|Saturday, September 10th 2011
| New on the Audio Page from the Utica Rome Speedway:
Pre race conversations:
Alan Johnson talked about his weekly work on his Modified and the tacky race track he saw.
Paul Kinney explained why he was selling his Modified stuff and switching to Sprint Cars in 2012.
Matt Janczuk showed me the two cars he would drive and talked about how tough it is to move up.
Chad Brachmann told me about the big block he was running plus his Ransomville championship.
Pat Ward looked at his pair of Modifieds and explained why he was confident about the big block.
Jimmy Phelps thought back on last weekend and the heartbreaker he had at the Fulton Speedway.
After the heat races:
Tommy Denton told me how good his car was in his heat win and how hard he was throwing it in.
Rocky Warner talked about his Pro Stock heat win and how close the finish was at the line.
Chad Brachmann spoke about his Modified heat win and the experienced driver he saw all over him.
Ronnie Johnson won the second Modified qualifier and talked about some contact on restart.
Jimmy Davis led every lap in his heat win and thought back to some trouble he had last time out.
Stewart Friesen walked me through his pass for a heat win and how he held on in the final laps.
After the feature races:
Glenn Forward won the Pro Stock feature race and spoke with Mike Mallett about his new car.
Matt Janczuk picked up yet another Sportsman win and spoke with Mike Mallett in victory lane.
Ronnie Johnson led every lap to win the 50 lap Modified main and got to speak with Jeff Barrett.
Stewart Friesen talked with Jeff Barrett about the wild three wide racing he was a part of.
Alan Johnson told Jeff Barrett about chasing a fellow racer as a kid and now as a race driver.
I had a fun night at the Utica Rome Speedway at a time that I really needed a good time. It was a fall night for sure as it got downright chilly by the time the last checkered flag waved. I hope you brought your hoodies and if you didn’t, you better bring them tonight or get some new ones at the track!
The track was fast all night long as the heavy rains of the last week and a half made for some tacky clay. The racecars were fast and after so many slick surfaces all across the board of late, it was fun to see the teams throw some gear to their 800+ horsepower big blocks and let them eat! And eat they did!!!
Even with a show north of the border today for the touring DIRTcar teams, there was still a strong 46 car field on hand which is sure to get bigger today. The only driver there that I figured would make the trip to Canada today was Jimmy Phelps as he was there with his family team and not the one he’ll drive for at Autdromme Drummond. So again look for that 46 number to get much higher today.
I was able to record sixteen pre race interviews, take a bunch of photos and even get all the heat winners from the Pro Stock and Modified divisions. All but ten of the twenty six total recordings are up today and all the photos are up right now and ready for you to view. As for those other ten interviews, they’ll show up beginning on Monday and throughout the week.
What a day it turned out to be for Ronnie Johnson as he led all 50 laps of the Thunder on the Thruway Series race. He held off Tim Fuller early, Pat Ward in the middle and Stewart Friesen late. There was racing going on all over the racetrack with several drivers moving up fast early including Mike Mahaney and Jimmy Phelps who had to come from the consi.
But as the laps wore on, some faded while as always others got stronger including Friesen, Alan Johnson, Bobby Varin and Todd Burley who blasted the top in the closing laps gaining many positions. It was a lot of fun to watch and the drivers were super fast on this next to last night of the season in Vernon.
All in all it was another great night at Utica Rome. I learned a lot watching a team change carburetors before the final hot lap session as they get ready to attempt to qualify as a Sportsman with a four barrel today. There are going to be some great stories that will unfold in the New Yorker today and I urge you all to come check it out.
Now the reason it was a nice distraction for me was because my fifteen year old cat Indy had a seizure earlier in the morning. We took him to our regular vet instead of the animal ER and it seems like he is doing much better. But it scared the heck out of us and has us on guard for another one. He is our best friend and keeps me company late at night after races when I can’t sleep and my family company while I am away. He is a member of our family whom we love dearly and we pray that he is ok.
I will see you guys back there today and for all of you going to other racetracks today, I wish you all the best as we wind down the 2011 season. Remember, there are still some races to go to so don’t be too crazy out there. The off season is long and gets even longer when you have a wrecked racecar to fix. Be fast, be safe and have fun everyone!
|Friday, September 9th 2011
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Ryan Phelps told me about the pack of cars he was racing with in the top ten at Brewerton.
