As  usual, some photos from “Back in the day”:

The Sachs Sprint Car.  Most of the times I’ve seen this car run, Len Duncan was in the seat.  I only remember it as having a “Hal” engine.  It was equal to the offies as far as being competitive.  Then again, one just has to see who was in the seat.

Ed “Dutch” Schaefer in the seat of the “Golden Arrow” Offy midget.  Most everyone agrees that “Dutch” was responsible for keeping the ARDC going when it had fallen on some hard times.  A midget race that I did not attend, but my father and brother did, was the 100 mile midget race on the Goshen, NY mile dirt track.  “Dutch” had the lead with just a few laps to go, but had to pit for fuel.  In their haste, they did not replace the tanks lid when re-fueling.  “Dutch” tried like heck to get the engine to fire, even hitting an inside fence while trying.  By the time he got it going again, both Henry Renard and Chet Gibbons had un-lapped themselves (2 laps down), and finished 1st and second.  “Dutch” ended up 3rd.  He also lost sight in an eye at Goshen when “something” went through his goggles.

Gig Stephens in the Duino 55 and Chuck Arnold in the Brenn 24 at one of the Trenton long distance midget races.  I have to figure Arnold was in the Brenn car when, as the story goes “Jiggs” Peters stopped for fuel, and back then, when re-fueling the midgets, the driver had to get out of the car.  Arnold, who was standing by, jumped into the 24 and was pushed off.

Fred “Jiggs” Peters is pictured in the Sheehan Offy midget.  “Jiggs” was one of the better drivers “back in the day”, and, believe it or not, he actually went to a race driving school to learn about racing!

A driver that left us way too soon – the late Joe Csiki.  Joe was a “Ford” man, using Ford Falcon engines – especially in his midget.  No idea how he managed it, but that little Falcon was truly an “Offy killer”.

Al Keller in the “Stardust” Offy midget.  Car was ” Metallic blue” in color.  Keller was an exceptional driver winning in Midgets, Sprint Cars and even in Sports cars.  Sadly he was involved in the accident at Indy in 1955 that took the life of Bill Vukovich.

Mario Andretti in the seat of a midget.  Yes, he ran midgets and sprint cars (and some stock cars, too) and ran Indy cars and F-1.  Out of all the times he ran the Indy 500, he did manage one victory.  He’s still quite active as far as doing things in motor sports, like driving the two seater Indy car.

Two above average drivers from back in the day – “Nick” Fornoro” the starter, and Russ Klar in the seat of the Nagy offy, after a midget feature win.  Both of these fine men actually ended up “related” to each other, with one of Nick’s sons marrying a daughter of Russ’s.

Last, but not least, Nick in the seat of a Pappy Hough midget.  Notice it has an Offy engine under the hood?  I think this photo was taken at Cherry Park in Avon, Ct.


Orange County Fair Speedway

239 Wisner Avenue

Middletown, NY10940


Mike Gurda



55TH Renewal of Fall Classic to Fill Historic Fairgrounds

MIDDLETOWN, NY (October 15)……..When the Orange County Fair Speedway gates swing open on Friday morning, October 21, it will signal the start of the 55THannual Eastern States Weekend and the headline Eastern States 200, the oldest consecutively-run championship race weekend for dirt track Modifieds.  And this year’s event promises to be bigger than ever.

In front of the historic covered grandstand, more than 200 race teams and their drivers will compete in a full weekend of dirt track stock car action. With $35,000 going to the winner of the 2016 Eastern States 200, and $15,000 to the Saturday preliminary Small-Block Modified 100 victor, plus a $10,000 bonus for a sweep of the two races, one driver could leave the historic Middletown “Hard Clay” track on Sunday evening, October 23 some $60,000 richer. And this doesn’t include special awards like $1,000 for fast time and the pole position in the 200 and $500 for the outside pole slot, nor the lap money in both races to the leader of each completed circuit.

In the previous 54 Eastern States 200 races, there have been 31 different winners. Legendary Frankie Schneider won the inaugural race, then run at 100 laps, back in 1962. Schneider won twice more, becoming one of seven drivers to capture this prestigious race more than once. Tommy Meier, the current Modified division track champion, won the 2015 Eastern States 200, and he’s out to become the next multi-time winner of the fall classic.

Brett Hearn, Orange County’s all-time race winner and champion, holds the record for the most Eastern States 200 victories with 11, the latest in 2014.  Other multiple winners include Danny Johnson (six victories), Will Cagle (four), Schneider (three), and two wins each by Gerald Chamberlain, Frank Cozze, and Jimmy Horton. Twenty-four outstanding dirt track Modified drivers have won a single Eastern States 200 race, including former Orange County point champions Jerry Higbie, Jeff Heotzler, Chuck McKee, and Rich Eurich. Higbie, Heotzler, and Eurich who are expected to be in this year’s race.

