Diary Of A Season 2019

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:28 pm

July 6th.......................Full Throttle Motor Speedway

Race #9

Rick Woolner Memorial

High Lites
* 13 cars :roll:
* AJ Emms wins
* We get 5th
*We win our first checker
* Long run with no caution

Results
1st Heat.......1st
2nd Heat......3rd
Feature........5th

Winnings
* $300 purse
* $150 Best Appearing Car
* $100 oldest driver :mrgreen:
* $320 lap money

Repairs
Routine

Crew
Troy, Stephen, Skye, Buttons

Conclusion
....I always update soon after the race, but these were all lost and to go back and remember what happened isn't possible to be accurate. I had the stats saved in a book, they were protected

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:33 pm

July 12th............Delaware Speedway

Race #10

High Lites
* 12 cars
* AJ Emms wins
* We have fuel issues :roll:
* We have "chip" issues....even with the spare chip :(

Results
1st Heat.........5th
Feature.........11th

Winnings
$300

Repairs
Fuel issues, plugs, rev limiter.......6400 chip

Crew
Troy, Jerry, Skye and Buttons

Conclusion
.......I always update soon after the race, but these were all lost and to go back and remember what happened isn't possible to be accurate. I had the stats saved in a book, they were protected

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:49 pm

July 20th..............Sunset Speedway

Race #11

High Lites
* 19 cars
* Kelly Balsom wins
* Loose fuel cap puts us down 2 laps
* We climb back to 10th
* Race shortened by 16 laps from threat of lightning
* We think we could have been a top 5 car

Results
Heat.........3rd
Feature.....10th

Winnings
$300

Repairs
Routine

Crew
Jim, Lloyd

Conclusion
....I always update soon after the race, but these were all lost and to go back and remember what happened isn't possible to be accurate. I had the stats saved in a book, they were protected

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:53 pm

July 27th.................Flamboro Speedway

Race #12

High Lites
* 18 cars
* AJ Emms wins
* Non stop feature
* We have best night yet
* We host the VIP for Quaker State, great turn out

Results
1st Heat.......3rd
2nd Heat......2nd
Feature........6th

Winnings

$350

Repairs
None...routine

Crew
Jim, Louie, Troy, Katie, Doug, Kathy Buttons

Conclusion
....I always update soon after the race, but these were all lost and to go back and remember what happened isn't possible to be accurate. I had the stats saved in a book, they were protected

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:45 pm

August 3rd............Peterborough Speedway

Race #13

High Lites
* 15 cars
* Shawn Chenoweth wins
* We have poor outing
* 604 has to go :roll: ....too many penalties

Results
1st Heat......4th
2nd Heat.....6th
Feature......10th

Winnings
$250

Repairs
Change engine, routine

Crew
Jerry

Conclusion
....I always update soon after the race, but these were all lost and to go back and remember what happened isn't possible to be accurate. I had the stats saved in a book, they were protected

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Tue Aug 13, 2019 4:48 pm

August 10th...................Flamboro Speedway

Grisdale Triple Crown #2

Race #14

High Lites
* 18 cars
* JR Fitzpatrick wins
* Incredible save by JR
* We quality 16, lose brakes

Results
Feature.................16th

Winnings
$400

Repairs
Bleed brakes, all new fluid, routine check over

Crew
Louie, Troy, Katie, Randall, Buttons

Conclusion
....I always update soon after the race, but these were all lost and to go back and remember what happened isn't possible to be accurate. I had the stats saved in a book, they were protected

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:54 pm

August 17th...............Delaware Speedway

My Last Show At Delaware

Race #15

High Lites
* 16 cars
* Dale Reinhardt wins
* Another long race with one caution
* I have another terrible night at the big half (old tires)
* 504 gears.....not hitting the chip
* 602 come back not the best...hopefully next week

Results
Heat.........7th
Feature.....12th

Winnings
$285

Repairs
Routine, gears, prepare for Flamboro August 27th

Crew
Louie, Jim Bunting, Wally Wilson, Buttons

Conclusion
......Got my computer fixed but couldn't do a conclusion over the past few months, all that I did post after the racwes was lost. But I am good from here forward.
Well finally, things are starting to show up with me leaving Ontario and moving to Nova Scotia. It was very hard for me to think about the move without getting emotional. One of the reasons was the many people, family and friends I am going to miss. Yes I have family and friends in NS, but my children are here, my grand children, some very close family including aunts and cousins, as well as many many friends, good friends. All I am going to miss very much, even my enemies.

