Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 55

                                           05/05/2011

 

First:

 

This coming Sunday, May 8th, is Mother’s Day.  Now don’t go saying you forgot!

 

 

Second:

 

This past weekend, our granddaughter, Samantha paid us folks up here a visit – coming up from Tampa, Florida on Thursday and returning on Sunday.  She flew into the Westchester County Airport in White Plains, NY.  Since I’m retired, I went and picked her up on Thursday, and I also drove back on Sunday, accompanied by my son, Eric and his girl friend Catherine.  After dropping Sam off, we headed back home.  I’d say – maybe 15 or 20 minutes later, Sam sent her father a text message.  The airport only took CASH for anything you might buy, like food etc etc.  Sam only had her debit card with her, and of course we never thought of slipping her a few bucks.  No problem in most places, right?  Well at the airport they did not have any ATM machines.  One would think ………………..

 

 

Third:

 

There were some photos put up on the Internet from last Saturdays racing at OCFS.  One photo was quite disturbing – to me at least.  It was a photo taken from in back of the main grandstand.  The photo showed JP’s Snack Bar is still closed.  I wonder why?  No, OCFS has not responded to my request for info about JP’s.

 

 

Fourth:

 

Not next week, but the following week, there’s a good possibility that this column will not be published.  If it were, it would probably be a lot smaller.  I’ll be attending the Vintage Race Car meet up at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, May 17, 18 & 19, with my daughter, Judy.  There’s also a good possibility that the column will be out on Friday that week, rather than the usual Thursday.

 

Fifth:

 

Info on that show:

 

21st Vintage Racing Celebration

Tuesday, May 17 - Sunday, May 22, 2011

Oval & Road Course - Cars

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.

Sixth:

 

Two blocks from my house is the Delaware River.  For the last week or ten days, it’s looked more like a river of chocolate milk rather than river water.  It’s just starting to look regular this past Tuesday.

 

Seventh:

 

NASCAR will be at Darlington next for Cup and Nationwide races.  As of Wednesday, there are 47 entrants for the Cup race and only 41 for the Nationwide race.  The Nationwide race is Friday night while the Cup race is Saturday night.

 

Eighth:

 

Over on the Track Forum, there’s a thread about the Rear Engine cars at Indy, with 2011 now being 50 years since they’ve actually become somewhat competitive.

 

http://www.trackforum.com/forums/showthread.php?149151-Rear-engine-revolution-50-years-ago-but-not-celebrated-at-Indy.

 

In part:

Rear-engine revolution 50 years ago, but not celebrated at Indy.

2011 is not only the Indy 500's 100th anniversary, but also the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the end of the 50-year domination by front-engine cars, as Jack Brabham's little Cooper threw a wrench in the long-established tradition that began with Ray Harroun's Marmon "Wasp" in 1911.”

“While it took until 1965 to shut the door once and for all to the old "roadsters", John Cooper and "Black Jack" planted the seeds of what became one of the greatest eras of racing at the Speedway, the magic 1960s and all the new machinery that had to be devised by traditional and new builders. It was also the beginning of a British invasion that lasted until the end of the 1990's.”

“It is unfortunate to think that the IMS is not too interested in helping out bringing the glorious old car to join the celebration, but the Brits DO know better, and Lord March, founder of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, thinks otherwise and has invited the car to be the star guest of a celebration of that 50-year anniversary, but on British territory.
So the old machine will leave the USA by the end of May and will be on display and driven "up the hill" on the Earl of March estate on July 3rd.

At this time, the engine is being freshened after having been rebuilt from all the original pieces in 1991, and having been driven for nearly 1500 miles since in various races and exhibitions.”

“Actually, the first rear engine car to appear at the speedway was in 1937. Lee Oldfield did not make the race in a car he called the Marmon. The first one to make the race was a rear engine Miller in 1939 driven by George Bailey. Two of these Millers made the race in 1941 (Al Miller, George Barringer), though one (Barringer) was destroyed in the race morning garage fire. One of them made the race in 1946 (Barringer) and in 1947 (Al Miller). The last year the rear engine Miller tried to make the race was in 1951. Another rear engine car (Rounds Rocket) tried to make the race in 1949 (Bill Taylor) and 1950 (Bill Vukovich) but failed both years. Rear engine cars were at the speedway several years earlier than the Cooper. So, there is no need to celebrate this particular rear engine car. If we wanted to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the rear engine car at Indy, we should of done that in 1987 or 1939.”

