by Paul Kuyawa
Runnin’ the High Groove
By Paul Kuyawa Jr.
Well the 2013 season has been over for us since the annual Frank
Filskov race at Dana and my favorite dirt track the Sheboygan County
Fair Park in Plymouth, Wisconsin. Sadly Frank has been gone since
October 1996. Does the IRA ever miss this guy! He perished in a
hideous crash at the Hartford, Michigan Speedway after spinning his
car to try to avoid an overturned car which was black in color. To
those of us that knew Frank knew you had a friend. Filskov had an
infectious sense of humor but was also fiercely opinionated if he
thought he was right. This writer remembers well an IRA winter
meeting when the IRA was considering adopting aluminum blocks.
Since the All-Stars, carried steel engine blocks and most if not
all IRA guys had iron blocks Filskov’s argument seemed to be going
no where. Well if you knew Frank you would remember him as a dude
that could sell a screen door to a company building submarines. Not
that he would sell you something you didn’t need it was just if he
believed in something he would give his all to get his point across.
Frank would also go out of his way to help a broken down racer with
his business Service Truck and Trailer. While Frank and I were not
best friends we were friends who could share a laugh. I remember one
season and the year escapes me, but Filskov was on a tear winning
nearly at will at the Wilmot, Wisconsin Raceway. It was in the
1990’s when Wilmot would draw 60 winged 410 cars each Saturday.
Frank we all miss you hope you liked the 2013 version of your race.
If a driver could post double digit A-main wins in a couple years
he would probably be happy. Bill Balog, who I still like to call
Super Billy has racked up 35 IRA main event wins in the last two
years alone. Six straight IRA titles and he skipped a race this year
to race a midget at Sun Prairie. Balog hinted that he would like to
make the trip to the hallowed Knoxville Raceway numerous times in
2014. This would leave the 2014 IRA championship wide open. Balog
will be competing in the 2014 Chili Bowl Congratulations on six
straight IRA titles and another double digit A-main tally..
Some of Bill’s strongest competition had very unlucky years
leaving him to put an explanation mark on his 2013 season. Top IRA
competitors Mike Kertscher, Tommy Sexton and Mike Reinke all had
abbreviated seasons due to heavy duty crashes. Reinke and Kertscher
were done after the last race at the 141 Speedway and Sexton was
lucky to survive his car destroying crash at Wilmot. Scotty Neitzel
stepped up his program with a win at Superior and Sexton was a
podium finisher on numerous occasions. Reinke got a late start and
did get a runner up finish before the 141 debacle. Kertscher parked
Captain Jim’s Yacht Sales racer in victory lane early in the year
falling victim to the same crash that took out Reinke.
Jeremy Schultz proved to the IRA’s top rookie scoring victories
at the Wilmot Raceway, and 141 Raceway in Francis Creek, Wisconsin.
Schultz was also named the Wilmot Raceway track champion as the
Raceway located in beautiful downtown Wilmot carried IRA points and
the special shows to come up with their 2013 champion. I would say
this was an excellent season for the former MSA 360 champion.
I had a chat with another MSA champion, Ben Schmidt and he
outlined plans to give the IRA circuit his full attention. Maxim
chassis, with Parker power owned by Mike Urner this will be another
very good addition to the IRA roster.
Second generation pilot Phillip Mock put together his best season
scoring five top five finishes including a runner up at Dodge County
and 141 Speedway. It won’t be long before this youngster parks Uncle
Bob Hoyt’s racer in victory lane. The 1M tuned by Dad Kim knows the
way to victory lane and will show the young Mock the way once he
earns his first A-main win. I chatted with two time IRA champ Mock a
few days ago and he said they were busy hunting up the needed cash
to freshen engines and rebuild everything a team needs to run the
entire IRA circuit. Kim works his butt off all winter to pay bills
and so he can take time off to go racing during the summer. He also
puts on many miles driving Miller Beer Wagons up and down the road.
Uncle Bob Hoyt is still piloting the Cleaners death mobile from Lake
Mills to Madison only on a part time basis. I have known these two
characters since 1985 and I can tell you there are no two people
more dedicated to making sure the Mock/Hoyt sprint car is at every
race. I look for the 1M and young Phillip Mock to win his IRA A-main
Nick Alden called informing us that he will be piloting a new 8A
Maxim creation. He will rely on Houge power with tuning from Tim
Engler. Alden hopes for a rocketship. Helping Nick keeping the race
car going are Neeve Construction, John Carpenter, Jim’s Concrete,
and Hummells Gasoline Alley.
One of Dana’s best friends, Crawfordsville, IN hotshoe Jacob
Wilson dominated the Little 500 weekend as he scored his first Must
See Racing Extreme Series winged event the Wednesday prior to the
Payless Little 500 at Rick Dawson’s beautiful Anderson Indiana
Speedway. Wilson backed up his winged victory by winning pavement
racings biggest event the Little 500. Wilson also scored victory at
the Berlin, Michigan Raceway. A true breakout year for
Crawfordsville native. Thanks for the shirts, Dana loved them. Oh
yeh Jacob, Dana says loose the moustache.
Had a nice chat with Jeff Wessel recently. Jeff is a National
Karting Champion with the World Karting Association. No small deal
here, Wessel blasts his 125cc kart around the nations finest road
courses. This writer did a stint in the karts of Badger Kart Club
and those were plenty fast. Wessel has his buttocks an inch of the
track at over 130 miles per hour. No roll cage to dampen a crash.
