Racin' Stuff:

                                                                                 By Tom Avenengo



First things, first:


Again, it is with great sadness that I dedicate this weeks column to a certain person.  This one is closer to home, as they say.  Joan Kopp, or “Grandma” as we all affectionately called her, left us last Saturday, September 19th.  Joan was the mother of my son Eric’s first wife, Joann, and was living with Joann for as long as I can remember.  She did an exceptional job in assisting in the up-bringing of our grand daughter, Samantha Avenengo (who was born on my birthday), our grandson, Brett Avenengo, and their half sister Casandra Newman.  Sadly, I never had the chance to thank her for all that she did for our grand children, but in a way, I imagine she knew how I (we) felt.  Even though Joann and Eric have divorced, we all remain very close.  It was just a week prior to her passing that we had a gathering at Samantha’s new apartment, and “Grandma” was mostly her usual self.  She had mentioned to my wife that she wanted her hair to grow long enough so she could wear it in a “pigtail” again.  Somehow, I don’t think that has happened. 

So, for this weeks column – this one is for you, “Grandma”.  Thanks for all you did.  May you rest in peace.  You won’t be forgotten!  You done good, “grandma”!

If interested, her obituary can be found, here:



Some of my thoughts – part 1:

The folks that run the racing at the Orange County Fair Speedway, in Middletown, NY, might consider me to be a thorn in their sides.  On some occasions I’ve requested info about certain things, mostly about Eastern States Weekend, and, sad to say, have had no responses.  Looking at various forums and Message boards on the Internet, it looks like I’m not the only one that is questioning what kind of tires are to be used for ESW.  I have yet to actually see anything posted, but I’ve heard a couple of  rumors”.  I just hope that whatever tires have to be used – there are enough of them available.  I’ve also heard that the tire that might be the one for ESW really hasn’t lasted as long as they were hoping, while being used at OC this season.  I hope in wrong on this.

Last Saturday night at OCFS, they had what was billed as the “Night of Destruction”.  Lots of stuff scheduled, with a couple of “races” thrown in.   Hey, I saw ads for the show on television, folks! I understand that it was a standing room only crowd.  Now, if you remember, the week before, when the last race was scheduled, they didn’t get to run the Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock features.  Now I’ve been to OC on quite a few occasions this past racing season, and from what I could see, the crowds were still quite down.  Okay, I have no idea as to what kind of “contract” was between the track and whoever put the show on last Saturday, but I believe that someone sure “missed the boat” by not having those three features run prior to the “Destruction” that took place.  A full house of spectators and I wonder – how many of them have actually seen real racing at OCFS?  And, if those features had been added, might it have helped in getting new race fans to OC in the future?  We’ll never know, of course, since those features that were rained out will now be held sometime in the 2010 racing season – hopefully.  I say “hopefully” because I’m thinking – what if someone else comes in to promote the races at OC in 2010?  Hey, I have family members that got stung a year ago at OC when the CRSA sprinters were there and the show got rained out and never re-scheduled.  Oh, yes, they could have used their pit passes for some CRSA race (at a DIRTcar track) someplace in up-state New York.  The reason – DIRTcar was gone from OC in 2009,and those monies went to DIRTcar, and nor kept at OC.  I think you see my point here, right - different promoters?  And, reading on the Internet, I read that some of those that were “driving/racing” on the track had no types of safety uniforms on?

Oh, as for advertising – OCFS, from what I can recall, has had zero ads in the Middletown Times Herald-Record during the entire 2009-racing season.  And, I have seen nothing advertising the racing on television, either.  BUT, I’ve heard ads on the radio!  Only thing was – what they were advertising on the radio, wasn’t listed on the tracks schedule for that coming Saturday night.


While up at the Accord Speedway last Friday night, I happened to have a nice chat with one of the OCFS drivers.  Got some tire info from him, and also something else – It looks like there might not be a 358 Modified class at OC in 2010.  Such a shame, I think.  Hey, what about next years ESW?  If OC has no 358 Modified class in 2010, why have a race for that class at ESW?  Or, maybe OCFS will go the way Accord has gone – two separate Sportsman classes – one with “Crate” engines and one with “Race” engines?  I could see that happening.  Heck Accord, when they started their “Spec” Sportsman class, they had maybe a dozen cars or so, when it started up.  Looking at the Accord “Spec” Sportsman final point standings for the 2009 season, one can see that they’ve had 38 cars in that class over the season.  Now, if both Accord and OC could get together on the tire situation.  Hey, I can dream, right?