The 55th annual Eastern States Weekend presented by Halmar International, Arkel Motors, and WLR Construction Company is set for Friday through Sunday, October 21-23 at the Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York. Advance ticket information and weekend schedules are available by calling the track office at 845-342-2573 during business hours, or by visiting www.orangecountyfairspeedway.net.

As of 10/17/16, here are the drivers entered and/or expected for all classes at Eastern States – thanks to Jordan Sheehan:

** These rosters are subject to change and is nothing official from OCFS.**


SEDITA 1  Milton Mann

1L  Billy Lowden Jr.

H2O Tommy Vigh Jr.

2    Joey Bruning

2    Anthony Falanga

2   Brian Mady

2   Philip Goetschius

2X  Eddie Burgess

3   Cole Hentschel

4   Howie Finch Jr.

4   Cody Clark

4HR Matt Hitchcock

4NY Robbie Speed

4RJ Tyler Boniface

5   Tyler Johnston

5W Bob Wosyluk

6    Matt Stangle

6D Dillon Steur

7   Jamie Yannone

7   Mike Sabia’

7C Adam Cox

9  Jesse Leiby

10  Danny Carlough

11  Connor Otten

11B  Mike Bull

14 Austin Smith

15 Dan Morgiewicz

15S Dylan Smith

17  John Criscione

18J  Jimmy Devitt

19   Roger Henion Jr.

20  Johnny Illanovksy

20  Corey Cormier

20G John Gilroy

21  Winter Mead

M22 Mike Dubois

22  Nick Plumstead

22  Robbie Knipe

24J  James Brundage

25  Bob Hallebeck

26   Kyle Jashembowski

27  Bobby DeLeon

27M Aaron Doolittle

27V Frank Venezia

30H Jim Krauss

32   Brandon Grosso

38  Jared LaBagh

39  Anthony Horton

51  Mike Guilano

52 Russell Crotty

55  Allison Ricci

55R Ryan Wood

57  Justin Gilson

62  Brandon McGill

71    Steve Ball

72    Stan Vishinski

J73  Joey Conklin

73J  Troy Arnold

74   Chris Lynch

77  Jimmy Johnson

77  Don Smith

83   Chris Stevens

85  Kyle VanDuser

88  Joe Falanga

91  Bobby Flood

94  Brad Horton

95  Richie VanOrden

96  Chris Raser

99j  Chris DelFino

117 Rich Eggers

125 Pete Goydich

555 Leo Fotopolous

793 Steve Eubanks

995 John Farissier 74 names


44     Travis Jablonka

47     Brian Nelson

69     Randy Green

88     John Miller

127   Erin Paulison

394   Chet Doolan


01    Adam Pierson

P3   Pat Murphy

4     Mike Traver

K4   Keith Johannessen

5     Ray See Jr.

T5   Tony Kawalachuk

7D   Mike Orlando

7     Rafaele Carson

14   John Virgilio

16   Don Smith Sr.

17G Bobby Gage

24   Matt Shultz

27   Rich Coons

28Z Tommy Zwart

33    Alan Cote

35    Chris Curtis

35J  John Routhier

36    Mike Murphy

39    Dave Werber

44    Cody Hunt

45    Randy Sweetman

50    Jeff Richardson

57J  Norm Hutton

69K Ken Boniface

69   Colin Dubois

71   Otto Bradatsch

86   Mark Connoly

406 Rich Ricci III

305 Sprints

1    Christian Rumey

7    Mike Sabia

16  Zach Mead

25  Geoff Quackenbush

27  Craig Pellegrini Jr.

37  Scott Flammer


X      BK Rizzo

1      Brian Krummel

1Q   Thomas Radivoy

3p    Josh Pieniazek

4      Billy VanInwegen

4      Ed Newhauser

4K    Kyle Smith

7a    ???

07    Brett Jaycox

10    Joe Kata

11    Mike Esposito

14    Sydney Prince

14    Carl Freyer

19    Brody Adamsky

19em Emily VanInwegen

25w  Dana Wagner

29     Art Kiser

30    Scott Goodrich

36     Dalton Herrick

39x   Scott Frack

41j    Josh Flint

42    Eddie Strada

45    Kevin Nagy

72    Jeremy Quick

79    Jordan Thomas

83    Dustin Purdy

88    Chad Miller

88j  Frank Jashembowski

91    Chuck Alessi

91h  Dan Hennessey

98t   Tyler Jashembowski

99    Mike Kiser

37 names

Big Blocks

OBs Jeremy Markle

1 Tyler Dippel

1H Tim Hindley

2 Ryan Krachun

2RJ Ronnie Johnson

K3 Danny Cronk

3 Anthony Perrego

3 Sammy Martz

4SL Bobby Hentschel

5 Billy VanInwegen

7 Mike Sabia

7K Kirk Horton

10 Rich Eurich

14 CG Morey

16  Willy Auchmoody

16x Danny Creeden

17J Matt Janiak

17Z Brian Krummel

J17 Jeff Heotzler

20 Brett Hearn

20C Craig Hanson

20X Rob Rowe

21Jr Gary Edwards Jr.

