Racin' & Internet Stuff:

                                      By Tom Avenengo

                                         Volume # 87





I sure hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and that Santa was able to drop off the kind of presents you desired!  In a few more days, 2011 will be history.  How it will be remembered is up in the air, for now.  Hopefully, 2012 will be a better year for all of us.



More than likely, over these next few months, things will be kind of quiet on the motor sports scene.  Hey, I might even take off a week or two.

I did find the following, however, on one of the message boards/forums that I frequent:

“All of us at orange County Fair Speedway would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year. We hope to see you at the Banquet and Opening Day 2012. We are working hard to release our new exciting schedule and new handicapping system within the next week or two.”


Note:   Hmmm, new handicapping system?  Wonder how that will work?



New Indy car still needs work

In part:

"INDIANAPOLIS -- What do you get when you design a race car by committee and build it to a price?

The Dallara DW12 Indy car, which has an alarming number of people involved in the Izod IndyCar Series only half-joking that Dallara is Italian for disaster.

The car is named after the late Dan Wheldon, who handled the initial shakedown tests of Italian race car manufacturer Dallara Automobili's first new Indy car design since 2003. But Wheldon was maybe too diplomatic, a PR-minded party-line kind of guy, so he never played up the car's shortcomings. There are many of those, a fact that became obvious when testing moved on to the engine manufacturer phase and the car scared the likes of Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan while resolutely refusing to top 216 mph at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Following another round of testing at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., Scott Dixon gave the most honest assessment of the car to date, calling it "a bit of a pig" with an even more pronounced pendulum effect than the current Dallara IR03, which is already a tail-heavy car. The numbers don't lie; the DW12 has a weight distribution of 41 percent front, 59 percent rear, as compared to the IR03's 45/55."

More on this can be found here:





The Chili Bowl is just around the corner.  As of December 28th, there are 255 entrants.  Chances are you’ll know some of the drivers that will be in competition.  Are there any well-known NASCAR drivers entered?  Yes, so far JJ Yeley is entered.  I’ve read that Kasey Kahne will be running, although I have yet to see his name listed.   I have not seen anything about Tony Stewart, yet – (see “Fifth”, below).  Nor have I seen any from drag racing – yet.  I really don’t expect to see any from Indy car, which, to me is a shame.  At times, in the past, there were some that entered.

As expected, there are quite a few USAC drivers listed.  And, from here in the east, there are some from the ARDC, too.  Also, the WoO Sprint Car Series has some of its drivers listed as running.  I did notice that former Chili bowl winner Tim McCreadie is not listed, and I would imagine that serious accident he had there a couple of years ago has something to do with that.  Local modified drivers Brett Hearn and Jerry Higbie have run in the Chili Bowl in the past, but they are not listed for the 2012 event.

The entry list, and who will be racing on what nights, can be found if you go here:  http://www.chilibowl.com/entries/manual.aspx?c=1033

Info on the tape delayed telecast of the Chili Bowl is further down in the column, in the TV section.




An update on the above:

Stewart To Lead Chili Bowl ‘Team of Champions’


December 26th, 2011


INDIANAPOLIS – Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) announced today that three-time and reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart will return to Tulsa, Okla., to compete in the 2012 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, which begin Jan. 10.


Stewart made his most recent appearance in the event in 2008, finishing eighth in the A-main finale. After taking a three-year hiatus from the biggest Midget race of the year, Stewart will return in January behind the wheel of the No. 14 Chevrolet/Chevrolet Performance Parts/Spike.


The 26th annual event inside the typically fan-packed confines of the QuikTrip Center’s Tulsa Expo Raceway will see Stewart join one of the most powerful teams ever assembled for one of racing’s most unique events. Joined by 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 2011 United States Auto Club (USAC) National Drivers champion Bryan Clauson, and 2011 POWRi Rookie of the Year Jake Blackhurst, the formidable foursome is without a doubt the biggest threat to take home the Golden Driller trophy in 2012.


Stewart has two Golden Drillers in his collection after scoring Chili Bowl victories in 2002 and 2007. The newly crowned, three-time NASCAR titlist will lead the four-car “Team of Champions” into the 2012 Chili Bowl behind the wheel of a special edition black, carbon-fiber entry that has been dubbed the “Back in Black” car. He’ll look to give Chevrolet its second Chili Bowl triumph.


Clauson will pilot the No. 39c INDYCAR/Indy 500/Spike/Esslinger for co-entrants Corey Tucker Racing (CTR)/Bryan Clauson, Inc. (BCI)/Curb-Agajanian Racing. The four-time USAC champion has made two A-main starts in the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. He scored his best finish in 2008, taking the checkered flag in fourth place. Clauson has also won a preliminary A-main in the Chili Bowl in the Tuesday-night 25-lap qualifier last January.


The 22-year-old open-wheel standout has a long list of credentials that includes 23 USAC National Midget Series victories, two USAC National Midget Series championship titles, two USAC Indiana Midget Week titles and two Belleville Midget Nationals triumphs. In addition to being a two-time USAC National Drivers champion, Clauson has also been named National Midget Driver of the Year three times in his young career. IZOD IndyCar Series CEO Randy Bernard recently announced that Clauson will compete in the 2012 Indianapolis 500 as part of his award for wining his second consecutive USAC National Drivers championship.


Recently crowned NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Stenhouse Jr., will compete for the Team of Champions for CTR/BCI/Curb-Agajanian Racing in the No. 39i Curb Records/Spike/Esslinger. Fresh off his championship run, Stenhouse Jr., will look to earn his first Golden Driller trophy. While his full-time efforts in the USAC National Midget Car Series ranks were short term, Stenhouse earned five victories and was named the series’ 2007 Rookie of the Year. He enters this year’s event with one A-main start to his credit and will look to put the Curb Records entry in the show again in 2012.


Blackhurst, the 2011 POWRi Rookie of the Year, will drive the No. 39b Kitchen Cooked/Spike/Esslinger entry for the CTR/BCI team. Blackhurst looks to make his first Chili Bowl start and will be vying for event Rookie of the Year honors, as well as a shot at the Golden Driller. The 16-year-old is no stranger to racing success as he won the 2010 USAC Ford Focus Midget Midwest Pavement Championship.


Tony Stewart, Owner and Driver of the No. 14 Chevrolet/Chevrolet Performance Parts/Spike for Tony Stewart Racing


You’re making your return to the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals by leading a very powerful lineup of championship-winning drivers. Are you looking forward to the challenge of making Saturday night’s A-main finale?


“Having taken a few years off from competing in the Chili Bowl, I’m really looking forward to returning to Tulsa and the event in 2012. It’s one of the biggest Midget races of the year and it’s just a lot of fun to compete in the Chili Bowl. I’m also glad that we’ll be able to give our partners, Chevrolet and Chevrolet Performance Parts, another shot at a Golden Driller. I think it’s very feasible that we could get four cars in the A-Main on Saturday night. Bryan Clauson and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. – they’re guys who are going to be a threat in every A-Main they start. It’s going to be a lot of fun to be part of this deal and I think we’re going to have a good chance of putting a car in the winner’s circle.”


Bryan Clauson, Co-Owner and Driver of the No. 39c/INDYCAR/Indy 500/Spike/Esslinger for CTR/BCI/Curb-Agajanian Racing


As a key part of a team that is sure to be a major player in the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, what part of the event are you looking forward to the most?


“Over the last few years I’ve been fortunate enough to add a lot of marquee wins to my resume, but there’s still one hole I’d like to fill, and that’s the Chili Bowl. We came so close last year before settling for a fifth-place finish. I’m definitely looking forward to returning to Tulsa to chase the Golden Driller and bragging rights. I’m also really flattered to be representing the INDYCAR and the Indianapolis 500 in this year’s race. It’s a great honor to have those names on the side of my car and it will be a lot of fun trying to put a car representing the greatest race in the world in victory lane at the biggest short-track race of the year.


