To the general Western New York community, Dave Mitchell is the Jamestown police officer who was shot Sept. 15 while in the line of duty and lies in critical condition at the Erie County Medical Center.
To this area's auto racing community, Mitchell is a long time official who has served the sport in many capacities, currently as an official with the MBNA Cup Lite Racing Series. To MBNA series director Tim Bender, Mitchell is so much more.
"Dave has been one of our volunteer MBNA Cup Lite Series officials since the series started," said Bender. "Over the past 20 years, whenever his schedule would permit, he has helped me at almost every snowmobile and car race that I have raced in.
"He is the godfather of my son and most importantly to me, he is my lifelong and best friend in the world. At the snowmobile races he has done every job imaginable, never complaining, but his favorite (not really) was sitting under the sled on the cold floor of the trailer with melting snow dripping in his face changing razor sharp track studs with bloody fingers.
"At the NASCAR races it is as the pit stop gas man wielding 11-gallon fuel cans." Bender's thought's are also with Mitchell's wife, Christine, and their two children. Bender says that Mitchell was a champion high school and college wrestler and also won medals in the Police Olympics in wrestling, judo, boxing and racquetball.
Donations can be sent to The Dave Mitchell Family Benefit Fund, C/O Jamestown Teachers Credit Union, 915 East 2nd St., Jamestown 14701 or call 716-483-1650.
Glen ends season this weekend
Watkins Glen International will conclude the 1999 season this weekend with the running of the Bosch Sports Car Oktoberfest Weekend, Friday-Sunday.
The Barber Dodge Pro Series, featuring identically prepared, open-wheel Indy-style cars, powered by Dodge Motors, highlights activity.
Jeff Simmons and Todd Snyder are top Barber Dodge competitors.
The FIA GT Championship, featuring top drivers from Europe against American GT talent will also take center stage. Larry Schumacher and John O'Steen are top members of the 13-team American GT roster.
They will take on David Donohue, Karl Wendlinger and other featured European stars. The Motorola Cup and SCCA Pro-Spec Racer Series complete the slate.
On Friday, Pro Spec qualifying is at 10 a.m. with Barber Dodge qualifying at 11:20. More Pro Spec qualifying is at 2:40 p.m. with Motorola Cup qualifying at 5.
Saturday, the 16-lap Pro Spec race is at 9 a.m. FIA GT qualifying is at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The three hour Motorola Cup event begins at 1:30.
Sunday, the 40 minute Barber Dodge race is at 11 a.m. with the 500K FIA GT event at 1 p.m. Call 607- 535-2486 for information.
Salemi-Stawicki team hits road
The Pro-Modified team of crew chief Jim Salemi and Medina-based driver Mike Stawicki is hitting the road. The team will compete in Budd's Creek, Md., in the IHRA President's Cup this weekend. Then it's off to a Super Chevy Series race in Richmond, Oct. 8-10. The team hits the IHRA trail, Oct 15-17 in Shreveport, La., and then wraps up the traveling Oct. 23-25 with a Super Chevy stop in Gainesville , Fla.
Wyoming crowns champs
Wyoming County International Raceway has crowned their champions for 1999. Dan Domanowski, Late Models; J.C. Stout, Pro-Trucks; Jim Barber, Limited Modifieds; Jerry Harding Jr., Street Stocks and Bob Martell, Mini-Stocks are champions.
Wyoming County will host an open-competition non-point late season special, Saturday at 2 p.m. The Late Model-Pro Trucks, Limited Modifieds, Street Stocks, Four-cylinder Stocks and Pure Stocks are on the slate.
Woodring wins Valley feature
Local open-wheel standout, Eden's Mike Woodring, won the Mac Tools Empire Super Sprint feature last Saturday night at Little Valley Speedway and secured his fourth consecutive ESS season championship.