|Gone Racin' Newsletter # 89 050921|
*The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has announced that Rod Bush, president of
KTM North America and a corporate member of the AMA Board of Directors, died the even-
ing of September 12 after a brief illness. He was 50. Bush, of Vermillion, Ohio, became an
AMA Board member in February. He was named president of KTM America in 1988 and later
served as the president of KTM North America, guiding the company through a period of rapid
growth. During Bush's tenure, the U.S. market became the largest for KTM motorcycles in the
world. "Rod Bush made significant contributions during his brief service on the AMA Board of
Directors, but even more significant were his contributions to the entire motorcycling community.
His commitment and enthusiasm for motorcycling will be missed by all," said AMA President
Robert Rasor. "The AMA offers its condolences to Rod's family and his extended family at
KTM." An avid racer himself, Bush guided KTM's U.S. racing program to several off-road
AMA titles and re-established the marque as a force in AMA motocross and Supercross racing.
Born in Huntington, West Virginia, Bush became an accomplished off-road competitor in his own
right. He was a veteran of the International Six Days Enduro, winning gold, silver and bronze
medals. From the very beginning of his career, Rod Bush was synonymous with Penton and
KTM motorcycles. (Sent in by Pattie Frost)
*Get well soon to Bill and Bobbi Pollack. Bobbi broke her ankle and Bill broke his Elbow.
*Jack Davis, Fabulous 50's member, of Silver City NM, passed away recently.
*John Rush suffered a broken neck, arms and legs, swelling on his brain. He can wiggle his
fingers and toes, but he is being kept in an induced coma to assist his healing. Charles Scott
passed away during Speed week. Jimmy Valentine also passed away. George Calloway
had knee surgery, the knee was in worse shape than expected, and will have to be rebuilt.
*Just talked to my neighbor across the Lake. Lloyd Ruby always stays with them, when they
come to Indianapolis. He said Lloyd had called a day or two ago, to let him know that he has a
tumor in his throat. He is going to Dallas, next week to a hospital which has special equipment
for this surgery, so they will be sure and get everything. I think Stan might have mentioned that
this was "another" tumor so maybe he has had others removed. Not sure about that part...we
were in the middle of the street talking and cars were pulling around Stan's, so I was "watching"
besides "listening." He said he didn't think Lloyd would want to be bothered with calls right now,
but he is going to keep me informed as soon as he has surgery. I will keep you informed. Almost
unheard of in those days, only 2 in the country. They do know it is malignant. (Faye Warriner)
*If you're old enough to recall Lloyd Ruby's Indy 500 career, I needed a second, day story in
'68 the day after he had fallen out of the race and was urgently garage surfing. He was the first
driver I could find, and he invited me in. Not only would he talk, but he handed me his personal
bottle of bourbon, and we traded swigs out of it, for a half hour while he recounted one of the
races he might have won. The first time I met (him), he and I got snockered together. (Deke)
*I had the pleasure of working for 'ol Rube (Lloyd Ruby) in 1974 (the first time I got fired at the
Indianapolis Star). I was the team stooge, parts chaser, vent man on pit stops and in charge of
talking to Rube when he was sitting in the car and the mechanic were trying to figure out what the
car was doing. Rube didn't know much about a chassis but god did he push the pedal. Helluva
good road racer too and a very swell fella. I'm going to call Peggy and see how he's doing so I'll
report back. (Robin L. Miller)
*I talked to Mary Ann, Lloyd's (Ruby) daughter today. Lloyd is fine. He is going to Dallas for a
follow up treatment. He did have cancer in his esophagus, but the doctor (only one of two in the
courntry that do this particular kind of treatment) said that they got it all. No chemo, no radiation,
just this followup treatment. So, please pass the word. Lloyd and Peggy are both doing fine as
per Mary Ann. Any more news to come, I will pass it on. Shirley Boyd
*Les Richter will be honored by the Fabulous Fifties group in December for his life achievements.
*Art Evans has an article about road racing and Lance Reventlow in www.vintageracecar.com.
*Announcing the 2005 Carrera California "From the ocean to the desert and back." Please see
details on this two day, no cost, vintage car event. Please share this information with your like
minded car enthusiast friends. Regards, Charles Rollins and Rex McAfee
*Don Weaver has scheduled his Legends of Ascot Reunion for October 22, 2005, at Perris
Auto Speedway, Lake Perris, California. This year's honorees will be Bob Hogle, Ted Halibrand,
Alex Morales, Hal Minyard and Danny McKnight. This event honors the legendary Ascot Track
that J.C. Agajanian and his family made famous over in Gardena, California. The last two events
had over 600 racers in attendance. Contact Don for tickets at LegendsofAscot@aol.com or call
*The IAMA rule and entry forms for 2005 contest are now ready as a printable PDF at:
http://www.aztexcorp.com/expressionengine/index.php/autoawards. The International
Automotive Media Awards updates are also listed on that website. (Walter Haessner)
*2005 Carrera California Tour. "From the ocean to the desert and back." The tour will take
place November 12-13, 2005. Contact Rex McAfee or Charles Rollins for details.