“The wall at Daytona defiantly get your attention,” Wessel. Wessel
gets his season going right after the trade shows. More on Jeff and
his world of karting soon.
I did not get to a race with future Hall of Famer John Musser.
John I miss our trips. Lets get one in 2014. Musser, I’m told, was
giving seminars on the proper way to summon pigs this year. His
largest seminars were held in Poland were he played to standing room
Kudo’s go to the 50M Dick Myers owned pavement sprinter driven by
jouryman driver Brian Gerster. The Myers/Gerster duo won
consistently and picked up the Must See Racing Xtreme Championship.
This has to be one of the most consistently fast pavement teams
we’ve seen in the last couple years.
Cold weather is here, and that sucks. Drivers let me know what
your plans are I’ll be happy to put the in Runnin’ the High Groove.
That’s all for now. Remember the reason for the season. Dana and I
wish everyone a Merry Christmas.
Runnin’ the High Groove
By Paul Kuyawa Jr.
Plenty to write about, the Kenosha County Fair produced two great
nights of racing. Night one produced a first time IRA winner, rookie
of the year contender Jeremy Schultz while night two it was five
time himself Bill Balog capturing the Roger Iles Memorial 36 lap
A-main which paid a cool 36 hundred for Balog’s growing bank
It’s always cool to see a driver win their first main event.
While Schultz, who is a past MSA Sprint Car Champion with many wins,
surprised even himself following his victory at Wilmot. “ If you
would have told me that I would be in victory lane this early in my
410 career I’d have told ya you were nuts. Never in my wildest
dreams did I think we’d get one so soon. It is especially cool that
it happened during the Kenosha County Fair. This place has so much
IRA history here that winning at Wilmot is something I will not
forget”, Schultz said. Schultz started on the pole and checked out
on the rest of his competition until several late race caution flags
negated his lead. “I figured they, Balog, Kertscher and Johnson,
were coming but I never really did hear anyone this is absolutely
awesome to win here, “Schultz added. Schultz was quick to thank his
crew for giving him such a great racecar. “ I had the fun part that
being able to drive such a good race car”.
Balog finished a close second but it was hardly easy. Sensing an
engine problem Balog and crew swapped engines following qualifying
but missed his heat race and was forced into the hooligan race.
Balog ran second to Mike Kertscher and stated twelfth in the A-main
along side of Kertscher in row six. My last column dealt with guys
passing cars and Mr. Balog certainly did that. It is exciting to see
a guy work traffic to run down the leaders. “I was pretty happy to
finish second it was fun to start back there and make a run to the
front”, Balog said.
Oklahoma invader Wayne Johnson was disappointed with his third place
finish. “We just could not get a hold of anything tonight. We did
not have our good Fisher Engine in this weekend and our performance
showed it. This engine does not have the power band I like it’s
either wide open or stopped nothing good in between but we’ll keep
plugging along. We came up here for the Fatt-Fro people who have
helped me so much throughout my career,” Johnson said. I like to see
some of the nations top runners come to play with the IRA. It’s kind
of like the old days with the Outlaws you never knew who was going
to show up.
Springfield, IL. visitor Jordan Goldesberry started outside row
10 and raced his way into the eighth position at the finish. Another
good show to watch guys pass cars.
Night two of the Kenosha County Fair/ Roger Iles Memorial
belonged to Balog. It was IRA win number twelve for Balog and his
Buesser Concrete racer. Once again Balog did a super job starting
eighth and ending up in victory lane once again. Kertscher came for
inside row seven to finish in the runner up position in Captain
Jim’s Yacht Sales sprinter. Second generation racer Phillip Mock
turned in a fine performance winning his heat race and finishing
third aboard the Bob Hoyt Special tuned by Phillip’s Dad and two
time champion Kim Mock. Collectively the top three finishers in the
36 lap Iles Memorial race passed a total of 25 cars. Passing the
most cars during the Iles event ironically was Todd Daun who is
sponsored by Carriage Auto Body. Carriage Auto Body is owned by
Kenny Iles son of the events namesake and former IRA top competitor
Roger Iles. Daun blasted by a total of twelve competitors notching a
seventh place finish after starting nineteenth.
Gentlemen I thank you for getting up on the wheel and doing some
fine racing while entertaining this writer by passing cars. Watching
racing like this each night could spoil me. Congrats to Jeremy
Schultz and his entire crew on IRA and 410 win number one.
There was one very serious crash in time trials involving Scott
Uttech. Uttech was exiting turn two when his number seven sprinter
took a hard turn right smashing head on into the back straightaway
wall. It moved the front of Uttech’s mount over by two feet as this
car was turned into junk in a blink of an eye. Scott was uninjured
in this hideous crash. “Something in the steering broke and it shot
right into the wall,” Uttech said. A right front torsion stop was
picked off the track following Uttech’s sudden stop. It will not be
proven if the stop came off causing the crash but Uttech’s accident
and the one that Donny Schatz suffered were to close to be a
coincidence. Schatz reportedly had the right front stop fall off his
racer sending him into the concrete head on like Uttech did at
Wilmot. It would seem sprint car racing is suffering from something
happening on the right front torsion stop. Could it be this area
designed to pinch the stop on the torsion bar has collapsed, could
it be some guys refuse to have a nut and bolt securing the stop
instead of relying on the threads in the aluminum or titanium stop?
