Diary Of A Season 2019

Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:39 pm

September 21...................Sunset Speedway Fall Velocity

Race #19

Ironman 72 Twin 36 Weekend

Consecutive Streak 836

High Lites
* OSCAAR and Sunset Speedway honor my racing in Ontario
* 19 cars
* 89C (Kamwrath wins feature)
* Non stop 36 laps
* We get lapped
* Great crowd

Heat #1.........5th
Heat #2.........3rd

See Sept 22nd, combined finished in both features

none...make car better

David, Jim, Dave Wickens, Gehrig...Buttons

This was most incredible memorable weekend for me, my family, crew, sponsors and fans. Dave Gainforth, President of OSCAAR worked a deal with Sunset Speedway owner Brian Todish to have this event in my honor because I would be leaving for Nova Scotia and wanted to recognize me for 51 years racing in Ontario.

Dave called my about 6 weeks ago and asked me if I was okay with a special event for me called the Ironman 72, Twin 36's. I was overwhelmed and naturally said yes right away.

Here's how it came to be. During the Spring Velocity in May, the show was lost to rain, the features that is. We did qualifying on Saturday, but no feature on Sunday. Sunset Speedway paid OSCAAR for the full show but asked them to add 10 laps to their remaining 3 nights at Sunset to help make up for the lost feature. We ran a 50 lap feature on June 29th but the July 20th race was cut to 34 laps due to a severe storm in the area, lightning, high winds etc. So that inspired Dave to suggest the double features to make up for the lost races. His invention was the Ironman 72....Twin 36's. The track said they liked the idea, and I said yes instantly. The only deal was the pay out. OSCAAR would get one full pay for the Saturday race, but nothing for the second race. Dave then felt we could sell laps to help provide money for the drivers who would be running an extra feature, and 22 extra laps. I offered to help with the lap sponsor program. After a few weeks I was able to raise close to $4000 through friends, family, business owners and race fans. I was so happy to accomplish that, and OSCAAR and the rest of the Modified drivers and business sponsors that Dave got gave us a total of close to $6000 clear after all expenses were taken out. We made flyers to hand out, 700, and had a special memory gift for every Mod driver that raced that weekend. We also agreed to split evenly the lap money with all the drivers. Every driver got their regular pay for the first feature and an even split on the lap money....a win win for everyone.

I arrived Friday night after a "Show and Tell" in Cookstown for a young race fan who wanted to hear my engine. I unloaded the car and started it up for this youngster who was very excited.

There were some special awards to be given out for the weekend as well. A Hard Charger award was sponsored for the car that passed the most cars, one for each race. Also Brad Pearsall sponsored $200 for the Best Appearing Car. It would be a vote based on face book votes and fan ballot voting at the track. The winner would be determined on Sunday and presented a trophy and a cheque,

We made 2 sets of hot laps on Saturday. The car was good in both. We put on new tires for the second set. Dave and Jim were there. Jim spotted both times out. Dave Wickens was a huge help with setting up the pits and working with the tires. We were happy with the car after both hot laps, but decided to start the heats with the tires we ran at Flamboro Speedway the week before.

In the first heat we started 5th. There were 3 heats to split up the 20 cars. We were somewhat disappointed with our performance, taking 5th in this race. I was shocked at how bad the car was compared to the practice session. We finished 5th and I was fairly certain that might take us out of the invert. The invert applies to the top 8 overall cars, and a 5th isn't enough to get you in the top 8, unless it's backed up with a win, then it's possible to be in the top 8 to qualify for the invert.

In the second heat we started 4th and ran okay, but not good. We finished 3rd in this one, putting us 11th overall, out of the invert, but I figured that.

We started 11th in the feature. The car was actually decent, but we had the new tires with only 8 laps on them. We had a few good battles in this race. The toughest was with #55 Ken Hayward. We ran hard side by side. He was fast on the straights and we were fast through the corners. After a few laps running neck and neck we were able to get by and pull away. Ken was smoking as well and eventually pulled off.