21M Bob McGannon

25 Mike Kolka

27 Danny Johnson

28 Jimmy Spellmon

29 Kyle Redner

32C Vic Coffey

33 Johnny Lieto

331/3 Tommy Meier

34 Andy Bachetti

35 LJ Lombardo

43 Ricky Davis

43 Jimmy Horton

44 Stewart Friesen

49 Donnie Elliott

57 Justin Gilson

66 Rick Laubach

72 Billy Eggers

78 Zack Vavricka

88 Steve Dodd

88 Joe Falanga

93X Craig Mitchell

97 Jerry Higbie

98 Eddie Marshall

115 Kenny Tremont

117 Rich Eggers

220 John Ferrier

716 CoreyLowitt 50 names


4    Mike Ruggiero

33   Mike Mahaney

60  Brian Berger


17     Marcus Dinkins

19     Tim Fuller

21P  Pep Corradi

24    Chris Shultz

28    Stan Frankenfield

51M Dom Buffalino

87X  Paul Gilardi

Street Stocks

1       Mike Vigiletti

SEDITA 1  Mario Contorino

M1    Jimmy Maher

03     Harold Robitaille

4SR  Pat Runo

07     Gary Ronk

8       Bob Sleight

011   Chris Murphy

11     Jimmy Duncan

12     Emerson Cargain Jr.

19     Emerson Cargain Sr.

20     Tommy Pickles

21Jr  Joel Murns

22     Jay Smalley

M22  Michael Dubois Jr.

25     ???

27     Ray Hall Sr.

32     Charlie Donald

33      Rich Roger

X35   Tim Daly

36     John Hechinger

43G  Scotty Gumaer

45     Jimmy Hajkowski

46     Sparky Reilly

49     Kenny Reed

50     Ed Hatch

52     Jimmy Smith

54S   Zach Sorrentino

55     Dave Stickles

57     Gary O’Brien

58     Wayne Taylor

61     Stan Vishinski Sr.

63     Joe Walcott

75     Ray Tarantino Jr.

77     Kevin Colman

78     Pete Wiegand

89     Ryan Brockner

151   Travis Brockner

171   Walt Henry

191   Jack Beaumont

357   Kyle Welsch

454   Livy Johnson

41 names


2       Dick Shaddock

12     Curtis Ayers

16     Stan Vishinski Jr.

31     Jack Dekker

43     Paul Harding

65     John Hager

65     Jeff Hager

144   Tim Thompson


1 Tyler Dippel

2 Anthony Falanga

2RJ Ronnie Johnson

2X Eddie Burgess

K3 Danny Cronk

3J Joe Judge

04 Mike Butler

4 Andy Bachetti

4 Billy VanInwegen Jr.

4HR Matt Hitchcock

J7 Brendan Finley

7 Mike Sabia

7K Kirk Horton

10 Danny Carlough

14 CG Morey

14 Mike McKerrell

16 Willy Auchmoody

16 Zach Mead

16x Danny Creeden

17H Tom Hindley

17J  Matt Janiak

17Z Brian Krummel

19 Roger Henion Jr.

19 Jessey Mueller

20 Brett Hearn

20 Mike Weslowski

20 Corey Cormier

20X Rob Rowe

21 Ryan Darcy

21Jr Gary Edwards Jr.