I'm also going to miss the race tracks I loved to go to. Sauble Speedway was always one of my favorite, that I didn't get to race this year, and won my 40th career feature at in 2018. On this night, I raced my last time at Delaware Speedway. Perhaps not my favorite track driving wise, I still liked all those involved, owners, racers, fans and staff. I kept the wrist band from this night and will put it in my scrap book for 2019. As I inch closer to the end of 2019 in Ontario, my heart is racing. All the many friends, business acquaintance people, like my Doctor, banking staff who are so nice, places where I shop often, Canadian Tire, they all know Buttons, my barber shop etc. It will be a tough few weeks trying to settle in, knowing Grisdale's isn't there anymore, I can't go to Walmart, or the places I visit and know the owners and staff. I will miss visiting my son at the Dealership, but will see him when he comes east. Maybe it's good I don't see him every day, but I do drop in to do a Stone Chip or visit once in awhile. Can't do that anymore.

All my racing friends, there are so many. Very nice great people that I love, promoters etc. Not going to be easy, but it is going to happen because we already have a house. So though it will be more lonesome when the time gets closer to move, I hope I also get more excited about going back to the province I was born. I have family in Nova Scotia and many racing friends, I won't be alone, but I will be sad for a time. God is great and will bring me and Buttons through this....so I am happy but also sad.

I decided tonight to run the tires I ran at the last 2 races. Flamboro Speedway July 27th and Peterborough Speedway August 3rd. By the time I got to Delaware these tires were tried. 145 laps, 12 cycles but still somewhat okay.....so I thought.

The car handled terrible all night. I made chassis adjustments to correct a tight situation, then another adjustment for a loose condition and nothing worked. I had the gear wrong and decided to change the gears before our heat race, and that was almost a disaster in that I narrowly missed starting in my heat race.

Louie had gone over to the grandstand to spot and Wally Wilson stayed with me to help with the gears. I had put in 486 gears, but were not enough. We put in 504 and while half way through it OSCAAR came by telling me I was out next. I was thinking as they were "we're not going to make it". We kept hustling and got the car on the ground and I started to get dressed. As I was putting on my fire suit I remembered I didn't put the plug in the quick change and thought for sure I was going to miss the race but Allen Adams came over and said "just get dressed, I will get this done"....and he did. The next time killer was putting on my Hans and hooking up the radio but the cars were heading out and I was just finishing tying up my shoes. "Hey Wally, forget about the Hans and radio, I'm just going out without them". That's a no-no, but I reasoned I was going to take it easy and just get the race in.

I made it out, caught up to the pack before the white, waved to the started to say thanks, although I don't know if he added a lap for me, but regardless I barely made it was thankful praising God that we would make this race. There's always something good about being in the race even though you're scrambling and not running good.

I was able to hold off 2 cars, the #11 Norman Newman was one, and though I had no radio I drove as fast as I could with the car not right at all....terrible....like it seems it always has been here. I think it's my mind, I think negative and don't do well. Anyway I did manage to be Norman at the line and finish 6th I think.

We made very little changes for the feature because there was nothing I could do. I did have a positive attitude really but my tires were 30 laps past scrap and I didn't buy new ones. Earlier in the night when Randy Roberts came by to ask if I had any tires to put in my inventory I said no. Then I asked how many tires I could add to my inventory and he said.....7. Wow, maybe 3 of them would have made a difference. I decided to run older tires at this track and save new tires for both August 24th at Flamboro and then September 21-22 at Sunset for their Fall Velocity. So I knew I would be off tonight and accepted my decision and why I did it.

Since our last race at Peterborough I pulled the 604 out of the Modified and the 602 out of my Show Car and put it in the Modified. Unfortunately for the 602, it didn't have a chance with 160 lap tires. But we will have 4 new tires for our next Modified race.

The feature went non stop long enough for Dale Reinhart to lap me, but the yellow came out and I got the Lucky Dog. I battled the final 10 laps with Rookie Bryan Batty #39 who eventually got by me. I could not drive this car into the corners, too hard to steer and it was all over the place. I started 16th and would finish 12th.....terrible period, but no damage and a chance during the week to tweak it for our next show at my home track Flamboro Speedway.

Congrats to Dale Reinhart for the win and to OSCAAR for putting on another great show.