By the time we got into 10th, I was being hounded by #20 Mike Hearty. Mike and I were side by coming off turn 2 and he hit me fairly hard but not intentionally, his car pushed up. I had to back out or end up taking us both into the cement. Once he got by he was gone.

On lap 26 I got the move over flag. The Super Late Model 89C was coming. Jim told me he was not close yet. But soon he got by with 7 laps remaining. This feature would be non stop. Kamwrath, driving the Super Late, was a full straightaway ahead of the 2nd place car #10 Kelly Balsom. Kelly didn't lap me, got to 7 car lengths behind. We would cross the line in 10th.

After the feature I came out to get my picture taken with the top 3....89C, 10 and 14. I really didn't want to do that. I felt so bad being off that much and worse getting lapped by the SLM.

Dave and Jim were not disappointed, but I was very disappointed. I was being hard on myself. David called me later and told me some points that I didn't think of.
1) I lost a lot of time battling with the #55
2) I lost a lot of ground with the light contact with #20
3) It was a non stop race
4) I got lapped by a car that smoked the field, no contest'
5) Our car wasn't that bad
6) We can make it better for Sunday
After that call, I felt much better.

Jace and Jenny drove Buttons, Lloyd and I to Lloyds and Suzettes. We stayed there the night and had a great sleep. It started raining about 2 am. Buttons woke me at least 3 times, 4-6 and 7....."are you kidding Buttons" :roll: I was so tired from her waking me up three times. :lol: But she's so sweet :mrgreen:

Congrats to Andy Kamwrath and the Chenoweth team for the win.

Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Mon Sep 23, 2019 2:50 pm

September 22nd.....................Sunset Speedway Fall Velocity

Ironman 72 Twin 36...#2

Race #20

High Lites
* 18 cars
* 89C (Andy Kamwrath wins)
* We have great run finish 4th
* We win Best Appearing Car



Routine for Octoberfest

David, Jim, Dave Wickens, Gehrig........Buttons

We talked before the races on Sunday. Jim asked me a simple question. "Forget about getting lapped, tell us how the car felt when you drove it", I thought for a minute and said "I felt unstable going in hard on the outside". That's all him and David needed to hear. They got busy right away. David had the car jacked up and began adding wedge to the car by adjusting each shock. They made another change to the rear pan-hard bar. David said "that's it Dad, that's all we can do, I have no idea how it will be, just drive it".

Before the races started I was called to the tech building, I saw my car there, and then I saw Brad Pearsall's car pulling up. I was thrilled that we won Best Appearing Car. This was the first time I won Best Appearing Car twice in the same season with the same car. We won at the Rick Woolner Memorial in July as well. It felt very nice to win this award. Thanks to all those who voted for us on face book and at the track.....very much appreciated.
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I was reminded by Dave Gainforth to come out on the track behind the top 3 after the races because "this is your night Gary". I promised not to pout this time no mater how I did. :)

The overall payout would be based on the combined finish of both races.

The invert was 5. We started 10th. I thought about the race while we waiting on the line up grid, up behind the race track. I prayed, like always that our car would be good, that I would be wise, sharp and that God would build a hedge or protection around our car and keep everyone safe.

I felt great about this race. My family was there, David, Shirley, Debi, Derrick, Gehrig, Lauren, Kim, Tom and Joanne. I was pumped really, a good attitude to start this 36 lap memorable race.

My first battle was with the second place car in points #18 Jason Keen. Jason was fast, but I was able to stay with him, but then fell off a little. Soon the first of four cautions came out putting us in 8th. I got by Jason and moved into 7th.
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A few laps later the #10 of Kelly Balsom hit the #16 of Anthony DiBello. The caution came out and that put me into 6th because the #16 wasn't considered an accident car, so just Kelly went to the back.

