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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Friday, June 15th 2012
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Stephane LaFrance talks about his Cornwall win and the nagging problem they fixed that night. 
Tommy Flannigan told me about his Ransomville win and his hopes to race more in a big block.
Mike Dougherty won his first ever Sportsman race at Five Mile Point and talked about the victory.
Katelyn Kane discussed what it is like to be a female racer and her rivalry with another racer. 
Beth Schneider talked about racing for a championship and number one rival on the racetrack. 
 
We got back at it yesterday and recorded three new interviews in the studio and put up several photo bins from the show Wednesday night at Penn Can Speedway. We also have a story on the two young ladies who will be racing for a championship at the Fulton Speedway. That will be in today’s Syracuse Post Standard.
 
I will be at a race tonight at the Brewerton Speedway and I am really looking forward to it. I have not been there in a while now and can’t wait to see everyone again and see how those upgrades to the facility are coming along. So look for more from there tomorrow.
 
Still not sure on where I will go on Saturday but we should be somewhere. Then Sunday we’ll be back to Utica Rome as it is nice as I can catch up with many of the weekend winners and see some real good racing on the high banks. I hope to see you all at a track sometime this weekend.
 
Now let’s chat about the new stuff on the Audio Page for today. I begin with a man who just won his first race of the year. Stephane LaFrance talks about his Cornwall win and the nagging problem they fixed that night. He told me what they changed under the hood to make the car fast, remembered his vicious flip from a few weeks ago and explained what he was doing at Troyer Race Cars on Thursday. 
 
Tommy Flannigan told me about his Ransomville win and his hopes to race more in a big block. He talked about the driver who was chasing him at the end, how he wrecked it the week before and his desire to eventually run the Super DIRTcar Series. 
 
Mike Dougherty won his first ever Sportsman race at Five Mile Point and talked about the victory. He explained how surprised he was after recording his first ever top five the week before, wondered if a late race caution actually helped him to pick it up a little and why they did not make it to the racetrack on opening night. 
 
Katelyn Kane discussed what its like to be a female racer and her rivalry with another racer. She also talked about their relationship on race day, the one time they got together and how they first met. 
 
Beth Schneider talked about racing for a championship and number one rival on the racetrack. She told me why she did not want to play up the fact that she is a girl, how her and another racer share some pride about their situation and why she is not a very good basketball player. 

 
Thursday, June 14th 2012
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Frank Cozze refused a “tails up” nickel in the pits and wondered if was good luck or bad. 
Justin Barger recapped his shows with a 410 this year and talked about his hopes for Utica Rome. 
Mark Flach explained what his goals were for Sunday and remembered his night at Lebanon Valley. 
Willy Decker told me about his big block run at Brewerton and why he didn’t use the small block. 
Paul Habeck talked about his growth as a Sprint Car driver and why he is more comfortable now. 
 
I had a long day as I spent almost all of it at the hospital with my wife as she had a surgery that turned out to be more involved than we thought. She’s back home now and we will now sweat out the next 7-10 days waiting for results. I hate the waiting and I know a lot of you have been through this too, so any good thoughts you can give would be helpful.
 
In the process of staying at the hospital almost all day I was unable to get any work done. I even had to push my column back as we originally thought it was going to be an in & out deal. But I’ll get on that today and make it happen. Plus I need to get in the studio too but don’t worry, we’ll get it done. 
 
Things like this and other things of late get you thinking about the meaning of everything and where you are in the mix. I am thinking a lot right now and wondering about the future myself. So if you see me and I seem distant, it because I am giving serious thought to the future as I am not sure that where I am right now is the place to be. 
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a man who recently switched the type of racecar that he drives. Frank Cozze refused a bad luck nickel in the pits and wondered if was good luck or bad. He also told me how he has been doing in a Sprint Car this year and described the problems he had with a new car on Friday as he got ready for his first ever 410 race at Utica Rome. Oh, and Tim Shaffer won later with that nickel under his seat!  
 
Justin Barger recapped his shows with a 410 this year and talked about his hopes for Utica Rome. He told me about a good run he had at Orange County before a tire blew, why he thought his 360 experience in Vernon could help and wondered if the track might be different early on. 
 
Mark Flach explained what his goals were for Sunday and remembered his Saturday night at Lebanon Valley. He talked about the need for seat time in his home built Modified, where he needs it to be better and how much he has to wait on putting his right foot down. 
 
