|Saturday, July 9th 2011
| New on the Audio Page for today from the Brewerton Speedway:
Pre race conversations:
Tony Steiner described how his Run What Ya Brung Modified did in the race last week in Weedsport.
Chris Hile talked about how he is doing at Fulton and why they have cut back on racing a little.
Claude Hutchings Jr. remembered his mid week show as he raced Five Mile for the first time.
Chris Fleming thought back on his up and down weekend than included a second place on Saturday.
Willy Decker told me about his win last week at Utica Rome and how slick the racetrack was.
Dale Planck described the tough luck he had at Cornwall last week and his run at Rolling Wheels.
After the heat races:
Mike Mahaney led every lap to win his heat and described the tight car he had on the tacky clay.
Billy Decker spoke about his Modified heat win as well as his ROC victory Tuesday at Five Mile.
Pat O’Brien talked about some of the gains he has been making as he won his Modified heat race.
Chuck Powelcyzk has been on a roll of late with his Four Cylinder and talked about his heat win.
Doug Elkins gets interviewed by Mike Mahaney after Elkins led every lap to win his heat race.
After the feature races:
Kevan Cook could be on his way to a title and spoke with Adam Buchanan about his IMCA win.
Billy Decker led all but seven laps on his way to a win and spoke about it with Bill Foley.
Alan Johnson talked about his third place finish, how he got the lead and how he fell back.
Jimmy Phelps walked me through his fourth place run and described how fast the track was.
We had a super fun night at the Brewerton Speedway as a thunderstorm late in the afternoon made for the fastest track conditions they have seen all year. But unlike the other night this year when the track was tacky, this time the cars were a lot more under control and not nearly as many incidents happened. You know how it goes, fast track, everyone is fast and sometimes yellows can be frequent.
The hot laps were pushed back a few times as the maintenance crew worked in the wet racing surface but they were able to get the clay in real good shape and the racing was top notch.
In the Modified feature Billy Decker started from the pole and with the momentum he has had at other places in recent weeks it would have been tough to bet against him. But as good as he has been at other tracks, the fact that he started on the pole shows you have rough the last three weeks have been for him at the D Shaped Dirt Demon.
Alan Johnson was able to get Billy in traffic on lap 13 and was able to keep the lead for 6 laps, but Decker was able to get back by and go on for the win. In the process he became the first repeat winner in the Modified division this year. And did you know that there have been 19 different heat winners this year in the Modified class? Wow. And if you are keeping track, that’s in 33 heat races total by my math anyway.
I did get to chat with three of the top five, but with the races moving so quickly I missed both Pat Ward and Ryan Phelps as they were changing when I came by. Sure, we ended up waiting in the staging area a little as you always do, but when you see everyone else getting in their cars, you gotta go too. So I did! Sorry guys.
I also got 13 pre race chats and put 6 of those up for today. I’ll put some of them up for tomorrow as well as a lot of what Jeremiah Fish did last night at Black Rock Speedway. He had my recorder but no microphone as I forgot to put it in his bag. Rich Vleck helped out with a mic from the track and saved us. So thank Rich when you see him as well as J Fish as he is really going to town on this thing…great!
Back to Brewerton, Kevan Cook won the IMCA Modified feature and in the process boosted his point lead to 39. And with IMCA points only going down one for each position, it will be tough for Josh and Brandon to make up 39 spots in two months. But we race for a reason and every lap counts, so nothing is outside the realm of possibility.
Josh Desantis Jr. won what I believe was his first ever Mod Lite feature so a big congrats goes out to him. Unfortunately I never get to see their race as it usually run right before ours, so I hear a few things on the one way radio and see the wrecked cars towed off the track. But I heard they put on a great show last night. And glad to hear Rick Demo was ok as his car caught fire briefly right after he exited. Whew!
In our division, a rookie led the early part of the race until he (me) hit slower traffic. He balked, got tagged from behind in a racing deal which caused his car to jump out of gear. He (me) ended up pulling into the infield furiously trying to get the car to go back into gear, any gear at all for that matter.
Finally after the yellow came out and the two truck started approaching, I (now I’ll talk about myself in the first person) was able to get it in first gear and drive away. Then I couldn’t get it into second but eventually it went. I decided not to touch the shifter after that and raced back up from the rear to finish sixth. Could have used a bungee cord huh Claude Jr.?
It was a good run for the Claude Hutchings owned Tired Iron Repair Saab and we led our first ever laps in the feature after leading every lap in a heat win earlier. If I would not have balked in traffic, who knows? But we learned a lot, made a mistake in lapped traffic like a lot of rookies do and still came back for a nice sixth place finish after being at the tail end of the lead lap. We’re learning a lot each and every lap I turn.