After a dismal show at Delaware Speedway August 17th, I decided to rescale the car first thing Monday. What did I find? Nothing, nothing with the chassis that is. All the numbers were good, the ride heights were right on and all the weights were good.
Then I checked the tires and found everyone, including the left front wore out :roll:

I went to Grisdale Enterprises, the supplier for our American Racer tires and while there Adam Lockwood asked me how I did at Delaware Speedway. I explained that my car was terrible, he looked surprised and said "what happened". Then I told him:
"I put 4 new tires on the car on July 27th and ran great. I used those same 4 tires the next week at Peterborough, but the car wasn't that good but decided to use them again for Delaware Speedway August 117th, reasoning that the big track might get the heat back in them, but the car was terrible". Adam looked at me and said "really". I thought for a second "was he saying "really" because they should have been good still"......nope.....he was saying "really"?.....that I would think I could get 3 nights out of a set of tires that ended with close to 200 laps and 14 cycles each.... :lol: You didn't have to think long before you start to laugh.....I bought 4 new tires....after all Randy Roberts, our tire monitor for OSCAAR, told me I had 7 tires available to me.
Yikes, so we are all hoping Flamboro Speedway August 24th is a success with 4 new tires :mrgreen:

PS....I am driving the Late Model at Flamboro Speedway as well on the 24th, but will most likely be staying clear of any chance of wrecking because the car is sold, both are, but I can race the Modified, I feel very comfortable in that little rocket 8-)

Hope to see you there, thanks for visiting my site :)

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:19 am

August 24th..................Flamboro Speedway

Race #16
Double Duty Flop

High Lites
* 19 Mods
* AJ Emms wins
* We finish clean but not strong
* Worst feature in years
* 560 not hitting the chip

* 17 Late Models
* JR wins 1st feature
* Shawn Chenoweth wins 2nd feature
* Our car was not competitive, needs set up badly

Results Mod
1st Heat......4th
2nd Heat.....5th
Feature......9th

Results Late Model
1st Feature.....17th
2nd Feature....16th

Winnings
Mod.................$250
Late Model........$200

Repairs
Gears, routine, prepare for Ironman 72 at Sunset Speedway Sept 21-22
Crew
Jim, Louie, Randall, April, Hayden and Buttons

Conclusion

With time running out on my final few full time races in Ontario, the last thing I want to do is beat up my race cars, especially since they are both sold. I decided to run both cars tonight to support Flamboro Speedway, I only needed to race the Modified to keep my streak going but wanted to help the Pro Late Model car count.

I had a good crew this day, at least enough to get through the night. The Late Model was going to be the one I would take it easy with. The Modified has so much protection, but the Late Model is more open to getting hit....and they always have been, but with these cars being sold I want to present both cars basically unscathed to the new owners, the Wilson family, Paul, Steff and Wally.

The Modified was good and I did race it as hard as I could, but in a little defensive mood. We would finish 4th and 5th in the heat races and then take 9th in the feature.

The Late Model was terrible, all over the place, I couldn't get through a corner without pushing up, so I parked it in both features.

When we checked the Late Model over on Monday, ride heights, weight distribution etc, it was all perfect. Then I checked the tires and they were completely wore out.....beyond junk. This car will get new tires for it's next race out....but will still be raced with the 4 way flashers on :lol:


Thanks for visiting our site. :mrgreen:

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:35 pm

September 1st.................Eastbound Speedway Newfoundland

Race #17

834 Consecutive Nights

High Lites
* 15 cars
* Jamie #24 wins
* Newfoundland folks and racers are very nice
* Plan on going back in 2020
* We have lots of work just to get on the track

Results
Heat.............7th
1st Feature.....9th
2nd Feature....9th

Winnings
To the owner

Repairs
Brakes, seat, routine.
On the owner

Crew
Kevin Cantwell, Karl Tracey Buttons

Conclusion
Got back from Newfoundland on Wednesday the 4th. Had a great time on the Rock. The people were very nice. Kevin Cantwell came with me, as did Buttons. I was too stressed to leave her, and stressed to take her, not knowing how she would do in a small crate under the seat in front of me on the plane. She did awesome and I was so thrilled, making it less stressful coming back home.

Karl Tracey picked us up at the airport and took his to his house. We got settled, and drove Karl back to work and got the use of his car. We visited Phil and Gwenn briefly and made plans to go to the track on Thursday. I also contacted my cousin David Fitzpatrick who did some music to some of my songs I wrote back in the late 70's and early 80's, and the plan was to go there for Thursday afternoon.