Willy Decker told me about his big block run at Brewerton and why he didn’t use the small block. He debunked the rumor on why he made the change, why he stills feels the need to practice with a big block under his right foot and why that weight change probably would not affect him. 
 
Paul Habeck talked about his growth as a Sprint Car driver and why he is more comfortable now. He told me about the learning curve for a former Modified driver, the tough luck they had last time out and where the car he had with him at Mohawk is a little different. 

 
Wednesday, June 13th 2012
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Andy Bachetti talks about his seven race win streak at Accord and the rest of his weekend. 
Tom Sears Jr. walked me through his Fulton Modified win and explained where his car is better. 
Brett Tonkin described his win last Friday at Penn Can, his 2nd at Five Mile and his hopes for tonight. 
Glenn Stryres looked over Utica Rome and explained how he got together with Cruz Pedregon. 
Lance Yonge remembered a tough night at Granby and the fresh motor he had in for Mohawk. 
Al McCoy was doing his first Modified race of the year so far and talked about his return. 
Brett Deyo previews tonight’s rescheduled Clash at the Can at Penn Can Speedway. 
 
Another Wednesday is upon us and the big race that supposed to take place last night at Penn Can Speedway will now take place tonight. This is the richest race ever at the track and someone will tow out of there tonight with an extra $10,000. 
 
I won’t be able to make it however as my wife if having a procedure done this afternoon. So I was really hoping that the weather would not have been a factor but what can you do? You guys have fun down there and enjoy the most diverse Modified field out there nowadays as top racers from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and beyond will be at this one. It is amazing how good the ROC field is these days. 
 
We also have some winners from the weekend on the site today and will be back tomorrow with more from my weekend and my interviews with Beth Schneider and Katelyn Kane that I did for my story in the Syracuse Post Standard which will be in tomorrow’s edition.
 
You know me, I love to break stereotypes and get new people involved and maybe this will be a great way to do it. And if you know of a good story taking place at your local track, just send me an email and we’ll see if we can’t tell the rest of the sporting world about it.   
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with some winners from this past weekend. Andy Bachetti talks about his seven race win streak at Accord and the rest of his weekend. He told me about a heat race crash at Lebanon Valley, who offered him a ride for the feature and how picked up seventeen spots at Glen Ridge on Sunday. 
 
Tom Sears Jr. walked me through his Fulton Speedway Modified win and explained where his car is better compared to last year. He talked about how easy the car was to drive, how he raced the cushion on his way to the front and remembered watching his nephew win the week before. 
 
Brett Tonkin described his win last Friday at Penn Can, his 2nd at Five Mile and his hopes for tonight. He told me how excited he is to see a $10,000 to win show at his weekly track, how close he came to doubling up last weekend and evaluates the towing reality shows on TV. 
 
Glenn Stryres looked over Utica Rome and explained how he got together with Cruz Pedregon. He also told me why he thought the track would get slicker later on, how much bigger it looked compared to last time and described his comfort level in a 410 Sprinter. 
 
Lance Yonge remembered a tough night at Granby and talked about the fresh motor he had in for Mohawk. He told me how the crash he had at Utica Rome may have contributed to it, how badly damaged the motor was and the need to get back the money he spent to get the other piece freshened. 
 
Al McCoy was doing his first Modified race of the year so far and talked about his return to the driver’s seat. He told me how it felt after ten years off, how the Utica Rome Speedway has changed during that time and what he will do for the rest of the year. 
 
Brett Deyo previews tonight’s rescheduled Clash at the Can at Penn Can Speedway. He talked about the heavy hitters that are confirmed to be at this show, recaps some of the previous events he has promoted and explains how you can bring a clunker to the show to see & get free tickets. 

 
Tuesday, June 12th 2012
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Cruz Pedregon looked over the track at Utica Rome and talked about the size of the track.
David Gravel was limping around the pit area on Sunday and told Mike how he hurt himself. 
Davey Sammons talks with Mike Mallett about his last time at Utica Rome when he was fourth.
Mitch Gibbs came off a tough night at I-88 and talked about driving the #4 Modified at Utica Rome.
Jeff Cook offered his thoughts on his season so far and described some nagging drivability issues. 
Chris Busta recapped his Friday night at Malta as he got ready with his 358 Modified on Sunday.
Gordy Button was at his 1st race of 2012 and explained why the Go Nuclear series appeals to him.
 
Lots of good stuff on the Audio Page for today and I also put up a lot of new photos with many more to come. I’ll make sure I get those done before I head out today for Penn Can Speedway as they host their first ever $10,000 to win Modified race.
 
