Heather Clark Awarded National F&C Worker of the Year at VIR Runoffs

Heather Clark, NCR Co-Flag Chief, and BoD Member-at-Large has been awarded the National Flagging & Communication Worker of the Year at the VIR Runoffs.

The SCCA press release stated, “The Flagging and Communications Worker of the Year is North Carolina Region’s Heather Clark. During her service to the SCCA Clark has served on the Region board, been Flag Chief and Assistant Chief for the last three years, and her experience and attitude has earned her the respect of fellow workers and drivers as she took on the role of a teacher and leader.”

Congratulations Heather! A well-deserved award!

Goblins Go cancelled…again!

Fellow Competitors and Volunteers:

As I write this, it’s mid-50’s at VIR with cars on track, but unfortunately, depending on which forecast you choose to believe, for next weekend it looks like a high of 38 to 41 with a strong possibility of wintry mix, to straight out snow with accumulation. Therefore, both NC Region and VIR believe we have no choice but to cancel next weekend’s scheduled race and time trial event.

As part of our agreement with VIR for this event, it was mutually agreed that either party could cancel a week prior due to weather or lack of participation, or both, without consequence, and although we have 102 cars pre-registered, the forecast looks ominous. There are only two things we know of that VIR shut downs for – flooding, and snow. We’ve already experienced one and are now about to experience the other, both within 60 days.

All registrations will be canceled on MotorsportReg and entry fees refunded in their entirety.

Sam Fouse, RE
Mark Senior, Race Chair
Eric Danielsen, Marketing Chair
Bruce Dover, Office Mgr & Registrar

My 1000th Facebook Friend

by Eric Danielsen

I don’t know whether to file this under “It’s a Small Racing World After All” or “Le Mans Magic,” maybe you can help me.

Tuesday, June 19th, Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris France – While waiting to board American Airlines flight 0787 which was delayed 45 minutes, a man approached me inquiring about my Le Mans marshal poste 8b & 9b shirt. I was on the final leg of my fifth journey marshaling the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the greatest road race in the world, and was more than happy to discuss the past weekend’s event.

Mike Taylor and his wife, Tina, were on their honeymoon, traveling to the UK then to Atlanta, GA, where they lived. They spectated the race and he was curious if I was involved. I asked if he was interested in seeing some trackside (off duty) video I recorded, to which he replied, “Sure!” and sat next to me.

He asked me where I was from, and I responded, “Virginia, VIR is my home track.” He told me he raced at VIR last April, SCCA Spring Sprints, and asked if I might have been on the turn 1 crew that recovered and returned his bumper cover. He wanted to say, “thank you.” I told him, “No, I hadn’t, I was running around taking pictures during that event.” Quickly I looked at the pictures on my phone since I had taken several of drivers and their cars.

Mike drives a Honda Civic in the STL class. It just so happened that I was on the false grid while that group was staging and had taken a few pics of some of the drivers getting ready to go on track.
Wow, there were two pictures of a racer putting in his earbuds, and he looked like the guy sitting next to me! I asked, “Is this you?” showing him the pictures.

It was! How incredible was that?

I asked if he would be my friend. He identified his Facebook profile on my phone and happily accepted my friend request. Then my boarding group was called, and with friendly waves, I departed.But that is not the end of the story.

Once safely home, I shared the tale and Mike’s picture with Heather Clark, Flag Chief of the VIR Spring Sprints. She quickly texted me a picture of herself and the turn 1 crew with a recovered bumper cover.

left to right: John Davison, Bill Forman, Heather Clark, Sam Via, and Cj Danielsen

There she is with a bumper cover on her ATV flanked by John Davison, Bill Forman, Sam Via and, would you have guessed it, my own son Cj!

Yep, that’s Mike Taylor’s #39 white, red, and black cover. I’m glad they retrieved it intact and returned it to be raced again.

The next day Facebook notifies me of my 1000th friend, Mike Taylor.

