Gary Rowe - CPA
Dougs dirt diary
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Saturday, August 6th 2011
    New on the Audio Page from the Brewerton Speedway:
 
Stephen Denton told me what went wrong with his Sportsman and the work he has to do today.
Rich Scagliotta recapped his recent races that included Canada for a Super DIRTcar Series show.
Dale Planck talked about his small block series win at Cornwall and the tough day at Merrittville.
Stewart Friesen ran down how he did at Merrittville and then on Thursday’s race at Grandview.
Alan Johnson told me about the new sheet metal he had on his Modified and why he switched cars.
Mike Mahaney explained what they found wrong with his car and how he did in his last race.
 
After the heat races:
 
Mike Mahaney won the first Modified heat race of the night and told me how his racecar felt.
Pat O’Brien got the win in his heat for the 3rd week in a row and remembered his last few features.
Tony Steiner led every lap in his heat win and wondered if his asphalt racing helped on the clay.
Claude Hutchings Jr. went from sixth to first in one corner and talked about his heat win.
Jim Money made a nice pass for the lead in his heat and told me about passing another Mustang.
 
After the feature races:
 
Matt Fink reacted to winning his first ever Modified feature race by leading every lap at Brewerton.
Mike Mahaney finished in second and wondered if a late race caution helped him keep the spot.
Stewart Friesen came home in third place and talked about the fun he was having in turn two.
Chuck Bower explained how he got on his side in the feature and how the car drove afterwards.
Claude Hutchings Jr. won his first feature of the season and talked about his Four Cylinder Saab.
 
I had a fun night on Friday as I went to the D Shaped Dirt Demon. The Vintage Cars joined the show and I must tell you that I really like the way that divisions is going as it is great to see these museum pieces out on the track. Yes, I really enjoyed it!
 
As always I had my recorder and camera with me. I recorded 25 interviews and took over 80 photos. I was focused on taking pictures as on nights when I race I am not able to get as many. So with Claude Jr. running the Saab, I was able to take a lot more. 
 
Congratulations go out to Matt Fink on his first career Modified win. He led all 35 laps and even survived a yellow flag with just one to go. I did do a pre race interview with him and that will be later in the week as he told me about a shock change he made after hot laps and why. So look for that later in the week.
 
I also got the entire top three as well as Chuck Bower who did one of the slowest rolls onto his side I have ever seen. Fortunately for Chuck, he was able to drive away and finish the race although from an interview he did with me it sounds like they still have a lot of work to do.
 
The Modifieds were strong with 27 cars in the pit area and all the divisions had solid car counts on this night which is not all that common in the racing world at this time of the year. So obviously things are working well at this track.
 
The spectator races were good too and a driver who may soon be known as a ringer won yet again. They even ran him against the pace car but the Honda was fast and would not be denied. I am happy to see these races making a comeback as the crowd really does love them. 
 
Congratulations also go out to Jeff Isabell Sr., Kevan Cook and Claude Hutchings Jr. on their feature wins. And yes, Claude drove the Tired Iron Saab on Friday night for two reasons. He is going back to college soon and wanted to get back in his comfortable ride and they are trying to fix an issue with the right front and as a rookie I would not be able to give them good feedback. 
 
Not sure what I will be doing today as I may stay home to deal with some things here and then hit Utica Rome tomorrow. We’ll be back in the Saab next week for autograph night and we are also planning a trip with me to Thunder Mountain to run in their Outlaw Four Cylinder class. Claude Sr. says I am ready to travel and I trust him explicitly. 
 
I hope you all stay dry today and wish you all the best with your Saturday plans. And be sure to come back tomorrow for more from my Friday at Brewerton. I will also be going to Penn Can on Tuesday for their mid week special. See ya tomorrow so be safe, be fast and have fun! 

 
Friday, August 5th 2011
    New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Steve Way described how the month of July went for him and how up and down it has been.
Kenny Hammond told me about the track he hot lapped on and how Skyline has been this year.
George Dyer talked about the need for some bite and described the conditions he’s dealing with.
Dan LaShure is new to racing this year and told me how his rookie season has been going so far.
John Cooper spoke about his hopes for win number one with his Pure Stock at Skyline Raceway.
 
