Diary Of A Season 2011

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Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:15 pm

July 9th...................Flamboro Speedway

Race #10
Happy Birthday Shirley :mrgreen:
CVM Race #2

High Lites
* 18 cars
* Jeff Shaw wins
* We crash, do slide of death, maybe broken thumb!!!



Front end, axle, rear spring purchase, thumb

Jim, Trevor, Roger....Chris

Racing the CVM was a thumbs up for me, I love racing these cars, and especially with the new V8, I just don’t worry anymore about the slide of death…STOP!!! This is Buzz N Blow and we interrupt this moronic drivel with an update on the comment re no more slide of death. Master forgets late in the feature when Inline went nuts, spewing oil, water and guts on the race track in front of many close behind, unsuspecting combatants, some with families. No more slide of death? Please!!! How about two 360 degree spins at high speed with the Coupe slamming parked cars. This idiocy may become a new motion picture "Carnage Alley", or a sequel to "Honey I Just Shrunk My Wallet". This is Buzz N’ Blow…..Later.

We made 2 sets of hot laps, and other than a hard to steer car (maybe symptoms still from Mosport) we were close to the top runners. If I could get this car to handle, I would have a shot a winning a feature, but as it is, I’m lucky to survive with the energy draining suspension. I talked to Ron Easton before the heats and he gave me a few suggestions. I showed him the slip joint on the steering column, that it seemed to be stiff. We bounced on the suspension and it did move a little but not much. Ron gave a few suggestions and we tried them. I also explained how incredibly stiff the car was, and how hard it was to turn. We tipped the axle trying to help that problem.

We were lined up 5th in the first heat. There were 19 cars. I was anticipating a good run. Things changed before we got out of turn two, in many ways.

Entering turn one Shane Stickle #39 got outside Mike Williams #7. The two got together in the middle of the turn. I was right on them and as they came sliding down towards the apron in turn two I tried steering to the right but the car would not move. It was like driving a tow-motor with two flat tires and a three inch steering wheel. Before I knew it my left front tire caught Mike’s rear bumper and the jolt snapped the steering wheel violently to the left knocking my hand off the wheel and my thumb into the meat grinding spokes of the steering wheel. I was done and I knew it.

The car took a bad smack and there was no way the front end could survive that. It wasn’t until I tried to move that my thumb was throbbing bad and then it dawned on me I had two problems.
I was upset because I should have been able to get around the two cars but just couldn’t turn the wheel.

We were out for this race, like 8 seconds in. The tie rod was broken, the axle was bent, spring purchase twisted as was the steering shaft….the thumb?…most thought it was broken.

We worked on the car to get it ready for the feature, packed my thumb in ice. Someone suggested St. John’s Ambulance, I figured St. John’s Newfoundland would be about as useful. There was nothing to be gained by going to the ambulance, plus I thought it was sprained more than broken, but the only license I have doesn’t qualify me to make injury evaluations. The point is, I wasn’t going anywhere until the night was over, in spite of the fact I hated driving this impossible to steer car…now worse because of the wreck.

I went scratch in the feature. It was tough sledding with my sore hand and goofy steering. I got into a challenge with Rick Jones #99. He was fairly quick on the straights like us, but was having trouble getting through the turns, like us. Watching ahead I saw Steve Lyons and Chris Milwain getting into each other. Steve got sideways one lap. A few laps later they got into each other even more seriously only this contact sent Steve spinning and Chris flying to the infield with some broken suspension parts.

On the restart Rick and I went at it again for a few laps until Steve caught me and easily got by. I tried to get by Rick as well but we got together coming off two and he got air-borne going over my left rear wheel. I was surprised, and by the amount Rick had “take-off”, he was surprised as well. We kept going, though we fell back a little.

On lap 7 I was in some clear traffic and trying to make the best of a bad night. Flying down the back chute, just at the end of the pit grandstands, I noticed cars spinning in front of me. I hadn’t seen that scenario in a long time. It was weird. One car spun, then suddenly another and then I knew by the way they were spinning it was from oil on the track, resulting from an exploding inline. I thought I was far enough behind the group to hit the dirt on the infield but soon found out I was right in the slick as my car went wildly out of control immediately.

I call this the slide of death, when three or four Hobby cars do synchronized spinning in an elegant slow motion dance that ends up with them angle parking in the cement at just under 70 miles an hour. This time was different. I had the brakes jammed as my car spun out of control. The car actually got slowed down enough to still hit Adrian Donkers #6 who was a sitting duck. Adrian, Mike Podd and I were able to continue. Corey Jones #71 was unable to continue because his engine terminated.

I went to the pits and got the thumbs up that our car was okay. It took forever to clean up the oil. Once the race restarted it went pretty well green the rest of the way. We ended up 12th, better than not starting the feature.

Congrats to Jeff and Ron Shaw for working hard on their car and getting it good enough to win the feature. They’ve had a lot of tough luck already in 2011 and were rewarded with a great win.

I talked to Ron Easton after the race and he said I could bring the car to Oakville Trailers to fix it. Ron is an awesome builder and knows his stuff. We were far too busy with all the Late Model things going on, Sunday at Sunset and Wednesday at Delaware. There was no way we could squeeze the Coupe in for repairs.

The car was ready by Thursday night. Rick and his crew came over Thursday to finish it off. He and his crew, Roger, Bob and Doug will race it at Sauble. Hope they have fun, the car should steer better now.

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Post by Gary » Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:15 pm

July 10th............................Sunset Speedway

Race #11

High Lites
* 14 cars
* Tom Walters Wins'
* We qualify pole
* Win first heat, 3rd win of 2011
* Car was good
* 745 laps one caution

Heat #1.........1st
Heat #2.........2nd


NONE!!!!....routine check over

Bob, Gerry, Scott and Perry

We left home early in the morning, heading to my now favorite track, Sunset Speedway. It was always one of my favorite, I really like Sauble as well. The new track design, staff attitude and the way we’re welcomed, makes this journey a positive experience even before we get out of the driveway. Thinking about going to Sunset usually makes me excited.

Bob Pereira, Scott Gibson and I would meet both Gerry Lancaster and Perry Van Haaren later at the track.

We arrived early, only a few Late Models were there. We prepared for tech. I didn’t realize we had to add so much weight for 10” rims, brakes and the coil over suspension. We managed to get legal but had to borrow some led from Jason Shaw.

Tom Walters, the King of Sunset, gave us some used tires and we used them in the first two sets of hot laps. We made adjustments, anticipating a tight situation. The car was good the first set, very close. It was cooler, though very humid.

I drew #27 for starting spot, continuing my spell of what we think is a bad pick. There were only two heats because of the surprisingly low car count. Fourteen cars made the show.

We started 7th in the first race, at the back. Early in this heat the #10 Gord Shepherd and #83 Sean McQuirter got into it. Gord hit Sean getting him sideways, and passed him. The next lap Sean drove in hard enough to completely spin out Shepherd. I tried going high to avoid the spinning cars and hit the speedy dry and other debris at the top of the track sending me around. It was kind of weird, because I had to hold the brake hard so I wouldn’t slide down the track into other cars. It is banked a lot.

The track gave me my spot back because they felt I spun avoiding the spinning cars. That gave me outside pole on the restart beside Al Inglis #69. It took a few laps of side by side racing to get by and finally we did giving us the lead and soon the win. It was our 3rd win of the season, the most in one year in the past three years.

We ran double heats and since we started at the back, our next race was outside pole. Steve Laking was inside. He’s been fast most all of this season, but this track is so wide and good that we never worry about running close, there’s tons of good racing room.

I have no idea what happened on the start of the race. It sure shocked Steve, my crew and I. When the green dropped we raced into one. I got a good run on the start and as we entered the turn I passed Steve like he was standing still. The reason I did was because my brake pedal went to the floor. Actually no it didn’t, I thought it did. What happened was I hit the clutch instead of the brake and that was a wild ride. There is no other race track I could have done that and got away with not wrecking the car. I immediately found the brake and it stopped. I think I was two car lengths ahead going in, but by the time I slid up the tracks and got on the correct brake pedal, I lost all of that and now Sean McQuirter was inside of me. That was a scary deal for me, and I don’t even remember the last time I did that. It could be because in the last four race nights, I’ve driven three different cars, all with different brake pedals…but still, that should not have happened on this car, I know it very well and it’s the same as my previous car.

It took a lap or so for my car and heart to get back in rhythm. Steve lead for awhile but Sean was right there. Coming off two Steve some how got a little tight and they touched when Sean tried going inside. Going into three Sean drove in hard and pushed up into Steve. I was right there, on the outside and when Sean made the pass I had enough momentum to follow the #83. I ran on his tail for the final three laps settling for second.

The qualifying was over, we won the pole with our two heat finishes. Our team was very happy, our second pole in two weeks. We also won the Grisdale Triple Crown pole on July 2nd.