Someone suggested maybe its broaching issue during manufacturing, I
kind of doubt that. Years ago before I was writing I put many a
torsion stop and torsion arm on sprint cars. It was automatic to get
the torque wrench and properly secure the stop and arm. Not once did
the team experience a failure. Attention was also paid to make sure
the gap where the stop actually crimps to the torsion bar was
correct and there was a bolt and nut holding the stop on, not just
the threads put in the end of the stop. Several manufacturers have
come up with new devices to attempt to safely keep the right front
and all torsion stops and arms securely fastened to today’s sprint
cars. I happen to be looking at a set-up offered by Kreitz Oval
Track Parts out of PA. It’s a torsion bar safety rod. It sells for a
whopping $26.95 per corner, a fuzz over a hundred dollars to save
your ass. Everyone running a car with torsion bars should invest in
someone’s retaining devices before it’s too late this includes all
you guys running a vintage car. Kears Speed Shop also offers a neat
torsion stop/arm retainer. It weighs 2.5 ounces for those insist on
lightweight stuff. I did not see a price but I would think it’s in
line with the set-up Kreitz offers. Rumor has these retainers
mandatory at Knoxville in 2014. I am sure all the sprint car
associations will or should mandate this simple safety device. I
sure hope ALL racers will utilize a retaining device on the torsion
arm and stop NOW. Do not wait until someone makes you put these on
your racecars. If you can afford a sprint car, midget, or a silver
crown car with torsion bars you can most certainly afford these
That’s all for now. As always God Bless.
Runnin’ The High Groove
By: Paul Kuyawa
Coming from the back, years ago it was common place to place the
nights fast qualifiers at the back of all racing events. This made
all the races important. Drivers were forced to race for every
position or be put on the trailer.
At this year’s Knoxville Nationals Donny Schatz proved that a
good driver, teamed with a good car and team could come from the
rear of the field and end up in victory lane against the nation’s
best sprint car teams. Since most sprint car groups follow the
Outlaws lead the fast guys will start up front. Look in the
grandstands and you will see empty seats at virtually any race. Why?
Because the fast guys start up front.
We have our local track, the Wilmot, Wisconsin Raceway they
feature IRA Sprints, there was an All Star Circuit of Champions race
there and there is also open 410 shows run throughout the year.
Racing for the most part is good.
Fast guys are in lapped traffic after eight or ten laps in the
A-Main. Really good cars and drivers pass the backers sometimes
What I am getting at? Some guys won’t like this. What I am
proposing is to start the fast guys in the back of everything. Like
they do at the Knoxville Nationals with the exception of inverting
both the A and B mains. Time trials are important, heat races like
wise and what is a driver’s reward to start scratch in the A-Main.
That’s right fast guys in the back all night. In the sixties and
seventies the IRA raced Modifieds and Supermodifieds. Fast cars
smarted last in the heat as well as last in the A-Main. In the
sixties and seventies names like Johnny Reimer and Whitey Harris
started last and thrilled fans with their drives from deep in the
field to take the feature and win. In the seventies guys like Carmen
Manzardo and Dick Colburn did likewise and again fans were
absolutely giddy to watch these guys start from the back row and
“race”, that’s the key word, race to victory. No starting in the
first three rows and winning the race.
Right now the real fast guys are passing lapped cars usually by
lap ten. If this is the case the cars with the fast time should be
closing on the leaders within ten to twelve laps. Maybe, maybe not.
What the drivers, car owners, team members, and media need to
remember is that we are in the entertainment business so let’s
Formula’s need to be hashed out on just how to reward those who
race from the back to the front. I’m sure by looking into how
Knoxville does their preliminary events that a way of collecting
points throughout the night could be instituted.
How many times has a driver that has gotten up to fourth place in
a heat race and stopped running hard? Knowing they were locked up
into the A-Main. Those that don’t remember the action starting the
fast cars out back brought are really missing something.
I had looked at a picture taken from 1977 at Wilmot and the place
was almost packed right after time trials were done. Why? Because
the fans knew they were going to see racing all night long.
I recently spoke with 1977 IRA and Wilmot Champion Carmen
Manzardo about this. His take on this was, “Paul they absolutely
need to start having the fast guys start out back and bring the
racing back to the race track. When I was racing the fast qualifier
used to pull a pill determining the invert for the A-Main. This was
the Mid-Eighties at the Impact Raceway. Since I set fast time quite
regularly I asked Larry Hillerud what the highest number they had in
the bag. When I found out the tallest number was a 12 every time I
set fast time I picked the number out of the bag and told them it
was a 12. I never looked at the number I just told them it was a 12.
Why, because I wanted to race and pass cars. I was there to
entertain the race fans. That’s what I was there to do,” Manzardo
I would like to work with our area sanctioning bodies to see if
this is feasible. Yes there needs to be financial compensations for
racing from the back. The reality of this is good racing resulting
in a packed grandstand. Cash paying race fans will line up to see
good racing all night long. Promoters and track owners you need the
race teams and drivers likewise, drivers and race teams you need the
promoters and the track owners.
Let me know what you think about starting the fast guys out back.
Schatz did it at Knoxville, why can’t Balog, Kertscher, Sexton,
Mock, Neitzel, Reinke, and others do it at Wilmot or anywhere of the
IRA races. This could help bring the race fans back to the track.
