Again, not much to talk about yet. Gonna give ya a few photos, then onto whatever news might be available. Most will be NASCAR stuff, though.
First photo is of Al Keller in a Sam Traylor sprint car – photo by Walt Imlay
Al in the Turner Offy
Bob Sweikert. Pretty sure he not only drove this Sprint car, but also owned it.
Wally Campbell in one of the NASCAR “Silver Crown” cars.
Ok, now for a little news:
Modified Racing Legend Leo Cleary Passes
Daytona 500 to be Michael Waltrip’s final race: Aaron’s and racing legend Michael Waltrip announced that the upcoming Daytona 500 will be Waltrip’s last NASCAR race. Waltrip, who will mark his 30th start at the Daytona 500 on February 26, will be at the wheel of the Aaron’s #15 Thanks Mikey Toyota. Aaron’s and the two-time Daytona 500 winner have been partners for more than 17 years and announced a renewed multi-year partnership last year with Waltrip as Aaron’s spokesperson. Waltrip retired from full-time racing after the 2009 NASCAR season but has continued to compete as a part-time driver. His relationship with Aaron’s represents one of the longest-running corporate partnerships in the racing industry.
“I can reflect on my career with a lot of emotions and one company that has been there for me is Aaron’s,” said Waltrip. “I started working with Aaron’s almost 20 years ago with some commercials and six Xfinity Series races when I had a team behind my house. We have been together ever since and it makes my heart smile thinking about all the great things we did together.”
Next week Aaron’s plans to debut a video showing the first of Waltrip’s “Top Five Aaron’s & Waltrip Racing Moments” selected from the past 17 years as partners. The videos will be shared across Aaron’s social media channels leading up to Waltrip’s last race on February 26. Waltrip has been featured in several Aaron’s commercials and will continue to serve as a spokesperson for the company following his last race. The Aaron’s Michael Waltrip tribute commercial will debut the week prior to the Daytona 500 and will commemorate Aaron’s 17-year partnership with Michael Waltrip.(Aaron’s), see an image of the car on the #15 team paint schemes page.(1-26-2017)
NASCAR looking at shorter weekend schedules? What else is coming down the NASCAR pike? One-day shows for the top touring series – including the newly named Monster Energy Cup Series. When Brad Keselowski was asked whether the driver’s council is behind the decision, he replied, “I think the whole sport is. We’re trying to be smart with our time, especially with late starts. We’d like to see – because you don’t get home to see your family until two, three in the morning if you’re on a race team, so you lose part of Monday, too – so you have to find a way to get that day back and tie it all together. If you move qualifying closer to the race, you get that day back which is so important to everyone’s quality of life in this sport.””(Motorsport)(1-26-2017)
BK Racing unsure of plans for #83 team charter: BK Racing is still determining the fate of one of its charters a month away from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. Granted two charters under the business model NASCAR implemented going into 2016, a spokesperson for the team told RACER that the # 23 Toyota will use its charter “for sure” in 2017. Joey Gase will drive the car in the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 26, as well as in two other races this season with backing from Best Home Furnishings. Gray Gaulding was announced Tuesday as the primary driver. Dr. Pepper will remain with the team as the sponsor. However, the charter for the #83 Toyota is still to be determined. On Wednesday, Corey LaJoie was announced to run multiple races in the #83 this season.(Racer)(1-26-2017)
LaJoie to drive some races for BK Racing: Corey LaJoie has signed on for a partial season with BK Racing in the Monster Energy Cup Series. LaJoie, 25, will drive #83 Toyota for a partial season. A sponsor and crew chief remains to be determined. LaJoie ran a limited schedule in the Camping World Truck and Xfinity Series over the next four seasons. His best results were 10th at Bristol Motor Speedway and sixth at Dover International Speedway while driving the #24 Toyota for James Whitener last year. LaJoie’s only Cup starts came for Randy Humphrey in the HP Racing Ford in 2014.(Motorsport)(1-24-2017)
UPDATE: BK Racing announced that Corey LaJoie will compete in the #83 Toyota Camry for multiple races in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. LaJoie will run his first career Daytona 500 February 26th with sponsorship from Dustless Blasting. Corey LaJoie is a third generation racer and a very well-known name in the racing world. His father, Randy LaJoie, brought home Xfinity Series Championships in 1996 and 1997. BK Racing and Dustless Blasting announced that they will be extending their association into the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. Dustless Blasting will once again be on board the #83 Toyota for multiple races, beginning with the season-opening Daytona 500 on February 26th. This will mark the fourth consecutive year that Dustless Blasting has sponsored BK Racing.(BK Racing)(1-25-2017)
Johnson happy with race format changes: #48-Jimmie Johnson discussed his thoughts on NASCAR’s race format changes that were announced on Monday:
“The championship piece, we still get to Homestead and it’s very similar for that event itself. How you get there is a bit different. The big takeaway I have is when you put all the smart people in the room and let everybody decide what it could and should look like, from TV owners, NASCAR, and driver representation, I think that’s a smart move. And, I feel that knowing our environment and knowing how to take the best from each of those folks in the room, all the major stakeholders, and come up with this system, I have a lot of faith in that.”
