Throwin' It Down
Throwin It Down: New Egypt Speedway
Super Stock Mid-Way Review
The Super Stocks have to deal with a lot being, more or less, what many people tend to consider the lowest support division. Some call them junkers. Some call them street stocks. Some just call them nasty names I wont be typing into my column. But I call them, in general, the best show of the evening at New Egypt Speedway. Sure, the big blocks offer raw power and some of the best drivers in the North East but the Super Stocks, more like a limited late model these days, are packed with some fantastic drivers and a field of well built race cars. In years past I found very little excitement in the division but that can no longer be said, this group is really quite stellar and put on, almost each and every week, an amazing show for onlookers. With that said, lets jump in and see how things are going to date!
Pat Freiberger Pat is clearly one of the best drivers in the division. Unfortunately, Pat has had a year of ups and downs. Hes had some very solid runs, including two wins but has also had some terrible weeks where the car broke or he was caught up in accidents. Hes always a contender for the win but he just hasnt had the kind of luck you need to be a top 5 in the point standings
George Quinlan Quinlan, like Freiberger, has brought home two victories to date but unlike Freiberger, hes been rock solid and added an element of consistency. This is the main factor in contributing to the fact that he currently leads the division and is showing no signs what so ever of slowing down. While he surely doesnt have a lock on the division, he sure is running well and if he can keep it up, will bring home his first Super Stock championship!
Jake Roveda Redwood, as many refer to Roveda as, has a great car owner in Bill Miscoski but has not had the kind of year hes used to. Roveda and the crew at Roveda Speed and Custom have been experimenting with their car to try and bring more information and better results to their clients. That fact has clearly set Roveda back but Jake has really been stepping it up as of late. His two victories and 32 point deficit in the championship run are things that could easily change. Roveda could be the 2006 champ if he can set sail and continue along the path hes been rolling on. But only time will tell if Roveda will get er done.
Big Al Cheney Big Al is a fan favorite and all around nice guy. He also happens to be one heck of a racer and, in my opinion, the most exciting guy on the race track week in and week out. Until the most recent event, Cheney had been a perennial front runner but after last week Cheney dropped back a bit as he pulled off on the initial lap of the event. Still, Cheney will surely be looking for his second track championship and for some more wins before this season comes to an end in September. As well, Cheney is even working on a new car to go full blown late model racing! But the putty is in his hands, he can make or break the championship.
Kory Fleming Fleming has a car that is unbelievably fast and sharp looking. Unfortunately, Fleming has been plagued with problems, many eliminating him while running right upfront with the big dogs of the division. Fleming will need a whole lot of lady luck on his side to win the championship but one thing is for sure, more wins look to be in the future for his Sleep Hollow Racing team if he can keep that sharp looking number 704 out on the track and free of the problems that have plagued him off and on this season. Still, Kory has stepped it up and is on top of his game in 2006.
Jason Bubeck While I dont see a points championship when using the Throwin It Down crystal ball, I do see, in my opinion, the divisions most improved driver of the year. Bubeck, in the family owned number 22, has been impressive. He grabbed his first win and currently sits in 5th place in points in a very competitive division. He has more to learn and needs to figure out how to get through traffic quicker when starting further back but hes looking better each week.
Billy Bauer The 2000 Super Stock champ is back and on track in 2006, currently sitting 36 points outside of Quinlan, the current leader. Bauer hasnt chalked up a win quite yet but has used consistency and some very strong runs to keep himself in a points battle with the other top performers in this divison. While it wont be easy with the likes of Quinlan, Cheney and Roveda sitting in the podium positions, if anyone else can make a run in this division its Bauer. I would expect Bauer to take home at least one win before its all said and done and with his continue pace and a little luck, Bauer could be a two-time champ in the Super Stock ranks.
Spider Ensinger Another crowd favorite in this division, Ensinger has built a solid racing program and has even pulled into victory lane once in 2006. Unfortunately, Ensinger has also had his share of woes this year including some accidents and bad luck which have put him, realistically, out of the point chase. But still, Ensinger in the Century 21 Roveda-built mount is always a threat to get to the front.
Jason Saredy Here is the definition of a true, low-buck racer. Saredy, a 24 year old Howell, NJ resident, is wheeling a car that is roughly his age. Hes had some issues this year with his power plants, both primary and secondary, surely not helping his cause any. None the less, Saredy is a guy Id like to see in decent equipment. He has a very smooth style and would likely do quite well with solid gear under him
Todd Cray Cray is a more recent addition to the field at NES and seems to be getting better and better with each week. It wouldnt surprise me if Cray gets his mount into victory lane in the near future. Kind of odd to see a guy like Cray out there considering he was once touted as the next Jeff Gordon, so to speak. Either way, Cray is making strides and its being notice, for sure.
Mick Search Search is a talented racer with decent equipment and it shows. He gets his car to the front and tends to be an extremely clean wheeler, as are most of the guys in the Super Stock division. Search is a threat to win anytime hes on the track. There are times he seems like he might be slightly underpowered compared to some of the top dogs out there but he makes do with what he has and does quite well with what he has.
Larry Reed Reed, driving for Miscoski Racing, has the best of the best and has had some solid runs in 2006. Unfortunately its not going to result in a championship but regardless, Reed can wheel and knows how to get his m1 around the tacky 4/10th mile track. Reed, currently sitting in 9th in points, has yet to bring home a victory but you never know, it could be coming anytime now!
Bryan Reed Bryan Reed is having a great year, sitting in 7th in points, just 6 behind 6th place Kory Fleming. Reed has really had some fantastic runs although has yet to seal the deal and bring home a win. I dont know a whole lot about Reed but hes definitely a guy on the rise with chances to get a W before the season is out. With just a little luck hell be sitting there in victory lane in his blue number 79.
Kim Cooke Driving for Al Whitehouse, wheeling the car Rocco Infante drove last year, Cooke has been up and down this year. He drove the Ford powered mount to a popular victory, his first ever at NES, this year but has also had quite a few weeks where hes just been a mid packer and struggled out there. But Cooke has a wealth of experience under his belt and could definitely wheel his way into the top 10 in points if he can put together a solid late season run in the Whitehouse owned car.
Matt Kall Matt who? Oh yeah, Matt Kall, one of those that has really struggled out there this year. At the end of last year Kall really seemed to be coming on strong and I had expected him to have a really solid year but he just hasnt put together a lot of great runs in 2006. Hes used consistency to hold him at 12th in points but outside of that he just hasnt really been up front, wheeling and dealing with the big guns of the division. But you never know, he had some great runs last year including an almost win so well have to wait and see how the remainder goes for Kall.
Ron Coverly Coverly is one of those guys that puts together some great runs but also seems to have some not so good luck out there. Hes been solid enough to put himself into 11th in the points standings but has yet to come up with a victory in 2006. Definitely a guy that with a solid starting spot could keep a car up front and get to victory lane.
Kevin Bifulco Bifulco has a great looking car that uses all good gear but has yet to impress. He seems to pull off quite a bit and when he does have a good run going, something seems to go wrong, whether its a failure or a wreck. Regardless, Bifulco just hasnt really done much in 2006 and seems to really struggle out there when things heat up.
Bill Liedtka Liedtka is a mid-pack kind of guy in the Super Stock division. He tends to qualify and keep the car going but hasnt really been in the thick of things for the most part. Liedtka is another low-buck racer out there doing his best with what he has. He has flashes of brilliance out there but has yet to put his car on the podium in 2006.
Tony Giglio Giglio is sort of like Liedtka in the sense that hes a mid-packer. Hes been qualifying regularly but hasnt really done anything to get him up there with the divisions elite But, with that said, he does seem to be picking things up a bit over the past few weeks. I guess well see how the rest of 06 goes.
Norm Saxton Saxton, wheeling the 2005 championship mount driven by Rob Ormsbee, had some great runs early in the year. As of late Saxton has been absent from the track but seemed to have begun tailing off after his initial, strong start. Not sure if Saxton will return in 2006 but its clear that he has a great car under him.
Bob Vaccaro Vaccaro is currently sitting 19th in points and struggles out there. It appears as if he just doesnt have enough motor/car to get to the front of this competitive division.
George Marrero Marrero is a guy that is tough to figure out. Some nights he looks extremely sharp out there and other nights out to lunch. Its obvious that he can drive, no question about that, but there is a large lack of consistency. Not sure if it has to do with equipment or setup but regardless, with some greater consistency Marrero could be a top 10 guy
Charlie Spencer Spencer, a long-time crew member and supporter of Jeff Geiges, recently got his chance to go racing. Driving a super stock owned by Tony Bozowski, Spencer is cutting his teeth and feeling the pains of being a totally new driver. I spoke with Spencer and hes having a blast out there but is learning. Word on the street is that while Spencer is learning to wheel, Vengeance Competition is working on putting together a new and more potent power plant so that when hes ready, hell have plenty of motor to get his car to the front
As always, thanks for reading and please feel free to email me with comments, thoughts, etc at Jeff@ThrowinItDown.com.
Throwin It Down: Tanner Rolls To Popular
Timmy Tanner is having a banner year at New Egypt Speedway. With Teabag power plants backing him up, hes already having his best season of his modified racing career. In fact, its the first season that Timmy Tanner has ever won more then a single race. This past Saturday, July 15th, Tanner used smooth driving and plenty of power to milk win number two out of the Tanner Dairy Products number 18.
The modified feature began with a caution with Buffalino and Hendershot coming together out of turn four. Meanwhile on the backstretch it was the sharp looking Miloszar mount calling it quits and waiting for the wrecker. Tom Carberry, meanwhile, on lap 4 slowed on the frontstretch and was then blackflagged for bringing out the caution intentionally. None the less, in the early going it was Timmy Tanner and Sammy Martz doing battle for the lead but there was some good wood making their way through the pack. Lap 10 saw Billy Pauch rocket into turn 1 and slide into and slam Sammy Martz. Meanwhile, Ryan Godown stopped between turn 1 and 2 only to get blackflagged upon coming back onto the track. Five laps later it was Billy Pauch, Sr., clearly the fastest car on the track, making his way past Sammy Martz. Two laps later Pauch dogged Tanner and took over the lead. Unfortunately it wasnt to be Pauchs evening. Lap 20 saw Pauch jump the cushion and break something, ending his bid for win number two. His bad luck continued. With Tanner in control the action was stopped on lap 28 for Ricky Grosso, stopping in turn 2. But Timmy Tanner was not to be denied and his powered his way to a very popular win number two in Lawrence Engineers/Tea Bag mount.
The URC feature took some time to get started as there was wreck after wreck after wreck. Once they got moving things were okay but the racing wasnt overly exciting. Gary Gollub ran away with followed by Martin, Stellafox, Weibley and Bodo.
In Sportsman action it was Mike Lyons going the distance in the 15 lap event and taking the victory. And while Lyons was running very strong, John Romano with his Romano Horsepower Development power plant and Bicknell low rack chassis, slicing and dicing his way through the pack only to come up two spots shorts. At the end it was Lyons, Butler, Romano, Swain and Osmun taking the top five spots.
The Super Stock feature was all Jake Roveda in his Miscoski Racing number 57 going for the win followed by Cray, Search, Flemming and Reed.
NJ Racing News and Notes
*In some major news, July 29th will see a seriously special show. Danny Serrano, a long-time race fan has organized, in conjunction with New Egypt Speedway a special show in honor of avid New Egypt Supporter and fellow long-time race fan, Mike Rogie. Mike, 38 years of age, was diagnosed with lung cancer which, unfortunately has spread throughout his body. To honor Mike, Serrano and a wealth of race fans have put up enough cash to double the winners share of the Modified ($5,000 to win) feature, Sportsman ($1,500 to win) feature and Super Stock ($1,000 to win) feature. Serrano is currently working on trying to get additional drivers to attend from outside the standard NES base of racers. And the fact that the show will pay such a high purse just might do it. On top as well that evening will be the touring series, ARDC Midgets. But the bottom line is it is great to see how race fans and supporters have come together to honor their brethren. It speaks volumes
*New Egypt Speedway had just a few Bridgeport wheelers come out after Bridgeport rained out at almost 5:00 PM. Gary Hager and Jimmy Horton IV, driving a way underpowered crate II car, were the only modifieds to make the trek. Others mentioned that had Bridgeport cancelled earlier they wouldve gladly made the trek. But it got me to thinking What about if the two NJ tracks had a policy where, in case of a rain out, drivers from the other NJ track would be allowed to race and use their own, home track tire? In the end, the track that gets the show in gets more back gate dollars and fans get to see some cars on their home track that they wouldnt normally see. It seems to make perfect sense to me but, with that said, I also do not have experience running a race track. Still, it would make fans happy, that Im 100% sure of.
*Jason Saredy, a Super Stock driver from Howell, is still waiting on his motor but hopes to be back in action next week.
*Big Al Cheney blew his Mr. Consistency title when he pulled off early in the race, losing valuable points in his chase for the track championship. As well, Big Al is hoping to have his late model ready so he can make an assault at a variety of tracks that run the late models, a class growing in popularity throughout the North East.
*Billy Pauch, Sr. continues to have some pretty poor luck, currently sitting 6th in the point standings at NES. Pauch was the quickest car on the track but jumped the cushion and broke something while leading, relinquishing the lead to Timmy Tanner. With that said, you never know if something was bent when he overdrove it into turn 1 and slammed into the side of the Sammy Martz number 3? It appeared to be a pretty good shot, at least from the grandstands
*Tony Bozowski, owner of Vengeance Competition Products as well as the 17j super stock and 77j sportsman, had a chance to do a little wheeling this past Saturday. Charlie Spencer, the regular driver of the 17j super stock was unable to race due to a back injury that has him sidelined for two weeks. In his place, Tony B jumped in and did a respectable job. If it werent for a little get together with Charlie Gunner on the start, Tony wouldve remained on the lead lap. Way to go, Tony!
*Last week my Brother wanted me to make the trek up to OCFS for the DIRT big block race. From what I hear, I was lucky to have been unable to make the trek due to work obligations! I didnt hear many good things from everyone I know that went to the event.
*While its not dirt racing, what about John Blewett III? That guy is one heck of a tear, winning at Wall and New Hampshire the same day! Now theres the kind of guy that deserves a shot at a Busch ride. Its a real shame that they go after people with the most money and not the most talent these days. Its no wonder NASCAR is such garbage.
*The mighty midgets will again be making their way to New Egypt Speedway on July 29th. The ARDC group is always one of my favorite shows of the year. The speed and passing they do combine to make for one heck of an event and I expect that this year will be no different. This is one of those shows I try to make sure no scheduling conflicts arise. Several years ago I had a wedding to attend and was extremely bummed. This year there will be not only the midgets on top but also, as mentioned above, the special Mike Rogie show. Its an event NOT TO BE MISSED!
