Racin' & Internet Stuff:
By Tom Avenengo
Well, Spring has arrived, so they say! I woke up at around 7:45 AM on Monday, and it was snowing like h*ll. Glad it didn’t last! However, even though Spring is here, we’re having snow and “mixed precip” being forecast for a good part of this coming week, as you can see, below, with this forecast as of 2:00 PM on Tuesday:
Today: A mix of clouds and sun. High 48F. Winds NNW at 10 to 20 mph.
Tonight: Cloudy skies with a few snow showers after midnight. Low 31F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 30%.
Tomorrow: Cloudy with snow showers becoming a steady accumulating snow later on. Temps nearly steady in the mid 30s. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of snow 70%. Snow accumulations less than one inch.
Tomorrow night: A mix of wintry precipitation in the evening. Then mainly snow showers overnight. Low near 30F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precip 70%. 1 to 3 inches of snow expected.
Thursday: Morning snow showers. Highs in the low 40s and lows in the low 20s.
Friday: Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 30s and lows in the low 20s.
Saturday: A few clouds. Highs in the upper 30s and lows in the low 20s.
Spring has arrived?
Some coming up items:
CUSTOM CARS & BIKE SHOW
26th // 2011 WORK DAY |
April 6th // OPEN PRACTICE | All Divisions - 5pm to 9pm (Rain Date - April 8th 5pm-9pm)
April 9th // OPENING NIGHT
April 1-Open Practice & Safety Inspection rain date 4/2
April 8-Open Practice & Safety Inspection rain date 4/9
April 15th: Opening night.
Note: For you Brett Hearn fans, I see that he is scheduled to race at Accord on the 15th. Also, per his schedule, as of Sunday, the following two Friday nights have nothing scheduled.
Remember the ad for the Tobias SpeedSTR being for sale in the previous two columns? Well, some good news – it’s been sold.
The Prelude to the dream race will be back again in 2011 – on June 8th – maybe.
Some info from Jayski’s website:
Prelude to the Dream in June: The seventh annual Prelude to the Dream all-star dirt Late Model race at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio is slated for June 8, 2011 and just as last year's event benefited four of the nation's top children's hospitals, the 2011 edition will do the same. BUT it the event has no sponsor and may NOT be held if a sponsor is not found. The Prelude to the Dream is a Dirt Late Model all-star race featuring over 2 dozen NASCAR stars. Tickets go on sale April 4th. For past years results, see my Prelude to the Dream page.(3-21-2011)
National Speed Sport News closes up.
I've received a few e-mails from Yahoo! Race History Group members about the demise of the NSSN. Ernie Saxton posted this, below, on March 22nd:
"After 77 years of publishing National Speed Sport News ran their last issue today. The publication that Chris Economaki and a talented staff made into such a wonderful source of auto racing news is now out of business.
The first story I ever wrote about auto racing appeared in National so many years ago."
From the NSSN’s website:
“NationalSpeedSportNews.com, the online version of the newspaper, will continue to be updated with daily news, giving Internet savvy readers the opportunity to keep up with some of the same news they enjoyed every week.
But as far as the newspaper goes, it’s the end of an era.”
Some “local” news:
Michael Storms had landed a ride for the 2011 season.
Found on Jayski’s website:
NC Judge denies Red Bull request to toss Speed's lawsuit: A North Carolina judge has allowed Scott Speed to proceed with his $6.5 million lawsuit against Red Bull Racing as she denied the race team's request to make a judgment based solely on what each side has presented in court without any investigation into Speed's claims. Judge Sharon Barrett's ruling came after a 35-minute hearing Monday in North Carolina Superior Court. She denied Red Bull's argument that it could release Speed for not meeting the performance clause in his contract that states if he didn't finish 15th in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series standings he could be fired. Speed filed the lawsuit Dec. 10 after he was fired by the team following his second season in Cup. In the lawsuit, Speed claimed that Red Bull did not fund the team as necessary to compete at the Cup level nor did it put forth the required technological resources for him to have a competitive car.(SceneDaily)(3-22-2011)
Rick Ware Racing
soliciting donations for crewmen: from the Rick Ware
Racing Facebook: To donate to the Dean Shaut and Steve Masch families
please visit your local SunTrust Bank and mention you would like to donate to
the Dean Shaut/Steve Masch
Fund. On March 11, Dean Shaut, lost control of his
vehicle while driving on Ball Park Road in Thomasville, NC and was pronounced
dead at the scene. The passenger Stephen Masch was
Entry list for the
Cup race at the Auto Club Speedway, in
At Selinsgrove this past weekend, Danny Creeden had a 13th in the RoC Small Block feature and a 12th in the RoC Big Block feature. Billy VanInwegen was a DNQ in the ROC Small Block event and had a 13th in the RoC Big Block Feature. Mike Mammana was a DNQ in the RoC Big Block event.
