RE REPORT - Paul Morrison

I want to thank all who were in attendance at the last meeting when we honored our award winners for 2005.

Christina Libecco is our member of the year for her outstanding accomplishments of winning FML class at the Solo Nationals.  She will be attending our drivers school and club racing this year.

Tom Nutter is our Rookie of the Year, and it is a great honor to be able to surprise someone who does so much for our region.

Jay Barker and Willie Harshman are our Workers of the Year and it was long past due that they are recognized for their efforts at our events.

Ray Boniface is our Regional Driver of the Year and has some new plans for moving his BMW to the EP class in the near future.

Gary Martz is our National Driver of the year, and after winning the NeDiv title the last two years it is an award well deserved.  He has a new car for this year so it will be interesting to follow his progress with it.

Mike Petrusko is our New Member of the Year, and it was a surprise to both he and his mother (Pam Petrusko) who were in the board meeting when the choices for these awards were made.  The board did wait until they had left the meeting to make the decision.

I have just returned from the NeDiv Roundtable in Reading.  While there I attended sessions on Registration, Preparation for Drivers School, Safety Equipment, Tech Inspection, Shaving Tires and the Club Racing Town Hall.  Because of the schedule conflicts there were other sessions on F&C, T&S and Sound Control that I couldn’t attend.  Everyone is gearing up for the racing season.

Remember our school is April 21, 22 & 23 and help is always appreciated and our National is May 26, 27 & 28.


I should have been at work today, but I wasn’t.  Instead I was attending the funeral for the son of a fellow SCCA member.  We all have done foolish things in our life.  Most of the time we dodge the bullet and continue on down the happy road of life.  Not this time.  A shame?  Yes.  A waste?  No.  John lived his too short life to the fullest and brought joy to all that crossed his path.  As I stood in the receiving line at the funeral home I was struck by the number of young people who seemed to harbor the heaviest load of grief and sadness.  More tears, more tissues, more shaking heads, more hugs from friends.  A sister two years younger.  An understanding came to me as I remembered that this person had not quite yet reached the third decade of life.  As I took my seat for the service I looked around at the number of fellow Club members.  Some had driven many hours and stayed overnight to be there.  Fellow competitors, wives, crew members, race workers, the reverend officiating over the service.  The SCCA family is strong and supportive.  At the reception following the service we couldn’t help it.  The talk naturally turned to racing, past, present and future. With it came anticipation and hope for the upcoming season.  One driver had already been south for early points.  Another is planning on getting back in the car after a year off.  Others spoke of their schedule for the season and the anticipation of again attending the Runoffs.  The strength that comes from our passion for the sport brought us support at a time of grief.

John Rush has asked me to contribute to the SPOKESMAN on a regular basis.  I have tentatively agreed as I hope my schedule affords me the time.  That being said, this is something I should have been doing more of all along.  I will attempt to bring more information and insight from my position as we go forward.  As I discovered today, the anticipation for the upcoming year is great.  The Club Racing season in well underway in the southern part of the country.  The first Driver School in the Northeast is just around the corner followed by the opening National at Summit Point.  In Solo, the National Tour just had its season opening event in Florida.  Regions are planning for the season.  Schedules are set with electronic registration allowing some to already be booked to capacity.  The national Rally Cross rules have been approved by the Board Of Directors as more growth is anticipated.  Plans are being made for Time Trials and Performance Driving Events.  The celebration of 100 years of racing in Pennsylvania will bring added exposure to Giant’s Despair Hill Climb and the Double National at Pocono.  In the fall we take our two largest events to a new venue.  Just a skip down the road for the Solo Nationals as they move to the new, baby smooth surface at Heartland Park Topeka.  Four weeks later the Runoffs invade after twelve years at Mid-Ohio.

For me and the rest of my fellow directors, we have the continued challenge of keeping our organization at the top of our sport.  Despite what you may read on the internet chat rooms, we are working diligently to face the issues that are in front of us.  Jim Julow, our new president, has assumed his position full time and is proving to be the quick study that we expected he would FROM OUR DIRECTOR - Brian Holtz (cont.)

be.  Competition from other organizations means that
we will have to face some changes in how we run our business and how we work with our customer base.  Improvements need to be made as we move forward.  Communication needs to be improved to keep the membership informed and fight the misinformation out there in the previously mentioned internet chatter.  I strongly believe that we are up to the task.