*Just 42 sportsman were in the pits this past weekend. Still more then enough for a very solid field but quite a dip from the numbers seen early in the season. Then again, without many rainouts (a good thing) maybe some guys are going through their racing budgets early? Then again, how many tracks would kill to have any division with 42 cars as a low point?
*Joey Payne, a NJ resident and long-time racer was injured a week ago at Stafford during a NEMA midget event. Payne was wheeling the familiar number 45 for Gene Angelillo, a well-known and well-respected car owner in the midget world, when all heck broke loose. Payne, who had been running up front had the axle snap and send his car into the wall at pretty much full speed. Fortunately, it had been on his way out of the turn and not in. None the less, Paynes head and shoulder hit the wall but the car, while completely junked, stayed together and kept Payne from further injury. Joey is at home and quite sore but doing well. At press time no information was available as to what the team will do for a car. Peter Valeri did offer the team a backup Beast chassis he had in his Monument Beach, MA shop. Payne stated, My LaJoie seat saved my life. Good to hear Joey is doing well even if a bit banged up! Get well cards can be sent to: Joey Payne 68 Pomona Avenue Fairlawn, NJ 07410.
*This week will be the first race of the year at NES that I will not be present for. Im taking a weekend off from racing but will be back for the big even on the 29th!
Thanks for reading my column and, as always, feel free to email me at Jeff@ThrowinItDown.com with thoughts, questions, info, etc.
Throwin It Down: New Egypt Speedway ½ Way
Well, were slightly past the ½ way point at my local racetrack, New Egypt Speedway, so I thought what would be more fitting then reviews on some of the racers, to date. Lots has transpired to date and while I wont be giving out grades, just simple thoughts and opinions on some of the drivers seasons, again, to date.
Jimmy Horton Well, Hot Rod Horton has been the dominant wheeler this year at New Egypt Speedway in the big block modified ranks. With five wins to date and a wealth of top fives, to boot, Horton has been on fire. In recent years he has had very, very solid equipment. But in 2006 he has been given the best of the best by his car owner, Rick Grosso. But its more then just equipment, its the experience that has pushed Horton over the edge. Each week you can watch Horton make moves other drivers dont, whether it be how he can throw it in three wide going into turn three or the rim riding hes done while others were content to sit on the bottom and hold their line. I just dont see anyone beating Jimmy for the championship at NES in 2006, hes been way too good.
Frank Cozze The Wind Gap, PA resident and defending champ has been less then impressive in 2006. Sure, for many a year like Frank is having would be a banner year, especially at a track like NES where competition is fierce. Even the week Cozze won Ryan Godown may have been a force to take the win away had Joey Tinnes, a lapped car, not pinched him and destroyed his chances. None the less, knowing what Cozze can do, you can rule out a hard charge and string of wins, he surely has the talent and equipment, he just needs to get his groove on.
Billy Pauch, Sr. Pauch, Sr. is one of the most successful dirt modified drivers to ever step foot in one of these beasts. Unfortunately for Pauch, 2006 has not been his year. He started the season off with a big win in the Kevin Bifulco owned number 1 but since has struggled. Pauch, more then anyone, knows how the get around the 4/10th mile facility as he is the all-time win leader but unless there is a major change, I dont see Pauch making a championship run.
Ryan Godown The Ringoes Rocket has to win a feature event in 2006 yet his consistency has him sitting in a solid 2nd place in the current point standings, 75 points behind Horton. Godown has had some great runs and has charged through the pack on more then a few occasions but seems to just fall short, as with the case when he was gaining on Cozze in a hurry only to have a lapped car steal his chances at win number one. Theres no doubt, Godown will get a victory in 2006. But may have to settle for the brides maid position in points as Horton is just on a tear and showing no signs of slowing down or letting up.
Keith Hoffman Hoffman, driving for modified pilot Jimmy Scherer, has had some solid runs but also has felt his share of struggles and tough times in 2006. Hoffman, as of late, seems to be getting his program on track but is currently sitting 6th in the standings, 125 points behind his nemesis, Jimmy Horton. Hoffman had a stellar run going several weeks ago but a last lap slide and tap but Horton stole the lead and the victory away from Hoffman. It cant imagine Keith not winning a race or two this year and a top 5 is attainable but a championship at this point, seems far fetched. None the less, its great that NES can attract a talent like Keith-Dog (that one is for the ATown Pimp!) each and every week, to go along with the rest of the big dogs.
Bucky Kell The owner of Dirt Wheels, a modified chassis builder based on South Jersey, has, like many others, showed flashes of brilliance. His Dirt Wheels/Feil combo seems to have plenty of smoke but he hasnt been able to seal the deal and with a rash of bad luck, finds himself sitting in 8th place in the point standings. Kell, in my opinion, struggles with consistency and that is his downfall. When hes on, hes a great driver and can give the best a run for the money. When hes not on, he seems to get into cars and overdrive. You can never count Kell out though, he can wheel a car and is a threat to win each and every week.
Rick Grosso Fresh off his first win of the 2006 season, Ricky Grosso has proved that he can run with the big dogs. Grosso has remained extremely consistent this year and currently sits 4th in points, a feat not easy to do when you look and the super stars that race at NES each and every Saturday evening. Grosso, even when not winning, seems to be a driver that each and every year improves. Hes another guy that is a threat each and every week to win. Having Horton on his side has surely stepped up his program, along with Mark Blackwell, and it shows. Of course some will say he preps the track to his liking or Hortons but come on, we all know thats nonsense
Ron John Koczon Koczon appeared to be an up and coming star at the end of the 2005 season. He was running like he hadnt in the past, won a race and while running an engine that was way down on power compared to many of the other teams and basically proved himself. 2006 has not been so kind to Koczon. He started off the season where he left off but that quickly dissipated and Ron John, a fan favorite and hometown hero, has struggled since. Koczon purchased a potent Feil powerplant during the off-season but seems to have his hands full with getting into the top 10. Koczon has the talent and the team to do it, hopefully hell turn things around and get er done!
Sammy Martz During the off-season Martz and the team purchased a brand new top-of-the-line Feil powerplant and a Teo chassis. The team decided to ditch the TEO chassis several weeks back in favor of a brand new Bicknell. Since then, Martz has been impressive. Last week Martz took the lead in the modified feature only to have something break in the rear of his car two laps later, a real heartbreaker for the North Jersey throttle jockey. Martz, while clearly feeling a monkey sitting on his back, is beginning to prove to fans and fellow drivers that hes the real deal. But hes still winless and currently sitting back in 16th in the point standings. Still, I feel Martz is about to turn that corner and will soon get that sharp looking Bicknell into victory lane!
Tad Cox Cox is a popular guy, complete with a smile and good attitude. Cox, unfortunately, has not been the luckiest guy ever to step foot in a dirt modified. Earlier this year, Cox completely destroyed his primary (his only) mount in a nasty flip sending him hard into the third turn wall. Last week Cox debuted a brand new and extremely sharp looking Bicknell purchased from A1 Racing. The sharpness was courtesy of the one and only, Scott Kania. Cox showed he had some smoke and determination in his heat race, while shaking down his new piece. He, while others were sitting back, was making passes and feeling things out. The feature wasnt as kind as Cox had to settle for a 16th but hes back and thats what counts. Cox is a guy that on the right night, could go out there and win. He has the talent and surely has the drive and determination. Not sure what the season will hold for Tad but I do hope he gets that first win, lord knows he deserves it!
John Keller Most improved? Without a doubt, Mr. Keller is the most improved big block modified driver at NES this year. Last week Keller grabbed a 5th, his best ever and also managed to lead about 14 laps in doing so. Hes another guy that with a little luck could get his first win. I can only imagine what will happen in the stands behind where I plant my booty! He has a wealth of crew, family and friends each and every week and I have a feeling if he does get that win, the place would erupt! And on top of it, darn do those guys keep that car looking sharp! But seriously, he still has a long way to go before hes considered a big dog at NES but hes doing well, very well.
Timmy Tanner Tanner is a strange cat Some weeks you wonder if hes going to make a charge for a championship and other weeks hes just quiet as a mouse out there and not overly impressive. Its weird, most of the guys that win once in a while struggle on slick tracks while Tanner excels. You wouldnt think that would be the case but it is. He has one win to his credit in 2006 and currently sits in the top 10 in points. Again, hes a tough one to call, just seems as if he lacks consistency. When hes on, watch out and when hes off, youll barely notice him. Another guy that is a threat to win.
Tom Carberry I have to admit, you cant miss Tom The Top Cat Carberry when hes out on the track. The car doesnt particularly appeal to my eyes but hey, hes easy to spot! Needless to say, Carberry has been extremely solid on more then a few occasions out there. But talk about a guy that has no luck. Earlier in the year he was running away from the field, had roughly a straight away lead and it was growing. All of sudden, Carberry has a driveshaft failure and its over. He had other strong finishes include a runner-up spot. The Ken Carberry built powerplant seems to be doing its job quite well and Carberry has definitely turned things up in 2006. Hopefully Tom will get a win or two this year, always nice to see a guy with an open trailer bring home the victory!
Brian Godown Well, the man that calls himself Hollywood has opened some eyes this year at NES. Godown went out and grabbed a victory, his first in a big block and has had some other solid runs. Unfortunately Godown has also had some less then stellar performances but hey, hes running against some of the best in the business at one of the North Easts most competitive venues. Currently Brian Godown is sitting in 10th in points, a massive 193 behind Jimmy Horton. In essence, there will be no championship run but another win? Well, why not? Godown has it in him, he can get around and is no stranger to victory lane, grabbing his share in the sportsman ranks before jumping in bed with the big boys. Hes yet another welcome addition to a field of great cars.
Joey Tinnes After several years out of the race game, Tinnes is back. His car looks mean and sounds even meaner but to date Tinnes has been unable to really lock in a great run. Hes a guy with talent but his emotion seems to get the best of him out there and definitely detracts from the talent he possesses. Not sure if youll see Mr. Tinnes in victory lane but hes a great asset to the track, often supplying toys and prizes for the kids and his car does sound mean! But seriously, Tinnes is getting better each week so it should be interesting to see how hes doing come the end of the 2006 season.
Rich Rutski Many claimed Rutski didnt have what it took to run with the big boys when he let the race world know hed be making the jump after winning the 2005 NES Sportsman Championship. And Rutski has proved those folks wrong. Hes gone out there and had some amazing runs and looks poised to get a win this year if he keeps it up. Sure, hes making mistakes that a big block rookie would make, its natural, but hes getting better and better by the week. Heck, I wouldnt rule out a top 10 in points, too!
Mike Hendershot Hmmm, what can I say about Hendershot? Mike has had a few runs that have been decent but in general, hasnt really done a lot out there. Hes running with the big boys and struggling but then again, hes out there doing it and not many can say that. But Hendershot does have his flashes of brilliance so you never know what Mike could pull off on a good day.
Billy Pauch, Jr. Pauch, Jr. has an awfully big set of shoes to fill considering his Father has over 600 wins in his illustrious career. Fortunately for Jr., hes been surrounded with good people and decent equipment. Out at Big Diamond, a facility that runs small block engines, hes already won and had some top 5s to go along with it. While I havent been out there to watch him race, they say hes one of the better wheelers running at the popular Minersville racing facility. At NES, running big blocks with the big dogs, hes showed some potential and had some decent finishes. In fact, hes progressing along quite nicely. As a big block rookie, along with Rutski, Id say that the two are evenly matched. And if you look at the points, its right on, Rutski has him currently by a miniscule 2 point margin. Pauch, Jr. has had it easy but at the end of the day, you still need to wheel a car and the kid can wheel and unlike his Father, is extremely good with the media. I see big things from this Frenchtown, NJ resident. Very big things
Scott Van Gorder Van Gorder, a long time supporter of NES, is a low buck guy doing his best against guys with a lot better equipment. Van Gorder pulled off a great run earlier in the year, coming home a solid 2nd, but has yet to match or beat that. Van Gorder, on the right now, with a solid starting position, could definitely be a threat to bring home a victory. He seems to get emotional out there once in a while and it definitely doesnt work to his advantage, as was the case when he was given a week off earlier this season. But Scotty is a nice guy and it would be great to see him take in a win although its clear, the odds are stacked and definitely not in his favor.
Dominick Buffalino Buffalino is probably, in my opinion, the most likely to be a future big block modified star. Pauch, Jr. will likely go off to do asphalt down South or run USAC or something similar. I have a feeling Buffalino will be sticking around here. But thats not to say he doesnt have talent, he does. And he proved it two weeks ago, taking his first big block modified victory in the family owned 2B machine. I always felt he got a raw deal when car owner Deiter Schmidt gave him the boot from the seat of the Lincoln Auto Body number 5. Of course, its not my money so who am I to say? Still, Dom has a lot to learn in the big block ranks but hes on his way and definitely a true up and comer in todays modified realm.
John Miloszar This guy wins an awful lot of heats but has to seal the deal in a feature although its not out of the question. Hes fast and, in general, a pretty smooth driver. I dont know John but he doesnt appear to have a wealth of backing behind his race program although each week he comes to the track with a sharp looking, mainly un-sponsored car and does his best. He needs a little luck to get that feature win as it seems when he does start up front he can hold his own for a while but once the big boys make it through he just doesnt have enough to hold them off. Either way, hes a solid addition to the big block field at NES and clearly a guy that is getting better all the time.
John Dixon Talk about a horrible season, Dixon has just struggled and on top of it is out of motors and has been missing from the action for several weeks. Hopefully Dixon will be back in the near future and can break the bad luck and get some solid finishes. He has talent, he just needs to find a little more consistency and pick up a pack of luck somewhere on the way to the track!
Kenny Brightbill Where oh where has Kenny Brightbill gone? Kenny looked terrible at NES early in the season and has since called it quits. Hes a guy that just didnt have the equipment to get it done which is said considering hes a true legend of the sport. I doubt well see him back on any regular basis ever again.
Rick Holsten Holsten really struggled early on at NES but then one evening he lent his car to Billy Pauch, Sr. for the feature, after Pauch found out he had the motor in his heat. None the less, since then Mr. Holsten has looked much, much better out there. Hes not setting the world on fire but hes having some very solid runs in the top 10 and seems to be getting a better handle on the facility each week.
Jim Robertson Robertson made the jump from sportsman to modified near the end of the 2005 season. To date, hes had some troubles including a motor that, for several weeks, particularly enjoyed doing a James Bond smoke screen impersonation. But in all seriousness, Robertson shows signs of improvement but still seems to find himself struggling to get up to speed with the big dogs.
Dennis Halas Halas has been an off and on competitor and has missed, in my estimation a little over half the season. He has a sharp looking car but seems to currently be running around the back of the pack, still trying to find his short track, oval groove. Halas, co-owner of Dennis and Dons Autobody, came from a drag racing background and starting out in the big block ranks is a big step.
