WEEKLY REPORT (9 July 2018)
My last report ended on Tuesday 3rd of July. and Oh Boy, it’s been a busy week since then.
On Wednesday, the 4th July, it was the American Independence Day Holiday, and one of my local tracks had a big race night planned.
The Can Am Speedway at Lafargeville, had a the PABST SHOOT OUT $2500 to win races for 358 Modifieds and E.S.S Sprint Cars. I don’t normally get too excited over sprint cars, but there was a good reason to be at this one.
BriSCA F1 driver Ryan Harrison was over from the UK for the annual Central New York Summer Series.
Thursday night following Can Am , they were at the Canadaigua Speedway as support for the Big Block Super Dirt Series, so a short road trip was planned so I could do both.
I accompanied my buddy Ron Morin in his Lincoln for this short mini tour.
On arrival at Can Am the first people we met , were Danny Bilodeau and his wife Chantal from Victoraville Quebec, who were there with their son Yan , who was competing in with his sprint car # 123.
I wandered the pits a bit further, and before long I found Ryan Harrison and his dad Murray.
During the time I raced BriSCA F1, from 1974 to 1986, Murray was also racing.
Ryan, was there for the full CNY tour accompanied by Murray, his wife Sally, and former BirSCA F1 driver Mark Peters. I also raced in the same era as Mark’s late father Dave Peters # 231.
Once the racing got under way, I placed my camping chair on the infield by turn 3 and 4 , ready to take pictures.
We were still going through heat wave conditions, so a few bottles of water were needed too.
The Feature for the Sportsman division was up first , which provided a win for Taylor Caprara.
The Sprint Cars were up next and these were won by Danny Varin, son of Bobby, the accomplished Modified driver.
The Modified race was a real nail biter with Bobby Herrington, snatching the lead from Tim Fuller on the last lap.
The racing was all over by about 11-00 and it wasn’t long before we were at the nearby Ramada Hotel in Watertown.
Before heading to Canandaigua on Thursday morning, we took a short detour in to Weedsport, where we chatted with SDS driver, Mad Max McLaughlan and his dad, at the HBR work shops. They were busy preparing the car for the nights races.
We checked into the Canandaigua Travel Lodge nice and early , and after a bit of a snooze, were at the track in time for hot laps.
I went straight out on the middle for the heat race pictures, while the sky turned cloudy.
The heat wave conditions had turned stormy as threatening clouds hovered above us, making the lightening a challenge.
There was time at Intermission to have wander round the pits where I chatted once again to the visiting Harrisons.
The Sprint Car Feature was up first, and this was won by Chuck Hebing. Although it was a stormy night, the rain stayed away and the 100 lap Super DirtCar Series race was held in dusty conditions with very few options for a racing groove.
Danny Johnson started on the front of the grid and stayed there to the checkers.
It;s been a while since ‘the Doctor’ won an SDS race, so most fans were quite happy with the result.
It didn’t finish too late and we were soon back at the EconoLodge.
On Friday morning (6 July) we left the Motel about 9-00 am , and after a quick stop for lunch, we were back in Cornwall, Ontario for about 2-30 pm.
I had an appointment at the Cornwall Hospital for a CT scan at 6-00 pm, so I relaxed around my home until it was time to go.
I purposely got to the hospital 30 minutes early , just in case I could get it done earlier. It paid off, the appointment before me was late , and I was able to jump the line.
I was all done, before 6-15 pm and with the car pre loaded, I drove straight to the Canada/USA border in town, and by 6-30 pm I was at the Mohawk International Raceway for another night of racing.
Big winners were Chris Raabe after he snatched the lead from Jordon McCreadie in the dying laps of the Modified Feature and Andy Howard in the Sportsman.
I must also mention the Rookie Sportsman feature win of young Gavin Riddell.
missed out on the ‘delayed’ July 4th Firework display and was home by 11-00 pm .
Saturday morning (7 July ) I had a morning TV date on my couch.
The England Football had advance to the quarter Finals of the World Cup in Russia, and were playing against Sweden. I was at home cheering , as they won 2-0 .
They now go forward to play Croatia next Saturday. I watched the Croatia V Russia decider in the afternoon before heading off to my next racing engagement.
It was a regular night at my local Brockville Ontrario Speedway, so at about 5-00 pm I took the short drive down Hwy 401.
On my pit wander I bumped into two old friends from Ottawa’s Capital City Speedway, first Karyn Lacelle the scorer, then Ron Ridge the starter. I have great memories from that track, its such a shame it closed. Three other old faces from CCS in attendance were car owner Al Dickey, Chris Fergusson , driver of the # 08 Sportsman, and making a visit with his Mini Stock was # 97 Dent Man Dave Watchorn.
At intermission I wandered over to the concessions and bumped into my friend Taya Heldens.
She told me she was taking the night off as Victory Lane hostess and my good friend Rosie Estevez was coming out of retirement for the night. It was great to see Rosie again doing the VL duties.
Danny O’Brien won the Modified Feature, which gave Danny and Rosie a chance to get re-acquainted.
Ryan Scott won the Sportsman Feature and Jonah Lewis got the Rookie Sportsman race.
With a 40 lap Ministock event as the big race of the night, the premier divisions of Modifieds and Sportsman were run first.
This turned out perfect, they were over by 9-45 pm. I was able to get away and be home before 11-00 pm.
I had another TV date on my couch on Sunday morning with the live broadcast of the British Grand Prix from Silverstone.
Sebastien Vettel won this for Ferrari after Lewis Hamilton the local hero was involved in a ‘spin out’ on the opening lap. Hamilton made a great recovery but could only get his Mercedes up to second place.
Later in the day I was joined by friend Chanty Lesage, and after a late lunch at East Side Marios, we headed over to the other side of town to the Cornwall Motor Speedway.
The big races were won on this occasion by Louie Jackson Jr in the Modifieds.
Rock Aubin in the Pro Stocks .
The Sportsman Feature was the last race of the night and was all over at a nice sensible time and won by Adam Rozon.
I was home nice and early, and just what I needed after a week of five races in five days