And congrats to Jim Money on his win. Although I must say there was a lot of contact out there in our division…a little too much in my mind. I hope everyone learns from this week and comes back this next week to put on a great show. I know all of you and I know we can do it.
Today I will be in Weedsport at the Cayuga County Fair to announce a demo derby/enduro event for promoter Eric Kingsley who was the first guy I ever worked for in racing. I am taking my family and my dad so it should be a great time.
My kids have never heard me announce a race before so I know they will like that since they enjoy themselves when they do make it out to Brewerton to watch daddy race. And they have no idea what is in store for them with the enduro and demo derby. I know they are going to have a great time.
Tomorrow I will have the winners from that event on the site as well as some of what J-Fish did for us at Black Rock. Keep checking too as you never know when new photos are going to go up. And I hope you support your favorite track tonight and have a great time doing it. I’ll see ya tomorrow.
|Friday, July 8th 2011
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Chuck Bower talked about how he felt about his Brewerton win after a few days to think about it.
Steve Hulsizer had a different Modified at Utica Rome on Sunday and told me where it came from.
Kevin Ward Jr. told Jeremiah Fish how his season has been going as he got ready at Can Am.
Neil Stratton won his first ever Modified feature Saturday and Lebanon Valley and told me how.
Mike White moved up to a Sportsman this season and described how things have been going.
Jason Amidon tells me about some gains he has made in his suspension and how it has helped.
Andy Kieffer explains why we have not seen him that much and why he is running a crate.
Jeremy Vunk described some recent gains he has made as he adjusts to driving a Pro Stock.
Joe “Geezer” Fanelli remembers his two win weekend and how emotional it was for everyone.
It was another beautiful day in Central New York on Thursday and it sounds like the weekend should be just as good. It will be nice not to have to look at radar and wonder if we are racing or not. We are so let’s get at it.
Tonight I hope to be at Brewerton to race and report, tomorrow I will be in Weedsport for their night of destruction show (Yes, I am announcing it) and then back to Cayuga County on Sunday as the Empire Super Sprints headline a winged themed show there.
Jeremiah Fish will be reporting tonight for us as he checks out the Patriot Sprint Tour show at Black Rock and a lot of his stuff will air on this site on Sunday as I will not be able to get much tomorrow night at the enduro/demo derby.
As you can see we have a lot on the site today and we were able to get some stuff done in the studio as well. I hope you all have a great Friday night at the racetrack and I hope my night goes a little better than the last two have gone. It stinks to start thinking too much and I believe that is what I am doing.
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a follow up with a recent winner. Chuck Bower talked about how he felt about his Brewerton win after a few days to think about it. He also told me about how pumped up he & his team were about it, how happy he was to see that he can still win races and how tough the competition is at “The D Shaped Dirt Demon”.
Steve Hulsizer had a different Modified at Utica Rome on Sunday and told me where it came from. He talked about what they did to get the car ready to race, how good it was right out of the box and thinks back on racing against a former Outlaw Circuit Champion in his heat.
Kevin Ward Jr. told Jeremiah Fish how his season has been going as he got ready at Can Am. He talked about his recent A-Main win in Canada, how much the money he won helped and why podium finishes are his goal every night he straps into the Sprinter.
Neil Stratton won his first ever Modified feature Saturday and Lebanon Valley in a race honoring Maynard Forrette and told me how. He talked about where his focus was in the final laps, when he realized he had a chance to win and how great it was to see his father in victory lane. And a big thanks also goes to out to his loving fiancée.
Mike White moved up to a Sportsman this season and described how things have been going. He talked about how much he is enjoying the car, how tough it is to get the car to do what he wants and the search for a good reliable baseline set up.
Jason Amidon tells me about some gains he has made in his suspension and how it has helped his finishes this year. He also talked about how bad his set ups have been in years past, described the particular area he has improved in and how it feels when an IMCA Modified gets “up on the bars”.
Andy Kieffer explains why we have not seen him that much and why he is running a crate engine in his IMCA Modified. He told me when he blew up the first one, compares what he has under the hood with the guys he races against and why he decided to go a different way.
Jeremy Vunk described some recent gains he has made as he adjusts to driving a Pro Stock. He talked about some mechanical issues they have had with the car the last few weeks, described one particular brake issue he dealt with and wondered if he might get back behind the wheel of an open wheel racer.
Joe “Geezer” Fanelli remembers his two win weekend and how emotional it was for everyone in the 600 Xcel Modified division. He told me how he lost the lead briefly before getting it back on Friday, how nice it was to win again on Sunday and how distracted he was after watching a driver get severely injured in a fire the weekend before.
|Thursday, July 7th 2011
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Alan Rudalavage tells me about his weekend that included a pair of Modified feature wins.