21H Jeff Heotzler

21M Bob McGannon

27 Bobby DeLeon

28 Jimmy Spellmon

29K Ryan Krachun

33 Johnny Lieto

33R Pat Riser

331/3 Tommy Meier

43 Ricky Davis

44 Jeff Kelley

44 Anthony Perrego

44X Shane Jablonka

49 Donnie Elliott

55 Brett Haas

55 Allison Ricci

57 Justin Gilson

66 Stewart Friesen

66 Allan Kellogg

71 Frank Doty

72 Billy Eggers

72 Ray Hall Jr.

72 Cass Bennett

J73 Joey Conklin

73J Troy Arnold

76   Mike Ricci

78  Zack Vavricka

88 Joe Falanga

88 Dion Naples

93X Craig Mitchell

96 Tyler Treacey

97Z Jerry Higbie

117 Rich Eggers

115 Kenny Tremont

125 Pete Goydich

220 Mike Horton

220 John Ferrier

444 Chuck Potts

456 Jesse Leiby

717 Everett Haubrich

30-06 Kurt Hundeland

70 names


3      Marc Johnson

33    Mike Mahaney

43    John Farissier

47    Gary Wagner

69    Randy Green


P3        Pat Murphy

12        Brian Sandstedt

12D     Dave Hinsch

14G     Brian Gleason

21P      Pep Corradi

24         Chris Shultz

24         Johnny Strupp

43         Jimmy Horton

51M      Dominick Buffalino

71         Otto Bradatsch

** These rosters are subject to change and is nothing official from OCFS.**

An interesting tid-bit:

Richie Eurich is entered in this year’s Eastern States.  I found the following about him:

“No retirement coming for him yet.  2017 will be his 50th season behind the wheel.’

Sad to say, but not much in the former OVRP Dirt Oval racers about how they did this past weekend:

Grandview:  In the 40 lap feature, Danny Bouc was 20th.

At Penn Can, Danny Creeden was 3rd and Brad Szulewski was 13th in the Modified feature.

Note:  Yes, those are the only results I could find for former OVRP Dirt Oval racers, believe it or not!

Some NASCAR news:

NASCAR considering changes to XFINITY Series next year: NASCAR met with team managers from the Xfinity Series on Friday to discuss upcoming changes to the tour for 2017. On the table is a test for early October at Indianapolis Motor Speedway using restrictor plates in an effort to decrease horsepower to the 400 hp range for the 2.5-mile track. NASCAR currently uses restrictor plates at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway. This year’s Lilly Diabetes 250 at the Brickyard had no on-track passes for the lead. Kyle Busch led all but one lap. Some teams suggested skipping the oval test and transitioning straight to a road course at Indy, but that option does not appear to be a possibility at this time. Teams also talked about streamlining the travel schedule in an effort to lower costs for NASCAR’s secondary series. Auton did confirm the potential of introducing composite bodies in the Xfinity Series. Team sources said composite bodies could be used at road courses as early as next year. Popular KNPSW director Kip Childress has been promoted to Assistant Director of the NASCAR Xfinity Series and will serve under Series Director Wayne Auton. The third-generation official was promoted to K&N Pro Series East director in 2008. Five years later, he was recruited to oversee the West Tour. Childers has more than 25 years’ experience in officiating NASCAR.(Motorsport)(9-17-2016)

Stewart Haas to field XFINITY team in 2017: Stewart-Haas Racing, the championship-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, will expand into the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2017. The organization will field a full-time, single-car team in the XFINITY Series with a driver and sponsor lineup to be announced prior to the conclusion of the 2016 season. The XFINITY Series team will be run from SHR’s headquarters in Kannapolis, North Carolina. “In order to maintain the competitiveness that has earned SHR two championships since our debut in 2009, we needed an outlet to develop drivers and team personnel for the Sprint Cup Series,” said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, SHR. “People make the difference between winning and losing. An XFINITY Series team gives us added depth that will allow us to promote from within whenever necessary.”

“An XFINITY Series team has always been something we would consider when the time was right, and that time is now,” said Stewart, who co-owns SHR with Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation. “Staying successful in this sport means staying ahead of the curve, and having an XFINITY Series team provides an in-house driver development program and a new channel for personnel to make a positive impact with our race team.”

“This is a natural progression of SHR’s growth and one that allows us to be more self-sufficient,” Haas said. “If you look at all the teams that are successful in Sprint Cup, they have a direct connection to the XFINITY Series where drivers, engineers, mechanics and pit crew members are developed. We’re an established team with a strong infrastructure that is ready for this endeavor.”(Stewart Haas Racing)(7-25-2016)

UPDATE: Stewart-Haas Racing has named Cole Custer as the driver for its NASCAR XFINITY Series team that will debut in 2017. Custer, who will turn 19 prior to the start of the 2017 season, will pilot the team’s #00 entry fulltime and compete for rookie of the year honors. Haas Automation, the largest machine tool manufacturer in North America, will be the primary sponsor. “Cole Custer has accomplished a lot at a very young age and is well positioned to make the next step to the NASCAR XFINITY Series,” said Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition, SHR. “Our goal with our XFINITY Series program is to develop young talent, and that includes behind the wheel. Cole has earned this opportunity and we look forward to working with him.” Custer currently competes fulltime in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.(Stewart Haas Racing)(9-16-2016)

Roush Yates Engines preparing for Stewart Haas switch to Ford:

One of the biggest stories of the 2016 NASCAR season played out early in the year with the announcement that Stewart-Haas Racing would switch from Chevrolet to Ford in 2017 – a move that caught most everyone off-guard. Now, with the season winding down, the countdown is on for that switch to become a reality and Roush Yates Engines is working behind the scenes to ensure it is up to the task of putting power under the SHR hoods.

