30th March 2012

Shaq recounts his Bentley binge

A short profile of basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal in the April issue of Vanity Fair includes the story of how he once bought three Bentleys on a whim.

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30th March 2012

Keith White holds off Ketterman and Egbert to take Modifieds feature at H.O.T.

Keith White was the IMCA Modified feature winner.

By Don Cook
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Heart O’ Texas Speedway (Waco)
March 23 (Friday)

Heart O’ Texas Speedway held it’s third racing event of the season Friday night. Even though several inches of rain had fallen in the area this week, the track was in good shape except for the water in the infield in turns three and four. Luckily no racer ended up in this area. 

In the IMCA Modified feature race, twenty-two cars started the 20-lap A-main. On the first lap, several cars were involved in a wreck that sent five cars to the pits. Starting from the middle of the field, Keith White, No. 1, and P.J. Egbert, No. 707, both worked their way to the front, with Egbert taking the lead briefly coming out of turn two, only to have White go hard into turn three and cut under Egbert to take the lead and the win. Coming in second was Ben Ketterman, No. 37, with P.J. Egbert settling for third.

To view a video of the IMCA Modified feature, click below:

 Brian Walker’s beautiful IMCA SportMod took second. 

In the IMCA SportMods feature, Chris Cogburn, No. 601, was first, Brian Walker, No. 9w, was second, and Trevor Egbert, No. 78, was third.

In the Street Stocks feature, Matt Hood, was the feature winner. Bobby Mercer Jr., No. 4, was second and Dewayne Harris was third.

Shannon Dulock was the IMCA Hobby Stock winner.

In the IMCA Hobby Stock A-main, Shannon Dulock, No. 47, was the winner. Cody Frank, No. 7, was second and Jeremy Oliver, No. 82, was third.

Greg Andrews was the Pure Stock feature winner.

Greg Andrews, No. 68, was the winner in Pure Stock feature. Cody Shaw, No. 9, was second and Ryan Hopkins, No. 4, was third.

Andrew Richards, the Driver of the week, was the Cruisers feature winner.

2011 Cruisers Champion Andrew Richards, No. 9, was the Cruisers feature winner. Steve Wade, No. 8w, was second and Marshall Sauseda, No. 11, was third.

In the Jr. Mini Stock, Jerry Kipp, No. 1, was your A-main winner. Taylor Florio, No. 21, was second and Robert Black Jr., No. 07, was third.

George White came from the back to take third.

In the Brazos Mini Sprints feature, Kyle Jones, No. 69, was first. D.J. Estes, No. 74, was second and George White, No. 10, was third.

A nice crowd was on hand to enjoy the races. Note water in the infield.

The races were delayed a few minutes while electricians removed a birds nest from the light box.

It was great to see Slider. To check out his Slider racing merchandise, go to: www.sliderracing.com

Driver of the week

To view a video of some racing highlights from the other classes, click below:

Next week H.O.T. will feature the Duel on the Brazos featuring the Life Partners Inc. sponsored ASCS Gulf South Region Sprints along with an all IMCA Show.

For OFFICIAL results and more information, go to: www.heartotexspeedway.com

To view some photos from the races, click below:


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30th March 2012

Star carriers

I arrived back from Brussels yesterday evening after attending this year’s CLEPA Reception and seeing union bodies such as the European Metalworkers Federation.

The flight was booked through UK carrier BMI, but was branded as Brussels Airlines. However, Brussels Airlines sub-contracts the route to Tyrolean Airways, an Austrian Airlines Group subsidiary. 
But, the safety card on board says Austrian Arrows, part of that Austrian Airlines grouping. And the whole edifice is owned by German carrier, Lufthansa.
And, you can’t check-in online despite having an email from BMI the day before as it’s a Brussels Airlines service. And BMI is itself the subject of a takeover.

I suppose its shows the interdependency of airlines these days and the power of alliances, but five different strands to one booking was interesting.

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30th March 2012

Manufacturing Troubles Remain a Drag on Recovery, Trade & Jobs

via The Seattle Times

by Jon Talton

Top of the News: The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index seems consistent with recovery, coming in at 53.6 for November; any number above 50 signifies expansion in the sector. Unfortunately, the reading sagged from 55.7 the month before, tripping up what economists had hoped would be a steady climb out of recession.