Remember to use our Track Links Page for info on the weather in the area today and the track’s website too. There could be some weather around but most of the day is supposed to be rain free, so keep your fingers crossed.
 
I’ll have stuff from tonight’s show on the site tomorrow and if it does by chance rain out, I’ll get to work in the studio. My wife has a procedure tomorrow so I may not be able to do much as I will be taking care of her till she gets better. We could sure use a break around here as it is tough sledding to say the least. But hey, it’s the life I chose. And I am so taking a break from facebook as it let me down once again. Bye bye for now!
 
Now let’s talk more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a follow up with a guy I met for the first time on Sunday. Cruz Pedregon looked over the track at Utica Rome and talked about the size of the track.  He told me how it reminded him a little of Eldora, described what his goals were for the night and why he has to be sure to keep his right foot down to get the 360 Sprint Car to turn. 
 
David Gravel was limping around the pit area on Sunday and told Mike Mallett how he hurt himself. He also talked about how well the last time he ran at Utica Rome, how well he has been running of late and how tough the competition level is when the All Stars come to town. 
 
Davey Sammons talks with Mike Mallett about his last time at Utica Rome when he was fourth. He told him how equal the playing field was for the event on Sunday, why the track reminds him of one back home and how he has been doing running weekly at Williams Grove. 
 
Mitch Gibbs came off a tough night at I-88 and talked about driving the #4 Modified at Utica Rome. He told me about an issue they had with the motor, his hopes that it is not serious and how the opportunity came about to drive the Skip Seymour car. 
 
Jeff Cook offered his thoughts on his season so far and described some nagging drivability issues. He talked about busy things have been away from the racetrack, the need to get back in a rhythm and how he tends to struggle a little on the big track at Mohawk International. 
 
Chris Busta recapped his Friday night at Malta as he got ready with his 358 Modified on Sunday.  He told me how he came through the consi to get in the show, how tough it was to pass on this night and how slick the racetrack was. 
 
Gordy Button was at his 1st race of 2012 and explained why the Go Nuclear series appeals to him.  He told me why he did not think it would take long to get the feel back, why he is comfortable in the Late Model he brought with him and what he knows about Mohawk International. 

 
Monday, June 11th 2012
   New on the Audio Page from the Utica Rome Speedway:
 
Pre race conversations:
 
Dale Blaney talks about seeing Utica Rome for the first time and what his goals were for the day. 
Jessica Zemken tells Mike Mallett  how good it feels to come home to a track she knows well. 
Greg Hodnett spoke to Mike Mallett and told him what he has heard about racing this half mile.
Tim Shaffer is the defending All Star Champion and talked about the keys to doing well on this night. 
Stevie Smith told me about his two races this weekend and how some changes have helped. 
Ronnie Johnson explained why he left Utica Rome early a few weeks ago and his weekend. 
Stewart Friesen recapped his weekend so far and explained how fast his Saturday home was. 
 
After the heat races:
 
Greg Hodnett won the first All Star Sprint heat race and told me where his car could be better.
Dale Blaney spoke about winning his All Star heat and wondered about a good luck nickel. 
Jessica Zemken talked about her victory running on the top half and how a good start got her a win. 
Ronnie Johnson earned the win in the first Modified heat and told me about his battle up front.
Ryan Phelps worked on some tires and talked about how his car was in his Modified heat win. 
Stewart Friesen described the different lanes he used in his side by side race at the front of the field. 
 
After the features and A-Main:
 
Tim Shaffer pulled away late to win the All Star A-Main and talked about it with Mike Mallett
Jessica Zemken finished in second place in the A-Main and told the crowd how happy she was. 
Stevie Smith was feeling good after a 3rd place and explained why he was very pleased overall. 
Stewart Friesen won his first feature of the year at Utica Rome and told the fans how he did it. 
Mike Mahaney will keep the point lead with his 2nd place and talked about the racing going on late. 
Ryan Phelps was fast late as he finished 3rd and told me how he was compared to the top two. 
 
It was a fun day and a hot one at Utica Rome as the All Star Circuit of Champions and the CRSA Sprints joined the Modifieds for a three division show. Mike Mallett helped get things going with the recorder as he did six of the first seven interviews. He is a lot more knowledgeable about the Sprint Car world so I was very happy to have his help. He did some real good work too so go to the Audio Page and check it out.
 