“I’m excited that everybody took the time to put their heads together. Another couple of takeaways for me is that it’s all about winning and finishing the best that you can. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Duels, or what it is, there’s incentive to go out there an perform. As a competitor, it’s tough to say that’s going to change much of what I do. But, I know there will be opportunities where that point matters for someone. We’re at 100 percent in those cars, and then we try to articulate that all the time. Some get it and some don’t. It might take people from being at that 100 percent mark to making them a little bit more desperate in given situations, and create more storylines. So, I feel that there has been a lot of time and effort and serious thought put into this and it touches a lot of areas that needed to be addressed in our sport right now and the way things are evolving.”(Chevy PR)(1-25-2017)
Possible sponsorship issues for Patrick, Stewart-Haas: Danica Patrick wore an all-white Tax Act uniform to NASCAR’s preseason media event, raising eyebrows about her sponsorship situation. Patrick and Stewart-Haas Racing last year signed a deal with Nature’s Bakery as Patrick’s primary sponsor. The company founded in 2010 by the father-and-son duo of Dave and Sam Marson was new to NASCAR last season and was scheduled to sponsor more than 20 races this year. SHR told The Associated Press on Tuesday that conversations with Nature’s Bakery are ongoing. “Nature’s Bakery and Stewart-Haas Racing are in discussions about how the sponsorship might look in 2017. Both sides have options, and it’s a matter of determining what is best for both parties,” the team told AP. SHR stressed it is moving forward with a full season for Patrick and its other three entries. Nature’s Bakery is one of the smallest primary sponsors in NASCAR, with fewer than 500 employees in the United States. The company’s products are sold in all 50 states and 22 countries.(Associated Press)(1-24-2017)
Road course race at Charlotte: Could a road course race be in Charlotte Motor Speedway’s future? Last Friday, AJ Allmendinger tested on what was roughly a 2.3-mile circuit similar to Daytona International Speedway that incorporates both the infield in Turns 1 and 2 and the regular 1.5-mile oval according to multiple sources. The test was a collaboration between Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR. Sources said Charlotte could incorporate the road course as early as the All-Star Race, which is scheduled for May 20. It’s more likely the road course would be used for the fall Chase race on Oct. 7. Fans have been clamoring for a road course in NASCAR’s playoffs and Charlotte could offer the perfect solution. Certainly, if the Charlotte plan comes to fruition, transitioning to a road course could be an option at other facilities. Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway, for instance, already feature road courses as part of their landscape.(Motorsport)(1-20-2017)
UPDATE: A.J. Allmendinger was asked about the test during Tuesday’s media events:
“Here’s the deal… I don’t know what’s going to happen. I thought it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it. You can bring something new to the schedule and something new if it was done. I’m all for it. I’m probably biased toward that. It’s kind of like the new format. Change can be good and it can be a little scary. We have to see how it plays out. But could it be successful? I think it would be a fantastic race and something the fans could truly enjoy.”(Chevy PR)(1-24-2017)
Segments should allow fans to see more green flag racing on TV: The NASCAR industry introduced major enhancements for its race format and points structure Monday, setting in motion a wave of new looks and incentives for 2017. But the collaboration also provided the opportunity for incentives for tuned-in fans — more logical breaks for commercials during race telecasts. Monday’s announcement made strides toward achieving that, launching the product of months of cooperation among drivers, tracks, the sanctioning body and TV broadcast partners. Based on the spirit of conversation from the group assembled on stage at the Charlotte Convention Center, the contingents from FOX and NBC Sports had much more than a nominal seat at the table.
