Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

January 17, 2014

Feeling emotional highs and lows

Racing community mourns St. Amant; Senneker honored in Michigan.

Kokomo Tribune

---- — It has been a week of mixed emotions as there were both highs and lows for members of the local racing community.

The bad news and good news is about drivers, crew members and the announcer at Anderson Speedway, names that are familiar to most racing fans in Indiana.

I was saddened to learn of the death of Bud St. Amant last Saturday while attending the ARCA/CRA banquet in Indianapolis.

St. Amant was well known in racing circles in the Midwest as a driver, crew chief and team owner. His son Gary, won two American Speed Association championships and competed many times at Anderson Speedway.

Bud was known for always willing to help a new team getting started, including six-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and countless others that came through the ASA ranks.

I first met Bud in 1993, along with his wife of 52 years Ruth, when I started working with ASA. He immediately offered a warm welcome and over the years I learned to appreciate his knowledge on how to get the best from a car.

Bud was one of the truly nice people in racing, along with Ruth, I don’t think I can ever remember them uttering a harsh word about anyone.

The good news earlier in the week was that Bob Senneker is being inducted into the Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame this Friday. Senneker made his mark with ASA as the all-time winning driver, a championship and lots of success at the Winchester 400.

Anderson Speedway track announcer Denny Adams will be honored at the event this Friday by the Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club as the recipient of the Tom Carnegie Track Announcer of the year.

Another name familiar in Indiana, Illinois driver Tom Jones, known as the “Zero Hero” is being inducted into that state’s motorsports hall of fame.

I’ll never forget Jones’ win at Jennerstown Speedway in the 1990s. He held off Mike Eddy for the victory in a race that was delayed by rain for one day. The delay allowed Jones to change a flat tire and go on to the victory.

At the CRA banquet Greenfield driver Kenny Tweedy, the series first champion, announced that he was stepping down as a driver to allow long-time team owner Ken Mullen the opportunity to find a driver that could bring sponsorship money to the team.

If Tweedy does retire he will be missed.

Rick Turner, the “Y-town Hustler” announced that he might only run a limited CRA Super Series schedule in 2014. Undoubtedly that will depend on sponsorship money.