Gary Rowe - CPA
Dougs dirt diary
Gary Rowe of M.R. Gaebel, Inc.
Gates-Cole Associates SUNY Canton Automotive Technology program
Mid-State Golf Car
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Saturday, June 21st 2014
   New on the Audio Page from Can Am Motorsports Park:
 
Pre race conversations:
 
Phil Potts tells me about his season in a crate Late Model and a win he’ll never forget at Cornwall.
Anthony Stockman has 3 wins down at Skyline this year and wonders when he’ll win at Can Am.
Nick Krause is learning a car that is new to him and told me about gaining on things slowly. 
Taylor Caprara described the track he saw in hot laps and his three finishes so far this year.
Josh VanBrocklin was back at his weekly home and spoke about the high level of competition.
Jack Meeks explains why he took some time off from racing and how he has been doing lately.
 
After the rained out feature and the heat races:
 
Rob Martin picked up his first win in the Pro/Street division and spoke about it with Rob Thackston.
Jack Meeks walked me through his pass for the lead on lap 4 that got him a heat race victory.
Taylor Caprara led all but one lap in his heat win and told me how his Sportsman felt out there.
Dave Rogers made a late race pass for a Pro/Street heat win and talked about the strange racetrack. 
Shawn Kirby was out front in every lap and talked about his heat win and his earlier feature.
 
After the feature races:
 
Josh VanBrocklin picked up his second Sportsman win and spoke about it with Rob Thackston.
Jack Meeks had the lead for most of the Sportsman feature and told me what happened late.
Luke Whitteker came home in third place and told me how tough it was to run down the leader.
Charlie Sandercock won the Late Model feature race and got to talk with announcer John Burr.
Dave Rogers told me how he took the lead on lap seven and the mistake he saw the leader make.
 
I had a fun time as I traveled back to my old stomping grounds on Friday night. I worked at Can Am as an announcer with Paul Szmal for a few years back in the early 2000’s. A lot of the people that raced up there then still race there today and there were familiar faces everywhere I looked. Even a few guys out front in the parking lot are still in the same place they were years ago although I’m not sure if they’re drinking the same brand as back then.
 
The track was really good and really racy. It was uncommon to see someone lead every lap in the heat races which tells you how racy the track was. According to the racers it was a little slicker than in previous races but they all said the track has been excellent all year long. Well, in the three complete nights they have gotten in thanks to Mother Nature.
 
Now the big reason I went was to help promote the show they have coming up this Tuesday. The GRIT Sportsman Tour will headline the Thunder in the 100 Islands Series. In addition to the series race, the Sportsman regulars will run a make up race to get the night started. Plus the stock cars and both Thunder Car divisions will also be on hand.
 
I can’t be there on Tuesday so I wanted to chat with some people who will be and you’ll see lots of those interviews coming up starting Monday as we help get you ready for that Tuesday show.
 
I have a lot of interviews up for today and was able to save an addition eleven that I will hold on to. I also was able to speak with several people who will make their first appearance here and as always, I save those for during the week so you don’t miss them.
 
It was nice to see Dave Rogers pick up his first win in the Pro/Street class. It was emotional for him to say the least. If you know anything about him, things have been tough for him off the track and next month they are having a memorial race for Sara Rogers. I’m sure she was looking down and helping in his win. Congratulations Dave!
 
The Sportsman put on a real good show with Josh Van Brocklin making a low move for the lead and the win with just 8 laps to go. He and Jack Meeks put on a show at the front of the field running side by side for several laps before Van Brocklin took off after the race’s only caution. This was a good one.
 
I also got the winners in the Pro Street and Late Model divisions. Plus we got almost all the heat winners as well. And thanks goes out to John Burr who plugged the website several times. Thanks John. It was good to see you again.
 
Today I will be going to a racetrack but I have a lot to get done here first. I may not get out till late but I will be going to show and it will probably be Fulton. I heard the track was super last week.
 