“Roush Yates Engines, right now, is in the process of increasing inventory and getting prepared,” said Jeff Clark, Vice President of Sales for Roush Yates Engines. “We don’t build the engines yet because technology is always changing but we are reviewing applications and potential employees – that will be more of a November/December item. And then acquiring the inventory, a lot of the parts in these engines require long lead-times. There are three, four, five or six months of lead time on these items, so we’re trying to get the hard parts together and just prepare as much as possible for when it is go-time.” Clark doesn’t have an exact number of people the organization will need to bring on to fulfill the new workload but he knows they will be choosing from the best-of-the-best in the sport. He said they have received a lot of interest from engine experts looking to fill the void and that have led to numerous applications and resumes. He said management is poring over stats to determine how much the workload will increase to be ready for 2017.(Kickin the Tires)(10-17-2016)

Biffle ready for a change? After re-signing with RFR in 2014, Biffle hasn’t sniffed the Chase for the Sprint Cup in the last two seasons. He thought 2016 might be the year. With a new crew chief in Brian Pattie, a lower-downforce aero package from the sanctioning body and a renewed effort at Roush, things appeared to line up for NASCAR’s elder statesman. And now, he’s 24th in the standings with just one top-five finish, at Loudon. So when Biffle said his most recent contract might be his last, it’s understandable. “Well, if I talk to you Sunday after the race in here, maybe that will be some inspiration,” Biffle said in the media center where the winner is interviewed following the race. “I want to be competitive in races and run in the top 10. That’s my goal and my focus. If I’m not doing that, then I am probably going to do something different.” Biffle has been rumored to be leaving Roush Fenway Racing at the end of the season. Although he owns the building that headquarters HScott Motorsports in North Carolina, Biffle said he has not discussed racing for Harry Scott after Clint Bowyer leaves in November. Biffle has heard the rumors that he’ll end up and Front Row Motorsports – a technical partner – but given his loyalty to Roush over his career, that’s unlikely to be something he’d consider. Still, it would take something more promising – and competitive – to pique his interest in continuing down the current path.(Motorsport)(10-15-2016)

Johnson comments on deal with Stewart-Haas; Hendrick backtracks: Jimmie Johnson described a less-than-ideal working relationship between Hendrick Motorsports and Stewart-Haas Racing on Friday, prompting his team general manager to clarify how the teams shared information. Stewart-Haas has gotten its Chevrolet engines and chassis from Hendrick Motorsports since it began in 2009, but that relationship is poised to end. Stewart-Haas announced this year it would be switching to Roush Yates Engines that power Ford teams for next season. Johnson was asked before practice for Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Kansas whether he would like his team to find another partner to replace Stewart-Haas racing next season. “Just to be selfishly speaking,” Johnson said, “we didn’t get their data. We didn’t share their data. They had ours. So it was a fantastic situation for them. They had our best stuff and then they have a huge engineering staff and they can take Hendrick’s best equipment and refine it.” That counts as inflammatory stuff in the closely knit NASCAR garage. It also prompted Hendrick Motorsports general manager Doug Duchardt to climb out of Johnson’s hauler a few hours later and clarify the relationship. The teams did share information with each other before Stewart-Haas announced its decision to leave, at which point communication was largely cut off. “That is the way it worked from the time I have been at Hendrick Motorsports,” Duchardt said. “We received information from Stewart-Haas when we worked with them. When they made their announcement with Ford that changed things. But the bottom line is that as partners we exchanged data.”(Associated Press)(10-15-2016)

Bowyer gearing up for 2017: #15-Clint Bowyer met with members of the media at Kansas Speedway Friday and discussed his outlook for next season as he joins Stewart-Haas Racing:

Where are you at competitively? How do you feel about where you are going next year and where you are at now?

Bowyer: “Certainly, it’s always natural to start thinking about next year. You better be this time of year no matter if you are moving or staying the same and nothing changes. That is how far in advance you have to look in this sport and work. All the organizations are lining themselves us and gearing up for next year, all the while, there is a lot of racing left to do in 2016. Last weekend is a prime example. I look over and I see all the Stewart-Haas cars up front, qualified well, Danica (Patrick) was fast, all the cars raced well. Those are the things that you look at and get excited for next year. But, hey, you’ve got an opportunity to come back home and race and compete in front of your hometown crowd, like I said, there is plenty of racing to do and things to accomplish this year. We’ve got to cap it off well and start to get focused on next year. It is exciting. You get emails, like I was telling somebody last night, an email came across my phone and I look over and its #14 merchandise approvals for next year. You are like ‘holy cow’ it’s becoming reality. It’s fixing to pick up in a big way.”(Team Chevy Racing)(10-15-2016)