Some of my thoughts – part 2:

Today’s racecars – just what are they?  You look at NASCAR and it’s Cup Series – all cars have the same bodies, whether it’s a Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge or Toyota.  Do they all look identical on the highways?  There’s been a lot of talk on the Internet lately about the bodies that are on the dirt modifieds here in the northeast.  They sure don’t look like anything you’d see on the road, that’s for sure.  “Back in the day”, when you went to the junk yards for your parts, most of the bodies on the modifieds you could recognize.  Today, that isn’t so.  A lot of people would like to see a return to the steel bodies that are presently seen on our highways today.  I read that the New Egypt Speedway will allow steel bodies in 2010 – but you must use the body for the whole racing season.  On the Dirt Track Digest’s forum, there is a photo of a PT Cruiser body on a modified chassis.  It looks real neat.  One little thing is wrong though – it isn’t an actual photo, but a real good job on making it look real.  Just how much work would it take to take one of the “smaller” cars of today and mount it on a racing chassis?  I’ve read that it would have to be lengthened, and widened.  Of course, if using a steel body, you would not have all the down force that today’s modifieds have.  That might help as far as the surface goes on the dirt tracks.  I imagine if there was to be a class for the steel bodies, it would have to be at a “independent” track.  Somehow, I think it would be cool to see some of them racing around some dirt track here in the northeast.

Here is a link to a tread on the Dirt Track Digest about the new car bodies on racing chassis:





Going back, in time – Part 1:


On September 24th, in:



Duane Carter won the AAA Sprint Car race at the Salem Speedway, Salem, IN.

Frankie Luptow won the IMCA Sprint Car race at the Morgan County Speedway, Jacksonville, IL.



Bob Sweikert won the AAA Sprint Car race over Tommy Hinnershitz at the Eastern States Expo Speedway, West Springfield, MA.



Chuck Rodee won the AAA Midget race at the Motor City Speedway, Detroit,MI.

Bert Brooks won the URC Sprint Car race over Lou Johnson at the Shelby Fairgrounds,Shelby, NC.



Bill Randall won the ARDC Midget race at the Eastern States Expo Speedway, Springfield,MA.



Johnny Thomson... Died ... AAA / USAC . He won the 1952 AAA Eastern division Midget championship. He drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1953-1960 seasons with 69 starts, including the Indianapolis 500 races in each season. He finished in the top ten 43 times, with 7 victories. His best Indy finish was third in 1959. Roy Sherman, the first National Midget Champion, was his chief mechanic for several Indy 500s. He was the first driver to win a 100 mile dirt track race in less than an hour at Langhorne, Pennsylvania. His champ car's average speed was 100.174 miles per hour. Thomson was the 1958 USAC Sprint Car Series champion. He won the Eastern Sprint Car championship in 1954. He died at a sprint car event at the 1960 edition of the Allentown Fair when his car crashed through the fence and flipped into the infield. Thomson was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1996 and the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1997.


Note:  Thomson was fatally injured while driving the same car that Bill Schindler was fatally injured in, on September 20,1952 – also at Allentown.



Eddie Sachs won the USAC sanctioned Trenton 100 on the 1 Mile Paved Oval Trenton International Speedway in Trenton, NJ. Jim Hurtubise was second followed by Rodger Ward, Don Branson and Al Keller.



Gary Congdon ... Died ... USAC midget, sprint and Indy car driver. Congdon died in Terre Haute, Indiana in a crash in a midget car race.

A.J. Foyt won the USAC sanctioned Trenton 200 on the 1 Mile Paved Oval Trenton International Speedway in Trenton, NJ. Gordon Johncock was second followed by Bobby Unser, Jim McElreath and Bud Tingelstad.



Bobby Unser won the USAC sanctioned Trenton 300 on the 1.5 Mile Paved Oval Trenton International Speedway in Trenton, NJ. Mark Donohue was second followed by Joe Leonard, Billy Vukovich, Jr and Mike Mosley.



Kevin Gobrecht... Died ... 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.



Going back in time - Part 2:

It was on September 27, 2008, when we lost businessman, actor, race team owner and race driver, Paul Newman.

It was on September 27, 2007, when we lost Nofri (Nick) Fornoro, Sr. – 1950 ARDC driving champion and 1953 NASCAR Midget driving champion, and later on a starter (flagger) here in the east and then with CART for 200 consecutive races.  Getting “Nick” into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame is a project I’m starting on.Last year, I nominate George Rice and he’s going into the HoF this coming January.