The crew worked hard making sure we had everything right. It was fun talking and planning our strategy for the car. We decided to loosen it up a little.

At driver intro they had the draw for the invert. I pulled a number and gave it to Mark Dilley’s daughter. She handed it to her dad and he showed me it was a 7. That meant we’d start 7th and Tom Walters would be on the pole….just what he needed.

I told Bob my spotter that I was going to pace myself the first half because I wanted to save tires. There was no tire rule, you could run three new sets if you wanted. We qualified on the old tires Tom gave us and put the new tires on for the feature. They had 7 scuff laps on them. I think I should have left the old ones on, they were very good.

The race was kind of boring I think. The first forty laps were caution free. Steve Laking got by me, as did Gord Shepherd. I noticed they had more pull coming off the corner than I had. We ran the same gear as Flamboro and with the car handling so good, we should have hit the chip, but did not, meaning I could have used more gear. All race I drove in hard, gained a little, but lost it off. More gear would have helped us.

The caution on lap 40 was for a spin, no damage. On that restart I followed as close as possible but could not catch anyone. Jason lead for awhile, then Tom took over and never looked back. Gord got into third followed by Sean, Brad, Steve and us. Sean hit the wall or did something as a big puff of smoke came from his car. He got passed by the two in front of me then we got by putting us 6th.

The final 20 laps were consistent with 3rd to 6th running close. We ended up staying that way and though I was a little disappointed that we didn’t run better power wise, it was a great day for our team. Bob, Gerry, Scott and Perry were very happy and so was I. It was hard to stay down, there wasn’t a mark on the car and we had an awesome run and won the pole.

Mark Dilley said he was going to promote the next race to get more cars. It was a small field but with the big show on Wednesday at Delaware, it maybe had a lot to do with it.
Our next race is the Delaware show and Trevor Monaghan will drive our car. The car is sponsored by Canadian Heroes. We are very proud to be associated with this awesome group who are doing everything they can to show and create awareness for others to support our troops.

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Post by Gary » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:15 pm

July 13th......................Delaware Speedway

Special Event

Canadian Heroes dedication, Trevor Monaghan driving

High Lites
* 30 cars
* Jesse Kennedy wins
* Trevor amazing finishes 9th
* Huge crowd
* Few wrecks

Time Trials.......25th
B Main.............15th

Body, cosmetic, change tires over, routines check, get chassis back to Flamboro set up

David, Jim, Bob, Peter, Mike, Canadian Heroes crew (Kim, Vic, Marco, Andrew)

I had full intentions of running the Summer Showdown at Delaware Speedway with the Busch brothers, Kyle and Kurt. The only stipulation for me was that I not damage my car and make a huge load of work for our Flamboro show Saturday night. I wanted to use the opportunity to show case our car and promote our team and sponsors.

Trevor Monaghan was busy trying to get a ride for the series and text me to see if I knew where he could get a ride. He said he had a sponsor and as much as I was reluctant to offer my car, I did for a few reasons.
The first was the sponsor Trevor had, Canadian Heroes, an organization that brings awareness and support for our soldiers, both those active and those who have fought for our country. On the front of my Late Model for the past 6 years has been the banner “God Bless Our Troops”. It seemed to me like a good fit.

I wasn’t sure I really wanted to miss the race, I was looking forward to it all season. David and I both had the same thoughts. We knew it would be a big crowd and a great opportunity to show our cars and sponsors. David decided after the incident with Mark Watson that he would not be going to Delaware. He did offer to help, because he knew I was going to be in it.

During the week before Trevor confirmed the sponsor. It was then that I told him he could drive my car. There were a few stipulations, one was meeting his sponsor. Trevor arranged for me to meet Chris Ecklund on the Thursday night, the week before the race. After a two and half hour sit down we found we had very similar thoughts on racing and promoting sponsors, or in this case the men and women fighting for freedom.

The wheels were in motion and right away I ordered a hood, Jim Sweers cut it to fit, and Paul at Trim Line in Burlington wrapped it with a beautiful Canadian Heroes print logo.

Kim Lindsay helped me work out all the details and arranged for tickets for the crew and other staff that were coming. We planned a barbecue and she made sure everyone had Canadian Heroes shirts. By noon on the day of the race everything was in place.

Our crew for the day consisted of David, Jim, Peter, Bob and Perry all with various duties. David was going to be the head spotter and with Jim set up the car for Trevor. Bob and Peter worked with them as did Trevor’s brother Mike. Perry, Marco, Kim and Andrew took pictures and Victoria ran the barbecue and helped where ever she could.

I should have stayed home. I was very uncomfortable seeing my car on the track. It was the weirdest thing. I think I wanted to be out there more than I was worried about the car getting beat up. That to entered my mind, but I reasoned even I could be involved in an accident, however, no matter how much I tried to calm down, the only thing I could do was keep busy.

The day went well. Practice was good, the boys made changes on the car to get it right for Trevor. He had two things to get use to, the car and the track. He said he liked the car, “this is the best car I have ever driven”. Adjusting quickly to this track was another story all together. Even a seasoned vet, from another track may find the speed intimidating at first. The speed is much faster than that of any of the other ovals currently running in Ontario. Trevor not only had to get back in the groove for himself, but had to face the faster very competitive racers at Delaware, and there were 30 of them.

He finished 25th of 30 in time trials, 6th in his heat and 15th in the B feature. The track said at the drivers meeting that everyone would be in the race. One car blew up so 29 would start, and that was a great move on the tracks part not to sit anyone out.

Steven Mathews was the fastest qualifier with an 18:954, much slower than 2010 when Kyle turned an 18:540. It seemed the track was sincere on making sure the cars were competitive. Kyle qualified 5th putting him outside pole of Mathews for the first heat. Trevor was in the 4th heat. Kyle not only won the race, but won by 10 car lengths. The rest of the races were okay, but home track runners clearly had the advantage, and that would make sense at any track.

There was a 25 minute autograph session. Trevor did that himself. Everyone wanted me to be with him, but I wanted to stay away and let him be the focus not me. It worked out very well and he signed lots of shirts and gave away a few hundred hero cards.

We put a sticker on our current hero cards, dedicating this race to Major Damon Kemp Murray. He died the week before and his funeral was on Friday the 15th. His family very much appreciated that Canadian Heroes dedicated the race to their son.

The feature was good, 60 laps, no serious accidents. I was disappointed that Kyle was knocked out on lap one or two. He broke a suspension part and was out of the race early. Trevor avoided many wrecks, though he did spin out once.

Early in the race I noticed the left rear rotor was glowing. The right rear was okay, meaning it was the caliper itself. That would cause him trouble, but he kept going getting to mid pack by the middle of the race.

I was a crazy man, no doubt. With 16 laps remaining we were under caution and David’s radio went dead, he could no longer spot from the tower. That sent me swirling in thoughts of Trevor not knowing when it was clear high or low. Jim said he would have to spot from pit road. I said to Jim “you can only see part of the track”. He said “don’t worry”. I text Nonie at home and told her I was a nervous wreck. She said don’t worry, just pray about it, God will watch over our car. I tried to obey that thought but it wasn’t working. I told Jim “tell Trevor he needs to stop for us to check the car”. I wanted him to come in so he would be at the back where it was safe. Jim just looked at me and smiled. A lap later, with 15 to go, I yelled to Jim “tell Trevor it’s a 50 lapper, and the race is almost over”. I think I was driving Jim nuts as well as myself.

Trevor moved into 12th and with 10 laps to go there seemed to be a caution every other lap. I passed out twice when the car got in the middle of some wild spins. The rotor was glowing, sparks were coming off the car as he applied the brakes. It wasn’t good for a nervous car owner. He got up to 8th and then fell back to 11th. On the white flag he got a good run coming off turn four. We were all cheering, me to, but I think I was because it was over. Trevor passed the 9th place car right in front of us, but only by a fender. The outside lane had the momentum and Brad Corcoran got a good enough run to get by Trevor at the line by 2 inches.

It was a great night in spite of me being messed up watching. Trevor wanted a top 10 and got it, so I was glad for him. We had a lot of fun, everyone helped out making the night a great success, our crew and fans who came out and especially Kim Lindsay and her friends for all the organizing they did. Trevor’s Mom was like me, a nervous wreck, but for different reasons. So when the race ended, there were 2 people out of 7000 who were glad to see the checker flag.

I have met Chris a few times since the Delaware show. We are working on some preliminary ideas, there may be something in the works for us to do together with Canadian Heroes….don’t worry it will not involve me getting out of the car.

