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Friday, April 22nd 2016
   

New on the Audio Page for today:

Steve Poirier tells me about his hopes to race twice this weekend and why he is scaling back.
Stephen Denton talks about his race last Friday at I-88, his road racing and his 2016 race plans.
Dean Catlin gets ready for his first race as Skyline’s owner and how today’s rain might help him.
Paul Szmal spoke about announcing at Glen Ridge and Fonda as he gets ready for race number one.

If all went well I got a day off yesterday after going at it pretty hard this past week. It was fun to be busy again and even more fun to have some actual racing to talk about. I’ll be back in the studio again today and have family plans for Saturday.

Balancing work, racing and family is something a lot of us deal with and I am still working on doing that myself. So is the driver in our first interview today. It’s not easy when the sport you love means time away from your family not just at the events but in the shop as well.

I hope you like all that we have today and be sure to come back as we’ll have more each day and Monday you’ll get a lot from Utica Rome as we are recording our first Atomic Power Racing Hour of the season. I can’t wait!

Now let’s chat more about what we have for you today on the Audio Page starting with a man who is ready to hit the track. Steve Poirier tells me about his hopes to race twice this weekend, how much it costs to drive to a rain out and why he is scaling back a little this season.  

Stephen Denton talks about his top ten finish in his first race of the year race last Friday at I-88, his road racing efforts and his 2016 race plans.

Dean Catlin gets ready for his first race as Skyline’s owner, how today’s rain might help the racing surface and runs down some of his long term goals.  

Paul Szmal spoke about announcing this year at Glen Ridge and Fonda as he gets ready for his first race weekend behind the mic. See ya Sunday Paul!  

 
Thursday, April 21st 2016
   

New on the Audio Page for today:

Tony Veneziano reports on the most recent WoO Sprint Car races as the California swing ends.
Max McLaughlin is a Modified rookie this year and talked about learning the cars with his dad.
Tony Farone was at Utica Rome on Sunday with his Sportsman and talked about Fonda’s practice.
Tyler Meeks prepared for hot laps at Canandaigua and told me about his new Sportsman car.
A.J. Digsby took his first laps in a Sportsman and spoke about why he got out of stock cars.
Dean Reynolds previews the ESS opener on Friday at the newly named Outlaw Speedway.

It was another beautiful day in Central New York and hopefully all the weather we are hearing about for tomorrow will stay away so we can get some Friday night racing in.

I’ve been cranking along pretty well here in the home studio and, we have one conversation from there and lots more to come as I try to figure out what to save, what to air now and what to do if Friday goes away. One way or another you’ll get a minimum four new chats till Sunday when we will be back at Utica Rome for some TV fun.

Now let’s chat more about what we have for today on the Audio Page starting with an update from the busiest racing series on the planet. Tony Veneziano reports on the most recent WoO Sprint Car races as the California swing ends and Kasey Kahne Racing continues to dominate the season so far.  

Max McLaughlin is a Modified rookie this year and talked about learning the cars with his dad while analyzing his first ever laps at Canandaigua.  

Tony Farone was at Utica Rome on Sunday with his Sportsman and talked about Fonda’s practice the day before as well as why he likes it when the track gets slick.  

Tyler Meeks prepared for hot laps at Canandaigua and told me about his new Sportsman car, the first brand new car he has ever had.  

A.J. Digsby took his first laps in a Sportsman last Sunday at Utica Rome and spoke about why he got out of stock cars after 18 years in the division.  

Dean Reynolds previews Friday’s ESS opener at Outlaw Speedway as they start season number 33 and highlights some big races on their schedule.

 
Wednesday, April 20th 2016
   

New on the Audio Page for today:

Glenn Donnelly showed me around CNY Raceway Park and updated me on how it is coming along.
Ernie Saxton and I chat about racing as well as TV at Bristol, Indy Car, NHRA and Grandview so far.
Josh Hohenforst talked about his first race of the year at OCFS and his plans for the 2016 season.
Corey Barker gets ready for his first race of the year and explained why he ran his older chassis.
Kane Bristol prepared for the Canandaigua opener and told me what went wrong late last season.
Ray Bliss Jr. reflected on his 100th feature win, told me what that means and his hopes for 2016.

