Gary Rowe - CPA
Dougs dirt diary
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Monday, May 19th 2014
   New on the Audio Page from the Utica Rome Speedway:
 
Pre race conversations:
 
Craig Pope described a carburetor issue he was dealing with in his first two starts in Vernon.
Mike Walton started his year with a pair of top tens and talked about being better when it is tacky.
Jeremy Vunk told me about sharing the point lead early and his hopes to keep things rolling.
Mike Bowman had a bit of a scare last Sunday and told me about the red light on his dashboard.
Stewart Friesen got ready for his first Late Model start and talked about it for TV with Paul Szmal.
 
After the heat races:
 
Brandon Walters won the first Sportsman heat race and talked about changing set ups at the track.
Mike Walton talked about his win in Sportsman heat number two and running the extreme outside.
Jeremy Vunk was patient on his way to a Sportsman heat win and told me how a restart helped.
Larry Wight led all but one lap on his way to a heat win and talked about changes they made.
Mike Bowman got the win in the final Modified heat and spoke about the need to make adjustments.
 
After the feature races:
 
Jeremy Vunk told Mike Mallett about his last corner win and how badly he felt about the end.
Tim Sears Jr. walked away to win the Go Nuclear Series opener and talked with Adam Buchanan.
Larry Wight survived a close battle late to win the Modified feature and told the crowd about it.
Stewart Friesen finished second on the Mod race and told me about the race he had out front.
 
It was another cold night at the Utica Rome Speedway as the Go Nuclear Late Model Series joined the regular four divisions. It turned out to be a sunny day so with the combination of that and the added division (which had 36 cars) the track was back to more normal Utica Rome conditions.
 
Larry Wight picked up his second win of the season as he held off a late charge from Stewart Friesen that saw the two run side by side for three laps with Wight, of course, up high and Friesen down low. But Wight was up to the challenge and ended up winning comfortably.
 
If you listen to Larry’s heat race win interview you’ll hear him tell me about some changes they made after Saturday at Fulton. It sounds like those changes were the right ones and now Larry has wins at both Fulton and Utica Rome.
 
You had to feel for Sportsman racer John DeForest. He was going for his first Sportsman win ever at Utica Rome and held off Jeremy Vunk with a couple of laps to go. As he drove under the white flag it looked like he had it in hand.
 
But Vunk got a great run out of two on the final lap and was able to inside of DeForest in turn three. DeForest went around and went from having a shot at the win to being the last car on the lead lap. It was heartbreaking and everyone I was with felt so bad for the young man. They’ll be other days John. Don’t feel bad. You’re not the first or the last to do what you did. Next time you’ll get it!!!
 
Tim Sears Jr. won the Go Nuclear Late Model opener as he bested a field of 36 cars that took four heats and a consolation race to set the field. You can see that race later this month on Time Warner Cable Sports in New York. Myself, Rich Vleck, Paul Szmal and the Thomas boys got together again to do the show and we had a ball.
 
So on days like this when I do TV, you will get less recordings as there are only so many minutes I can spend in the pits. But we’ll be back in full force tomorrow as we head to Thunder Mountain for Lightning on the Mountain, a Brett Deyo show. I’ll use some of what I did over the weekend for tomorrow and hopefully I’ll get in the studio as well.
 
Have a great start to your work week and I’ll see you tomorrow here and hopefully at Thunder Mountain too. 

 
Sunday, May 18th 2014
   New on the Audio Page from the Fulton Speedway:
 
Pre race conversations:
 
Chuck Bower told me about his races so far this season and evaluates how his Modified has done.
Billy Decker talks about his crash last week at Fulton, how he is feeling and his new Modified.
Pat Ward remembers his last lap pass for the win last Sunday in the Modified feature at Utica Rome.
Bret Belden explains how he has been doing in his Late Model and looks forward to double duty.
Willy Decker won his first race of the season one week ago and talked about his day in Vernon.
 
After the heat races:
 
Brandon Kuhn won the first Novice Sportsman heat and told me how scaling the car helped.
Brett Draper took home the checkered for the second time and talked about an engine issue.
Jim Spano led every lap to win the first Sportsman heat and wondered what to change for later.
Tony Finch described the low move he made to pass three cars and win the second heat race.
Jordan Bennett walked me through the pass he made to pick up the win in the final heat race.
Jim Witko stared down his Modified after a heat win and thought about what to do for the feature.
Chad Phelps talked about his Modified heat win and how it felt to turn 40 years old a few days ago.
 