“Several rear-engine cars appeared at the Speedway before the Cooper but none were successful. The Gulf-Millers were a failure, ill conceived and inefficient. The 1946 Fageol was a front AND rear engine car with 4WD, and did rather well, sitting on the front row, but that was a blind alley. The next rear-engine car to try was the beautiful but also ill conceived and overweight Rounds Rocket in 1949. But it failed to qualify twice.
The car that truly turned the tables was that little Cooper, and most books recognize that simple fact.”

Ninth:

A Press Release from Brett Deyo:

News from the VP Racing Fuels Short Track Four Crown presented by Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. – 'No BS. No Politics. Real Racing.'
 
Media Contact: Brett Deyo – 845.728.2781 or Deyo99H@aol.com
 
For Immediate Release/May 3, 2011
 
Momentum Building For Tuesday, June 7 'Clash at the Can' At Penn Can Speedway; $8,000 Reserved For Winner Of 60-lap Race of Champions Event
 
SUSQUEHANNA, PA No BS!  The VP Racing Fuels Short Track Four Crown presented by Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. is set to kick off in unprecedented fashion.
 
"Making history, one dollar at a time" is the theme of the second annual 'Clash at the Can' 60-lap big-block/small-block Modified event to be contested at the Susquehanna, Pa., one-third-mile oval on Tuesday, June 7. The 'Clash at the Can' event - first run in 2010 - is a co-promotion involving Brett Deyo and speedway managers Reed Miller and Al Wilcox. Year No. 2 of the 'No BS. No Politics. Real Racing' events at Penn Can should surpass the overwhelmingly successful shows presented last summer.
 
A whopping $8,000 is reserved for the victor of the Race of Champions Dirt Modified Tour-sanctioned event: the highest winner's share ever paid in the history of Penn Can Speedway. Additionally, the night's total Modified purse - $21,450 - is an unprecedented number for the facility centrally located on the Keystone State side of the Pennsylvania/New York border.
 
While the winner's share of $8,000 has been widely publicized, race teams will be pleased to know every position will receive additional cash at the payoff window. A total purse increase of 34 percent over the '10 edition of the 'Clash at the Can' has been put into place.
 
'Clash at the Can' sponsors include VP Racing Fuels, Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc., Plant Food Company and Reading Plastic Fabricators.
 
Manmiller Electric has signed on board to sponsor the 'Clash at the Can' heat races. All heat winners will receive $50 cash. Manmiller Electric is owned by noted dirt Modified racer Doug Manmiller. Consolation events are presented by Dirt Track Digest. On the web at
www.dirttrackdigest.com, "If it's on dirt, it's on Dirt Track Digest!"
 
Last year, the first edition of the 'Clash at the Can' was a study in diversity, with Penn Can regular Brett Tonkin, New York superstar Danny Johnson, Pennsy racer Duane Howard and Canadian Stewart Friesen in the mix. After an extended side-by-side battle with Tonkin, Howard emerged the victor driving the BPG Racing No. 4 Troyer.
 
Penn Can's layout ensures money, fresh rubber and horsepower don't guarantee success, making the 'Clash at the Can' favorable to low-dollar, weekly teams. Tire wear is non-existent. No conflicts on the dirt Modified calendar will allow the touring series stars and Pennsylvania/New Jersey teams to invade the facility. The makings of an all-star field are in place.

 

A handful of drivers took part in the April 22 Penn Can Speedway opener to shake down for the 'Clash at the Can' including red-hot Pennsylvania driver Jeff Strunk (who won the 40-lap event driving for Norm Hansell) and World of Outlaws Late Model star Tim McCreadie (who finished third in Vinnie Salerno's No. 4).
 
For drivers following the entire 13-race RoC tour, the 'Clash at the Can' holds added significance. The event offers championship points toward the overall crown.
 
There have been 11 RoC events held at Penn Can since the tour's inception in 2005 with a who's-who of past winners including Stewart Friesen, Howard and Pat Ward in addition to active local stars Joey Grammes, Alan Rudalavage and Brian Weaver.
 
The 'Clash at the Can' race winner earns a guaranteed starting position - a $500 value - in the New Egypt (N.J.) Speedway Friends of Mike special July 30.
 
Gates open at 5 p.m. with hot laps at 6:45 p.m. and racing at 7:30 p.m. The 'Clash at the Can' has a rain date of Wednesday, June 8.
 
Additionally, the event serves as Round No. 1 of the four-race VP Racing Fuels Short Track Four Crown presented by Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. which also includes the 'Hot Summer Night' at Penn Can (Aug. 9), fourth edition of the Short Track SuperNationals at Five Mile Point (N.Y.) Speedway (Oct. 8) and Penn Can 'King of the Can' (Oct. 16).
 
