Mostly Racin’ Stuff – Volume #277
By TOM AVENENGO
Just a couple of photos for ya. More than likely, I’ve had them in previous columns.
This week’s feature phooe is Bill Schindler in the car that Paul Russo and Ray Nicols built in a cellar. A Walt Imlay photo.
Dan Gurney in one of his “Eagles”. Photo by Pete Biro.
“DEE” Toran in his blue & gold 7/11. Sorry, can’t make out the photographers name!
One of the greatest to sit in a midget – Len Duncan.
Duane Carter in his “Miracle Power” Sprint Car. Sure looks like Reading, to me.
Not sure if it’s good or bad, but this old fart thought he’d best get one more column out for this current year. There really isn’t much news to mention, what with the racing season basically over.
Years ago, back in the mid to late 50’s, I was able to take in some of the midget races in the Kingsbridge Armory, in the Bronx, with my father and brother. It was kind of a hassle getting to the Armory, so we really get there all that many times. But one thing I do remember – it was great racing – not a “Demo” Derby like the indoor racing is today. At times there were multiple races a week. Best I could find was only one event canceled due to weather (they raced indoors the whole winter). I’m pretty sure the track was 1/5 mile and did not take up the whole Amory, either. I have race results from Kingsbridge, and if you would like to see them, e-mail me at: email@example.com.
Later on, towards the end of the 50’s, there was indoor TQ racing in the Teaneck NJ Armory. My future wife and I went to every race held there – I believe. We always had the same seats – on the backstretch on the first row. We would order the same tickets for the following week after the usual nights races. The main problem with the Teaneck racing is that it is basically impossible to find any of their race results. At Teaneck, it basically was the midget drivers from the late 40′ and the 50’s that were in action. Granted, there were some of the stock car guys there, but they raced clean – not like it is today. I do not recall any of the Teaneck races cancelled due to weather, either. I find it quite odd that today, it’s damn near impossible to have an indoor weekly series of races – anyplace. Teaneck, to best of my memory, was a 1/10 mile track.
Coming up in 2017:
2017 Short Track Super Series Fueled By VP Schedule
Saturday, March 11 – Georgetown Speedway/Georgetown Del. – Melvin L. Joseph Memorial (Rain Date: March 12)
Sunday, April 23 – Bridgeport Speedway/Bridgeport, N.J. (Five-Eighths-Mile) – South Jersey Shootout (Rain Date: April 30) – AMERICAN RACER CUP CHALLENGE EVENT
Thursday, May 25 – Delaware International Speedway/Delmar, Del. – Diamond State 50 (Rain Date: TBA) – AMERICAN RACER CUP CHALLENGE EVENT
Tuesday, June 6 – Big Diamond Speedway/Minersville, Pa. – ‘Anthracite Assault’ – COMBO (Rain Date: June 20)
Sunday, July 30 – Susquehanna Speedway/Newberrytown, Pa. – York County Nationals $10,000 to win (Rain Date: August 6)
Tuesday, August 29 – Georgetown Speedway/Georgetown, Del. – Blast at the Beach 4 (Rain Date: August 30)
Saturday, September 30 – Bridgeport Speedway/Bridgeport, N.J. (Three-Eighths-Mile) – Dirty Jersey (Rain Date: October 1)
Saturday, October 29 – Georgetown Speedway/Georgetown, Del. – Mid-Atlantic Championship (Rain Date: Oct. 30) – CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
Saturday, April 8 – Orange County Fair Speedway/Middletown, N.Y. ‘Hard Clay Open’ (Rain Date: April 9)
Tuesday, May 16 – Thunder Mountain Speedway/Center Lisle, N.Y. – ‘Lightning on the Mountain’ (Rain Date: May 17)
Tuesday, June 6 – Big Diamond Speedway/Minersville, Pa. – ‘Anthracite Assault’ – COMBO (Rain Date: TBA)
Wednesday, June 21 – Afton Motorsports Park/Afton, N.Y. – ‘Afton Action 50’ (Rain Date: June 22)
Monday, July 3 – Accord Speedway/Accord, N.Y. – ‘Battle of the Bullring 5’ (Rain Date: July 4) – AMERICAN RACER CUP CHALLENGE EVENT
Tuesday, August 15 – Albany-Saratoga Speedway/Malta, N.Y. – Name TBA (Rain Date: TBA)
Tuesday, August 22 – Woodhull Raceway/Woodhull, N.Y. – ‘Hustlin’ the High Banks 53’ (Rain Date: August 23) – AMERICAN RACER CUP CHALLENGE EVENT
Saturday, October 7 – Afton Motorsports Park/Afton, N.Y. – American Racer Cup Short Track SuperNationals 10 – Afton Motorsports Park/Afton, N.Y. (Rain Date: October 8.)
