|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, May 25th 2012
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Tana Robinson talks about tonight’s 50 lap small block race at Ransomville and autograph nite.
Rich Scagliotta described the track he saw in hot laps at Canandaigua and how good it has been.
Larry Wight was getting ready to pull double duty Wednesday and talked about his pair of racecars.
Brad Alger told me how he has been doing as a regular in the Modified division at I-88 Speedway.
Tony Steiner told me how why he is now at Can Am and why he stopped running Evans Mills.
Don Hart Jr. explained what he has been working on as he tries to hook up at I-88 Speedway.
Zach Aubertine has been running at a pair of tracks and talked about his hopes for a slick surface.
Craig Rochelle remembered his recent feature win with the CRSA 305 Sprints at Middletown.
Brandon Hagan has four wins in six starts and wondered when his good luck could run out.
Tayler Caprara just made the move to a Sportsman and talked to me about making the adjustment.
It was a nice day on Thursday as the rain stayed south and I was able to do some running around town while getting some studio work done as well. We’ve got a lot for you today including some drivers who are new to the site with first time interviews. The first one of you can tell me who those new drivers are will get a free Doug’s Dirt Diary t-shirt. Either email me or hit me on facebook.
I’ll be back tomorrow with lots more as I loaded up the other night and still have some studio and racetrack conversations to air. Still not sure where I will be tomorrow just yet but we will be somewhere. It looks like J Fish will cover Rolling Wheels and the DIRT Hall of Fame for us so that frees me up to talk to the Empire Super Sprints at Utica Rome. It’s been a while since I’ve connected with them. Then Monday we’ll be back for the Victoria 200.
It sounds like there could be some weather in the area today so be sure to use our Track Links Page to see what it is doing in your area. The track websites are there as well as radar so you’ll be informed.
Be sure to pause this weekend and remember what the holiday weekend is about. Remember the sacrifices that our brave men and women in the armed services have made over the years and still do today. And if you see someone in the military this weekend, be sure to shake their hands and thank them.
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with an update on a show that there has been some confusion on. Tana Robinson talks about tonight’s 50 lap small block race at Ransomville and autograph night. She explains why the ad in Gater was wrong, confirms that the Patriot Sprint Tour will be on July 27th and wonders which go kart racers will eventually make their move to the big track.
Rich Scagliotta described the track he saw in hot laps at Canandaigua and how good it has been. He talked about what he thought would happen later on, how he has been struggling on the big half mile and wondered how much of it might be the driver.
Larry Wight was getting ready to pull double duty Wednesday and talked about his pair of racecars that would be at Can Am. He told me why his Modified was a little late arriving, remembered some of his past at the track including his years driving the packer truck!
Brad Alger told me how he has been doing as a regular in the Modified division at I-88 Speedway. He talked about some carburetor issues he has had of late, what he has learned so far as he works on it and how much is too much when if comes to cfm.
Zach Aubertine has been running at a pair of tracks and talked about his hopes for a slick surface. He told me about the bad deal he had last time at Can Am, his 21st at Mohawk and wonders if his knowledge of the half mile track would help later on Wednesday.
Tony Steiner told me how he has been doing at Can Am and why he stopped running Evans Mills. He explained how a rule change led to a track change, what he was hoping to learn by racing there and confirms that he will be running the four race DIRTcar 358 asphalt series.
Don Hart Jr. explained what he has been working on as he tries to hook up his Modified at I-88 Speedway. He told me what the car is doing in the corners, what they did to try to cure the problem and how changeable the new clay surface is.
Craig Rochelle remembered his recent feature win with the CRSA 305 Sprints at Middletown. He talked about a set up change he was making last week at I-88 Speedway, how much the new clay changes the set ups he uses at the track and how much better the surface is.
Brandon Hagan has four wins in six starts and wondered when his good luck could run out. He talked about how his number of laps over the years at Can Am is helping, what he saw with the track on Wednesday and how close he feels he is at Mohawk.
Tayler Caprara just made the move to a Sportsman and talked to me about making the adjustment. He told me about his good finishes so far, how much he is enjoying the open wheel car and how much they roll over in the corners compared to a stock car.
|Thursday, May 24th 2012
| New on the Audio Page from Can Am Motorsports Park:
Pre race conversations:
Billy Dunn talked about running American Racer tires for the first time and why he switched.
