|Be sure to check out our new Elkins Video Productions You Tube page. Same ideas with video added. Thanks for all your support over 14 seasons.
|Friday, May 11th 2012
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Joey Payne told me how his car was in the Oswego practice and why he was switching to stickers.
Lou Levea described a problem they had in the pit area and why we’ll see him more in 2012.
Jason Rood talked about the tough week he had at the Utica Rome opener and how they fell behind.
Kody Graham got ready for time trials at Oswego and talked about a motor issue they had.
Brandon Hagan walked me through his Sportsman win at Can Am and his plans for this weekend.
Tony Farone won his first race at Fonda since 2002 and old me how hard they worked to get it.
A.J. Filbeck spoke about winning in his first race of the year and how nice it was to start with a win.
Bill Knapp remembered his first show of the year and talked about the high level of competition.
Ryan Susice explained how he fell back to third and raced back up to win his first Modified feature.
It was a cold and rainy day on Thursday as the temperature hovered in the mid 40’s for most of the day. Yeah, it was a crappy day alright so I got busy in the studio and that is why you have nine new chats to listen to today. I guess a rainy weekday is not so bad after all and certainly better than a rainy weekend day during racing season any time!
Three of the interviews for today were from the studio while the remaining six were from my travels last weekend. And the reason the Ryan Susice chat is at the bottom of the Audio Page is because I recorded it later in the day on Thursday after I had already updated the site…sorry!
If all goes well today I will be driving south on route 81 to check out the action at Penn Can Speedway, one of my favorite racetracks. Then on Saturday we’ll be at Fulton followed by Utica Rome on Sunday. And don’t forget that next Wednesday the World of Outlaw Sprint Cars will be at Rolling Wheels. Today is the final day to get that free fan pit pass so get your butts to www.dirtcar.com/tickets before it is too late.
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with some asphalt stuff from Oswego. Joey Payne told me how his car was in the Oswego practice and why he was switching to stickers for time trials. He explained why some put the sticker tires on earlier, how quickly it takes to get those new tires warm and what it feels like when they get there.
Lou Levea described a problem they had in the pit area and why we’ll see him more in 2012. He explained how the wires got crossed, why he would not run in time trials and how he got back into the seat again this year.
Jason Rood talked about the tough week he had at the Utica Rome opener and how they fell behind. He told me how frustrating things have been lately, what he learned about his driving style and wonders if he needs to drive slower to go faster.
Kody Graham got ready for time trials at Oswego and talked about a motor issue they had. He told me why he was happy with his times in the practice, ran down some of the history of the car and as well as his plans to compete weekly at The Steel Palace.
Brandon Hagan walked me through his Sportsman win at Can Am and his plans for this weekend. He told me about some changes he made during the week, how he chased down the early leader and how a late race caution helped tighten everyone up.
Tony Farone won his first race at Fonda since 2002 and told me how hard they worked to get it after a big wreck the night before. He explained why he was not sure if they would race Saturday or not, who helped with a set up problem and how he picked up the lead with just a few laps to go.
A.J. Filbeck spoke about winning in his first race of the year and offered his take on Utica Rome. He talked about how nice it was to pick up his first opening night win ever, recalled how he did at the Utica Rome opener and explained where his Sportsman needed to be better.
Bill Knapp remembered his first show of the year and talked about the high level of competition in the Pro Stock division. He told me how the track conditions at Utica Rome lent itself to good racing, how it changed as the night went on and the need to get his car just a little looser.
Ryan Susice explained how he fell back to third and raced back up to win his first ever Modified feature. He told me how misjudged the first corner to drop back from second, how he passed the leader in traffic and how much it meant to his family to get the win at their hometown track in Ransomville.
|Thursday, May 10th 2012
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Jessica Zemken spoke about her Super Modified practice went and some issues they had Saturday.
Michael Barnes explained what he had to do workwise to make sure he was at the Oswego opener.
Lance Willix got ready for his fifth race of the year and told me how his season is going so far.
Andrew Schartner talked about how his small block super was in practice and why he liked it.
Glenn Whritenhour ran down how he lost the lead and got it back on the last lap at Woodhull.
