"I know you're reading these, but I don't know what you think about what you're reading. So, speak up and let me know. Tell me about some experience that whatever I'm spouting off about reminds you of. Call me names. Whatever.

You know, it's a blog? So blog me."

Distance Racing? 

Of all the sports that might be able to get started again before we're completely back to "normal," you'd think auto racing would be at the top of the list. If the experts figure golfers can keep far enough away from each other, what about a sport where you couldn't get yourself within six feet of the competition if you had to?

I suppose if they're really worried they always could start with Formula One racing. Those guys usually aren't within half a lap of each other.

September?!?!?!? 

I haven't posted to my blog since September? No excuse for that.

I did want to praise Fox Sports for this past Sunday's presentation of Miller High Life 400 race-coverage from 1986. I know Fox Sports-1 had I-racing with current Cup drivers competing. A cool idea, too, but it paled in comparison to Sunday's Fox race. I mean, Dale Earnhardt? Richard Petty? Bill Elliot? Bobby and Davey Allison?

And it was true shorttrack racing. Richmond was real. It wasn't a 21st century mega stadium. It was a shorttrack, rough, short, grizzled, historic and tight as a better with his last buck. And the cars? Tanks compared to today's slick cup cars.

Ken Squier and Benny Parsons, long gone from our lives as well as from racing, talked often about how racing at Richmond is a battle every inch of the way around it. There hardly was a straight body-panel left after the race saw the checkered. And yet nobody was complaining or pitching their helmets at a passing car. They just raced, taking what they had to and giving what they could.

NASCAR could learn a thing or two -- from itself! 

Mike Stefanik 

Was shocked to learn that driver Mike Stefanik was killed in a crash of a small airplane September 15, one day short of two years after another New England racing legend, Ted Christopher, lost his life in another airplane-accident.

Unlike too many young racecar-drivers in and out of NASCAR, these two guys were real. Neither of them might have "made it" in NASCAR's top Cup division, but mostly that was because neither particularly cared to. Make no mistake. Both were more than good enough. But, as with TC, Mike Stefanik  wanted to drive racecars, not be a racecar-star. Still, in my years covering racing for various media-outlets, Mike always was available, always was accommodating - and always was honest and candid.

Racing needs more Mike Stefaniks. They're the ones who make racing great, and as I've said before, the greatest racing often is found in our own backyards, on our bullrings, far away from giant racetracks, giant crowds, giant purses, and tiny glimpses of real racing we might see celebrated as the "big leagues" on TV.

I hope Mike finds a race in the sky. We know he'll be looking. God speed.

GO FAST. BE SMART! Is Here! 

Yeah, folks, my latest Red Racecar SPEED READER, GO FAST. BE SMART!, has finally been released, completing the three-book SPEED READER  series..

It follows our karting hero, Tyler Means, as he gets the chance to race an actual racecar, a midget, the fastest things on dirt. It's a dream come true, but it's also a chance to face the best racers he's ever raced, in a car with more power than a whole starting lineup of karts. Talk about getting an education!

Expect to see it on display when I visit Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park August 14 for the King of Beers 150 for modifieds. If you haven't started reading the first book in the Series, RACING JUNK, or the second, TURN RIGHT TO GO LEFT, we should have book sets on hand as well. These are short stories, meant to be "easy reading."

Check them all out on our homepage here.

Go Fast. Be Smart! 

The latest entry in my Speed Reader series featuring young racer Jason Merlo continues to present issues prior to publication.

I won't get into the details. It'll only get me ripped again. Just know that the book's been done for months. It's the publisher who keeps coming up with reasons for the delay in its publication.

Keep looking here for its release. I'll keep yelling at the publisher - who shall remain nameless.

...On Two Wheels 

Yeah, this is how I entertain myself these days.

My oldest bike, the 1972 Yamaha XS2, finally is on the road, after I sorted out the last couple of items on the rebuild-list. This is a vertical twin 650cc street bike that's so old it was styled after British twins like Triumphs and BSAs that once were what we called "big bikes."

There remain issues to deal with, of course, including an oil leak that seems to have come out of thin air. Still, this thing's a blast to ride, digging in when you gas it and handling much better now that I've adjusted the stiffness of the springs on the rear shocks to the max. Now the front end digs in, too.

In the meantime, my '78 XS750 Yamaha triple sits until I install a new headlight. The last time out the spot-weld on its retaining ring broke, and evidently the headlight went flying at speed. I say evidently as I never even knew it was gone until I got home and saw the headlight housing with the wire hanging out as if the bike had lost an eye.

Woonsocket Library Appearance 

Saturday, June 1, I'll be signing and selling at the Woonsocket, RI, Library.

I know I don't often do appearances at libraries or bookstores. I've found that the kids I want to read my racing books don't go to libraries and bookstores. I find them at racetracks and car shows. Yet with my new novel, "Henry Hits the Ball," I'm trying to reach mainstream readers, the kinds of folks who do go to libraries and bookstores..

Yet, I will have all of my "RED RACECAR" novels and "SPEED READERS"  on hand. So stop in . Libraries don't bite.

Indy WAY better than you know what... 

