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|Friday, September 2nd 2011
| Friday, Sep 2 2011
New on the Audio Page for today:
Steve Poirier looks ahead to racing at Canandaigua this Saturday and remembers the last time out.
Ken Titus talked about his season in the Southern Tier and thought back to a recent ROC race.
Chris Piasecki explained why he missed some weeks on the track and described what went wrong.
Steve Abt is a rookie in the Super Modified division and told Joe Marotta about his season so far.
It was another nice day in Central New York on Thursday and as I write this up Lebanon Valley Speedway is in a rain delay. I spent the day doing busy work, recording an interview in the studio and then headed up to the Oswego Speedway for their Classic Cruise Night. And as I look back now at past midnight, I see JR Heffner won the big one at The Valley. Great to see they got it in with some wet weather involved not just last night but also with the hurricane and all too.
It was great to see Joe, Roy and all the great looking cars. Make sure to check out my photo bin from the event and especially check out the street legal Super Modified. I guess there is no excuse for being late to work in that ride huh?
Today I will be heading to the Brewerton Speedway as they will crown their champions tonight. Then tomorrow I will be at Canandaigua for their season finale and am still not 100% on Sunday as I have three choices that I can do. Oh, where to go, where to go? Send your suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for either Cayuga County, Oswego or Utica Rome.
Now let’s chat more about what I have that is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a chat I recorded on Thursday. Steve Poirier looks ahead to racing at Canandaigua this Saturday and remembers the last time out to the Land of Legends. He told me why he will be starting in 15th place, described the work he still has to do to his Sprint Car to be ready to load up and the man who most will be looking to run down.
Ken Titus talked about his season in the Southern Tier and thought back to a recent ROC race. He described what happened when he recently sucked in an intake gasket, why he felt it was best to load it up rather than push it and why he was not the one who fixed it.
Chris Piasecki explained why he missed some weeks on the track and all the stuff that went wrong along the course of the summer. He talked about losing a half a track lead after coming back, explained why 250 is a tough number to see on the gauge and how if the white was waving it could have been different.
Steve Abt is a rookie in the Super Modified division and told Joe Marotta about his season so far at the Oswego Speedway. He talked about how horrible the year has been, explained what issues he was working on and how he almost got in big trouble the first night out.
|Thursday, September 1st 2011
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Rusty Smith spoke about his 2011 season and how he has been doing with his veteran teammate.
Joey Colsten talked about chasing his legendary dad in the points as Penn Can winds down.
Brian Sobus tells Joe Marotta why he took last weekend off and looks ahead to Classic Weekend.
Barry Kingsley thought back on his crash into the water barrels and described the damage.
A big weekend is almost upon us and there are things going on tonight as well. The Lebanon Valley Speedway hosts its rescheduled Mr. DIRT Track USA with $17,500 going to the winner. And the Thruway is back open heading east from Syracuse so there should be no traffic headaches for fans and teams going to this event. Whew!
Plus the Oswego Speedway hosts a car cruise as well as a big race at the Kartway out back. So bring your classic cars out and hang out with some race fans as they get ready for Classic Weekend at The Steel Palace.
And all our local tracks here in Central New York (and most everywhere) will be deciding their champions. There are some great battles out there and I talk about many of them in my latest column in the Syracuse Post Standard. Get yours today or read it on line at www.syracuse.com/motorsports.
I will be in the studio today so look for more tomorrow. We went to the State Fair yesterday for the final time and now we focus on racing for the next five days. Hope you all are doing well and I hope to see you back tomorrow.
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a conversation from my trip to Pennsylvania last Friday. Rusty Smith spoke about his 2011 season and how he has been doing with his veteran teammate. He also told me how close he came to getting a win earlier, why he feels his small block is perfect for the job at Penn Can and remembered how he got hooked up with Butch Tittle.
Joey Colsten talked about chasing his legendary dad in the points as Penn Can winds down its regular season. He told me how cool it is to be in the position he is in right now, why he is not focused on that and why he & dad try to be more of a team rather than an individual.
Brian Sobus tells Joe Marotta why he took last weekend off and looks ahead to the Classic. He talked about what could have happened if he did run, remembered how he did at The Classic last year and the work they did to get ready for the race.