After the feature races:
 
Rob Humphreys picked up his career first at the Fulton Speedway as he won the Sportsman main.
John Cunningham had never won in a Sprint Car and talked about his win in the 305 feature.
Billy Decker led all 35 laps to win after wrecking last week and told Adam Buchanan all about it.
Chuck Bower made a late race move to finish second and talked about how he made up some spots.
Chris Hile lost a spot late to finish 3rd and described a brake push he was feeling late in the race.
A.J. Kingsley won the Late Model feature race and told me how good it felt to win so early.
 
It was a cold night but a fun one at the Fulton Speedway. When I left my house it was dark, gray and gloomy. But when I got a little south of the speedway the sun came out and it turned out to be a really nice day until that sun went down. Then it got cold. I saw 45 degrees on my thermometer on the way home. Brrrrrr.
 
Billy Decker was the story on this night as he rebounded from a crash last week to lead every lap he ran all night long to come away with his first win of the 2014 season. His crew put together a new car that they got in their shop on Wednesday and that car got him the victory.
 
Firsts on the night were Rob Humphreys who picked up his first career win at Fulton in the Sportsman feature and John Cunningham won his first career Sprint Car race in the 305 feature.
 
The track and the entire facility was pretty good as the rain just never seems to stay very long in the sandy pit area and parking lot at Fulton. Plus the hill in the pits helps push everything towards the river making it a lot nicer night than a lot of us thought it would be.
 
I got a lot of interviews done although I did get to the track a little late as we had a busy day here at the house. Plus they started 15 minutes early with the extra stuff on the card and flew through the night as we got reports of wet weather to the southeast.
 
I hope you enjoy all the new clips and I hope to see a lot of you today at Utica Rome. We’ll be doing the first Atomic Power Racing Hour of the season as the Go Nuclear Late Models run for the Gnome Cup. It’ll be great to get back with Rich Vleck, Paul Szmal and Matt Thomas as we get to do some TV together. I’ll let you know when it airs.
 
So I’ll be there nice and early doing the ddd thing as well as the TV host thing. I’ll get a lot of interviews done and I also plan on going to Thunder Mountain on Tuesday for a Brett Deyo show.
 
Have a great Sunday and enjoy all the new stuff you have to listen to today. See you at the racetrack. 

 
Saturday, May 17th 2014
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Billy Pauch talks about winning the opener at Kutztown and how tough the field is there weekly.
Alysha Ruggles tells me how she won her first career 305 Sprint Car race Saturday at Canandaigua.
Brett Deyo previews the Lightning on the Mountain show at Thunder Mountain this Tuesday.
 
As expected the rain was a big factor and led to the cancellation of many races in our area on Friday. And with as much rain as we had you have to wonder if today we could see some more because of wet grounds. So we’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.
 
I got to work in the studio and was able to get three new interviews for you. Two are with winners from the track and the other previews our next mid week show coming up at Thunder Mountain on May 20th. I will see you there too as I have always like Thunder Mountain.
 
It reminds a little of Weedsport from the configuration and it reminds me of Fulton because the grandstands are on the side of a hill. Translation: There are no bad seats at Thunder Mountain. So make your plans to make the trip to Center Lisle, New York on Tuesday.
 
Now let’s chat more about what we have for you today on the Audio Page. I start with a veteran driver who was good on Wednesday night. Billy Pauch talks about winning the opener at Kutztown and how tough the field is there weekly. He told me how me worked his way up from 6th to the front, how much some changes in the cars have helped the way they drive and what he will be doing as he is off from the track this weekend. 
 
Alysha Ruggles tells me how she won her first career 305 Sprint Car race Saturday at Canandaigua. She remembered racing through the pack with her dad on her outside, how cool it was to get out of the car in victory lane with full grandstand cheering her on and shared some of the advice her dad has been giving her. 
 
Brett Deyo previews the Lightning on the Mountain show at Thunder Mountain this Tuesday. He talked about the big purses available for both the Mods & Sportsman, who will be coming to this show and what he is doing to get ready for May 20th

 
Friday, May 16th 2014
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Dan Vauter got ready for his second race of the season and talked about his opener at Malta.
Chris Hile talked about the switch to Hoosier tires and wondered how much stagger to go with. 
Dane Keller Jr. was part of a 27 car IMCA Modified field and talked about the big field of cars.
Hear the Modifieds and IMCA Modifieds as they get ready at Brewerton in our Motor Sounds clip.
 
