Racin' & Internet Stuff:
By Tom Avenengo
In many of my columns, I believe I’ve made mention of how
the winter weather really didn’t stop race fans from attending indoor races,
“back in the day”. We didn’t worry about
snow back then as we do, today. Don’t
believe me? Check out this write up
about the season ending indoor TQ race that was held in the
The racecar show in the arena on the Orange County Fair property is this coming weekend.
The 25th annual Motorsports Expo Exposition & Trade Show being held in the Center of Progress Building on the New York State Fairgrounds property is on March 12th and 13th.
Sunday, March 13th – 410 Sprint Cars and Pro Stocks will be racing at the Selinsgrove Speedway, with race time being 2:00 PM. Then on Friday, March 18th the RoC Small Blocks will be in action, with racing starting at 7:30 PM. The following day, Saturday – the 19th, the RoC Big Blocks take over with a starting time of 4:00 PM.
25, 26 & 27 – another car show – this time down in
The park and squad concluded a private agreement”
Cup driver Jamie McMurray and IZOD IndyCar Series driver Scott
Dixon will get a chance to swap rides for an exhibition performance at
McMurray, the 2010 Daytona 500 winner, will take
Brewerton and Fulton leave DIRTcar.
Peer the Brewerton website: They’ve joined the American Racer East Coast Cup for Modifieds for the 2011 season.
One of the most asked questions was about tires; both the Modified and Sportsman teams will have a time period use up what Hoosier tires they have in stock.
There will be a new Modified sponsor announcement in the coming days that will bolster the weekly point funds as well as a twin track Modified Championship fund.
The Sportsman at Fulton Speedway will be able to use steel or aluminum wheels with steel wheel cars given a weight break. In the next couple days Sportsman teams will be seeing a point fund incentive that they haven’t seen in the past.”
In case you didn’t know,
So on Wednesday afternoon, I go and visit the South Jersey Dirt Racing’s forum/message board.
Here’s the first thing that was posted:
“i got a problem..........................................................Nj has the worst rules ever...here u got bridgeport a track in need of cars and people and they apose a 3 inch saftey rule well i aint got a tall cage car im screwed sorry cant support my local track :( any one else have this issue??”
That’s followed by this:
“State rule not a track rule!!!! NES and
There are other posting, but I’ll just add this one:
“I have 2 street stock cars,an Outlaw Stock
and a 4 cylinder. We had to drop our seats to race in this GREAT state. The
only other option is a lay back seat. If you want to play you have to play by
the rules. And yes the 3" rule has been in the books for a long time. I
guess we have all been lucky to an extent that this rule has been over looked.
Could be worse, go buy a 270 micro-sprint and race in NJ. OH YEAH don't forget to run out and get that $1000 bladder to meet the new NJ standards.
Why do you think World of Outlaws is no longer stopping in NJ. The wonderful NJ Department of Transportation mandated a few rules just for them that they don't have anywhere else.
THANKS NJ. I understand making things safe but when we strap into our race seat, fire up the engine and hit the dirt we are fully aware that this is a dangerous sport that can lead to death.”
And how about this, from another post on the subject?
“How is this going to be enforced for the ROC race at NES at the end of the month? If it is going to be enforced, most of the traveling teams should stay home because they won't make the 3 inches. No sense in spending 4-5 a gallon for gas only to be told they can't race.”
Talk about a “Catch 22” situation, huh? Personally, as far as I’m concerned, that 3” rule should really be from the bottom of the top bar, not the top of it – UNLESS they’re allowing for the thickness of the diameter of the bars, themselves.
By now I imagine you’ve heard that both Brewerton and Fulton Speedways are leaving DIRTcar. They’ve decided to go with the American Racer tires.
It should prove to be interesting to see how this pans out – both for this up-coming season, and the season’s hereafter. I can see this putting a hurt on DIRTcar in the future. Keep in mind – Glenn Donnelly is about to put a ¾ mile dirt track right next to the track in Brewerton, and he’s “working” with the owners of that track. Might there be some real big changes in the future of dirt modified racing here in the Northeast?
“BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Ford NASCAR drivers in a street-legal Mustang, a Tony Stewart-owned sprint car, two supermodifieds and a world superbike champion will attempt to establish half-mile closed-course records in the "World's Fastest Half-Mile Speed Trials" immediately following the Scotts EZ Seed 300 Nationwide Series race on March 19.”