Barry Kingsley thought back on his crash into the water barrels and described the damage it did to announcer Joe Marotta. He talked about how wet he got in the deal, wondered if it was all water and what he is hoping to sell his Small Block Super Modified for.
|Wednesday, August 31st 2011
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Michael Muldoon talked about some changes he made to his Super and how good it made it.
Brett Tonkin described what happens with the bottom of track at Penn Can and how to drive it.
Billy Thornton discussed his Modified season so far and how things have fallen off a little.
Kreig Heroth told Joe Marotta about his history in racing in both asphalt and on the clay as well.
I have been so busy with stuff this week away from racing I have not been able to do much else. Sorry about that! Of course we went to the fair on Monday with the kids and we will surely be back before the week ends. The teams are super busy now as well getting ready for the final point races this weekend too so it is a tough time to get things done in the studio as I just hate to interrupt them.
On the website today we have four chats from my weekend including another one that Joe Marotta did for me Saturday at the Oswego Speedway. I hope you all are making your plans to hit some tracks this weekend as the drama that will be happening in a few days will be intense.
And don’t forget that the Mr. Dirt Track USA show at Lebanon Valley is on as scheduled for Thursday according to their website. As of Tuesday, the New York State Thruway is still closed eastbound from Syracuse but keep your eyes and ears opened as hopefully that will change soon.
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a man who will be at Oswego Speedway’s Classic this weekend. Michael Muldoon talked about some changes he made to his Super Modified during the week and how good it made it. He told me how a wing adjustment made the car handle differently, explained why he was not that concerned about a tight condition and how that condition could help him later on as the car loosens up.
Brett Tonkin described what happens with the bottom of track at Penn Can and how to get around it. He also talked about some work he was doing in the pit area, how good the car felt in the hot laps and where he felt the fast groove would be in the heat races.
Billy Thornton discussed his Modified season so far and how things have fallen off a little. He talked about his struggles this year, how he would like to take better advantage of his starting spots and wonders about the engine he has under the hood. Later in the night, the motor did give up the ghost. Best of luck Billy.
Kreig Heroth told Joe Marotta about his history in racing on both asphalt and clay as well. He explained why he went the asphalt route of late, who he hung out with at a dirt track last Friday and how tough the competition is in the Small Block Super Modified division.
|Tuesday, August 30th 2011
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Bobby Bond spoke about his practice sessions at Oswego and his hopes for Classic Weekend.
Kevin Bates talked about his season at Penn Can and remembers his busy days on the road.
Bobby Trapper Sr. tells me about his Penn Can ride and how good it felt to get a feature win.
Bobby Gunther Walsh explained why he changes his number yearly and how he gets sponsors.
Jack Patrick tells Joe Marotta what makes his Small Block Super Modified a little different.
It was a fun day on Monday and as I write this up I am getting ready to head to the New York State Fair. My kids, my wife and I are going to spend the later part of the day at the fair, have dinner there and hit the midway at night which is always a beautiful sight.
On the website today are five more conversations that were recorded over last weekend. There are some real good ones here too as well as one from our good friend Joe Marotta. I also have a new article in today’s Syracuse Post Standard that wraps up the action from last weekend and looks ahead at what is to come.
Tomorrow I’ll be back with more and I will also make it out to the fair again either Tuesday or Wednesday as I could go everyday. Really! I am just a big kid when you get down to it and I know I am going to be having as much fun and maybe more than my kids will. So if you are out of town and coming up this weekend for some racing, be sure to include the State Fair in your plans.
Now let’s chat more about what is new on the site for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a man I remember from my early days at the Fulton Speedway. Bobby Bond spoke about his practice sessions at Oswego and his hopes for this weekend’s Classic. He told me what makes a set up right for the long distance race, how he was approaching the final point night and reacted to some fast laps on particular competitor was turning.
Kevin Bates talked about his season at Penn Can and remembers his busy days on the road racing almost daily. He told me how he fell back a little in the point standings, how he deals with a bad night on the track and shared some stories from his racing back in the day. Real good one here!
