Gary Rowe - CPA
Dougs dirt diary
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Friday, April 20th 2012
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Shawn Donath was at his first race of the season and talked about being part of a two car team.
Charlie Donk told me about his first practice and a piece he had to take off his Sprinter on Saturday. 
Paul Kinney got ready for his first Sprint Car race and talked about his hopes for later in the day. 
Adam Ellis is going to be a big block rookie this year and explained why the time was right. 
Katelyn Kane talked about her Sportsman and her desire to someday run a 360 Sprint Car. 
Frank Hyatt had his Pure Stock at the Brewerton practice and talked about some big changes.
 
I had a super fun day on Thursday as I went out to see Sprint Car driver/pool builder Paul Habeck. He had a couple of spare helmets after getting some new ones and was nice enough to give me one. Thanks a lot Paul. We also talked about pools and how busy his business is getting. But they have time for you and in these tough times, why not put a vacation in your back yard? You can do that by getting ahold of his business Northeastern Pool & Spa. 
 
Then after that we went to the Dan Willmes race shop to check on the Vintage Car and boy was I surprised when he opened the door. There are now two cars in there and he rigged one up with a hand brake and hand clutch so he can drive. How cool is that? Now Dan and I can race each other and have fun, fun, fun. Check out the photo bin to see.
 
Words cannot express how thankful I am that Dan and Claude Hutchings Sr. trust me enough to put me in their racecars and tell me to just go out and drive it. There is no feeling like it and thanks to those guys I now know that firsthand. Thanks so much and I’ll keep you guys posted on when my first race will be!
 
Tonight I will be at the Brewerton Speedway for their opener and can’t wait for it to happen. A big field of cars will be on hand so get your butts out there. Plus there is other action too, so no matter where you live, go support your local racetrack!
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with some stuff from the big Sprint Car show at Fulton last week. Shawn Donath was at his first race of the season and talked about being part of a two car team. He told me about the practice he took the week before the Fulton opener, explained why the cars he is driving this year are a little different from what he drove before and looked ahead to resuming their schedule next weekend. 
 
Charlie Donk told me about his first practice and a piece he had to take off his Sprinter on Saturday. He chatted about some changes they made under the hood, what they learned about how those changes worked and evaluated his experience level at the Fulton Speedway. 
 
Paul Kinney got ready for his first Sprint Car race and talked about his hopes for later in the day. He told me why he does not eat much on race days, described how nervous he was beforehand and shared some of the advice he has picked up from friends. 
 
Adam Ellis is going to be a big block rookie this year and explained why the time was right to do it now. He told me how things went as he drove the car for the first time last weekend at a practice, why he decided to start his career in a big block and why he has special motivation to make it work this year. 
 
Katelyn Kane talked about her Sportsman and her desire to someday run a 360 Sprint Car. She told me about her hopes for the Fulton opener, how happy she was about how she did last year and how tough it is to drive somebody else’s car. 
 
Frank Hyatt had his Pure Stock at the Brewerton practice and talked about some big changes he made during the off season. He told me about the front clip they changed, the extra power he now has under the hood and how close he came to winning a feature last season. 

 
Thursday, April 19th 2012
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Lance Yonge spoke about his hopes for Fulton on Saturday and how good the competition was.    
Paul Habeck had his Sprint Car at Fulton and showed off a new look he had on his racecar. 
Mike Barone tells me about his getting his first ever big block feature win last week at Bridgeport. 
Bob Reis did a car switch with another driver and talked about the two things he does at every race.
Gregg Carner finished second in points last year and told me about his hopes to pick up a spot. 
Scott Ford made the move up and talked about the hot shoe who hot lapped his car last week. 
Justin Lindsey talked about the familiar car he had at the Brewerton practice and his 2012 plans. 
Mike Stiles had an open motor Sportsman at Brewerton as he got ready for his first ever laps. 
Mike Mallett tells me who tonight’s guests are on The 31st Lap and how racefans can see it live. 
 
I had a busy day on Wedsnesday as I wrote up another column for the Syracuse Post Standard, did some website work and headed downtown to get the ball rolling on my enhanced license. It will be interesting to see the hoops I’ll have to jump through to do it so wish me luck.
 
I also had the chance to get together with a lot of people I worked with years ago as we had our annual WCNY ex-employee reunion. It was great to see everyone and remember all the great work we did. We produced over 10 hours of local programming a week and did a lot of good for the community. And it is that experience producing, directing and sometimes co-hosting a daily talk show that gave me the idea for this site. Ahhh..memories.
 