Thursday, October 19 – Orange County Fair Speedway/Middletown, N.Y. – Eastern States Weekend (Rain Date: October 20) – CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
Schedule is subject to change. Sportsman schedule will be released in January!
Just checking out some racing stuff on the Internet, I came across an interesting thread over on the Track Forum:
Had they lived…
Sadly, not all the names are being shown, but there are quite a few. Below are just names of those that are no longer with us:
George Amick, Swede Savage, Robbie Stanley, Tony Renna., Pat O’Conner , Bobby Marshman, Peter Revson, Danny Caruthers, Kara Hendrick, James Mcelreath, Bill Schindler, Johnny Ritter Gordon Reid, Mike Nazaruk, Joe James, Al Keller, Tony Bonadies, George Fonder, Charlie Miller, Bill Randall, Al Herman , Johnny Thomson, Larry “Crash” Crockett, Tim Richmond, Greg Moore, Art Pollard, Jimmy Clark, Eddy Sachs, Jimmy Bryan, Mike Spence, Jan Opperman, Jerry Unser , Don MacTavish, Bryan Clauson, Dan Wheldon and Ayrton Senna. Yes, they were all great drivers and are sadly missed.
A few weeks ago there was a notice put up of a “working agreement” between the ARDC and USAC for midget racing. At this time, I’m not to sure if it will work out, or not. Sad thing is – the ARDC, me, has had some horrible car counts. Might it be due to those $30,000.00 engines? Seems to me that the ARDC is pricing themselves out of midget racing with the “big buck” engines. Oh, yes, and racing on what one would say are “small” tracks. Who can recall the last ARDC Midget race on a mile track? Trenton used to have some 250- 300 mile “Marathons” or midgets, and there were a few different racing clubs involves, like NEMA and USAC. Sadly, today’s fans have no idea about the great racing that used to be. Oh well, I guess that’s “Progress”, huh?
USAC PARTNERS WITH ARDC FOR 19-RACE
EASTERN REGIONAL MIDGET SLATE IN 2017
The United States Auto Club and the American Racing Drivers Club have announced a partnership that begins in 2017 with a 19-race slate scheduled at a bevy of traditional stops for midget racing in the east.
The USAC Eastern Regional Midget Series presented by ARDC will ensure that midget racing remains a stronghold in the east. The clubs are two of the most storied in the history of midget auto racing with ARDC’s roots dating back to 1940 and USAC’s to 1956.
The USAC Midgets’ renewed presence in the east over the last couple of seasons has created new opportunities for the famed series to add on to its long-standing Western States Midget Championship with the Midwest Midget Championship, which debuted last year, and its new partnership with ARDC in the east.
“I am thrilled that we are partnering with an organization with the legacy of ARDC,” USAC National Series Director Levi Jones said. “By partnering with ARDC, it solidifies the presence of USAC Midget racing across the United States’ landscape from the West Coast to the Midwest to the East Coast, in addition to the USAC Midget National Championship. I am really looking forward to working with (ARDC President) Wayne Lesher, the drivers and teams of ARDC for the 2017 season and beyond.”
“Everyone involved with the ARDC is very excited of our partnership with USAC,” Lesher stated. “USAC gives the ARDC a national platform and ARDC gives USAC a regional presence on the east coast. Both organizations have a common goal of promoting midget racing, so it wasn’t a hard decision for either side to make.”
ARDC’s 75th year of competition is highlighted by high-profile events including six that share the stage with USAC’s national series. In fact, the series will share the event card with all three of the national divisions in 2017.
