Thru Noggles Goggles .::. October 19th
Storm clouds linger over Eldora Speedway during the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway earlier this year. (Frank Smith Photo)
National Speed Sport News” reports that big changes are taking place in western Ohio:
Today’s exciting announcement and release of 2013 major event dates by Eldora Speedway officials can be summed up with two words – aggressive expansion. The 19th annual Dirt Late Model Dream (June 6-7-8) and the 43rd annual World 100 (September 5-6-7) will each encompass more days, offer more racing and see a significant increase in prize money.
The storied Kings Royal (July 12-13) for winged Sprint Cars will celebrate its 30th running amongst the traditional pomp and pageantry of motorsports’ most unique victory lane ceremony, and its rich $50,000 prize.
Tradition will be joined by intensified growth for the historic speed plant’s marquee dirt Late Model events, as Eldora celebrates its 60th consecutive year of racing. Saturday’s race format of six heats races and Last Chance Features to complete the 100-lap Dirt Late Model Dream and World 100 remains untarnished. The welcome news for fans and competitors is the addition of two starting positions to each event along with an increase in starting money.
While Saturday represents time-honored tradition, Thursday and Friday of each event will signify the growth. Complete racing programs will be added to each day, to make for three full nights of racing action for the 2013 Dream and World 100.
For the 19th year, the Dirt Late Model Dream (June 6-7-8) will culminate with a chase by 28 drivers for $100,000 to the winner; the biggest of the year in dirt Late Model racing. Start money for the classic event has been increased to $2,000. Twin 25-lap A-Feature events will highlight Thursday and Friday’ race programs, with the Thursday runs each offering $2,500 to win. Friday’s payoffs will each be $5,000; with over $304,000 in prize money up for grabs over the three nights.
Much of the same pattern will carry over to the World 100 (September 5-6-7); considered to be the most prestigious and celebrated event of the year for dirt Late Model racing. In keeping up with the Earl Baltes established tradition of adding $1,000 to the winner’s payoff each year, the 2013 run for the cherished globed trophy will pay $46,000 to win and $2,000 to start. Two positions will also be added to the century grind to allow for 32 starters; boosting the posted awards to over $283,000 for the weekend.
Eldora’s commitment to the best possible experience for its loyal fans and competitors attending the Dirt Late Model Dream will result in a schedule change to Dream Week. The logistics associated with the Dream’s expansion for the dirt Late Model teams that supplied the cars for the Prelude, along with speedway officials who must transition the facility, prevents the Prelude to the Dream from being included on the 2013 calendar.
Advance ticket holders to the 2012 event will retain their renewal rights for the next scheduled Prelude to the Dream event going forward.
Based in Las Vegas, Prendeville raced in the Indy Pro Series for Andersen Racing from the start of the 2007 season until the middle of the 2008 season.Until departing to “pursue other opportunities”,Prendeville drove car No. 5, with signage dedicated to Best Friends Animal Society. In 2007, in coordination with the no-kill animal sanctuary, Prendeville launched “Racing Laps for Best Friends”, a fundraising initiative that included a website for donation and promotional appearances. In July 2007, Prendeville was named an honorary citizen of Indianapolis in response to his fundraising efforts.He was replaced in car No. 5 by Daniel Herrington. He returned to the series for 2009, driving for Team Moore Racing. He finished a career-best 9th in points with a best finish of third at Chicagoland Speedway.
Prendeville, who graduated from Chatham High School in Chatham, New Jersey in 2000,is the younger brother of Doug Prendeville, who is also a professional driver.
The Chief Judge of the USAC Court of Appeals has rescinded the penalties assessed to driver Levi Jones and car entrant Tony Stewart Racing as a result of an incident arising from the August 25 “Sprint Car Smackdown” USAC AMSOIL National Sprint Car race at Kokomo, Ind., which also involved driver Jon Stanbrough.
The appeal, held Oct. 17 and chaired by Chief Appellate Judge Jeff Stoops, dealt with penalties originally assessed according to guidelines of USAC competition rule 10.28 regarding unsportsmanlike conduct.
As a result of the appeal, both the 25-point National Sprint Car entrant penalty assessed to Tony Stewart Racing and the 25-point National Sprint Car driver penalty assessed to Levi Jones have been rescinded.
The panel reviewed facts and information available to them. Based on the lack of material and or video evidence to review along with statements made by USAC Officials in charge of competition for the event,
Another NSSN report:
Cliff White, 26, of Huntsville, Ala., was selected as the 42nd annual recipient of the prestigious Road Racing Drivers Club Mark Donohue Award for his outstanding Spec Racer Ford class victory at the 2012 SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., in September.
White will be officially presented the award on March 2, 2013, at the SCCA National Convention at the South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas. He will also be honored by the RRDC at its annual dinner at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in Florida on Jan. 23, 2013.