Today I will take a trip out to Rochester to see Paul Habeck to pick up a helmet and see the beautiful showroom at Northeastern Pool & Spa. Too bad it wasn’t a little warmer, I’d bring my suit. But nobody deserves to see that, so maybe not. But it is time to think about a pool in your backyard and between Paul and Craig at Picture Perfect Pools, we’ve got you covered in the Rochester and Utica areas. 
 
Then on the way back we’ll visit car owner Dan Willmes and see how the Vintage Sportsman looks. And Dan, we hope you are feeling better and are ready for a lot of fun this summer. See you guys today! 
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a man who ended up having a tough day last Saturday. Lance Yonge spoke about his hopes for Fulton on Saturday and how good the competition level was. He wondered if it might be the biggest 360 field we see all year in the state, how much the racetrack could change with 40 plus Sprinters and how common it is to see Modified drivers with wings on top. 
 
Paul Habeck had his Sprint Car at Fulton and showed off a new look he had on his racecar. He told me about some changes he made during the off season, where he feels he needs to be better at Fulton and what his goals were for the practice the week before. 
 
Mike Barone tells me about his getting his first ever big block feature win last week at Bridgeport. He talked about what he learned in his heat race earlier that helped, how he handled traffic as the leader and what he was saying to himself why he did it. Congratulations Mike! 
 
Bob Reis did a car switch with another driver and talked about the two things he does at every race.  He talked about avoiding the second thing, how tough his day would be at Fulton as he comes from the back and why he was feeling a little pressure because of the car he was in. 
 
Gregg Carner finished second in points last year and told me about his hopes to pick up a spot in the Sportsman division at Fulton. We talked about how tough it is to finish top five every week, the new car he picked up over the winter and wondered where they will travel so his twin brother can race also. 
 
Scott Ford made the move up to a full fledged Sportsman this year and talked about the hot shoe who hot lapped his car last week. He also told me about a chassis change he made, some new sponsors that came on board and described how hard he would race early on. 
 
Justin Lindsey talked about the familiar car he had at the Brewerton practice and his 2012 plans. He explained how he picked up Paul Kinney’s car from last year, why he almost got out during the off season and what his goals were for Tuesday. 
 
Mike Stiles had an open motor Sportsman at Brewerton as he got ready for his first ever laps. He told me how nervous he was, why he decided to finally get behind the wheel and when he started to put it together. 
 
Mike Mallett tells me who tonight’s guests are on The 31st Lap and how racefans can see it live. He talked about his co hosts, what they want the show to be like and shared some memories of Tom Ames who we lost just recently. Rest in Peace Tom. 

 
Wednesday, April 18th 2012
   New on the Audio Page from the Brewerton Speedway practice:
 
Doug Emery had his Sprint Car at the practice and told me about an issue they had last time out.   
Peter Britten was going to take some practice laps and talked about his tough night at Canandaigua. 
Rob Keller looked over the tacky race surface and remarked on the improvements at the track.
Mike Mullen had his Mod Lite ready to go and remembered his end of the season feature win. 
Mike Jones talked about some changes to his IMCA and described a handling condition fix. 
Nick Krause had never raced a big car before and told me about his hopes for his crate Sportsman. 
Lowell Zehr made some big changes in the off season and talked about the need for more power. 
 
I had a busy day on Tuesday as I got some interviews recorded in the studio and then headed over to the Brewerton Speedway practice. I talked on the microphone with ten drivers and took a few photos as well. Seven of those chats are up today as well as the pictures and we also uploaded some photo bins from the professionals too during the day before we went, so look for those too!
 
The track at Brewerton was in excellent shape and had a lot of bite early on. There was a real good field of cars on hand and almost everyone had a specific goal for the day. Also a few new drivers were on hand including one who had never drove before. You’ll meet him tomorrow. I love rookies and love to watch them improve! 
 
Also be sure to look at the new VIP tower and the new lighting poles in the infield. After racing there ten nights myself last year I must tell you that you do not even notice it is dark as this is one of the best lit tracks around. And the improvements continue at Central New York’s favorite Friday night hot spot.
 
Their first show is Friday and if the conditions we saw at the practice are any indicator of what we’ll get this week, be ready as it should be nothing short of awesome. I have fourteen interviews in the can too so look for at least seven a day tomorrow and Friday.
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with my first chat of the day right after the gates opened up. Doug Emery had his Sprint Car at the Brewerton Speedway practice and told me about a motor issue they had last time out.   
 