On June 15 and 16, the USAC/ARDC Midgets will race on back-to-back nights at the historic Williams Grove Speedway half-mile in Mechanicsburg, PA. The first of the two events, which are both part of the 11th annual Eastern Storm, takes place on Thursday, June 15 with the USAC AMSOIL Sprint Car National Championship. The following night, Friday, June 16, the midgets compete on a docket that also features the USAC Silver Crown Championship’s “Horn-Schindler Memorial” 100-lapper.
Amid the month of August, the third edition of Pennsylvania Midget Week comes to the Keystone State for four races at four different tracks in a span of five nights in a battle for territorial supremacy with the USAC Midget National Championship.
York Haven’s Susquehanna Speedway kicks the week off on Sunday, Aug. 13 with races at Spring Run’s Path Valley Speedway Park (Aug. 14) and Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway in Newmanstown on the two following nights. A one-day break for rest or a possible rain date (if needed) is slated for Aug. 16 with the week concluding at a yet-to-be-determined venue in Pennsylvania on Aug. 17.
The remainder of the 2017 schedule will be showcased at a variety of familiar stops, including four dates at Linda’s Speedway in Jonestown, PA on Mar. 31, May 5, June 30 and Sept. 29; three races on tap at Lanco on Apr. 1, Jul. 1, Aug. 15; four at Susquehanna on Apr. 29, May 20, Jul. 29 and Aug. 13; and a pair at Big Diamond Speedway in Pottsville, PA on May 19 and Jul. 21. Additionally, two TBA dates are slated for Sep. 8-9.
ARDC is the longest, continuously-operating midget racing series in the United States, crowning its first champion, Bill Schindler, after the 1940 season. In 2016, Alex Bright of Collegeville, PA, a veteran of both ARDC and USAC for several seasons as well as the winner of a Chili Bowl Midget Nationals preliminary feature win, earned the title.
The lineage of ARDC champions includes some of the most legendary and successful names in midget auto racing history including Henry Banks, Dutch Schaefer, Mike Nazaruk, Jiggs Peters, Len Duncan and Ray Bull. Plus, Nick Fornoro Jr. and Sr., Johnny and Joey Coy, Bob and Lou Cicconi, Jr., Steve and Tim Buckwalter as well as Bryan and Trevor Kobylarz.
USAC EASTERN REGIONAL MIDGETS PRESENTED BY ARDC 2017 SCHEDULE
Mar 31: Linda’s Speedway (Jonestown, PA)
Apr 1: Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway (Newmanstown, PA)
Apr 29: Susquehanna Speedway (York Haven, PA)
May 5: Linda’s Speedway (Jonestown, PA)
May 19: Big Diamond Speedway (Pottsville, PA)
May 20: Susquehanna Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Jun 15: Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Jul 16: Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA)
Jun 30: Linda’s Speedway (Jonestown PA)
Jul 1: Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway (Newmanstown, PA)
Jul 21: Big Diamond Speedway (Pottsville, PA)
Jul 29: Susquehanna Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Aug 13: (N) Susquehanna Speedway (York Haven, PA)
Aug 14: (N) Path Valley Speedway (Spring Run, PA)
Aug 15: (N) Lanco’s Clyde Martin Memorial Speedway (Newmanstown, PA)
Aug 17: (N) TBA
Sep 8: TBA
Sep 9: TBA
Sep 29: Linda’s Speedway (Jonestown, PA)
(N) represents a race with the USAC Midget National Championship during Pennsylvania Midget Week
Report: Target reducing primary sponsorship of Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 42
The report says Target is rolling back its sponsorship of the Chip Ganassi Racing team by somewhere between five and 10 races. The arrangement, a mutual decision between team and sponsor, is “to allow other companies to work with” Larson, who will be competing in his fourth full-time season in the premier series.
Target’s current deal with CGR in NASCAR expires after 2017.
The move comes after Target withdrew its sponsorship of CGR in the Verizon IndyCar Series after a 27-year relationship in open-wheel racing.
“It’s something that we worked on together,” CGR President Steve Lauletta told the Sports Business Journal. “It allows Target to continue to market their brand in a big way with Kyle Larson, our team and NASCAR — but allows us a little more flexibility to react to opportunities that were coming the team’s way. Everybody should benefit from that.”
The No. 42 was also sponsored in 2016 by Energizer batteries, Huggies, Axe and other companies Target works with.