A few laps later the #15 of Brad Pearsall and #11 of Norm Newman were battling hard and came together in turn 4. They got heavy damage and collected the #51 of Dale Reinheart and #20 of Mike Hearty. Craig Downey was driving John "Spider" Harpers car and was involved but no damage.
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On this restart, with 3 to go we were in 4th. Jim was so excited as was all those here cheering us on. David came on the radio and said "you and the car look great, doing awesome on the outside. You are a top 5 for sure, just don't overdrive, great job". Those words and those of my spotter were very calming and encouraging. Gehrig was in the pits with Dave Wickens and chimed in saying the car looked great.

As we were taking the white Jim said "don't worry, just keep doing what you are, you've drove a fantastic race". I was excited to see us this far up so late in the race.

I restarted 4th. Going into one I was outside DiBello. The SLM was already gone. I got a great run off two but AJ was trying to get down to the inside lane, but Anthony was there and the two of them came together. I wished AJ could have got down because the outside lane would have been mine, but they slightly touched forcing me to check up a little. The #16 would get by AJ and I followed him as soon as Jim yelled "clear". I was on the inside with AJ but he got a good run to the white flag. 89C was gone, #16 was a solid second and AJ and I battled the final lap but I couldn't really get him though we crossed the line close, us in 4th and all I heard from my spotters was cheers of joy as he congratulated me for an awesome race. I congratulated him as well for doing an awesome job spotting and to David for giving me the best car I've had all year.
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I was so excited to bring my car to the start finish line with the top 3 cars. It didn't feel awkward, but more than that we had such a great run. Once I got out of the car David, Jim, Gehrig, Dave, Shirley, Kim and Joanne all came on the track. They were crazy excited, you would have thought with the joy from our team, that we were the winners....finishing 4th in a race like this was a great finish for us, and for me personally I doubt I would have been any happier winning. I desperately needed a finish like this to make this season more memorable, but this weekend sure did that for me.

It was a great turn around from Saturday to Sunday for our team bringing joy to all of us.
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Congrats to Andy Kamwrath for winning this race as well.
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Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:02 pm

September 28th.................Flamboro Speedway

Race #21

Hi Lites
* 13 Cars
* JR wins both features :lol:
* long red in the second feature
* We keep clean.....2 more features to go in the Late Model

1st Feature...........12th
2nd Feature..........10th


None...prepare for Full Throttle Motor Speedway

Brian and Buttons

We did a show earlier today at Canadian Tire in Waterdown. I left there around 2:30 when it started to rain. By the time we got to the track it stopped raining.

I was kind of pumped to race the Late Model but had to remind myself the car was sold and I needed to just drive the car, not really race it. Fans came over for a photo Ken Cowell's children. Ken also got a used Modified tire from this years inventory.
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I was also out of pit crew for this race. Brian Watson, who I hadn’t seen since June, came to both the show and the races. He had to spot for me, not something anyone can do without some practice. He did his best in the hot laps in spite of poor radio transmission. I could hear him fine in our pit, but once I got on the track I couldn’t hear him at all. I went one lap and pulled off.

In the second set of hot laps it wasn’t much better but I could get a few laps in.

It was a cold damp night, not many fans, and that’s understandable considering the rain, and forecast for rain all night. Buttons didn't mind it too bad, it wasn't hot so she was good. :D
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I decided again to take scratch in the first of two features. There were 13 cars.

The first caution came on lap 2 when Tyler DiVenanzo somehow got turned and flew into the wall between turns one and two, hitting the left front very hard and the back end of the car. It took quite a while to get the #97 off the track.

At this point, though early, I was very frustrated with the reception from the radio. I could not hear Brian at all other than constant static.

I stayed out checking the car for any issues, but everything was good. I ended up pulling to the infield as JR Fitzpatrick was about to lap me. We ended up 12th.

We added AV gas for the second feature. We fixed the radio, adding an antenna. It worked perfect in the pits, like the other one, but to my joy, it worked on the track as well.
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In this race we started 11th. Early in the race there was an issue in the pits and the ambulance had to leave. We sat in our cars, under red, for 40 to 50 minutes. Once we got started the race would go non stop.

