Gary Rowe - CPA
Dougs dirt diary
Gary Rowe of M.R. Gaebel, Inc.
Gates-Cole Associates SUNY Canton Automotive Technology program
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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We are discontinuing operations soon. Please listen to the audio from December 26th for more information. Thank you all for your support over the years.
Friday, July 27th 2012
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Don O’Neal tells announcer James Essex about his nine win season and Utica Rome Speedway. 
Dan Stone explained that he did not blow a motor at Stateline and what the problem really was. 
Jason Barney told me about some issues he had on Sunday and the car he had at Utica Rome. 
Kevin Ward Jr. talked about his early days in racing as a young man with announcer Bill Foley.
Charlie Donk did not make it to the last ESS race at Mohawk and told me why he stayed home. 
Aaron Jacobs made a motor switch with his Late Model and described the work he did to race. 
 
Well we braved the storms okay yesterday as we here in Central New York kind of sat in the middle of the stuff that came through. I know there were tornado watches out but as of 3:30 Thursday we are fine and dandy here at the home studio. 
 
We have more stuff up today from Utica Rome and will be back tomorrow with more from the Wednesday show. Our plans changed and we will chase a race on Saturday and Sunday. 
 
Big thanks goes out to Supply Wagon Rentals in Johnstown as they became our latest partner on the site. You name it, they rent it. From heavy equipment to place settings & tables for a formal dinner. They do it all. Be sure to check them out at www.supplywagonrentals.com
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with an insightful chat with the Lucas Oil Late Model Series winningest driver. Don O’Neal tells announcer James Essex about his nine win season and Utica Rome Speedway. He told him about some big money races still to come, how much he enjoys the New York tracks and his hopes to do better at the big half mile. 
 
Dan Stone explained that he did not blow a motor at Stateline as many thought and what the problem really was. He told me how they knew it was a bad gauge, why it was best not to take the chance and the bad luck he has had with motors this year. 
 
Jason Barney told me about some issues he had on Sunday and the car he had at Utica Rome. He talked about his goals for the practice session, how happy he was to have found out what was wrong and why he switched to the new car for the mid week show. 
 
Kevin Ward Jr. talked about his early days in racing as a young man with announcer Bill Foley. He told him about his start at age four, compares the Sprint Car he drives now to what he drove in the past and evaluates where he is in his career right now. 
 
Charlie Donk did not make it to the last ESS race at Mohawk and told me why he stayed home. He remembered his strong run the last time he came to Utica Rome, why he thought the track looked a little different this time out and why he had his work cut out for him thanks to a rough draw. 
 
Aaron Jacobs made a motor switch with his Late Model and described the work he did to race at Utica Rome. He told me where the motor came from, how he thinks he’ll do against the full blown Late Models and wondered how much his local track knowledge would help. 

 
Thursday, July 26th 2012
   New on the Audio Page from the Utica Rome Speedway:
 
Pre race conversations:
 
Tyler Reddick goes over his season so far on the Lucas Oil Late Model tour with James Essex
John Blankenship talks with James Essex about his Late Model win the night before at Stateline. 
Jimmy Owens is the series point leader and spoke with James Essex about racing with Sprinters.
Cory Sparks had a third place Friday at Mohawk International and talked about his bad luck. 
Bobby Varin told me how much he likes Sprint Cars and recapped his race last week at Fonda. 
Chuck Hebing got ready for the driver’s meeting and told me how good Utica Rome has been. 
Steve Francis just got off the track after hot laps and talked about how good his car felt early. 
Sam Reakes IV spoke with Bill Foley about having to change his goals after a real nice start. 
 
After the heat races and the dash:
 
Chuck Hebing talked about his Sprint Car heat win and going off the track during the dash. 
Cory Sparks won the second ESS heat and told me how he was looking around while out front. 
Matt Tanner walked me through the pair of slide jobs he did to get to the front and win his heat. 
Steve Francis told me about his Lucas Oil Late Model heat win and his search for tire knowledge. 
John Blankenship led every lap in his win and talked about how good his car was in the slick. 
Earl Pearson Jr. picked up his first heat win of the season and how up & down his team has been. 
Tim McCreadie made a nice move to get around Scott Bloomquist and talked about his heat win.
Bobby Varin won the ESS dash and described the back and forth race he had out in front. 
 