Then I will be off Sunday for golf and will hit Utica Rome on Wednesday for a Super DIRTcar Series race and Rolling Wheels on Thursday for their first show of the season. It’s a great time to be a race fan so get out and show your support for your favorite Saturday night racetrack. 

 
Friday, June 20th 2014
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Dave Danzer met fans on the frontstretch and talked about starting the season with a victory.
Brian Sweeney has had a tough start to the season and told me how he hurt his engine last week.
Tim Devendorf is in his 3rd year back in a Supermodified and talked about some set up work.
Matt Janczuk updated me on his knee injury and spoke about his hopes to be back real soon.
Dave Moyer missed some weeks with a motor issue and told me how his last two races went.
Dana Camenga talked about how his 2014 season is going in the Pro Stock class at Utica Rome.
Jeff Hachmann previews the next two shows at Rolling Wheels on June 26th and later on July 3rd.
 
Friday is here and it is race day. It sounds like the weekend should be a good one too as we may actually get in three days of racing. Not sure where I am going today but come back tomorrow as we will be going somewhere for sure.
 
Remember, Glen Ridge is running tonight as they have switched their race day from Sunday to Friday leaving just one Sunday track in our area. It will be interesting to see how things change if at all.
 
Still not sure where I will go on Saturday either so if you have a suggestion, let me know and maybe I’ll take you up on it. Send your thoughts on either today or tomorrow to doug@dougsdirtdiary.com.
 
Now let’s chat more about what we have for you to listen to on the Audio Page today. Again, I start with three Supermodified drivers. Dave Danzer met fans on the front stretch and talked about starting the season with a victory. He talked about what went wrong the following week, what broke that ended up putting him in the fence and looks forward to working in a new car in the near future. 
 
Brian Sweeney has had a tough start to the season and told me how he hurt his engine last week. He spoke about how fortunate he was to get it back within a week, the need to fix a tight condition and what he may do to try to loosen it up a little. 
 
Tim Devendorf is in his 3rd year back in a Supermodified and talked about some set up work. He told me how much better the car has been the last few weeks, how up & down it can be week to week and looks ahead to a new car in a few weeks. 
 
Matt Janczuk updated me on his knee injury and spoke about his hopes to be back in the driver’s seat real soon. He told me what the diagnosis was for his injury, what he has to do to get better and how tough it has been for him to sit after years of wanting to drive a Modified weekly. 
 
Dave Moyer missed some weeks with a motor issue and told me how his last two races went. He told me about a head change they made, what it has done to the car’s power and what he had to do in the rear end to compensate for the extra power. He showed smoke at the end of the night on Sunday so we hope the motor is okay Dave! 
 
Dana Camenga talked about how his 2014 season is going in the Pro Stock class at Utica Rome. He told me what he was seeing in the racetrack, what they have been changing with set ups and what they are hoping those changes do. 
 
Jeff Hachmann previews the next two shows at Rolling Wheels on June 26th and later on July 3rd. He talked about what is on tap for each show, how the ended up racing on back to back Thursdays and looks back at the SDS race New Egypt on Tuesday. 


 
Thursday, June 19th 2014
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Pat Lavery came into Oswego fifth in Supermodified points and talked about a bent shock.
Stephen Gioia III is back this year after an injury and described how he is feeling at age thirty.
Dan Connors is learning a new Supermodified and told me about the struggles they’ve had so far.
Tim Mayne told me how his season has been going and why he decided to change his weekly home.
Ken McGuire Jr. explained what went wrong on opening night and how he hurt his racing engine.
Bret Belden tells me how he is doing as he learns Late Models and recaps his recent road trips.
Cameron Black is a pure rookie in the Small Block Super division and talked about his season.
 
We’re back on a Thursday with lots of goof stuff for you to listen to today. I am off today as dad and I will get in our first round of golf this season. Let’s hope we hit them straight and keep it out of the woods.
 