Larson qualified for the Chase for the first time in 2016 after earning his first premier series win in August at Michigan International Speedway.
USAC UNVEILS LIGHTNING SPRINT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP BEGINNING IN 2017 SEASON
USAC, the largest and most diversified professional sanctioning body in the country, announced a new National Championship Series beginning in 2017. The Speedway Motors Lightning Sprint National Championship will be added to a historic lineup of prestigious titles for 2017.
“With the many clubs across the country to be unified in rules and procedures, it’s a pleasure to create a program that enables many to pursue a championship with USAC,” USAC National Series Director Levi Jones said.
Lightning Sprints are an open wheel car with a motorcycle based power plant and wings. A winged division will be unique within USAC as a majority of the existing classes are wingless. These cars are capable of producing 200 horsepower and utilize much of the same construction and components that USAC Midgets do. Drivers will compete on many of the same sized tracks across the country as well.
The organization and management of the division is also unique. Satellite Lightning Sprint groups exist across the United States and Canada. These groups are managed by individual club leaders or boards. The groups will continue to operate as before with the option of hosting a set number of USAC-sanctioned events. These events will be noted on their 2017 schedule and will count toward the National Championship points structure. A 10-race minimum will be scheduled with a best of 12 race points tabulation. The points system is weighted by the number of cars competing and allows an individual to win a national title from their home track. The top-10 positions in National Championship points will be paid cash and contingency awards at season’s end. The inaugural champion will receive national accolades in addition to a $3,000 reward.
The uniformity in rules has attracted many sponsors to this new series. Hoosier Tire is one of the many who have already pledged support through a multiyear relationship. Cars will be required to use Hoosier tires on all four corners during USAC-sanctioned Lightning Sprint events. Speedway Motors – America’s oldest speed shop – is the title sponsor with a myriad of others eager to launch this series. Sponsoring companies include AFCO, CSI, PRO Shocks, My Race Pass, Saldana Race Products, Aeromotive, Weld, Rod End Supply, Hoosier Speed, Outlaw Wings, Racing Optics and Emi.
Registration for this series will begin Jan. 1, 2017, online. All drivers competing for national points must hold a valid USAC license for this series and must adhere to general guidelines set forth in the registration process. Eligible drivers must be 13 years of age on the day of the sanctioned event. Scheduled tracks must carry a minimum level of liability insurance, which group leaders will verify.
USAC is the most diversified racing organization in the country. With youth engagement and a broadened reach across multiple racing platforms, USAC is excited to highlight Lightning Sprint racing in 2017 and to carry on its more than 60 years of sanctioned events.
Joining the likes of National Sprint cars, Sliver Crown, and Midgets, Lightning Sprint competitors will share the stage with the country’s elite open wheel racers during USAC’s Night of Champions in December 2017.
“With a national sanction, a uniform series rule book, corporate sponsorship, and the support of many organized groups, the Lightning Sprint division begins a new era in racing history,” said Mike Long, Director of Operations at EMi and an aid to the series. Lightning Sprint racing offers the pure excitement and challenge of any other open wheel division at an affordable cost. The effort of many over the last year has built a foundation for these cars to compete on a national level.”
Kyle Busch to compete in Race of Champions:
Kyle Busch is the latest star in the field of racing legends who will compete at the first Race Of Champions on American soil – inside Marlins Park in Miami on January 21-22, 2017. Busch joins a star-studded ROC Miami field that features many of the greatest stars in world motor sport. Along with the American drivers, other competitors include Formula 1 world champions Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button, fellow F1 greats Felipe Massa and David Coulthard, ‘Mr Le Mans’ Tom Kristensen, Indianapolis 500 winners Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Kanaan, IndyCar star Gabby Chaves plus double FIA World Rallycross Champion Petter Solberg. Even more big names will be announced in the run-up to January’s event. The Race Of Champions is an annual contest which has been held for over 25 years. It brings together some of the world’s greatest drivers from motor sport’s major disciplines – including Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, Le Mans, MotoGP, Touring Cars, World Rally and action sports – and sets them free to battle head-to-head in identical machinery. All the racing takes place in a stunning range of superfast cars. The ROC event is run over two days: first comes the Race Of Champions itself (on Saturday, January 21) featuring a flat-out battle for individual glory. Then on Sunday, January 22 comes the ROC Nations Cup when drivers pair up in teams based on nationality to bid for the title of ‘World’s Fastest Nation’. In 2017, this will see America take on the rest of the world in a special contest in celebration of the host venue.(Race of Champions)(12-20-2016)
Note: To be honest, I have no idea as to what cars they’ll be driving. Hope it’s on TV!