After the A-Main and the feature:
 
Chuck Hebing told Mike Mallett about his A-Main win and described an issue he had late.
Bobby Varin talked to Mike Mallett after his 2nd place and how happy he was with the result. 
Sam Reakes IV had a strong run coming home third and told Mike Mallett about his race night. 
Tim McCreadie led the final 42 laps to get the victory and talked with announcer James Essex
 
I had a fun night as my oldest daughter and I headed to the Utica Rome Speedway for the Lucas Oil Late Models and the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints. I’ve never seen these two divisions together before and it was a nice deal. 
 
On the way there we saw a fire in the parking lot of the LaQuinta Inn just off the Oneida exit from the thruway. We could see the smoke many miles away as we approached and were surprised it was right there. I could not see what was burning, but the heavy black smoke we saw minutes before getting off the thruway told us it was burning pretty well. 
 
Then just a few miles later on route 31, we saw a head on crash that must have happened only minutes before we went through. Everyone we saw looked alright as nobody was in their cars and hopefully both of those incidents didn’t hurt anybody. What a start to the day. 
 
We were happy to finally get to the track as Allie loves Sprint Cars but she had never seen Super Late Models before and she enjoyed them both as did the fans who were on hand. Local drivers Tim McCreadie, Tim Fuller and Vic Coffey were on hand as well as Billy Decker, Larry Wight (who did both) and Justin Wright. Modified driver Bobby Varin was moonlighting in a Sprint Car too.
 
Of course the Sprints saw the usual bunch minus a few as Jessica Zemken is still off with the series, Shawn Donath is having back issues and former champion Steve Poirier is still recovering from knee surgery. It will be nice to hopefully have them all back together on the tour later this year. And get well Shawn and Steve.
 
Many were in the pit area thinking about Denny Decker after his crash Tuesday night at I-88 Speedway. Those who were there have described the scene to me and we are all praying for Denny to get well fast. The news we heard got better as the day went on and we are hopeful that he will make a full recovery. 
 
No serious incidents at Utica Rome thank god as I think a lot of folks (me included) were a little on edge after hearing the news from the night before. The Late Models and Sprints put on real good shows and the track got better as the night went on. As usual there were a lot of grooves to run in and the fast one moved around as it always does at Utica Rome.
 
I recorded twenty pre race chats as Lucas Oil Series announcer James Essex helped out with some of his guys and Brewerton & Fulton Speedway announcer Bill Foley did a few with the Sprints. I love getting some help and love hearing a voice different than my own on the site. Thanks guys! And any of you fans or any of you announcers want to try, just let me know.
 
I also got the seven heat winners with both divisions and took a lot of photos too. Plus we have the victory lanes as well so you have a lot to listen to today. 
 
Chuck Hebing dominated the ESS A-Main as Bobby Varin tried to run him down. And Sam Reakes IV had a strong run working his way up to third while former Utica Rome Modified regular Paul Kinney passed a bunch of cars to finish 4th
 
Tim McCreadie ran down Earl Pearson Jr. to earn a popular victory in the Late Model race. Jimmy Owens was fast late and at times gave Tim all he could handle. Gregg Satterlee was the hard charger of the race and was in a gaggle of cars racing for 4th through eighth. The racing for that spot amongst four cars was nothing short of spectacular. 
 
Again, it was a fun night and I will be back tomorrow with more from this event as I may even stretch what I did with some studio stuff till Saturday. Some things changed around here and I may have to alter my plans a bit. I’ll keep you posted. 
 
Check out the new stuff and if I get anything else in today photo wise, I’ll be sure to put it up. Have a great Thursday, watch out for the storms as there could be some good ones today and let’s hope for the best for Friday. We need the rain of course but let’s hope it happens at night after the last checkered flag. See you tomorrow and get well Denny!!!