*Sept 20, The Unser Family Museum opens in Albuquerque, New Mexico. See
*Perris Auto Dragstrip, Lake Perris, CA, racing schedule for 1/8 mile dragstrip. Racing will take
place every Friday night and is open to anyone 16-years old or over with a valid registration,
drivers license and a helmet. Cars, trucks and motorcycles are allowed. Gates will open at 4 PM
every Friday with racing from 5-10:30 PM. Tech will close at 9 PM, and you cannot run if you
do not go through tech inspections. Admission: spectators $10, competitors $20. (Kim Donner)
Sept 23, Sept 30, Oct 21, Oct 28, Nov 11, Nov 18.
*The Annual Gas-Up Party and Dry Lakes Hall of Fame put on by the Gold Coast Roadster
and Racing Club in Santa Barbara County, will be held the last Saturday in September at Jack
Mendenhall's Gas Pump Museum in Buellton, California. For reservations and further info see
http://www.oilstick.com/event/gasupcost.htm This event honors the Dry Lake and Bonneville
land speed racers who have dedicated their lives to go as fast as their ingenuity and mechanical
skills would take them. It is also an opportunity to see the fabulous Gas Pump Museum. Mark
and Vickie Mendenhall and their family and friends will serve the best Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip
Steak and Beans Bar-B-Cue that you will ever eat. (From Evelyn Roth)
*SCTA/BNI World Finals October 12-15 (Vehicle Inspections begin on Oct 11)
*SCTA El Mirage Dry Lakes (Southern California) Timing Trials schedule:
October 23, November 12-13.
*NHRA Street Legal sanctioned drag racing every Thursday night at Irwindale Speedway,
January to November. See www.Irwindalespeedway.com for Summit schedule and Junior
Dragster program. (Doug Stokes)
*2005 Perris Auto Speedway, Perris, CA schedule of upcoming races. For more information
on the 2005 Perris Auto Speedway schedule, please call (951) 940-0134. (Scott Daloisio)
Sept 24, PASSCAR Super Stocks, Street Stocks, Hornets, IMCA Modifieds/Lightning Sprints
Oct 1, USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
Oct 8-15, Southern California Fair
*2005 California Dragway schedule at the dragstrip, California Speedway, Fontana, CA.
Contact Dave Danish at 909-429-5060 or go online at www.Californiaspeedway.com. All
dates and times are subject to change:
Sept 24, Noon, Street legals
Oct 1-2, 8am, Fun Ford Weekend
Oct 21-23, 8am, Edelbrock Fall Nationals-Pacific Street Car Association (10am on the 21st)
*Irwindale Speedway programs, see www.Irwindalespeedway.com for schedules and updates.
2005 Irwindale oval track racing schedule: Gates open 4:30, races start at 6pm.
September 24 Super Late Models, Grand American Modifieds, Super Stocks, Pure Stocks,
Pure Stocks-Women, Pick Your Part Figure 8s.
October 1 Super Late Models, Late Models, Speed Trucks Challenge.
October 8 Super Late Models, Late Models, Pick Your Part Figure 8s.
*Oct 1, Irwindale Speedway, TEN THOUSAND DOLLAR prize to the winner of the one hour
Figure 8 race at the Speedway. Also, a 200 lap Super Late Model race. Jesse James of West
Coast Choppers, Pick Your Part and Cisco Burgers to put up the purse. Figure 8'ers from all
over the country are coming for this race. Event will be taped for TV. Harley rally on track.
Speed Truck Challenge. Call 626-358-1100 for details. (Doug Stokes)
*Irwindale Speedway offers Thursday night drag racing. Pros and street legal racing welcome.
1/8 mile track. Entrance fee $20. Spectators are $10. See Dragstrip track manager Bob Klein
626-358-1100 x 211. (Doug Stokes)
*2005 ASA Speed Truck Challenge racing/television schedule (Pacific Standard Time):
Sept 17 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to air Nov 12, 8PM, Repeat Broadcast TBA
Oct 1 race at Irwindale Speedway to air Nov 19, 8PM, Repeat Broadcast TBA
Oct 15 race at Orange Show Speedway to air Nov 26, 8PM, Repeat Broadcast TBA
*2005 Southern California Top Comp Schedule: (From Gregg Suyenaga)
Race 7 October 15 Las Vegas Mike's Transmission
Race 8 October 16 Las Vegas Mike's Transmission
*2005 Goodguys Schedule of Events. See www.goodguys.com or call 925-838-9876:
Sept 23-25, 4th Annual Mid-Western Nationals, Kansas City, KS
Sept 30-Oct 1-2, 13th Annual Lone Star Nationals, Ft Worth, TX
Oct 28-30, 12th Annual Southeastern Nationals, Charlotte, NC
*Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum Reunions. Call 909-622-8562
Sept 30-Oct 2, Automobile Club of Southern California, California Hot Rod Reunion,
Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield, CA
*I'm working on a book about Paramount Ranch and I hope you can help me. I have discover-
ed that there were 2 USAC stock-car races there. I have the first well documented, but not the
second, held on April 28, 1957. It was promoted by J.C. Agajanian, but none of the family re-
members; boys too young. My book includes remembrances of some who were there then. Also
I need a program and photos. Can you help? All the best, Art Evans, The Fabulous Fifties Assn
800 S. Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277. phone 310-540-8068, fax 310-373-
5988 www.fabulous-fifties.com Editor's notes: Troy Ruttman won the race. Others who
raced or were present include: JC Agajanian, Sam Hanks, Jimmy Reece, Jimmy Bryan, Jud
Larson, Johnnie Parsons, Rosie Roussel, Chuck Stevenson, Johnny Mantz, Jerry Unser, Marshall
Teague, Les Scott, Les Snow, Billy Garrett, and Lemoin Frey. It was a 100 mile USAC National
Stock Car Road Race Championship at Paramount Ranch on April 28, 1957, at Paramount
Ranch, near Malibu, California. Some 6500 fans were in attendance.
