August 31, 2008

URC Sprints Results from New Egypt Speedway 8/30/2009  

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J.J. Grasso's 4th Consecutive Win at NES

Last night again had some great racing on tap at New Egypt Speedway. The URC Sprint Series was in town this week and they put on an excellent show. The schedule was moving along at a decent pace until the rains came at around 8:30 PM. After about an hour and a half delay to work the track in, it was feature time and the track was smooth, tacky and very fast.

You can find complete results at SouthJerseyDirtRacing.com.

URC Sprints
J.J. Grasso won his fourth consecutive URC Sprint feature at New Egypt, pretty much dominating the rest of the field. Grasso was so much faster in the corners than everyone else, running right on the edge. There were a few times where the car bounced a bit coming out of turn 4, I thought for sure he was in trouble, but he stayed in it and put on a great show.

Modifieds
Sam Martz pretty much had the field covered, and brought home his 2nd Modified victory of the season. Rich Rutski finished 2nd, and Billy Pauch finished 3rd.

Modified Winner Sam Martz in Victory Lane

Billy Pauch Story
Billy Pauch is a lucky man. He got crashed out of his heat, and only qualified 8th in the consi on a dry slick track. Since he already used his one provisional this year, Pauch was not qualified and would have to go home. This would surely end any chance he had of winning his fourth New Egypt Speedway Modified Championship.

Then it started to rain. As I sat talking with talking with a friend, we thought, wouldn't it be cool if Pauch stuck around just in case some Modified drivers decided to go home rather than wait out the rain? If just two qualified cars went home, then Pauch, as second alternate, would be in the show.

Well, I don't really know how it happened, but just before the modified feature, it was announced that two cars decided to pack it up and go home. Isn't that convenient?

Pauch was in the show. It turns out that Pauch would have been in the show anyway, because at least two additional modified drivers, including the 10G of Brian Godown, were not allowed to start the feature because they did not help run the track in after the rain, which was mandatory. So two additional unqualified alternates made their way into the feature behind Pauch. Whew.

So Billy Pauch started 22nd, but with the heavy, tacky track, he fought his way to a 3rd place finish. Pauch made some contact with Keith Hoffman in a late race pass for 3rd, just going into turn 3 under Hoffman a bit too hard.

I made my way over the to spectator deck overlooking the tech area, which happens to be right next to Keith Hoffman's pit, to see if there would be any trouble between Pauch and Hoffman. There were no issues. Hoffman kept his cool and stayed in his pit. I'm sure Keith has a good memory though, and I wouldn't be surprised to some more racing action between them in the closing weeks.


August 30, 2008

Jackson Outlet Cruise Night: August 29, 2008  

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Last night I attended the Jackson Outlet Cruise Night, located at the Jackson Premium Outlets in Jackson, NJ, for the first time this year. With literally hundreds of cars, and plenty of atmosphere, I really enjoyed the event. This event is run by a car club called The Fossils of South Jersey.

At this show you get just what the name of the car club implies. Lots of old cars, some very friendly people, and a few grouchy old men who just want everything to be the way it was when they were growing up. After all, the show is limited to pre-1975 American made cars. How about the guy with the with the bright green T-shirt that reads, "What part of 1974 and older and American made don't your understand?" or something to that effect. Geez.

Anyway, on to the cars. Here are a few that really caught my interest for one reason or another.



1969 or 1970 Shelby GT 500

Not sure of the year, but this was a super clean example. The engine compartment is absolutely beautiful, with what appears to be a mechanical fuel injection system installed.

1932 Ford Coupe

I like the wheels, the paint, just an overall great look. I particularly like the flame job.




1965 or 1966 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport

This car has a great look. Super straight with black paint, slammed to the ground. Wheel choice is just about perfect for my tastes. I spoke briefly with the owner, who told me the car had an Air Ride suspension that allowed him to raise and lower the car at will. The Air Ride systems are expensive, but allow you to have a great handling ride, practical street use, and that slammed look when parked. Kewl.


1932 Ford Roadster

Here's a 32 Roadster with the full fendered look. Clean and classic.

I have a few more, but I'm out of time for now, so I'll create another post for the rest.

Chrysler Considers Sale of Viper: Is this a good thing?  

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According to a New York Times blog, Chrysler is considering selling off its Dodge Viper sports car business as a way to raise cash.

CEO Robert Nardelli states, “We have been approached by third parties who are interested in exploring future possibilities for Viper….As the company evaluates strategic options to maximize core operations and leverage its assets, we have agreed to listen to these parties.”

So, is this a good thing? It depends. Do you love the Viper, and want to see its legacy continue on? Then this is a good thing, because according to a February 2008 blog post at Jalopnik.com, Chrysler has already decided to end Viper production in 2011. The sale of the Dodge Viper business by Chrysler might be the only way to keep the car alive.

I have mixed feelings on this one. On the one hand, the Viper has never really had much relevance to me because I can’t afford one, and even if I could, the Viper would be far enough down on my wish list that I might never get around to buying one. If I checked my list of “must have” cars, I don’t think a Viper would even make the top 50.