 
Wednesday, July 25th 2012
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Michael Parent talks about winning his first ever ESS A-Main as he gets ready for Utica Rome.
Steve Poirier explains why we have not seen much of his of late and when he may race again. 
Shannon Whaley spoke about changing his weekly racing home and a nagging carburetor issue. 
Chris Fleming will be in a 360 Sprint Car tonight at Utica Rome and told me how it came together. 
Robert Barker is a rookie in the Sportsman class and explained why he drove to Utica Rome. 
Chuck Akulis will be at Penn Can for Legends Night and talked a little about his 40 year career.
 
I had a nice day on Tuesday as I was a little under the weather early but bounced back as the day went on. I did some work in the studio and put those three chats up with three I had this past weekend to give you six to listen to today.
 
Be sure and give the Chuck Akulis interview a listen as he will be at Penn Can Speedway this Friday as they honor some of the legendary drivers that have raced there and in the Southern Tier. I’ll be there this week too as it has been a while since I’ve made it down there.
 
Today I will be at the Utica Rome Speedway as the Lucas Oil Late Models will be joined by the Empire Super Sprints. It is an interesting combination and one that should be a lot of fun. I’ll be bringing my daughter Allie with me as well as she has always liked Sprints. She has never seen Late Models and I know she’ll like them too. I told her that they look like they are going to spin out by somehow they power out of it.
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a man who just did something he had never done before. Michael Parent talks about winning his first ever ESS A-Main as he gets ready for Utica Rome tonight. He also told me about his career best 410 finish Thursday at Fonda, how two nights in a 410 helped him get the win and looks forward to racing with the World of Outlaws this weekend. 
 
Steve Poirier explains why we have not seen much of his of late and when he may race again. He told me when he reinjured his knee, when he had the surgery to fix it and how he is doing right now. Get well my friend! 
 
Shannon Whaley spoke about changing his weekly racing home and a nagging carburetor issue. He explained how much of a factor tires were in the decision, why he knew he could not make every Saturday and how much of a struggle it has been to learn new tires and a new racetrack. 
 
Chris Fleming will be in a 360 Sprint Car tonight at Utica Rome and told me how it came together. He talked about his hopes to do well, how tough it is to run mid pack after being sued to winning and wondered if he could ever say goodbye to his IMCA Modified. 
 
Robert Barker is a rookie in the Sportsman class and explained why he drove to Utica Rome. He compared the track to his weekly home, described his goals for this season and how the rookie driver has been doing behind the wheel.  
 
Chuck Akulis will be at Penn Can for Legends Night this Friday and talked a little about his 40 year career. He remembered his first time in a “green horn race”, when he first had the color pink on his car and how much different the sport is today than when he first came up. Nice one here! 

 
Tuesday, July 24th 2012
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Ronnie Johnson talks about his last three races this past weekend and why 9th place is the norm. 
Pat Ward spoke about the logging business and how tough it was to lose racer Wade Decker. 
Todd Burley remembered his “terrible tenth” on Friday and the motor problem at Utica Rome. 
Larry Wight thought back on his 410 Sprint Car race as the All Stars visited Brewerton Speedway. 
Alan Barker told me about today’s Wade Decker Memorial at I-88 and how he has done this year.
 
It was a hot one on Monday and several of you had some pretty strong storms to deal with. Hope you all made it through it okay. I got my work done early just in case as I see a lot popping up out there as I write this at 2:30 PM on Monday.
 
Remember there are two big shows back to back starting tonight at I-88 Speedway as they honor the memory of Wade Decker who was lost in a logging accident last summer. This will be a huge show and it will be a great opportunity for those of you who have yet to check this place out. Trust me, it’s worth it, head down!
 
Then tomorrow the Lucas Oil Late Models join the Empire Super Sprints for a mid week show at the Utica Rome Speedway. These two classes together should make for a super fun show and they did announce that Tim McCreadie is a yes for this one.
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with some from my weekend and a few to promote tonight’s show at I-88. Ronnie Johnson talks about his three shows this past weekend and why ninth place seemed to be the new norm. He told me what he told his wife about the streak, how he got a flat on Friday and why a ninth place can take more work than a win.  
 