Drivers attending all four Short Track Four Crown events will be eligible for contingency prizes at year end. Points will be kept during the year with an overall champion announced following the ‘King of the Can’ 50-lapper. The growing list of contingency award sponsors can be found on the BD Motorsports Media website:
www.bdmotorsportsmedia.com.
 
Marketing opportunities remain available for the Short Track Four Crown events. For further information, contact Brett Deyo by phone at 845.728.2781 or via e-mail at
Deyo99H@aol.com. BD Motorsports Media is on the web at www.bdmotorsportsmedia.com and can also be found on Facebook.
 
Past Penn Can Speedway RoC Dirt Modified Tour Winners

August 10, 2010 - Stewart Friesen
June 8, 2010 - Duane Howard
Aug. 11, 2009 - Jeff Rudalavage
Sept. 14, 2008 - Duane Howard
July 29, 2008 - Pat Ward
Sept. 16, 2007 - Jeff Rudalavage
July 31, 2007 - Pat Ward
Sept. 15, 2006 - Joey Grammes
Aug. 1, 2006 - Brian Weaver
Sept. 17, 2005 - Brian Weaver
Aug. 17, 2005 - Alan Rudalavage

VP Racing Fuels Short Track Four Crown presented by Pioneer Pole Buildings Inc. Schedule of Events
 
Tuesday, June 7 at Penn Can Speedway – Clash at the Can: Modified, 60 laps $8,000 to win plus XCel 600 Modifieds & Trackside Products Street Stocks (Rain Date: June 8)

 

Tenth:

Coming up on May 31st, at the Grandview Speedway will be a show featuring the USAC Sprint Cars and the ARDC Midgets – both wingless.  Check out the USAC Sprint Cars at Grandview in the “Video time” below.

 

Eleventh:

I’m trying to figure out how they got the DNA checked out for Osama bin Laden so quickly.  And am also wondering how in such a short amount of time that NO country was willing to take his body.  Also why such a hurry in getting him buried at sea?  And why the original reports were in error as to what happened and to whom?

 

Twelfth:

More about Osama bin Laden:

In part:

“The top staffer for the Senate Indian Affairs Committee is objecting to the U.S. military's use of the code name "Geronimo" for Osama bin Laden during the raid that killed the al-Qaida leader.

Geronimo was an Apache leader in the 19th century who spent many years fighting the Mexican and U.S. armies until his surrender in 1886.”

 

Yup, someone complains about a “code name”.  You should read some of the comments that are under the article.  Just scroll down a little.  As of 12:34 PM on Wednesday, there were 14,139 comments listed.

A few of the comments:

“Too late. Argue all you want. Done and over with. Call the next target Custer if it'll make ya feel better.”

“I am native American, and really, really? People please get your panties out of a wad over this. Everyone is so politically correct now. That code name was just that....a code name. It is just a word. Didnt your mother ever teach you "sticks and stones"?”

“Can't say or do anything nowadays without someone getting their panties in a twist.”

“Now the PC people are starting. What's next? Does the ACLU come out with the following:

"An un-armed man, husband and father, was brutally gunned down by agents of the United States Government in front of his wife without due process? The man's body was then taken by force and then 'disposed of' so that his loved ones would have no monument to his death."

It was a CODE WORD. He was a piece of S*** ! He got better than he deserved and the world right now IS A BETTER PLACE FOR THE ACTIONS OF SEAL TEAM SIX !”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_bin_laden_geronimo

 

Thirteenth:

The National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame – on the Internet, still has not up-dated its website since December 16, 2010.  Still, those that are shown being inducted in the 2008 Fall Newsletter, for 2009 induction, still are not listed – on the website, even with that 2010 up-date.  However, I do believe they have their names included as being inducted members when they send out “Snail mail” stuff.

Fall 2008 Newsletter:  http://www.worthyofhonor.com/NewsLetters/Fall%2008%20Newsletter.pdf

List of inducted members:  http://www.worthyofhonor.com/Inducted_Members.htm

And when you go to the website, itself, you can see that there are others, like George Rice, Ken Hickey, George Amick and Len Sutton, to name a few, that were inducted  – 2010 induction, that are still not listed – on the Internet, as members.

 

Fourteenth:

I take it that if you’re reading this, then there’s a good possibility that you’ve been watching some NASCAR Cup races on TV – right?  And, like me, you’ve noticed quite a few empty seats, too.  Well, except for a couple of teams, Major League Baseball isn’t drawing too many fans, either – in fact, most baseball parks look pretty empty.  I saw an item on Yahoo! News on Wednesday that said that there’s a good chance that the LA Dodgers might not be able to make their players pay roll at the end of May.

