Gary Rowe - CPA
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Friday, August 12th 2011
   New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Shane Donath talked about making his first appearance at Utica Rome in a long, long, time.
Adam Roberts told me how his Modified felt in hot laps and how tacky the racetrack was.
A.J. Digsby explained why we have not seen him in a while and which motor part they waited on.
Rich Vleck previewed NASCAR Night at the Black Rock Speedway and the events on tap.
 
It was a surprisingly cold day on Thursday as we had some fall like temperatures. It was alright but I have gotten used to the hot weather and do prefer it in August. I did some work but was done nice and early therefore getting some extra time with the kids.
 
Tonight we will be at the Brewerton Speedway for Autograph Nite and if all goes well we’ll be at the track driving the Tired Iron Repair Saab today in the Four Cylinder Super Stock division. It has been a few weeks since we have been in the car so we will be starting at the back. It’ll be a lot of fun and will take me back to my first few weeks when I was at the back almost weekly till we got into the handicap.
 
I am going to bring my family as my oldest daughter was at the Utica Rome Speedway a few weeks ago when they did autograph night. So now my youngest will get to see what it is like too and get to meet some of the drivers that they look up to. They have fresh t-shirts and are ready to go. 
 
Then tomorrow I’ll be at Canandaigua for some Sprint Car fun and may even get up into the booth to call some of the action with my former tag team partner Paul Szmal. It has been a long time since the two of us have announced together and I am really looking forward to it.
 
Now let’s chat more about the new stuff that is on the Audio Page for today. I begin with a conversation with a driver who was at a place he has not raced at much over the years. Shane Donath talked about making his first appearance at Utica Rome in a long, long, time. He told me why he decided to tow out to Vernon, remembered his last race at the Fulton Speedway and what he hoped would happen later on. 
 
Adam Roberts told me how his Modified felt in hot laps and how tacky the racetrack was. He explained why he thought the track at Utica Rome would slick off later on, wondered why he was a little tight in the middle and if changing his driving style would help. 
 
A.J. Digsby explained why we have not seen him in a while and which motor part they waited on. He told me how that new motor felt, how bad the old engine was after a parts failure and why there was nothing he could have done. 
 
Rich Vleck previewed NASCAR Night at the Black Rock Speedway and the events on tap tonight. He told me what big time drivers have said on the radio that they will be in attendance, remembers some NASCAR nights from the past and comments on how racy the Sprints are at this 4/10 mile track. 

 
Thursday, August 11th 2011
    New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Mike Bowman spoke about his runner up finish in the last race at Fulton and what happened late.
Chris Busta has had a recent run of top ten finishes and talked about his fast hot laps at Utica Rome.
Rob Keller talks about his special motivation to do well and his role as a “house car” driver. 
Tony Finch II tells me about his season in a Novice Sportsman and how his go cart days helped. 
Ed Leubner described the Autocross and Rally events taking pace at Cherry Valley & Rolling Wheels.
 
I was busy on Wednesday as I did some more writing for the Syracuse Post Standard and did several interviews in the home studio. I had some email issues but after I did the update that I somehow missed, they went away. I wonder if I missed some in there as there is a gap. So if you sent me something and did not hear back from me, please try again or hit me on facebook.  
 
We have some real good stuff for you on the Audio Page today so be sure to check that out and be sure to start making your plans for the big weekend coming up. Of course NASCAR is at the only track that I watch all year outside of Daytona in February…Watkins Glen. My DVR will be working hard both days as I root for Australian V8 Supercar driver Marcos Ambrose to win his first Cup race. And if Tony were to win, that would be cool too!
 
I thank all of you who have called and it is good to see that I was not off base with some of what I have been thinking. It is going to be fun and I am also not going to concentrate so much on how many interviews we do.
 
Up till now I have taken a quantity has a quality all its own philosophy. So it has always been go, go, go in the pit area. I am going to try to concentrate more on stories and try to include more of the other divisions that make up a race night at any speedway USA. 
 
