Gary Rowe - CPA
Dougs dirt diary
Gary Rowe of M.R. Gaebel, Inc.
Gates-Cole Associates SUNY Canton Automotive Technology program
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Friday, August 19th 2011
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Chad Brachmann looks forward to The Alex Friesen Summer Nationals tonight at Ransomville.
Doug Emery was back behind the wheel of a Sprint Car Wednesday and talked about being back.
Ryan Phelps told me about ending his streak of top fives and how good he has been of late.
Michael Storms tells me about his three win season and how happy he is with where he is now.
Mike Stelter had a problem with his engine Wednesday and told me what he thought was wrong.
Chad Phelps remembered a tough week at Brewerton and talked about tire grinding techniques. 
Chris Hile described working with his racing girlfriend and how they help each other out on race day.
Paul Habeck taught me what they do to set axle heights and how the made a mistake last weekend.
Brandon Warner explained why we have not seen him much this year in his 360 Sprint Car.
Justin Henderson talks about his Sportsman season at Canandaigua and his upcoming wedding.
In the latest Doug’s Thoughts I talk about helmet prep and wonder if I should announce more.
Hear some big block Modifieds as they sit in the staging area in out latest Motor Sounds Clip
 
Boy do we have a lot for you this Friday huh? And there is a lot going on tonight too! So start your day with a bunch of new interviews with a lot of folks that will be racing tonight. 
 
Brewerton Speedway has the Empire Super Sprints and we have a lot of chats on there today with drivers who will be there tonight. Plus the Ransomville Speedway has the Alex Friesen Summer Nationals and there a few drivers on here today that will race in that show tonight too.
 
Plus there are lots of other great races taking place all over tonight and with just a few weeks left to decide champions, every lap and every corner can make or break your season. Whew, glad I’m not chasing points. I can get pretty darned nerve racing when you get down to it.
 
So I wish all you racers out there the best of luck this weekend and remember that it is better to roll a third place car on the trailer than it is to wreck it going for second. Have fun, pass when you can and race safely.
 
Also on the site today is a Doug’s Thoughts. This one is about two specific things and I could use your advice on the second thing in the clip. So when you have time, give it a listen and let me know what you think. Thanks.

Oh and for those of you who have been talking with me off the record about Weedsport and what would happen the rest of the year, I guess I got that one right this time.  Hey, it makes perfect sense to have Jeremie Corocarn in there as he is the only DIRTCar sanctioned promoter in the area and he has been doing a great job at Canandaigua.  Sounds like a no-brainer to me and you too huh?  Best of luck Jeremie and I'll be there September 4th. 
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with lots of drivers who have big shows in front of them this weekend. Chad Brachmann looks forward to The Alex Friesen Summer Nationals tonight at Ransomville. He talked about how his season has gone at The Big R, thinks back to the opening night crash and described his hopes for the Utica Rome 50th Anniversary show. 
 
Doug Emery was back behind the wheel of a Sprint Car Wednesday and talked about being back as a driver. He told me about an adjustment he had to make in the cockpit, what his goals were for the show at Utica Rome and looks forward to racing again this Friday at Brewerton. 
 
Ryan Phelps told me about ending his streak of top fives and how good he has been of late. He talked about misjudging the track at Utica Rome at the Lucas Oil Late Model show and how much he is hoping for his first win of the season. 
 
Michael Storms tells me about his three win season and how happy he is with where he is now. He talked about his role on the team, the work they are doing to get ready for Super DIRT Week and how busy he will get here in the next two months. 
 
Mike Stelter had a problem with his engine Wednesday and told me what he thought was wrong. He told me what he saw with the racing surface, explained what the car felt like in hot laps and wondered if the work they were doing would solve the problem. 
 
Chad Phelps remembered a tough week at Brewerton and talked about tire grinding techniques. He told me his perspective on the big wreck he was in, how much it cost to fix it and described what he does to prep his tires before the race. 
 
Chris Hile described working with his racing girlfriend and how they help each other out on race day. He talked about his chances for later on, looks ahead to racing Saturday at Fulton after a night off at Brewerton and explained what he and Katelyn chat about after each gets off the track. 
 