So now I ask you, should this be filed under “It’s a Small Racing World After All” or “Le Mans Magic”?

Working Out of Region

For years I have preached about going out of region to work races. In my SCCA Worker Career I have worked events at tracks in New England, Canada, the MidWest (Road America, IRP, Mid-O) and in the South, I have had a good time at each location and was well received at all.

This year Sara and I have gone up to New Jersey Motorsport Park (NJMP) three times to work with the folks in South Jersey Region. They are a small region, less than 500 members and can always use help. I only work Registration and Sara does Registration and T&S.

First event was their 12 hour “Devil In The Dark” enduro. Enduros in SCCA seem to be dying out. This may be a result of the growth of the American Endurance Racing (AER) series. We only had 14 entries at this event and 2 of those were for the optional lesser time races of 2 or 4 hours. Really a sad thing to observe. Will they repeat the event in 18? Who knows? I understand that the AER group was at The Glen that weekend which undoubtedly affected the NJMP field.

Then, in July we went up to do their Majors. The entry was decent, but nowhere near what we had this year, nor what DC region had for their Majors. For SJR, it was basically the last Majors in NEDIV. But we, as usual, enjoyed ourselves and had a good time. Although sitting in Registration throughout the 12 hours was boring. But with a book or two to read it was OK. And being a foodie I were well fed!

August 11-13 saw us return to NJMP for a Regional race. NEDIV scheduling did not help. An out of region DC MARRS was being held at Pitt Race the same weekend. So, we only had a whopping 90 entries. The Big Bore group had 2 cars but was reduced to 1 before we got to the track. That was really sad since they were expecting the V8 Racer Group that we entertained at the “Goblins Go” last year and are expecting again this year. So, leadership had a lot of juggling and rearranging to do. We even had one driver come in on Sunday to sign up because he got a call from a buddy telling him that another entry was needed. That was something! Tech got him taken care of right away and he was good to go. No idea as to where he finished since we generally leave after lunch on Sunday so we can get home to West Virginia before dark.

One thing you become aware of by going out of region is that all tracks are different. At NJMP Registration is in a building that also houses Tech and a lot of garage space for those wanting to rent same for the weekend. But we are right across from the tower and T&S delivers qualifying and race results at the end of each session. That same room is also where we have our lunch and dinner (plenty of room for that!), a Steward or 2 sitting in there, and the guys from Tech come in from time to time to cool off with the A/C.

The only part of going up to NJMP I don’t like is the drive. Under absolutely ideal circumstances it should be between 5 and 6 hours from our home in WV. BUT, and that is a big but, you have to go up I-95 and across the Delaware River. We take I-70 east from fairly close to home and then it’s I-695 north of Baltimore to I-95. Under ideal conditions, and we have had it once or twice, the traffic is not too heavy and is moving quite well. You pay a toll to cross the Susquehanna River ($8) going north but not south. Then the Delaware Turnpike (I-95) is $4 in either direction. Northbound over the Delaware is no toll, but you do pay southbound $4. Now here’s the kicker we found on the last trip. It was Friday and everybody and their brother was on NJ55 headed to the shore. On our previous trip, we took NJ49 after crossing the bridge and it is a nice trip scenic, urban (as much as South Jersey has) and about the same time. One reason I wanted to go that route on previous trips was I was hoping we would get close to the Nuclear power plant in Salem County that you can see downstream from the bridge. Well, never saw any signs to point me in that direction, but the drive still was pleasant.

I admit that it is a long haul to come up from NC, but if you can do it, you will be appreciated. Point of information: NJMP has 2 circuits, Thunderbolt 2.25 miles and Lightning 1.9 miles. Why those names? The site was the locale for when the Thunderbolt and Lightning fighter planes of WWII were built. The Millville Airport is next door and an excellent WWII museum is there. The track had hoped to join the two circuits so as to make a 3+ mile facility for some big time racing, but the plans had to be scrapped. Seems there is an area that they cannot do anything with. Might be some shells in the ground left over from that war. But there are a few WWII aircraft at the airport that can be viewed, including a British Spitfire of that era.