Oh, and I tried something new in the kitchen that I think you guys might want to try. I saw something on the Food Network the other day and got the idea for a recipe of what I call Bacon Cheesburger Potato Soup. I start with two cans of Campbell’s Cheddar and added the cooked ingredients. Wow. It was great. Give it a try and let me know what you think. Although I still think some spices may need to find their way in there. 
 
Now let’s talk more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with another racer who can tell you what he has learned from watching his in car camera. 
Mike Bowman spoke about his runner up finish in the last race at Fulton and what happened late. He talked about what he has been learning about the new car, explained what they did to change the setup a little and why he seems to do better focusing on one car instead of two. See, he loves his in car camera too! 
 
Chris Busta has had a recent run of top ten finishes and talked about his fast hot laps at Utica Rome this past Saturday. He also wondered how he lost a nerf bar in the session, what it did to the area around the fuel cell and who gave him some good advice on how to get around the track. 
 
Rob Keller talks about his special motivation to do well and his role as a “house car” driver. He told me how he honors his fallen brother in law, what he does sometimes on the racetrack to learn things and how much he admires the young people that go into the military today. 
 
Tony Finch II tells me about his season in a Novice Sportsman at the Fulton Speedway and how his go cart days are helping him today. He also explained why he was light across the scales (weighing 125 pounds will do that) three times, how his family helps and how cool it is to be the only person I know who can say his mother, aunts, cousins, grandfather & grandmother all raced. 
 
Ed Leubner described the Autocross and Rally Cross events taking pace at Cherry Valley & Rolling Wheels. He talked about the difference between the two events, what types of cars we can expect to see and how you can try it out with your street/racecar this Saturday at Cherry Valley as well as Sunday on the dirt at Rolling Wheels. 

 
Wednesday, August 10th 2011
    New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Matt Fink told me about a shock change he was making and how his in car camera helps his driving. 
Charlie Donk talks about racing both his Modified and a Sprint Car this Saturday at Canandaigua. 
Jeremy Vunk was back behind the wheel of a Sportsman and told me how the deal came about. 
Eddie Ostrander made some big changes to his Pro Stock and told me where he needs to improve. 
Kendale Crout spoke about his season in the 600 Amateur division and his hopes for the future. 
 
I had a nice day on Tuesday as I did some work in the studio and visited Rob Keller at his race shop to chat with him for a story I am writing up for tomorrow’s Syracuse Post Standard. It should be a nice deal and I think you guys will learn a little about Rob in this one. And the interview will be up tomorrow to coincide with that story’s release. I hope you all like both!
 
I have five new interviews up today and once again we thank all these folks for taking time to speak to both me and you! I really like the Matt Fink one too and I think you will also. Plus we try to convince you racers out there that do not have an on board camera system to get one. Matt will tell you how valuable it has been for him and I can vouch for it myself as it helped me get a win as well. So make sure to get yours soon!
 
And it is interviews like those and many others on my site that I really enjoy. I am always trying to get the fans in close to see what it is like to be a racer and for the racers who also listen, we are always trying to teach you guys something and I am learning as well. The minute you stop learning in this sport you need to get out because everyone else is learning and trying to pick up a bit more too. 
 
That is what I am doing too. I got some good emails from people yesterday at doug@dougsdirtdiary.com about the future direction of this website and this weekend we are going to try something new on Sunday. Of course Friday we’ll be back racing & reporting at Brewerton, Saturday we’ll be with the Sprints at Canandaigua and then Sunday I am going to go to Rolling Wheels for a Rally Cross event.
 
Now I have always been a huge rally fan and have watched the WRC on Speed for years. Plus I have gone through four rally racing games on my Playstation 2 & 3 (working on DiRT 3 now) and consider myself to be a good online rally racer. So I am sure I am going to enjoy this, learn a lot about a sport that is growing right now in the U.S. and share it with all of you. 
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a chat with a young man that I know you are going to like. Matt Fink told me about a shock change he was making and how his in car camera helps his driving. Good clip here for you racers & fans and it was recorded a few hours before he won his first ever Modified feature race. Congratulations again Matt! 
 
