Gary Rowe - CPA
Dougs dirt diary
Gary Rowe of M.R. Gaebel, Inc.
Gates-Cole Associates SUNY Canton Automotive Technology program
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thursday, May 1st 2014
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Doug Manmiller picked up win number three at Grandview and talked about coming from 16th.
Jimmy Phelps described the track he saw at Utica Rome and his top ten run at Fulton on Friday.
Larry Wight was making a shock change and explained what he was doing to cure a push.
Ken McGuire Jr. talked about his plans that include Modified racing as well as flat track motorcycles.
Stephen Denton told me about the newer chassis he picked up and how happy he is with it so far.
 
It was another cold and rainy day on Wednesday and that weather kind of fit the mood around here as we remember racer Steve Hulsizer who passed away on Tuesday after a battle with colon cancer. I wrote up an article on him for the Syracuse Post Standard that will be in today’s edition and it will also be online at www.syracuse.com/motorsports.
 
This is surely a hard one for a lot of us as we knew about his battle with cancer last summer. He did not want anyone to treat him differently and only asked that everyone talk with him as they always did. I tried but it was not easy. He was bigger than life and everyone who came in contact with him left with a smile on their face.
 
I’ll put together some thoughts over the next few days and I have some of his fellow racers doing the same so between now and his funeral next week, we’ll address that. The calling hours will be next Wednesday, May 7th from 4-7 at Traub Funeral Home in Bridgeport.
 
We’ll keep the site going until that day but as we have done in the past, we will be dark that day out of respect for Steve. If any of you would like to share some memories just send me an email at doug@dougsdirtdiary.com or hit me up on facebook.
 
Now let’s chat more about what we have for you to listen to today on the Audio Page. I start with a big winner from down in Pa. Doug Manmiller picked up win number three at Grandview and talked about coming from 16th. He told me how he dodged a wreck early on, how he almost caught the wall in turn three and gives fellow racers some good advice on what to check in the shop when the car seems to be fine. 
 
Jimmy Phelps described the track he saw at Utica Rome and his top ten run at Fulton on Friday. He told me what he thought would happen later on, why the track seems more changeable at times and how a tough draw made his night a little tougher. 
 
Larry Wight was making a shock change and explained what he was doing to cure a push in the middle of the corner. He told me about a characteristic he sees at Utica Rome, which corner he will adjust and what it does to the opposite corner. Good stuff for you guys here! 
 
Ken McGuire Jr. talked about his plans that include Modified racing as well as flat track motorcycles. He told me how his car did last season, remembers some of his better nights at Utica Rome and why he continues to run bikes at age 65. 
 
Stephen Denton told me about the newer chassis he picked up and how happy he is with it so far. He talked about his practice laps two weeks ago at I-88, how adjustable the car is and looks forward to getting back on the road courses for some endurance races. 

 
Wednesday, April 30th 2014
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Ryan Phelps talked about his tough draw Friday night at Fulton and adjusting to new stuff.
Danny Varin spoke about his two races before last weekend and how one got away at Fonda.
Mark Weaver got ready for the Utica Rome opener and talked about upgrading his equipment.
Nate Daggett and Jeremy Trank speak with Steve Ovens about their pair of Street Stocks.
Nicole Spalding chats with Steve Ovens after her practice laps on Friday at Yates County Speedway.
 
It was a rainy day on Tuesday which led to the cancellation of the practice session at the Brewerton Speedway. They pulled the plug nice and early to save the teams gas and hopefully the crappy forecast the weather people are talking about now gets a little better by the weekend.
 
I have some of what I did this past weekend as well as more from Steve Ovens from Turn 5 Racing Podcast. Search for them online at I-Tunes or You Tube or go to www.turn5.podbean.com.
 
I’ll be back in the studio today after a busy Tuesday and I am putting plans together for the next step in my career. There will be some racing involved but I also want to get back to some of what I did in my TV days. This site is not going anywhere but I need to branch out a bit.

Also, later in the day I spoke with three time Grandview winner Doug Manmiller and first time Skyline winner Gary Roberts. Those two will show up on Thursday and Friday so be sure to come back for those.
 
Now let’s chat about what we have for you today on the Audio Page. I start with some stuff from the Utica Rome opener. Ryan Phelps talked about his tough draw Friday night at Fulton and adjusting to new stuff. He told me how they were with all the new things, how happy he was to learn a lot over the course of the night and the need to get on the track at Brewerton this Friday. 
 
