Now that summers in full swing, there’s plenty of mid week shows to keep us fans happy , then at the weekend the SUPER DIRTCAR SERIES was coming to my patch.
On Tuesday 25th June, I had the first of my two day I.V.I.G transfusions at the local Cornwall Hospital.
When my second session was over, at lunchtime on Wednesday, I returned home for a couple of hours, before setting off to the first racing event on my agenda.
My destination was the Can Am Speedway, at Lafargeville NY, and located less than a two hours away from my place. They were staging the first of two, back to back 358 DirtCar Modified series races in the area. The second would be at the Fulton Speedway NY the following night.
About 15 years ago, the 358 Series was just as popular with fans and drivers as the big block Super DirtCar Series, and DirtCar are now making a big effort to bring it back to life.
Just like last week, it’s been busy, so I will skip through each event as quickly as I can.
There were 40 small blocks in attendance and they were joined by a healthy number of Sportsman that added to the show.
I placed my lawn chair on turn four to take my pics.
The first feature was for the Sportsman, which was won by my good friend Jessica Power.
The big 60 lap race for the small blocks followed.
Local track expert Billy Dunn, led this until about 5 laps to go, when mechanical failure handed the lead to Tim Fuller.
All he needed to do was cruise his way to the checkers to end his drought of wins in 2019 .
It was good to see the Rick at the Races sticker in Victory Lane.
The race was over by about 10-00 pm and I was soon relaxing in my room for the night, at the Motel 6 at nearby Fort Drum.
My Thursday destination was the Fulton Speedway NY, for the second night of DirtCar 358 Modified Series racing.
It wasn’t far away and I had plenty of time to kill, so took the ‘pretty way’ along Route 3 from Watertown, beside the shore of Lake Ontario, down to Fulton.
I was at the track at around 3-00 pm, and had plenty of time for an afternoon nap in the car.
When things began to happen, I went inside and listened to the drivers meeting before moving on to the middle with my fellow CNY tog buddies.
Joining the 358 Modifieds were the DirtCar Sportsman.
It was great to see so many of my local drivers down there, following the series.
It was another warm evening and a great night for taking pictures.
As usual , there were plenty of Sportsman in attendance, and the first of their two feature races, was run before the Modifieds.
This was won by Kyle Inman.
In the big 100 lapper for the Modifieds , it was Ericke Rudolphe who made the early running but a late caution, that closed the pack, enabled Matt Williamson, to edge past.
Williamson stayed in front until the checkers, while Danny Johnson, completed the podium, after working his way through the field from deep in the pack.
The Victory Lane ceremonies were all over by 10-00 pm, so instead of staying for the remaining Sportsman race, I headed for home.
On Friday (28 June) I had a relaxing day around the house, before heading back to the USA in the late afternoon. It was race night at my local Mohawk International Raceway.
Although its located in the USA , its only one mile from my place in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. If only , I could walk across the St Lawrence Seaway !
I got there at about 5-00 pm, just as it started to rain, not too much, but enough for me to think the worse. Luckily it didn’t last for long, and within a short time, there were cars out packing the track.
More rain was expected later, so hats off to the management, for deciding to press on with the show, and have the least possible delays. A planned autograph night was postponed, and the top two divisions would have their feature races first.
Therefore, after a quick intermission and track prep, the Modifieds were up first.
This gave us a surprise winner , when young Dometrios Drellos # 111 , led from start to finish after holding off an early challenge from Louie Jackson JR.
With the Modified and Sportsman races all done and in the books, before 10-00 pm I took advantage, and made my exit, in favor of watching the remaining divisions. (Rookie Sportsman, Mod Lites and Bandits).
My Saturday track choice this week was the Brockville Ontario Speedway and I arrived at the track at about 5-00 pm. It was warm and sunny at this time, but there were dark storm clouds on the horizon.