So, if you ever decide to give it a go, I’ll be glad to see you there.

Until the next story,

Stay warm, stay safe, stay above the sod

Bob Brookfield

A Few New Things

by Heather Clark

This year held quite a few firsts for me as an NCR-SCCA member. I became a Member-at-Large on the Board of Directors, attended the Runoffs held at Mid-Ohio and decided to become one of the three “wise guys” of F&C for the 2017 race season, which also means I’ll be a member of the Competition (Comp) Board.

I must have bumped my head or I am just a glutton for punishment, right?

As a Member-at-Large I’ve learned quite a bit about the operations of the region from planning, to making changes that have bettered the club as a whole, to carrying out/reviewing events. It takes time: emails – lots of emails; meetings – better attended in person than via teleconference as it’s much easier to hear and the food and beer at Piper’s Deli is amazing (to all those I text so you can understand what you’re hearing you’re welcome); and patience. Lots and lots of patience. I have another year to go in my stint as a Member-at-Large but have already gained much experience to add to my resume that I would never have obtained at my job. I very much look forward to the workings of the Board in 2017. Whether you choose to become a Board Member yourself, attend meetings, or submit feedback (positive feedback is needed as much as negative feedback), I highly suggest you do so.

Next: The Runoffs. I had never flagged the Runoffs in my 10 years as a flagger and the 2016 Runoffs were being held at Mid-Ohio which I was trying to get back to play at.

Quick background: went to Mid-O for the first time with Ben Tyler (his home track) for the 2013 Grand-Am event. This is the one during which Gustave Yacaman lit up the #6 Shank Ford. If you look this up on YouTube you’ll see two q-tips. Yes, that’s Ben and me. Since then I’ve been wanting to get back up there as I had a blast! This was my chance to do both. As it worked out, Ben and I went up for the Majors this past June during which time Mid-O threw everything it could think of at all of us at T-5 that Sunday…

Anyway, the Runoffs. Not to disappoint, I had a blast! There were many track family members there that I already knew, flaggers, drivers, crew members and EV alike, but I met many, many more. I would not say that the Runoffs were like Club events on crack, more like on steroids, but so much fun! Laughing trackside, giggling long into the night way up the hill, beer, trees on fire, some great racing…This particular visit I had yet another new experience. I was part of the team at T2 (the Keyhole) that helped tip the Mini Cooper back onto its wheels. I am yet again working on which events I’ll be able to get back to Mid-O for in 2017. I am also working on making it to the 2017 Runoffs at Indy as I’ve yet to go there.

Certainly not last, but last on this list: taking on being one of the Flag Chiefs for the region for 2017. Some of you may not know the following: Brian “Axle” Eldredge, Ben Tyler and I are relieving the three former wise guys (Eric Danielsen, Mark Biamonte and David Turner) of their Chief-like duties. They’ve done it a while and it’s time they got to go back and play trackside to brush up on their skills. The three of us have been to many tracks for events under various sanctioning bodies. We have experienced ways of performing F&C duties that may or may not work for our region. As Flag Chiefs we can affect positive changes within NCR’s F&C crew and ultimately helping strengthen the region as a whole. Plus, they said there’s beer? Or maybe it was that it will take much beer to make it as a Flag Chief. Hmmmmm.

Pete Romanowski Steps up to Chief Starter

by: Eric Danielsen

The NCR Board of Directors happily accepted Pete Romanowski’s offer to step into the position of Chief Starter. After James Buckberry passed away last month, his position needed to be filled. Pete is already Chief Starter for South Carolina Region and the Petit Le Mans. As a member of the North Carolina Region, it’s fitting that he volunteers to play Chief Starter at VIR.

