Thursday, November 30, 2023

Rookie owner Binks Motorsports nets 2 wins in Chili Bowl

Episode 417

January 16, 2023

Can a small team based in a relatively small garage win at Chili Bowl

Dan Binks wrenching on the #4 driven by 7-time USAC Silver Crown champion Kody Swanson at 37th Annual Chili Bowl in Tulsa, Oklahoma. ( Bo Ives photo)

Former Corvette Racing crew chief, Dan Binks, since his retirement from the Pratt & Miller run team has branched out into midget car racing on dirt. Working out of his 24 foot by 36 foot garage in Brighton, Michigan, Binks took the challenge because to him the Chili Bowl was the last of the “wild frontier”.

The lack of rules appealed to the innovative Binks. So much so, that he developed a three-cylinder version of the Chevy-based four-cylinder engine he prepped in the past. He ran the three-cylinder engine in the Darin Naida #3. (Thus the number 3 on Naida’s car).

Plenty of power in this wheelstanding Binks Motorsports three-cylinder powered midget driven by Darin Naida. The youngster’s #3 team had a win in the B Main Tuesday evening at the Chili Bowl. Win number one for Binks Motorsports. Not done yet. (Reitz Motorsports Photography photo)

The number 4P car driven by Kody Swanson found success on Tuesday evening with a win in the Qualifier race. Swanson led every lap. Watch the video below courtesy Darin Naida Racing. (Binks Motorsports photo)

Justin Seavey went on to win his first Golden Driller trophy followed closely by last year’s winner Tanner Thorson. Third place finisher, Oklahoma native Cannon McIntosh, led several laps in the finale yet fell victim to the restarts. Shane Golobic took fourth while Emerson Axsom rounded out the top five.


16-year-old Jade Avedision, Clovis, California, impressed several by becoming only the second female to make the Chili Bowl A-Main Saturday evening. (Kaylee Bryson in 2022 was the first). Avedision was named Rookie of the Year, the Jason Leffler Elbows Up Award, and “Fuzzy” Hahn Best performing Female Driver Award recipient. (DPC Media photo)

Ken Block joins list of racers who did not pass away on race track

It is not the way one would expect a daredevil like Ken Block to die. The following drivers did not die on the race track. My list is not complete, useful to show how others perished doing something other than racing.

The partial list:

Alan Kulwicki 38 years old NASCAR Winston Cup Champion 1992 died in plane crash April 1, 1993

Al Holbert, 42, 5-time IMSA Camel GT Champion, plane crash Columbus, Ohio after racing at Mid-Ohio September 30, 1988.

Casey Elliot, nephew of Bill Elliot, fierce NASCAR Busch Series competitor, cancer at age 21 January 14, 1996.

Ricky Hendrick, retired as driver in 2002 due to injuries. Managed Brian Vickers in Nextel Cup and Kyle Busch in Busch Series for Hendricks Motorsports. One of nine on Hendrick family plane which crashed October 24, 2004 near Martinsville Speedway.

Davey Allison, Daytona 500 winner 1992, son of Bobbie Allison, died in Davey’s helicopter crash at Talladega Superspeedway. Fellow “Alabama Gang” member Red Farmer survived the crash. Allison was 32 years-old.

Ken Block was riding his snowmobile near his home in Utah when ascending a steep slope, the sled fell backward onto him killing the California native. Block was 55 and leaves behind his wife Lucy and three children.

Ford produced this video memorializing Ken.

New England racers at Vintage World Championship Snowmobile Races

Several New England snowmobile racers who I have met over the years when they raced in the Tame the Track Snowmobile Racing Tour run by Jere Humphrey and others from New England made the trek to Eagle River, Wisconsin for the 22nd Vintage World Championship Snowmobile Races. I have heard area racers talking about this event as the pinnacle for round track events.


Daytona Gould, Dexter Maine finished 8th in the 440 FC final aboard his vintage Polaris. (Daytona Gould photo)

Justin Hartford, Wolfeboro, New Hampshire prepares to race his 440 Super Mod WC sled. Left to right is crewmember Shawn Berry, driver Justin Hartford, and owner Trell Hartford. Assisting on the crew was Duane Berry not in this photo. Hartford made it to the semi-finals in this class. In the 800 Super Mod he qualified 31st and got bumped out in the quarter finals. (Elizabeth Agnew Hartford photo)

Riley Hartford raced in the 10-12 Juniors class aboard his 1974 Yamaha 338. The 12-year-old Kingswood Regional Middle School member finished 3rd in his class. He and his mother were able to fly to the venue while his father, sister, and brother made the 20-hour trip pulling the Hartford Racing trailer. (Elizabeth Agnew Hartford photo)

Hailey Hartford prepares to enter the track for the 13-15- year-old Junior class at Eagle River, Wisconsin. She raced a Polaris TX 340 and placed 4th in her class. (Elizabeth Agnew Hartford photo)

Countdown to SnowBowl 2023 continues

With 45 days left to the largest snowmobile event in Maine for the 2023 snow season, preparations are ongoing as Caribou area prepares for 4 days of fun in the snow. The recent snowfall has perked up the snowmobile traffic. While outside my house I can hear the sleds winding it out on the Blackstone Siding trail.

Some of the SnowBowl sponsors. More are being added seemingly daily. The business community is solid behind this effort.

Let’s go racing

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:16)