Chris Raabe has won a lot of races so far this year and recapped his most recent weekend.
Stewart Friesen had the 85 car at Can Am and talked about last weekend at his three homes.
Jeremy Pitcher remembered some of his past at Can Am and explains why he likes big tracks.
Danny O’Brien told me about his races last weekend and the #99 car he was driving at Can Am.
Jimmy Phelps got reflective on his success at Canandaigua and how his two teams work together.
Ryan Bartlett was back at Can Am for the first time in two years and talked about his Friday races.
After the heat races:
Ryan Bartlett won the first Modified heat race and told me about watching out for that 10 car.
Pat Ward picked up the win in the third Modified heat and talked about his pass for the lead.
Sean Beardsley turned in some awful quick laps on his way to a win and talked about speed.
After the features:
Jeremy Pitcher won the caution free Sportsman feature and talked about it with Steve Malbouf.
Billy Dunn enjoyed a great side by side battle on his way to a win and told me how good it felt.
Jimmy Phelps finished fourth with his small block and told me how happy he was with the run.
Pat Ward came home with a fifth place finish and wondered if he sealed a tire under yellow.
Tim Sears Jr. won the Late Model feature and talked to Steve Malbouf about his track history.
Had a great time last night as Jeremiah Fish, my dad and I took the trip north to Can Am Motorsports Park. It was a fun night and quick one too as the Modifieds were done at 9:25 and show overall just before 10PM.
The SUNY Canton Shootout was the first ever open tire race at the track for Modifieds and 24 of them showed up for three heats and a 45 lap feature paying $3000 to the winner.
The action stared early in the second heat as Preston Forbes spun in front of all but the leader as the field came into turn four. Danny O’Brien hit him so hard it started to flip his car (actually Mike Adderly’s car) before getting hit from behind in mid air only to be brought back the other way.
It was a brutal crash and one that did a lot of damage. Danny looked a little stiff afterwards as he took a pretty hard ride there. And now Mike Adderly will get a call saying he no longer has a racecar as the front clip and maybe the 2x4 frame were hurt badly. This is a cruel sport don’t forget and this was one of the examples of how downright mean it can be at times.
Adam Roberts was the car that drove underneath as both he and Danny had no where to go. Roberts had a brand new car with just a few races on it and if you look at my photo bin, you can see how badly they were torn up. He was a little more optimistic about his cars return though. We wish all three of you well as Forbes tried to start the feature after a lot of hard work but could not get the car to go after a more than valiant repair effort.
In the feature it was a great back and forth at the front between eventual winner Billy Dunn and Matt Sheppard. Dunn moved around early leader Tim McCreadie on lap five before getting run down by Sheppard in traffic. Sheppard got by to lead lap 27 and 28 before Dunn got back to the inside to lead lap 29.
After the first yellow of the race on lap 30, Sheppard looked to be on his way to a win but Dunn stayed right there. On lap 42 Dunn was able to get low on Sheppard in turn and take the lead. He would not relinquish it and would go on to win in his first time on American Racer Tires at Can Am.
I tried to get all the top five, but two of them were in tech as they were puffing motors. It is not a quick procedure and one that each driver (Matt Sheppard and Stewart Friesen) were participants in and not spectators. So I could not get them as they literally had their hands full working on a hot engine and still had a long drive home ahead of them.
The race was unique as it was a mix of small blocks and big blocks. Some of the guys with big blocks thought the weight break was too much for the 358’s while the others just didn’t think they had enough power to get by the big blocks.
In the end it was a big block on American Racer tires that won and a small block on Hoosiers that finished second. Friesen finished third in a big block, Phelps was fourth in a small block and Ward fifth in his small block. I guess you can work those numbers any way you like, but it sounded like it came out pretty even in the end!
Congrats to Jeremy Pitcher on turning his bad luck around with a win in the caution free Sportsman feature. (The second one of those I have seen in the last two race nights I have been at) And also to Tim Sears Jr. who won the Late Model race.
It was a fun night like I said and a quick one as well. We were back in Liverpool at exactly 11:30. Now that’s how you do a quick mid week show. It was under three hours and there was no dicking around! Nice job Can Am.