See you at the races,


MINUTES OF THE MARCH MEMBERSHIP MEETING submitted by Pam Petrusko, Secretary

RE Paul Morrison began the monthly meeting at 8:05 pm with introduction of officers and 28 people present.

The February minutes were approved as printed in TRACK on a motion by Sandi Kryder, second by Greg Grucella. Sandi Kryder gave the treasurer/membership report, “we have money, we have members.”

The school is in final preparations with additional information in April. Bill Kasmer will be Lead Instructor.

Annual Tech Inspection and Physical Examinations will be held at Nelson Ledges on March 19, 2006 from noon until 4. More information was printed in Track.

Scott Lane provided an update on the facilities. The schedule is the best they have had and as money becomes available additional upgrades will occur, see the website for details   “You should expect improvements on each visit. My sister and I appreciate you help.”


Member of the Year – Christina Libecco
 Christina is a 2005 National Solo Champion  and is looking forward to the challenge of road  racing.

Rookie of the Year – Tom Nutter
 “Just cuz we’re willing to try it, doesn’t mean we  know what we’re doing” is a great motto for a  driver that’s “having a lot of fun.”

National Driver of the Year  - Gary Martz
 You know the old saying – ‘a bad day at the  track is better than anything else.’

Regional Driver of the Year – Ray Boniface
 Ray’s wife presented him with driver school  registration on his 40th birthday. He started out  “just hoping to not finish last.”

Workers of the Year – Willie Harshman and Jay Barker
 They  realize most people don’t want to see  them coming down the track, but it is “fun to see  the other half’s expression when we bring in a
mangled car.”

New Member of the Year – Mike Petrusko
 Mike stepped up to assist the MVR and he  doesn’t have gray hair, yet. Like quite a few  drivers, “I got sucked in by Fun Days.”

The Grover Griggs Award is now retired and the plaque was presented to Paul Morrison as the last recipient. The Award will be placed in the Martha McGill Room on race days. Grover is noted for designing the tire wall at Nelson Ledges Road Track. Tom Nutter remembers competing in auto-cross on his farm in North Jackson “many moons” ago with his Bugeye Sprite.

Meeting adjourned on a motion by Gary Martz, second by Sandi Kryder at 8:36 PM


Event Summary

When we departed New England, we had just spent 10 days weathering unrelenting rain and threats of imminent flash floods. Could we really be in our right minds seeking relief from the wet at Nelson Ledges?

What a wonderful surprise greeted us in Eastern Ohio with balmy temperatures, sunny skies and little puffballs of clouds scudding about.  As we arrived at the track, we found the natives stumbling about sunstruck and pulling off their Whellies to search for a speck of the ubiquitous Ledges muck.  Gad, the place was dry, no mud, rigs and race cars sitting on top of the ground and everyone attending rejoicing to the sound of flushing toilets.  A quick check at Registration with the Legend of the Ledges, Sandi Kryder, reassured us that we had, indeed, arrived at the right place.

Thus, began a delightful weekend celebrating the Golden Harvest Double Regional at Nelson Ledges.  Turnout was excellent with 156 cars turning a wheel in competition.  This would be the largest Regional of the Season, rivaled only by the National event held earlier in the summer.   Fortunately, the composition of the Race Groups was well-thought and only one modification was necessary to accommodate the large

Entry (see RFA #1).  In keeping with the pattern of entries throughout 2005, twenty-five SM arrived in force to claim their own Race Group 1A.

Aforementioned Registration was a very pleasant experience, starting with a warm and dry indoor facility that was bright and cheery and welcoming.  Chief Registrar, Dorothy Harrington, and her team went out of their way to make registering a fast and friendly experience.  Division Administrator for Registration, Terry Roberts, was pleased to learn that Registration had opened early at 3 p.m. to accommodate the large entry and minimize long lines.  When we arrived at 6:30 p.m. there were no lines, and the majority of the Entrants were already in their Paddock.  It was real nice to see the pros playing heads up.