“It’s really exciting to be part owner of a team that includes some of the best in the business. Tony Stewart and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., are definitely guys you want to have as teammates and it’s exciting to see a younger guy like Jack Blackhurst make his first start. Ricky has been a long-time friend of mine and I’m really excited to have him in one of our cars for this year’s race. It’s something we’d talked about for the past few years and, any time you can add the NASCAR Nationwide Series champion to your slate of drivers, it’s a great thing.”


The above was found here:







A normal football game – College or Pro, is a contest that is 60 minutes long.  Somehow, it is now taking over three hours for the games to be completed.  What I can’t figure out is why so long between changes of possession?  On the game Monday night it was a good two and a half minutes the one time I thought I’d time it.  And as for those “60 second time outs” -  no way.



IndyCar: A return to Watkins Glen possible for 2012


According to reports, the IndyCar Series is supposedly in discussions with Watkins Glen track officials for a possible return alongside the NASCAR Truck Series for the 2012 season.


With only 15 tracks on the schedule so far, Michael Printup, President of the Watkins Glen circuit and IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard have already spoken about the potential for the series to run at the New York circuit again.


IndyCar raced at Watkins Glen between 2005 and 2010, but pulled out this year due to dwindling crowds.


NASCAR Trucks last visited the track in 2000.


The above was found here:




Note:  From what I’ve been reading, the only Indycar race that is scheduled for the eastern part of the country is the one for Baltimore.  What with all the financial problems that have come up on the 2011 Baltimore race, I highly doubt that there will be a race there in 2012.  I covered some of those problems in my December 15th column in the AARN section.






An interesting thread on the Track Forum with a title:  "Ah, the irony".


It's about having American Drivers in the Indycar Series.  Some good points made in the discussion, such as:


"Besides the fact that Indycar HAS American drivers (Rahal, Andretti, RHR, Kimball, Carpenter, Hildebrand, Newgarden) and 6/7 are pretty good drivers. Bottom line, 7 isnt enough for some of the bitching/moaning fans we have. If we had 10, that wouldnt be enough either. They really wouldnt be happy unless all but a few drivers, if not all, were Americans.”


“I dont care what country you were born in, I care if you can drive and I want the best in our series. I will bash the foreign ride buyers as much as the next guy, but im not going to give a driver who isnt any good a pass just because they are american, like many on TF do. I evaluate them all with the same criteria, american or not."


"I agree, sort of. Americans want to root for Americans who are winning. And right now most race victories are being shared by a Scott and an Aussie.”


“I don't think that the popularity of NASCAR is derived from the drivers being American. Otherwise the IRL would have been alot more popular wouldn't it? I think NASCAR's popularity is derived from their stars being good marketable Americans with personalities. In NASCAR the only reference you have to nationalism is maybe creating antagonists out of foreign born drivers (JPM, for example).”


“By the same token, in Indycar, you need to have some American protagonists going up against worthy foreign competition. Both of these characters have got to be good marketable personalities.”


“In F1, American's don't watch because there isn't an American worth watching. Scott Speed wasn't worth rooting for because he wasn't at the pointy end of the field. That's where Americans want to see their guys. Daly and Rossi remain our best hopes over there.”


“I think in Indycar, you need both Americans and foreigners to make it interesting and to make it work. A battle of nations, or whatever you want to market it as, arises. We have been very weak on american talent recently because american talent is either going elsewhere or just doesn't match up talent-wise (where are all the IRL drivers now in the combined series? They were on the top rung of open wheel completely artificially. Race fans who knew anything knew that. That can't be the case.). By the same token, the foreigners have got to be electric personalties who can race (Tracy, Zanardi, Franchitti, Montoya, Bourdais etc) instead of subdued F1 ladder washouts who can't (too many names have come and gone to list).”


Indycar will work with diversity. Call it 50/50 American/Foreign split, but more importantly, make them all be good racers who you can market."


More on this can be found if you go here:









Another young racer that wants to get into Indycar racing - Shannon McIntosh


A thread about her on the Track Forum.  One has to give the young lady credit for getting news out about herself and her racing.  How good is she?  I have no idea, except for what I've read on the thread.  In time, maybe she'll make it, then again, maybe not.  What will hurt drivers in her position is the economy and lack of sponsorship - good sponsorship. 


You can read about her here:








Sears, Kmart to close 100-120 stores


In part:


"NEW YORK - Sears Holdings Corp. plans to close between 100 and 120 Sears and Kmart stores to raise cash after a weak holiday shopping season for the retailer.


The closings fueled speculation about whether the 125-year-old retailer can turn itself around.


The closings are the latest and most visible in a long series of moves to try to fix a company that has struggled with falling sales and shabby stores as rivals like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. spruced up their looks and turned into one-stop shopping sources.


"There's no reason to go to Sears," said New York-based independent retail analyst Brian Sozzi, "It offers a depressing shopping experience and uncompetitive prices."


Billionaire investor Edward Lampert purchased Kmart out of bankruptcy in 2003 and bought Sears, Roebuck & Co. a year later. Since 2004 Sears Holdings — which operates both Kmart and Sears stores — has watched its cash and short-term investments go from about $2.09 billion for the year ended Jan. 31, 2004 to $1.34 billion for the year ended Jan. 31, 2011, according to FactSet. The figure now stands at about $700 million."


More on this can be found here:









The photo that I have towards the end in this week’s column is one of the Kingsbridge Armory that is in the Bronx, in New York City.  Back in the late 40’s we’d go there to see indoor midget racing on a 1/5-mile track that basically took up about ˝ of the building – from what I can recall.  The other half was National Guard equipment, like tanks, cannons and jeeps.  There was seating at the track level and also up higher in balconies.


While going over my column, and seeing that photo, I thought I’d “Google” the place.  There’s quite a bit about it, with the last things that have come up showing some possible racing returning to the big place.  No, not cars, but bicycles.  Six-day bicycle races, that is.  Way back when, they used to be quite popular.


What I did find kind of disturbing was that reading various things that turned up in the search, quite a few of them did not mentioned the midget races or later on, in the early 50’s, the stock car races that were held there. 


Doing more of a search, this time including “Auto Racing” in the search, I found this, below.  Yes, the building was H U G E! 

Kingsbridge Armory

From Auto Racing

On April 22, 2008, the New York City Economic Development Corp. announced their selection of The Related Companies to redevelop The Bronx’s Kingsbridge Armory - a former Post World War II indoor midget track venue.

The world's largest armory will be redeveloped into commercial space, including some community space among a big box retailer, a cinema, a bank branch, a fitness center and a local business incubator to fit within the armory’s 575,000 square feet.

The four-block square Northwest Bronx building was inherited by the city after the Army National Guard left in 1996.

The castle-styled building was constructed in 1912-17 to house the Eighth Artillery Rainbow Division but has had various civilian uses into the 1990s.

Local midget car promoter Jack Kochman leased 180,000 square feet of the armory and reopened it as Kingsbridge Speedrome Dec. 4, 1946.

Spectators filed into the 4,000 box seats to watch midgets and NASCAR-sanctioned stock cars race on a concrete one-fifth-mile oval under the armory’s 121-foot-tall roof on winters into 1962.

Bicycle velodrome races, stockholders meetings and boat shows were also held in the armory until the New York Coliseum at Columbus Circle opened in the 1950s.

The Related Companies last proposed developing the year-round retail part of the International Speedway Corp.’s 2002-06 Staten Island Raceway proposal. Related helped build and develop the Time-Warner Building which stands on the Coliseum site.

Sources: Walter Elliott

Retrieved from "http://yankeeracer.com/wiki/index.php?title=Kingsbridge_Armory"

This page has been accessed 38 times. This page was last modified on 14 May 2008, at 21:19.



Some other things I’ve found:


Since the City acquired the Armory, multiple attempts to find a new life for the site have fallen through. The latest plan, for a mixed-use facility with retail, entertainment, and community space recently came to a halt after the developer and community representatives were unable to reach a community benefits agreement (CBA). (The Center for Urban Pedagogy held a public program on the Kingsbridge CBA on September 14.  For more information, go to http://www.anothercupdevelopment.org/news and scroll down).