Racing on TV:

Actual races on live TV:

Saturday, 9/26:

11:00 AM – 9:30 PM on SPEED - American Le Mans Series Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta,

3:30 PM – 6:00 PM on ESPN2 - NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200

10:00 PM – 12:30 AM on SPEED - NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Qwik Liner Las Vegas 350


Sunday, 9/27:

7:30 AM – 10:00 AM on SPEED - FIA Formula One Singapore Grand Prix, Singapore

2:00 PM – 6:00 PM on ABC - NASCAR Sprint Cup AAA 400, Dover International Speedway

5:00 PM- 6:00 PM on SPEED - FIM World Superbike, Imola, Italy, Race #1

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM on SPEED - FIM World Superbike, Imola, Italy, Race #2

7:00 PM – 10:00 PM on ESPN2 - NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing ELIMINATIONS


Note:  All time shown are for those of us here on the right coast.



Other forums/message boards and websites:


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


An interesting thread about Indy car racing and its “problems” can be found, here:



If you were a race fan from “Back in the day”, then you would recall the many races that “Indy” cars had at the mile track in Milwaukee – even back to when it was a mile dirt track.  Well, the future for Open Wheel racing at that famed oval is in jeopardy, from what I’ve been reading.  There are monies supposedly due to the IRL and NASCAR from those that run the track, and I guess they, and NASCAR, have kissed and made up.  Doesn’t look like that has happened with the track and the IRL, though.  Check this out:




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


Jim Beam leaving NASCAR? UPDATE: hearing that Jim Beam, sponsor for #7-Robby Gordon in 13-15 races a year, will not return to sponsor Gordon or any other team in 2010 and will concentrate on sponsoring Kid Rock's world tour.(9-19-2009)
UPDATE: Beam Global Spirits & Wine, Inc., maker of Jim Beam Bourbon, the world's number one-selling Bourbon, announced that its marketing plans for 2010 will not include a return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. As a result, the company will not extend its current partnership with Robby Gordon Motorsports in 2010. The company plans to focus its marketing resources for Jim Beam into other platforms that directly impact the end consumer. "It was a difficult decision to transition away from being a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team sponsor," said Bill Newlands, president Beam Global Spirits & Wine U.S. "We always take a hard look at our marketing resources and how we can best interact with legal purchase age consumers. After an extensive review of our marketing strategy, we have come up with new alternatives to fuel growth for Jim Beam in 2010." Jim Beam will continue its support of #7-Robby Gordon Motorsports for the remainder of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup series schedule."Jim Beam has been a great partner for the past five years," said Robby Gordon. "I would like to thank them for their support through the years. They have been with me since we started the team in 2005, helping build our Cup team and aiding in its success. Great relationships have been formed, and I expect those to continue well into the future."(RGM PR)(9-22-2009)


Jack Daniel's to Conclude NASCAR Program: Brown-Forman will conclude its Jack Daniel's NASCAR program and will not extend its sponsorship with Richard Childress Racing's #07 team. A change in Brown-Forman's spending priorities led to the decision to conclude the sponsorship that began in 2005. The Brown-Forman/Jack Daniel's partnership with RCR will continue for the remainder of the 2009 racing season and the entire team is committed to being competitive on the track each and every race. "Jack Daniel's has enjoyed a good five-year run with Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and NASCAR, and we are pleased with the overall performance of our sponsorship program," said Tim Rutledge, vice president and brand director for Jack Daniel's. "We have enjoyed building strong relationships with the people in Richard's organization and throughout NASCAR. While it is difficult for us to end our formal relationship with RCR, the current economic environment has compelled us to revaluate our spending and we've concluded that other areas in the marketing mix require additional investment. We want to thank the many friends and fans of the Jack Daniel's 07 Racing Team, and we can't say enough about your incredible support over the last five years. And, as we have since 1866, we will continue to find ways to thank you and keep your loyalty of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey." Brown-Forman, Jack Daniel's, and RCR are particularly pleased to have taken a leadership role in communicating a responsible drinking message throughout its NASCAR sponsorship through its core message of Pace Yourself, Drink Responsibly, featured in all NASCAR promotional materials, including on the race car itself.
"Brown-Forman has been a great partner of RCR for the past five years through its Jack Daniel's brand," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "They quickly became a NASCAR-industry leader in the promotion of the Jack Daniel's brand through the Pace Yourself, Drink Responsibly messaging, which our fans have embraced. We understand the shift in their spending priorities during these tough economic times and the #07 Jack Daniel's Racing program will continue to provide that successful platform for the rest of the 2009 season. We have built many valuable relationships with the loyal Brown-Forman employees and their distributors during our partnership and look forward to maintaining those relationships in the future."(RCR)(9-21-2009)


Note:  Wow!  Kinda looks like the “Booze” business is getting away from racing, doesn’t it?