Dale Blaney won Wilmot’s All Star race from the first three rows.
Bill Balog was the highest finishing local driver finishing fifth.
All Star racers took the top four spots.
Rick Kelsey raced his way into the main event despite not having
a complete race car earlier on race day. Rick credits Kelly Speace
for getting the car together and ready to race. A rock caught a
spark plug guard smashing the spark plug leaving Kelsey with seven
cylinders firing spooling him out of the top ten. This has to be
considered great accomplishment for this small team.
Impressive in his heat race Nick Alden raced his way into the All
Star main event with a heat race win. Mechanical woes dropped him
from a good finish.
One person we need to see back driving is Brian Kristan. Kristan
would be a perfect candidate for starting the fast guys out back.
Kristan is a gasser who would fit this program perfectly. Ok Brian
is this fast enough for my next column?
That’s all for now you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, as soon as
our computer is back working again. The old girl is on life support
God Bless, Paul
Runnin’ the High Groove
By Paul Kuyawa
Well it’s almost like a year ago; computer started shaking then
blew the rods out the sombitch. Thanks to a great friend Tim “Styx”
Foster,in between drum solo's, he patched the old girl back together
hopefully for a few more columns. Unfortunately it did some damage
as it wiped out years of work and notes from some of this years
races so I’ll do my best to piece together my happenings from the
Little 500 and the first IRA show Dana and I hit this year. Hold on
I’m getting’ old and the memory bank is only so-so.
Without a doubt my best story line of the Little 500 was seeing
Jeff and Linda Bloom. For those of you who do not know Jeff was
seriously burned in a crash at the end of 2012. Through shear
tenacity a sincerely deep faith in God and a ton of encouragement
from his friends Jeff made it back to Anderson, Indiana home of some
of his greatest success to participate in this year’s classic. While
definitely out of his normal weight Jeff was able to run the Must
See race the Wednesday before the Little 500 making some laps before
pulling in despite having some mechanical issues. It was easy to
Jeff was winded but still happy to be back behind the wheel. Jeff
qualified well in the Little 500 field and again made a few laps
before the mechanical gremlins hit and he had to bow out of this
year’s event early.
Any indication that this man would race again eight months before
the Little 500 would have met with a lot of “I don’t think so
bubba’s”. He never once over the four days Dana and I were in
Indiana did he or Linda say why me or why us. “Things happen for a
reason and we are here proof that with a lot of prayer and faith we
are able to get through any situation as long as God as on our side.
To see just how the Bloom’s handled this huge set back was truly
amazing I’m sure most of us would have found something to bitch
about but again never once did they complain and we checked in with
them every day. We are so happy that we are friends with the Bloom’s
and that Jeff was able to get back behind the wheel of a sprint car
once again. What the future holds for the Bloom’s only the good Lord
knows. Jeff and Linda are walking proof that with a healthy does of
faith in God that anything is possible. To Jeff and Linda Dana and I
would like to thank you for being a small part in your lives. Were
happy to see you back at the racetrack. To all your family and
friends thank you for helping the Bloom’s in whatever way’s you did.
It is truly a miracle that Jeff is back behind the wheel of a
racecar let alone being alive.
This years Must See 60 was the Jacob Wilson benefit. Mr. Wilson
started up front and held back all challenges from the best the
pavement world could muster. For Wilson this was his first winged
sprint car victory as well as his first Must See victory. To say
there was happiness in the Wilson camp would be an understatement.
Defending Must See champ Jo Jo Helberg put his number seven on
the pole with nine time Little 500 winner Eric Gordon was in the
middle of row one in his last Payless Little 500. Wilson ,the
Crawfordsville, IN leadfoot started in the top fifteen and was ready
to rock and roll early on race day as he welcomed us into his pit
area. Ever cool and always a friend Wilson greeted us told us to sit
down so we bs'ed for a while not knowing that Wilson would soon be
adding his name to the elite that have won the Little 500. Over the
years Wilson and Dana have become friends he gets a good luck hug
from Dana something that worked when he set the track record at the
Rockford, Ill Speedway. Wilson always a gentleman even in the face
of much pain is a fine representative of the sport of auto racing.
We only wish we could have stayed for the Sunday version of this
years Little 500. We have to start budgeting for the extra night as
it has rained two of the three years we have been making the annual
pilgrimage from Wisconsin to Indiana. To Rick Dawson, again, thanks
for hospitality again moneys coming we can’t wait for next years
We were able to catch an IRA event at the Wilmot Raceway recently it
was the Bill Balog show there. Balog has gotten so good he has few
that are on his level with the IRA. One driver Mike Kertscher is and
is normally breathing down Balog’s neck or is front of him. Between
these two they were the only multiple winners last year and had
Mikie had he not been given the bad boy penalty he and the Captain
Jim’s sprinter may be leading the IRA points at this time of the
season. These two dudes are one up on the other IRA racers at this
point; nothing against anyone it’s the truth these two pilots have
simply got it together. I am hoping the home team turns it up enough
to score victory against
Tim Shaffer and Dale Blaney this week at Wilmot.