Kingsbridge Armory Velodrome Design REVEALED


Bicycle racing was a popular spectator sport in New York the 19th and early 20th century, and now it seems poised for a comeback: Yesterday The National Cycling Association [NCA] unveiled its rendering for a world class velodrome inside the cavernous Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx. You'll recall that the armory was almost turned into a shopping mall in 2009, but community leaders demanded a guaranteed living wage for employees, and the developer walked away. Now the city landmark could be the site of a six day bicycle race, as early as next spring.


Yesterday NCA CEO Jack Simes announced his plan to stage the six day demo on a temporary velodrome, in hopes of winning over the community to build a permanent facility. The demo would use no city funds, and would also include a vintage bicycle museum and programs encouraging cycling for youth. According to the Daily News, the Kingsbridge Armory hosted six-day races in the 1920s and 1940s. This temporary installation would accommodate over 2,500 spectators and cost $700,000, and be built by Ralph Schuermann, designer of velodromes for the Olympic Games.


The velodrome was one of several ideas suggested by Diaz Jr. as an alternative to the mall, but he hasn't officially endorsed a permanent installation, and the city has not yet agreed to rent the armory to the NCA. But at least some community members are endorsing the idea; Barbara Stronczer, president of one local community association, called the NCA plan “exciting," telling the News, "There are a lot of unanswered questions. But cycling wouldn’t compete with existing businesses and I think it would be great for our youth."


The above by John Del Signore in News on November 4, 2011 5:39 PM



And this, too:


Call to convert Kingsbridge Armory to bike race hot spot


Thursday, November 03, 2011

The National Cycling Association unveiled its plan on Thursday to build a world-class velodrome and BMX park in the Bronx's long-vacant Kingsbridge Armory.


CEO Jack Simes of NCA revealed that the group hopes to rent the landmark building from the city for eight weeks next spring to host a demonstration project, including youth programs and a six-day bicycle race.


“We want to install a temporary velodrome in the building and bring six-day bicycle racing back to the United States,” said Simes, standing under the cavernous roof of the armory. “We also want to develop free cycling programs for Bronx youth with top cyclists as coaches.”



And even more:




Lack Of Development At Kingsbridge Armory Draws Criticism From Bloomberg

By: Courtney Gross


The Kingsbridge Armory has stood vacant in the Bronx for over a decade despite proposals that would’ve used it to generate jobs, and after the United States Census revealed that the Bronx has the highest poverty rate in the city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized its stagnation Friday.


The Kingsbridge Armory has stood vacant in the Bronx for over a decade despite proposals that would’ve used it to generate jobs, and after the United States Census revealed that the Bronx has the highest poverty rate in the city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg criticized its stagnation Friday. NY1’s Courtney Gross filed the following report.


Nearly two years after the City Council defeated a proposal to develop the Kingsbridge Armory, the project has once again sparked a dispute between City Hall and the Bronx.


On his radio show Friday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg took a dig at Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for letting the project die.


"Related Companies wanted to go and build there. There was this craziness that they had to guarantee that whoever they leased space to would pay prevailing wages," said Bloomberg.


The mayor said the building, which has sat vacant for more than a decade, wastes taxpayer dollars.


The city spends $120,000 on the building's upkeep every year. The project was supposed to bring more than 2,000 jobs.


"The borough president said he was going to find solutions and he was going to find people to come in. Well that went nowhere," said Bloomberg.


Diaz begs to differ.


"I am really confused about what the mayor said this morning. I don't know where it's coming from, and I don't think it's conducive or productive in moving the conversation forward," said Diaz.


Related would have received city subsidies for the project. There is now a bill at the City Council to require living wages at every city subsidized development. Its future is uncertain.


"Having living wage jobs, passing the living wage bill, will make sure people aren't living in poverty," said Ademola Oyefeso of the RWDSU/Living Wage NYC Coalition.


The Kingsbridge debate has particular relevance now because the city is still grappling with unemployment.


On Thursday, the U.S. Census unveiled figures showing poverty was at its highest here in 10 years. It's the highest in the Bronx.


Nonetheless, the borough president has no regrets.


"I have no regrets about what happened before. There has got to be a better way to develop the armory," said Diaz.


This is not the first time a project has been rejected at the Kingsbridge Armory. Mayor Giuliani also wanted to develop there, but that was rejected because of community opposition. The Bloomberg administration says there are no projects in the pipeline.


Email this Story to a Friend Print this story









Super Dirt week tickets for 2012 – I found this out on the Internet:


2012 Super DIRT Week Tickets

by jhachmann, 12/28/11 12:06 PM

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season. Following the excitement around 2011 Super DIRT Week I wanted to make sure everyone completely understands the process in renewing and purchasing your tickets for the 2012 Super DIRT Week October 3-7 at the NYS Fairgrounds.

If you are renewing tickets, camping or parking you will have until December 31 to renew by calling 877.395.8606. The renewal deadline has been mid-December in the past, but we have extended it this year to accommodate many customer requests and all the Super DIRT Week loyal fans. If you are interested in additional seats, camping or parking please notify the ticket agent while renewing and they will assist you in accommodating your request.

2012 tickets, camping and parking become open to the public January 3rd for those of you who were unable to attend 2011 Super DIRT Week. You can make your purchase by calling 877.395.8606, calling 315.834.6606 or online atwww.dirtcar.com/tickets

As always please feel free to contact me (Jeff Hachmann) by calling 315.834.6606 or e-mailjhachmann@dirtcar.com if you have any questions.




Something I overlooked last week when I posted the photo of Tony Stewart in his Munchkin Midget, racing with an Open Face helmet – the photo was taken by Dave Merritt.




Abortion, immigration changes among new 2012 laws


Some of the new ones:


Girls seeking abortions in New Hampshire must first tell their parents or a judge.


Employers in Alabama must verify new workers' U.S. residency.


A South Carolina law would allow officials to yank the operating licenses of businesses that don't check new hires' legal status through E-verify. A federal judge last week blocked parts of the law that would have required police to check the immigration status of criminal suspects or people stopped for traffic violations they think might be in the country illegally, and that would have made it a crime for illegal immigrants to transport or house themselves.


People 18 and under in Illinois will have to wear seat belts while riding in taxis for school-related purposes.


Florida will take control of lunch and other school food programs from the federal government, allowing the state to put more Florida-grown fresh fruit and vegetables on school menus.


A California law will add gays and lesbians and people with disabilities to the list of social and ethnic groups whose contributions must be taught in history lessons in public schools. The law also bans teaching materials that reflect poorly on gays or particular religions.

Opponents have filed five potential initiatives to repeal the requirement outright or let parents remove their children while gays' contributions are being taught.


A few laws try to address budget woes. In Delaware, new state employees will have to contribute more to their pensions, while state workers hired after Jan. 1 in Nevada will have to pony up for their own health care costs in retirement.


More can be seen if you go here:






Coming up:

The AARN's annual Motor Sports show - January 20th, 21st & 22nd, 2012.

Greater Philadelphia  Expo Center At Oaks 100 Station Ave. Oaks, PA 19456

For GPS use this address:

1601 Egypt Road  Phoenixville, PA 19460 (Upper Providence Township)




Atlantic City Indoor Race 2012

February 3rd & 4th, 2012

Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall  2301 Boardwalk  Atlantic City, NJ 08401


Note:  As of now, it looks like I’ll be in Atlantic City for the Saturday night racing.





Orange County Fair Speedway Banquet from their website:


2011 OCFS Awards Banquet - January 7th, 2012

Posted: November 21st, 2011


Saturday, January 7th @ 5:30pm

@ Kuhls Highland House


For ticket info contact Bob Perran at 352-503-3847

Note:  While reading over this column on Wednesday afternoon, I started to wonder – is it too late to order tickets for this?  So I called Bob Perran, down in Florida, and left a message on his phone.  He got back to me around 7:30 Wednesday night, and, yes, it is too late now to order tickets.  Bob also informed me that due to some health issues, he wouldn’t be able to make it up to the banquet this year.


