Racin' & Internet Stuff:
By Tom Avenengo
Volume # 36
Please, don’t forget:
This coming Sunday is Halloween. The little ones will be out and about. If you’re driving, please be careful!
Some of my thoughts:
In my opinion, and, from what I’ve been reading on the Internet, I’m no the only one that thinks the Eastern States 200 should have been red flagged when a scoring problem arose at around laps 182-184. Yes, it was red flagged some laps later, after some yellow flag laps were scored, when the race leader, Stewart Friesen, objected to his being placed in second position rather than first for a re-start, and he parked his car at the end of the front stretch to have a “chat” with the starter and some of the race officials. Sadly, it seems that “common sense” went out the window when the problem arose. So, even with the AMB scoring system, it looks like there can be quite a “gray area” – something that maybe common sense should over ride a computer, maybe?
My heart goes out to Clinton Mills. The way he was running, just prior to the red flag, was THE RACE! Low buck team, with what I’ve read was coming to ESW on an open trailer, with a home built engine, and here is this driver passing some of the best in the business, with a run, on the top, that was so beautiful to watch. He had the momentum, and prior to that red flag, the speed to overtake the top cars in front of him – Stewart Friesen and Tim McCreadie. I’ve read that during that way too long red flag period, the left rear on his car slowly leaked air.
My heart also goes out to Michael Storms. Just a week prior to Eastern States, Michael and the Four Star team split. That left him with no ride for ESW. In stepped Brett Hearn and the Madsen race team, and put Michael in a Brett Hearn big block back-up car. Michael went out and qualified the car third fastest for the 200. On Sunday, the rear let go in a hot lap session. Hmm, that’s been a yearlong problem with Hearn and his cars, it seems. That left Michael with no ride, so it seemed. Up stepped Chris Shultz. He offered his back-up # 24 for Michael. Unfortunately, the car wasn’t quite set-up right, and after some laps, Michael retired from the race, ending up 34th. Had the rear not let go, I feel Michael would have been right there at the end.
You can spend hours reading about what happened during the
ESW 200 on forums and message boards like the Syracuse Forum, Dirt Track Digest
and the South Jersey Dirt Racing forum.
There are some that agree with what Friesen did, and some that
don’t. I’d venture to say that most
comments about how the track handled it were not in favor of the track. Face it folks, OCFS is not the most favorite
track to quite a lot of “race fans”.
Maybe it’s because they’ve chosen to go “Independent”, or maybe it’s
because of how the place, as Historical is it is, has gone so far down hill
over these last years. The property, now
being in a “For Sale” state, hasn’t helped it keep fans, either, I believe. And contrary to what you might have read elsewhere, or maybe in a part in my column a week ago, the
sale of the property really can be accomplished WITHOUT the new buyer keeping
the track or the fair, itself, operating.
Maybe, for a while, we should be happy that the economy and the real
estate market kind of suck right now, and no one has come forward (that I know
of) with an actual offer or financial backing, to purchase the property. Heck, I know of a real nice track down in
The racing season is just about over. I’ve been leaning towards doing my columns every other week after next week – still on Thursdays, though. In between, on occasion, I’ll have some articles out – probably mostly pictorial, which would eliminate them being on Dirt Track Digest, but them being on the New England Tractor website - http://newenglandtractor.com/racereport/
Our National Anthem – the first verse - I suppose that if you’re up in years, as I am, you, too, might “cringe” at some of the renditions that we hear – whether on TV or when at an event. What bugs me the most is when the “performer” tries to see how high they can get when singing the word “free”, in bold, below. Another thing – have you noticed lately the changing of a word? I have. And it’s not only on TV but also in renditions that I’ve heard in person. The word “fight”, in bold, below, has been changed to the word NIGHT. Why? And how about those that have to pronounce the letter “H” when saying/singing “Oh”, and “And”
say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
I’m a member of the AARP. I really don’t get much use out of being a member – maybe a discount on a Motel room on occasion, and I do belong to their Motoring Plan – just in case I might have a problem while traveling. I know that some AARP members were quite upset when the AARP came out in favor of the medical plan that our President is hoping to get passed, and I’m wondering if the announced news of the AARP sponsoring Jeff Gordon in NASCAR might get some more members riled up.