 

 

Found on Jayski’s website:

Bayne Undergoing Medical Tests; Will Not Race in Richmond:

Roush Fenway's [and Wood Brothers Racing's #21] Trevor Bayne has been hospitalized and is undergoing tests for symptoms that are thought to be related to the insect bite he sustained earlier this month. "Trevor was not feeling well early this week and he is currently being evaluated for lingering symptoms that may be related to his previous insect bite," said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. "Unfortunately Trevor will not be available to drive the #16 Ford for us this weekend in the Nationwide race at Richmond [Bayne was not scheduled to run the Sprint Cup race as the #21 Wood Brother's team runs a limited schedule]. As of now, our plans are to use a substitute driver from the Roush Fenway family of drivers in place of Trevor at Friday night's race. Obviously Trevor wanted to be in Richmond and he's upset about not being able to compete. However, his health is our top priority and we insisted that he have these tests to get to the bottom of his symptoms. We will work to provide you with further updates as they become available." The 20-year old driver was treated and released earlier this month after a reaction from an apparent insect bite on his left elbow that he suffered earlier that week while at home in North Carolina.(Roush Fenway Racing)(4-28-2011)

 

Eric McClure, family survive tornado:

Nationwide Series driver Eric McClure survived the "most helpless and scary" moment of his life Wednesday night when one of the deadly tornadoes that have wreaked havoc on the South ripped through his home in Abbington, Va. "It looks like a war zone, a mine field," said McClure, who spent about four hours huddled under a basement staircase with his wife, three children and two dogs. "It's a debris field as far as you can see. It's shocking. We have never experienced anything like that before," he said. While the house sustained major damage, McClure and his family survived the ordeal without injury. So far, 16 fatalities have been reported in Glade Springs, about eight miles from McClure's home. As of Thursday, 210 deaths had been reported throughout the South, with 131 reported in Alabama.(see full David Newton article at ESPN.com)(4-28-2011)

Busch brothers 5th best in brotherly wins:

With #18-Kyle Busch's win at Richmond, he now has 21 Sprint Cup wins and his bother #22-Kurt Busch has 22 for a total of 43 for brothers. The record for two or more brothers wins combined [both have had to win] is 94 by Bobby Allison [84] and Donnie Allison [10]. The Busch's are tied for 5th with Terry [22] and Bobby [21] Labonte. The top-10 Brother wins list:
94 - Allison: Bobby (84), Donnie (10)
88 - Waltrip: Darrell (84), Michael (4)* [both Daytona 500 Champs]
62 - Flock: Tim (39), Fonty (19) Bob (4)
49 - Thomas: Herb (48), Donald (1)
43 - Labonte: Terry (22), Bobby (21)* [both Series Champs]
43 - Busch: Kurt (22)*, Kyle (21)*
26 - Burton: Jeff (21)*, Ward (5)
22 - Parsons: Benny (21), Phil (1)
19 - Bodine: Geoff (18), Brett (1)
[Petty Note, Richard won 200, Maurice won 0, only count if both bothers have won]
* still active.(5-2-2011)

 

Former Oakland Valley Speedway (Dirt Oval) runners:

Note:

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 Big Diamond, Mike Mammana was a DNQ for the Sportsman feature.

Roger Coss finished third in the Modified feature at Wall Stadium.

Johnny Guarino was 4th in the first Modified feature and 21st in the second Modified feature at New Egypt.

At Fonda, in the CRSA 305 Sprint Car feature, Brittany Tresch was 17th, while Josh Pieniazek was a DNS.

Tiffany Wambold was 12th in the 270 Micro Sprint feature at Borgers.

At Stafford, in the SK Light feature, David Webb finished 20th.

At OCFS, in the Modified feature, Mike Ruggiero was the winner.  Billy VanInwegen was 4th, Clinton Mills 11th, Danny Creeden 25th while Tim Hindley is listed as a DQ.  Anthony Perrego and Michael Storms were both DNQ’s.

In the Sportsman feature, Brian Krummel was the winner.  John Lodini was 2nd, Matt Hitchcock 5th, Keith Still 15th, Matt Janiak 20th and RJ Smykla 22nd.  Bobby Hassenmayer and Zack Vavricka were both DNQ’s.

At Accord, in the Modified feature, Danny Creeden was 4th, Michael Storms 9th and Clinton Mills 18th.  Anthony Perrego was a DNQ.

In the Spec Sportsman feature, Kyle Rohner was the feature winner and Matt Hitchcock was 2nd.

In the Sportsman feature, Brad Szulewski was 5th.

At Mountain Speedway, Nick Pecko was 5th in the Modified feature.

Rick Casario was 15th in the 270 Micro Sprint feature at Hamlin, while Charlie Lawrence was 15th in the Slingshot feature and Jacob Hendershot 1st in the 600 Rookie Wingless 600 Micro Sprint feature.

