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BillSmith

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BillSmith last won the day on December 14 2019

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About BillSmith

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

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  • Home Track
    Mohawk International Raceway, Airborne, Cornwall

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  1. The issue of a child racing is because they are a child and are not considered (legally) to be developed enough to know the risks they are taking and to understand and take responsibility for their actions. Now, I don't agree fully with that standard -- some teens are very mature and I've seen a lot of grown men around race tracks throw temper tantrums that would make my 4-year-old proud. But society as a whole has the belief that people under 18 have limited rights and their parents are in charge because they are not fully mature yet. Now, I hope he goes in with the attitude of "this year is about learning the ropes." First goal, don't get in the way, run clean, keep your nose clean, get seat time and learn how to handle the car. If he does that, he'll improve throughout the first season or two ... drivers with that level of maturity can do very well with a couple of years experience.
  2. DIRT Modifieds are pretty safe, so I think the safety issue is less concerning. And from all accounts, it sounds like this young man has a good head on his shoulders. I do think tracks should implement a rule where children under 18 are not allowed to compete unless given a waiver by the track -- it allows you to keep the kids not ready out of things. (Of course, I can't imagine a track turning away a new car, but at least they should have the right to regulate). But that doesn't mean that I think in general that people under 18 should be allowed to go racing -- big issue is with insurance. If he does get hurt, the track is on the hook because once he turns 18 he can sue the hell out of them regardless of what waivers he signed. Most child athletes are competing against children their own age, not full fledged adults. Most sports that allow children to compete against adults are non-contact, like golf, etc. so there's very little risk of another competitor causing the injury. One issue I haven't seen brought up is when the driver is under 18 and not mature enough to handle it. I remember a few years ago there was a driver at one of my local tracks who was pretty successful in his division ... but he was very immature. He would take out other cars, try to instigate fights with his chief rival in the class knowing that his rival, being over 18, couldn't touch him. He wrecked him several times and got away with it.
  3. Yet the new USAC East Coast wingless 360 club is thriving -- they did the common sense thing and basically said ASCS/ESS-style 360 motors, Central PA 358 motors and 305 Racesaver and 602 crate motors are all legal, I think they did some modest weight breaks, but one of the big equalizers is that with no top wing, it is a lot more driver and throttle control without that wing to plant the car. And it seems that all of the engine combos are competitive under their rules. It wasn't that long ago (15 years ago ... okay maybe it was a while ago) that ARDC was getting 25-30 cars at every race (shortly after they went wingless) but people just couldn't handle the costs as they kept increasing. 600 wingless micros are thriving down there ... and the SpeedSTRs are doing pretty well, too. They are certainly not "cheap" classes, but they are something that the teams down there can afford.
  4. The big complaint is that tracks don't do tech now. So the solution is to have them do more paperwork than a Fortune 500 company? The only one who would win in this is the company that gets the contract for the officially mandated record keeping. ~~~ Simpler and more practical option, make a cheap motor option (602 or 604 crate), give them enough breaks (weight, spoiler, bigger tires, etc.) so they are competitive. Just like what IMCA did in their Modified and SportMod classes. If a $5,000 motor with a 100 lb weight break and $40 of Lexan can beat a $25,000 motor , who's the dummy, the sanctioning body or the guy spending $25,000 on a motor? If needed, add a claim rule to keep the crate guys honest -- like $1,500 trade or $6,000 buy outright (guy getting claimed gets choice) -- anyone on the grounds can claim a motor (so basically, a guy can get claimed anonymously). Tracks need to have their own crate on site so they can "claim" a motor so they can do thorough tech and give out the "track crate" for the guy getting claimed to use. Lots of people would hate this ... but it would work. And it would teach everyone that it's a dumb idea to put a lot of money into doctoring up a crate motor.
  5. I've wondered for years if the following rules combo would work: Put the Mods up to 2600 pounds, open motor. Crate 602s, 2400 pounds, let them run a bigger spoiler. If those breaks don't let them be competitive, let them run wider Sprint-type tires 604s , same deal, medium spoiler, 2500, lbs. Even if they aren't super competitive, I bet some Sportsman guys would move up just to get the bigger paycheck.
