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Messages - dale

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« on: February 08, 2010, 05:05:50 pm »
calendar on front page -- the top one that looks like a monthly calendar either doesn't work (events don't show up in the month, you can't click on a day, or anything else that I can find). So, maybe it should go?

News!!! / Re: John Marshall McGill 1920 – 2010
« on: January 27, 2010, 04:14:03 pm »
Some further information:

In the event that I did not copy you on the previous email, John passed away yesterday.
Arrangements for John McGill are as follows: Monday Feb. 1st 5-9pm for calling hours and the funeral service will be Tues Feb 2nd at 11am, Funeral home is Stewart-Kyle Funeral home 407 W. Liberty Street, Hubbard Ohio 44425-1730 and the phone number is 330-534-1955. The webpage is

Debbie LaFond

News!!! / John Marshall McGill 1920 – 2010
« on: January 27, 2010, 12:46:01 pm »
John M. McGill passed away on January 26, 2010 at 9am at Briarfield of the Ridge in Mineral Ridge.

John was born June 17, 1920 in Brookfield Ohio to Orland Edward & Mary Virginia Marshall McGill. John served in the US Navy during WWII from 1942 to 1946 on a carrier aircraft service unit, servicing catapults. So he’s been slinging it for years!

He worked for Johns Manville in Milwaukee after being discharged from the Navy then for Williamson Heating & Cooling before becoming involved in sports car racing. At that point he and Marvin Drucker formed Steel Cities International Raceway, later to become Nelson Ledges Road Course. He held the title of General Manager from 1962 to 2004. In 1970, along with Grover Griggs, he was awarded for the innovation of the tire wall which is now used at many race tracks around the world.

Although he could be a bit of a curmudgeon, he had a heart of gold. He would “take in strays” so to speak, earning the nickname Father Johns’ Home for Wayward Boys! Anyone who was out of work or needed a place to stay, John would take them under his wing and they would live on track in the trailer and work for the track.

John was a 50 year member of the Masonic Lodge and a member of the Loyal Order of Moose.

Preceding him in death are his brothers, Joseph, Ed, Frank and Charlie. His parents Orland and Mary Virginia., his first wife Mavis “Pat”, and Martha his second wife, whom he married in 1975.

Survivors include his daughters Linda (Ken Heller) McGill and Kerrie (Bryan) Bartzi, three sons, Darryl (Joyce Lynette) Lane, Kevin Lane and Jon Scott (Holly) Lane and four Grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements will be at Stewart-Kyle Funeral Home,
407 West Liberty Street Hubbard, OH 44425-1730 (330) 534-1955

Solo (Autocross) / SCCA Solo News -- from Howard Duncan, National Office
« on: January 25, 2010, 04:14:36 pm »
Solo News
January 2010
Howard Duncan, SCCA VP Rally/Solo
        I will keep this issue of Solo News short as we here in the National Office are crunching to finalize things for the SCCA National Convention, however, there are a few things we wanted to pass along.

        Speaking of the Convention, the SEB will be holding their traditional Town Hall Meeting on Saturday, January 30. While we would hope that all of the Solo Community could be there, we realize that is a pipe dream. So, if you have a question you would like to ask the SEB, please send it along to me (email address above) and we will try to work it in amongst the “live” questions at the Town Hall. If time does not allow for it, we will use it as the basis for a Q&A section of the coming e-newsletter.

        “Solo News” is NOT the name of the coming e-newsletter, but merely a generic moniker for the short term. In December we asked for your suggestions for a name of the newsletter, and while we got some good suggestions, to be honest we were not overwhelmed with the number of suggestions. Remember, the first person to send in the name selected will win a free entry into the 2010 Tire Rack Solo National Championship.