A deeper look shows that the index provides no relief for the biggest immediate problem facing Americans, unemployment. Only six of 18 manufacturing industries reported growth in employment. Only 11.7 million Americans worked manufacturing as of October. That compares with 17.3 million in October 1999.

Not only do manufacturing jobs pay better than their counterparts in service industries, they tend to add real value to economic activity (as opposed to selling mortgage swindles). They are also twined with our trade issues. Even fewer manufacturing jobs are now in industries that export, a key part of our huge manufacturing trade deficit.

Unfortunately, this phenomenon was happening even before the Great Recession. A report from the Economic Policy Institute shows that manufacturing employment between 1965 and 2000 never dipped below 16.5 million. This even as manufacturing shrank as a share of the economy (take out Boeing and it would be much smaller). This changed as imports surged after China joined the WTO and other Asian factory centers upped their game. By 2004, the number was lower than any time since 1950.

“It is often claimed that declines in manufacturing employment stem entirely from productivity growth,” according to EPI economist L. Josh Bivens. “However, rapid productivity growth is the norm, not the exception, in manufacturing. What is new about the manufacturing job crisis of the last four years is the sharp downturn in the ratio of domestic production to demand.”

Indeed, American steelmakers are shrinking yet again.

The Back Story: The official unemployment rate including discouraged workers and part-timers seeking full-time work is 17.5 percent. But Shadow Government Statistics, a provocative and reliable site, argues even this underestimates the problem. Try…22 percent.

Complete Article

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29th March 2012

Subaru Piston Slap


Subaru Piston Slap

If you have owned a Subaru for any length of time you may have heard the term “Piston Slap”.

In the video below I try to demonstrate what piston slap is and what causes it as well as the compression rings and oil control rings on a Subaru piston.   I want to stress that piston slap can be inherent in many other makes and models but because Subaru does not do too much in the area of sound deadening it can be more obvious in a Subaru than another make.

I also want to point out that in most cases piston slap poses no detrimental effect on the longevity of the engine and instead is just more of a nuisance than a concern.

Thanks for reading and watching.


Your Independent Subaru Expert

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29th March 2012

2013 Chevrolet Spark and Sonic Add GogoLink App

Just the Facts:

  • The 2013 Chevrolet Spark and Sonic will offer GogoLink, an embedded app that lets the driver’s smartphone work through the car’s infotainment system to deliver navigation and live traffic updates.
  • Drivers will be able to navigate using real-time 3D maps, make calls, watch movies and see slideshows on the 7-inch, high-resolution screen.
  • Consumers can test-drive GogoLink at a special kiosk in the Chevrolet exhibit the 2012 New York Auto Show. The app will be available in the fall.

NEW YORK — Chevrolet has added interest to the 2013 Spark and Sonic with an optional embedded app called GogoLink that lets the driver’s smartphone work through the car’s infotainment system and 7-inch, high-resolution touch screen to deliver cloud-based navigation and live traffic updates.

GogoLink connects the phone to the in-car display via Bluetooth or USB through the vehicle’s MyLink system, bringing certain features of the smartphone to a larger screen that’s easier to operate.

The heart of the app is a full-functioning navigation system complete with 3D maps. The Where am I? locator helps the driver see where he or she is in relation to the nearest hospital, Starbucks or other point of interest.

Of course, the phone feature works, too, so calls can be answered through the dashboard screen even while listening to the phone’s iPod, skimming photographs or watching a movie.

About 90 percent of Spark and Sonic buyers own smartphones, said Cristi Landy, Chevrolet marketing director for small cars, in a statement. “This technology is typically found on cars costing far more, but next-gen customers are accustomed to being connected. By using a smartphone app, Chevrolet found a smart and safe way to provide navigation.”

The app will be available in the fall, after the 2013 Spark goes on sale. The first Spark models will require an update at the dealer to install the app. While final pricing will be announced later, Chevrolet said it will be available for $50 for a limited time after its launch.

Consumers can test-drive GogoLink at a special kiosk in the Chevrolet exhibit the 2012 New York Auto Show.

A four-passenger, five-door hatchback, the 2013 Chevrolet Spark goes on sale this summer as the smallest entry in the brand’s U.S. passenger car lineup.

Inside Line says: Like having an iPad built into the dashboard.

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