Paul Habeck taught me what they do to set axle heights and how they made a mistake last weekend. He told me what “blocking” is, what happens when you put the rear blocks on the front and how badly his Sprint Car handled after that. Oops! Hope you learned something here guys! 
 
Brandon Warner explained why we have not seen him much this year in his 360 Sprint Car. He talked about how busy he has been at the family business, his hopes to race at Brewerton on Friday and how much he has had to work to free up his schedule.  
 
Justin Henderson talks about his Sportsman season at Canandaigua and his upcoming wedding. He told me about having to find some new set ups after solving some motor issues, how happy he was to be back after a few weeks off and how the time off gave him a chance to attend a nice function. 
 
In the latest Doug’s Thoughts I talk about helmet prep and wonder if I should announce more than I do now. I tell you what I did wrong last week in my feature race at Brewerton, how much I hope to successfully pull off a tear-off some day and remind myself why I got out of announcing after 16 years in the booth. 
 
Hear some big block Modifieds as they sit in the staging area in out latest Motor Sounds Clip. This was recorded last week at Canandaigua Motorsports Park right before hot laps. 

 
Thursday, August 18th 2011
   New on the Audio Page from the 50th anniversary show at Utica Rome Speedway:
 
Early conversations:
 
Matt DeLorenzo remembered the night of features at Fonda and talked about his late season schedule.
Alan Johnson talked about tear offs and how the track fooled him the last time at Brewerton.
Gary Tomkins told me about his Brewerton win and why he still feels they have work to do.
Bobby Varin had a busy night in front of him and talked about driving a Sprint and a Modified.
Lance Yonge thought back to Canandaigua and told me about a much needed part he sold.
Steve Poirier looked ahead to the make up show at Canandaigua and spoke about Utica Rome.
Dave Lape spoke about his history at Utica Rome and remembered when the chassis changed.
 
After the feature races:
 
Chuck Hebing told Mike Mallett about his ESS A-Main win as the two talked in victory lane.
Steve Poirier finished in second place in the A-Main and told Mike Mallett about his Sprint Car.
Jason Barney talked with Mike Mallett about his 3rd place finish and a motor issue he was having.
Brett Hearn picked up career win number 802 and told me when he saw the second place car.
Danny Johnson talked about his second place finish and thanked the fans for staying till the end.
Bobby Varin spoke with me about his third place finish and described his march from the consi. 
 
I had another fun night as I went to the Utica Rome Speedway for their 50th Anniversary show. They also debuted their coffee table book at the race, The Home of Heroes.  Fifty Years of Racing at Utica Rome Speedway. I do believe there are still some copies left and I urge you to get yours. Check out the speedway website at www.uticaromespeedway.com to find out how to get yours.
 
And I promise you this…right after I get done typing up this front page entry I am going to dig right into it. They also used some of my photos in it too so it is great to be a small part of the book. Bones Bourcier wrote it too so you know it is good. I urge you, get yours today!
 
On the card at Utica Rome was a 100 lap ROC Modified show as well as a 25 lap Empire Super Sprints A-Main. The place was packed as there were 80 cars in the pit area and so many fans they were parking across the street, on the street and anywhere that was flat. Yeah, it was that kind of show indeed!
 
There are a lot of shows out there being run in the middle of the week and this one was truly about as special as it could be. Everywhere you looked you saw people that you had not seen in a long time and since it was a big show at a track that is well liked across the board, it was a must see show for anyone who is anyone in the business. These shows don’t happen much but this night was one of those.
 
The nice thing for me is that I was included as a former announcer. I began my career in 1990 as I announced at both Fulton and Utica Rome Speedways that first year. Announcer Mike Mallett was kind enough to include myself, Jeff Barrett and Shane Andrews as his co-announcers for the night. 
 
We had a great time, told a lot of stories that may or may not have been embellished upon or exaggerated in any way and saw some great racing. It was a top notch field of both Mods and Sprints as the racing reflected the quality of the field.
 
Brett Hearn went on to career win number 802 and did so comfortably until the races final laps. Danny Johnson raced hard to get into the second position and actually got under Brett on the final lap as the two went through turns one and two. But Hearn stayed focused on his line and was able to lead the final 93 laps to get the win.
 
