Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Curtis Turner for 2016 HOF

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Assorted Pieces and Parts

Going back to the Ethanol Odds and Ends, this came from Unkle Phil, a former racer and long time racing fan:

I used to run an IMCA modified out here at Canyon Raceway Park. I could buy $45.00 worth of gas, as it took twice as much Alki. (alcohol-MM) at twice the cost. The al. ran cooler and developed half again as much power. God halp you if you did not drain the carb at the end of the night.

 Based on Phil’s experience with alcohol, there is a definite problem with water absorption, which is also an issue with ethanol since it contains alcohol. And like everyone else I read about how special tankers will haul the ethanol to the tracks. When the tankers sit overnight, there will be condensation which will accumulate inside the tanker. How is this going to be taken care of? Will several gallons be drained off at the start of every day to make sure the water is removed? If so, what will be done with the contaminated fuel? This is a bit of a recycling issue that needs to be addressed. Or will they use some sort of special water absorbing filter to remove the water so that when the teams fill up the dump cans they only get ethanol and not a mix of water and ethanol? And how often will the tankers be replaced so that any type of corrosion won’t get into the fuel as a result of the water contamination? Lots of questions but no answers from the Daytona Beach Palm Tree Hunter.
One stat I saw a couple weeks ago said there were 40 fewer Service Master cautions in 2010. I’m curious how many Ms Terry DeBris cautions there were for 2010. Were there more or less versus 2009?
I just got word that the fabricators at MWR are being paid $500 a week with the economy being used as the reason. Normally, fabricators make at least twice that. If MWR would like to respond, by all means do. And in plain English without the double-speak of some PR person replying.

One title for an article I saw mentioned something about the races needing to be treated as big events. Actually, the races need to be treated as races and not sports entertainment or some marketing gimmick which they currently are now. The races need to be about racing and actually contain racing instead of long, drawn-out parades. The race has a sponsor, the green flag has a sponsor, the checkered flag has a sponsor, the cautions have a sponsor, the pit stops have a sponsor, the pit out has a sponsor. About the only things that don’t have a sponsor is the drivers’ own “pit stops” prior to or after a race. But I’m sure that’ll be coming some time down the road. Something like the Pine Bark Butt Wipe Fastest Flush or the Colonel of the Urinal Shake and Dance brought to you by Richard Slimmins “Shaking to the Oldies“. Cute little jingle singing “No matter how much you shake and dance the last drop always goes in your pants”. Or maybe drivers passing gas. The Foulest Flatus brought to you by Roust Air Freshener. “If the drivers are a rippin’, there’s no need to be trippin’. And who can forget the drivers burping? The Biggest Belch of the Race brought to you by Burper’s Bird Seed. “If the birds are burping, you know it’s a Burper”. How about if they catch some crew chiefs, crewmembers, or NA$CAR officials picking their noses on camera? The Nastiest Nosepick brought to you by No-Snorz Nasal Strips. “And the winner of today’s Nastiest Nosepick goes to NA$CAR official Rufus Rumjug with his double-digit cleaning of his hand-picked proboscis”. The possibilities are endless. They could get sponsors for everything. Scratching their crotches, cleaning their ears with car keys, picking their underwear out of the cracks of their rears, ear wax, nose hair, nail fungus, drool, you name it, they could find a sponsor for it. And imagine going to pick up the check at the awards dinner in Vegas with the film rolling of that award winning moment. I’m sure the wives and parents sitting at home would be so proud seeing their husband or son managing to get two fingers in there trying to pick for some “gold nuggets” or scratching their crotch in a manner that would make a big league baseball player envious.

But let’s get back to the main point. The races themselves. If they truly are races, then they need to be treated as such and not some freaking carnival with the drivers and crewmembers being shown off like sideshow freaks. Fans want to see real side by side racing and not cars running side by side because the aerodynamics don’t allow passes to be completed. The folks paying subscription bills to cable or satellite TV companies aren’t paying to see just one or two cars for 3-4 hours during the brief interruptions of the commercials. They’re paying to see all 43 cars racing for 3-4 hours. The remaining fans in the stands aren’t buying tickets to see a 43 car parade for 490 miles only to be interrupted during the last 10 miles by some racing. They pay to see 500 miles of beating and banging, donuts on the door, chrome horn usage, real passes done through the use of horsepower and skill, and drivers using strategy like a chess master. Despite the fact that fans have been screaming for this loudly the last few years, it continues to fall on the deaf ears and the blind eyes of the occupiers of Daytona Beach’s Ivory Towers and continues to get worse. When you have the Head Honcho being totally surprised that somebody would dislike his 10 race playoff, you have to wonder not if but when NA$CAR will be closing its doors due to the cluelessness of the folks in charge.
After seeing the
interview that Jennifer Jo Cobb did on CNN, I have to wonder why is it that a well-spoken, hard working woman who’s worked her way up through the ranks and followed in the family business of racing isn’t the female face of NA$CAR? Her background and how she followed the family tradition would attract both male and female fans. Because of her beliefs, she’d be a great role model for young girls. And as she doesn’t through temper tantrums, doesn’t have a mouth that would embarrass a sailor, and is friendly with fans, she’s definitely more classy the Queen of Hype. And since she is well-spoken as well as being easy on the eyes, I’m surprised some major companies specializing in women’s products haven’t jumped up to sponsor her. I think that clothing companies, perfume makers, and other companies are missing out on a great opportunity. And with her family’s history of racing, I would think that some racing parts companies would step up as sponsors. But then I forgot. She’s not the new savior of NA$CAR. She’s not being hyped and promoted to high heavens by the Beach Boy Bubbas. The Queen of Hype is. I hope Jennifer Jo does well in her 5 Busch Series races and finishes well ahead of the Queen of Hype. Maybe then she’ll grab some sponsors’ attention. And as she’s one of the few folks in a Ford in the Truck Series, I’ll be rooting for her since I’m a long time Ford guy.
The fine folks at Save the Speedway have started up a new site to bring folks news in addition to history. It’s called Speedway Digest. This is what Steve Wilson of Save the Speedway said about the site:
Save The Speedway has launched Speedway Digest as a way to help other historic speedways get their message out and to help them out. We will also be following NASCAR throughout the season and document the history of NASCAR and the tracks they race on.