Peter Britten was going to take some practice laps at Brewerton and talked about his tough night at Canandaigua last week that saw him come from the consi. 
 
Rob Keller looked over the tacky race surface and remarked on the improvements at the Brewerton Speedway as he got ready for practice. 
 
Mike Mullen had his Mod Lite ready to go and remembered his end of the season feature win in the final point race at the Brewerton Speedway. 
 
Mike Jones talked about some changes to his IMCA Modified and described a handling condition fix they were hoping to have corrected. 
 
Nick Krause had never raced a big car before after several years of go cart racing on dirt and told me about his hopes for his crate Sportsman at the Brewerton practice. 
 
Lowell Zehr made some big changes to his Mod Lite in the off season and talked about the need for more power as he got ready for the Brewerton practice. 

 
Tuesday, April 17th 2012
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Pat Ward talks about his win in the Southern Tier Open at Five Mile and his plans for this weekend. 
Jared Zimbardi offered up his thoughts as he got ready to defend his title with the Patriot Sprints.
Gil Tegg almost won at Canandaigua on Saturday and told me how a late restart hurt his chances. 
Sam Reakes IV was a little nervous on Saturday and talked about what he hopes would happen later. 
Jim LaRock spoke about his Sportsman races so far and evaluated the track he saw in hot laps. 
 
It was back to summer like conditions on Monday as we hit the 80 degree mark here in Central New York. I wore shorts (sorry for everyone who had to see that) around town and I was not the only one. Darn, there are some pretty white legs out there indeed.
 
On the site today we have five more interviews. Three are from my trip to Fulton on Saturday while the others are from the home studio. Plus we put up four more photo bins on Monday and still have a few more to go. Look for those to go up later today.
 
I also wrote up another article for the Syracuse Post Standard and unlike a lot of weeks, I did not even have room for quotes this time around as there was so much to cover. I am so happy that this time of the year is finally here. 
 
Tonight I am going to go to the Brewerton Speedway for their practice and I will have audio from the event up tomorrow as well as some photos of my own. And don’t forget, they open this Friday with a tight four division show. 

And I was saddened to heat of the sudden death of writer Tom Ames.  He had alot of passion for our sport and he will be truly missed.  May you rest in peace Tom and we wish the best to his family & friends.  It is a sad day in racing indeed. 
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a man who just picked up his first win of the year. Pat Ward talks about his win in the Southern Tier Open at Five Mile Point and his plans for this weekend. He told me how nice it was to get his best draw of the year so far, how his teammate showed him the outside groove late in the race and why he feels a small block is the way to go on many nights. 
 
Jared Zimbardi offered up his thoughts as he got ready to defend his title with the Patriot Sprints. He told me about some new cars he has coming, described how tough the Fulton Speedway can be and wondered about an engine he had in the car earlier. 
 
Gil Tegg almost won at Canandaigua on Saturday and told me how a late restart hurt his chances. He explained what he did that left the inside lane open with two to go, how pleased he was overall with the way he ran and what he learned about himself on this night. 
 
Sam Reakes IV was a little nervous on Saturday and talked about what he hoped would happen later at Fulton. He told me how his stomach was feeling, how much better he would feel after hot laps and why he was happy to start his 2012 season at a track he has a lot of history at. Later he finished 12th without a scratch on the car! 
 
Jim LaRock spoke about his Sportsman races so far and evaluated the track he saw in hot laps at Fulton. He talked about his seventh at Thunder Mountain on Friday night, his top five at Black Rock and his tough night at Five Mile Point. 

 
Monday, April 16th 2012
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Jessica Zemken thought back on her past at Fulton and ran down her next few weeks of racing. 
Jason Barney returned to a track he knows well on Saturday and talked about his new racecar. 
Steve Hutchinson Jr. just moved from asphalt to dirt and talked about why he is now in a Sprinter. 
Johnny Scarborough told me about his win at Fonda and how he led every lap all night long. 
Dan Wiesner explained how his Sportsman win at Canandaigua was good for his entire family. 
Alan Fink got ready for the season opener at Fulton and told me about the look on his Late Model.
Bob Bennett embraced his new nickname and spoke about his hopes for that first feature win. 
 
It was a rainy day in Central New York on Sunday so I stayed inside and did some work. I put up a couple of new photo bins and recorded three new interviews in the studio. Two of those are up today and the other one with Gil Tegg will air on Tuesday.
 
Today we will be back in the studio and also writing up a new column for the Syracuse Post Standard. And it is nice to have actual racing to chat about instead of talk about racing. I just love this time of the year.
 