Pat Ward spoke about the logging business and how tough it was to lose racer/logger Wade Decker last summer. He talked about the hard working people he knows, what he did when he worked in the business and looked forward to honoring Wade today with a race at I-88 Speedway. 
 
Todd Burley remembered his “terrible tenth” on Friday and the motor problem at Utica Rome. He told me when he hurt his engine, how badly damaged it was and the small block he had in the car for Sunday. Darn it! He was pushed in after hot laps with engine trouble. 
 
Larry Wight thought back on his 410 Sprint Car race as the All Stars visited Brewerton Speedway. He talked about his 11th place finish, how happy he was to be a part of the biggest show ever at Brewerton and what it was like to get used to a 410 compared to his 360. 
 
Alan Barker talked about today’s Wade Decker Memorial at I-88 and how he has done so far as a Friday night regular. He told me how close he has come to a win, why he towed to Utica Rome on Sunday and how tough it is to lose a good man in a work accident. Rest in peace Wade! 

 
Monday, July 23rd 2012
   New on the Audio Page from the Utica Rome Speedway:
 
Pre race conversations:
 
Corie Locke talked about adapting to a rear wheel drive car after driving a front wheel 4 Cylinder. 
Dwight Johnson described a problem he had with his Pro Stock and wondered if it was fixed. 
Stewart Friesen ran down how his weekend went as he had a win on Friday and 4th on Saturday. 
Jeremy Vunk explained how he lost a lap in the last race and how it cost him the point lead. 
Jimmy Davis remembered his Modified win at Fonda last Thursday and how a good draw helped.
 
After the heat races:
 
Larry Wight signed some autographs for the crowd and talked about his win in the first heat. 
Chris Busta won the second heat and told me why the rain that fell after hot laps didn’t matter. 
Casey Williams talked about his Modified heat win and when his car stumbled in the corners. 
Alan Johnson spoke about his two win weekend and the wreck the hauler was in on the way home. 
Chris Mackey enjoyed signing some autographs and remembered who his favorite driver was. 
 
After the features:
 
Pete Stefanski won his first Pro Stock feature of the year at Utica and talked about the victory. 
Stewart Friesen made it four Modified feature wins in a row and told Mike Mallett about this one. 
Alan Johnson almost swept the weekend and talked about finishing in second place with Mike. 
Matt Sheppard came from 17th to 3rd and told Mike Mallett how he was compared to the top two. 
Steve Way took over the lead as the white flag waved and talked about winning his 2nd in a row. 
 
Last night I traveled east to the Utica Rome Speedway for some fun at the big half mile. Everything was going according to plan until Mother Nature started to rain on us just after hot laps. It started as a little drizzle that made you unsure if it was actually raining or not but then escalated. 
 
Fortunately it did not rain for very long and the packers were able to pretty much have the track ready to go only a few minutes past the advertised starting time. And the ground in the pit area was so dry you could not even tell it rained there. They brought out both heats of Pro Stocks to help run it in the rest of the way in and in no time we were ready for the first green flag.
 
One driver that was not there when the rain fell and just made it in time for his qualifying heat race was Alan Johnson. Car owner Kenny Saya’s hauler was struck by a car that ran a stop sign as they traveled north on route 21 last night on the way back from their Canandaigua win. Luckily the women drove a big car and had air bags or, from what the guys told me, she would have been in trouble.
 
Consequently the team had to get the racecars from Farmington, bring them back, deal with the wrecked rig and somehow make it to Utica Rome in time with the standard pick up truck and basic enclosed trailer. Somehow they did but from what I heard, many were on no sleep. That’s a motivated team that has really come together right there!
 
Alan Johnson was trying to sweep the weekend as he won at Brewerton on Friday and Canandaigua on Saturday. He chatted with me after his heat about his weekend and what he heard about the crash. He was not in the hauler as he was on his way back to his home in Middlesex. That chat is on the Audio Page. 
 
