Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 52




I imagine that quite a few of you out there have finally gotten to see a race, live, now?  I went to OCFS on Saturday night – my second live race of this new season.  Next week, weather permitting, I’ll venture up Rt. 209 to the Accord Speedway.  As for OC next Saturday – not sure yet.



As usual, the racing at OCFS, for opening night, was a “heads up” start.  Drivers picked a number when signing in, and if you picked a low number, you started up front.  The higher up you finished in your heat, the further up front you started in the feature.  So, with most cars being equal, basically a “spec” series, on a large track, like OCFS, you end up with what is called “freight train racing” – not much passing.  What I’d love to see is have the drivers pick their numbers in front of the stands right after warm ups.  What would it take – ˝ hour?  So start warm ups a half hour earlier – problem solved.  It’s very strange how, at a good amount of tracks, how some just seem to have a “knack” for picking out good starting spots.




As usual, I got to OCFS early – even before the gates opened up.  Prior to getting my ticket I had the opportunity to meet and speak with some of my racing friends.  After getting my ticket, the first place I headed to was Dave Morehouse’s trailer to see how the big guy was doing.  As I headed to his trailer I saw something I had never seen before, on a race night at OCFS – JP’s – those that have the best food at OC, was shuttered closed.  They never opened up on opening night, either.  I sure do hope that this was an opening night closure only.  I know it had been for sale and I was told last year by the previous owner,  that they had sold it to one of their employees. 

Now it’s a well-known fact that Maxwell’s has a long term (99 years?) contract with OC, and in a way, I surely hope that there was no “politics” involved with JP’s not being open.  Reading on the Internet, there are quite a few that were not happy with JP’s not open last Saturday night.  I know of some that said if it’s closed and won’t re-open, they wouldn’t be back.  I managed to make it through the night without eating, but I won’t do it again, and Maxwell’s stuff doesn’t cut it, either.  I’ll either stay home, go to another track or bring a “sammich” with me, if and when I return.

I did send an e-mail to the track requesting information on JP’s – whether it was just closed opening night or if it’s a permanent closure.

Note:  As of 10:00 PM on Wednesday, no response from OCFS.




From the Middletown Times Herald-Record, from last Saturday:

In part:

“Despite the return to sanctioning at OCFS, the Super DIRTcar Series will not be making a summer visit to Middletown.

Gurda said there's a likelihood there will be two sportsman features during Eastern States, one for DIRT rules and one for OCFS rules.”



Note:  So I’m trying to figure out just what OC has gained by signing up with DIRTcar again?  No SDS race – huh? 

I did request info on the two Sportsman features to be held at ESW, but got no response – yet.  So now it’s a “likelihood” on there being two different Sportsman shows – one for OC cars and one for DIRTcar cars.  Any info out about ESW is that there will be time trials on Friday with the 200 on Sunday.  Of course, that’s only for the Big Block Modifieds.  Nothing yet about time trials for the 358 Small Block Modifieds, also on Friday or any kind of heats on Friday, although I imagine that info will be forthcoming, in time, later on.  It will be interesting though, to see how they might fit two complete Sportsman show in on the weekend – on different days.  If, indeed thwy do run two complete shows, I imagine they’ll be on Friday night and Saturday night.  And don’t forget, the CRSA 305 Sprint Cars are also on the ESW schedule, too.




From the OCFS website:

In the near future VP will be the official track fuel of OCFS. There will be a grace period for this transition. More information to follow once available.”

Note:  Due to some problem a few years ago, a fuel truck was not allowed into the pit area.  Has this been taken care of now so that one can be in the pits?



I know it’s only 2011, but here’s some info about the Cup cars in NASCAR for 2013:

An up-date on the 2013 Cup cars:

In part:

Sirius NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that development of the proposed new 2013 Sprint Cup Series body styles is progressing on schedule, as the sanctioning body works hand-in-hand with automakers to increase brand identity on the race track.”




I caught a glimpse of the Indy Lights race the other day.  I then went to the Indy Racing website to see just how many American drivers there were in that event.  Fifteen starters, with two Americans listed.  This, folks, is the “Road to Indy”.  To me, a fan from “back in the day” this really is sad.



Really, as a race fan, are there any worse sounds than “rev limiters” cutting out an engine?



Not racing – but something pretty interesting.  Since 1996, when I had a major health issue, I’ve been on various types of medications.  My doctor wanted me to try a new one – Onglyza.  That’s one of those advertised on TV that “if you can’t afford your medications, Astra Zeneca might help you.  Yeah, right.  They can help if you’re on welfare, maybe.  Here in the US a 2.5 MG pill of Onglyza will run you about $8.00 per pill.  Multiply that by 30 and it’s not too cheap. My doctor, knowing my finances, suggested I try Canada.  I did.  I told him I could get 28 pills for $50.00.  He asked me about 5 MG pills.  It’s possible to split the 5 MG pills in half.  28 5 MG pills go for $65.00.  By cutting in half, I’d get 56 for that $65.00.  That comes out to a shade over a buck a pill.  Hmmm – I save $7.00 a pill.  So, why so expensive here in the US?  And, it isn’t only Onglyza, either.