        In the last issue, I mentioned that one of the ways we were going to replace some of the revenue lost from no longer requiring a National Solo Rules book at Divisional and National events was by offering a new and improved optional Solo “license”. While the crunch of the Convention has prevented us from completing all the details to formally launch this, we can give you more details.
•   It is not actually a license, but an optional benefits card that will be called the Solo Passport, as it will provide the means of access to some special services offered on an optional basis for the serious National Solo competitor.
•   The Solo Passport will cost $45 for an individual member and $50 for a family membership (spouse or spouse and kids) and will be valid for the calendar year of purchase.
•   Those who purchased a Solo License in 2009 will be able to take advantage of some  Solo Passport benefits, such as early registration, until that license expires. This will allow you to delay the purchase of the new card until a later date, but if you want the full benefits for the entire year, at some point you will need to purchase a Solo Passport.
•   Quick snapshot of benefits:
        Annual Waiver photo card; “hard card”ť
        Early online registration access for Tire Rack National Tour and ProSolo events; 2 weeks prior to access by general SCCA membership.
        Early online registration access for the Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championship (TBA on time frame)
        Early “Express Registration Check-in” at all National Solo events, which will include one free Test and Tune run or practice start (ProSolo).
        Decal packet that includes all SCCA required decals. This does not include contingency decals (see below)
        Additional benefits under consideration.
•   The Solo Passport will be available soon, so look for an announcement on the SCCA web site.

        Also coming soon is online sign up for National Solo contingency programs that are SCCA supported. This will allow not only online initial sign up, but will allow you to edit your “contingency profile” as you change cars or components at various National Solo events. It will be the responsibility of each competitor to keep their profile up to date, as we will use that profile to award contingencies. Look for an announcement VERY soon on the SCCA web site.

        Regarding contingency programs and responsibility, it is the competitor’s responsibility to read, understand, and comply with the requirements of any contingency program. This includes the required decals and how to obtain them. We carry many of them with us to Tire Rack National Solo events, but there are many contingency providers that do not provide them to us and require them to be obtained directly by the competitor from the provider. Again, please read about the details for each program.

        The 2010 ProSolo Rules, including indexes will be posted on Monday, January 25th.

        One last item. We recently received a copy of a new book published for the Lincoln Nebraska airport titled Journey Through the First 50 Years, which captures the key historical moments of the first 50 years of the Lincoln airport, 1959-2009. The last page (2009) features photos of the Tire Rack SCCA Solo National Championships under the heading of “Air Park Hosts the World’s Largest Motorsports Competition” and mentions the multi-million dollar impact on the local economy. I just thought the Solo Community would like to know how appreciated you are in Lincoln and they want us to keep coming back. If you did not attend in 2009, definitely make plans for this year as it really is Solo Nirvana.
That is all for now. Thanks for your support of the Solo program and your Club.

News!!! / Changes at Watkins Glen
« on: January 21, 2010, 09:24:22 am »

Highlights Include SAFER Barriers, Catch Fences, and Paved Run-Off

WATKINS GLEN, NY (January 17, 2010) – Fans and drivers will notice some major changes in several turns when they come back to the legendary road course of Watkins Glen International during the 2010 season.  The Glen is continuing their capital improvement plan and undergoing another major renovation project, which is just the latest series of changes, since the permanent road course’s debut in 1957.

           Among the changes is the removal of gravel traps and grass, modification of the catch fence, installation of SAFER Barriers, and the relocation of guard rails.  The project will be the largest improvement project on the 3.4-mile road course since the installation of new catch fences prior to the first IZOD IndyCar® Series race at Watkins Glen International in 2005. The renovation project will affect all series that race on the 3.4-mile circuit and include improvements to the Inner loop or “Bus Stop”, Turn 5 (known as Turn 9 of the short-course or the “Carousel”), Turn 10 and Turn 11.

           “We make it a point to evaluate our entire facility every year and we identified these areas as needing improvement,” said Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen International.  “The feedback we received from each of the sanctioning bodies was very positive and in agreement with our recommendations.  We think the drivers will like what they see when they return here and should lead to even better on-track action for our fans.”

Officials from Watkins Glen International and its parent-company International Speedway Corporation (ISC) recognized a need for improvements around the road course.  Shortly after the conclusion of the 2009 season, officials from WGI, ISC, and North American Testing Co. (NATC) convened to discuss ideas of possible improvements.  After an initial list was formed, the track officials met with executives of NASCAR, the Indy Racing League, GRAND-AM, and all of the other series that compete on the road course to gather feedback.  Based upon those discussions, improvement plans were devised that will be completed prior to the start of the 2010 season at The Glen.        

