|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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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!
|Saturday, July 30th 2011
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Tyler Reddick talked about a motor problem he had at Fonda and his season with the Lucas Oil tour.
D.J. Myers told me how he does at his weekly Late Model track as he got ready at Utica Rome.
Steve Hulsizer thought back on last week’s Modified win and told me how special it was.
Mark Flach Jr. is driving a chassis of his own design and talked about how it is working this year.
Jim Gabriel Jr. has been winning this year and described how he is doing at his weekly homes.
Mark Kislowski remembered the bad luck he has had in each of his last three race nights.
Bill Trexler was in a couple of jingles last week and explained what each of them did to the car.
It was a rainy Friday here in Central New York and as I write this up at 3:45 PM there is one last batch of red on the radar getting ready to his Brewerton. Will they survive their second brush with weather on the day? Check out their website to see.
I spent the day laying law with ice on my knee from my injury Thursday night. It is doing better and the piece of cartilage has flopped back, so I should be good to go today. I’ll be heading to Skyline Raceway today to see the open motor Sportsman and much, much more.
At this point you have to wonder when the open motor Sportsman will return to some tracks they are not currently at. It looks like the crates have had their day in the sun and may be on the way out. They are surely falling out of favor with drivers, just look at the car counts. The idea was a good one but as the saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
Then on Sunday, I will return to Utica Rome to see racing on the only Sunday track around in Central New York. I feel that I have unfinished business there as I had to leave early Thursday, so I will be back there ready to go.
Speaking of Utica Rome, I have a lot of new clips from their Thursday show on the Audio Page. I begin with a teenager who is on the road at an early age. Tyler Reddick talked about a motor problem he had at Fonda and his 2011 season with the Lucas Oil Late Model tour. He told me how fast they have been in the last few races, how many laps they had on their tired engine and what he was going to do at Utica Rome.
D.J. Myers told me how he does at his weekly Late Model track as he got ready to race at Utica Rome with the Lucas Oil Late Models. He wondered what to do in his first race in Vernon, described what broke the night before at Fonda and how many times he has visited victory lane this summer.
Steve Hulsizer thought back on last week’s Modified win and told me how special it was to get back to victory lane. He also talked about he wanted his comeback to take place at Utica Rome, wonders why the engine is still smoking and reacted to a story from his early days.
Mark Flach Jr. is driving a chassis of his own design and talked about how it is working this year. He explained why he wanted to go this route, how he has been doing weekly at Lebanon Valley and looks ahead to getting back to Syracuse in October.
Jim Gabriel Jr. has been winning alot of races this year down south and described how he is doing at his two weekly homes. He told me about his multiple wins at I-88 Speedway, his top five finishes at Five Mile Point and thought back on his last run at Utica Rome in a Street Stock in 1992.
Mark Kislowski remembered the bad luck he has had in each of his last three race nights. He talked about destroying a car last weekend at Fonda, how off he was last Sunday at Utica Rome and wonders what it is that keeps him going at stages like this.
Bill Trexler was in a couple of jingles last Sunday and explained what each of them did to the car. He described what the car felt like afterwards, how he knew he had a bad torsion bar and wondered how the track would be for the Thursday special.
|Friday, July 29th 2011
| New on the Audio Page from my abbreviated trip to Utica Rome Speedway:
Scott Bloomquist talks about a problem he had at Fonda and how close he came to disaster.
Clint Smith told me about his run Wednesday at McKean County and how good the racing was.
Earl Pearson Jr. has a chassis of his own design under him and talked about his long term goals.
Tim Fuller ran down how he did the night before and how much better he has been doing.
Vic Coffey reviewed his race from Wednesday and gave some driving tips to Late Model rookies.
Carey Terrance had a problem at Fonda and talked about the damage the wall did to his car.
Pat Ward recapped his last two races that ended in a crash and a second place finish in that order.
It was a cloudy and cool day on Thursday and I went to the Utica Rome Speedway in Vernon for the Lucas Oil Late Model race. And the Modifieds were also on hand as the Thunder on the Thruway Series was also on the card. Top notch drivers were all over the pit area for this Thursday night special.