Some prices on various meds – same quantities:

US -  $475.00 – Canada - $94.99

US - $325.00 – Canada -$64.99

US - $344.00 – Canada - $89.99

US - $720.00 – Canada - $129.99

The list goes on and on, believe me.

Believe it or not, I did find Onglyza cheaper – from Hong Kong.  Would you believe – no prescription needed?  I still opted for Canadian.



There’s an Indycar race this weekend – another road course – Long Beach in California.  What are the odds of them getting through the first turn or first lap without a problem?



Remember this, from last week – in the Jayski section?

Johnson apologizes for questioning pit road penalty: #48-Jimmie Johnson apologized on Tuesday for ripping NASCAR for what he believed to be a bogus speeding penalty on pit road Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Johnson called out the governing body during his post-race interview and again on Twitter after the penalty left him with an 11th-place finish that left him one short of tying the NASCAR record for the most consecutive top-10 finishes at 18. On Tuesday, Johnson said he was mistaken, that the timing segment that NASCAR accused him of speeding through was different from what he believed during the race. "The fact is we were wrong," Johnson said. "I was referring to a segment I knew I couldn't get busted in. At the end of the day it wasn't the segment we were busted on." Johnson said he shouldn't have made the comments without all the correct information, although he said NASCAR could take care of misinformation by making pit road speeds instantly available for drivers and fans to see. NASCAR says it has no plans to do that.(ESPN.com)(4-5-2011)

Note:  My thoughts – Uh huh, ok, Jimmie.  Yeah, right.  Might Mr. Helton have had a few words with Jimmie?



Well, I found this while on Jayski’s website:

The week certainly began with one. After a pit road speeding penalty at Martinsville on April 3, the normally sanguine Jimmie Johnson was downright irate about a penalty that essentially cost him a shot at the victory, declaring "There's just no way" on national television, questioning the sanctioning body's mathematical abilities, and then tweeting that NASCAR should post pit road times during the race "for all the world to see."

But by midweek the champ admitted he was wrong. He said he and his team were mistaken about where on pit road the 48 car had been caught over the limit. However, he did still say that NASCAR should be more transparent about how it polices pit road and about the numbers that policing produces.

Be careful what you wish for.

NASCAR president Mike Helton reminded Johnson that teams can receive a printout of their pit road speeds simply by stopping by the NASCAR truck after the race. Then he invited Johnson up to Race Control to see the monitoring system for himself. He also welcomed in ESPN's cameras during Friday night's Nationwide Series event at Texas and did the same with Fox during Saturday night's Sprint Cup race. Meanwhile, NASCAR senior vice president Steve O'Donnell spent a portion of the Cup event tweeting live from Race Control.”

Found it, here:  http://sports.espn.go.com/rpm/nascar/cup/columns/story?columnist=mcgee_ryan&id=6343432&campaign=link&source=JAYSKI

Note:  Again, I wonder what words came from Mr. Helton.


Another reminder about the Vintage Race Car Meet at Loudon:

The 21st annual Vintage Open Wheel Race Car meet will be on May 17, 18 & 19 – Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday – the usual days.  This meet is one of, if not the biggest Vintage Open Wheel Race car meet in the country.

From their website:

From Tuesday, May 17, to Sunday, May 22, history will come alive as legendary racing machines from around the world gather to compete in the 21st Annual Vintage Racing Celebration.

Beginning Tuesday, May 17, through Thursday, May 19 some of the world’s best vintage midgets, sprint cars, champ cars, roadsters and NASCAR stock cars will race on the speedway’s 1.058-mile oval.

From Friday, May 20, through Sunday, May 22, New Hampshire Motor Speedway’s tricky 1.6-mile road course will challenge vintage road racers from around the world. Classic car enthusiasts can see vintage sports cars, formula cars and motorcycles compete for bragging rights on the 12- turn NHMS course.

Join us on Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22 for the Classic and Custom Car Show along with an Automotive Flea Market. If you love cars, this event is for you!

Gates open each day at 9:00 a.m.”

Info for the Open Wheel portion of the show can be found here:  http://www.vintagecelebration.com/accomodations.htm



As of Wednesday, the forecast for Friday, in my area, is good.  Saturday – not so good.  Accord, the “Big A” starts its season this Friday night.

From the Accord Speedway’s website:

OPENING NIGHT FOR 2011 SEASON! William's Lumber Night Scott Harvey Memorial Racing all divisions + Legends

Next week, the Lightning Sprints will be taking the place of the Legends, as they alternate weekly.