He plays Chief so well. “I do it for the love of the sport” says Pete, “someone has to do it (Chief Starter), I’m the logical choice. I’ve stepped in for James before. Ten years ago at Kershaw, James asked me to be Chief for the first time, when he couldn’t make it,” Pete recalls.

He’s going to miss James Buckberry. “James and I were like brothers. We’d take care of each other. We’d talk after the races back at the hotel. James used to get up early and leave a cup of coffee for me outside my door. I’m going to miss the little things like that” Pete reminisces.

“I’m not going to do this forever. Hopefully by the end of next Spring I’ll have someone to take my place as Chief Starter” dreams Pete.

When asked, what is the key to success? Pete tells us, “Once the Green Flag is shown, Start becomes another corner station. It’s like a corner station with extra duties. That’s the way I’ve always felt about it”

He should know. He’s been flagging since the 70’s.

Romanowski’s first memory of racing was the sound of the cars. “It was in Europe somewhere; I only remember the sound.”

Born in Essen, West Germany in 1946 Pete was 10 years old when his family moved to Buffalo NY. The first race he remembers attending was the 1969 Can-Am race at Watkins Glen where he saw Bruce McLaren win. When he moved to Florida he began volunteering as a corner marshall at Palm Beach International Raceway “before they changed its name to Moroso. Now it’s back to PBIR,” Pete informs us.

“My ‘Swamp Rat’ name was ‘Bearded Rat,’” Pete shares, “ask Chuck (Stanley) what his ‘Swamp Rat’ name was.”

“We didn’t need a license back then; nobody thought about insurance. I started in 1976 and didn’t join SCCA until ’79.”

He’s “worked” all the stuff down in Florida: Daytona, Sebring, Pro, and Club races.

When there wasn’t a race, he would autocross, or drive in TSD rallies, or whatever else was going on that had to do with cars.

He received his National F&C License before getting National Starter. He’s worked as Corner Captain just about everywhere he’s been, most notably, as the Captain of Turn 5 during the 24-Hours of Daytona for 15 years.

Captains of the 24 staff their own turn and run it like a Flag Chief. “I recruited my own people, set up the rotation, and dealt with any problems. Sometimes I had to chew somebody out, I tell it like it is, but I never lost anybody…they always came back”, Pete says with his gravelly voice.

Known as “Uncle Pete” to countless flaggers, Romanowski has endeared himself to so many Marshals and Starters. As he keeps them “straight”, Pete never forgets the fun, “You gotta keep it fun, or they won’t come back.”

Pete obviously has fun with flags in his hand, because he’s been coming back for a long time. Rest assured he is not going to retire just yet, “I’m going to be wherever I’m needed,” he confirms.

James Buckberry

James Arthur Buckberry: July 3, 1950 – July 7, 2016

James Buckberry

by Bruce Dover

James Buckberry was many things to many people. He was a caring and loving father…”hard on the outside, but good on the inside”, to his son Justin. He was a proud grandfather to Owen and had just been told, about a week before he died, that there was another grandchild on the way. To his co-workers at Dell and elsewhere, he went by the nickname of “London”. In conversation, he was always ready with a witty comeback, followed by a big smile and laugh.

To those of us who worked with him through SCCA, he was a conscientious Starter with a penchant for enforcing pit out blend line violations. He even had custom shirts printed with “Don’t Violate Me” on the front, along with a diagram of the Blend line at pit out. He had one for Carolina Motorsports Park, in Kershaw, SC and one for VIR and loved to attend the morning Driver’s meeting at both tracks to show them off to the drivers and warn them of the consequences for the violation. He served as Chief Starter at both of those tracks. And, drivers knew when they saw him in the Start stand as they rolled down the straightaway looking for a green flag to start their race, that if they weren’t lined up properly, all they’d see was that big cowboy hat shaking back and forth, telling them to go around and try again. To Jamie D., he was a mentor, who helped usher Jamie from raw rookie (and I do mean raw!) all the way to his National license. There were lots of bumps along the way, but James was always there for Jamie. He was a unique individual and he will be sorely missed.