Along the portion of the course known as the inner loop or “bus stop,” the existing gravel trap will be replaced with a paved runoff area, which will allow more side-by-side racing throughout the tight turns.  Additionally, a SAFER barrier will be installed along the interior concrete barrier wall and the existing catch fence system will be removed with a modified version installed.  

         Turn 5, also known as the “Carousel Turn” will include the removal of the existing grass to pave an extended runoff area and the installment of a rumble strip built to FIA specifications along the track edge of pavement.  The existing guard rail system will be modified to install a crash attenuator system, to help absorb the impact when a car makes contact with the wall.

            Similarly, the project in Turn 10 will include the removal of a portion of the current gravel trap, which will be replaced with another paved runoff area. Additionally, the current FIA rumble strip will be extended along the track edge of pavement.

            Finally, Turn 11 improvements will feature the installation of a SAFER barrier in front of the exterior guide rail system.  Additionally, all grass areas between the new SAFER barrier and the track will be paved to help provide better traction when a driver is attempting to bring their car to a stop.

Tickets for the entire 2010 season including the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen, August 5-8, and Camping World Grand Prix at The Glen, July 2-4, weekends are on sale now!  Fans can take advantage of advanced sale prices and new options by calling the Watkins Glen International ticket office at 866-461-RACE (7223) or logging on to the official website,  Tickets, gift certificates and track merchandise can all be purchased at The Shop located at 2 North Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen.  The Shop is open Monday-Friday 9-5, Saturday 9-4, and is closed Sunday.

(Received from:

Solo (Autocross) / Re: *** Official SM smack talk thread ***
« on: January 11, 2010, 04:25:45 pm »
Quote from: "jmercado567"
I found my power steering fix... going to attempt doing this.
I cant wait.  It was such a bummer dealing with the lack of steering this year.  Im still mad.

Happy holidays.  The site looks great.

Wow, that looks like a great fix...

See you at the banquet?


News!!! / Re: 2010 WNY SCCA Annual Banquet
« on: January 11, 2010, 04:16:51 pm »
Coming up on last chance...

A final count will have to be given to the restaurant this week, so PLEASE LET PAUL KNOW (see flyer for details) if you are thinking about coming to the banquet.

It should be a great meal.


Club Racing / Open Letter to National Drivers (IMPORTANT)
« on: January 08, 2010, 08:43:11 am »
Posted in "News" forum, click this link:


News!!! / Open Letter to the NEDIV National Drivers (Important)
« on: January 08, 2010, 08:38:57 am »
From:   Tom Campbell, Chairman NEDIV Council

To: NeDiv National Drivers

The NEDIV Race schedule for 2010 was recently published.  Since then there has been concern expressed by some of the National drivers that there are no double National race events on the calendar.

This issue was discussed at the NE Division meeting in November prior to finalizing the schedule.  Although there were a number of double Nationals requested, in the end the regions, as represented by the Regional Executives, decided that there should be none on the schedule for 2010.

The issue of having 3-day double race Nationals has been debated within the division for many years.  The arguments are primarily driver preference and regional finances.  It has long been stated that many drivers don't want to extend the weekend by the extra day (at least not on non-holiday weekends) and that they don't want to be disadvantaged if they can't attend the double event and have to travel to two separate single events.  More recently a strong viewpoint is emerging that the double race weekends are less expensive for the drivers than two separate, single events and that the economics are changing some of the driver's preferences.  Undoubtedly both sides of that issue exist, as well as several positions between the extremes.  

The other stake-holders in this issue are the racing regions – those that host the National races.  Total participation in National racing has been declining by about 10 – 12 % per year for the past 4 years.  Combined with increasing costs (track rental, insurance, etc.) it has become more difficult for the regions, especially those hosting the smaller events, to break even financially.  The same trends exist in Regional racing but consistently greater numbers of entries per event make it more economical to host a Regional race.  The regions believe that large double race National events will draw entries away from the smaller singe race events to the extent that the single events may no longer be financially viable.  The recent feedback from the drivers who are lobbying for the doubles as being more economical are validating this concern.