Jimmy Phelps summed up how his weekend had been gong so far as he got ready on Monday.
Kramer Williamson talked about his weekend that saw him race his Sprint Car in three states.
Billy Dunn described his Friday night at Can Am which saw him race both a Mod and a Sprinter.
Bill Trexler ran down some recent set up gains he has made and explained why he wants new shocks.
April Wilson tells Jeremiah Fish why she has not been at the races as much here in the 2011 season.
Jipp Ortiz and I chatted about some of his past successes at Rolling Wheels and his 2011 season.
Ryan Scott told me why he had his IMCA Modified down the Brewerton Speedway last Friday.
Jim Grippen showed me his Camaro bodied Pro Stock and told me about the work he did to it.
Kelly Skinner got off to a late start with his Mod Lite and explained why we missed him early.
I had a good day on Wednesday as I once again got some work done and got to spend some quality time with my family as well. I did record some interviews in the studio as well and one of those chats is at the top of the Audio Page today.
It is with one of the racers out there that I really enjoy chatting with as he makes my job so easy. Alan Rudalavage is always a good talker and it sounds like I could be in trouble if I ever win a race as he is going to turn the tables on me and pull a Morley Safer/60 Minutes style interview on me. Thankfully I don’t think I’ll have to worry about that too much just yet especially by the way my finishes have been going.
I also added a bunch of chats from my holiday weekend travels to give you a solid ten interviews to listen to today. Plus I have a few things set up here in the studio so you need to make sure to come back tomorrow.
The weekend sounds like it is going to be great weather wise so make your plans now and be sure to use my column in today’s Syracuse Post Standard as a guide to help make that happen. If you are outside the Central New York region, you can always see them and lots more online at www.syracuse.com/motorsports.
Now let’s talk about what is new for today on the Audio Page. And boy is there a lot of good stuff there. Alan Rudalavage tells me about his weekend that included a pair of Modified feature wins to double his total for the year. He told me about the break he received on Friday night, how tough one particular competitor is at his Saturday track and wonders if he’ll travel to Lincoln next week.
Jimmy Phelps summed up how his weekend had been gong so far as he got ready on Monday at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park. He talked about finishing the race on Friday in the pit area, how he was compared to the winner on Saturday and his top five in the series race on Sunday in Canada.
Kramer Williamson talked about his weekend that saw him race his Sprint Car in three different states. He told me how he did on Friday & Saturday, why he was a little short on help Sunday at Utica Rome and how nice it was to have a shock guru with him on this night.
Billy Dunn described his Friday night at Can Am which saw him race both a Mod and a Sprinter. He told me how much more comfortable he was in the 360 this time around, why he still feels like he is out of his element a little and what his big goals are for the Sprint Car.
Bill Trexler ran down some recent set up gains he has made and explained why he wants the new shocks he tried last weekend at Utica Rome. He told me how much a difference they made when he had them on the car, described what his car does when it begins to fade and the fun he is having being in the top ten.
April Wilson tells Jeremiah Fish why she has not been at the races as much here in the 2011 season. She talked about some of her runs for far, some of the tracks she has visited this year and shared how she reacted to seeing her dad flip a few weeks ago. That has got to be tough!
Jipp Ortiz and I chatted about some of his past successes at Rolling Wheels and his 2011 season. He talked about how tough it was to pass last time he was in Elbridge, how important it is to be good early with group time trials and how tough it is when the track is tacky versus slick.
Ryan Scott told me why he had his IMCA Modified down the Brewerton Speedway last Friday. He explained why he had to find a new Friday night home, remembered a recent wreck he had and described his finishes at the track that are at the two extreme ends of the spectrum.
Jim Grippen showed me his Camaro bodied Pro Stock and told me about the work he did to it. He talked about the racecars championship season a few weeks back, how bad the car looked when he got it and what areas he is working on set up wise with the car.
Kelly Skinner got off to a late start with his Mod Lite and explained why we missed him at the early shows here in 2011. He explained how life away from the track got in the way, how missing the feature the week before got him a free pass for the week after. He also wanted to thank Tim Devendorf for his help with the racecar.
|Wednesday, July 6th 2011
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Justin Haers talks about his Modified win at Canandaigua and his top ten on Sunday night.
Chuck Hebing spoke with Jeremiah Fish about his recent Sprint Car win at Lebanon Valley.
Rich Scagliotta reflected on his recent Modified win and how special the night was for him.