“Former Cup driver Brad Noffsinger, Mike Lichty and Bryan Clauson will chase Sammy Swindell's all-time Bristol track record of 138.442 mph (13.860 seconds), set during qualifying for a World Of Outlaws winged sprint car event at Bristol in June 2000.
Noffsinger and Lichty will be first to
try out supermodifieds, the most exotic cars to hit
Former AMA and World Superbike
champion Scott Russell will attempt to set a half-mile closed-course motorcycle
speed record riding a Yamaha superbike. The five-time Daytona 200 winner brings
substantial experience on high banked ovals, though never one as tight as
“SPEED will air a 30-minute highlight show from the World's Fastest Half-Mile Speed Trials at 4:30 p.m. ET on April 2, following its live broadcast of the Camping World Truck Series race.”
Note: Back on 9/27/2008, the WoO were at OCFS. The fastest speed for a time trial lap was just a tic under 140 MPH
The 2011 OCFS schedule is now out. Unfortunately, even after the delay, it seems
like there is no Super Dirt Series race scheduled, which is rather odd since OC
has supposedly signed a three year deal with DIRTcar. I also. noticed four 4 Cylinder races on the schedule. That should be interesting. Hopefully, they’ll have more than the one or
two cars that showed up a while back when they had them scheduled. Maybe they’re in conjucntion with
Might you be looking for a Tobias SpeedSTR? If so, check this out:
2009 TOBIAS SPEEDSTR MIDGET
Less Than 10 Races since new.
race ready, comes with everything you need to start racing Includes:
dirt wheels and tires, pavement wheels and tires
good assortment of shocks and springs
axle nut wrench
spare front axle
NO SEAT INCLUDED
And, my son, Eric, still has his dirt modified for sale, too.
2006 teo. Standard rack car. NOT bowflex. Complete car minus engine. Winters rear, Kirkey full containmentr seat, Parker pumper, Bert tranny, profile steering, Rear cockpit adjustable panhard bar, Aluminum wheels. $5000 just need engine. Also have spare shocks, wheels, complete sway away front axle minus calipers,springs, spare front axles,and a few other spares. Everything for $5500. spares wont go till car is gone.
Going back, in time:
Note: Most of the following information was found here:
Covering the days of March 4th to March 17th.
Note: Yes, covering two weeks this week so that in the future, what I’ll cover will be after the weeks column date.
American Automobile Association was founded in Cleveland,
Buck Baker... Born ... One of the greatest drivers in NASCAR's history.
Alex "Al" Tasnady... Born ... A modified stock driver for more than 23 years, he had more than 600 victories at tracks along the East Coast.
Jim (or Jimmy)
Greg Weld... Born ... Weld was known as both a driver and a racing entrepreneur.
Herm Johnson... Born ... A former driver in the CART Championship Car series.
Gary Hieber... Born ...
Modified stock car and USAC driver from
Wendell Scott started what
would become the first African-American driver to run a full schedule on the
NASCAR Grand National (now Winston Cup) circuit when he races at
URC , the United Racing Club, made a public announcement that was sent to the National Speed Sport News that URC was now an independent sanctioning body and was no longer affiliated in any way with the AAA.
Bill Schindler... Born ... East Coast midget, sprint and Indy car driver.
Eddie Hill ... Born ... American drag racer.
Smokey Snellbaker... Born ...
Jules Goux... Died ... AAA driver from 1913 to 1923. He was a Grand Prix
racing champion and the first Frenchman to win the
Allen Heath... Died ... West Coast open cockpit driver who raced for years, despite losing a hand in a racing accident.
Joe Garson... Born ... AAA driver from the early 1950's
Campbell sets a Land Speed Record of 276.82 MPH in his Bluebird at Daytona,
Janet Guthrie ... Born ... USAC
/ CART driver from the 1970's and 80's. The first woman to
qualify and compete in both the
Lee Roy Yarbrough ( Former stockcar racer ), is declared incompetent to stand trial for the attempted murder of his mother. He will later be found innocent by reason of insanity. He suffered a bad head injury in an Indy Car crash after he'd left NASCAR.
Duane Carter ... Died ... 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.