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Post by Gary » Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:15 pm

July 16th............Flamboro Speedway

Race #12

High Lites
* Happy 13th Birthday Gehrig!!!
* 16 cars
* Steve Laking wins
* David gets 2nd
* We get freight-trained again
* No cautions once the race started

Heat #36.........4th
Heat #37.........4th

Feature #36....7th
Feature #37....2nd


trans leak, repair rear bumper from Delaware, sand & delgaze brakes

Bob and Gerry

We may make the Doobie Brother’s song, “Long Train Running”, our theme song at Flamboro. I can’t ever remember being in the wrong lane so many times as we have in the past month. At a drivers meeting Jeff Stewart suggested slower cars go to the rear. Shawn Chenoweth said “it’s not fair if a terd is starting up front and you get freight trained because he don’t go”. I was the one who said the slower cars deserved to be there, and the new handicap system is the best in the past five or six seasons. So the fact our team is suffering from exactly what these two top runners complained about, doesn’t matter to me, I still hold to the fact they deserve to be there and we have to race them fair and clean. I’ve held my end of the bargain by not wrecking or hitting anyone in front because they’re too slow, in fact in three of the last four features we’ve gone from 5th to 12th twice and this past week 4th to 13th, and in every case by lap six. It’s not fun for our guys, even when I warn them before the race starts that we’re heading south and won’t be able to do anything about it. They do understand and don’t like it, but it’s part of racing, and though disappointed we’re not discouraged and will hope that the numbers work for us one day and we get to jump out front and win that elusive feature. Then we’ll celebrate…for a month.

Things went very well for us on Saturday, from every aspect except of course the CN express. Bob and I set the car up at home on the scales. We had to lower the chassis completely after the Sunset and Delaware shows. We replaced a bent eye-bolt on the right front and got weight distribution numbers where we wanted them. The car was good from the first set of hot laps.

We started last in the first heat. It was a heat of cars that were struggling and a little off the pace of the 2nd heat, where the top 8 cars in points average, raced each other. I knew this would be a tough heat, not because of the speed, but because some of these runners seem to take a lot of liberties with me. They are mid pack, and do have the right to be in the race but seem to lack respect when cars try to pass. A few reasons could be:
* they have no spotter
* they have one who doesn’t speak English
* they have a spotter they don’t listen to
* they have one who doesn’t know what he’s doing
* the driver ignores what the spotter says

Why the poor report? Because we were almost wrecked twice by the same car. We were clearly inside him coming off turn two, but going into three he dove down like there was no one there. I ended up on the apron and almost on the grass. The next lap the same thing only this time we were chopped coming off turn four. I was frustrated but did not touch him. He did it a again only this time the starter pointed the flag warning him to pick a lane. Finally I got by. But now we were 5 car lengths behind 2nd and 3rd. The leader, Brennan DiDero was gone, he was well on his way to his first race win. Meanwhile we did catch up to 2nd and 3rd and tried to pass on the outside but they got into each other, similar stuff, one blocking and the other impatient. We finished fourth and it should have been a race to gain points on the faster cars, but instead of gaining points, we figured we were lucky not to get wrecked.

The feature was more frustrating, but from a different point of view. We lined up 5th, that is until Brennan stopped in turn four so his dad could take something out of the cowl. I’m guessing a rag, That move got him black flagged because no crew is allowed on the track. Now we were fourth behind Jim Sweers who was outside pole beside #77 Matt Balog. Jason Lancaster was beside me and the wild bunch, the top guns, were right behind us.

I warned my crew this could be another bad deal for us. I had a feeling Jim could not get by Matt. I also thought maybe Jim does race him and they get together. On the white I was still doing a play by play with my spotter Bob and Gerry, of what I thought might happen. On the green Jim did go, but as we headed into turn one he checked up early and I got into him slightly. I had to brake very hard so I wouldn’t wreck him, but as it was, the check up sent cars spinning behind. We had a complete restart, and then I told Bob “ I think I should go scratch”. Bob said “don’t worry I’ll get you down”. “No you won’t” I said, “at least not until I’m at the back”. Sure enough on the next green we raced into one and though Jim did go in further, he was no match for the #77. Soon the inside lane was lined up singing the Doobie Brothers song “Long Train Running”. It was the most disappointing deal for us, and the third time in four weeks. Finally after 5 or 6 laps I heard clear low. That was great except now Jim was going to race as well and it took me 3 or 4 laps to get by him then another three to pass Matt. By lap 10 we were running 11th and the leaders were close to half a track ahead.

Now in open track we ran fast and hard but barely gained on anyone. Jeff Stewart got crazy loose coming off four and then left the track. The next thing was Paul Howse, he went flying through the infield. Later in the race Jason Lancaster got a rough ride and he to was sent to the infield on the front chute. By the time the white flag came out we were more than pacing the leaders but desperately needed a yellow ten laps sooner. We ended up 7th and for some strange reason I was happy, so were the boys. The car was fast and we all knew what happened.

Steve Laking won his third feature with David and Shawn right on his tail, in fact, the top six were running bumper to bumper. David padded his points lead and we fell back a little. Winning the title seems a stretch now, and even a top three is getting out of reach. We need some good luck over the next 4 or 5 races to close the gap.

Today was my grandson's 13th birthday and it would have been great to win for him, but it wasn't to be. Regardless he is a great young boy and I can't wait to race with him some time soon.

Special thanks to my crew Bob and Gerry for working together so well the past few weeks. We are due to get a win and they sure deserve it.

Next week is regular racing at Flamboro. Rick had a good night at Sauble. He brought the car home in one piece and learned a lot more. He will race again on August 6th at Mosport. My next CVM race is at Delaware on the 29th of July.

Congrats to John Karley for being the first Crate engine driver to win a CVM feature, taking the checker at Sauble Speedway.

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Post by Gary » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:15 pm

July 23rd.......[u:2njenzof]Flamboro Speedway[/u:2njenzof]

[u:2njenzof][i:2njenzof][b:2njenzof]Race #13[/b:2njenzof][/i:2njenzof][/u:2njenzof]

[u:2njenzof]High Lites[/u:2njenzof]
* 15 cars
* Paul Howse wins
* We get 8th
* David finishes 5th
* Dale Shaw wins Mini Stock feature (congrats)




body, maybe more, routine check

Gehrig, Gordon, J.J, Roger and special guest spotter Kenny Forth

My regular crew was not able to make it out this week. Bob was on holidays in Newfoundland, Gerry at a Stag N’ Doe, Marcello working, and Perry away with his family. Gordon and my grandson Gehrig were able to come out, and I got extra help from J.J and Roger, one of Rick Schurr’s pit crew, and David asked Kenny Forth if he would spot for me and Kenny graciously agreed. Most of our crew had not helped me this season, and though Gordon had been out most nights, his main role was pictures, plus I didn’t want him doing any work in the heat. The help from JJ was very neat. He is Gehrig’s dad and pitted for me in 1999, the year we won our 2nd CVM Championship. Roger has lots of racing experience, and only needed a little time to fit right in.

The boys did great helping me get ready for tech and hot laps.
We got through tech okay and sat down to go over the plan and strategy for the night. The idea was to run the old tires in the hot laps and heat race. Then we would put on our last Grisdale tires, another old set, but with only a few heat cycles on them, to run in the feature. The extreme outside temperatures allows us to run the older tires a little longer because we get the heat back in them and they will still work. For the most part they have been very good.

I was happy with the car after the hot laps. It was close. The times were not all that good, 15:6`s. I was hoping that was because of the heat, but not sure, the car seemed okay, no one was in the low 4`s or 3`s.

We were to start at the back of the first heat. I was beside Jeff Stewart, starting 8th. The front row of Brenden DiDero and Jason Lancaster took off. We fought on the outside for a while, finally getting by Steve Smith and then catching Bill Lasaline. Jeff was right behind me. I got under Bill and set my sights on the leaders but with only three laps left there was no way I would catch them, let alone battle for the win. DiDero picked up his second win in as many weeks.
The car was good, we decided not to do much to it, keep it close to the way it was in the heat. We were only 9 points out of third in the point standings and hoped for a good finish in the feature.

We started 6th, again beside Jeff Stewart. I was able to get a good run on the outside to fight with Steve Smith again. Steve is improving and getting faster every week. Everyone is fast on the straights, and all you hope for is they will give you room on the outside or inside.

By lap 6 we were in 3rd and catching the same lead cars from the heat. This time Paul Howse followed me right from the green. Our car was fast, so was most of the cars. We caught Jason Lancaster and followed him for a few laps trying to get under, but for the most part he was too fast off each corner and was driving very smooth. On lap 11 he got a little loose and I got a run off four but had to tuck in behind him again. Our car was almost perfect each turn, not tight or loose. Kenny was doing a great job spotting, letting me know Howse was right there but reminding me we were faster off and he would catch us going in. On lap 12, between turns one and two, Jason pushed up enough for me to get a run on the inside. We raced down the back chute and I knew I was in far enough to claim the spot. As we got closer to the end of the straight I was at his rear tire and there was no backing out, Paul was right there following me into the turn. Going into three I thought for sure Jason would give us the lane but he started coming down, like many of the cars I race against this year that guess I will back out or want to test me to see if I will. History says I will back out rather than wreck, but if I'm going to check up I make the decision much sooner than where I was with Jason. It's important to sense the car ahead and make the calculation at the right time or it's too late, and by now it was too late. As we started to turn into three I was cutting down on the apron trying not to get into him. The last thing I wanted to do was hit him, for the safety of my own car and for him. I like Jason and would never smash into him or anyone else to gain a spot, even to win a race. I was now at the point that my brakes had to be locked up as I tried hard to avoid the pending collision. However by the middle of the turn I couldn’t turn anymore and hit his left rear wheel with my front corner. The impact spun our car to the infield and once again we`d find ourselves at the back of the pack.