Kevin Buttons and I stayed at Karl and Bonita's place. They were the most beautiful hosts. We had nice places to sleep, the use of their vehicle when we needed and some very nice special nights with Karl's family.

On Thursday we went to Eastbound Speedway, Phil unloaded the car I would drive and told me to take a few laps around the track to see the design and layout of the oval. I did so and noticed a vibration, and the seat quite big. Phil said Kevin Karl and I could go over the car on Saturday, then practice for a few hours to know the car and the track better.

Kevin Buttons and I headed to David's to do some music and got the chance to visit Bay Roberts and see David's Mom, my Aunt Audrey, and his brother, my cousin, Greg Fitzpatrick. We had a great visit and then headed to David's place in South River to do some music. I met David's wife Reesa and started on the music. A few months ago I sent a rough draft of my songs on guitar through another studio and David laid bed tracks of drums, base, guitar, organ, piano and harmonic, not on all songs, but on those we selected. There were 10 songs, and we got the vocals done on 5.

On Friday Kevin and I did some shopping and got some cushions for the seat from the Dollar store. That night Karl and Bonita took us to
his brother Sean and Anna's place for a Fish Fry, home made fries and breaded cod....mmmmmm so good. Later that night a guitar was produced by Randy, the brother in law, and we sang songs "Karaoke style". We left after a great night to get some rest for our practice session on Saturday.

Phil and Gwenn camped at the track and were there when we arrived. I took my car out for practice but only lasted 3 laps. The vibration was terrible. I returned to the pits and we discovered a slightly bent drive shaft. A friend went to get another driveshaft while Kevin, Karl and I went over the car. We found many things that needed fixing, including rear brakes, bolts, nuts, and removing the headers and collectors. By 6:30 we were exhausted and headed home about 7:30. No practice. The reason is because we put on different headers, but there was no collectors. We felt we would have them in the morning.
Once back in St. John's Karl made a call to get collectors and we headed to bed because we were all beat, and needed to get up early.

On Sunday we arrived early with the collectors Karl had, but they would not line up. After some maneuvering we finally got collectors to work and the car was ready for hot laps. I found the car very loose in those 10 laps, the only laps I got. We worked on the chassis, trying to set the ride height and got it much closer, We were set for the heat race.

Meeting
Joe Chisholm was at the track and conducted the drivers meeting and introduced me. I spoke for a few minutes talking about my career and racing philosophy. It was a great time for me,

Heat Race
I took scratch in the heat, in fact I decided to all go to the back for the night. These teams are racing for points and I didn't get enough time to know the car and the track. The owner of the car came over and I mentioned I was putting more pillows in the car. He told me the seat was for his son who was 6' 4" and 300 pounds. I'm 5' 9-10" and 170 pounds. :roll:

The heat was okay, we started 8th and finished 8th, did run with a couple of cars at the back but couldn't attempt to pass them. The car had some issues that would need to be fixed. After the race we scaled the car and prepared for the first 50 lap feature.

Feature
I had no spotter really, I asked Kevin but he out right said no. I asked Karl and though he wasn't really wanting to do it he did graciously accept the very tough role. I explained to Karl what I like to hear from a spotter and he jumped on the perch to do his best.

Starting last was okay for me. There were 15 cars. I wasn't comfortable in the car, didn't want to beat it up and other teams were racing for points, so really didn't want to be a factor in that, especially when I wasn't feeling the best in the car, I was pretty well holding on.

to be continued.....thunderstorm now.....

wow the thunderstorms continued the next night as well making it hard to get this story finished...but here goes


The car was loose when I tried to get on the gas hard. But if I was steady I could get on the outside of cars. I got so loose sometimes that I lost a lot of ground and soon, by lap 30 the leaders were moving in. I hadn't heard from Karl for 15 laps so I started calling out to him because I had no idea how close the cars were behind me and I knew they had to be coming. He finally messaged me and about a lap or so later I got lapped by #99 Wayne Walsh, followed closely by Phil Fowler. Just as Phil was passing me a huge plume of smoke came from his engine area and I checked up a little and he went from the high lane all the way to the bottom. It happened coming off turn 4 and Phil drove all the way around the track to the pit entrance between turn 3 and 4. The yellow soon came out, followed by the red.
I went a lap down, but was the only car a lap down.