If you’re into Sprint Car and NASCAR racing, and are heading to Florida, here’s what’s going on down there:

Short SpeedWeeks Trip

Friday, Feb. 17 – WoO Sprint Cars (Night), Volusia Speedway ParkBarberville, FL

Saturday, Feb. 18 – ARCA Racing Series (Day) & Budweiser Shootout - NASCAR Sprint Cup (Night), Daytona Int’l Speedway

Sunday, Feb. 19 – TBARA Sprint Cars (Day), New Smyrna Speedway, or WoO Sprint Cars (Night), Volusia Speedway Park -Barberville, FL

Monday, Feb. 20 – TBARA Sprint Cars, New Smyrna Speedway


 Ultimate SpeedWeeks Vacation

Friday, Feb. 17 – WoO Sprint Cars (Night), Volusia Speedway ParkBarberville, FL

Saturday, Feb. 18 – ARCA Racing Series (Day) & Budweiser Shootout - NASCAR Sprint Cup (Night), Daytona Int’l Speedway

Sunday, Feb. 19 – TBARA Sprint Cars (Day), New Smyrna Speedway, or WoO Sprint Cars (Night), Volusia Speedway Park -Barberville, FL

Monday, Feb. 20 – TBARA Sprint Cars, New Smyrna Speedway

Tuesday, Feb. 21 – Off Day (Beach Day!)

Wednesday, Feb. 22 – Modifieds and Super Late Models, New Smyrna Speedway

Thursday, Feb. 23 – Twin 150 Qualifying Races, NASCAR Sprint Cup (Day), Daytona Int’l Speedway, or All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars (Night), Bubba Raceway Park, Ocala

Friday, Feb. 24 – 360 Sprint Car Winternationals (Night), East Bay Raceway Park, Gibsonton

Saturday, Feb. 25 – NASCAR Nationwide Series (Day), Daytona Int’l Speedway, or All Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Cars (Night), Bubba Raceway Park, Ocala, or 360 Sprint Car Winternationals (Night), East Bay Raceway Park, Gibsonton

Sunday, Feb 26 – Daytona 500 (Day), NASCAR Sprint Cup, Daytona Int’l Speedway

NOTE: This longer vacation can be extended out even further, for those who want to include the USAC National Sprint Car series (Feb. 9-11 at Bubba Raceway Park), and another 2 nights of All Star Circuit of Champions races at Volusia Speedway Park (Wed. & Thurs. Feb 15-16).

The above was found here:


Also, some interesting things about Dave Steele at the beginning of Richards article.



Found on Jayski’s website:



No Trucks or Nationwide races for Kyle Busch in 2012?

#18-Kyle Busch is unlikely to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2012, at the request of Joe Gibbs Racing and their Sprint Cup Series sponsor, M&Ms. Kyle Busch Motorsports General Manager Rick Ren confirmed today that there is "a high probability" that Busch will withdraw from the 2012 Truck Series. "That topic is being discussed almost constantly around here right now," he said, adding, "It is not necessarily something that Kyle chose. If he doesn't run Trucks this year, it will be at the request (of JGR). Not by demand, but by request. Things change on an hour-by-hour basis, but if I had to answer you right now, I'd say he will probably not race in the Truck Series next year. There is a possibility of him running no Nationwide races under certain circumstances, as well. There are a lot of things being discussed right now, which makes it pretty tough on me. I've been trying to figure out whether Kyle's going to be available to run our Trucks and Nationwide cars, then determine whether the individual sponsors will stay around without him behind the wheel. I believe Kyle will drive a KBM Nationwide Series Toyota in a certain number of races next year," said Ren. "I can't swear to it, but that's what it look like today."(Sirius Speedway)(12-24-2011)


#43 driver to be announced today?


No; Almirola? Sources say David Ragan is likely to replace A.J. Allmendinger [who went to the #22 Penske Dodge] in the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, with an announcement possible as soon as tomorrow [Friday].(Sirius Speedway)(12-23-2011)


Aric Almirola, who finished fourth in points in the Nationwide Series this season, has emerged as the leading candidate to take over the #43 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series in 2012. The deal, which has come together very quickly, will be officially announced after the Christmas and New Year's holidays and will include a sponsor announcement. Almirola, was set to begin his second full season with JR Motorsports' #88 team in 2012, but his move to the Cup series now leaves his future with that organization unclear. A spokesperson for RPM said Friday night the organization did plan to make a driver announcement for the #43 after the holidays but would have no other comment at this time.(Charlotte Observer)(12-24-2011)



Front Row still working on driver lineup:

Last season, Front Row Motorsports team owner Bob Jenkins and general manager Jerry Freeze put together a team of #34-David Gilliland, #38-Travis Kvapil and #55-J.J. Yeley and were able to deliver solid efforts for the NASCAR team located in Statesville, NC. Gilliland drove in all 36 Cup races last year in the #34 Taco Bell Ford with one top-five finish -- an impressive third-place in the season-opening Daytona 500 -- and two top-10 finishes. Kvapil competed in 29 races in the #38 Long John Silver's Ford [and a few in the #55] car but did not crack the top 10. Yeley ran a limited schedule for the team [in the #38 and #55. None of the three drivers are under contract for 2012, but Freeze said the team intends to have all three back because they are the type of drivers the team needs at this stage of its development. "All three drivers have been really good for Front Row Motorsports," Freeze said. "They all fit the same profile. They are drivers with five or six years of Cup experience. They were all champions in another form of racing but haven't made their mark yet in Sprint Cup racing. They are all really hungry to make their mark. We aren't quite set to announce our formal driver lineup yet ... but our plan is to run the #34 and the #38 car along with a third car [which won't use #55 at MWR is running that car number in 2012] that will make some other appearances for us."
There are several high-profile drivers without a ride, and Freeze said with their uncertain lineup, Front Row Motorsports has explored the free-agent market. "We've talked to [David] Ragan and [David] Reutimann," Freeze admitted. "Ragan has been in the Ford family and we talked to him after the season was over out of respect for Ford because they really liked him and wanted to see if there was a fit there. We've talked to David Reutimann, too. If there is a place where he might fit along with a sponsor, we could be an option there. But it's been more casual conversations with those guys and our focus has been on David and J.J. and Travis and [working] on the packages that we have discussed with them."(in part from Sports Illustrated)(12-26-2011)


Finch Talks About Hiring Kurt Busch:

Phoenix Racing made a big hire on Wednesday night as team owner James Finch reached an agreement with 2004 NASCAR champion Kurt Busch. Busch agreed to drive the #51 car for Phoenix Racing in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide series. Busch has had his share of embarrassments in the last few months, getting into a heated argument with a reporter, amongst other things. That led to his departure from Penske racing, and the opening for him to sign with Phoenix. After a few weeks of talks, and a meeting in Charlotte Wednesday, Finch and Busch agreed to a deal. Now Phoenix Racing has a cup champion, and a chase driver behind the wheel. Finch says has already talked with Busch about his past. "He lost a job and he's lost several million dollars, and so I think that's been a wake up call. I told him, I said Kurt it's about winning racing. you need to watch your temper and your mouth," Finch said. "I hired him for his foot and not his mouth. hopefully we can get him controlled. He's got a long way to come. He's got to show people he's going to be a driver. And show NASCAR that he's a driver, and he's going to do what's expected as a driver."(more at WJHG.com.(12-27-2011)


Motorsports Hall of Fame announces 2012 finalists:

Finalists for the next enshrinees into the Motorsports Hall of Fame have been determined. The class of 2012 Inductees will be announced early in the year. Who will be selected? In the Open Wheel category, nominees on the ballot include veteran driver and official Wally Dallenbach, four-time Indy winning owner Chip Ganassi, American auto racing impresario Carl Haas, and two-time Indy 500 winner "The Flying Dutchman" Arie Luyendyk, Other names being considered by the Voting Panel are Pat Patrick who served as the first president of CART and whose teams won 3 Indy 500s, Danny Sullivan who "spun and won" at Indy in 1985, and Alex Zanardi who captured CART titles in 1997 and 1998.(12-26-2011)