Jeff Cook talked about his “good eighth” place at Canandaigua and why it was a good finish.
Chuck Bower tells me how busy he and his fellow workers have been because of recent storms.
Matt Tanner sums up how hisrookie season has been behind the wheel of a 360 Sprint Car.
Rob Keller described some extra work they were doing to his IMCA Modified this past Friday.
Joe Fanelli gets ready to race his 600 Modified at Thunder Mountain and talks about confidence.
Matt Fay just hot lapped a Four Cylinder at Brewerton and talked about the fun he is having.
Ed Leubner walks me through this Sunday’s SCCA Rally Cross at Cherry Valley Motorsports Park.
We’re thinking about a lot of you today the flooding is getting worse in the Southern Tier, the Capital Region and Pennsylvania as well. We hope all of you are alright and we pray for your safety.
On the site today we actually have some pictures of some of this flooding and how it has affected I-88 Speedway. A big thanks goes out to Scott Seward for first taking these photos and secondly for sharing them with all of us. It is going to be a while before this is cleaned up and when I find out about a local charity that keeps the money here, I’ll let you know so we can all donate to some folks who really need help.
And let’s not forget that this happened in a lot of the same places back in 2006 so this is way too soon for these folks to have go to through this yet again. Plus it could have an effect on who races this weekend and who has to stay home. But again, our thoughts and prayers are with all of you!
I did speak with Barb Clark from Utica Rome and they weathered the storms fine and are set to begin New Yorker Weekend tonight. That is where I will be today and tomorrow so look for audio and photos from tonight’s event on the site tomorrow.
Now let’s talk about what is new for today on the Audio Page and yes there is a lot on there for a Friday. Ryan Phelps told me about the pack of cars he was racing with in the top ten at Brewerton. He talked about what he saw going on in front of him, why he had to change his plan of attack after the top fell off and described a small issue he was dealing with Saturday at Fulton.
Jeff Cook talked about his “good eighth” place at Canandaigua with the ESS and why it was a good eighth. He told me how he ended up in the b-main, how his car felt in hot laps at Utica Rome and described how he has done on the big half mile in the past.
Chuck Bower tells me how busy he and his fellow workers in the power industry have been because of recent storms. He told me why he was not going to be able to run Sunday, how they balance sending workers to other locations while still keeping some close to home and described how his car was in the hot laps last Friday.
Matt Tanner sums up how hisrookie season has been behind the wheel of a 360 Sprint Car. He told me something he learned the night before at Canandaigua, what he did that made the car worse and what it felt like after that. Part of the process here and great interview.
Rob Keller described some extra work they were doing to his IMCA Modified this past Friday. He talked about what they have on the car that not many others do, the frayed wires they were working on and how dominant one particular driver was this year at Brewerton.
Joe Fanelli gets ready to race his 600 Modified at Thunder Mountain and talks about the role of confidence. He talked about how much he enjoys this 1/3 mile track, how nice it was to win there in July and updates us on a driver’s condition after he was involved in an on track fire. Glad to hear Lester is doing better and more prayers coming his way.
Matt Fay just hot lapped a Four Cylinder at Brewerton and described the fun he is having. He talked about where he is as a driver right now, where he would like to be better and explained why he likes to run the outside of the track.
Ed Leubner walks me through this Sunday’s SCCA Rally Cross at Cherry Valley Motorsports Park. He told me how the event will work, how easy it is for first timers to participate with their street cars and previews an Auto Cross race at the New York State Fairgrounds in two weeks. For more, go to www.cny-scca.com .
|Thursday, September 8th 2011
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Danny O’Brien talks about winning the Brockville Ontario Modified championship by finishing 2nd.
Willy Decker explained how he balances working on the parts truck with driving his Modified.
Bill Trexler reflected on his rookie season at Utica Rome and described his hopes to move up.
Sam Reakes IV offered his initial thoughts after taking his first ever laps in a 360 Sprint Car.