Still thinking about where to go this weekend and I’ll make that decision probably later today. The kids only have another week of school to go so we will hit the road more after that and hit some tracks we don’t normally go to. We’ll keep ya posted on that.
 
Now let’s chat more about what we have for you today on the Audio Page. We start with three Supermodified drivers from this past Saturday. Pat Lavery came into Oswego fifth in Supermodified points and talked about a bent shock. He told me what that bad shock did to the handling, how much better it was in the early practice on old tires and wondered how it would do with new rubber on. 
 
Stephen Gioia III is back this year after an injury and described how he is feeling at age thirty. He told me how he got a reminder of his age, where he feels he is better than in his early days and how he has been doing in the Supermodified. 
 
Dan Connors is learning a new Supermodified and told me about the struggles they’ve had so far. He talked about how tough it can be the first week out, how much they changed after that and how much better it is now compared to week one. 
 
Tim Mayne told me how his season has been going and why he decided to change his weekly home. He talked about learning a new car to him, how sail panels are different on big tracks compared to short tracks and what he is working on right now. 
 
Ken McGuire Jr. explained what went wrong on opening night and how he hurt his racing engine. He described the two separate issues that happened, how baldy damaged the motor was and how nice it was to be back at Utica Rome with his Modified. 
 
Bret Belden tells me how he is doing as he learns Late Models and recaps his recent road trips. He talked about a heat win at Humberstone, his return to Cornwall where he raced in 2003 and who kept his Pro Stock on the track at Utica Rome while he was on the road. 
 
Cameron Black is a pure rookie in the Small Block Super division and talked about his season so far. He told me why his dad made the decision to put him in a car at Oswego, what they have been working on in the handling department and what it was like the first laps he took. 

 
Wednesday, June 18th 2014
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Jessica Zemken talks about how she is doing as a rookie in a Supermodified at Oswego Speedway.
Jeff Abold is learning a new Supermodified and talked about some big off season changes.
Rusty Smith told me about racing both dirt & asphalt and how he was injured in the pit area.
Jack Miller got ready for the RoC Sportsman race at Utica Rome and recalled a second place.
Clay Butler Jr. described how he is doing at Big Diamond and remembered his RoC victory.
Camden Proud is a rookie in the Small Block Super division and talked about recent gains.
 
We welcome three new racers to the site today in Jeff Abold, Clay Butler Jr. and Camden Proud. I hope you enjoy hearing from some new drivers and I hope we get to talk to them again in victory lane.
 
We are going to be busy today and are still making our plans for this weekend as we’ll be doing Friday and Saturday this time around. Not sure if you guys saw this or not but there was a statement regarding Glen Ridge that came out from DIRTcar on Tuesday. It goes as follows.
 
“Pursuant to Glen Ridge Motorsports Park's announcement modifying its night for weekly racing, DIRTcar has withdrawn its sanction of all DIRTcar divisions. In addition, the Super DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Series event, scheduled for Wednesday, July 16, 2014, has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.
 
DIRTcar points toward the "Best 16" finishes will be counted toward the season ending point fund awards throughout the Sunday, June 15, event, however a home track bonus will not be awarded.”
 
Now let’s chat more about what we have for you to listen to today on the Audio Page. I start with a driver who is embracing a new challenge this year. Jessica Zemken talks about how she is doing as a rookie in a Supermodified at Oswego Speedway. She told me what she has been learning, how her comfort level in the car is right now and the troubles they were having early this past Saturday. 
 
Jeff Abold is learning a new Supermodified and talked about some big off season changes. He spoke about where they made those changes, how nice it has been to work with his family as they put it together and how much better the car is working compared to last season. 
 
Rusty Smith told me about racing both dirt & asphalt and how he was injured in the pit area. He talked about a recent pick up race on Friday night, why he feels a little “outclassed” in the dirt Modified division and how he is recovering after having the racecar fall on him. Whew! 
 