Nashville Superspeedway will be available for race team testing in 2012:

Dover Motorsports, Inc. has announced that Nashville Superspeedway, the company's track in Lebanon, Tenn., will be available for race team testing beginning in January 2012. The 1.33-mile, concrete oval played host to 21 NASCAR Nationwide Series races, 13 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races and eight IndyCar Series races from 2001 to 2011. "Nashville Superspeedway is a world-class facility and lies within driving distance of most race teams' headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.," said Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover Motorsports, Inc. "We anticipate strong interest in the facility as a test venue." Nashville Superspeedway will begin taking reservations for testing in 2012 immediately more information at nashvillesuperspeedway.com.(12-26-2011)


Stewart to race in 'Rumble in Fort Wayne' and Chili Bowl:

#14-Tony Stewart will return to his roots to race an open-wheeled midget car in the 14th annual Rumble in Fort Wayne at the Memorial Coliseum Expo Center. Stewart has entered his black #2 Munchkin car for both days of the indoor event on Friday, Dec. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 31. He has won a record seven times on the 1/6-mile track but will be appearing at Fort Wayne for the first time since 2008. More information is available at www.rumbleseries.com.(TonyStewart.com)


 #14-Tony Stewart will return to Tulsa, Okla., to compete in the 2012 Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals it was announced Monday. Joining Stewart on his Tony Stewart Racing team at the annual event will be NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., USAC champion Bryan Clauson and 2011 POWRi rookie of the year Jake Blackhurst. The Chili Bowl, held at the QuikTrip Center in Tulsa, Okla., begins Jan. 10. More info at chilibowl.com.(RacinToday)(12-28-2011)


AMP returns to #88 at Martinsville:

#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. is scheduled to run a green AMP Energy paint scheme on the #88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy at Martinsville in April and supposedly run a slightly different version for three races later in the season. AMP Energy has been the primary sponsor for the #88 since Earnhardt Jr. started driving the car. In 2012, the #88's primary sponsors will be Diet Mountain Dew and the Army National Guard. See an image of the scheme on my #88 Team Schemes page.(12-28-2011)


Note:  A lot more can be found on Jayski, if you go here:




Going back, in time – in racing history:

Note# 1:  Most of the following information was found here: 



Note: 2:  Yes, most of this info is mostly from Open Wheel racing from “Back in the day”.


Covering the days from January 1st to January 5th.




Jacky Ickx -- Born -- (F1 & Sportscar Driver)


NASCAR's ban of the Hemi engine goes into effect, a major blow to Chrysler and several drivers, including Richard Petty and David Pearson. Two of NASCAR's greatest drivers, Petty and Pearson will sit out the majority of the season, not returning until July in race No. 34 of the 55-race season. Each will qualify for 14 races in 1965.


Scott Riggs --- Born -- (NASCAR Driver)


Mauri Rose ... Died ... Rose won the INDY 500 three times; 1941, 1947 and 1948. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1994, and Motorsports of Hall of Fame of America in 1996. Rose began his driving career at a Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, board track on July 4, 1927, before making his way to Indianapolis in 1932, where he would eventually drive the "Indy 500 15 times.




Pedro Rodriguez wins the first South Africa Grand Prix to be held on the Kayalami track near Johannesburg at the wheel of a Cooper-Maserati. First F1 win for Rodriguez and last for Cooper


Robby Gordon ..... Born ..(Indy Car and NASCAR driver and Off-Road racer) 


Leroy Warriner ... Died ... an American racing driver from Indianapolis who attempted to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 every year from 1951 to 1958 without succeeding. Warriner only managed to qualify for a single Championship Car race, the September 1953 race at the Indiana State Fairgrounds where he started and finished 18th. He retired from racing in 1962 then owned the Indianapolis Speeddrome with Gene Hartley until 1977. An accomplished midget car racer, he was inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame.


Dan Shaver ..... Died ... Shaver raced in several road racing series before moving to stock cars, mostly ARCA where his best finish was ninth. In the last four years Shaver was a team owner, and he was one of the first to put Denny Hamlin and Aric Almirola in superspeedway cars.




Joe Sostilio ... Born ... Sostilio raced both sprint cars and midgets. He won the New England Dirt Championship in 1935, 1936 and 1938. He also won the Bay State Midget Racing Association Championship in 1947 and Eastern Sprint Car Championship in 1953. In 1949, he turned to Stock Car racing but still continued in open wheel racing. Between 1948 and 1950 Joe won seven races in AAA competition as teammate to Johnnie Parsons. Joe was 5th in the AAA Eastern Sprint Car Championship in 1952, he beat Tommy Hinnershitz to the title in 1953 and finished 6th in 1954. His best finishes on the Champ Car circuit were a 7th at Langhorne Speedway and another 7th at Darlington Speedway in 1954.


Allen Heath ... Born ... West Coast open cockpit driver who raced for years, despite losing a hand in a racing accident. He's a member of the Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame, and, while racing with one hand, won a 500 mile Midget race on the Riverside Road Course in California.


Mike McGreevy ... Born ... Midget race car driver.


Coo Coo Marlin ... Born ... NASCAR driver and father of NASCAR driver Sterling Marlin


Willy T. Ribbs ... Born ... Sports Car and Indy Car driver


Michael Schumacher... Born ... Formula 1 driver


Wally Meskowski... Died ... Sprint car builder and Indy 500 crew chief


George Rice "Joie" Chitwood ... Died ... American racecar driver and businessman. He is best known as a daredevil in the Joie Chitwood Thrill Show. He was dubbed "Joie" by a track promoter and the name stuck. Chitwood started his racecar driving career in 1934 at a dirt track in Winfield, Kansas. From there, he began racing at tracks all over the United States mid-west and between 1940 and 1950 competed at the Indianapolis 500 seven times finishing fifth on three different occasions. He was the first man ever to wear a safety belt at the Indy 500. Chitwood also operated the "Joie Chitwood Thrill Show", an exhibition of auto stunt driving that became so successful he gave up racing. Often called "Hell Drivers," he had five units that for more than forty years toured across North America thrilling audiences in large and small towns alike with their death-defying automobile stunts. His show was so popular, that in January 1967, the performance at the Islip, New York Speedway was broadcast on ABC television's Wide World of Sports. On May 13, 1978, Joie Chitwood set a world record when he drove a Chevrolet Chevette for 5.6 miles on just 2 wheels. His sons, Joie Jr. and Tim both joined the auto thrill show and continued to run the "Joie Chitwood Chevy Thunder Show" after their father's retirement. His grandson, Joie Chitwood III, was the COO for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and in August of 2010 became the President of Daytona International Speedway. Chitwood's show was credited by Evel Knievel as being his inspiration to become a daredevil. Chitwood was frequently hired by Hollywood film studios to either do stunt driving for films or to act as auto-stunt coordinator. On a few occasions he appeared in a minor role, notably with Clark Gable and Barbara Stanwyck in the 1950 film about the Indy 500, To Please a Lady. In 1973, Chitwood is credited as a Stunt Coordinator for the hugely successful James Bond film Live and Let Die . He was inducted in the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1993.


Chuck Parsons... Died ... Sports car driver . Ran one USAC race at Riverside in 1967.


Sam McQuagg... Died ... Sam was the 1965 NASCAR Rookie of the Year. McQuagg began racing in the 1950s and entered his first NASCAR race in 1962. In 1966, McQuagg claimed his only NASCAR victory, winning the Firecracker 400 at Daytona International Speedway. In the 1965 Southern 500, McQuagg was involved in a spectacular wreck that sent Cale Yarborough tumbling over a guardrail. Footage of the crash was later used to illustrate the agony of defeat on "ABC's Wide World of Sports." McQuagg drove in his last NASCAR race in 1974 and worked as a corporate pilot until retiring in 1997.