James was born in London, England in 1950 to George and Gladys Buckberry. His dad worked in an art gallery in London and his mum worked in an office. At the age of 16, he joined the Royal Marines…something he was very proud of and really enjoyed. According to his sister, he basically joined because he was a loner. He served 4 years active duty and 8 years in the reserves. While living in England, he married Christine and had two children, Karen and Ian. In 1986, at age 36, while working for Decision Date, he transferred to the United States. Just one year later, he joined the Sports Car Club of America. In 1989, he earned his U.S. citizenship. He was married to Terri from 1987 until 1995. Son Justin was born in 1986.

After a lifetime of smoking cigarettes, he was diagnosed with COPD toward the end of 2015. That forced him to carry an oxygen bottle around with him and made just climbing the steps to the Start stand at VIR a major effort…something that would leave him out of breath when he reached the top. He made the decision, around Christmas time last year, to step down from his position as Chief Starter and try some other specialty. He then asked the NCR Board of Directors to appoint someone else to that position. However, before that could take place, he had a serious heart-to-heart talk with his good friend, Pete Romanowski, who convinced him that his many years of experience as an SCCA Starter could best be used to train new Starters. Consequently, he withdrew the notice of his intent to resign.

The last SCCA function he attended was the West Chapter meeting on July 5th in Greensboro. He showed up wearing a “boot” and was on crutches. He had broken his foot by tripping over a stump while Justin and he were cutting limbs down in his yard 2 or 3 weeks earlier. Despite all that, he was still talking about going to Charlotte for the Daylight Into Darkness race in August! That was a Central Carolinas Region race and he was their Chief Starter, so he would find a way! That meeting of the West Chapter was held in a building owned by Jerry Pell and the Chapter members were having a cookout around back on the ground floor. The meeting itself was to be held upstairs and there was no elevator available, so James left early, after he’d had a little time to eat and socialize with the attendees.

Two days later, he was cutting his lawn and apparently had a heart attack. His next door neighbor saw him lying in the yard and called 911. James had died. He had just celebrated his 66th birthday 4 days earlier.

His funeral/memorial service was held on July 12th at the Loflin Funeral Home in Liberty, NC and was well attended by many NC Region members who came by to say their farewells.

In the wake of his death, a big void has been created. The Start stands at VIR and Kershaw will never be the same again. Many of us who worked with him will never again see a car cross a blend line without thinking of James. I know I surely won’t. 


(Below, left) The early days, prior to the Royal Marines. I’ll bet you could hear him coming a ways off with all that hardware dangling and jangling!

(Below, right) Newly recruited and all squared away!


(Below) With daughter Karen and son Ian in England.

(Below, left) Looking young and buff at Cherry Grove around 1989, with 3 year old Justin. Wait…Is that a shark?!

(Below, right) His first really big hat!

(Below) At Justin’s wedding with ex-wife Terri.

(Below) With newborn Owen.

(Below) Go ahead! I dare you!



Looking for something to do for the next 20 weeks?

If you’ve never worked or driven at a race somewhere other than VIR, you should know that traveling to new tracks can be a great way to meet new friends, build on existing friendships, and learn more about what we do! Anyone who has traveled around will agree. So, how about visiting one of these wonderful facilities:

Summit Point Raceway in Summit Point, WV – Host Region Washington D.C. Region. For more information visit WDCR’s website: WDC REGION

Charlotte Motor Speedway near Charlotte, NC – Host Region: Central Carolinas Region. For more information visit CCR’s website: CENTRAL CAROLINAS REGION

Road Atlanta near Braselton, GA – Host Region: Atlanta Region. For more information visit Atlanta Region’s website: ATLANTA REGION

Roebling Road Raceway near Savannah, GA – Host Region: Buccaneer Region. For more information visit Buccaneer Region’s website: BUCCANEER REGION

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course near Mansfield, OH – Host Regions: Ohio Valley Region and Cincinnati Region. For more information about working F&C visit Lake Erie Communications’ new website: LEC.  For information about working all other specialties, or driving, visit Ohio Valley Region’s website: OV REGION or Cincinnati Region’s website: CINCY REGION


Tired of the Snow and Cold Weather? Well, hang in there…racing season is coming!!