I tried several times to pass the #18 of Dave Gallinger but could never get far enough up for his spotter to say “inside”. I thought I was in, but Dave came down into my lane, forcing me to check up. Eventually I stopped trying and would finish the race in 10th.

Congrats to JR Fitzpatrick for winning both races and clinching the Flamboro Speedway Championship. He sure has been the most dominant Ontario driver this year, and good for him, his family and team.

The car finished in great condition, not a mark on it. Tomorrow we got to Varney for the High Bank Nationals, their version of the play-offs. There are now 4 tracks that have multi day specials to close the season. Velocity at Sunset Speedway, Full Throttles HB Nationals, Octoberfest and the final race of the year Autumn Colors at Peterborough Speedway.

As I get closer to the end of full season racing in Ontario my heart is getting sad. I knew this day would be coming, but 5 months ago it wasn’t an issue. I have 3 more races to complete 2019 and then I am done racing full seasons in Ontario, where I have lived since 1950, and raced since 1969. Going to be hard for the final race, but so glad it will be with OSCAAR, who have treated me so good.

Thank you Dave Gainforth, and all those who have supported me track and promoter wise, as well as competitors and fans.

God bless you all my dear friends.

Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Sun Sep 29, 2019 7:14 pm

September 29th................Full Throttle Motor Speedway

Race #22

High Lites
*6 cars :oops:
* Alex Hastie wins
* We get Hard Charger Award ;)
* 639 gears
* No damage


$25...... Hard Charger sponsored by John's Towing serving Elora, Fergus, Arthur, Mount Forest and Elmira

Prepare for last race with this Late Model in Ontario :(
Change gears, reset bar

Brian, Paul, Wally, Kody, Amanda, Shawn and Buttons

Brian, Buttons and I left for Full Throttle Motor Speedway at 8:30. We had hoped to get there by 10, but made good time pulling into the track at 10:20.

The first thing we did was to install 639 gears for this tight quick short oval.
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The Wilson family had delivered 4 rims to Gord Bennett to have their Towel City recaps installed. These tires are used by a few series and last much longer than any of the racing tires used in other series. Naturally they are much slower, but all fans really want is close racing. If everyone is on the same tire it’s fair, and if those tires are less expensive, it’s a home run for all teams.

Both Paul and Wally Wilson were at the track to help us. We also got help from Amanda Thorne, Shawn and Kody Cook.
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We missed the first set of hot laps while getting the tires mounted. We did make one set of hot laps. I felt the car was loose off.

While in the pits I decided to add more wedge to the car. It was loose exiting the turns and I felt more wedge would help. While preparing to set the bar to add a turn, I noticed the bar was loose, like no bar at all. That would make the car very loose. We set the bar and were as ready as we could be to race in this 50 lap feature. Kody Cook, the Kids Stock 2019 Champion helped gas up the car with the Wilson's.
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Once lined up on pit row, it was disheartening to see only 6 cars ready to go. But I reasoned there was no sense in complaining because those who did come were here to race, and that was more important than worrying about car count…….although……this would be the smallest feature I have ever been part of. I would start at the back because I wasn’t here the day before.

Prior to the start of the feature there was a driver introduction. Jim was in the tower and decided to introduce me last. Dave Middleton was on the track and interviewed me about my move, my last race at FTMS and some of my stats. They treated me very well. In fact, Gord Bennett treated me fair and with respect, I felt at home this day, and I do like racing at this small high bank quarter miler.

The radios were working great today. On the start we were able to get into 5th and follow the 3rd and 4th place cars close. I could see they were rubbing early.
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On lap 4, in the middle of turns one and two the 4th place car hit the 3rd place car causing them both to spin. I just barely escaped hitting them, but got clear and into 3rd place.

The next 45 laps went green and we settled into 3rd with no one close to me and the second place car about 10 car lengths in front. The car was a little loose off causing me to lose some ground, but we would cross the line in 3rd, with more cars behind us, than were in front.
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Brian did a good job this time, he gets better every time out.
It was kind of weird, but whether there is 6, 16 or 24 cars, someone will win and the win is legit. Congrats to Alex Hastie on the win.