Chris Busta remembered his nice run at Utica nine days ago and the small block he was using.
Tommy Wickham just hot lapped his 360 Sprinter Friday at Can Am and told J Fish how it felt.
Craig Pope was coming off a 17th place finish at Utica Rome and told me why he felt good about it.
Jamie Christian explained why he was down on power for the ESS show and what his goals were.
Rick Miller got ready to drive a racecar for the first time in ten years and talked about his return.
Mike Cooper told me about his DIRTcar Stock car race at Canandaigua and his hopes for Monday.
Ricky Breed won his first Pure Stock race of the year Sunday at Utica Rome and told me about it.
Boy was I tired yesterday? I stayed up working till about 4:30 AM and did not get to sleep till close to 6 in the morning. So you know I was dragging my sorry butt around on Tuesday.
I did get to write my latest column for the Syracuse Post Standard and it will be in today’s edition as well as online at www.syracuse.com/motorsports. Plus I uploaded another half a dozen photo bins to join the ones I loaded early Tuesday morning.
The studio was quiet as I spent some time with my family. We visited my folks, hit the pool and had dinner at their house. It was a nice day and a nice break from the busy days I had on Sunday and Monday.
Today I will write another story for Thursday and I should also get back in the studio somewhere along the way. It was a super fun weekend for me and my experiences behind the wheel are making me a better interviewer as well.
Listen to my Justin Haers interview for example. The part where we talk about what was going through his head on his last two restarts at Canandaigua is something that I would not have know as much about if I had not had those same thoughts myself. Yep, this is a great season for me and I ma having the time of my life right now and learning the types of things that you can only learn by being behind the wheel of a racecar yourself.
Speaking of that interview, let’s find out more about that and the other clips that you can listen to today on the Audio Page. I begin with a real nice chat that I know you’ll like. Justin Haers talks about his Modified win at Canandaigua and his top ten in a series race at Cornwall. He explained what was going on in his head on a pair of late restarts at The Land of Legends, how he decided which lane to run in and how he ended up starting towards the rear on Sunday. Real good one here!
Chuck Hebing spoke with Jeremiah Fish about his recent Sprint Car win at Lebanon Valley. He compared the track to one famous track he ran at a few years back, wondered how slippery Can Am might get later on Friday night and talked about where he was going on Sunday.
Rich Scagliotta reflected on his recent Modified win and how special the night was for him. He talked about the need to “keep his nose to the grindstone”, how his attitude on winning has changed since then and how tough it is to be someone in the highly competitive world of dirt Modified racing.
Chris Busta reflected on his nice run at Utica nine days ago and the small block he was using. He described how drivable the Modified was, explained what it would take to win with a 358 and how you have to take care of your tires in a 30 lapper on a slick racetrack.
Tommy Wickham just hot lapped his 360 Sprinter Friday at Can Am and told J Fish how it felt. He talked about following one particular driver, how he approaches The Nasty Track of the North and described how his season has been going so far.
Craig Pope was coming off a 17th place finish at Utica Rome and told me why he felt good about it. He talked about what they learned that night, why he had trouble getting the car into the groove he wanted and explained what they found wrong with the car before that night. Oh no, a backwards fuel filter!
Jamie Christian explained why he was down on power for the ESS show and what his goals were. He told me how competitive his 305 would be against the more powerful 360’s, remembered his win from Saturday night and why it is better sometimes to be second when coming into lapped traffic.
Rick Miller got ready to drive a racecar for the first time in ten years and talked about his return. He told me how the opportunity came about to drive an IMCA Modified, what he hoped would happen later on and reflected on his career that including both stock cars & Modifieds. Welcome back Rick and nobody gives up racing!
Mike Cooper told me about his DIRTcar Stock car race at Canandaigua and his hopes for Monday at Rolling Wheels. He talked about the handling issue had had early on, how he went too far with some adjustments and how he got his car better as the night went on.
Ricky Breed won his first Pure Stock race of the year Sunday at Utica Rome and told me about it. We talked about the lines he used to get to the front on the dry/slick track, described how light footed he was and why he is not giving up on racing for a career in music. Me too Ricky!
|Tuesday, July 5th 2011
| New on the Audio Page from Rolling Wheels Raceway Park:
Pre race conversations:
Gary Tomkins talked about his hopes for later on and shared a proud day he had last Saturday.
Matt Sheppard summed up how his weekend went including his string of third place finishes.
Brett Hearn just picked up win number 795 on Friday and told me when he thinks about that number.
Alan Johnson ran down how his three races this weekend have gone so far as he got ready.
Tim McCreadie told me about his Late Model race on Sunday and his trip back to New York.