I pulled out on the track and was surprised to see Jason sitting in the middle of the front straight. I asked what happened and Kenny said he crashed on his own. I found out later his left rear tire was cut and he lost control of the car just before the start finish line. That was too bad, and though I was upset for our team, I felt bad for Jason, because I didn’t understand why he came down so hard, and now he was wrecked again, his second bad wreck in the past three weeks.

As I wondered how this could happen, I concluded they must have felt that I wasn’t in far enough, or that I would back out. If either was the case they made a mistake, it was clearly impossible for me to back out.

I headed for the pits and our crew checked it over. I asked specifically to check the tire pressure of the right front tire, the one that took the hit. It was okay, but the body had damage. Some duct tape and a little time allowed us to go back out and restart at the back. I was discouraged and knew it was over for us. Sure we could do what we’ve done the past 5 weeks, lose a bunch of track position and get back what I could. The cars are so fast and equal that restarting last with 18 to go is an impossible task to expect a top 3 or 5, and in this case a top 7. We did battle back but could only get to 8th. The toe was out and my attitude was somewhat on the negative side being very discouraged. I know once you get too far back without a caution it’s going to be impossible to get a good finish, and a good finish isn’t 8th.

We lost ground in the points chase, but there is still time to get back into it. We very badly need a good night. Our best feature finish this year is 4th. Last year we had a lot of nights in the top 3 by this point in the season, but we have no podium finishes so far, not to mention a feature win. It will be 3 years since our last Late Model feature win, and we are getting desperate.

Once again thank you to Gehrig, Gordon, Roger, JJ and Kenny for helping me. Kenny was awesome on the radio and that is so important, none of the boys really wanted that job, it can be very nerve wracking for a spotter but Kenny was great.
This weekend will be very busy for me. Most of my crew is still away, and the few I had this past weekend will be gone as well. I will be racing the CVM on Friday night at Delaware, then the Late Model at Flamboro on Saturday and hopefully the Late Model again on Sunday at Sauble Beach for their 150 lap `Beat The Heat`…..3 nights in a row, that`s awesome, my first triple header in 20 years.
[u:2njenzof][i:2njenzof][b:2njenzof]Image Factor Photography[/b:2njenzof][/i:2njenzof][/u:2njenzof]
[img:2njenzof]http://www.elliottracingteam.com/pictur ... 232011.jpg[/img:2njenzof]
[i:2njenzof][b:2njenzof]In this photo the right front fender is tore away after the contact with #33 Jason Lancaster[/b:2njenzof][/i:2njenzof]

Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Fri Jul 29, 2011 1:15 pm

July 29th..............................Delaware Speedway

Race #14

High Lites
* 18 cars
* Ron Easton wins feature
* We win heat....dedicate it to Bill Lyons
* Crash in feature running 6th



front axle, tie rod


Roger came with me to Delaware Friday night. Most of my crew were unable to make it. This would be my third race for 2011 with the Sunset show my final race.

Roger and I got to Delaware by 5:30 and the pits were full. We made two sets of hot laps. The car was very loose in the first and much better for the second set. There were 18 cars signed in, a decent car count for any class in 2011.

Tonight was special because it was July 29th. July 29th is special because 44 years ago I won my first ever race at Flamboro Speedway in a Wreck-em’ Race. I was hoping that tonight I could break my CVM jinx with some bad luck and ill handling cars taking me out of most races the past two seasons. It was also my first race since Bill Lyons passed away and we proudly ran a decal made by Linda Dean that said “Bill Lyons #9…..Thanks for loving us”.

We started 3rd in our heat. The CVM handicapping is a little different than in the past. They mix up the heats a little, pitting faster cars against slower. Our heat consisted of some good cars, Shane Stickel #39, Jason Keen #18 and Ron Easton #00. I got moved to outside pole for the start when Steve March #95 went scratch. Our car was quick getting the lead on the start. The first two laps I was very loose entering the corner, even after the changes we made after hot laps. Soon a yellow came out when Adrian Donkers #6 got hit and spun in turn three. I noticed Adrian walking to the lower part of the track then suddenly run to the upper side with his steering wheel in his hand. Murray Timm did a similar thing back in the 90’s at this track and it cost him. As I got closer to Adrian I wanted to yell out the window for him to go back to his car. He was too focused on his mission and besides I was up front, not wanting to do anything to give the Hobby watchdogs a reason to send me to the back.

Adrian would end up throwing his wheel at Ben Charbonneau #2 and pick up a disqualification for the night. His car was beat up very bad, so as far as he was concerned, he was already out for the night.

Shane was right on my tail the first two laps and I thought by lap two he was going to get under me. During the yellow I dialed in more front brake, hoping the brake adjustment would be enough to help me enter the corners faster and not sideways and get on the gas sooner. On the restart I was able to stay out in front with the hot dogs close behind. With two laps to go we were ahead by two car lengths and on our way to our first CVM win for 2011.

It was a great feeling winning this race. I don’t know if there has been a race in recent times that had so much meaning. It was only my 3rd ever Delaware win. The first coming in 1980, then a consi win in 1991 and now number three, on the anniversary of our first ever win in 1967 in a 55 Chev smashed to pieces. (left side of our web site…Demo Derby history…click on 1967)

As I came off turn four I noticed a waiting party at the start finish line. Wow, why so many people. There were four photographers an announcer and other staff “did I win the feature”??? I can’t remember ever being interviewed after a heat win, a nice touch by the track and more importantly a chance for me to dedicate the win to Bill Lyons. The crowd responded to the dedication, I’m sure many knew Bill, or knew of him.

I went to the pits but there was no tech. Roger and I high fived each other then got busy preparing for the feature. Adrian Donkers came over and asked if he could help and we appreciated the offer. He was calmed down and did not mention anything about being tossed for the night.

We filled the gas, had the battery on charge and was going over the final checks when the track called for line up. We were to start 3rd, nice I thought. Then for some reason I started to worry about tech. Ride height and offset were good, but I was concerned about the overall weight. I decided to take the car to tech and weigh it. We had to be 2400 after the feature. The scales showed us being about 10 pounds light if our calculations were correct. Starting up front meant we had a good chance to finish in a spot that would require us to be checked after the race. I immediately started in the Late Model pits looking for led. Matt Box team loaned us the only piece they had that could quickly be installed. Roger and Adrian got the drill ready and we found a nice spot on the left side that would even help with a little more left percent. We got it in, thanks to Roger and Adrian and the good news was I’m headed to pit row. The bad news, Dave Stephens met me and said I was late and had to go scratch. They wouldn’t allow me to take my spot in 3rd, even though Mike Williams would have waited for me, and it would have been no big deal to anyone, but I didn’t argue and stayed at the back.

The race went green for the first 19 laps. Our car was great as we moved from 18th to 8th by lap 19. Then a yellow came out when Jeff Shaw #81 got turned going for the lead. Jeff said he got turned, I didn’t see it. The restart had us 8th on the inside. The next three laps Mike Williams and I ran very hard and close. Soon another yellow and now I was 6th. Ron Easton, Jason Keen, Brian Atkinson, Mike Podd, Mike Williams then us followed by Ben Charbonneau. On the restart we all ran tight. Mike was trying to repass Podd who got him earlier. I was waiting for Mike to try to get under but the cars were too equal. On lap 22 going down the back chute the cars from 3rd to 7th were in a pack. Suddenly Mike Podd’s for Coupe quit right in front of Mike Williams. Mike let off the gas to avoid hitting Podd but it happened so fast that I could not avoid hitting the black #7 of Williams. Ben could not stop either and t-boned me very hard wrecking both our cars. We were unable to finish with a bent tie rod and axle.

After the race was over Brenda Atkinson asked me if Roger was a member. I said “Roger, are you a member”. He looked at me kind of surprised and shook his head and said “not that I know of”. I said to Brenda, Roger helps Rick Schurr, he came out to help me tonight”. Then she walked away and said nothing, and neither did anyone else. When we checked the final results we were scored last in the feature with the word “Pen” after it, meaning penalty. I asked Sharon what that was for and she said “one of your crew did not have a membership”. I asked why I wasn’t told that. She said the President would be over to see me. Dave finally came by and said “you should know better, were you not at the meeting, did you not hear that you have to have a membership to go on pit row”? I said “no I didn’t”. I wasn’t mad or even upset, the night was too good with the win and the car was finally running great for a change. However, now that I think about the penalty it’s quite petty. I’m glad I didn’t win the feature to lose it for that reason. Also not sure why I was confronted unfriendly, not the way the CVM use to deal with things.