We were surprised and thankful to get a bonus of $25 for being the Hard Charger in the race, sponsored by John's Towing. :mrgreen:

We headed home around 4:30 and again….no damage….but with a decent pay out, thank you Gord Bennett.

Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:07 pm

October 6th................Flamboro Speedway


Race #23

Consecutive Streak....840

High Lites

* 19 cars
* SLM wins
* We fight for strong finish
* 560 final

Late Model GT3
* 22 cars
* Shane Maginnis wins
* Final race for me at Flamboro
* 648 final (412 quick change final)
* No goodbye, thanks or a word from the promters

Heat #1........3rd
Heat #2........7th

Late Model

Late Model

None.....deliver Late Model....
Prepare for Autumn Colors

Paul & Jason Douglas, Bob Periera, Brian Cowel.....Buttons

Okay, I got some pictures from Peter Anderson and Derek Smith and it's time to finish this report.
I was not feeling as good as I should have for this night. I was hoping my crew would be there. Sickness, injuries and other life events made it impossible for my core crew to make it to the race Sunday. I was very thankful Paul and his Dad, Jason, were able to make it. The weather was unstable in the morning and even they were reluctant to come if it rained, they have a long drive, but they did, and it rained, but it cleared.
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Paul Douglas
Here are some of the pre race things we do:
- unload the car
- unload tires
- unload jack and stands
- start generator
- prepare radios
- set out racing gear
- set up Buttons mat, water and treats
- double check tire pressures on the Late Model
- double check tire pressures on the Modified
- put radio in Mod
- put radio in Late Model
- sign in for the Late Model and draw for position
- sign in for the Modified and draw for position
- make sure Modified inventory is handed in
Most of these items don't take a long time but for one person it takes too long and with interruptions constantly, most of them normal, fans asking questions or teams wanting some info, takes time, but with 2 or 3 helpers we get it done. Some crew members work very hard, others are not sure what to do, leaving the load on me and whoever knows what to do.

Can one person handle this? Sure, but most likely it takes the fun out of the night. That gets more frustrating when the cars need extra attention and when the driver brings two cars....but this is the last time for double duty.
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Paul was good with the tires and checking the pressures. Brian Cowell, a fan, came by and helped where we could use him. as did Jason Douglas. Our biggest help was from Bob Periera who agreed to spot when it appeared no one was going to make it. Bob was my crew chief and spotter from 2011 till 2014, and knew the routine for pre race set up. Though he couldn't help with any pre race things, he was able to spot, and that was very important.

Once the list was done we got ready for the first set of hot laps. Bob got on the head set and when the green came out we got going. Unfortunately I got the black flag by lap 2......leaking fuel. That would end our first set of hot laps.
Once in the pits we found the fuel cap was not on tight and fuel was easily able to escape. That was the second time this happened this year and about the 7th in my career.

We got it fixed and were ready for the next set of hot laps but the rains came, not real hard, but long enough and hard enough to put us in an hour delay.

I decided not to practice in the Late Model for several reasons. It was sold, an easy target to get beat up, and I had no intentions of racing it very hard, and 100% didn't want to present to the Wilson family with any damage. I decided to wait until the feature and take it out and race as long as I could staying on the lead lap.

Meanwhile Bob returned for our second set of hot laps. The track was dry and I got to get out and see how the Modified was compared to our race last weekend at Sunset Speedway, where the car was very good.

We managed to get a full 10 solid laps in the second session/ The car was good, strong but a little tight, an easy fix in the pits.

Before the first heat race, with the help of Paul and Jason, we cleaned the carb, and then with Brian's help we raised the rear pan hard bar about 1/2" to help it turn in the middle.

