Tommy's RaceChasin' Blog

Sunday, June 27, 2010

RACE REPORT: AUTO CITY JUNE 26

By Tommy Goudge (June 26, 2010) - Jimmy McCune led the MustSeeRacing.com Xtreme Sprint Series event at Auto City Speedway from start to finish on Saturday night. Rain hit the track as the Qualifying races were pushing off, creating a late but enjoyable night of racing.

* Note - these are NOT official series results - just my notes from the event.

The event featured a unique format. Here it is: http://mustseeracing.com/text/auto_city_purse_rules.pdf

Time Trials (2 laps)
Position. Number Name (Hometown) - Best Lap
1. 07L Ryan Litt (London, ONT) - 12.967
2. 22 Derek Snyder (Williamston, MI) - 12.975
3. 26b Jeff Bloom (Bangor, MI) - 13.061
4. 40 Jason Cox (Park City, IL) - 13.144
5. 71 Curt Shumaker (Ortonville, MI) - 13.150
6. 81 Troy DeCaire (Tampa, FL) - 13.190
7. 42 Kevin Feeney (Oxford, MI) - 13.228
8. 3x Bo Hartley (Zephyrhills, FL) - 13.265
9. 10s Jason Blonde (Litchfield, MI) - 13.332
10. 88 Jimmy McCune (Toledo, OH) - 13.338
11. 7 Tim Cox (Park City, IL) - 13.340
12. 82 Travis Miniea (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) - 13.343
13. 37 Hank Lower (Angola, IN) - 13.346
14. 9 Chad Goff (Whitemore Lake, MI) - 13.392
15. 26p Aaron Pierce (Daleville, IN) - 13.398
16. 99 Geoff Kaiser (Fort Wayne, IN) - 13.405
17. 24 Bill Tyler (Parma, MI) - 13.450
18. 70 Dorman Snyder (Union City, MI) - 13.462
19. 46 Jim Swain (Union City, MI) - 13.468
20. 55 Mike Ling (Mount Brydges, ONT) - 13.470
21. 19 Dave Baumgartner (Ottawa Lake, MI) - 13.476
22. 6 Mike Larrison (Coatesville, IN) - 13.730
23. 10k Ron Koehler (South Bend, IN) - 13.926
24. 10d Doug Stepke (Brooklyn, MI) - 14.231

Qualifying Order: 55, 82, 10s, 46, 24, 7, 81, 26b, 70, 40, 22, 42, 37, 99, 3x, 07L, 26p, 9, 19, 10k, 6, 88, 10s, 71

NOTES - Ling was first car out and ran two laps with a misfire. The result was the twentieth fastest lap in the session.

Pierce spun between turns one and two on his second qualifying lap.

Nice runs for Troy DeCaire, recent high school grad Jason Cox, and Bo Hartley. All three drivers were running Auto City's unique configuration for the first time.

Announcers said Curt Shumaker's track record is 12.82, I believe it is 12.92, and Curt says he has a plaque that says 12.79. Who is right?

Heat Race #1 (8 laps)
Position. Number Name (Starting Position)
1. 88 Jimmy McCune (3)
2. 99 Geoff Kaiser (1)
3. 7 Tim Cox (2)
4. 07L Ryan Litt (6)
5. 42 Kevin Feeney (4)
6. 40 Jason Cox (5)
7. 70 Dorman Snyder (7)
8. 6 Mike Larrison (8)

Notes - McCune got by Kaiser on the last lap to steal away the heat win, and looked good doing it. Fast qualifier Ryan Litt moved up two spots, including a nice move on Feeney.

Heat Race #2 (8 laps)
Position. Number Name (Starting Position)
1. 55 Mike Ling (1)
2. 3x Bo Hartley (4)
3. 9 Chad Goff (2)
4. 82 Travis Miniea (3)
5. 71 Curt Shumaker (5)
6. 10k Ron Koehler (8)
7. 22 Derek Snyder (6) DNF
8. 46 Jim Swain (7) DNF

Notes - Goff got the jump on the start and took off, but Ling tracked him down and made the winning pass just before halfway.

Hartley again looked impressive in moving up two spots.

Second place qualifier Derek Snyder took his machine to the pits and scratched for the night with mechanical problems.

Swain went to the pits after taking the green flag.