I found this, below, on Jayski’s website:
Jeff Gordon will 'Drive to End Hunger' beginning in 2011: UPDATE:
Hendrick Motorsports and Jeff Gordon have teamed with AARP and AARP Foundation
on the Drive to End Hunger, an
unprecedented three-year initiative to address the growing problem of hunger
among older Americans, including 6 million over the age of 60. Drive to End
Hunger will be the majority sponsor of Gordon's #24 Hendrick Motorsports team
in 2011, 2012 and 2013, with primary paint schemes in 22 Sprint Cup races
annually. The #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevy, which will be unveiled at a later
date, will race in the next three Daytona 500 events. With Gordon as its
spokesperson, Drive to End Hunger will help the millions of older Americans who
are facing hunger across the
UPDATE: Going to the AARP-sponsored car is big news for Gordon in another way -- in that DuPont, his long-time sponsor, will be in a reduced role beginning next season. "DuPont is not going away," insisted Hendrick, who added that an announcement concerning that would be forthcoming very shortly. "You can fill in the blanks. The people that have been here -- Pepsi and DuPont -- they'll be back. And they'll be picking up the rest of it. They'll be on the cars with AARP -- AARP will be on the car with them, and they'll be on the car with AARP, the same way we do it now with associate sponsors." Filling in the blanks means that Pepsi likely is going to be primary sponsor for two races next season and DuPont will be primary sponsor for the rest -- a total of 12 to 14 races, depending on who is on the car for two non-points events (the Sprint All-Star Race and the season-opening Budweiser Shootout).(NASCAR.com)(10-28-2010)
Going back, in time:
Note: Most of the following information was found here:
Covering the days of October 22nd to October 28th.
Gus Schrader ...Died ... Schrader would become known as "King of the OUTLAW Dirt Tracks" during his storied career. Gus was the IMCA "big car" (sprint) champ from 1933-1941 except in 1938 when Emory Collins broke the string. He ran the Indy 500 in1932 and finished 39th.
Johnny Unser ... Born ... A former CART and IRL race car driver. He is the son of open wheel driver Jerry Unser, cousin of Al Unser, Jr. and Robby Unser, nephew of Al Unser and Bobby Unser, and first cousin once removed of Alfred Unser.
Earl Cooper... Died ... AAA driver 1911 to 1927
Nick Fornoro Sr... Born ...
Nick was the American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) driving champion in 1950, and
he was the first NASCAR Midget driving champion in 1953. After retiring, he
went on to be one of the best starters (flaggers) ever, starting out here in
the Northeast and eventually ending up as the flagger for two hundred
consecutive Championship Auto Racing Teams Indy Car Series races (CART),
serving in that position from 1979 to 1992. In 1993 he was the honorary starter
Larry Crockett... Born ... AAA driver who ran the Championship series in 1954.
He was killed in a sprint car accident at Langhorne
Raymond Gerard Avenengo was
born. He’s my brother. He still works at his place of business,
which is making molds and molding plastics and Lexan, down in
Alex Zanardi ... Born ... An
Italian racing driver. He won two CART championship titles in
Larry Dixon ...Born ... NHRA Top Fuel driver.
Gary Gabelich, driving the Blue
Flame, set at new Land Speed Record of 622.407 mph on the
Ralph Mulford... Died ... AAA driver 1910 to 1926.
Gary Balough won the 16th annual Eastern States 200 Modified Stock Car race at the Orange County Fair Speedway, Middletown, NY. Kevin Collins was second followed by Sammy Beavers, Don Kreitz, Jimmy Horton Jr, Buzzie Reutimann, Mike Grbac, Billy Osmun, Carl Van Horn and Dave Leckonby.
Note: Balough is the only driver to have won the Eastern States 200 and led every lap. After that, a rule for mandatory pit stops was put into effect.
Bob Hurt... Died ... USAC driver from the 1960's.
George Amick... Born ... AAA / USAC driver 1954 to 1959. He was killed in a
crash in a USAC 100-mile Indy car race at Daytona International
Richie Evans... Died ... Richie
Note: In last weeks edition of the Area Auto Racing News racing paper, noted columnist Ernie Saxton made mention in his column that he had spoken with others that were to vote for those being admitted to the NASCAR Hall of Fame (Ernie is one that has that opportunity), and a good amount of those he spoke with had no knowledge of Richie Evans. Can you imagine – and they’re voting to put people into a Hall of Fame?
Bob Frey ... Born ... Sprint Car and CART driver from the 1970's and 80's.
Johnny Mantz ... Died ... AAA /
USAC and NASCAR driver from the 1940's and 50's. He made 17 starts in the AAA
Championship Car series from 1948 to 1952, capturing a victory in his rookie
season at the
Ray Crawford... Born ... AAA & USAC driver from the 1950's & 60's
Sammy Swindell... Born ... A
three time World of Outlaws champion, winning the title in 1981, 1982, and
1997, with hundreds of A-main victories to his credit. He also competed in the
CART series in 1985 and 1986 and failed to qualify for the 1987
Jimmy Caruthers... Died ...