In the Paddock, we found that Chief Scruitineer, Chris Himes, had also opened Tech early, and by 7 p.m. had processed most of the gear Tech.  This gave Chris and his crew ample time to deal with a few Annual Tech requests Saturday evening.

Warm and friendly are the bywords for the Mahoning Valley folks.  Their laid back approach to a race event, however, belies a very professional and serious effort to deliver an exceptionally well-run event.  Chief Steward, Sarah Bonnier, got things started with Drivers Meetings on Saturday morning.  She conducted these at a full Impound following each Practice session.  These small meetings gave her the drivers undivided attention and ensured that everyone was focussed on safe driving. The inclusion of the Operating Steward responsible for each Race Group was a great idea that that made sure everyone knew who would be “in-charge”.  The outcome of this face-to-face and candid discussion of race operations was a very sportsmanlike event that involved no Protests.

Bright and fresh on Saturday morning, Chief of F&C, Laurie Burkons, called a Flag Meeting to review operations. She noted that sixteen Flaggers left the two-mile track rather thinly covered and organized her Station assignments to accommodate.  Laurie informed me that all of the Flaggers were experienced and their performance over the two days was excellent.

The combination of an experienced crew of Flaggers and an outstanding Emergency Services organization proved remarkably effective in dealing with Track Incidents. Harshman & Sons has provided Emergency Services at Nelson Ledges for over twenty years.  They know the Track intimately and are extremely proficient in managing vehicle extractions on a live track.  I personally observed a masterful extraction that would have required a Black Flag All at most other tracks in the Division.  Course Marshall, Pie Schoenemon, works very closely with these folks and their communication was excellent.

The weather was not so kind on Sunday.  It opened overcast and quite cold.  A late finish on Saturday prompted a Request to modify the Schedule (RFA#2).  The addition of an eighth Race Group had caused Operations to run quite late on Saturday.  Concern for racing on a darkening track in the late afternoon, and the very cold working conditions, led to a decision to shorten the Qualifying Sessions to 15 minutes and the Races to 15 laps.


Chief Steward, Sarah Bonnier, advised me that there was concern about the Supplementary Regulations.  Apparently, a draft version of the Regulations was used in the Entry Blank.  For two weeks prior to the event, Sarah tried to get a copy of the approved Regulations from the Club Racing office.  She was only successful in obtaining a Fax copy on Friday prior to the event.

Fortunately, a word-for-word comparison of the draft and
approved versions showed only minor grammatical
differences.  This problem is very uncharacteristic of the excellent service we receive from Club Racing and, as time permits, needs some investigation.

Relations with Track Management at Nelson Ledges are excellent.  The new management is enthusiastic and committed to upgrading the Track to first class condition.  Major improvements have been made in the infrastructure, including hot showers and facilities for men and women, substantial filling and grading in the swampy areas of the Paddock, finishing and fitments in the Control Tower, and a major re-working of the runoff area, driver’s left at Station four.  Banding of tire walls in impact zones is continuing, as well as substantial cutting back and removal of brush and trees along the side of the Track. Every effort should be made to encourage and support Management to continue these improvements.

Management has been made aware of a need for an Armco barrier to protect workers at Station eleven and has agreed to evaluate how this can be best done.  This Observer noted that several protective barriers in front of Flag Stations involve loosely woven tires.  An impact into these barriers would easily cause the tires to fly over the barriers.  Banding or bolting is recommended.
Mahoning Valley and Nelson Ledges are a great experience.  You owe it to yourself to get there soon and often.


Bill Kasmer will be our Chief Instructor.   Entry forms have been mailed out.  They will be on the MVR website and the Kryderacing website.

I am begging all of you now - please come out and work.
You do not need a license to work only an SCCA membership.  If you know of someone who might be interested in getting involved with SCCA, we have Temporary Memberships available for $15.00.  We always need help in Tech, T&S, Pit & Grid, Sound, Registration and on F&C.  The school is a great time to
learn a new specialty.