As you can see we welcome a lot of new racers to the site today as all but one of the chats we have are with people we have never interviewed before. So take some time and listen to their stories and learn about some new people who race just as hard as the big boys. Enjoy.
 
I am not sure what I am doing today just yet and the rest of the weekend sounds a bit iffy. I know a lot of you will be watching the radar so don’t forget you can do that on our Track Links Page. You can also get to the speedway websites fast so be sure to use that to your advantage this weekend.
 
Now let’s talk about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with the only driver on the site today has been on before. Steve Way described how the month of July went for him and how up and down it has been. He talked about the latest part that broke, how easy it was for him to know that something was wrong and how easy it was to track down. 
 
Kenny Hammond told me about the track he hot lapped on and how Skyline has been this year. He explained how close he has come to winning at his Saturday home, why he feels he needs a little more smoke under the hood and wonders what the rest of the year will hold for him. 
 
George Dyer talked about the need for some bite and described the conditions he’s dealing with at Utica Rome this season. He also told me about the set up change he made, explained how well he has done when the track is tacky and how he is adjusting to newer tires. 
 
Dan LaShure is new to racing this year and told me how his rookie season has been going so far. He told me what motivated him to go racing, where he feels his Pure Stock needs to improve and why he is not going to change too much at one time. 
 
John Cooper spoke about his hopes for win number one with his Pure Stock at Skyline Raceway. He talked about returning to square one with his set up, explained what he can do to change his car around and described what the car has been doing of late. 

 
Thursday, August 4th 2011
    New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Jack Miller talked about coming to the racetrack buy himself and who helps when it is needed.
Ryan Jordan has been enjoying a nice season at Skyline and talked about his good finishes.
Tye Rood summed up how his rookie season has gone so far and talked about leading a race.
Nick Nye spoke about his Street Stock win at I-88 and how he his doing with his Sportsman.
Frank Hyatt compared this season to 2010 and talked about getting close at Utica Rome Speedway.
Scott Smith told me about his recent win at Skyline and how he felt coming into last Saturday.
 
It was a busy day on Wednesday as I did some studio work and voiced the latest edition of Hot Wings TV with Rich Vleck. It was great to see Rich again and do some work on the TV show as we have had tough luck getting races in this year. I’ll keep you posted on when that latest episode will air.
 
It was a rainy day too and let’s face it, we need the rain and the fact that it came on a weekday instead of a weekend is a plus. But I am sure that many track promoters do not mind this rain as their surfaces and ponds could really use it.
 
I also penned an article for the Syracuse Post Standard. This week I put together a hodge podge of stories and of course wrote about some events that are coming up this weekend. So make sure to get your copy today and if you are out of the area, you can go to www.syracuse.com/motorsports
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. And with the busy day we had, all of these are from my weekend travels. Jack Miller talked about coming to the racetrack buy himself and who helps when it is needed. He told me how that affects how he races, how his neighbors in the pits will help change a tire during a race and thinks back to his first night at Fonda with a $350 racecar. 
 
Ryan Jordan has been enjoying a nice season at Skyline with his Sportsman and talked about his good finishes. He told me about what he feels has made him better, what he changed with his racing line and how he has adjusted when it gets slippery. 
 
Tye Rood summed up how his rookie season has gone so far and talked about leading his first ever laps in the feature race. He explained what it was like looking at a clean racetrack, how he messed up the very next time he went into the corner and what he learned following a fellow competitor after that. 
 
Nick Nye spoke about his Street Stock win at I-88 and how he his doing with his Sportsman. He also chatted about a recent second place finish, explained why he was marking his right rear tire and how he won the night before without brakes. 
 
Frank Hyatt compared this season to 2010 and talked about getting close at Utica Rome Speedway. He talked about what have could have happened this past week to get a win, how good it was to see a new winner ahead of him and why he was not going to run him too aggressively. 
 