  6. The appeal of that idea is simplicity ... but I think it would mean that it would end up making every motor out there not competitive. Am I correct in thinking this? Late Models have an open motor rule and the division is basically mostly aluminum 410s as I understand it. So wouldn't Modifieds end up being steel block 410s as the power plant of choice, meaning both the current big block and 358 motors are both mothballed? I agree in principle, I really think the Northeast needs 1 Modified class and 1 affordable Sportsman class (which this class is already getting well out of hand with specially built motors, etc.)... but the fact is, the Big Block vs. 358 split is tough to overcome. Big block car counts are not great because they are so expensive. So I don't know if an open motor rule is an improvement so much as it just makes things simpler. Good luck trying to tell the 358 areas that they have to go to open motors -- that would be a tough sell. 358 tracks: Granby, Drummond/RPM, Cornwall, Brockville, Can-Am, Mohawk, Fulton, Woodhull, Randsomville, Merritville, Grandview, Big Diamon Big Block: Brewerton, Canandaigua, Fonda, Lebanon Valley, Albany-Saratoga, OCFS, Accord, New Egypt, Bridgeport, Delaware, Sharon, Lernerville, Outlaw (Dundee), 5 Mile Point, Thunder Mountain, Afton, PennCan Remember, the 358s were originally 320s, which were started as a Sportsman class until they let the motors get so out of control and costly that they needed a Sportsman class as the 320/358s got too expensive.
  7. Fulton's Spring SuperDIRT race is now a 358 race. Brewerton going 358 would mean that the old Outlaw circuit is back in a big way ... you know, minus the big tires and alcohol and attitude ... but still, it would be good to see considering how awesome it was back in the day.
  8. I miss the days when a scrappy guy could go out and drive the wheels off the car and they were the winners, not the guys who just write a check for everything. I really think racing would be in a much better place if the rules were written so that talent mattered a lot more than a checkbook. The drivers would come back, the fans would come back. Maybe the "money talks" emphasis on racing is why car counts and spectator attendance have dropped so much. That route sure as hell didn't help NASCAR, did it? (No doubt, there are a lot of talented drivers out there now. But the point I am making is that a lot of very talented guys can't compete because they don't have money.)
  9. I'm glad this thread turned into an edition of tech talk 😁 I think it touches on one of the biggest issues in racing, though -- racing is built on innovation and improvements by the competitors, but at the same time, revolutionary changes can be extremely expensive for everyone just to tread water, where's the line? It's been an issue since the very beginning of racing -- do we want to lock things in as they are for stability or let things evolve? Tracks need lots of folks in the pits to get by, which suggests stability is good ... but racers are racers and somebody is going to find a way to spend a ton of money for a decisive advantage unless you lock things down into a spec type car. And since so much of racing is about ego, lots of people spend lots more money to win at any cost than they will ever earn back, pushing a lot of talented guys without money into a competitive disadvantage ... those that don't just get frustrated and quit, anyway.
  10. Absolutely true. I think Midgets, wingless 600 micros, SpeedSTRs and the Xcel 600 Mods all put on some of the best racing around. Midgets are for the rich guys, the rest are for guys who don't unlimited cubic dollars. The Tulsa Shootout (just before the Chili Bowl, all micros) has probably become my #1 bucket list event that I want to see someday.
  11. The Outlaw Circuit was the best. The Victoria 200 back in those days was one of the best races of the year. Don't get me wrong, it's still a good race. But it's not the great race it once was.
  12. I think the bigger question is how long until Bloomer gets caught doing something he's not supposed to be doing and will WoO punish him the way they would punish other teams? Having Bloomer on the tour is a big prestige thing for WoO, he is still the biggest brand in Late Model racing, They are going to promote him hard regardless of how competitive he is. But it wasn't that many years ago he got caught juicing the tires or running the wrong tires at the first weekend of the season if I recall correctly? What will happen the first time he gets busted for something like that?
  13. Given a choice between a series with a dozen top tier funded teams and 30 or 40 really talented small teams, I will pick the scrappy smaller team series any day. I love it when a field rolls out for a big race and I can say that most of the entries are really talented drivers and could win if they get a lucky break or two. If I want to see a handful of drivers dominate every race, I can watch that on NASCAR.
  14. I think Silver Crown cars at Lebanon Valley would be very cool. Don't know if the fans would support it, but still, it'd be a neat show.
  15. I'm wondering where Rolling Wheels would fit into the market. Personally, I would think a series of mid-week shows featuring Mod & 360 Sprint doubleheaders could bring out the fans. Add in the occasional Sportsman show.
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