NASCAR considering further limiting Cup drivers in lower series:

For fans who don’t like Sprint Cup drivers competing in Xfinity and Camping World Truck races, a NASCAR executive says “stay tuned” for an announcement “fairly soon” on the issue. Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, uttered those words Monday on “The Morning Drive” on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio when asked about limiting Cup drivers in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series. “It certainly is on our radar,” O’Donnell said. “We’ve heard the fans. It’s interesting, it’s been a balance throughout the years. We’ve always had Sprint Cup drivers come into the Xfinity Series and sometimes dominate, back in the Mark Martin days. As the sport has evolved one of the great things is we’ve got more of a fan following in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series. They like seeing those drivers come up through the ranks and it’s our job to make sure that Xfinity is where names are made. We’ve got to do on that on the racetrack. That is something we’re taking a really hard look at for next year, I’d say stay tuned. We’re going to look at and probably have something to announce fairly soon.” NASCAR prohibits any Cup driver who was in last year’s Chase from competing in this year’s season finale for the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway. One possibility could be for NASCAR to extend such a ban for all future Chase races in the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series. Since 2011, Cup regulars have won 138 of the 196 Xfinity races (70.4%).(NBC Sports)(10-17-2016

2017 rules given to teams UPDATE: Motorsport.com has obtained a copy of the proposed modifications for next season. Some of the highlights include:

1. Testing policy – An update to the National Series testing policy which would allow drivers returning to the sport following a medical absence to have an extra test under the discretion of the sanctioning body.

2. Spoiler Size – For non-superspeedway events, the spoiler height will be reduced from 3.5 inches to 2.375 inches, further reducing downforce.

3. Mandatory Roof Hatches at Superspeedways – Roof hatches will remain optional at other race tracks.

4. Energy Absorbing Material added to the toe board in the driver’s cockpit – NASCAR-approved toe board will be mandatory at Superspeedways.

5. Frame Changes – In an effort to restrict movement of the rear axle during competition, NASCAR is mandating change to the main frame assembly, truck trailing arm crossmember assembly, track bar mount and truck trailing arm on rear suspension, arm spacer and pinion angle shim.

6. Restrictor Plates – For superspeedways, the initial restrictor plate hole size will decrease from 57/64 to 7/8 inch.

See more at Motorsport.(10-14-2016)

UPDATE: A further reduction of downforce and the implementation of additional safety developments highlight the 2017 NASCAR premier series rules package announced by sanctioning body officials on Friday at Kansas Speedway. Aerodynamic adjustments similar to those in place for races at Kentucky Speedway and Michigan International Speedway in 2016 form the framework for the 2017 performance platform. However, slight modifications to the overall base package have been made. According to officials, the 2017 race package will include:

” Rear spoiler dimensions for all non-restricted events will be 2 3/8 inches x 61 inches. Current spoiler dimensions are 3 1/2 x 61; for the Kentucky and Michigan races, the dimensions were 2 1/2 x 53 inches.

” Splitter measurements for the 2017 package will be the same as those for the 2016 Kentucky and Michigan races, with a 3-inch reduction in the outboard (side) areas;

” A tapered rear deck fin;

” Net rear steer setting of zero.

The aero changes are the next evolution of the platform first rolled out for select events in 2015. Mandatory for 2016, those changes reduced downforce (the pressure exerted on a vehicle as it moves through the air) from 2,700 pounds to approximately 2,000 pounds.

The 2017 package is expected to reduce downforce by approximately 500 pounds, landing in the 1,500-pound range. Safety enhancements, which include strengthening the interior driver compartment, will be mandatory for superspeedway events at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway and optional at the remaining venues for 2017.

The aero package for superspeedway races at Daytona and Talladega will remain unchanged, although there will be a decrease in restrictor plate size (from 57/64ths to 7/8ths of an inch) to combat increasing speeds at the two tracks.(NASCAR.com)(10-14-2016)

OCFS Eastern States practice:

Was last Saturday.  From what I’ve been reading, there were a ton of cars there.  I wonder how many were DIRT cars/invaders, if any?  Jeff Heotzler was loaned a Big Block engine for his modified and picked up a ride in a spare Gary Edwards car for the Small Block portion of ESW.

Maybe I can blame it on “old age”, but in last week’s column, I had this:  “Any idea as to what Jimmy Horton and Stewart Friesen have in common?  Answer at the end of this week’s column.”

