I’ve been tossing things around in my head about how to start this weeks column. A few things have taken up a majority of my thoughts – OCFS, Accord Speedway and the “Big Show”.
Twice now, in the last few weeks, the racing programs at OCFS have been canceled due to weather concerns. Some, me included, seem to think that the cancellations were a tad bit too early. I’m fairly certain that the first one cancelled due to weather concerns/forecast – well it didn’t rain, I believe.
This past Saturday, I understand they did have some rain, but if one thinks back, what happened Saturday would not have caused a cancellation back a few years ago. The race teams would have come, some fans would have come, and everyone would wait it out then go racing. Why cancel now?
So what might have happened to cause these “early” cancellations? I’ve heard the rumors, as maybe many of you have also heard, that OC was having a hard time paying off the purses? Don’t know if that’s true or not, but I was told that one team got to the payoff window a little late a while back, the window was closed, and that team had not received their monies as of six days later. Also, keep in mind – last Saturday’s race was a $3,000.00 to win event. Might that have had caused a reason to cancel? Will that race be re-scheduled? I doubt it. The drive-in has had a decent amount of cars, so I’ve been told. I’ve also been told that the stands still have that “empty” look to them when the racing is going on.
We all know the track and fairgrounds are for sale. We’ve heard that there are some that are “interested”, but so far no actual offers, as far as I know. I have to admit that I’ve only been to OC a few times this season, but I really couldn’t see any “work” being done as far as up-keep to the grounds, repairs to buildings (granted, they’ve taken some down, like the Pizza place – maybe so no one would take it over?), the roadways, and the dilapidated sound system all are gradually going down hill. Oh, with the fair coming in, the grass will be mowed, I suppose. It was said, some years ago, when a lot of us stood up for the track at that Town of Wallkill meeting about the supposed “dust” problem – the fair needs the track to survive, and the track needs the fair. That was said by Mr. Gurda. Ever since then it seems the place has gone to hell, with closures of eating facilities being one of the main concerns of the fans.
And there are rumors going around that those that participate in the fair (4-H people?) are considering making a move to another venue? What happens then? Hey, face it, it’s almost no longer a fair but an oversized carnival.
The track does not advertise. Yes, I know it cost money to put ads in the paper. But it seems quite odd that a couple of guys can put on the car show, prior to the racing season, and advertise it in the paper, yet the track can’t advertise – especially when they had a veterans get in free night a few weeks ago, or the fact that the practice sessions are FREE to the public. Remember when you’d see posters in most every store and business in the area that was advertising the racing at OCFS? What ever happened to them? Has any printing place offered to maybe print up some posters, for maybe some free tickets – or is it just not worth it, money wise for them to do so?
I was told, when I asked about having a Syracuse qualifier SDS race for OCFS that it looked like it would come down to DIRTcar promoting one – as they promoted the “Big Show” last year, for Brett Hearn. So far, nothing being said on that, and we’re almost to the middle of July. I’m trying to figure what OCFS has gained as far as signing up with DIRTcar/WRG if they don’t even have a Syracuse qualifier? Oh, – right the WoO Sprint Car show. Can you name one OCFS driver that actually follows the SDS Series? I can’t. There was a time when some did. What happened?
No idea about the new handicapping at OC, but I believe that they’ve made a change, now?
Note: The following came out in the Tuesday, July 10th edition of the Middletown Times Herald-Record.
4-H won’t be at Orange County Fair
“TOWN OF WALLKILL — You won’t see 4-H herds of mooing cows or flocks of clucking hens at the 2012 Orange County Fair that begins Friday.
The whole 4-H barnyard menagerie — a popular attraction at the fair for more than 60 years — is bolting for greener pastures.
The time for the departure is ripe, say 4-H officials and members. Their complaints include late payments for fair prizes, fairgrounds housekeeping lapses and a growing desire to show farm skills in a more agricultural setting.
About 500 animals pass through the grounds during the Orange County Fair and about 200 animals stay at the fair for the duration.
Fair principal Michael Gurda, who is president of the Orange County Agricultural Society, said “everything they’ve addressed we’ve take care of.”
A common complaint last year was about late prize fees paid to 4-H competition winners who earned cherished ribbons, which can send them to the mecca of local 4-H fairs, the New York State Fair in Syracuse.
Lucy Joyce, executive director of Orange County Cornell Cooperative Extension, said this year’s Orange County Fair is too long.
“We just can’t do it,” she said. “They’ve increased the time from 10 days to 13 at the fair and that just burns out staff and it burns out the kids.”
Gurda recently wrote a letter reminding the 4-H organization that he can sue if it breaks the 99-year lease on its fairgrounds building, which 4-H built in 1950 for $33,473. The 4-H organization pays $1 a year to lease the building from the Orange County Agricultural Society. The lease says 4-H must use the building or lose it.
4-H lawyer Rick Golden says 4-H will continue to make legitimate contractual display use of the structure, including an ice-cream hut during the fair.
More on this can be seen, here:
I wonder how this might affect things at the track, now?
And this is what was said by Mr. Gurda at that “Dust” meeting, from the article I did on it – from the article I did, back then:
“Next up to speak was Michael Gurda, officer and director of the Orange County Agricultural Society (the owners of the property that the track and fairgrounds are on). He first said that the track is leased to DIRT Motorsports for Stock Car racing. He said that the proposed law, in it’s present form, would make it impossible for any Speedway to operate. He went on to tell of the difficulties of attempting to reach a perfect way of preparing a dirt racing surface, one that would not be to wet or to dry. He went on to say that there are only twenty eight days of racing at the local track. And, on those twenty eight days, there is an average of only three hours of actual racing. He went on to talk about the jobs (over 150) that are created by the race track, over the season. Local Town of Wallkill businesses have an economic benefit due to the Speedway. Thousands of county residents come to the speedway, as a major part of their “quality of life”. He said that “The Fair and the Speedway have a good working relationship. One cannot exist without the other. Without the Fair, there would be no racing. Without racing, there would be no fair. By passing this law, you would be ending two historically community related events, that not only provide economic gains, but also provide a source of enjoyment for thousands of people.”
And also from that meeting:
“It was requested, in the beginning of the meeting that a certain individual be allowed to speak first, when the time came for input from those in attendance. It was believed that what this first speaker was going to say, could have a lot to do about what might be said by others, when they addressed the board.
That speaker, Mike Sanchelli, was from New Jersey. He was at the meeting as a representative for Boundless Motorsports. In his talk, he came right out and confirmed that, yes; Boundless Motorsports was attempting to buy the Speedway and Fairgrounds. He said that if the proposed amendments were to go through, that would, indeed, put a stop to their desire to purchase the property. He went on to tell of the changes and improvements that they would be doing, if, and when, they should own the Fairgrounds. There would be a complete make-over of the entire site. He mentioned that the “problems” we were talking about, at this meeting, were known country wide, even as far as California. He further went on to say that if this problem had an ending that would hurt the running of the track, it would most definitely spread, nationwide, to all other Fairground race tracks. He said that their group of people would be willing to sit down with the Board to iron out the differences and problems. They want to restore, or create, a working relationship between the track and town.
After Mr. Sanchelli spoke, it was told to the people in attendance that there would be no vote taken tonight. This was strictly a public hearing. We will hear your comments, but no vote will be taken. It was then asked, of the council, if there might be a way they could “put this on the shelf” for a period of time. It was further asked of the board that they consider not even voting on this matter.”
Note: Guess Boundless couldn’t come up with the dough, huh?
Even though I’ve been a fan of the racing at OCFS for oh so many years, I think Accord has had a better show. Well, “had” is what I’d have to say now, what with the handicapping system they put into effect for 2012. Due to issues at home, I’ve only made two shows at Accord this season, opening night and a couple of weeks ago. Both nights had good crowds. A couple of weeks ago, I’d venture to say that the fireworks might have brought a few more people to the track. As my grandson John, and I were leaving that night, we could see cars were parked on the road next to the track, so you know the fans were there. But car counts have gone down, this season. I really can’t say much about the fan turnout, since I haven’t been there. But in my way of thinking, when you lose cars, you’ll lose fans, too.
I guess the Accord purse is based on how many cars/teams sign in, as most tracks more than likely are? Does the amount of fans in the stands mean anything? There have been “rumblings” on the Internet about the purse at Accord being cut quite a bit, that “X” amount would be paid out if “X” amount of cars signed in. I imagine that could be true. Last Friday night there were only 15 cars entered in the modified class. I have no idea as to how much Andy Bachetti got for winning the feature, but I’m wondering – was it enough to cover the teams expenses for the night? How about the 5th place finisher? 10th place? One can see teams not racing if it is more of a losing proposition that what it normally is, in racing. You know, to make a million you have to start out with two?