NASCAR asks for evaluations of Mayfield: NASCAR asked a federal judge Monday to order a mental and physical examination on suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield to determine if he has a substance-abuse problem and/or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The filing in U.S. District Court includes three affidavits and one deposition from four different people who claim to have witnessed Mayfield using methamphetamines multiple times since 1999. NASCAR asked U.S. District Judge Graham Mullen to order Mayfield to report for a psychiatric, neuropsychological and physical examination in November. NASCAR selected the physicians it wants to examine Mayfield. Mayfield did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.(full story at the Associated Press)(9-22-2009)


Note:  And the “Soap Opera” continues.



New Hampshire Overnight TV Ratings down: ABC's broadcast of Sunday's Sylvania 300 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway earned a 2.5 overnight rating from Nielsen Media Research, Street and Smith's SportsBusiness Daily reports. The rating is 21.9% lower than the 3.2 ABC earned overnight for the race in 2008.(SceneDaily), for race by race TV Ratings and more, see my 2009 TV Ratings page.(9-22-2009)


Note:  Uh, can you say “Football”??



Hamlin runs over foot of #07 crew member UPDATE 2: during 2nd caution pit satops of the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, #11-Hamlin ran over the foot of Clint Pittman, the rear tire changer for #07-Mears. Pittman went to the Infield Care Center for Xrays.(9-20-2009)
UPDATE: Clint Pittman, rear tire changer on the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevy of Casey Mears, was clipped by #11-Denny Hamlin during pit stops on Lap 69. Pittman injured his foot and was replaced by Shane Church, who practices with the backup crew at Richard Childress Racing. Mears restarted 27th following the accident and remained outside the top 25 until a call to stay out on Lap 193 by crew chief Todd Berrier. Mears restarted sixth and finished 13th, his third top 15 finish in the last six races. Pittman will see an orthopedic doctor on Monday. Doctors at the track infield care center suspected a small fracture to the top of his foot, according to RCR pit crew coordinator Matt Clark.(FoxSports)(9-21-2009)
UPDATE 2: Last week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Clint Pittman, rear-tire changer on the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevy, was injured when another car ran over his right foot during a pit stop. X-rays and medical consultation this week showed his foot was fractured, which has resulted in him being sidelined for the rest of the season while it heals.(RCR PR)(9-22-2009)


Note:  I wonder if this would not have happened if there were no pitting under yellow?



Montoya blows off interview, in trouble?: #42-Juan Pablo Montoya may be in trouble with NASCAR  certainly with its PR operations -- after an incident in which he blew off a pre-planned satellite interview with a major California Fox affiliate, Sacramento's KTXL. Montoya and NASCAR both are now on that station's D-list. And Sacramento is, of course, the state capital, where governor Arnold Schwarzenegger holds forth. Schwarzenegger typically attends NASCAR events in that state, and will likely be at Southern California's Auto Club Speedway in a few weeks for the California 500 chase race. Montoya was doing a routine round of Sprint Cup championship chase interviews [Saturday?] in advance for the first race of the chase, but when 5 o'clock rolled around, he took off his mike and walked off the NASCAR set. Much to the chagrin of the KTXL reporters who had been patiently awaiting their NASCAR-scheduled spot in the interview line. See the video of the incident and Jim Crandell's commnetary about it and NASCAR's waning popularity at fox40.com.(MikeMulhern.net)(9-21-2009)


Note:  Juan?  What is wrong with you?  You’re not in Formula One anymore!



Stewart: Regular-season champ should be honored: #14-Tony Stewart isn't complaining about the way NASCAR resets the points when the Chase for the championship starts. The two-time series champion knows the rules are the rules and besides, he won his second title during the second year of the Chase in 2005. But after dominating the regular season, Stewart admits he'd like something -- anything really -- for his efforts besides a spot behind top-seeded Mark Martin when the 10-race chase begins on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Martin starts the Chase with a 10-point cushion over Stewart and Jimmie Johnson based on his series-high four wins this year. "I think there should be a $1 million bonus to be leading the points, and not just because it's us," said Stewart. "I think there should be something. It doesn't upset me that the points get upset, but I do think there should be a reward for the team that is leading after 26 weeks. That's an accomplishment."(Associated Press/ESPN)(9-20-2009)


Note:  In a way, I agree with Tony on this.  As far as I’m concerned, if they did away with the “Chase”, I’d be happy.  I believe that Jeff Gordon would have at least one, and maybe two more championships if it weren’t for the chase.  Last year, I believe Jayski had points, during the chase, for the chase and for the whole season.  I’ll have to check and see if they’re doing that again this year.