On April 13th, Dan Gurney turned all of 80 years old.  Somewhere out there on the Internet is a photo of Dan, when he was attending a midget race back in the 40’s at either Islip or Freeport Speedway, and he was holding up a sign with the name of his favorite driver – Ted Tappett (Phil Walters).  So far, it hasn’t surfaced.



The Hamlin Speedway is also scheduled to open this weekend – on Saturday.  In case you are not aware, Hamlin dropped Go-Karts last year, opting to run just Slingshots and Micro Sprints.

Classes now running at Hamlin:

Three classes of Slingshots, two classes of winged 270 Micro Sprints and two classes of wingless 600 Micro Sprints.

Their website:   http://www.hamlinspeedway.com/



Have you watched the  “Inside NASCAR” show on Showtime yet?  It’s on Wednesday night from 9:00 PM to 9:30 PM  Re-runs are Wednesday at 11:00 PM to 11:30 PM, Saturday at 9:00 AM to 9:30 AM and Sunday at 1:00 AM to 1:30 AM and final re-run on Sunday 9:30 AM to 10:00 AM.

Just a slight warning – you do hear what the drivers and crewmembers have to say, as it happens, with no “beeping” out of words.



Just prior to sending this column out, a shade after midnight, I took one last look at some of the forums and message boards.  Some breaking news has been sent out from the New Egypt Speedway.

Here it is:

Saturday April 16 show has been moved to Friday Night

New Egypt, NJ - With the extremely unfavorable weather forecast predicted for Saturday afternoon and evening, New Egypt Speedway has decided to move their Saturday night racing program brought to you by SpikenGo to Friday night April 15.


This show will NOT carry any points in any of the divisions in the 2011 championship standings.


The pit gates will open at 5pm

Spectator gates will open at 6pm

Hot Laps at 7pm

First heat race at 7:30


Modifieds, Sportsman, and Outlaw Stocks (No Rookies)will race for full purses without points.  All divisions will draw for heat and feature lineup.


Any TRACK license will be honored on Friday evening and any American Racing tire (44-LF, RF, & LR....48-RR)


If you have any questions please call the speedway at 609-758-1900”


Note:  Smart move?  I’d say so.  Now I wonder, is it possible for other tracks to follow suit, sometimes down the road?  I know some tracks are tied to town laws, etc etc which would probably stop them from changing a race night, and apparently New Egypt isn’t.


Found on Jayski’s website:

Bayne admitted to hospital: Trevor Bayne was admitted to Carolinas Medical Center-University in Charlotte, NC, on Sunday morning after returning home from the Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. According to a Roush Fenway Racing team spokesman Corey Wynn, Bayne's illness has not been diagnosed. But the 20-year-old winner of this year's Daytona 500 had tweeted earlier: "Not sure if its a spider bite or a tick bite . . . But either way I'm in a hospital bed with a needle in my arm! #nobueno". Bayne began exhibiting symptoms Tuesday. On Friday, he was taken to the infield care center at Texas Motor Speedway, where he was administered antibiotics. Then, Saturday night, he went to the emergency room when the Roush plane returned to Charlotte, and he was admitted to the hospital. (Fox Sports)(4-10-2011)

UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing's Trevor Bayne was treated and released Sunday from Carolina Medical Center University Hospital in Charlotte after a reaction from an apparent insect bite on his left elbow that the 20-year old driver suffered last week while at home. "Trevor has been treated and released from the hospital and is fine to continue with his daily activities - including driving a race car," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "Doctors are still waiting for the test results to determine for sure what caused the reaction, but Trevor has been treated, is at home and he is doing fine." Additional information should be available at the end of the week. Bayne competed in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway over the weekend. He is scheduled to compete in both events this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway (Ala.).(Roush Fenway PR)(4-10-2011)

