The Cows.

When I first ran the sprint car we would tow from Central New York to Central Pennsylvania.  It was about 5 hours or so.  When we left at noon, we had no idea if the weather was going to change or if we would get rained out that night.   As we made our way from the interstate through the PA farm lands, past Selinsgrove and on to Port Royal we would pass a lot of cows.

Now there's an old wives tale that says if the cows are laying down, it's going to rain, so we'd look at the cows and guage our chances with the weather.

cow.jpg (2883 bytes)

After a number of trips to Port, Whip began to notice that if the cows were standing, things would go well for us and if some of the cows were standing and some were laying down, that things would go wrong.  We joked about it a few times on the way home.  "We had a good nite... Cows were all standing."  Or "Some of the cows were laying down, THAT'S why we had the problem".

cows mixed.jpg (2385 bytes)

Well this went on for a number of weeks and it started getting serious.   If we saw some cows up and some down, then it would get real quiet and everyone would just look ahead like they didn't see them.  But we all knew we had mixed cows and it was a bad omen.

One nite at Port, Lynn Paxton was flying in the Boops Aluminum #1 car.  He had won a lot of features that season.  He was lapping me in the 4th turn and did a slide job that didn't clear.  His RR slapped my left front and I ended up climbing the concrete wall and flipping a couple of times in the front straighaway.   It happened right in front of the emergency crew and they were there immediately.   It looked worse than it was.

I was trying to get out of the car, around the wadded up wing, and the emergency people were all over me trying to make sure I was OK.  You know...    the first thing they do is ask a bunch of questions to see if you got your bell rung.   Well as soon as I got my helmet off, I looked right at the EMT and said "Damn Cows".  "Are you alright?", she asked.  "Yeah I''m OK".   Who is the president?  Huh?  I'm more concerned about how they are going to tow the car in, but this EMT won't leave me alone.  I'm sure she thought I was goofy.  After a few minutes she realized I wasn't going to get in the ambulance and gave up but I'm sure she spread the story around. 

After that, when we pulled in the pits, people would ask, "How's the cows tonite?".  "Just keep 'em standin'.... I'd say.

Qwirky little number things

My father built the first back yard kart when I was five years old and he put
number 5 on it, I guess because that was my age.   When he built the next
one I was ten and he numbered that one 10.

When I started racing karts, I liked the number 5 and used it for a year
or so.  Then we went to a track near Rochester and when I signed in they
said that the number 5 was taken.  Then they told me that all numbers
from 0 to 99 were reserved for club members.  They had sheets with the
numbers on them and names next to them.   You had to sign next to a
number.  I quickly scanned the paged and picked 180.

They gave me some numbers to put on the panel and I adopted that number
for the rest of kart racing.

When I took the midget to get it lettered, he asked what number and I
told him 180.  I remember he said "that will make it look like a
PT boat",  so I said then just make it 80.

When I bought the first sprint car it had 68 on it.   We connected the gap in the 6
to make it an 8 and painted over the middle of the 8 to make a 0,  until
we got around to repainting the car.

80 keeps popping up.  I lived at 5180 and still own the place after we
moved to 5480 down the road.  Account numbers come up with 80 this or
that.  I guess there is a 5 in the house numbers too.

When I ran with ARDC midgets, there was another number 80 car so
they always made us 80x.  Half way through the season we decided that we
would change the number so that we wouldn't have to be ..X car.  So we
chose 90 and spent the week repainting the car with a big 90 embedded in
the paint job.  When we got to the track we found that Paul Weisel, long
time ARDC member, had come to race for the first time that season.  He
got there first and was number 90.  So we signed in and we were 90x.

After that I went back to 80 the next year.

In the sprints my car was always 80 and when there were duplicates, 80w.

I drove the 35 for Harry, the modified at Syracuse was 777, I was in
Skip Stoner's 100 sprinter once.

Then when I drove for Rick Dumigan and it was in his his family's traditional number 90.
George Ely also runs 90 where we were racing so we would be 90D on

In the past few years the number 44 had been popping up a lot.  No
special significance about the number other than it was occurring
randomly on things so often and blatantly that I couldn't help but
notice it.  When I went to look at the car I bought in the fall of 2002,
it was number 44.  I thought that was a good sign.  After I bought the
car, I took it to a race at Five Mile Point and ran it with the 44 on
it.  A guy with a modified pulled in and pitted next to us.  I looked over and
saw that it was number 44.

I thought about running the car as 44 but have decided to change it to
80 or 80w if need be.  It's an identity thing and it just feels more

2003- Well the number thing never ends.  We get to the first race in '03 and there is another 80.  Even though I had registered the number first, they had registered us both as 80 and so I ended up running 80w.  The other guy just chose 80 out of the blue, but he's going to stick with it.  So be it, but he has to know he is just borrowing it. 

AT the end of 2003 we bought a used car and it had 14 on it.   I raced it as 14 at Rolling Wheels in October.

Update 2004 - I decided to avoid confusion and go with 180 for 2004.  This will be the first time I've used this number since the go kart days.

The other #80s are not around anymore so we are going back to 80 for 2006.