In our first heat race we started 5th and battle with some good cars. There were 2 heats with 9 and 10 cars in each heat. We finished 3rd in the first heat. At one point we were 3 wide with #69 Wally Wilson, and #21 Chris Milwain.
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I had 3 new tires that I had considered saving for the feature. After some deliberation with myself I was reluctant to do that. In 2005 to 2011 when we used the EC-31 we always scuffed them, 3 laps at three quarter throttle, then 5 fast laps. Once in the pits we would size the tires for the feature. We normally would do that on the second hot laps, but tonight we lost that with the leaking fuel cell.

I called my son David and he reaffirmed my thoughts saying to put the new tires on for the heat race and he suggested to raise the pan hard bar, but I already did that. Enter bad judgment consequence by not scuffing the tires in during the hot laps :(

We started 4th for the second heat race. I tried to get as much heat in the tires as I could as we went around under the yellow. Remember I said we used these tires from 2005-2011 and always scuffed them before using them in a race situation? So this was the first time I would try stickers for a heat race :roll:

On the green coming off turn 4 I got crazy sideways. I lost 1 spot right off the bat and lost 2 more before we got lap one completed. Started 4th and in no time was running 7th and stayed there. It would take at least 5 laps before the tires were good to race and by then the race was out of hand for me.....lesson learned......a lesson I already learned years ago. :oops:
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We started 9th in the feature. The car ran well. The tires were good but I couldn't make a lot of ground. A pile up in between 3 and 4 sent Kelly Balsom flying around. A bunch of cars were involved. He was hit but not sure by who. The track was blocked but I was able to get stopped, slightly hitting Craig Downie driving the #79 of our late friend John Harper.
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We gained a few spots there and soon got into 7th. The race went quite a while without a caution but soon noticed the black flag pointing at me. I didn't feel anything wrong so I kept going until my spotter, Bob, told me I got the black, and then I pulled down between turns one and two to ask Jamie why we were blacked. He said we were leaking oil, gear oil.

Heading to the pits Bob told me the car was leaking oil. Someone said "you're done". I yelled "find out where it's leaking". Bob and Paul jacked up the car and got a jack stand. Meanwhile they were cleaning turns one and two with speedy dry. Bob tells me "the fill plug came out of the quick change". An easy fix for something that was put in properly after the gears were changed. Bob ran to the trailer and got another plug and put it in. A track official said "you leaked a lot of oil". I said " I know we're fixing it". I asked Bob to make sure the fuel cell and bars were all l wiped clean to make sure we could get back out.

He soon told me to get ready and put the car down. I headed to the pit gate so thankful that Bob got us back out. Once there I noticed they were still cleaning the track. The corner man talked to me about my last race at Flamboro and asked if I was running ACC next weekend next, I told him we would be there. Then he said "I have to check the car to make sure the leak is stopped". When he checked I heard him tell the track official "it's not leaking, it's dry".

We got back out with 8 laps to go, didn't lose a lap. It was so good to make it back out. Motto...."if you're going to drop oil on the track, hopefully no one gets hurt in it, and also, drop enough to give time to fix the car" :lol:

The next few laps were crazy. We were in fierce competition during the last 8 laps and managed to pull off a 6th, a home run really, because without Bob's effort, I may have not retuned and ended up 16th or worse.

Congrats to Andy Kamwrath on the win.
I went out in the Late Model for the last time this year. The track officials said they would interview me after I went around the track twice behind the pace truck, waving at the fans both front and back straights. But when I did that, while out front, the pace truck pulls off with me in front of the field and no practice on these tires. What a joke....so I pulled off. :roll:
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Waving at the fans
There was no interview and nothing from Flamboro Speedway officials or owners for my last race.....after being here since 1972....really!!!!!!!!! Yup :o :oops: 8-) My emotions went from sad to angry to whatever. Fans cared and a few drivers. My OSCAAR family was good to me as usual, Dave Gainforth and his staff always treated me with respect.

I stayed out in the Late Model until lap 25 and pulled off before I got lapped. Shane Maginnis would take the win in his new Junior Hanley car....good for him and JR.