And racers, if you did well this weekend send me an email and I’ll get you on. Just write a note to me at doug@dougsdirtdiary.com and I’ll get back to you. Plus later in the week I’ll lay out my idea for a reality show that would actually help the sport instead of making us look like a bunch of toothless hicks. (Like that asphalt Modified reality show did that I will not mention by name…horrible!) 
 
Now let’s talk about what is new on the Audio Page for today. I begin with a young lad who we know well here in Central New York. Jessica Zemken thought back on some of her past at Fulton and ran down her next few weeks of racing on the road. She talked about some new parts she had on her Sprint Car, running more 401 shows than 360’s and how much she is enjoying hitting some new tracks. 
 
Jason Barney returned to a track he knows well on Saturday and talked about his new racecar. He told me why he was happy about being at a daytime show at Fulton, what his goals were for the day and remembered some of the bad luck he has had at the track in his Sprinter. 
 
Steve Hutchinson Jr. just moved from asphalt to dirt and talked about why he is now in a Sprinter. He talked about his first laps on dirt in a 360, how much he enjoyed it and why he knows he has to be patient & get as much seat time as possible. Welcome aboard Steve. 
 
Johnny Scarborough told me about his win at Fonda and how he led every lap all night long. He talked about being focused on a Sportsman championship, described some changes they made after a practice session and looks forward to adding Five Mile Point on Sunday to this weekend’s plans. 
 
Dan Wiesner explained how his Sportsman win at Canandaigua was good for his entire family. He told me how the race provided a nice distraction after losing a family member earlier in the week, described the great battle he had up front with a former champion and how valuable his crew was in getting the car prepared. 
 
Alan Fink got ready for the season opener at Fulton and told me about the new look on his Late Model. He talked about his practice the week before, why he was happy that the track was as slick as it was and how happy he was with the way the car worked. 
 
Bob Bennett embraced his new nickname for this season and spoke about his hopes for the first feature win. He talked about the work they did the night before to get ready for the Fulton opener, explained why he was happy about the tech work the inspectors were doing and why safety always comes first! 

 
Sunday, April 15th 2012
   New on the Audio Page from the Fulton Speedway opener:
 
Pre race conversations:
 
Tim Sears Jr. had a busy day in front of him and talked about driving two different racecars. 
Rick Wilson got ready to race his 360 Sprinter and thought back on some of his Fulton successes. 
Larry Wight remembered his fourth place finish last year in a Sprinter as he got ready at Fulton. 
Steve Poirier shared his hopes for later in the day and told me how he hurt his left knee badly. 
Jeremy Pitcher was last year’s Sportsman track champion and talked about defending his title. 
Steve Collins almost flipped his Sprint Car in hot laps and described what it felt like in the seat.
 
After the heat races:
 
Alain Bergeron got his night off to a good start winning his heat and described his pass for the lead. 
Bobby Breen led every lap on his way to a win in heat number two and talked about the A-Main. 
Tommy Wickham won his heat race and talked about a big problem they were trying to fix. 
Steve Poirier made a nice inside move to win his heat race and described how good his car was. 
Jason Occhino had a nice run in heat as he won going away and talked about his new chassis. 
Jeremy Pitcher earned the win in the second Sportsman heat and spoke about the changeable track.
Tim Sears Jr. took the lead on lap six of his heat race and talked about the clean racing he saw. 
 
After the feature races:
 
Tim Sears Jr. came from last to first to win the Late Model feature and talked with Adam Buchanan
Steve Poirier won the Patriot Sprint Tour A-Main and talked with Rich Vleck about the victory.
Tommy Wickham led the four laps in the race and told Rich Vleck about his second place finish.
Chuck Hebing came home in third place and spoke with Rich Vleck about a problem they had. 
Bryan Howland finished in fourth place and wondered aloud if he was a little better than that. 
Larry Wight had a nice fifth place run and told me why he had turn his motor on and off at the end. 
 
I had a fun day as I went to the Fulton Speedway for a three division show featuring the Patriot Sprint Tour as the headlining act. And as I predicted, a strong field of 42 winged 360’s showed up to battle. It was a who’s who of northeast 360 racing and many strong teams loaded up early in this one. Plus a good field of Sportsman was on hand as well as Crate Late Models.
 
Defending PST champion Jared Zimbardi flipped in his heat and despite his team’s hard work to get the car back together, they were unable to push start it on the track for the A-Main and did not get to turn a lap. Steve Collins almost flipped his car in hot laps and I did get to chat with him afterwards so look for that on the Audio Page as well as lots more from the event.  
 