Ron Hawker remembered his Pure Stock win in the Utica Rome opener and how good his car was.
Dana Camenga told me about his first race of the year and how it felt to get back behind the wheel.
Well I didn’t get as much done as I had hoped on Wednesday but I have been playing phone tag with a lot of folks. It should lead to a busy studio day today and if you want to get on and talk about your win, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me on facebook.
We have a lot of good stuff on the site today including chats from my weekend and the studio. Plus we put up a lot more photos yesterday including a bin from John Clifford that helps us remember the career of J.J. Michaels. And I’ll be at Utica Rome on Sunday to honor his memory.
Still not sure where I will be on Friday and Saturday as I just am not sure if I want to hit a new track or stay close. We’ll see. Of course your emails and messages help determine where I will be so send me a message and maybe I’ll be at your favorite track.
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a lady who was trying something new this past weekend. Jessica Zemken described how her Super Modified practice went and some issues they had earlier on Saturday. She told me about the contact she had with the wall, how she tried to save it and talked about her big picture goals for the opener at Oswego Speedway.
Michael Barnes explained what he had to do work wise to make sure he was at the Oswego opener. He told me what he had to do as soon as the race was over, which car he would race in the first show of the year and ran down what made the new car different from the older one.
Lance Willix got ready for his fifth race of the year and told me how his season is going so far. He talked about what he saw happening to the racetrack at Utica Rome, explained why he was happy that the car was a little tight and how long they have battled a loose condition.
Andrew Schartner talked about how his small block super was in practice and why he liked the way it handled. He told me what his car tends to do as the night goes on, how he usually does in time trials and wondered if some might be sandbagging. Hmmm.
Glenn Whritenhour ran down how he lost the lead and got it back for a win on the last lap at Woodhull. He told me what he noticed the leader doing in turn one, how he got underneath and looks forward to getting a new engine here in a few weeks.
Ron Hawker remembered his Pure Stock win in the Utica Rome opener and how good his car was. He told me why he was going to skip hot laps, how much fun he had racing against an old friend and how slick the track gets on the final race of the night.
Dana Camenga told me about his first race of the year at Utica Rome and how it felt to get back behind the wheel. He talked about the push he had early on, how he got some confidence back along the way and wondered if the surface would be different than the week before.
|Wednesday, May 9th 2012
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Jimmy Phelps talks about his Brewerton Speedway win and his decision to run Canandaigua.
Stewart Friesen won two races again last weekend and talked about Fonda and Glen Ridge.
Bob Bond walked me through what it takes to get a Super Modified running after it’s pushed off.
Jarret Andretti tells me about his Super Modified test session Sunday afternoon in Oswego.
Stephen Gioia just got out of his new car after practice and told me how much faster it was.
Craig Pope remembered the opener at Utica Rome and told me about an annoying squeak.
Kreig Heroth had an issue early at Oswego and told me how he was compared to last week.
Eddie Ostrander explained why he felt his new car should have done better in the Utica opener.
Jeff Hachmann previews next Wednesday’s World of Outlaw Sprint Car race at Rolling Wheels.
I had a good day on Tuesday although my cardiologist did give me some grief over my weight and my higher than it should be blood pressure. Darn it! I thought I had it under control. Now we’ll make some changes and hopefully get it down real soon. Feel free to give me a hard time when you see me as I really need to handle this. Darn it, darn it, darn it!
But I had enough done to lay low in the studio and you can see we have a lot for you today as well as a dozen interviews in the can as well. Plus we put up some new photo bins at dinnertime last night so I hope you enjoy those as well. And since we believe we have a behind the scenes photo issue taken care of, I may begin taking more pictures like I used to do.
Still in the can from Oswego are chats with Joey Payne, Michael Barnes, Andrew Schartner, Jessica Zemken, Lou Levea and Kody Graham. Plus from Utica Rome we have Dana Camenga, A.J. Filbeck, Jason Rood, Bill Knapp, Ron Hawker and Lance Willix. Half of those will be up tomorrow and the other half on Friday.