This weekend it’s another Wilmot IRA show we are looking forward to
seeing most of the people at Wilmot. This one has the All-Stars, or
what is left of them, invading Wilmot. It sure would be cool to see
an IRA pilot in victory lane on Saturday. I know Moulis won a couple
Gumout shows at his home base of Wilmot years ago. I don't remember
if an IRA/ Wilmot regular ever cracked victory lane back in the
heyday of sixty to seventy sprinters in Bert's reign or not. Both
Moulis and Gib Wiser were close I seem to remember Al Winker posting
a good finish against Emick's invaders back when they would bring
ten or twelve travelers with them along with some top notch teams
from our south. If you remember those days it was an accomplishment
to make that A-main. There always were some very good cars in the
trailer come showtime, those were the days. There are lots of good
friends running with the IRA we are happy to give you guys any ink
we can so Dana and I will be there to show support for the IRA guys.
Don’t know what the track will bring it’s been in the nineties all
week. Looking forward to another good show no matter what conditions
bring even a not so good day at the races is better than a good day
of normal living. Finding out how big scum suckers some people are
and dealing with it. Racing people for the most part are the best
you will find anywhere. Thankful for all of our racing friends and
That’s all for now hoping to have a Wilmot IRA report later this
weekend. I hear Smoke’s comin’ to the fair. God Bless and we’ll wee
you at the races.
Well, don’t say it both myself and Dana have been quite this
winter. Sometimes things like this happen. I was taught a new phrase
by Dana to deal with the situation, it’s called FISH. I will let you
figure it out but I contains two of the best cuss words ever
Nothing much new here at the High Groove camp. I did have a chat
with the man of Anderson Speedway, Mr. Rick Dawson. Dawson has been
extending his hospitality to us for the third straight year. Dawson,
who broke his arm during last years Little 500 is up and about and
gearing up for the worlds richest and most prestigious asphalt
sprint car race the Payless Little 500.
Steve Sinclair has graced High Groove’s phone first a Wilmot
miscue and then it was business. I can proudly report we will see
Smoke this year and California’s superstar the young Kyle Larson.
Tony Stewart will be competing in his own number 14 Chevrolet sprint
at our favorite track the Plymouth Speedway located on the
picturesque Sheboygan County Fair Park on June 15, 2013. Larson is
next to grace the IRA at the Oshkosh Speed Zone in Oshkosh, WI on
June 21, 2013. You asked for it your getting’ it two of NASCAR’s
biggest stars running sprint cars with the Interstate Racing
Association. This report came directly from IRA guru Steve Sinclair.
If you have never seen this glorious race event you are cheating
yourself out of one of auto racings true great races. Dana and I
have been to the last two Little 500’s and have had the times of our
lives. It is a true pleasure of being with sprint cars elite.
Dave Sink, also known as Mr. Little 500 has a new column entitled
PavementSprints.com. He has extensive information for any one
needing your pavement sprint car update. Check out Sink’s Power
Ratings to see how your favorite pavement pilot is doing.
Many of the drivers that will see action in this years Little 500
are coming out of the Jim Hanks owned Must See Racing Xtreme Sprint
As of April those occupying the top spots in Sink’s power ratings
is Ronert Park, Ca. superman Jo Jo Helberg. Helberg has as heavy of
a right foot as anyone. Jo Jo has scored a Must See victory already
in 2013 at the Mobile Al. Speedway. He ran fourth at the Five Flags
Raceway in Fl. Helberg is the defending MSRXSS champion and set to
make it two in row. High Groove had the pleasure to meet this young
man and complete a Crowd Pleaser article for Sprint Car and Midget
Second in the Sink Standings is Ryan Litt of Canada. Litt
blistered the Five Flags Must See season opener at Five Flags Fl.
with a win. Ryan is back in his familiar 07 this season with backing
from BS&R Radiator. Look for the black and orange 07 to be a threat
when ever he unloads.
New column rules this year. If we right about we would like an
extendind discount on t-shirts or free is better. Help celebrate
Runnin’ the High Groove’s 18th anniversary. It’s been a long time
since we started and have been mooching free pit passes from track
operators and track owners. It’s still fun and makes me Happy,
Sitting third in the Sink pool is two time Must See champion Tamp
Fl. diver Troy DeCaire. DeCaire has another new team this year. Troy
will be driving for Davey Hamilton Motorsports, Hamilton, an
Indianapolis 500 veteran, will put a quality ride under DeCaire with
backing from TruFuel carring number40:1. DeCaire will also be
driving for the team of super owners Lenny Puglio and Dick Fieler
this one is expected to carry number 68.
Occupying fourth in Sinkville is Brian Gerster out of Fishers In.
With a new track record at Five Flags and a second place finish at
Mobile along with a another quick time award Gerster is poised to
take as much Must See cash as possible. Gerster drives for Dick
Meyers and the number 50m RAM Engineering team. For this years
Little 500 Gerster will be piloting the red number 27 entered by
Davis/Gerster with backing from Seal Wrap Repair Tape. While this is
a noble steed in the trusting hands of Brian, this writer would like
to see him put the Meyers car in the Little 500. This car is very
fast wherever they go and would be another super car to grace the
Anderson high banks
Looking to be another Sport Allen, my daughter says who? You may
need a few gray hairs to remember 1984, yes 84, to remember the
headlines this 13 year old made when running in the Little 500. Laws
in Indiana seem perfect for teen agers to apply their trade to the
This season a 14 year old from Valrico FL. will attempt to
qualfify for the 2013 Little 500. His name is Garrett Green, he
scored major points with railbirds finishing seventh at Glen Niebel
Classic at Anderson In.. Green had never turned a lap at Anderson,
nor had he run a non-winged car before. Not bad for being 14. Green
is part of a three car team owned by Gary Green, Garrett’s Dad. Team
Green will also bring along Florida pilots Brian Gringras and Mathew
Hall. Green may also do some dirt racing while in the Midwest.