Danny Creeden won the 40 lap Southern Tier Open race at Five Mile Point on Sunday.

 

 

 

Going back, in time – in racing history:

Note:  Most of the following information was found here: 

http://www.wheelsofspeed.com/history.html

 

Covering the days of May 6th, to May 12th.

 

MAY 6

1961

Ralph Earnhardt, father of Dale Earnhardt Sr., made his NASCAR Grand National debut driving for Cotton Owens in the Rebel 300 at Darlington, South Carolina.

 

MAY 7

1927

Frank Lockhart Set the record for the fastest single lap driven on a board track (championship car) in a Miller 91 rear drive with an average speed of 147.229mph at the Atlantic City track. This track was the fastest and last major board track constructed.

1968

Mike Spence, Grand Prix and Sports car driver, died when he was killed in practice in the Lotus turbine car at Indianapolis. He crashed and the front right wheel of his car struck him on the head. Later that same night, Carroll Shelby withdrew his two uncompetitive turbine cars from the Indy 500.

1972

Gary Bettenhausen becomes the first to lap the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at over 190 mph. He hits 190.285 in his Penske McLaren- Offy.

 

MAY 8

1924

A. J. Watson ... Born ... Watson was a car builder and chief mechanic from 1949 through 1984 in the Indianapolis 500. During a 10-year stretch from the mid-1950s, Watson roadsters were virtually unbeatable at Indy. They finished one-two four times, including the famous 1960 race when Jim Rathmann and Rodger Ward swapped the lead countless times before Rathmann prevailed at the end. Watson-built cars won the Indianapolis 500 six times, and a Watson copy by Floyd Trevis won with A.J. Foyt in 1961.

1964

Bobby Labonte ... Born ... NASCAR Cup driver.

1968

Colin Chapman, effected by the previous day's death of Mike Spence and the recent death of Jim Clark, leaves Indy and flies back to England, leaving the STP Indy team to be run solely by Andy Granatelli.

2005

Alvin Junior "A. J." Shepherd ... Died ... CRA , IMCA and USAC Midget and Sprint car driver . He drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1960-1961 seasons with 7 starts, including the 1961 Indianapolis 500. He finished in the top ten 4 times, with his best finish in 4th position, in 1961 at Springfield. He finished 26 in his only race at Indy.

 

MAY 9

1984

Mario Andretti ran the first unofficial 210 mph lap (210.575) at Indy.

1992

Roberto Guerrero set an Indianapolis 500 qualifying record, driving his Lola-Buick to an average speed of 232.483 mph and set the single lap record at 232.618 mph.

2001

Smokey Yunick... Died ... NASCAR and Indy mechanic and owner of the "Best Damn Garage in Town" in Daytona, Florida, died of leukemia at age 77.

 

MAY 10

1906

George Barringer ... Born ... AAA driver from the 1930's and 40's. He ran the Indy 500 six times with a best finish of 6th in 1939. He and George Robson were killed in same multi-car pile-up at the Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, Georgia(Sept 2, 1946).

1952

Buck Baker drove his Cadillac powered car to victory in a 200 mile event at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina. It was the debut race for the NASCAR Speedway division, a class for Championship cars powered by stock block engines. The class first appeared in February with "speed trials" on the Daytona beach during Speedweek, but Darlington marked the first race. When qualifications during the week before the race saw many cars not ready and those on hand plagued terribly by overheating, worried officials quickly added a Grand National Stock Car event as a support race. 21 cars started, led by New Jersey speed shop operator Tom Cherry, who won the pole by turning 4 laps around the 1.25 mile oval at 102.42 mph in his Mercury powered car. Ford powered the most entries with 6, but other engines represented were Cadillac, Mercury, Hudson, Studebaker, Nash, DeSoto and even one GMC. The race was remarkably competitive with 15 lead changes among 5 drivers. Baker took the lead to stay on lap 114 and went on to take the checkered 3 laps ahead of Bill Miller's Olds powered car. Cherry wound up another lap back in 3rd. Surprisingly, 14 cars were running at the finish. Notable drivers in the field: future Indy drivers Al Keller and Dick Rathmann (both then regulars on the GN circuit), fellow GN regulars Jack Smith and brothers Jimmy & Speedy Thompson, Modified ace Buddy Shuman and New Jersey's Wally Campbell, who was at home in both Stocks and open wheelers. The division would have car count problems, which in turn made promoters reluctant to schedule events. After 7 races in May and June, NASCAR pulled the plug on the season.

