Archive for the ‘Recent Columns’ Category

Mostly Racin’ Stuff By Tom Avenengo Volume # 214 02/26/2015

  Note:  Dirt Track Digest changed their front page.  I’ve visited it, and no where can I find where “Recent Columns”, where my columns appear, is.  So, for this week at least, you might not be able to see my column on DTD.  Sorry! Per Mike Mallet, they have to set me up with a new account.  With him being in Florida, it might take a while.   So, until I get that new account, you’ll have to go to http://newenglandtractor.com/racereport/     Some personal/family stuff:   My family isn’t much different than most families.  We, as adults, get married…More

Mostly Racin’ Stuff By Tom Avenengo Volume # 213 02/19/2015

  Some personal/family stuff: Some sad news this week.  At 4:30 AM, on February 14th, my brother-in-law, Hank, passed away, over near Melbourne, Florida.  Both he and my sister moved down here from Middletown around a year ago.  A few weeks ago, their daughter also left New York for the Melbourne area. So I’m dedicating this week’s column to my brother-in-law.   This coming Thursday, my two sons will be flying down from New York to spend a couple of days.  Timing, as far as flying goes, looks pretty good per the weather forecast.  They’ll head back north on Sunday. …More

Implementing Sprint Car drug testing is a small price to pay for safety and peace of mind: commentary

By JEREMY ELLIOTT (Patriot News) No matter how big the media outlet – ESPN, USA Today or CNN – it can’t take away the one common characteristic of a Sprint Car fan: passion. If anything, it enhances it. When the sport is put in a bad light on a national stage, the numbers on the cars or men in the seat no longer matter. This clan rallies around the sport as a whole and flips the middle finger to the rest of the world. That’s one of many things that makes Sprint Car racing great. But it’s also one of…More

Attorney: Racetracks would be within their right to test Sprint Car personnel for drugs

By JEREMY ELLIOTT (Patriot News) Daryn Pittman isn’t a boisterous, flamboyant figure in the pit area who fights with officials over rules and regulations. He doesn’t like to make waves. Instead, he prefers to go about his business and worry about his race car. So when Pittman, the 2013 World of Outlaws champion, is outspoken about an issue, he does so with conviction and no regret. And drug testing is a subject he has championed over the last couple years. “To get to our level, to do this, it is a privilege,” Pittman said. “If [drug testing] is what I…More

Test after the event, and nine other suggestions for drug-testing Sprint Car drivers

By JEREMY ELLIOTT (Patriot News) Drug testing is a scary premise to Sprint Car tracks around the country. There are numerous variables to consider. Time. The testing procedure. The selection process. False positives. It’s why many racetracks have decided to ignore such a policy. Joe Helberg, owner of Alcohol and Drug Testing Services, thinks it can be done. More important, he believes it can be done at a low cost and little difficulty. His company, which is based in Rohnert, Calif., handles the testing procedures for 5,000 businesses across the country. He is also the father of Joe Joe Helberg,…More

Before Sprint Car racing gets drug testing policy, drivers’ concerns must be addressed

By JEREMY ELLIOTT (Patriot News) Implementing a drug policy isn’t as simple as getting people together and putting something in the rulebook. Research needs to be done. Professionals need to be consulted. The logistics of dirt-track racing also need to be considered. In other words, the basic worries of drivers concerning drug testing need to be addressed. Lance Dewease, a central Pennsylvania legend, said he’s all for drug testing. But he also is leery of some of the problems other sports have faced with drug policies. “This is a little different than the NFL, NASCAR and other sports,” Dewease said.…More

Donny Schatz: ‘Drug testing in the United States is needed’ for Sprint Car drivers

By JEREMY ELLIOTT (Patriot News) World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz is widely recognized as the best Sprint Car driver in the world. But that doesn’t give him a free ride or special treatment when he races in Australia. He is subject to the same drug-testing procedures as the locals. And he doesn’t mind. Not one bit. “I don’t think there is any question with the advancements we have seen that drug testing in the United States is needed,” Schatz said in a Q&A with PennLive from this year’s World Finals. “The problem you have is that the series is…More

Mostly Racin’ Stuff By Tom Avenengo Volume # 212 02/12/2015

  Some personal/family stuff:   Not too much to report on this week.  This past Monday I did go to the VA clinic to get my hearing aids.  Now, just patiently waiting until Feb 19th when my sons Tom & Eric fly down from NY for a few days.  Just hoping  “Mother Nature” doesn’t throw a monkey wrench in their travel plans.   Oh, the hearing aids?  They work great.  Lots more to them than I thought – like cleaning, making sure the “Red” one goes in my right ear and “Blue” one in my left.  Where to send to…More

In Australia, Sprint Car drug testing has become par for the race course

By JEREMY ELLIOTT (Patriot News) Drug testing is a taboo subject in some Sprint Car circles. There are fans and industry types who prefer such things remain in the stick and ball sports. That’s not the case in Australia. Sprint Car drug testing is not only accepted, it’s mandated by a council that oversees the sport. There are eight territory associations that feed into The Sprintcar Control Council of Australia (SCCA). The governing body makes rules, sets regulations, monitors and sponsors races across the entire country. That includes drug testing of its athletes. And it’s a strict policy that is…More

For drug testing to catch on in Sprint Car racing, major tracks would need to step up

By JEREMY ELLIOTT (Patriot News) There is very little standard in a Sprint Car rulebook. They differ from track to track and series to series. It’s pages upon pages of differing procedures, policies and regulations. There is even contrast in safety suggestions. The only similarity across the board is the engine, wing, tires and other mechanical parts that make up the car. Oh, and stated procedures on drug testing. There aren’t any. After reviewing the online rulebooks of different tracks and series across the country, only the World of Outlaws mention substance abuse and testing. The policy in place for…More