Jim Scherer Scherer, owner of the car that Keith Hoffman wheels weekly at NES, and sometimes driver really found some success this year. Scherer, who was winless in the big block ranks ended up running away with the 75 lap ROC Modified Features held at NES but has yet to grab a regular season event. Still, he proved he has what it takes, both with his driving and his equipment. Its a shame Jim isnt a regular, he definitely has the talent to be a top 10 guy, for sure.
Shawn Cook Cook has been, to date, a back marker in the modified ranks but, to the best of my knowledge, hasnt raced since the East Windsor days. His car seems underpowered out there against the rest but hey, the guy is giving it a go and thats more then most can say. He has had a few decent heat race runs but the longer distance features just havent lent a real kind hand to Cook. Last week in his heat he found himself being spun around and off the front stretch wall by Bucky Kell. Fortunately he came back out and qualified for the evenings feature. Hopefully he can get his program on track and start finding himself getting closer to a top 10.
Dave Stepanchuk I dont know what to say really, Stepanchuk seems to constantly battle issues with his car and has taken very few laps. Hes another big block and hopefully one that can correct his woes and start getting things together on the track.
Doug Ostwald Ostwald has been absence for a while now, since losing his motor. Ostwald had tough times with NES as he just appears to be underfunded and powered and that, at a track like NES is a serious set back. Hopefully Ostwald can get back to NES in the near future.
So there you have it, a little New Egypt Speedway modified critique from yours truly. I missed some guys that have come to NES this year but I did get the bulk of the drivers that made several appearances. But, in general, I feel that its been a great year in the modified ranks at NES. Car counts have been a little light, ranging from 24 to 30 cars on any given night but hey, its still a full field and the bulk of the cars are good pieces. Watching Horton has been a pleasure, the Man just knows how to get around a race track and even when he doesnt win you can see him making killer moves that other drivers arent. Regardless, it should be interesting to see how the remainder of the year plays out and if someone else gets hot, like Horton has been.
Up next will be the mighty and always entertaining Super Stocks. Im unsure if Ill recap sportsman as I dont have the time to get 50+ cars and I know if I pick and choose Ill surely be getting a nasty email or two about drivers that were left out.
Until next time, take care and feel free to email me at Jeff@ThrowinItDown.com.
Throwin It Down: Huge Crowd Watches
Grosso Rocket to Victory
A huge crowd was on hand this past Saturday, July the 8th, to watch Ricky Grosso rocket to his first victory of the 2006 race season. And not only does Grosso have his hands full trying to prepare the Grosso Trucking r24 Bicknell/Feil combo but also happens to be the man behind the grooming of the 4/10th mile facility.
The modified feature began with John Keller, wheeling the always sharp looking 54x, out to the lead after sharing the front row with Joey Tinnes. From there, Keller began to pull away from Tinnes and the rest of the field. Up in the stands, behind the flagger stand it was clear that Keller had a large contingency of fans, friends and family, all hooting, hollering and cheering for Keller. Unfortunately for Keller, Sammy Martz in his fresh Bicknell/Feil combo was making his presence felt. Keller lead the first 9 circuits but Martz would overtake Keller, lead laps 10 and 11 and then his car decided that it just wasnt having it. It was a real heartbreaker for Martz as he looked poised to really run away with it, he was hooked up for sure! With Keller back at the helm and pushing his 54x to the max, it was Ricky Grosso making his way through the pack. Lap 17 was the end of the line for Kellers fine run as Ricky Grosso rocketed into the lead. Lap 19 found the yellow flag flying for big block rookie Rich Rutski, as his BRB Construction number 81 hit the wall between turns 1 and 2 hard. In fact, hard enough to remove a wheel from his mount. From there it was all Ricky Grosso. At the line it was Grosso followed by Fast Frank Cozze, Ryan The Ringoes Rocket Godown, Jimmy Hot Rod Horton and John Keller, completing his best finish in the modifieds at New Egypt Speedway.
In the sportsman ranks it was a fan favorite and New Egypt resident going the distance for a very popular win. John Romano, driving his good looking Bicknell/Romano Horsepower Development low rod Bicknell to victory, pulled out all the stops and came across the line first followed by Mike Krachun, Gene Stravinsky, Jack Swain and Billy Tanner. Mike Howardson was having a heck of a run, as was Ben Donaruma. Unfortunately the two came together sending Howardson around and to the back of the pack. Donaruma was sent to the rear as well for over aggressive driving. Rich Scagliotta put his sharp looking number 8 into the turn 4 wall, ending his night on lap 11. John Salvatore, after making some extremely nice passes went around on lap 18 after some cars checked up in front of him and he was unable to stop his 10s in time.
The Super Stock feature, once again, proved to be one full of great racing. In the early going it was caution after caution but once the boys settled down fantastic racing ensued. At the end, it was Pat Freiberger grabbing a win in his Roveda-built mount. Following Roveda across the line was George Quinlan, Mick Search, Al Cheney and Billy Bauer. The second through fifth positions gave the fans plenty of action as it was all four drivers slicing and dicing through traffic, swapping positions and going at it, cleanly, until the finish line.
Next week at New Egypt Speedway the Big Block Modifieds, Sportsman and Super Stocks will grace the car along with the always popular URC Sprints towing in to try and complete show number two at the 4/10th mile speedway.
NJ News and Racing Notes:
*Tad Cox returned to action this past Saturday evening at New Egypt Speedway in a brand new 2006x Bicknell chassis featuring some extremely sharp lettering courtesy of one of the finest letterers in the area, Scott Kania. Cox proved to have a very solid car in his heat, making passes while many others seemed to be content to sit back and relax. Hopefully Tad will get to victory lane in the very near future in his new car.
*Charlie Spencer has four weeks of racing under his belt and is having a blast. He knows he has a long way to go to run with the big boys in the Super Stock division but hes having a blast in the Vengeance owned 17j.
*Jay Saredy had hoped to be back in action this past weekend after hurting his primary engine and then a few weeks later breaking his back up powerplant. Hopefully well see Jay back in action next weekend in the Super Stock division.
*Rich Rutski, after a fantastic finish last week, had a week hed like to forget about. Rutski go into the wall hard between turns one and two and lost a wheel off his sharp looking number 81. Still, Rutski has been quite impressive as a modified rookie and appears to be a guy that, with just the smallest hint of luck, can grab a victory in 2006.
*Ryan Godown has yet to grab a win in the 2006 season although is running a very strong second in points at NES and has several runner-up finishes down at Georgetown in DE. Godown is one of the most talented drivers at NES and a win has to be right around the corner. He did, of course, grab the Big Bang Bonanza money during the 1-on-1 elimination match races last weekend but still needs to get that first victory of the year.
*Jimmy Scherer, winner of the ROC Modified race at New Egypt Speedway a few weeks ago, was absent from competition this past weekend. Its always a shame when a talented and welcome competitor doesnt show up for an event. Keith Hoffman, wheeling a team car owned by Scherer, was in attendance and looked very strong at the end of the modified feature this week.
*Please New Egypt Speedway, lets try to invert the top 8 in the SS Sprint dashes. It would give some more guys a chance at the win. And in all honesty, I have a feeling guys like Artie and Kevin would still get to the front. None the less, nice to see everyone getting a little better, I just hope the car counts start growing a little more.
*And speaking of the SS Sprints, Steve Wilson grabbed the win this past weekend in the SS Sprint feature only to come up short at the scales. Maybe I just dont get it but what is the big deal about an extra 10-15 pounds? Why in the world would you risk losing a win, just slap some extra weight on? I just dont believe that a little extra weight is going to have that drastic a difference. And considering you can place it where you want, its really not a negative. What a bummer for Wilson but hey, they shouldnt have tried to get so close
*What a crowd on hand at NES this past weekend. I arrived at the track at 6:00 and had to park way out there. While there were still seats left, a quick glance proved that the bulk of the stands were filled up and everyone I spoke to was having a great time.
*I was thinking about some of the complaints about the costs to go to a race for a family of four. And yes, it is more expensive then, lets say, a minor league baseball game but have you ever seen the cost of food at a minor league baseball game? NES, allows everyone the opportunity to bring in their own food and beverage, as do most racing facilities, which clearly offsets the difference in ticket cost, in most cases. I say bring the family out and enjoy a night at your local track, be it NES, Wall or Bridgeport, support them!
*Last weekend (July 1st) Wall Township Speedway enjoyed their largest crowd of the year and were racing against Daytona! I wonder if the fact that they have some new people in place their to help promote the facility could have anything to do with it? Regardless of what it is, Im really glad to see them doing well and hopefully it will remain a race track for many years to come.
*Its possible that John Salvatore, Sr. may roll out his modified at NES this upcoming weekend, if time allows the family owned team to prep the car and small block engine. Johns son, John Salvatore, Jr. is a budding sportsman driver that wheels his 2006 Teo adjustable rack car with Feil power at NES weekly as well as on the ROC South sportsman tour. It would be great to see Salvatore, Sr. out on the track again and helping to aid in the modified car counts.
*Absent this week from the modified ranks at NES were: Jim Scherer (as mentioned above), Dennis Halas, Doug Ostwald, Shawn Cook, Mike McAleer, Kenny Brightbill and John Dixon.
Until next week, thanks! Feel free to email me at Jeff@ThrowinItDown.com with questions, comments and/or information regarding your race team, plans, etc.
Throwin It Down: An Evening of Firsts At
June 1st 2006 will surely be a night to remember for the up and coming Dom Buffalino. After winning his heat and being added to the Big Bang Bonanza event, Buffalino looked poised to finally do battle with the big boys. And he was. Buffalino grabbed the lead from the very start and even with a very hard charging, at times, Tom Carberry in the background, he remained calm, cool and composed, firing off lightning fast laps with great consistency. And with the feature going non-stop none of the big dogs had it in them to make their way up into the podium spots. Following Buffalino across the line was Tom Carberry, Rich Rutski, quite possibly the fastest car on the track at the end of the event, Keith Hoffman and Ryan Godown.
Prior to the start of the features, the top NES modifieds treated fans to the 10 round elimination bout known as the Big Bang Bonanza, sponsored by Johanna Foods, a sponsor of sportsman wheelman Ben Donaruma. In the first match race eventual modified feature winner Dom Buffalino put a hurting on 2006 modified feature winner Timmy The Milkman Tanner. Round two would not be as kind to Buffalino as Brian Hollywood Godown grabbed the win. Round three saw Billy Pauch, Jr. take down Brian Godown, solidly. Round 4 saw Pauch, Jr. again win but this time over hometown hero and fan favorite Ron John Koczon. Round 5 was where Pauch, Jr. went down, being defeated by crafty modified veteran Frank Cozze, hailing from Wind Gap, PA. Round 6 saw Cozze rock the Hotrod, Jimmy Horton. Round 7 found Cozze looking even stronger but this time taking out the senior Pauch, again, in convincing fashion. Round 8 watch Keith Hoffman, wheeling for modified driver Jim Scherer, go down to Cozze. Round 9 again proved Cozze had something under the hood of the familiar looking 44 machine as he whooped up on top dog Rick Gross. But round 10, the final and big money round was not quite as kind to Mr. Cozze. It was the Ringoes Rocket, Ryan Godown pulling a sweet slide job and blocking Cozze going into turn 1 and eventually taking the 1 lap challenge along with $550! Not bad for a single lap. All in all it was a heck of an event and surely a fan favorite!
In the Super Stock feature it was again, an evening of firsts. On the start, coming out of turn 2 a slight melee developed as Pat Freiberger lost the handle and went around. The restart saw Jason Bubeck, driving the family owned number 22, jump out to a solid lead. The action didnt slow again until lap 11 when Spider Ensinger, Jr. looped his Century 21 super stock between turns 3 and 4. From there it may not have been completely smooth sailing but Bubeck went on to win his first feature event followed by George Quinlan, Corey Flemming, Big Al Cheney and Bryan Reed.
The Sportsman feature proved to be quite a trying event for officials, fans, drivers and pretty much the bulk of the walls at the race track. Caution after caution after caution clicked off until finally the 30 minute time limit was reached and Rich Mr. Sportsman Scagliotta was allowed to win, several laps short of the regular distance. Following the tracks all time sportsman win leader across the line were Chad Barney, Mike Krachun, David Hunt and Glenn Hisko.
In SS Sprint action it turned out to be a true heart breaker. John Snook, a true low budget racer, lead up until several laps to go when Art Leidl took over and went on to grab yet another win. Following Artie across the line were John Snook and Kevin Nagy.
NJ Racing News and Notes
*Ill tell you, that Rich Rutski, big block rookie, is going to get a modified win yet. He made a few mistakes in the feature but each week hes looking better and better. Id actually be surprised if he doesnt grab a win before this season is over.
*Tad Cox will be back in action after a very nasty wreck over a month ago. Cox will debut a brand new Bicknell purchased from A1 racing products. Best of luck to Cox and hopefully well see him grab a win this year and the always fast, 4/10th mile track.
*It looks like EJ Harrington will be sitting out at least a week, if not more, after a night hed prefer to forget. The young Sportsman driver crunched up his Vengeance powered mount pretty good and it will take some time to get things back together and on the track again.
*Lots of grumbles are coming from Bridgeport Speedway regarding the new Crate II division. Hopefully these engines can hold up to the big track down there in South Jersey!
*The Super Stock division was back up in numbers a bit this week, hopefully that is a trend that continues as those guys really do put on one heck of a show. In fact, Id say most nights it is the best event of the evening.
*Anyone else starting to think its time to handicap the SS Sprints further back? Artie and Kevin are great drivers and unlike some message board trolls, I dont believe either of them are cheating. But I sure would like to see someone else win a race. And yes, I realize that there is another winner this year but I mean on a more regular basis. I was pulling for John Snook but I knew Artie was just too fast and once lapped traffic slowed the pace a bit it was all over. But, with that said, I think a lot of the SS Sprint guys are getting faster which is great to see. Keep up the good work, guys!
*Ive noticed that Wall Township Speedway (Wall Stadium in my heart) has been doing quite a bit of advertising as of late, definitely a good sign. Not sure I can sit through a seven division show but I think Ill make the trek down to see the ROC Modifieds in action. I sure do hope they can keep the track open for the long term
*Wade Hendrickson has been on one heck of a tear as of late. Many are starting to wonder if Wade can break his own record of six straight victories. I cant remember the DeBruno car going this well in quite some time. Best of luck to Hendrickson for the remainder of the year.
*I saw Bill Campbell, a 2005 Rookie Sportsman graduate, at NES this past weekend. Bill originally purchased a car to run the Crate 1 division at Bridgeport this year but sold it due to a lack of available funding. Too bad, Bill really seemed stoked to be out there racing but none the less, always nice to see racers, regardless of how many years theyve been out, come back and support racing. So many times guys race and can never come back, its just too hard on them.