Anyway, Roger still isn’t a member, but may be by the Mosport Speedway show. I guess the reason I rant about this is because it was an honest and simple mistake and didn’t cause anyone any trouble but brought with it a very serious penalty. Someone could have easily come up to me and let me know because I don’t run with the club on a regular basis and try to support the CVM every chance I get. On a few fronts the Vintage Mod’s are without any grace, forgiveness, or compromise the past few seasons. Maybe it’s the way of the future, maybe it’s not. Time will tell.

Regardless of the penalty, we enjoyed the night getting our 3rd checker at Delaware and dedicating the win to Bill Lyons.

Tomorrow we run Flamboro, our 2nd show of a triple header weekend.

Shane Stickle Makes Me Work For The Heat Win

Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Sat Jul 30, 2011 1:15 pm

July 30th........................Flamboro Speedway

Race #15

High Lites
* 16 cars
* Brad Corcoran wins
* We get dumped twice
* David gets 6th
* No full moon but crazy stuff going on




get ready for Sauble

Roger, Gordon (#37 crew Jim spotted for me)

I got home about 1:30am. I dropped Roger off in Brantford, I was so glad he came with me, it’s a long drive by yourself, and being tired. Roger said he would help me at Flamboro as well and that was good because having no crew or little crew at Flamboro the past few weeks has been a trend for me lately. I have slowly lost everyone, though Bob should be back next week, he is still in Newfoundland.

I told Roger I would meet him at the track by 4pm, but loading and getting ready all day Saturday was a handful by myself, plus I was getting ready for Sauble as well. I could have used some help.

Mary Miskiewicz was celebrating her 19th birthday on July 31st, and I wanted to do something special for her at Sauble Speedway. The first year we met she was 6, at an autograph session at Sauble. The next year, 1999, on July 31st, her and I got a picture taken on the front chute of Sauble. That picture was used in our 40th Anniversary book and is on the back of my current Autograph Card.

Besides getting my car, the tools, equipment, then cleaning everything, I still had to load the stuff I would need for Sauble. Tires, plus clothes, and toiletries and money. I also wanted to get Mary a card and gift. So by the time I got to the track it was close to 5:30, the latest I’d been all year, maybe in six years. It was kids ride night, so hot laps were limited, but we were able to make it out for one set, all I really needed. Roger and Gordon were in our pit to help. Roger may have been a little tired after Delaware, it was a huge blessing to see him out to help me. Jim Hulzinga talked to David and agreed to spot for me until Bob came back from holidays.

I decided during the week, after checking my tires, that I would run old tires again for the third week in a row. I would need tires for the Grisdale race on August 6th and could not really afford to buy them two weeks in a row, plus with it being another very hot night, the tires would be okay. If it was a cold night, we’d be in trouble, but the weather was far from cold.

There was no drivers meeting. There were 16 cars, making this the best Late Model season in the past five or six seasons for car count. My handicap points average has me right in the middle of the competition, putting me either at the back of the first heat or front of the second, depending on how many cars come out. Being at the front of the high points heat is okay if you’re running strong. You need to be to hold on for a win or a top three. The cars are very close, and with the narrow track surface, passing is almost impossible. Starting at the back of the first heat has more problems, that is, if you respect your competition. It’s almost impossible to pass with this group because too many won’t give a lane. Patience is mandatory if wrecking and shoving isn’t your style, so I expect to maybe get a top four or five if I start at the back of an 8 or 9 car first heat.

I was at the back again this week and did get up to 4th. Brennan DiDero was leading, Jim Sweers second, Bill Lasaline third then us. DiDero was gone and Bill was catching Jim. On about lap three Bill went into turn one a car length behind Jim and for some reason (maybe he thought Jim was coming down) checked up. I didn’t see Jim get out of control, he did get a little loose, but nothing serious. Bill’s check up resulted in me getting into him and Jason Lancaster hitting me. Both Bill and I spun out. What happened next is almost unbelievable. The track decides to send Jim Sweers to the back. Jim tries to fight it and is furious as his effort to get any justice is in vane. Jim goes to the back with me. I have never seen or heard of a racer being sent to the back for getting loose coming off a corner, ever. Blocking yes, and changing lanes or not picking a lane gets you a warning, but not sent to the back. The next four laps of this heat are nuts and to be honest, I get so discouraged trying to run against cars that are slower than me because they always chop me no matter how far I’m inside. I finally got going and with three laps to go got by one car giving us a 5th place finish and putting another nail in our coffin for trying to win a title, or even hope for a top 5.

After the heat we made a small chassis adjustment, there was nothing wrong with the car. We were to start 5th and at first I was going to go scratch just to get out of the way. I decided to take my spot and see if we could get any breaks.

This night had the best crowd of the season. If word of mouth was a contributing factor to increase crowds, what they would see in the Late Model feature alone would double the crowd size for next weeks Grisdale Triple Crown race. It was a good night in every way, close races, quick moving show. Dave Bailey won the Mini Stock feature with a Cinderella story after his wild flip the night before at Ohsweken Speedway, so the crowd was well entertained and prepped as the premier division rolled on the track.

On the green Brennan DiDero #24 got the lead from Steve Smith #27. Bill Lasaline was glued to the inside and I followed him. After about two laps we were 3rd and I was starting to smile just a little. It didn’t last long because now I was once again trying to get by or under a car without hitting him and would need more time than what was available. Coming off turn four Bill cut down and I backed out just a little, but it was enough for Brad Corcoran #05 to punt me and spin me to the infield. I wondered if the starter would send Bill to the back, it was very similar to what they penalized Jim Sweers for, but it didn’t happen.

While we were getting hit a huge wreck happened behind us on the same lap as cars were going into turn three. This was forming from the start of the race. On the green Shawn Chenoweth made it three wide going into one, then again going into three and again on the next lap. He was forcing cars on the outside to be hit or roughed up by racing on the apron. The starter never said anything about it, never warned him, so he kept driving that way. The starter really wouldn’t have time to warn someone for that kind of driving. It’s nuts to go three wide at the start of a race, and in this case with cars that were quick. Finally going into three on the same lap I got spun, David hit Shawn causing a wild wreck. Jason Lancaster could not avoid hitting David and messed up most of the left side of the Pennzoil body,

On the next restart we would go caution free until lap 19. DiDero lost the lead to Brad Corcoran who was followed by Paul Howse, Steve Laking and Jason Shaw then DiDero. I was still trying to catch up to 7th where a battle was brewing between Chenoweth and Chris Boschler. Chris was holding onto 6th and the two were catching the lead pack. On lap 19 something happened to Steve Smith and he ended up in the turn one wall with severe damage, putting him out of the race.

Our car was okay, maybe I was trying to get too much out of three week old tires. Meanwhile David was at the back with most of his body destroyed on his car. He went into the pits just before the track threw the red for Smith. His car was overheating. He was lucky the red was out, it gave his crew time to fix the radiator bag that collapsed and was not allowing air into the rad for cooling. They put a gallon of water back in the car and got their driver back out.

While we were sitting on the track I noticed Shawn’s car was overheating as well, water was coming out his spout on the passenger side windshield area. I told Jim that maybe Shawn was in trouble, of course he was, but not just yet, and not because of over heating.

On that restart, I was 8th and had a bird’s eye view of what was going to happen next. On the green Shawn got into Chris going into one. That got him by the #3, but it was unnecessary roughing, and the #89 would claim 6th, but it wouldn’t last long. On the next lap Chris paid him back by dumping in turn one and two. I was right behind Chris at the time and got on the grass to get away from Shawn spinning wildly in turn two. They sent both cars to the back. On that restart, lap 21, I was 6th. On lap 23 going down the back chute I made a move to the inside to follow Jason Shaw. I thought I was clear, but either Bill couldn’t stop or felt I chopped him and didn’t get slowed up and hammered me in between three and four. The cars flying into three tried to avoid the mess. David slowed up and then swerved to avoid Bill. Shawn came in hard and drove over the back of David’s car getting himself air borne finishing off what body panels were not destroyed already on David’s car. Then while David was sitting on the track, Shawn drove into the back of David and then drove over the front of his car. I would guess knowing he was done for the night, because his car was beat up a bunch of times, he was going to make sure he took David with him. No one saw the black flag, but most expected he would have got one for that, but then again who knows. This was definitely not a shinning moment for Mr. Chenoweth. His actions on the track, and later in the pits were totally inexcusable.

On this restart with 6 laps to go the race went fairly clean until the final two circuits when Jason Lancaster spun, I’m thinking with some help, but don’t know for sure. Most Late Models don’t spin on their own, they do however spin very easy when hit at certain spots on the track, when the car is most vulnerable.

