Monthly Archives: December 2019

Val LeSieur Arrangements


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NEAR_New England Antique Racers

December 29 at 3:20 PM · 

Calling Hours for our pal Val LeSieur will be from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. It will be held at Kane’s Funeral Home, 605 Washington St., South Easton, Ma. 02375. Services on Friday, Jan.3, 2020 at 10 a.m. also at Kane’s. Please come pay your respects if you can. No obituary or further info is available at this time.

Source: NEAR Facebook

FOX confirms 2020 NHRA TV schedule

Note: The NHRA Mello Yello coast-to-coast series will be in action at the New England Dragway in Epping, NH over the 2020 July 4 weekend .

By: NHRA | December 26, 2019 3:51 AM

FOX Sports and NHRA have confirmed the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series television schedule, highlighted by live FOX broadcast network coverage of four consecutive summer events, including the “Western Swing” (Denver, Sonoma and Seattle), as well as the iconic U.S. Nationals from Indianapolis on Labor Day Weekend.

The 24-event 2020 FOX NHRA season opens Sunday, Feb. 9, with the 60th Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals live from Pomona, Calif., at 5:00 PM ET on FS1. Fifteen of the season’s final 16 events are scheduled to air live, including the season finale Auto Club NHRA Finals from Pomona.

The 2020 season also marks the 50th anniversary of the NHRA Pro Stock Division.

“The 2020 season really gives us a magical opportunity to revel in the history of NHRA Pro Stock drag racing,” said FOX NHRA play-by-play announcer Brian Lohnes. “This class, that kind of burst its way out of the Sportsman ranks, has captivated fans with razor-thin margins of victory since the 1970 NHRA Winternationals. We’re going to have a load of fun celebrating the history of Pro Stock in 2020 and honoring the legends who built the class from the ground up.”

Lohnes and two-time NHRA Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon return to the booth for the FOX NHRA broadcast team, with reporting from two-time NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series national champion Bruno Massel, Amanda Busick, Jamie Howe, Lewis Bloom and John Kernan.

FOX Sports and NHRA also are scheduling 16 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series broadcasts, and 12 E3 Spark Plugs Pro Mod Drag Racing Series broadcasts across FOX Sports networks.

NHRA races will appear in Canada and the Caribbean through FOX Sports Racing, as well as through the FOX Sports app.

2020 FOX NHRA TV schedule

  • Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, Pomona, Calif. – Feb. 9, 5:00 PM ET – FS1
  • Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Arizona Nationals, Phoenix – Feb. 23, 9:00 PM ET – FS1
  • AMALIE Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla. – March 15, 9:30 PM ET – FS1
  • DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Las Vegas – April 5, 9:00 PM ET – FS1
  • Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals, Houston – April 19, 8:30 PM ET – FS1
  • NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Charlotte, N.C. – April 26, 6:00 PM ET – FS1
  • NHRA Southern Nationals, Atlanta – May 17, 2:00 PM ET – FS1
  • Virginia NHRA Nationals, Richmond, Va. – May 31, 5:30 PM ET – FS1
  • Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, Topeka, Kan. – June 14, 6:30 PM ET – FS1
  • NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Bristol, Tenn. – June 21, 2:00 PM ET – FS1
  • Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio – June 28, 2:00 PM ET – FS1
  • Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Chicago – July 12, 3:00 PM ET – FOX
  • Dodge Mile-High NHRA Nationals, Denver – July 19, 4:00 PM ET – FOX
  • NHRA Sonoma Nationals, Sonoma, Calif. – July 26, 4:00 PM ET – FOX
  • Magic Dry NHRA Northwest Nationals, Seattle – Aug. 2, 4:00 PM ET – FOX
  • Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Brainerd, Minn. – Aug. 16, 2:00 PM ET – FS1
  • NHRA New England Nationals, Epping, N.H. – Aug. 23, 2:00 PM ET – FS1
  • NHRA U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis – Sept. 7, 11:00 AM ET – FS1
  • NHRA U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis – Sept. 7, 1:00 PM ET – FOX

NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Schedule (times subject to change):

  • Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals, Reading, Pa. – Sept. 20, 1:00 PM ET – FS1
  • NHRA Carolina Nationals, Charlotte, N.C. – Sept. 27, 2:00 PM ET – FS1
  • AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis – Oct. 4, 7:00 PM ET – FS1
  • AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals, Dallas – Oct. 18, 2:00 PM ET – FS2
  • Dodge NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas – Nov. 1, 4:00 PM ET – FS1
  • Auto Club NHRA Finals, Pomona, Calif. – Nov. 15, 4:00 PM ET – FS1

Chili Bowl Hits 325 Entries and Includes USAC, NASCAR and IndyCar Stars

Courtesy of AutoWeek

The indoor event is the most prestigious race for open-wheel dirt midgets.MATT WEAVERDEC 27, 2019



For the sixth year in a row, the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals will feature over 300 entries.

Currently, there are 328 entries in the 34th running of the annual classic at the Tulsa Expo Hall in Oklahoma. The race first surpassed the 300 entry mark in 2015 and hasn’t looked back since.

The 2020 running will feature former winners Christopher Bell, Rico Abreu, Sammy Swindell, Tim McCreadie and Tracy Hines. In addition, Kyle Larson returns looking for his first win after a most disappointing near-victory in 2019.

Larson dominated the A-Main in that race before Bell surpassed him on the final corner to take his third consecutive Golden Driller Trophy.



Making his third attempt in the race is 10-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car champion Donny Schatz, driving the Spike Chassis house car with support from Curb Records and Sage Fruits.

NASCAR Cup Series driver Alex Bowman will make his fifth appearance in the Chili Bowl Nationals. Bowman will once again field a two-car program for himself and C.J. Leary.

Dirt ace and NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie of the year Chase Briscoe will also return behind the wheel of his self-owned No. 5.

IndyCar Series regular Connor Daly will drive for Petry Motorsports.

The deadline to file an entry for the race passed prior to the Christmas holidays, but teams can still file a late entry for $200 instead of $150. The weeklong event is scheduled to run from Monday, Jan. 13 to Alphabet Soup day on Saturday, Jan. 18. The latter culminates with the race-deciding A-Main on Saturday night.

The B Mains, pre-race ceremonies and A-Main will air live on MAVTV and the Lucas Oil Racing TV app. Everything leading up to the main event will air via a RacinBoys PPV broadcast.

The complete list of Chili Bowl entries can be found at AutoWeek com

Iberville Quebec’s Jacques Villeneuve to run two teams in NASCAR Euro Series


  DECEMBER 28, 2019  AT 4:59 AM

After discovering the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series in 2019 and scoring three podium finishes in his first season, Formula 1 World Champion and Indy 500 Champion Jacques Villeneuve will double down on Euro NASCAR. The Canadian, together with Patrick Lemarie, will bring their FEED Racing team into the championship, fielding at least two cars in the 2020 NWES season. An extension of the FEED Racing academy Villeneuve and Lemarie founded last year, the team will aim at competing for the European NASCAR title and mixing world-class top drivers with new promising talents.

Villeneuve and Lemarie will drive the #5 and #6 cars in the EuroNASCAR PRO championship, marking the first time the two will race as teammates despite a longstanding friendship. The first EuroNASCAR 2 driver will be 17-year-old Belgian Simon Pilate, who will share the #6 car with Lemarie.

“This is a project aimed at giving young talents the opportunity to grow and become professionals in racing. I always loved this kind of cars and races and after gaining some valuable experience last year in NWES, we are ready to take the next step,” said Villeneuve, who also started at the front of the field twice and finished eighth in points in EuroNASCAR PRO in 2019. “With Patrick we know each other since we were eight years old, he was the test driver at BAR in Formula 1 and we founded the FEED Racing academy together, so this is a natural step forward. The Euro NASCAR car is perfect to learn the basics of driving a race car, it is bold and aggressive, it has no electronic aids and plenty of horsepower and since two drivers share the car, we will be able to do a proficient work together with our young drivers. The NASCAR Whelen Euro Series can open a very interesting development path for them and in the next couple of months we’ll evaluate the opportunity to expand to three or four cars, fielding more top drivers and more up-and-coming talents.”