USAC midget, sprint and Indy car driver from
Wayne Reutimann won the Sprint
Car race at the DeSoto Super Speedway,
Note: Remember when I made mention of a track in
Mark Light... Born ... Mark
Light drove Sprint Cars, Stock Cars and Midgets at tracks mostly around
Art Arfons topped Craig Breedlove's twelve day old Land Speed Record by running 536.71 MPH/858.73 KPH in the Green Monster on the Bonneville Salt Flats. This record would stand just over one year.
Brian Tyler... Born ... He was
a back-to-back USAC National Sprint car Champion for Larry Contos Racing in
1996 and 1997. He made 10 starts in the Indy Racing League in 1998 and 1999 for
3 different teams with a best finish of 6th at the
Andy Michner... Born ... USAC and IRL driver from the 1990's.
Bob Tattersall... Died ... The
1969 USAC National Midget Champion also raced in Australia and New Zealand for
thirteen winters, winning over fifty percent of the races he competed in, as
well as the World Championship at the Sydney Showgrounds on seven different
occasions. He also drove sprint and championship cars and passed his rookie
test at the
Note: Bob is in the National Midget Racing Hall of Fame.
Hulman... Died ...
Note: Are you aware that the second biggest one-day sports spectacle, for quite a few years, was the first day of qualifying for the Indy 500?
Johnny Boyd ... Died ... Boyd
drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series from 1954 to 1966 with 56
starts. He finished in the top ten 31 times, with his best finish in 2nd
position, in 1959 at
Walt Hansgen... Born ... A driver from the
Johnny Coy... Died ... Coy
raced everything from jalopies to modifieds, but it was in the midgets where he
excelled. He started running midgets in the late '40's at
Note: In a few weeks, I’ll be at the Lobitz movie party/auction and I’ll attempt to find out if he used the “Coy” name because of the role that Mickey Rooney had in the movie The Big Wheel – “Billy Coy”.
October 25, 2010:
I received information that Sonny Ates, 75, passed away on Monday, October 25th, via an e-mail to the Yahoo Race History Group.
This info from a Google search:
“Charles "Sonny" Ates (born March 28, 1935, Sellersburg, Indiana) is a retired American racecar driver.
Ates raced in the USAC Championship
Car series in the 1968-1970 seasons, with 15 career starts, including the
1969 Indianapolis 500. He finished in the top ten 5
times, with his best finish in 5th position in 1968 at
Track news – (for tracks in my area):
OVRP – the dirt track: http://www.oaklandvalleyspeedway.com/
Karts and Slingshots this coming Saturday, with no racing on Sunday for Bikes and Quads. The following week is Novemberfest Weekend!
3 ROUNDS OF FEATURE RACING -
25 LAPS EACH
EVERY FEATURE COUNTS TOWARD FINISHES
50% OF ENTRY FEE GOES TOWARDS THE PURSE
Friday November 5th - Open Practice
Gates Open - 2:00 pm
Registration - 2:00 - 7:00 pm
Open Practice - 4:00 - 9:00 pm - 4 1/2 HOURS OF PRACTICE
Break from Practice - 7:30-8:00 pm
Barbecue - 7:30 pm
Saturday November 6th
Gates Open - 8:00 am
Registration - 8:00 - 10:30 am
Practice - 10:00 am (2 Rounds of Practice)
We will do our best to get in 2 rounds of features on Saturday. We will take a break at 7:00 for dinner.
Beef & Pork Roast - 7:00 pm
Sunday Novebmer 7th
Gates Open - 8:00 am
Practice - 10:00 am (1 Round of Practice)
Racing will resume after practice
3 Round of Features, every feature counts toward official finishes. Round 1 will be lined up by draw. Round 2 will be lined up by the invert of the draw. Round 3 will be lined up by the total points from Rounds 1 and 2.
Classes Offered: (must have 5 or more entries)
Junior 1, Junior 2, Junior Clone, Junior 3, Junior Stock, Junior Sportsman Champ, Junior Champ, Lights, Mediums, Heavys, Super Heavys, Senior Stock, Animal Lights, Animal Heavys, Senior Champ, Star Champ, KT 100, Junior Slingshot, & Senior Slingshot.
Kid Karts & Rookie Champ – Saturday ONLY
$25.00 entry fee (doesn’t include pit pass)
Please check the website for additional class information.
