Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                                                                  By Tom Avenengo

                                                                                       Volume # 2



First things, first:

I started working on this column late on Sunday afternoon.  Here it is 4:15 PM on Tuesday, and it’s snowing like all get out, outside.  Glad I went and voted (school stuff) earlier today.  It’s been snowing about the hardest I’ve ever seen it – really.  Weather folks are saying the heavy snow might cause problems with downed wires and trees etc, etc.  At 5:20, we lost power, and I lost some of this column, too!  Then on a nice, sunny Wednesday afternoon, yesterday, as I was working on this, yep, you guessed it – power went off – just enough to mess up things in ‘puter land.  Later on, in the afternoon, I had an appointment with my Chiropractor, and while there, we talked about the power on/off deal.  He told me he has a battery backup for his, so I guess I’ll have to get one for my ‘puter.  I hope wherever you are, things are (were) better!


Some of my thoughts:

Later on, in this column, are links to various items, both motor sports related and some not related, as usual.  Quite a lot has been said about the “Luck” of Jimmie Johnson – actually gaining spots when he pitted, just prior to a yellow coming out in last Sundays Cup race.  A lot being said about NASCAR confiscating the Dave Blaney driven # 66 Cup car as soon as he “parked” it.


What I can’t figure out is why NASCAR has gone to a red/black flag to signal the end of its practice sessions.  Why can’t they just use the good old-fashioned checkered flag?  Hmmm, maybe they can’t claim they “invented” the checkered flags, huh?



Going back, in time:

Going back to late February, in: - from 23rd on:


On February 23rd, in:



Paul Goldsmith wins the final NASCAR race held on the beach at Daytona, Florida




Richard Petty won his first NASCAR Daytona 500.



Sammy Swindell won the World of Outlaws Sprint Car race at the Ascot Park, Gardena, CA. ( Click here for the race report. )



On February 24th, in:



            My sister, Rosemarie (Tiny) Back, was born.  She’s still active as h*ll.  How she does it – I really don’t know. 

            She got the nickname “Tiny” because she was a few inches short of even being five feet tall.



Sir Malcolm Campbell in his Bluebird set a new land speed record of 253.968 mph at Daytona Beach, FL



"Tiny" Lund drove the Wood Brothers Ford to a storybook win in the 'Daytona 500'. Lund was filling in for regular driver Marvin Panch, who was injured 10 days earlier in a firey crash while practicing for the Daytona Sports Car race. From his hospital bed, Panch asked Glen & Leonard Wood to let Lund drive his car in the 500. Lund made one fewer pit stops, giving him a 24 second margin over Fred Lorenzen as he ran out of fuel taking the checkered. It was Lund's first career GN win.



On February 25th, in:



Davey Allison ... Born ...  A NASCAR race car driver, best known as the driver of the Robert Yates Racing #28 Texaco-Havoline Ford. Born in Hollywood, Florida, he was the eldest of four children born to NASCAR driver Bobby Allison and wife Judy. The family moved to Hueytown, Alabama and along with Bobby's brother Donnie Allison, family friend Red Farmer, and Neil Bonnett, became known in racing circles as the Alabama Gang. Davey Allison died as a result of a helicopter crash at Talladega Superspeedway on July 13, 1993. Racing legend Red Farmer was a passenger in the helicopter and survived the crash.




Richard Petty , coming back from a lap 66 tangle that dropped him 2 laps back, won the NASCAR GN 'Richmond 500'. Buddy Baker finished 2nd in the K&K Dodge, 13.6 seconds behind Petty's Petty Engineering Dodge, the only other car on the lead lap.



Alfred "Pee Wee" Southcott ... Died ... He was one of Western New York's racing pioneers. From his early days racing a jalopy in some of the dirt rings of the area in the 30's, to his career in Midgets and Sprint Cars, he was always considered as a threat to win, no matter where he competed.


On February 26th, in:



Alexander Winton driving his Winton Bullet, set the first speed record ever achieved at Daytona Beach, Florida. Built in 1902 the "Bullet Number 1" drove a measured mile at over 65 MPH.




            Johnny Cash was born.



SCCA The Sports Car Club of America is incorporated in Boston by seven sports car enthusiasts.