STP jumping back into racing: UPDATE: On Wednesday afternoon, STP will announce its return to big league racing, an aggressive sponsorship plan that will have the old familiar "racer's edge" mantra back in NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series as well as the NHRA, plus multiple racetrack sponsorships. It begins with NASCAR's split weekend of June 4-5, when the Saturday night Nationwide Series event at Chicagoland Speedway will be the STP 300 and the following Sunday afternoon's Sprint Cup race will be the STP 400. That same weekend, Richard Petty's famous #43 car, driven by A.J. Allmendinger, will carry The King's iconic 1972 STP paint scheme, marking the first time that car has carried those colors since a two-race deal in 2006. In addition, STP has signed track sponsorship deals with International Speedway Corp. properties, including Daytona, Talladega, Richmond, Darlington, Michigan, Chicagoland and Kansas. The company has also inked a multiyear sponsorship of Infineon Raceway, including title sponsorship of its Wednesday night drag racing series.(ESPN.com)(4-13-2010)
UPDATE: When STP and Richard Petty first signed a deal in 1972, it forever changed the sponsorship landscape within the sport of auto racing. To mark its 39 year history in racing, the STP brand is building its presence in the sport through multiple series' including NASCAR, NHRA, World of Outlaws, Infineon Speedway, and at several International Speedway Corporation (ISC) tracks. STP's racing portfolio includes:
• Multi-year title sponsorship of the Nationwide and Cup races at Chicagoland Speedway and Kansas Speedway, respectively. This year, the STP 300 Nationwide Series race will take place on June 4 and the STP 400 Cup race will run on June 5.
• The STP-branded #43 car will make its return to the track driven by Richard Petty Motorsports driver, AJ Allmendinger, during the STP 400. The No. 43 STP Ford Fusion will be a modern replica of the 1972 paint scheme featuring the original Petty Blue and
STP Day-Glo Red.
• Primary sponsor of two-time NHRA Full Throttle Nitro Funny Car Champion Tony Pedregon for three races (Las Vegas, Houston and Infineon) and an associate sponsorship for the balance of the season.
• Multi-year track sponsorships with a number of ISC properties including Daytona, Talladega, Richmond, Darlington, Michigan, Chicagoland and Kansas.
• Multi-year track sponsorship of Infineon Raceway and title sponsor of Wednesday Night Drags and Bracket Drags.
• Continued sponsorship of Tony Stewart Racing and four-time World of Outlaws Champion Donny Schatz and the World of Outlaws Series.(MATTER, Edelman/STP)(4-13-2011)

Burton expects more teams to communicate at Talladega: From Tuesday's NASCAR Teleconference:
Q. At Daytona there was quite a bit of communication, starters, drivers, teams blending and that sort of thing. More of that at Talladega? Did we set a precedent for that at Daytona or will it be about the same?
JEFF BURTON: I think it's going to be more of it. I think that it's really an interesting dynamic to be quite honest. We had a meeting this week talking about, you know, who you want to try to get on your radio, and it's pretty odd. I mean, typically it's teams that try to communicate within the team. But for a Childress car to be talking to a Hendrick car, or a Hendrick car to be talking to a Roush car, and a Roush car to be talking to a Gibbs car, we've never seen that. It's pretty interesting how that all is going down and who is going to who and talking and saying, can I put you in my radio. And with the etiquette: When do you go to a competitor's radio frequency? All of that's a moving target. I don't know, I'm a fan of it because I think honestly it's safer doing it with one spotter and two cars. I think it's actually safer. However, I'm not a fan of it because it's supposed to be us against them, you know. We are not supposed to be working together. (Laughing). (Chevy PR)(4-13-2011

Note:  The racing at Talladega is this coming weekend – Nationwide on Saturday and Cup on Sunday.


Former Oakland Valley Speedway (Dirt Oval) runners:

I must make something clear here.  I did the race reporting for the Dirt Oval for quite a few years.  My grandson, Brett, raced there for all those years.  I’ve been away from the track for a few years now, so it’s very possible that there have been other drivers – other than those I make mention of, that have also gone onto bigger forms or racing vehicles, so chances are real good that I do not know their names.  If you know of anyone that’s gone onto bigger things, and had run at the Dirt Oval, how about dropping me a line and let me know their names and where and with what they are now racing.  Thanks!

At Selinsgrove last week, in the 358 Sprint Car feature, Davie Franek was 19th.

At New Egypt, Johnny Guarino was 12th in the Modified feature.

At OCFS, in the Sportsman class, Anthony Perrego was 7th, Matt Hitchcock 8th, Matt Janiak 9th, RJ Smykla 11th, Keith Still 12th and Brian Krummel 23rd.  John Lodini is listed as being a DNS in both his heat and in the consi.

In the Modified class, Danny Creeden was the feature winner.  Tim Hindley was 11th, Michael Storms 13th, Clinton Mills 18th, and Billy VanInwegen 23rd, after being involved in an accident at the very start of the feature.  Mike Ruggiero was a DNQ.

At Five Mile Point, in the RoC Sportsman race, Brad Szulewski was 4th and Danny Creeden 7th.



Going back, in time – in racing history:

Note:  Most of the following information was found here: 