*Coming up this week Ill begin my mid season reviews starting with the modified division. I wont be grading, just an overview of each division at New Egypt Speedway from the eyes of this fan. It should be fun so check it out if you can.
Well, until next week, thats all she wrote. Feel free to email me at Jeff@ThrowinItDown.com with questions, comments, info about your race team, etc. Thanks for your support, as always, its greatly appreciated!
Throwin It Down: Horton Rock and Rolls To
The 17th of June proved to be yet another fine evening for Jimmy Hotrod Horton. The modified feature began with Sammy Martz and his brand new Bicknell jumping out to a solid lead over the top notch field of big blocks. Lap 3 saw Ken Carberry break while running in 3rd with Martz still dominating in his sharp looking Bicknell/Feil combo. Again, on lap 8 the pace was slowed down a notch as John Keller spun. Unfortunately for Mr. Martz, a charging Jimmy Horton was making his way through the pack as he had the Millennium Car Wash/Grosso Trucking number 42 running strong. With a lap 26 caution for Dennis Halas, the stage was set. Keith Hoffman, running a distant second would have his chance and nailed it going into turn 1. Horton went up and Hoffman got under him, taking the lead away. Horton threw everything he had at Hoffman and on the final lap threw the bathtub, made some light contact in two and got by Hoffman for the lead! Horton finished as the leader with a less then thrilled Keith Hoffman following closely behind. Rounding out the top five were Pauch, Sr., Pauch, Jr. and Frank Cozze.
In sportsman action John McClelland won his first race ever. In superstock action it was Kim Cooke grabbing his first ever win at New Egypt Speedway!
NJ Racing News and Notes:
Rookie sportsman wheeler Jason Dunn was absent this past weekend from the nights events. Dunn had a strange incident the prior week that really tore up quite a bit of equipment on the car. Dunn told me it wasnt even a hard hit but a lot of stuff got twisted up. Had the team been in a points battle they wouldve thrashed to get the car finished for the evening but figured theyd take it easy and make sure everything was perfect. As well, Dunn and company have a 2006 Teo adjustable rack car on order from Rick Laubach that they will bring up to Syracuse. They hope to also hit some mid week shows and travel a bit so that they can get some more seat time. Best of luck to Jason and his team.
Sorry for the short write up this week (and late), I was working non-stop and in meetings all week in NYC until Friday Just one of those trade show driven, client hectic weeks I guess?
Also absent from action was Jay Saredy, super stock driver. Jay broke his motor big time a week ago and that was, unfortunately, their backup. A few weeks earlier he threw a timing belt on his primary piece. Jay hopes to be back in just a few weeks with his primary piece fresh and ready to go.
I spoke with Big Al Cheney and the current Super Stock Points leader. Cheney is working on putting a deal together to go late model racing although did state that theyll be running NES all year. Cheney has a car that is ready to go and is in the process of working on getting a motor to go run with the big dogs. As far as what tracks Big Al might be running at? Well, when asked he simply replied with a smile, Everywhere!
The young modified driver from Marlboro, NJ, John Dixon, lost an engine last week and believes that the team will be out of competition for about 3-4 weeks. Good luck to Dixon and the team in getting back on track.
Where oh where have all the Super Stocks gone? It seems odd considering that they dont really have the option of running any other track? It really is, on many nights, the best show of the evening, its a shame that car counts have dropped down into the 20s Hopefully some of those guys will come back later on this year.
Thanks to everyone that emailed me this past week regarding my column, as always, I appreciate it. Also, two folks emailed me regarding the fact that I generally dont note the date of the race. Well, shame on me for that one. Thanks for bringing it up and note Ive made a change this week. Thanks again for those emails, I really do appreciate them.
To quote one of my favorite bands, Bloc Party, If It Can Be Lost, Then It Can Be Won Ill leave that open to interpretation.
Anyone spot that fantastic Father/Son battle going on during the modified feature? Pauch Sr. and Jr. really did a great job of keeping the crowd entertained as they went back and forth with Sr. Running the high side and Jr. running the low side. I wonder if Pops is getting worried that one of these weeks his son will be wheeling on by him? :^)
Dont forget, Wednesday June 21st at New Egypt Speedway the ROC tour will be in town. With a 75 lap modified feature and a 40 lap sportsman feature on tap, it should be a great evening of racing. And, if the 10 day report on Weather.com is correct, it may be the only nice day of the next 10! So come on out and support the show, there should be a bumper crop of cars from NJ, PA and NY!
And in the same spirit, dont forget about the George Wingate show down at Bridgeport on June 28th, next Wednesday. The event will feature a 40 lap, $4,000 to win modified event and a 25 lap, $1,200 to win sportsman event. It should be a great evening of racing down in Logan Township! Unfortunately for me, I have a prior engagement that will keep me from attending although I do hope to get down to Bridgeport Speedway in the very near future.
Also, July 16th Big Diamond Speedway out in coalcracker country will be having an SS Sprint/Super Sportsman race. It sure would be nice to see some of our local wheelers make the trip and see how they can run against the Super Sportsman tour guys
Congratulations to NJs own Sean Carmen on his current point lead in the Ford Focus series. NJ has quite a few talented midget wheelers including but not limited to Ben Seitz, Joey Payne, Frank Polimeda, Sean Carmen, Tom Hessert, Billy Pauch, Jr. and others. Its too bad we dont get to see midgets, both asphalt and dirt, race more often here in the Garden State, they always put on such a fantastic show.
Feel free to email me at Jeff@ThrowinItDown.com with questions, comments, etc.
Throwin It Down: Horton and Roveda Steal
After a week of steady and, at times, quite heavy rain here in the Garden State, New Egypt Speedway managed to get a bit of luck with weather that almost mimicked that of a lovely Autumn Day. With day time temps hovering around 71 degrees and night time temps in the 40s with little to no clouds in sight, the racers and fans were ready to go.
The Big Block Modified feature began with several cautions, initially for debris on the track on lap 1 and again on the restart. The restart saw a wealth of cars bottle up with Ryan Godown going around in turn 1. On the restart it was all Scotty Van Gorder . Trying to play a game of run and hide, Van Gorder saw the action slowed on lap 3 as Frank Cozze looped it, collecting Sammy Martz, in his new Bicknell machine, and Ryan Godown. The restart, again, saw Van Gorder shoot out to a commanding lead with the field in tow. On lap 8 Jim Roberts, doing his best impersonation of James Bond, reeled off a massive smoke screen. It appeared as if the smoke screen somehow effect Tom Carberry as he lost it in turn 2. Meanwhile, Billy Pauch, Jr. appeared to get into Carberry and effectively ended his night as he went up and over, mangling to the number 15 modified. When action resumed it was, again, Scotty Van Gorder. But charging through the pack were Billy Pauch, Sr. and Jimmy Hotrod Horton. Van Gorder did the best he could holding off all charges until lap 20 when a super strong Horton drove on by and looked into the sunset. Lap 22 saw Dom Buffalino go around in turn 4 after Pauch, Sr. got into him. It wasnt evident if Buffalino slowed or Pauch, Sr. picked up speed, causing the incident. With 8 to go the best the field could do is try to race for second, Horton was the class of the field and brought home yet another win for the Grosso Trucking number 42. Following Hot Rod across the line were Scotty Van Gorder, with a very impressive 2nd place, Billy Pauch, Sr., Bucky Kell and Ricky Gross, yet another fine finish.
In Super Stock action it was Redwood, Jake Roveda finally managing to get the monkey off of his back. Roveda, each and every week, has looked very, very solid in the Miscoski Racing number 57 but had yet to seal the seal the deal. This week Roveda was not to be denied, charging to the front early and never relinquishing the lead. Following the Cream Ridge resident to the checkers were Bryan Reed, Spider Ensinger, Big Al Cheney and Kim Cooke.
In sportsman action an early duel between Jack Swain and John Salvatore, Jr. gave the fans a show. Unfortunately for Salvatore, Jr. the top of the race track went away on him and he was left with little to work with. On the bottom, a powerful Jack Swain wheeled his Dirt Wheels/TK combo to his first win of the 2006 season, a popular one with the fans I might add. Following Swain were Gary Butler, John Romano, Justin Hoffman and Will Osmun.
In SS Sprint action it was again Kevin Nagy followed by Art Leidl, Ed Hughes, John Snook and Craig Martin. Liedl and Nagy are clearly the stars of the field, today. It may be time to start setting them a bit further back in the field and making them have to pass some of the other good cars out there. On that note, its nice to see Dale Gardner getting more comfortable out there as are some of the other newer SS Sprint wheelers.
The Rookie sportsman race proved to be an interesting one with Driver blowing his ride up and Mike Smith breaking his steering box. The combination of events put Smith in 6th, struggling to keep his car on the track and Driver back in 8th. As well, Jason Dunn broke something in the rear and ended up 9th. That left quite possibly the best of the division to take the big win, Tommy Carberry. Tommy has been quite impressive over recent weeks. But none the less the Rookie Crown turned to a co-crown with Driver and Smith splitting the honors. Congratulations to all of the rookies, you guys did a great job and Im looking forward to seeing you all progress and turn into the next generation of racers!
New Jersey Racing News and Notes:
*Jason Saredy, one of the good guys of racing, ran into some problems this weekend, breaking something in the motor during the feature. Jay is a friendly 24 year old that is out there racing a car that is actually almost as old as he is! In fact, the car is an old CRC chassis that early in its life raced as a Wall Stadium street stock. And yes, I do mean Wall Stadium! I hope that Jays motor owes arent too serious and that he can get back to the track soon. His family sits behind me and are always smiling and friendly and Jay reminds me of a racer of ole
*Tad Cox, after his nasty wreck several weeks back, is still not yet back to the track. Tad is another good guy of racing, hopefully well see him soon as hes a talented driver and a welcome addition to any big block modified field.
*Sam Martz was sporting a brand new Bicknell this past Saturday evening. Martz, apparently, wasnt happy with the new Teo and decided to make the change to a Bicknell mount. I cant say Martz looked decidedly better but its a bit tough to tell as Sammy took a pretty hard shot early in the feature which surely couldve bent some bars up
*All I can say is Wow! What about that Rick Holsten? Holsten had really looked as if he was struggling but ever since Billy Pauch, Sr. used his car in a feature several weeks ago Holsten has looked like a new man. While hes not setting the world on fire, he looks way better out there and I have a feeling that Pauch mustve given him a few of his secret setup tips. And no doubt, theyve worked!
*Kenny Brightbill has been absent for several races now at NES and one must wonder if hell be back in any regular capacity? Im a huge Brightbill fan and always love seeing him run but he really struggled this year at the 4/10th mile track. In fact, Kenny has really struggled at most tracks, recently with a DNQ at Big Diamond for the ROC show. What a shame.
*Talk about NES drivers representing on the ROC tour! At the recent Big Diamond show the modified and sportsman divisions were dominated by NES wheelers. Billy Pauch, Sr. took the modified feature while Mike Lyons took the sportsman race. And, in fact, all three ROC Southern Sportsman events have been won by an NES regular with Willie Osmun taking two and now Mike Lyons taking one. As well, Jimmy Horton was the man to beat until he got a flat tire. Apparently Jimmy was just leaps and bounds better then the rest of the field but unfortunately for Mr. Horton, he didnt lead the all important final lap. Regardless, its great to see how strong the NES drivers truly are.
*Next Wednesday the ROC tour will invade New Egypt Speedway, June 21st, with a double header featuring a 75 lap modified event and a 40 lap sportsman event. The bummer for me is that I have a trade show that day in NYC with my final meeting ending at or around 4:30 PM. Its not going to be easy but Im going to do my best to get down to the track to see the event. Figures, two major trade shows for my industry a year and one coincides with ROC tours first visit to my home track. Expect huge car counts for this one and dont miss it!
*Anyone notice that the NST has only about 11 drivers supporting the tour right now on a full-time basis? I wonder if theyll still be around when their scheduled stop at NES comes around in August? If they are, I know Ill be there, itll be great to see a 410 sprint show in NJ again!
*Congratulations to my buddy Charlie Spencer! Charlie was behind the wheel of a race car for the first time in his life this past Saturday. He was wheeling the black 17j super stock. He didnt do too bad for a guy with no experience. As well, Charlie also happens to be a crew member and fill in crew chief for Jeff Geiges and the 77j Vengeance Race Team. Good luck to you Charlie, well be cheering for you!
*Im starting to wonder if Bridgeport Speedway will ever get in a Friday night event this year on the 5/8th mile oval for the 358 (Crate II) division? Im hoping I can make it down a few times this year on Friday nights to get my race fix when Im unable to make it to the races on a Saturday.
*And speaking of Bridgeport Speedway, theyve really had some pretty decent car counts this year for their Saturday night shows, even with the split of Crate I/Crate II divisions. As well, their big block division has been bringing in almost 30 cars per week, one of the best weekly counts in the North East.
*Does anyone receive a weekly press release from Wall Township Speedway? Ive sent email requests to them but to no avail. As well, none of the websites I hit have PR from the track, either? One must wonder what the real deal is when a track wont even send PR to a columnist or website I do hope to make the ROC asphalt modified show there this year which Ill cover for both Dirt Track Digest and SJDR.
*Kenny Huchko was in the stands at NES for the first time this year. Kenny, the owner and driver of the number 62 sportsman, plans on being back to the track in about two weeks and is looking forward to it. He has just a few minor details left on the car and hell be ready to go.
*HEY HEY HEY, dont forget about the George Wingate Memorial race at Bridgeport on June 28th. The show should be a great midweek race with some solid cars from Bridgeport and NES taking laps as well as, possibly, some ROC guys coming down to get some laps in on the big 5/8th mile oval.
*Message boards out there that cater to racing seem to be getting worse and worse. Outside of the lack of spelling and grammar that is going on, people seem to be complaining about anything and everything. Its to the point where you cant ask a question without getting a snide comment or getting a flury of information that isnt relevant to the original question. The internet is such a fantastic tool yet is so easily taint-able So come on, lets all act like grownups and keep things on the up and up. And if youre going to be negative please use a REAL NAME and dont hide behind your keyboard, its really pretty lame
Well, again, thank you for reading and if you would like, you can email me at Jeff@ThrowinItDown.com with information on your race team, questions, comments, concerns, etc.
Throwin' It Down: Horton and Cozze Flex
Veteran Muscles in Twin Twenties
With Twin Twenties for the mighty, big block modifieds on the card, fans
were set to see plenty of wheel to wheel, heavy horsepower action. On
this night it was the veteran muscle prevailing over the younger crop of
wheelers. It was years of experience over youthful angst and exuberance,
at least this night.
The first of the twin twenties went wire to wire. Fan favorite and local,
Ron John Koczon, pulled off on lap 1 to set the stage for his evening.