*2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series schedule.
Sept 22-25, 20th Annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals, Dallas, TX
Sept 29-Oct 2, 5th Annual Carquest Auto Parts Nationals, Chicago, ILL
Oct 20-23, 5th Annual ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals, Las Vegas, NV
Nov 3-6, 41st Annual Auto Club Finals, Pomona, CA
*2005 King of Indiana Sprint Series Schedule: For info call Mike OLeary 812-825-9614
*SEMA Club Newsletter is at www.semasan.com
Unable to access SEMA Newsletter
*Mid-Atlantic Championship Series (MACS) 2005 racing schedule:
Sept 23, Lernerville Speedway, 50 laps
Oct 7-9 Challenger Raceway, TBA
Raindate Oct 21-23 See firstname.lastname@example.org and http://www.macsracing.com (Andy Geesey)
*2005 Crown Royal IROC Series schedule:
Oct 29, Atlanta Motor Speedway
*2005 Grand Am Rolex Sports Car Series schedule (Linda K. Mansfield)
Sept 22-24, Watkins Glen International, 250 miles
Oct 7-9, Virginia International Raceway, 400 Km
Dec 2-4 Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez 400 Km-1000 Km
*2005 Nextel Cup Series schedule (NASCAR):
Sept 25, Dover International Speedway
Oct 2, Talladega Superspeedway
Oct 9, Kansas Speedway
Oct 15, Lowe's Motor Speedway
*The John Force Cruise Night is held on the last Wednesday of each month from 5-8 P.M. at
the shop in Yorba Linda, CA 92887. Contact Craig Hoelzel for details about vendor space, how
to show your car, or for directions. Craig is at email@example.com While you are there,
check out the Force Racestation gift shop next door. It is a fascinating store filled with all sorts
of collectibles, including broken parts from John's Funny Cars, autographed by the 13 time NHRA
Funny Car Champion himself. You'll find artwork, paintings, photographs, hats, jackets, apparel,
pins, die cast cars, souvenirs and just about anything that you could want. If Force is in town and
not on the race car circuit, he will be glad to sign your collectible. See hundreds of hot rods and
vintage cars, rock to the music of the '50's, purchase some delicious food, and meet your fellow
hot rodders. Celebrity racers and hot rodders are known to show up for this one of a kind hot
rod cruise night at the legendary John Force Racestation.
*The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum's schedule of events:
Sept 10-26, Los Angeles County Fair. Special admission price of only $1.
Sept 30-Oct 2, California Hot Rod Reunion, Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield, California
Oct 5, Twilight Cruise Night 4:30-8pm. Top four cars will appear on Nov 14 parade.
Nov 2, Twilight Cruise Night 4:30-8pm. Top four cars will appear on Nov 14 parade.
Nov 11, Night of Champions, FREE admission from 6:30-10pm.
Nov 13, Street Rod Parade, at Pomona Raceway, 9-9:30am.
Dec 7, Twilight Cruise Night 4:30-8pm. Annual Holiday toy drive.
*AutoZone Super Chevy Show Tour XXV (AutoStar Productions) 2005 SCHEDULE
Sept. 30,Oct. 1-2 SBR Virginia Motorsports Park T Richmond-Petersburg, VA
Oct. 7-8-9 SBR National Trail Raceway T Columbus, OH
Oct. 21-23 Gainesville Raceway T Gainesville, FL
*Sept. 23, Skyline Speedway, Stewart, Ohio, 740-989-0567, www.skylinespeedway.com,
Late Model Special "HARVEST 50." All Classes. (Dustin Jarrett)
*Perris Auto Speedway points standings: SUPER STOCKS-Terry Hershberger 786, Brain
Pannone 709, Ed Perry 636, Mike Hixson 619, John Caley 615. STREET STOCKS-Rich Barr
569, Kevin Busher 554, Jeremy Queener 550, Joe Falduto 531, Curtis Dietzch 478. HORNETS-
Tony Thompson 896, John Denver 659, Mark Howison 656, Bobby Hogerhuis 621, Dave
Yungen 612. IMCA MODIFIEDS-Alan Updyke 190, Dale Underwood 178, Johnny Lathrop
175, George Boulden 151, Rex McGuire Jr 147. LIGHTNING SPRINT CARS-Johnny Bates
1835, Brent Sexton 1456, Gary Sexton 1403, Seth Kramer 1366, Steve Barnette 1289.
*2005 Schedule for the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway:
Sep 8, Thursday Night Street Wars street legal grudge drags 8 p.m.-1 a.m.
9, NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series qualifying and kick off party 6 p.m.-midnight.
10, Meadow Gold NHRA Jr Dragster Series points race 8am-1pm.
10, NHRA Summit Sport Compact Series Nationals & SONY Stylefest 6pm-midnight.
15, Thursday Night Street Wars street legal grudge drags 8pm-1 a.m.
16, Final GlobePC.com SHOW N GO FRIDAYS 6pm-midnight.
17, Meadow Gold NHRA Jr. Dragster Series 8am-1pm.
17, Jerrys Nugget Drag Racing Series LV F-Body Assn drags 6-11pm.
17, Motorcycle Madness No. 5 -- street bike grudge drags 11pm-1:30am.
30, Test n Tune 6-10pm.
30, BFGoodrich Midnight Mayhem 10pm-2am.
*Special Reunions and events during the year:
Walt and Dottie James' CRA Reunion in January
Hila Sweet's Car Racers Reunion in April
Boat Racers Reunion in June
Gold Coast Club's Gas-Up Party and Dry Lakes Hall of Fame in September
Wally Parks' NHRA Motorsports Museum's California Hot Rod Reunion in October
Don Weaver's Legends of Ascot Reunion in October
*Industry Hills Speedway Motorcycle Races at the Industry Hills Event Center, in the City of
Industry, CA. Wednesday Nights, AMA Sanctioned. Adults $12, Juniors $8, Children $4, and
those 5 and under are FREE! Tapes Up 7:30 PM. Contact: Freddie Orosco at 909-681-4911,
Dukie Ermolenko at 714-952-8580 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For rider signup see
Ryan Evans at 626-643-7598 or email email@example.com.
*2005 Stacker 2 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Schedule: (Doc Lehman)
9/29-10/1 Stacker 2 Nationals/Knoxville Raceway, Knoxville, IA
10/7-8 West Virginia Motor Speedway, Mineral Wells, WV
10/28-29 Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway, Calvert City, KY
Auto Club Famoso Raceway to host the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion.
When California Highway 99 was the main north-south route in the state and the interstate highway
system was merely a gleam in the eye of the man who was not yet President Eisenhower, a local
car club placed its focus on a parcel of land in McFarland, north of Bakersfield as a great location
for drag racing. Now called the Auto Club Famoso Raceway, the home of the NHRA California
Hot Rod Reunion, presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California has grown over the
ensuing years without ever losing its place as a field of dreams for drag racers. "Auto Club Famoso
Raceway has deep historical significance as one of the earliest tracks to host major events," said
Greg Sharp, Curator of the non-profit Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, which produces
and benefits from the Reunion. "The Famoso site itself is so steeped in drag racing history and
legend that it is almost a tangible presence during any visit," says Vic Cooke of nitrogeezers.com.
Initially formed as the Bakersfield Coupe and Roadster Club, the organizers of racing at Famoso
changed their name to The Smokers in 1948, putting their primary focus on drag racing. Their first
event was held in March, 1951, setting the stage for the well known March Meet that moved to
Famoso in 1955 and continues every spring. The Smokers began building up Famoso quietly until
1958 when, skeptical of the reported times and speeds set in the east by Don Garlits, they invited
"Big Daddy" to compete with them. In March, 1959, he did just that. The result was the first U.S.
Fuel and Gas Championships, often called the "Woodstock of drag racing." Although Garlits lost
in the first round, and Art Chrisman became Top Eliminator, Garlits went on to become the most
celebrated drag racer in history and #1 on the NHRA's Top 50 list. Garlits' presence spread the
fame of Famoso far and wide. In 1992, the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion, thought at the
time to be a single event, brought together older cars, drivers and fans to celebrate an earlier era.
"When we were looking for a place for our Reunion, there was no question that we would come
home to Bakersfield," said Steve Gibbs, Parks Museum board member and then Museum director.
"The event has grown over the years and trees have been planted in what's now Famoso Grove to
honor the memory of drag racers of the past." The Grove provides a setting for the street rod
display that's an integral part of the annual Reunion, the major autumn event at the track. In 1994,
the March Meet at Famoso was resurrected as a race for nostalgic front-engined cars, with entries
limited to pre-1972-style racers. "In the world of front motor dragsters only one other event rivals
the March Meet," says Jim Davis of wediditforlove.com, "and that event is The California Hot Rod
Reunion." Meanwhile, the track's local events continued unabated, with a full schedule helping to
fulfill its original mission of keeping the kids from illegal street racing. Although California 99 has
long since been supplanted by Interstate 5, it continues to provide great access to the track and the
city of Bakersfield. Recent upgrades to the media/officials tower are hidden from public view. In
2004, the track debuted new and taller safety walls. With the new Auto Club sponsorship, up-
grades will continue without affecting the historical significance of one of the oldest venues in drag
racing. Since its inception in 1992, the NHRA California Hot Rod Reunion has offered hot
rodders and racers the opportunity to reunite with old friends and reminisce about "the good old
days." The Reunion includes competition on the racetrack, a car show, a chance for fans to meet
the legends and stars of the sport, a barbeque and the highly popular "Cacklefest," which involves
early-days-style front-engine dragsters being push-started, then all gathered together on the drag
strip starting line with engines running or 'cackling." The Reunion represents a unique confluence
of hot rodding and drag racing, bringing to life the story of high performance motorsports and pre-
serving and extending the history.