Roscoe Sarles ... Born ...( Indy Car driver )


Dee Toran ... Born ...ARDC Midget driver.  One of the few, if maybe the only race driver, convicted of manslaughter, when another driver was fatally injured in a racing accident.


Donald Campbell killed while attempting to break the world water speed record on Lake Coniston in the UK.


Richie Hearn ... Born ...( Indy Car driver )


Graham Rahal ... Born ... Road and Indycar racer. Son of Indy car racer Bobby Rahal


Maynard Clark ... Died ... Thrill show motorcycle rider and Midget driver




Billy Wade NASCAR Grand National driver, died when his Mercury crashed during Goodyear tire tests at Daytona Intl. Speedway. The 34 year old Wade, a native of Houston, Texas was the 1963 GN Rookie of the Year and had emerged as a rising star on the NASCAR scene after moving to the Bud Moore prepared factory Mercury team. Wade scored a then record four straight wins on his way to finishing 4th in season points in 1964. Reportedly, Wade was earning $200 a day for the tests to develop a tire inner liner.


Ottis Stine... Died ... Otis was a Pennsylvania Sprint Car driver who was a founder member of the York County Racing Club in 1979. He drove his first race in 1934. His main claim to fame is that he was the first ever driver to turn a racing lap of the legendary Williams Grove speedway in 1934. He attempted to run at Indy in 1952 in a Scopa-Offenhauser, but failed to qualify. Stine once finished second in the AAA points and when he retired in 1954, he held numerous track records.





News from the AARN:



Nothing this week due to no AARN being published as they annually shut down for two weeks at the end of the calendar year.




Former Oakland Valley Speedway (Dirt Oval) runners:

Nothing to report on this week.




Racing and television:











As for any telecasting of the Chili Bowl:


"Chili Bowl on TV:

As of now, it looks like it will NOT be telecast on a tape delay on SPEED TV. Kinda figures, I guess? I've seen postings on the Internet and also on Facebook that the telecast will be tape delayed on CBS and then on CBS Sports.  CBS Sports is the correct one.


Asking about CBS Sports on the Track Forum, I was led to this link:


What you have to do is type in your zip code and who is your cable provider. I'm supposed to get CBS Sports on channels 457 & 467."





More racin’ stuff:


Over on the Track Forum is a thread about some "Beautiful pack racing" with Indy cars on an oval - Chicagoland.


Check out the video on it.  Chances are, we won't get to see much racing like this, with Indy cars, in the coming years.







I get e-mails:


# 1:


I don't usually forward this type of message, but as it is Christmas, there couldn't be a better time to send it. Merry Christmas to all.




I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. 

We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels. 

My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, ' 

This is the Receiving Section. Here, all petitions to God said in 

prayer are received.


I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many 

angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and 

scraps from people all over the world.


Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second  section.


The angel then said to me, "This is the Packaging and Delivery 

Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are 

processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them." I 

noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working 

hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and 

were being packaged for delivery to Earth.


 Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the 

door of a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel 

was seated there, idly doing nothing. "This is the Acknowledgment 

Section, my angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed 

embarrassed." How is it that there is no work going on here? ' I 



"So sad," the angel sighed. "After people receive the blessings that 

they asked for, very few send back acknowledgments"


"How does one acknowledge God's blessings? " I asked..


"Simple," the angel answered. Just say, "Thank you, Lord. "


"What blessings should they acknowledge?" I asked.


"If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof 

overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world. 

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a 

dish, you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy. "


"And if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in 

the world who has that opportunity."


"If you woke up this morning with more health than illness .. You 

are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day. "


"If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of 

imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation ... 

You are ahead of 700 million people in the world."


 "If you can attend a church without the fear of harassment, arrest, 

torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three 

billion people in the world."


 "If your parents are still alive and still married ..you are very 



"If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, 

you're unique to all those in doubt and despair......."


 Ok, what now? How can I start?


 If you can read this message, you just received a double blessing in 

that someone was thinking of you as very special and you are more 

blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at 



 Have a good day, count your blessings, and if you care to, pass this 

along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are



ATTN: Acknowledge Dept.


"Thank you Lord, for giving me the ability to share this message and 

for giving me so many wonderful people with whom to share it. "


 If you have read this far, and are thankful for all that you have 

been blessed with, how can you not send it on ??? ? I thank God for 

everything, especially all my family and friends




# 2:- Not sure if this will come out on the Dirt Track Digest:






Some non-racing stuff:


Federal Judge Blocks Key Provisions of S.C. Immigration Law (Obama Appointee!)

In part:

"The Obama circle of corruption continued to grow, as a Democrat Party hack (see below) appointed to the bench by the President himself just a year ago – and who made political contributions to Obama in 2008 – today blocked the key provisions of South Carolina’s AZ-style immigration law.

With just 10 days to go until the law was scheduled to take effect, U.S. District Judge Richard Mark Gergel granted a motion that Obama’s own Justice Department made. It doesn’t get any more incestuous than this.

The ruling applies to portions that require law officers to check the status of anyone they stop for something else and suspect is in the country illegally. Gergel also halted the implementation of sections pertaining to the transportation of illegal immigrants and immigrant registration cards."

About the Judge:

"Judge Richard Mark Gergel – Ambulance Chaser and Democrat Big Wig

Judge Gergel had never before served as a judge at any level before Obama picked him in 2010. What was he before? An ambulance chaser. Oh, sorry, that was politically incorrect of me – a “personal injury attorney“. In fact he was named a “South Carolina Super Lawyer” several years’ running. Those are the types that bring in the big cash settlements – as John Edwards did across the state line in N.C. for years – bankrupting OBGYNs with phony science.

And like Edwards, Gergel wasn’t shy in throwing his money around: in just 8 years, Gergel gave a staggering $62,450 to Democrat politicans – including Barack Obama. And it paid off, handsomely with a LIFETIME APPOINTMENT to the U.S. District Court."

More on this can be found here:



And, how about this – and the Sheriff?

Arizona sheriff faces new setback over immigration

In part:

"A federal judge dealt a new setback Friday to the immigration enforcement efforts of America's self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff," barring his deputies from detaining people based solely on the suspicion that they're in the country illegally.

The ruling sets the stage for a possible trial in a lawsuit that alleges racial profiling in the patrols in Maricopa County, Ariz., and would further limit Sheriff Joe Arpaio's immigration authority after Washington yanked his federal powers earlier this month.

Lawyers pushing the lawsuit on behalf of five Latino clients also won class-action status that lets other Hispanics join the case if they have been detained and questioned by Arpaio's deputies as either a driver or passenger in a vehicle since January 2007.

U.S. District Judge Murray Snow hasn't yet ruled on the ultimate question of racial profiling, but notes the case's evidence could lead a judge or jury to conclude that Arpaio's office racially profiles Latinos.

"Sheriff Arpaio has made public statements that a fact-finder could interpret as endorsing racial profiling," Snow said."

More on this can be seen, here:




Is this true?:


More than likely, yes, it is.


Same-sex families pay thousands of dollars more in taxes


Same-sex spouses are paying as much as $6,000 a year in extra taxes because the federal government doesn't recognize gay marriage, according to an analysis conducted for CNNMoney by tax specialists.


While marriage provides tax benefits for many heterosexual couples, same-sex families don't enjoy the same perks because they are not allowed to file their federal returns jointly.


The imbalance persists despite increasing acceptance of gay marriage as a legal right. More than 12 states now grant full or partial marriage rights to same-sex couples, and a recent Gallup poll showed -- for the first time -- that a majority of Americans favor gay marriage.


But not the federal government, which is constrained by the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. Even as more same-sex couples are able to file jointly at the state level, they are still forced to file as single when submitting federal returns to the IRS.


This means they can't combine their income and deductions to take advantage of lower tax rates. It's also harder for them to qualify for certain tax breaks because the credits phase out sooner for single filers.