With the indoor season “starting” at Trenton with the TQ’s, I a tad surprised that I could find no drivers from OCFS, Accord or Lebanon Valley listed. Wonder why?
Some points (Mostly just top 3) from some of the northeast area dirt tracks:
Accord Modified – Anthony Perrego, Mike Ricci & Danny Creeden. Sportsman: Jimmy Wells, Phil Goetschius Jr & Chris Stevens
American Racer Cup (North) – Andy Bachetti, Danny Creeden & Alan Johnson in modifieds. South: Craig VonDohren 1st & 2nd, Billy Pauch, Jr.
Albany/Saratoga – Marc Johnson, Bret Hearn & Stewart Friesen in Mods. Jeremy Pitts, Connor Cleveland & Tim Hartman, jr.
ARDC – Alex Bright, Brendan Bright & Brett Arndt
Bethel – John Cote, Skip LaPalt & Joe DeCracia in mods. Kyle Redner, Mike Dutka & Paul Martin in Sportsman
DIRTCar Big Block Series – Matt Sheppard, Stewart Friesen & Tim Fuller. 358’s – Chris Raabe, David Hebert & Erick Rudolph
5 Mile – Shaun Walker, Mike Colsten & Brad Szulewski in Modified. Kyle Rohner, Marty Bunker & Mike Austin in Sportsman
Indy Car – SimonPagenaud, Will Power & Helio Castroneves
Lebanon Valley – Brett Hearn, Kenny Tremont & Keith Flach in Modified. Kenny Tremont, Brett Haas & JR Hefner in Small Blocks. Jeff Watson, John Virgilio & Chris Lynch in Sporrtsman
NEMA – John Zych Jr, Randy Cabral & Avery Stoehr
OCFS – Tommy Meier, Stewart Friesen & Jerry Higbie in Modifieds. Tommy Meier, Gary Edwrds Jr. & JimmySpellan in Small Blocks . Tyler Boniface, Jesse Leiby & Jeff Hulseapple in Sportsman
Trento Indoor Slingshots – Dann Buccafusca 6th
URC – Davie Franek, Curt Michael & Troy Betts.
Matt Sheppard & Martin Truex, Jr. were the EMPA drivers of the year.
NASCAR news – found on Jayski:
POTENTIAL Free-Agent Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Regulars AFTER the 2017 season
#27-Paul Menard (works on a year-to-year deal)
Possible Free-Agent (full-time) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Regulars after 2016 season
Michael Annett (moves to NXS in #5 JRM car)
Greg Biffle (split with RFR, no ride)
Landon Cassill (stays at FRM)
Matt DiBenedetto (left BK Racing, goes to GFR)
Bobby Labonte (semi-retired)
Casey Mears (to the #33?)
David Ragan (left BK Racing, returns to FRM)
Drivers not running full-time after 2016
#24/#88-Jeff Gordon (FOX Broadcaster/semi-retired), ran some 2016 races in the #88 for Dale Jr.
#44-Brian Scott, retired after 2016 to spend more time with family
#14-Tony Stewart, says he will not run CUP races in 2017
Unofficial Unassigned Numbers for 2017
Numbers are owned and assigned by NASCAR
teams can request a number and hold the license
paying NASCAR to hold a number
Going back in time:
Above photo is a photo of the day on http://www.coastal181.com/weekday_photos.htm
Weather – whether or not:
I’m fairly sure it’s a tad colder back up in New York, where I came from, than it was in Cape Coral, or Fort Myers Florida, today – December 19th: Check it out:
Fort Myers officially made it to 91 degrees, which is a record ALL-TIME high for the entire month of December. Meteorologist Jason Dunning is tracking the record heat and will let you know if the weather will cool off in time for Christmas.
Not much more for this week, folks. But you might get a kick out of some of NASCAR’s biggest stars as they clown around some.
Catch ya in a couple of weeks. Until then you can always reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For everyone: MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!