On the other hand, I want to see the Viper survive because it is a bad ass V-10 powered hot rod that deserves to continue on, even if I may never own one. If you love cars, if you are a true gearhead, then you have to appreciate this car for what it is.

So, I think Chrysler selling of the Dodge Viper is a good thing because it is probably the only chance for the Dodge Viper to survive.

August 20, 2008

StockCarScience.com Review  

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I recently came across an excellent site called stockcarscience.com. I first heard about this site while listening to Dave Moody on Sirius Nascar radio. This site is run by a college Physics professor by the name of Diandra Leslie-Pelecky. Diandra has also written a book called "The Physics of NASCAR: How to Make Steel + Gas + Rubber = Speed." I haven't read the book, but it will be on my Christmas list.

Anyway, Diandra provides some excellent insight into various technical topics regarding Nascar racing. For example, she recently discussed the cause of the Goodyear tire issue at Indy, and just yesterday discussed the magnet scandal involving the Joe Gibbs Racing Nationwide teams. My suggestion would be to browse the blog topics, and also to click on the Science tab from the home page for starters.

If you are looking for pretty pictures, you won't find them at stockcarscience.com. What you will find are detailed technical discussions around Nascar technology. For instance, I wanted to know what the differences were between the restrictor plates used in Cup at Talladega and Daytona, and the tapered spacers used in the Nationwide series. I found the answer here, in a blog post that is quite technical, yet written so well that it is easy to understand.

Check this out for yourself. I think you'll be pleased.

August 19, 2008

1956 DeSoto FireDome Sighting  

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This bitchin Desoto was parked at the front gate to New Egypt Speedway on a recent Saturday night. I wasn't even sure of the year, but guessed it was from the late 50's. After doing a bit of research, I am pretty sure the car is a 1956 DeSoto FireDome.

Something about this car just oozes style to me. Put on a set of chrome smoothies on this thing, lower the back a couple of inches, and you would have a real attention getter at any local cruise or show.

New Egypt Speedway 8/16/2008  

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I again attended New Egypt Speedway last Saturday night and saw some great racing. ARDC midgets were running, which was pretty cool, but the Outlaw Stocks had the night off, which was not cool, because I like watching them run. I just like the unpredictability of them and the unique character of each car, which are based on street cars.

If you want the full rundown, you can go to www.newegyptspeedway.net for the results. Rather than just rehash the same old results here, I thought I would focus on other stuff, like post race tech.



The above photo shows post race tech for the Crate 1 Sportsman. Shown in the photo are the 2nd and 3rd place finishers. Not seen in the photo is the unofficial winner, Pat Hires, in victory lane. Pat Hires and the 2nd place finisher, Richie Cass, had just battled each other on the last lap, fighting through lapped cars and each other.

1st of all, notice the visible security presence? That's because just last week there was an all out brawl in the pits between Sam Martz and Frank Cozze, and pretty much their entire crews. Looks like Security is taking no chances this week.

The 1st place car of Pat Hires, and the 3rd place car of John Haegele were disqualified after failing post-race tech for illegal carburetors. The 75 car of Richie Cass, the car to the left in the photo above, ended up being declared the winner.

I really like the way NES does the post-race tech this year. The tech area is at the edge of the pits, just below the spectator deck, in a public area for all to see. Very transparent, and interesting to watch at times.

So, does fightin' and cheatin' have any place in local short track racing? Hell yes! It just makes me want to go back next week to see what will happen next. Also, the post-race tech problems with the Crate 1 class has put this class on my radar, where I have been ignoring this class pretty much all season. I'm not the only one, it seems that attendance has been up lately, and there is a bit of edginess in the air on Saturday night.

August 12, 2008

Corvette ZR1 video from Nurburgring  

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Here is a video released by GM of the new Corvette ZR1 pacing the Nurburgring in Germany in 7:26.4. That is fast. I love watching in-car driving shots, and this is a good one. Seven minutes of all out driving at the limit around a 12.9 mile (I think) road course. See for yourself:

August 10, 2008

New Egypt Speedway Results 8/9/2008  

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I attended New Egypt Speedway again last night and saw some excellent racing. You can find the complete results in this post here at southjerseydirtracing.com, and also at 3widespicturevault.com.

Joe at 3widespicturevault.com has some great "off track" photos from New Egypt, which can be found here. I want to thank Joe at 3widespicturevault.com for allowing me to use a few of his photos.

Outlaw Stocks-Vern McLaughlin makes a last lap, last turn pass through lapped traffic to take his 1st win at New Egypt Speedway over Gary Klimecheck, who has so far dominated the season.




Modified - First time winner Kenny Meisner holds off big dogs Billy Pauch and Frank Cozze. They were running hard. No lapped cars, no mistakes, Kenny just flat outran them. Wanna see something cool? Go over to 3widespicturevault.com and scroll to the bottom and you will see photos of both Kenny Meisner, along with a picture of his father Phil Meisner in Victory Lane at Flemington Speedway.