I did victory lane (Thanks again Mike) so you will hear me in the clips with the top three finishers. And since I was announcing and the show moved a lot at a frenetic pace, I stayed out of the pits in between as I was part of the intermission. Shane and I switched back and forth interviewing former drivers and it was great! 
 
So the only down side is that I did not get any heat winners on the site for today. And with nine heat races (6 mod, 3 Sprint) I would never have been able to get the winners as before you knew it they were all on the front stretch for the draw. But we did get alot of pre race interviews and all but six of those are up today. I’ll have those up tomorrow as well as four more from last weekend to give you a solid ten for Friday. Plus I may do an abbreviated Doug’s Thoughts. 
 
The Empire Super Sprints were also on hand so I got to see my Sprint pals. But unfortunately I spent more time talking off the mic than I did on it so you won’t hear as much from them. Hey, every now and then I just want to talk and not bug these guys too much. And then I can learn stuff they don’t want everyone else to hear. So I learned a lot last night…thanks guys!
 
The Sprint Car race was excellent although for a whole it looked like Steve Poirier was going to run away and hide. But Chuck Hebing ran him down and passed him on the outside with three laps to go and went on to the victory. The Sprint Cars were so fast and amazing on this night and they always put on a great show on the big half mile.
 
All in all I could not have asked for a better night. And to actually be a part of it made it even better. Now I am going to go and look through the book and find out more about the track that I did not know already. And Gene, I am so glad you’re alright. Guess we need a new nickname for you although I am sure some have already given it to you so I won’t pile on or mention it here. But seriously, I am glad you are alright and thanks for everything. 
 
Have a great Thursday and keep checking back as you never know when new photos will show up. And when they do, I’ll put them up. Take care. 

 
Wednesday, August 17th 2011
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Danny Varin tells me about his Modified win at Fonda and his plans to run Utica Rome today.
Tommy Sears was back at Brewerton Speedway this past Friday and explained why he came back.
Shawn Donath updated me on how his wrist has been feeling and how close he is to being 100%.
Cory Sparks remembered his recent A-Main win and talked about how good it felt to win again.
Michael Parent spoke about his Friday at Black Rock and how a poor draw made the night tougher.
Jeremy Pitcher talked about his latest Sportsman win at Fulton and having his motor declared legal.
 
It was back to summer like weather on Tuesday as the sun poked through the clouds after another soggy start. I spent the day working and with my kids as they will be back in the fall mode here real soon. Then my oldest daughter and I went to a Syracuse Chiefs game and they won big, 13-4. It was a great day! 
 
I have a lot of good stuff on the site today including a chat with four drivers that are planning to be at the Utica Rome Speedway tonight for a special 50th Anniversary show. Sprint Cars and Modifieds will be on the card and many of the drivers who helped shape the history of the place will be on hand so it sure to be a special night.
 
I’ll be helping out as I will interviewing many of these folks during the intermissions and those interviews will go out to the crowd so they can hear them as well. Plus there will be a big screen set up behind the grandstand so fans can watch the interviews happen. Yeah, it is going to be great!
 
So I hope to see you all there today and if you can’t make it, come back tomorrow as I’ll have audio and photos from the event up on the site. 
 
Now let’s chat about what is new for today on the Audio Page.  I begin with a young man who has now won in each of the last two weekends. Danny Varin tells me about his Modified win at Fonda and his plans to run Utica Rome today. He told me about the line he ran to get the win, wondered if a late race yellow might have helped in the second feature and thought back on his CRSA win two weeks ago. 
 
Tommy Sears was back at Brewerton Speedway this past Friday and explained why he came back. He talked about how little he has been racing lately, wondered if we might see him more at the local tracks and told me how many tires he needs to have mounted & ready on a race night. 
 
Shawn Donath updated me on how his wrist has been feeling and how much better he is doing without the cast. He also told me about his recent races, remembered a wreck he was in while running in the top three and how much he was looking forward to Canandaigua this past Saturday. 
 