Heat Race #3 (8 laps)
Position. Number Name (Starting Position)
1. 10s Jason Blonde (4)
2. 26p Aaron Pierce (2)
3. 19 Dave Baumgartner (7)
4. 37 Hank Lower (3)
5. 26b Jeff Bloom (6)
6. 81 Troy DeCaire (5)
7. 24 Bill Tyler (1)
8. 10d Doug Stepke (8)

Notes - DeCaire spun in turn four at the halfway mark to bring out a caution and bring Pierce within striking distance of Blonde, who had moved to second.

Tyler fell through the pack after Baumgartner slid high and the two made contact. There may have been damage on the #24.

Qualifier #1 (20 laps - Top Ten transfer to feature)
Position. Number Name (Starting Position)
1. 82 Travis Miniea (2)
2. 55 Mike Ling (6)
3. 10s Jason Blonde (7)
4. 24 Bill Tyler (1)
5. 99 Geoff Kaiser (4)
6. 42 Kevin Feeney (5)
7. 9 Chad Goff (3)
8. 07L Ryan Litt (10)
9. 26b Jeff Bloom (9)
10. 71 Curt Shumaker (8)
11. 10k Ron Koehler (12)
12. 46 Jim Swain (11)

Notes - The field was pushed off and ready to go when rain started to fall. The cars were sent to the pit area, and the rain became heavier shortly thereafter. Three hours of track drying and 100 lap Super Stock feature later, the Sprints were back on track.

Miniea led from green to checkered, but all eyes were on Ling and Blonde, who both moved up four spots. Both would have run down Miniea if the race were a lap or two longer.

Qualifier #2 (20 laps - Top Ten transfer to feature)
Position. Number Name (Starting Position)
1. 37 Hank Lower (2)
2. 70 Dorman Snyder (1)
3. 19 Dave Baumgartner (3)
4. 81 Troy DeCaire (6)
5. 88 Jimmy McCune (7)
6. 40 Jason Cox (9)
7. 3x Bo Hartley (8)
8. 10d Doug Stepke (12)
9. 6 Mike Larrison (11)
10. 7 Tim Cox (4) DNF
11. 26p Aaron Pierce (5) DNS
12. 22 Derek Snyder (10) DNS

Notes - Seventy-two year old Lower showed the way throughout.

Tim Cox took his machine to the infield early in the race and was done for the night.

DeCaire and McCune moved up two spots each, while young Jason Cox did a nice job moving up three spots.

Snyder was done after his heat. Not sure what happened to Pierce, who looked good in his heat.

FEATURE (20 laps)
Position. Number Name (Starting Position)
1. 88 Jimmy McCune (1)
2. 40 Jason Cox (2)
3. 81 Troy DeCaire (4)
4. 07L Ryan Litt (6)
5. 55 Mike Ling (10)
6. 10s Jason Blonde (9)
7. 70 Dorman Snyder (3)
8. 19 Dave Baumgartner (5)
9. 82 Travis Miniea (8)
10. 26b Jeff Bloom (11)
11. 37 Hank Lower (7)
12. 42 Kevin Feeney (14)
13. 24 Bill Tyler (15)
14. 10d Doug Stepke (18)
15. 9 Chad Goff (17)
16. 10k Ron Koehler (20)
17. 3x Bo Hartley (12)
18. 46 Jim Swain (21)
19. 6 Mike Larrison (19)
20. 99 Geoff Kaiser (13) DNF
21. 71 Curt Shumaker (16) DNF

NOTES - McCune led throughout, though Cox was never far behind. Litt, Ling, Blonde, and DeCaire were worth the price of admission.

McCune took the lead at the start, while back in the pack Litt and DeCaire each gained a spot, and Ling was up to eighth when Mike Larrison spun to bring out a caution with two laps complete.

Ling continued his charge through the field on the restart, while McCune took command out front.

Caution flew again on lap twelve for a tangle between Koehler and Swain coming out of turn four. Both restarted, although Swain suffered damage to the front wing. The restart order was 88, 40, 81, 07L, 55, 70, 10s, 81, 19, and 26b.

The restart found Troy DeCaire getting crossed up exiting turn two. Litt tried to go to the outside, but clipped DeCaire's nerf bar with his left front wheel. Ling pounced and got by both of them, but everything was negated when Hartley spun behind them to bring the caution back out.

McCune led the rest of the way. Cox held DeCaire off for second. Litt and Ling diced for the fourth spot after the lap twelve restart, with Litt prevailing.