Now let’s talk more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a feature winner from last weekend. Jimmy Phelps talks about his Brewerton Speedway win and his decision to run Canandaigua on a weekly basis. He told me how good his car was on Friday night, how good he felt about his chances beforehand and how tough it was to nail down where they would race on Saturdays.
Stewart Friesen won two races again last weekend and talked about how well things went at Fonda and Glen Ridge. He told me about the feature winner he battled for the win on Friday, how he came from 15th on Saturday and how happy he is with the start they have to the 2012 season.
Bob Bond walked me through what it takes to get a Super Modified running after it’s pushed off. He also told me how his practice sessions had been going at Oswego, how different the qualifying procedure was for the first race and the fuel leak they fixed earlier.
Jarret Andretti tells me about his Super Modified test session Sunday afternoon in Oswego. He explained why they moved the test up a few days, the advice he received before getting into the car and looks ahead to some wingless 410 Sprint Car races later this month.
Stephen Gioia III just got out of his new car after practice at Oswego and told me how much faster it was compared to his practice a few days earlier. He also talked about a change with the left rear tire, why he hoped to learn these new tires right away and remembered his “unremarkable” season in 2011.
Craig Pope remembered the opener at Utica Rome and told me about an annoying squeak he heard. He told me what was wrong, described some of what they changed during the week and why he needed to make those changes.
Kreig Heroth had an issue early at Oswego and told me how he was compared to last week when he set fast time in practice. He talked a little about his new car he had, what he learned about the tires and how happy he was to save the newer tires for later.
Eddie Ostrander explained why he felt his new car should have done better in the Utica opener. He told me about some of the big changes they made weight wise, wonders if he’ll be able to tell if they worked on hot laps and why he decided to get a new chassis for 2012.
Jeff Hachmann previews next Wednesday’s World of Outlaw Sprint Car race at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park. He told me how fans can get a free fan pit pass by purchasing tickets online before Friday at www.dirtcar.com/tickets, looked ahead to All Star Weekend and reminded Super DIRT Week fans that reserved camping is almost sold out! We ran this again as we had it linked incorrectly for most of the day on Wednesday.
|Tuesday, May 8th 2012
| New on the Audio Page for today:
John Andretti talks about getting his son Jarret stared in racing and his impressions of Oswego.
Randy Ritskes had some TV time at a local station and told me about his practice laps at Oswego.
Tim Devendorf got ready for his first laps in a super in many years and talked about his hopes.
Bobby Heinz remembered his Saturday night race and told me about the damage to his Sportsman.
Claude Hutchings Jr. told me how he has been doing as they have been racing some new tracks.
Jim Money explained why we saw his Pro Stock in the pits last week but not on the racetrack.
Jeff Hachmann previews next Wednesday’s World of Outlaw Sprint Car race at Rolling Wheels.
It was an alright day on Monday as I was busy in the studio, writing for the Syracuse Post Standard and all of the other stuff that comes along on Mondays. I did get a lot done including chats with Jarret Andretti, Jimmy Phelps and Jeff Hachmann. Jeff’s chat is up today while Jarret and Jimmy will be up on Wednesday.
Lots of good stuff on the site and more photos will be going up today too so keep checking back. And we may have solved a photo upload issue we have been dealing with for quite sometime and if it is indeed solved, I’ll be shooting more when I do go to the track.
Still trying to figure out where to go this weekend as Friday I want to go somewhere I have not been to yet this year. Saturday we’ll see about but I may do the same there as well. If you have thoughts, send them to me at email@example.com or hit me on facebook.
Now let’s chat more about what is up for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a man well known worldwide for his skills behind the wheel of just about anything. John Andretti talks about getting his son Jarret stared in racing and offered his impressions of Oswego. He explained what he thought of a Super Modified, why he did not want to push Jarret towards racing and how the Andretti name can be a double edged sword.
Randy Ritskes had some TV time at a local station and told me about his practice laps at Oswego. He told me about some troubles they had with the mag, which tires he would run at time trials and wondered how hard he would go because of the inversion.