No story book ending or possible Disney movie here, although Johnson did made his way from ninth to the lead briefly on lap thirteen but then Stewart Friesen went to the outside on turn four to get to the front and to victory lane for the second time this weekend. He also made a nice split of a pair of lapped cars after waiting on the frontstretch to see what they did. It was sick! 
 
Friesen now has four in a row, eighteen altogether and has been nothing short of amazing these past four weeks in Vernon. Matt Sheppard was fast as well and was all over Alan Johnson when the checkered flag waved settling for third. Listen to his interview and he’ll tell you how good his car was and from what I saw you have to believe him. He looked good!
 
I did not get as many heat winners as I normally do although I did get four. They did the autograph session behind the grandstand so it was tougher to get to the guys. Plus when they are right in the middle of signing a bunch of autographs, I tend to sit back and let the fans get to them. If I can sneak in, I do. But this is the time for fans to get to know these guys and see who the man or woman is behind the helmet…although tonight it was all guys, a rarity in today’s racing world. 
 
Two drivers did not make it to the feature unfortunately as Todd Burley was pushed back to the pits after a few hot laps and Ronnie Johnson was out with reported steering issues. Ricky Breed was fighting for a win with his good buddy Ronnie Hawker in the Pure Stock feature when he got tangled up with a slower car and hit the wall hard right before the finish line and just short of the checkered flag. Hawker won that dash and the race. 
 
They did do a one lap dash after the crash but you have to feel for these three drivers and many more that had something break that shouldn’t have, hit something they shouldn’t have or just plain have a lot of work to do this week. 
 
Congrats to Pete Stefanski as he won his first of the season n the Pro Stock ranks. If you do a search for him on the Audio Page you’ll hear how he has struggled to get the car to work this year.  You know this one had to feel good. 
 
And Steve Way did something he had never done before as he won for the second week in a row in the Sportsman. He did it in style too with an outside move coming out of turn four that saw him right under flagger Matt Burdick’s toes. He did that right as Matt was waving the white flag too. A late race pass for the win will always make any driver very, very happy. Win from the pole, still pretty happy. But the late race pass for the win…much more happiness indeed! Those are the ones you remember as a driver I’m sure. 
 
Now I need to figure out what to do this week. The big question is I-88 on Tuesday. Boy I would sure like to get some help from a fan, a team or a local sponsor on that one. We'll give you some mentions in the interviews! I did have one fan of the site slap me a twenty last night and I put half that in my tank.  Thanks buddy!  If you want to help, get ahold of me at doug@dougsdirtdiary.com as I would love to go but really don’t have the money needed to get there. A c-note should do it.  Of course you can message me on facebook too although I am not on there as much as I once was. It can truly be a tremendous waste of time. Right?
 
I have more pictures to put up today and I’ll get to those this afternoon. Have a great Monday and come back tomorrow for Todd Burley, Ronnie Johnson and more. 

 
Sunday, July 22nd 2012
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Mike Bowman talked about his new Modified and why they changed their chassis manufacturer. 
Joe August Jr. told me what broke last week at Fulton and how expensive the race night was. 
Mike Smith had a somewhat new chassis at Brewerton and talked about the need for an upgrade. 
Brandon Carvey showed off a new look for his IMCA Modified and told me why they did it. 
Bryan Van Tassell ran down how his rookie season has been going in his IMCA Modified. 
 
We had a fun day on my somewhat day off for the Syracuse Nationals. My dad and I took my daughters over to the show in the early afternoon while my wife stayed with mom back at the house. We saw lots of great cars and I am slowly but surely turning my daughters into car girls. 
 
Of course I think we enjoyed sitting out front watching the cars leave to get dinner more than the show itself. It is great to see these cars up close but better to see and hear them go down the road. 
 
Then after dinner, dad took my girls in his 1968 Dodge Polara convertible while I followed in my 1988 Camaro convertible with a 602 crate engine under the hood. We only made a quick trip to where the people had their lawn chairs set up on Seventh North Street by the headquarters and after watching cars go by earlier in the day it was nice to be watched instead of watching.
 