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been watching that long line of rain for the past two days. I kept hoping it might break up and am still hoping that it might not be as bad as the weather people are saying. They have been known to be wrong and I am so hoping they are wrong this time as well. Keep your finger crossed.
 
But with it looking like it did, I did not want to do a bunch of interviews promoting events taking place today. So I am going to wait and see what happens and if I can’t go to the track, I have a few things set up.
 
Now let’s chat about what we do have on the Audio Page as I finally finished up all mu work at home on Thursday. Dan Vauter got ready for his second race of the season and talked about his opener at Malta. He told me how he liked the place, when he had been there before and compared it to the Brewerton Speedway. 
 
Chris Hile talked about the switch to Hoosier tires and wondered how much stagger to go with. He told me about the god draw he had, how that affected his tire choice and described the familiar car he had with him at Brewerton. 
 
Dane Keller Jr. was part of a 27 car IMCA Modified field and talked about the big field of cars. He told me about his comfort level in the car, how he did at the Fulton show and how his uncles help him at the track. 
 
Hear the Modifieds and IMCA Modifieds as they get ready at Brewerton in our Motor Sounds clip. Nice clip with them in the staging area and then letting it all hang out on the track as well. 

 
Thursday, May 15th 2014
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Tim Sears Jr. described a handling issue he had at the Fulton opener and how his car changes.
Joe August Jr. told me about a change he was going to make after his hot laps Saturday at Fulton.
Chris Mackey made the move from Sportsman to Modified and talked about his 2014 plans.
Corey Barker just got off the track at Fulton and talked about trying to get one in down south.
 
What a night of storms we had on Tuesday into Wednesday huh? It must have made promoter Dan Harpell happier as he saw the big storms come in right at about the time in between heats and consis. Yep, he made the right call alright.
 
As for me, I was tied up with so much yesterday that I was not able to get in the studio at all. Heck, I was lucky just to find time to write up this front page entry and put up some new audio files. Yep, it was that type of day alright.
 
Still making my plans for the weekend and will probably start out at Brewerton as I need to see the conclusion from last week. The heat races and 5 laps of the first feature was only a tease for me so I need to get back to see how things go in the first point races of the season.
 
Skyline will be my Saturday stop and then we’ll be at Utica Rome on Sunday to do some TV with the Go Nuclear Late Models. It will be a fun weekend. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed for Friday as that looks a little iffy weather wise. Yeah, what a surprise right?
 
Now let’s chat more about what we have for you to listen to today on the Audio Page. I begin with some stuff from Friday at Brewerton. Tim Sears Jr. described a handling issue he had at the Fulton opener and how his car changes as the laps wind down. He told what he did to try to figure out what was going on, what he may do to try to get it where he needs to be and the need for more seat time in he car. 
 
Joe August Jr. told me about a change he was going to make after his hot laps Saturday at Fulton. He explained why he was going to lean out his carb a little, which night will be tough for him to make it to the track and why he changed his number to 88. 
 
Chris Mackey made the move from Sportsman to Modified and talked about his 2014 plans. He told me how he did the first time out with the car, why he decided to call Brewerton his weekly shows and how much different the car feels compared to his open motor car. 
 
Corey Barker just got off the track at Fulton and talked about trying to get one in down south at Skyline last weekend. He told me about his hopes to run there again, how it felt in the hot laps on Saturday and where we will see him race this season. 

 
Wednesday, May 14th 2014
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Bobby Varin talks about his Modified win Sunday at Glen Ridge and how he felt afterwards.
Jim Witko told me about his first 2 races of the season and how his Friday went before the rain.
Jeremy Pitcher will be back on the clay this year and talked about his season up at Oswego.
Matt Spencer won his first race since 2006 and told me about the issues they had on this night.
Dan Harpell explained how bad weather in the morning led to the rain out at Yates County.
 
What a crazy weather day it was on Tuesday huh? If you were in the eastern part of New York State you’re probably wondering what I am talking about but if you were out west, you know.
 