I had a busy but fun day on Tuesday as I got to head up to Central Square and get a personal tour of what is going on at CNY Raceway Park. They have got a lot done and you can really see what it is going to be like and it will be spectacular.

Listen to the chat with Glenn and you can hear his excitement and how well things worked out in so many areas. It will be a game changer in our area and all of us racer types will benefit either directly or indirectly.

Not much else to write about as I am whipped after another long day. We have a lot of good stuff still to come so be sure to keep checking back every day as we are jam packed from here on in.

Now let’s chat more about what we have for you today on the Audio Page starting with my afternoon trip to Central Square. Glenn Donnelly showed me around CNY Raceway Park and updated me on how it is coming along. Things look real good out there guys!  

Ernie Saxton and I chat about what went wrong at Bristol, Indy Car, NHRA and Grandview. Good conversation and a lot of ground covered here.

Josh Hohenforst talked about his first race of the year at Orange County, the jingle he was involved in and his plans for the 2016 season.  

Corey Barker gets ready for his first race of the year on Sunday at Utica Rome and explained why he ran his older chassis instead of his new car.  

Kane Bristol prepared for the Canandaigua opener and told me what went wrong late last season as well as what his plans are for this season.  

Ray Bliss Jr. reflected on his 100th feature win last season, told me what that number means and his hopes for 2016 as he races closer to home this year.  

 
Tuesday, April 19th 2016
   

New on the Audio Page for today:

Darryl Ruggles remembers Friday’s crash at Canandaigua and tells me how badly he feels.
Jimmy Phelps ran down his goals for Friday’s practice and updated us on Weedsport Speedway.
Paul Habeck would put his racing suit on the first time and talked about racing more 360 stuff.
Shaun Pangman told me why he was at Utica Rome while reviewing his practice at Fonda.  
Ryan Bartlett talks about the indoor racing he did this off season and the Modified he is racing.
Doug Smith ran his first race of the year on Friday and ran down where he will race this season.
Mike Welch reacted to the big field of Pro Stocks at Utica Rome and talked about the new tires.

Long day for me on Monday as I worked hard to make sure to get out the accurate and first hand information on our friend Charlie Donk as he recovers in a Rochester hospital. To find out more go to www.syracuse.com/motorsports and read for yourself.

We are praying for you Charlie and wish you all the best in your recovery. I spoke to Darryl Ruggles several times on Monday and if you listen to his interview you can hear in how voice how badly he feels about things so yes I am worried about him too. If any of you racers have been in his shoes please get ahold of him as I just don’t have the background to know what to tell him. Message me or send me an email and I’ll give you his contact info.

There’s a lot on the page today and I hope you like all that but let’s get right to what is new for you today on the Audio Page starting today with a man who feels badly physically and mentally. Darryl Ruggles remembers Friday’s 305 Sprint Car crash at Canandaigua and tells me how badly he feels as well as how his body felt on Monday. We’re all praying for you Charlie. Get well soon!  

Jimmy Phelps ran down his goals for Friday’s practice, explained how his new hydraulic jack works and updated us on Weedsport Speedway.

Paul Habeck would put his racing suit on the first time and talked about racing more 360 stuff as well as a chassis change he made in the off season.  

Shaun Pangman told me why he was at Utica Rome while reviewing his practice at Fonda with both his Modifieds and his plans for the 2016 season.  

Ryan Bartlett talks about the indoor racing he did this off season, the Modified he was racing with Sunday at Utica Rome and his brother’s plans to run a small block at Can Am.  

Doug Smith ran his first race of the year on Friday, remembered some of his past in a Street Stock at Canandaigua and ran down where he will race this season.

Mike Welch reacted to the big field of Pro Stocks at Utica Rome and talked about the new tires and other rule changes for the DIRTcar Pro Stocks.  