More info on www.MustSeeRacing.com

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Break-In At Joel Lehman's Race Shop

I was asked to pass along this information...any help is greatly appreciated. Joel Lehman is a longtime local Sprint Car racer and former SOS champion from the Guelph area.

"Hi,

We had a break in at our shop this past Friday mid morning.

Stolen was:

- BRAND NEW ASCS headed 360 long block; Crower, JE, Huggins, T&D, Shaver,
Hampshire, with engine stand

- 2-7/16 Hilborn injectors complete; 6 stacks and 3 filters; they dropped one
pair of stacks and one filter on the way out

- Honda EM3500 generator

- Aluminum race jack

- Race bag containing, Race suit (embroidered with my name!), Bell GTX
helmet/spare visor, nomex underwear/gloves/restraints etc, LEAF shoes, AMB Transponder (#3857597)and charger

- Miller Syncrowave 200 TIG Welder and accessories

- Racers tool box; full of everything you can imagine

There is a limited market for this type of equipment in our area. This has
serious impact to our racing efforts. Please contact me at
4zsprint@gmail.com with any information.


thanks
Joel"

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fab Five Freshmen



London, Ontario (January 29, 2010) - The new teams just keep on coming. We already knew of at least three drivers moving into the local Sprint Car ranks in 2010, and the latest news says two more talented racers are throwing their hats (helmets?) into the ring. Cheektowaga, NY asphalt Late Model driver Todd Hoddick, and former Merrittville dirt Modified racer Jamie Turner join Stevin Goldner, Chris Steele, and Shane Butler, who we heard about in the fall.

In spite of his relative youth - he'll turn 26 in March - Hoddick brings an impressive resume to his new venture. He started in Karts at age 10, and began his full size stock car career just 4 years later. Along with Late Model track championships at Lancaster and Lake Erie, the Buffalo-area driver has also competed part time in ARCA, ASA, and USAR Pro Cup, and spent much of last season driving an SST Modified. The team plans to concentrate on Friday nights at Ohsweken, though they may miss opening night while Todd attends class for his Masters degree.

"We will see how things go and how quickly we adapt to these type cars before we decide on traveling," says Todd. "I am hoping to get out as much as possible before the season starts to get some seat time in the car. We know it will definitely be a challenge, and hope to become competitive by the end of the season."

Turner brings lots of dirt Modified experience and should be a force to be reckoned with almost immediately. Jamie is part of an extensive racing family, as father Don was a mainstay at Merrittville for over 40 years, while brother-in-law Joe Plazek is no stranger to local short track fans either. Ohsweken regular Mikey Kruchka is happy about Jamie's new venture, and he's pretty familiar with the car Turner aquired - the Kevin Loveys #18.

"I'm very excited because Jamie's shop has been the home for my sprint car since the start," says Mikey. "When I was 15 and just got into racing he let me help out and work on his crew when he raced 358's. He is like another big brother to me."

Goldner - the youngest of the rookie contingent - had a fire in his shop at Christmas time and was unsure of his status for the coming season. A month later he is much more optimistic.

"We're all good...(The) body's getting painted at the moment," says Stevin. "The great guys at Metal Works helped us out a bunch. Hoping it's going to be done for March for the London Auto Expo."

On the pavement side of things, the Can-Am Midget club's tentative schedule is posted, and does not show Flamboro Speedway. A mainstay for most of the club's 40+ years, it seems at least somewhat likely we won't see them there this year. There's also talk of the Late Models getting some nights off, leaving many to wonder what exactly IS going to run on Saturday nights there this summer. The Midgets will still have a good number of races at other area tracks, including a potential return to Delaware in August.

Canada will have full-time representation on the World of Outlaws Sprint Car trail for the first time in many years (was Tim Gee the last?) when Toni Lutar takes the green flag at Volusia next week. Although he'll turn 52 on St. Patrick's Day, the White Rock, B.C. resident is officially in contention with 36 year old Ben Gregg and 20 year old Cody Darrah for the Kevin Gobrecht rookie of the year award. The big news out of the WoO this week is a change to double-file restarts, and other procedural changes.

Enjoy Hockey Day in Canada tomorrow. If you're in London, call or e-mail your local politicians and tell them we want outdoor ice rinks. THAT'S the way to grow "our game".

tommygoudge@hotmail.com is the best way to find me. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook too.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Shoulda Gone to the Chili Bowl...