And in my way of thinking, if a certain competitor is winning most every week, and due to the “handicapping” system in effect at Accord, that competitor stands an excellent chance of starting in the front row or up at the front, come feature time, well I can see why the car count has gone down. Possible fan count, too, maybe?
OK, yes, today’s economy has probably hurt as far as race teams competing and fans attending, not only at Accord and OCFS, but other tracks as well, in some instances. I still read that Albany/Saratoga and Lebanon Valley are still drawing fans. A/S has had a promoters dream (headache) of having too many cars in one class (Sportsman), while I see that the Valley is just getting by with entrants for their modified class. Other classes help bolster up the car count.
The “Big Show”:
I’m being honest here – I was somewhat disappointed when this event was moved away from OCFS and kept its name. Granted, it is the “baby” of Brett Hearn and he can do whatever he wants to do with it.
With the moving of the event away from OCFS, this has, more or less, meant that OCFS could very well not have an SDS Syracuse qualifier, even though OC is a DIRTcar sanctioned track. Kinda ridiculous, huh?
I have to figure that a majority of you that read my stuff have also read, on the Internet, what’s being said about the “Big Show” being held at the Albany/Saratoga Speedway. Things being said about the track (too narrow) the stands (too small for such an event, and possibly having to sit in the aisles, and some fans traveling hours to get there, only to be turned away because the place is sold out). Can they actually pull enough teams and fans in to pay that $30,000.00 purse? I dunno, since I’ve never been to the place. Yes, we were entertaining thoughts of attending this event, but we’d be some of those that have to travel a few hours to get there, and well………..you see what I mean?
In a way I can see why Brett didn’t want to hold it at Lebanon Valley. Way too many teams don’t like the Valley due to the track and what’s required, motor wise to be competitive there. The same can almost be said about OCFS, too, I imagine? But there is a little more seating available at the Valley, right?
Normally, this would appear in non racing news, but I already have some items there.
Scranton mayor slashes pay for all city workers—including police and firefighters—to minimum wage.
“Cash-strapped Scranton, Pa., has slashed pay for all city employees—including police and firefighters—to minimum wage, sparking furor among unions that now say they plan to sue in federal court.
A lawyer representing three unions told Scranton’s Times-Tribune he will file several motions, including one to hold Mayor Chris Doherty in contempt of court for violating a judge’s order to pay full wages.
Last week, Doherty abruptly cut pay for all 398 city employees to $7.25 per hour, saying it was the only way to keep Scranton solvent.
According to the paper, Scranton—which faces a $16.8 million budget deficit—had $133,000 in cash on hand as of Monday, but owed $3.4 million in various vendor bills, including health insurance.
Roger Leonard, a city employee, told NPR he typically gets a $900 check for two weeks of work. On Friday, it was $340.”
More on this can be seen, here, below. And if you go to the article, scroll down and read some of the comments, too.
How popular is NASCAR? Maybe not as popular as we’re led to believe. Case in point: One of their top stars, A. J. Allmendinger failed a drug test. He was not allowed to race at Daytona last Saturday night, and as of now, is still not in the car for the Loudon race, this coming weekend. But – not one word did I see on any regular newscasts or “Gossip” shows like “Extra” or Access Hollywood. Betcha if he was a ball player (any kind) it would have made the news, though.
Note: There was an article in my local paper this past Wednesday, along with other NASCAR news, about Allmendinger.
Back in the day, there was what was called the “Triple Crown” in Indy car racing – three 500 mile races. There are rumors now of the possible return of the “Triple Crown” for 2013.
Check out what’s being said, here: http://www.trackforum.com/forums/showthread.php?166914-Triple-Crown-to-Return-in-2013
Keeping with Indy cars:
It’s time to miss oval racing -
Some interesting comments about oval track racing and Indy cars.
(Re: Aerokits) Please tell me how ICONIC failed
Supposedly, no “aero kits” for Indy cars for 2013.
Aero Kit Decision
Mainly NASCAR stuff.
The fair is coming to Orange County. Dates are July 13th to July 29th.
On July 19th, there’s a 358 modified race at OCFS – 40 laps $2,5000.00 to the winner. Open tire rule, too.
Note: Will the Drive-in be open for that 358 race? Last year, for a Sportsman race, it wasn’t, I believe.
On July 20, 21 & 22 MOTO & Monster Trucks at the fair.
The CRSA 305 Sprint Cars are at OC on July 28th.
August 4th is “Nostalgia Night” It’s always interesting to see what old timers show up – usually Buzzie Reutimann and quite a few others come up for this show. The restored race cars of the Atlantic Coast Old Timers will also be on hand. Whether they get any track time or not, I don’t know. I do know in their listing of the days events they say it is a “running” show, meaning that they’d get some laps on the track.
Also on July 28th, is the “Friends of Mike” 100 lap modified race at the New Egypt Speedway.
There’s an RoC 60 lap modified race and an RoC 40 lap Sportsman race at 5 Mile Points Speedway on July 17th.
On the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, September 2, 2012, the annual “Racing Expo” will be held at the Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, NJ.
Just prior to my sending this column out, I received the following from Ronny Dennis:
“We are still looking for participants for this years show. We have an ample amount of space to accommodate anyone that would like to be a part in the show. If you would like to take part in the show, display a car, or exhibit please contact Ronny Dennis (718)344-0502. It is FREE to enter the show
This years show will take place on Sunday September 2, 2012 of Labor Day weekend
Gates open to participants at 10 am
Show starts at 12 noon and runs all day
Admission is FREE
Hinchliffe Stadium is located in Paterson, N.J., on the corner of Liberty St. and Maple St. next to the Great Falls.
Come out and show your support for the Stadium. While your there you can check out the Great Falls Festival. There is something for everyone. See you at the SHOW! Spread the word”
Found on Jayski’s website:
Allmendinger suspended for failing drug test:
NASCAR announced 90 minutes before the race that #22-A.J. Allmendinger has failed a random drug test and has been “temporarily” suspended. He was randomly selected and tested following the Kentucky race and his “A” sample tested positive. He has the right to request that NASCAR test his “B” sample. Should he refuse to have the “B” sample tested, or if that test is positive, the suspension will become indefinite. Sam Hornish will replace him in the #22 at Daytona.(7-7-2012)
Driver AJ Allmendinger has been temporarily suspended from NASCAR competition based upon notification of a positive “A” test NASCAR received from the Medical Review Officer as stated in Section 19-11B (6,7) of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy. Pursuant to the rule book, Allmendinger has the opportunity to request within the next 72 hours that his “B” sample be tested. NASCAR will follow its policies and procedures set forth in the rule book in dealing with this matter.(NASCAR)(7-7-2012)
“NASCAR notified Penske Racing this afternoon that AJ Allmendinger was administered a drug test earlier this week, and those results tested positive. NASCAR has a strict drug testing program that Penske Racing fully supports. Penske Racing will work with NASCAR through this process and its next steps. Sam Hornish will drive the No. 22 car in (Saturday’s) Coke Zero 400.”(Penske Racing)(7-7-2012)
Roger Penske considers his NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger’s suspension for a failed drug test disappointing, but will await the results of a second test before reaching any conclusions. Penske says it wouldn’t be fair to Allmendinger to make any further comments, and adds he supports NASCAR’s drug-testing policy.(Associated Press)(7-8-2012)
A.J. Allmendinger was silent Sunday, a day after NASCAR suspended him for failing a random drug test. Penske Racing, which gave Allmendinger the biggest break of his career this season, is withholding judgment until NASCAR’s system has been completed. Where that leaves the 30-year-old driver remains to be seen. There is no second test coming for Allmendinger, who was randomly summoned June 29 in Kentucky to provide a urine sample to NASCAR. Per NASCAR guidelines, the specimen was split in two for an “A” and a “B” samples. NASCAR announced 90 minutes before Saturday night’s race at Daytona that Allmendinger’s “A” sample had failed the test. NASCAR didn’t reveal what Allmendinger tested positive for, and Allmendinger hasn’t commented publicly since the announcement. According to Allmendinger’s Twitter feed, he was making appearances on behalf of sponsor Shell/Pennzoil less than two hours before the suspension was announced at 6 p.m. But NASCAR clarified the timelines Sunday, and said its medical review officer first alerted Allmendinger of his positive test approximately six hours earlier. NASCAR was informed by the MRO about 2:30 p.m., and met with Allmendinger and a senior Penske official shortly after. The team owner indicated Sunday that Hornish is available to drive Allmendinger’s car, but that the organization had yet to think beyond Daytona. “We haven’t made any (decisions). He was obviously our first choice for yesterday,” Penske said. “I was out of the country and came in last night and obviously got word on the way over what had happened. The big thing was to get Sam in the car so we could get in the race, which obviously was tight.(Associated Press)