Danny Varin spoke about his two races before last weekend and how one got away at Fonda. He told me how close he came to winning it, why he would have preferred to be second on that last restart and what he beat up on the car last time he took it out at Fonda. 
 
Mark Weaver got ready for the Utica Rome opener and talked about upgrading his equipment. He told me how the first night of the season went at Skyline, how his teammate did at the same show and how good his car felt right out of the box.
 
Nate Daggett and Jeremy Trank speak with Steve Ovens about their pair of Street Stocks. They spoke about what the took away from their practice laps at Yates County, the increased purse for their division and how to adjust from a front wheel drive four cylinder. 
 
Nicole Spalding chats with Steve Ovens after her practice laps on Friday at Yates County Speedway. She offered her initial take on the speedway after her first ever laps at the place, described how her car was running and the need to get used to the car a little more. 

 
Tuesday, April 29th 2014
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Shawn Donath talks about his ESS win at Can Am and gets ready for Canandaigua and Mohawk.
Anthony Perrego explained why he was at Utica Rome and the need to get some practice laps.
Tom Denton is back to defend his Pro Stock title at Utica Rome and talked about his hopes.
Bret Belden got ready to race his Pro Stock and told me how his first laps went in a Late Model.
Dan Harpell spoke with Steve Ovens after the first practice session at Yates County Speedway.
 
What a nice day it was on Monday huh? We couldn’t have had one of those days this past weekend could we? Oh well. At least we had a nice day and hopefully we’ll get more like it in the next few weeks.
 
I got a lot done on Monday as I wrote up another article for the Syracuse Post Standard and got some work done in the studio. Plus I have some things set up for today as we are hopeful to get in a practice tonight at Brewerton.
 
If we don’t, I’ll make some calls as I do still have a short list of folks to chat with here at the home studio. But I am hoping to smell race fuel tonight and I know a lot of you are too.
 
Now let’s chat more about what we have for you to listen to today on the Audio Page. I start with a man who got off to the start he was so hoping for after a tough season in 2014. Shawn Donath talks about his ESS win at Can Am and gets ready for Canandaigua and Mohawk. He told me how a good starting spot helped him early, how many restarts he had to survive and how big it is for him & his team to start with a win after a tough season in 2013. 
 
Anthony Perrego explained why he was at Utica Rome and the need to get some practice laps. He told me why he needs laps on slippery racetracks, wondered how it would go in his first Modified laps at the track and what he had planned on doing Saturday night. 
 
Tom Denton is back to defend his Pro Stock title at Utica Rome and talked about his hopes. He told me about the work they did in the off season, why he did not have to freshen his engine and his goals for the season. 
 
Bret Belden got ready to race his Pro Stock and told me how his first laps went in a Late Model. He described the racing surface he saw in hot laps, how he got some advice before he got in the Late Model and looks forward to racing it this coming weekend. 
 
Dan Harpell spoke with Steve Ovens after the first practice session at Yates County Speedway. He offered his take on the racing surface, told him some of what he learned as they get ready for their opener and described some of the work he still has to do. 

 
Monday, April 28th 2014
   New on the Audio Page from Utica Rome Speedway:
 
After the heat races:
 
Steve Way led every lap in his Sportsman heat win and told me about a small push he was fixing.
Jeremy Vunk took the lead on lap two to win his heat and talked about his big goal for 2014.
Claude Hutchings Jr. had a brand new racecar with him and told me how it did in his heat win.
Mike Mahaney was patient in his heat and told me how he got the lead and won his qualifier.
Larry Wight ran the outside blasting the cushion and talked about his Modified heat win.
Danny Varin stayed low in his heat win and told me how his gear choice helped get the victory.
 
After the feature races:
 
Nick Krause described his violent flip in the Sportsman feature and how he was feeling afterwards.
A.J. Filbeck won the Sportsman opener with a lap 8 pass and talked about it with Mike Mallett.
Mike Mahaney held off the field after a late race caution and told Mike Mallett about his big win.
Stewart Friesen finished second in the Modified race and talked about how fast the winner was.
Tommy Denton led wire to wire to win the Pro Stock feature and spoke about it with Mike Mallett.
Ron Hawker talked with Mike Mallett after winning the Pure Stock feature in a 20 year old racecar.
 
I checked out the Utica Rome Speedway last night as they got in their first show and their first race as a NASCAR sanctioned track since 1998. Yes, it was a pretty cold day but I stayed warm thanks to some hand warmers although they worked better at various times.
 
The racetrack was tacky and fast! A nice field of 23 Modifieds and 22 Sportsman was on hand as well as alot of great looking stock cars. There were also some heavy hitters as Tim Fuller, Jimmy Phelps and Billy Decker joined the usually strong field making it that much better.
 