Rick “The Sign Man” from Save the Speedway has done an amazing job documenting the history of North Wilkesboro Speedway and hopefully other tracks and supporters of other historic tracks can take Rick’s lead in documenting their tracks’ history. You can check out Speedway Digest at 

Two thumbs up to the 315th Air Wing for the humanitarian efforts in delivering over 40 tons of supplies to Haiti and Grenada. The humanitarian aid delivered to Haiti consists of 76,000 pounds of medical and school supplies, clothing, food and furniture donated with the assistance of Haiti Lifeline Ministries, Inc., a non-profit organization located in Hesston, Kan. These items will be utilized by the Lifeline Orphanage and provide assistance to the children who call it home and the surrounding community. 7,000 pounds of aid consisting of medical and educational supplies, clothing, furniture and dry goods were delivered to Grenada to help children and their families start the new school year. Naturally, the lamestream media seems to have missed this effort so to the folks of the 315th Air Wing, many thanks from one old veteran for your efforts.



  1. Good job, Mike. I'd love to see Jennifer Jo get further up the NASCAR ladder. As you pointed out, she's much better role model for young females than Danica (I'm famous for my swimsuit poses).

  2. Mikie;
    Thanks for your comments in recognition of both Jennifer Jo Cobb, and the 315th Air Wing. Both are class acts, doing what they do best.


  3. Thank goodness for a certifiably "True, Honest and Thoughtful Voice."
    The "Used to Care Fan" always looks forward to your words, which ring of right rather than "Powers that Be DoubleSpeak" or "Driver Drivel."

    Truthfully, this former fan thinks NASCRAP is stalled in neutral on the road to "Over and Done."

  4. I'm not really certain on this, but maybe you can do some research on it. My knowledge goes back only to designing ethanol stills back in the early seventies. No, not moonshine; its use as a fuel was just coming into play.

    Water in gasoline can be allowed to settle out and the water drained off because water and gasoline do not actually dissolve. They become physically mixed only and will separate if left undisturbed.

    Water and alcohol is an entirely different matter. 100% pure alcohol at room temperature is actually a gas, so it must be dissolved in water to make it a liquid. As little as .01% water is sufficient to dissolve 99.99% alcohol and make it liquid. That's why distilling it is so easy.

    "Pure grain alcohol" is not pure, it is only 99.99% pure with a trace of water. I know that because we used to use it for torpedo fuel in the submarines. We also used to drink it, but that's another story altogether. The Navy put formaldehyde in it to keep us from drinking it, and we built a still in the forward torpedo room to distill the formaldehyde out of it. Happily, we never blew up the boat.

    Anyway, here's the point. As I understand it, if water condenses in a tank containing alcohol fuel it is actually dissolved in the alcohol and will not settle out no matter how long it sets undisturbed. That doesn't create problems with commercial vehicles, because there is very little alcohol in the fuel and the engines are pretty crude. But what will it do with racing engines where the fuel sits longer, in worse conditions, and is used in far more sophisticated engines?

  5. Jayhawk, I'm very familiar with water and gasoline seperating having done some flying and draining off the water was part of the pre-flight.

    Thanks for the lesson on alcohol. I always thought it was a liquid no matter what. I heard about people drinking Torpedo Juice from a couple of Navy Chiefs when I went through NAVSCOLEOD at Indian Head NOS MD and later from a Chief who was stationed in Hawaii that recovered several WW II torpedoes. I don't know how true it is but I also heard of some submariners taking aftershave and straining it through bread to take out the impurities so they could drink the alcohol.

    So if the water won't settle out, that increases the water content which in turn will reduce how combustible the fuel is. I wonder how much water content there has to be before the engine starts sputtering, coughing, and causing major problems with the racing engines? Times like this I need a racing engine guy with lots of experience on ethanol fuels for a definitive answer.

    As to stills, I will neither confirm nor deny that there were several stills operating in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, or Kuwait before, during, or after Desert Storm or that homemade wine and beer were being brewed.

  6. Thanks Gina, Colin, and Used to Care. If the powers that be would take the time to listen to some fan suggestions, Jennifer Jo Cobb would be the new female representative of NA$CAR and that we might actually get back to some real racing with real cars and real racers instead of what's currently being doled out.