 
Monday, April 18th 2016
    New on the Audio Page from Utica Rome Speedway:

After the heat races:

Jeremy Vunk brought out a new Sportsman to the opener and told me about his win in the first heat.
Jack Miller won the second open Sportsman heat and talked about an issue he had with the motor.
Marc Johnson described the pass he made for a Mod heat win and talked about losing his dad.
Matt Hulsizer had a new car in his heat win and told me why he got loose a couple of times.
Rocky Warner tells Mike Walton about his heat win as the two tease each other in the pit area.
Chris Cunningham earned his first Sportsman heat win at the track and talked about running high.
JaMike Sowle led ever lap to win his Sportsman heat and told me why he moved down a class.
Matt Janczuk and I have some fun with audio after he led every lap in his Sportsman heat.

 

After the feature races:

Larry Wight came from third to first in four laps and told Bill Foley about his Modified victory.
Jeremy Vunk spoke to Camden Proud after leading all 20 laps to win the Open Sportsman feature.
Rocky Warner ended his weekend with a win and talked about it in victory lane with Bill Foley.
Matt Sheppard got the lead with two to go and told Mike Mallett about getting off to a good start.
Luke Horning beat a 27 car Pro Stock field handily and told Camden Proud about his victory.

Last night was the season opener at Utica Rome Speedway and what a night it was with 105 cars in the pit area and a real nice crowd on hand to see it. There were 30 Modifieds, 36 Sportsman, 27 Pro Stocks and 12 Open Sportsman.

There were twin twenties for the Modifieds and Larry Wight and Matt Sheppard split the races. In the first race Wight was able to make a low side move to get around outside pole sitter Matt Hulsizer after breaking an engine on the last lap the night before at Canandaigua.

Matt Sheppard stayed calm in the second race and passed mike Mahaney with two laps to go to take the win there. He is not 3 for 7 on the season. Felt badly however for early leader Chris Hile who led the first 15 laps until his car started to get loose in turn four. Mike Mahaney saw that and slide jobbed Hile before having Sheppard to the same thing to him as the parallel flags waved.

Jeremy Vunk led every lap to win the Open Sportsman feature in his brand new chassis. Claude Hutchings Jr. was catching him but blew a brand new engine with three laps to go.

The crate Sportsman ran green to checkered and Rocky Warner dominated for the victory passing eight slower cars on his way to victory lane. Check out the heat race winning interview to hear Rocky talk about what it meant to him to race three times in his first weekend back after coming as close to dying as you would want to this past off season. Good to have you back!

And the final race of the night also went without a yellow flag as Luke Horning left the field in his wake en route to his victory. The track changed rules for the class in the off season and moved to DIRTcar rules which brought a bunch of cars from the east to the track. But with many of those tracks opening next weekend we’ll see how many of these cars come back. Stay tuned!

I had fun seeing everyone and did 15 pre race interviews that will show up during the next four days. Add that to the 8 I have from Friday and you can see it is going to be a very busy week so be sure to come back every day so you don’t miss a thing.

 
Sunday, April 17th 2016
   

New on the Audio Page for today:

Justin Haers was fastest in Friday’s first hot laps at Canandaigua and explained what it meant.
Vic Coffey watched his oldest son strap in a Modified and talked about their 2016 race plans.
Greg Birosh told Paul Szmal about his small block Modified and which of dad’s cars it resembles.
Kevin Root talked about winning early in his Sportsman and how his go cart background helped.

Sure, I was going to take Saturday off and go golfing. That was the plan all along. But after seeing two friends leave the racetrack for emergency rooms I really needed to get my mind off racing.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the sport and talk about it and live it every day like a lot of you do. But I just hate seeing anybody get hurt in a racecar let along people I have known for decades.

Thoughts and prayers go out to Charlie Donk and Darryl Ruggles as they recover from their crash on Friday and we wish them and their families all the best as they went through hell Friday night and Saturday morning. I love you guys and hope you are back to 100% real soon.

Today I will try to shake it off and head to Utica Rome where I hope all the cars stay on the ground and get pushed into the trailer exactly as they came out. I know that’s asking a lot but a guy can hope can’t he?

Now let’s chat more about what we have for you on the Audio Page this Sunday as we get ready to go at it again today. Justin Haers was fastest in Friday’s first hot laps at Canandaigua and explained what it meant as well as where he will be running this season.  