Our next race is ACC, looking forward to this last race in Ontario, and with the Modified. It will be a very competitive race no doubt. 8-)
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Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:59 am

October 11-13th..................Peterborough Speedway

Autumn Colors

Race #24

841 Consecutive Nights

High Lites
* 17 Modifieds
* Andy Kamwrath wins in the Super Late Model OSCAAR Modified
* AJ Emms wins title
* We finished 6th in the points
* 560 gears

Heat #1.........2nd
Heat #2.........5th


Wilson Family has the car......none really.....go over for 2020

Jim, Kenny, Gehrig, Marie, Dave Wickens, Ryan and Buttons

Home almost set up completely, working on the shop....I will be posting soon about this race and the move....stay tuned I am very tired but excited :)
The final full time race in Ontario was run on the Thanksgiving weekend at Peterborough Speedway, during the annual Autumn Colors Classic.
I left home Thursday morning, got my hotel room and the trailer dropped off at the track. Buttons and I stayed at the Comfort Inn in Peterborough, a nice place and close to the track.
On Friday I was fortunate to have some crew at the track, Marie Claude would spot for me this night, for hot laps and our heat race.
I was somewhat apprehensive knowing that I would be delivering the car to the Wilson family on Monday and didn't want to do any damage to the car. I was also stressed mentally and physically with all the packing, preparing and organizing for the move to Nova Scotia, that would be just 5 days away. I should have been relaxing this weekend, so much going on, my last full time race in Ontario, my last full time race with OSCAAR, going to be racing my Modified for the last time, going to be missing all my wonderful friends, racers, their families, the promoters and their staff, all my fans and those close to me was all eating at me this weekend.

I wanted to do really well for my final full time race in Ontario, but there was just too much on me to relax and enjoy it all.
On Friday night I started pole in the hear, thought I could win it, but after leading most of the race got passed (not fairly) by #16 who would go on to win, and we would get second. After the race I softly hit him to let him know I didn't like the way he drove into me to get by, but he admitted the next day, "that's the way I drive". I apologized to him, not sure he cared much, but I meant it because I shouldn't have done that. Adrenalin, stress, being tired and disappointed all played into it. Marie did a good job spotting, it was the first time I got to have her spot for me and I was excited, she is such an awesome person and dedicated this day to spot for me. I also appreciate the help from Ryan and Dave, my crew for the Friday event.

Saturday Jim, Kenny and Gehrig came to help and Shirley and Derrick arrived as well. On Saturday night we started 8th and finished 5th. It wasn't a tough run, full of fast cars, 8 laps, not a lot of time, but we survived. I found out my 2nd place finish wasn't going to count and I would only be counting points for the 2nd heat race, putting us 13th for the feature on Sunday of a 17 car field.

Saturday night, Shirley, Derrick, Jim, Kenny and Marie went for dinner and it was a fun time.

On Sunday the track did a nice intro for me, reading off my stats and accomplishments while we were lined up on the front chute. The race was good for us, in that we did not damage to the car but would come home in 12th place. I was disappointed for that, but had to look at the big picture, no damage and the car ready to deliver to the Wilson family the next day.

Congrats to AJ Emms for winning the title. Good for him and his team. It was good to see Cory Horner out as well. He raced good as always but no one had anything for the Super Late Model #89C, winning their 4th consecutive feature.

I drove home alone after the races, another tough deal because I was so tired and had so much to do over the next 2 days. Buttons and I were wore out by late Sunday night, got a good sleep and headed to Owen Sound late Monday morning to deliver the Modified to my good friends the Wilson family.

After that we went to Suable Speedway and picked up some lights that had to go to Scotia Speedworld outside Halifax. Those lights filled the back of my truck, but I wanted to help Joe Chisholm and the promoters of the track, so we found room for them to fit (just) in my truck and they were heavy but were snug.

I got home late Monday night, again just exhausted, had friends coming over Tuesday around noon to load the trailer and finishing packing the few things that were left till the end, like fridge, some dishes, bedroom and bathroom things. Once everything was taken out, I cleaned all the floors, counters and left the place in good condition like I got it.