On the final restart Jim told me that Shawn was waiting in David’s pit. Everyone knows you can’t go into another racers pit. If you do you could be suspended or disqualified for the night. The race finally ended and after the cool down there was more chaos in our pits. While we were on the track, Shawn was heading to the #37 pit with a jack handle in his hand. He was confronted by Linda Dean, Bob Monroe and the new pit girl. They took the steel handle from him but he proceeded to David’s pit and grabbed the handle from their jack. What was he thinking, why would anyone head to someones pit with a pipe? Shawn knows or should know better than to do anything insane like that. Try talking about it, that was ridiculous, just hearing about someone doing that was over the top nuts. Meanwhile we were still on the track. Once he got chased away he headed back to his own pit. I came off near the end and as I drove off a big crowd in Shawn’s pit were gathered and he pointed and yelled something at me. I pulled over and stopped but no one came to my car.

Meanwhile, David did the smart thing and left by the exit in turn four, that way he did not have to go by Chenoweth’s pit. Things escalated a little more from wondering what happened. The track has not said what they intend to do. At this point no one knows if there will be any repercussions toward Shawn.

Next week is the final Grisdale Triple Crown race and something needs to be said or done to make sure this doesn’t carry on. There is too much money involved with these cars to have grudges on the track. More importantly there should be a zero tolerance for entering another teams pit carrying a club.

I’m sure if fans saw the pit side of the craziness Saturday night, it would have had a reverse affect on them coming back. Feuds on the track are one thing, don't even start with fighting in the pits, that's crossing a different line and no one should ever go there. The only one to stop this or put an end to the crazy part of it is the track manager or owner. This part isn't good for racing, in fact, replacing hundreds of dollars in parts isn't either, but parts can be replaced, let's make sure it doesn't go beyond that, ever.

Special thanks to Roger for helping me tonight. Only Gordon was able to come out from my regular crew, and Gordon is one of our photographers. Also, to Jim for spotting, it was like old times for us.

Two nights gone from my Triple Header week end. We have one win, and an 8th in the feature. Not treated so nice at Delaware and a wild and crazy night on and off the track at Flamboro. It can only get better at Sauble....maybe.

I was able to head to Sauble Speedway with four 8” Hoosier tires on the car. I would buy four more when I got there. I left by myself because my family was away on holidays. I should have taken Shawn with me for company, we could have talked for over two hours it couldn't hurt.

Posts: 204
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Sun Jul 31, 2011 1:15 pm

July 31st..................Sauble Speedway

Race #16

High Lites
* 26 cars
* Jesse Kennedy wins
* We get 8th
* Qualifed 18th
* Lots of cars black flagged

Heat #1.......7th
Heat #2.......4th



cosmetic, transmission grinding

Kevin, Mary, Daryl, Adam, Jason

The marathon hit its toughest part driving from Flamboro to Sauble right after the races on Saturday night. I could have left early Sunday morning, but a 3 hour drive before a race is sometimes tiring, and I knew either way, at night or in the morning, I was going by myself. My family, Nonie, Shirley and our grandchildren were away on holidays, and my crew were in Newfoundland, away and the rest awol.

I left the track right after we changed the tires and gave David our 10” to take home. I had a set of 8” tires to put on and would buy another set when I got there. It was 10:07 pm when I pulled out of the pits. I was excited to be going to another race, but kinda sad that I was going alone. Shirley was going to drive from Fort Erie to Sauble to watch the race, and offered to spot for me, but really preferred not to. As for any other crew members? I would find some through Jason Legge and Glenn Schnurr.

I made one stop on the way up to eat, and got to Glenn’s at 12:40 am. The Sauble feature went longer than expected, so they were only home a few minutes before me. I text him from Mount Forest saying I would be an hour or so and he text back saying their feature had not gone out yet. Glenn lit a fire and we talked about the races and what we’d do the next day. Glenn had a ride in a Limited Late, so did Jason, so it was looking a little gloomy to expect any crew. This was a 150 lap race with a competition yellow at lap 75, so three or four people was crucial, though you could do it with less depending on how much you had to do.

In the morning Glenn went to his friends and I changed the oil and gears. There was a problem with the shifter as well, and the left rear quarter was beat up when I got hit in the feature the night before.

I got to the track about 3:30 and it was just as weird a feeling not having a crew, as it was driving up alone. Dale Shaw offered to help me unload the car, as did Brad Corcoran’s son.

Soon Daryl Henwood came by and I asked him if he would help me. The CVM were off, he was at the Miskiewicz cottage for the weekend with his family. He said yes and was a huge help. Daryl is married to Amy Miskiewicz, and of course, now she’s Amy Henwood. Mary, Amy’s sister, was there as well. Mary also offered to help, she wanted to be part of the crew that day, and there was something she could do with the radio’s and other things that are important. This race was on July 31st , Mary’s birthday. I had planned on doing something special for Mary, but had to work it out with the track. The track manager agreed to let me go on the track with Mary and get her picture taken with me just like we did in 1999 with the Hobby car. That picture is on this years Autograph Card.

Meanwhile I got introduced to Kevin Paupst who ran the Thunder Car class and was a multi time feature winner this year. He was glad to help us, and would be my head spotter for the night. He had no idea how glad I was. Daryl didn’t really want the job of spotter. Daryl did a great job helping me with the mechanical and technical things, including helping adjust the car. It was new to him but he did what I asked and after the first time knew what to do the next time. Daryl as spotter? I thought about it, but the only problem is Daryl would prefer not to talk too much, and I needed a spotter that would be constantly giving me feed back. If Daryl was an NFL announcer for TV, the key announcer on the play by play and I was helping with the side bits and colour commentating, it may go something like this.

Jets have the ball on the Lions twenty yard line. Jets are losing 24 to 18 with less than a minute to go. The quarterback takes the ball and drops back to the 25 yard line. The crowd is going nuts, TV audience as well. They're listening to the TV commentator.....it's intense
Daryl - - - - - -(silence not a word)
Daryl- - - - - -(silence)
Me..............hey Daryl?
Crowd......... Touchdown!!! Touchdown Yea!!!!!
Players are jumping up and down the game is tied with less than a minute to go and no time outs left.
Daryl..........Jets score.
Me.............yes Daryl, 15 seconds ago.

Okay, so talking isn’t his forte’ but he is a great driver and mechanic and wanted to help me and if spotting wasn’t his gig, I was okay with that. Even Kevin wasn’t sure how much talking to do but soon agreed to be a commentator for me, what I’m use to.

Our car was terrible in the hot laps. Three years ago I turned times in the low 15:0’s and this year I was in the mid 15’s. We kept working on the car until we got down in the 2’s but I was still not happy with how the car handled and because of that I decided to take scratch in the heat races to improve the car more.

After the drivers meeting the track manager sent me out on the track where I was able to get another picture of Mary and I for her birthday. She really appreciated it and told her family later that this was her best birthday ever. I’m not so sure it was the best, but I know she was happy and I was glad to make it special and very thankful to Sauble for allowing us to do that. Some tracks would not have permitted it at all, so thanks again Sauble.

We started last in our heat race. There were double heats. The car was terrible tight. Nine cars started and we finished 7th. I was concerned with even qualifying. There were 26 cars and the track was adamant that only 24 cars would start the feature and two were going home. Before our 2nd heat we made some big adjustments to get the car to turn seen a huge improvement. We started last again and ran on the outside for most of the heat getting up to 4th. That finish clinched a spot for us, putting our car 18th in the line up.

Jason did not qualify, missing the final heat and getting eliminated. He was down, but then offered to bring himself and Adam McCulloch to help us. Adam was a racer from the Mini Stock class but agreed to use the pit side radio’s and let Daryl and the boys know if I was coming in and what we would do. Our game plan was to take it easy the first half, stay on the lead lap and take a serious run in the final 30 laps.

After driver introduction we were set to go. The field was full of good strong runners from all over Ontario. We would run 75 laps and then stop for the Competition Yellow. The race was terrible from a fan point of view in the early going. The cautions took extremely long to get going again. Jason Shaw got the lead early and was ahead by a fair amount and broke a trailing arm bracket putting him out for the night. Jesse Kennedy took over the lead and was very fast as well. By lap 25 we had ran double in caution laps. On lap 42 the track started to count cautions because of the time it was taking. There weren’t a lot of serious wrecks, but there was too much rough driving, little respect shown by some of the drivers. Jamie Cox was running on the outside and got hit by Andrew Gresel taking APC Toyota out for the night. Gresel got a warning from the track.

Finally we got the Competition Yellow. We were running 10th when we came off the track. The crew did a great job getting two tires changed, the battery boosted and filling up the gas.