Meanwhile it was the red 47 of John Dixon trying to get a jump on the
field. Unfortunately for the young Dixon, lap 5 saw veteran wheel man
Frank Cozze pull up, wave and head for the high road. Meanwhile Billy
Pauch, Sr. was up to third and looking to let his presence be known. By
lap 11 the elder Pauch was in 2nd and Jimmy Horton had powered his sharp
looking Grosso-owned number 42 to 5th. A lap later it was "The Ringoes
Rocket", Ryan Godown, coming on strong and blowing by Pauch, Sr. to take
away second place. Godown was gaining on Cozze lap after lap and by lap
17 was extremely close, that is until Joey Tinnes, a lapped car, pinched
him and destroyed the momentum of the JD3 lettered, number 26 Bicknell of
Ryan Godown. At the finish it was Frank Cozze followed by Ryan Godown,
Billy Pauch, Sr., Jimmy Horton and John Dixon, recording his best finish
of the 2006 season.
The second feature was not to go wire to wire. Lap four saw Dom Buffalino
slide up into the turn two fence to call the first of several cautions.
With Ricky Grosso in the lead and looking strong it was obvious that there
was just one man, on this night, in this feature, capable of stopping
Grosso from grabbing his first of the 2006 season. A lap nine caution for
Keith Hoffman, whom stopped in turn two only to power away as soon as the
yellow came out, set the stage for a battle between car owner and
employee. Horton was looking extremely fast but a lap 10 caution slowed
the pace again. A turn three pileup collected Hendershot, Miloszar,
Blackwell, VanGorder, Tinnes and Brian Godown. The restart showed how
much power both the 24r and the 42 have as Grosso and Horton rocketed off
the fourth turn. Unfortunately for the smooth wheeling Grosso, the crafty
veteran skills paid off and on lap 11 Horton took over the command. A lap
later the caution flag flew once again, for the final time as Tom Carberry
slowed on the front stretch. At the close it was Jimmy Horton taking his
third big block modified feature victory of the year at New Egypt
Speedway. Following Horton were car owner Ricky Grosso, Bucky Kell, Billy
Pauch, Sr. and Timmy Tanner.
The sportsman feature, once again, was truly a mess. Cautions plagued the
event and when the smoke cleared, cars were towed off and the dust
settled, it was Willie Osmun taking the big win followed by Billy Tanner,
Mike Lyons, John McClelland and Gary Butler.
The superstock division once again put on a great show. Unfortunately for
the bulk of the field, Kory Flemming, perennial fast timer this year,
started out front and that was pretty much all she wrote. Flemming
finally grabbed his first win of the year in the Sleep Hollow Racing
number 704. Following Flemming across the line were Ron Coverly, Pat
Freiberger, Billy Bauer and Norm Saxton.
The SS Sprints, with 19 cars making the call for the feature, put on a
great show. Once again, it was a Kevin Nagy/Art Liedl battle. Of course,
lap 13 saw Dan Wall spin while running a solid second. From there on out
it was Nagy and Liedl but Nagy was not to be denied, beating Liedl easily
on each restart as it appeared Liedl needed a lap or two to get his Down
Fords Sprinter up to speed. Following Nagy and Liedl across the line were
Ian Borden, Craig Martin and Ed Hughes.
This week at New Egypt Speedway will be Delran Auto Body/Leach Racing
Associates night with Big Block Modifieds, Sportsman, Super Stocks, SS
Sprints and Rookie Sportsman on the card. As well, there will be a "box
car" race for the kiddies. Racing starts at 6:30 so support your local
NJ Racing News and Notes:
* Kenny Hammond was not in action this week as heavy wrecks the two prior
weeks and a broken motor earlier this year have already set him back
$9,800 this year. Racing sure is expensive!
* Tad Cox was still not back in attendance after a nasty wreck in turn
three several weeks ago totaled his sharp looking number 59.
* Mark Blackwell, owner of MetalFab, wheeled the back up Gross 24r in both
features. Mark qualified through the consolation race and pulled off in
the first feature but came home 14th in the second feature. After the
races Blackwell was all smiles, you could tell he had a blast out there!
* Reverend Dan is doing well, although a bit sore, after a scary episode
at New Egypt Speedway last weekend. Sportsman driver Lou Farina appeared
to lose control of his # 044 Troyer and slammed into the victory lane area
where Rev. Dan was standing. Some debris hit Dan and he took quite a
spill. Fortunately he's okay and will even be making the trip to Dover to
do the invocation this weekend.
* Jeff Geiges and the 77j Vengeance Racing team will be taking off a few
weeks from racing after they lost their primary power plant in the
sportsman feature. They're actively seeking additional sponsorship to get
things back together. Once the team decides what route they'll be going
I'm sure they'll give me a call to let all of their fans know. Jeff,
being one of the nicest guys out there, has quite a fan base for a
* Rick Cozze blew up big time on lap 14 of the SS Sprint feature.
Hopefully Rick and his team can get things back together as he's a great
addition to the growing SS Sprint field.
* I'm surely not going to mention names but I have a feeling that if a few
sportsman guys don't settle down there just might be a war after the
races. The last few weeks have torn up a ton of equipment and that's
definitely not good considering that we're not even ½ way into the season.
* John Romano has been extremely fast the last few weeks but has just had
bad luck. Breaking on lap one two weeks ago and then this past getting
caught up in a lap five pileup, he just can't catch a break.
* Kenny Brightbill was absent from action at NES on Saturday and also
reportedly quit the car he was driving out at Big Diamond. Word on the
street is that Kenny is waiting on his motor from HG and also trying to
secure some additional sponsor dollars. I don't know, I just don't see
Kenny doing much driving a 1992 Troyer around the tacky, 4/10th mile New
Egypt Speedway. I hope I'm wrong.
* The current point leaders at NES are: Modifieds: Jimmy Horton,
Sportsman: Mike Howardson, Super Stocks: George Quinlan, SS Sprints: Art
Liedl and Rookie Sportsman: Bryan Driver.
* Tommy Carberry, driving the former Chuck Flesch, Lawrence Engineering
number 28, broke through with a rookie sportsman win. As well, Tony
Pietrofitta recorded his season best finish in the rookie sportsman ranks
coming home 2nd. I have a feeling that a few of these guys will be tough
in years to come in the sportsman ranks. Just look at Pat Wall, a 2005
rookie graduate! Wall has quickly become one of the toughest competitors
on the division.
* Dave Hunt was a surprising 8th fast timer in the sportsman ranks this
week. Maybe I'm just getting old but I really haven't noticed Dave before
and he really looked comfortable and quick out there. Unfortunately for
Mr. Hunt, his feature was less then stellar as he came home 30th.
* Predicition for the this week: Modifieds: Ron John Koczon, Sportsman:
John McClelland, Super Stock: Jake Roveda, SS Sprint: Art Liedl and Rookie
Sportsman: Jason Dunn
* Anyone else notice how much better Rick Holsten looked this week? Hmmm,
could it be that Billy Pauch, Sr. paid him back for letting him use his
car last week in some setup advice? Either way, Rick looked light years
better grabbing a 5th in his heat and a 7th and 10th place, respectively,
in the twin twenties.
* I've been having some difficulties with www.ThrowinItDown.com but can
tell you that I do have points for the Garden State Big Block Big Dawg
points I've been tracking. Currently the top 10 are: Jimmy Horton, Duane
Howard, Frank Cozze, Ryan Godown, Timmy Tanner, Fritz Epright, Ricky
Grosso, Billy Pauch, Sr., Bucky Kell and Wade Hendrickson. Keep in mind
that points will eventually be based on a driver's top 15 finishes. Right
now Bridgeport drivers are a race down so many will catch up once they hit
15 races and only that number are being counted. Also, once the complete
points are up so will a logo created by Kyle Kania. Thanks to
www.ShadyWebGraphics.com and Kyle for that! And heck, have the kid do
your website, he needs t money so he can sportsman racing one of these
Feel free to email me at Jeff@ThrowinItDown.com with information,
questions, comments, etc. As well, check us out on the web at
www.ThrowinItDown.com and www.MySpace.com/throwinitdownpr.
Throwin It Down: Theres a New Mr. Super
Stock On The Block
With all of the chatter about how the night would be a hard fought battle between reigning champion Jake Redwood Roveda and the returning 2006 Super Stock champion, Rob Ormsbee, one wouldve thought it was simply a match race. What many failed to do is consider the fact that this is no longer the Super Stock division of ole. Oh yeah, this is a new era where car counts are shorter but talent and top notch equipment is surelyy on the rise. A cast of characters showed up to do battle on this night and all were confident in their equipment and their abilities. Sure, Roveda and Ormsbee were not to be counted out on this Fall-like Saturday evening of May 20th, year 2006, but Big Al Cheney, George Quinlan, Kory Fleming, Spider Man Ensinger, Pat Freiberger, Heath New Kid on the Block Metzger, Bryan Reed, Jason Bubeck, Billy Bauer, Larry Reed and others all showed up and were set to do battle.
The evening started with Quinlan setting fast time in the always sharp looking Ten machine. Rounding out the fast five were Kory Fleming, Billy Bauer, Pat Freiberger and Jake Roveda. This was to set the stage for the 24 car feature.
The 25 lap main event started off quickly with the Sleepy Hollow Racing number 704 of Kory Fleming jumping out to the lead. While Fleming has been fast in years past, 2006 has proved to be a breakout year. With the rest of the big dogs trying to play catch up Fleming was looking to pad his lead. Lap 8 saw Heath Metzger, fresh off a solid run, pulling off. Lap 9 found an unfortunate series of events for fan favorite, Spider Ensinger. Ensinger drove his Century 21, Roveda built machine into the wall between turns 3 and 4 extremely hard. A great deal of steam and smoke came from the crumbled machine, putting an end to the 2006 feature winners hopes of being the Roveda Speed and Custom Mr. Super Stock champion. Lap 10 saw Bryan Reed go for a slightly wild ride, taking out one of the billboards on victory lane and having the Bally Casino sign lodge itself into his machine. At the same time a charging Pat Freiberger called it quits on the backstretch, ending his chances for the coveted title. The restart once again found Fleming off to the races but racers were charging through the pack. Lap 13 was surely an unlucky number for the Norm Saxton number 119, former car of track champion Rob Ormsbee, and his driver, Rob Ormsbee. The car started breaking up badly on lap 12 and lap 13 found Ormsbee sitting in the infield with no hopes of grabbing the title in his first race back since going late model racing with the big boys with big dollars!
But wait, Quinlan was gaining steadily on Kory Fleming and it appeared as if the 704 was off the pace. Lap 17 was a good one for George Quinlan and his Ten machine as he motored by Fleming. One lap later it was good night for Fleming, yet another car that decided to make its temporary home in the infield of the 4/10th mile clay oval. From there it was green, green, green and smooth sailing for Quinlan. It sure wouldve been interesting to see if Big Al Cheney couldve made something happen had a restart bunched the field up a bit, but no luck for last weeks winner as Quinlan become the new Mr. Super Stock, sponsored by Roveda Speed and Custom located minutes from the speedway on Route 537. In tow were Cheney in the Cheney Motorsports number 73, Jason Bubeck, Ron Coverly and Jake Roveda. Once again, the Super Stocks put on the best show of the evening. Of course, the $1,000 winners cut for their biggest event of the season surely brought out everyones best!
The modified feature began with fan favorite Billy Pauch, Sr. hopping into the Rick Holsten owned number 96 machine. Apparently Pauch, Sr. broke the Feil motor in his Bifulco construction car and cut a deal with Holsten to steer his car in the feature. Mike Hendershot jumped out to a quite impressive lead and was running away from the pack until John Dixon slowed things down a bit, looping it in turn four, bringing out the first caution of the evening. The lap 9 restart proved to once again find trouble in tour four with Brian Godown, last weeks winner, Billy Pauch, Sr. and Ron John Koczon getting getting together and once again bringing out the caution. On the restart Hendershot once again jumped out to the lead but it wasnt to last too long. Timmy Tanner was making his way through and was looking for his first win of the 2006 season. On lap 14 Hendershot bobbled and got up on the cushion and that was all she wrote. Tanner was not to be denied on this evening. He took it home and won in style with Ricky Grosso, Keith Hoffman, Jimmy Horton and Ryan Godown rounding out the top five. It was nice to see Tanner bring home the victory and become the 4th winner in five races, keeping it interesting for fans and drivers alike.
In sportsman action all eyes were on John Romano in his low rack, number 84 Bicknell. Romano was lightning fast in time trials and in speaking with him prior to the feature, it was evident he was excited. Unfortunately for the fan friendly Romano, it was not to be his evening. The HurtBand.com, Pimp Nation, T/K Performance, Romano Horsepower Development, Jim Brown Photos mount pulled off on lap 1. Meanwhile, lap four saw EJ Harrington, sporting a potent Vengeance Competition powerplant, and Brad Freeman in the sharp looking number 111, get together and spin in turn 2. The Lap 4 restart saw a massive, massive pileup coming out of turn 2 which appeared to be caused by Billy Tanner, brother of modified feature winner Timmy Tanner, due to a broken shock. Caught in the massive pileup were Kenny Hammond, Gene Stravinksy, John Stangle and others. Hammond, again, found himself with a seriously wrecked machine and, for the most part, in the same spot of the track as last week after his altercation with Mike Krachun. When it all settled down it was Rich Scagliotta in the always sharp looking, Scott Kania lettered, number 8 in victory lane. Following the second-time 2006 winner across the line were Glenn Hisko, Mike Howardson, the current point leader, Mike Krachun and Justin Hoffman.
The show was over before 10:00 and fans were free to go and roam about the pits or head home early to their wives, husbands, kids, etc. This week at NES will find two modified features, sportsman, superstocks, SS Sprints and rookie sportsman on the card.
NJ Racing News and Notes
*Its really sad to see Dom Buffalino sidelined. Hes a kid with some serious talent but just cant seem to catch a break. Hes been seen between the stands and the pit of sportsman wheeler Kenny Hammond.
*Jeff Geiges, for the second straight week, has missed qualifying for the feature. Geiges had his distributor break in the timed dash series and in his consolation race twice was collected in wrecks caused by the 2T sportsman. Once he was past those two he made a valiant effort only to come up 1 spot short. This weekend finds the team racing at NES on Saturday and Sunday and Monday on the ROC sportsman tour.
*Jason Hamilton was in attendance, getting his car ready for the upcoming ROC race at New Egypt Speedway.
*Rumors floating about are that Chic Cossaboone will be a regular at New Egypt Speedway for the remainder of 2006. Chic would be a welcome addition to the current crop of big blocks.
*Tad Cox was in attendance after his nasty flip last week. Unfortunately, Cox was without a ride as the team is trying to secure further sponsorship to get back to the track. If there are any interested parties I suggest touching base with Tad, hes a true good guy of the sport and a great driver, too. Best of luck to Tad and his team.
