|Saturday, August 1st 2015
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Bobby Varin found a ride for the Jack Johnson race and recalled some classic battles they had.
Gary Tomkins remembered when he first met Jack Johnson at his first job after finishing college.
A.J. Romano showed off a very special look on his Modified and explained how he kept it a secret.
Jeff Trombley has been at Fonda for almost 30 years and talked about racing against Jack Johnson.
Jimmy Davis recalled racing against Jack Johnson and how the family welcomed him after a win.
Danny Varin explained how he is healing after an in car fire and who the coolest guy was.
Brian Ross talked about his career and how it was different than Jack Johnson’s career initially.
A big race day is upon us today and let’s hope Mother Nature is a fan. I’m not sure where I am going just yet but I should be at a show today unless the weather is iffy so we’ll see.
But I have a lot of great stuff for you today as we continue to share stories about Jack Johnson. Again, this show was so much fun and I just loved hearing all the stories about Jack and how much he influenced people he didn’t even race against.
So let’s find out more about what we have on the Audio Page for all you fans of the legendary orange 12a. Bobby Varin found a ride for the Jack Johnson race and recalled some classic battles they had as well as how much it meant to him to beat the best.
Gary Tomkins remembered when he first met Jack Johnson at his first job after finishing college as well as some of his favorite memories of his before starting his own career.
A.J. Romano showed off a very special look on his Modified and explained how he kept it a secret as well as when he started watching Jack Johnson while making him a hero in his mind.
Jeff Trombley has been at Fonda for almost 30 years and talked about racing against Jack Johnson as well as how much they traveled and raced together.
Jimmy Davis recalled racing against Jack Johnson and how the family welcomed him after a win as well as one race where he beat him after a clean race up front.
Danny Varin explained how he is healing after an in car fire and who the coolest guy was in the pit area at Fonda and why he wanted to emulate Jack Johnson.
Brian Ross talked about his career and how it was different than Jack Johnson’s career initially as well as how much respect he had for him.
|Friday, July 31st 2015
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Pat Ward spoke about returning to his former home and how honored he was to be racing.
Elmo Reckner talked about the car he brought to Fonda and shared stories about Jack Johnson.
Craig Hanson prepared to race at Fonda and told me what it was like to race against Jack Johnson.
Tyler Dippel told me about the freak accident he had and how he is healing since it happened.
Jeff Rockefeller explained how a meeting with Jack Johnson helped him early in his race career.
Shaun Pangman spoke about getting his first win and watching Jack Johnson race as a kid.
Ronnie Davis III won a race at Brewerton last week with a flat tire and explained how he did it.
Jim King got ready to announce at the Jack Johnson Tribute Race and shared a few stories.
We’re back with lots more from the Jack Johnson Tribute race and we have lots more stories from drivers as they recall their interactions with him both on and off the track. I had so much fun there that night and I know a lot of you did too. I was certainly a show to be remembered fondly. Yes, that was an intentional pun.
After a long day on Thursday I am off today to try to hit the golf course and hopefully hit them straight and the right distance. Lately we’re all over the place so we need to the range more and work on things a little more.
And be sure to come back tomorrow as we empty out the can with lots more from Fonda and more great stories. But before that, let’s chat more about what we have for you on the Audio Page for today. Pat Ward spoke about returning to his former weekly home and how honored he was to be racing at the Jack Johnson Tribute Race while recalling a few battles they had for championships.
Elmo Reckner talked about the car he brought to Fonda, described what makes this car different and shared stories about Jack Johnson.
Craig Hanson prepared to race at Fonda and told me what it was like to race against Jack Johnson as well as how free he was with advice for his fellow drivers.
Tyler Dippel told me about the freak accident he had, how it happened and how he is healing since it happened months ago. Yeah, he was fortunate in the long run.
Jeff Rockefeller explained how a meeting with Jack Johnson helped him early in his race career as well as why he was happy he brought his small block to the tribute race.
Shaun Pangman spoke about getting his first win a few weeks ago and remembered watching Jack Johnson race as a kid against his favorite driver.
Ronnie Davis III won the Sportsman race at Brewerton last week with a flat tire and explained how he did it as well as how close it got at the end.
Jim King got ready to announce at Fonda Speedway’s Jack Johnson Tribute Race and shared a few stories as from his years with the legendary drivers.
|Thursday, July 30th 2015
| New on the Audio Page from the Fonda Speedway’s Jack Johnson Tribute race:
Pre race conversations:
Bob Vedder talked about getting started at the same time as Jack Johnson and his grade school days.
Jeremy Wilder told me about his win at Fonda last week and what he learned from Jack Johnson.
Alton Palmer shares some stories about Jack Johnson not just at the track but in public as well.
Stewart Friesen showed off a tribute car for Jack Johnson and talked about his WoO Sprint win.
Mark Kislowski explained what he liked about seeing Jack Johnson when he went to the pits.
Alan Johnson recalled his win at Black Rock on Friday and talked about racing against Jack Johnson.
After the heat races:
Gary Tomkins told me about his win, a break he got early and the advice he was seeking from locals.