The second half of the race was crazy. The restart had Jesse inside and Jonathan Urlin on the outside. They ran side by side for many laps but Jonathan could no make the pass. He started to loose grip and fall back a little on the outside after a gallant battle only to have Gresel move inside. He ran with Andrew another 4 or 5 laps then coming off turn four Gresel went high with Urlin still there and took him into the wall on the front chute. To me that would be a spotter deal not telling Andrew to stay down. The damage to Jonathan’s car was immense and he was furious. All Jonathan knew was a white Spira car took him out. There were two white Spira cars, Gresel and Kirk Hooker.
Gresel had a piece of steel on his rear bumper sticking out and was given the black flag with a red spot in the middle of it. He did not leave the track after several warnings and was finally black flagged out of the race.

The race continued with a few more cautions and people getting black flagged. On about lap 125 we were running 10th and got hit by #43 Jay Doer. We went flying through the infield but had no damage. We restarted at the back with Doer right behind. His crew came to Adam in the pits and told him to tell me that Jay was sorry for hitting me. I said to Adam “tell Jay he owes me a hamburger”.

Shorty after this my head spotter Kevin lost contact when the batter for his radio went dead. He did an awesome job and must have been frustrated with my poor restarts. Anyway he was a blessing for the time he was on the radio. Adam took over and had listened to Kevin so knew what to say and how often.

With 20 to go we were running 10th and got up to 8th when Mark Watson and Dion Verhooven got together. They kept it up and got into trouble with the starter. Yellows were still counting for every caution, the track was running into a curfew issue.

The final yellow came with six to go. By the time we were ready it was going to be four laps to go. We were outside Sean Mcquirter and raced hard into one then again into three. At one point we were up to 5th and on the back quarter of the #21 who was 4th. With tow laps to go we went hard into one and this time the car broke loose in the middle and spun right in front of a pack. We were able to get going but the race was now over as the white came out. We ended up 8th and had very little damage.
After the race I heard all the yelling while I was still sitting in my car. Kirk Hooker was yelling at someone. It was Jonathan Urlin. When Jonathan came into the pits he knew a white Spira car put him in the wall and thought it was Kirk Hooker. In his rage and anger Jonathan took a piece of pipe and started to bash the inside of Kirk's trailer until someone yelled out "you got the wrong car, it wasn't him". I'm sure Jonathan feels bad, and will fix what he damaged. It was a bizzar event for sure kind of crazy like Flamboro the night before.

Special thanks to Glenn and Jackie for their hospitality and letting me crash at their place. To Jason for getting me the extra help we needed. To Daryl, Kevin and Adam for their amazing dedication and to Mary for all she did making sure I had water and lots of it.

We left about 1am to drive home…we?….yes Brad Corcoran came with me, there were three in his truck. Brad and I talked all the way to 401 and highway 6. I had a chance to ask him why he spun me out the night before….just kidding.

All and all this triple header weekend was a success.

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Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Post by Gary » Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:15 pm

August 6th..................Flamboro Speedway

Grisdale Triple Crown Finale

Race #17

High Lites
* 20 cars
* Paul Howse wins feature
* David wins Grisdale Triple Crown series
* David gets 2nd in race
* We get 8th in race
* Shawn finishes 7th in race....2nd in Grisdale Triple Crown series
* We finish 3rd in Grisdale Triple Crown standings

1st Heat

2nd Heat




Bob, Gerry, Perry, Gordon, JJ and Rich

Wow, I am slow getting this report done….see if I remember it all…I think I will it was a night of bad and good for us, mostly good.
We arrived early for engine inspection. The top 5 Late Models had already been teched a few weeks ago and it was announced the remaining cars would be done as well as visiting cars early in the morning. The rule is clear for Crate engines, you cannot touch it, no modifications at all. If at the end of a race your engine is teched and found to be outside of the limits allowed, you will lose the points and money for that night, plus all points accumulated and a one year suspension. I agree with that totally. If you race with an illegal engine you are gone. The key to this rule and penalty, is if you race with it.
None of the cars that were teched in the morning were marked previously, unlike the top 5 who had their engines marked the week before. Any one of the cars to be checked could have installed a different engine the night before, the week before or a month before. We passed okay, in fact everyone did but one car. The #49 engine was over on compression, needed to be 10 to 1 and was almost 10.4 to 1. It was a Crate engine and therefore did not meet the rule. Lucky for him he didn’t race the car or he would have been handed the most severe of penalties. No one knew in the morning they were illegal, well none in our team.

We made two sets of hot laps, one with our new tires. The car was okay on new rubber, but nothing special. I complained the car wasn’t right and we tried to adjust it to make it better. The car seemed unstable to me, much like it has all year. Our crew decided to check it over and see what they could find.

There was a drivers meeting and that's when things changed deeply for me, for the night and the future. One, the track announced the #49 had an illegal engine, found during pre race tech in the morning. I'm figuring they were lucky they didn't run the car. It was announced at this meeting the #49 team received the maximum penalty for the engine infraction found before it was raced. He was disqualified for the race he didn't run, had all his points taken away up until that point and it was announced he was gone until next August. I was too upset with the fact the track's mind set on Shawn had not been dealt with, that I didn't get the full understanding of that announcement until later. The other deal that bothered me was the letter the track gave David. They put both him and Shawn on probation for the rest of 2011. Why David? The letter is ridiculous. Imagine the points leader being threatened in a letter for dumping a car (Chris Boschler did the same thing to Shawn on July 30th as well) then being accused of blocking and diamonding the track. How maddening is that. The points leader, one feature win and 5 second place finishes. David gave me the letter to read and I was so upset that I balled it up and through it in the garbage. It was the only copy David had, so he fished it back out. The track asked David what he did to upset Shawn, to make him go nuts like that. "Well you must have done something" they reasoned? Anyway, that craziness filled me up for good, no more room for disappointments, bad calls, accusations, lack of fun, indifferent attitude, lack of care, a dark track, a narrow track and most of all not fun. Out of touch would be a fair assessment. As of this race, I have given up the fight to find fun, stability and reason to Flamboro Speedway. I can't do it....it's not fun...it's a center for ulcers.

I think I was more upset than David. He was cool actually. He came over to me and said "they've put me on probation for the rest of the year". He was hurt but said "that's it for me". I knew what he meant. I said "just do what you can to race for the title, you're still leading the points". He said "ya, for now". David figures they will be looking to get him for something, but to be honest, a points title isn't worth it when the odds are against you. He can do it, he will have to be careful and not be near any stuff that goes on around him. It's a terrible way to race for a points leader who has ran very hard and clean. One incident of spinning someone out doesn't bring this, but to justify giving the same letter to Shawn, who destroyed David's car on the track, hitting it several times, trying to take David out. I'm not upset with Shawn, but he knows like everyone else, he got off easy.

Now to the race.

The format for qualifying was the same as the other two shows. We ran two heats to determine the starting spots for the feature. In our first heat, starting at the back we could only get to 4th. I was disappointed because the car should have been better.

My crew checked over the car, I went back to tech to talk more to Donny Cox, I was still upset. When I returned, the boys were excited because they felt they found the problem with our car not handling. The right front tire was the wrong one. We had 4 tires mounted at Grisdale's during the week and they accidentally installed three EC-21’s on our car, and one EC-31. The track decided in 2011, to make the Late Models run a softer tire on the inside, the EC-21. That soft tire was going to help get cars through the ends better. All it did was mess us up, running 4 EC-31’s was the what we had for the past six seasons and should not have been changed. The track is too narrow, so the owners figure we should run a softer tire on the inside to help the cars on the outside run better. That is the dumbest thing. The only way any car can run on the outside is if the inside car lets him. The track is terrible to run two wide, though we do it, but at a huge risk, and usually with the outside car losing a lot of spots. The odd time a car will run on the outside and put on a show, and the track says “see they can do it”. No they can’t, and if one could do it, don’t you want it so 15 can do it? It’s nuts, but they don’t see it and never will. The track is too narrow period, outdated for fast cars….wow, I got on a tangent there. Okay, so back to the three EC-21’s on my car. EC-21’s can only be installed on the inside, but Grisdale's put one on the right front by accident. It was illegal. However the tires had not been painted before the first heat race, so everyone could change tires after the first heat. We took the tire off and set it on the door of our trailer. I looked for anyone from Grisdale's and soon found Bill. I told him what happened and he right away headed back to their shop to get us another tire. Meanwhile Mike DeLeeuw, now working with the track to help where ever they need him, came over with a paint can in his hand. I told he couldn’t paint my tires because one of them was wrong, but Bill left to get us one. He painted the other three and said he would be back after doing the rest and we will need to have a tire mounted on the right front for him to paint, and it will remain there for the rest of the night.

Soon they announced for the second Late Model heat to get lined up. We waited as long as we could, but we were now on the pole for this race. Finally we had to install our spare right front, a tire with over 15 heat cycles and 190 laps on it. We put it on, but hoped Bill would get there before we went out. Sitting on the grid my crew yelled to me on the radio that Bill was back, but we were ready to go out and the old tire had been painted. Incredibly, we won that heat race, but it was pretty. I did everything I could to win it and hold off Jeff Stewart. Jeff was good to me because a few times he was inside my rear quarter but not far enough for me to move over, but close. The heat win was our 4th win of 2011, better than the last three seasons.