Kirk Shelmerdine... Born ... NASCAR racer
Don Garlits set an AHRA world record 1/4 mile elapse time of 6.57 seconds at Lions Drag Strip in Long Beach, California, USA, in his Swamprat 13 dragster. Later, in the final round won by Richard Tharp, Garlits' clutch explodes, cutting the car in half and in the process, cut off part of his right foot. This accident caused Garlits to design the first successful rear-engined Top Fuel dragster and changed the look of top fuel cars forever.
Floyd Davis... Born ... Was the
co-winner of the 1941
Danny Sullivan... Born ... Cart driver that ran in 12 Indy 500's and won in 1985.
Teo Fabi... Born ... Formula One driver from the 1980's and drove in 8 Indy 500's with a best finish of 7th in 1994.
Our fifth, and last, child was born – Sarah Rose Avenengo – now Sarah Michelson. Yup, she’s our “baby”.
Rex Mays... Born
... AAA driver from the 1930's and 40's. He was inducted into the
Motorsports Hall of Fame of
Mike Wallace... Born ... NASCAR race car driver. He is a younger brother to Rusty Wallace, older brother to Kenny Wallace, and uncle to Steve Wallace.
Dempsey Wilson... Born ... USAC driver from the 1950's and 60's.
Benny Rapp... Born ... USAC driver from the 1960's
Henry Seagrave drove his
Irving-Napier to a new One Mile Speed Record of 231.446 mph at Daytona Beach,
Troy Ruttman... Born ... AAA / USAC driver from the late 1940's to 1964. He raced in 12 Indy 500's and won in 1952. He was the older brother of NASCAR driver Joe Ruttman.
Derek Daly... Born ... Formula One and CART driver from the 1970's and 80's
Joe Gosek... Born ... He was a
super-modified racecar driver. He also raced in the 1996
Eddie Lawson... Born ... A former four-time Grand Prix motorcycle racing World
Champion. After finishing his motorcycle career, Lawson pursued a career
in four wheeled motorsport racing in the
John Calla... Born ... Founder of racing website wheelsofspeed.com.
Norm Hall... Died ... He drove
in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1961, 1964, and 1965
seasons, with 17 career starts, including the
Dick Fraizer... Died ... AAA / USAC driver 1949 to 1956
Tony George announces the formation of the Indy Racing League.
Erwin George "Cannon
Ball" Baker... Born ... 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
Robert "Red" Byron... Born ... He was a NASCAR driver who was successful in the sanctioning body's first years. He was NASCAR's first Modified champion (and its first champion in any division) in 1948 and its first Strictly Stock (predecessor to NEXTEL Cup) champion in 1949.
Johnny Rutherford … Born .. USAC / CART driver from the 1960's to 1992. He raced
in 24 Indy 500's and Texas-raised "Lonestar J.R." is one of eight
drivers to win the prestigious 500 mile race at least three times: in 1974,
1976, and 1980. Rutherford also dabbled in stock car racing, making 35 NASCAR
Winston Cup starts from 1963 to 1988. Rutherford won in his first start, at
John Andretti... Born ... One
of the most versatile race car drivers in American history, winning in Indy
car, NHRA Top Fuel Dragsters, endurance racing and
NASCAR racing. John is the son of Aldo Andretti, John has a brother named Mark
who had a talent for racing, but chose a different route, they both are nephews
of IndyCar racing legend Mario Andretti (Aldo's twin), cousin of Mario's sons
Michael and Jeff, and godson of four-time
Casey Mears... Born ... USAC / CART/ IRL and NASCAR driver. He is the
nephew of four time
Ed "Dutch" Schaefer... Died ... Eastern midget racer from the 1940's to the 1970's. Remembered as the man who saved the ARDC from extinction. Schaefer was elected President of the oldest midget racing club in the East in 1952. Near the point of extinction, Dutch managed to hold together a small group of devoted ARDC car owners and drivers, and brought the club and midget racing on the East Coast, back into the limelight.
Rick Muther... Died ... USAC / CART driver from the 1960's & 1970's.
Lyn St. James... Born ... (born
Sandra Lynn Eden) A retired professional IndyCar driver with 11 CART and 5 Indy
Racing League starts to her name. She is just one of five women who
successfully qualified for the
Wally Parks, Ak
Miller and Marvin Lee create the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) in a booth
in the Tam-O-Shanter restaurant in Los Angeles,
Marco Andretti... Born ... He
is the son of 1991 IndyCar World Series champion Michael Andretti and the
grandson of racing legend Mario Andretti. Andretti finished second in the 2006
Gene Hartley... Died ... AAA / USAC driver from the 1950's and 60's. Gene was the 1959 USAC National Midget Series champion. Hartley was inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1985. He ran the Indy 500 ten times with a best finish of 10th in 1957.