Today I will be in the studio and I have a few recordings set up as well as 18 in the can to be released today and Saturday. I’ll be home Friday night but still wondering where to go on Saturday. Looks like I’ll be covering the Empire Super Sprints on Sunday and the Victoria 200 on Monday. J Fish might cover Rolling Wheels for us on Sunday too so it should be a busy week. And always keep checking as you never know when new stuff will show up.
|Wednesday, May 23rd 2012
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Matt Sheppard recapped his three race weekend including his late race pass for a win on Sunday.
Brian Weaver explained howhe flipped his Modified while in the lead at I-88 Speedway.
Peter Britten spoke about his Friday night at Brewerton as he got ready Saturday at Canandaigua.
Danny Varin led every lap on Saturday and talked about picking up his first win of the season.
Derrick Podsiadlo told me about some improvement he has made as he races weekly at Canandaigua.
Daryl Hilkert is a rookie in the Modified division at Canandaigua and described his season so far.
Bob Reis won his first ever race on dirt and told me how he got his Sportsman a win at Fulton.
Kevin Boynton talked about getting in a new Street Stock for the first time in the 2012 season.
Tyler Walker ran down his two win weekend and talked about winning his first on the series.
I had another busy day as I did more work in the studio and put up some more photo bins. As you can see we have a lot for you again today as we put all four studio interviews up with some of my stuff from the weekend.
Today we will be heading up north for the SUNY Canton Shootout at Can Am Motorsports Park. Jeremiah Fish will be on the road with me and dad so it will be a fun day for sure. I hope to see you there.
Before I go I’ll write up the weekend preview for the local Syracuse Post Standard as this coming weekend is a busy one in every form of racing out there. Still not exactly sure where I should go especially on Sunday as the ESS is at Utica Rome while the Super DIRTcar Series is at Rolling Wheels. If you have thoughts, send them along and I will take them into consideration.
Now let’s chat more about what is new on the Audio Page for today. I begin with a man who finished out his weekend in style with a well earned victory. Matt Sheppard recapped his three race weekend including his late race pass for a win on Sunday at Utica Rome. He talked about the line he ran to get in front, the incident he was involved in Saturday at Canandaigua and the spin out he had at Brewerton. Good talk on tires here too and yes, he’ll be at Can Am tonight!
Brian Weaver explained howhe flipped his Modified while in the lead at I-88 Speedway. He told me how a lapped car influenced the crash, how fortunate they were that the damage was not more extensive and what they had to do to get it ready to race again last week.
Peter Britten talked about his Friday night at Brewerton as he got ready Saturday at Canandaigua. He told me what he saw happening in front of him, how his car was in between jingles and his hopes to get his first win of the season.
Danny Varin led every lap at Fonda on Saturday and talked about picking up his first win of the season. He told me about being the first big block Modified to win at the track this year, some major changes they made during the week and explained why he feels they still have work to do to be better.
Derrick Podsiadlo told me about some improvement he has made as he races weekly at Canandaigua. He talked about some parts failures he has had, how good his car has been on the track and how tough it is to put together a complete night.
Daryl Hilkert is a rookie in the Modified division at Canandaigua and described his season so far. He talked about some of the good luck he has had, the engine issue he had the week before and his hopes to get a brand new motor back in the car in the next few weeks.
Bob Reis won his first ever race on dirt and told me how he got his Sportsman a win at Fulton. He talked about losing the lead late, how he got it back and compared racing on the clay to racing on asphalt.
Kevin Boynton talked about getting in a new Street Stock for the first time in the 2012 season at I-88 Speedway. He told me how the opportunity came about to get in the seat, how good the car has been with a different driver in it and the last time he raced. Later he won!
Tyler Walker ran down his two win weekend and talked about winning his first on the Pizza Logs 600 Micro Tour. He told me how much he enjoyed Thunder Mountain, the new trailer they are working on to get ready for this weekend and why he may travel south more as the year rolls on.
|Tuesday, May 22nd 2012
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Tim McCreadie told me about his Modified win at Albany Saratoga and Wednesday at Can Am.
Alan Johnson spoke about being back as a regular at Canandaigua and how much he is enjoying it.
Bobby Varin told me about his win at Glen Ridge, his fifth at Fonda and his second at Utica Rome.