“Well, you can never guarantee anything, but I can say that sitting in the room all along the way with us were our two TV partners, and that was one of the core things we looked at,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “We listened to the fans and we see the fans, as well, that we don’t like breaking away from live action. Can we eliminate that totally? Probably not. But this format allowed us to do that. That’s why we put in two breaks.”
The new race format, which involves splitting races into three segments, now provides a natural interlude in the action after each of the opening two stages. Both Jeff Burton (NBC Sports) and Jeff Gordon (FOX Sports) — two racers-turned-analysts — said that broadcasters intend to use these intermissions to potentially interview stage winners and to take commercial breaks with minimal interruptions of pit stops or other crucial moments.
“I can promise you, I’m in my second year of doing this, there’s a tremendous amount of effort by the networks to bring as much racing as possible to the fans,” Burton said. “The fans tune in to watch the races, and finding a way to do that is difficult sometimes. This eases that a little bit. This gives a chance for us to go to a break at the right time so the fans miss as little green-flag racing as possible. There’s a tremendous amount of effort put into that.”(NASCAR.com)(1-24-2017)
NASCAR announces changes to race formats: NASCAR, in collaboration with industry stakeholders, announced today an enhanced competition format that will be implemented in all three of its national series – the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the NASCAR XFINITY Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Increasing the sense of urgency and emphasizing aggressive racing and strategy, the race format will deliver more dramatic moments over the course of an entire race and season, with playoff point incentives on the line throughout.
The enhanced format consists of the following:
• Races will now consist of three stages, with championship implications in each stage.
• The top-10 finishers of the first two stages will be awarded additional championship points.
• The winner of the first two stages of each race will receive one playoff point, and the race winner will receive five playoff points. Each playoff point will be added to his or her reset total following race No. 26, if that competitor makes the playoffs.
• All playoff points will carry through to the end of the third round of the playoffs (Round of 8), with the Championship 4 racing straight-up at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the title.
• Championship points following the first two stages will be awarded on a descending scale, with the stage winner receiving 10 points, second receiving 9 points, and so on.
• The race winner following the final stage will now receive 40 points, second-place will receive 35, third-place 34, fourth-place 33, and so on.
“Simply put, this will make our great racing even better,” said Brian France, NASCAR chairman and CEO. “I’m proud of the unprecedented collaboration from our industry stakeholders, each of whom had a common goal – strengthening the sport for our fans. This is an enhancement fully rooted in teamwork, and the result will be an even better product every single week.”
NASCAR also announced a playoff bonus structure that will see the regular season points leader honored as the regular season champion, earning 15 playoff points that will be added to the driver’s playoff reset of 2,000. In addition, the top-10 drivers in points leading into the playoffs will receive playoff points, with second place receiving 10 playoff points, third place will earn 8 points, fourth place will receive 7 points, and so on. All playoff points will carry through to the end of the Round of 8.
“These are enhancements that the NASCAR fan has long sought, and the entire industry has worked hard to develop a better racing format for our fans,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “This format puts a premium on every victory and every in-race position over the course of the season. Each point can eventually result in winning or losing a championship.”(NASCAR)(1-23-2017)
UPDATE: The new system, which will be in effect for all three NASCAR national series:
At the end of the race, the winner will get 40 points, and then second through 35th will be awarded points on a 35-to-2 scale. Those finishing 36th to 40th will be awarded one point.
There will be no bonus points for leading a lap or leading the most laps.
• NASCAR will award points 10-to-1 to the top-10 drivers at the end of each of the first two segments. The number of laps of each of the first two segments will be the same in a race (and won’t change if the caution comes out), and the end of the second stage will be approximately at the halfway point of the race. A race would be official after the second stage if it rains.
