Best Racing Surfaces; Where Do Drivers Get Their Car Numbers?

Date: 7/2/2011 8:47:07 PM

For Immediate Release With Our Thanks
Delmar, DE 19940
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Best Racing Surfaces; Where Do Drivers Get Their Car Numbers?
By Bonnie Nibblett
June 30, 2011
Delmar, DE…..The racing at the Delaware International Speedway every Saturday night continues to produce some really remarkable action packed racing.  Those drivers really know how to bring the crowd to chant for the winners.  That’s what the racing has been like on the dirt here in Delaware.
The last couple weeks with the dry weather and high temps, getting the ½ mile clay oval has been a challenge to say the least.  A dryer surface is okay, but the racing is not nearly as full of close racing, it’s more a follow the leader style plus one groove racing.  If that’s all you had, that would be better than no racing.
But the track owner/promoter Charlie Cathell does the best to make the field produce great racing.  He will go the extra mile to see that he & his crew makes every effort to make it a first-class track for racing.  And the last two weeks has been a big success. 
With the area so dry it really makes it difficult to create a heavy, fast, spongy and tacky surface to race on.  But when it is, the speeds are faster.  There’s more passing.  There’s more fender to fender rubbin, drag racing on the straightways, and three wide in the tight turns.  This racing execution produces fans that are not sure who won because they are dead-eye even to the checkered.  Well, the track has just been that way.  Every division has been producing tremendous features.
The URC Sprints visited back on June 18 and with speeds in qualifying times of 16.904 seconds and 106.484 MPH, or 17.055 seconds and 105.541 MPH for an example.  That’s pretty fast on a dirt track.  So now we know what a good track can create in racing.
Have you ever wondered how or why a driver picks his car number?  I thought it would be neat to randomly find out from time to time how our local drivers’ number came about.  I asked a handful of racers how they decided on the number of their stock car they drive today.
Big block modified driver Howard O’Neal uses the # 09 and admits the number is the day of his wife’s Birthday.  Scott Baker pilots the # 342 AC Delco Modified (crate) and the number was his Grandfathers fishing license number.  Joe Warren drives the # 11 Crate Model.  Joe use to run the quarter mile drag strip in Cecil Cty.  The track kept using the wrong # of 11 over & over and it finally stuck and just went ahead and started using the # 11.
2010 Defending Mod Lite Champion Brandon Dennis rides with the # 10.  When in school playing sports 10 was his number and just carried it from there.  Mod Lite driver Kirk Miles, Sr. is the first generation driver and son Curt Miles, Jr., is second generation driver.  They sport # 21 & 21JR, where Sr. liked NASCAR diver Morgan Sheppard when he drove for the Woods Brothers # 21. 
David Hill powers the # 75 & picked up his first win for 2011 season a couple weeks back.  David is a 2nd generation racer, and Larry Hill his Father, the 1st generation of Hill to race.  Larry said they used the # 6-bits which equaled $.75 cents.  In the mid 70’s slang term for money like 2-bits for a shave or hair cut meant $.50 cents or each bits represented $.25 cents.  "two bits" was a quarter of a dollar (25 cents), "four bits" was a half-dollar (50 cents) and "six bits" was 75 cents. So they turned the number to 75 later.  Today 3rd generation driver Derrike Hill (David’s Son) turned the number around and uses # 57.  The team also is superstitious of and does not allow any nuts in the pits or no cars with the color green.
Richard Jarvis, Sr. drove in the 70’s and used the # 68 after his Daughter’s (Shelley) year of birth.  Later down the road he teamed up with Boogie Hitchens who drove the # 80.  So Jarvis combined the two #’s to form # 680.  Today 2nd generation driver Richard Jarvis, Jr. sports the # 680 on his Super Late Model.
David Pettyjohn took the # 80 when he drove for Boogie Hitchens in the 80’s.  David liked the # so it stuck.  But his Father Eddie Pettyjohn drove the famous 8Ball, which came from them playing pool, thus the # 8Ball derived.  Today Son Mark Pettyjohn uses the 8Ball number.
While the sprints visited I spoke with the Veteran Kramer Williamson who runs the pink # 73.  Kramer said years ago he went to Silver Spring Speedway in PA and his favorite driver was Mugs McGuire using the # 72.  So he added one and made # 73.  The “Pink Panther” formatted from a 1967 pink Mustang he used to own. 
Bill Gallagher owner of the # 5G that the eight time URC Champion Curt Michael cruises got the # from when he drove quarter midgets using the # 5.  When Bill joined the URC Sprints the # 5 was taken so he added the G.  
Coming this weekend to the speedway is second “Topless Night” in all divisions.  See your favorite driver up close in the cock pit.  Gates open at 5PM, warm-ups at 7 PM.
Coming Tuesday, July 12, 2011 is the annual Camp Barnes Benefit Races.  Tickets are available, contact the tracks web site for more info at or call the track office 302-875-1911, M-F 9-4 PM.
Along with clay circle on the Delaware Motorsports Complex is the US 13 Dragway ¼ mile track.  The action has switched gears to Friday nights.  This Friday Summit ET racing series continues.  Gates will open at 3:30 PM and time trials begin at 4:30 PM. Visit the tracks web for upcoming events at or call the tracks hot line at 302-846-3968 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              302-846-3968      end_of_the_skype_highlighting. 
The US 13 Kart Club Track located on the complex as you enter the grounds will be running Friday night.  Gate open 5 PM, Practice at 7 PM.  The next state race is July 9, 2011.  Check the web at
I hope to bring more tib-bits about our local drivers as the season goes on.  If you have a driver you want to know more about catch me at the track or contact me at, using my email or follow me on Facebook.  Be sure to visit the largest racing message board on the shore powered by at  See you at the track!
Bonnie  Nibblett Your Delaware And Surrounding Tracks Race News Plus  NASCAR

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