Josh Hohenforst had his Modified leaned over hard in his heat win and explained why it was bad.
Danny Johnson won the 4th heat race and talked about his win and who he used to buy tires from.
Mark Kislowski got the win in the final heat race and explained how he knew he had company.
After the 50 lap Jack Johnson Tribute race:
Stewart Friesen won for the second night in a row and spoke with Jim King about the victory.
Danny Johnson led the first 17 laps before finishing 2nd and spoke about it with Toby LaGrange.
Billy Decker told Toby LaGrange about his 3rd place and what he learned that he’ll apply later.
John Lakata organized the race and told me how pleased he was with all the support he received.
It was a night to remember at Fonda Speedway as racers from all over the Northeast gathered to honor Jack Johnson with a race in his honor. There was a packed house on hand, a great field of Modifieds in the pit area and lots of stories flying around.
Allie and I had a great time as we met with drivers and heard their stories about interactions they had with Jack Johnson. I figured the usual veterans would have some great stories and of course they did. But what I didn’t expect was the stories from the younger guys, some of whom never raced against Jack, who told stories about how Jack helped them as well.
Jack himself even gave the call to fire up the engines and spoke briefly to the crowd over a cell phone. I was a nice surprise for all of us and one they kept quite until it happened. It was quite an emotional moment.
Stewart Friesen had his car done up like Jack’s 2008 Syracuse car and won the race with it. The trophy they had in victory lane had a great likeness of Jack on it right down to the toothpick that he usually had in between his teeth. It was a class deal top to bottom and I was so happy I was able to be there and show it to my daughter so she knows who Jack Johnson was on the racetrack too.
I hope he gets to listen to some of what we did for the race and each driver we spoke with had stories to tell and we’ll have two more days of those stories coming up with seven interviews per day. I also hope Jack hears how much he meant to his fellow racers and how much respect they have for him and what he taught them. You’re loved by a lot of people Jack and always will be. We miss seeing you and only wish there was something we could do to make things better.
|Wednesday, July 29th 2015
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Larry Wight talked about doing double duty at Rolling Wheels and his hopes for today at Fonda.
Shawn Ward told me how he has been doing in Delmar and talked about Rolling Wheels.
Mike Button spoke about his two win season at Fulton, Rolling Wheels and noises in racecars.
Sean Beardsley described the two types of tires he has to choose from with the Rush Late Models.
Chris Fleming is a Late Model rookie and spoke about getting a win sooner than with his IMCA.
I had a nice day on Tuesday as I got my column written early so I can head out to Fonda today just after lunch time. It is going to be quite a show as legendary racer Jack Johnson is honored with a race in his name.
I’ll be there nice and early like I said and will chat with as many racers as I can while giving them the opportunity to share stories about Jack both on the track and off. I still remember the first time Jack called me by name and I was so excited. “He knows who I am.” I remember thinking at the time. It was a nice boost to my ego to say the least.
So be sure to check in tomorrow for some of my chats from Fonda and I will have more of them in the two days that follow as I won’t be back to a track until Saturday.
Also don’t forget Can Am has a big show tonight up in LaFargeville. The GRIT Sportsman series and more will take on the big half mile to be sure to get there and show your support for what is surely going to be a great show.
Now let’s chat in more detail about what we have for you to listen to on the Audio Page today starting with a driver who has a Jack Johnson story to share. Larry Wight talked about doing double duty at Rolling Wheels, how close he came to flipping his Sprint Car in the A-Main and his hopes for today’s race honoring Jack Johnson at Fonda.
Shawn Ward told me how he has been doing at Delaware International in the Modified division and offered his initial thoughts on Rolling Wheels this past Thursday.
Mike Button spoke about his two win season at Fulton, how happy he was to see a big crowd at Rolling Wheels and the different kinds of noises you hear in racecars. Good one!
Sean Beardsley described the two types of tires he has to choose from with the Rush Late Models as well as why he switched earlier that some of his competition. And yes, you can mix and match any way you like.
Chris Fleming is a Late Model rookie and spoke about getting a win sooner than he did with his IMCA Modified as well as how happy he is to be leading the points at Fulton.
|Tuesday, July 28th 2015
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Billy Decker looked ahead to Fonda on Wednesday and told me how Jack Johnson helped.
Claude Hutchings Jr. talked about winning one week after the biggest crash of his career.
Kyle Perry got ready for his first Sportsman race and described his background in the sport.
Matt DeLorenzo previews Wednesday’s Jack Johnson Tribute race at the Fonda Speedway.
Tony Veneziano reports on the World of Outlaws including a Pa. Posse sweep at Williams Grove.
I had a busy day on Monday as I got a lot of interviews done and wrote up a new column for the Syracuse Post Standard. It was a fun day too as we got some work done here at the house and got to keep an eye on my dad’s pool to make sure it was okay. Hey, you’ve got to keep up on these things.
Of course I am going to Fonda on Wednesday and will be one of thousands who will be there for this can’t miss race. I am going to get there nice and early too so I will have lots up from the race the next day and for several days after that as well.
