‘Speedy’ Jack Monaghan!! I challenge you to go into any stock car track pit area in Ontario, Michigan or even Ohio and ask the first person you see: ‘Do you know Speedy Jack’?
I guarantee the answer will be, “Monaghan? Oh yeah, I’ve watched him for years,” or “I raced with him for years.” AND they will also say, “Good, hard racer!” We lost Jack last week at age 84; a man who had 326 wins in a long and very successful career.
I have some ‘Speedy’ stories to remember him. I was filling in for Sandy Harrison announcing at Delaware when the ‘taxi cabs’ replaced the Super Modifieds back in the mid-‘70s.
I went down into the pits after the first race to interview some of the drivers to write a story for the weekly program.
I met this shy driver with a ‘wall to wall’ smile and an ‘aw shucks’ way of talking. “My name is ‘Speedy’ Jack Monaghan.” But I used to be, “Jack Speedy Monaghan!” Much laughter ensued! I loved the guy from that first time.
In about 1987, ASA was running a doubleheader with the Sportsman Series at Cayuga and Jack showed up.
As there was already a #03 car in the Sportsman Series, Jack had to change his number. He did, to 63. I laughed and said he was the only guy with his age for a number. A punch in my shoulder was the reward for my joke!!
In the early ‘90s, CASCAR ran at Windsor’s Checkered Flag, where Jack was a partner. I said, “This would be a good place to build a race track!” … got me another punch in the shoulder.
About 1994, announcer Ron St. Clair got Jack and my son Paul to go on a London radio morning show to promote the upcoming McKerlie-Millen race.
Paul commented, on air, that he and his buddy Shawn Brooks, both aged about 10, used to wait down by the fence outside Corner 4 and would race their favourite driver, Jack, on down the front straightaway on the grass.
Next time I saw Jack, he came over to me at the track and said, “Your kid made me feel old on the radio.”
I laughed and said, “Jack, come on, you’re from OLDcastle!” You got it… another shoulder punch.
Nan used to start laughing whenever I walked over to see them as she knew I would have fun with Jack. I miss the both of them.
NASCAR PINTY’S SERIES: The series wraps up thing coming weekend with a Tripleheader at Delaware Speedway! This Friday night will be the Canadian Tire 125, which was rained out earlier at Autodrome Chaudière. They’ll run with the Qwick Wick Super Stocks that night.
And on Saturday night, the APC Late Model Series finale takes place at Delaware. The Pinty’s Series will be back on track on Delaware on Sunday for the Qwick Wick 125, which was rained out two weeks ago at Flamboro.
And after that, the Pinty’s Fall Brawl will decide the 2021 NASCAR Pinty’s Series championship!
FIVE… count ‘em… five great races over three days. It just doesn’t get any better than that! So BE THERE.
NASCAR CUP SERIES: What’s to say about Bristol? Saturday night’s race had everything that a race fan could hope for. Door-to-door racing, sometimes up to four-wide, wrecks, pit ‘battles’ both by the crews AND the drivers… and a great finish.
Kyle Larson won the race over Kevin Harvick who felt he had been held up by Chase Elliott (he was) as retaliation for an earlier ‘close encounter’ with Harvick – while leading – which sent Elliott to the pits to replace a cut tire.
They had a couple of discussions in the pits. William Byron finished third hoping the 4 & 5 cars would take each other out. Larson leads the points by 30 over Martin Truex, Jr. and Denny Hamlin by 35.
Aric Almirola, Tyler Reddick, Kurt Busch and Michael McDowell were eliminated from the Round of Sixteen. Their next race is Sunday night at 7 P.M. in Las Vegas Baby!!
XFINITY SERIES: Friday night at Bristol was WILD to say the least! AJ Allmendinger won the race crossing the line sideways, locked with Austin Cindric in second.
AJ had to be taken to the Infield Care Center per NASCAR protocols and the Winner’s Circle celebrations were delayed.
Riley Herbst had a front row seat for the finish as he ended up third. Canada’s Alex Labbé started 15th and finished 19th on the tough .533-mile, high-banked oval. Cindric and AJ are tied for the points lead with the advantage to Cindric who has 5 wins to 4 for AJ. Justin Allgaier lies third 24 points back. They run Saturday night at 7.30 in Las Vegas.
CAMPING WORLD TRUCKS: Chandler Smith won Thursday night’s race at Bristol ahead of Grant Enfinger and John Hunter Nemechek. Sheldon Creed had led 189 of the 200 laps but got ganged up on with a late race restart and cut a tire slowing to end up 19th, two laps down.
Creed leads the point by one over Nemechek and by 33 over Matt Crafton who is tied with Stewart Friesen. They race Friday night at 9 P.M. in Las Vegas.
NHRA: It would appear that the track prep gurus from Maple Grove didn’t make the trip to Charlotte!! Four Top Fuel pairs had ‘problems,” 8 Funny Cars, only 1 Pro Mod and 4, count ’em, 4 Pro Stocks.
Josh Hart topped low qualifier Brittany Force in Top Fuel with a holeshot. Tim Wilkerson nosed out Cruz Pedregon in Funny Car. Jose Gonzalez edged Mike Castellana in Pro Mod. Kyle Koretsky dropped Greg Anderson in Pro Stock while Angelle Sampey took out Joey Gladstone in Pro Stock Motorcycle. Joey had gotten into a very scary crash with Cory Reed in the second round which sent Cory away in the ambulance.
In the points, Brittany Force leads Steve Torrence by 21 points with Justin Ashley third 74 back. Ron Capps leads Matt Hagan by 5 and John Force by 25 in Funny Car. Greg Anderson has a 65-point lead over Erica Enders and 91 over Koretsky in Pro Stock. Steve Johnson has a 17-point lead over Angelle and 30 over Matt Smith in Pro Stock Bike.
INDYCAR: Monterey was ‘interesting’!! Colton Herta lead 91 out of the 95 laps with former F1 driver Romain Grosjean leading the other four. Alex Palou finished second just ahead of Grosjean who created the most excitement in the last laps coming through the field to impress a lot of people. Palou leads Pato O’Ward by 35 and Josef Newgarden by 48 in the points run. They run with IMSA this weekend at Long Beach.
FORMULA ONE: Their next race is this weekend in Sochi, Russia. Will it be Round 3 for the heavyweights, Hamilton and Verstappen? Stay tuned!!
IMSA: Their next race is this weekend in a double header with IndyCar in Long Beach.
Until next week!!