Charlie Donk talks about racing both his Modified and the Sprint Car this Saturday at Canandaigua Motorsports Park. He also remembered his last race at Utica Rome, explained who helped him with a set up and looks forward to racing three times in seven days. 
 
Jeremy Vunk was back behind the wheel of a Sportsman at Utica Rome and told me how the deal came about. He talked about a conversation he had three months ago, described how hot laps went and wondered when he will get back behind the wheel of the Pro Stock again. 
 
Eddie Ostrander made some big changes to his Pro Stock and told me where he needs to improve. He explained what areas he made those changes in, why he could not tell too much from his hot lap session and what he thought would happen to the Utica Rome surface later on. 
 
Kendale Crout tells me about his season in the 600 Amateur division and his hopes for the future. He also talked about what sidelined him the last time out, how busy things will be in his neighborhood this weekend and described the camaraderie he has with his fellow racers. And check out his website at http://kendalecroutracing.webs.com .

 
Tuesday, August 9th 2011
    New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Gary Tomkins told me how the Deuce felt in hot laps and why they are working on right now.
John Cunningham explained how his 305 Sprinter was running and his return to Utica Rome.
Bobby Heintz was rained out on Saturday and described some changes he made for Utica Rome.
Beth Schneider had her first laps of the year and told me what she has been doing all summer.
Jim Money talked about running with the Outlaw Four Cylinders down at Thunder Mountain
 
First of all I want to start by saying how thankful I am that the people you can listen to today and everyday on this website took the time to speak with me so you could listen in too. We are very fortunate that they took a pause from their busy race nights to speak to the fans that follow them. Seriously…thank you. 
 
I think sometimes that I take for granted that every racer out there is as passionate about this website as I am. It must be tough to be working on a car, trying to figure out what to do and the same guy who has already bugged you for an interview once is now back asking for another one. “Oh, come on!” some must say. And with the way people take interview clips out of context and blow them up on the internet, who could blame them?
 
So in response to some recent instances where this point was made very clear, I feel I must think about changing a few things. I am not sure just what just yet but it is clear that some serious thought is needed here as I can be a major pest when I want an interview and want it bad! 
 
Last summer I had similar thoughts but everything ended up working out. And at that time I put together a contingency plan to change the site a little if I felt that I was wearing out my welcome with some of the teams. I’ll have some more discussions on it today with some of the racers I trust (call me guys!) and I will get their feedback. But I think it is pretty easy to figure out…some of the guys are just sick of me being around all the time and being so persistent. 
 
Now comes the hard part. Where is the line for me? I know what you guys want as I look at the numbers a lot. I know whose interviews are popular and what tracks and types of events you guys want me at. So do I find new stuff to do or alter what I do at the types of events I really love?   The toughest thing is here is that I know who to blame and it is the same guy I see in the mirror each morning. 
 
This will be a hard week as I figure out what needs to change but I can tell you that there will still be a lot of new stuff on here each and everyday. Doug’s Dirt Diary will always be here. And Modified racing is my passion so they will still be on a lot, but maybe not as much as they are now.
 
I made some real good contacts in other forms of racing throughout the years and maybe it is time to explore some of those and visit other racers that have been asking me to come to their tracks since the time I started this website in 2006. As always I value your feedback and won’t do anything different before giving it a lot of thought and listening to any thoughts you all would feel like giving me. But I am truly at a crossroads. 
 
Send me your thoughts at doug@dougsdirtdairy.com and let’s figure this out together. You guys know me, my life is an open book and now I am looking for help in finding out where the next chapter goes. And of course you can message me on facebook, but please only messages. I don’t want a lot of stuff showing up on my wall and having my non-racing friends now about this…really!!! 
 
And thanks to everyone who visits this website, the sponsors, the racetracks, the fans of mine who come up to me with encouraging words and most of all the drivers who have let me bug them for in some cases seven years now with this website. I have learned a lot from them and love sharing their stories with you. I consider myself to be the luckiest journalist in the racing world, but everything must change. There is a whole other world out there and maybe it is time for me to see it. I love you guys and thanks for everything!
 