Bobby Trapper Sr. tells me about his Penn Can ride and how good it felt to get a feature win with it. He explained how he first got behind the wheel of the 30+, how it became a weekly deal and gives his take on why he does not work on the racecar much on race nights.
Bobby Gunther Walsh explained why he changes his number yearly and how he gets sponsors. He also gave some great advice to teams on how to approach potential backers, what to do for them once you get them and comments on his long career in radio. Not many can say they have been in one place as long as Bobby!
Jack Patrick tells Joe Marotta what makes his Small Block Super Modified a little different than the rest. He talked about why things have been going better this season, what he hoped would happen later on at Oswego and explained how he has changed his driving style this year.
|Monday, August 29th 2011
| New on the Audio Page for today:
Joey Payne told me about getting a motor together at the last minute to race Saturday at Oswego.
Mat Williamson talked about winning with his Modified at both Ransomville and Merrittville.
Tom Oleski described how he did in his Modified at Thunder Mountain and his role as car owner.
Curt Tunilo Jr. has won several Late Model races at Penn Can and talked about his last race.
Andrew Schartner spoke with Joe Marotta about his 2011season in a Small Block Super.
By the time you read this on Monday hopefully the hurricane is gone and hopefully for some of you to the east and south of us here in Central New York, things are getting better. I know a lot of you may still be feeling the effects of the storm today and our thoughts and prayers are with you.
All we got here in the Syracuse area was some rain and it was not all that much either. I have seen some video from all around and we definitely got lucky this time around. It’s hard to believe that we had a hurricane and an earthquake in the stretch of a week. How may times has that happened before? I would say not too many!
I did some work in the studio on Sunday and put up a lot more photos as well. There are still some more to go up but I will wait till before we head to the fair today to put those up. And on the site today are five nice conversations and two of those are with people who have never been interviewed by me before. So welcome on board to Tom Oleski and Curt Tunilo Jr.
Now let’s talk more about the new stuff we have on the Audio Page for today. I begin with a man who was very concerned about the hurricane and his home state of New Jersey when I spoke to him. Joey Payne talked about getting a motor together at the last minute to race Saturday at the Oswego Speedway. He explained what the last parts were that they were waiting for, thanks his motor builder for all the extra attention and wonders what things will be like in New Jersey when he gets home. Wishing you the best Joey!
Mat Williamson talked about winning with his 358 Modified at both Ransomville and Merrittville. He told me how he worked through traffic at both racetracks, how close he came to winning last weekend in his new Bicknell and wondered exactly what he’ll be driving at Super DIRT Week.
Tom Oleski described how he did in his Modified at Thunder Mountain and his role as car owner on Fridays at Penn Can. He also talked about how much he misses racing on Saturdays, how he got hooked up with Bobby Trapper and explained why they do not let him touch the racecar. Hear Bobby’s response tomorrow!
Curt Tunilo Jr. has won several Late Model races at Penn Can and talked about his last race. He told me what broke on his racecar, how difficult it was to drive and looked ahead to seeing if a new set up they found in a book would work on the track in hot laps.
Andrew Schartner spoke with Joe Marotta about his 2011 season in a Small Block Super Modified. He talked about his up & down year at Oswego, how fast his Mod Lite has been at Brewerton and how much he enjoyed his test session in a Super Modified.
|Sunday, August 28th 2011
| New on the Audio Page from the Oswego Speedway:
Stephen Gioia told Joe Marotta how his season has improved and looked ahead to The Classic.
Dave Gruel explained why he had blue hair on this night and wondered if he’d keep the look.
Pat Lavery told me why he did not have to change his hair color and how he out tipped his teammate.
Joe Marotta cracks up while doing an intro after I reminded him of a funny story from our past.
Mike Bond talked about his season as the Small Block Super point leader and his hopes for later.
Jeff Holbrook was back at Oswego and told me how his abbreviated 2011 season has been going.
Ray Graham reacted to posting the fastest practice time and talked about last week’s parts failure.
After the Super Modified heat races:
Jeff Holbrook spoke about his pass for the win in his heat and why he doesn’t eat much on race days.
David Danzer talked about his heat win and how he has led laps in the feature the last two weeks.
Dave Gruel told me how fast his car was in his heat win and adding some outside people to help.
