at the 1922 Indianapolis 500, placing 11th in a Frontenac. He later became the first commissioner of NASCAR. Baker was inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998.


Don Prudhomme was officially nicknamed "The Snake" when it is used in an article in Drag News magazine.


Lorenzo Bandini ,F1 driver, died from his injuries suffered in the Monaco GP. He was running second to Denny Hulme in the Monaco GP when he lost control at the chicane and crashed. The car overturned and caught fire and Bandini was trapped beneath the flaming wreck. It was several minutes before he was rescued and his burns were terrible. For three days he fought for his life before succumbing to his injuries.


Gordon Johncock , two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, announced his retirement.


Rick Mears turned the first unofficial 220 mph lap (220.048) at Indy.



News from the AARN:



I’m not covering the AARN and some of its news in this week’s column.  Sorry!



Former Oakland Valley Speedway (Dirt Oval) runners:


Note 1:  I really should mention that the names that appear in this section are of drivers that I know of that have run on the Dirt Oval.  I realize there might be others that have moved on to other forms of racing that I’m not aware of.

Note 2:  I won’t cover the happenings over the past two months, but just how some of them have done this past weekend.  Yes, I know I’ll miss some!


At I-88 Speedway on 6/27, in the RoC Modified feature, Danny Creeden was 12th.


Last Friday, at Accord, Danny Creeden was 5th in the modified feature.  Anthony Perrego was 2nd, Brad Szulewski 3rd and Tyler Dippel 5th in the Sportsman feature, while Kyle VanDuser won the Spec Sportsman feature with Tyler Boniface 3rd, Dippel 4th and RJ Smykla 5th.


Also, on Friday, at Albany/Sartoga, Bobby Hackel, IV was 13th in the 602 Sportsman feature.


At OCFS last Saturday, Tim Hindley won the modified feature, while Clinton Mills was 10th, Billy VanInwegen 13th and Mike Ruggiero 15th.  In the Sportsman feature, Matt Janiak was 3rd, Brian Krummel 4th, Matt Hitchcock 6th, Tyler Boniface 8th, Tyler Dippel 10th and Anthony Perrego 24th.  LJ Lombardo was a DNQ.  That might have been his first time in a Sportsman car?


At Penn Can, in the 602 Sportsman feature, Kyle Rohner was 4th.


Roger Coss had a 5th place finish in the 125 lap modified feature at Wall Stadium.


Kolby Schroder was 9th and Kyle Armstrong 12th in the modified feature at Lebanon Valley.


In the CRSA 305 Sprint Car feature at 5 Mile Point, Brittany Tresch was 4th and Emily VanInwegen 21st.


Johnny Guarino was 11th in the modified feature at New Egypt, while Luke Schostkewitz was 6th in the Rookie Sportsman feature.


Nick Pecko was 4th in the modified feature at Mountain Speedway.


Davie Franek was 5th in the 358/360 Sprint Car feature at Selinsgrove on June 29th.


Rich Coons was 2nd and Kyle Redner 11th in the Sportsman feature at Bethel.


Mike Mammana had a 22nd place in the 358 modified feature at Big Diamond.





More racin’ stuff:


You’re gonna love this one, folks!


Bruton Smith:

“We need caution flags,” Smith said Saturday prior to the Quaker State 400. “I don’t care what you want to call it, we need those caution flags because that adds excitement to what we do.”


There’s a thread on this on the Track Forum.






Press Releases:








CONTACT: JOHN SNYDER  845.225.3560




Refreshments, Souvenirs, and Driver Autographs

Part of the Pre-Race Activities


SUSSEX, NJ (July 2)……..Spectator gates for The Big Show 4 presented by Ferris Mowers Super DIRTcar Modified Series race meet at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, Tuesday, July 10, will open at 4:00 PM. Fans are encouraged to come out early and enjoy the attractions. Besides sampling all the refreshments available, several souvenir trailers offering a wide variety of racing-oriented items will be on site. There will be tables set up for fans to get autographs from top Super DIRTcar Modified Series and Albany-Saratoga Speedway drivers and special guest NASCAR Camping World Truck Series star Ron Hornaday. The autograph session is scheduled for 5:00-6:00 PM.


The Big Show 4, for the big-block DIRTcar Modifieds, will include time trials, qualifying heat and consolation races, and the 100-lap feature race. The Big Show 4 feature will pay the winner at least $6,000 and with special awards money, considerably more.