Now let’s chat more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a man who has been doing a lot of racing in a lot of different cars the past few weeks. Gary Tomkins told me how the Deuce felt in hot laps and what they are still working on right now with the Modified. He also talked about driving the 66 last Saturday at New Egypt, the 673 at Merrittville and explained why tire measurements are not always accurate. Good clip to learn about tires here guys. 
 
John Cunningham described how his 305 Sprinter was running and his return to Utica Rome with it this past Sunday. He told me how much he was looking forward to coming back to a track he knows well, talked about an adjustment he was going to make and what that change could do. 
 
Bobby Heintz was rained out on Saturday at Skyline and described some set up changes he made for Utica Rome. He also compared the atmosphere at both racetracks, how different they really are and how popular stock cars are at his Saturday home. 
 
Beth Schneider had her first laps of the year this past Sunday at Utica Rome and told me what she has been doing all summer down in New York City. She talked about the crane she worked on, reminded me when she first starting operating equipment and gives her take on the crate powered Sportsman class. 
 
Jim Money has been running with the Outlaw Four Cylinders at Thunder Mountain told me about the experience. He compared what he saw down there to what he has been racing against at Brewerton, how solid the car counts have been and how he recovered from a jingle to finish second his last time out. 

 
Monday, August 8th 2011
    New on the Audio Page from the Utica Rome Speedway:
 
Pre race conversations:
 
Mike Button told me about his crash last weekend and how he got his Sportsman back together.
A.J. Filbeck thought back to last week’s heartbreaker and talked about where he needs to be better.
Bobby Varin won Friday night at Glen Ridge and remembered one moment that really helped.
Rob Bellinger explained why he was at Utica Rome on Sunday and what he hoped to accomplish. 
Matt Janczuk reflected on his good fortune the week before and how the cautions helped.
Chris Mackey told me why he chose not to run hot laps and what he saw happening to the track. 
 
After the heat races:
 
Ted Lamb walked me through his heat race pass and explained how he was able to get outside.
Willy Decker won a great side by side race and talked about winning by getting the 5th lead change. 
Claude Hutchings Jr. told me about his win in the first Sportsman heat and the bottom groove. 
Mike Button got the win in the second heat race and explained why he likes to tease me in interviews.
A.J. Filbeck explained how he got the lead and went on to win the final Sportsman qualifier.
 
After the feature races:
 
Rocky Warner made a late race pass and spoke about his Pro Stock win with Mike Mallett.
Danny Varin won the CRSA main in dominating fashion and talked about an early race jingle.
Pat Ward spoke with Mike Mallett about his feature win and how much better things are going.
Ted Lamb led a lot of laps finishing second and talked about his race with announcer Mike Mallett.
Paul Jensen finished in third place and told us about the clean racing he was a part of on the track. 
Matt Janczuk celebrated in victory lane again and talked about how a late race caution helped. 
Chris Mackey finished in 2nd place and told Mike Mallet where he feels he needs to be better.
Mike Button came home in 3rd place and talked about the person who has been helping with set ups.
 
Somehow we dodged the weather last night and somehow we got the entire race program in at Utica Rome. There were dark clouds all around and rain just a few miles south of Vernon. There was even a brief sprinkle that did not even show up on the radar right as the first heat was going out and that did delay the start time a bit.
 
But after the green flag waved the first time the rain never came back. There were a few quick breaks for track prep but all in all it was a very tight show. Pat Ward rebounded from his hard crash at Grandview to record the Modified win and talked about some safety changes they made to his racecar. And Ward is always popular in victory lane in Vernon!
 
Paul Jensen led the first thirteen laps in the Modified feature before Ted Lamb got by on lap fourteen. Both would finish in the top three behind Ward and their interviews are up right now on the Audio Page as well as many others from the night. Plus there are a lot of new photos up from my travels in the pits as well as many others, so check out the filmstrip at the right side of the page…and keep checking as there are more coming later today.
 
