Racin' & Internet Stuff:
By Tom Avenengo
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:
the return to sanctioning at OCFS, the Super DIRTcar Series will not be making
a summer visit to
Gurda said there's a likelihood there will be two sportsman features during Eastern States, one for DIRT rules and one for OCFS rules.”
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:
“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
Some prices on various meds – same quantities:
US - $475.00 –
US - $325.00 –
US - $344.00 –
US - $720.00 –
The list goes on and on, believe me.
Believe it or not, I did find Onglyza cheaper – from
There’s an Indycar race this weekend
– another road course –
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.
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
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:
Next week, the Lightning Sprints will be taking the place of the Legends, as they alternate weekly.
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
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
This show will NOT carry any points in any of the divisions in the 2011 championship standings.
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:
Trevor Bayne was admitted to Carolinas Medical Center-University in
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 (
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
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 (
• Multi-year track sponsorships with a number of ISC properties including Daytona,
• 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)
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
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
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
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
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
Art Cross... Died ...ARDC and
AAA driver. He was the first recipient of the
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
Sirois ... Born ... He started racing UMARA midgets in 1957, IMCA sprint cars
and USAC. Though he never qualified for the
Note: I had the chance to
meet Jigger a few years ago when I was down in
Arthur Chevrolet... Died ...
AAA driver 1909 to 1920. One of 3 brothers that emigrated to
Steve Knapp... Born ... IRL driver 1998 to 2001
Andy Granatelli lost a lawsuit
Buzz Barton... Died ... Raced in AAA, IMCA & USAC Sprints and Indy Cars
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
Geoffrey Bodine... Born ... The oldest of the three Bodine brothers (Brett Bodine and Todd Bodine) who are all NASCAR drivers.
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
Note: I was at
Al Unser, Jr.... Born ...
Nicknamed "Little Al" or "Al Junior" is an American race
car driver and two-time
USAC board rejected the entries
by CART teams for the
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
Mauricio Gugelmin... Born ... F1 and CART driver
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”.
Note: Only six? Seems to be kind of a waste, doesn’t it?
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
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.
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
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:
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
Some non-racing stuff:
Time to Bar Illegals From Medicaid
“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
“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?”
“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:
This should make everyone think, be you Democrat, Republican or Independent
If this makes your blood boil, as it did mine, forward this to everyone you know including your Congressmen and Senators.
To be continued, next week.
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!
Until next week!
As usual, you can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org