Villeneuve’s personal ambitions for the 2020 season are clear and include the opportunity to chase the NWES title.

 Euro NASCAR —Source:

Chili Bowl entry list now exceeds 300

Courtesy of qnd Autoweek

  DECEMBER 29, 2019  AT 5:04 AM

(Credit: NEMA photo.)

For the sixth year in a row, the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals will feature over 300 entries.

Currently, there are 328 entries in the 34th running of the annual classic at the Tulsa Expo Hall in Oklahoma. The race first surpassed the 300 entry mark in 2015 and hasn’t looked back since.

The 2020 running will feature former winners Christopher Bell, Rico Abreu, Sammy Swindell, Tim McCreadie and Tracy Hines. In addition, Kyle Larson returns looking for his first win after a most disappointing near-victory in 2019.

Larson dominated the A-Main in that race before Bell surpassed him on the final corner to take his third consecutive Golden Driller Trophy.

The weeklong event is scheduled to run from Monday, Jan. 13 to Alphabet Soup day on Saturday, Jan. 18.

See much more, and the entry list, at Autoweek.


TQ midgets mix it up indoors! (Credit: Area News photo.)

Source: Ernie Saxton Communications




Event Promoter: Len Sammons


ALLENTOWN, PA December 30, 2019 . . . ‘Flyin’ Ryan Tidman has done everything in Indoor Auto Racing Series TQ Midget racing action over the years except win one. The Holland, PA driver hopes to accomplish that goal when the Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled By VP Race Fuels opens its 2020 season this weekend, Friday and Saturday, January 3-4, 2020 inside the PPL Center in downtown Allentown, PA.

“I’ve come close lots of times, won some 20-lap qualifying races and set fast time, but still am looking for my first big Indoor race win. I hope this year will be different,” said the 32 year old driver.

Tickets for the fifth annual Ironton Telephone sponsored Allentown two day event are on sale at the PPL Center box office, on-line at or by calling 610-347-TIXX.

Tidman’s assault in 2020 will be with a new team. After spending most of his TQ Midget racing career racing for Lenny and Donna Boyd, Tidman will be driving Indoors for Richie Tolerico of Pompton Lakes, NJ. 

The car, a Mark Lafler engineered chassis powered by a Dave Pippard engine, was formerly wheeled by Tony DiMattia.    That’s the same engine and chassis combination Erick Rudolph used to win last year’s Indoor Auto Racing Series title, his fourth in the Series.

“Lenny and Donna (Boyd) decided to step away from Indoor racing this year and when they did, I had to either find a ride or sit out the Series,” Tidman explained.  “I called Richie when I found out his car might be available and we struck a deal.”

Tidman stressed that he will still be driving the Boyd TQ in 2020 on the outdoor circuit.  As a team, the pairing has won five ATQMRA series title.

Tidman is coming off a 2019 outdoor TQ season that saw him finish a close second in points with one win in 12 races, at Bethel, NY.

Tidman will have the capable assistance of John Smith in the pit area. Smith has worked on Tolerico’s cars previously. Tidman’s parents, Albert and Linda, Mike Glaser and Tidman’s girlfriend Erica Weinelt also will be in the pit area assisting.

To put it all together, Tidman enlisted the support of several sponsors.

They include Insinger Machine Company of Philadelphia, Anes Construction, a business operated by fellow race entrant Mark Yoder, and Small Business Funding Group, Inc.

Tidman, a York College graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering, brings his own skills set to the table as well.

The one thing Tidman was unable to do was practice the Tolerico No. 83 in advance.

“The first laps I get in Allentown will be my first in the car,” Tidman revealed. “I wanted to try to have the car ready for one of the Wall Stadium Turkey Derby practices but ran out of time.”

The untested car in Tidman’s hands should be mitigated by the fact among the three Indoor Auto Racing Series tracks, the PPL Center in Allentown is among his favorites.

“Allentown is one of the best tracks we go to,” Tidman said. “There is more passing there and at Atlantic City. I like tracks that have the most passing opportunities.” he shared.