Going back, in time – in racing history:
Note: Most of the following information was found here:
Covering the days of March 25th to March 31st.
Don Freeland... Born ... AAA / USAC driver from the 1950's & 60's. Freeland competed in the Indy 500 each year from 1953 to 1960. He appeared headed for a second place finish in 1955 before a transmission failure ended his day 22 laps prior to the end of the race. He came back with a best Indy finish of third the next year. He also finished in the top ten in 1954 and 1958.
Danica Patrick... Born ... An American auto racing driver competing in the IndyCar Series, and NASCAR Nationwide Series. She
was named the Rookie of the Year for both the 2005
Singer/song writer Dan Seals
passed away. The brother of Jim Seals of Seals &
Croft, Dan Seals sang under the name
Paul Dana... Died ... An American race car driver in the Indy Racing
League. After competing in 3 Indycar
series events, Dana suffered a spinal fracture while practicing for the 2005
Cale Yarborough... Born ... A businessman and former NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver and owner. He was the first driver in NASCAR history to win three consecutive championships. He had 83 wins on the all-time NASCAR winner's list. In 1984, he became the first driver to qualify for the Daytona 500 with a top speed of more than 200 miles per hour. He also raced in 4 Indy 500's with a best finish of 10th in 1972.
Maurice Petty ...
Born ... A former NASCAR driver from Randleman, NC. He
was the chief engine
builder at Petty Enterprises and the lead mechanic for brother
Richard Petty. In his driving career, Petty competed in twenty-six Nextel Cup
Series events and earned sixteen top-tens. His best finish was a 3rd at
Joe Garson... Died ... AAA driver from the early 1950's.
Sonny Ates... Born ... USAC midget, sprint and championship car driver from the 1960's & 70's.
Johnny Coy... Born ... ( His real
name was John Barbaro) 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
Bill Vukovich Jr. ... Born ... A former driver in the championship car
division of USAC and CART Championship Car series. He was named the 1968
Chip Robinson... Born ... A retired race
car driver. He drove in the IMSA Camel GT series and won the 1987 24
Hours of Daytona (with Al Holbert, Derek Bell, and Al
Unser, Jr. in a Porsche) and the 1989 12 Hours of Sebring (with Arie Luyendyk and Geoff Brabham) in a Nissan. He made 5 CART starts in 1986 and
1987 with a best finish of 6th at the 1987
Born ... An American race car driver from
Bob Veith... Died ... AAA and USAC driver. Ran the Championship Car series, racing from 1955 to 1968 with 63 starts. He finished in the top ten 37 times, with a best finish of 2nd twice, both in 1958. Veith qualified for his first Indianapolis 500 in 1956, finishing 7th that year to win the Rookie of the Year award. After another top 10 finish the next year, he qualified 4th in 1958 but was knocked out of the race in a first lap accident that killed Pat O'Connor. He competed in the 500 eight more times, with his last start coming in 1968.
Johnny Baldwin... Born ... USAC driver from the 1950's. Started racing midgets in 1946 & retired from driving in 1966
John Martin... Born ... USAC driver from the 1970's & 80's.
Edgar Elder... Died ... AAA driver from the early 1950's.
Kevin Cogan... Born ... A former racecar driver who drove in Formula One and Indy cars. He ran the Indy 500 twelve times with a best finish of 2nd in 1986.
Ralph DePalma... Died ... AAA driver from 1909
to 1933. Ran the Indy 500 ten times and won in 1915.
Andy Granatelli's 4-wheel drive Novi Indycars damaged in a
garage fire at the
Nick Firestone... Born ... An American
former race car driver from
Chip Mead... Died ... USAC / CART driver from the 1980
Tim Flock... Died ... One of NASCAR's early pioneers, and a two time series champion. He was a brother to NASCAR's second female driver Ethel Mobley and NASCAR pioneers Bob Flock and Fonty Flock.
Fermin Velez... Died ... He was a two-time winner of the
12 Hours of Sebring. He was also a driver in the Indy Racing League, racing in
the 1996-1997 seasons with 6 career starts, including 2 at the
News from the AARN:
From their March 15th issue:
It’s being said that although there is no “Big Show III” scheduled yet, it possibly could still be added to OCFS or even another facility.
Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman championship series will end on
October 16th, in
Note: Earlier, it was mentioned - by Michael Gurda, while interviewed on Doug’s Dirt Diary, that there would be TWO Sportsman races at Eastern States – one for OC Sportsman and one for DIRTcar Sportsman. I have no idea as to why the DIRTcar Sportsman event, at ESW, isn’t part of the championship trail. OR – maybe the two Sportsman race thing at ESW isn’t going to happen now? I’m attempting to get info on that from OCFS.
There was about 2/3 of a page devoted to Glenn Donnelly. Supposedly there are talks going on for an exit off of I-81 for the new ¾ mile track next door to Brewerton.
It’s being said that the new racing complex will cost more than $20 million, and that they are hoping to break ground on construction by June 1st.
There also are plans for a two-mile road course on the property that the ¾ mile track will be on.
It’s till being said that DirtHetix, the new “surface” that Donnelly has been touting, will be the surface for that ¾ mile track.
Rick Martell has been chosen to be the GM of the new facility.
Corey Reed, Matt Thomas and Doug Logan will be part of Donnelley’s staff.
On Sunday, March 27th, there will be a meeting with the new organization, with racetrack operators. Invited promoters will get to hear what Donnelly has planned, as he re-enters the sport.
WRG CEO Tom Deery is said to be closely watching what Mr. Donnelly is doing, as far as the new “surface” goes. He says: “If everything he believes can happen happens, we’ll be his second customer”.
Brett Deyo, promoter for the Short Track Nationals that runs the same weekend as SDW, has joined forces with John Wight. If a driver can win at Brewerton on Thursday, and at Five Mile on Saturday, he’ll get a $1,000.00 bonus.
With events being re-scheduled during Super Dirt Week, the 360 Sprint Car event is now toast.
Note: Truly a big loss for Sprint Car fans. They usually drew about 70 cars for that event.
For this past weekends racing at Selinsgrove, one race fan has posted a $1,000.00 bonus to any driver that can win both the Small Block and Big Block features.
Note: No driver won both features.
Did you know that the top five feature winners at the Williams Grove Speedway are still active? Fred Rahmer has 83 wins, Lance Dewease has 75, Don Kreitz, Jr. has 54, Keith Kauffman has 51 and Greg Hodnet has 45. Tommy Hinnershitz is tied in 19th place with Jan Opperman.
Note: I found that hard to believe, about Hinnershitz, until I realized that when Tommy raced, they didn’t run at Williams Grove on a weekly basis.
New owner for Oswego Speedway – John Torrese. Final papers are now in the hands of lawyers.
The World Racing Group has leased
Are you aware that the late Warren Ruffner,
who was an announcer here in the northeast, had worked out a way to get “crash
money” to some drivers, mostly the “little guys” that raced at
The IZOD IndyCar Series has set a limit of the amount of cars in their races (except for the Indy 500) at a maximum of 26 cars.
My wife taped the Nationwide
race for me since I was at the RoC race in
Selinsgrove on Saturday, but I have yet to watch it. So, I have no idea as to how the attendance
was. However, I did watch the Cup race
on Sunday. It was sad to see so many
empty seats on Sunday – especially when just a few short years ago, you
couldn’t get tickets to that event. I
expect to see more of the same, and, at times, even worse that what we saw at
Not only were there a lot of empty seats, but TV viewing also suffered, per this, from Jayski’s website:
I found these postings on the Internet.
“The TV coverage of the races is great compared to years ago. There is no plus points to going to the race and sitting on a metal bench all day when you can sit on the couch and get more coverage than your 2 eyes can give you watching it live.”
“I dont think Nascar
is losing fans, the economy is still real bad for most of the country. Ive been to
“Ive gone twice and the closest rooms were 1 3/4 hrs away. Still worth the trip. Id trade 10 Daytonas
“There aren't enough hotel beds in the area to accommodate all the fans. There were stories in the paper last year about people who won free tickets but the nearest vacant hotel was three plus hours away.”
“Thought this was the hardest ticket to get in racing???? place is empty”.