As I waited in my car prior to heading to the pits, the clouds got closer, and by 5-15 pm torrential rain was falling. It continued falling, and after about 30 minutes the races were called off.
As I left the track, a severe Tornado Warning came up on my cel phone.
So it turned out to be a Saturday night at home for me this week.
On Sunday morning I was up bright and early to watch the Austrian Grand Prix live on TV.
After last weeks boring race from France, this turned out to be one of the best. It had all the ingredients right from the offset , with the two young guns, Leclerc (Ferrari) and Verstappen (Red Bull) on the front with both Merecedes behind them.
A bad start from the green, by Verstappen, dropped him back to sixth, as we saw Leclerc pulling off into the sunset . As the race progressed, it was great to Verstappen gradually claw back those lost positions, until he managed to get passed Leclerc with just a couple of laps to go.
A Great Race, 1st Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 2nd Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) in third.
It had been raining all morning at my place in Cornwall, and I was starting to get worried about the evenings races. The Cornwall Motor Speedway were staging the Big Block Modified SUPER DIRTCAR SERIES, on the CANADA DAY WEEKEND .
Well, as the day went on, the rain stopped and by race time the sun was shining.
This is my favorite series and I always enjoy it when it comes to my area.
I always make a point of being there nice and early to watch the race teams arrive. It was great to see Danny Johnson back in ‘Sweetners Plus’ colors after nearly 20 years.
A lot of my ‘tog’ buddies had turned up for this one.
I wandered around chatting , before listening to the pre race drivers meeting.
As usual I took my heat race pictures from the pit tower before moving to the infield for the features.
Joining the Big Block Modifieds on the program, were the Ministocks and Sportsman. As normal, the Ministock feature took place before the intermission, and then straight afterwards, the Sportsman were next.
Robert Delormier took this one.
It was now time for the big one.
It was a 100 lapper, and the early leader was Danny Johnson, who was soon overhauled by Matt Sheppard.
Once Matt was up front, no one could touch him, as he sped off towards another Cornwall SDS win. Larry Wight and Matt Williamson both came up to challenge, but to no avail.
The show had moved on extremely well and everything was over before 10-00 pm , and just what me and most fans like.
My weekend was not over yet, as the SUPER DIRTCAR SERIES was moving the short distance over the border , for a Monday night show (1st July) at the Airborne Speedway at Plattsburgh NY.
In recent times, Airborne has become one of my favorite local tracks and I was looking forward to this one.
I was there about 4-00 pm, and it was scorching hot afternoon as I signed in at the pit gate.
During my pit wander I bumped in to many friends, including Mike Mahaney and Mandee Pouch who were at the drivers check in.
As you’d expect, there were a few more ‘tog’ buddies than usual.
Just like Cornwall, the night before, the Big Blocks had Sportsman and Strictly Stocks (4 cylinder Mini Stocks) as support divisions.
One of my ‘tog’ buddies is Billy Joe Branham , who’s father Bucko , races a Sportsman. For as long as I’ve been going to Airborne, he has been a top runner, in various divisions.
While I was talking with Billy Joe, the REZ X ‘Crew Chief’ Chris Hearne came over for chat.
Before taking my pics I listened to the pre race drivers meeting.
I decided to take my hot lap pics from the outside of turn four, and the actual racing from inside of turn one.
The Strictly Stock feature was first then the 35 lap Sportsman race followed.
This was won by Adam Pierson.
It was now time for the big event.
Most of this was dominated by Matt Sheppard who soon took the lead from Brett Hearn.
It looked like we were going to get a repeat of Cornwall , the night before, but both Larry Wight and Danny Johnson had other ideas. , They were finding grip on the high groove, and started reeling him in.
Sheppard was preferring the middle groove, but the top proved quickest.
It turned out to be another great night of SUPER DIRTCAR racing and was all over by 11-00 pm.
A big thanks to my friend Kathy Caldwell for making sure us ‘Togs’ got the shots we needed in Victory Lane.