Irwindale Speedway's long time Director of Communications, Doug Stokes, has taken a manage-
ment partnership position with Chet Knox's Autobook-Aerobooks headquartered in Burbank,
California. "I've been an Autobooks customer since the early sixties," said Stokes, "And when
Chet asked me if I'd think about joining his team at Autobooks-Aerobooks, I told him: Sure!
When? He said how about as soon as you can, and the deal was done! I've always loved the
atmosphere at Autobooks, thousands of books and magazines about cars, the customers, the
authors, the scale models, I'm really looking forward to being a part of that place." Stokes will
begin working at Autobook-Aerobooks on September 12. "I can't wait," Stokes added. Auto-
books (which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2001) will soon be branching out into the publishing
business. "We're looking at leveraging the name Autobooks as a nameplate for micro and short-run
books and periodicals," Stokes indicated. "There are a lot of stories out there that need to be told.
We're not going to be looking for million-sellers, there are great publishing houses that do that job
very well now. Our niche will be in printing materials that perhaps only five or six hundred people
will want to have a copy of. As the marketing people would say the Autobooks name has great
brand equity in the business and our customers have told us that they'd like to see it on some of the
books that we sell here." Stokes' tenure at Irwindale Speedway began in November of 1997.
"When I started there were two of us, Ray Wilkings and myself, sitting in an old office trailer over in
one corner of the swap meet parking lot. Working at Irwindale Speedway has brought me into
contact with much of the royalty of the motorsports world, and has been a wonderful ride for some
one who has always been a racing fan(atic). The people who believed in me," Stokes went on,
"Namely Jim Williams, Ray Wilkins, Danny Sullivan, Victor Ciulla, and Bob DeFazio, and who
allowed me to do this job as I saw it, have all become friends as well as colleagues. I expect that
they'll want some sort of insider discount at Autobooks, and they'll get it. I've had the pleasure of
working with one of the best staffs in all of motorsports. Everyone on staff is a pro and acts like it.
There are a lot of moving parts in racetrack management and operations, and we had the right
people at every level from maintenance to the top tiers of administration." "We feel very lucky to
be able to welcome Doug into this association," said store owner Chet Knox. "Doug has been an
Autobooks regular since the late sixties, always a fan, and always a keen supporter of this establish-
ment. Now he's coming aboard to be a regular part of its day-to-day management and we couldn't
be more pleased." Autobooks-Aerobooks is a unique establishment, in business in Burbank for
over fifty years, and much more than just a store that sells books (magazines, scale models, DVDs,
videos, and myriad other items). It has become the meeting place for automotive enthusiasts to
meet, exchange ideas, get stocked up on the latest books and magazines, and generally enjoy the
friendly ambiance that Knox has so carefully cultivated. Book signings, broadcast remotes, and
other special events are a regular part of the ops at Autobooks. "You never know who you'll meet
at this place," said Knox. "It's always been a focal point for the faithful, a place where the California
car culture is celebrated in print by many of the people who are a vital part of it." For more infor-
mation contact Chet Knox at 818-845-0707.
Background information on Doug Stokes
Stokes' professional motorsports career began when he took the position of Executive Director
of the International Kart Federation in 1979. Prior to that he had been an amateur racer (formula
cars and Karts), week-end racing promoter (the Queen Mary Kart Prix), and writer (various
articles on motorsports). He served as both executive director and publisher/editor of the organ-
ization's monthly magazine Karter News until 1984 when he went to work for Mickey Thompson
as his media relations manager for the Off Road Championship Gran Prix, a popular series of
stadium off-road races that were staged in facilities like the LA Coliseum, the Seattle Kingdome,
the Pontiac Silverdome, the Rose Bowl, Hoosierdome, and many other major sports palaces.
Stokes left MTEG shortly after the untimely deaths of Mickey and his wife Trudy, and went to
work for the company that handled the PR services for Team Suzuki (Supercross, road racing,
and other motorcycle competition events). When that assignment ended Stokes went to for Harry
Kelly & Associates as a senior publicist working on such programs as the Chevrolet/Geo Braille
Ralley Series which put on special road ralley events around the country that matched up sighted
drivers with blind navigators (the driver is a sighted person and the navigator is blind and must read
the road instructions in Braille. The effect is that of a unique partnership between the driver and
navigator which makes them both rely on each other to complete the task.) Stokes was one of the
originators of the ground-breaking Corvette Connection ride and drive program and handled
press relations for the Chevy S-10 Pick-Up Trick-Up series of west coast events attended by
over 75,000. In 1992, Stokes went to work for Chevrolet/Geo Environmental as the national
director of public relations. This assignment included working with non-profit groups on environ-
mentally oriented projects and programs across the county. Among the auto highlights was the
planting trees at the opening of the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green and 400 Trees Across
the City in Indianapolis before the first Brickyard 400 in 1994. In 1995, Perris Auto Speedway
called and Stokes answered, becoming that track's first Public Relations Manager. His tenure at
The PAS included the ultra-short build out period and the first year and a half of operation. Perris
was voted the best new operation of 1966 at the Promoter's Workshop in Reno. In 1997 Stokes
worked on the first Ford Los Angeles Vintage Races and Concourse and, at year's end, in
November, he went to work for Irwindale Speedway, LLC. Stokes has been at Irwindale
Speedway ever since, working with media, racers, staff, sponsors, and the public. The track has
won numerous awards and commendations and been the recipient of a great deal of good publicity,
much of which may be traced back to Stokes' close and constant contact with press, TV, and radio.