Now today I will be back at racing as I will be back at the Utica Rome Speedway. We put up some photos earlier on Saturday and then again at about 10 o’clock. I’ll check the emails before I head out today and if I get any new ones, I’ll be sure to put them up.
 
Now let’s talk more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a man who debuted something new on Friday night. Mike Bowman talked about his new Modified and why they changed their chassis manufacturer. He told me when they started to work on the car, what parts did not transfer over and which track he hopes the new car works better at. 
 
Joe August Jr. told me what broke last week at Fulton and how expensive the race night was. He explained what it felt like when it broke, why it was good they had a rev chip and why that was not a concern as it is for some in a similar situation. 
 
Mike Smith had a somewhat new chassis at Brewerton and talked about the need for an upgrade. He explained why he could not run at his usual Friday night home, remembered what happened when he tried to come up last year and how he knew it was time for a new car. 
 
Brandon Carvey showed off a new look for his IMCA Modified and told me why they did it. He told me when they got out the spray cans, who did the work and described a problem they had last time out that turned out not to be as serious as they thought. 
 
Bryan Van Tassell ran down how his rookie season has been going in his IMCA Modified. He told me how the racetrack was at Brewerton in hot laps, wonders if he will make any changes and why he is happy to be running their feature first.

 
Saturday, July 21st 2012
   New on the Audio Page from the Brewerton Speedway:
 
Pre race conversations:
 
Chuck Bower remembered his runs last weekend and talked about the improvement at Fulton. 
Dan Vauter said goodbye to an engine and told me how soon it blew after his feature win. 
Jim Witko talked about ripping the left front off at Fulton and the help he had to repair it. 
Tim Devendorf came into the night with an 8 race win streak and talked about his successes. 
Mike Mullen had a streak of his own in the Mod Lites and spoke about winning two in a row. 
Jason Amidon has yet to win an IMCA Modified feature at Brewerton and talked about coming close. 
 
After the heat races:
 
Rob Keller talked about beating his brother for a win and what he was going to change on his IMCA.
Kevan Cook told me about his IMCA heat win and what he did to help a fellow racer afterwards. 
Chad Phelps made a nice pass for a Modified heat win and told me how smooth the racetrack was.
Willy Decker led every lap on his way to a heat win and talked about seeing someone down low. 
Chuck Bower explained how he changed his lane to run down the leader and get a heat win. 
 
After the four features:
 
Ryan Scott made a pass for the lead with two to go and told Bill Foley about it in victory lane.
Alan Johnson spoke with Adam Buchanan after winning  his 61st career feature race at Brewerton. 
Jimmy Phelps picked up 16 spots to finish 2nd and talked about the fun he had on a racy surface. 
Chris Hile led nine laps in the feature finishing 4th and explained how slow he had to go to run low. 
Chad Phelps came from 10th to 5th and told me about the need for patience on the 1/3 mile track.
Jeff Isabell Jr. made a move in the final corner to win the Mod Lite feature and spoke with Bill. 
Chuck Powelczyk won the Four Cylinder race with a heavy heart and remembered a friend. 
 
It was another real good night last night at Brewerton Speedway as the track was smooth, fast and racy. It led to lots of late race drama in the heats and features. Now my streak of excellent race surfaces goes to three as Brewerton was about as good as it was on Wednesday for the All Stars. Nice 48 hour turnaround here to say the least by the track crew. Way to go guys!!!
 
It was a fast show too as the Modifieds were the second feature and took the green flag at 9:04 PM. Everything was done in well under three hours and there were 28 Modifieds to boot. A couple of Skyline Sportsman drivers came in and put four barrels on their open motors as they’ll be running at the Wade Decker Memorial at I-88 this week. 
 
Like I said the racing was real good across the board and with the surface as good as it was, it made for an excellent show for the fans. The crowd was not what it was on Wednesday of course as I am sure many fans had to choose one show or the other. But the ones that were there were treated to some great racing.
 