Ronnie Johnson explained why he was at The Wheels and how his Sunday affected the decision.
After the heat races:
Justin Wright talked about his Sportsman win and the nice number he pulled at the redraw.
Tim Sears Jr. won the second Sportsman heat and told me how he retook the number one spot.
Jesse Cotriss watched the consi’s as he told me about his heat win and his tough night on Friday.
David Marcuccilli got the win in the final Sportsman heat and explained how his night got better.
Stewart Friesen texted in his hauler after his heat win and told me how strong his motor was.
Billy Decker reacted to his Modified heat win and his oldest daughter drawing him the pole.
Matt Sheppard led every lap to win his heat race and wondered how he was compared to others.
Tim McCreadie spoke about the “running motor” he had and how badly he does in redraws.
After the feature events:
Pete Stefanski spoke with Shane Andrews after winning the Pro Stock race in a wild finish.
David Marcuccilli pulled away late to win the Sportsman feature and got to talk with Joe Marotta.
Matt Sheppard held on to win the Stars & Stripes 100 and described how his racecar changed.
Danny Johnson almost caught the leader finishing second and talked about his “fast hot rod”.
Alan Johnson raced his way up for a nice fourth place run and told me when he made moves.
Tim McCreadie talked about his fifth place finish and why he had to make a stop in the pits.
Tim Fuller described his sixth place run and explained how the racing surface fooled him a bit.
Well my Fourth of July Weekend ended on another high note as Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in Elbridge, New York was as packed as I have ever seen it for a regular season event. It was a picture perfect day and the people showed up in droves for what turned out to be a real nice show.
There were three big divisions on this night taking on the big 5/8 mile known as The Fast Track. It was tacky early on and a little uneven in the corners for hot laps and time trials but they were able to smooth it out before the heats. There were 32 Modified teams and 39 Sportsman Modifieds plus a nice mix of Pro Stocks and DIRTcar Stock Cars.
Again, we all marveled at the crowd on this day as all of us in the media were all saying the same thing, “This is the biggest non-Super DIRT Week crowd we have ever seen.”
The credit for this goes to the people at DIRTcar who have been marketing this place and dirt track racing hard all winter, spring and into summer. They have staged events at local businesses bringing drivers with them, helping to put them in places where they can showcase the kind of people who make our sport happen and making contacts with the local media who sometimes can shy away from local motorsports.
All that effort paid off on Monday as a lot of racefans celebrated the birth of America in the tiny town of Elbridge. My hat is off to you guys…way to go!
At one point Jeff Hachmann (who you have heard on this site a lot and has been the key point man in this effort) and I were on the roof looking at the pit area and the packed grandstands. He and I have had a lot of chats off the mic about getting Rolling Wheels back on the racefans map and both of us were smiling in unison at what we saw before us. It was a cool moment.
Of course the place looked phenomenal and the best I have seen it in a long time. The little things like the new signage, the bounce houses for the kids, the deejay and the manufacturer’s row of sorts helped give this race a “big time show” feel in every aspect.
The fireworks before the Modified feature were really good as they had one of those devices that sprays the fireworks off sequentially at 45 degree angles making for a spectacular display. And the finale was one of the biggest in actual area that I have ever seen. Again, all of us were saying the same thing, “They did not cheap out on this one!” Bonus point awarded.
Now to the racing. In the 100 lap Super DIRTcar Series race it looked like Billy Decker was going to run away and hide. He blasted from the pole position that his oldest daughter drew from him and until the first yellow, he was in front and led every lap.
Matt Sheppard was able to stay with Decker as the two worked traffic before Tim McCreadie came to a stop on the track in turn three. McCreadie had a brake issue but was able to come back out after a quick trip to the pit area. Listen to my post race interview with him on the Audio Page to hear what happened.
On the restart, Sheppard was able to get around Decker on the outside of turn two and take the lead. And oh by the way, McCreadie was able to come back out and stay on the lead lap as they went back to green. Stewart Friesen had trouble on lap 71 and brought out caution number two. He was third at that time and there was fluid on the track afterwards. Oh no…
Then Dale Planck slowed in turn four on lap 89 to bring out the final yellow. (Hope it wasn’t something serious as they had trouble the night before.) That bunched everyone up for the final time and this time around it was Danny Johnson who was fast. He was able to get on Sheppard’s bumper a few times and on the last lap he did everything he could but fell short by about a half a car length at the checkered.
It was a fun race to watch for the fans as you could see Danny catching Matt and you just knew it was going to be a great finish. Billy Decker finished third, Alan Johnson picked up some spots late to move up to fourth and Tim McCreadie came back out and raced his way up to fifth. They are on the Audio Page too along with sixth place runner Tim Fuller.
