posted March 13, 2001 08:02 AM
News and Tidbits
After speaking with many of the more well known drivers at Green Valley Speedway the following information has come out, on who is running what, I hope this information helps you in deciding more of your future racing plans.
17m of Dale McDowell still plans on running the UDTRA Pro Dirt Cars series (wow what a mouthful that is) although his major sponsor of Lendiver (sp) pulled out of the deal they had PRIOR to speedweeks, Shaw Chassis has taken over the sponsor end as well so you can still count on seeing the talented McDowell on the road. His next venture out will be Cleveland Speedway for the SAS race known as the Shamrock.
Ronnie Johnson continues to look strong in his Barry Wright Chassis/Clements Engine 5 car. Ronnie will be at Cleveland the last I heard along with his favorite pal his dog, that everyone has been accustomed to seeing him with.
Ray Cook plans on running the Shamrock as well in that famed #53, although he has a tire deal with All American Racer tires they are working with the drivers they have and Ray can run the Hoosier's just with blacking out the name on the tire. My OPINION is the tire deal he has shows they are more than willing to work with drivers and allowing them to race the shows they need to that do not allow their tires. Nice gesture on the tire maker.
Leonard Griffin out of Taccoa, GA has bought the GRT Ford that was the famed #53 car of Ray Cook's. Along with the car that won the SHOW ME 100, Leonard bought the motor I always said was mine only due to the name of it 'Stone Cold' hehee the Cornett engine also used in the win of the Show Me, look for this ride to be pitted around the tracks it is now blue and white #52. I have a few shots of the driver Doug English that will handling that ride this season and plan on a interview with them for my next dirtamerica column along with several others. Get to know these fine folks and they are very pleasant to speak with and more than willing to take the time to talk with the fans.
Clayton Christenberry will only run selected shows this season, he also will be one of the drivers that are not running the UDTRA circuit full season from my sources.
Freddy Smith is another of the drivers not running the full circuit for UDTRA this season. I spoke with Freddy on the beautiful sunny day that we were at Green Valley Speedway prior to the postponed feature event. Freddy is back 100% from the back injury he told me and is looking forward to running a pick n choose schedule this season. Also got to chat briefly with Mrs. Naomi Smith and Freddy's mother Oni ...I must tell you folks Oni looks GREAT and I was thrilled to see her in the motorhome with Naomi.
Skip Arp is also doing the pick n choose racing this season, his new Ford/Cornett engines ride could bring him to a track close to you since not running the UDTRA full circuit NOR the SAS full circuit as it was rumored, I am sure you will see both Freddy and Skip at several of those events but they will NOT be running the full circuits just doing the famed pick n choose.
Look for the 'other' famed blue/white GRT from J & J Chassis being on the SAS circuit this season, it being that of none other than Jeff Smith who will be running for points this season as well. I believe he will be running the car of Jack Starrett of Starrett Trucking of Augusta, GA throughout the series but could be wrong on that with all the events they have. I will try to get this clarified this w/e at Cleveland Speedway which is the next stop for the SAS sanctioning series.
Chris Madden will be running for points as well on this circuit in the #6 ride, that ride being the former Jimmy Sharpe ride.
After this w/e's terrific run by Billy Ogle Jr. we chatted briefly and he has decided to run the beginning of the SAS events and seeing where that goes. Right now Billy is in the top ten in points after the first event coming from 20th to 7th in the race that was just held at Green Valley Speedway. I plan on speaking with Billy futher and getting more information for the readers at Cleveland Speedway prior to the event and will get that out to you as well ASAP.
Well I know this isn't much for this time around but it is all I have ... look for future articles where I introduce you to some of the drivers many of you haven't heard of but are the 'hero's' to many at local southern states tracks. A few of them will be Mark Bangs from Ft. Payne, AL, Billy Ogle Jr. well you all know him , Chris Beavers of Cleveland, TN, Doug English and many many more. You just never know who I will grab for my next victim