NASCAR.com:  http://www.nascar.com/


Are you interested in the 2010 NASCAR schedules?  If so, you can check them out, here:






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


Maybe you’ve already heard of this, and maybe not, but the 4* race team had their equipment stolen last weekend up in Canada.  For info on this, please check it out, here:  http://www.dirttrackdigest.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=31912


And more can be seen if you go here, including a link to an interview with Vinnie, the owner of the 4* cars:




Note:  Again, a full list of what was stolen will be at the end of this column.






On this website you’ll find some race reports for OVRP’s Dirt Oval, photos from Ralph Corwin, and this column, too.  In the future, I’m planning on a few articles with photos – from “Back in the day”.  Look for some photos next week.






OCFS - http://www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net/

There’s one more “event” at OCFS prior to Eastern States Weekend, and that is a practice day on Saturday, October 3rd.

From their website:


Note:  Clicking on the link, above, will take you to all the info about ESW




Bethel Motor Speedway:  http://www.bethelmotorspeedway.com/BethelMotorSpeedway/HomePage.html


September 26th & 27th:  “Bethel Motor Madness” – Points end for all their classes – Dirt Sportsman, Pro Stocks, Street Stocks, 4 Cylinder, INEX Legends/Bandoleros.  50 bonus points.




Accord - http://www.accordspeedway.com/


From their website:


Sept 25 & Sept 26

 Sponsored by WLR Construction
Rain Date Oct 2 & 3

 Friday-Modifieds $6000 to win
ROC 100 Lap Race-
Fuel Stop at 50 Laps
Qualifier for Short Track SuperNationals
plus Pro Stock - Jr + Sr Slingshots

Saturday-Sportsman $1000 to win
-Spec Sportsman-Pure Stocks-
CRSA Sprints

 Friday-Spec Gates open at 5:00 Pit Gates open at 3:30
Adults $23 Kids $5
(5-11) Indoor Seating $30
Family 4 Pack-2 Adults 2 Kids + $20 in food vouchers for $66
Spec Gates open at 4:00 Pit Gates at 3:00
Adults $16 Kids $4 Indoor Seating $23
Family 4 Pack-2 Adults 2 Kids + $20 in food vouchers for $50
Registration form located in the "Forms" section

Att: Modified Drivers may not compete in Sportsman Division


As for the weather for Accord, this coming Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as of 5:00 PM on Tuesday, it’s:


Thursday: Sunshine and clouds mixed. High near 75F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph.

Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the mid 50s.

Saturday: Mainly sunny. Highs in the mid 60s and lows in the upper 40s.



OVRP’s Dirt Oval - http://www.ovrpdirtoval.com/


As far as I know, it’s double points racing this coming Saturday at the Dirt Oval.  Their schedule, per their website, shows point racing on October 3rd, 10th and 17th – with the 17th being the final point night.  Their Novermberfest racing weekend is scheduled for October 23rd, 24th and 25th, with October 30th, 31st and November 1st being used in case of rain on the 23rd – 25th.  Also they will have a “Turkey” race on whatever make up weekend they don’t use.




OVRP’s road course:  http://www.ovrp.com/ovrp/pages/home.asp


From their website:


Thursday, September 24th
& Friday, September 25th

Contact Tim for Instruction appointment

Practice Karts and Super Moto
plus Instruction
Contact Tim for Instruction appointment


Saturday, September 26th
Open Practice 10:00am-3:00pm
Karts and Super Moto


Sunday, September 27th
OVRP Race Series
Gates open at 8:30am
Practice starts at 10:00am




Hamlin is all done for this season.




Former OVRP Dirt Oval runners:


At Accord, in the Modified feature, Lex Burritt was 12th, Greg Hastie 13th and Jamie Yannone 22nd.

In the Sportsman feature, Brian Krummel was 3rd and Mike Ruggiero 5th.

In the Spec Sportsman feature, Anthony Perrego was 2nd, Kyle Rohner 5th, Jason Roe 8th and Bobby Hassenmayer 19th.

At Stafford, David Webb was 10th and Lauren Cooper 17th, in the SK Light feature.

At Hamlin, Emily VanInwegen was 7th in the makeup feature and was a DNQ in the regular feature.  In the held over 600 wingless Micro Sprint feature, Molly Chambers was 13th, Brittany Tresch 20th and Luke Schotstkewitz 22nd.