• Drivers will now carry bonus points — called “playoff points” — throughout the entire playoffs (instead of just the first round) when the points get reset. Drivers will earn five playoff points for every race win and one playoff point for every segment win. The top-10 drivers in the standings in the regular season also earn additional playoff points on a 15-10-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scale. Drivers will continue to accumulate points throughout the playoffs and carry all the points earned during the year into each of the first three playoff rounds.
• Qualifying for the playoffs remains the same — the regular-season champion plus 15 drivers based on wins with ties broken by points will get into the playoffs, as long as they are in the top 30 in the standings.
• The playoffs will remain divided into three three-race rounds with four drivers eliminated after each round to set up four finalists for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Drivers automatically qualify into the next round with a win in that playoff round, and the remaining spots filled by the point standings. At Homestead, the top-finishing driver among the four finalists at the end of the race wins the title.
• The race purse will be paid at the final stage.
• The 150-mile qualifying races at Daytona will be worth points to the top-10 drivers on a 10-to-1 scale (just like a race segment), but the winners do not get bonus points for the playoffs.
• NASCAR won’t allow teams to replace body panels during a race, and teams will have additional limitations on crash repair that likely will mean most drivers who have to go to the garage won’t return for the remainder of the race.
AND Read the full transcript of the announcement at Transcript – NASCAR Competition Enhancements Announcement page.(1-23-2017)
20 EVENTS, 14 TRACKS AND 7 STATES OCCUPY 2017 USAC EASTERN MIDGET SLATE
The USAC Eastern Midget Championship is set to visit 14 tracks in seven states on its 20-race schedule during the 2017 season.
The season kicks off on March 25 with a trip to Rougemont, North Carolina’s Orange County Speedway, one of ten stops in the Tar Heel state throughout the season. The series treks to Orange County once more on Aug. 12. Hickory Motor Speedway is the spot to be on back-to-back weekends on Apr. 15 and 22 while Raleigh’s Wake County Speedway welcomes the series on Jul. 14 and Aug. 11. The Eastern Midgets make one trip apiece to East Carolina Speedway in Robersonville on May 6, Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly on Jul. 15, Carteret County Speedway in Swansboro on Aug. 26 and Asheboro’s Caraway Speedway on Sep. 9.
Three Virginia dates are on the docket with events scheduled for Jun. 17 at Dominion Raceway in Thornburg, Sep. 30 at Shenandoah Speedway and a return to Dominion on Oct. 21 that will serve as the series finale.
A pair of events at Greenbrier, Tennessee’s Highland Rim Speedway on Jun. 3 and Jul. 29 as well as a double-dip at Kentucky Motor Speedway in Whitesville on Jun. 4 and Jul. 30 signify the series’ furthest trip west during the season.
South Carolina, Alabama and Massachusetts serve as hosts for a single dose of USAC Eastern Midget racing in 2017 with Anderson Motor Speedway in Williamston, South Carolina on Apr. 21, Alabama’s Huntsville Speedway on May 13 and Massachusetts’ Seekonk Speedway each a part of the fabric that makes up the schedule for what is certain to be a banner year for the series. Seekonk’s “Boston Louie Seymour Memorial” race is a non-points “Special Event” for the Eastern Midgets and marks USAC’s first date at the 71-year-old paved oval in a decade.
2017 USAC EASTERN MIDGET CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE
Mar 25: Orange County Speedway (Rougemont, North Carolina)
Apr 15: Hickory Motor Speedway (Hickory, North Carolina)
Apr 21: Anderson Motor Speedway (Williamston, South Carolina)
Apr 22: Hickory Motor Speedway (Hickory, North Carolina)
May 6: East Carolina Speedway (Robersonville, North Carolina)
May 13: Huntsville Speedway (Huntsville, Alabama)
Jun 3: Highland Rim Speedway (Greenbrier, Tennessee)
Jun 4: Kentucky Motor Speedway (Whitesville, Kentucky)
Jun 17: Dominion Raceway (Thornburg, Virginia)
Jun 28: (SE) Seekonk Speedway (Seekonk, Massachusetts)
Jul 14: Wake County Speedway (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Jul 15: Southern National Motorsports Park (Kenly, North Carolina)
Jul 29: Highland Rim Speedway (Greenbrier, Tennessee)
Jul 30: Kentucky Motor Speedway (Whitesville, Kentucky)
Aug 11: Wake County Speedway (Raleigh, North Carolina)
Aug 12: Orange County Speedway (Rougemont, North Carolina)
Aug 26: Carteret County Speedway (Swansboro, North Carolina)
Sep 9: Caraway Speedway (Asheboro, North Carolina)
Sep 30: Shenandoah Speedway (Shenandoah, Virginia)
Oct 21: Dominion Raceway (Thornburg, Virginia)
Notice – just ONE race on this schedule is in the northeast? Jun 28: (SE) Seekonk Speedway (Seekonk, Massachusetts)
Last Saturday, my daughter, Judy & I went to race down here in Florida at DeSoto Speedway. Funny thing is – one of the first people I saw was Ken Sands, from OCFS. He’s an official at DeSoto. Told us he bought a mobile home (in a park) to be closer to the track. There are some rumors going around that he won’t be back north this summer. Over time, Mr Sands and I have not quite seen “eye to eye” on quite a few things, but we had a nice cordial talk.