If A.J. Allmendinger’s suspension by NASCAR becomes indefinite, Sam Hornish Jr. wants to continue his role as replacement. “If that’s the case, then I want to be back in the Cup Series,” Hornish told USA TODAY Sports in a phone interview Sunday. “I’m fully on board with it. I can’t think of any reason I wouldn’t want to drive that car. I’ll do whatever it takes to get back there.” Of getting promoted on a longer-term basis in the #22 Dodge, Hornish said, “Obviously, we have a contractual commitment to the Nationwide Series, and some of their races aren’t at the same site as Cup races, so that will be an issue.” Hornish declined to comment about Allmendinger’s situation, except to say he hadn’t spoken to the driver and was shocked by Saturday’s announcement.(USA Today)
For more details on NASCAR’s drug testing policy, see Jayski’s Drug Policy page and in-depth articles at USA Today and Sporting News.(7-9-2012)
Tara Ragan, Allmendinger’s business manager, said she couldn’t comment much on the situation but did say Allmendinger is a health conscious person and that they are working with the race team to go through the process. “It was shocking to us,” she said. “We’re all a little bit shell-shocked and getting our heads around what happened. We are working closely with the folks from Penske to work through the procedure with NASCAR.” Ragan said she could not comment on whether he will ask for the B sample to be tested.(SportingNews)(7-9-2012)
Hornish will remain in the #22 at New Hampshire:
Penske Racing Statement: “Penske Racing is continuing to work with NASCAR to follow its process and procedures related to the positive drug test that AJ Allmendinger was notified of this past weekend. While this process continues, Sam Hornish Jr. will drive the #22 car in this week’s Sprint Cup Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.”(Penske Racing)(7-9-2012)
Allmendinger requests testing of “B” sample:
Suspended Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger on Monday took the first step in trying to get his failed drug test reversed. The Penske Racing driver, suspended prior to Saturday night’s race at Daytona International Speedway for failing a drug test taken the previous weekend at Kentucky, issued a written request to have his “B” sample tested in hopes that it will give a different result than the initial “A” sample that came back positive for a banned substance. Allmendinger had 72 hours from Saturday to ask for his “B” sample to be tested. It will take approximately five days for NASCAR to get results from the second test from the lab, Aegis Sciences Corporation in Nashville, Tenn., that conducted the original test. If the “B” sample comes back positive, Allmendinger faces indefinite suspension until he completes NASCAR’s recovery program, which includes counseling, therapy and more testing. Team officials and NASCAR have declined to comment on the substance found in Allmendinger’s initial “A” sample test. They are waiting on results of the “B” sample to confirm results.(ESPN.com), see earlier updates about Allmendinger’s situation on the #22 team news page.(7-10-2012)
Statement from AJ Allmendinger:
Charlotte, NC (July 10, 2012): “I have informed NASCAR that I have requested that the “B” sample be tested, following the steps according to NASCAR’s 2012 rule book regarding this situation. I fully respect NASCAR’s drug usage policy and the reasons they have it. I am hoping this can get resolved as quickly as possible so that I can get back to driving the #22 Penske Racing Dodge. I am sorry that this has caused such a distraction for my Penske Racing team, our sponsors and fans. Obviously I would never do anything to jeopardize my opportunity here at Penske Racing or to my fellow drivers. I am very conscious about my training and health and would never knowingly take a prohibited drug.”(Walldinger Racing)
Multiple sources say a second drug screening test has been conducted on the urine sample collected last week from NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger. Penske Racing owner Roger Penske told Sirius/XM NASCAR Radio’s The Morning Drive today that he believes Allmendinger exercised his right to request a test of the second, or “B” sample by Aegis Laboratories, NASCAR’s substance abuse testing agent. Sources speaking on the condition of anonymity confirm that the test was conducted late yesterday at Aegis’ Atlanta headquarters, with Allmendinger, his attorney and a toxicologist of his choosing in attendance to monitor the proceedings. Results are expected to be available within the next 24-48 hours, and Penske said he and his team are “standing behind (Allmendinger) until we understand the results. I can’t say today what that is going to be.” He said he has not spoken with his driver since he was temporarily suspension broke Saturday, but will await results of the second urinalysis before making any decisions about his driver’s future. “We have a one-year contract with him (and) we’ll have to assess the situation,” he said. “We’ll look at the details& and make our move accordingly. At this point, it would be way premature for me to speculate what we might do.”(Godfather Motorsports), see earlier updates about Allmendinger’s situation on the #22 team news page.(7-10-2012)
Statement regarding Allmendinger’s sample:
a statement from Tara Ragan, Vice President, Walldinger Racing Inc., Charlotte, NC: “In an effort to help our colleagues in the media report on this in a timely and accurate manner, we wanted to provide some additional details regarding AJ’s sample “A” test results. AJ tested positive for a stimulant. He has no idea why the first test was positive, and he has never knowingly taken any prohibited substance. AJ is collecting his medicines and supplements for testing to determine whether an over the counter product caused his positive test. AJ and all of us at Walldinger Racing respect NASCAR’s testing program, and he has requested that his “B” sample be tested as part of the process of getting to the bottom of this. We will have the opportunity to review all of the scientific data surrounding the test following the “B” sample test, but our understanding is that AJ’s test was slightly above the threshold. As of this morning, we have not been given notice of when the testing of the “B” sample will take place. Thanks again for all of the support of our fans, team, and sponsors as we continue working through the process.”(Walldinger Racing)(7-11-2012)
Dodge buying Penske’s engine program?
For those worried about Dodge perhaps folding its tent at the end of 2012, without any teams yet on its 2013 NASCAR roster, the good news is that Chrysler officials, according to company sources, have just ordered a full inventory of Penske’s NASCAR engine operation (80-men strong), with firm indications the company will buy Penske’s Dodge operation and go into the NASCAR ‘customer engine’ business itself, just as Toyota does with its Los Angeles-based TRD NASCAR engine building program. Such a move by Chrysler would open the door for someone like Michael Andretti to venture into NASCAR with a new Sprint Cup team (even though Penske himself has warned Andretti that running a NASCAR team requires five times as many people and three times as much money to operate as an Indy-car team). One Dodge question is whether the Richard Petty two-car team, currently fielding Fords, with factory support, would stick with Ford or move to Dodge.(MikeMulhern.net)(7-7-2012)
International Motorsports Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2013:
The International Motorsports Hall of Fame announces its inductees for 2013: Dale Inman, Rusty Wallace, Rick Hendrick and Don Schumacher.
Dale Inman retired in 1998 as a NASCAR Grand National/Winston Cup crew chief. He is best known for being the crew chief of Richard Petty for three decades. Together they won 193 races, 129 poles and seven championships in 1964, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, and 1979. Inman was also crew chief for Terry Labonte when they won the 1984 championship.
Rusty Wallace retired from NASCAR at the end of 2005 with a stellar resume. Wallace won the 1979 United States Auto Club Stock Car Rookie of the Year award, the American Speed Association championship in 1983 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship in 1989.
Rick Hendrick is current owner of the NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports, founder of the Hendrick Automotive Group and Hendrick Marrow Program. Throughout his career as a team owner, Hendrick has won 14 NASCAR Championships including ten Sprint Cup Series, one Nationwide Series and three Camping World Truck Series.
Don Schumacher owns nine NHRA drag racing championships and 179 event titles. As a pioneering Plymouth Funny Car driver from 1968 to 1974, he won five NHRA titles, nine IHRA titles and the prestigious 1970 U.S. Nationals. Don’s son, Tony, began racing NHRA sportsman cars in the early 1990s. In 1998, Don Schumacher Racing was assembled with Tony as one of seven drivers. The team currently competes in the NHRA Top Fuel class and has won seven championships. In 2007, Don was inducted into the Drag Racing Hall of Fame.(International Motorsports Hall of Fame)(7-7-2012)
France addresses media at Daytona:
NASCAR CEO Brian France met the media Friday at Daytona International Speedway to assess the sport as the season hits the halfway mark. Among the topics France addressed during his session were the current state of competition, the technical direction of the sport, upcoming television negotiations and the potential of shorter Sprint Cup races in the future.
While NASCAR continues to develop the new 2013 Sprint Cup car there are other technical initiatives on the drawing board that France believes will help better connect the sport to manufacturers as well as fans. One particular project has almost a space age feel to it but is one France is excited about developing. “We’re working on a glass dashboard that is in the early stages, which is not inconsistent because the car manufacturers and some already there are coming with their own version of glass cockpits in passenger cars,” he said. “So we’ll be very careful how we get there, but we’ll be looking at such things as that and many other things.”