Willy Decker explained how he got his small block in victory lane at Brewerton and Fulton.
Neal Williams won his first ever Modified feature and talked about getting it done at Big Diamond.
Gil Tegg Jr. remembered a tough night at Canandaigua and summed up his season so far.
Greg Tatich got off to a late start with his Modified and told me about his hopes for I-88 Speedway.
Tyler Rice ran down what he was changing with his 305 Sprint Car to get ready for a race night.
James Cornell talks with Leon Andrus about his recent Sportsman win and a tough opener.
Kurt Decker has been doing well in a Street Stock at I-88 and talked about a brake issue they had.
Boy do we have a nice day for you here on Doug’s Dirt Diary. We pride ourselves on giving you the most firsthand information we can do. And today we have four of last weekend’s big winners as well as lots of other stuff from my travels this past weekend and all of it is from the people themselves.
I was busy as you can see in the studio and will be just as busy today as we have another real good week for you on the site. We also have a lot of interviews already set up and are hoping to add lots more.
Plus we’ll be at Can Am Motorsports Park tomorrow with my dad in tow for the SUNY Canton Shootout. From the conversations I have been having with drivers, it sounds like there will be an all star field at this one so make your plans now to check this show out as it is shaping up to be a real good one.
I am so excited about where we are right now and to be able to give you all of this firsthand information. Plus we have added a lot of new photos from our friends who are out there dodging racecars in the infield every week and there is still more to come today, so keep checking back. And they love what we do and how we do it, that’s why they send me photos to share with you! They trust the content here and want to promote the sport just like I do.
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with some winning drivers from this past weekend. Tim McCreadie told me about his Modified win at Albany Saratoga and his hopes for tomorrow night’s SUNY Canton Shootout at Can Am. He told me why he didn’t realize he was in the lead until the pace car picked him up under caution, how he did in a green to checkered feature at Fonda and looks forward to racing against his younger brother for the first time at Can Am.
Alan Johnson spoke about being back as a regular at Canandaigua and how much he is enjoying it. He remembered watching his brother go by him while leading a few weeks back, wonders where he is lacking in his bid for a win and ran down how his other nights are going as well.
Bobby Varin told me about his win at Glen Ridge, his fifth at Fonda and his second at Utica Rome. He talked about how the surface was at The Ridge, why he did not pull down for an interview at Utica Rome and his plans to run both Sprint and Modified over the course of four nights this coming weekend.
Willy Decker explained how he got his small block in victory lane at both Brewerton and Fulton Speedways. He told me why he was not in the Deek Decker owned “Deuce Car” anymore, how good he was right out of the box on both nights and wonders why he is still fading a little on Sunday’s at Utica Rome.
Neal Williams won his first ever Modified feature and talked about getting it done at Big Diamond. He told me how much fun it was to see the leader getting bigger, how he passed him and how much this win means to both him and his car owner. He’ll be at Grandview on Wednesday by the way for the first time!
Gil Tegg Jr. remembered a tough night at Canandaigua and summed up his season so far. He told me about some damage they had to fix during the week after a crash the week before, the struggles they had after a runner up finish and why he feels they are going in the right direction now.
Greg Tatich got off to a late start with his Modified and told me about his hopes for I-88 Speedway this past Friday. He explained why he started a little behind the rest, why he decided to run at the track this year and how much of a change he sees in Afton.
Tyler Rice ran down what he was changing with his 305 Sprint Car to get ready for a race night at I-88. He told me what he saw on the racetrack in hot laps, remembered his previous two starts and his A-main win at Fonda Speedway.
James Cornell talks with Leon Andrus about his recent Sportsman win ay I-88 Speedway and a tough opening day. He told him about a handling issue they are dealing with, wonders what they do to keep the car from falling off late and describes how much different things are this year.
Kurt Decker has been doing well in a Street Stock at I-88 and talked about a brake issue they had. He explained what the car was doing, what they did to fix it and what his crew was telling him that they saw as they watched him go around the track.
|Monday, May 21st 2012
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Gary Tomkins told me what broke in a recent race at Utica Rome and his hopes for Canandaigua.
Paul Jensen tells me what he likes about I-88 Speedway and why he likes racing on Friday.
Rob Bellinger explained why he was in a Dave Rauscher car and the changes they had to make.