Now let’s chat more about what we have for you to listen on the Audio Page starting with more on the big race on Wednesday from a driver who got a lot of help from a legendary driver early in his career. Billy Decker looked ahead to Fonda on Wednesday and told me how Jack Johnson helped him early in his career as well as what he told him were the most important tools to know how to use.
Claude Hutchings Jr. talked about winning the Sportsman feature at Utica Rome one week after the biggest crash of his career and thanked all those who helped in his time of need.
Kyle Perry got ready for his first Sportsman race and described his background in the sport as well as where he would like to be someday down the road. Nice young man!
Matt DeLorenzo previews Wednesday’s Jack Johnson Tribute race at the Fonda Speedway, remembered the first time he met Jack and recapped his two race weekend. Get there early guys as this is going to be a big race!
Tony Veneziano reports on the World of Outlaws including a Pa. Posse sweep at Williams Grove while looking forward to a three race swing through eastern Canada.
|Monday, July 27th 2015
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Jimmy Phelps tells me about his Modified win at Brewerton and the next shows in Weedsport.
Greg Doust spoke about how he picked up a ride for Rolling Wheels and why it was so important.
Randy Gates described his background in racing as well as why he took several years off.
Mike Ward talked about what he hoped to learn as he was driving his daughter’s Sportsman.
Dennis Beaudette explained why he was giving an extra $100 to each Sportsman team at Fulton.
I hope you all had a great weekend. I know I did. I have some stuff up today from my weekend and will be back tomorrow with lots more.
I have plans to hit Fonda on Wednesday for the Jack Johnson Tribute race and will have Billy Decker on tomorrow to tell why this race is so special to him. From what I am hearing this is going to be the race to go to and will be well attended by both fans and teams.
Now let’s chat more about what I have for you on the Audio Page for today. Jimmy Phelps tells me about his Modified win at Brewerton on Friday night and the next shows in Weedsport that will celebrate the DIRT Hall of Fame.
Greg Doust spoke about how he picked up a ride for Rolling Wheels and why it was so important for him to be a part of the Sportsman race in honor of his mother.
Randy Gates described his background in racing, some of his past at the Fulton Speedway as well as why he took several years off from the sport.
Mike Ward talked about what he hoped to learn as he was driving his daughter’s Sportsman and a problem he had on Thursday at Rolling Wheels.
Dennis Beaudette explained why he was giving an extra $100 to each Sportsman team at Fulton and spoke about his business Industrial Tire.
|Sunday, July 26th 2015
| New on the Audio Page from the Fulton Speedway:
After the heat races:
Todd Root won his qualifier in the Sportsman division and told me about his low move for first.
Bret Belden tells me about his Late Model win and discussed it with former racer Tommy Barron.
Jason Occhino got the win in the 2nd Late Model heat and told me about the new RUSH tires.
Taylor Jackson survived a late race caution to win her heat and described some issues in turn four.
Zach Sobotka led every lap to win his Novice Sportsman heat and told me how his car was.
Jim Witko had the Modifieds all over him and explained how he held on to win his qualifier.
Danny Johnson talked about having to change motors before his Modified heat win running low.
Larry Wight described the rough racetrack he saw in his win and their plans to add more clay.
After the feature races:
David Marcuccilli won the 30 lap Sportsman race and told Adam Buchanan about the race up front.
Sean Beardsley won his 2nd race in as 2 weeks and talked about it trackside with Adam Buchanan.
Amy Holland picked up her sixth win of the season and told Adam Buchahan how she did it.
Larry Wight led the final 20 laps to win the Modified feature and talked about points racing.
Chad Phelps had a strong finish coming home 4th and told me how a slower car messed him up.
It was a fun night on a hot day at Fulton Speedway as somehow Mother Nature cut us a break and sent rain and storms to our north and to our south. So close was the rain that not even two miles south of the track on my drive home the roads were wet. Yep, we got a little bit lucky last night.
At one point after the heat races all eyes went to the sky as a round cloud hovered over the speedway. It was like nothing I had ever seen before and a few minutes after that you could see it cloud up big time to our east. I’m sure those folks got some weather. But yeah, it was something to see alright.
The racing was real good as I got to talk with a lot of the heat winners although not all of them. Many of the teams brought new bikes to give away to Junior Fan Club members so the ones I missed were the ones on the frontstretch with their cars and bikes. Great job guys…way to give a nice memory to a young fan. “Hey, where’d ya get the bike?” “Fulton Speedway!” Great public relations move!
I have a lot of stuff I saved from this race too that is in the can so look for that over the next three days as well as a couple I have saved from Rolling Wheels. I’ll be heading to Fonda on Wednesday for the Jack Johnson Tribute Race and from what I hear a lot of teams will be there. And I have two interviews already about that race with more to come.
I’ll be home today as we have so much work to do. We’re moving to a bigger house which will also mean a killer room for my new studio. So I really need to get busy today getting some things done for the move. We hope to make the move within the month so you can imagine how much work we have to do.
Have a great Sunday and I’ll see you guys with more tomorrow.
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