Scott Smith told me about his recent win at Skyline and how he felt coming into last Saturday. He explained who he saw trying to work the inside of him, why he was not concerned this time around and how important it is to run your own race when people try to work you. 

 
Wednesday, August 3rd 2011
    New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Matt Pupello tells me about his recent Lebanon Valley win and the tough luck since then.
Bill Trexler remembered his second place run at Utica Rome in last weeks Thunder on the Thruway. 
Bobby Heinz told me why he got sick last week and had to miss a weekend of Sportsman racing.
Jason Sullivan won Friday down at Dunn Hill 2 with his IMCA Modified and told me about it. 
Tommy Paige talked about getting behind the wheel of Pete Neff’s car and his new ride back home.
George Kiskiel was back behind the wheel on Sunday and told me what his job was on this day.
 
It was another hot and steamy day in Liverpool and we were able to hit the pool, do some writing and some interviewing as well. We also put up another six new audio files, some new photos and tried to stay cool along the way.
 
And don’t forget tonight the Modifieds will be at Grandview Speedway and with the fields we have been seeing at these big money mid week shows, look for top notch talent to be in every pit stall tonight. So get your butts on down there and see some great racing with many of Modified racing’s biggest stars.
 
I am also still doing research on video games and how racers use them. Did you know that several teams have simulators and race NASCAR games with new drivers looking to learn about tracks the have never seen before? Probably a lot of you did, but I bet most people outside our sport know that. So I am going to tell them.
 
So if you or a racer you know uses video games to stay sharp, learn about tracks or in my case just learn how important the right foot and good racing line are, then send me an email at doug@dougsdirtdiary.com. And of course you can also friend me on facebook.
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with an interview that was from a request to my inbox. Matt Pupello tells me about his recent Lebanon Valley win and the tough luck he has had in the two race nights since then. He talked about racing against his boyhood heroes, how his carting background helped and what he hopes to do now that he has graduated college. 
 
Bill Trexler remembered his second place run at Utica Rome in last weeks Thunder on the Thruway show. He told me great it felt to do that well against that level of competition, how a hesitation on his part caused him to lose the lead and what he learned along the way. 
 
Bobby Heinz told me why he got sick last week and had to miss a full weekend of Sportsman racing. He also talked about his new equipment, how close he has come to winning and remembered what happened the last time he was out front. 
 
Jason Sullivan won last Friday down at Dunn Hill 2 Speedway with his IMCA Modified and told me about it. He explained how he handled lapped traffic, how he rolled the car at Five Mile Point a few weeks back and why he decided to tow to Skyline Raceway this past Saturday. 
 
Tommy Paige talked about getting behind the wheel of Pete Neff’s car and his new ride back home which he hopes to have out real soon. He explained why the car owner was unable to race, why he accepted the offer this time around and why he has not been in a racecar at all until this past Saturday at Skyline. 
 
George Kiskiel was back behind the wheel of a Pure Stock on Sunday at Utica Rome and told me what his job was on this day. He explained the type of condition he was hoping to fix, how weird it was to be in a car he did not build and how much fun he hoped to have. Later on he came home in 11th.   

 
Tuesday, August 2nd 2011
    New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Jeff Kotary told me why we have not seen him much this year and the loss of his father in January.
Ben Bushaw talked about the new edition to his family as well as the one on his right arm.
Claude Hutchings Jr. explained why they had their primary car with them and what was wrong.
J.J. Courcy spoke about his night off on Friday and the Modified he is working on at the shop.
Jeff Pastorella has not run a full season with his Pro Stock and told me what he has been doing.
Jake Fowelston described the racetrack he hot lapped at Skyline and talked about his 2011 season.
 
It was a hot one on Monday and I spent a good part of the day inside in the cool working on the website and my newest column in the Syracuse Post Standard. I also put up a whole bunch of new photos in the afternoon so be sure to go to the filmstrip to check those out.
 
On the site today are six conversations from my weekend travels to Skyline Raceway and Utica Rome Speedway. Two of these are with new people so be sure to listen to Jeff Pastorella and Jake Fowelston as they make their debut on Doug’s Dirt Diary. 
 