Tyler Siri recapped his races so far at Canandaigua and confirmed he is not buying Black Rock.
Jeff Leslie had a beat up Sportsman at I-88 and talked about the two wrecks he had back to back.
Skip Pickwick summed up how his season has been going with a Sportsman at I-88 Speedway.
Nick Griest almost won his first IMCA Modified race and told me how a veteran got by late.
Chip Burdick previews Wednesday’s open tire Modified, Sportsman and Late Model race at Can Am.
I had a nice day on Sunday as my folks came over and we had a good old time summer BBQ. Dad made ribs and they were excellent. It was exactly what I needed after six races in nine days.
We’ll be back at it today in the studio as I have a long list of drivers to get ahold of. If you have someone in mind, let me know with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me on facebook with a message there. I’ll do my best to make it happen.
This Wednesday I’ll be at Can Am for a mid week special and from what I am hearing, a lot of the top Modified teams in the area will be there. Of course it is an open tire show so look for teams from all across the area including a pair of Tim’s who know the track well. Listen to my chat with Chip for more.
I do still have some more photos to put up and I will get to those sometime this afternoon. And like I said, I will be busy in the studio and busy trying to firm up my plans for this weekend. I may even hit Utica Rome Sunday and Monday as they have the ESS Sprinters on Sunday and a big 100 lapper on Monday.
Now let’s find out more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a man who is doing something this year he has never done before…his own deal. Gary Tomkins told me what broke in a recent race at Utica Rome and described his hopes for Canandaigua. He remembered exactly when it happened, what happened inside the engine and how they got it fixed in time for Saturday.
Paul Jensen tells me what he likes about I-88 Speedway and why he enjoys racing on Friday. He talked about some of his finishes, how good the competition level is at the track and how long it has been since he has been considered a regular at Afton.
Rob Bellinger explained why he was recently in a Dave Rauscher can and the changes they had to make to get the car to make weight. He talked about his Friday night at Brewerton, wondered about the set up he had and how he started a “little wreck” after hitting some water on Friday.
Tyler Siri recapped his races so far at Canandaigua and confirmed that he is not buying Black Rock Speedway this season. He talked about some improvements he has had, his plans to run at Can Am this Wednesday and how he is still trying to get as much seat time as he can get.
Jeff Leslie had a beat up Sportsman at I-88 and talked about the two wrecks he had back to back. He told me how tough it was to fix two cars during the week, what the damage was to each one and how well he has run in Afton. A few hours later, he won!
Skip Pickwick summed up how his season has been going with a Sportsman at I-88 Speedway. He talked about a handling condition he is trying to fix, how long he has been coming to Afton to race and how much he has enjoyed seeing the place make a comeback.
Nick Griest almost won his first IMCA Modified race and told me how a veteran got by late. He talked about how excited he is to be where he is right now at I-88 Speedway, how much an adjustment it was from a front wheel drive Four Cylinder and what his ultimate goal was before this happened.
Chip Burdick previews Wednesday’s open tire Modified, Sportsman and Late Model show at Can Am. He told me who will be coming to race, what the rules are for the classes and how strange it will be to have American Racer Tires on the surface for the first time ever!
|Sunday, May 20th 2012
| New on the Audio Page from Canandaigua Motorsports Park:
Pre race conversations:
Vinnie Vitale talked about his season so far and the need to pick up some knowledge on shocks.
Kevin Ridley told me about some changes they have made and what they learned at Rolling Wheels.
Justin Haers led some laps the week before and explained how he lost the lead in slower traffic.
Jimmy Phelps remembered his third place the night before and his big win last week at Utica Rome.
Dave Allen blew up his 18 degree big block last week and told me what he had under the hood.
Billy Dunn won two weeks ago, crashed last week and talked about his plans to run Wednesday.
After the heat races:
Justin Henderson won his Sportsman heat and told me how he got under the leader for the victory.
Kevin Ridley told me about his Sportsman win and wondered if he has turned the corner on his car.
A.J. Lloyd picked up his first heat win of the season and talked about backing off his changes.
Dave Allen was a little down on power compared to earlier in the year and talked about his heat win.
Danny Johnson was first to try the top side and explained how he made it work to get a heat win.
After the features:
Kevin Ridley talked to Shane Andrews about his green to checkered win in the Sportsman feature.