Clay Butler Jr. described how he is doing at Big Diamond and remembered his RoC victory. He told me how an error he made hurt him at the last RoC show, the need to find bite at Utica Rome and how big the changes were that he made to try to compensate for it. 
 
Jack Miller got ready for the RoC Sportsman race at Utica Rome and recalled a second place. He told me how close he came to getting the win, how he gained a little in the points and the need to fix a tight condition. 
 
Camden Proud is a rookie in the Small Block Super division and talked about recent gains. He told me how close he came to getting that first win, how he lost second place in the final laps and described his background in the sport. Nice young man! 

 
Tuesday, June 17th 2014
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Joe Skotnicki previews today’s Dirty Jersey 60 at New Egypt and looks ahead to a busy schedule.
Ray Graham was fastest in the final practice at Oswego and told me where his new car is now.
Alan Barker had a Modified with him Sunday at Utica Rome and talked about when he’ll race it.
Alex Hoag explained how he got back into racing this year and why they chose to run at Oswego.
Kreig Heroth came into Saturday night 5th in points and talked about turning his fastest lap.
Mike Butler told me how his season has been going at New Egypt and his two races on Saturday.
Andrew Ferguson talked about the great back and forth battle was a part of in his win at Skyline.
 
It was a super nice day on Monday and I got off to an early start getting the kids up and on the bus. Before they got off at the end of the day I had my column written and turned in for you to see in today’s Syracuse Post Standard or online at www.syracuse.com/motorsports. I hope you like it.
 
I also got in the studio although mostly played phone tag. I did get a preview of today’s Dirty Jersey 60 recorded with Joe Skotnicki as a reminder so make your plans to go. The weather will be great tonight from what I am hearing although it is always best to check your local forecast. But it does sound good for tonight.
 
On the page we also have a nice balance of dirt and asphalt today as we have three from Utica Rome and three from Oswego. Again, I had so much fun this past weekend but did run out of gas a little on Sunday. I don’t have to get up early today so I hope to be well rested and back to 100% by the time I wake up.
 
Now let’s chat more about what we have for you to listen to on the Audio Page today. I start with a reminder about tonight. Joe Skotnicki previews today’s Dirty Jersey 60 at New Egypt and looks ahead to a busy schedule. He talked about who we may see at tonight’s Super DIRTcar Series race, reminds fans that Sprint Cars are also on the card and looks ahead to Utica Rome, Cornwall and Rolling Wheels all before July 4th
 
Ray Graham was fastest in the final practice at Oswego and told me where his new car is now. He talked about the need to slow it down to improve drivability, the need to run consistent lap times and what they did to the car doing the week. 
 
Alan Barker had a pretty clean looking Modified with him Sunday at Utica Rome and talked about when he’ll race it. He told me when they got the car ready, how well things have been going in the Sportsman division at I-88 Speedway and how a rainout helped him get the car ready for Sunday. 
 
Alex Hoag explained how he got back into racing this year and why they chose to run at Oswego. He recalled working in his wife’s racing career the past few seasons, compared the small block super to the asphalt Modified he drove before in both handling and cost. Good one here! 
 
Kreig Heroth came into Saturday night 5th in points and talked about turning his fastest lap. He spoke about learning the new tire for this year, how everyone else is doing in the learning process and his hopes to make the move to a Supermodified. 
 
Mike Butler told me how his season has been going at New Egypt and his two races on Saturday. He talked about being black flagged after losing his rear bumper, how he did at the RoC race at Utica Rome last year and what it would take to make the day successful. 
 
Andrew Ferguson talked about the great back and forth battle was a part of in his win at Skyline. He told me how good it felt to pick up his first win of the season, how he picked up the lead initially and how he finally got it back for the final time. 