Covering the days of April 15th to April 21st


April 15

Mel Kenyon... Born ... A hall of fame midget car driver. He is known as the "King of the Midgets" The Motorsports Hall of Fame of America says "Many consider him to be midget car racing's greatest driver ever." Kenyon began his racing career in 1954 racing a 1937 Chevy Coupe. He totaled the car when a tire blew out. He raced modified stocks in 1955. In 1958, Mel began his career in the midgets. Kenyon's first championship was in NASCAR's Florida midget series in 1962, but he changed to USAC in the middle of the season and finished fifth in the USAC National Midget championship points. Kenyon failed to qualify for his first Indianapolis 500 in 1965. Kenyon's tenth career race in a USAC IndyCar was at Langhorne Speedway in Langhorne, Pennsylvania in June 20, 1965. Mel's engine blew up sending oil all over the car, his firesuit, and the track. He lost control of the car, hit the wall, and was knocked unconscious. Jim Hurtubise and Ralph Ligouri slid in the oily track, and ran straight into Mel's fuel tank. Kenyon suffered severe burns. Kenyon went through multiple operations at the San Antonio Burn Center, and he lost nearly all of his fingers on his left hand. Mel, his brother Don, and their father Everett designed a special glove with a rubber grommet sewn into the palm. The glove fit on Mel's hand and hooked in to the steering wheel. The trio formed a racing team called 3-K Racing, with Don as the crew chief. Kenyon returned to racing in 1966. He had twelve first or second place finishes, and finished second in the National Midget points. He qualified for his first Indianapolis 500 just eleven months after his fiery crash, and finished fifth. Kenyon has seven USAC National Midget championships, eight runner ups in the season points standings, and Top 5 point finishes in 21 of 27 seasons between 1966 and 1988. At his Motorsports Hall of Fame induction in 2003 he had 111 feature wins], 131 seconds, 107 thirds, 81 fourths, and 69 fifths, for a total of 419 Top 5 finishes. He also had 688 Top 10 finishes. The totals are for USAC National midget races only, and don't include races in the NAMARS national races, regional or local races. He had counted 380 midget total feature wins, including wins in Australia and New Zealand. three NAMARS midget championships, and over 380 midget feature wins in all. Kenyon competed in 65 USAC Championship (IndyCar) and eight Indianapolis 500 races with a best finish of third in 1968.

Note:  Mel still gets behind the wheel, today, and races, at 78 years of age.


Paul Dana... Born ... 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 Indianapolis 500 and missed the rest of the season, replaced by Jimmy Kite. He returned to the series to race for Rahal Letterman Racing after he recovered from his injuries. In the practice session for the first race of the 2006 IRL season, at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Dana collided with Ed Carpenter's disabled car after Carpenter's tire went flat, thrusting the car into retaining wall, before sliding to the bottom of the track. Paul Dana, in the Rahal-Letterman car, was told to "go low" by his spotter. Slow-motion footage showed that Paul had hit debris from Ed's car just before impact, which caused damage to the right-front suspension. ABC/ESPN's telemetry indicated Dana's car hit Carpenter's car at about 176 mph, while Scott Sharp, who was running alongside Dana, reported that he had slowed to approximately 50 mph by the time of Dana's impact. Dana was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries on March 26, 2006.


Art Cross... Died ...ARDC and AAA driver. He was the first recipient of the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Award in 1952. He raced in 4 Indy 500’s with a best finish of 2nd in 1953.


Louise Smith... Died ... She was tied for the second woman to race in NASCAR at the top level. She was known as "the first lady of racing." She went as a spectator to the her first NASCAR race at the Daytona Beach Road Course in 1949. She couldn't stand watching the races, so she entered her family's shiny new Ford coupe in the race and rolled it. Her hometown Greenville, South Carolina paper featured photos of the wreck, and the town knew about it before she got home. The race was the first race to feature three female drivers (Ethel Mobley and Sara Christian). The trio also competed later that season at the Langley Speedway. She raced from 1949 to 1956. She won 38 races in her career in numerous formats: late models, modifieds (28 victories), midgets, and sportsman. She returned in 1971 as a car owner for numerous drivers. She sponsored Ronnie Thomas' Rookie of the Year attempt in 1978. She became the first woman inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1999.


April 16


Leon Duray"Jigger" Sirois ... Born ... He started racing UMARA midgets in 1957, IMCA sprint cars and USAC. Though he never qualified for the Indianapolis 500, Sirois is most known in racing circles for events surrounding his qualifying attempt in 1969. He took to the track on Pole Day and achieved a speed of 161.535 mph before his qualifying attempt was called off by his car owner (who thought the speed was not fast enough to make the race). Shortly afterwards, it began to rain, and qualifying was washed out. If Sirois had completed his qualification attempt, he would have won the pole (as the race's slowest qualifier's speed of 160.851 mph was not enough to bump Sirois). However, he made two more unsuccessful qualifying attempts and did not make the field. After that he came back to attempt to make the field every year up until 1975, failing to make the field every time. Outside of the Indy 500, he made 10 other starts in USAC Championship Car racing. His best finish was 5th place at Phoenix International Raceway in 1969. Sirois is the son of former Indy 500 mechanic Frenchy Sirois, who worked on the cars of Lee Wallard, Sam Hanks, and Jimmy Bryan. Jigger is named after driver Leon Duray.