In the Sportsman feature Matt Janczuk got a break for the second week in a row as a late race caution erased the half a straightaway lead that Chris Mackey had enjoyed and allowed Janczuk a chance to win yet again. Matt is surely going to remember these two weeks as lady luck is a tough woman to keep on your side. But right now she has a crush on Mr. Janczuk.
 
The CRSA were also in attendance and these 305 cubic inch Sprint Cars are a lot of fun to watch. I felt bad though for point leader Jamie Christian as he flipped his car in the heat race before getting to the start/finish line. Two cars got together on the outside of him and clipped him as he raced on the inside. It was a classic wrong place/wrong time deal. Fortunately Jamie was ok. Not so sure about the racecar. Best of luck to you guys!
 
The racetrack was a lot faster than it looked from what the racers told me and it was a real good night for the fans that took a chance on going. It was not a great crowd by any means, but when you compare it to what you see on a lot of other rainy nights and it was pretty darned goo…really. 
 
And hey, with the internet, cable tv, movies on demand and all the rest, it can be tough to get people to come pay money to sit in a grandstand on a possibly rainy day. So kudos to the track and the fans that trusted that they would see a show. 
 
We also did some race calling for Aaron Boise’s www.goaction.net.  We have been getting some real good feedback from what we have been doing and we are truly thankful for that. Go check out the latest offerings on line as we have the entire feature races with me or Mike Mallett calling the play by play. I hope you enjoy it.

 
Sunday, August 7th 2011
    New on the Audio Page for today:
 
Jimmy Davis talks about his gains at Brewerton and how thankful he is for his situation on Fridays.
Chris Hile was at Brewerton for the fourth week in a row and looked ahead to starting up front.
J.J. Courcy walked me through his Modified race at Utica Rome and described his goals for Friday.
Danny Ody showed me his unique Vintage Racer and explained where “One Lap Lena” came from.
Richard Leahey told me how his Four Cylinder Super Stock has been doing at Brewerton. 
 
It was a rainy and humid day on Saturday which led to rain outs at multiple tracks. Now today sounds a little better and hopefully we will be able to dodge the late day thunderstorms that are predicted and get in some racing.
 
I am set to go to the Utica Rome Speedway to do some stuff for this website and for Go Action Online with Aaron Boise. This has been a fun project to do as Aaron and I have been looking for something to do together for a while now. And the latest show from Utica Rome is up right now at www.goaction.net. Check it out!
 
I spent the day with my family and also got over to my parent’s house. Mom is not doing well and the doctors don’t have a lot they can tell us at this point. So if I look a little flustered today please feel free to bring me back to reality. Racing is a great distraction for me at this point so I am really looking to get my mind on other things today…believe me!
 
Then on Tuesday I will be heading to Penn Can for a mid week Modified special. I always love going to this track as the racing is always good at these mid weeks and the field will be stellar as many Modified teams will be looking for a nice pay day. I hope to see you there too!
 
Now let’s find out more about what is new for today on the Audio Page. I begin with a man who has been having a good time running weekly at a new venue for him. Jimmy Davis talks about his gains at Brewerton and how thankful he is for his situation on Fridays. He told me about the set up gains he has made, remembers one night the surface fooled him and how little they adjust after the heat races.
 
Chris Hile was at Brewerton for the fourth week in a row and looked ahead to being handicapped towards the front. He told me how tough it is to come from the rear, what he has been learning about tires and how to keep them from chunking up. 
 
J.J. Courcy walked me through his Modified race at Utica Rome and described his goals for Friday at Brewerton. He explained why his IMCA Modified is sidelined for now, what he saw when he looked at his exploded motor and wondered if he might get it back out later this year. 
 
