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BillSmith

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BillSmith last won the day on July 2

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About BillSmith

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    http://www.BillSmithBooks.com
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  • Gender
    Male
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    Malone, NY...or a galaxy far, far away
  • Interests
    Sci-fi and stock cars.

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  • Home Track
    Mohawk International Raceway, Airborne, Cornwall

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  1. One thing about this whole rights thing ... if you are a citizen, you have responsibilities, too. A primary responsibility is to not contribute to spreading a deadly disease. You want to kill yourself, that's your choice. But the problem is that you, by being careless and reckless, not wearing a mask, gathering in large groups, are at much, much higher risk of spreading the diesease to others that can be vulnerable. I'm glad I am taking every precaution I can to make sure I don't expose my child, who has a vulnerable health condition, or my parents who are elderly and are vulnerable. I have friends all over my community who are in the same boat -- they are in good health and likely to survive a bout of rona, but they have loved ones who are at risk. I am really glad I'm not going to have to look my dying child in the face and say, "Hey sorry you got this, but I got to see a hell of a feature." That's not your rights, that's just being a selfish asshole. And life is too short to waste time arguing with people who want to be assholes. This is not about YOU. It is about everyone else, everyone you come into contact with. It is about being a decent human being. Anyone who decides that their rights to get a burger at Applebees or attend a stock car risk is more important that being a big boy and not spreading a killer disease , not being directly responsible for killing other vulnerable people is a reprehensible human being. And the law is on my side of the argument -- we saw with the AIDS epidemic -- when people knowingly spread HIV to their partners and did not take precautions, they were found legally responsible for the deaths of those people. So get over yourselves, people, and do the right thing. And anyone who disagrees with me can go fuck themselves. End of discussion.
  2. That argument has been trotted out. Those opposed to the shut-down have argued that "well, if someone had diabetes, it was 'complications' and not Covid that killed them." That's like saying someone dies of blood loss because they got shot, so the cause of death was not being shot. The fact is, sure, some people are in ill health ... but what killed them was getting Covid and it made their health symptoms worsen. They would not have died in that time frame unless they got Covid.
  3. Death rates due to Covid are actually higher than predicted. The original projection was that approx 1% would die from Covid. 2,690,000 infections; 129,000 deaths; 4.7% death rate overall As of yesterday, 43,865 US new cases confirmed, new 613 deaths, which brings us down to 1.39%, which is an improvement. Spread across the entire population if the disease would be allowed to run rampant, which is what happens if we just open everything up, that equates to "only" 4 million deaths. Still, if we live in a country where it is socially acceptable to just let 1% of the population die over the course of a few months for political expediency, we can no longer be considered civilized. Covid 19 is, within 5 months, officially, the sixth biggest fatality disaster in American history, only trailing World War II, Civil War, World War I, 1918 Spanish Flu and the systematic slaughter of the indigenous population as European settlers slaughtered their way across the continent.
  4. I would say one thing about Larson -- he comes in to tracks he has never seen before and twice in the last two weeks set a new track record. He comes in to Indiana midget week and dominates, winning 4 or 5 of the races and the other two races he got second and third. He comes in to the All-Stars and Outlaws both and beats the best in the business, including at Knoxville, which EVERY Outlaw and local team knows better than the back of their hand. Sure, he has great equipment, obviously, but he is THAT good. I would say that sprint car racing is in a golden era -- Central PA car counts are better than they were 20 years ago and 20 years ago there were a total of five guys that could win -- Rahmer, Dewease, Hodnet, Kaufmann and Kreitz. Now, Lincoln and Port Royal have full pits every week and there are over a dozen cars that could win. The amount of talent racing now and the number of competitive cars is amazing. The Outlaws have more full-time teams than ever and a lot of very competitive cars. Tons of different winners. The All-Stars are in a massive rebound after being bought by Smoke and again, an absolute ton of competitive cars. Honestly, you have no idea who is going to win on a given night. Ohio's sprint car tracks seem to be doing awesome, which is buoying the All-Stars. 360 Sprints in California have a super group of cars. Knoxville seems to be doing okay for car counts, but the racing is still quite competitive. It seems that the cars are much more evenly matched than they were 20-30 years ago. Likewise Late Model racing has an astounding amount of talent -- weekly tracks seem to struggle for cars (as always) but the tours seem to be doing well. Modified racing is doing ... actually, decent, just not gangbusters like they were in the 80s. Weekly fields are down but the big touring races are drawing solid car counts and good attendance. There are two drivers who are truly dominating, but the battle for third is anyone's guess, there are that many good cars. (It reminds me of when I used to go to OCFS in the 90s -- you knew it was going to be Hearn and Johnson in the first two podium spots, but man, there could be 15 different guys that were going to be battling for third.)
  5. Robin Miller reported this rumor ... he's about as legit as it comes. I would love to see Stewart and Larson team up -- Tony would let him run as much open wheel as he wants, it is good for both of them. And if any team owner can weather the criticism, it will be Tony.
  6. Play with Hot Wheels cars. Wait, that was 45 years ago. I bring a book and normally can get in a chapter or two if I haven't struck up a conversation with the folks sitting near me.