Jimmy Phelps picked up his first ever big block win at Canandaigua and talked with Shane Andrews.
Billy Dunn told me how he got bottled up on the start and how racy the big half mile track was.
Vinnie Vitale spoke about some of the set up gains he made on his way to a fourth place finish.
Justin Haers came from 12th to 5th in the feature and told me how his car changed in 35 laps.
It was another real fun night as my daughter Allie and I headed to Canandaigua Motorsports Park for a Saturday night show at one my old stomping grounds. It was a beautiful sunny day and an excellent night of racing. And it was great to show this to my oldest daughter.
The Modifieds put on one whale of a show as the track widened to three grooves for the 35 lapper. Yes it was slick and yes there was some dust, but the track was racy and it didn’t matter where you started in this one.
Jimmy Phelps picked up his first ever big block win at the track as he charged from 15th to the lead in nineteen laps. He held off a determined Danny Johnson in the closing laps and survived three restarts on lap 26 to get the win. Danny came from 18th to 2nd and Billy Dunn came from 16th to 3rd. See what I mean? Racy track indeed!
And the Sportsman did something they rarely do…a green to checkered feature. Again, shows how racy and smooth the track was. Kevin Ridley picked up the win there and got the three-peat of interviews.
So as you can see, there was a lot of racing to watch. Plus a demolition derby featuring Shane Andrews driving and announcing at the same time finished off the night. He did not win but had a great time. I went up to help while he was getting ready and it was fun to be on the mic for even just a few minutes at the place I called home from 1995-1998 when I worked with Gary Montgomery.
The crowd was big and most of them stuck around for the derby. A pair of brothers worked together ( I think so anyway) and were the last two left. Twenty three cars showed up too making it one of the biggest derbies I have seen in quite some time. Give Brian Sipple and Bob Miller credit as they were the ones who spearheaded this thing. Way to go guys!
And my daughter Allie got to work with Cheryl Nieskes and the girls selling 50/50 tickets. She took a break early and pooped out a little before the end but she had a great time. On the way home, she said, “I don’t know Cheryl does it.” I know what you mean. And the fact that Cheryl is five weeks or so away from giving birth makes it even harder to believe. These girls work hard and we should all thank them next time we see them at any track you go to.
Today I will be home but I have plans to head to Can Am on Wednesday for a mid week open tire Modified show. I’ll try to get some work done in the studio today but if I can’t get a hold of anyone, I do have 25 interviews in the can from Canandaigua and I-88 so look for some of those to show up tomorrow. More pics could come in too so keep checking back. I’ll keep you posted with webmaster’s notes when new ones go up.
Thanks again to promoter Jeremie Corcoran for letting Allie in and letting her see what work is like. And thanks again to Cheryl for showing her the ropes. I’m trying to bring my family more and more so it was nice of them to let me do that last night. Have a great Sunday and I hope to see you back later.
|Saturday, May 19th 2012
| New on the Audio Page from I-88 Speedway:
Arnie Slade tells Leon Andrus about how different things are this year compared to years past.
Alan Barker described a problem he was hoping to fix and what he thought the track would do.
Mike Clapperton explained why he got out of racing for many years and why he is back in now.
Mitch Gibbs remembered his Modified win last week at I-88 and how well his car is working.
Jim Gabriel Jr. thought back on his recent feature win and told me how the track has been.
Russ Zimmerman has all new stuff under him this year and talked about the adjustment process.
Gary Roberts walked me through his feature win last week and the big crash that happened next.
After the heat races:
Brett Jaycox won the first CRSA Sprint Car heat race and came from third to first to get it.
Chad King led every lap on his way to a heat win and talked about where his Sprinter was tight.
Brittany Tresch survived a late caution to win her heat and told me what she was thinking.
Alan Barker talked about his Modified heat win and why he was still had some work to do.
Shaun Walker walked me though his pass for the lead as he won the second Modified heat.
Russ Zimmerman won the final Modified heat and told me how well the car came off the corners.
After the features:
Gary Roberts won the IMCA Feature for the 2nd week in a row and talked with Steve Clapperton.
Jeff VanSteenburg told Steve Clapperton how he came from 20th to 1st in the CRSA A-Main.
Mitch Gibbs explained how he used the high lane to get the lead and go on to a feature win.