 

Note:  To see who was in this race and where they finished, please go here:

http://www.champcarstats.com/races/1952n01.htm

 

 

Dick Rathmann drove the Walt Chapman Hudson Hornet to victory in a 100 mile NASCAR Grand National race on the 1.25 mile Darlington Raceway. It was the 2nd straight GN win for Rathmann. The event was quickly added to the schedule as a support race for the Speedway division when raceway officials became concerned about the size of the field for the new open wheel class. With no time for full qualifying, drivers drew for starting positions. After pole sitter Fireball Roberts led the first 15 laps in his Ford, the mighty Hudsons took control with Buck Baker and Tim Flock hooked up in a duel until joined by Rathmann. Later, Herb Thomas briefly made it a four Hudson battle. Rathmann took the lead for good on the 61st of 80 laps and went on to take the win. Tim Flock was 2nd with brother Fonty Flock taking his Olds to 3rd, 2 laps down. Baker retired with radiator problems after 66 laps and Thomas faded late. Point leader Lee Petty drove his Plymouth to 7th, 4 laps behind. Baker and Rathmann also drove in the Speedway division race.

1960

Erwin George "Cannon Ball" Baker... Died ... He was a motorcycle and automobile racing driver and organizer in the first half of the 20th century. In 1908, Baker purchased an Indian motorcycle and began entering and winning local races. His most famous victory came in 1909 at the first race ever held at the newly built Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Baker also raced at the 1922 Indianapolis 500, placing 11th in a Frontenac. He later became the first commissioner of NASCAR. Baker was inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998.

1964

Don Prudhomme was officially nicknamed "The Snake" when it is used in an article in Drag News magazine.

1967

Lorenzo Bandini ,F1 driver, died from his injuries suffered in the Monaco GP. He was running second to Denny Hulme in the Monaco GP when he lost control at the chicane and crashed. The car overturned and caught fire and Bandini was trapped beneath the flaming wreck. It was several minutes before he was rescued and his burns were terrible. For three days he fought for his life before succumbing to his injuries.

1985

Gordon Johncock , two-time Indianapolis 500 winner, announced his retirement.

1988

Rick Mears turned the first unofficial 220 mph lap (220.048) at Indy.

 

MAY 11

1924

Tim Flock... Born ... 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.

1974

A. J. Foyt opened Qualifying for the Indy 500 with a four-lap run in 3'07.86" in his #14 Coyote/Foyt. Rain interrupted the procedure until the next Saturday (May 18), but in spite of luminaries such as Gordon Johncock and Mario Andretti taking a shot at his time, Foyt remained fastest.

1985

Duane ‘Pancho’ Carter grabbed the pole position for the Indianapolis 500. Carter entered the history books with a speed of 212.583 MPH for four qualifying laps around the 2.5 mile track at Indy. Also that day, Scott Brayton turned in the fastest lap ever at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Brayton was traveling at 214.199 MPH in the third lap of qualifying, broke the single lap record previously held by Tom Sneva in the 1984 time trials. He was also the youngest driver ever in the front row.

 

MAY 12

1956

Leon Duray... Died ... AAA driver from the 1920's and 1930's.

1961

Tony Bettenhausen ... Died ... AAA / USAC driver from 1941 to 1961. He drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1941 and 1946-1961 seasons with 121 starts, including 14 in the Indianapolis 500. He finished in the top ten 74 times, with 21 victories. He won the National Championship in 1951 after recording eight victories and two second place finishes in fourteen events. He announced his retirement from all racing but the Indianapolis 500 after the season. He decided to return full-time for the 1954 season. He was involved in a midget car wreck in Chicago. He suffered head injuries after striking a concrete wall. He was in critical condition for several days. He prearranged to co-drive with Chicago Gang friend Paul Russo in the 1955 Indianapolis 500. They finished second. In 1958 he became the only driver to win the national championship without a win. He was assured the title with a second place finish at Phoenix. He finished second in the national championship to Rodger Ward in 1959. Bettenhausen was killed in 1961 in a crash at Indianapolis while testing a car for Paul Russo. Bettenhausen was the father of three racing sons Gary Bettenhausen, Tony Bettenhausen, Jr. and Merle Bettenhausen.

1970

Denny Hulme sustained second and third degree burns to his hands and feet during a cockpit fire in his McLaren during practice for the Indy 500.

1973

Art Pollard ... Died ... He drove in the USAC Championship Car series, racing in the 1965-1973 seasons, with 84 career starts, including the 1967-1971 Indianapolis 500 races. He finished in the top ten 30 times, with 2 victories, both in 1969, at Milwaukee and Dover. Pollard died in Indianapolis, Indiana as a result of injuries sustained in practice for the 1973 Indianapolis 500.