I am very thankful to Bill Grisdale and his family for giving this place to live. I was in desperate need for a place like this and Bill provided it for us. Buttons and I were there for the almost 4 years. I was able to race my cars, get organized, save some money and most of all get restored. God was so good to me. Bill gave me my notice in April of 2019. Bill was very gracious to give me 6 months to move, allowing me to finish my race schedule in Ontario. Even so, I was shocked, but soon my kids took pressure off me because they were waiting for this day to come and had already talked it over and had a plan.

I was completely blessed by my children, David and Shirley, and my son and daughter in law, Derrick and Jeannie, who collectively decided to buy a home in Nova Scotia for me and Buttons, a place I could call home, a place that I wouldn't have to leave or worry about leaving for as long as I live. They flew to Nova Scotia on May 25th weekend with 4 place to look at. They kept me updated and we all agreed on the same home. A beautiful home with lots of room in the house, and a huge garage, perfect for all my collections and a race car. I am so thankful for what they did for me. I had been thinking about moving east earlier in the year, but was reluctant to do so because all the places I checked out were not suitable, though affordable. What my children, son and daughter in law did for me was incredible. Soon I will post pictures on here of the move and many pictures.

I want to thank also those who helped me pack. Tom, Kim, Joanne, Troy, Katie, Randall, April and Ken were so good to spend hours helping me get things packed. My neighbours, Amanda and John Grieve gave us lots of boxes and she made treats for us to take with us on our trip when we left.

Brian Cowell, Wally Wilson and Ken MacLennan were so good to help pack the trailer on Tuesday and then head east with me. Brian did an amazing job packing the trailer so I got everything in. We had 2 full trailers to take with us and left Ontario at 10pm October 15th.

Soon pictures of the house and shop...both are settled and ready. Thanks for your support and visiting our web site :)

Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:52 pm

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:09 pm

Home now and getting rested after an incredible 3 months of non stop work....but Buttons and I are settled and very happy.

Here are some pictures of our new home and the progress in the shop.
I paid 2 contractors to do the painting but got help from Bruce Elliott my cousin with setting up things, as well as Shannon Riley with cleaning the trophies and emptying boxes......much appreciated. :D
When this project started, seeing the garage like this created a big sigh of "are you kidding' :roll:
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Boxes everywhere
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Because the chip board was put on backwards, (still good) the ink was showing and needed special paint to cover it.
I had 2 contractors, John and Brian do this while I got the house finished inside.
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These brackets were blue for the past 10 years, so I decided to paint them green for Quaker State
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I used fast drying paint....because I was in a hurry to get this done as quick as possible...before I ran out of energy. I was pumped :D
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They tuned out pretty good
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Moved everything to the center of the garage to put a floor down, I could see a different vision (man cave) :mrgreen:
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I bought the flooring and had John and Brian put it down for me.....I might have wrecked it ;)
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Love it
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Now I was on my own to finish the rest
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I put up 2 shelves and then realized they needed paint :roll:
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This was the tough part....sorting and saving, wanting to get it all up
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I had to get everything out of boxes so I could arrange the shelves
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I kept finding boxes full of racing stuff....it was causing me stress...but I took a breath and kept going
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I got some rails and shelving for my oil, filters and other products....I was happy how this turned out
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I had been saving hood of my Late Model since 2008 but could only put up 5....so I put up 2008, 2010, 2013, 2018 and 2019.
2008 my 40th year...and horses on the hood
2010 with the new Quaker State design
2013 my 40th year with Quaker State and my 45th racing
2018 my 50th year racing
2019 my final year in Ontario
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-top row feature wins and other special awards
-middle 2 rows center all for Quaker State
-David's awards and special moments middle bottom row
-far right bottom row, Shirley, Nonie, Gehrig and Laurens awards
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Cars Collection
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Buttons was so good but......"Are you through tearing boxes, snapping bubble wrap and nailing things.....can we go in the house now" ....not quite baby :lol:
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Dart board up.....a great place to play darts.....Man Cave complete....yes Buttons we can go in the house now :mrgreen:
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