The only problem for me was that I tweaked my knee in the pit area and the loose piece of cartilage I’ve had for years caused me to come home early as I could no longer straighten my knee without major pain. This happens every few months but this was the first time it had ever happened at the track which is surprising considering that it has happened doing almost everything else.
But I did get 14 pre race interviews and over 60 pictures taken before it happened and all those photos and half those chats are up for today. I’ll put the other ones up tomorrow as the knee usually needs about 24-48 hours before that piece shifts back over and the soreness goes away. I was totally bummed too as I love Late Models and Modifieds. I’m sure it was one hell of a show.
So be sure to come back tomorrow for interviews with Bill Trexler, DJ Myers, Jim Gabriel Jr., Mark Flach Jr., Mark Kislowsski, Steve Hulsizer and Tyler Reddick. And I may be able to get something done in the studio too so be sure to come back tomorrow for that and possibly more.
We did have a few of our photographer friends at the track so I am hopeful that we may get in some of their stuff later today and be able to put that up. So you should also come back later as we will put those up as soon as I get them.
As for today, I will lay low with an ice pack on the knee (20 minutes on, 20 off) and switch to heat after the first 24 hours as is recommended. Of course if I had done with the doctor’s recommended thirty years ago when this particular basketball injury first showed up, I would be fine today. But at age 20, I knew it all. Yeah right huh?
So sorry about the way things worked out but at least we still have stuff for you today and we will be covered tomorrow no matter what. And for more info from the race go to www.uticaromespeedway.com .
Now let’s find out more about the seven clips on the Audio Page. I begin with a man who needs no introduction in the Late Model world. Scott Bloomquist talks about a problem he had with the left rear rim at Fonda Speedway on Wednesday night and how close he came to disaster as he sat in the car as the field sped by.
Clint Smith told me about his run with the World of Outlaw Late Models Wednesday at McKean County and how good the racing was in what he thought was a narrow track.
Earl Pearson Jr. has a Late Model chassis of his own design under him this season and talked about his long term goal to get more of them out there.
Tim Fuller ran down how he did the night before, how much better he has been doing of late and looked forward to racing his Late Model at Utica Rome for the very first time.
Vic Coffey reviewed his race from Wednesday and gave some driving tips to Late Model rookies. This is a great clip for drivers and fans as he describes what happens when you lift off the gas at the wrong time.
Carey Terrance had a problem at Fonda Wednesday night and talked about the damage the wall did to his Late Model when he got too far to the outside in turn one.
Pat Ward recapped his last two races that ended in a crash at Big Diamond Raceway on Tuesday and a second place finish at Fonda on Wednesday.
|Thursday, July 28th 2011
| New on the Audio Page f or today:
Phil Burkhart remembers his days in a 300 mph Funny Car and talked about his Modified.
Tim Hogue sums up how his season has been going and how nice it was to be back in New York.
Lance Yonge thinks about his role in a trivia question and his love of the racing in Weedsport.
Shawn Donath thought back on a recent motor issue he had as he got ready at Rolling Wheels.
Tony Steiner tells me about his Modified win at Thunder Alley and his 14th at Brewerton.
Jason Rood spoke about his recent struggles and how tough it is to get ahold of the surface.
David Marcuccilli won the last time he raced at Rolling Wheels and talked about the experience.
It was another super nice day in Central New York as the heat wave from last week is now just a memory. I got some work done yesterday in the studio and also wrote up another column for the Syracuse Post Standard. This one sums up how the season has gone so far and how each of the weekly tracks in Central New York is doing.
Once again I was done with work by 5PM and am almost in a 9-5 mode except for the 9 in the morning thing. Well, you can’t have it all huh?
At night we have been doing a lot of online racing with DiRT 3 on my Playstation 3. I’m not sure how many of you have found this game yet but it is top notch in my book. Right there with the latest Grand Turismo series. So get it at the store and get online. Then send me an email or a message on facebook and we can race.