Danny Ody showed me his unique Vintage Racer and explained where “One Lap Lena” came from. He thought back on his past at the Brewerton Speedway, told me how he has been doing in the racecar and what type of chassis is underneath it.   And don’t forget to visit his website at www.oldspeedways.com
 
Richard Leahey told me how his Four Cylinder Super Stock has been doing at Brewerton Speedway. He talked about what he has learned about handing, the racetrack and a fix he did recently that seemed to help. 

 
Saturday, August 6th 2011
    New on the Audio Page from the Brewerton Speedway:
 
Stephen Denton told me what went wrong with his Sportsman and the work he has to do today.
Rich Scagliotta recapped his recent races that included Canada for a Super DIRTcar Series show.
Dale Planck talked about his small block series win at Cornwall and the tough day at Merrittville.
Stewart Friesen ran down how he did at Merrittville and then on Thursday’s race at Grandview.
Alan Johnson told me about the new sheet metal he had on his Modified and why he switched cars.
Mike Mahaney explained what they found wrong with his car and how he did in his last race.
 
After the heat races:
 
Mike Mahaney won the first Modified heat race of the night and told me how his racecar felt.
Pat O’Brien got the win in his heat for the 3rd week in a row and remembered his last few features.
Tony Steiner led every lap in his heat win and wondered if his asphalt racing helped on the clay.
Claude Hutchings Jr. went from sixth to first in one corner and talked about his heat win.
Jim Money made a nice pass for the lead in his heat and told me about passing another Mustang.
 
After the feature races:
 
Matt Fink reacted to winning his first ever Modified feature race by leading every lap at Brewerton.
Mike Mahaney finished in second and wondered if a late race caution helped him keep the spot.
Stewart Friesen came home in third place and talked about the fun he was having in turn two.
Chuck Bower explained how he got on his side in the feature and how the car drove afterwards.
Claude Hutchings Jr. won his first feature of the season and talked about his Four Cylinder Saab.
 
I had a fun night on Friday as I went to the D Shaped Dirt Demon. The Vintage Cars joined the show and I must tell you that I really like the way that divisions is going as it is great to see these museum pieces out on the track. Yes, I really enjoyed it!
 
As always I had my recorder and camera with me. I recorded 25 interviews and took over 80 photos. I was focused on taking pictures as on nights when I race I am not able to get as many. So with Claude Jr. running the Saab, I was able to take a lot more. 
 
Congratulations go out to Matt Fink on his first career Modified win. He led all 35 laps and even survived a yellow flag with just one to go. I did do a pre race interview with him and that will be later in the week as he told me about a shock change he made after hot laps and why. So look for that later in the week.
 
I also got the entire top three as well as Chuck Bower who did one of the slowest rolls onto his side I have ever seen. Fortunately for Chuck, he was able to drive away and finish the race although from an interview he did with me it sounds like they still have a lot of work to do.
 
The Modifieds were strong with 27 cars in the pit area and all the divisions had solid car counts on this night which is not all that common in the racing world at this time of the year. So obviously things are working well at this track.
 
The spectator races were good too and a driver who may soon be known as a ringer won yet again. They even ran him against the pace car but the Honda was fast and would not be denied. I am happy to see these races making a comeback as the crowd really does love them. 
 
Congratulations also go out to Jeff Isabell Sr., Kevan Cook and Claude Hutchings Jr. on their feature wins. And yes, Claude drove the Tired Iron Saab on Friday night for two reasons. He is going back to college soon and wanted to get back in his comfortable ride and they are trying to fix an issue with the right front and as a rookie I would not be able to give them good feedback. 
 
Not sure what I will be doing today as I may stay home to deal with some things here and then hit Utica Rome tomorrow. We’ll be back in the Saab next week for autograph night and we are also planning a trip with me to Thunder Mountain to run in their Outlaw Four Cylinder class. Claude Sr. says I am ready to travel and I trust him explicitly. 
 
I hope you all stay dry today and wish you all the best with your Saturday plans. And be sure to come back tomorrow for more from my Friday at Brewerton. I will also be going to Penn Can on Tuesday for their mid week special. See ya tomorrow so be safe, be fast and have fun! 

 
     
 
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