Tim Devendorf got ready for his first laps in a Super Modified in many years and talked about his hopes for the Oswego opener. He talked about his practice the week before, explained why he was not pushing it too hard and how happy he was with a 17. 2 second lap on a very cold track.
Bobby Heinz remembered his Saturday night race and told me about the damage to his Sportsman. He also told me about a gearing issue they had at the Utica Rome opener, why he likes the way it handled and what they did to get ready for Sunday.
Claude Hutchings Jr. told me how he has been doing as they have been racing some new tracks with their Sportsman this year. He talked about a problem they had with the rear brakes last week at Utica Rome, how it crimped the brake line and his fourth at Thunder Mountain.
Jim Money explained why we saw his Pro Stock in the pits last week but not on the racetrack. He told me what happened while he saw sitting in the car, why they could not make it back out for the heat and why time was their enemy on this occasion.
Jeff Hachmann previews next Wednesday’s World of Outlaw Sprint Car race at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park. He told me how fans can get a free fan pit pass by purchasing tickets online before Friday at www.dirtcar.com/tickets, looked ahead to All Star Weekend and reminded Super DIRT Week fans that reserved camping is almost sold out!
|Monday, May 7th 2012
| New on the Audio Page from the Utica Rome Speedway:
Pre race conversations:
Brad Alger remembered a tough night last week at the opener and his nice run on Friday at I-88.
Bret Belden explained what a steering quickener is and how his new car felt last week without one.
Bobby Varin ran down how his weekend was going so far as he raced at Glen Ridge and Fonda.
Rob Bellinger reflected on Utica Rome last week and talked about his two races this weekend.
Kenny Tremont told me about last week’s issues at Utica Rome and the engine problem in the feature.
Joe Harrington talked about hitting a ute tire in the feature and riding back to the pits on the hook.
After the heat races:
Heath Carney led every lap on his way to a Sportsman win and told me why his car wiggled.
Jeremy Vunk walked me through the move he made on lap four to get a Sportsman heat win.
Chris Mackey watched the track crew groom the track and told me about his win in the final heat.
Ronnie Johnson told me what he saw on the extreme bottom that helped him get a heat win.
Bobby Varin had a handling issue in his heat win and told me how shifting the brake bias helped.
Pat Ward took his big block to the front for a win and wondered if they had found something.
After the features:
Matt Janczuk told Mike Mallett about his Sportsman feature win and how he caught a break.
Jeremy Vunk finished in second for the second week in a row and told the crowd about his run.
Heath Carney spoke with Mike Mallett about finishing third and why it felt just like a win.
Jimmy Davis won his first ever Modified race at Utica Rome and told me about the battle up front.
Kenny Tremont led a lot of laps before finishing second and told me how he lost the top spot.
Matt Sheppard told Mike Mallett about his 3rd place and how the bottom of the track changed.
I had a great time last night at the Utica Rome Speedway and again the Modified feature was an instant classic. Jimmy Davis and Kenny Tremont put quite a show at the front of the field as Davis ran low, Tremont high and never did they touch. It was GREAT!
Davis ended up taking his first ever Modified feature win at the track as he got by Tremont on the second to last lap. Tremont had not won at the track since 1987 so you know he was trying hard too and it made for an awesome show for the fans for the second week in a row.
I got chats with the top two afterwards on what turned out to be a beautiful day in Vernon, New York. The track was very racy as five of the six open wheel heat races saw a change for the lead. As usual the fast groove moved around several times over the course of the night so it was a lot of fun to watch.
I also took some photos and put up some others from some friends of ours. There are still more to go too so be sure to keep coming back as I have at least a half a dozen more bins to upload. Again, keep checking back today as I hope to get to them this afternoon and thanks to all the people who share their photography skills with us.
There are also a lot of new interviews to listen to on the Audio Page and just like Saturday at Oswego, I was able to save an additional dozen for release this week. That’s twenty-four total so you know it will be a busy week. And tomorrow, hear my chat with John Andretti from Saturday night at Oswego plus lots more.
Once again the field at Utica Rome in the Modified division was impressive. Thirty-two cars attempted to qualify while twenty-five Sportsman teams were on hand as well. The Pro Stocks and Pure Stocks continue to do well and I do think that there are some teams still to be seen that just aren’t ready yet. Look for those numbers to grow.