Bayliss Levrett... Died ... AAA driver from 1949 to 1952
Lee Petty... Born ... Was an
American stock car driver in the 1950s and 60s. He was one of the pioneers of
NASCAR, and one of its first superstars. He is the father of Richard Petty, who
would become NASCAR's all-time race winner. With sons Richard and Maurice, he
founded Petty Enterprises, which became NASCAR's most successful racing team.
He was the grandfather of Kyle Petty, and great grandfather of Adam Petty. In
1990, Lee Petty was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
He was inducted in the Motorsports Hall of Fame of
Bill Simpson ... Born ... A
retired American racecar driver, but is best known as a pioneer in the racing
safety business with his company Simpson Performance Products. In 2003, he was
inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of
Hiroyuki "Hiro" Matsushita ... Born ... A former driver in the Champ Car series.
Bob Mathouser ... Born ...
Drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1961-1966 seasons,
with 30 career starts, including the 1964
Al Herman... Born ... ARDC, AAA /USAC driver from the 1950's and 60's
Josele Garza... Born ... USAC / CART driver from the 1980's
Louis Unser... Born ... Race Car Driver. "Uncle Louie" Unser was
a nine time winner of the
Jim Reynard... Born ... USAC racer from the 1960's
Billy Stavola... Born ... Along with his brother Mickey
co-owned Stavola Brothers Racing. The Stavola Brothers formed their NASCAR
Winston Cup team in 1983 with veteran crew chief Harry Hyde and rookie driver
Bobby Hillin, who was a high school senior at the time. Before closing the team
at the end of the 1998 Winston Cup season when the team lost Circuit City as
its primary sponsor, the brothers fielded cars for eight drivers, including
Bobby Allison, Sterling Marlin, Jeff Burton and Dick Trickle. The brothers'
primary business was Trap Rock Industries, a rock quarry in
Dick Ferguson... Born ...
Former driver in the CART Championship Car series. He raced in the 1979-1985
and 1987-1988 seasons, with 26 career starts, including the 1980
Andy Granatelli's turbine-powered Indycar is unveiled to the press.
Ralph Pratt... Born ... AAA driver from the 1940's and 50's. Inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1998.
Tom Pistone... Born ... NASCAR driver from the 1950's and 60's
Dee Jones... Born ... USAC driver from the 1960's and 70's
Chip Mead... Born ... USAC / CART driver from the 1980's.
Some Racin’ stuff from the AARN:
From their March 1st issue:
Remember when Michael Waltrip won the truck race at Daytona, and the rear spoiler was broken? Well, it seems that NA$CAR has decided to fine Doug Howe, the crew chief, $25,000.00 and team owner Billy Ballew 25 owner points because of that broken spoiler. Yeah, right, like they had control over that?
If you win a Sprint Car feature at the Lernerville Speedway in 2011, you’ll get $1,400.00.
Speaking of Lernerville, the USAC Sprint Cars will make a return in 2011.
Dates are already set for next years DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway – at least on the tracks website – February 14 – 25. That’s for WoO Sprint Cars, WoO Late Models, UMP DIRTcar Modifieds and Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds.
Note: I seem to remember that supposedly the track was closing and that a well known individual was interested in it – remember that from a column or two ago?
It’s being said that the differences in pay-offs between RoC Pavement Series and the RoC Dirt Series is: RoC Dirt is “top heavy” while the RoC Pavement pays better down through the field. Reason: Tires.
Some big monies in NASCAR:
Hendricks – said to be worth $350 million. Roush Fenway worth $224 million. Richard Childress Racing worth $158 million. Joe Gibbs Racing $152 million and Penske Racing worth $100 million.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – made $29 million, Jeff Gordon $25 million and Jimmie Johnson $24 million – last year.