Ben Wheeler almost won at Fulton two weeks ago and told me how he lost the spot on the last lap.
Bob Bennett got ready for the Fulton Speedway point finale and talked about the heavy track.
Rich Keller described his recent second place finish at Brewerton and wondered where 2011 went.
Rain, rain go away! That’s what we were all saying on Wednesday as heavy showers hit our area and most of the northeast. Hope all of you are okay as this is pretty bad and so soon after the hurricane. Seriously, I wish you all nothing but the best and pray that you are safe, dry and happy.
On the site today are seven new conversations and at least that many more are coming tomorrow as well. I will be back in the studio today before my daughter gets home from her first day of school this year. We went to “meet your teacher” day on Wednesday and Allie is now super excited about getting third grade started. My youngest will go next year.
And even with school starting there are still a lot of big races to go. Both Utica Rome and Can Am have big two day shows while there are three big Modified races on Saturday.
I’ll be at Utica Rome for Friday & Saturday and then be in front of my TV on Sunday for the first week of NFL. And you have to wonder if that is a factor in the scheduling of races. Some tracks will give their headline division the week off if NASCAR is running a popular night race and I wonder if this contributed to the off day on Sunday. Hmm.
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a man who just did something for the tenth time in his distinguished career. Danny O’Brien talks about winning the Brockville Ontario Speedway Modified championship by finishing 2nd in the regular season finale last Saturday. He told me about the battle he was in with Dale Planck for second, how proud he was to have completed every lap at the track this season and how the work his crew does during the week made it all possible.
Willy Decker explained how he balances working on the parts truck with driving his Modified on race days. He wondered if he was a better salesman than a race driver, described his thoughts at the Brewerton regular season finale and why it is best not to look at points on these nights.
Bill Trexler reflected on his rookie season at Utica Rome and described his hopes to move up in the final standings. He told me how comfortable he was in the Modified right away, how smooth is 18 degree motor is when he is on the throttle and wonders where he’ll end up at the end of the night.
Sam Reakes IV offered his initial thoughts after taking his first ever laps in a 360 Sprint Car this past Sunday. He told me how it felt to him on the big half mile in Vernon, how fast the car was and explains why he may be switching from Sportsman to Sprints in 2012.
Ben Wheeler almost won at Fulton two weeks ago and told me how he lost the spot on the last lap. He told me why he switched to Fulton after the midway point of the season, how a late race caution set up the last lap drama and what he saw as he was slid jobbed in turn two on the final lap.
Bob Bennett got ready for the Fulton Speedway point finale and talked about the heavy track he was on in hot laps. He explained why he felt it would stay fairly tacky, described where his car handled better after some suspension changes and how optimistic he was about his chances.
Rich Keller talked about his recent second place finish at Brewerton and wondered where the 2011 season went. He told me what he learned in that runner up finish, why he only made a few minor changes to it during the week and how much he values the input his older brother gives him.
|Wednesday, September 7th 2011
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Mike Stelter described what he found wrong with his 360 motor and who loaned him another one.
Mike Bowman thought about some recent top ten finishes and how he fixed a vibration in the car.
Rob Hile had a ride in a Modified he had never seen before and told me how it all came about.
Chris Ostrowksy was back in a Modified this weekend and told me about his return to racing.
Gordy Button has been struggling with his Late Model and talked about what has been going on.
Mark Krosky tells me about the Jim Langenback Memorial for Pro Stocks at Lebanon Valley.
Pete Broderson explains what does differently with tear offs and how he prepares them on raceday.
Jim Money looked ahead to getting behind the wheel of a Pro Stock and talked about his laps so far.
Well all of a sudden it sure seems a lot like fall around here. We had a cool fall like day on Tuesday and you can actually see a few leaves starting to turn. Oh man. I don’t know where the season went do you?
I was busy on Tuesday as I did some interviews in the studio, went to visit a race shop to talk about driving an actual Modified next year and introduced a long time friend to the world of on line racing. Yep, it was a fun day.
On the site today we have eight more interviews and at least that many more will show up tomorrow. Plus we added a lot of new photos Tuesday afternoon so if you are one of the folks that checks us out in the morning, be sure to click on the filmstrip on the right side to get caught up.