London, Ontario (January 19, 2009) - Each January 250+ race car drivers and a huge crowd cram into the QuikTrip Center, one of the largest "clearspan" buildings in the world. They go for what is arguably the biggest dirt track event in the world - the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. So my question to myself today is: Why haven't I been there yet?! I need to rectify this sad state of affairs next year.

According to those in attendance, one of the biggest topics of conversation in Tulsa last week was the North American debut of the V8 built by New Zealand's Simon Longdill. This year he brought his Agressor team overseas with Kiwi drivers Michael Pickens and Brad Mosen.

The engine is made from two Kawasaki ZX12R 1200 blocks and cylinder heads put together to form a 147 cubic inch 80 degree V8. It is not legal in any midget sanction in the US that I know of (with the possible exception of the Badger series), but at the Chili Bowl, pretty much anything goes...

American driver Davey Ray played a big part in the development of the engine, which has been running successfully in Australia and New Zealand for the past couple of years.

After 5 nights of racing, Kevin Swindell came out the victor, but both the V8's made it into the feature as well. Toni Lutar and Glenn Styres were the only Canadian drivers in the event, with Styres the best of the two after an 8th place finish in the first "E Main" on Saturday night. Full results and story are on http://www.chilibowl.com

Lots of video coverage of the event on YouTube if you search "Chili Bowl". Some of the best coverage is on these channels:

http://www.youtube.com/user/lucasoiltv

http://www.youtube.com/user/hosehead3366

http://www.youtube.com/user/simonlongdill

Speed Channel will show a 2 hour highlight show from the Chili Bowl on Saturday, February 13 @ 9pm Eastern time.

Glenn Styres will be back in action in just a few weeks when the "outdoor" racing season gets underway in Florida. He'll race on the dirt at East Bay Raceway Park and Volusia Speedway Park.

Canada will also be represented on Florida blacktop by Ryan Litt. The London resident is going back behind the wheel of a DeCaire Motorsports entry at Citrus County Speedway, New Smyrna Speedway, and Desoto Speedway.

Travis Rutz continues on his long road to recovery, and he and his family can still use your help. If you have anything left after paying your post-Christmas credit card bills, visit www.TravisRutz.com and do what you can to help.

While you've got your wallet out, think of Kevin Brown, the referee whose throat was slashed by a skate in a Woodstock Junior C game on December 29 as he tried to break up a fight. A trust fund is set up at Libro Financial Group in his name. His condition is gradually improving, but Kevin remains in hospital here in London.

Fights in hockey aren't just dangerous to players, but officials too. Even the death of a player as a result of a hockey fight last year hasn't had much of an effect it seems. What IS it going to take?

Until next time, drop me a line - tommygoudge@hotmail.com

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Full Moon Fever


London, Ontario (December 3, 2009) - Strange occurrences in the sporting world over the last few days made me wonder if there was a full moon...as it turns out, it was yesterday.

Superstition is something I've tried to get away from over the years - I don't have much of a choice really after smashing so many mirrors at a demolition job in my teen years, and having a black cat. I have, however, come to believe that strange and/or interesting things DO happen around the time of the month when the moon is full.

Just a few things that happened over the last few days:

- Florida Panthers Defenseman Keith Ballard sends teammate Tomas Vokoun to the hospital with a swing A-Rod would be proud of..

- The Roughriders squander their chance at a second Grey Cup in three years, Don Cherry-style.

- Sabres goalie Ryan Miller's clearing attempt goes through a small cutout in the glass where photographers point their cameras, hitting a Toronto Star photog in the face.

- The Buffalo Bills win a football game, and the Maple Leafs get a shutout.

This last item is enough to make me think hell has frozen over too...

Earlier this year the full moon struck a couple of times at races I was working. In July just a few days after a full moon, "Batman" Adam West passed Rick Wilson for a feature win...Has anyone ever passed Rick Wilson on the outside for a win at Brighton before?!

Under an August full moon, we had one of the longest, most wreck-filled nights of racing I've seen at Ohsweken. Teammates Glenn Styres and Ryan Hunsinger crashed heavily, Mikey Kruchka had a huge crash in turn two that left him injured for the remainder of the season, and tires were peeling off Thunder Stocks left and right.

One of the strangest nights of racing I've seen happened on the night of a full moon a few years ago at Auto City Speedway. Two Sprints and a Modified ended up on their lids that night - rarities at a paved track. On the drive home, we encountered a car driving in reverse down the interstate...