Doug is married (Dede), and lives in a very old farm house in Duarte, California. They have two
dogs and a cat (Phoebe, Norman, and Topper). He is a member of the Motor Press Guild, the
American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association, the Vintage Automobile Racing
Association, The Society of Automotive Historians, serves of the board of the West Coast Stock
Car Hall of Fame and is a voter on the Annual Shav Glick Award.
*Mark Mendenhall, Jack's son, will be carrying on his fathers tradition. Mark sees the Gas-Up
Party and Dry Lakes Hall of Fame as becoming bigger and better in years to come. Mark hopes
to be able to share the Museum so more people may enjoy the history of United States road
system. I have posted this on the website so you might want to mention it in one of your news-
letters as we have been getting rumors that the Gas-Up will be stopping after this one. NOT
TRUE. (Evelyn Roth) Editor's notes: The Gas-Up Party and Dry Lakes Hall of Fame are in
good hands with Mark and Vickie Mendenhall at the reins. Mark and Vickie and their friends
and family have catered the food, cooked and served it for every year that the Gas-Up Party has
been held. The Gold Coast Roadster and Racing Club works very hard to put on this program
at one of the best museums in Southern California. Jack Mendenhall may have passed on, but
his memory still inspires many people to bring us this great event.
*One Top Fuel dragster 500 cubic inch Hemi engine makes more horsepower than the first 4
rows at the Daytona 500. Under full throttle, a dragster engine consumes l'/2 gallons of nitrome
thane per second; a fully loaded 747 consumes jet fuel at the same rate with 25% less energy
being produced. A stock Dodge Hemi V8 engine cannot produce enough power to drive the
dragster supercharger. With 3000 CFM of air being rammed in by the supercharger on overdrive,
the fuel mixture is compressed into a near-solid form before ignition. Cylinders run on the verge
of hydraulic lock at full throttle. At the stoichiometric 1.7:1 air/fuel mixture for nitromethane the
flame front temperature measures 7050 degrees F. Nitromethane burns yellow. The spectacular
white flame seen above the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from atmospheric
water vapor by the searing exhaust gases. Dual magnetos supply 44 amps to each spark plug.
This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder. Spark plug electrodes are totally consumed
during a pass. After 1/2 way, the engine is dieseling from compression plus the glow of exhaust
valves at 1400 degrees F. The engine can only be shut down by cutting the fuel flow. If spark
momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up in the affected cylinders and then
explodes with sufficient force to blow cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in
half. In order to exceed 300 mph in 4.5 seconds dragsters must accelerate at an average of over
4G's. In order to reach 200 mph well before half-track, the launch acceleration approaches 8G's.
Dragsters reach over 300 miles per hour before you have completed reading this sentence. Top
Fuel Engines turn approximately 540 revolutions from light to light! Including the burnout the
engine must only survive 900 revolutions under load. The redline is actually quite high at 9500
rpm. The Bottom Line; Assuming all the equipment is paid off, the crew worked for free, and for
once NOTHING BLOWS UP, each run costs an estimated $1000 per second. The current
Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.441 seconds for the quarter mile (10/05/03, Tony
Schumacher). The top speed record is 333.00 mph (533 km/h) as measured over the last 66'
of the run (09/28/03 Doug Kalitta). Putting all of this into perspective: You are driving the
average $140,000 Lingenfelter "twin-turbo" powered Corvette Z06. Over a mile up the road,
a Top Fuel dragster is staged and ready to launch down a quarter mile strip as you pass. You
have the advantage of a flying start. You run the 'Vette hard up through the gears and blast
across the starting line and past the dragster at an honest 200 mph. The 'tree' goes green for both
of you at that moment. The dragster launches and starts after you. You keep your foot down hard,
but you hear an incredibly brutal whine that sears your eardrums and within 3 seconds the dragster
catches and passes you. He beats you to the finish line, a quarter mile away from where you just
passed him. Think about it, from a standing start, the dragster had spotted you 200 mph and not
only caught, but nearly blasted you off the road when he passed you within a mere 1320 foot long
race course. That, folks, is acceleration.