Tonight we are heading back to the track as the Utica Rome Speedway hosts the Lucas Oil Late Model Series and the Thunder on the Thruway Series for Modifieds. It is sure to be a great one at the slick half mile so get your butts on out there tonight. But if you can’t make it, then stop by here tomorrow and we’ll have photos and audio for you.
Now let’s talk about the seven clips I have up today on the Audio Page. I begin with the story of a man who is trying to re-invent himself in the dirt world. Phil Burkhart remembers his days in a 300 mph Funny Car and talked about the Modified he is racing at Utica Rome. He told me why he is not with NHRA anymore, why he decided to race on clay and how he has been doing on this new surface. Great interview!
Tim Hogue sums up how his season has been going and how nice it was to be back in New York. He also talked about time trials with multiple cars on the track, remembers some recent motor problems they have had and wondered if they have that problem fixed.
Lance Yonge thinks about his role in a trivia question and his love of the racing in Weedsport. He also talked about his past at Rolling Wheels, why he likes the slicker surfaces and what changes to the wing do to the racecar.
Shawn Donath thought back on a recent motor issue he had as he got ready at Rolling Wheels this past Friday. He told me what he felt with the car, what he saw on the gauges and why he knew he had to pull in rather than take a chance on the motor’s health.
Tony Steiner tells me about his Modified win at Thunder Alley and his 14th at Brewerton. He explained why he wanted to try the asphalt up north, how he dirt tracked his way to the front and looks forward to getting back there this week.
Jason Rood spoke about his recent struggles and how tough it is to get ahold of the surface at Utica Rome. He talked about how slick the clay has been, how much there is still to learn and explained why he had to take a few weeks off from work due to an illness. Glad you are doing better Jason!
David Marcuccilli won the last time he raced at Rolling Wheels and talked about the experience. He told me how great it felt to win his first race at a track he had a lot of races at, wonders if his Street Stock is still turning laps somewhere and where we will run now that his Sunday home is closed.
|Wednesday, July 27th 2011
| New on the Audio Page f or today:
Randy West told me about his recent races with the URC and the nice situation he is in now.
Justin Barger reacted to setting fast time Friday at Rolling Wheels and talked about the fast track.
Paul Kinney remembered his recent win at Utica Rome and his Friday night at Glen Ridge.
Cory Sparks talked about racing on a hot day and what he has to do to keep the fuel cool.
Casey Williams has had a tough go of things of late and talked about his new car struggles.
A.J. Filbeck thought back on his recent Sportsman feature win and how great it felt to finally get it.
Dillon Sallows won is first ever feature race this past Sunday and told me how he got to victory lane.
It was a cool day on Tuesday as early storms rolled through our area followed by more seasonable temperatures. It was nice not to sweat just walking to the car. Sorry about that visual image there.
I did get alot of work done and got back in the studio as well. There are seven new clips and tomorrow should see about the same as far as audio goes. Then of course we are heading to Utica Rome Thursday for the Lucas Oil Late Models and the Thunder on the Thruway Series for Modifieds.
Tonight the Fonda Speedway will host the Lucas Oil Late Models and the Thunder on the Thruway Series for Modifieds so be sure to be there to see some great racing at the Track of Champions. If you have never made it there, this is one you won’t want to miss as the track boasts a great field of weekly competition in the Modified division, now throw in some travelers and the Lucas Oil Series and you’ve got the making of a great show.
It is going to be a great week so be sure to make your plans now. And of course we still have a few more photo bins that came in yesterday and some time today those will go up for you to view.
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with some chatter from Rolling Wheels on Friday. Randy West told me about his recent races with the URC and the nice situation he is in now with his car owner. He talked about what he thought could happen later on, why he does not like the bigger, faster tracks as well as tiny bull rings and wonders if they have figured out a problem they had last weekend.
Justin Barger reacted to setting fast time Friday at Rolling Wheels and talked about the fast track he was just on. I missed this one early Saturday morning as it should have aired Saturday. Sorry Justin!