Today I will be back in the home studio and doing more recordings. But with a lot of the guys up in Canada on Monday for the Merrittville show, today should yield better results. So be sure to come back tomorrow to see who we get to speak with and who we pick from the weekend bin. And don’t forget about Grandview Speedway on Wednesday.
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a man whose family name is synonymous with the Utica Rome Speedway. Jeff Kotary told me why we have not seen him much this year and the painful loss of his father in January. He talked about the role his dad playing in his racing career, how tough it is to be at the track now and described some issues they are working on with his Modified. I’m so sorry Jeff and I hope each day it gets a little easier to deal with. 
 
Ben Bushaw talked about the new edition to his family as well as the one on his right arm. He told me how his new son (and mom) is doing right now, wonders how long he’ll have fun in the racing seat and explained why he wanted to have an exploding engine tattoo. Good one here! 
 
Claude Hutchings Jr. explained why they had their primary car with them at Utica Rome and what was wrong under the hood. He told me who figured everything out, what it felt like before as he sat in the seat and how happy he is to know that their back up car is fast & reliable. 
 
J.J. Courcy spoke about his night off on Friday and the Modified he is working on at the shop. Update: J.J. blew his motor later that night at Skyline and finished 23rd with the Modified at Utica Rome on Sunday. Best of luck with everything J.J. 
 
Jeff Pastorella has not run a full season with his Pro Stock and told me what he has been doing to help his son with his athletic career. He talked about the colleges they have been visiting, what he needed to change with his racecar and why he does not mind starting at the rear. 
 
Jake Fowelston described the racetrack he hot lapped on at Skyline and talked about his 2011 season. He told me about his new Pure Stock, how his suspension has been working and the bugs they are taking care of as they continue to learn the car. 

 
Monday, August 1st 2011
    New on the Audio Page from Utica Rome Speedway:
 
Pre race conversations:
 
Willy Decker talked to me about his night on Thursday and what broke before the heat race.
Bobby Varin summed up how his three Modified races have gone with his brand new racecar. 
Jason Rood explained how he got in the air on Thursday and how things could have been worse.
Ted Lamb told me how that other small block is coming along and how he did on Thursday.
Rob Thieme remembered his Pure Stock win from last week, his first ever in four years of racing.
Alton Palmer explained why he was hot lapping the 76a and why Ronnie Johnson would use it later.
 
After the heat races:
 
Mike Button spoke about some work he has been doing with an old rival after winning his heat.
Craig Pope won his Sportsman heat going away and told me how some phone advice helped.
Jim Nagle talked about his heat win and the work they had to do after a crash a few weeks back.
Paul Jensen spoke about winning the first Modified heat race and the new motor that’s coming soon.
Mark Kislowski was convincing in his run away heat win and talked about how good the car felt.
Willy Decker got his night off to a good start winning his heat and spoke about what he saw.
 
After the feature races:
 
Matt Janczuk talked about coming from the back after a wreck and winning the Sportsman race.
A.J. Filbeck explained what he saw in the final laps and how he ended up finishing in second.
Stewart Friesen told me about his win and how he felt matching the win total of Richie Evans. 
Pat Ward got stronger late in his second place run and talked about how good the surface was.
Bobby Varin came home in third place and told me where he felt he went wrong with his set up. 
 
I wondered originally on Sunday if I was going to see a race or not. As I got ready to leave my house at 3 o’clock there were storms all around. Those storms seemed to follow me for a while too as I headed east on the Thruway. It even spit for a few minutes while I was my first few interviews in the pits at the Utica Rome Speedway. 
 
But fortunately everything cleared up and we were able to run a full night of racing without any weather delays at all. It was a fun night too with some great performances put on by the same people who have been winning a lot this year in the open wheel divisions.
 
In the Modified race, Stewart Friesen tied the great Richie Evans with his 33rd career win at the track and the accomplishment was not lost on him. I did get the chance to speak with him about it and it is on my Audio Page along with many other conversations from my night in Vernon. And without looking, do you know who has the most? I’ll tell you further down the page.
 