Though Tidman has never won a Series A-Main, he did come close, in the 2016 Gambler’s Classic in Atlantic City, NJ.

“I was behind (Anthony) Sesely, pushing him. But I was using the brakes so much that the brake pads were pushed back inside the calipers which then flared up in a fireball,” Tidman lamented.

Tidman has a long history with Indoor racing, dating back to a 2004 start in a Badger TQ Midget.  He then followed it up with two more Indoor starts, all of them in Atlantic City, NJ, inside Boardwalk Hall, before taking several years off to campaign a diverse group of vehicles, including a Dirt Modified and a NEMA Midget. 

The Allentown Indoor schedule calls for doors opening at 6:00 PM with racing getting underway at 7:30 PM on Friday. On Saturday, doors open at 5:00PM with racing beginning at 7:00PM sharp. An on-track Fan Fest is available at no extra charge to ticket holders who chose the option when making their purchase.

Matt Janisch of Nazareth, PA and Ryan Flores of Mooresville, NC, won the Friday and Saturday PPL Center TQ Midget features in 2019.

The Allentown race is the first of four events that comprise the Indoor Auto Racing Series.

After the two race event opener in Allentown, the “Concrete Series” presented by BELFOR Property Restoration, the series moves to Atlantic City, N.J.’s Boardwalk Hall on Friday and Saturday, January 31st and February 1st for the 18th annual NAPA Auto Parts Classic.

The BELFOR “Concrete Series” season finale is on Friday and Saturday March 13th and 14th in a second year return to the brand new Exposition Center located on the grounds of the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. N.Y.

A special non-point event will be held on a banked clay oval. The third annual East Coast Indoor Dirt Nationals will return to CURE Insurance Arena in Trenton, N.J. with a new date. This race meet, held the last two years in December, has been moved to Friday and Saturday, February 21st and 22nd featuring nearly 100 Wingless 600cc Sprints kicking up the clay. 

Rudolph is the defending winner of this event, proving his indoor racing skills span both dirt and concrete events.

Tickets for all four venues can be obtained through information available on the series website: along with special host hotel rates.

The event in Allentown is supported by great sponsors Ironton Telephone, BELFOR Property Restoration, Future Homes, Ironton Auto Body and E. Schneider & Sons Inc.   Additional support is provided by Action Track USA, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Pocono Raceway, Aqua Duck Water Transport, Miller Motorsports, Doggy Style Hot Dogs & More, Pioneer Pole Buildings, All American Property Maintenance and Area Auto Racing News.

Join these companies in supporting the event in Allentown or at any of the future events by contacting Danny Sammons at the series office at or 609-888-3618.   Corporate sponsorship packages are available to fit every budget.

Note: If your track, tour or event is not posted on this blog send your press releases and flyers to:


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The Race of Champions Series family of participants, officials and fans will gather at the Genesee River Restaurant & Reception Center in Mount Morris (NY) for a spectacular evening of awards and accolades. The conclusion of the successful 2019 season will be highlighted by the distribution of over $50,000 in cash and contingency awards and certificates to drivers and teams in eleven different divisions of competition on Saturday, January 19, 2020.

Honored as series champions will be Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. (Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series), Tom Barron of Ontario, N.Y. (Race of Champions Super Stock), Chuck Hossfeld of Ransomville, N.Y. (Race of Champions Sportsman Modified), Terry Weldy of Clarence, N.Y. (Race of Champions Late Models), Brad Rouse of Saint Catharines, Ontario, CAN (Race of Champions 602 Dirt Sportsman Modified) Jacon Gustafson of Webster, N.Y. (Four Cylinder “Dash” Series) and Andy Jankowiak of Buffalo, N.Y. (T.Q. Midgets). Rich Sharpe of Depew, N.Y. (Lancaster Street Stock) and David Brunka of Cheektowaga, N.Y. (Lancaster Four Cylinder) as well as Allison Montgomery of Ontario, N.Y. (Spencer Speedway Four Cylinder) and Andy Coucilova of Rochester, N.Y. (Spencer Speedway Super Six) as well as many others will receive special recognition, in addition to recognizing the accomplishments of all, for an entire season of passion and dedication that saw 410 drivers earn points across eleven different divisions of racing.