Many of the National participants are “local” drivers who enter the one or two Nationals at the tracks closest to them but don't travel to the majority of the National races.  If their local track loses its National these drivers won't fill the void with another National event at a more distant track.  On the other hand are the drivers who only enter enough Nationals to qualify for the Runoffs.  These days that can be accomplished by only entering two double race events.  However, of the 450 drivers participating in the 2009 Nationals in the North East, only 75 actually attended the Runoffs.  Does it make sense to design the National racing program for that limited population.

For the 2010 season two of our historical National race events, Summit Point and Mosport, were dropped by the host regions for financial reasons.  There remain 7 National races, all single race events, nicely distributed geographically and on the schedule.  

So, that is the dilemma – more doubles to provide economy to some of the drivers at the cost of having fewer National races by forcing more regions/tracks out of the National racing schedule.

This issue will be discussed further at the Division's annual Round Table meeting in New Jersey on March 13 – 14.  This is a rather straight forward issue but with no easy solution.  It is very important that the decision makers, the RE's in the division, hear from more of the National drivers, hopefully from the full spectrum of viewpoints, so that they can make well informed decisions.  Better yet, the drivers are invited to attend the Round Table to present their views and participate in what will be a lively debate.

Solo (Autocross) / Re: "Bracket" PAX class
« on: January 07, 2010, 11:44:31 am »
I love the idea, but don't have a feel for how many people would be interested.

Also, there are lots of decision points, like -- is it a year long championship class, or is it a one event day thing? Maybe instead of a separate class, it's something you enter in addition to your regular class (say for an extra $5) and you compete for some prize money. Or, a hundred other possibilities...

It seems like it could be REALLY interesting.


News!!! / NeDiv Roundtable, March 12-14 (Northern New Jersey Region)
« on: January 07, 2010, 11:36:40 am »
NNJR is hosting the NEDiv Roundtable on March 12 - 14 at the Hamilton Park Hotel and Conference Center in Florham Park, New Jersey.
This is the place to make you concerns about the 2010 season and beyond heard by the decision makers.
Saturday lunch will feature the NARRC awards.
On Saturday night, March 13th, will be the NNJR 60th Anniversary party. Come celebrate 60 years of SCCA Motorsports in New Jersey.


Club Racing / Re: Fastrack - January 2010 Issue
« on: December 28, 2009, 09:13:57 am »
Solo folks -- read this issue, some dramatic changing in the insurance waiver.


Solo (Autocross) / SCCA Solo News -- from Howard Duncan, National Office
« on: December 21, 2009, 10:21:32 am »
December, 2009

Solo Community,

I wanted to take this opportunity as the year winds down to give you a
glimpse into the coming year. However, first and more importantly, on behalf
of the SCCA Solo Department here in Topeka and all the folks from around the
country that serve as part of your National Solo Field Staff Team, I want to
wish you and your families a very cheery holiday season and a Happy New
Year. Secondly, we all want to thank you for your support of the SCCA Solo
program and all that you contribute to make it so successful.

Obviously 2009 was a VERY challenging year on the economic front and we did
not really know what to expect. However, the Solo program came through these
difficult times in fine fashion:

*        Regional participation overall was even with 2008, although some
areas had significant attendance problems.

*        The Tire Rack National Tour participation was off a few percentage
points, but most of that was attributable to some scheduling
experimentation, including giving up at least one successful event so it
could serve as a Divisional Championship.

*        The Tire Rack ProSolo Series participation was actually UP by
nearly 12%.