Plus we have some pre race chats as well as all the heat winners in the Sportsman and Modified division. And I like the emotion of victory lane interviews so all three winning chats are recorded as the crowd heard them. Thanks to Joe Marotta and Shane Andrews for letting me do that and to all the announcers who share their voices so the fans that couldn’t make it can still hear the same energy the fans at the track heard.
David Marcuccilli had some energy as he got out of his Sportsman after his first ever win at Rolling Wheels. A lot of drivers that have won track championships at other places and big races all over the northeast have never won at The Fast Track. Now David can say that he has. Nice job.
And the Pro Stock/Street Stock race came right down to the end with a trio of Pro Stocks battling it out right to final feet of clay. Pete Stefanski and Rocky Warner were side by side for a good portion of the final laps with P.J. Peters right behind if either of them made a mistake.
Stefanski and Warner had contact a few times and it was a great side by side finish at the line with Stefanski getting the win. But the one thing we did learn is that Pro Stocks get around a lot faster than Street Stock/DIRTcar Stock Cars do. That was very evident!
All in all it was a real fun day for me but a long one as the show was not done until right around midnight. They pushed it along but it was just a lot of racing at a big track. Laps take longer at Rolling Wheels than they do at anyplace else in Central New York so basic math applies here. It’s gonna take longer and you have to know that coming into it.
But they had something on the track constantly and there were not a lot empty seats that I saw when I looked down with ten laps to go in the Modified feature. So the fans got their money’s worth alright. And I myself had a great time.
Now today I will be putting up more photos as I have six more bins waiting and it is only 4:01 in the AM as I get ready to put up this front page. Yeah, that’s right this is a lot of work in case you didn’t know. It’s a late one for me alright. And yeah again, I’ll be sleeping late today. I mean late. But those bins will probably go up at night after we get the kids to bed. Right in what is known as Prime Time in TV land.
Oh, and be sure to check out my race sheet to see who was running where at what time and other useful tidbits. You can really get a lot out the race by looking at it. I’ve been doing sheets like that since my second year in racing back in 1991 and they helped me keep track of what was going on while I announced. See, you can only ask the scorers a few dumb questions before they rightfully get annoyed with you.
So I will see you guys tomorrow with lots more including some of the 28 interviews that are stored in the can right now. That is a minimum of 9 new clips each day this week as all of those will air by Friday before we reload at Brewerton as I will race and report once again. Plus I will add some more from the studio along the way although maybe not today as I have some catching up on some non-racing stuff.
Have a great short week at work and keep checking back later today as more new stuff will be showing up in the photo bins.
|Monday, July 4th 2011
| New on the Audio Page from the Utica Rome Speedway:
Pre race conversations:
Stewart Friesen told me about his Modified win at Five Mile Point which was number 11 in 2011.
Shawn Donath talked about how his newly repaired wrist is holding up on this three race weekend.
Steve Poirier remembered his A Main win as the Empire Super Sprints visited Can Am on Friday.
Ronnie Johnson won his fourth race of the season Saturday at Fonda and told me all about it.
Bobby Varin spoke about his Modified win Friday at Glen Ridge and his busy night in Vernon.
Jason Barney was getting ready for his third race of the year and talked about his Saturday.
After the heat races:
Jason Barney described his win in the first ESS heat and how quickly things changed in the dash.
Mike Stelter walked me through his heat win and talked about what would win the A Main later.
Bobby Varin told me about the fun he had in his ESS heat win and the struggles with his Modified.
Paul Jensen talked about his pass for the win in his heat and wondered what to change for later.
Mark Kislowski spoke about his win in the second Modified heat race as his team kept his busy.
Alan Barker won the final Modified heat race and explained why he had to take some time off.
From Mike Mallett’s conversations in victory lane:
Chuck Hebing tells me Mike Mallett about his win and the wild action at the end of the A-Main.
Kevin Ward Jr. talked with Mr. Mallett about finishing second and his best Utica Rome finish ever.
Bobby Varin made a lot of moves late to finish third and talked about how much fun he had.
Willy Decker spoke with Mike about winning his first Modified feature at Utica Rome since 2009.
Todd Burley picked off a lot of spots in the closing laps and talked about his nice second place.
Mark Kislowski chatted about his nice weekend that included a 2nd at Fonda and a 3rd at Utica Rome.
It was a beautiful day on Sunday and a lot of race fans found their way to the Utica Rome Speedway in Vernon, New York for a Sprint Car/Modified double header. A lot of tracks don’t do these shows anymore as the purse total to do both divisions on the same card requires a huge crowd and a big back gate to make it work financially. Utica Rome made it work as they had both those things going for them.