In the nights regular feature, Brittany was 1st, Luke 8th and Molly 19th. That was the first win for Brittany.

At New Egypt, in the Modified feature, Johnny Guarino was 17th.

At Wyalusing, in the 270 Micro Sprints, Jacob Hendershot was 4th and Rick Casario 5th.

At Mahoning Valley, in the 600 Modified feature, Brad Szulewski was 6th.

At the SDS race up at Autodrome Drummond Speedway, in Canada, Michael Storms was 30th in the feature.


Note:  The Big Block car the Michael drives, as well as the Small Block that Brett Hearn has driven, for Vinnie Salerno, were stolen while in a Motel parking lot, up in Canada - truck, trailer and cars.  The truck and trailer were recovered, but the trailer was 99% empty.  Michael did get a ride in the Billy Decker back up # 91 for the Drummond race.  I understand there’s a $20,000.00 reward out for info and recovery of the racecars and everything else that was stolen.  At the end of this column is information on exactly what was stolen.


Point wise, for Accord, it ended up like this:

Modifieds:  Greg Hastie 11th, Lex Burritt 25th, Jimmy Johnson 31st, Danny Creeden 37th, Tim Hindley 38th and Jamie Yannone 39th.  In the Sportsman class, Brian Krummel was 1st, Mike Ruggiero 3rd, Clinton Mills 23rd, Keith Leonard 28th and Doc Young 32nd.  In the Spec Sportsman class, Anthony Perrego was 2nd, Kyle Rohner 5th, Jason Roe 15th, Matt Hitchcock 27th, Rich Coons 34th and Bobby Hassenmayer 35th.




Other racin’ stuff:

If you recall, I had this in my column, last week:

More racin’ stuff:


Formula one mess – so you are the owner of a Formula One race team, and to insure that one of your drivers will win the championship, you ask his teammate to do something he ordinarily would not do – crash on purpose.  True or not?  I doubt we’ll never find out for sure, but we’ll get an inkling of the results in a couple of weeks, maybe.




Well, this past Monday, this came out on Yahoo! News:



Here are a few things that are in the article:

By SAMUEL PETREQUIN, AP Sports Writer Samuel Petrequin, Ap Sports Writer

PARISNelson Piquet Jr. wishes every day he had refused orders to deliberately crash at a race.

The fallout from that incident hit Monday, when Formula One spared his former team severe punishment but indefinitely banned the disgraced official who called for the crash.

Renault received a suspended ban; the team would be permanently disqualified from the sport if it breaks the FIA's rules within the next two years. Flavio Briatore, who quit as team principal last week, was banned indefinitely from F1 activities by the World Motor Sport Council. Engineering executive director Pat Symonds, who also left Renault last week, was banned for five years after expressing his "eternal regret and shame" that he participated in the conspiracy.”



“The Renault scandal is the latest in a series of controversies in F1. The year began with challenges over the legality of several cars, including pacesetting Brawn GP, under new technical regulations.

Soon after, defending F1 champion Lewis Hamilton of McLaren admitted to deliberately misleading a steward's inquiry. That prompted the departure of the team's sporting director, Dave Ryan, while team boss Ron Dennis also stepped aside.

The Formula One Teams Association also threatened to quit F1 and launch its own series, the culmination of a power struggle that characterized the often antagonistic relationship between the teams and the sport's officials.

Two constructors have pulled out of Formula One in recent months — with Honda stopping its activities last December and BMW announcing that it will quit at the end of the season.”




“The ban could endanger Briatore's co-ownership of second-tier English soccer club Queens Park Rangers. Football League rules say that the owner, prospective owner or director of a club should not be "subject to a ban from a sports governing body relating to the administration of their sport."



Family members in racing:

It looks like our grandson, Brett, will run a Kart for Clark McCollum again this coming Saturday at the OVRP’s Dirt Oval.  I guess that this writer will “bless” the Dirt Oval with my presence!  Methinks it’s been almost two hears now since I was there last.





More racin’ stuff:


According to what I read, on Tuesday, there are 44 entrants for the Cup race at Dover this coming Sunday.  I imagine they’ll have the usual “Start & park” guys, too.  Next year should prove to be quite interesting in Cup, Nationwide and the Truck Series, what with sponsorship getting to be harder and harder to come by.  And, with the top of the line being so affected, you just know it’s putting a hurting on those lower classes – mostly our weekend racers.  From what I’ve seen, car counts have been down this current season.