Point fund contributions come from Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuel, the US Army, Colton RV, Presque Isle Downs and Casino and TDH Refrigeration. will present the Most Popular Driver Awards which will be revealed that evening along with other special Race of Champions recognition awards.

The celebration will begin at 6 p.m., with dinner and awards at 7 p.m., along with a DJ for dancing and post-dinner entertainment. The Genesee River Restaurant & Reception Center is located at 134 North Main Street, Mount Morris, NY 14510.

Hotel accommodations can be acquired at the Country Inn & Suites, 130 North Main Street, Route 36, Mount Morris, NY 14510. Rooms are available within the Race of Champions room block at a special rate of $100.00 per night when you mention the “Race of Champions Season Celebration.”

Tickets for the event will be $48 and the deadline to purchase tickets is January 12, 2020. Inquiries in regard to tickets may be made by e-mailing The celebration will be open to all ages.

For anyone receiving a point fund award, if you opt not to attend the awards banquet, your point fund award will be presented at the first scheduled event for your division in 2020.

More information in regard to the event including a list of award recipients and hotel details will be released in the coming weeks.

The Race of Champions is a sanctioning body presenting Modified and Stock Car racing on asphalt and dirt surfaces throughout the Northeast, with events in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey with primary marketing partners Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuels, US Army, Upstate Automotive Group, Waddell Communications, Pilat Graphic Design, Jerico TDH Refrigeration, Sherwood Racing Wheels, and The 70th annual Race of Champions weekend will take place in 2020 at Lake Erie Speedway in North East, Pennsylvania and is the second longest consecutive auto-racing event in North America, second only to the Indianapolis 500.

For more information, contact Race of Champions Media at

Follow us on Twitter; Instagram and Facebook; @RoCModSeries or visit our website:


NEAR HOFer Val Lesieur passes

New England Antique Racers

December 27, 2019 by Rich Goucher

Story courtesy of Bones Bourcier

The loss of Val LeSieur is going to rock a lot of racing people in the Northeast, and indeed up and down the East Coast. Across several decades he published Speedway Scene, which had to be the liveliest trade paper ever printed. It carried news and opinion, it infuriated the occasional track operator, it ran semi-regular pages of goofy photos and captions, and it tied together a region full of readers who considered it a bible. In my early teens I was one of those kids, buying the paper for 50 cents at Plainville Stadium, seven or eight miles from my home in Connecticut. Later I wrote columns for Val, and by age 18 I’d moved to Massachusetts to work for him full-time, cranking out a 48-page (later 56-page) paper on gallons of coffee, snacks, and at least one all-nighter a week. Every Monday-Wednesday it bordered on torture, but, looking back, it was a joy. I worked for Val in various editorial positions (and essentially lived with his family part-time) from mid-1979 through most of ’88, except for a very brief stint in 1983 when I mistakenly thought civilian life looked appealing. Among those who wrote for Speedway Scene in those years were Pete Zanardi, Buffy Swanson, Dave Moody, Phil Smith, Kevin Eckert, Bob Echo, Toodi Gelinas, Mark Thomas, Jack Flowers, Don and Joanne Davies, Charlie Langois, Gary Grim, John Brouwer and Dave Shippee, Kraze Korlacki, Bob Morris, and many more. Together with Bob Echo, Val created the annual Racearama trade show that, truth be known, was one of racing’s biggest parties. He and I ran up and down the road probably hundreds of times, to Martinsville, Daytona, Oswego, Syracuse, Islip, Pocono, and countless other tracks. It was my honor, back in 2011, to induct him into the New England Auto Racers (NEAR) Hall of Fame, as pictured. Val never had a dull moment, and to be in his orbit was to laugh a lot, yell a little, and move on to the next adventure. My heart goes out to his daughter, Valerie, who has known too much sadness. But, for a minute, let’s think of him and smile. He always signed letters, “Your pal Val,” and he wasn’t kidding. He was everybody’s pal. — Bones