*        The new site at Lincoln, Nebraska helped us get to within a few
entrants of a record attendance at the 2009 Tire Rack Solo National

One of the areas of concern has been the safety record of the Solo program
in recent years, specifically a couple years ago with incidents in finish
areas. Since last year we saw a reduction in the cost of Solo insurance
fees, a number of folks took that as a sign that all was OK. WRONG!!! What
was not realized was that the overall SCCA insurance costs had gone down for
a variety of reasons (bidding, insurance market status, etc.) and the
reduction in the 2009 Solo insurance cost was actually less than other areas
of the Club due to those incidents. Now that some of those incidents have
worked their way through the system a little farther with regard to claims
and legal proceedings, the fiscal impact becomes a bit clearer. The overall
SCCA insurance costs are going up for 2010 and those incidents are a major
contributing factor. Therefore, the insurance rates for Solo will be going
up for 2010 by 10% or 50 cents an entrant.

The ability to mitigate future increases is in all of our hands; Safety
Stewards, course designers, event officials, and entrants. We all have to be
vigilant in being sure we have taken appropriate precautions to ensure fun
and safe events. I know that for our part, we will be taking an even closer
look at the way we operate National Solo events this coming year and we are
hopeful that this will help set the tone for all levels of events.

Moving on to another topic, for many years I have been bothered by the
requirement in the rules for showing a rule book at Divisional and National
events, particularly after the rules started being posted on the SCCA web
site. Also, this bit of bureaucracy hardly seemed in sync with the new Club
motto of "Make it Fun, Make it Easy". However, there was a fiscal (there's
that word again) component we could not avoid; the revenue from rule book
sales was a significant contribution to cover the cost of rule development
and management, including tech services to handle member inquiries.
Therefore, the status quo continued to win out year after year.

Well, for 2010 we took the plunge and the requirement goes away. However,
this does not diminish your responsibility to know and comply with the
rules. In other words, no "the dog ate my homework" type excuses will be
acceptable when a rule compliance issue (car prep or event op) arises.
Therefore, we are strongly recommending that competitors still have a rule
book at hand; either a "regular" rule book (they will still be available for
sale) or a downloaded version.

You might ask how we solved the fiscal issue. Since the rules touch all
levels of events, it was tempting to replace the needed revenue with a small
increase in the Regional sanction fee along with an increase in entry fees
at National events, but given the insurance issues mentioned above, we
dropped the sanction fee increase idea. Therefore, we will be raising the
needed funds with a small increase in the entry fees for National Solo
events and the development of a new optional Solo License with a benefits
package that should be of value for some within the Solo Community. Again,
this license will be optional and NOT required. More details on this after
the first of the year.

Just a few more quick things:

*        The 2010 National Solo Rules will be posted on the web by January
1, 2010. The "real" rule books will be available by February 1st.

*        The 2010 ProSolo Series Rules will be posted by January 8th. By the
way, very minor changes will happened with those rules, but we know folks
are eager to see the new Index factors.

*        The 2010 Tire Rack National Solo schedule has already been posted,
which is significantly earlier than in the past. We pressed to get this done
early for a variety of reasons, but the primary objective was to get it done
early to allow Regions and Divisions to get their schedules done earlier and
avoid conflict with National events. We would like to thank all the National
Solo event coordinators for working with us so diligently to get this done.

*        The 2010 schedule includes some changes in the scoring for the Solo
Triad Award, which was begun this year. If you missed that information, you
can read about it at
<> &news=3823.

*        By the time of the SCCA National Convention in late January, we
will have information regarding expanded communication efforts, including a
new electronic National Solo monthly newsletter that will cover topics for
all levels of the Solo program. One of the many things that are still up in
the air is a name for this electronic rag. If you have a suggestion, please
send it to me at
<> &event=14461.

*        Finally (really), a word on contingency programs. Virtually all
National Solo (including those posted for Divisional Championships) require
the driver to sign up in advance. It is your responsibility to understand
the programs and to do what is necessary. You can review the programs at and I would suggest doing so
regularly, as well as confirming that you are in fact signed up properly. To
assist in this, we will soon have an   on-line sign up system, so keep an
eye out for this. However, if there is a program available now that you are
interested in, I would recommend signing up right away the old fashioned

Well, that is it for now. Once again, on behalf of the Topeka Staff and the
National Solo Field Staff, we wish you a Happy Holiday season.

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