The History of the Sport:

At times, we’ve lost drivers while they were competing on the speedways.  Here, below, is just a small, partial list of those that have perished while doing what they loved to do – alphabetically, with a partial list of last names continuing with the letter “T”, this week.  I imagine that you might recognize some of the names listed.   Later on, in future columns, I’ll continue my way through the alphabet.

Edmond Thorne, Jon Thorne, Tom Thrash, Tommy Tilotta, Francis Timm, Doyle Tindall, Jerry Titus, Dick Tobias*,


Edward Tobin, Tim Todd, Michael Todd Bishop, Doug Toepper, Ivan Tokle, Link Toland, Ned Tomlinson, Frank Toth,


Joe Towles, Don Townsend, Yeiji Toyota, Michael Trent, Ernie Triplett, Wolfgang von Trips,


A. D. Trowell, Bob Truchinski, Stan Trumbower, Bill Tucker, Ken Tucker, Terry Turbak, Walter Turley,


Lou Turner, Jim Turner, Robert Turner, Les TurnerBen Tyler and Patrick Tynan



* The sad thing about the Tobias fatality is that Toby was racing in a race that really wasn’t necessary.  There was a short field of cars that day, and a certain amount of races were scheduled to be run, and the promoter held USAC to that amount,  so a “Consolation” type of race was run and it was in that race that Tobias had his accident.


Clicking on the names, above, will lead you to a short story, if any, on what caused those particular drivers fatal injuries.



Video time:

Again, something different this week – Red Skelton – probably as you might not have ever seen him:




Other (non racing) news:

GM to restore more employees and increase production:  http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090922/bs_nm/us_gm_production

That is good news, maybe.  If they can only sell a bunch of car with a “Cash for Clunkers” program, then I can see problems down the road.


House votes to extend jobless benefits:  http://www.cbs6albany.com/news/benefits-1266726-unemployment-states.html

WASHINGTON – Republican lawmakers rebuked the Obama administration Tuesday for telling health insurance companies to stop warning elderly customers they'll lose benefits in health care legislation, which some equated to a gag order.

More on this can be seen, here:  http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090922/ap_on_go_co/us_health_care_medicare



Here are some recent letters to the editor of my local paper, the Middletown Times Herald-Record:


Public option needed

We can ignore politicians and the vast whole "health care industry" barking about "socialism." They're paid to bark. Cut off their money and they might become more decent, responsible human beings. We need a public option plan to keep them honest.

The president is pretty much all by himself. He has to beat back the $1.3 million a day — a day! — the insurance companies are pouring into lobbying Congress and brainwashing the public. He's trying to do a good thing. Will the public get smart and help him? The tide seems to be turning in favor of the public option. Let's hope so.

The facts are clear: The fee-for-service system we have is geared to put as much money as possible into the pockets of the vast health-care industry. It works only for the privileged and those of us on Medicare already enjoying a public option. As in the world's other developed countries, we must have a public option to keep the private plans honest. It would be affordable and do the job.


Classic extremist tactic

The would-be anger at the many misgivings of the private health insurance industry have been skillfully misdirected through what has become the hallmark of ultraconservative politics.

This classic tactic is quite simple: A politician (let's say a Republican) tells his constituency that an issue, such as health-care reform, will seriously undermine their security, freedom and/or cultural or religious values and they will go into a frenzy. Sound familiar? It should. These tactics were used unabashedly by the Bush administration to drum up support for the otherwise unmarketable invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Amongst the current maelstrom of ridiculousness, we've heard about "death panels" and the "rationing of health care," the failures of government-run programs, "taxpayer-funded abortions" and "end of life care — assisted suicide." Some will call its proponents communists and/or socialists, or in some way un-American. After all, our country (i guess they mean economic framework) is "founded on capitalism" and "free trade." By the time this is all over, the new "Axis of Evil" will be the Northeast, the Democratic Party and the White House.

I don't know what the proper solution is to solve the inefficiency and negligence of our current system. But I do know that a poor (wo)man who says "free markets will solve all my problems" is a sucker; I know that anyone who questions another (wo)man's patriotism because of their political inclinations is a hypocrite; and I know that many conservative anxieties surrounding the possibility of reform are grossly misguided, misplaced and ill-informed.


Odd attitude on insurance

I find it odd, even a little funny, that fellow Americans who have fine health insurance coverage, for life! — check the state Department of Transportation retirees and some of our congressmen — tend to be so raucous in their denunciations of other Americans who only want everyone to be able to have some kind of coverage.


An American,


Put pols on Social Security

A recent letter writer hit it right on the head (equal care is the way to go). Have your local congressman or senator propose a bill that would put politicians on Social Security.