David finished 2nd and 3rd in his heat races giving him pole. That meant the Elliott’s qualified pole for all of the Grisdale Triple Crown races. David had the first and final and our team won the pole on July 2nd.

We knew we were in big trouble for the feature. Our right front tire was now sporting 16 heat cycles and had 200 laps on it. It was wore out, but, because it was a very hot and humid day, it was usable, but time was up for #10. This was the 10th tire we bought in 2011. We start with the left front, then the right front, the left rear and right rear. The tire, #10, was the right front tire for our third set of the season. Trying to make tires last was hurting us performance wise, but saving us money we didn’t have. We fully intended to have four new tires for this race, but circumstances happened leaving us this scenario and we would do the best we could with what we had. Someone on another team suggested we flatten it and tell tech. I could have done that and likely no one would have known, but it would have been wrong. If the track sold me the wrong tire, they may have let me change it, but otherwise we were on our own.

The battle for the Grisdale Triple Crown was on the line. Shawn was leading, David 2nd by 2 points and we were third, 4 behind David and five ahead of Jason, 8 ahead of Paul to start the feature. During the week Flamboro was advertising about this race and never mentioned that David and I were in contention. David, the track points leader was only 2 points behind Shawn, but the only names mentioned were Shawn, Jason (who was 4th) Paul (5th) Brad and Jeff who were non contenders. The answer we got was the ads were already made up a month ago. However, a month ago the points were up, they knew the night of the last GTC who was leading and where everyone was. It just seemed unfair to leave out the car running 2nd who was also leading the track points.

Dave started inside pole beside Jeff Stewart. I was third with Shawn beside me. Jason was behind me and Paul was outside of Jason. The first lap was crazy, David pushed up going into one. Shawn moved in front of me. I got a poor start, and I left a big hole, the inside lane was open. Shawn got by Jeff, and I was slow again off four letting Paul get in front of me and he to got by Jeff who was stuck on the outside. I couldn’t get Jeff and he moved in front of me, putting us 5th with Jason 6th.

We stayed in a pack for about 7 laps, then Shawn fell back a little from David who was turning incredible times and perfect in the corners. Paul was now hounding Shawn while Jeff and I and Jason stayed close. On lap 9 we lapped #00 and #74.

The next 18 laps remained the same with David holding a 7 car length lead over Shawn. Paul was doing all he could to get by Shawn but couldn’t. I messed up in lapped traffic, giving way too much room to #77. Jason made in three wide, or tried to, going between the two of us. He couldn’t do it but got into me a little getting me sideways for a split second. I held on to 5th for another 5 laps and then on lap 25 he got under. Jason then caught Jeff and ran outside of Jeff for four or five laps. I caught up but really couldn’t do anything but follow. Jason got by and now we were single file again on this long green run from the start of the race.

On lap 37 David increased his lead over 2nd by half a straightaway or more. He was lapping cars up to 15th by now. Paul got by Shawn and was trying to find David who was on a rail. The race would continue green until lap 53. David was coming off turn four and Paul was going into three. Shawn was at the old pit gate, and Jason was coming off two. Jeff and I were in turn one when David was coming off four and we were running 5th and 6th. A few car lengths behind me was 7th to 10th and they didn’t know it but the leader was only a lap or so putting them down a lap. On lap 52 David passed Jamie Cox who was 9th putting him one lap down. The yellow finally came out on lap 53 when Brandon DiDero cut a tire. I say finally, but David sure didn’t want to see it. The yellow is often called the great equalizer and I agree it brings the race close for the fans, making it more exciting.
On the restart David had Paul outside and Shawn right behind him with Jason outside row two. We were 6th outside of Jeff. We only went a lap when some of the lapped cars got into each other in turn two. That brought out the caution. I felt we were in trouble now, that old tire was done and my car was very tight. With 22 laps left I felt I should go to the pits for an adjustment. We needed to make the car turn better. I didn’t really want to go in because we were third in the mini series, but I was afraid I was going to get hit or spun because I was pushing too much. We came back out in 14th spot and I knew I had to make sure I didn’t let Jason finish better than 5 spots ahead of me. Also, I had an 8 point lead on Paul and could lose a top three if either of them gained more than the lead I had. When the race restarted I was 5th in the GTC.

Meanwhile on this restart Paul got a jump on David in four and took the lead going into one. The three of them, Paul, David and Jason pulled away as some very evenly matched cars battled from 5th to 11th. That run went to lap 68 when the yellow came out for an accident in turn three and four. On the next restart they only went a lap and it was yellowed because of a bad start. David lost a couple of spots there but got them back on the restart. He missed a shift and didn’t get into 4th allowing cars to get by him, but the restart saved him. On the next restart he struggled again on the outside and Paul got the lead and Jason stuck his nose right under Paul and crowded David in turn three. By pushing David up a little it allowed Steve Laking to make the move on David but when doing so Steve cut his right front tire sending right up in front of David on the back chute. David checked up hard as did all of us behind and once again the yellow came out.

On this restart Jason was now 2nd with David third. Paul once again got the jump and Jason was now stuck outside. David got by him quick going into one and was followed by Mark Watson from Delaware. Jason was now getting freight trained. Brad Corcoran moved inside Jason and soon he fell to 5th. David now in 2nd was right on the bumper of Paul. We moved up one spot to put us in 9th. It was lap 72, and at this point we were in 4th in the GTC, but only the top three got any money at the banquet. The racing was hard when the yellow came out again when Bill Lasaline climbed the front straight wall and rode it all the way from the start finish line to between turns one and two. If they called the race, I would be in trouble. David needed to be Shawn by two spots to get the win, Shawn was in 8th, so David looked good, but anything could happen with three to go.

On the restart David stayed beside Paul and as they came off two Mark Watson who was third, got a little lose and David jumped back into second. Meanwhile Jason got by Brad on lap 73 putting him 4th, and tied with me for 3rd overall. With two laps to go we were able to get by Jeff Stewart to move into 8th place and a lap later Brad got by Jason. David was all over Paul at the end but settled for second and winning the GTC championship. Our 8th place finish gave us third by one point over Paul Howse.

This was a great night for us, all the controversy and we both end up in the top three, but most of all David getting the win. As the car owner I got a picture with David and his crew. Shawn Chenoweth came to David in the tech garage and congratulated him for winning the series. Shawn got 2nd in the mini series.

Our team did great considering we had a wore out tire on the right front. It was an exciting race for the fans and a great night for our team taking third in the GTC.

Shawn told me after the race, during the week, that he was not going to be running Late Models anymore at Flamboro. I told him to come back, and not to quit, but he says he’s converting his car to an OSCAAR Super Late Model. Hope he does well, he’s a great racer.

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Post by Gary » Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:15 pm

August 20th.........................Flamboro Speedway

Race #18...Memorial Night

High Lites
* 20 cars
* 50th Anniversary night
* poor crowd because of weather
* lots of race stars at the track
* Mini's & Thunder Cars get feature in
* Late Model feature rained out
* got heats in
* double features next week



get ready for Sunset...but rain is in the forecast

Bob, Gerry, Gordon

It was beautiful this morning, and throughout most of the day. The clouds and overcast took over around 4pm and never went away. The weather satellite showed a big storm coming our way but most of it headed south, and the rest hit Sunset Speedway, they lost their night.

This night was very special, and it’s too bad the weather had to be a spoiler. In spite of the Late Model feature not getting in, the Mini and Thunder Car features did.

The festivities were light, though the track management had an excellent huge cake and champagne for everyone in the pits. It was a combination of the Memorial night and 50th Anniversary wrapped in one, I think they should have done two nights for these special events. However, the threat of rain messed things up for fans wanting to attend. The past two weeks, crowd sizes were very good, but tonight was low, and I attribute that to the weather.

It was great meeting so many racers from the past. Bob Slack was there and I got a picture with him. All the drivers went on the track and got another class picture. I didn’t get to the hospitality building and so missed many who were there. John Hasselfeldt and Dave McKee dropped by to say hello after the races were cancelled. Rich Harris also came to my trailer and we had a great mini reunion.

We finished fourth in our heat race, the car wasn't very good. I had brought with me four used and four new tires. I wanted to get as much out of the old tires as I could. It was not the right decision, but lucky for me and David our feature got rained out. He to was trying to get another night out of used tires.

The race will be run next week, first feature on the track. The good news for tonight was the absence of any turmoil, however, Shawn kept to his word and did not show up in a Late Model. He did say he was running Sunset tomorrow.

We installed out 8" tires and unloaded only the things we were taking with us to Sunset the next morning. I put the car battery on charge and we agreed to leave around 10:30 and knew it was calling for rain, but that's racing and we were looking forward to going.

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