Today I will be back in the studio and back writing a new story for the Syracuse Post Standard. And with all that happened this weekend I’ll be wishing I had space for a lot more words as it is tough to squeeze an entire weekend’s worth into a 600 word space. Give it a try for fun once and you’ll see why I wish I had twice the space some weeks.
But we’re happy to get to do it and happy for the freedom the paper gives me. It’s a great situation and I am very fortunate to be the guy who is doing it. Nothing makes me happier than doing my job…and I am smiling ear to ear right now as the season is well underway and doing well so far.
We may mix in some new tracks this weekend and I am in the process of figuring that out. Friday should see me at a track I have not been to this year if the weather is good and who knows, maybe Saturday too although I have not been to a regular show at Fulton yet. As always if you have suggestions, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me on facebook. Have a great Monday and I hope to see you back soon.
|Sunday, May 6th 2012
| New on the Audio Page from the Oswego Speedway opener:
Davey Hamilton offered up his thoughts on the car he would drive that was fastest last week.
Dave Gruel talked about the push he had with his car and what they would do to try to fix it.
Otto Sitterly was the fast timer one week ago and explained why he would not practice again.
Jack Patrick told me about the work he was doing in the pits and why it most mostly engine related.
Pat Lavery described a problem they had with his car and why the fix was must multi-faceted.
Mike Bond had the fast time for the Small Block Supers and commented on the back up engine.
Pat Lavery reacted to turning a super fast 16.445 lap to take fast time in the Super Modifieds.
After the heat races:
Jerry Curran led every lap to win the first Super Mod heat and told me about the need to stay low.
Dave Gruel walked me through his outside move on a lap two restart that got him a heat win.
Joe Gosek won the final Super Modified heat and talked about how a test at Sandusky, Ohio helped.
Mark Castiglia took the win in the 1st Small Block heat and described some motor issues they fixed.
Jack Patrick got his car fixed up for the heat and told me what happened on the initial start.
J.J. Andrews spoke about his heat win and explained why his car slowed down in the time trials.
After the features:
J.J. Andrews told Dan Johnson how it felt to win his first feature at Oswego in over a decade.
Otto Sitterly came from twelfth to a win in the Oswego opener and told Dan Johnson all about it.
Davey Hamilton finished a strong second and spoke with Dan Johnson about it down trackside.
Brian Sobus made a late race move to finish third and spoke about how happy he was with it.
Dave Gruel led a lot of laps and told me how a flat left front tire caused him to fade back to fourth.
I did my first asphalt show of the season as I visited the resurgent Oswego Speedway for their first show of the year. A big crowd was on hand to see a strong field of 31 Super Modifieds and 22 Small Block Supers. It was a fun day and I did not get dirty at all. Wow!
But seriously I have always admired Super Modifieds for many reasons. The speed, the alcohol they burn, their exotic one off nature and the super cool way they look. They are the closest thing out there to an Indy Car and the fact that they are making an epic comeback right now makes it such a feel good story on so many levels.
Of course I am still on a learning curve with asphalt racing and don’t know how good my questions are so if you have some advice feel free to send it to me in an email at email@example.com or send me a message on facebook. I want to do as good of a job as I do at the dirttracks and I know I am nowhere close to that right now…but I promise you I’ll keep working on it.
It was a long day though as Jeremiah Fish and I left the house at 1:30 in the afternoon, got back before 11:30 PM and as of 1:30 AM I am just finishing up. Yep, it was a long day but that is the nature of asphalt racing with multiple practice sessions and in this case time trials too in addition to the heats and features.
Otto Sitterly was the man on this night as he came from his twelfth place starting spot to the lead and actually made several passes multiple times as cautions flew before those laps could be completed. Eight cautions slowed the pace of the Super Modified feature leading to a red flag for fuel after the second to last caution of the night.
Davey Hamilton was on early leader Dave Gruel for most of the race until his teammate, Sitterly, was able to make his way by and challenge for the lead. Gruel was fast for most of the race leading the first 45 laps (unofficial off my score card) and if not for a flat left front tire, he may have been the one they spoke with first on the frontstretch.