Shaun Walker led a lot of laps at I-88 before finishing second and told how he lost the lead.
Mike Clapperton talked about how happy he was to lead a few laps and come home in third place.
Jim Gabriel Jr. was deep in thought in his car when I came by to chat about his fourth place finish.
Arnie Slade explained how he got caught on the outside early and the gains he made with a 5th.
I had a great time last night as I drove south down route 81 again but took a left turn before Binghamton this time and headed to I-88 Speedway. Originally I was not planning on hitting this track until a few weeks from now, but with the all the positive buzz going on about the place I decided to check it out for myself ahead of schedule. Boy, am I glad I did!
Keep in mind the last time I was there was right after the floods of 2006. The then known as Afton Speedway still had waterlines on the buildings from the flood water and it was not a pretty sight. I liked the racing but it did not convince me to make a trip back right away. I’m not really sure why, but I never made it back.
Now fast forward to today and I did not even recognize the place. I told my dad a lot of stories about the floods in 2006 & 2011 on the ride down as well as the new clay that I heard was fast and how much I liked the people running it when I met them last year. I was hoping for a good night and I was not disappointed.
The place was so much different. The pit entrance is better, relocated and a lot bigger than I remember. The green I saw as I looked around was just flat our impressive. Well manicured, clearly defined spaces and smiles on the faces of everyone I saw. It was clear early on that a lot had changed and I was someplace special.
They had 26 Modifieds in the pit area and they had sail panels on them while the Sportsman were the traditional dirt style body. So it was easy to distinguish them. The IMCA Mods were 19 strong and a good field of Southern Tier Street Stocks (which are still strong) were joined by the CRSA Sprints. And there were 27 of those. When it was all said and done, 116 racecars were in the pits.
So the bottom line is this. Everything positive you have heard about I-88 Speedway is TRUE! It’s like a brand new racetrack. But it still has the old style covered grandstand that could be used in a movie set back in the 50’s…so it has charm. Plus a newer tower and grandstand seating of the outside variety too. And they needed every seat they had as they twice asked the crowd to squeeze in and get closer to your fellow racefans.
The new clay I heard so much about was nice too. There was almost no dust early on a bright sunny day although there was some late in the features…keep in mind 26 Mods and 27 305Sprint Cars were there too. The winners in the features all came from at least mid pack to win and last lap drama out of the final corner happened in the CRSA, Modified and Sportsman features.
They also did a fan appreciation night deal where they brought out the IMCA’s and the CRSA Sprints. And because a horse track (that did have horseshoe prints in it) is between the dirt track and the grandstand, they were able to use that for the fans while still being able to groom the racetrack. There were a lot of young people there too. Not sure what their policy on that is, but whatever it is, it seems to be working.
And finally the food. I did not eat on the way down as I heard it was good and low priced. Yep! It was. I got a steak and cheese sandwich for $4 and a big bowl of chili for $2.75. Both were great and well worth the cash spent. They had a lot of people in the windows and they moved it along very fast. My advice, skip dinner on the way and eat there!
So as you can see I was totally blown away by what I saw. But I am going to go back in the next few weeks just to make sure. I strongly suggest this track as a Friday destination if you have not been yet this year. You guys know me, I don’t use the word “strongly” very much so get the meaning of what I am saying and make your plans now.
Thanks to everyone who treated me so well last night. I had a great time with Leon Andrus and Jamie Page. And being able to bring my dad helps a lot as he points out things I miss and helps give me a different perspective when things happen. I think he may only be up to 20 races total in his life so he sees things I don’t notice anymore or just overlook. Thanks guys for letting me bring him along.
Today I will be heading to Canandaigua Motorsports Park and will have my oldest daughter Allie with me. She is gong to help sell 50/50 tickets with Cheryl Nieskes and the ladies. If you see her, be sure to buy some tickets from her and tell her how proud her daddy is of her. She is a straight A student and is really looking forward to this.
So I’ll see you later today if you are heading that way and then tomorrow its BBQ time as I will have done 6 races in 9 days as of today. It’s time for some quality family time on what should be a beautiful Sunday. But as always, we’re here every day doing what we are supposed to be doing…promoting the sport of dirt track racing and doing so the only way I know how. See ya tomorrow.
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