Note:  I had the chance to meet Jigger a few years ago when I was down in Richmond for a USAC/IRL event.  Did you know that at one time he ran a Turbine powered Silver Crown car on a mile dirt track?  He qualified for the pole position until the last car went out to qualify – yeah, “Politics” more than likely!  I believe he finished 3rd in the 100 miler.


Arthur Chevrolet... Died ... AAA driver 1909 to 1920. One of 3 brothers that emigrated to America and went into auro racing. Brother of Chevrolet namesake Louis Chevrolet, committed suicide at age sixty in Slidell, Louisiana, on this date.


April 17


Steve Knapp... Born ... IRL driver 1998 to 2001


Andy Granatelli lost a lawsuit against United States Auto Club. He claimed USAC had broken their own "3-year" engine rule when they severely restricted his turbine-powered Indy car. He did have his USAC membership reinstated.


Buzz Barton... Died ... Raced in AAA,  IMCA & USAC Sprints and Indy Cars


April 18

Dick Fraizer... Born ... AAA / USAC driver 1949 to 1956


Jochen Rindt... Born ... Rindt was a German-Austrian racing driver. He is the only driver to posthumously win the Formula One World Drivers' Championship (in 1970), after being killed in practice for the Italian Grand Prix. Away from Formula One Rindt was highly successful in other single-seat formulae, as well as sports car racing. In 1965 he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, driving a Ferrari 250LM in partnership with American Masten Gregory.


Geoffrey Bodine... Born ... The oldest of the three Bodine brothers (Brett Bodine and Todd Bodine) who are all NASCAR drivers.


April 19

Joe Dawson... Born ... AAA driver 1910 to 1914


Jack Roush... Born ... NASCAR and Trans-Am team owner. Never seen without his trademark Panama hat, Roush is affectionately known on the NASCAR circuit as "The Cat in the Hat".


Dick Linder... Died ... In the late 1940's and early 1950's, the Linder name was one of the biggest in racing in the entire country. Dick Linder's career was cut short in a USAC "big car" event at Trenton in 1959. He was Indy-bound and had the talent to become one of the real good ones.

Note:  I was at Trenton that day.  I can still picture his car going over the fence between turns 3 & 4, in what was like slow motion.


Al Unser, Jr.... Born ... Nicknamed "Little Al" or "Al Junior" is an American race car driver and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner. He is the son of Al Unser and the nephew of Bobby Unser, who both won the Indianapolis 500 themselves. Ran CART from 1982 to 1999 and the IRL from 2000 to 2007. Drove in 19 Indy 500's and won in 1992 and 1994.


USAC board rejected the entries by CART teams for the Indianapolis 500.


April 20

Gordon Smiley... Born ... American race car driver from Omaha, Nebraska that ran SCCA Formula Atlantic, Can-Am, Formula 5000, Formula Super Vee and Indy cars. Smiley raced in the Indianapolis 500 twice, in 1980 and 1981, and was killed while trying to qualify for a third in 1982


Mauricio Gugelmin... Born ... F1 and CART driver


April 21


Roy Russing... Died ... Worked as an aircraft engineer/instructor during WW2. A midget legend before the war, he was killed shortly after racing resumed in a midget crash.


Ira Vail... Died ... AAA driver from 1915 to 1928



News from the AARN:


Note:  This last issue was the issue that has almost 44 pages of track and organization schedules.  I’ll have more on them in next week’s column. 

From their April 5th issue:


Tim Fuller loses out on $500.00 a race in tow money and contingencies that he received for being a “contracted driver” with the WoO LM Series, since his car owner won’t let him run with that series.  Fuller owns the hauler and paid for the diesel fuel and also paid some crew members – all out of his own pocket.

Note:  Maybe that’s his “former” car owner?


Former Indy 500 winner, Dan Wheldon, has secured a ride for this hears 500 with the Bryan Herta Autosports Team.

Note:  It’s a sad state of affairs when a former Indy 500 winner does not have a ride for the 2011 season, isn’t it?  “Ride buying” kinda sucks.


In 1985, Steve Kinser eanred $314,000.00 with the WoO Sprint Cars.  Jason Meyers, the 2010 WoO Sprint Car champion, earned $307,000.00.  That was $10.00 more than Kinser won, in 2010.  It’s said that the WoO purses have actually gone up about 25%, but less races are run, today.


Tim Shaffer, two time All Star Circuit of Champions point title winner has confirmed that he will be at Lincoln Speedway, in PA on May 25th for the Sprint Car Spectacular – a benefit race for the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing (EMMR).  As of April 4th, the World Racing Group (WRG) and the WoO Sprint Car Series will not authorize any of its drivers to attend.


VP fuels will be the fuel for the American Racer East Coast Dirt Modified Cup program.

Note:  That’s cool.  Now drivers/teams won’t have to change fuel when gong from DIRTcar to RoC races, and risk the problem of a possible DQ.