In addition, there’s a special Morris Ford-sponsored Dash for Cash featuring the top-five Super DIRTcar Series point leaders, the top-four Albany-Saratoga Speedway drivers, and a tenth driver to be selected by the fans.  A $500 check awaits the winner of the Dash, with positions two through four also receiving checks.


Albany-Saratoga Speedway Pro Stocks are the evening’s support division.


All seating is general admission and priced at $22.00; children under 12 $5.00. Pit passes with DIRTcar/Albany-Saratoga/Lebanon Valley members are $30.00; non-members $35.00.


The Big Show 4 information is available online at www.thebigdirtshow.com

 and also www.albany-saratogaspeedway.com.





I get e-mails:


Hope this one is true!


Tick Removal


Tick Removal Tick Removal A nurse discovered a safe, easy way to remove ticks where they automatically withdraw themselves when you follow her simple instructions. Read this one as it could save you from some major problems. Tick Removal: Spring is here and the ticks will soon be showing their heads. Here is a good way to get them off you, your children, or your pets. Give it a try. Please forward to anyone with children, hunters or dogs; or anyone who even steps outside in summer! A School Nurse wrote the info below--good enough to share--and it really works! "I had a pediatrician tell me what she believes is the best way to remove a tick. This is great because it works in those places where it's sometimes difficult to get to with tweezers: between toes, in the middle of a head full of dark hair, etc." "Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20); the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away. This technique has worked every time I've used it (and that was frequently), and it's much less traumatic for the patient and easier for me.." Unless someone is allergic to soap, I can't see that this would be damaging in any way. I even had my doctor's wife call me for advice because she had one stuck to her back and she couldn't reach it with tweezers. She used this method and immediately called me back to say, "It worked!" Please pass on. Everyone needs this helpful hint.





Some non-racing stuff:


I posted this little tid-bit on Facebook, a few days ago:


To show ya how messed up our "Supreme Court" is:

Supreme Court rejects 'Stolen Valor' law, says lying about military honors isn't a crime

Read more from this Tulsa World article at: 





More non-racing stuff:


These might interest you!


VW Passat – 78.5 MPG  http://video.staged.com/localshops/vw_passat_785_mpg_in_the_uk


China & GM:  http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=Lvl5Gan69Wo


I never saw this on TV, did you?

Feds suspend immigration enforcement program after Arizona court ruling

Published June 25, 2012


In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision on Arizona's immigration law, Obama administration officials announced Monday they are suspending in the state a key program that allowed state and local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law. 

The move further weakens efforts by Arizona, and potentially other states, to take the reins on immigration enforcement. 

The high court decision Monday struck down three provisions in Arizona's law but left in place a central plank that required local law enforcement during routine stops to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. 

Obama administration officials and congressional Democrats immediately raised concerns this could lead to "racial profiling," though Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer adamantly denies it. To address those concerns, Obama administration officials moved Monday to pull back on enforcement cooperation with local jurisdictions -- meaning that even if local police step up immigration checks, they'll have to rely on federal officials to make the arrests.  

Federal officials said the program known as 287(g) would be immediately rescinded in Arizona. That program was a partnership between federal and local governments, and allowed local authorities to make immigration-based arrests. 

Officials also said Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be selective in responding to the expected increase in calls from Arizona and other police agencies about immigration status of people they pull over. Officials said ICE will not respond to the scene unless the person in question meets certain criteria -- such as being wanted for a felony.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/06/25/feds-suspend-immigration-enforcement-program-after-arizona-court-ruling/#ixzz1ypkYsmi5





And some on health care:



Healthcare in the US:


What some citizens have to say:


Americans want the same healthcare congress gets!


Or we want them to have what we dont have.


It would be interesting how far the original healthcare bill would have gotten if one of the provisions was that all government leaders would have to join the same plan that the "average citizen" would have to join!!


Guess what?!? With the ACA, the Congress must start choosing their health insurance from the same state exchanges as the rest of us. Sooooo, we will be able to get the same healthcare. (If we can afford it, but that's another gripe).


How bout' they put 2 plans on the table (OWE-bama care and the Ryan plan) for election. Let US DECIDE for ONCE on want ALL of us want. Why can't we purchase over State lines ?


Repeal and replace the health care congress has. They are no better than us.


You bet! They're our employee's but you'd never know it from they way they legislate!