The Sportsman race was a real good one too as Matt Janczuk came back from an early race jingle in turn two to win the feature. A car spun in front of him and both he and Claude Hutchings Jr. were unable to avoid it slamming into it and each other. Janczuk was able continue on after a pit stop but Hutchings had more serious issues and had to ride it out with a tow out problem from a bent axle.
 
Janczuk benefitted from a pair of late race cautions and passed A.J. Filbeck for the lead on the final lap. Fortunately for Filbeck he was a first time winner a while back so it did not sting as much as it could have if he was winless. A.J. was also very classy in his interview and did an awesome job after what had to be a tough loss. Chin up A.J. as more are coming.
 
I also took some photos as I wandered around although I did not realize that I only took around fifty.   Sorry about that but I was very focused on getting some new drivers on the site and I guess I concentrated too much on that. 
 
But this week you’ll get to hear from a lot of drivers you have not heard much from or in some cases ever on this website! So keep checking back as we have 22 chats in the can from the last two nights that will come out over the next four days. 
 
As always I have a great time at Utica Rome as I helped Aaron Boise with Go Action Online while doing the Doug’s Dirt Diary thing at the same time. I also do play by play while Aaron shoots the race when I am at the track. We did some interviews as well. So when you get a chance go to www.goaction.net and check it out. There is also some great in car action there too and it is all from Utica Rome.
 
Plus, on a personal side I signed my first autograph as a driver. I know! No I am not kidding. It turns out that “Soggy Feathers” as he is known to a lot of you, bought a victory lane photo of me last week at Brewerton Speedway and brought it to the track to have me sign it. He said he is going to frame it and put it in his office. How cool is that? Thanks for the ego boost. I needed it!
 
Today I am going to write up a new article about the race world for the Syracuse Post Standard and I am also researching a story about racing video games and real racers. If you know someone who does this and speaks well of the experience, please have them call or send me an email at doug@dougsdirtdiary.com and I’ll speak with them. I know I am not the only one to learn from this and I want to tell the world!!!
 
By the way, did you figure out who has the most Modified wins at Utica Rome? It’s Dale Planck with 42. So that number could still go up! 
 
And keep checking the site as I have photos from Fulton Speedway, Skyline Raceway and Utica Rome all waiting in the wings. Those and more will be going up later today so keep checking the filmstrip at the right side of the page and the webmaster’s note at the top of the main page. Have a great Monday and I hope to see you back again tomorrow. 

 
Sunday, July 31st 2011
    New on the Audio Page from Skyline Raceway:
 
Pre race conversations:
 
Chris Fleming came into the night as the IMCA point leader and spoke about his 2011 season.
Kevan Cook talked about his Friday night off and wondered if he should have chased a race.
Kevin Jordan told me about some motor issues he has had and what he had under the hood.
Chris Stull has been the man to beat in the Sportsman division and talked about his season.
Randy Brokaw wondered about the motor he has under the hood and the amount of laps on it.
Randy Shantel summed up how he has been doing at his weekly homes, Skyline and Utica Rome. 
 
After the heat races:
 
Randy Brokaw won the first Sportsman heat and explained why his car was a little on the loose side. 
Kevin Jordon got the win in heat number two and talked about the work he did to get the lead.
George “Bumps” Scutt walked me through his IMCA heat win and wondered about his nickname. 
Chris Fleming described the pass he made in the final corner to win his IMCA Modified heat.
 
After the features:
 
Chris Stull won his 9th Sportsman feature of the season and told me what he found on the outside. 
Kevin Jordan finished third in the Sportsman race and talked about racing for the lead early. 
Randy Brokaw came home in fourth and explained why we saw a lot of smoke from his car late. 
Randy Shantel talked about his fifth place finish and why there was a jingle after the checkered. 
Chris Fleming told me about his feature win that saw him lead for the final 100 feet or so. 
Kevan Cook went from third to second in the final few feet and talked about his feature race.
Mike Smith hurt his motor in the final corner and told me how he fell from first to finish third. 
 