It was a banner day for Canadian Steve Poirier as he won his heat and the A-Main while nursing a left knee that may require surgery. Steve came to the event to see how it felt and see if he may be able to put that off or not. Listen to my pre race interview with him to hear how he did it.
 
Mother Nature got the crowds attention for about a minute as a brief sprinkle hit the track right on a lap three restart in the Sprint A-Main. Fortunately it did not last long and no time was lost on the track. The weather people did have this one listed as a 30% chance of showers after 7PM but everything moved south leaving us dry.
 
Tim Sears Jr. had a great night as he won both the Crate Late Model and Sportsman features. And in the Late Model race, his car shut off on him at the start of the race and he had to race from the back to the front. But the Late Model car count was down to single digits so it was not as tough as it could have been. Still, quite an accomplishment for this young hot shoe.
 
It was a nice start to the season at Fulton with a pretty good crowd on hand and some real good racing. The grader did see some action as they tried to get the surface tackier than last week’s practice but for the most part the surface was good although at times it had bite in spots while others did not. It was a good test for the drivers.
 
I also put up some new photos as well as the first few from Jeremiah Fish. I’m thinking we should get more pictures in today from our friends out there so keep checking back. And give those interviews a listen as there are a lot of real good ones in there. Plus we have 17 in the can for release later this week and with a practice set for Tuesday at Brewerton, this could be our biggest week yet content wise. 
 
I had a blast yesterday as I smelled both race fuel and methanol. I’ll be in the studio today tracking down drivers who did well this weekend so look for those and more from Fulton to show up tomorrow. As always, thanks to everyone including the drivers and the Fulton Speedway folks for making my job so much fun. See ya tomorrow!

 
Saturday, April 14th 2012
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Rob Bellinger watched his Modified go through tech and talked about his new Bicknell car. 
Todd Hoddick talked about his hopes for Fulton and why he moved from asphalt to a Sprint Car.
Nate Reynolds showed me why he did not race last year as he got ready last week at Canandaigua. 
Tyler Walker gets ready for this weekend and talks about his hopes for Green Valley Action Park. 
Rich Vleck previewed today’s Methanol Meltdown at Fulton and the rest of the 2012 season. 
Andrew Harpell runs down what will happen at Five Mile Point in today’s Southern Tier Open. 
 
It was a beautiful day on Friday and after I got my work done I was able to get out and enjoy it. I even mowed the lawn for the first time and know that my 11 year old Toro might need a tune up. We’ll get to it.
 
Today is a busy day in the racing world and I’ll be at the Fulton Speedway for the Patriot Sprint Tour. The Methanol Meltdown should be an absolutely huge show as a lot of Sprint Car teams are making their plans to be there.
 
There is a lot of good stuff on the Audio Page today and we will have a lot of new clips up tomorrow from the show today and we’ll be sure to take a few pictures too. I hope you enjoy the stuff we have for you.
 
And I did speak with Cory Reed and they are going to open the pit gate at 1PM in an effort to get people in quicker without having to empty the pits. So I will see you guys nice and early today! Better set my alarm huh?
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a clip from last weekend’s big show at Canandaigua. Rob Bellinger watched his Modified go through tech at Canandaigua and talked about his new Bicknell car that he debuted in Florida. He described the feel that this car has, ran down where he will race weekly and why he will be running a little more this year. 
 
Todd Hoddick talked about his hopes for Fulton and explained why he moved from asphalt to a Sprint Car. He told me about his years driving Late Models, SST Modifieds & TQ’s, remembered his practice laps last weekend and described what would make for a good day later today. 
 
Nate Reynolds showed me why he did not race last year as he got ready last week at Canandaigua. He told me how he injured himself, what the healing process was like and talked about how his last season of racing went back in 2010. 
 
Tyler Walker gets ready for this weekend and talks about his hopes for Green Valley Action Park. He told me about racing his Micro Sprint at a track he has never seen before, looks forward to doing more traveling this season and explains what he learned watching Brett Hearn at Canandaigua last week. 
 
Rich Vleck previewed today’s Methanol Meltdown at Fulton and the rest of the 2012 season. He told me some of the drivers he sees making it to the show today, why he likes to see the 350’s race at Fulton and how much money will go to the two champions this year. 
 
Andrew Harpell runs down what will happen at Five Mile Point in today’s Southern Tier Open. He described how the racing surface has been so far this season, what he did to get it ready on Friday and what he hopes to see later today. 


 
     
 
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