"It's costing these families thousands of dollars a year, as well as the emotional pain and suffering," said Ken Weissenberg, a partner at accounting firm EisnerAmper who is in a same-sex marriage himself.


State tax changes on the way in 2012


Why gay couples pay more: To zero in on the tax bill gap between same-sex families across the country, CNNMoney asked H&R Block to crunch number comparing same-sex and heterosexual families according to a variety of scenarios. (Check out H&R Block's methodology)


One scenario involved families with one spouse earning $100,000 and the other spouse staying at home with the family's two kids.


In the same-sex family's case, the working spouse files as "head of household," and the stay-at-home spouse is considered a "qualifying relative."


Say that couple reported no other income or deductions. In that case, the same-sex household's federal tax bill is $15,199, which includes tax the head of household must pay on health insurance premiums to cover the stay-at-home spouse. That's $4,543 higher than the straight couple's liability.


Why? Because the "head of household" designation comes with some disadvantages.


Filing as "head of household" instead of "married filing jointly" exposes more income to a higher tax bracket. Plus, standard deductions, which are given based on the filing status to taxpayers who don't itemize deductions, are lower for a head of household than they are for married couples filing jointly.


And then there are the kids. When a child tax credit is claimed, the gap between same-sex households and married couples can grow even wider.


The heterosexual couple in H&R Block's example is able to claim the full $1,000 child tax credit for each kid. But the credit phases out sooner for families claiming "head of household." So in this case, the cost of being unable to file jointly comes out to $6,043 for same-sex households.


The one exception where same-sex spouses can actually come out ahead is the so-called marriage penalty. For some same-sex spouses in the higher tax brackets who work and have no children, filing tax returns using the "single" status makes the liability a little lower than that of heterosexual married couples. Still, "single" status is typically less advantageous than "married filing jointly."


Other factors driving up the bill: It's not just income taxes that are costing same-sex couples more.


They tried to deduct what?!


Many same-sex spouses don't qualify for the same marital exemptions given to other families for inheritance taxes and gift taxes. In addition, same-sex households receive lower tax exclusions for capital gains on the sales of a home (unless the home is jointly owned and each spouse qualifies for the exclusion).


All of this is not only costing same-sex couples more, but it's a paperwork and compliance nightmare.


Same-sex families who live in states where gay marriage is recognized typically have to fill out up to four separate returns -- including mock federal returns -- to cover both their state and federal taxes. Plus, hiring a tax preparer to take on these more complicated returns tends to be significantly more expensive.


"But it shouldn't stop anyone from getting married," said Weissenberg, who says he pays an extra $5,000 in taxes per year simply because he is in a same-sex marriage. "If I had to pay twice as much in taxes to be married to my husband, I would."


The above was found here:







Video time:


Somehow, after I made a promise to put this video on one of my columns - column # 84 on December 8th, I failed to do so.  So here is an excellent example of how one must turn right to go left when racing on a dirt track with Sprint Cars and no wings:









I’m posting a photo - or more, a week for a while.  Majority of them will be from “Back in the day”. 


Note:  The photos are not available on Dirt Track Digest, only on New England Tractor - http://newenglandtractor.com/racereport/


Back in the late 1940’s, I’d go to the indoor midget races that were held in the Kingsbridge Armory, in the Bronx.  No, I don’t recall how we got there.  In fact, talking with my brother, who also attended and is older than me, he can’t recall how we got there, either.  But we did see some pretty good racing on that flat 1/5 mile oval.  The only real downer for the racing there was that the Outboard midgets couldn’t compete indoors, due to the smoke they put out, so it was mainly midgets powered with Offy, Ford and Cycle engines.  From what I can recall, we always sat in the balcony.  And, I can recall that the Armory was huge, with the track using up about ˝ the space and National Guard equipment, like tanks and Jeeps, at the other end.

I don’t recall if anything was ever put down on the track, either – like Coke syrup.


Here’s a photo of the Armory:






I realize that this might be a long column, but at around 10:30 PM last night – Wednesday, I received an e-mail from Chris Romano – an e-mail sent out to the Yahoo! Race History Group.  I felt that I should include what Chris sent in this weeks column – it’s something he usually does every year around this tine.




For Auld Lang Syne 2011 by Chris Romano


I beg your indulgence once more to pause

before we start the engines for the 2012 racing season and remember those who

left us this year.



Veteran Santa Fe Speedway Late Model driver

Al Johnson succumbed at 68 of a heart attack.

Jimmy “Porky” Edwards Jr., a Fayetteville Motor Speedway regular with

over 400 wins on the dirt passed on at age 57.

Midwest veteran Chick Hale left us as did Harold Steele, a former ARCA

car owner who won championships with his son Tim at the wheel.  Harold died this year at age 67.  At 37 Steven Howard, the 1996 Late Model

champion at Greenville Pickens Speedway died in his sleep from a heart

ailment.  And let’s not forget Hal

Houston, part of a short track racing dynasty headquartered at Hickory Motor

Speedway.  The 2010 Mid-Ohio Valley

Fastrak champion, Gary Knollinger was killed at age 39 in a pedestrian

accident.  Johnny Johnson, long time Iowa

sponsor and Late Model Driver died this year at age 75.  Central Georgia Late Model racer Beau Slocumb

lost his battle with cancer at just 26 years of age.  Cancer also claimed B.J. Parker, co-founder

of the Southern All Stars Late Model series.

Darrell Brown, the 1984 All Pro Super Series champion died at age 66 in

an industrial accident at his business.  At age 73 Charles Keply died suddenly in his

sleep.  Charles founded the North South

Shootout which pitted the best of southern modified drivers against their

northern counterparts at Concord Motor Speedway in North Carolina.  Larry Moyer, 1981 ARCA Champion, died this

year at age 60.  Arlene Pittman, Georgia

Late Model driver, promoter, and track owner lost her battle with breast cancer

this year.


Ray Elder, multi-time Winston West champion, died at 69.  Ray won six Winston West championships and

two Cup races at Riverside back when NASCAR opened in California and not

Daytona.  And how about Reds Kagle.  A mid-Atlantic regular Kagle was a five time

Old Dominion Speedway Late Model champ, despite having lost a leg in a crash at

Charlotte in 1961.  Reds was 69.


It was a tough year in New England.  Maine’s own outlaw, Jeff Stevens, a threat

wherever he showed up, passed away this year.

Gene Bergin, the veteran New England Modified driver and champion at

Riverside Park and Stafford Springs also left us.  And let’s not forget Don “Big Daddy”

MacClaren, a Supermodified legend who mixed it up with Ollie Silva and Howie

Brown, among others.  Big Daddy died this

year from complications of diabetes.  Jimmy

Smith, multi-time Danbury Arena Champion left us as did Waterford champ Bill

Sweet.  Dick Beauregard, another  Waterford

Speedbowl regular and many time feature winner passed on, as did veteran New

England driver Paul Brown.  Big

John DiBurro, a regular at Star, Hudson and Lee passed away, and what will we

do without “Nasty” Neil Murray?  A

veteran car owner on the Star, Hudson and Lee circuit, Nasty was the last of a

breed that actually had fun in this business.


Sonny Rabideau, veteran Vermont stock

car racer and NEAR Hall of Famer, died at 82, and Vermont racing historian Cho

Lee died suddenly at age 58.  John Hoyt,

Valenti  Modified Racing Series director

died suddenly at home, at 37.


Back in 1951 Langhorne held a race for

Modifieds that blossomed into the Race of Champions.  The winner on that dusty, fiery day was Hully

Bunn.  The veteran shoe left us this year

at age 91.