 
Monday, June 16th 2014
   New on the Audio Page from the Utica Rome Speedway:
 
Pre race conversations:
 
Tom Denton has all wins and one second place this season and talked about his fast Pro Stock.
Mike Walton discovered a problem during the week and wondered how his car could change.
Eddie Ostrander summed up how his season has been going and a problem on corner entry.
Butch Green explained why he pulled out of line and headed back to his pits before hot laps.
Shannon Whaley picked up his first win the night before and talked about moving to Sportsman.
Mike Mahaney spoke about his 4th place at Thunder Mountain and his flip in a SpeedSTR.
 
After the heat races:
 
Heath Carney won the first RoC Sportsman heat and thought back on his win the week before.
Claude Hutchings Jr. explained why he was in such a hurry to get to the top in his heat win.
Larry Wight ran the inside lane on his way to a heat win and had some dinner before the feature.
Willy Decker got the win in the final Modified heat and told me how much he likes his Modified.
Mark Effner walked me through his pass for the lead and explained why he is using an older car.
Eddie Ostrander looked good in his heat win and wondered if his handling issue may be fixed.
 
After the feature races:
 
Claude Hutchings Jr. won his first feature of the season and told Mike Mallett about the victory.
Jeremy Vunk kept his point lead with a second place finish and compared himself to the winner.
Steve Way raced his way to a third place finish and told Mike how his car faded at the end.
Stewart Friesen passed for the top spot with two to go and talked about his tenth win so far.
Mike Mahaney spoke about his fourth place finish and why he had to start the race in last place.
 
I hope you all had a nice Father’s Day whether you were wishing it to your dad or receiving well wishes from family. We had a nice day on a very sunny Sunday afternoon as Allie and I rolled out to the Utica Rome Speedway.
 
The Race of Champions Sportsman Tour was onhand and 21 cars were set to go for it on the big, slick half mile track. Claude Hutchings Jr. got a yellow right at the right time on his way to his first win of the season.
 
You see, on a lap 13 restart he lost the lead to Jeremy Vunk. Hutchings chose the outside, a lane that had been good to him all day long, and Vunk was simply able to drive away. But fortunately for Hutchings, the yellow flag waved before the lap was completed giving him his first place spot back.
 
On the second restart, Hutchings chose the bottom groove and was able to hold off Vunk for the lead and the eventual win. Thirteen cautions slowed the pace of this race as it took forever to complete. Utica Rome regulars swept the top five positions.
 
In the Modified race, Stewart Friesen ran down Pat Ward and got to the inside of him in turn one to complete the pass and get his tenth win of the season. Ward would hold on for second followed by Matt Sheppard, Mike Mahaney and Ryan Phelps.
 
I did save 12 chats from before things go started and I’ll throw those up this week with the 13 interviews I saved from Oswego on Saturday to give you at least six a day every day this week.
 
I am however very tired so I am going to cut this short. I’ll be in the studio today as I have a few things on the docket to get done. If you have any requests, send them to me at doug@dougsdirtdiary.com or message me on facebook.
 
Have a great start to your work week. And thanks for checking is out. 

 
Sunday, June 15th 2014
   New on the Audio Page from the Oswego Speedway:
 
Pre race conversations:
 
Randy Ritskes spoke about his recent win in a Supermodified and how his day was going.
Jack Patrick came into the night 3rd in Small Block Super points and spoke about consistency.
Andrew Schartner was the point leader in the small blocks and talked about his good start.
Dave Gruel is working with a new Supermodified this season and summed up how it is going.
Tim Snyder missed the first week at Oswego and told me how his new car has been racing.
Otto Sitterly leads the Supermodified points and talked about coming from back in the field.
 
After the heat races:
 
Jack Patrick made his pass for the lead on lap six and told me why the number 9 may be lucky.
Mark Castiglia won his heat race and explained how he got the lead when the leader had trouble.
Barry Kingsley got settled for the feature race and spoke about his win in the final qualifier.
Dave Gruel described the move he made up high in turn four to go from third to first in one corner.
Shaun Gosselin got the win in the second heat and talked about an accident he had in practice.
Tim Snyder earned his first Oswego win in his heat and wondered how good his racecar was.
 