Everyone head to Gas City after qualifying ends for the Little 500.
This is only a touch of things that will be happening at the 65th
annual Little 500. This is an awesome event culminating with a three
wide start of fire breathing 410 sprint cars for 500 laps around the
high banks of the Anderson, IN. Speedway. Be there or be square.
Ooops forgot to mention they all need to make two pit stops. How
does a direct drive sprint car get that done? Ask Chet Phillip and
Aaron Pierce both had innovations capable of changing things during
the Little 500.
Remember the week starts Monday May 20 with a MSRXSS
Since this is my 18th year I think some thanks are in order. The
late Doris Quinn gave me my first shot a long 17 racing seasons ago
in the Checkered Flag Racing News.
Dana, my daughter, who could ask for a better person to hang out
at the races with. She’s my daughter, yep she types, she’ll put you
in your place if you give her any lip, but most of all, my daughter
loves auto racing, I don’t know how that happened. Driver’s Dana
will love to meet you and give you some ink. She will do you proud
as she has me. I love you Dana.
Dr.Dick Berggren, founder of Open Wheel magazine. He once gave
this writer a second chance with a letter of denial and some
suggestions. With this guy’s help there was an IRA feature article
in Open Wheel penned by yours truly.
John Musser who is a Super Friend not too many get in this
category. This now retired school teacher from Kenosha has taught me
many things in life by just the way he acts and treats people. He is
a fabulous race chaser and simply a blast to go the races with.
John, I hope there are a few more trips together. I often give him
the business about being from Iowa about being the next great sprint
car driver. When I write about his ability to call pigs it’s the
truth. Suuee John you’re the best.
Carmen Manzardo, another Super Friend. I had the pleasure of
working on Carmen’s super-modfieds during the wonderful 70’s.Carmen
an IRA champion in 1977 bewildered most by running a big block
Chevrolet on an unconventional car that featured coil over shocks
and a bridge chassis that resembles today’s down tube cars amongst
other features that have been locked up in my brain since 1977.
Carmen and I remain best friends and talk weekly. I can report
Carmen is ok and refurbishing his motor home. Many thanks, Carmen
Kim Mock, another champion that deserves Super Friend status. Kim
and I spent many an hour trying to get corporate dollars to race
sprint cars . Trouble was we were not very good. We spent time and
money trying to figure it out. It was not until Jeff Robinson came
along, on lone from Manzardo, that Kim was off and winning races and
championships. Kim is privy to Buster’s Pappy’s Punching Palace and
Pizza Emporium. Kim is now the one that I call when needing a ride
to the races or a loan. He is also now known as IRA’s pit bull, Mr.
Mock I thank you.
Tommy Sexton Jr. a real gasser and he has been a good friend for
a long time. It was not until recently he started hauling Dana I to
the races when room allows. Tommy is good guy that can press the
down the throttle as hard as anyone. Tommy it was a pleasure to have
written a Crowd Pleaser about you.
Kelly Spease, a Super Friend, for a million years. This pony
tailed cat really knows how to make a sprint car go fast. His
set-ups sometimes sound unconventional but they get driver to
victory lane. He tells me all but I either forget or refuse to spill
my guts. Many do not realize this but Kelly is directly responsible
for at least three championships and has helped anyone that asked
and listened. His championships came with Rick Kelsey at the Kenosha
County Raceway and two IRA titles with Travis Whitney. Thanks Kelly
you will be paid back soon.
Jeff Robinson another friend that taught me a ton about sprint
cars. Jeff I had a blast it was a great run.
Todd Rhey, he is Jeff’s son. He owns and operates Rhey Graphics.
Rhey Graphics is responsible for all the really cool looking race
cars wherever he applies his artistic touch. He is also responsible
for the very cool High Groove Media Service decals seen on all very
cool and fast sprint cars.
Last but certainly not least is my Dad, Paul Sr. What can one say
about their personal hero and the best man to ever walk the face of
the earth next to our Savior Jesus. He took me to my first race and
allowed me to continue to follow cars going in circles for my entire
life. He reached into his pocket which allowed me to compete for
several years with the Badger Kart Club. He is a proud Grandpa.
Sadly Dad has been gone an excruciating eight years. Tears fill my
eyes as I write this. Dad look at lap one in the program for this
years Payless Little 500, turn up your hearing aids and hear the
announcer pronounce your name. Dana and I wanted to honor you. The
old beer commercial once said this one is for you. We will open a
cold one for you Dad. I miss you terribly most important I love you.
That’s all for now, as always, may God Bless. Remember next time
the IRA and we are Happy, Happy, Happy. Courtesy of High Groove
Winter in Wisconsin sucks, but its home. If you can put up with
some cold the spring, summer and fall are simply wonderful. I have
been in a self imposed hibernation for the most part of the winter.
It was a nice to get a phone call from one of the countries best
asphalt pilots, Tim Cox.