Cory Sparks remembered his recent A-Main win and talked about how good it felt to finally win again. He also told me how close he felt he was to picking up a win, why he was trying not to think about it too much and what his goals are every time he straps into the racecar. 
 
Michael Parent spoke about his Friday at Black Rock and how a poor draw made the night tougher. He talked about a flat he got in the feature, why he decided to pull in after that and described the configuration at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. 
 
Jeremy Pitcher talked about his latest Sportsman win at Fulton and having his motor declared legal. He told me why he has been in favor of teching the crate engines all along, described the procedure as he saw it and ran down his plans for the rest of the year. 

 
Tuesday, August 16th 2011
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Billy Pauch Sr. talked about win number one hundred at New Egypt and his race shop’s open house.
Pat Ward remembered hisbig crash at Grandview and explained why he made some safety changes.
George Suprick ran down all the things that went wrong for him Friday night at Black Rock. 
Mike Mahaney told me about his Fulton Speedway win and the huge cushion he was up against.
Brad Steinruck described how his season has been going at Canandaigua in his Stock Car.
Sam Curcie thought back on his crash in his Four Cylinder Super Stock and talked about the damage.
 
It was another dark and stormy day in Central New York as the wet weather kept backing up and hitting us from the east. It made it easy to stay inside and get work done as I did a lot of interviews in the studio and wrote up a new column for the Syracuse Post Standard.
 
I have a lot of real nice chats up for you today so make sure to give them a listen. The Billy Pauch one is real good and for all of you who wonder what being in a big crash can do to you, then listen to Pat Ward as he’ll tell you how his crash at Grandview caused him to take a good look as safety.
 
Today I will be back in the studio and I already have chats with Danny Varin and Jeremy Pitcher ready to go as well as more from my weekend travels to Brewerton and Canandaigua. And yes, I will find my way down to Billy Pauch’s race shop before the end of the year. 
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a requested interview from my facebook page. Billy Pauch Sr. talked about getting win number one hundred at New Egypt ten days ago and why he feels he does better against a better level of competition. He told me about some changes they made in the off season, his race shop’s open house on Sunday and how much he enjoyed seeing people from his past. Good clip here.  
 
Pat Ward remembered hisbig crash at Grandview and explained why he made some equipment changes after it. He told me what scared him most after the crash, why he decided to change his seat and what he was going to try later that night to race even safer still. Good clip for you racers out there and fans who want to learn more. 
 
George Suprick ran down all the things that went wrong for him Friday night at Black Rock. He talked about trying to get the car started initially, the pair of flat tires he had on the track and explained how he deals with a night like this from the mental standpoint which I believe is as important as any other aspect of the sport. 
 
Mike Mahaney told me about his Fulton Speedway win and the huge cushion he was up against. He also explained why it was a fitting tribute to the Mahaney name to win up top, how much he enjoyed slide jobbing with Chuck Bower and what he thought when he saw the number 91 move up to second on the scoring tower. 
 
Brad Steinruck described how his season has been going at Canandaigua in his Stock Car. He told me about some engine trouble they had to start the year, who loaned him an engine so that he could keep going and evaluated how the class has been doing at The Land of Legends. 
 
Sam Curcie thought back on his crash in his Four Cylinder Super Stock and talked about the damage it caused. He told me how hard he hit the inside ute tire, what he did at the track to fix it fast and how much differently it drove afterwards. 

 
Monday, August 15th 2011
   New on the Audio Page from Jeremiah Fish at Black Rock Speedway:
 
Jared Zimbardi spoke about his A-Main win and how big the victory was for him personally.
Justin Barger finished in third place in the A-Main and talked about how tough it was to pass.
Tony Stewart talked about his fifth place finish and how he fell back while trying to advance.
Glenn Styres came home in sixth at Black Rock and told J Fish about some recent shock gains.
Steve Collins had the ultimate up & down night and described his heat win and his feature flip. 
 
From Doug’s travels over the weekend:
 
Jimmy Phelps talked about some recent set up gains and wondered about the effect of new tires.
Richard Swarthout told me how good it felt to win his first Sportsman feature in many years. 
Keith Shay spoke about his quest for his first win of the year and the new addition to his family.
 