In open wheel racing a big void was created

with the death of Earl Gaerte, the maestro who put together bulletproof motors

for sprints and midgets.  Earl died this

year at 67.  Jim Streicher won the USAC

midget car owner title 3 times, including one with his son, Mike.  Jimmy passed on this year at age 87.  At age

90 Bruno Brackey took the checkered flag.

A Long Island legend, Brackey raced everything form TQ’s to

Sportsman.  Bob Miley, multi time midget

champion in New York and Ohio from the 1940’s to 1960’s left us.  John

Tenney died at 75 in a house fire.  Tenney was a multi-time midget champion in his

native state of Michigan and a member of the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame.  Big Lou Ligino, 86, veteran mechanic on

Sprints, Midgets and Indy Cars also left us this year.  Ricky Moore, supermodified engine builder and Bob

Nowicki, veteran midget owner passed on.

Joe Kennely, the last of the pre-war

Indy 500 riding mechanics died this year at age 97.  And let’s not forget Smokey Snellbaker, the

king of the Pennsylvania Posse sprint car gang, who left us this year at age



Chris Griffis, who guided Sam Schmidt

Motorsports Indy Lights team to five championships, collapsed after a

basketball game at age 45.  Mark Bridges,

veteran mechanic and chief mechanic for Tom Sneva’s 1983 win at Indy, died of



Jim Rathman swapped the lead with Rodger

Ward 29 times on his way to winning the Indianapolis 500 in 1960.  Some say it was the best 500 ever.  Rathman died this year at age 83.


Across the pond Derek Gardner, the

Formula One designer who gave us the six-wheeled Tyrrell in the mid-70’s died

this year at 79.  Martin Bartek, Ford

GT40 entrant in the GT1 series died suddenly at age 44.  Bill Boddy, who founded Motorsport Magazine,

kept it going through World War II, and was still meeting deadlines after other

scribes had retired passed away this year at age 98.  Longtime Formula Two entrant Roy Winklemann,

who helped launch the career of 1970 World Champion Jochen Rindt died this year

at age 81.  Louis Rosier fulfilled a

national dream, winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1950 driving a Talbot with

his father.  Louis outlived a lot of his

fellow drivers to reach the ripe old age of 86 this year.  Christian Bakkerud, a Formula Three winner

and rising star was killed at age 26, in a traffic accident.  Martin Hines, karting guru to the stars, and

the catalyst for many a Formula One career died this year at age 62.  Richard Bond, 72, veteran British sports car

racer left us this year as did Australian V8 Touring Car driver Jason Richards,

dying at age 35 to a rare form of cancer.  Sergio Scaglietti designed the gorgeous Testa

Rossa, among others.  The Ferrari

craftsman died this year at age 91.


And let’s not forget Peter Gethin.  A two time British Formula 5000 champ Gethin

got a Formula One shot first with McLaren and then with BRM.  In his second race with BRM he won the closest,

fastest Grand Prix ever at Monza, in Italy.

He beat the Formula One regulars again a few years later at Brands Hatch

in a Formula 5000 car, the only man ever to do so.  The plucky Brit passed away this year after a

long illness at age 71.


Road racing on this side of the Atlantic

lost Walt Bohren, an IMSA veteran who drowned in the Virgin Islands.  Pete Lovely towed his Lotus Formula One car

faithfully to Watkins Glen each year, but he was a class winner for Lotus at Le

Mans.  The perennial northwest entrant

died this year at age 85.  Bob Schroeder, Goodyear Tire distributor in

Texas who raced in SCCA sports car competition in the 50’s and 60’s died this



Bill Summers built the Goldenrod with

his brother Bob, who drove it to a land speed record for piston powered, wheel

driven cars in 1965 at 409.277 mph.  It

stood for 26 years.


The sport remained cruel in 2011.  At Eastern Creek in Australia, Matt Harrison,

just 16 years old, was killed in the crash of his Formula Vee car.  Paul Clark, the 1982 BMARA midget champion

died at age 58, having spent the last 22 years of his life in care after life

threatening injuries in a 1988 USAC race.

Gustavo Sonderman, 29, died in a crash in the Copa Montana series at

Interlagos in Brazil.  Two weeks later

veteran Paulo Kunze, 67, was killed in a touring car crash at the same track. Guido

Falaschi, 22, was killed in a touring car race in Balcarce, Argentina.  Soames

Langton, a GT racer gravely injured at Nogaro in 1996 and hospitalized since

died this year at age 44.  William Mefford,

49, an Anderson Speedway Late Model veteran died in a crash at the Indiana bullring.  Miroslav Kmet, 34, was killed in the crash of

his Subaru Impreza at the Levoca hillclimb in Slovakia.  Georg Plasa, 51, died in the crash of his

BMW-Judd at the Rieto-Terminilli hillclimb in Italy.  Peter O’Shea died at age 53 of a heart attack

while racing his Formula Ford at Castle Combe in England.


Sonny McCoy, 73, died of injuries

suffered in a crash at the Outer Banks Speedway drag strip in Creswell, NC.  At 51, Bert Jackson was killed in the crash

of his Pro Mod at Rockingham Dragway, also in North Carolina.


And at 33, Dan Wheldon, two time and

defending winner of the Indianapolis 500 was killed in a horrific crash at the

IndyCar season finale in Las Vegas.


Don Naman, former manager of Talladega

Motor Speedway and director of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame died

this year.


For decades the distinct voice booming

over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway belonged to Tom Carnegie.  A true professional, Carnegie left us this

year at age 90.  Seekonk Speedway had their

own voice, Jim Powers, every bit as booming as Carnegie.  The voice of the Konk was silenced this year.


The Fourth Estate lost Ciddi Cinnelli,

veteran journalist for Area Auto Racing News.

The Area Auto newsroom also lost Jerry Riegle at age 43.  Jerry was the go to guy for Pennsylvania

Sprint cars.  Dick Greenawalt, a long

time AARN contributor and EMPA member passed away at age 71.  John Hall covered Seekonk for years for

Speedway Scene, and left us all too soon this year.  David E. Davis founded Autoweek and was the

long time editor for Car and Driver.  He

died this year at age 80.  For years I

shared the press room with Walt Renner covering midgets.  The veteran National Speed Sport News writer

died this year at age 90.


And, done in by the Internet and falling

print ad revenue, National Speed Sport News shut down after 76 years of

covering the sport across the globe, from Saturday night racers to Formula

One.  Such is the price of progress.


The Northeast Midget Association lost

veteran car owner Blackie LaMaccia late last year.  And what will we do without Jim O’Brien?  Jimmy was a stalwart of NEMA; veteran car

owner, contest board member, treasurer.

He left us all too soon this year after complications following surgery,

but his Sweet 16 midget, built from the ground up by O’Brien & Sons

Engineering, will continue to be at NEMA events with son Matt at the wheel.


Life and time goes on.  We pause to remember the characters, the

geniuses, the Saturday night heroes.  We

shed a little tear, and lift our glasses to not just their memory, but how they

lived, for Auld Lang Syne.


Joyeux Noel, bonne annee – Chris Romano.





Closing with these – continued from last week:



A pastor asked a little boy if he said his prayers every night.

'Yes, sir.' the boy replied.

'And, do you always say them in the morning, too?' the pastor asked.

'No sir,' the boy replied.  'I ain't scared in the daytime.'


                       ALL MEN / ALL GIRLS

 When my daughter, Kelli, said her bedtime prayers, she would bless every family member,

every friend and every animal (current and past).  

For several weeks, after we had finished the nightly prayer, Kelli  would say, 'And all girls.'

This soon became part of her nightly routine, to include this closing.  

My curiosity got the best of me and I asked her,

'Kelli, why do you always add the part about all girls?'

Her response, 'Because everybody always finish their prayers by saying 'All Men'!'


                            SAY A PRAYER 

Little Johnny and his family were having Sunday dinner at his Grandmother's house.  

Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served.

When Little Johnny received his plate, he started eating right away. 

'Johnny!  Please wait until we say our prayer.' said his mother.

'I don't need to,' the boy replied. 

'Of course, you do.' his mother insisted.  'We always say a prayer before eating at our house.' 

'That's at our house.' Johnny explained. 

'But this is Grandma's house and she knows how to cook!'


That’s the end of these types of jokes, folks.




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! 

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