After last years Little 500 Tim’s Dad, Roger, adopted my daughter
Dana it’s been a great relationship since. Tim is not real sure of
his plans at this time. He will be making sure his son Jason Cox is
running up front in Dick Fieler’s sprinters as of right now. Plans
for Jason and Mr. Fieler are to run all the Must See Racing Xtreme
Sprint Series races and fill in with HOSS and Auto Value races when
they are available. This team is in its second year together and
both are happy with the arraignment. It is very rare for someone to
give two complete cars, truck trailer and all the goodies it takes
to go race., Mr. Fieler has done this for Jason and Jason is making
the most of it. I had the chance to talk with Mr. Fieler quite a bit
last year as Dana and I escaped Kenosha and wound up at the Cox
compound. This gentleman made us feel right at home never making
mention of his investment in Jason, rather how happy he was Jason
was driving for him. He realized Jason was short on laps but was
showing such improvement at every race and that he couldn’t wait for
the next race. We went to Salem with Tim and the family Dick flew
into Indiana just to watch Jason at Salem. He was genuinely happy
with a fourth place finish. “I know Jason has the talent to be one
of the best. I’m pleased that Jason and his Dad are taking such good
care of my equipment”. This is a true car owner that loves racing
our sport could sure use more owners like Dick Fieler.
A few notes from Tim, “Jason ran great in Florida and that made
the car owner very happy. Two thirds for his first trip south
certainly opened everyone’s eyes. I was told Jason was the fastest
They are in the process of rebuilding cars with the trip south
Tim told me he me “we really have not had winter to relax we have
been racing and rebuilding race cars”. We will take a trip to the
Cox shop soon and have more information as soon as possible.
While Tim is unsure about his racing plans someone please offer
this veteran wheelman a car to drive and he will put it up front.
Tim takes care of equipment is a true gentleman driver and would be
an instant asset to any racing team. Hire this guy quick.
As April arrives so does the long awaited racing season. While
there are several real good races coming up at some of our local
tracks the one Dana and I have been waiting for is the Pay Less
Supermarket Little 500 at Rick Dawson’ s Anderson, IN Speedway.
Those of us fortunate enough to have witnessed this spectacular
event cannot write enough good about the event. Traditional Sprint
Cars starting three wide on a high banked quarter mile and going
500 circuits is a sight that you have to see to believe. If you’re
near Anderson Indiana over the Memorial Day weekend do stop in and
witness this most amazing race. See it once and you will be hooked.
This is one of those races that as soon as it is over it leaves you
counting the days until next year’s race.
Must See Racing Xtreme Sprint Series kicks off their season on
April 13 at Five Flags Speedway in Florida. The following night the
winged asphalt pilots will take on the Mobile Int. Speedway in
Alabama. It’s then back to the Midwest for a show at Winchester
followed by the festivities of the Little 500 week in Anderson
Indiana starting on May 23rd with the Must See 60 winged race. The
rest of the week the wings come off for qualifying and the Little
500. Jim Hanks, leader of the Must See series has his boys hitting
the highway this year. In addition to the Midwest shows the group
puts on the winged sprinters will be making three trips to the state
of New York with two shows at Oswego, home of the Supermodifieds.
Check out the entire Must See goings on at their web- site
mustseeracing.com. All the news about the new Must See Supermodified
series as well as information about when the Must See shows will be
On the dirt side of things and closer to home the Interstate
Racing Association will open their 2012 season at the 141 Speedway
in Francis Creek, Wisconsin on April 21. Beaver Dam Raceway is next
on the schedule April 28 with the Wilmot Raceway hosting the IRA on
Saturday night May 12. Wilmot has five IRA shows and Beaver Dam is
on board for four IRA events and Plymouth has signed on for three
IRA races. “With the way the economy is and now the insane gas
prices I’m glad we cut the traveling down”, said Steve Sinclair.
Sprint Car teams should be able to do quite a bit of racing without
a ton of traveling. One of the five IRA races will be a challenge
race against the All Star Circuit of Champions. Those of you with a
little grey hair will remember the All Star shows that Wilmot
Raceway used to have during the 1980’s and 1990’s. These were always
excellent races when Bert Emick would bring his boys to Wilmot. This
race is set for July 21 and promises to bring in cars and stars that
haven’t been to Wilmot in some time if ever. This always equals up
the playing field for the locals. If you have been yearning for a
big show at Wilmot your wait is over. Now it’s up to the race fans
to show up and show track management that Southeastern Wisconsin is
still a great place to see a sprint show. Mark your calendars for
July 21. Another biggie on the Wilmot Schedule is a non wing USAC
Sprint Car race June 23rd. That’s right non-wing USAC sprint cars
are also making a return to the Wilmot Raceway. I am hoping many of
the local racers will shed the top side aluminum and come race with
the USAC boys. Once again race fans mark your calendar for this USAC
race come watch these guys back em in to the Wilmot Raceway. For
those of you who have never witnessed traditional sprint car racing
you’re in for quite a treat. The following night June 24 the USAC
boys will tow up to Angell Park in Sun Prairie for the second night
of racing in the land of cheese. Once known as the “Thunder and
Lightning” division of USAC the USAC sprint cars were once a
driver’s ticket to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Another treat for the open wheel lovers is a POWRI/Badger midget
doubleheader. On July 14th the POWRI/Badger boys will invade the
Wilmot Raceway. The following night July 15th Angell Park will host
the POWRI/Badger co-sanctioned show. That’s all for now as you can
see there is plenty of quality open wheel racing in Southeast
Wisconsin. Let’s all make sure we support these shows so there will
be more of these big shows for our entertainment.