Vic Coffey watched his oldest son Kyle strap in a Modified and talked about their 2016 race plans as well as the goals for this first hot lap session.  

Greg Birosh told Paul Szmal about his small block Modified he had at Canandaigua’s practice session on Friday and which of dad’s cars it resembles.

Kevin Root talked about winning early in his Sportsman, how his go cart background helped and how nice it is to have expert help from so many immediate family members.  

 
Saturday, April 16th 2016
   

New on the Audio Page from the Canandaigua Motorsports Park opener:

  Pre race conversations:

Chad Homan talked about his move to a Crate Late Model and why he decided to make a change.
Ronnie Davis III
spoke with announcer Shane Andrews about the last minute work they did.
Billy Dunn told Paul Szmal about the Modified he brought to Canandaigua and his 2016 race plans.

After the heat races:

Karl Comfort lied about his age and told me about his win the first Sportsman heat race of 2016.
Rocky Warner told me how he felt after winning in his first heat race after his off season surgery.
Tyler Meeks brought a brand new Sportsman to Canandaigua and told me about his heat win.
David Schilling had never been to Canandaigua and talked about winning in his first heat race.
Darryl Ruggles talked about his win in the first 305 heat and why he had a bandage on his hand.
Charlie Donk walked me through his last lap pass on the bottom that got him a 305 heat win.

Well it didn’t take long for racers and race fans to remember how violent and unforgiving this sport can be. On lap two of the 305 Sprint Car feature Darryl Ruggles and Charlie Donk were engaged in a duel for the lead. Ruggles was low and Donk was high. It was going to be a classic battle between a pair of drivers who each have thousands of laps under their belts at Canandaigua.

Then Ruggles hit the ute tire on the inside of turns 1 & 2 folding up his left front. Up the track he went which was exactly where Charlie Donk was. The two had hard contact flipping both and sending Donk out of the speedway and airborne for what seemed like an eternity.

Both ended up leaving the track for the hospital. Mercy Flight Central landed right in the pits and Donk went with them. Ruggles was taken to the hospital by ambulance. It was a scary crash but early reports are telling us both drivers should be okay. Keep them in your prayers though as I am sure they could use all the good thoughts and well wishes we could send them.

I’ve known both these drivers since 1995 when I started at Canandaigua so it was very hard to watch. And I just could not stay after that so I left. I get gun shy sometimes and this realty shook up a lot of people including of course their immediate families and friends.

I hope you enjoy the stuff I did get done and be sure to come back tomorrow for some more from Canandaigua. I will be at Utica Rome tomorrow so look for interviews from there up on the site on Monday.

Now let’s chat more about what we have on the Audio Page starting with my first conversation of the day. Chad Homan talked about his move to a Crate Late Model as he prepared for his first laps in the car and told why he decided to make a change after many years in a Modified.  

Ronnie Davis III spoke with announcer Shane Andrews about the last minute work they did to get ready for the Canandaigua opener. The laughter was when David Marcuccilli tickled Shane.  

Billy Dunn told Paul Szmal about the Modified he brought to Canandaigua and his 2016 race plans that include a return to Can Am on Saturdays.  

Karl Comfort lied about his age and told me about his win the first Sportsman heat race of 2016 while thinking back on his start in racing back in the 80’s.

Rocky Warner told me how he felt after winning in his first heat race after his off season surgery. Sounds like Rocky is doing well on and off the racetrack.  

Tyler Meeks brought a brand new Sportsman to Canandaigua and told me about his heat win as well as where he plans to race this coming season.  

David Schilling had never been to Canandaigua and talked about winning in his first heat race as well as his home track, Albany Saratoga Speedway.

Darryl Ruggles talked about his win in the first 305 heat, analyzed his daughter’s second place run and explained why he had a bandage on his hand. Prayers going out to Darryl and his family! We love ya buddy.

Charlie Donk walked me through his last lap pass on the bottom that got him a 305 heat win and explained why he thought that was the fast way around. Prayers going out to Charlie and his family! We love ya buddy.  

 
     
 
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