The current NASCAR television contract expires at the end of the 2014 season and negotiations are ongoing with current network partners FOX, TNT and ABC/ESPN with potential newcomer NBC reportedly also in the mix. While some believe the sport may be in line for a drop in rights fees in the next round of negotiations, France is upbeat about the future NASCAR television picture.
France also addressed the growing concern from some fans about the commercial load in telecasts and the potential to miss race action due to sponsorship breaks. While he understands the frustration, France is also comfortable with how the networks currently handle the situation.
But France was firm in saying NASCAR has no intention of creating mandatory caution periods for TV timeouts as was floated last week by Speedway Motorsports Inc.’s Bruton Smith.
While there are no significant changes expected for the 2013 Sprint Cup schedule, there is a possibility of more events being shortened in an effort to enhance competition and create better racing.(CBS Sports), read the full transcript of the press conference.(7-6-2012)
ISC hopes NBC Sports Network bids on NASCAR TV rights:
Officials from the France-family controlled track-operating company International Speedway Corp. hope that the recent rebranding of Versus to the NBC Sports Network will drive up television rights fees by adding a potential additional bidder in the negotiating room. The current eight-year, $4.48 billion NASCAR television contract with FOX, TNT and ESPN/ABC runs through 2014, and negotiations have begun for 2015 and beyond. NASCAR chairman Brian France said in January that he hoped that all three of the current partners extend their deals. But with recent changes at NBC Sports Group, which is run by former Turner Sports president Mark Lazarus, there is a belief that it could be a bidder. Versus owner Comcast took over NBC Universal in 2011 and this year rebranded the network to the NBC Sports Network. NBC had televised NASCAR races from 2001-2006 as part of the first NASCAR-bargained television rights deals.(Sporting News)(7-6-2012)
Dillon’s car fails post-race inspection:
NASCAR officials announced that Austin Dillon’s #3 Richard Childress Racing car which won the NASCAR Nationwide Series Feed The Children 300 at Kentucky Speedway failed postrace inspection because the car’s heights were too low in the rear. A penalty will be issued [on Tuesday].(Kentucky Speedway)(6-29-2012)
NASCAR has penalized the #3 team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as a result of rule infractions discovered during post-race inspection last Friday at Kentucky Speedway. The #3 car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4J (any determination by NASCAR officials that race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20A-12.8.1C (body height requirements car failed to meet the minimum rear car heights) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book. As a result, crew chief Danny Stockman Jr. has been fined $10,000, while owner Morgan Shepherd and driver Austin Dillon have been penalized with the loss of six championship owner and six championship driver points, respectively. In addition, Stockman and car chief Robert Strmiska continue to remain on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31.(NASCAR)(7-2-2012)
It’s a boy for Kevin and Delana Harvick:
Kevin and DeLana Harvick welcomed son Keelan Paul Harvick (pronounced Keylan) Sunday, July 8th, 2012. Keelan weighed in at 6.8 lbs. and 19.5 inches. Throughout the pregnancy, the Harvicks had jokingly referred to their son as “Baby Otis” on Twitter and in public. “Waiting on Keelan was the longest nine months of my entire life,” Kevin Harvick said. “But time literally stood still when I held our baby for the first time. I’ve accomplished a lot in my life that I’m proud of, but those moments don’t hold a candle to becoming a father and seeing that little face looking up at you. DeLana and I are just amazed by how special and rewarding this is.” Mother and baby are doing well.(Harvick PR)(7-8-2012)
Army to leave NASCAR as sponsor after 2012 season:
The U.S. Army has decided not to renew its sponsorship with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) in 2013 as a primary sponsor of the #39 Chevy driven by Ryan Newman due to a reallocation of its marketing budget that will not include a presence in NASCAR. SHR is actively pursuing a strong brand to partner with the team and its roster of sponsors that also includes Office Depot, Mobil 1, Quicken Loans, GoDaddy.com, Haas Automation, Chevrolet, WIX Filters, Outback Steakhouse, Aspen Dental, Tornados, Coca-Cola, Oreo, Ritz, Bass Pro Shops and Code 3 Associates.
Brett Frood, Executive Vice President, Stewart-Haas Racing: “The U.S. Army has been a great partner of Stewart-Haas Racing since the team’s inception. It has been a mutually beneficial relationship, with the U.S. Army introducing training regimens that improved our pit crews while instilling the mental, physical and emotional strength of the U.S. Army Soldier in all of us. We remain very proud of our representation of the U.S. Army and its brave Soldiers who are 100 percent committed to our country. We will continue to activate on behalf of the U.S. Army for the rest of 2012, while also growing our other dynamic partnerships at Stewart-Haas Racing for the future.”
John Myers, Director, Marketing Support Element, Army Marketing and Research Group: “The U.S. Army has worked with Stewart-Haas Racing in a mutually beneficial and highly successful relationship for the past four seasons, and they’ve performed superbly as our partner on and off the track. The same can be said of other members of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series family we have sponsored during the past 10 seasons. The sport, our drivers and the passionate NASCAR fans embraced the Army’s participation and created a tremendous opportunity for Americans to learn more about the profession of the Army Strong Soldier.”(SHR)(7-10-2012)
Kenseth remains mum on team switch:
For nearly two weeks, #17-Matt Kenseth has been hounded by one question. And moments after guiding his Harley-Davidson into Bristol Motor Speedway Tuesday afternoon, the NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader heard it again. Now that his profitable 14-year partnership with car owner Jack Roush is over, just what team will Kenseth drive for next season? Once again, Kenseth deftly danced around the answer. “We’ve been together forever with Roush,” Kenseth said. “Three or four years ago we made a commitment to race together through 2012. That never got extended through 2013, so we will just race as hard as we can until the end of this season.” The hottest rumor involves Kenseth landing at Joe Gibbs Racing. Meanwhile, defending Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will replace Kenseth in the familiar #17 Ford next season. Kenseth was in Bristol Tuesday as part of the NASCAR Winner’s Circle program to promote the IRWIN Tools Night Race at BMS on Aug. 25. Along with NASCAR television personality Kyle Petty, Kenseth rode his motorcycle from Smokies Park in Sevierville to BMS with members of Rolling Thunder, a group made up mostly of military veterans. Rolling Thunder’s purpose is to bring awareness to those military members who were prisoners of war or are missing in action. The 40-year-old Kenseth refused to offer any hints as to his future place of employment. He added that he hasn’t discussed the issue with fellow competitors. “I really haven’t talked to anyone about it, except for the parties involved,” Kenseth said. “After Roush put the release out that I wasn’t going to be back in 2013 and I got through last weekend, it was almost a relief in a way because the last two or three months have been somewhat stressful. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do and what was going to happen. With all that being out there now, I can just concentrate on the season.” #24-Jeff Gordon, who has been affiliated with Hendrick Motorsports since 1993, is the only NASCAR Sprint Cup driver who has a longer partnership than Kenseth and Roush.(Bristol Herald Courier)
am hearing the Kenseth will be in the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with Home Depot and Dollar Genreal as the primary co-sponsors. Current driver Joey Logano could end up in a 4th JGR Toyota or could head elsewhere, such as the #22 Penske Racing Ford if A.J. Allmendinger doesn’t return to that ride in 2013.(7-11-2012)
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”.
Note: What with me missing almost two months of columns, starting this week I’ll cover the dates starting with the date of the column and cover up until the day before the next weeks column, so this week I’ll cover from July 12th to July 18th.
Rick Hendrick… Born … NASCAR team owner. Rick Hendrick drove in the 1987 and 1988 Winston Cup races at Riverside International Raceway, finishing 33rd (out with transmission problems after racing to the Top 10) and 15th. He also had a single start in the Busch Series and the Craftsman Truck Series. He had been a pit crew member for Flying 11 that Ray Hendrick drove in the 1960s. Rick Hendrick is an owner of several NASCAR stock cars and teams, as well as Hendrick Automotive Group, one of the largest automotive chains in the United States. Hendrick Motorsports, founded in 1984, is one of the most successful teams in NASCAR racing, with Sprint Cup championships won in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2006, and 2007.
Richard Petty, at the age of 21 , drove in his first NASCAR stockcar race, a convertible series race at Columbia, South Carolina. He finished sixth.
Sam Hanks … Born … He won his first championship in 1937 on the West Coast in the AMA. He barnstormed the country, racing on the board tracks at Soldier Field in Chicago and the Los Angeles Coliseum Motordome. Hanks reportedly won the first two board track races at Soldier Field in 1939. Hanks won the 1940 VFW Motor City Speedway championship. After World War II, he captured the 1946 URA Blue Circuit Championship. He won the 1947 Night before the 500 midget car race. He was the 1949 AAA National Midget champion. He won the 1956 Pacific Coast championship in the USAC Stock cars. He won the 1957 Indianapolis 500 at his thirteenth attempt at the race, the most tries of any Indy winner, and announced his retirement from racing in Victory Circle. Hanks was inducted in the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1984, the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2000. He drove the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 from 1958 to 1963.