2000

Adam Petty ... Died ... The son of Kyle Petty, he was widely expected to become the next great Petty, following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather Richard, and great-grandfather Lee. He was the first fourth generation athlete in all of of sports to participate in the chosen profession of his generations. On May 12, 2000, Petty was practicing his Busch Series car at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire for the next day's 200-lap event when the throttle of his car stuck and sent him head-on into a wall. The impact killed Petty immediately.

 

 

 

 News from the AARN:

http://www.aarn.com/

From their April 26th issue:

Noted announcer Shane Andrews is now the exclusive announcer for WRG/DIRTcar and the DIRTcar Series.  He no longer will be the announcer at Brewerton and Fulton Speedways.

Brewerton is still using the “old” surface, and not the new synthetic one that Glenn Donnelly has been working on.  John Wight said he wasn’t sure where that project currently stands.

Johnny Benson, 47 years old, will be racing the entire ISMA Super Modified Circuit in 2011.  He says he lacks the million-dollar sponsor that’s needed for a ride in any of NASCAR’s top three series.

The Haudenschild race team traveled out to Pevely, Mo. For a WoO Sprint Car race.  It got rained out.  Cost, for fuel for the round trip:  More than  $900.00.

Former Sprint Car driver Blake Feese has now been signed to a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series ride at Turner Motorsports.

The National Old Timers Auto Racing Club (NOTARC) is no longer.  It’s been disbanded and has joined up with the Eastern Museum of Motor Racing (EMMR).  They are developing a plan to move NOTARC’s memorabilia to the EMMR.  NOTARC’s Hall of Fame plaques will be displayed in a special location in the currently expanding EMMR.  Those that might have questions regarding items loaned to the NOTARC should contact Ken Brenn at (732) 469-1701 or Lynn Paxton at (717) 432-8188 by August 1st.

The Crate Modified feature winner at Bridgeport will get $1,200.00 if there are 30+ cars entered.  Less, and the winner would get $1,000.00

Gary London had another interesting article on the problems in racing, like the cost and purses.  He did say that there have really been no new race tracks (excluding small ones) since Big Diamond and Bridgeport were built – some 40 years ago.

Speaking of Big Diamond – on Wednesday, June 22nd, the Big Block Modiifeds and Small Block Modifieds will race together in an ROC Tour race.  Sail panels will be allowed.  A minimum of $4,000.00 will go to the winner.

John Snyder came across a Nazareth program from 1968.  There was a 100 mile USAC race scheduled on the big track.  Ticket prices were $7.00, $6.00 and $5.00 for the stands and $4.00 for the infield.  As to his thoughts on the current Small Block “problems” that have come up over these past few weeks, mostly in PA. - he has a rather simple solution – as long as they come in at 358 cubic inches – they’re legal and run ‘em.

Note:  Did you ever go to the dirt mile track at Nazareth?  If so, were you there when they had vendors from McDonalds coming around with hamburgers and sodas?

 

More racin’ stuff:

 

From last weeks column:

 

“Fire destroys Smokey Yunick's former garage: The last remaining portion of legendary race car builder Smokey Yunick's former garage complex was destroyed Monday night as smoke and flames poured from the building onto North Beach Street [Daytona Beach FL]. "It's a shame to see it go," said Carrol Smith, who lives nearby. "That corner will be really empty." The relic of the innovative mechanic burst into flames about 7 pm, according to fire officials, and by 8:30 pm little of the building remained with the exception of portions of the block walls. Smoke was so thick at times the fire trucks battling the blaze couldn't be seen through the plumes. "I think this is it," Smith said to a friend sitting with her on the back of a pickup at the Riverside Trailer Park. "There was Smokey's, the Streamline Motel where NASCAR was really born, and their was a garage in Ormond Beach that's just marked with a sign that it used to be there." The age of the building and its former use as a garage made the blaze hazardous for firefighters. "We're not sending any of our guys in there," said Daytona Beach Fire Department spokesman Lt. Larry Stoney. "We're fighting this from outside. It's going to be difficult to figure out the cause of the fire." Yunick, who died in 2001 at age 77, wasn't shy about his mechanical skills, calling his business the "Best Damn Garage in Town." There were two sides to the shop. He worked on trucks on one side and race cars on the other. Inside the gray walls of his sprawling facility, Yunick made several significant gains for the automotive industry. Some of his inventions included variable-ratio power steering and the extended tip spark plug, a design utilized in most automobiles today. When Daytona International Speedway opened in 1959, Yunick's machines made an immediate impact. He built the cars that carried Marvin Panch and Fireball Roberts to Daytona 500 victories in 1961 and '63, respectively.(see full story at the Daytona Beach News Journal, some interesting info there)(4-26-2011)”