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a man who had some good power under his right foot after a few weeks of frustration. Mike Stelter described what he found wrong with his 360 motor and who loaned him another one to use this past Sunday. He wondered if he had found the problem and then analyzed what he saw me do in my practice laps in a Vintage Modified at Paradise. I think he is being a little too kind here though but thanks Mike for the encouragement.
Mike Bowman thought about some recent top ten finishes he enjoyed and how he fixed a vibration in the car. He wondered which fix he did actually cured the problem, discussed the big shows at the end of the year and wondered if he would be at the New Yorker this weekend.
Rob Hile had a ride in a Modified he had never seen before Friday night at Brewerton and told me how it all came about. He explained how a veteran Modified driver helped set the deal up, how long it has been since he has been in an actual race and how it felt to him in the hot lap session.
Chris Ostrowksy was back in a Modified this weekend at the Fulton Speedway and told me about his return to racing. He told me who talked him into giving it another try, remembered his last races at Black Rock and why he originally scaled back his efforts.
Gordy Button has been struggling with his Crate Late Model at Fulton and talked about what has been going on. He told me about a consistent over heating issue, wonders if he has the wrong engine under the hood and if he might call it a season after one more race weekend.
Mark Krosky tells me about the Jim Langenback Memorial for Pro Stocks at Lebanon Valley Speedway this Saturday. He talks about the $5400 pay day for the winner, the bonus lap money and encourages all Pro Stock teams to come to honor a great driver who we lost last year. Rest in peace Jim, rest in peace!
Pete Broderson explains what does differently with tear offs and how he prepares them on raceday. He showed me how to put on speed tabs, how much clearer his vision is with this type of tear off and what he did wrong one time. Oops. Good stuff here racers! And look in my Utica Rome photo bin to see what they look like.
Jim Money looked ahead to getting behind the wheel of a Pro Stock at Utica Rome and talked about his laps so far in the car. He told me how surprised he was to even be in the pit area on Sunday, described a handling issue they were dealing with and wondered how it would be later on.
|Tuesday, September 6th 2011
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Gary Tomkins picked up fifteen spots at Mr. Dirt Track USA and described how his night went.
Chad Homan was back on the track this past weekend and talked about his late season plans.
Cory Sparks talked about a motor issue he had at Canandaigua and a car change for Sunday.
Chad Phelps told me about his Friday night at Brewerton where he came home in third place.
Rick Miller explained how he got behind the wheel of a Late Model and how he has been doing.
Scott Conover was back on the clay after some asphalt racing and explained why he came back.
Jeff Herbert remembered his vicious Mod Lite crash at Brewerton and told ne how he is doing.
Bill Shea reacted to finishing in seventh in his first ever time behind the wheel of a racecar.
It was a cold and rainy day on Monday as summer is over I guess! Unlike in years past there was only one race that was on the card for Labor Day and it was rained out. Rumble at the Ridge was going to pay $7,711 to the winner of the Modified feature but Mother Nature would have none of that.
And as I type this up at dinner time on Monday I am hoping to get into the studio a bit later on and Tuesday for sure. On the site today we have eight new interviews and at least that many will show up daily this week so be sure to map out some time to check them out.
Plus we added some new pictures on Monday and will put up more sometime later today. And a big thanks goes out to all the photographers who take the time to send us their work. Really…thanks a lot guys!
I also have an article summing up the weekend in today’s Syracuse Post Standard. And if you did not get your copy, you can go online to www.syracuse.com/motorsports to read that as well as more from Classic Weekend at the Oswego Speedway.
Now let’s discuss what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a pair of chats from my Friday night in Brewerton. Gary Tomkins picked up fifteen spots at Mr. Dirt Track USA and described how his night went. He wondered why he had a ball of fire under the car for a while, how close he came to getting black flagged because of it and described some gains he has been making with the Deuce Car on Friday at Brewerton.
Chad Homan was back on the track this past weekend and talked about his late season plans. He told me what his goals were for Friday night at Brewerton, thought back on how he had done in the past at Brewerton and reminded us what happened early on that sidelined for most of the 2011 season.