Politicians don't pay into Social Security, nor do they get benefits from it. Rather, many years ago, they voted themselves their own benefits package that entitles them to receive full pay upon retirement until they die and the continuance of benefits to their spouses upon their death. A young politician retiring early receives staggering benefits and pays absolutely nothing into the plan!

The money comes from the general fund, which is you and I! The average citizen retiree receives about $1,000 per month. It would take 68 years at that rate to match Sen. Bill Bradley's benefits, and how many years ago did he retire?

Put politicians into Social Security and see how quickly things shape up. Contact your rep or senator and see what he or she has to say about this. If you don't get a satisfactory answer, if you get an answer at all, follow that old baseball fan adage "Throw the bum out!"


From last week:

Quick Quiz:

Any idea as to what I’m talking about with the following?

In New York City – about 775 MPH

In Los Angeles – about 850 MPH

On the equator – about 1038 MPH


Those are the speeds, in MPH, that the earth travels, as it turns, in those respective places.  Along with the turning of the earth, there also is the atmosphere, too, which travels the same speed or in some instances, faster.


Here is what was sent out about what was stolen from the Vinnie Salerno owned 4* race team last week, up in Canada:




Contact:  Jo Ann & Don Davies                                    







STONY POINT, NY (September 23, 2009) –  Vinnie Salerno, owner of Four Star Transmissions Motorsports, formally announced today a reward of $20,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the weekend theft of the contents of the Four Star truck and hauler.


The theft, which took place from the parking lot of the Motel Blanchette at 225 Blvd. St. Joseph West, Drummondville, Quebec, Canada, on Saturday, September 19, 2009 included the following items: 

·        complete big block Modified car

·        complete small block Modified car

·        60 Keizer wheels mounted with Hoosier tires

·        several unmounted Keizer wheels

·        black Snap On Tool wheeled tool box with all hand tools

·        One Off pit cart

·        impact wrenches

·        Storms’ helmet and Hans device

·        two complete Quick Change rear ends

·        five carburetors

·        bottle of Nitro Oxygen

·        lead weights

·        Four Star Motorsports set up books

·        RACEceiver  and Transponder systems

·        transmissions

·        30 shocks

·        front end unit

·        entire contents of all hauler cabinets (i.e. nuts, bolts, etc.)

·        Storms’ apparel items (including tee shirts for sale)



Motel security cameras show the Four Star truck and hauler being driven out of the motel at 5:19 a.m. on Saturday, September 19 by a heavy set male with light or grey hair and a companion.  The truck and hauler were found abandoned in a rural hunting area approximately 30 minutes from the motel.  The vehicle, which had become stuck on the dirt road, was empty of its entire contents except for several jugs of racing fuel. 


No insurance was carried on the trailer contents which means the team will have to replace all items, from complete cars to spare nuts and bolts, with no outside source of funding.


Salerno has an extensive inventory of the contents and indicates all items, including hand tools, were marked with the team name making it difficult for the thieves to resell them. 


The $20,000 reward is being offered by the Salerno family and team sponsor Don Kruger.  They are asking the members of the racing community to be alert and report anything they might see at upcoming race flea markets, on the internet, or on used car parts they might be purchasing. 


Anyone with information, no matter how small the detail, is asked to called Vinnie Salerno at 845-786-2200 or 845-591-7254.  All information will be investigated.  The team is hopeful a piece of information learned will lead to an arrest and conviction.




Closing with this:


Subject: Lawyer vs Policeman


A lawyer runs a stop sign and gets pulled over by a policeman.  He thinks that he is smarter than the policeman because he is sure that he has a better education.  He decides to prove this to himself and have some fun at the policeman's expense. 

Policeman says, "License and registration, please."

Lawyer says, "What for?"

Policeman says, "You didn't come to a complete stop at the stop sign."

Lawyer says, "I slowed down, and no one was coming."

Policeman says, "You still didn't come to a complete stop.  License and registration, please."

Lawyer says, "What's the difference?"

Policeman says, "The difference is, you have to come to a complete stop, that's the law.  License and registration, please!"

Lawyer says, "If you can show me the legal difference between slow down and stop, I'll give you my license and registration and you give me the ticket--if not, you let me go and no ticket."

Policeman says, "Exit your vehicle, sir."

At this point, the policeman takes out his nightstick and starts beating the stuffing out of the lawyer and says: "Do you want me to stop or just slow down?"




May “Guardian Angels” sit on the shoulders of all of our race drivers and guide them safely around the tracks!


Drive safe! 


As usual, you can reach me at:  ygordad@yahoo.com