Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Interview with the NSCBBA

I had the pleasure of sitting down with the head of the NSCBBA Ross Fronk. Ross took the time to answer a few questions about the NSCBBA organization's history. As well as what their mission is within the organization.

1. What is the NSCBBA ?

NSCBBA, stands for the National Sprint Car Bean Bag Association. It is a non-profit organization with pending 501c3 status. You wouldn’t believe how much it costs to push legitimizing paperwork through to the stinking IRS.

2. Where did the idea come from ?

The idea itself actually started as a joke, if you feel like reading the full story, you’ll have to check out our website for the “Origins” page. Eventually we decided it would be cool to raise money to be small sponsor for one or two, of our favorite drivers, you might be able to guess which ones. However, as you can see, we have strayed from that idea considerably.

3. When did you come up with the idea to start an organization?

I’m not sure of the date, but it was sometime during the early winter months of 2006. We actually did not become an official entity until February of 2007.

4. How did you get involved with the sport of corn holing ?

In July of 2005, Matt Roberts, or “Berts” as he is known to the locals, traveled to Eldora for the Kings Royal. He played it out there and loved it. When he returned back to home base, he constructed his first set of boards…the legendary Hoosier boards.

5. When was the idea to hold tournaments to raise money for charities thought of ?

We originally played a number of different tailgating games and would have mini tournaments within our group. Eventually, once enough people were introduced to bean bags, we figured that a tournament would be a fun way to raise money.

6. When did you hold the first tournament ?

April of 2006.

7. How did the first tournament go ?

The first tournament was held on a cold windy day in April at Williams Grove. It only featured 4 teams and I don’t remember who won.

8. How many tournaments have you held so far ?

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-15, officially. Unofficially, close to 50 or 60.

9. How has it been received so far by the racing community ?

I guess that depends on who you ask [laughing]. Some people like us a little more than others. At first there were many skeptics, but the more events we had and the more money we raised, people have generally begun to accept us.

10. Who all have you raised money for so far and how much have you raised ?

On the books in 2007, we have raised $4930 that was donated to specific charitable causes. This year’s events benefited the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial Fund, Sorokach Fire Fund, the Tuscarora 50 Foundation, and the Bill Kimmel Fund On top of that we have made roughly $600, which we kept for operations, such as materials for boards and bags, refreshments for our tournaments, etc.

11. Last year you held a tournament at lincoln. How did that come about ?

We decided to have a tournament to benefit the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial Fund. It was a simple business decision. Basically, we are a non-profit group that operates in the local racing community, therefore we should start out with an event to benefit the most notable racing charity out there, the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial Fund. Also, we decided it would be best to have it on the day of the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial race. The fund was still in my mind because I have played in their memorial golf tournament over the last few years.

12. How did it go ?

Our goal was to raise $1,000, we raised $2,000. So for us it was a success and we look forward to doing it again next year. Its nice to help a great family like the Gobrechts. It should also be mentioned that Lincoln Speedway was very easy and pleasant to work with. The Leiby’s also donated a good bit of the entry money back into the funds.

13. Also last year the Sorokach family experienced a personal tragedy when they lost their house in a fire. The NSCBBA held a tournament at the Summer Nationals to help raise money for the family. Whose idea was it to help the Sorokach family, and how did it go ?

Originally the money from our Summer Nats tourney was going to be donated to the Penn State Children’ Hospital, for their research with youngsters afflicted with cancer. But given the circumstances and our direct relationship with the sprint car community, we decided to redirect our efforts to the Sorokach’s. We pulled in $900 even, for that event.

14.What's been the most memorable moment so far?

I can’t speak for the entire organization, but for me, it was this year’s National Open weekend. We held tournaments Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon, while the Outlaws were in town. Friday’s tournament featured 68 players, while Saturday’s tournament boasted 74 contestants. It was great to get that kind of turnout and see the continuously growing support, from the local racing community.