The crowd was huge and the pits were packed. The Empire Super Sprints joined the Modifieds, Open Motor Sportsman, Pro Stocks and Pure Stocks. The track was predictably slick and the racing was real good as cars came through the field to win in every race.
In the Sprint Car A Main, Kevin Ward Jr. seemed to be on his way to a win as he was able to get by Chuck Hebing on lap five. He was running about as high on the lip of the track as I had ever seen anyone run. Several times he had a good look at the end of the frontstretch wall before tugging it left narrowly avoiding disaster.
But he caught a slower car in turn two on the two to go lap and it was enough to kill his momentum and give Hebing the chance to get him in the next corner and get the win. It was a tough deal for the young Mr. Ward but he handled it a lot better than most of us would have. It was a class move on his part. It was a good win too for Hebing as he is right in the hunt points wise with the ESS. Great run Chuck.
Bobby Varin won a heat race and picked up three spots late to finish in third place. Later in his Modified he came from twentieth to finish sixth. So it was a good night for him although a busy one as he was hopping from car to car several times.
The fans got to see an excellent race and cheer for one of their own that they don’t see too much anymore as Jessica Zemken made her return to Utica Rome to race at the track she began her career at many years ago. (Well not that many, but it sounds better when I write it that way.) She was running her usual extreme bottom line and was up as high as second early on before finishing fourth.
And check out my photo bin to see what Shawn Donath looked like before he got into his Sprint Car. After having surgery on Monday, he was back behind the wheel (shhh!) for the second time in three days and drove to a fifth place finish. How crazy is that? Talk about old school huh. But don’t tell his doctor. I guess they should have scheduled that one for November huh?
Willy Decker won his first Modified feature since 2009 as he got around Mark Kislowski on lap twelve and hugged the bottom for the rest of the race. After three yellows in two laps to start the race, it went the rest of the way caution free. Way to go Willy!
Todd Burley was very fast late in this one as he picked up three spots in the last two laps to earn the runner up spot while Kislowski held on for his second top three finish in as many days as he was coming off a second place at Fonda. Pat Ward and Stewart Friesen rounded out the top five.
In the Sportsman feature, Craig Pope looked to be heading for his first ever feature win until he caught the back of the pack. There he found a pair of teammates racing each other hard as the passing flag was waving at them. It cost Craig a lot of time and he had contact with one of those cars as he made his way by in turn two.
While Pope was having trouble, Steve Way was not and he was able to take the lead with just a few laps to go and get the win. Pope settled for second and I made it a point to chat with him afterwards to congratulate him on his effort. As they always say, you have to get close a few times before you nail down a feature win. Put Pope down for one please!
Steve Way did a great job and took advantage of what he saw in front of him to get the win. Sometimes it is easier to be the second car coming through traffic as you can see where the leader may get held up and choose a better place to be. On this night it was that way for sure.
It was too bad as that same situation happened twice tonight and in different ways. But I think it should serve as a reminder to all of us that on any night you could be the leader having to deal with someone who won’t obey the passing flag or you could be that guy at the back who is just trying to hustle to stay on the lead lap.
I believe in racing karma, and I think when you do the right thing when you are a lapped car, then the next time you need a break when approaching slower traffic maybe you’ll be the one to catch the break. C’mon guys…we can do better!
As for me, I did a lot of new interviews and took well over 100 photos on this beautiful day. I was also able to save eight more clips that I will be putting up beginning Wednesday. Today I am going to Rolling Wheels for a Super DIRTcar Series race as well as Sportsman, Stock Cars and a Sprint Car Dash.
I also added lots of other new photos from our photographer friends and they are up now too. Enjoy and I hope to see you today in Elbridge. I hear the opener was great, the place looked the best it has in years and the racing was real good too. Some c’mon out and join me. Have a great Fourth of July and Happy Birthday America!
|Sunday, July 3rd 2011
| New on the Audio Page from Jeremiah Fish at Can Am Motorsports Park:
Dean Reynolds previews the race and comments on the Empire Super Sprints season so far.
Brian McDonald came into the race on a down note and spoke about his 2011 races to date.
Dylan Sweirnik is in the top ten in ESS points and talked about the tough start to his season.
Cory Sparks is off to a great start this season and described how his two car team is doing.
Shawn Donath explained how he got the ESS point lead and remembered his Canadian swing.
Rick Wilson has been experimenting with set ups and described why you can’t trust the feel.
Lance Yonge talked about his finish in the heat race and how the car felt in his 5th place finish.
Billy Dunn was pulling double duty as he was racing both a 358 Modified and a 360 Sprint Car.