SS Sprint - Former Modified driver, and full time URC Sprint car driver Mark Bitner was flying around the top to win the feature in a borrowed car. Early leader Lee Taylor Jr. got caught up with a lapped car and flipped violently, but walked away.



Sportsman - Track was getting dry and slick, but there was plenty of three wide racing, and Willie Osmun just charged to the front. He had everyone covered. Very exciting to watch.




Super Stock - They ran as well, but I missed most of the feature and don't have any photos from victory lane. Billy Bauer won the feature.

There were several serious accidents tonight. Lee Taylor Jr. flipped while leading the SS Sprint feature, but was reportedly OK. There was also a pileup and wreck in the Sportsman consi, with at least one car, I believe it was Chad Barney, flipping. Finally, there was a large pile up in the Modified feature, which sent Modified driver John Keller to the hospital to get checked out. Word is that he suffered some neck and back injuries. Hopefully John will be OK and back racing soon.

August 7, 2008

Go Stock Car Racing for 1500 Bucks  

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I saw this Outlaw Stock for sale at New Egypt Speedway last week. Looks like a mid 1980s Chevrolet Monte Carlo. The sign states,"$1500 or B/O." That's cheap racing right there.

This car could run in Outlaw Stock, which with the closing of Wall Stadium, has grown into a pretty decent class at New Egypt. Last week there were about 25 cars. What I like about Outlaw Stock is that the cars are actually built from real street cars, and don't all look alike.

There is a good mix of 1980's G-bodies (Montes, Regals, Cutlasses, Grand Prix), a few Camaros, and last week there was even a Duster. Cool. There is plenty of contact and unpredictability in this class which makes them fun to watch.

August 6, 2008

In Car Camera footage from New Egypt Speedway  

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Here is some great in-car camera footage from New Egypt Speedway, posted on Youtube by John McClelland. Sportsman racer John McClelland pretty much posts his in-car footage every week. This footage, from August 2, shows John finishing 3rd in the feature.




Click on the link to see additional in-care footage from New Egypt Speedway:
New Egypt Speedway on YouTube

August 2, 2008

New Egypt Speedway Review  

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Modified Winner Tom Carberry



Tonight I attended New Egypt Speedway and saw some nice racing. New Egypt Speedway is a 4/10 mile dirt track located in South Jersey.

They ran 5 divisions tonight: Modifieds (big block), Sportsman (modified running restricted small block), Super Stock (like a late model), Crate 1 Sportsman (Modified cars using crate engines), and Outlaw Stock (street cars with cages, aka Bomber class).

The track had to deal with a rain delay, but once they got going, the show moved along pretty well tonight. I think 5 classes is a bit much, especially with 3 divisions running the same chassis (with different engines), but with the Crate 1 and Outlaw classes only running a feature, the entire program was over in about 4 hours. There is also a sprint class that runs at New Egypt, but they were off tonight.

The track surface was smooth tonight with plenty of bite.

You can get the race results online at the SouthJerseyDirtRacing.com message board, or directly at newegyptspeedway.net. Apparently there is some sort of pissing match between the two sites over New Egypt race results, so you may have to check both sites.


Pleasantly surprised with Rolex Sports Car Series  

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I just got finished watching the Rolex Sports Car Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada. I never paid much attention to this series, but I just got SpeedTV in HD, so I watched the race tonight. Man, that was one hell of a race.

There were two classes running together, Daytona Prototypes,
and GT. There was plenty of close racing and contact in both classes, with plenty of lead changes. The end was very dramatic as the leader ran out of gas about 100' before the checkered flag and threw it all away.

The website for the series is at www.grand-am.com. It can be a bit slow loading, but that could be due to the race just ending.

August 1, 2008

Grandma’s 1965 Dodge Dart  

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I came across this really cool video on another blog, hotrodhomepage.com, about a guy and his grandmother’s car that he inherited. I have to agree that this is a great story.




This video got me thinking about my grandmother’s car and how I was an unwilling participant in its untimely demise. The car was a garage kept 1965 Dodge Dart with 17,000 miles. My grandmother bought the car new and rarely drove. This car was clean. I found a blog with a picture of a 1965 Dodge Dart, that also describes my grandmother’s driving habits to a T.

My older sister first got her hands on the car and blew the engine. How do you cook a Mopar slant six with only 17,000 miles on it? Easy, never add any OIL! The good news is that used slant sixes were a dime a dozen, so in went another engine.

Soon thereafter, my older brother got his driver’s license and started driving. This was good for me, since we both listened to the same music, smoked the same cigarettes, and he could actually tolerate me cruising around with him.

So we’re cruising around a couple towns over, driving around looking for some girl that we recently met (that is another story). Well, without going into the painful details, my bro ends up wrecking the car, and we both take an ambulance ride. I have a distinct memory of looking out the windshield, seeing no hood, but the engine being on fire. My door wouldn’t open, so I shimmied out the window “Dukes of Hazzard” style.

That Dodge Dart was all used up. So much for me getting Grandma’s car as a hand me down.