15. Who all is involved with the NSCBBA ?

Quite few people have a hand in shaping our organization. Foremost, Matt Roberts builds and paints all of the boards and he sews bags like Betsy Ross sewed Old Glory. Mike “Hestor” Fealtman assists me directly with operations. Craig Williams is one of my main consultants. Andrew Rucker does a great job maintaining our website. Duane Wenger is our rover, he never has a specific job, but helps out in anyway he can. Jason Martin, of Martin Design Group, does the majority of our artwork, as well as our t-shirts. Jason Barshinger prints all of the NSCBBA decals that you see. Other artwork is provided by Promotion Graphics and GW Signs. Ron “DrakPak” Judd and Mike Root are two people that have helped out independently. We also were fortunate enough to pick-up several sponsors for last season [2007], if we didn’t have them, none of our accomplishments would have been possible

16. How can people get involved with the NSCBBA ?

There are a number of ways that people can join in. First and foremost, we invite anyone and everyone to participate in our events, the NSCBBA 2008 schedule of events should be posted by February. Also, folks can always order any of our different types and models of bean bag boards, order forms are available on our website and can be sent directly to my email. Private donations are common for our events, as well. In 2008 we will have more shirts out, too. Currently there is no specific membership availability, but people can simply show up and throw a few bags.

17. Any plans for some thing this winter ? Or are the tournament's only held in the summer ?

We will have our winter meeting in January, the first tournament for next year is slated for the Icebreaker on February 26th, 2008. That’s the one we call the Freezing Your Bagoff. Currently though, our main focus is the golf tournament we are planning for the Bill Kimmel Memorial Scholarship Fund, on May 22, 2008. After that we will have the 2nd Annual Kevin Gobrecht Challenge, at the end of June. The new event that is currently in the works is a pig roast, possibly to coincide with the Summer Nationals bag tournament. Funds raised from the pig roast would then go to the Penn State Children’s Hospital. We will finalize all of our plans early next year and get our schedule posted on our website soon after.

18. How can people get in touch with you? Maybe to hold a tournament, or just to donate time or money?

My email address is Or I’m easily reached on the Williams Grove Message Board.

19. Anything else you would like to add ?

We hope that people take our activities seriously, but at the same time, view us as your average race fans. Our main focus is to accomplish something productive while having fun, at the races.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

top 10 lincoln speedway stories for 2007

What a year at the pigeon hills half mile. 8 different drivers picked up wins in the 410 division with Fred Rhamer leading the way with 6 wins. Greg Hodnett was second with 5 wins. in the 358 division only 2 drivers where able to repeat as winners with Pat Cannon and Jeff Rohrbaugh being those drivers. in the thunder care division it was dominated by 2 drivers. Nat Tuckey and Duane Watson both had an outstanding year with a combined 18 wins. Here are the top stories coming out of lincoln speedway for the year.

10.Passing points

On October 20th lincoln decided to use passing points to see if it would make the heat races more exciting. With the racing being more even between the drivers this year, lincoln decided to try some thing different than the normal pill draw that usually happen for the last race of the season. Was it a success? I'm sure the drivers liked it as they have complained all year that they can not come from the middle of the pack all year and win races . This gives them a chance to run hard in the heats and have a chance to start closer to the front in the feature. With the driver who had the most passing points after the heats drawing an inversion pill of
0, 4, 6, and 8 it would make their jobs just a little easer.

9. Nat Tuckey dominates mid season
Nat Tuckey was on fire this year winning 11 features this season by the mid way point of the season. Nat then decided to sell off all his equipment and is going 358 late model racing next year.

8. New clay
The beginning of may saw lincoln put down 57 new truck loads of clay on the half mile. Lincoln had some major issues with the racing surface at the beginning of the season so the owners decided to put down the new clay. With the new surface in place the racing on staurday night was fast. With
the 410 sprinters clocking their fastest laps since the minimum weight rule took effect five years ago. Lincoln continued to have difficulties with the surface all year as Fred Putney just could not get a handle on the surface with the new tires. After talking to Fred one night after the races he said that he has never had to put so much water on the track, and no matter how much he puts on the new tires still dry out the track.Hopefully Fred will get everything straightened out for the '08 season.

7. The 1st. annual Kevin Gobrecht NSCBBA challange
The NSCBBA was proud to announce the date and time for the First Annual Kevin Gobrecht NSCBBA Challenge. The event was held in conjunction with the Kevin Gobrecht Memorial Fund.On June, 30th beginning at 2:30 p.m. the NSCBBA hosted a bean bag toss tournament, featuring 64 contestants, which was played on the infield grass at Lincoln Speedway, prior to the opening PA Speedweek show. 60 people participated in the tournament raising $2,000 for the Kevin Gobrecht memorial foundation.