*Goodguys has joined Golden State Foods, to support Ronald McDonald House charities. The
alliance will benefit the children and families of the Ronald McDonald houses in four Goodguys
event host-cities in 2005 with designs on spreading the effort nationwide in 2006. The "Cruisin' to
help kids" got off to a very successful start at the Goodguys 8th Colorado Classic in Colorado
Springs. The Ronald McDonald House of Colorado Springs brought children out to the event,
introducing them to the wonderful world of hot rods and customs. (www.HotRodHotLine.com)
*You will be receiving two additional e-mails from me containing spectacular car racing crashes. I
saw and photographed a lot of this during my 20+ years as a motor racing gypsy, working for
hire to any magazine or newspaper that would put a few beers and tacos on the table and gas in
the tank. People just don't understand the cutting edge technologies that come into play, from
most racing running on alcohol fuel rather than gasoline, to these kinds of wild failures directly
making cars on the road people drive every day much safer. The vehicle, tire, and component
manufacturers openly say they learn vastly from competition, the kind of stresses and to the limit
development they could never duplicate on a test track. (Joe Stephan)
*Ryan Briscoe is Happy to be Alive, by Robin Miller
When the remains of his race car finally came to a stop after flying through the air and crashing to
the ground, Ryan Briscoe had one immediate thought. "I was real happy to still be alive," he said
on Friday from Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. A sentiment shared by everyone who witness-
ed Briscoe's mean-looking crash last Sunday in the Indy Racing League's show at Chicagoland
Speedway. After climbing the wheel of Alex Barron, the 23-year-old Aussie was launched sky-
ward at 200 mph and into the outside fence as his Target G-Force/Toyota exploded into a flam-
ing mess that tore the car into three pieces, as well as a hole in the fence. The gearbox and rear
wheels sat smoldering by the groove, while the engine sailed off into space and the capsule con-
taining Briscoe bounced down the track and landed upright. Ryan's mother, who flew in Tues-
day from Australia, hadn't seen any photos until Thursday when she was given a copy of the new
Sports Illustrated--which featured a graphic, two-page, color spread that made it hard to believe
her son could be sitting next to her. "Oh my god, that looks so awful," she said. "This was the
only race all year that wasn't on television in Sydney and now I'm glad it wasn't." The nurse tend-
ing to Briscoe looked at the magazine and said to him: "That's you? I mean, where are you? It's
just a bunch of fire and pieces flying through the air." To which Ryan politely pointed to the tub,
which was inverted and sailing backwards in the picture, and said: "I'm in there." The velocity and
severity of this accident brought back instant memories of Kenny Brack's horrifying aerobatics in
2003 at Texas. But, thankfully, Briscoe's injuries weren't nearly as damaging as Brack's or fatal
like Tony Renna's because he had a couple of things working in his favor. First of all, his car went
into the fence rightside-up and not cockpit first like Renna, who lost his life while testing for Chip
Ganassi at Indianapolis in the fall of 2003. Secondly, the fence at Chicagoland was properly con-
structed and had no post on the leading edge like Texas used to have, which shattered Brack's
car and Davey Hamilton's feet before that. It served as more of a catcher's mitt, if you will.
Briscoe's horrifying Chicagoland incident has ended his season. Obviously the car came apart as
it's designed to dissipate the energy, plus the tub landed rightside-up and was not struck by an-
other car. "I remember the whole thing and I know I was real lucky because it was pretty violent,"
said Briscoe, who suffered two broken collar bones, concussion, bruised lung, a cracked bone
in his foot and numerous bruises and contusions on his back. He also inhaled some vapors and
fumes. "The (IRL) safety guys put me on a stretcher and told me to wave at the fans and I re-
member thinking, I'm not sure I can do that, but I guess I did." The second bad crash of his young
career (the other was testing a Formula One car in 2004 when it suffered suspension failure) was
the first time Briscoe had ever been injured. He didn't "walk away" as one idiot in the media re-
ported nor was "everything OK" as Ganassi told ABC from the infield hospital. But, considering
the ferocity of the crash, his wounds were amazingly tame. He went in the Progressive Care Unit
earlier this week and was put on oxygen to help his breathing but got transferred to a private room
Friday morning. "My back is pretty sore so that makes sleeping kind of difficult but I was able to
sleep last night with no oxygen mask and I feel better every day," he said. "Darren Manning came
up the other day and made my side hurt because I was laughing for 30 minutes...I know I could
be in a lot worse shape and I'm very thankful." Ganassi, who visited Briscoe in Indy on Wednes-
day, has opted not to run a third car in the final two IRL races at Watkins Glen and Fontana.