The red flag was at least 40 to 50 minutes long. Drivers were able to get water from there crew members. Karl asked if someone else could finish spotting for the rest of the race. He felt bad asking, but not as bad as he felt doing the job....just too much pressure and does not allow the spotter to watch the race. I think Karl was enjoying the race up front and forgot about me :lol:

Fred Arsenault, Phil's spotter, came on the head set and said he would spot the final 16 laps.

Once we got going, his experience showed and we finished the race with no issues but losing brake pedal. I did manage to get by a car with 2 to go to move into 9th position and stayed there.

After the first fifty lapper we worked on the car, getting it tightened up. We scaled it, adding some wedge.
Phil meanwhile found the drain plug and filter had came off the car. He added oil, crossed his fingers and got ready to race. So Fred could not spot for me in the second 50. I got spot help from young racer Nicholas Codner.

He did a great job, talking constantly and though I wasn't really sure about some of his meanings, like "low".....I wasn't sure "do I go low, stay low or is someone low on me"......so I said when the yellow came out.....if a car is passing me Nicholas say "inside, or outside" and he agreed. He did a great job for a young racer.

We lost brakes by lap 3 making it impossible to go in deep. I tried and kept going until the car slowed down. It was very frustrating I though we fixed that when we bled the brakes. Anyway we didn't get lapped and with 6 laps to go we were racing in a pack of 4 cars, including Phil but with no brakes couldn't be aggressive. With 2 to go we got by Phil to move into 10th, crossing the line there. Two cars failed tech, giving the win to #24 Jamie Druken and moved us to 8th.

I love the track and the people, very nice. I hope to return in 2020. :D

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

Re: Diary Of A Season 2019

Post by Gary » Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:19 pm

September 7th.................Flamboro Speedway

Race #18

High Lites
* 15 cars
* JR Fitzpatrick wins
* We stay out of trouble

Results
Heat..........7th
Feature......15h

Winnings
$220

Repairs
none

Crew
Louie, Troy, Katie, Wally Wilson, Buttons

Conclusion
It was a cool night with the threat of rain, but it never came, making the corn roast a success again. Fans came over after the races to enjoy free corn and hot dogs.
Sept 7th 005 - Copy.JPG
Sept 7th 005 - Copy.JPG (113.16 KiB) Viewed 4626 times
Well about the races tonight. I must say it is very hard racing the Late Model knowing that it's sold and trying to hard to keep it in good condition for the Wilson family. I race this car conservatively normally. Many factors force a driver to race 60 or 70% of his or her potential. Those who don't care if they come out the next week will race hard, knowing if the car gets beat up it can sit or they'll fix it.

The many factors to racing hard are simple:
* do you have lots of money to fix the car
* do you have a good and dependable crew to help the driver fix the car
* where you are in the points
* how poor are the pay outs, can't buy one tire a night and still lose money
* car is sold and need to keep it clean

Those are my reasons and factors. I don't really care too much about the pay out because if I am running for points I have to race as hard as I can to get points to help keep me in the hunt. Once I get to Nova Scotia and race in the Maritime Pro Stock Tour my thoughts on racing will change back to racing as hard as I can, but still being smart how I race.

This night was a little different than a normal night, twin 30's. Instead of double features, we ran a heat and 40 lap feature. In our heat race we finished 7th not last. I started 13th in the feature and almost lost my mind thinking I should race hard. I soon fell to the back where it was the only place to keep the car clean but dropped off so much that the long green got me a lap down. Once we got to lap 25 I decided to park the car and watch from inside the car.

JR started 8th in the feature and by lap 20 he was leading and 5 laps later he was almost to Mount Forest, so far ahead of second and the pack. He lapped every one but the top 4, and some of them bought new tires.
Congrats to JR and his team for winning the feature. JR is one of the best racers in Ontario Late Models right now. He has been dominating everywhere he runs and good for him.

I appreciate my crew standing with me, knowing I would be running with the 4 Way Flashers on :lol:

I have 3 more races with the Late Model and 4 with the Modified. My biggest race of the year will be this weekend at Sunset Speedway
The Ironman 72....Twin 36 lap features.

There is an opportunity to vote for us for Best Appearing Car, but only on face book.

1)......Go to OSCAAR Racing.....then Message and PM them your vote for Best Appearing Car.
2)......If you go to the race on Saturday at Sunset Speedway, go to the OSCAAR booth and vote there
The winner will be announced on Sunday.
Ironman 72      Twin 36 Promo - Copy.jpg
Ironman 72 Twin 36 Promo - Copy.jpg (88.21 KiB) Viewed 4626 times
Thank you for visiting our site. :mrgreen:

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