I don't know how anyone could watch Sunday's Indy 500 and then NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 and come away thinking that stock cars provide better racing.

Of course, Indy cars are faster, better-handling, better braking, and - well -  better racecars in every way. Indy cars never look as if they're just falling into line the way Monster Energy Cup cars always look like they do.

C'mon, NASCAR had to force phony checkered-flags and restarts into their events just to make it look like guys were really racing. Yet the most exciting restart by far Sunday came when Indy cars had to be red-flagged because of racing conditions - actual racing conditions. And never did the likes of Alexander Rossi appear to be "falling into line."

Yeah, NASCAR's "the Great American Racing Spectacle"  and that's enough for a lot of Americans. But the Indy 500 is the Great American Race despite what NASCAR paid to get the phrase trademarked. Of course, what's more American than paying to claim you're the best? In fact, money for some folks is the only measure that counts.

But remember the slogan "Racing is the greatest way to turn money into noise." When NASCAR claims it's the best racing in America, all that is, we should remember, is more noise.

MODS AT SEEKONK 

I think this is turning into an annual rant. But I think it's a good one, and worth considering. So here goes.

I grew up in Seekonk. It's a little town in eastern Mass., that isn't known for much of anything. Isn't much known at all for anything if you're not into motorsports, or sports in general, for that matter. But if you are a racefan, you likely have heard of the place, no matter where you live.

Seekonk Speedway bills itself as "The Acton-Track of the East." That's more than hype. I'm only one of many fans who would tell you that "The 'Konk" hosts the most competitive racing of any track in  - well, New England? The Northeast?  America?

The track's late patriarch, D. Anthony Venditti, never was afraid to lead the way in creating and introducing racecars and rules that opened the pits up to more teams than most weekly tracks could attract.  Venditti built the track for midgets, the tiny racecars that nonetheless are as fast as anything racing on the "shorttracks" that host most weekly racing. And when midgets got too expensive for most racers, he shifted focus to divisions of cars built from pieces of street vehicles. The modifieds allowed the most - well - modifications. Soon those too, got too rich for the blood of the typical weekend warrior.

So  Anthony created the "pro stock." Sure, it evolved into the "late model" that became the main course at most shorttracks. Seekonk still sold the pro stocks as a new division, even as different versions of late models were born and evolved. In their quest to stand out, Seekonk even created a "late model division" a step below its pro stocks. Yet they both are late models, just two varieties of the same dish.

Seekonk also has a "street stock" division. These cars allow little in the way of "racecar" parts in favor of salvaged pieces from junked street vehicles. Those parts are getting harder to come by. That especially is true with body sheet-metal, as most bodies now are part of a cars' whole structure and thus not ripe for peeling. So now those cars run "aftermarket" racecar bodies - just like the pro stocks, just like the late models.

What's my point? I forgot! Oh yeah, it's time to bring back the unique and distinctive modifieds to Seekonk.

I know they race at Seekonk, in special events for touring series. There are at least two touring series for mods, which are now thoroughbred machines that race at places like New Hampshire Speedway, where they'd be faster than NASCAR's TV-star Monster Energy Series if they didn't make the mods strangle their intake to slow them down.

The thing is, though, a lot of other tracks in the Northeast watched as their own modifieds got priced right out of weekly racing. So they started introducing divisions for less-expensive, simpler and more-restricted mods to return to the weekly wars. Those cars are out there, running at three tracks right next door in Connecticut, as well as points north. And know this. Some of the teams racing them would love to take a crack at Seekonk.

Further, there are tons of modifieds parked somewhere that could return to the track with more modest power and cheaper tires. Throw in one of the very crate motors allowed in Seekonk's fendered cars and I bet you'd see the field fill up fast.

It happened with the midgets, for one car. In the last few years a couple of more modest midget clubs led to many of those cars being dug out of the back of the barn. That's how I got to go midget racing. You can even race a more modest version of the otherwise monstrous supermods, the fastest cars racing on shorttracks anywhere. Folks could drop in one of those crate motors and mount some rock-hard tires and you'd resurrect a whole bunch of parked racecars.

So Seekonk, bring back the modifieds. You have nothing to fear but more action.

Book Launch Update for HENRY HITS THE BALL 

So now Stillwater Books in Pawtucket has HENRY HITS THE BALL, my latest work, in stock and for sale in anticipation of its launch at Stillwater April 20. 

HENRY HITS THE BALL tells the story of Henry Brademeier, who can hit a baseball better than anyone who’s ever played the game. He just can’t play the game. It’s my first mainstream novel, so I’m giving it a baptism with a party. We already have our list of odd points of baseball history - related to Henry’s story as well as my own - to use in our trivia contest. I await the delivery of the prizes; navy-blue T-shirts with the message “BEN MONDOR IS ROLLING OVER IN HIS GRAVE” defiantly displayed in BOSOX font. 

Stillwater will be selling the shirts, as well as HENRY. They also stock all of my RED RACECAR books for kids. There will be refreshments straight out of the bleachers, and I’ll be signing books, of course. 

Should be fun. Stillwater Books is at 175 Main St. in Pawtucket, RI, the future former home of Ben Mondor's Pawsox.