Here’s an up-date – found on Jayski’s website:

UPDATE:

The inferno that swept through the former garage of famed NASCAR mechanic Smokey Yunick was intentionally set, the State Fire Marshal's office said Friday, and a reward is being offered for any information leading to an arrest. Nina Ashley, a spokeswoman for the State Fire Marshal's office in Tallahassee, said the fire was "incendiary," which means it was set intentionally. It has not been classified an arson, however, because the intent is not clear. A sign was posted Friday afternoon outside the property -- which Yunick once called the "Best Damn Garage in Town" -- offering a $5,000 reward for information.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(4-30-2011)

 

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: 

http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=236178

Vintage Midget:  http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=337192

Briggs Cunningham race team – history:

http://www.briggscunningham.com/race_history.html?YEAR=1955

Note:  Disregard the “error” notice on top left.

Vintage Dirt Modifieds:  http://www.vintagedirtmodified.webs.com/

 

 

Racing and television:

Racing on TV - http://www.racefantv.com/USTV.htm

 

 

Some non-racing stuff:

Obama Administration Responsible for Record Gas Prices

 

In part:

“The oil industry is enjoying record profits as the price for a barrel of oil soars to more than $110. Chevron posted its profit numbers for the first quarter. The numbers were tough to stomach. Chevron reported earnings of $6.2 billion ($3.09 per share -- diluted) for the first quarter 2011, compared with $4.6 billion ($2.27 per share -- diluted) in the 2010 first quarter.

The Chevron press release set off a media blitz vilifying the big oil companies. How can these oil companies be making so much money while the American people are struggling to make ends meet and fill their gas tanks. Americans are making daily decisions on sacrifices they must make to put food on the table and pay their mortgage as the oil companies are making obscene profits.”

“Be careful where the blame is laid in this situation. The Obama administration has laid the groundwork for this situation and it is now their responsibility to correct it without getting its hands into private industry. The problem can be solved with a simple change in the administration's policies.

If the Obama administration allows the oil companies to drill and relieve this pressure, prices will fall almost immediately on a barrel of oil. The speculators will flee oil in a second once we announce the United States will make it a priority to drill.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ac/20110430/pl_ac/8396101_obama_administration_responsible_for_record_gas_prices

 

Rep Don Young Urges Producing American Energy & Opening ANWR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlfmvwxxgHM

 

What do these states all have in common?

Pennsylvania, Maryland, Colorado, Massachusetts, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Illinois and Kentucky.

They are 10 states where pensions are running out of money.  I’m willing to bet that there will be a whole lot more added to this list in the very near future.

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/retirement/article/112640/states-pensions-public-sector-247

 

Feds Allow Illegal Aliens to Cross Border 14 Times Before Charging Them With Felony, Sheriff Tells Congress

 

In part:

Sheriff Larry Dever of Cochise County, Ariz., told a House subcommittee today that in one U.S. attorney's district in Texas illegal aliens are allowed to be caught crossing the border 7 times before they are charged with a misdeamanor and 14 times before they are charged with a felony.”

 

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/7-chances-cross-border-illegally-1653-po

 

Note:  Don’t ya just love this stuff?

 

 

Is this true:

 

Three Convicted in Terror-Related Cases Later Granted U.S. Citizenship by Obama Administration

 

In part:

(CNSNews.com) -- Three people convicted of crimes as a result of a terrorism-related investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) were later naturalized as U.S. citizens by the Obama administration, according to federal auditors.”

The three individuals in question can be found in a DOJ list of unsealed terrorism-related investigations conducted from Sept. 11, 2001 through Mar. 18, 2010. There are 403 defendants on that list of which, according to the GAO, at least 43 percent were aliens--both legal (26 percent) and illegal (17 percent)--at the time they were charged with crimes.”

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/3-persons-convicted-terrorism-related-ca

 

 

 

 

 

Video time:

 

USAC Sprint Cars at the Grandview, PA. Speedway:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipDi0PyvNtk&feature=related

 

 

 

 

Closing with these – continued:

 

TEACHER:      Millie, give me a sentence starting with '  I.  '
MILLIE:          I  is..
TEACHER:      No, Millie..... Always say, 'I  am.'
MILLIE:          All right...  'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.'  

 

TEACHER:     George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it.  
 Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?
LOUIS:            Because George still had the axe in his hand.

 

TEACHER:     Now, Simon , tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON:          No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.

 

TEACHER:        Clyde, your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's.. Did you copy his?
CLYDE  :           No, sir. It's the same dog.

 

TEACHER:     Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD:      A teacher

  
Again, Mother’s Day is Sunday!  

 

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