After the features:
 
Jason Simmons held on to win the small block feature and spoke about it with Dan Kapuscinski.
Andrew Schartner came from 11th to 2nd in the 30 lapper and talked about his philosophy.
Barry Kingsley finished in third place and told Dan Kapuscinski about the nice night for his team.
Michael Barnes pulled away late for his first win of the season and told the crowd how he did it.
Otto Sitterly was the runner up in the 50 lapper and told Dan how he picked up nine spots.
Dave Gruel brought a damaged racecar home in third and talked about how his car was affected.
 
I had a great night at the Oswego Speedway on Saturday and every time I go there I leave saying the same thing, “I need to come here more!” I always have a great time there and the people could not be nicer or better at helping me understand the nuances of asphalt racing. It is so much fun and thanks so much everybody. I’m truly humbled!
 
As for the racing, it was real good too. Jason Simmons won his first of the season and second of his career in the Small Block Supermodified feature. Former dirt racer Andrew Schartner (who also leads the points) worked his way from 11th to 2nd but could not find a way around Simmons.
 
He tried too! On several occasions he went to the outside in three and four but just could not get ahead. There was a bad crash on lap number 20 that saw only four cars drive away. There were a few at the back that missed the contact but it damaged a lot of cars and a few racecar drivers.
 
Both Mike Bond and Mark Castiglia were transported to the hospital in an ambulance after they came together. Castiglia was slowing when Bond got airborne and drove into the cage of his car. There was nothing either could have done. It was a scary deal to say the least and we are hoping they are both feeling well today.
 
In the Supermodified feature, it was all Michael Barnes. He passed early leader Brandon Bellinger on lap 9 and held off Otto Sittterly for a few laps before pulling away in the end. Barnes started in ninth too and came to the front very quickly while Sitterly’s march to the front was more methodical.
 
Dave Gruel was involved in a lap two crash the red flagged the field leading to a refuel of the cars left on the frontstretch just in case. He worked his way up to third with both wings damaged. Only three yellows slowed the pace of this one with the final 34 laps being run under green which led to just 6 cars on the lead lap when the checkered flag waved.
 
I did 19 pre race interviews and got all 6 of the heat winners. I let Dan Kapuscinski handle the load and aired his chats from victory lane with the top three finishers in each division. I got to tell ya, they are so fortunate to have a guy like Dan working for them.
 
His on track reporting is about as good as it gets and he knows more about the sport than alot of guys who race now. Plus he can write, sell sponsors, run a race and wield a car around pretty well too. What more could you want? Way to go Dan! You are the man!!! And I’m sure a lot of tracks would like to get you at their place.
 
Like I said, I could not have had a better time. Well, I take that back. It could have been a warmer day. I had my winter jacket on as it is always cold next to the lake. But the fact that they did autograph nite really helped me. I did 15 interviews in the 45 minutes or so they were on the track greeting the fans.
 
Usually I don’t get as many done at Oswego as I do at other tracks because there are usually cars on the track and it becomes tough to interview drivers with the loud engines. (Maybe that has kept me away a little in the past as I always leave there feeling like I didn’t get enough done.) So with the autograph session, I was able to get a lot done. Maybe more than I ever have there. Sounds like I’ll be at their next autograph nite for sure and maybe before then.
 
Today Allie will join me as we head to Utica Rome Speedway for Father’s Day. I have not been there in a few weeks so it will be fun to go and catch up on what I missed. I’ll be at Glen Ridge next Sunday and then we’ll start expanding out a little more from there.
 
Remember today is Father’s Day so do something nice for your dad like taking him to a speedway or whatever his favorite activity may be. And for those of you who lost your dad, I hope you have nice thoughts today as you remember. I’ll give my kids and my dad big hugs today so be sure to do the same.
 
Have a great Sunday and be sure to come back for more tomorrow. 

 
     
 
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