In the Modified feature, Mike Mahney took his first win of the season by getting by Jimmy Phelps on a lap 8 restart and holding off defending track champion Stewart Friesen on a restart with 9 laps to go. Mahaney was strong as he drove away from Friesen to win by a comfortable margin.
 
Tim Fuller fell out of the top five early and made a late race run to get back up to third but his car lost power in turn two in the final lap ending his day before he could get to the checkered. Matt Sheppard came from 7th to 3rd, Phelps faded to 4th and Billy Decker picked up two spots late to round out the top five.
 
Feel bad for Willy Decker as his car showed a good deal of smoke bringing out the race’s final caution but talking with his team afterwards they said the motor was running and he did have oil pressure. Let’s hope it is not major as I never like to see anyone hurt an engine this early in the season.
 
Not as fortunate was Parish driver Nick Krause. The teenager had his crate powered car at the track and flipped it violently on the front stretch. His car dug into the tacky track and when I saw it, it was 15-20 feet in the air. The good news is that Nick was fine. He was checked out by the ambulance crew twice and passed the test. His car on the otherhand was not and they will dig out an older chassis this week in hopes of getting back for next weekend.
 
A.J. Filbeck won the opener as we will see a new champion on the Sportsman this year with multi-time champion Matt Janczuk now in a Modified. Jeremy Vunk was set to start on the pole but trouble early put him back by several spots. He raced his way back up to second place but did not have anything for young Mr. Filbeck on this night.
 
Tommy Denton and Ron Hawker each opened their title defense with convincing wins driving away at the end of the Pro Stock and Pure Stock features respectively.
 
Like I said, the track was real nice. The crowd was good considering the cold weather as many might have decided to stay home on what was a cold day. But I had a great time. The racing was real good and as always, there is a real good vibe at this track that I, for one, find appealing.
 
We did save 13 pre race interviews and still have 4 from our friend Steve Ovens also. I hope to get in the studio today and will work till Thursday when I will take a day off for my 53rd birthday. Man, I am old!
 
We had another issue with our photo script so we are down there as of now but Webmaster Andy is writing a new script although with his dad needing his help on a daily basis, it may be a while before that is done. And with the way things have been going, I am not pushing him as he needs to take care of what is important. Pics can wait! But we will be back…trust me.
 
See you back again tomorrow with more so be sure to keep checking in with us as the 2014 season is finally underway.

 
Sunday, April 27th 2014
   New on the Audio Page from Steve Ovens at Yates County Speedway:
 
Jared Hill and Tracy Dunn told Steve Ovens about their first hot lap session at Yates County.
Jeremy Potrzebowksi talked about his goals for the practice and how Street Stocks travel.
Brent Ayers spoke with Steve Ovens after his hot laps and talked about some upgrades he did.
Rich Sharpsteen watched it rain and told Steve Ovens about his first race and his practice laps.
 
Well that didn’t work out as we had hoped at all did it? I think we all held out some hope that Saturday would be okay but for most tracks it was not. Cold and wet were the words of the day and hopefully that other word they are using in this morning’s forecast (snow) does not happen.
 
I was headed to Fulton for the first Super DIRTcar Series race but that had the plug pulled on it very early in the day. The good news is that the date or something close to it has already been confirmed for next year.
 
Fortunately for us though, our friend Steve Ovens from Turn 5 Racing Podcast sent us some of the interviews he did at Yates County Speedway on Friday night as they did get some practice laps in before the rain hit. You can listen to more from Steve online at www.turn5.podbean.com or search for him using itunes or YouTube. Thanks Steve.
 
We’re hoping for a better day today as we will keep our fingers crossed for Utica Rome as they hope to get in their first show of the season. Allie and I will be there. We may get a little cold, but we will be there.
 
Now let’s chat more about what we have for you on the Audio Page for today courtesy of our friends at Turn 5 Racing Podcast. Jared Hill and Tracy Dunn told Steve Ovens about their first hot lap session at Yates County. Jared spoke about an issue he had right away, Tracy talked about some carburetor issues he was having and each described their goals for the practice & the season. 
 
Jeremy Potrzebowksi talked about his goals for the practice and how Street Stocks travel track to track. He explained what changes he would have to make to run to the south, what he would have to do to run Woodhull and how big these changes are. 
 
Brent Ayers spoke with Steve Ovens after his hot laps and talked about some upgrades he did. He ran down some of the changes he made, how he thinks the track should change over the course of the week and how hard it as to be a fan last weekend. 
 