  7. Gettysburg is absolutely a sobering, amazing experience, well worth the trip. The tragedy of Pickett's Charge was that they thought the Confederate guns had really softened up the Union lines. Due to all of the smoke, the Confederates couldn't see that they were actually shooting over the Union and completely missing them. So they charged into Union lines at full strength across a mile of open field ... terrible loss of life. No matter where you stand on the how and why this country go to the Civil War and Gettysburgh, that battlefield is a very sobering reminder of the terrible struggle our country endured and it's hard not to imagine what it would have felt like to be a young kid (some of the drummers were barley teenagers or even younger if memory serves right), fresh off the farm and sent to the horrors of war in a distant land.
  8. The quick summary is to get the word out as quickly as possible due to all of the sites online that post results immediately. Yeah, sometimes it takes PR guys a little time to get the full results out. There is always a need for good PR people to do those stories, they are time consuming to create.
  9. Again, thanks for all of the replies and explanation. I always thought the classes that came up -- Mod Lites, the Vintage Mods and 600 wingless micros -- all looked like a blast to drive. Modern Modifieds/Sportsman seem kind of "locked down" on the track, whereas the other classes seem more like the traditional "power slide it through the turns and hold on" kind of classes. I also think the xcel 600 Mods look like a ton of fun -- smaller and lighter (and faster) than the Mod Lites, seemed like a really exciting car to drive as they were really nimble and fast, only about $10,000. It seemed they have dropped off in popularity the past couple of years, but 4-5 years ago their tour races in PA regularly drew 30-40 entries.
  10. Harrisburg will be a pain ... the recommendations for Mechanicsburg and Carlisle are solid, centrally located, normally reasonable pricing. The furthest drive will be Grandview, but just get on the turnpike and go, so it's an easy drive. The rest of the tracks are very easy to get to. I would normally recommend a visit to Gettysburg while you are there (only 10-15 minutes from Lincoln), but because July 1-3 is the anniversary of the battle, the town will be mobbed.
  11. Thank you. Curious, is it because the car is so light and with the shorter wheelbase, it is just a handful? Do you stay in 358s / Sportsman because of the prestige/challenge?
  12. All other things being equal, for those who have driven several different classes, which class is the most fun to drive? (Would be interested in first-hand observations from drivers and second-hand reports from those who have heard drivers' comments) Big blocks? 358s? Sportsman? 410 Sprints? 358 Sprints? Crate Sprints? 305 Sprints? Wingless sprints? Pro Stocks? 600 micros -- winged or wingless? Legends? 600 cc Mods? Modified Lites? Gokarts? The low-downforce (pre-1980s bodies) Vintage classes? Crate Late Model? Super Late Model? I mean, few folks are out there racing for money, as much as racing what their budget can allow. But which class is the most fun/exciting to drive on a consistent basis? Which class gives the driver the most fun for their $$$? Is there a class that is just a ton of fun because of how the car handles? I know, there are a lot of "depends on the track/conditions" and obviously, "whichever one is set up best," but I would love to hear overall comparison for those who have moved around in different classes. From the driver's perspective, what is the real difference between different classes in terms of how much fun or how much of a challenge they are? (I know there are obvious things like, Big Blocks have a ton of throttle response whereas Sportsman is a momentum class), but just for the folks who have never strapped into a car, I'd love to hear your experience?
  13. I agree on the PA Tri-Track rivalry : Craig Von Dohren, Jeff Strunk and off and on Duane Howard have been big rivals over at least 30 years. (One wonders what would have happened if Rahmer had stayed in Modifieds instead of going into the death-wish machines.)
  14. The Ovide vs Heaslip rivalry was pretty consistent as I believe they mostly ran the same tracks all along. I know Ovide started in 1958 or 1959 (1998 was his 40th anniversary year, he retired that year) Dave retired in 2008 or 2009, shortly after his 50th anniversary season. My memory firmly really only goes back to 1975 (I remember Ovide dominating Fort Covington in 1972-1974, but I don't remember if Heaslip was there, I was only 4-6 years old). My thoughts below I think are accurate in general but may not be 100% accurate due to how long ago it all happened and I was away from the area from 87 until the late 90s due to college and then living in Northeast PA (but I did follow along via Gater and got to come up home a couple of times a year): But I know from 1975 to the mid-80s, Ovide vs Dave were three nights a week (Brockville, Can-Am, Cornwall) and a couple of seasons on the pavement at Capital City. (Ovide was away for a couple of years in the late 70s). Ox was one of the guys to beat, as were Carl Murdock and Tony Corcoran. Never a lot of cars -- barely 15-20 a lot of nights at Cornwall and Brockville, but a really evenly matched bunch. The Hammer came on strong in the late 70s. John Dahm and Ricky Wilson didn't run Cornwall much, but they were tough at Brockville (and I think Can-Am). Ronnie White was one of the big guns through the early 80s. George Herbison, Bobby Mackison and Barry Poitras also ran the whole circuit. Mark Hitchcock was one of the first of the "new generation" of racers I remember coming on and doing really well against the established veterans (I was a big fan of Mark in the 80s at Cornwall -- he was a kid then and you could tell he was driving his ass off every lap even if he didn't have the best equipment the first couple of years). Cornwall was always interesting because it always had an influx of Quebec drivers that didn't go to Brockville and Can-Am much. Frogtown and Can-Am ran the same night but still both tracks had plenty of cars (Can-Am always seemed to pick up a few cars from Central NY and Watertown and Kingston were both hotbeds of racing; Frogtown benefitted from Airborne going pavement and picked up a dozen cars from Plattsburgh/Vermont, and that trend last over a decade as the Modified guys simply didn't want to go pavement and run for Tom Curley, who told the NY guys, "I don't need you" at the first meeting after he acquired the track. His loss.) When Frogtown opened, I believe both Heaslip and Ovide gravitated to Frogtown right off -- I know by the mid-90s they were both Frogtown regulars. As for the Ox, he also did the mid-70s 3 nights a week deal and was one of the best. He also eventually went to Frogtown in the late 80s/early 90s. The O'Brien brothers bounced back and forth between Can-Am and Frogtown but were "guys to beat" either place.
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