*Lucas Oil/NARA Late Model Dirt Car Series points leaders: Don O'Neal 5285, Earl
Pearson Jr 5220, Donnie Moran 5110, Matt Miller 4915, Scott James 4395, Freddy Smith
3955, Tim Dohm 3800, Brady Smith 2830, Brian Birkhofer 2725, Terry English 2360. See
*Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series, Pittsburgh's Pennsylvania Motor Speedway, Imperial,
PA, Sept 17-18. Mason Racin' Rebel Shock Dyno First B Main-Gary Stuhler, Steve Baker,
John Mason, Bill Cunningham, Bob Close, Brian Ruhlman, Keith Berner, Keith Barbara, Mike
Johnson, Rick Aukland, Freddy Smith, Rich Apolito, Scott Gunn, Jon Hodgkiss, Keith Rodriguez,
Jim Lepro, Larry Moran. PPM Racing Products Second B Main-Scott James, Tim Dohm,
Lance Elson, Brent Rhebergen, Al Atallah, Dave Hess, D.J. Miller, Tony Musolino, Rodney
Sweitzer, Chad Ruhlman, Danny Rich, Jim Kutas, Dave Wade, Rick Briggs, Ben Miley, Tim
Gould. 17th Annual "Pittsburgher 100" Finish-Donnie Moran, Brad Malcuit, Gary Stuhler
John Flinner, Lou Bradich, Freddy Smith, Steve Casebolt, Jr., Scott James, Davey Johnson, Earl
Pearson, Jr., Ed Ferree, Steve Baker, Jeep VanWormer, Matt Miller, Tim Dohm, Lance Elson,
Jackie Boggs, John Mason, Alex Ferree, Lynn Geisler, Tim Hitt, Rick Aukland, Scott Gunn, Don
O'Neal, Mark Banal, Bart Hartman, Dave Wade, Jared Miley. (James Essex)
*O'Reilly NARA Battle of the Bluegrass DirtCar Series race results: Ponderosa Speedway-
Junction City, KY, Sept 16. B Main #1-Chris Combs, Mike Marlar, Frankie Coomer, John
Gill, Johnny Wheeler, Victor Lee, Mike Hawley, Doug Smith, Jerry Rutherford, Jake Henry,
Tyrel Todd, Bobby Carrier, Jr., Mike Luna, Jordan Bland. B Main #2-Bryan Barber, Timmy
Yeager, Michael England, Dan Deaton, Gary Yeager, Donald Rayborn, Joe Ramey, Jason
Hinkle, Justin Rattliff, Benji Lee. O'Reilly Auto Parts A-Main 3rd Annual John Bradshaw
Memorial-Eddie Carrier Jr, Mike Jewell, Brad Neat, Aaron Hatton, Anthony Adams, Wayne
Chinn, Blake Chinn, Michael England, Frankie Coomer, Whitney McQueary, Mike Luna,
Shannon Thornsberry, Timmy Yeager, Tim Tungate, Bobby Carrier Jr, Chris Combs, Michael
Chilton, Johnny Wheeler, Benji Lee, Mike Marlar, Dustin Neat, Bryan Barber. (Michael Despain)
*Bluegrass Speedway, Bardstown, KY, Sept 17, O’Reilly NARA Battle of the Bluegrass
DirtCar Series race results: B Main #1-Jeff Watson, Lee Devasier, Wayne Chinn, Jesse Lay,
Michael England, Johnny Wheeler, Frankie Coomer, Mike Luna, Dan Deaton, Mike Wooldridge,
Jordan Bland, Jerry Rutherford, Randy Robbins, Joey Tackett. B Main #2-Timmy Yeager,
Jerry Rice, Joey Daniel, Brandon Kinzer, Michael Chilton, Brad Barrow, Ed Behn, T.J.
Wooldridge, Mike Hawley, Robby Hensley, David Powers, Michael Coontz, Chad Smith,
Whitney McQueary, Chris Stillwell. O’Reilly Auto Parts A-Main/7th Annual Bluegrass 50-
John Gill, Mike Jewell, Tim Tungate, Terry English, Bryan Barber, Tyrel Todd, Audie McWilliams,
Rick Corbin, Whitney McQueary, Chris Combs, Timmy Yeager, Joey Daniel, Justin Rattliff, Jeff
Watson, Aaron Hatton, Mike Marlar, Brad Neat, Jerry Rice, Wayne Chinn, David Webb, Lee
Devasier, Scotty Earl, Cody Mahoney, Johnny Wheeler. (Dustin Jarrett)
*In an extremely unfortunate incident, a mechanic who recently restored a $1,500,000 1929
Duesenberg was out for a cruise with the rest of his family near Ann Arbor, MI, when a 2001
Volvo ran a stop sign and collided with the classic car. All five occupants were ejected from the
Duesenberg as it rolled several times. They were not wearing seatbelts, as the vehicle had none.
Police say that seatbelts would have made for a much different outcome. Such an incident might
lead to stricter regulations for vehicles that are currently ex-empt from safety laws. At the very
least, it should cause owners of historic vehicles to ponder the question of what’s more important:
historic accuracy or safety? (Eric Bryant)
*I haven't seen or heard of Bill Kerrigan for many. Sitting on my desk is a jar containing a bit of
dirt from the old Carrell Speedway. A few days after my February, 1951, accident at this track,
when I flipped my Cad-Allard 2-1/2 times, Bill visited me in the hospital and presented me with
a present: a box containing the dirt he swept out of his TC following that race. I am sure when I
opened the box, my bed was full of Racing Dirt! By the way, according to my memory and Bill
Devlin's Pebble Beach book, Johnny Von Neumann won that race, Bill was second. (Al Moss)
*I'm starting a new phase that will hopefully bring us a bit closer...book seller. This is to notify you
“officially” that Doug Stokes has a new business address as of September 20. After nearly eight
years as the director of communications at Irwindale Speedway he will now be found behind the
counter and on the phone at the legendary Autobooks-Aerobooks store in nearby Burbank. His
title will have something to do with management, and he’ll be partner in the operation; but his real
mission is to alert every passionate partisan of motoring, motorsports, and aircraft everywhere that
the 50+ year-old fixture of the Southern California car culture is still every bit as intense about the
subject and just as much fun as ever. (Doug Stokes)