It was a dark and rainy day on Sunday as the nice sunshine we saw in the morning for a while got nasty real fast later in the day. I was going to go out to Rolling Wheels for a rallycross event but as bad as it was on the radar I decided to put that one off to another day. I take pictures and do interviews and I can’t do that in the rain.
 
We have a lot of real good stuff on the site today including five chats from Jeremiah Fish’s trip to Black Rock on Friday. Including one with Tony Stewart that Glenn Styres helped set up. Didn’t J Fish do a great job? I sure think he did and what a nice bonus he picked up with his chat with Tony. Great job buddy!
 
I also added three chats from my weekend travels and will have more from that and the studio tomorrow. And don’t forget there is a mid week on Wednesday at the Utica Rome Speedway as they honor 50 years of racing at the track. I will be a part of it too as I will be interviewing many of the racers that contributed to their wonderful history. It is going to be a super fun day!
 
I also added more photos in the afternoon and more will go up today. So keep checking back as I never like to add too many at one time. I don’t want you guys to miss anything. 
 
Now let’s talk more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with some stuff from Friday’s NASCAR night in Dundee, New York. Jared Zimbardi spoke to Jeremiah Fish about his A-Main win and how big the victory was for him personally. He talked about trying some new things, how good the surface was and how many racing grooves there were. 
 
Justin Barger finished in third place in the A-Main and talked with Jeremiah Fish about how tough it was to pass. He also spoke about the traffic he had to deal with, explained how narrow the track was and how the cushion helped dictate where to be. 
 
Tony Stewart talked with Jeremiah Fish about his fifth place finish and how he fell back while trying to advance. He told him how a good draw for the heat helped, how he got in the air for a moment and where he will race a Sprint Car again this week. 
 
Glenn Styres came home in sixth at Black Rock and told Jeremiah Fish about some recent shock gains. He told him how he fell back early on, how wide open he was running on the top side and the special guest he had in his car on this night. 
 
Steve Collins had the ultimate up & down night and described his heat win and his feature flip. He also told Jeremiah Fish how it felt to win his first ever heat race, how a poor draw put him in the middle of the pack and what led to him getting into the wall hard leading to a couple of hard flips. 
 
Jimmy Phelps talked about some recent set up gains his team has made and wondered about the effect of American Racer tires. He also told me about going back to basics, explained why they were chasing set ups for a while and how good it feels to be comfortable again. 
 
Richard Swarthout told me how good it felt to win his first Sportsman feature in many years. He explained why he was not real optimistic coming into the race, what line he ran on his way to victory lane and why he wondered if he could still do it.  
 
Keith Shay spoke about his quest for his first win of the year and the new addition to his family.  He explained why he thought he had a big problem last week, how he knew it was a bad gauge and how he is adjusting to fatherhood. 

 
Sunday, August 14th 2011
   New on the Audio Page from Canandaigua Motorsports Park:
 
Pre race conversations:
 
Jeff Cook described an issue he has been dealing with when the track slicks up at Canandaigua.  
Jared Zimbardi told me about his Sprint Car win at Black Rock and his four win season so far.
Chuck Hebing explained what it is that he enjoys about racing his Sprint Car at Canandaigua.
Jason Barney reviewed his season so far and talked about working with the man who built his car.
Glenn Styres told me how Tony Stewart ended up in one of his Sprint Cars for this weekend.
Paul Guererri has had some tough luck at Canandaigua and talked about turning things around.
 
After the heat races:
 
Paul Guererri talked about his win in his Sportsman heat and the new shock package on the racecar. 
Kane Bristol won his heat race, told me what he heard at one time and wondered about gearing.
Kevin Ward Jr. told me about his ESS heat win and explained why he was changing a shock. 
Chuck Hebing used the bottom well to get the lead quickly and told me how good his car was. 
 
We almost had a totally awesome night last night at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. The Sprints from ESS joined the Modifieds and Tony Stewart made his second straight appearance in the Glenn Styres owned #14. And he won his heat race too!
 
Everything was going great until a big black cloud rolled to our north. You could see that it was storming pretty good as close as a mile north of the track and thunder & lightning became more frequent. For a long time it looked like we would be okay but then the wind which had been blowing to the north took a turn to the south. That’s what did it!
 