6. 11 different winners in 13 358 races
What a year in the 358 division. With lincoln averaging 45 cars every time they where there, the 358's became the most competitive class at lincoln speedway. With the top drivers
starting in the back of the heats it made for some great racing for the fans. It was not uncommon to see 2 or 3 top teams running the b-main every week. The only 2 drivers who where able to win more than once where Pat Cannon and Jeff Rohrbaugh. Cannon came down for a few shows mid season and was tearing up the lincoln regulars until he decided to go back up to Selinsgrove speedway.

5. Cory Hass becomes all time win leader in the 358's

Cory Hass became the all time win leader by picking up the win on
Jun 2, 2007 when he was declared th winner of the 358 feature when an illegal top wing on the car of apparent winner Steve Owings resulted in an Owings disqualification. The win was the 12th of Haas’ Lincoln career, moving him one win ahead of Doug Esh on the all-time win list.

4.Thunder car points chase comes down to the wire
Heading into the season finale, duane Watson trailed defending track champion Neil Smith by 10 points. After missing a race earlier in the year, Watson chipped away at Neil Smith’s season-long point lead and was within striking distance in the final event.

But a sudden spin by the race-leading Walls on the seventh lap saw Smith make slight contact and suffered a flat tire and ducked to the pits to make repairs.

On the restart, with Smith at the rear, a multi-car accident in the third and fourth turns ended Smith’s title hopes with hard contact with other cars and was towed to the pits.

For the restart, Watson was now the leader and he led the rest of the way to pick up his seventh win of 2007 and 17th of his career en route to his first-ever track title. congrats to Duane watson on his championship.

3. Fred Rhamer wins his 10th points championship

Fred Rhamer claimed his 10th sprints title of his carrier in 2007 at lincoln speedway. He had 6 wins, 20 top 5's and 23 top 10's in claiming the title for the year.

2.Cory Hass claims his second straight 358 championship

Cory Haas secured his second straight and unprecedented fourth track title with his fourth-place finish. cory had 1 win,7 top 5's and 10 top 10's on his way to the title. He was mr. consistency all year at the pigeon hills half mile.

1. 151

Ten years ago, Steve Smith’s 150th and final win at Lincoln Speedway came in a May 4th All-Star Circuit of Champions show. He has sat at the top of the all-time Lincoln win list ever since. Until now. fred set the new record on Jun 16, 2007 by beating the all stars at lincoln.

"I’ve working at this since 1986," said a visibly emotional Rahmer in upon exiting the Chad and Jen Clemens-owned Miller Brothers Automotive/C&S Lawn and Landscaping/Materials Handling Systems #51, "And there are too many people to mention. Bud Lawrence, Joe Harz, Al Hamilton, Bob know I’m forgetting a lot of people and it won’t be right...but there’s a little bit of every deal I’ve been with in this. I’ve been with nothing but good people. Jim and Sandy (Kline) gave me a great ride last year. It’s a pretty emotional deal to tell the truth."

"I have so much respect for all the greats who have raced here," added Rahmer while being sprayed with champagne, "Bobby Allen’s here tonight...Mr. Smith...Kenny many great names...some that are still running here. Perseverance has kept me here long enough to get it done. I’ve never been in a bad race car. I have all of the sponsors that I started with still with me. Everybody knows me as a ‘no good SOB,’ but all the people around us I respect and I appreciate everything they’ve done.

Fred ended the season with 154 wins making him the all time winner at lincoln. Fred won his first race on June 27, 1987 .

Sunday, November 04, 2007

central pa racing scene

This is going to be a site where i will give my thoughts on every thing from the central pa racing scene. From 410 sprints, 358 sprints,thunder cars ,358 late models, to any other form of motor sports racing in central pa. I'm hoping to be able to get some good interviews with some of the different drivers in the divisions here in central pa. As well as giving you a little sneak peek into what is happening and what is being discussed as far as rule changes and how people believe that will effect the racing and drivers here in what many people think is the best racing area in the country. I will from time to time let my feelings be known on a subject as well.

We'll every one have a great winter and keep checking back for updates.