Al Unser Sr won his first USAC National Championship race, a 100 mile night race on the 1.12 mile dirt track in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Hometown favorite Mario Andretti was second followed by Billy Vukovich, Gary Bettenhausen and Carl Williams.
David Pearson averaged just over 121 mph, and won the 300 mile NASCAR Grand National race at Trenton, New Jersey. This was the first race on the new 1.5-mile dogleg track.
Davey Allison … Died … A NASCAR race car driver, best known as the driver of the Robert Yates Racing #28 Texaco-Havoline Ford. Born in Hollywood, Florida, he was the eldest of four children born to NASCAR driver Bobby Allison and wife Judy. The family moved to Hueytown, Alabama and along with Bobby’s brother Donnie Allison, family friend Red Farmer, and Neil Bonnett, became known in racing circles as the Alabama Gang. Davey Allison died as a result of a helicopter crash at Talladega Superspeedway on July 13, 1993. Racing legend Red Farmer was a passenger in the helicopter and survived the crash.
Marvin Panch drove the Herb Thomas Pontiac to victory in the 200 mile NASCAR Grand National race on the 1.5 mile dirt Memph-Ark Speedway in Lehi, Arkansas. Paul Goldsmith led the first 36 laps before Curtis Turner took over in a convertible (the race was open to both Grand National and Convertible division entries) and Goldsmith’s Yunick Ford blew the engine on lap 38. Turner’s Holman-Moody Ford led until Jack Smith moved by on lap 72. Smith had the race well in hand until his Chevy blew it’s engine, prompting a disgusted Smith to announce his retirement after the race (he would return within a couple of weeks!). Panch held off the challenge of Oregon’s Bill Amick to take the win. Blinding dust caused many in the estimated crowd of 9,500 to leave half-way through and caused two caution periods that lasted a total of 56 minutes while the track was watered. The dust cautions were the only yellow flags. The race proved to be the finale for the track, which still sits idle in the Arkansas countryside, near an Interstate highway.
Mickey Shaw … Born … USAC driver from the 1960′s.
Charlie Ethier … Died … He was killed in his first Sprint Car outing in a AAA race at the Salem Speedway, Salem, IN.
Richard Petty drove the Petty Enterprises Plymouth to victory in the NASCAR Grand National ‘Islip 300′. The race was 300 laps on the 1/5 mile paved Islip Speedway in Islip, New York, that’s right 300 laps on a 1/5 mile paved oval! . James Hylton was leading when he spun on lap 183 and Bobby Allison was on his way to victory when he collided with Wendell Scott with 20 laps to go and had to pit for repairs. Petty wound up winning by 3 laps over Hylton’s Hartje Dodge.
Fonty Flock … Died … NASCAR great and one of the central figures in the formative days of NASCAR. He was the brother of NASCAR pioneers Tim Flock and Bob Flock, and the second female NASCAR driver Ethel Mobley. The four raced at the July 10, 1949 race at the Daytona Beach Road Course, which was the first event to feature a brother and a sister, and the only NASCAR event to feature four siblings. Ethel beat Fonty and Bob by finishing in eleventh.
Doc MacKenzie … Born … AAA driver from the 1930′s. He was killed in a Sprint Car race on the 1.0-mile dirt oval Milwaukee Mile, Milwaukee, WI Aug.23, 1936
Wally Campbell … Born … A stock car, midget, and sprint car racer from Trenton, New Jersey. He was the 1951 NASCAR Modified Champion and the 1953 AAA Eastern Division Sprint car rookie of the year. Wally was killed practicing for an AAA Midwestern Division sprint car race at Salem Indiana on July 17, 1954. He was one day past his 28th birthday. Campbell began his stock car career at Flemington Fairgrounds in New Jersey in 1947 where he promptly rolled the car over. By the end of 1947 he was the champion of the newly formed American Stock Car Racing Association (ASCRA). He finished 6th in points in 1948, then won the title in both 1949 and 1950. 1951 brought the NASCAR Modified title and in 1952 he finished 2nd in points to Buck Baker in the NASCAR Speedway division. In 1953 he won five AAA sprint car races after getting a late start in August. He attempted qualifying at Indianapolis in 1954 but was sent home to get “more experience”. He made two AAA Championship Car race starts later that year at Langhorne Speedway and Darlington Speedway but failed to finish in both races. He was leading the AAA Eastern Division in points at the time of his death.
Jim Rathmann … Born … (born Richard Rathmann from Alhambra, California) is a former American race car driver who won the Indianapolis 500 in 1960. He drove in the AAA and USAC Championship Car series in the 1949-1950 and 1952-1963 seasons with 42 starts, including the Indianapolis 500 in each of those seasons. Rathmann also participated in the two runnings of the Race of Two Worlds at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Italy, winning the 1958 event. He had 6 victories in addition to his Indy 500 win. He also drove in 3 races in the NASCAR series from 1949-1951.
Ernie Borrelli … Died … ARDC Midget Car driver died in a midget race at the Hatfield Speedway, Hatfield, PA.
Ron Lux … Died … Ron Lux was a resident of Buffalo, New York. He also drove under the pseudonym of Bucky Buckholtz, and also drove using a borrowed USAC license from Bob Hodgson. He was trying to avoid sanctions from USAC, which at the time did not permit their drivers to run in non-sanctioned events. Ron Lux was the Supermodified driver points champion of New York’s Oswego Speedway in 1965, with a #2, and won the Orange County Eastern States 200 in 1965. He also set fast time with a #45 for the first asphalt Langhorne National Open (Race of Champions) event in 1965. He died in a USAC Sprint Car accident in Tulsa, OK
Bill Randall … Born … He raced sprint cars and midgets, winning the Eastern USAC Sprint Car title in 1957 and finishing third in the ARDC Midget Championship in 1961. In Champ Cars he raced at Daytona in 1959 in the USAC event driving a Kurtis 500C Offy, finishing 14th. He tried to qualify for the Indy 500 in 1961 but was unsuccessful. In 1962 he qualified for a race at Trenton driving a Kuzma but went out with a broken throttle. In other series he enjoyed considerable success winning races in events sanctioned by NEMA, BSRA, UCOA, ARDC and USAC. He was killed in an ARDC Midget race at Lime Rock, a road course, in July 1963. As Midgets almost always raced on ovals many of the drivers were unfamiliar with right hand bends at racing speeds. On the first lap he collided with Len Thrall and Bert Brooks and rolled, sliding over 100 feet up side down. He died four days later from his injuries.
Wally Campbell … Died … A stock car, midget, and sprint car racer from Trenton, New Jersey. He was the 1951 NASCAR Modified Champion and the 1953 AAA Eastern Division Sprint car rookie of the year. Wally was killed practicing for an AAA Midwestern Division sprint car race at Salem Indiana on July 17, 1954. He was one day past his 28th birthday. Campbell began his stock car career at Flemington Fairgrounds in New Jersey in 1947 where he promptly rolled the car over. By the end of 1947 he was the champion of the newly formed American Stock Car Racing Association (ASCRA). He finished 6th in points in 1948, then won the title in both 1949 and 1950. 1951 brought the NASCAR Modified title and in 1952 he finished 2nd in points to Buck Baker in the NASCAR Speedway division. In 1953 he won five AAA sprint car races after getting a late start in August. He attempted qualifying at Indianapolis in 1954 but was sent home to get “more experience”. He made two AAA Championship Car race starts later that year at Langhorne Speedway and Darlington Speedway but failed to finish in both races. He was leading the AAA Eastern Division in points at the time of his death.
Juan Manuel Fangio … Died … A driver from Argentina, who dominated the first decade of Formula One racing. He won five Formula One World Driver’s Championships , a record which stood for 46 years, with four different teams (Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Maserati), a feat that has not been repeated since. Many still consider him to be the greatest driver of all time.
Note: I have to consider myself extremely lucky to have been able to see Fangio race, in person – the Sebring 12 hour race in 1957, which he won, with Jean Behra as his co-driver. In the “Video” section towards the end of this column is a link to Mr. Fangio and his racing history.
Kathryn Cecilia Loughman, my mother, was born. Later on in life she would marry Lucien G. Avenengo, and together they had two sons and two daughters. In the late 1940’s, they divorced. Kathryn later on Married John F. X. Clynes, who was also born on a July 18th.