Tim Flock drove one of the Kiekhaefer Chrysler entries to the win in the NASCAR Grand National race on the Daytona beach & road course. Flock was 57 seconds ahead of Billy Myers' Mercury when the race was halted two laps early because of high tide. It was Flock's second straight win at Daytona.



Mario Andretti won the Daytona 500 in a Holman-Moody Ford. Andretti took the lead to stay on lap 168 and held a 22 second lead over teammate Fred Lorenzen when a caution came out with two laps to go, ending the race under caution. James Hylton finished third in a Dodge.



Duke Nalon ... Died ... AAA midget, sprint and Indy car racer .



            George Rice (Viola) died.  He was the ARDC’s champion in 1947.



On February 27th, in:



Ted Horn... Born ... AAA driver from the 1930's and 40's. Ted Horn has the best 9-year streak of finishes in Indianapolis 500 history. Over his Indianapolis 500 career, Ted Horn completed 1944 out of a possible 2000 laps (97%).



Peter Revson... Born ... Formula One and the Indy car driver. The nephew of Revlon Cosmetics industry magnate Charles Revson, he was an heir to his father Martin's fortune (reportedly worth over $1 billion). During a practice run for the 1974 South African Grand Prix in Johannesburg, he was killed as a result of suspension failure on his Shadow Ford DN3.




Ft. Lauderdale, Florida .... A NASCAR sanctioned racing program at the 2 mile paved Broward Speedway featured Roadsters, Sports Cars and the first NASCAR race for a class of passenger cars known as Strictly Stocks, a class that would evolve into the Grand National division. Ft. Lauderdale's Benny Georgeson won the 5 lap Strictly Stock race in a Buick. The featured 100 mile Roadster race was won by Atlanta's Bob Flock with future Indy Car star Jim Rathmann 2nd. Tom Demetry won the 25 mile Sports Car race.



Bobby Ball... Died ... AAA driver from the early 1950's. On January 4, 1953, he was involved in midget car accident at Carrell Speedway, Gardena Calif., which left him with terrible head injuries. He remained in a coma and died 14 months later.



Tim Flock , after Fireball Roberts was disqualified, was declared winner of the 160 mile NASCAR GN race on the beach & road course. Roberts led every lap in the Fish Carburetor Buick, but a post race inspection found slightly altered pushrods, elevating Flock to first. Flock had been disqualified from the 1954 race win, leaving the circuit as a result. Flock returned to drive Carl Kiekhaefer's Chrysler in it's first race.



Bobby Marshman won the 35-lap TQ Midget race at the Teaneck Armory, Teaneck, NJ. ( Click here for the race report. )


Jackie Evans won the Modified race at the Hialeah Speedway, Miami, FL. ( Click here for the race report. )




Richard Petty overcame a day filled with tire problems to win the Daytona 500. Chunks from disintegrating tires shattered the windshields of top contenders Curtis Turner, Dick Hutcherson and Marvin Panch, knocking them out. Petty's Plymouth was in front when a heavy rain forced the race to be flagged two laps early. Petty became the first repeat winner of the 500.


On February 28th, in:



Mario Andretti... Born ... One of the most successful Americans in the history of auto racing.  

Note:  American?  I thought he was born in Italy?  Yes, he was!  Would it be “politically correct to refer to him as an “Italian-American”?



           This writer was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in Fort Bliss, Texas, with a rank of E-5 



Joe Gaerte... Born ... World of Outlaws sprint car driver.




A.J. Foyt won the 500 mile NASCAR GN race at Ontario Motor Speedway. Foyt drove the Wood Brothers Mercury past Buddy Baker with 14 laps left and crossed the finish line 8.5 seconds in front of Baker's Petty Dodge. 51 cars took the green flag starting three-abreast in the first NASCAR race on the 2.5 mile OMS oval.



Tony Schumacher drove his Top Fuel dragster through the 1/4 mile at 330.23 mph at Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona. His speed is nearly 4 mph faster than his previous record in 1999.



On February 29th, in:



Masten Gregory... Born ... Masten Gregory was born in Kansas City, Missouri and raced in Formula One between 1957 and 1965, participating in 43 World Championship races, and numerous non-Championship races.