Speaking of Auto City, 410 sprint cars are back at the egg-shaped track this June after a year away. They'll be under the new Xtreme Sprint Series banner. The schedule for the series was released Tuesday, featuring twelve televised events on Comcast. While the Hoosier Outlaw Sprint Series is working with the new group, the Auto Value Super Sprints are not. In fact AVSS has a race scheduled at Berlin Raceway on the same day as the Auto City race. On the other hand, AVSS will NOT be a part of the season ending Open Wheel Spectacular at Berlin. Go figure.

This week's trivia: Mike Ling of Mount Brydges, Ontario was first to break the 13 second barrier at Auto City. Just eighty miles from the Bluewater Bridge, Auto City could have been considered Mike's "home track" before Delaware returned to the AVSS schedule. It was sort of a home track for me too, actually...

The USAC Western Sprint Car series portion of Turkey Night at Irwindale, CA once again featured a few Canadians last week. Chris Schmelzle, Jeff Bird, and Matt Mansell made the long trip from Vancouver Island for the 69th annual race. Bird came out best of the Canucks with a 16th place finish.

The off-season upgrades continue for Ontario's Sprint Car teams. Chris Jones has a J&J chassis for next year, while Rick and April Wilson are going to try some 410 racing.

"We might run Florida in February," says April. "If not, then we are for sure going to run a few races in PA in March, and go 360 racing in the summer. Then if there's any 410 races close like Ohsweken we will go!"

A piece of Ontario racing history changed hands in October. The restored Ted Hogan/Doug Duncan "Flying 7" sold for $13,375 CAD at an RM Auction.

It's been just short of fifty years since Hogan was killed in a small plane crash. Duncan went on to build the first truly successful rear engine Supermodified at Oswego, and passed away just a few years ago. A Don Edmunds Midget piloted to the 1972 USAC championship by Pancho Carter also sold at the auction for over $10,000.

If you lost out on the Hogan car, perhaps you'll be interested in The Time Machine, which is on the block these days. Both Flying 7 and Time Machine (to name just two) belong permanently in the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame, but they seem to have different priorities down there in Toronto.

Back to the Grey Cup for a moment...A lot of media folks pointed out various things that led to Saskatchewan coughing it up, but one play so far ignored is the 2-point convert attempt Montreal made after their touchdown made the score 27-25. Instead of tying the game, apparent pass interference that went uncalled kept the 'Riders in front with less than 2 minutes to play. Saskatchewan went two and out after the ensuing kickoff and gave the ball back to Montreal with enough time to get down the field and kick the winning field goal...but in a tie game Saskatchewan's play-calling may well have been different, with overtime a possibility.

It won't surprise me if somebody gets manure dumped on their lawn out in the prairies before this week is out, but way more than the too-many-men penalty is to blame for the Green Riders losing the game - They were ahead by sixteen points with less than eleven minutes left.

If you're in the area, come visit me in the booth at Sailors home games this winter. Or, just like Vegas, the inbox at tommygoudge@hotmail.com is always open too.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Vous voulez le mieux? Quebec Gets Outlaws!


London, Ontario (November 26, 2009) - Ok so it's likely not an accurate translation, but Johnny Gibson might be taking some French lessons this off-season so he can do his trademark line in Quebec next year...Tuesday, July 27 at Autodrome Drummond is the date announced over the weekend. Drummond will kick off a three-race Canadian swing for the tour, finishing July 30/31 at Ohsweken Speedway.

A renewal for the tour at Edmonton's Castrol Raceway was already announced back in August, making three Canadian provinces on the schedule next year. The Drummond event will mark the tour's first visit to Quebec, but area fans are no strangers to sprint car racing - they pack the joint when ESS comes to town. The World of Outlaws Late Model series has also made successful visits to Drummond over the last few seasons.

Tentative 2010 ISMA dates are now in public view. Quebec fans might see the Supers too, because series officials are looking into a companion event to go with their July 17 date at Airborne Speedway. The Plattsburgh, NY track is located just seventy miles South of Montreal. ISMA will also return to Delaware Speedway for a doubleheader on Civic Holiday weekend for the second year in a row.

Earlier this month we heard about Stevin Goldner moving to Sprints...This week we heard yet another London-area racer is joining the Sprint Car fold in 2010. Wonderland Speedway regular Shane Butler is moving up to the big cars as a teammate to Chris Durand. Both drivers plan to run weekly at Ohsweken as well as on the SOS tour.