They were rushing the show along as fast as they could with no victory lanes and no breaks. It started out at first as just a few big drops and they even kept the Sportsman feature on the track for a few laps hoping it would blow over. Then the radar changed in an instant and we started advising people to take cover and get someplace safe & dry. 
 
They did wait a few minutes just to see if it might blow over. I know from years watching weather radar that what you see never stays the same and never goes exactly where it is aiming. But on this night there was nothing they could do as it turned and got us. Check the speedway’s website from my Track Links Page and see what they are doing to make the events up. And let’s hope they get some dry weeks so they can do so.
 
I was doing some work for Mickey Ellis as ESS Web TV was at the event and was also announcing the Sprints in the tower with my former tag team partner Paul Szmal. I had a great time although I thought I was a little rusty and talked over Paul a few times. But he was great and as welcoming as he could be. Thanks Kid. (Ask him about the nickname sometime as we call each other “kid”.) I had a great time. 
 
But boy was it fun! Hanging with Gary & Donna Spaid, Tom Skibinski (he hates it when I mention his name) made it feel like old times to me. All we needed was Glenn Donnelly and Bill McNabb to make it perfect. Yes, we miss you Bill! And by the way, did he ever beat Gary Spaid’s record for quickest show? It was always his goal and he used to tease Gary something fierce about it too. Ah…memories!
 
The racing was pretty wild too as there were hard crashes in both the Sprint and Modified races as well as some pretty slick moves on the track for position. Fortunately everyone was alright after the crashes although there are a bunch of race teams working on their cars today you can believe that. Or as they say in the hood, “You can belee dat!”
 
I only got to see the Sprints and Sportsman though as the Mods ran after them on the card. I always have to choose two divisions to cover and often the schedule dictates that choice. And since Sprints were my main deal last night for TV, I added the class that was right before them. Sorry guys!
 
I did not get everyone I needed to as they were just rolling the show along so quickly. It was good for the fans but it is tough for me on those nights to find everyone as basically I get one shot at interviewing them and have to move on. And I know Tony likes to keep focused on the race night as I have chatted with him before. I was going to chat with him afterwards but we never got that chance with the rain.
 
But fear not Tony Stewart fans, Jeremiah Fish interviewed him Friday night and that interview will be on the site tomorrow as well as many more from his trip to Black Rock on Friday. And remember…I think Stewart likes to do these dirt races to get away from all the cameras and microphones that follow him at NASCAR events. So I give him that!
 
When he hangs out with us he gets the chance to get dirty, work on the car and get back to his roots. Who am I to bug him on his busman’s holiday of sorts? I have too much respect for him to put him in that situation. He is today’s AJ Foyt and Mario Andretti rolled into one. Who else can win in a stock car, a World of Outlaw Sprint, a Late Model and an Indy Car? NOBODY but Tony Stewart and that’s the truth!
 
Like I said come back tomorrow and keep checking today as I will be putting more photos up later in the afternoon. I had a great night and thanks to everyone at Canandaigua for making it so much fun and welcoming me back into the tower. It was great just like the peach pie I enjoyed! Thanks so much for everything. 

 
Saturday, August 13th 2011
   New on the Audio Page from the Brewerton Speedway:
 
Pre race conversations:
 
Peter Britten talked about his tough run at Brewerton last week and his hopes for Canandaigua.
Chuck Powelczyk will be at Fulton Speedway today and talked about the lawn mowers he’s racing. 
Matt Fink thinks back on last week’s Modified feature win and wonders if it will ever set in.
Chuck Bower described how little damage there was to his Modified after getting it on its side.
Steve Hulsizer told me about last week’s wreck at Utica Rome and how badly damaged the car was.
Mike Mahaney ran his first ever race at Fonda on Wednesday and told me how he liked the track. 
 
After the heat races:
 
Mike Bowman won the first Modified heat race of the night and told me how fast the track was. 
Steve Hulsizer told me about his Modified heat win and explained why he didn’t see another car.
Gary Tomkins described his pass for the win in his heat and how his Modified felt to him.
 