Richard Petty wins the only Cup race run on February 29 (leap day), winning the Carolina 500 at Rockingham by two laps over Darrell Waltrip. Finishing 33rd in his first Cup race is a 20-year-old rookie named Bill Elliott. Elliott, who is not quite Awesome Bill from Dawsonville, completes 32 of 492 laps before engine problems end his day. Finishing 23rd that day: Richard Childress




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


Thursday, February 25th:

I have no idea as to what “HD Theater” is, but they have some shows on about the 2010 World Rally Championship.  Those are some shows that I feel should be on SPEED TV – not some of the junk they have on at night.


10:00 PM to 10:30 PM on HD Theater – 2010 World Rally Championship preview

10:30 PM to 11:00 PM on HD Theater – 2010 World Rally from Sweden – day 1 from Feb 12th.


Friday, February 26th:


2:00 PM to 3:00 PM on SPEED – Nationwide practice from Las Vegas

3:00 PM to 4:30 PM on SPEED – Cup practice from Las Vegas

4:30 PM to 6:00 PM on SPEED – Final Nationwide practice

6:30 PM to 8:30 PM on SPEED – Cup Qualifying from Las Vegas

10:00 PM to 10:30 PM on HD Theater – World Rally from Sweden – Day 2 from February 13th.

10:30 PM to 11:00 PM on HD Theater – World Rally from Sweden – Day 3 from February 14th.


Saturday, February 27th:


12:00 PM to 1:30 PM on SPEED – Nationwide qualifying from Las Vegas

1:30 PM to 2:30 PM on SPEED – Cup practice

2:30 PM to 4:00 PM on SPEED – Final Cup practice

4:30 PM to 8:00 PM on ESPN2 – Nationwide race from Las Vegas

7:30 PM to 10:30 PM on SPEED – AMA Supercross Special from Atlanta, GA.


Sunday, February 28th:


3:00 PM to 6:30 PM on FOX – Cup race from Las Vegas

3:00 PM to 4:00 PM on SPEED – FIM World Superbike race 1 from Australia

4:00 PM to 5:00 PM on SPEED – FIM World Superbike race 2 from Australia

10:00 PM to 11:00 PM on HD Theater – 2010 World Rally from Sweden – event highlights


Note:  Not knowing where you might live, I sure hope the weather forecast for Thursday/Friday doesn’t interfere with your ability to watch some racing on TV!



Track news:

Not really much to report on this week.  Hopefully something will break over the next week.  But, again, I’ll make mention of the Motor Sports car show for OCFS:

From the OCFS website:

The 2010 Nostalgia night will be held on June 5, 2010. As in the past we will have the stars from days gone by, we are currrently looking to add to our already great list, if you have any requests for someone we may have missed in the past, let us know and we will do our best to get them to come to this event. Click here to send your request.”  Oh, the “Click here” – that leads you to an e-mail address, which is:  ocfsevents@yahoo.com




The History of the Sport:


Some things about racing here in the Northeast in 1949:


1949 – For midget racing, the downhill spiral picked up more speed, while stock car racing gained a lot of ground.  What was so nice about stock car racing, back then, and for a short time thereafter, was that you could use the same car on both dirt and paved tracks.  Eventually, “specialized” cars took over, and with that, the race fans, in a way, got “cheated” from seeing ALL the good drivers compete against each other at most of the weekly run tracks.


Here in the Northeast, midget racing opened up with a 14 race schedule at the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx.  Feature winners at the Armory were:  Bob Disbrow (3), Larry Bloomer (2), Stan Disbrow, Joe Barzda, Tony Bonadies, Russ Klar, Steve McGrath and Al Keller.


At Hinchliffe Stadium, they opened up with midget racing in early April, with some Sunday afternoon shows.  Starting on May 3rd, they went to two night a week shows, on Tuesday and Friday nights.  That didn’t last long, as there were slim crowds for those midget races.  On Tuesday, May 17th, the stock cars took over the Tuesday night shows, while the midgets remained on Fridays.  The last midget race, at Hinchliffe, in 1949, was held on August 5th, due to small crowds, and they were replaced with stock cars.

Bob Disbrow had 4 feature wins.  Mike Nazaruk had three, while Art Cross, Don Morris and Ernie McCoy each had two.   Single feature wins went to:  Stan Disbrow, Jim Reed, Len Duncan and Fred “Jiggs” Peters.  Art Cross was the track champion.