Paul Kinney remembered his recent win at Utica Rome and his Friday night at Glen Ridge. He told me what happened when he worked his way up to sixth, how tough the competition is at Utica Rome and how he handles losing his girlfriend in the pits to a fellow driver…well, not really!
Cory Sparks talked about racing on a hot day and what he has to do to keep the fuel cool. He also told me what he was doing to get ready for what he thought was going to be a slick track, what the wickerbill does to get bite and how easy it is to change it. I learned something here and hope you guys did too!
Casey Williams has had a tough go of things of late and talked about his new car struggles. He told me what happens when the tires get up to temperature, how tough it is to get a handle on a slick track and why he feels like a rookie all over again.
A.J. Filbeck thought back on his recent Sportsman feature win and how great it felt to finally get it. He talked about how his confidence was different the next time he came to the track, how good it was to know he could win and wondered if he sealed a tire in his last race.
Dillon Sallows won is first ever feature race this past Sunday at Cornwall and told me how he got to victory lane. He explained why they had to change their set up right before the race, how he handled lapped traffic with his Sportsman and what he was telling himself as he saw the white flag wave. Congratulations Dillon!
|Tuesday, July 26th 2011
| New on the Audio Page f or today:
Kramer Williamson thought back on some of his history at Rolling Wheels as he got ready Friday.
Bob Reis explained why he got off to a late start and why he was racing a Sprint Car on clay.
Matt Hulsizer just moved from a Sportsman to a big block and told me how he has been doing.
Matt Janczuk talked about winning the last two Sunday races for the Open Motor Sportsman.
Jim Spano told me why he came to Utica Rome with a very under powered crate Sportsman.
John Wilber was getting ready to race his Sportsman on Friday and talked about taking it easy.
Stephen Denton spoke about his Four Cylinder Super Stock win and his gains with his Sportsman.
It was a nice relaxing day for me on Monday as I only had about three hours of work to do. I kept the studio quiet for a day and decided to put up some stuff I recorded over the weekend, but today we will get busy and hit the record button several times.
On the site are seven new conversations from Rolling Wheels and Utica Rome. Plus we added a lot of new photo bins yesterday afternoon and still have a few more that I will do later today. So keep checking back for that.
There is a lot of racing going on this week as Big Diamond goes tonight followed by Fonda on Wednesday and Utica Rome on Thursday. The Lucas Oil Late Models headline the show at Fonda and Utica Rome and I will be there on Thursday night.
So now with very little else to report, I’ll go right into what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with some Sprint Car chatter from Friday night. Kramer Williamson thought back on some of his history at Rolling Wheels as he got ready to go this past Friday. He talked about being in Central New York in July, wondered why he & The Fast Track get along so well and summed up how his season has gone so far.
Bob Reis explained why he got off to a late start and why he was racing a Sprint Car on clay. He told me why he made the switch, why he decided to stay away from Oswego because of tire costs and where the racecar he had with him came from.
Matt Hulsizer just moved from a Sportsman to a big block and told me how he has been doing. He talked about why he made the move, how much of an adjustment it has been and how much he still has to learn about these ultra fast racecars.
Jim Spano told me why he came to Utica Rome with a very under powered crate Sportsman. He talked about the weight break he would get, wondered how competitive he could be and if he may pick up a more powerful open motor. And yes, he was the only car from Weedsport last week to go to Utica Rome on Sunday.
Matt Janczuk talked about winning the last two Sunday races for the Open Motor Sportsman at Utica Rome. He wondered how the new clay would do on the first week out with it, explained why the fans don’t mind a little longer break to make the racing better and why he is doing so well in the seat.
John Wilber was getting ready to race his Sportsman on Friday and talked about taking it easy this season. He described some of the tough luck he has had, how tough it can be when you don’t run weekly at a track and remembered the last Weedsport race of the season.
Stephen Denton spoke about his Four Cylinder Super Stock win and his gains with his Sportsman. He talked about how nice it was to get back to victory lane after an almost two month absence, how the surface was last week at Utica Rome and why a slicker track often makes for better racing.
|Monday, July 25th 2011
| New on the Audio Page from the Utica Rome Speedway:
Pre race conversations:
Chris Busta was coming off his best finish of the year last week and talked about his small block.