In it’s opening race for 2011, the NEMA Midgets drew 18 cars.  The NEMA Lights had 13 entrants.  NEMA runs with wings. 

Note:  From what I can gather, the NEMA Lights are mainly powered with the Ford Focus engines.  It’s been said that running with wings puts a lot of strain on the engines and running gear.  I wonder if NEMA would have more cars running with them if they did away with the wings?  And will those wings slow down those Ford Focus powered Midgets?


According to a small article, and also according to their website, Whip City Speedway is now officially “Done”.


South Arcade (NY) Speedway, a 1/3 mile track, that runs FASTRAK Late Models, E-Mods, Street Stocks, Pure Stocks, 4 cylinders and Mini Stocks, has a six race schedule for 2011.

Note:  Only six?  Seems to be kind of a waste, doesn’t it?


Did you know that the first race that Richard Petty was in, he drove a convertible?  His father forbid him to race until he was 21 years old.  He drove a 1957 Olds at a track in Columbia, SC – a 100 mile race in which he started 13th and finished 6th – 5 laps down from the winner.  He got $200.00.


The Merrittville (Ont) Speedway has two Syracuse qualifiers for the 358 Small Block Modifieds.  I wonder why OCFS, doesn’t have their ONE mid-season 358 race as a Syracuse qualifier?  Methinks I know why.


A new feature for the AARN was a small box on page three for what’s coming up on TV.

Note:  I did notice they had the Indy Lights race listed, but not the Indycar race.  Strange.


The Dirt Midget Association (DMA) has scheduled five races for the Bear Ridge Speedway, for 5/28, 6/18, 7/16, 8/20 and 9/10.  This Association has evolved from the Quad 4 Midgets that ran at Whip City.  From what I’ve heard, they will also be allowing Ford Focus powered Midget to run with them.  They do not use wings.


Scott Pacich had a column about Kneisel cars and some of the other drivers that drove Kneisel cars.  It’s thought that one of the last frames that Dave Kneisel built ended up being the 1st Modified for Billy Decker, in 1983.

Note:  My son, Eric, worked at Kneisel’s when the late Eric Koster was running it.  He went to work there because he wanted to learn how to weld and wanted to be taught by the one who was considered to be one of the best welders.  Every Kneisel car that my son made won at least one feature, and one, driven by Jimmy Johnson, won the Sportsman championship at OCFS.

It was a great loss to the racing community when Eric Koster passed away last year.  He was in the process of making a return to dirt modified racing.




More racin’ stuff:

After the racing at OCFS last Saturday, and seeing, or thinking how fast the track was, I thought I’d compare some of the times from Saturday night against some of the times from last years Eastern States Weekend, when the BIG NAMES were in town.


Last year, in the Big Block Modifieds, Tommy Meier turned a lap in 21.007 for an average speed of 107.107 MPH.  Last Saturday night, Jimmy Phelps turned a lap in 20.989 for an average speed of 107.199.


For the Sportsman cars, last year, Sammy Piazza had a time of 21.880 and an average speed of 102.834.  Last Saturday, Gary Edwards, Jr. turned a lap in 22.287 for an average speed of 100.956


Opening night for OCFS found 11 Street Stocks, 14 Pro Stocks, 34 Sportsman and 30 Big Block Modifeds in attendance.  Those figures, except for the Street Stocks, are taken off of My Laps, so it’s possible I might be off one or two, here and there.



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/

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

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

Open Wheel Racers3:  http://www.openwheelracers3.com/

Race Pro Weekly:  http://raceproweekly.com/

Syracuse forum:  http://www.syracuse.com/forums/motorsports/ (Must register to post)

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

(Must register to post)

Victory Speedway:  http://s2.excoboard.com/VictorySpeedwayForum (Must register to post & no nonsense allowed)

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.

New England Tractor:  http://newenglandtractor.com/racereport/

Wheels of Speed:  http://www.wheelsofspeed.com/

The Caruso Racing Museum website:  http://www.carusomidgetracing.com/  A great website if you are interested in the history of legendary Mike Caruso, his cars and his drivers.

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


Some non-racing stuff:

Time to Bar Illegals From Medicaid


In part:

Although the numbers of illegal aliens remain guestimates, the costs and accompanying debts are real, and taxpayers know it. The Congressional Budget Office, for instance, estimates Medicaid benefits received by illegal aliens at from $48 billion to $76 billion annually. Evidence suggests that a large portion of these costs involve fraudulent Medicaid claims by patients, medical providers, and immigrant advocates or enablers”.





Gov't orders 14 lenders to reimburse homeowners


In part:

“WASHINGTON – The federal government on Wednesday ordered 16 of the nation's largest mortgage lenders and servicers to reimburse homeowners who were improperly foreclosed upon.

Government regulators also directed the financial firms to hire auditors to determine how many homeowners could have avoided foreclosure in 2009 and 2010.