White is a CPA and MBA who runs the family business operating assisted-living communities. He is a veteran of the Spec Racer Ford (SRF) class with 11 years in the seat – he started at age 16. This is his first SCCA National Championship.
His drive to victory was anything but leisurely. According to Don Knowles, who chaired this year’s Donohue Award selection committee, “I watched the SRF race from turn 13 and then on the live computer broadcast. Cliff and the other three SRF frontrunners ran what is almost unheard of – a clean Runoffs race! Three leaders on the last lap with Cliff coming from fourth to first – a real tough tactical battle. Winning the arm-wrestling contest with that field is a great driving accomplishment.”
White credited his car’s performance to the communication he has with his mentor and mechanic, Mark Eaton, who works for the southeast division’s SRF customer service representative (CSR), Robinson Motorsports. “We just put our heads down all week and kept working on the car,” said White. “The fact we’ve done this together on and off for 10 years, we speak the same language. He knows the car inside and out and he knows my driving. So we said to ourselves, ‘We’re going to win this thing.’”
For the entire 13 laps around the 4-mile circuit, four drivers – Scott Rettich, Brian Schofield, Todd Harris and White – plotted, probed and parried for the lead. They were still at it on the last lap. Here’s how White saw it.
“I got the warning that we had two laps to go, and I took assessment of where we were and who was fast and not and where. So I relaxed the tires for a little bit until about halfway through the last lap, and I guess started making my move going into 5 (the hard left at the end of the Andretti Straight).” Driving now to maximize corner exit speed, White had moved to third as the train swooped down on Canada Corner, a hard right that is the third from the last major turn at Road America. With Schofield and Harris battling for the lead, “I knew Brian and Todd would defend the inside and go as deep as possible for the win,” said White. “Instead, I braked early and stayed on the normal racing line to be able to get underneath Harris on the exit of Canada.”
White pulled abreast Harris and managed to hold the outside line through the left-hand Bridge Turn. This put White on the inside line for the final corner where he passed Harris for second. When leader Schofield twitched a bit on exit, White said, “I knew I had him.” There was a bit of weaving about on the uphill home stretch, but White nosed ahead to take the checkered flag in perhaps the best race of the 2012 Runoffs.
“I couldn’t have done this without my parents,” White said. “That’s a kind of a cliché no-brainer; but really, Dad and I are some of the last privateers left in our class. He finished 29th. Of the top six finishers, five are running out of a prep shop or are a CSR or SRF driving school instructor. So really we are a family race team and maybe that delayed me winning one of these things; but that makes it all the sweeter.”
White was thrilled to be named the RRDC Mark Donohue Award winner by some of his peers. “Honestly, I’m still on Cloud 9 from winning the Runoffs and receiving this award,” he said. “I was aware of the award but until Don Knowles called me I didn’t realize who my peers now were, in terms of the previous recipients. With the number of drivers who compete at the Runoffs, to know that I stood out that much is an incredible feeling. I am aware of what Mark Donohue and the other drivers who have received this award had accomplished, and it’s an incredible honor.”
Every year, the RRDC Mark Donohue Award trophy is an engraved glass top mounted on a special, racing-experienced wheel, provided through the efforts of an RRDC member. This year’s wheel was donated by RRDC President Bobby Rahal on behalf of Rahal, Letterman, Lanigan Racing. It was mounted on the BMW Team RLL M3 GT during the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, Conn., this past July.
Rahal, a Runoffs champion long before he won the Indianapolis 500, emphasized the Mark Donohue Award is “about personal spirit and performance behind the wheel. Those qualities are more important for this award than winning the race. This year, Cliff White did both.
“Mark Donohue would have been proud to see Cliff win this award,” said Rahal. “The communication between Cliff and his engineer proved key to his dramatic victory. Mark was both driver and engineer and knew better than most the importance of that linkage.”
Memorable Quote: “It’s a shame to have something like this [broken transmission seal] put you out of the race. But it was just one of those bad days at work, I’ll say this though, that this car is a dream.” Al Unser, Sr. (1979) as he finished 22nd at Indianapolis after leading 85 laps in the Roger Penske Pennzoil Chaparral Cosworth.
The calendar of events in the latest edition of the “National Speed Sport News” reveals that the dates for the “Rumble in Fort Wayne” IN this year is to be December 28-29. Will Tony Stewart make his annual appearance?
Didja know that Utah has the longest road course in the U.S.? Measuring 4.5 miles around, Miller Motorsports Park in Toole, UT beats out:
Road America, WS (4.04 miles)
Sebring, FL (3.7 miles),
Watkins Glen, (3.4 miles),
Road Atlanta, GA (2.54 miles),
Infineon Raceway, CA (2.52 miles),
Lucas Oil Raceway Park, IN , Willow Springs International Raceway, CA, and Brainard International Raceway, MN (all 2.5 miles),
Mid-Ohio, OH (2.4 miles),
Lime Rock, CT (1.53 miles).
Perhaps we’ll see the IndyCars on some of them before long.