Cory Sparks talked about a motor issue he had at Canandaigua and a car change for Sunday. He told me what he believes went wrong with his 360 engine, how nice it is to be able to run a Doug Emery owned car and what he had to do to get comfortable in something he had never even sat in before.
Chad Phelps told me about his Friday night at Brewerton where he came home in third place. He talked about his second place run in his heat, how good it felt to lead some laps in the feature and how he lost two spots late in the show.
Rick Miller explained how he got behind the wheel of a Late Model and how he has been doing in his three weeks at Fulton. He told me how the deal with Shayne Tenace came about, how much different this car is compared to what he has raced in the past and wonders if his deal may continue into next year.
Scott Conover was back on the clay after some asphalt racing and explained why he came back. He talked about why he chose to run at Fulton in their crate Sportsman division, how their tech procedure helped him make that decision and looked ahead to Outlaw 200 Weekend.
Jeff Herbert remembered his vicious Mod Lite crash at Brewerton a few weeks ago and told ne how he is doing now. He told me what it felt like as the car continued to tumble, how the silence of being airborne seems to take forever and wonders if he’ll get back into a racecar before winter comes.
Bill Shea reacted to finishing in seventh in his first ever time behind the wheel of a racecar. He talked about how much fun he had in a Four Cylinder Super Stock, where he was more comfortable on the track and how close to he came to spinning out in his heat race. His smile afterwards was ear to ear.
|Monday, September 5th 2011
| New on the Audio Page from the Utica Rome Speedway:
Pre race conversations:
Willy Decker told me what went wrong with his car Friday that caused it to bounce and hop.
Casey Williams thought back on his Modified feature win and how he gave back right afterwards.
Matt Janczuk explained why he had two cars with him and reflected on his recent win streak.
Mitch Gibbs explained how he got a ride for Sunday and what his goals were for the evening.
Lance Yonge talked about his third place at Canandaigua and how late season racing can get wild.
Jason Barney won at a track that has become a favorite of his of late and told me how got up front.
After the heat races:
Jeff Leslie won the first Sportsman heat race of the night and talked about his rebuilt engine.
Joe Harrington got the win in his heat and told me about a big shock & weight change they made.
Bryan Howland talked about how much he had to shut his car down to stay low in his heat win.
Steve Poirier walked me through his pass for the win in his heat and how hard he drove it in.
Shawn Donath came from fourth to first in his win and told me about one particular pass.
After the features:
Matt Janczuk spoke with Mike Mallett about his Sportsman feature win and his championship.
Shawn Donath ran the extreme outside in his Sprint Car win and told Mike Mallet how he did it.
Steve Poirier finished in second place in the A-Main and explained why he kept his car low.
Chuck Hebing worked his way from last to first after an incident and talked about his fast racecar.
Willy Decker led all but one lap in the Modified feature and told Mike Mallet about his win.
Stewart Friesen told Mike Mallett how it felt to win his 2nd championship of the weekend.
Unlike last night when I thought a track to the west was going to rain out and it didn’t, this time I got it right as I chose correctly on where to go. On Saturday I thought rain was going to hit Canandaigua so I went to Fulton. Both raced with no weather issues. On Sunday I read the radar correctly and Weedsport rained out while Utica Rome somehow dodged everything and got an entire show in.
So I was 50% on my choices this Labor Day Weekend but right on when it came to yesterday. I studied the radar from noon till 3 PM and then decided to head east. I thought that Weedsport would get rain before the 7PM start time and I was right. But as we watched the radar in the tower on Sunday we could not believe how lucky we were to right between to big lines of weather.
There was a tornado to the east of us in Vernon and at several times you could see lightning behind turn one. And with the way things look as I type this up at 1AM, today it seems like a lot of folks who don’t need any more rain are getting some today whether they want it or not. My thoughts and prayers go out to you guys and I hope you all get through today ok.
As for the racing at Utica Rome, the Empire Super Sprints joined the show on Sunday they traditionally do on Labor Day Weekend. So the track was black and slick and as always the racing was still pretty good. Drivers were running extremely high as the night went on and several had a good look at the end of the wall coming out of turn four as they searched for brown clay to put their tires on.