Over the years I have covered a lot of traveling series and I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed my time with these guys (and gals) yesterday at Utica Rome. It was a pleasure! They were so accessible and so ready to talk to the media so it made my job easy. No Kurt Busch’s here thank god! Thanks a lot everyone. 
 
It turned out to be a very special day as not only did we have Funny Car racer Cruz Pedregon on hand but Tony Stewart flew up to race after finishing third at Pocono. Talk about a racer who wants to race huh? I can see him at Pocono answering those last few questions while looking at the time. He got there just in time too! 
 
Tony was fast as he came from 19th to 4th but this day was all about Tim Shaffer. Although early on it looked like a local 360 racer would have the day of his life. Shawn Donath was fast on the slick track and fresh off an A-Main win with the Empire Super Sprints on Memorial Day Weekend. 
 
He blasted around Dale Blaney on lap three and for eight laps looked like he was going to pull off a stunning upset victory. But Blaney caught him and used a slower car up high perfectly as he beat Donath to the spot down low and retook the lead. 
 
Then on lap 12, Blaney slowed on the back stretch and quietly pulled in the infield. His night was over. But it was not over for Shaffer as he took the lead for good at that moment going on for the win.
 
The funny thing was and one thing that won’t make it into a press release was that earlier in the day Dale Blaney found an old nickel laying tails up in the pit area. He tried unsuccessfully to give it to Fred Rahmer and Frank Cozze but neither of them wanted anything to do with it. So he stuffed it under the seat of Shaffer’s car as the crew asked him what he was doing.
 
I did not know this coming into the show but from what I heard from several people in the pit area, Blaney is the guy always doing funny stuff and keeping the mood light on the road. So what was a joke may have ended up giving bad luck to Blaney and good luck to Shaffer. No, I really don’t think that but I did want to let you make up your own mind about it. But at the same time, no, I would not have taken the nickel. 
 
Jessica Zemken ran a real good race finishing second in front of many of her long time fans while Stevie Smith was fast late on his way to a third place. 
 
Over the course of the day we recorded almost 30 interviews. All but 12 of those are up today as well as some photos I took from the event. I also covered the Modifieds and got some pre race chats, the three heat winners and the top three at the end of the night as Stewart Friesen won his first of the year at Utica Rome. 
 
Today I will be in the studio a little, be doing some writing and getting ready to head to Penn Can Speedway tomorrow for a big $10,000 to win Modified show. It’s an ROC show so look for a great field from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey as this series continues to showcase the most diverse field in Modified racing. And I hope to see you there.
 
Keep checking today as I have some more photo bins to put up. I’ll get those done before dinner so make sure to come back to see what we have. Waiting to go up are pics from Fulton, Albany Saratoga, Port Royal, Brockville and Mohawk International. I hope you have a great Monday and I’ll see you tomorrow. 

 
Sunday, June 10th 2012
   
New on the Audio Page from Friday at Mohawk International:
 
Jessica Zemken talks about the big storm at Mohawk International and today at Utica Rome. 
Michael Parent told me about trashing a frame at Granby and the 410 he’ll drive today in Vernon.   
Cory Sparks has been enjoying a good season so far and recapped a tough night up in Canada.
Kevin Ward Jr. came off a 4th place finish last weekend and talked about his hopes to race.
Joe Trenca had his best ESS finish so far at Granby and shared some tips he got about
 
From the studio on Saturday:
 
Cruz Pedregon talks about racing a 410 today at Utica Rome, The Prelude and his Funny Car. 
 
I put up some more from my Friday night at Mohawk and today I will be heading to Utica Rome Speedway for some 410 Sprint Car and Modified action. Plus we have a mid week on our docket this week at Penn Can so it should be a very fun three days for me.
 
We also put up some more photos from our photographer friends and will look to see if there is more just before I head out this afternoon. It was nice to lay low a little on Saturday and spend some time with the family. Now I am surely refreshed and ready to go today. 
 
I am also looking for some feel good stories from the Central New York region for a future column in the Syracuse Post Standard. I have a few ready but am looking for a few more as I would like to get back to writing feature stories. Let me know if you can with an email to doug@dougsdirtdiary.com
 
Now let’s chat more about what we have for you on the Audio Page. I begin with a pair of drivers who will be racing later today at Utica Rome. Jessica Zemken talks about the big storm at Mohawk International and today at Utica Rome. She remembered the last time she was in Vernon with her 360, how she raced her way into the top five and compares the 360 to the 410 she’ll run today. 
 