A new track – paved, was put in Veterans Stadium in Bayonne, NJ.  Races were held on Monday nights.  Feature winners were:  Dee Toran, Len Duncan, Ed “Dutch” Schaefer, Jim DiMarco, Russ Klar, Bill Schindler, “Pickles” Bickelhaupt, Johnny Zeke and Charlie Ethier.  Klar was the track champion – driving the Fred Maier specially made double BMW Cycle engine powered # 9 midget.


Klar also won the Freeport overall championship and the non-Offy championship, too, in the Maier BMW Cycle.  Nick Fornoro, Sr. won four features at Freeport.


Cherry Park, in Avon, Ct. had Bill Schindler win their opening race on April 3rd.   On April 17th, Johnny Ringger made his return to racing after having been so seriously injured in an accident in the Kingsbridge Armory.  He won the nights consolation race.


The midgets raced at the Hatfield, Pa. track on Sunday nights.  Schindler won on opening night in a Mike Caruso Offy  Following him were Len Duncan, in a new Ken Hickey Offy,  George Fonder. In a new Caccia Offy, Shorty McAndrew in a Ken Hickey # 19  and Joe Barzda in the Brugnolotti Offy.


A 100lap race was held in October, and Ralph Pratt won.  He was followed by Len Duncan, Ted Russo and Mike Little.  On the 58th lap, Chet Gibbons was fatally injured in an accident.


More on the 1949 season will continue, next week.



Former Dirt Oval runners:


Last weekend, out in Harrisburg, Pa, there was some indoor Kart races.  Some names of drivers that have run at OVRP’s Dirt Oval in the past, and some that more than likely will run at the Dirt Oval again in 2010 went there to compete.

Melissa Tsouhnikas was 1st in an Animal Light feature.  Kolby Schroder was 1st in a Briggs Heavy “A” feature and 1st in a Briggs Medium “B” feature.  Ricky Wolfe, Jr. was 3rd in a Briggs Heavy “B” feature.  Randy Brundage was 2nd in an over 35 feature.  Kevin Linton was 6th in the “Pro” feature.  Not sure if a Dan Miller has run at the Dirt Oval in the past, but he was 2nd in a Briggs “G” feature.  Sorry if I didn’t mention any others!


Other racin’ stuff:

Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I was kind of thrilled, back in 1996, when Tony George came out with the IRL and the proposed idea of having more American drivers in the IRL and the Indy 500.  Unfortunately, what we have now is something I consider to be “CART II”.  There’s an interesting thread, already 8 pages long, over on the Track Forum, a thread titled:  Yeah - No Americans signed this week”.  Check it out, here:  http://www.trackforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133915

And a couple of more threads about American sponsors and American drivers:


"The Problem" Isn't Foreign Ride Buyers, It's American Sponsors.”



Instead of a new car, why not more American drivers?”




More racin’ stuff:

Somewhere on the Internet, I’ve read that Dave Blaney will not have the primary # 66 car for Las Vegas – that they won’t get it back in time from NASCAR.  Still, I see he’s entered for the Las Vegas race in a # 66.

Here’s a link to the entry list, on Jayski’s website – 46 cars as of Wednesday:



Video time:


With it being the anniversary the birth of Johnny Cash, this Friday, the 26th of February, I thought it would be nice to have a couple of his videos this week.


From 1957:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnS57qkFnc4&NR=1


From 1958:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3Ga_89U9w0&feature=related


From his TV show:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Cru2ld06-A&feature=related




                                                                        Internet stuff:



Other forums/message boards and websites:

Note:  In this section, from now on, I’ll be making mention of some certain things being said on the Internet, and will give you links to those items, along with links to various websites, message boards and forums.  Hope you get a kick out of what some people are saying.


Track Forum: - http://www.trackforum.com/forums/

Well, from what I saw on TV last Saturday, in the Nationwide race from Fontana, Danica Patrick surely had an eye opening experience.  Lots being said over on the TF, and you can read it if you go here: 



Anybody ever remember - under a yellow - allowing a car in the pits to pass a car on the track to change/gain a position?  Well, Jimmie Johnson did that last week in the Cup race.



Frontstretch.com:  http://www.frontstretch.com/

I’ve always enjoyed what Matt McLaughlin had to say over on Frontstretch.  Here is what he had to say after the Daytona 500:




Jayski: - http://www.jayski.com/

The birth of NASCAR, More about Jeremy Mayfield, tire problems at Fontana – and more can be seen if you go here:



How did Johnson get the lead at Auto Club?