There was lot of attrition and that is to be expected on opening night with these unique, exotic and sometimes fragile racecars. Parts can’t be purchased at the parts truck on site and if you bend them too much, in the trailer they go in many cases. But when they fly, they are amazing to watch.
The Small Block Supers were also fun to watch and an old friend from back in my Fulton Speedway dirt days won his first race since 2001. (that is what I heard, I’ll check into it) J. J. Andrews survived a charge from the Mopar Man Jack Patrick and pulled away at the end for the win after a tough off season away from racing. It was a great story for a guy who could surely use a break…great job JJ.
I was also able to take some photos, put up some from our friends and save twelve interviews for during the week including one with John Andretti whose son Jarett will be practicing in a Super Modified next week with hopes of competing at the track at a later date. That chat will air Tuesday while the rest you’ll have to keep coming back to check on.
Today I will be heading to the Utica Rome Speedway for their second show of the year and we’ll see how my sore foot does on the rocks in the pits. It was good for it to have smooth asphalt under it on Saturday and it seems like it may be getting a little better. Hope to see you today and keep coming back as we have tons of photos still to upload.
|Saturday, May 5th 2012
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Brian McDonald was back in a Modified last week at Can Am and talked about his 2012 plans.
Paul Kinney offered his thoughts on Can Am as he got ready for his second ever Sprint Car race.
April Wilson just finished up some work on the wing and told me about her hopes for Can Am.
Kyle DeMetro explained what his big goals are for this year as he plans on hitting 15 tracks.
Tom Cummings talks about the upcoming benefit for Al Robinson at Shangri-La 2 on May 11th.
Joey Payne tells me about his Thursday practice and his hopes for the Oswego Speedway opener.
I had a day off yesterday at least that was the plan when I wrote this up on Thursday night. And know that I did try hard to do more to promote the openers this weekend but I waited too long to start the calls and did not have much success. If all goes well I should be at Oswego today.
Every year before my first trip to Oswego I just feel so anxious and overwhelmed. Where to watch, when to cross, who is who and just general information about these cars is something I just don’t have. I love going, love the speed, love the history and love the whole concept of Super Modifieds, I just wish I knew more about it. So if you see me looking lost today, please feel free to help as I want to do this justice and still don’t believe I have done so yet.
And as a bonus, I was able to chat with Super Modified driver Joey Payne after I had put this page up. So I did get lucky after all. That interview is at the bottom today though as I added it after everything else was up.
Today sounds like it should be a very busy day and the weather should not be an issue. Tracks that have not opened like Oswego and even tracks that did open weeks ago, like Fulton, will be starting their points races tonight. There are so many options for race fans so be sure to get out and support your local racetrack.
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a man who is returning to his roots this year. Brian McDonald was back in a Modified last week at Can Am and talked about his 2012 plans. He told me how his new car felt in hot laps, explained why he had a case of the “new car blues” and wondered which handling issue he would do first.
Paul Kinney offered his thoughts on Can Am as he got ready for his second ever Sprint Car race. He told me about some changes he had to make for the slick surface, how he is figuring out what to do and described his comfort level at the big half mile.
April Wilson just finished up some work on the wing and told me about her hopes for Can Am. She ran down the work they had to do to fix her car after her brother flipped it, some of what she is learning in the Race 100 program and how a lap top issue put her a little behind.
Kyle DeMetro explained what his big goals are for this year as he plans on hitting 15 tracks over the course of 30 or so races. He told me why he feels that is best for his sponsor, thinks back on his start in racing last year and evaluates how tough the Sportsman division is today.
Tom Cummings talks about the upcoming benefit for Al Robinson at Shangri-La 2 on May 11th. He told me how Al is doing these days, some of the great items up for auction and runs down what will be happening at the track as they get ready to start their 2012 season.
Joey Payne tells me about his Thursday practice and his hopes for the Oswego Speedway opener. He talked about why he did not mind that his car was a little tight, what they tried to do when putting together a new car and described how nice The Steel Palace looked.
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