If all politicians had to pay for their health care like so many working Americns do the story would read a lot different. Why should they be given anything. With the kind of money they make for so little work, they could and should be made to pay for insurance. After 25 years in the military I still have to pay for my insurance and med's I take. I don't get a free ride why should they. I only draw 50% retirement they get 100% that really sucks


Except for the fact, with their insider trading, they're all millionaires. They can never be like the rest of us (Most of us are honest). Other than that, I agree 100% with you.


Forget for a moment which party you're affiliated with, these jerks in Congress are set for life with top notch healthcare....no matter what they do it's always "US" that loses out!!! Put them on the same medical insurance that we can get and see how quickly they come together and actually do something!!!


They're also set with a top notch pension. All they have to do is serve one term, and they receive their yearly salary for life. How do I apply?


approx half of the congressmen are millionairs.... only 1% of the others (citizens) have made this rank....With free health care (for congress) and a million bucks you dont give a damn.....they only listen to the lobbiest and collect the perks.... They are not representative nor do they reflect the "average American"


The biggest problem with our health care system is the blank check culture. The medical industry should be required to post / publish their "prices" for everything from the cost of a Tylenol pill. IV's, Private rooms, MRI's and even Heart Transplants for that matter....force Hospitals and Doctors to compete for business like everybody else.


It must be nice to get great health care for life even if you get fired (voted out of office), unfortunately some of us don't get such nice health care through our jobs, if we get any at all. Individual health insurance is a nightmare, it only stays available and affordable if you barely use it.


why cant the politicians we elect help the american people to get jobs why don't they help manufacturing to come back to the USA .our elected officials aren't any good they are the wrong people for the job


Now that we have healthcare "reform", let's start with some government reform.


Repeal government healthcare for our congressman!


Everyone is attacking Congress? Ya'll voted them in, right? Then just vote them out ! No big whoop.


I want a healthcare bill in which Congress makes sure to INCLUDE themselves!


These idiots have had 40 years to fix this health care issue and if it were not for all the campaign contributions that drug, insurance, and hospital groups make to these sell outs we never would have reached this crisis. I'm sick of the political grandstanding. Move forward, tweak any glaring problems and get on to fixing the economy. Congress is the biggest cancer we have in this country, I'd like to be the surgeon to cut them out.


The above were found here, the day after the Supreme Courts decision:






Just wondering:


It’s being said that we give Egypt 2.5 billion dollars a year.  Why?  What for?


How many billions of dollars do we give to other countries?  Why?  What for?  Shouldn’t we take care of our own, first?


Should we, citizens of the US, be concerned about the “Muslim Brotherhood”?  Why?  What for?


If Obamacare is so good, why aren’t Obama, his wife, Congress, Senators and their families also covered? (Found on Facebook)


From an article in our local paper of 7/1:  “On June 15, Obama issued a directive that makes it far easier for the children of undocumented immigrants to get work authorization and stay in America . Under the new policy, they need not fear deportation if they arrived before the age of 16, if they're currently younger than 30, if they graduated from high school or served in the military, and if they have clean records.


My wondering on this is:  If their parents were illegal when they brought the children into the US, how did the children get Social Security cards.  You need one to be in the military service, right?


Ann Curry was let go from her hosting the Today Show.  Reportedly, she’ll be getting 10 million dollars – guess that’s what her contract called for, for next year?  Guess now we can see why there are so many commercials on TV, huh?  Is it just me that thinks that TV people are kinda overpaid?  Oh, and “Pro” athletes, too.




Video time:


I don’t really consider myself to be “overly” religious, but the following video, in parts, are what I’ve hoped to have accomplished in some little way, over my lifetime.








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


Here’s a photo of Buck Baker in the car he won that NASCAR Speedway Division race at Langhorne, back on May 10, 1952.  Photo was sent to me from Ron Lauer from the late Ron Heddendorf’s photo collection.







Closing with this:


So you're a sick senior citizen and the government says there is no nursing home available for you, what do you do?


Our plan gives anyone 65 years or older a gun and 6 bullets. You are allowed to shoot six Congressmen.


Of course, this means you will be sent to prison where you will get three meals a day, a roof over your head, central heating, air conditioning and all the health care you need! Need new teeth? No problem. Need glasses? That's great. Need a new hip, knees, kidney, lungs or heart? They're all covered. And, as an added bonus, your kids can come and visit you as often as they do now.


And who will be paying for all of this? It's the same government that just told you that you they cannot afford for you to go into a home.


Plus, because you are a prisoner, you don't have to pay any income taxes anymore.


Is this a great country or what?






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