*It seems as if race fans that congregate at the local internet message boards arent happy about anything. Whether its tears regarding the surface of Bridgeport and Grandview to the timed dashes at New Egypt, its always something. The lack of positive vibes out there surely isnt helping to grow and secure the future of short track racing in our area, thats for sure. So heres a virtual tissue for the babies
*One has to wonder if Wall Township Speedway truly, even with their newest back, truly wants to succeed. The website tends to be pretty dated and I cant even find a rundown until my copy of AARN (which I suggest everyone subscribe to even if just for the fantastic articles by the likes of Saxton, Kovac, Kane and the rest of the fine writers) arrives each and every Wednesday. Its a shame, that track carries such great history and still features great racing but with the lack of PR out there one must wonder what the future will hold?
*Wow, have any of you checked out MySpace.com lately? There are a ton of great racer profiles on there from around the country. To begin, check out www.myspace.com/benseitz and go from there. Some names that are on there that you might know are: John Dixon, Billy Pauch, Jr., Jimmy Horton IV, John Romano as well as New Egypt Speedway, USAC and more! Who knows what is truly sanctioned but regardless, its a heck of a lot of fun to hunt around and see whats out there. And while youre at it, look for Nick Leach and Bonnie Koczon or even Bonnies big brother, Ron John! Oh yeah, a weak version of Throwin It Down is on there but itll be getting a tweaked in the near future. That is as soon as Im not traveling. Ive been all over the country over the past month on business and it just isnt leaving time for me to do a little MySpace tweak. Heck, as a I type this Im on a plane to FL.
*Rob Pierce will be wheeling a 358 crate car at Bridgeport Speedway each and every Friday.
Well, thats all for now so be on the lookout next week for another edition of Throwin It Down on both www.DirtTrackDigest.com and www.SouthJerseyDirtRacing.com, my two favorite places on the net! Feel free to email me with information on your team, news, notes, corrections and more at Jeff@ThrowinItDown.com. Until then, Be Good!
Throwin It Down: Big Al Rocks Em and the
Other Godown Socks Em
New Egypt Speedway is a track that, regardless of the division, offers fierce competition. The Super Stock division, once referred to by many as such words as street stocks, junkers, bombers and other such words, are now viewed by many as limited late models. And with the rules evolving along with the division, so has the competition. There are no longer a handful of standout cars. There is now a field of stand out cars. And while the car counts in the division have clearly dropped off a notch, the competition level has grown tenfold.
This past Saturday, May 13th, on Perlmuttter Family Shoprite Superstores Night, the super stock division was to put on the best show of the evening, offer slicing, dicing action with passing galore and a healthy dose of drama from start to finish. Taking the lead from the start of the show was Heath Metzger. To the best of my knowledge, these were the first laps Metzger had ever lead in a feature event and he proved, if nothing else, that he is surely a force to be reckoned with as the season goes on. Early in the event, lap two to be exact, several of the top dogs were collected in a turn 3 and 4 pileup. Those hotshoes were Mick Search, Kory Fleming and Spider Ensinger. Ensinger was hot off a win the prior week. Both Search and Fleming were able to continue but never were a force, as would be expected, in the event. Meanwhile, Heath Metzger and his orange super stock were leading the way. But while Metzger was out front, a plethora of fast cars were making their way through the field and to the front. By lap 10 Big Al Cheney had piloted his number 73 to the front of the field but still had Metzger to contend with. Unfortunately for Metzger, Cheney was not to be denied and on lap 16, with several other cars in tow, made the move to the front. But on Cheney was George Quinlan, current point leader. Cheney gave the Superior Engine powered number 73 all she had and it was just enough, literally! At the line it was Big Al by a mere foot over Quinlan with Billy Bauer, Bryan Reed and leader through the first 15 laps of the event, Heath Metzger rounding out the top five. To say the least, these guys put on one heck of a show and on top of it being a great show for the fans, it was clean. The respect out there is unbelievable. Sure, there is some bumping and grinding from time to time but they appear to be the cleanest division at the track right now.
In big block modified action, one could say that the race fell prey to a full moon evening, with the exception that there was no full moon. But when the dust settled, it was a first time winner in the big block ranks standing on the podium, with his heart on his sleeve. Many have come to know the name Ryan Godown but this past Saturday proved that there is another Godown, and that other Godown is Brian Hollywood Godown. His Bicknell/Feil combo was clearly the class of the field, running away from the early leader, Tom Carberry, coming off a heart breaking loss the week prior, breaking a drive shaft while way out front. Brian Godown, clearly choked up after his first big block win, stood in victory lane, thanking his crew, family, sponsors and fans. And with the way Brian ran, its clear that hes the real deal and one to watch as the season progresses. Following Hollywood across the finish line was Tom Carberry, Ryan The Ringoes Rocket Godown, Jimmy Horton and Bucky Kell.
The sportsman feature was one that Kenny Hammond may soon want to forget. Kenny, after setting fourth fast time earlier in the evening, took over the lead from Glenn Hisko on lap seven. It appeared as if Hisko may have lost a motor as something clearly sounded a miss for about two laps prior and single, small puff of smoke blew from the sharply lettered, Hisko Lowboy mount. With Hammond in control he had his work cut out for him. Directly following the AFX Fencing number 116 were fast timer Mike Krachun and Keith Plumstead, piloting a new Bicknell lettered by JD3. Unfortunately for the Monroe Township resident, Hammond was only to lead until lap 10. Hammond, coming out of turn two was pushed up the track and into the wall by Krachun and then the real disaster struck when Mike Lyons slammed into the broken Hammond mount, doing some serious damage to the former leaders car. After several more cautions it was Krachun taking the win followed by Gary Butler, Keith Plumstead, John Romano and Glenn Pyatt.
In the SS Sprint feature it was again Art Liedl taking the win followed by Kevin Nagy, former modified pilot Dale Gardner, Forked Rivers Craig Tiger Martin and Rick Cozze, in his first event of the year. The SS Sprints brought 20 cars out for the fans with several more still missing!
Next week at New Egypt Speedway will be the big race for the Super Stock drivers. The Mr. Super Stock Classic, sponsored by none other then the experts, Roveda Speed and Custom located on Route 537 just minutes from the speedway. The Mr. Super Stock Classic event will feature a 25 lap feature with a $1,000 winners purse. As well, to add a little extra excitement to the event, Rob Ormsbee, the 2005 Super Stock champion, will be making a return to go up against the likes of Jake Roveda, the 2005 Mr. Super Stock Classic winner, Big Al Cheney, fresh off of a victory, George Quinlan, the current point leader as well as Kory Fleming, Heath Metzger, Billy Bauer, Spider Ensinger, Shawn McCaughey, Mick Search and the rest of the big dogs of the Super Stock division. Of course, on tap will also be big block modifieds, sportsman and rookie sportsman but its the Super Stock pilots night to shine!
NJ News and Racing Notes
*Tad Cox took a nasty flip in his heat race getting up and over hard in turn three. Fortunately Cox was okay but his car sustained quite a bit of damage. Regardless, the car did what it needed to do and Cox walked away sore and upset but fortunately he was fine.
*I would like to apologize to Tom Carberry for calling him Ken, instead of Tom in my column last week. Sorry about that Tom. As well, its Dominick Buffalino and Doug Ostwald, right guys? And Pimp, go polish a snow globe, will you buddy? LOL Thanks to all that emailed and posted about my errors, I appreciate it.
*Two Bridgeport Speedway modified drivers made the haul to New Egypt Speedway after Bridgeport cancelled due to wet conditions at the track: Mike Illes and Chick Cossaboone. Mike Illes actually qualified through his heat, coming home a solid fourth while Cossaboone was forced to qualify through the B Main, grabbing a 5th. Cossaboone had a night hed probably prefer to forget as he was involved in numerous tangles and accidents, bringing home his Tuckahoe Turf Farm 7a to a 20th place finish in the feature. Meanwhile, Mike Illes came home 10th and actually didnt look to bad out there for someone with little track time at NES.
*In speaking with a crew member of the Divspec sponsored number 52 of Barry Christ, they feel that they are coming along with the newer Bicknell car. Each week they are getting a little quicker and soon hope to have all of the wrinkles ironed out!
*Dominick Buffalino was seen in the stands, without his car after breaking the motor in warm-ups the prior week. I was unable to catch up with Buffalino but hopefully hell be back in action in the near future as he is surely one of the most promising young, modified drivers out there.
*Several other drivers missing this week were Pat Freiberger, John Miloszar, Doug Ostwald, Scott Van Gorder (1 week suspension for actions from last week), Dennis Halas, Kenny Brightbill and Jason Saredy.
*Bryan Driver, current rookie sportsman point leader, took yet another win in the rookie ranks. As well, Driver brought home the Donnie Kline owned number 1 to an 18th place finish in the sportsman feature.
*John Stangle, in his first season at New Egypt Speedway, was looking good and running in the top five until he pulled off. Stangle is surely a candidate for a win this year as he seems to get more comfortable with each week.
*Congratulations to John Keller in the 54x Big Block Modified. John won his first ever heat race this past weekend. John is definitely getting better each week and I would have to say has a top 5 in a modified feature coming sometime this year. Great job to Mr. Keller.
*Mike Howardson may not have a win in the sportsman division this year but regardless, hes leading point. Howardson seems to be up there each and every week and a win has to be around the corner. This week he was quiet but finished 6th and holds an 8 point lead over veteran sportsman pilot Gary Butler.
*Jeff Geiges was a very surprising DNQ on Saturday evening. Geiges and the team have literally had no luck at all this year. Geiges was running a very solid second in the B Main but had a tire go down. Unfortunately for Geiges, the race went right back to green and they were unable to get back on the Speedway. And to top it off, John Salvatore, Jr. took the provisional leaving Geiges and the Vengeance team no choice but to load the car up early Lady Luck must be right around the corner!
*Everett Taylor put a pretty good scare into some of the fans after hitting the turn three wall very hard. An ambulance was called for Taylor but apparently he banged his knee but other then that, was okay. It turned out I was sitting next to someone that works with Everett and they mentioned hed be getting a pretty good ribbing at work on Monday! All were just glad that Everett, a 61 year old rookie sportsman wheeler, was okay.
*Im not going to go into details but racing message boards are really becoming quite sad. Everyone is complaining, crying rivers of tears, talking junk without using a real name and, in general, being a bunch of punks. Its really sad that in a day and age when short track racing on a local level is dying, all anyone can do is cry like a newborn baby looking for its next meal. Whether its because their favorite driver wasnt given special treatment, the fact that there is dust in the air at a dirt track track or that racing is too expensive, its just whine, whine, whine. So in closing, knock it off you big babies, will you? And dont forget, support a local short track this weekend be it NES, Bridgeport, Granview, OCFS, Susky, Lincoln, Williams Grove or whatever!
Until next week, enjoy, be safe and be healthy. Feel free to email me at Jeff@ThrowinItDown.com with comments, questions, concerns, team news, rumors, hate mail and the like. Thanks for reading, I appreciate it.
Throwin It Down: Carberry Breaks, Horton
Racing, like everything else in this world, just isnt fair. It isnt fair that a low buck guy like Tom Carberry was the man to beat this past Saturday but, with about a half track lead, broke something in the drive train of his brightly lettered, un-sponsored number 23. But hey, thats life. As well, its really not fair that a caution with two to go gave Jimmy The Hotrod Horton a chance to dupe rising modified star Ron John Koczon. But lone and behold, these things did happen and for the second week in a row Jimmy Horton, driving the ultra potent Grosso Trucking/Millennium Car Wash number 42, was standing in victory lane. Horton, a man that can be defined as a realist, stated, Tonight we had a third place car. But lets be honest, that is what makes a guy like Jimmy Horton a household name in short track racing in the North East.
It all begin on lap two with Sam Martz spinning and Cozze and Pauch Sr. getting together. Tom the top cat Carberry was leading and looking strong. Lap five saw quite a mess with Scherer, Tanner, Oswald, VanGorder and Hendershot all tangling in turn three. Scott VanGorder went to the pits only to come back on the track and tag Timmy Tanner. VanGorder was told via radio to get off the track but didnt. Finally, after a bit of a discussion, left and was suspended for one week and not paid for the evening for his actions. With Carberry at the helm and Koczon in tow the duo went to work with Carberry building up a huge lead. Lap 22 saw the end of Carberrys evening as something in the drivetrain broke, relinquishing the lead to New Egypt native and resident Ron John Koczon. Koczon took off, building up a lead but Jimmy Horton was trailing behind and on Koczon like white on rice. A lap 28 caution for Tad Cox set up the finish. Unfortunately for Koczon, he was not to win his first of the 2006 race season. Horton used his veteran knowledge to power by Koczons solid Bicknell/Feil combo. With Horton taking the gold it was Koczon, a hard charging Pauch, Sr., Rich Rutski and Billy Pauch, Jr following.
The sportsman feature saw its share of ups and down but when the dust cleared it was veteran racer Mike Lyons taking the win with John McClelland, Mike Howardson, Willie Osmun and Jack Swain rounding out the top five.
The superstock feature proved to be quite popular with the fans as Spider Ensinger, Jr., aboard the Roveda built, Century 21 car brought home the big win. Following Ensinger to the line were Billy Bauer, Mick Search, Norm Saxton, piloting Rob Ormsbees old mount and Jake Redwood Roveda. The superstock division has become quite a class at New Egypt Speedway. While there are surely fewer cars this year, it seems like the bulk of the teams really stepped up efforts during the off season. There are 15+ cars that can be a threat on any evening to take home the victory. As well, Shawn McCaughey debuted a new, unlettered car and was trying to work some bugs out.
Meanwhile Jason Dunn, with a wheel ready to come off, brought home his number 21 to its first win in the rookie sportsman division. Following Dunn across the line were Brian Driver, Steve Davis, Mike Smith and Tony Pietrofitta. The division is smaller then last year but this year seems to have brought in a great bunch of drivers. Itll be quite interesting to see how some of the drivers transition to the regular sportsman ranks once the rookie series is completed.
NJ Racing News and Notes
1. Absent from this weeks modified field was young gun Dominic Buffolino. Hopefully it was just a one time deal as Buffolino has a great deal of talent.
2. Ryan Godown pulled off on lap eight of the 30 lap feature. The car looked off all night and the poor finish has set Godown back to fifth in the points standings.
3. Jeff Geiges has truly had a miserable start to the 2006 season. Geiges, coming out of his breakout year in 2005, driving the potent Vengeance Competition Products mount, has been collected in accidents at the first ROC race, this week and had fuel issues the first week of the season at NES. The team is very confident that they are getting the bad stuff out of the way early so that they can concentrate on championships at both NES and the ROC Sportsman tour.