Six points, six measly points, it could be the difference between
winning a heat race or setting quick time one night. Four drivers,
twenty five laps on neutral ground for the Must See Xtreme Sprint
Series Championship. This battle started at Salem Speedway in April
and will end October 1st at the Worlds Fastest Half Mile, the
Bristol Motor Speedway.
Four pilots still have a chance to win the 12 race series which
included asphalts most prestigious race, The Little 500 at Anderson
Indiana and now the Xtreme Speed Classic at the Bristol Motor
Speedway. Nineteen year old speed demon Jason Cox sits 34 points out
of first place. He will need a perfect night and some help in order
to capture the title aboard Dick Fielers sprinter. Jason has had a
tremendous season considering his age. A top five finisher on most
night Jason has opened many eyes. Sitting in third place is Santa
Rosa California’s JoJo Helberg. Helberg has come on strong in the
later part of the year winning at Salem, and Anderson JoJo drives
the number 7 Helberg Motorsports entry back by ADTS Alcohol and Drug
Testing Services, Pit Stop USA.com and All Star Performance
Sprinter. JoJo finds himself six points out of the lead. Sitting
second is Canadian Ryan Litt. Litt is two points back driving the
BS&B Radiator, OTC, Leaf Racewear number 07L racer. A consistant top
finisher Litt has himself in the right spot to win the Must See
title. Just like last year defending Must See champion Troy DeCaire
finds himself in a strange car going into the final race of the
year. Troy will be piloting the number 6 Davey Hamilton owned
Trufuel, Trusouth, Crystal Clean, Hoosier Tire, Royal Oak Charcoal
racer normally piloted by Mike Larrison. Larrison was injured in an
Indy Lights crash in Kentucky. DeCaire was quickly called up to
drive the potent Davey Hamilton racer at Bristol. “This is an
excellent car if I can do my job and stay of trouble I really like
our chances to win both the race and championship. It’s going to be
tough with Ryan and JoJo right there”, Decaire said.
If you’re fortunate enough to be able to go to Bristol this
weekend we envy you. This should be one heck of a speedfest as the
fastest short track cars in the world take on the world’s fastest
mile in Bristol Tennessee. Have fun and be safe. This race will put
a cap on a fabulous season. We need to thank Jim Hanks and his staff
for believing in something and going forward with it. There is more
good things on the horizon for the Must See Xtreme Sprint Series,
stay tuned for more information.
Kyle Flint who sits tenth in Must See points was awarded the
ultra prestigious Rich Vogler Memorial Scholarship. It’s off track
awards that show the quality of pilots on the Must See circuit. For
sprint car fans that have never taken in a Must See Extreme Sprint
Series race you have no idea what you are missing. Those that know
me know I have mainly a dirt background. Well I’m here to tell you
that the pilots of the asphalt missiles are the pavement equivalent
of dirt’s World of Outlaws. For out and out speed you can’t beat Jim
Hanks’ Must See Show the Xtreme part comes in when these brave
pilots buckle up and smash track records wherever they run. Side by
side action at 150 miles per hour is not uncommon.
Must See Extreme Sprint Series is on television. Cable network
Com-Cast brings tape delayed shows into millions of homes throughout
the nation. Keeping things on a tape delay is the only way to have
Sprint Cars on television. Hanks and crew have done a wonderful job
having Rick Benjamin and Tom Bigelow calling the races with award
winning author Dave Argabright calling the shots from the pit area
it’s a pleasure to watch on television.
Dana and I have checked these speed demons out at quarter miles,
third miles and huge high banked joints. We have yet to see a bad
show and like dirt we have made some wonderful friends. To all we
have met though the Must See Xtreme Sprint Series We are glad to
call you friends. Thanks to Kyle Flints Mom for showing us the Moon
Billy Balog had things his way this year with the IRA winning
twelve races. With an incredible five victories in a row over the
course of the year Balog also put together back to back victories
three times. Big track or small track it didn’t matter Balog simply
made the IRA circuit his personal playground in 2011. While I figure
the 17B team simply had their act together there are those that have
been complaining he may be fudging the rules. The IRA bunch went
over Balog’s racer with a fine tooth comb and called it legal, face
it guys they just have everything figured out. My congratulations to
the entire 17B crew.
Years ago Joe Roe was winning races and championships no one
accused him of cheating he was simply better than the rest. For
those making the accusations get over it guys Balog had you covered.
What will probably go down as one of the best Frank Filskov
Memorial race that I have seen Brian Kristan came home the winner.
Brian and second place finisher Tommy Sexton put on a heck of show.
For what ever reason these two seem to hook up and look out because
you know the slide jobs are coming. Kristan showed his strength
after being put behind Sexton on a restart. Brian kept his composure
and drove around Sexton back to the front. Sexton kept the pressure
on waiting for a mistake that never came. Kristan needed an IRA win
away from Wilmot just as Sexton did just a few weeks earlier at
Plymouth. Other IRA notables include three time winner Mike
Kertscher, Scotty Nietzel, Scott Biertzer and Mike Reinke each
scored IRA main wins. Outsiders Chad Blonde and Dusty Zomer also
occupied the IRA victory lane.
That’s all for now wish I we were going to Tennessee this
weekend. See everyone soon God Bless. You can reach us at email@example.com.