MVR provides lunches both Saturday & Sunday and dinner on Saturday.


Minor waiver forms may be executed by the parents/legal guardians away from the event.  However, the waivers must be "received" and signed for on the waiver form by an Adult SCCA Member AT the event as part of the registration process.  A region may, at its option, require the parents to sign the waiver in the presence of an event official or have the form notarized prior to the event.

Minor drivers, passengers, course worker (and any other minor whose official capacity requires him/her to enter a "hot" area), MUST have a waiver on file that is signed
by BOTH parents/legal guardians.  "HOT" areas may be defined by the region (in compliance with the applicable SCCA event rules) but must include, at a minimum, the course and grid/staging areas.  Other minors may be admitted to non-hot areas on a per event basis with a waiver signed by just one parent/guardian.  It is highly recommended that both parents/guardians sign the waiver.

Minor waiver forms may be issued on an annual/multi-event basis (good for the calendar year) IF both parents/legal guardians sign the waiver.  The waiver must be filled out as "ALL SCCA EVENTS" and "ALL DATES" in the appropriate section at the top of the waiver form.


We have 200 members including dual memberships.

Happy Birthday Wishes to:

Ron Baldine    4/9
Tom Bumgardner   4/15
Patrick Cavanaugh   4/3
Jeremy Cesene    4/29
Doug Marsh    4/14
Vic Marsh    4/30
Vicki Nutter    4/19
Brandon Nutter    4/12
Steve Selmants    4/21
Tim Walton    4/14
Dave Widomski    4/28

April renewal reminder to the following:

Jennifer Badger
Ray & Barb Barnhart
Mike & Pat Besselman
Tora Bonnier
Thomas Bumgardner
Mark Fickenscher
Richard Lyons
Julia Raccio
Robert & Ruth Soltis
The Vernis Family


Free to Mahoning Valley, Neohio, Misery Bay, Steel Cities and Western New York Regions members.  Ads will run 3 consecutive times (asterisks at the beginning of the ad indicates how many times the ad has run).  Ads must be resubmitted after their 3rd run.

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13B Engine/Spare Engine $500.00
4.6 Rear Gear & GSL-SE Axle Tube $800.00
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* FOR RENT: ITS Nissan 240SX or ITA NX2000 for Regionals or Driver Schools. Kryderacing - 330-854-4889.

*RACE CAR PREP:  Kryderacing offers race car preparation, chassis set up, trackside services, race car transportation, etc.   Check out their Website

** FOR SALE:  "Drill Press, 16 speed floor model, 6" throat, MT#2 quill, 5/8" chuck, and 3/4 hp motor $100 OBO, Bill Kasmer 330-547-2576"

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**FOR SALE: Panoz Racing School $3,500. Contact Walt Morris at

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**FOR SALE:  1989 ITC Honda Civic Hatchback Standard-Finished 3rd in 2005 Kryderacing series in ITC.  Eibach springs, Ground Control coil-overs, Bilstein shocks, on-board fire system, legal custom roll cage, Neuspeed front tower brace, 3 sets of alloy wheels (2 sets mounted with Hoosier drys and 1 set with Dirtstockers), 7 extra (partially worn) Hoosier drys,  and other spares. In-car radio wiring harness and rooftop antenna.-$7,000.  2000 Car*Mate Enclosed Trailer, 20’X8’, electric brakes, cabinets, two new tires, weight equalizing hitch and stabilizer, Small scrape on lower part on left side of trailer.-$4,300   1998 Ford F150 XLT Flareside-40,500 miles, very good to excellent shape, auto, air, pw, pl, bed liner and tonneau, rear ABS, AM-FM Cassette, Alloy Wheels,-$8,500. Buy individually or all for the amazingly low-price of $19,000.  Clear titles for all units. Call Tom Berchin @ 412 469-2195 or email at

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TRACK is the official monthly publications of the MAHONING VALLEY REGION of SCCA INC.

Material herein may be reprinted, provided it is clearly credit to the author, to MAHONING VALLEY REGION and to TRACK.

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