4. The rookie sportsman, for the second straight week set a new record for a complete feature. These kids are looking real sharp out there!
5. Dennis Halas, in his first race of 2006 was given very little time to get up to speed. On the first lap of his heat he hit the first turn wall almost head on. That was all she wrote for Mr. Halas. Hopefully he can come back next week and start moving things forward.
6. have to admit, its really sad seeing Kenny Brightbill at New Egypt Speedway as an also ran. Hopefully Kenny is just working through some bugs. But from the stands, the motor doesnt sound right and the car looks terrible. Nothing seems to be working for Kenny. He did manage an 11th place finish but really appeared to just be hanging on out there Time shall tell.
7. John Miloszar, after an impressive outing last week, broke the motor in his yellow 32c numbered machine at the end of his heat. That was the end of Miloszars evening, giving Jim Scherer a spot in the feature without having to use his provisional.
8. The current point leaders are: Jimmy Horton in the modifieds, Willie Osmun in the sportsman, Spider Ensinger in the Super Stocks, Art Liedl in the SS Sprints and Brian Driver in the Rookie Sportsman. I have a feeling weve not seen the last of the lead changes in any of these divisions!
9. Alright, check out the all new Throwin It Downs NJ Big Block Big Dawg points at www.throwinitdown.com/bigdawg.htm. Ive compiled all big block drivers that have made a feature at both New Egypt Speedway and Bridgeport Speedway and lumped them together. It should be interested to see where things end up, even if it is just for fun.
Until next week, be safe and take care. As always, feel free to email me with comments, complaints, hate mail, death threats and other assorted words of love and/or negativity.
Throwin It Down: Horton Takes the High
Road To Victory
On what turned out to be one chilly evening at the famed 4/10th clay mile known as New Egypt Speedway, Jimmy Horton used the high road around the track to bring the Grosso Trucking number 42 Bicknell to the front of the pack and collect his first win at New Egypt Speedway in 2006. And by the way Mr. Horton looked, it surely will not be his only victory of the year. Horton, starting deep in the field went to work at the drop of the green, never backing off. Horton grabbed the lead on lap 13 and didnt look back. Following Horton home was a hard charging Ryan Godown. Godown, in his self-owned, JD3 lettered number 26 Bicknell started to show some muscle late in the race and made an excellent move to get around eventual third place finisher Bucky Kell. It almost appeared as if Godown, one lap prior to swiping the spot from Dirt Wheels proprietor Bucky Kell, sort of rattled his cage by going high between turns one and two and coming out hard, low. Well, whatever the case, Godown did it again the following and final lap and made it stick. Rounding out spots four through ten were Frank Cozze, Tad Cox, John Miloszar, Timmy Tanner, Rick Grosso, Kenny Brightbill and Scotty Van Gorder.
In URC action it was Brian Seidel taking the win in his ultra fast 5g. Seidel did light battle with Greg Coverdale but easily took the spot and ran away from the competition like it was a crime scene! Following Seidel across the line were Dave Ely, Billy Pauch, Sr., Greg Coverdale and Frenchtown resident Jamie Bodo, recording his best ever finish with the URC tour.
The sportsman feature turned out to be one New Egypt resident John Romano, Jr. will not soon forget about. Romano driving the familiar number 84 sponsored by Hurt, Jim Brown Race Photos, Auto Body by Duie, Allentown Pimp and others started in the front but had to get around a fast running Lou Farina on what was a slick but solid track surface. Once Romano got out front, he had plenty of smoke to bring home his number 84 powered by a Romano Horsepower Development power plant to victory lane. Following Mr. Romano to the line were Lou Farina III, John McClelland, Mike Krachun, Jeff Geiges, Mike Lyons, Willie Osmun, Glenn Pyatt, Chad Barney and Jack Swain.
The Super Stock event again went down as one of the best races of the evening. The full-fendered, small block powered machines took to the field for their 15 lap main event with good wood stocked from front to back. Eventual winner Pat Freiburger looked sharp in winning his 13th career feature at New Egypt Speeday. Following the Allentown resident across the line was Jake Roveda, wheeling the Miscoski Racing m57, Spider Ensinger, Jr., Big Al Cheney and Bryan Reed.
In Rookie Sportsman action a new record was set. No, not for most wrecks in a feature, not with the sharp crew they have this season. Nope, Steve Davis, with opening week winner Brian Driver quickly approaching in the Donnie Kline number 1, broke the rookie record for quickest 8 lap rookie feature. Had there been one more lap it wouldve been interesting as Driver began picking cars off at the start and just plain, ole ran out of time. Following Davis and Driver to the finish line were Chris Bennett, Tommy Carberry and Mike Smith.
Coming up this week at New Egypt Speedway is Scout Night and Little League Night. On the card will be the mighty, big block modifieds, sportsman, super stocks, SS Sprints and rookie sportsman.
New Jersey Racing New and Notes
A big sportsman pileup in the feature did some major damage to the cars of Billy Tanner, Gary Butler and Keith Plumstead. Butler was actually taken away in the ambulance, complaining of leg pain but did exit the car under his owner power, fortunately.
Sportsman Wheeler Mike Mongiello appears to have plenty of smoke under the hood of his car courtesy of a brand new motor from Simmonek. Id have to say once he gets that car dialed in, hes going to be a threat each week.
Pat Wall continues to impress fans in just his second year of driving. Wall, a 2005 rookie sportsman graduate is wheeling with the big boys of the sportsman class and is really looking better each and every week.
John Miloszar continues to impress as a low-buck modified wheel man. I think with a little luck, John may grab a win this year in the big block ranks.
Brian Truppi is hoping to be at NES in his big block modified in the beginning of April. Itll be great to add another driver to the mix.
Joey Tinnes, after a several year layoff, was back at the track mixing it up in the big block modified ranks. Joey and his black 911 modified grabbed a spot in the feature. Not bad after the long layoff from racing. I have a feeling once Joey gets comfortable hell really put together some solid runs with the big dogs.
The super stock division seems to be getting better each and every week. The car counts are down slightly from a year ago but regardless, they put on one heck of a show for the fans. Some rude message boarders call them junkers but these cars have come a long way. One would have to wonder if in a few years they might be limited lates?
Vengeance Competition Products is planning on rolling out a super stock within the next few weeks to enter competition. The plan is to use the car as a tool to learn more about setups and what works best so that they can, in turn, better serve their growing client base.
Word on the street is that several Bridgeport sportsman drivers are thinking about making a change and coming to New Egypt. Wow, with 50+ cars each week its probably not what the division needs but hey, the more the merrier, right?
You have to trust in something your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down and it has made all the difference in my life Steve Jobs
On racing message boards throughout the land there has been a wealth of flat out, ignorant racism. Its really sad and one has to wonder if that scumbag mentality has something to do with the lack of progression in short track racing. Im all for freedom of speech but when ignorance is involved, it truly disgusts me Our local racing scene doesnt need it.
NOTE: May 17th 2006 New Egypt Speedway will again be offering up the track for rental to all drivers. I believe the fee is $150 per car but please call the track and schedule if youre interested. I spoke to several drivers that believe that made all the difference in helping them get a handle on things.
Jason Dunn, one of the NES sportsman rookies seems to be coming along quite well. Jason caught the wall and broke his sharp looking number 21 on the last lap of the rookie race. Fortunately, he came back out for the B Main, starting deep in the field. Jay passed quite a few sportsman vets and came up shy two spots. Nice work for this young driver.
Brian Driver, another rookie sportsman, too looked sharp out there. Brian started at the back of the rookie feature and by the time the yellow-free race came to the checkered flag, Driver was right behind the winner. Another lap and young Driver, a second generation wheel man, mightve grabbed his second straight rookie feature win.
Im just putting the finishing touches on a little Garden State Big Block Big Dawg points system. I will track all racers that run in the big block ranks at either Bridgeport Speedway or New Egypt Speedway during 2006. I will take each drivers top 15 finishes and rank them. Next edition of Throwin It Down will contain a link to the points on my site, www.ThrowinItDown.com. Theres no prize for the winner, just another way to argue about whos the best in NJ!
Thanks for your time and feel free, as always, to email me at Jeff@ThrowinItDown.com.
Throwin It Down: Pauch + Pole =s Opening
On a beautiful April evening, New Egypt Speedway opened the 2006 racing season with a large crowd of both fans and drivers to kick things off. After the initial attempt to lift the lid last weekend, fans, drivers and the NES staff were treated to an evening with an excellent track surface, a well run show and plenty of Easter surprises for the many children in attendance.
As with all first nights, there were a wealth of beautiful cars sitting in the pits. Many had not been raced yet and still had their fresh sheet metal and shiny new decals in place. Others felt some minor effects from going racing at places like Big Diamond, Five Mile Point, Hagerstown, etc but regardless, its always great to see the new color schemes before they really start to get moved around from the door handle to door handle racing that takes place at the 4/10th mile track located in New Egypt, NJ.
With 30 big block modifieds on hand, 24 of which would make the feature, fans were treated to three heats. Taking the victories in the heats were Billy Pauch, Sr., Keith Hoffman (wheeling a brand new car for modified driver Jim Scherer) and Dominic Buffalino (a kid to watch in 2006). In the modified consi it was Jim Scherer taking the top spot.
But when it came time for the feature, it was the all-time leader on the New Egypt Speedway modified victory list, Billy Pauch, Sr., pulling the top pill. With Pauch on the pole in his potent Bifulco-owned Bicknell, powered by a Tony Feil engine, everyone else would have to be on top of their game. Through the 30 lap main event, there was not a single driver that was able to track down The Kid and make a strong attempt to get by. But, with that said, Keith Hoffman made a very, very strong run late in the race. Perhaps if there were another five laps, Hoffman may have taken the win home. But that was not the case and Pauch grabbed his 62nd NES modified victory followed by Keith Hoffman, Jimmy Horton, Rick Grosso and Ryan Godown. Rounding out the top 10 were Brian Godown, Ron John Koczon, Dominic Buffalino, Mike Hendershot and 2005 track champion, Frank Cozze.
In the sportsman ranks the feature turned out to be less then pretty. Some might say it was downright ugly, heck, eventual winner Rich Scagliotta in his beautiful looking Scott Kania lettered Bicknell did! But regardless, Scagliotta proved to be too much to handle for the sportsman contingency, regardless of how ugly the event may have been. Following Scagliotta to the checkered was a very strong at times but inconsistent Mike Howardson, Gary Butler, Gene Stravinsky, Glenn Pyatt, Willie Osmun, Jack Swain, Tim Apgar, Clay Butler and John Salvatore, Jr.
The Super Stock feature once again proved to be exciting from start to finish. With some good wood starting up front in Jake Redwood Roveda, many figured that the race would be over. Roveda, making his debut in a sharp looking Miscoski racing mount, would not be much of a contender as the race moved along. Kory Flemming and his freshly-lettered 704 looked to be on its way to a big opening night victory. Unfortunately for Flemming, it was not to be his evening. Flemming caught some lapped traffic that wasnt overly friendly to him and it gave a quickly approaching George Quinlan enough time to catch and overtake Flemming, with just two to go. And that was all she wrote and Quinlan cruised to his 7th victory in the Super Stock ranks followed by a disappointed Kory Flemming, Billy Bauer, Jake Roveda, Norm Saxton (wheeling the car Rob Ormsbee steered to the 2005 championship), Spider Ensinger, Jr., Big Al Cheney, Kim Cooke (wheeling the Infante/Whitehouse ride), Jason Bubeck and Bryan Reed.
The SS Sprints brought just 16 cars to the table for the season opener, two of which were unable to make it to the feature. Dan Wall flipped his SS Sprinter in warm ups in turn 1. The car appeared to be torn up pretty good and just sustained too much damage for his crew to get the car back together. As well, Robert Liedl, driving Art Liedls back-up car didnt make the feature, either. But come feature time, as many suspected, it was the Liedl-Nagy battle. Kevin Nagy, wheeling the potent 747 Edison Generator machine, wasted no time in getting to the front. Unfortunately, while he was cruising out front, Art Liedl was making his way through the pack and trying to find the fastest section of clay to get his sharp-looking Downs Ford sponsored machine to the front. He caught Nagy and proceeded to run away with a victory to start out his defense of his 2005 SS Sprint Championship. Following Liedl were Kevin Nagy, Jackon, NJs Ian Borden, John Snook and Ed Hughes, Bordens teammate.
The rookie sportsman division proved to be a small but strong group of drivers. From the onset it was Mike Smith grabbing the reigns and trying to drive to his first sportsman victory. Meanwhile it was Bruce Drivers son, Brian Driver, driving Donnie Klines car through the pack. With a green-white-checkered restart Driver managed to get inside of Smith coming out of two and after the two made very light contact, went on to a very popular victory. Following Driver across the line were Mike Smith, Jason Dunn, Tony Pietrofitta (a reformed straight-line drag guy!) and Chris Bennett. All in all, these guys all did really well for their first night and I would suspect that by the end of the season some of these guys will be giving the sportsman elite a run for their money.
In closing, it was a fantastic evening at New Egypt Speedway with a large fan turnout, great car counts and some very friendly weather. Next week itll be the C&S Equipment Grand Slam Little league night with Modifieds, Sportsman, Super Stocks, SS Sprints and Rookie Sportsman on the card.
NJ Racing News, Notes and Thoughts
Jason Dunn, one of the current crop of rookie sportsman mentioned that they had some ignition problems and were fighting a freight train push in his new mount. Hes looking forward to coming back next week and running much better and grabbing his first win.
Kenny Brightbill had a less then stellar return to New Egypt Speedway. Brightbill, while making it in through his heat looked to be well off the pace. Come feature time Brightbill was running around 10th when he made contact with Timmy Tanner, sending him very hard into the turn one outside wall. The car definitely got some air time but Brightbill, fortunately, was unhurt. The car appeared to be pretty beat up, though.
In another modified heat race it appeared as if Frank Cozze tried to put John Keller into the wall coming out of turn four. The two got together going into turn three after having to check up a bit for Tad Cox. While its always tough to make a call when youre not out on the track, it sure appeared as if Cozze turned right into Kellers sharp looking ride
Jeff Geiges, driver of the 77j Vengeance Competition Products sportsman, has had a less then stellar start to the 2006 season. At Five Mile Point in the ROC opener Geiges was collected in a 12 car pileup and sustained heavy damage. The crew thrashed all week to get the car back into shape. Unfortunately fuel issues plagued the team all night, forcing him to pull off in the feature and end up deep in the mix.
Some surprising sportsman DNQs were: John Romano in his sharp looking low rack Bicknell, Mike Mongiello with a brand new Simonek power plant, Lou Farinna III and Ben Domaruma.