California TV Ratings down from 2009

NASCAR confiscates the #66 car: watching start-and-parkers?   These things, and so much more can be found if you go here:


And, if you’re intereste4d in some Nationwide Series news – like how much TV viewer ship was down for the Las Vegas race (even with Danica Patrick in it!), you can get info here:



More on this:  NASCAR Confiscates #66 Start & Park Entry:



I noticed quite a few race fans that were disguised as empty seats last weekend at the NASCAR races in Fontana.  I guess I wasn’t alone:

Meager crowd should make NASCAR rethink California schedule – check out this article by clicking on this link – if you’re on the New England Tractor website – or if on DTD – copy and paste it:



More stuff being written about Danica Patrick – like this:  “Danica Experiment meets reality”, which can be seen, here:



Some more interesting reading can be found in these links, below:

Hoseheads: - http://www.hoseheads.com/

Dirt Track Digest’s forum:  http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/forum/index.php

South Jersey Dirt Racing:  http://theboard.southjerseydirtracing.com/Msgboard.asp?ForumID=27&Return=Msgboard.asp&D83jsd=True

Syracuse forum   http://www.syracuse.com/forums/motorsports/


Here’s a website for you to check out – especially if you’re into restored race cars:


Note:  I see that they have, as of 2/24/2010 an incorrect date for their appearance at OCFS.  The correct date is June 5th – per the OCFS’s website and per the ACOT Newsletter that was received on 2/24/2010, via the US Mail.  June 5th at OCFS is their “Nostalgia” night, which seems to get bigger and better every year.  Info on the “Nostalgia Night” is shown above, in “Track News”.


Other (non racing) news:


Our health:

Over these last 14 years, ever since mid 1996, I have had some “health issues”.  My smoking, ever since a mid teenager, plus my diet, later on, were the culprits.  And ever since mid 1996, I’ve been on various types of medications.  Over time, due to cost, some of those meds were changed.  And, over time, some of the meds I’ve been on, have made the news due to some not so nice things about them.  Today, Wednesday, February 24th, I went over to Yahoo! to check out what was new.  Well, guess what – now they’re saying that ASPIRIN might not be all that good for certain people – those that might, like me, take on a day.  Check out what they’re saying, now:




Funny what 8 million dollars will make people say:

Yep, I’d probably say the same thing as Johnny Damon, when they had a press conference announcing that he’d signed to play for the Detroit Tigers for a one year deal worth 8 mil.  Questions are:  With Detroit being one of the hardest cities hit, money wise, will they draw enough fans to even pay for his salary?



A new kind of “Energy”?




Gasoline heading above $3 a gallon by this summer.  Kinda figured that, right?



Higher premiums for health insurance.  I could see this coming – could you?


WASHINGTON – Millions of seniors who signed up for popular private health plans through Medicare are facing sharp premium increases this year — another sign that spiraling costs are a problem even for those with solid insurance.





Closing with these:


I figure most men reading this will get a kick out of what follows – some tool “Definitions”:



A tall upright machine; useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.


Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, "Oh, shit!"


*A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.


*Used to round off bolt heads.  Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.


An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch up jobs into major refinishing jobs.


One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle ...

It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.


*Generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads.  If

nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense

welding heat to the palm of your hand.



*Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your

shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub

out of which you want to remove a bearing race...



*A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles

for testing wall integrity.



Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you have installed

your new brake shoes, trapping the jack handle firmly under the bumper.



A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops to cut good

aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more easily fit into the trash

can after you cut on the inside of the line instead of the outside edge.



*A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of everything you

forgot to disconnect...



Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for

opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil on your

shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips

screw heads.



A tool for opening paint cans.  Sometimes used to convert common slotted

screws into non-removable screws and butchering your palms.


**PRY BAR:**

A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you

needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.



A tool used to make hoses too short.



Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a

kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent to the

object we are trying to hit.



*Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard

cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on

contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles,

collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. 

Especially useful for slicing work clothes, but only while in use.


 **And this is my personal favorite hand tool.....** 

**Son-of-a-b*tch TOOL:**

Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling,

"Son-of-a-b*tch" at the top of your lungs.. It is also, most often, the

next tool that you will need.



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