Matt Janczuk won the Sportsman feature with a lap fourteen pass to increase his winning streak in the division to four. No drama this time unlike in the previous few weeks as he did not get into someone else’s jingle or have the crew to the shop for parts. It was just a solid win by a driver who has been about as dominant as any driver in any class at the track.
Too bad moving up to Modifieds is tougher than it has ever been financially as Matt is clearly ready from the driving end of things. But in an era where strong, winning motors start at $40,000 and the cost to run a season comes close to or beyond six figures, it is just not possible for some and a problem that I think could get worse in the next few years. More on my thoughts on that at the bottom of the page, so keep reading.
In the Sprint Car A-Main a driver who originally ran at the track in the 90’s in an alcohol burning Small Block Modified used some of that experience at the track to pick up the win. Shawn Donath has been nursing a bad wrist all season long but he was feeling no pain as he blasted the top for the big win.
His interview in victory lane as well as many others from Utica Rome are available right now on the Audio Page today plus lots of new photos from the pit area and beyond. Plus I was able to save nine pre race interviews to make our total from the weekend a whopping 27. So you’ll get seven a day minimum for the next four days as I will be in the studio this week as well. And you know you need to keep coming back later today too as we usually get new photos in on Monday.
In the Modified feature race Willy Decker made his way around Todd Burley on the second lap and never looked back going on to his second Utica Rome win of the season. He gave a thumbs up to the crowd as he drove across the line in what must have been a sweet victory for him. Listen to my pre race chat with him to hear about what happened to him on Friday at Brewerton. Never seen anything like that before and from what he said, he hadn’t either.
The Pro Stocks and Pure Stocks also put on great shows as they had double features at the track. A big kudos goes out to everyone involved in this one as there was a lot to do with seven big features and weather all around the track. But everyone stayed calm, did their jobs and the result was a real good show that unfortunately many missed. The radar and forecast kept a lot of folks away and those fans missed another good one with a lot of bang for the buck. Yeah, there were fireworks too.
And now more on my thoughts Matt Janczuk and others like him who would love nothing more than to move up, but just can’t.
Sure you can by an Modified engine for $15,000-20,000 and you might be able to get a win on a perfect night with a slick track, an up front starting spot and a couple of breaks along the way. But that heavy motor with a hundred less horsepower is not going to get you from the back to the front against a tough field or get you a win on a tacky track when money makes you go fast.
There are a lot of Matt Janczuk types out there with talent, desire and the racing resume that would suggest it is time for a move up. But as we see in the top levels of NASCAR, it is tough to be the new guy. Racing against the best in any form of racing takes a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of patience from the people who fund your ride. All rookies crash, drive over their heads getting into veterans and all will take their lumps. But take too many lumps and someone else will be in the car.
In local racing, if you take those expensive lumps you will be sidelined in no time and out of money. It happens every year. A driver puts everything he has into moving up to the premier division whatever it may be at his weekly track. The driver puts every cent they can into the car and in some cases may even get into hock doing it maxing out credit cards hoping to keep their head above water for a season and get the experience of a lifetime.
Now they bump it off the wall real hard damaging the suspension. Several thousand dollars later (and maybe into more hock) and he is back on the track. Now a motor light comes on or a bigger crash happens. Out of money and out of fresh parts, the car sits and is sold for pennies on the dollar in the fall.
The driver now takes a few years off to recover financially and eventually returns to the division they were originally in and competitive in as well, Now the driver is wiser from the experience never dreaming of moving up again. And in some cases, never even come back to racing although they may go occasionally to help a friend in the pits.
It’s an all too common story in every form of racing. Dirt, asphalt, road course and drag racing...you name it. It’s all the same and it is what at times can make this the cruelest sport in the world. So congrats to all of you who made it through to Labor Day Weekend and be proud of what you’ve accomplished no matter what the end result may be. You were out there and you did it. Congratulations on doing what most only dream of doing…getting behind the wheel and racing.
|Sunday, September 4th 2011
| New on the Audio Page from the Fulton Speedway:
Pre race conversations:
Johnny Scarborough talked about selling his Sportsman stuff and the fun he is having at Fulton.
Bob Henry Jr. told me about the last lap move he made to get the Sportsman win last week.