Jordan McCreadie spoke about how his Modified was handling and wondered about changes.
Dylan Sweirnik won the third ESS heat race at Can Am and described his pass for the lead.
Steve Poirier won the 25 lap A Main at Can Am and explained how his car changed at the end.
Cory Sparks had a fine runner up finish and talked about how he picked up seven spots in 25 laps.
Rick Wilson led a lot of laps in his return to Can Am and spoke about coming home in third.
Shawn Donath charged up to a fourth place finish and talked about finding a lane on the outside.
Mike Mallett summed up how the night went at Can Am and previewed tonight’s race at Utica Rome.
From Doug’s Friday night at Brewerton Speedway:
Pat Ward talked about the Utica Rome Speedway and wondered if the track would be different.
Tony Steiner explained how his Run What Ya Brung Modified did last week at Weedsport.
Shane Donath described the Run What Ya Brung Modified he is bringing to Weedsport today.
Now you can see why I could lay back a little on Saturday and spend some time with the family as we have a lot from Jeremiah Fish’s trip to Can Am on Friday. A big thanks goes out to him for all his work and for helping to bring a new perspective to the site.
I always have wanted to bring in more voices beside my own onto the site and thanks to J Fish we have that now. Of course Rich Vleck and Paul Szmal have also contributed in the past and hopefully we will be able to use them and some new folks (Are you reading AS?) in the future.
Today I will be heading to Utica Rome as the Empire Super Sprints join the Modifieds for a big show. The New Cayuga County Speedway has a Run What Ya Brung Modified show today and of course the Super DIRTcar Series is north of the border at Cornwall.
And don’t forget tomorrow the series returns to Rolling Wheels Raceway in Elbridge so make your plans right now to see some racing on back to back days this weekend.
I had a chance to lick my wounds (I did somehow have a bruise on my right arm) on Saturday and think about where I am with my own racing career. After feeling sorry for myself a little initially, I responded to my woeful post by yelling at myself on my facebook page. Here is what I said to myself.
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself. You had to know it wasn't going to be easy right? You got the best car owner in the world and he still believes in you. Did you think you would win in just your 7th race? C'mon now. Better listen to some of the stories on your website then! Get some perspective!”
How is that…better I hope?
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a lot from a good friend of mine who really went above and beyond at Can Am with 21 interviews. All but 6 of those are up today. Dean Reynolds previews the race at Can Am Motorsports Park with Jeremiah Fish and comments on the Empire Super Sprints season so far.
Brian McDonald came into the ESS race at Can Am on a down note and spoke with Jeremiah Fish about his 2011 races to date.
Dylan Sweirnik is in the top ten in ESS points and talked about the tough start to his season with J Fish as well as his run last weekend at Can Am.
Cory Sparks is off to a great start this season with the Empire Super Sprints and described to J Fish how his two car team is doing.
Shawn Donath explained to Jeremiah Fish how he got the ESS point lead and remembered his successful Canadian swing a few weeks back.
Rick Wilson has been experimenting with set ups this year with his Sprinter and described to Jeremiah Fish how hard he has been working.
Lance Yonge talked with J Fish about his finish in the heat race and how the car felt in his 5th place finish as he got ready to work on some tires.
Billy Dunn spoke to J Fish about pulling double duty at Can Am as he was racing both a 358 Modified and a 360 Sprint Car.
Jordan McCreadie spoke to Jeremiah Fish about how his Modified was handling and wondered about making some changes to his ride.
Dylan Sweirnik won the third ESS heat race at Can Am and described his aggressive pass for the lead to Jeremiah Fish.
Steve Poirier won the 25 lap A Main at Can Am, explained to J Fish how his car changed at the end and how he ran down the leader.
Cory Sparks had a fine runner up finish, talked with J Fish about how he picked up seven spots in 25 laps and an adjustment he made during the race.
Rick Wilson led a lot of laps in his return to Can Am and spoke to Jeremiah Fish about coming home in third place.
Shawn Donath charged up to a fourth place finish in the ESS show at Can Am and talked with J Fish about finding a lane on the outside after a restart.
Mike Mallett summed up how the night went at Can Am with reporter Jeremiah Fish and previewed tonight’s ESS race at Utica Rome.
Pat Ward talked about the Utica Rome Speedway, wondered if the track would be different with the Sprints on the card and compared small blocks to big blocks.
Tony Steiner explained how his Run What Ya Brung Modified did last week at Weedsport in a test session for tonight’s show.
Shane Donath described the Run What Ya Brung Modified he is bringing to Weedsport today and looked forward to getting it out the night before at Fulton.
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