Ronnie Johnson told me about his second place finish at Fonda and the dinner he had afterwards.
Tommy Denton spoke about his season so far and the new motor they had under the hood.
Stewart Friesen recapped his weekend that included a run from the back and a race ending crash.
Bret Belden just hot lapped his Pro Stock and offered his impression of the new clay in the turns.
Willy Decker has a pair of feature wins this season and talked about the need for more bite.
After the heat races:
Bret Belden met the fans in an autograph session and spoke with me about his Pro Stock win.
Glenn Forward makes his debut on the site with his first ever interview after winning his heat.
Ted Lamb was just getting ready to head to the front stretch and paused to chat about his heat win.
Steve Hulsizer told me about his Modified heat win and wondered why his motor was smoking.
Willy Decker made a nice move get the lead and compared it to an old fashioned slide job.
After the feature races:
Rocky Warner spoke about his Pro Stock feature win down in victory lane with Mike Mallett.
Tom Denton came home in second place and told Mike Mallett where he needs to be better.
Steve Hulsizer won his first Utica Rome race since 2002 and described it to Mike Mallett.
Kenny Tremont had his best finish of the year at Utica Rome with a second and talked about it.
Ronnie Johnson finished third and told Mike Mallett about racing Kenny Tremont in the past.
Stewart Friesen came home in fourth place and told me about the work he will be doing today.
I had another fun night as I did my third race in as many days. My daughter Allie accompanied me to the Utica Rome Speedway for Autograph Night. Once again, I should have looked at the schedule as I could have had her wear a shirt that could have been signed. But she still got a lot of autographs and had a great time.
It was fun to see the race day through her eyes and having access to the Tired Iron Repair golf cart made it easy for us to get around and see a lot of stuff. (Thanks yet again Claude!) I did the usual lot of pre race interviews as well as many for Go Action Online as well. It was fun to have my daughter be able to see me do what I love and at the same time remind her there are other ways to make a living than just the ones they tell you about in school.
It was a fun night and the new clay that was laid down in the corners was pretty manageable. Sure there were a few spots and yes there was some dust in the later races but anyone who does this type of project at mid season has to do it the same way. You get it hard and get a good base, then you start to tear into it more and eventually make it tackier. But all that does not happen in one week!
Steve Hulsizer was the star of the show as his smoking Modified won both his feature and his heat leading every lap along the way. Make sure to listen to my chats with him over the course of the night as he tried to figure out why the car was smoking.
But when you start on the pole, you gotta go for it. He did and he earned his first Modified win at the track since 2002. But he may have paid a price for it as there was a puddle underneath it in victory lane. Hey, it was classic Steve Hulsizer and anyone who has seen him race, blow motors and flip cars knows that this to be true.
Also make sure to listen to the Bret Belden interview after his heat win. He told me what he did after he took the checkered flag to see what the track was like in a part that he did not get to try under green. Hey, I never thought of that before. And I thought I was smart my first few races this year for letting fast cars by me in hot laps before the green so I could follow them and learn their lines.
And I also got to give a bonus point to Ronnie Johnson who finished in third place in the Modified feature. He was right behind Kenny Tremont and proceeded to tell all the fans that they have not seen the last of Kenny in victory lane. It was a nice touch from a guy who ran against him for years on Friday night when Albany Saratoga was the place to be. Classy move Ronnie!
Along the way I also took a lot of photos. Those are up now as well as some more that I uploaded last night. Many more will go up later this afternoon so be sure to keep checking the filmstrip at the side if the page. And yes, that little girl is my Allie you see in the photos with the drivers.
Thanks to everyone for the great time we had. We saw some real good racing at a track I have always loved and having my oldest with me just made it even better. But now I need to crash at get some sleep. I have not been sleeping well as I just have so much on my mind. So today I hope to catch up and get back in the studio later as I have a short week with Utica Rome on Thursday.
Have a great Monday and I will see you tomorrow.
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