Rich Sharpsteen watched it rain and told Steve Ovens about his first race and his practice laps. He talked about his hopes for Woodhull on Saturday, what he likes about the track and his wishes to make the rules more similar for stock cars. 

 
Saturday, April 26th 2014
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Doug Manmiller talks about win number two at Grandview and his sixth place finish at Big Diamond.
Joe Skotnicki previews today’s Super DIRTcar Series race at Fulton and talks about a new race.
 
The first part of the day on Friday was real nice. As I sit here and watch the radar I wonder how the weekend will go. Big Diamond cancelled earlier in the day and I hope that today goes a little better for everyone.
 
I’ll be at Fulton today and will be hoping that Mother Nature is a race fan on the first day of the Super DIRTcar Series. Then tomorrow I’ll be at Utica Rome as they begin the NASCAR era. Do your no rain dances today and tomorrow and hopefully it will be enough to get us through it.
 
I’ve had some computer issues and some plumbing issues as well. So I am hopeful that repairs can be made and a new computer will be coming soon as our finances allow. We need to upgrade there desperately. I spend way too much time staring at the screen while script errors and other issues keep me on hold. It’s very counterproductive and must be addressed.
 
Now let’s chat more about what we have for you on the Audio Page. I begin with a multi-time winner from the Keystone State. Doug Manmiller talks about win number two at Grandview and his sixth place finish at Big Diamond. He told me how he took the lead with two to go, how he almost lost it by clipping the guardrail in urn one on the final lap and how a carburetor issue hindered their efforts the Friday before. 
 
Joe Skotnicki previews today’s Super DIRTcar Series race at Fulton and talks about a new race on the schedule in May at Brockville Ontario Speedway. He told me how good it will be to be back at the high banked 3/8 mile track today, how important consistency is on the series and why traditional events tend to do well. 

 
Friday, April 25th 2014
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Ryan Watt talked about his Modified wins at Big Diamond & Bridgeport and his Midget race.
Billy Dunn told me about a big problem he had in practice and how bad the engine was afterwards.
Matt Billings remembered Orange County and talked about his first practice night at Canandaigua.
Matt Janczuk gets ready for the Utica Rome opener and talks about moving to a big block for 2014.
Beth Schneider will begin her Sportsman title defense on Saturday and told me about her practice.
Cory Reed speaks about the two day Fulton opener and looks ahead to next week at Brewerton.
 
As you can see we were very busy these past few days as we for a lot of work done in the studio and paired it with some chats from last weekend. We are hoping for the best today as some weather could be in our area. We’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope for dry weather.
 
We’ll be at Fulton this weekend for their opener on Saturday and then at Utica Rome on Sunday as both tracks begin new eras. Fulton of course is back with DIRTcar, the first time since 2010 and Utica Rome returns to their status in the late 90’s as they will fly the NASCAR banner. We may do aquick hitter on Friday either going early or late but we'll see how things go.
 
If something does happen today and we can’t race, I’ll get in the studio to get you some more from this weekend. Like I said, we’re planning on racing and I am ready to go.
 
Now let’s chat more about what we have for you today on the Audio Page. I begin with a driver who is red hot to start the season. Ryan Watt talked about his Modified wins at Big Diamond & Bridgeport and his Midget race. He told me how he ran down the leader on Friday, how he survived a late restart on Sunday and looks ahead to a pair of races this weekend. 
 
Billy Dunn told me about a big problem he had in practice and how bad the engine was afterwards. He wondered what he may be able to salvage from the motor, who helped him with some much needed shop space and why the Syracuse engine is not that much different than he had before. 
 
Matt Billings remembered a recent race at Orange County and talked about his first night at Canandaigua. He told me how the car was in hot laps on Saturday, how tough it was going to be to make the show and why he is adding Brewerton to his weekly racing schedule. 
 
Matt Janczuk gets ready for the Utica Rome opener and talks about moving to a big block for 2014. He told me what his goals are for this Sunday, described an issue they had at the Fulton Speedway practice last Saturday and how things look at his race shop right now. 
 
Beth Schneider will begin her Sportsman title defense on Saturday and told me about her practice laps Saturday in Canandaigua. She talked about some changes she made to her car, wonders how her car will work with Modified tires on it after July and looks ahead to getting married next January.
 
Cory Reed speaks about the two day Fulton opener and looks ahead to next week at Brewerton. He explained why the show was made into a two day affair, how the track at Brewerton looks and which classes he sees growing this season. 

 
     
 
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