Friday Night Practice* - $25.00 - INCLUDES BARBECUE
Entry Fee* - $75.00 per class - INCLUDES BEEF & PORK ROAST
1 Day Pit Pass - $12.00
2 Day Pit Pass - $20.00 (save $4.00)
3 Day Pit Pass - $30.00 (save $6.00)
Friday Barbecue - $5.00
Saturday Beef & Pork Roast - $10.00
If you are interested in bringing a camper, please be sure to email me to let me know the size of your camper. Reservations are a must and it is first come first serve. There is a limited amount of room available.
The History of the Sport:
Something a little different this week. Going to make you do some work if you want to see some racing history. The other day, one of the members of the Yahoo! Race History Group sent out some links (35 of them, to be precise) to some auto racing articles that appeared in Time magazine, many years ago, via e-mail. So, if you don’t mind, I’ll be putting on five links per column, over the next seven columns. Hope you get some enjoyment out of reading them.
Former Dirt Oval Go-Kart (
This week, it’s all about how they did during Eastern States weekend.
Matt Hitchcock, last years winner, couldn’t repeat, but did finish 2nd in the 50 lap feature. Anthony Perrego was 4th, Brian Krummel 5th, Zack Vavricka 9th, Keith Still 10th, Jason Roe 19th, RJ Smykla 23rd, John Lodini 25th and Matt Janiak 27th.
Kayla Smykla, Kyle Redner and Doc Young were DNQ’s.
Small Block Modifieds:
Danny Creeden was 10th in the 100 lap Small Block race, and Brian Krummel was 12th, Mike Ruggiero 20th, Corey Ziegler 23rd, Tim Hndley 30th and Matt Janiak 36th.
Doc Young, Kayla and RJ Smykla and Matt Hitchcock were DNQ’s.
CRSA 305 Sprint Cars:
Chuck Alessi was 4th, Billy VanInwegen 12th and Josh Pieniazek 20th.
Big Block Modifieds:
Clinton Mills put on a great show, coming from 36th starting spot to finish 2nd. Mike Ruggiero was 14th, Billy VanInwegen 17th, Randy Sherlock 18th, Johnny Guarino 21st, Michael Storms 34th, Danny Creeden 41st and Tim Hindley 42nd.
Corey Ziegler and Matt Hitchcock were DNQ’s.
My son, Eric, still has the dirt modified for sale.
2006 Teo, Complete car minus engine. Kirkey full containment seat, Winters rear, Bert transmission, inboard starter, profile steering, parker pumper, wilwood hubs. $5000.
More racin’ stuff:
NASCAR’s point standings – two ways – as they used to be (still should in my way of thinking), and how they are with the “Chase”.
How they still should be – per Jayski’s website:
2010 Sprint Cup
Driver 'Classic' Points Standings:
[after Martinsville, race 32 of 36....the OLD way]:
rank, car#, driver, points, behind
1) #29-Kevin Harvick(x), 4629
2) #48-Jimmie Johnson(x), 4365, -264
3) #18-Kyle Busch(x), 4291, -338
4) #24-Jeff Gordon(x), 4288, -341
5) #11-Denny Hamlin(x), 4274, -355
6) #99-Carl Edwards(x), 4212, -417
7) #14-Tony Stewart(x), 4169, -460
8) #31-Jeff Burton(x), 4142, -487
9) #17-Matt Kenseth(x), 4051, -578
10) #2-Kurt Busch(x), 4038, -591
11) #1-Jamie McMurray, 3916, -827
12) #16-Greg Biffle(x), 3849, -713
13) #33-Clint Bowyer(x), 3813, -780
And, the “Chase”:
1. Jimmie Johnson – 5998
2. Denny Hamlin – 5992
3. Kevin Harvick – 5936
4. Kyle Busch – 5826
5. Jeff Gordon – 5795
6. Carl Edwards – 5785
7. Tony Stewart – 5762
8. Jeff Burton – 5752
9. Kurt Busch – 5721
10. Matt Kenseth – 5705
11. Greg Biffle – 5682
12. Clint Bowyer - 5592
Additional racin’ stuff:
XCEL CHASSIS ANNOUNCES
The word is out and is now official. The Xcel Chassis 600
modifieds have been added as a regular division at Lindas Speedway for the 2011
season. Lindas Speedway located in
Doug Borger, series owner and promoter, talked about the upcoming season for the 600 modifieds. “I’ve been working with John and Linda the last couple of weeks to put this deal together and I am excited for them and the series. The 600 modifieds will be running three weeks out of the month. The dates will be announced shortly and will not interfere with the tour dates so teams will be able to run both if they choose to do so. I’ve built the series on being affordable and this will only help us grow as the economy has everybody guessing. ‘
Please check our website at xcelchassis.com as more updates will be released shortly.
