Mid February 2018 Report

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Mid  Mid February 2018 Report

As always for me, my February begins with my Birthday on the 1st. This year it fell on a Thursday , and I spent the day in the Ottawa/Gatineau area where I had lunch with my good friend Chantel Lesage,

Two days later on Saturday the 3rd, It was the annual awards banquet for the Cornwall Motor Speedway. It was being held earlier, this year than in the past, which was good for me. ( I prefer being held February than  April)

As in recent years it took place at the Township  Hall in Long Sault and I was there as usual to take a few pictures.

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Things got underway around 7-00 pm and started with an excellent sit down dinner. Once over, it was the awards and the picture taking began. As you can see , there was plenty to be presented, so I wont mention every recipient. 

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The various track champions were, LEFT TO RIGHT Marc Dagenais (Ministock)  Chris Raabe (Modified)  Justin Lalancette (Sportsman) and George Renaud (Pro Stock) .

The annual Mitch Jock Award went to Mike Ladouceur and the Ron Morin Award went to Steve Morris.

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Chris Raabe made a clean sweep in the Modified Division, by not only winning the Track Championship, but the Canadian Nationals Series and Doiron Cup . 

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Here I am with Chris and his array of Trophys. 

I left the banquet soon after the awards to return home for some photo  editing.

While I was at the banquet, and chatting with Marc Dagenais, he reminded me that he would be Ice Racing the next day at Beauharnois.

So , on Sunday morning (4 Feb) I made the short drive  there and had my car parked up on the St Lawrence Seaway in time for the mid-day start. The good thing about this ice racing track, is that you can watch from the warmth of your car.


I try to get to Beauharnois at least once a year, but missed out last winter. As usual there was a good turn out of both compact and big 8 cylinder cars. 

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Once I’d seen the heat races, and had got myself a good quota of pictures, I made my exit.

After a week of even more snow in my home town of Cornwall , Ontario, I was pleased that things let up for the weekend of 9/10/11 Feb.

I had never witnessed Indoor Racing before, and not too far away, in Albany , NY some  was taking place at the Times Union Center on Friday and Saturday.

Also taking place that weekend in the same area were the AMEC Ice Racers at Lake George on Saturday and Sunday.

It was the perfect opportunity to visit two new tracks if the weather and my health situation cooperated. I had to play it by ear right up until Friday morning when I would decide if I was going or not. 

When I woke up, the weather was OK , and I was feeling good, so about 9-15 , I set off for Albany. After a steady drive down, I was on the outskirts of the city by 1-30 pm, so booked into the Motel 6 just off I 87.

The Times Union Center where the racing was taking place, was located in down-town Albany and about a 20 minute drive from the Motel.

Albany NY (Indoor Race) 9 Feb 2018 www.rickattheraces.com
Albany NY (Indoor Race) 9 Feb 2018 www.rickattheraces.com

It was easy to find and I was able to sign in at photographers credential desk by 2-00 pm.


Mike Knappenberger, fellow TRACKCHASER and Photographer.

It wasn’t long before I bumped into many of my ‘Tog” buddies..

While looking round the pits. I found one of my local Dirt Modified drivers, Ryan Bartlett, driving one of the TQ Midgets. I chatted with him for a while about the recent news of his family taking over the running of my nearby Can Am Speedway at Lafargeville NY.

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The TQ Midgets were topping the bill with Slingshots in support.

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DSC_0163 (Medium)I took a few pics of the afternoon practice laps before relaxing in the media room until start time.

















While wandering around the food concessions looking for a coffee, I bumped into my good friend Rob Yetman, the top driver in the DirtCar Pro Stock division for 2017.

There were more photographers at the event, than space would allow on the center, so we doubled up, and I took it in turns with friend Mike Petrucci.

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Mike stayed on for the Slingshot Feature which was won by Steve Svanda.

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I went out for the Midget Feature, which after countless cautions, was eventually won by Anthony Paine.

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It was good to see Dylanne Kae doing her duties as Grid Girl, especially after all the recent talk of these girls disappearing from  the higher levels of auto sport.


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Once the main event was over, I headed back to my Motel.

The Indoor Races at Albany became # 230 in my TRACKCHASER Totals,

Like I said at the start of the report, I would be playing everything by ear on this trip, and with Fridays  Indoor race at Albany, now in the books and with rain  forecast for Lake George on Sunday, I decided to drive back in the homeward bound direction,  and take my chance for the Saturday session.

Lake George only happens once a year during the towns Winter Carnival and its been on my hit list for a long time. Quite often it’s been cancelled due to weather, but after reading an on line message confirming  that Saturday was definitely on, it decided things for me.

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I arrived about 10-00 am at the beach in Lake George and parked my car on the frozen water , close to the pits. The racing was being organized by the AMEC group, a racing club, I’ve been familiar with for many years.

I was there in good time to listen  to the drivers meeting that was conducted by club president Dave Burnham.

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Dave has been racing on the ice for as long as I can remember in his Citroen powered special. After a short practice session, racing for real started around 11-00 am.DSC_0355 (2) (Medium) DSC_0282 (2) (Medium) DSC_0296 (2) (Medium)


There were about half a dozen specials like Daves, but my particular favorite out on the ice, was the vintage Saab among the production cars .

After watching the heat races, I’d got enough pictures to keep me satisfied, so made my exit.

It was past mid day  so I  had plenty of time if I wanted, to return to Albany for the second night of  racing, but decided against it.

Lake George was an hour nearer to my home, and Albany would of meant another nights expense  for a motel, so decided to head back towards Canada.

It was another steady drive back up I 87 with several stops along the way for eats, drinks and shopping.

The last part of the journey from Plattsburgh to Cornwall was the worst , with a lot of snow coming down , but I was still back home in the warmth of my living room by 6-00 pm.

This coming week is the start of the 2018 Super Dirt Series at the Volusia Speedway in Florida, and once again I will have to miss it.

Even if I had the finances to do it, my monthly IVIG transfusions at the Cornwall Hospital are booked for  14/15 Feb, right in the middle of the  event.

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