After spending their rookie years learning the ropes with older equipment, both Durand and Brockville's Paul Pekkonen are re-arming for 2010. Durand picked up an Eagle courtesy of Tyler Rand, while Pekkonen found an '08 JEI from Pennsylvania.

The Niagara area also has yet another "Modified Refugee" moving to Sprints next year in the form of Fenwick's Chris Steele, who turns 23 on Christmas Day. The veteran of Mod-Lites and 358 Modifieds has aquired a Craig Mintz machine from Ohio and plans to race at Ohsweken in 2010.

Possibly the last Ontario open-wheeler to race outdoors in 2009, Ryan Litt didn't have the results he'd hoped for in a trip down South. Engine troubles derailed a 6th place qualifying effort at Concord, while a one-groove Citrus County track prevented much movement through the pack. Litt now looks forward to next season and the Xtreme Sprint Series. A schedule for the new series is reported to be available by next week's PRI show in Orlando.

A tip of the cap to Mark Sammut for a banner year in 2009. The London driver claimed his first two career ISMA wins this year, along with a MSA/Oswego challenge race. He also got a career best finish in the ISMA season championship by taking the runner-up spot.

Coming from out of town for the CPT Racing Experience at London's Western Fair Agriplex in January? Special racer's rates are available at a couple of hotels...details at the following link: http://www.cptrace.com/accommodations.php.

Next year I'll be "Tweeting" from most races. Follow along at www.Twitter.com/TommyGoudge. Updates to www.TheRaceChasers.com are also in the works this winter...stay tuned.

I'll leave with this question - How come dirt track fans in this province also keep tabs on area pavement racing, while the pavement fans all but ignore dirt tracks? Many from the local tar car set are just hearing the name Steve Arpin for the first time this week, courtesy of Norris McDonald...

Send your thoughts to tommygoudge@hotmail.com

Thursday, October 29, 2009

As Usual, NASCAR Gets It Wrong


London, Ontario (October 29, 2009) - My opinion of Dick Berggren is occasionally on the low end of the spectrum, but he definitely got it right Sunday night on Wind Tunnel from Thompson Speedway. Host Dave Despain asked "Doctor Dick" his thoughts on the inaugural class of inductees for NASCAR's new hall of fame, to which he replied that Raymond Parks ought to have been among them.

The omission of anyone from the first years of NASCAR other than Bill France, Sr. is disapointing, but not surprising. Pick up a copy of Driving With The Devil if you want to learn about NASCAR's real beginnings. I agree with Kevin Eckert's philosphy about halls of fame; going in on the first ballot is not particularly important, but at 95 years old, Parks is not going to be here forever. Let's hope he's still around to see his name go up on the wall.

Exactly a month after his terrible crash at Terre Haute Action Track, Travis Rutz went home to Langley, BC on Tuesday. He's still in a coma and has a long recovery ahead of him, so keep the donations coming.

Mark Sammut was just over 6 laps away from his third career ISMA victory on Sunday at Thompson, CT but it wasn't to be. Sammut lost his right front wheel on lap 43 of the ISMA finale after holding off fellow Canuck Mike Lichty for much of the event. Chris Perley made a spectacular charge to cap off another championship season with the feature win at Thompson, while Sammut finished the season ranked second in points, his best finish yet in ISMA.

While most Canadian racers are done for the season, Ryan Litt is not. The London, Ontario resident will head for North Carolina and Florida in November to compete with the TBARA series. Litt will drive a third entry for DeCaire Motorsports, a strong team in the Southeast that has claimed the last two TBARA championships. The Concord, NC event is part of the North-South Shootout weekend where Supermodifieds have run, but are replaced with Sprint Cars this year.

More sprint car rookies are on the horizon for Ontario next season. Aylmer's Stevin Goldner will make the jump from the JCAR series up to full size cars next year, and he'll do it with a chassis some sharp-eyed fans might recognize. A brand new car in the 2005 season, it had just 7 races on it when Les MacMillan packed it in.

How good can Jesse Hockett be? Some quick reading before the TJSlideways show Tuesday night revealed "Rocket Hockett" has 25 feature wins in the last 12 months, including the Oval Nationals ($12,500), Ronald Laney Memorial ($13,000), and the Ultimate Challenge ($15,000)...and he's only 26 years old.

Send your comments, thoughts, complaints, and whatever else you've got to tommygoudge@hotmail.com and until next time, keep visiting www.TravisRutz.com.