RANSOMVILLE — Among the many go-kart drivers at Ransomville Speedway is 12-year-old Connor Mooradian of Lewiston, the son of Tom and Linda Mooradian.

Connor, a 2006 Empires National feature winner and the victor of six feature wins in the Junior I Division at the Big R last year, has moved up to the Junior II Division this year, under the direction of his crew chief-dad Tom Mooradian.

So far so good in 2007 with a top finish of second two weeks ago for the Lewiston-Porter sixth grader.

“You can’t expect to win every week,” Connor said. “You have to wait for your night and let the win come to you. Be patient.”

Connor’s hobbies include street hockey and his favorite pre-race meal is French fries.

While Talladega Nights is his favorite movie, Connor’s favorite NASCAR driver is Jeff Gordon.

Connor is sponsored by Original Pizza Logs.



Gordon, Chevysright on track



Turn One

After a rain delay, Jeff Gordon won his fourth race of the season at a rain-shortened Pocono 500 (only 107 of 200 laps were completed in a race that becomes official at the halfway point).

Denny Hamlin, who won both Pocono races last year, was sixth.

Gordon has a 242-point lead over Matt Kenseth. With a child due any time, Gordon has Mark Martin standing by in case he can’t make an upcoming race.

Hendrick Motorsports, which will welcome Dale Earnhardt Jr. next season, has won 10 of 14 races this year, while Chevys have won all but one race.

Ryan Newman finished second for the second straight week and David Ragan finished seventh in the Busch race.



Turn Two

This week, NASCAR heads to Michigan International Speedway. Built in 1968, Michigan is a 2-mile, D-shaped oval with 18-degree banking in turns, 12-degree banking on the front stretch and 5-degree on the backstretch. Kasey Kahn is the defending champion. The first winner in 1972 was David Pearson in a Mercury (Pearson went on to win at Michigan eight times).

My picks this week are Ryan Newman, Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Jeff Burton.



Turn Three

Where’s Waltrip?

After Michael Waltrip (28th) and Dale Jarrett (43rd) finally qualified for a race (Dover) two weeks ago, both failed to qualify for last week’s race at Pocono.

That makes 12 out of 14 misses for Waltrip and three out of the last four for Jarrett.

Waltrip is ranked 55th in points, 2,007 points behind Gordon, but at least he’s 52 points into the good.

With just four wins in 23 years of racing, maybe Waltrip should step down from racing and focus on being the owner of a three-car team. Think about it.



Turn Four

I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the passing last week of an icon in racing, Bill France Jr.

In 1972, France Jr. took over NASCAR from his father, Bill France Sr., and brought the sport to the level it is today.

All racing fans will miss him.



- Chad McCumbee has stepped into Kyle Petty’s No. 45, while Kyle takes the next six weeks off to do television commentary for TNT. Chad won the Arco Remax race Saturday and then Sunday, finished 25th at Pocono (while still being on the lead lap).

Well done.

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