Yup, I completely forgot to post what the they had in common:  Best I know, they were to only two OCFS “regulars” that raced at Oswego in the modified 200.  Yup, I can remember when OCFS had a fairly good amount of drivers heading to Syracuse.

I’ve always been a fan of JJ Yeley.  Glad to see he got a top ten finish in the Xfinity race this past Saturday.  Some years back, when the mile track at Nazareth was still used for racing, there was a practice day for some USAC cars & drivers prior to them having a race there.  Being a part of the media, I was allowed to attend it, along with my grandson, Brett.  I was able to get this photo of JJ and my grandson, during their lunch break.


The swan song of USAC racing in the Midwest this season comes to Wayne County Speedway in Wayne City, Illinois this Thursday night, October 20th for the 4th annual “Jason Leffler Memorial.”

Nestled alongside a cornfield in the heart of southern Illinois, the one-eighth mile dirt track comes alive just once a year for midget racing.

When a driver rolls into Wayne City, he or she has to be on their game. It’s close-quarters, full-contact racing and if you don’t have your elbows up and your right foot on the gas, you’ll get left behind.

Things happen in a hurry here and taking a victory in the “Jason Leffler Memorial” is not something that’s handed to you. It’s earned.

The 20,000-dollar enticement to win this race is enough alone to draw some of the biggest car counts of the season, but this is an event that has quickly been acknowledged as one of the crown jewels on the USAC Midget calendar, not only due to it providing the largest winner’s share of any midget race in the USA, but also because of the namesake of this race, National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Famer Jason Leffler.

Leffler etched his name as one of the legends of the United States Auto Club throughout his career as a 3-time USAC National Midget champ and one-time Silver Crown titlist along with victories in the Belleville Midget Nationals, the Hut 100, the Copper World Classic, the Night Before the 500 and twice at the Turkey Night Grand Prix.

Not only was the Long Beach, California native a champion on the track, he was a champion in life. Even when his success eventually brought him to NASCAR, Leffler never forgot where he came from. He continued to race with USAC whenever his schedule allowed and proved to be an ambassador of the sport through his team ownership in USAC’s three national divisions, including a Silver Crown owner title with driver Bud Kaeding in 2006.

After losing his life in a sprint car accident at New Jersey’s Bridgeport Speedway in 2013, Leffler’s name lives on as the namesake of one the marquee events on the racing calendar; an event that brings names from all across the racing landscape come to Wayne City to race in his name.

NASCAR Sprint Cup regulars Kyle Larson and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. are no strangers to midget racing. Larson, a 13-time USAC Midget feature winner was victorious in his first USAC appearance of the season earlier this May at Montpelier Motor Speedway during “Indiana Midget Week.”

Just last December, Stenhouse won in his return to USAC with an indoor triumph at the “Junior Knepper 55” inside the Southern Illinois Center in Du Quoin.

Now a NASCAR Truck Series regular, Rico Abreu has already picked up two USAC Midget victories this season, including the “Indiana Midget Week” finale at Kokomo in June and a pure domination of the field in a stirring drive at Eldora’s “4-Crown Nationals” just one month ago.

Newly-crowned ARCA champion Chase Briscoe has a small amount of seat time in a midget time this season, but was able to score a career-best 5th place finish in last December’s feature at Du Quoin.

2013 World of Outlaws champ Daryn Pittman returns to the seat of a midget Thursday night. The Oklahoma native who currently sits 2nd in Outlaw points, was the winner of the “Leffler Memorial” back in 2014.

Four-time USAC/CRA AMSOIL Sprint Car champion Damion Gardner flies in from the west coast for the “Leffler Memorial” this Thursday to make his first USAC National Midget start of the season. In “The Demon’s” last midget start on Thanksgiving Night 2015, Gardner scored a podium finish in the season-ending “Turkey Night Grand Prix” at Perris.

Three-time POWRi champion Zach Daum is a local favorite from Pocahontas, Illinois and was the inaugural “Leffler Memorial” winner in 2013.

But, the biggest storyline remains the race for the 2016 USAC National Midget Championship. Now, with just two races remaining, Spencer Bayston clings to a scant nine-point lead over Tanner Thorson.

Just two weeks ago, Thorson swept all three nights of the “Gold Crown Midget Nationals” at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois to close a 30-point deficit to nine.

Chad Boat is 40 points out of the lead while Brady Bacon still holds onto hope as the fourth and final title contender 77 points behind Bayston.

Just one year ago at the “Leffler Memorial,” who could forget the intense battle between for the win between Bryan Clauson and Rico Abreu?

After leading the first 28 laps, Clauson had to fend off a relentless Abreu for the final, classic 12-lap stretch that saw Abreu throw slider after slider in pursuit of Clauson, where he eventually was able to nip Clauson at the line for the lead on lap 29 of the 40-lap feature.

