Weekly Report (13 to 19 November 2017)
The lead up to this past weekend was quite uneventful with not too much on my agenda, but when Friday came around , I was raring to go.
It was one of my favorite off season functions of the year. The annual DIRTCAR Awards Banquet at the Holiday Inn , Syracuse. New York . As usual it coincided with a trade show at the nearby New York State Fairgrounds, which allows many to attend both.
In the past it was known as the Parts Peddlar Show, but with new people running it, the new name is the North East Racing Parts and Trade Show.
Joining me on the road trip down to Syracuse was my good friend Chantal Lesage who would be joining Rob Yetman and his Championship winning Pro Stock team.
We left Cornwall , Ontario mid-afternoon on Friday for the three hour drive . To pass the time on the journey down, we cranked up the music.
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After a couple of stops along the way , we were pulling into the Trade Show at the Fairgrounds around 5-00 pm .
I didn’t take long before we met up with our friends Rob from Albany, NY and one of his sponsors Becky Hamel of 10.000 R.P.M clutches from California who was there to promote her company.
I wandered around the show and chatted to the many friends in attendance.
Canadian companies were well represented too, and included Lafrance Performance, BERT Transmission, KIRKEY Racing Seats, Trick Race Parts, and Bicknell Racing Products.
Yves Lafrance who builds some of the sports best racing engines was at his booth.
His brother, Stephane , runs the Trick Race Parts company, Chantel is seen here demonstrating ‘The Stiper’ , one of his latest products.
BERT Transmission is another well respected Canadian company, owned by Bert Robidoux . A few years back I was given a tour of the factory at St Constant , Quebec, by Bert.
At the KIRKEY display I found , friends Luc Lalancette and Doug Young.
While I was at the Bicknell Racing Products stand, I met up with two of the most hard working ladies in Dirt Racing, Erica Bicknell Jones . ( daughter of the legendary Pete Bicknell) and Charlotte North Carolina, based Gina Fernez from the World Racing Group.
Before leaving the show to register at the Holiday Inn, how can I forget bumping into Ms VP Race Fuels Dylanne Kae. Thanks Chantal for taking the pic.
Once settled in to our rooms , Rob, Chantel , Becky and myself headed down to the local Tulley’s eatery for supper.
It was excellent food and I really enjoyed my seafood platter.
Afterwards it was back to the Holiday Inn for a beer or two.
On Saturday morning following a hearty buffet breakfast , I set off back to the Fairgrounds for day two at the Trade Show.
Apart from the expected meeting up and chatting with friends, the other thing I looked forward to, was the Media Seminar hosted by Mike Mallett and George Smith of DIRT TRACK DIGEST and Short Track Super Series promoter Brett Deyo.
Many media members were in attendance as well as aspiring new ones from the fan ranks wishing to move into this area of the sport.
I didn’t stay long once the seminar was over, and was soon back at the Holiday Inn in time for an afternoon nap. It was going to be a late night.
The Banquet started at around 7-30 pm following the customary cocktails at 6-00pm .
Added entertainment for the guests, included a magician , who somehow managed to ‘magic’ one of Matt Shepherd’s 100 dollar bills to the inside of an un-pealed orange. Very Impressive !
Once again the food was excellent.
When the presentations began , I joined the other specially invited photographers, back stage where the official presentation pictures were taken.
All the various drivers in the points tables of all four divisions , Pro Stock, Sportsman, 358 Modifieds and the Big Block Super DirtCar Series, were there to collect their spoils.
Matt Shepherd collected his Super DirtCar Series Trophy
Steve Bernard won the 358 Modified Series
Dave Marcuccillo got the Sportsman Championship.
My friend, Rob Yetman got the Pro Stock Championship.
With the dinner and presentations all over it was time for the party to begin. I joined the revelers for a while before heading to bed in the early hours.
It was snowing when I woke up on Sunday morning and after another of the great Holiday Inn breakfasts , Chantal once again joined me for the ride back to Canada.
The snow got worse the nearer I got to home, and by the time I pulled into my driveway, there was two inches on the ground.