PHOTO: Riche Evans is in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Thank goodness. (Photo courtesy

–by T.J. Ingerson
VMM Correspondent

I am very happy that Richie Evans was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. His nine Modified championships rank second to none. He also holds an impressive 26 track championships and 478 known victories, as well as the first four Northeast Region championships under the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series banner. And we all know Richie would have won more championships if he did not lose his life in a racing accident at Martinsville in 1985.

Anyone who believes Richie Evans is in the Hall of Fame too early because he didn’t race in the top level of NASCAR, or because he isn’t a pioneer is just ignorant. Any NASCAR fans who believe this should only refer to themselves as a “Sprint Cup fan”, and any media member should have their credentials pulled.

It’s going to take a while to get every pioneer into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, but just because Red Byron won the first “Sprint Cup” championship doesn’t mean he deserves to be a Hall of Famer any sooner than Richie Evans. No disrespect to Byron, but the man won a total of two “Sprint Cup” events. And if anyone who is less accomplished than Evans got into the Hall of Fame before him, they might as well just call it the “Sprint Cup Hall of Fame.”

Halls of fame shouldn’t be for pioneers only. We can honor those pioneers in the museum section that is part of every major hall of fame. I can learn about the people who paved the path for NASCAR in the NASCAR Hall of Fame without having to put said men in the Hall of Fame. And don’t get me wrong, most of these men deserve and will be in the Hall of Fame. But to say someone who won nine championships under the NASCAR banner shouldn’t be in over a “pioneer” who wasn’t as accomplished is just short sighted. It is after all, the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, Glen Wood, and Dale Inman are great selections as well. Maybe not all pioneers, but their success in NASCAR puts them in the elite. And that is what makes a Hall of Famer.

So congratulations to Richie Evans, his family, his friends, and his fans. It is truly a great moment for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and short track racing.

Now, we need get Ken Squier in the Hall of Fame.


Rainouts are horrible. We all hate them. But, please, relax. The make-up date will never please anyone, but we all have to understand that the promoter has to do what is at the best interest of the drivers and fans as a group. It does no good to postpone an event for longer than a month, especially this year where rain has haunted racing.

I was disappointed that I was unable to attend the rain-delayed Oxford 250 in 2008, which was delayed to Monday, after I had spent all day Sunday there in the rain. But it happens. There is no good that can come out of going on public sites and ranting and raving about how mad you are about the make-up date because you cannot attend.

And if you can’t attend, we hope Vermont Motorsports Magazine can be there and bring you the details of what happened.


Racing is the only sport where you can feel the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat within the same team.

Audi Sport felt both of these during the 24 Hours of LeMans. Audi’s top two contenders were involved in horrific accidents early in the event, with Allan McNish and Mike Rockenfeller driving, who were both uninjured, and a win seemed more like a dream than a potential reality.

But it was their third team car, driven by Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer, and Marcel Fassler, that claimed victory and made Audi’s 2011 LeMans all worthwhile.

And congratulations to Corvette Racing for their LeMans Victory in the GTE-Pro class, claiming victory during the 100th anniversary of Chevrolet.


2011 Stanley Cup Champions: THE BOSTON BRUINS.

Sounds pretty damn good. (Editor’s note: Boo. –Justin)


I love Formula One. If you didn’t catch the Canadian Grand Prix, you missed out on one hell of a race. And if you missed the re-air, you should be kicking yourself in the rear.

And if you don’t catch the next Grand Prix on June 26, you fail.


A few weeks ago I wrote about practice and collecting data, taking good notes, and understanding what the driver is feeling. And now that you have all this information, how do you analyze it?

The answer is carefully and thoroughly. As a crew chief or decision maker, you need to compare and contrast between what the data says and what the driver is reporting and feeling. One can mislead the other quite quickly if you don’t fully understand what is being told.

Drivers are selfish. It’s all about them and their needs. So, as the first guideline, always try to make the driver happy. A happy driver is a faster driver. A frustrated driver only thinks about what is wrong about the car and is unable to push it and get everything out of the car.

Say for example that as you look at the data the driver is reporting that the car is super loose, but the right-front tire piping hot, a signal that the car is tight. Or maybe the driver is reporting the car is tight, but he is burning up the right rear tire, a sign the car is loose. These two problems and potential results of a debrief could be caused by one issue: The car is too tight on entry, and snapping loose in mid corner. Again, this is a scenario where the data helps and the driver communication helps, but both could be misleading either way.

That reason is why the crew chief’s eyes, as I stated before in a previous column, could ultimately be the third and deciding factor. As a crew chief, you need to be considerate but stern with what you see to the driver. If you’re saying the car is tight on entry and snapping loose, if the data shows that the right-front tire is piping hot, but the driver says it’s too loose, you need to be stern and explain to him the findings, and force the idea that tightening up the car is only going to make the matter worse. Drivers tend to be stubborn. I was stubborn. And selfish.

As a fan, if you’re looking to see who has the quick car, watch who can charge the corner the fastest and who can turn the corner the quickest, while still having grip and forward bite on exit. If you arrive early and watch, do what a crew chief does and watch the front tires of the car, then see what direction the car is pointing.

A stopwatch is a great tool for crew chiefs and fans. A crew chief can understand what his car is turning for times and what his direct competitors are turning. A fan can find the quick car with it and see how that car is actually handling. Normally, but not always, a quick car is a good turning car as well. And in the “spec era” of racing, this has never been truer.

This is where good notes work. If you are able to go back on your notes as a driver or crew chief, you will notice, ‘Hey, these numbers look the same, we made this adjustment and it didn’t work. Maybe we should try something else,’ or ‘Hey, this adjustment worked with these numbers and input. Maybe we should give this a shot.’

The more data you get in your notebook, the easier your analysis will become. It’s why it takes teams a few years when entering a division to get good. As the driver improves, notes improve and get larger. And as your notebook grows, you have an idea of what works and what doesn’t. That way, you’ll be able to analyze the data quicker and analyze what adjustment will work quicker, and be able to make those adjustments in a timely fashion. And the driver will believe in you.

And the driver will be happy.

I’m still taking questions from drivers, crews, fans, or anyone! Email me at [email protected] with questions or an idea of what you want to see.