As I was getting the kids on the bus I was watching the radar that was full of orange and red all the way from Lake Erie east to the Fingerlakes. It looked like it was going to march across New York State and get us all wet. So I went and took a nap fully expecting a rain out.
 
I woke up a few hours later and checked the radar first thing. I saw that all I had seen on there earlier was gone. Huh? So then I checked the Yates County website and saw they had pulled the plug and rescheduled the show for June 3rd. So I called promoter Dan Harpell and did a nice interview with him on how he made his decision. Heck, I would have done the same thing.
 
Plus I have two more chats from the studio as well as some from my Saturday night with Allie and Fulton. I still have more in the can and will be back in the studio today so be sure to come back tomorrow.
 
Now let’s chat more about what we have for you today on the Audio Page. I start out with a man who is feeling sore but relieved today. Bobby Varin talks about his Modified win Sunday at Glen Ridge and how he felt afterwards. He told me how good the racing surface was at the ¼ mile track, how starting on the front row put additional pressure on him and what a relief if was to get the first win in the books. 
 
Jim Witko told me about his first 2 races of the season and how his Friday went before the rain. He talked about his wreck in the Fulton opener, how badly damaged the car was and where we will see him in 2014. 
 
Jeremy Pitcher will be back on the clay this year and talked about his season up at Oswego. He told me why he prefers the dirt, how nice it will be to get back on the road to travel and why he had the old body on for this past weekend at Fulton. 
 
Matt Spencer won his first race since 2006 and told me about the issues they had on this night. He told me how he lost the lead in the middle stages of the race at Thunder Mountain, how he ran down the leader and how close he came to calling it quits after a tough 2013 season. Wow! 
 
Dan Harpell explained how bad weather in the morning led to the rain out at Yates County. He told me how that weather went away as the day went on, how he used the day to get ahead for Friday and described the special challenges that go with changing a speedway’s name. Good, honest chat here that will help you understand how tough days like Tuesday can be on promoters.  

 
Tuesday, May 13th 2014
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Matt Billings got ready for some action at Brewerton and compared it to his old Saturday home.
Tony Finch II got to the track a little late and told me about his solid run the last time he raced.
Kevan Cook talked about the big field of IMCA Modifieds and how he is helping other drivers.
James Carlson just moved up to the Sportsman division and talked about changing up his look.
Dan Harpell tells me about tonight’s ROC Modified race at Yates County Speedway in Dundee.
 
I got a lot done on Monday as we wrote up a new story for the Syracuse Post Standard, did some results for the paper as well and got some work done in the studio. In between we were tackling a big plumbing issue at our house that has set us back a bit but we are hoping everything is now set and we’re good to go for a while. Hey, it’s reality when you have a 53 year old house.
 
We’re hoping for some good weather today as Yates County Speedway in Dundee, New York has the Race of Champions Dirt Modified Tour coming to town for a show tonight at 7:30. I know, Mother Nature could step in and ruin this for us so we’ll have to see what happens and be sure to check out www.blackrockspeedway.net for more info.
 
If they do go, I will be there and have my schedule clear so I can do it. If not, I’ll get back in the studio and I do still have many things in the can now too so one way or another you’ll get new stuff from us tomorrow. Hopefully it is from a racy Tuesday night!
 
Now let’s chat more about what we have for you on the Audio Page today. I start out with stuff from my weekend travels. Matt Billings got ready for some action at Brewerton and compared it to his old Saturday home. He also told me how his car felt in hot laps, how helpful his fellow competitors were in helping him with his gear selection and who he has to wave to while he is out there. 
 
Tony Finch II got to the track a little late and told me about his solid run the last time he raced. He talked about a car switch he made last season, where he plans to race this season and his hopes to get out on the road more. 
 
Kevan Cook talked about the big field of IMCA Modifieds and how he is helping other drivers. He told me about some bad luck he had on his way to the track, wondered if it would affect the rest of his weekend and described a handling issue he was dealing with. 
 
James Carlson just moved up to the Sportsman division and talked about changing up his look. He talked about an upgrade he made to be safer in the car, wondered about a vibration he felt in the car and explained why the novice division is not as tough as the regular class. 
 
Dan Harpell tells me about tonight’s ROC Modified race at Yates County Speedway in Dundee. He talked about what he was working on for the event, how the weather could end up being a big factor and how the rest of his weekend went at Five Mile Point & Utica Rome Speedways. 

 
     
 
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