Do you like ham? I do. Do you like Pork Chops or Pork roast? I do. So the question is, why do we eat it? Why does eery grocery store’s ad advertise so many Pork items?
Here’s a list of what isn’t good for you if you’re like me and consume Pork, on occasion. Honestly, we really don’t eat much Pork where I live. Oh, sorry for the length!
13 problems with pork…G-d knew what He was doing when he banned it for the Jews
1) A pig is a real garbage gut. It will eat anything including urine, excrement, dirt, decaying animal flesh, maggots, or decaying vegetables. They will even eat the cancerous growths off other pigs or animals.
2) The meat and fat of a pig absorbs toxins like a sponge. Their meat can be 30 times more toxic than beef or venison.
3) When eating beef or venison, it takes 8 to 9 hours to digest the meat so what little toxins are in the meat are slowly put into our system and can be filtered by the liver. But when pork is eaten, it takes only 4 hours to digest the meat. We thus get a much higher level of toxins within a shorter time.
4) Unlike other mammals, a pig does not sweat or perspire. Perspiration is a means by which toxins are removed from the body. Since a pig does not sweat, the toxins remain within its body and in the meat.
5) Pigs and swine are so poisonous that you can hardly kill them with strychnine or other poisons.
6) Farmers will often pen up pigs within a rattlesnake nest because the pigs will eat the snakes, and if bitten they will not be harmed by the venom.
7) When a pig is butchered, worms and insects take to its flesh sooner and faster than to other animal’s flesh. In a few days the swine flesh is full of worms.
Swine and pigs have over a dozen parasites within them, such as tapeworms, flukes, worms, and trichinae. There is no safe temperature at which pork can be cooked to ensure that all these parasites, their cysts, and eggs will be killed.
9) Pig meat has twice as much fat as beef. A 3 oz T bone steak contains 8.5 grams of fat; a 3 oz pork chop contains 18 grams of fat. A 3 oz beef rib has 11.1 grams of fat; a 3 oz pork spare rib has 23.2 grams of fat.
10) Cows have a complex digestive system, having four stomachs. It thus takes over 24 hours to digest their vegetarian diet causing its food to be purified of toxins. In contrast, the swine’s one stomach takes only about 4 hours to digest its foul diet, turning its toxic food into flesh.
11) The swine carries about 30 diseases which can be easily passed to humans. This is why God commanded that we are not even to touch their carcase (Leviticus 11:8).
12) The trichinae worm of the swine is microscopically small, and once ingested can lodge itself in our intestines, muscles, spinal cord or the brain. This results in the disease trichinosis. The symptoms are sometimes lacking, but when present they are mistaken for other diseases, such as typhoid, arthritis, rheumatism, gastritis, MS, meningitis, gall bladder trouble, or acute alcoholism.
13) The pig is so poisonous and filthy, that nature had to prepare him a sewer line or canal running down each leg with an outlet in the bottom of the foot. Out of this hole oozes pus and filth his body cannot pass into its system fast enough. Some of this pus gets into the meat of the pig.
To be honest with you, I haven’t been feeling the best lately. Maybe after getting more fluids removed next Monday will help. I hope so.
Not much to report on, so I’m closing this week’s column down.
As usual, ya can always reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org