135 Cars Signed in on opening night including 30 Big Block Modifieds, 57 Sportsman, 32 Super Stocks and 16 SS Sprints. There were some cars missing that I expect will be there this year. Still, many tracks would love to have 135 for four divisions
Kenny Huthko, a Jackson, NJ resident, was among the missing. Kenny is currently unsure of his 2006 plans but hopefully well see his number 62 back in the pits in the near future.
Some of the sharpest looking cars in the pits were: Kory Flemming, John Salvatore, Jr., Jason Dunn, Art Liedl, John Romano, Jr., Keith Plumstead, Ron John Koczon, Jeff Geiges, Rich Scagliotta, Will DuPree and Larry Reed/Jake Roveda.
John Stangle, former Bridgeport Speedway Sportsman wheeler, made his New Egypt Speedway debut. Stangle came home a solid 11th to start off the season. Not bad considering New Egypt Speedway is far from an easy track to conquer.
John Salvatore, Jr. ran the rookie series at NES in 2004 but left near the end of the year to run Bridgeport. John ran Bridgeport all year in 2005 and is back to make a go of it at NES. John qualified 9th in time trials and brough home the Neary Excavating/Salvatore Automotive TEO/Feil combo home a solid 10th.
Ron John Koczon is sporting some new smoke under the hood of his Bicknell. After a very solid second half of 2005 Koczon and company decided to have Tony Feil build them a big block for 2006. Koczon, after starting deep in the pack after qualifying through the consi, came all the way up to 7th place to start this year off. I have a feeling Ron John will grab a few victories this year
Jim Scherer made his car owner debut with flying colors. Keith Hoffman came home a very, very strong second. Scherer struggled a bit but came home 13th. Still, not a bad first night for the new car owner.
Billy Pauch, Jr., after starting near the front, could manage only a 12th place in the feature. None the less, he looked pretty good in his NES big block debut. Should be interested to see how he progresses as the season moves along.
Whos Ebby Ridge? Regardless, not bad!
Rich Rutski, in his modified debut managed to qualify through his heat and came home 16th in the feature. Unfortunately for Rutski, he lost a wheel late in the feature and that was all she wrote for the number 81 modified.
Well, its time to bring this inflated column to a close. Check back next week as I recap week two of the action at NJs own New Egypt Speedway. If you have questions, comments, corrections, etc, please feel free to email me at Jeff@ThrowinItDown.com.
COMING SOON: www.ThrowinItDown.com will soon have several rankings comprised of drivers from New Egypt Speedway and Bridgeport Speedway. Ill be working on those this week so as soon as they are complete and ready to go, Ill note it in my column and include a direct link to the ratings. Just a little fun from TID!
Blackbird QMRC To Host Driving Experience
and Swap Meet
Blackbird Quarter Midget Race Club will be hosting two fantastic events on
March 26th, 2006. From 11:00 to 6:00 PM, Blackbird Speedway in New
Castle, DE will host not only a top notch quarter midget swap meet but a
"Driving Experience" for kids ages 5-15.
The swap meet will feature a wide array of great deals offered by vendors,
parts dealers and quarter midget families looking to move some of their
gear at great prices. This will be a great place to bring that car you
need to sell to make room for the new one or pick up some spare parts to
keep your quarter midget program moving along in 2006!
As well, kids from ages 5-15 can experience the thrill and excitement of
driving a race car first hand! For the low, low price of $20 any child
can try their hand at racing for 10 green flag laps. The only
stipulations to getting inside one of these safe quarter midgets is that
the child must wear long jeans, socks and sneakers. Of course there will
be a classroom session to explain the operation of the race car as well as
a "walk the track" session. If interested please bring a birth
certificate to verify your child's age.
Tony Bozowski, Novice Director at Blackbird Speedway, will also be on hand
to meet and greet racers interested in Novice School which begins on April
2nd! All novice school attendees must be paid in full one week prior to
the beginning of novice school. Both signup and payment can be taken care
of at the Driving Experience/Swap Meet.
Please contact Ken Traino at Trainoracing@comcast.net or 856-667-8244
(6PM-10PM) for more information regarding either event. For more
information on the Blackbird Quarter Midget Race Club you may go to their
home on the web at www.BQMRC.com or call the hotline at 302-328-1553. We
look forward to seeing you on March 26th!
Vengeance Motorsports Inks Divspec to 77j
With the 2006 racing season just around the corner, Vengeance Motorsports
has inked Divspec (www.Divspec.com) as the newest sponsor for the 77j
Bicknell sportsman car wheeled by rising talent, Jeff Geiges. Divspec is
a manufacturer of high quality, precision built fasteners and hardware.
Tony Bozowski, owner of Vengeance Competition Products and the Vengeance
Motorsports team, mentioned "this is a perfect relationship for both
Divspec and my business. Divspec makes affordable, high quality fasteners
and hardware, something myself and my clients are in need of. Many racers
go to places like Home Depot to buy lower quality pieces in the same price
range, now we have access to Divspec's full line of products for anyone in
need." Along with Divspec, the 77j sportsman will again be sporting
Castle's Cleaning and Maintenance and Hammill Flooring on the car. Of
course, there are plenty of sponsorship opportunities left and with Geiges
a favorite to be a front runner for both the New Egypt Speedway
championship and the ROC Sportsman championship, sponsor exposure is
expected to be at an all time high. Any interested parties may contact
either Jeff@ThrowinItDown.com or Tony Bozowski at 908-623-7429 for
sponsorship information. Please head to www.jeffgeigesracing.com for more
information on Jeff Geiges and the 77j race team.
John Salvatore, Jr. Looking To Make Big
Strides in 2006
With two seasons of racing under his belt, John Salvatore, Jr. has big
plans and high hopes for 2006. Salvatore, Jr. started his career in the
rookie sportsman ranks at New Egypt Speedway. With two rookie victories
John was looked at as one of the top dogs of the 2004 rookie series. The
2005 race season saw Salvatore Racing move to Bridgeport Speedway to run
the big 5/8 mile oval deep in South Jersey.
2006 will find John back at New Egypt Speedway in a brand new 2006 Stage
III adjustable rack Teo Pro Car with Tony Feil power under the hood.
Along with running a full sportsman schedule at New Egypt Speedway, John
will run the entire ROC Sportsman tour as well as some special big block
shows and ROC modified events in the teams 2003 Teo standard rack car. As
well, the plan is currently calling for John to take the family small
block to Syracuse in October.
"With the help of Neary Excavating (Middlesex, NJ), our Family Business,
Salvatore Automotive (Middlesex, NJ), and www.ThrowinItDown.com we're really
looking forward to ramping up our program and seeing what we learned over
the past two years. With our new car and Tony Feil power we should be in
good shape at New Egypt but when you're racing against the likes of
Geiges, Butler, Scagliotta, Osmun and the rest of the regulars, it's never
easy to get to the front. Those guys all know how to get around a race
track and win races. But we can't wait for the season to start. We're
really looking forward to getting back to New Egypt, we love racing there
and it's just such a top notch racing facility. Of course it'll also be
great to do some traveling and run tracks we've never seen before. We
don't expect it will be easy but we know we'll learn a lot in the process
and that's what we want out of this year. We hope to win a few races and
more importantly, just grow from the experience so we can make the jump to
big blocks full-time in the near future", said Salvatore from his home in
For more information on John's upcoming race plans and to check out his
new car, freshly lettered by Jay Dugan of JD3 Graphics, head over to the
newly revamped website located at www.SalvatoreRacing.com. As well,
Salvatore Racing still has some very solid sponsorship opportunities
available which can be tailored to fit marketing budgets of all sizes. As
well, you may reach John via email at Jsalvatore16@hotmail.com.
Throwin It Down: Spec Big Block Talk with
By Jeff Patterson
With big block modified car counts dropping throughout the North East, New Egypt Speedway and well known motor builder, Mike Truppi decided to come up with a plan. The plan was to create a well built engine with enough power to get a good driver a victory but also offer a long service life. Sounds easy, right? But the trick was to make this spec motor affordable but still competitive with the high dollar big blocks that have become so prevalent. Wait, but they wanted to take it a step further and make sure that the motor would be legal with other tracks and sanctioning bodies. With New Egypt Speedway being the testing grounds and pusher for the spec motor, they also decided to introduce some other very reputable motor builders into the fold. The Swansons, Buffy and Jim, brought in Tony Feil and Simmonek, two of the areas most successful and respected engine builders. Feil builds motors for the likes of Billy Pauch, Ryan Godown, Jimmy Horton and others where as Simmonek built motors for Frank Cozze, Rick Laubach and others. They injected their opinion and thoughts on the T/K creation, helping to validate the research Truppi had done. Recently, New Egypt Speedway announced that the 2006 season at NES would see the approved spec big block be a legal, viable choice for lower dollar teams and sportsman teams looking to make the jump up to run with the big dogs.
Since the announcement by New Egypt Speedway, racing message boards have been active with banter surrounding the new spec piece. Everything from how it would not be able to compete with the big teams high dollar pieces to lets give it a chance was uttered from members of the racing community. Many words were said but much of what was written was from those without either the technical knowledge or background to accurately comment on the program. And, unfortunately, its led some drivers, crew members and fans to have an inaccurate view of the new program. Fortunately, Mike Truppi agreed to discuss the program and lend some info on his current views of the circle track racing scene.
Truppi began, I see circle track racing going down a very bad road. This motor wasnt meant to take away the competitive edge from racers but with car counts dropping in the big block modified division I thought something had to be done. I had spoken to Jay James and Dave Adams, of Bridgeport Speedway, and after several discussions and some preliminary work, Bridgeport decided to go more towards a crate program for their cost savings edge. And let me tell you Jeff, Im not an anti-crate guy for beginner classes. I actually think its a great way to get new racers into the sport. I just dont feel its the way to go for big block motors. Many of the crate big blocks lack components that will provide a solid service life. And thats something that was very important to us when designing the motor for New Egypt Speedway.
Ever since the new style chassis came into play its increased the cost of motors at an alarming rate. These new cars have just made the power so much more usable. I believe that if something isnt done soon big block racing could be lost. I believe were just seeing the initial phases of what can be done to these motors. In a few years, without some more regulation, these motors will break the $50,000 mark. Jay James actually let me know the motors hes using for his own car are $43,000
But how can a spec motor with well known, solid parts only cost a racer $18,000? To make this program work, we went straight to the manufacturers. We wanted name brand parts for the major components, heads, crankshaft, rods, pistons, rocker arms, etc. And the manufacturers were very receptive, knowing that these parts would be 100% spec and that theyd get all of that business. Of course each builder has some flexibility with bearings, timing chain (no belt drive), valve covers, manifold, etc. But the compression, by the nature of the motor, almost has fixed compression, elaborated Truppi. Furthermore, Truppi designed the motor without some of the hottest trick parts on the market. But in keeping with the original intent, Truppi along with Feil and Simmonek chose parts that were reputable, well built and could get the job done without the overkill expense many teams are resorting to.
Ive spoken to several teams and one of their largest concerns is for their motor builders. What if we dont want to go to T/K, Feil or Simmonek? Unfortunately, this year is a test program and thats something that New Egypt Speedway decided made the most sense. In fact, the three builders would serve as a sort of pseudo tech inspector for each other. So if T/K builds a motor, either Feil or Simmonek will inspect and seal the new piece. And why would that work you ask? It would be bad business for each of us if we let another builder get away with something illegal. In fact, well provide some of the strictest tech each other has seen and that can only mean good things for the future of this engine. Mike mentioned.
I know for me, one thing I was interested in were some real numbers off of the T/K dyno. And as many know, each dyno is sort of a unique piece. Truppi, fortunately, at his soon to be sold facility, has years and years of records in his database that he can query. We all know people talk about these 850 and 875 HP motors but Ive never seen one on my dyno. In fact, only one motor on my dyno ever printed over 800 HP and that was a Pontiac headed motor setup for Syracuse. Mark at Feil told me the best motors that come out of their shop are just a touch over 800 HP. So, with that said, a top of the line modified engine will make 800 HP and 690 pounds of torque. And this isnt your run of the mill motor, these are the ones maybe the top three to five guys at a track have. Our spec motor will make 780 HP with 660 pounds of torque. And weve heard all about how the torque number is just too light but the power in this engine comes over a very broad range. In fact, Id say that its probably better then 50% of the motors running in the big block ranks in upstate NY right now, Truppi proclaimed.
Ive also heard a few guys make a stink that T/K isnt known for their big block engines. I brought this up and after a brief pause Truppi waxed, My brother Brian and Don Barone have used our big blocks. Weve had many people tell them how strong a motor they have. Don had a few chances to win this year and for a lower budget guy really ran great. Brian, two years ago, was one of the top heat winners at Bridgeport Speedway, a track well known for the need to have some serious power and a stout piece under the hood. And most know us for our sportsman motors but we werent known as sportsman motor builders until a few guys came to us and started winning with our motors.
Truppi elaborated that, We dont know how many guys will use these engines this year. I know my brother Brian will be at NES with one and an almost new Bicknell. We had some interest from some very well known drivers. Keith Hoffman actually was going to buy one until he inked a deal with Jim Scherer. One of the major DIRT teams wanted to buy two and wanted one for Florida! Ryan Godown actually stopped by the shop to see what the real deal was. When I told him the makeup of the motor he basically said that is almost exactly his motor but that the crank he runs is actually heavier then what were using. And while I know many racers are truly concerned with a spec motor competing on a track like New Egypt due to the fact that its normally pretty tacky, Godown did very well and was never short on power. I think any fan that went on a weekly basis noticed that Godowns motor had some serious smoke!
In the end, I think we need to give this program a chance. The builders involved all know what it takes to build competitive, solid race engines. Theyve weeded out the junk components, cut manufacturer deals ranging from rock bottom prices on great parts to actually putting up real cash dollar incentives for racers that go the spec route and its legal everywhere. Will it change the state of racing? Both Mike and I were on the same page in thinking that while it could surely grow the number of big block drivers competing, it may not get new fans in the stands. But with that said, you need solid car counts to keep fans there and try and grow that base.
With a late jump, we may not see too many of these motors in cars but Truppi would be happy with just three or four of them. My Brother will be there, stated Truppi. But maybe thats the best thing? Brian Truppi isnt expected to win races or be a top dog. They arent the most funded team out there.
Only time will tell what the future will hold but the new spec program has surely given new hope to some of the young wheelers that are in the sportsman ranks. Surely more then a few men have begun to dream of going wheel to wheel with a Billy Pauch or Kenny Brightbill or Jimmy Horton or Frank Cozze where just mere months ago thought it would never be a possibility. So keep your fingers crossed that this program works and that the next generation of big block wheelers are just about to come up over the hill were approaching. You never know, robust car counts may again grace the evolving ranks our North East Modifieds.
Email Jeff@ThrowinItDown.com with questions/comments.
Copyright © 1998-2006 by South Jersey Dirt Racing/ToddJ All Rights Reserved. Born on date April 21, 1998