Citibank, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the nation's four largest banks, were among the financial firms cited in the joint report by the Federal Reserve, Office of Thrift Supervision and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency,

The Fed said it believed financial penalties were "appropriate" and that it planned to levy fines in the future. All three regulators said they would review the foreclosure audits.”

“The other lenders and service providers cited by the agencies include: Ally Financial Inc., Aurora Bank, EverBank, HSBC, MetLife Bank, OneWest Bank, PNC, Sovereign Bank, SunTrust Banks, U.S. Bank, Lender Processing Services and MERSCORP.”

“Ally Financial, formerly known as GMAC, said it had not found "any instance where a homeowner was foreclosed upon without being in significant default."


Note #1:  Wanna bet this will take years and years to settle, if it gets settled at all?

Note # 2:  There were about 500 comments on this, as of Wednesday afternoon (comments can be seen if you scroll down a little from the article),

Here’s a very interesting one:

“Just hold on, more homeowners are going to have to be compensated.
If the banks don't have the paperwork in order, they have no right to foreclose
Who wants to buy a foreclosure now that the title isn't clean?”

And another:

“How do you go about reimbursing someone that has already been removed from their home?”


Is this true?:


Maybe you’ve been sent this in an e-mail, as I was:


Just a few problems that come up with “Illegals” – Part 1:


The following English teacher helps to explain one area that looms large over California 's educational crisis.

This should make everyone think, be you Democrat, Republican or Independent


From a California school teacher –


"As you listen to the news about the student protests over illegal immigration, there are some things that you should be aware of:

I am in charge of the English-as-a-second-language department at a large southern California high school which is designated a Title 1 school, meaning that its students average lower socioeconomic and income levels.


Most of the schools you are hearing about, South Gate High, Bell Gardens , Huntington Park , etc.. where these students are protesting, are also Title 1 schools.

Title 1 schools are on the free breakfast and free lunch program. When I say free breakfast, I'm not talking a glass of milk and roll -- but a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make a Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten.

I estimate that well over 50% of these students are obese or at least moderately overweight. About 75% or more DO have cell phones. The school also provides day care centers for the unwed teenage pregnant girls (some as young as 13) so they can attend class without the inconvenience of having to arrange for babysitters or having family watch their kids.

I was ordered to spend $700,000 on my department or risk losing funding for the upcoming year even though there was little need for anything; my budget was already substantial. I ended up buying new computers for the computer learning center, half of which, one month later, have been carved with graffiti by the appreciative students who obviously feel humbled and grateful to have a free education in America ..

I have had to intervene several times for young and substitute teachers whose classes consist of many illegal immigrant students here in the country less than 3 months who raised so much hell with the female teachers, calling them "Putas" (whores ) and throwing things, that the teachers were in tears.

Free medical, free education, free food, day care, etc, etc, etc. Is it any wonder they feel entitled not only to be in this country but to demand rights, privileges and entitlements?

To those who want to point out how much these illegal immigrants contribute to our society because they LIKE their gardener and housekeeper and they like to pay less for tomatoes: spend some time in the real world of illegal immigration and see the TRUE costs.

Higher insurance, medical facilities closing, higher medical costs, more crime, lower standards of education in our schools, overcrowding, new diseases etc., etc, etc. For me, I'll pay more for tomatoes.

Americans, We need to wake up. The guest worker program will be a disaster because we won't have the guts to enforce it. Does anyone in their right mind really think they will voluntarily leave and return?

It does, however, have everything to do with culture: A third-world culture that does not value education, that accepts children getting pregnant and dropping out of school by 15 and that refuses to assimilate, and an American culture that has become so weak and worried about "political correctness " that we don't have the will to do anything about it.

If this makes your blood boil, as it did mine, forward this to everyone you know including your Congressmen and Senators.

CHEAP LABOR? Isn't that what the whole immigration issue is about?

Business doesn't want to pay a decent wage.

Consumers don't want expensive produce.

Government will tell you Americans don't want the jobs.

But the bottom line is cheap labor. The phrase "cheap labor" is a myth, a farce, and a lie. There is no such thing as "cheap labor."

Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children. He takes a job for $5.00 or 6.00/hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax Return,

he gets an "earned income credit" of up to $3,200 free.

He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent.

To be continued, next week.




Video time:

Last Friday night there was a practice session at OCFS.  Take a few laps with Johnny Guarino as he checks out his car for the 2011 season.






Closing with this:

One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, 'I cannot accept money from you, I'm doing community service this week.' The florist was pleased and left the shop. When the barber went to open his shop the next morning, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you , I'm doing community service this week.' The cop was happy and left the shop. The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Then a Congressman came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I can not accept money from you. I'm doing community service this week.' The Congressman was very happy and left the shop. The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut.

And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.



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

Drive safe! 


Until next week!


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