Every time I go to Skyline Raceway south of Cortland, I tell myself the same thing as I drive down the snaking hillside on the way home later, “I need to get to this place more.” And last night was no exception. I always liked this racetrack and I like it ever more after last night.
 
If you have never been to Skyline then I must seriously suggest that you put it into your Saturday night rotation. Open motor Sportsman (they refer to them as Modifieds) headline the show here and even though there were only twelve that took the green, they put on one heck of a show.
 
Chris Stull has been the man to beat down there this year and came into this night as the points leader with eight wins. He was able to get by car owner turned driver for the night, Ray Taylor and pull away for his ninth win of the year. But behind him some intense battles were going on.
 
I remembered how much I enjoy open motored Sportsman on a tight track. They rotate so well in the corners because of the extra power (100-150 hp more than a stock, untouched, legal 602 crate) and they sound great going around the racetrack. I did get to chat with Chris twice on the night and his interviews as well as four of the top five are on the site now. I tried to get Ray, but he was just too shy! Next time huh?
 
The IMCA Modified feature turned out to be a wild one as it looked like Mike Smith was going to win the race. I even wrote it down as the leaders entered turn three. Then as I looked up, Smith slowed and Chris Fleming and Kevan Cook were able to speed by to finish first and second respectively. 
 
It was a wild finish to say the least and it shows that “it ain’t over till its over” as Yogi Berra used to say. And Chris Fleming ends up winning his heat with a final corner pass and the feature by passing an ailing car coming out of the final corner. He led maybe 300 feet at the most all night long but it was enough to win a pair of races. It shows why you never, ever give up in racing. 
 
Also on the card were the Pure Stocks which seemed to be very much like the cars I see at Thunder Mountain, Five Mile Point and Penn Can. If I am wrong on that, please let me know with an email to doug@dougsdirtdiary.com. These are fast cars that look great going around the racetrack. They were a lot of fun to watch.
 
They also had Junkyard Dogs, Junkyard Pups and Jr. Pups (They were not called that but it was young kids.) Once again there was some real good racing here although the winner of the Dogs (the V8 Enduro style cars) was declared illegal for what I heard was too much rear percentage. That’s right, they can see percentages with their scale. And they use it!
 
The Pups were good too as these are stock four cylinders with cages and racing seats. Of course you know I watch these cars when I can (as I race one that’s a little more souped up than these were at Brewerton) and I really liked this class. The crowd did too as they were the loudest when the Junkyard Dogs and Pups were on the track.
 
I was also very impressed with one of the drivers in the Young Pups division. (see, I looked it up) The driver of the 57s gave a great speech after his second place finish as he had a lot of relatives with him in victory lane. It was refreshing to see this young man and to hear the thankful way he spoke. Great job! 
 
One of the other things I liked was the concessions. I bought two hot dogs and two small Gatorades for four dollars. That’s right, they were a buck each. So a big bonus point goes out to Frank and Audrey for that. 
 
They also allowed coolers in the grandstand so for race fans on a tight budget this is a great place to come. And if you have kids, bring the lawn chairs and sit with them n the huge family section. 
 
You can also see the place by looking at my latest photo bin as I took almost 100 photos. And yes, there were a lot of cute girls there that I did not know, so I did not dare to take any pictures of them. But let me tell you this young guys, get down there!!! 
 
So once again I had a great time and feel rejuvenated coming into today. It was very refreshing to go to Skyline and I think you guys would really enjoy a trip there some Saturday night. Thanks again for everyone in the pits who helped, thanks to Frank & Audrey, Walt Allen and thanks to all of you for reading this far down the page. And if you did, say so to me in an email. 
 
Today I will be heading to Utica Rome as my knee is doing much better and will be sure to give you lots of new stuff tomorrow as well as lots of bonus clips that will show up during the week. I have 11 saved from last night and hope to get at least that many today. Have a great Sunday and I hope to see you at the racetrack! 

 
     
 
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