After the feature races:
 
Joe Garafolo set a track record, won the Mod Lite feature and told announcer Bill Foley about it. 
Gary Tomkins became the 12th different Modified feature winner and talked with Adam Buchanan. 
Chuck Bower finished in second place and talked about how nice it was to come back strong.
Jim Money talked about his 4 Cylinder Super Stock win and the Pro Stock he’ll drive this Sunday.
 
It was a beautiful Friday night at the Brewerton Speedway and it was a real good show for the fans as Autograph Night packed the place. A favorite for drivers and fans, this night always brings out the kids and the kid in every driver. And I got to participate as a driver for the first time and I had fun although I think I need more practice with a sharpie on a t-shirt. It’s not easy!
 
After many off the mic conversations with many of the Modified drivers I now feel better about a lot of things including my standing with them. Thanks again for the time you guys took to chat with me about it and for reassuring me about the job I do. It means the world to me as everyone knows Modifieds are my favorite racecar to watch.
 
But as usual, when I balance driving the Tired Iron Repair Saab with Claude Hutchings turning the wrenches and setting the car up, it is just not possible to do the volume of work I can do when I report only and stay out of the seat. But I learn so much and I learn something new every time I drive that car and it makes me so much better at my job. And of course, we have a blast and learn the other things that you can only learn by being out there and mixing it up.
 
Gary Tomkins had fun last night as he got the Deek Decker owned “Deuce Car” into victory lane to become the twelfth different winner in the division this year. Gary was able to get around early leader Mike Bowman and go on to his first win of the season. 
 
Tomkins was ecstatic in victory lane and I am sure Deek Decker had a smile ear to ear as they have had some tough times in that car to start the year. But as is the case with any race team, they buckled down, tweaked their set up and enjoyed what must have been a very satisfying win. Nice job guys.
 
Chuck Bower rebounded from getting his Modified on its side in last week’s feature and recorded a second place finish. And if you listen to his pre race chat with me, you’ll hear how little damage was actually done in that flop last week. Wow…what a break huh? And obviously the car was fine as he had a shot at Tomkins a few times. 
 
Joe Garafolo set a Mod Lite track record in his heat and held off a very determined Tim Devendorf to claim the victory. Kevan Cook won another one in the IMCA Modified division and Jim Money was victorious in the Four Cylinder Super Stock race. So congrats go out to all those drivers.
 
The track was super tacky early on and still had some bite in it in the features. Once again a Modified consolation race was needed as there was a 29 car field in the pit area. Twenty-six started the feature.  
 
As for me, I started eighth in a ten car Four Cylinder Super Stock heat and finished third in the Saab. In the feature I came from eleventh to fourth and almost took someone around.   But I lifted and gave Stephen Denton time to recover before taking one last shot at him under the checkered flag. It was a good run and the car was perfect. 
 
The shield fogged up in the last five laps or so and I had real trouble seeing. I am wondering if I did something wrong when I cleaned the helmet and put on the tearoffs. It was the first time I did it and the only part of the helmet that was fogged was where the tearoffs were. And advice? Did I put them on when the helmet was still damp? Could that have done it? 
 
But it was great to be back behind the wheel again and be the driver on the front stretch signing autographs for young race fans. It was a night I won’t soon forget and a big thanks goes out to all the drivers, the officials and Claude and his guys for making it so much fun. Thanks!
 
And be sure to come back tomorrow as I am planning on loading up tonight at Canandaigua Motorsports Park as the Sprints will join the Modifieds for some fun on the fast half mile. I will also join my former announcing partner Paul Szmal to announce some of the races. So it is going to be an ultra fun night.
 
Plus, Jeremiah Fish went to Black Rock to do some interviews on NASCAR night and you will never guess who he spoke with at length afterwards. He has been on Doug’s Dirt Diary before as an interviewee and while surfing on his own time. A free t-shirt goes out to the first correct guess at doug@dougsdirtdiary.com. Those interviews will be up on Monday. 
 
Have a great Saturday, hope for a rain free 24 hours and I will hope to see you back here tomorrow. Take care!!!

 
     
 
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