Danny Oakes… Born … In the 1940s and 50s, he was one of America’s leading Midget Race Car drivers winning 100s of races around the country. He won the Turkey Night Grand Prix and 3 West Coast Midget Championships in 1945. In 1947, he won the American Automobile Assn. Midget title and the United States Auto Club Pacific Coast Midget championship in 1959. At age 40, he tried to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 from 1952 to 1955, without success. But as a mechanic, he put many others into the winners circle and earned the reputation as one of the best mechanics in the Indy pits. As chief mechanic in 1963, for 1952, 500 winner Troy Ruttman, his car finished 12th and driver Johnny White, brought Oakes his best finish of 4th in 1964. He quit driving midgets in his mid-60s, but continued his racing career into his 70s as a throttle man in offshore boat racing. He was inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1996.
Found on the Internet:
Found on Facebook:
“Ouch for the Super Modified Fans at Oswego Speedway yesterday…..”After qualifying, track officials announced to the crowd that they would allow the two fastest ISMA Supermodifieds, Mike Lichty and Rob Summers, a chance to reclaim the track record. Each driver was given “gumball” tires that were far softer than the tires they qualified on in an attempt to reclaim the record. To the disappointment of the Supermodified faithful, the record would stand. It was now apparent to everyone in attendance that the Sprint Cars are far superior and arguably the baddest open wheel machines in the country, and now the Northeast.”
Dem. Chair Invested in Swiss Banks, Foreign Drug Companies, and the State Bank of India
“Disclosure forms reveal that Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a member of Congress from Florida, previously held funds with investments in Swiss banks, foreign drug companies, and the state bank of India. This revelation comes mere days after the Democratic chair attacked presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for holding money in Swiss bank accounts in the past.
But disclosure forms reveal that in 2010, Wasserman Schultz invested between $1,001-$15,000 in a 401k retirement fund run by Davis Financial Fund. As the fund discloses, it is invested in the Julius Baer Group Ltd. and the State Bank of India GDR Ltd., as well as other financial, insurance, bank institutions.
To be clear, there is nothing in Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s disclosure forms to suggest that the DNC chair invested in anything illegal. But it is clear that some of her holdings had investments overseas, in Swiss banks, foreign drug companies, the state bank of India, and many other overseas holdings.
The hypocrisy, though, is clear: The Democrats, as well as President Obama, hope to paint Romney as an out of touch man for holding money in overseas bank accounts, when in reality their own chairman, Wasserman Schultz, had overseas investments.
All this comes in addition to Wasserman Schultz’s refusal to disclose her own tax returns, despite continuously calling on Romney to do so.
News from the AARN:
From the July 3rd issue:
In his column he makes mention of Jeff Brownell Sr. telling the AARN, last Wednesday that a deal for him to purchase Rolling Wheels and Cayuga County Speedway (Weedsport) has been agreed upon by the WRG.
Tyler Siri was never able to close a deal with Dean Hoag for the purchase of the Black Rock Speedway, but he hasn’t given up hope and is still interested in making a deal with Hoag over this coming winter.
Matt Sheppard was not at the special modified “Invitational” race held at Canandaigua because his car owner, Jeff Brownell, Sr. felt the purse was not enough, and that he was “at odds” with track owner Jeremie Concoran because of it.
Ernie was wondering if there will be an F-1 race in Weehawken, New Jersey in 2013. Bernie Ecclestone has doubts the track will be ready. Promoters have found that putting on an F-1 race is more complicated and hugely more expensive than they originally anticipated.
Look for some major changes at the Dayton Speedway with a complete overhaul of the entire front stretch grandstand, along with other changes.
Todd makes mention of how happy Tyler Walker is to be racing with the 410 Sprint Cars in Pa. (Funny, but a recent video of Tyler “going off the wall” at Williams Grove, does not seem to confirm that!).
Walker did have some problems a while back, and from what he says, it was an inner ear infection that got into the crystals in his ear and an infection was putting pressure on his brain. He had to do exercises to help get his equilibrium back and the crystals back in place, plus he needed antibiotics to get the swelling down.
John makes mention of some NASCAR people complaining about how long their season is. Maybe some of them have forgotten their “roots”? Good thing those that are complaining don’t run with the WoO Sprint Cars, WoO Late Models of the Northeast Dirt Modifieds, huh?
Guy attended a race at the Kirkistown Race Circuit, Kirkistown, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom on June 23rd. That makes it 1,444 tracks for him.
I’d venture to say that Mr. London is about the same age as I am. He goes back quite a ways, as far as being a fan of racing, and a writer, too. One thing he commented on in his column last week was: Years ago, Modified meant “anything on anything”. Times have changed!
He also had some answers to some trivia questions that he had in a previous issue. Some of them are:
Bobby Bottcher gave Harold Cope his last feature win.
Joe Ruttman was leading Winston Cup points in 1982, but left his ride because team owner Jim Stacy never paid him.
Onteora Speedway in Olive Bridge was shut down in 1963 when track champion Dee Dee Harris died there and there was no insurance.
The head of tech for DIRT, Bob Dini, won the first TQ feature race at N.J.’s Pine Brook Speedway, in 1962.
Wally Dallenbach’s 1962 win at Nazareth was unique because the race was started at Allentown but curtailed by darkness. It was resumed at Nazareth the next week.
Driving in his first asphalt Modified race, dirt track regular Stan Ploski was 2nd in the 1965 Langhorne Open.
Bob Malzahn won features at the Polo Grounds, Wall Stadium, Middletown and Langhorne (along with other venues).
Junie Dunleavy’s Ford Modifieds had Plymouth bodies.
Nick Fornoro, Sr. was the 1953 NASCAR Midget champion.
David Haupt was “Joe Kelly” in a Modified, but was “Don Allison” in a Midget or Sprint Car.
Russ Klar, then a 61 year old Midget driving great, was “Don Taylor” when he won the 1975 Islip Modified opener.
Thompson, Ct. Speedway was the fist paved asphalt track, being paved in 1938.
Writer Mickey Spillane, creator of “Mike Hammer” raced at Middletown in the 1950’s.
Sprint Car driver Bobby Marvin was the last victim of the Langhorne Speedway.
Last week, the NEMA midgets ran at the Stafford Speedway. They had 23 cars. Meanwhile, the ARDC ran two shows down in North Carolina, one at Dixieland and one at County Line. They drew 16 cars for each show.
At the Toledo Speedway last week, USAC had a double header – midgets and Silver Crown cars. The results show only 18 midgets and only 15 Silver Crown cars. (Guess the days of using the dirt Silver Crown cars on the pavement are all done?) Doing double duty were: Bobby East with a 5th in midgets and 2nd in SC, Bobby Santos, III with a 6th and 3rd, Tanner Swanson with 9th & 7th, Kody Swanson with 10th and 4th, Tracy Hines with 11th & 15th and Taylor Ferns with a 14th & 15th.
And, some of what will be covered in the July 10th issue:
Sprint Car Driver
Brian Steinman Injured
In Fiery Lernerville Crash
Suspended From ESS
After Rolling Wheels Fracus
Tyler Walker Goes Beast At Grove;
Wins Two Days Later At Port
XREME Sprint Drivers
Shatter All Time One Lap
Speed Week Topics:
Tires & Track Conditions
Gruel, ISMA Sub,
Wins First Race For Car Owner
In 45 Years
Hebing Takes Two Of Three
ESS Sprint Features
Ryan Blaney Tests Mod
In Advance WMT Debut
At NHIS This Weekend
Denied Thompson Sweep
By Rough Riding Call
Former Oakland Valley Speedway (Dirt Oval) runners:
At Albany/Saratoga (Malta) – Bobby Hackel. IV was 7th in the Sportsman “A” feature
At Accord, Brian Krummel was and Danny Creeden 6th in the Modified feature, while Anthony Perrego was 2nd, Tyler Dippel 3rd and Brad Szulewski 4th in the Sportsman feature. In the “Spec” Sportsman feature, Perrego was 1st, RJ Smykla 2nd, Dipple 3rd, Tyler Boniface 4th and Kyle VanDuser 8th. Jason Roe was 12th in the Lightning Sprint feature.
At I-88 Speedway, in the CRSA 305 Sprint Car feature, Josh Pieniazek was 2nd, Emily VanInwegen 11th, Billy VanInwegen 13th and Brittany Tresch 14th.
At Lebanon Valley, Kolby Schroder was 6th and Kyle Armstrong either 13th or 14th (I’ve seen two different finishes for him) in the Modified feature. In the Budget Sportsman feature, Bobby Hackel, IV, was the winner with John Virgilio 17th.. Note: The engine was pulled for tech on the Hackel car, after a protest was lodged. Upon inspection, it was deemed to be legal.
Mike Mammana had a 25th in the first Modified feature and a 2nd in the second feature at Big Diamond.