Jeremy Pitcher reflected on his 2011 season and how nice it was not to have to run hard on this nite.
Roy Bresnahan remembered his Friday at Brewerton and wonders where he’ll run next weekend.
Shane Donath spoke about his recent Fulton runs and described how his car felt in hot laps.
After the heat races:
Dale Caswell won his heat and told me why he was changing his gears before the feature.
Bodie Bellinger talked about his pass for the lead that got his Late Model a victory in his heat.
Katelyn Kane told me how she won her Sportsman heat and how she held off a veteran driver.
Matt Fink led every lap to win his Modified heat and talked about how good his car was up high.
Shane Donath got the win in his heat race and told me how they went too far with their adjustment.
After the feature races:
Tim Sears Jr. spoke with Adam Buchanan after winning the Crate Late Model track championship.
Katelyn Kane talked about winning the Sportsman feature and the late yellow she had to endure.
Jeremy Pitcher made it official and talked with Bill Foley about winning the Sportsman title.
Tommy Sears took the lead late in the Mod feature and spoke about his win with Adam Buchanan.
Billy Decker won the championship with his 3rd place finish and told Adam Buchanan about it.
Jim Witko told me how good his second place car was and who helped him with some driving tips.
I had a fun night as I headed to the Fulton Speedway for their final points night. Originally I was going to head out to Canandaigua but when I saw a line of weather near Toronto, I changed my plans. That weather never did hit Canandaigua so I guess my amateur meteorologist degree won’t be coming in the mail anytime soon.
Although it was good that I did not go for out west as the audio recorder I brought with me had a major problem. So major in fact that I had to leave the pit area at Fulton, come home, grab my primary recorder and head back. I lost 45 minutes in the process and did not get back in the pit area until after 6PM. But I hustled like never before and got thirteen pre race interviews. Five of those are up today.
It was a great night at the high banked track as it was three grooves wide and smooth as a baby’s bottom. Jimmy Phelps had a tough break the Modified feature as he ended up in the wall on the backstretch and had to pit. He sat in the pits for sixteen laps while his crew fixed his front end and he came back out. But with no spots to be gained, he was in trouble and not in control of his destiny.
Billy Decker was however and came into the night twenty eight points behind Phelps. And if he got to fifth he would tie for the title. He got up to third and won the championship unofficially by three points. So for the second night in a row, the driver who came into the night as the Modified point leader did not win the championship. I did feel bad for Jimmy as he got some help in hitting the wall too. Darn it!
Not so much drama in the Sportsman as Jeremy Pitcher had his championship wrapped up weeks ago. But there was enough drama in the feature to make up for it. Katelyn Kane took the lead on lap seven and made it through two late yellows including one with a lap to go. She held off last week’s winner Bob Henry Jr. as he threw everything at her he could think of.
It was an emotional victory lane for Kane as her family and her Modified racing boyfriend greeted her when she got out of the car. It was the loudest cheers we heard all night long when this college student got out of her car with the checkered flag in hand. Congratulations to Katelyn on a job well done!
Dale Caswell won the Late Model feature although the speaker I usually record victory lanes from was down so I had to hustle into the tower to record them. So I missed Dale but did get there in time to record Tim Sears Jr. as he celebrated his track championship. No champagne for Timmer though as he is not old enough just yet.
There were also a great field of Mod Lites on hand for the Doug Cooper Memorial. Doug lost his life in a crash at the track several years ago and this is an emotional night for everyone who runs in this division. Doug Williams took the win in that 36 lapper.
All in all I had a great time and enjoyed chatting with my friends in the tower as the features took place. This high banked track continues to have some of the best racing anywhere and last night was a classic to say the least.
Today I am not sure what I am going to do as weather is moving in as the day goes on. I have Weedsport down in my planner after conversations with my editor at the Syracuse Post Standard. He’ll be at Oswego for the Classic finale while I hope to stay dry and see some racing on the clay. Utica Rome will be my back up plan if that rains out. And if all else fails, I will fire up the home studio.
One way or another, I have nineteen clips in the can so we will have lots to listen to this week. Come back tomorrow and keep checking as you never know when new photos will be added.
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