Does the recent weather have you feeling like this?

But you’d rather feel like these guys?

Well, worry not friends! The most wonderful time of the year is nearly upon us! That’s right! It’s almost racing season and this year, that’s not the only exciting news the North Carolina Region of the SCCA has in store for you!

Read it here first, folks:

Carolina Cup Pro Series
Returns to VIR!
March 12-13, 2016
March Into Spring at VIR
We’ll be running DOUBLE everything! That’s right – a Double SARRC, as well as Double ECR, Double TCPS and RETURNING THIS YEAR… Double CCPS races.
Drivers will be able to enter two enduros at once. ECR, TCPS and CCPS will run concurrently. Enter the 90 minute ECR and also run either the 45 minute TCPS or 45 minute CCPS at the same time!
For Majors drivers this is also a great opportunity to get some valuable practice time in on the cheap for the upcoming dual-conference Majors event at VIR.
Registration opens on Groundhog Day on MotorsportReg.
In case you were wondering –  the average daytime high in Danville, Virginia in early March is around 60˚F with the azaleas starting to bloom. Spring racing weather!

We’ve Lost Sam Overstreet!

The North Carolina Region has lost a dear friend. Sam Overstreet passed away early Friday morning, March 20th, after a lengthy illness. No services are planned and her husband, Mo, asks that you not contact him by phone. Also, if you’re going to send a card, don’t send a sad, gloomy one…try to be positive, maybe a fond remembrance of Sam. Mo’s had enough “sad” lately!

Chuck Stanley, former F&C Chief for NCR posted the following on Facebook:

“It’s been 24 hours since I woke to find a dear friend, a sister Warrior in White was finally rid of a most hideous disease that robbed us all of her being with us any longer. Sam fought with dignity, grace and the charm only she had. So many friends, so many stories and memories but one thing can also never be forgotten. Her loyalty grew loyalty and her dear husband, Mo, will always be remembered side by side, sharing his undying love for Sam while he supported her through this terminal journey. A chunk of my heart is in Sam’s hands and will remain, she was a true friend and compatriot no one can match. Rest in Peace my dear friend, your journey here is now through but save a spot on a corner in heaven and know all your friends here are looking still to your guidance.”

Some time back, Chuck wrote a Member Profile about Mo & Sam. see it here

The following obituary is from The News & Advance of Lynchburg, Va

Elda Prudden Overstreet, known by all as “Sam”, of Rustburg Va., died on Friday, March 20, 2015. Sam was born on December 14, 1946, in Perth Amboy, N.J. to the late Orrin Dwight Prudden and the late Elinor Cash Prudden. She attended and graduated from Stratford College in Danville, Va. and the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va. Sam married Michael “Mo” Overstreet on January 2, 1981, and they enjoyed 34 years of marriage together. In 2007, she retired from Framatome/Areva after thirty-two years. In addition to her parents, Sam was preceded in death by a brother, Neil Prudden. Sam leaves behind her husband, Mo; a sister-in-law, Betty Prudden of Indian Trail, N.C.; and four nieces, Liz Prudden of Charlotte, N.C., Alexandra Prudden of Brush Prairie, Wash., Meredith Goins of Maryville, Tenn., and Jenny Greene of Matthews, N.C. Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, macaroni and cheeses, etc., please consider making a donation in Sam’s memory at www.psp.org. Tharp Funeral Home, Lynchburg, is assisting the family, (434) 237-9424. To send condolences please go to www.tharpfuneralhome.com.