Stewart will drive Lewis Hamiltons 2010 McLaren Formula One car, and
The Daytona 500 will be a week later, next year – February 26, 2012.
new outdoor season is starting up – even down in
“Track Chaser” Guy Smith took in some Ice racing a while ago, mostly up in
Additional Racin’ stuff:
“It’s hard to imagine the IZOD INDYCAR Series without Firestone but the manufacturer synonymous with amazing dependability and success will be gone following this season.
INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard and Terry Angstadt, president of commercial
division Terry Angstadt, have traveled to
Bernard has been talking with Goodyear, Hoosier, Michelin and
IndyCar, Goodyear discuss race tires
“Goodyear has had discussions but no formal negotiations with IndyCar officials about supplying race tires for the 2012 race season now that Bridgestone is pulling its Firestone brand from the open-wheel circuit after this year.
Goodyear executives are having ''internal discussions'' regarding supplying tires for IndyCar but no decisions have been made, a company spokesman said.
''Our focus is on NASCAR'' and other motorsports with which Goodyear already has a relationship, spokesman Ed Markey said.”
More on the above:
“Monday's owner meeting leads to a majority vote to keep Firestone as the sole tire supplier, but will the tire giant reconsider its decision to depart in 2012?”
“Less than a week after Firestone announced it would no longer
compete in the IZOD INDYCAR series following the 2011 season, the tire company
learned it was still wanted.
By the car owners.
The result of an open forum meeting among the INDYCAR owners on Monday resulted in a near-unanimous vote to stick with Firestone – regardless of the price.
“We all want to keep running with Firestone,” said Conquest Racing owner Eric Bachelart. “We know those people; we trust their product and we have to save the deal.”
“They are the best partner ever and we can’t afford to lose them so we’re hoping they’ll review their decision.”
Al Speyer, the executive director for motorsports for Bridgestone/Firestone, had several meetings with INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard and Terry Angstadt, the president of INDYCAR’s commercial division, but a contract extension could not be worked out.
Reached at his home in
“It’s nice to hear those things but that’s about all I can say,” said
“Bernard, who called the meeting to get feedback from the guys who
spend the money, said: “The owners are concerned there isn’t enough time to
find a new company to develop a tire so they want to go back and get
The tire lease for 2011 is expected to be in the neighborhood of $300,000 but it’s believed Firestone might charge as much as $550,000 to stick around for 2012.
It’s clear the team owners are willing to step up and swallow the extra costs if it means holding onto Firestone’s record for safety and trackside support.”
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/
(must register to post)
Yahoo Race History Group:
http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/RacingHistory/ (when one posts something on an e-mail to the group, they do have what is called the “Len Sutton rule” – you put in your name and where you live. And, yes, things are “policed” too.
Wheels of Speed: http://www.wheelsofspeed.com/
First Turn Pro: http://www.firstturnpro.com/
Vintage Sprint Car:
Vintage Midget: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=337192
Racing and television:
Racing on TV - http://www.racefantv.com/USTV.htm
I found out about the passing of Johnny Preston late Tuesday night while on – of all places, the Dirt Track Digest’s forum.
From the forum:
“March 4.....Johnny Preston...71.. (Real Name John Preston Courville) was an American pop music singer, who was best known for his international
number one hit in 1960, "Running Bear"...heart failure..
"Running Bear", was recorded in
Here’s “Running Bear”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3meEmDpaDU
Note: If you were not aware of it, the late Waylon Jennings gave up his seat on that plane to the “Big Bopper” who was feeling under the weather that fateful night.
Closing with these:
STRANGE BUT TRUE AND UNVERIFIED FACTS – Continued:
-The three most valuable brand names on earth: Marlboro, Coca-Cola, and Budweiser, in that order.
-To escape the grip of a crocodile's jaws, prick your fingers into its eyeballs. It will let you go instantly.
-The average person falls asleep in seven minutes.
-The 'hash' (#) key on your keyboard is called an octothorp.
-The only domestic animal not mentioned in the Bible is the cat.
-Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
-The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.
-'Dreamt' is the only word in the English language that ends in "MT".
-It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
-In Chinese, the KFC slogan "finger lickin' good" comes out as "eat your fingers off".
-A cockroach can live for 10 days without a head.
-We shed 40 pounds of skin a lifetime.
-Yo-Yos were once used as weapons in the
-Brains are more active sleeping than watching TV.
More to come, next week
May “Guardian Angels” sit on the shoulders of all of our race drivers and race fans, and guide them safely around the tracks!
As usual, you can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org