Abreu used all of the racetrack: high, low and even the guardrail to stay in front of Clauson, but BC had an answer each and every time as he fought his back to the front, getting back by Abreu in the closing laps as Abreu nearly spun it out, but was able to kept it going. But, simultaneously, a yellow-flag for the stopped car of Tanner Thorson gave Abreu another shot.

On the final lap, Rico attempted one last slider on Clauson for the lead and the $20,000 prize, but just couldn’t quite make it stick, allowing Clauson to pull away and take the hard-fought, hard-earned victory in the 2015 “Jason Leffler Memorial.”

General admission tickets for this Thursday’s spectacular at Wayne County Speedway in Wayne City, Illinois are just $15 and pit passes are $35!

Kind of upsetting when someone reads what I’ve copied and pasted from DTD:

Yeah yeah I know, it’s Florida and it’s pavement.  But given how SDW turned out and all the complaints, there is a silver lining:  you guys could be dealing with this crap weekly like we do down here!

On Saturday 10/15 Citrus County speedway hosted the Eddie Brann memorial race, one of the biggest pavement mod races of the year down here.  25 cars showed, 75 laps for $3000 to win and $600 to start.  Now the way pavement works down here is you are required to buy a set of tires at the track, and you’re required to buy so many gallons of fuel at the track, and then you buy your pit passes.  And you buy more pit passes to practice Friday night, because pavement racers like to practice for hours on end.  And sometimes they throw an entry fee on top, but not for this one.  So each modified team was easily into $600-$700 just to get on the track.  By all accounts it was a fine race with good (for pavement) on track action, until it was over.  Then the tech man DQ’d 15 cars for trivial, silly stuff in what seemed like a pre-planned attempt at not paying certain drivers anything.  Most of them were hit by a driver’s window opening that was about 1/2″ too short, but that depended on where you measured it and how you laid the tape on the door.  A few others got DQ’d for violating the rule that states “No aluminium in steering components” rule – because their quick release is aluminium.  I’ve never seen one that isn’t!  In the end the 9th place finisher got paid for winning.  12th place car got paid for 2nd, and he wasn’t even on the lead lap.

Every one of these cars passed pre-tech with no problems.  Almost all of these cars raced the “warmup” race the week before and passed tech with zero problems.  Almost all of these cars have raced at this track this year and passed tech multiple times with no problem.

This is racing in Florida.  Be thankful for what you’ve got up there.

This week in the AARN:


Dietrich Wins Grove National Open For The PA Posse

Ron Ford, Leon Andrus Assume Lease At I-88; Rename It Afton Motorsports Park

Bonsignore’s World Series Mod Tour Win Not Enough To Deny Doug Coby NWMT Championship Crown

Rudolph’s Small Block Sweeps DIRTcar Brockville Weekend

Radically Designed DRX1 Modified Makes Debut At Georgetown

Shullick Takes ISMA Thompson World Series Win, Nabs Title After Lichty Breaks

Schuchart Comes Up Large In Port Royal WoO Sprint Tussle

Nick Rochinski Is The King Of The Can; Track Future Uncertain

Harvick’s Kansas Cup Win Shakes Up ‘Chase’

Last-To-First SK Mod Drive By Ryan Preece Lights Up Thompson World Series

And a few more items:

At the Thompson, Ct. Speedway, last week, the NEMA midgets only drew 12 cars.  The NEMA Lights (Ford Focus and Quad 4 powered full sized midgets) drew 21 cars.  It was cited that the high cost of the midget engines is what has caused the small field.  Guess it’s the same with the ARDC, huh?  My question is:  Will either club open up their eyes and start letting some cheaper (and of course less powerful) engines run with them?  Heck, I think the ARDC only has a couple of races now that are held on half mile tracks.  All others are smaller.

Dave Green, the brother of Robbie Green, and Robbie’s crew chief, is having some medical issues.  How about keeping him in your thoughts and prayers?

As wins go for the Eastern States 200, Brett Hearn has 11.  Next is Danny Johnson with 6.

In the 1985 Eastern States 200, Jack Johnson was a DNQ.  He was added to the end of the field as a “Provisional” starter.  Yes, he won the 200.

In 1965, for the Eastern States 100, Charles Ronald Lux was the winner.  He was also known as Bucky Buckholtz and Bob Hodgson.

Not really much to compare when you have two big-block modifieds running against a 360 sprint car, as you’ll see in this video:

This week’s song:

Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”.  A 45 RPM record played at 33 & 1/3 – real cool!

Looks like that’s about it for this week, folks.  Column will be back next week, then more than likely it will be every other week, for a while.

A usual, you can reach me via email at:  ygordad@yahoo.com

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