Other forums/message boards and websites:
You might find some interesting reading if you go to the links below.
Track Forum: - http://www.trackforum.com/forums/
Jayski: - http://www.jayski.com/
Open Wheel Racers3: http://www.openwheelracers3.com/
Race Pro Weekly: http://raceproweekly.com/
Racing on TV - http://www.racefantv.com/USTV.htm
Note: I had heard that there would be live
(must register to post)
From a Steve McQueen (March 24, 1930 –
November 7, 1980) movie. Not
really the way one should drive a vehicle in
Other (non racing) news:
“We are a nation grown numb to the seemingly endless fine print that accompanies our purchases. But every now and then a product is sold with a warning that should command attention. Consider the little-noticed bit of legalese that comes in the safety manual for : "When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) away from the body, and only use carrying cases, belt clips, or holders that do not have metal parts and that maintain at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) separation between iPhone and the body," the warning reads.”
“So should you be worried about putting your phone in your pocket? The answer depends largely on how much faith you put in the current state of scientific research about radio-frequency energy.”
“New Jersey Gov. Chris
Christie is standing by his decision to kill the nation's biggest public works
project, a train tunnel connecting
rising star in the Republican Party for his fearless budget-slashing, has
argued that his cash-strapped state can't afford to pay for any overruns on the
$9 billion-plus rail tunnel under the
government and the Port Authority of New York and
“At least $1.25 billion becomes available for state projects with the tunnel's demise.”
Note: While watching the news on Wednesday night, and this topic was being discussed, it was said that
the city of
And this, too, about the tunnel:
Is this true?:
What follows is, in part, from an e-mail I received:
We need to keep this fresh in everyone's mind till Nov. The Obama crew thinks we will forget about it by Nov. Let's prove them wrong.
*THIS IS THE ONE THAT
WILL FLIP YOU OUT!!** **
THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION IS FUNDING TWENTY FOUR MILLION DOLLARS--LET ME REPEAT THAT AMOUNT SO YOU UNDERSTAND IT $ 24,000,000.00 DOLLARS FOR NEW ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS PROCESSING FOR OUR CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS !!
THEY ARE OBTAINING THESE FUNDS*
I QUOTE DIRECTLY FROM THE SOCIAL SECURITY WEBSITE...
"THIS MONEY WILL BE COMING FROM THE SAVINGS TO BE GENERATED FROM WITHHOLDING "COST OF LIVING INCREASES FOR 2010 & 2011 In SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS FOR THE ELDERLY AND A $2.00 INCREASE ON ALL MEDICARE RX BENEFIT CO-PAY"
November of 2010 The entire House of
Representatives will stand for
re-election; All 435 of them.
One third of the Senate, A total of 33 of them, will also stand for re-election.
Vote every incumbent out. And I mean every one of them.
No matter their Party affiliation.
Let's start all over in the House of Representatives with 435 people
Who have absolutely no
experience in running that body, with no political favors owed to anyone but their own constituents.
Let's make them understand that they work for us... They are answerable to us and they simply have to run that body with some common sense.
Two years later,
in 2012, Vote the next third of the incumbents in the Senate out. We
can do the same thing in 2014 and, by that time we will have put all new
people in that body as well.
We, the People, Have got to take this Country back and we have to do it peacefully. That's what the Framers of our Constitution envisioned.
THE LONGER THEY STAY IN OFFICE THE MORE POWER THEY GET AND THEY LOVE IT AND WILL DO ANYTHING TO GET RE-ELECTED. WE HAVE TERM LIMITED THE PRESIDENT NOW LET'S TERM LIMIT THE LEGISLATORS
Closing with these:
From an e-mail I received this week. Maybe you’ve seen this, maybe not.
quietly then send it back on its journey
The value of a sister/brother
Who doesn't have one.
The value of ten years:
Ask a newly
The value of four years:
Ask a graduate.
The value of one year:
Ask a student who
Has failed a final exam.
The value of nine months:
Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.
The value of one month:
Ask a mother
Who has given birth to
A premature baby.
The value of one week:
Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
The value of one minute:
Ask a person
Who has missed the train, bus or plane.
The value of one second:
Ask a person
Who has survived an accident.
Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more when
You can share it with someone special.
To realize the value of a friend or family member:
The origin of this letter is unknown,
But it brings good luck to everyone who passes it on.
Hold on tight to the ones you love!
Do not keep this letter.
Send it to friends & family to whom you wish good
fortune. And don't forget the one who sent it to you!
May “Guardian Angels” sit on the shoulders of all of our race drivers and race fans, and guide them safely around the tracks!
As usual, you can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org