Alan Johnson moved around Chris Hile to win the Modified feature. He got around Hile with nine laps to go as Hile stayed committed to the only brown part of the track way down low. He made it work for a while as he tried for his first feature win but it was so tough to hold and you had to whoa it up so much to get there. 
 
Eventually the experience of Johnson made the difference here as he somehow kept his big block under control and went where no one else was at the time to get the lead and eventually the win. It was career win number sixty-one for Alan at Brewerton and we have his victory lane interview up on the Audio Page as well as six pre race chats, the Modified & IMCA Modified heat winners and all four feature winners.
 
Of course we took pictures too and those are up and free to download. Call up the photo, hit download right above it, tell it where you want to save it and it is yours. 
 
It was also a special night for Chuck Powelczyk who remembered former racer Russ Cusson who lost his life almost ten years ago to the day. Chuck flew Russ’s yellow 007 on a banner behind his car and had his picture taped to the dash of his car as he went on to an emotional win.
 
The division went green to checkered in the feature after a meeting before the heat races. I was at one of those types of meetings last year after things started to get out of control and I was a small part of it unfortunately as I reacted poorly after some on track contact. After seeing the actions of one of the drivers online as he tried to stir things up, it reminded me of my own decisions and how I reacted poorly. 
 
But this is racing and it is serious business. Since I was first in the sport as an announcer in 1990, I saw a lot of new drivers come into the sport in all kinds of divisions who only wanted to go fast, drive with reckless abandon, take out other cars and drive with a total vendetta mindset. 
 
And as someone who has watched these types of drivers come and go for over 23 years as an announcer and website guy, I can tell you this, they are not the ones who make it or stick around very long unless they change their style. If they don’t, they spend a lot more time and money to do it. You need to run a line, let your fellow racers know they can race you and then race cleanly…especially for $125 for a win and $35 to take the green.
 
I harken back to a racetrack I worked at many years ago. A new driver in an expensive headline division was not making friends. He had won some races (not a lot) in the support class and was determined as all get out to win in this new class as a rookie. But when you are the new guy in any division, you can’t come into a class and start slamming drivers, driving through them and in rare cases, bragging about it publically afterwards. 
 
Well, you can do what you want of course, but it usually doesn’t end well and a short racing career is almost always assured.
 
But back to my story…after about three or four wrecks into this and after taking out a feature winner on back to back weeks, the experienced driver remarked to the rookie while being towed to his pit, “Come back next week, we’ll do it again. You’ll run out of cars before I will.” I laughed to myself and said, “He’s right ya know!” 
 
Bottom line, this is dangerous stuff and any division that races anywhere, anytime can see someone get killed. It happens a lot. I’ve personally seen four people die on a racetrack. There are no words to describe it and how you feel afterwards. And we all need to respect our fellow racers out there, run cleanly, let them recover if possible when things go wrong and remember that anything can happen out there. 
 
Sorry, but I needed to say it because it happens more than it should at times especially at about this time of the season. 
 
A big thanks goes out to the folks that helped last night by putting a 20 dollar bill in my hand. I went shopping on the way home with some of it. Thanks guys. I’ll be at the Syracuse Nationals today (and will buy dinner there for me and my daughter thanks to you guys.) as I always take this one Saturday off by design every year as my first car love is hot rods and classic cars. And they will be everywhere today. Take a drive and you’ll see. 
 
We’ll be at Utica on Sunday, I-88 (I’m almost sure) and Utica again on Wednesday. Could use some help with the I-88 trip and if some of you down there could help it would make it easier. Of course you can always reach me at doug@dougsdirtdiary.com or at PO Box 2276, Liverpool, NY 13089. 
 
Have a great Saturday and remember what I have always said, “Be safe, be fast and have fun!” If you go into the day thinking that way you’re already ahead of the game. Take care guys and send me emails, I wanna make sure you guys read down the page this far. I’ll draw a t-shirt winner from the emails I get. Want a shot at a free one?  Send me an email about anything. 

 
     
 
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