Michael Parent told me about trashing a frame at Granby and the 410 he’ll drive today in Vernon. He talked about how he likes Mohawk International Raceway, why he likes the place and the need for more seat time in a 410 that he’ll get today at Utica Rome. 
 
Cory Sparks has been enjoying a good season so far and recapped a tough night up in Canada. He told me about a racing deal he was involved in, how much he enjoyed the hospitality of a fellow racer overnight and why he switched cars for Mohawk. 
 
Kevin Ward Jr. came off a 4th place finish last weekend at Granby and talked about his hopes to race with weather on the way. He told me how happy he was with the result, how his car faded at the end and offered his impressions of Mohawk International. 
 
Joe Trenca had his best ESS finish so far at Granby and shared some tips he got about Mohawk. He talked about how valuable his teammates advice is, how it has been in the seat this year overall and how tough the traveling Sprint Car series is. 
 
Cruz Pedregon talks about racing a 410 today at Utica Rome, The Prelude and his Funny Car. He told me how much he enjoys dirt racing, how he did before the rains came Friday at Ohsweken and how he was first exposed to Sprint Car racing as a kid. Great interview here with a true professional! 

 
Saturday, June 9th 2012
   New on the Audio Page from a stormy Mohawk International Raceway:
 
Pre race conversations:
 
Tim Sears Jr. talked about the Go Nuclear Late Model Series and getting it started up north.
A. J. Kingsley got ready for his third race of the year and told me about getting his skills back. 
Phil Potts described his season so far at Brighton and spoke about making a chassis change. 
Matt Vanderlinden is a Late Model rookie and told me what it was like to switch racecars. 
Sean Beardsley was making his first ever trip to Mohawk International and recalled his traveling past. 
Dale Caswell looked at Mohawk International for the first time and talked about doing research. 
Dale Planck told me how he landed a crate Late Model ride and how well he is doing at Mohawk. 
Paul Kinney spoke about his improvement as a Sprint Car rookie as the storm started to hit hard. 
Stephane LaFrance had his homebuilt Modified at the show and talked about his tough start. 
 
What a storm last night at Mohawk International Raceway! I have some photos of the clouds as they moved in and you can hear the hail come down in my interview with Paul Kinney on the Audio Page. It was intense.
 
But give the teams and the people at Mohawk International Raceway a lot of credit as they tried like heck to get it in despite the heavy downpour. They had cars on the track and surface itself was coming along well until a slight drizzle turned into a ten minute rain shower ending the show. 
 
Once again, you must give credit where credit is due. Most tracks would have called it after that storm, but with the Empire Super Sprints and the Go Nuclear Late Model series joining the regular Modifieds, Sportsman, Mod Lites and Four Cylinders, they decided to give it a go.
 
Anytime you have a traveling series at the track you do what you can to get it in as rescheduling can sometimes be a major issue. Plus these teams travel a long distance and in most cases would rather stay a little longer to get it in rather than come up again on another date. So with two traveling series in the pit area, the decision was made to push on.
 
Sure, this means a lot of work for the teams and the track officials, but often times it means that the promoter will lose money. But the folks last night didn’t hesitate to make the decision to go even though all of the above applied. Bonus point awarded for determination.
 
And like I said, we were in the pits, cars were on the track and we were shooting a tech segment for the Nuclear Power Racing Hour when the rain started to pick up again. The officials kept the cars on the track in an effort to keep it from going away, but it was just too much.
 
I did however get a lot of new interviews and some impressive weather pics of this storm as it rolled south. Half of what I recorded is up today and most of what is left in the can will show up tomorrow as I will be with the family today before heading to Utica Rome on Sunday. They are calling for some possibly heavy storms today so be sure to check out our Track Links Page before you head out.
 
Some said that after the rainy show I was a part of on Wednesday that I brought the rain with me. Not true! This one came down from Canada so I say “no”.   I had nothing to do with it. And we should be back at Mohawk this coming Friday as I may get to drive a Pro Stock for the first time. 
 
I am also looking for a local business to sponsor my Pro Stock race next week and help with some costs for me and the car owner. Please send me an email at doug@dougsdirdiary.com or message me on facebook if you would like to get your name out to the thousands who visit here daily. 
 
Thanks to everyone at Mohawk and I am sorry we never got to get in any green flag laps. But we’ll do it again this coming Friday and make the most of it. See ya tomorrow and keep checking as I may get some new photos in today. 

 
     
 
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