After the feature races:
Mike Bond told announcer Dan Johnson about his pass for the win in the final set of corners.
David Danzer led every lap all night long and talked with Dan Johnson about his first win.
Joe Gosek won the track championship with his 2nd place finish and told Dan Johnson how it felt.
Randy Ritskes spoke about his 3rd place finish with Dan Johnson and congratulated the champion.
Pat Lavery finished in fourth place and described how he missed the spinning cars at the end.
Stephen Gioia explained how good his car was in his 5th place and where he felt he was lacking.
Dave Gruel talked about his sixth place finish which moved him up to fourth in the point standings.
I was two for two on the weekend as I had a great time yet again on Saturday as I visited the Oswego Speedway on their final point night of the season. I got to see champions crowned, a rookie win his first race and meet many new people.
I think one of the reasons I shy away from Oswego at times is that I feel so out of place there. At least I have in the past anyway. Last night I felt that I got over the hump and thanks to a lot of folks who went out of their way to help, I now feel I have a much better handle on what is going on there as well as who is who.
Announcer Joe Marotta got there the same time I did and spent some time with me early on doing some interviews in the pit area and introducing me around. I had a great time and some of what Joe did is up for you to listen to and many more clips from him will be up this week so be sure to come back for those. And I did crack him up once and normally I would delete that, but I decided to use it. Thanks Joe and sorry! I had to do it.
As we wandered around I took a lot of photos of the racecars and did a lot of interviews myself. All of those photos are up today and there a total of ten conversations I was able to save as we were very busy.
Then I hopped into Bill Mattice’s push truck and rode along as he helped get the Super Modifieds fired up for their final practice. That was a lot of fun and I got some great insight from Bill as we chatted in between pushes. I did take some photos there too and I must say these push truck drivers really have to hustle to get those Supers fired up. Thanks Bill and great job guys.
When we went up to the tower for the heat races, I found a new spot sitting on the roof itself next to videographer Don Bartlett. He, announcer Roy Sova and car owner John Nicotra fed me information all night long and answered my many questions. But again without all their help, I would not have gotten over the hump like I did so thanks so much guys.
In the Small Block Super Modified feature Mike Bond saved his best for last as he made a great outside move in turn three of the final lap to get around Jason Simmons to record the win and solidify his status as track champion. Jason had never won a race and will still hope to get that first one next week.
Dan Johnson is the infield announcer at the Oswego Speedway and he helped by letting me record his interviews with Mike Bond and the top three finishers in the 50 lap Super Modified race. See what I mean? I had a lot of help and a lot of people to thank.
In the Super Modified feature we saw a first time winner as David Danzer (his mom likes David, not Dave) led every lap and held off Joe Gosek in a one lap dash at the end. There was a fuel stop with one to go after a yellow and Gosek pulled his car right next to Danzer’s as the teams came out with fuel jugs in hand.
It was a classic move and hey why not? Gosek has been racing at Oswego for decades and why not try to shake the young man up by reminding him who was right behind him? That’s just being a good racer. But the kid never blinked and went on to the popular win. Listen to the crowd as Dan Johnson interviewed him in victory lane and you’ll agree.
With his second place Joe Gosek was crowned champion and did so for the first time with his signature 00 on the car. He was super excited in victory lane and I am so happy for the veteran as he won his first title since he did it the first time back in 2003.
We have the top six finishers from that race on as I mentioned and there will be so much more coming up this week from Oswego as well as my trip to Penn Can on Friday. I was hoping to go to Utica Rome Speedway today but they have cancelled for obvious reasons. And that sets up a great finale next Sunday with bonus features as well as Sprints and Modifieds.
Hope all of you get through the storm today and I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Take care everyone and thanks again to everyone who made my night at the Oswego Speedway a total blast!
|Saturday, August 27th 2011
| New on the Audio Page from the Penn Can Speedway:
Pre race conversations:
Kevin Harnett talked about leading the Modified standings and what has gotten him to this point.
Darwin R. Greene summed up how his year has been going as well as his late season schedule.
Butch Tittle told me about his ride at Penn Can and the fun he has as part of a two car team.
Mike Colsten reminded me why he is only racing on Fridays and talked about his season at Penn Can.