At Williams Grove, in the SpeedSTR feature, a “Billy V” is listed as finishing 5th. To me “Bill V” is Billy VanInwegen.
Davie Franek was 4th in the URC feature at New Egypt. Johnny Guarino was 3rd in his Modified heat. The feature was rained out.
In the 48 lap “Heath Memorial” race at 5 Mile Point, Danny Creeden was 3rd. In the Sportsman feature, Tyler Dippel was 12th.
Rich Coons was the Sportsman feature winner at Bethel.
Nick Pecko was 4th in the Sport Modified feature at Mountain Speedway.
At Hamlin, in the 100 lap Slingshot feature, Charlie Lawrence was 5th, Tyler Pirone 17th and Jacob Hendershot 28th. In the 270 Micro Sprint feature, Rick Casario was 8th, and brother Mike was 16th. Kyle Rohner was 10th in the 600 Micro Sprint feature, while Joe Kata is listed as a DQ.
A week ago, at Oswego, in the 75 lap Super Modified feature, Brian Sobus was 2nd.
And, a week ago, at Stafford, David Webb was 4th in the SK Light Modified feature.
Going back, in time at OVRP’s Dirt Oval:
Some of my old race reports are still out there on the Internet, believe it, or not. Here are race results from:
July 10, 2004:
November 6, 2004:
November 7, 2004:
Some are still racing at the Dirt Oval today, while others have moved up to bigger, faster and more expensive “toys”.
More racin’ stuff:
Come late Wednesday and/or early Thursday, the NASCAR haulers will be passing by where I live, over on I-84, heading for Loudon. Some stop at the first exit in NY for the gas prices in New Jersey, where there are a bunch of stations at the end of the exit ramp at exit 1.
As for Loudon – I see only 44 entrants for the Cup race, as of Monday. And only 43 for the Nationwide race. Not too many Cup drivers entered in the Nationwide race, I see.
Going back, in time:
I’ve been fortunate to have quite a few track results sent to me, via e-mails from various people. Records from the midget racing – “Back in the day”, mostly from tracks here in the northeast. I have also been sent quite a few driver win lists, too. Again, mostly midget drivers.
So I’ll be putting in some of those track records – some might take a couple of columns to do so, since some tend to be quite lengthy.
I guess I’ll start out with the track I first went to, back in 1946 – Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, NJ.
Hinchliffe Stadium – 1939
Taken from the Crocky Wright Hinchliffe Stadium book.
Top three finishers:
June 23: Walt Fusco, Harry Felton & Babe Bower
June 27: Bill Schindler, BabeBower & Brad Stillwagon
July 7: Henry Renard, Duke Nalon & Perry Grimm
July 14: Perry Grimm, Henry Renard & Babe Bower
July 21: Perry Grimm, Duke Nalon & Babe Bower
July 28: Perry Grimm, Bill Holmes & Babe Bower
Aug 18: Babe Bower, Mel Hansen & Paul Russo
Sep 1: Babe Bower, Henry Renard & Hal Robson
Sep 15: Babe Bower, Mickey Lowack and Walt Fusco.
Races were rained out on: June 30, Aug 25 and Sep 8.
No races on Aug 4 & 11 due to track being re-surfaced.
Tuesday night races were discontinued as of July 4.
post war results
Sept. 5 1. Bill Schindler 2. Dee Toran 3. Chet Gibbons
Sept. 12 1. Bill Schindler 2. Tony Bonadies 3. Chet Gibbons
Sept. 19 1. Bill Schindler 2. Chet Gibbons 3. Larry Bloomer
Sept. 26 1. Red Redmond 2. Russ Klar 3. Joe Garson
Sept. 30 1. Shorty McAndrews 2. Lew Volk 3. Dee Toran
Oct. 10 1. Bill Schindler 2. Jeep Colkitt 3. Red Redmond 75 laps
Oct. 17 1. Charlie Breslin 2. Johnny Jars 3. Art Cross
Oct. 28 1. Red Redmond 2. Bill Schindler 3. Ray Jackson
April 21 1. Chet Gibbons 2. Bill Schindler 3. Len Wofsey
April 28 1. Walt Fair 2. Larry Bloomer 3. Red Redmond
May 5 1. Johnny Jars 2. Johnny Ritter 3. Harry Gasell
May 12 rain
May 15 1. Shorty McAndrews 2. Bill Holmes 3. Rex Records
May 19 1. Johnny Swier 2. Dutch Schaefer 3. Dee Toran
May 22 1. Art Cross 2. George Fonder 3. Charlie Breslin
May 26 1. Johnny Ritter 2. Red Redmond 3. Jeep Colkitt
May 29 1. Walt Fair 2. Al Duffy 3. Bill Baker
June 2 rain
June 7 1. Rex Records 2. Shorty McAndrews 3. Johnny Ritter
June 9 1. Johnny Ritter 2. Don Morris 3. Dee Toran
June 14 rain
June 16 1. Lew Volk 2. Tony Bonadies 3. Rex Records
June 21 rain
June 23 1. Lloyd Christopher 2. Bill Schindler 3. Mike Josephs
June 28 1. Shorty McAndrews 2. Rex Records 3. Mike Joesphs
July 5 1. Rex Records 2. Ted Tappett 3. Charlie Miller
July 12 1. Jeep Colkitt 2. George Fonder 3. Rex Records
July 19 1. Jeep Colkitt 2. Art Cross 3. Dutch Schaefer
July 26 1. Lloyd Christopher 2. Bill Schindler 3. Charlie Miller
July 30 1. Ted Tappett 2. Bill Schindler 3. Dutch Schaefer
August 2 1. Bill Schindler 2. Ted Tappett 3. Len Duncan
August 6 1. Ted Tappett 2. Bill Schindler 3. Dutch Schaefer
August 9 1. Bill Schindler 2. Johnny Ritter 3. Tony Bonadies
August 13 rain
August 16 rain
August 20 1. Johnny Ritter 2. Bill Schindler 3. Jeep Colkitt 50 laps
August 23 1. Lloyd Christopher 2. Bill Schindler 3. Charlie Breslin
August 27 1. Bill Schindler 2. Lloyd Christopher 3. Charlie Breslin
August 30 1. Bill Schindler 2. Rex Records 3. Johnny Ritter
Sept. 3 1. Johnny Ritter 2. Jeep Colkitt 3. Lloyd Christopher
Sept. 6 1. Charlie Miller 2. Art Cross 3. Jeep Colkitt
Sept. 10 1. Lloyd Christopher 2. Don Morris 3. Jeep Colkitt
Sept. 13 1. Bill Schindler 2. Tony Bonadies 3. Al Keller
Sept. 17 1. Lloyd Christopher 2. Dee Toran 3. Art Cross
Sept. 20 1. Al Keller 2. Dutch Schaefer 3. Ted Tappett
Sept. 24 rain
Oct. 1 1. Don Morris 2. Charlie Breslin 3. Bill Schindler
Oct. 4 1. Len Duncan 2. Al Keller 3. Johnny Carpenter
Oct. 8 1. Ted Tappett 2. Len Duncan 3. Tony Bonadies
Oct. 15 1. Johnny Ritter 2. Mike Josephs 3. Rex Records
Oct. 15 1. Johnny Ritter 2. Art Cross 3. Rex Records 50 laps
Champion: Johnny Ritter
Note: A photo of Ritter in his Outboard powered midget is towards the end of this column.
Hinchliffe Stadium results for 1947, 48, 49 & 50 will be in next weeks column.
NEWS FROM Orange County Fair Speedway
239 Wisner Avenue Middletown, NY 10940
CONTACT Mike Gurda 845-342-2573
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DRIVERS EYEING POINT POSITIONS ON THE FIRST WEEKEND OF THE 172NDORANGE COUNTY FAIR
MIDDLETOWN, NY (July 9)……..When inclement weather forced cancelation of the July 7 racing program at Orange County Fair Speedway, it gave competitors a respite from the seven-month schedule of weekly races. But they’ll be back in action this coming Saturday, July 14, the first weekend of the 172nd Orange County Fair.
Orange County’s full complement of big-block Modified, Sportsman, Pro Stock and Street Stock race cars will be in action with qualifying and feature races. Steve Dodd Plumbing & Heating is the evening’s presenting sponsor.
The point races in two of the track’s four racing divisions are exceptionally tight. In Sportsman competition, Gary Edwards Jr., the defending champion, has a slim 12-point lead over Jimmy Spellman. The o the r close point chase is in the Pro Stock ranks. There Troy Arnold is but two points ahead of both Run Nuzzaro Jr. and Bobby Schade.
In the headline Modified division, two-time champion Jerry Higbie has a 42-point edge over 2004 and 2011 titlist Tommy Meier. Jackie Brown is third in the standings, 12 points behind Meier.