From Jayski's website:
New 'World' Record at Bristol: Jason Blonde was the fastest of the fast Saturday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway as he established a new world record during the World's Fastest Half-Mile Speed Trials. Blonde, driving an Xtreme Sprint Series sprint car, clicked off a blistering lap of 144.871 mph in 13.245 seconds, shattering the previous track record of 138.442 mph in 13.860 seconds set by Sammy Swindell in June of 2000 at BMS during a World of Outlaws event. The 36-year-old Blonde, a veteran sprint car racer with more than 50 feature wins on both dirt and pavement, tagged the wall earlier in the afternoon, but was totally unfazed.
Mike Lichty set a new half-mile Supermodified world record with a lap of 144.634 mph in 13.267 seconds. Sprint Cup driver David Ragan piloted his Ford Mustang GT 5.0 to a lap of 98.497 mph at 19.481 seconds, a world record for a passenger car. Scott Russell and his Yamaha took on the World's Fastest Half-Mile and set a half-mile closed course record for a Superbike with a run of 97.990 mph, which he covered in 19.582 seconds. Others participating in the World's Fastest Half-Mile Speed Trials were USAC Sprint Car driver Bryan Clauson and ISMA Supermodified driver Brad Noffsinger.(BMS)(3-19-2011)”
"From what I’ve seen, on the Internet, Clauson ran a 13.6
and held the record for about 5 min before the wing cars headed out....it’s
said he had a blast!!!"
and Stewart-Haas Racing Twitter feed:
"13.672 seconds at 140.343 mph"
SPEED will air a 30-minute highlight show from "World's Fastest Half-Mile Speed Trials" on April 2 at 4:30 p.m. ET, following its live broadcast of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race.
Some Danica stuff:
There’s a thread
about Danica over on the Track Forum. It’s up to eight pages now, but most of
what’s being said about her and
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
Briggs Cunningham race team – history:
Note: Disregard the “error” notice on top left.
Racing and television:
Racing on TV - http://www.racefantv.com/USTV.htm
Note: My son, Eric, asked me if I had seen the NASCAR show that was on Showtime. I hadn’t. From what he said, it really isn’t a show that the little ones should watch, since you actually her what’s said between driver and crew chief, etc etc, with no “beeping out”.
So I go to the link, above, to see when it’s on. Ok, how about Wednesday, March 9th at:
Inside NASCAR, N
Inside NASCAR, R
So, what happened? Why isn’t it on more often? Well, actually, it is.
Ahah! I “Googled” it, and found this:
SHOe – Wed Mar 23 – 11:00 PM – Inside NASCAR
It also said the following times, on Showtime:
Sat Mar 26 – 1:30 AM & 9:00 AM
Sun Mar 27 – 9:00 AM
Wed Mar 30 – 9:00 PM
So I watched it at 11:00 PM on March 23rd. At the end of the show, it made mention of it being back on next Wednesday - at 9:00 PM.
So, I’d have to say the Wednesday 9:00 PM showing is the first and the rest are all repeats. Oh, and yes, the “bad” words are NOT bleeped out.
How about a few videos, this week? One, featuring a big crash that happened at the RoC race in Selinsgrove, Pa last Saturday, and a few featuring Ferlin Husky who passed away last week, on March 17th, at the age of 85, and one for the late Dan Seals, too, who left us on March 25th, 2009, at the young age of 61.
The Selinsgrove RoC race crash:
And, Ferlin Husky:
And Dan Seals:
Is this true:
I would suppose it is. However, if so, I think it’s quite a shame that:
1: It’s happening in our country
2: She wasn’t able to finish what she wanted to say.
Closing with this:
Two little boys, ages 8 and 10, are excessively mischievous.
They are always getting into trouble and their
know if any mischief occurs in their town,
the two boys are probably involved.
The boys' mother heard that a preacher in town
had been successful in disciplining children,
so she asked if he would speak with her boys.
The preacher agreed, but he asked to see them individually.
The mother sent the 8 year old in the morning,
with the older boy to see the preacher in the afternoon.
The preacher, a huge man with a deep booming voice,
sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly,
"Do you know where God is, son?"
The boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response,
sitting there wide-eyed with his mouth hanging open.
So the preacher repeated the question in an even sterner tone,
"Where is God?!
Again, the boy made no attempt to answer.
The preacher raised his voice even more and shook his finger
in the boy's face and bellowed, "WHERE IS GOD?!"
The boy screamed & bolted from the room,
ran directly home & dove into his closet,
slamming the door behind him.
When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked,
The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied,
"We are in BIG trouble this time!"
"GOD is missing, and they think WE did it!"
May “Guardian Angels” sit on the shoulders of all of our race drivers and race fans, and guide them safely around the tracks!
Until next week!
As usual, you can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org