Mike Schane watched his son start his Modified and wondered how many years he has left.
Bud Phillips described how his Late Model has been and his hopes to travel more next season.
After the heat races:
Paul Strohl won the first Late Model heat race and talked with me about a set up change they made.
Bud Phillips told me about his Late Model win and how a late yellow made him a little nervous.
Darwin R. Greene talked about his Modified heat win and trouble they had starting the race.
Alex Tonkin got the win in the second Modified heat and told me about his switch to alcohol.
Mike Schane spoke about his Modified heat win and the low move he made to get to the front.
After the feature races:
Butch Tittle explained how good it felt to win his first Modified feature at the track in eight years.
Mike Schane finished in second place and told me how the racetrack changed in the final laps.
Kevin Hartnett raced his way up to a third place finish and wondered how fast his Modified was.
Bobby Trapper Jr. talked about his first night in a big block where he led laps and finished 4th.
Mike Colsten had a fifth place finish and told me how he changed his driving as the track slickened.
I had a fun night last night as I traveled south to the Penn Can Speedway for some Friday night fun on the tight paper clip shaped track. I had not been there since early on and it was great to see everyone. Every time I go there it reminds me why I like the place so much and last night was one of those nights yet again.
But unlike a lot of nights many of the people in this area came from south and east of the track so a lot of the chatter was about the hurricane and their loved ones back home. And on the way back home around midnight going north on route 81 I saw a lot of New Jersey and Delaware license plates heading away from the hurricane. We’re praying for you guys and hope all will be ok.
The racing was a great distraction and it was real good racing too. In the feature, young Bobby Trapper Jr. led the first twelve laps of the thirty lapper only to see veteran Butch Tittle get to his inside in turn three and go on to the win. Trapper held on for a nice fourth place finish in just his first night with a big block under his right foot.
It was a great night for Tittle as he had not won at Penn Can since way back in 2003 when the racing world was a whole different place than it is today. So a bonus point goes out to Butch for his big win. Imagine how much has changed in the forty years he has been behind the wheel.
I have a pair of nice interviews with Butch as well as lots more from my night in northern Pennsylvania. And since I was there when the first cars pulled in the pit area, I was able to record eighteen pre race interviews. Six of those are up today and the rest will go into the can for release later next week.
The Modified race really was a good one as you just kind of had the feeling that the young rookie would not hold off the veteran and once Tittle got out front he was chased by Mike Schane and point leader Kevin Hartnett who would eventually finish second and third respectively.
Danny Snyder made a real nice last lap move on the inside to get around leader Paul Strohl who led nineteen of the twenty laps in the Late Model feature. It was a classic case of leaving the inside door open and Snyder was able to get to the inside. It was a great race for the fans and it was an intense last lap!
The Sportsman race saw Adam MacGeorge come from last to first but the down side here was there were only seven cars. Crate Sportsman are new at Penn Can and this is the first year for the class in an area surrounded by tracks that run open motors. But I must say the feature was a lot of fun to watch even though the field was not big. Really!
The Stock Cars and Four Cylinders were also a lot of fun to watch and the drivers did some excellent racing out on the track. And the Street Stocks down here are loud, fast and a lot of fun to watch. And yes, I would love to try a Street or Pro Stock someday. Any takers?
So once again I had a great time at Penn Can and only wish it was a little closer to my home in Central New York. The surface came out real nice and with the heavy rain that fell on Thursday it was tacky for a good portion of the night. They have two more point weekends to go and of course the King of the Can is one week after Super DIRT Week. So make your plans to get to this track and see a show.
Today I will be heading up to the Oswego Speedway where I always marvel at the speed and sleekness of the Super Modifieds. It is their final point night before Classic Weekend seven days from now. I’ll do the best I can as I don’t know the ropes there and I will chat with as many drivers as I can on this high pressure night.
Sunday we will be home with the family and be in the studio hoping and chatting with people who will hopefully be fine after the hurricane comes through our area. I’ll be thinking a lot about all of you I know who are in the affected areas and I’ll be wishing you the best.
Take care everyone and take shelter if you need to. This is not time to be a hero. Things are replaceable but we are not. Stay safe everyone!
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