Finally in the unpredictable Street Stock division, Charles Donald leads Ron Constable by 34 points.
Advance sale tickets for the July 14 racing program are available at $14.00, including Fair admission. Day of show tickets are $12.00 plus Fair admission. Advance Speedway tickets must be purchased at least one day prior to the scheduled race meet to include Fair admission.
Advance ticket sales for the 51st Anniversary Eastern States Weekend and additional track information are available at the Orange County website, www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net, or from the Track Office. Call 845-342-2573 during business hours.
July 15 — Middletown Auto Wreckers Demolition Derby
July 19 — Bacada Investments 40-lap 358 Modified race, $2,500 to win
Open Tire Rule (Eastern States Weekend Qualifier-Outside Pole)
Turkey Derby Sportsman Qualifier and Kids Club
July 20-22 — MOTO AND MONSTER TRUCKC MADNESS!!!
July 28 — McGannon Excavating/JHM Tree Service
Modified, Sportsman, Pro Stock, Street Stock, 305 Sprints
On Sunday, September 2nd, the Sunday of the Labor Day Weekend, the “Racing Expo” that’s been held at the Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, N.J. is scheduled to happen again. Last year, due to extreme flooding and damage in Paterson, the show had to be canceled.
Just prior to my sending this column out, I received the following, from Ronny Dennis:
“We are still looking for participants for this years show. We have an ample amount of space to accomodate anyone that would like to be a part in the show. If you would like to take part in the show, display a car, or exhibit please contact Ronny Dennis (718)344-0502. It is FREE to enter the show
This years show will take place on Sunday September 2, 2012 of Labor Day weekend
Gates open to paticipants at 10 am
Show starts at 12 noon and runs all day
Admission is FREE
Hinchliffe Stadium is located in Paterson, N.J., on the corner of Liberty St. and Maple St. next to the Great Falls.
Come out and show your support for the Stadium. While your there you can check out the Great Falls Festival. There is something for everyone. See you at the SHOW! Spread the word”
I get e-mails:
I imagine you’ve received quite a few of this one?
“Try to fathom the hypocrisy of a Government that requires every citizen
To prove they are insured… but not prove they are a citizen.”
Lesson of the Day
The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever.
Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S.Department of the Interior, asks us to “Please Do Not Feed the animals”. Their stated reason for the policy is because the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.
This ends today’s lesson.
I was in Naples , Florida ….and I saw a bumper sticker on a parked car that read “I miss New York “.
So I broke the window, stole the radio and left a note that read,
“I hope this helps”.
Tale Of Two Patients..
Two patients limp into two different medical clinics with the same complaint. Both have trouble walking and appear to require hip surgery.
The FIRST patient is examined within the hour, is x-rayed the same day and has a time booked for surgery the following week.
The SECOND sees his family doctor after waiting 3 weeks for an appointment, then waits 8 weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray, which isn’t reviewed for another week, and finally has his surgery scheduled for 6 months from then, pending the review boards decision on his age and remaining value to society.
Why the different treatment for the two patients?
The FIRST is a Golden Retriever taken to a vet.
The SECOND is a Senior Citizen on Obama care.
In November, if Obama and his Czars get another term, we’ll all have to find a good vet.
# 1: Be a helluva thing if this stuff is true, huh?
Obama’s Coming Gun Control: Through the UN
“Right now the United Nations is meeting and negotiating in New York City. One of the treaties up for consideration and finalization is the Arms Trade Treaty, better known as the “Small Arms Treaty.” We’ve heard anti-Second Amendment groups like the Brady Campaign scream about how President Obama has done nothing to further domestic gun control, but their yelling is only a distraction from what the corrupt and dirty UN has been up to.
What does this treaty do? It doesn’t just control heavy weaponry used by our military but reaches right into the homes of gun owning Americans by controlling pistols, rifles and ammunition with the full backing of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a readied signature from President Obama.
-Enact tougher licensing requirements, creating additional bureaucratic red tape for legal firearms ownership.
-Confiscate and destroy all “unauthorized” civilian firearms (exempting those owned by our government of course).
A lot more on this can be seen if you go here:
#2: So you’re the 8th to 10th car in line waiting at a red light. The light goes green. Why does it take up to 40 seconds for you to move? Didja ever watch the standing start of a Formula One race?
#3: When the insanity will end. What am I talking about? The overboard salaries that are being announced on TV with players in the NBA. Really – how can any one individual be worth what they’re getting paid, when you hear of millions being paid out. Sad thing is, none of those contracts have any kind of “performance clauses” in them. No idea as to what happens when a player in a multi-year contract gets injured in the first year and can’t play anymore.
#4: Lotsa talk going around about “Obamacare”. Some are for it, some against. But is there more to it than what we’ve been told? Probably so, from the e-mails I’ve received. Things you can’t imagine, too. Funny how the news media does not come out and tell us what is really in that bill, huh?
Some non-racing stuff:
I guess we could all see this coming, huh?
The Jobless Class of 2012
“The Class of 2012 may have few reasons to celebrate this year. Along with the long-term unemployed, experts say their prospects are the bleakest among all job-seekers.
The U.S. economy added a lower-than-expected 80,000 jobs last month, according to data Friday from the Labor Department. Though the overall unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2%, experts say this year’s 1.8 million college graduates have a rough job search ahead. “Over the last five years, the jobs situation has gotten increasingly intense for each successive graduating class,” says Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity, a non-profit think-tank based in Arlington, Va. “Their concern is now palpable.”
Note: Not taken into consideration – those that graduated high school and didn’t head to college. And, it was said a while back, that only about 1/3 of those that were heading to college after graduating high school this year, are “college material”.
And this, too:
Texas governor rejects two provisions of health law
“AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – Texas Governor Rick Perry said on Monday his state will not implement a Medicaid expansion or health insurance exchange, two provisions of the federal healthcare law upheld last month by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Perry joined fellow Republican governors in states such as Wisconsin, Louisiana and Florida who have said they would say no to the two provisions, with the hope that November elections will result in Republicans winning the White House and enough seats in Congress to repeal the law.
“I will not be party to socializing healthcare and bankrupting my state in direct contradiction to our Constitution and our founding principles of limited government,” Perry said in a statement.”
More can be seen, here: http://health.yahoo.net/news/s/nm/texas-governor-rejects-two-provisions-of-health-law
As mentioned, above, here is the link to a documentary on Juan Manuel Fangio:
Note: The photos are not available on Dirt Track Digest, only on New England Tractor – http://newenglandtractor.com/racereport/
Below is the 1946 Hinchliffe Stadium driving champion for the 1946 racing season, Johnny Ritter in his # 163 Outboard. I can recall that the number seemed to me to be printed out on something like a paper shopping bag, and taped to the tail. One can see “wrinkles” where the number is, if you look closely.
Closing with these:
I would like to share an experience, about drinking and driving.
Some of us have been known to have had brushes with the authorities on our way home over the years.
Last night, I was out for a few drinks with some friends and had a couple of vodkas, and some red wine.
Knowing full well I may have been over the limit, I did something I’ve never done before: I took a bus home.
Sure enough I passed a police road block but as it was a bus, they waved it past.
I arrived home safely without incident, which was a real surprise; as I have never driven a bus before and am not sure where I got it.
Subject: Who’s on first
They were one of the most popular comedy teams of the 1940′s and 1950′s.
(Today our Government is the comedy team.)
COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America .
ABBOTT: Good subject. Terrible times. It’s about 9%.
COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?
ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.
COSTELLO: You just said 9%.
ABBOTT: 9% Unemployed.
COSTELLO: Right 9% out of work.
ABBOTT: No, that’s 16%.
COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 16% unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, that’s 9%…
COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 9% or 16%?
ABBOTT: 9% are unemployed. 16% are out of work.
COSTELLO: If you are out of work you are unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.
COSTELLO: But … they are out of work!
ABBOTT: No, you miss my point.
COSTELLO: What point?
ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work, can’t be counted with those
who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.
COSTELLO: To who?
ABBOTT: The unemployed.
COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.
ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work… Those who are
out of work stopped looking. They gave up. And, if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.
COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment roles, that would count as
ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!
COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?
ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how you get to 9%. Otherwise it
would be 16%. You don’t want to read about 16% unemployment do ya?
COSTELLO: That would be frightening.
COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means they’re two ways to
bring down the unemployment number?
ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.
COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?
COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a
COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.
ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like an economist.
COSTELLO: I don’t even know what the hell I just said!
And now you know why Obama’s unemployment figures are improving!
May “Guardian Angels” sit on the shoulders of all of our race drivers and race fans, and guide them safely around the tracks!
As usual, you can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org