A Road Trip to Ransomville (Weekly BLOG 24th August 2023)

A Road Trip to Ransomville  (Weekly BLOG23th August 2023)

This weeks offering begins on Friday 18th of August with a short drive across the International border to the Mohawk International Raceway NY.

We’d had a bit of early morning rain but , it was dry and sunny all day. There was a steady breeze that helped dry things up and all looked set for a good nights racing.

Autodrome Granby in Quebec canceled early and the Can Am Speedway at Lafargeville NY were taking a night off.

By start time the pits were full with a few visiting additions to join the locals. There was a delay of about a 20 minutes to the start, as the mandatory ambulance had yet to arrive.

The hot laps began, at about the same time as a huge black cloud appeared in the distance.

As the Mini Stocks started lining up for the first heat, I felt the first drops of rain.

The dark cloud was now right above us. It looked pretty bad, so I hastily packed up my camera equipment . I crossed the track and got to the shelter of the Tech garage just as the skies opened.

It rained heavily for at least 15 minutes, and by the time the cancelation notice was made, the pits were flooded.

The water came over my shoes as I returned to the parking lot, and then had to drive back home with soaking wet feet.

I’m glad I live less than 15 minutes from the track.

Later that night, I learned that my Saturday plans were to change.

Originally I was going to the Airborne Speedway at Plattsburgh NY for a full day of racing.

They were still trying to play ‘catch up’ from a rain postponement on the 8th of July and attempts for a re-run also had to be canceled.

Therefore on Saturday the 19th of August , they were putting on two shows in one day, with the first one starting at 1-00 pm.

This was my destination until , once again it became the casualty of wet weather .

Le RPM Speedway in Quebec, suffered the same fate, so this meant it was a trip to the Brockville Ontario Speedway for me, which was still ‘a go’.

The downside for me , about this weeks BOS show , was that the regular divisions were being joined by the Action Sprint Car Tour, and most people who know me, are aware of how much I love them LOL,  I say that with a sarcastic tongue.

Even though , I’m no big fan of the winged sprints,  it doesn’t stop me having some good friends that take part in them .  They know my feelings about sprint cars , because I don’t hide the fact.

Everyman is entitled to his likes and dislikes, right ?

On my pit walk about , I chatted with a couple of them , Lee Ladouceur who I’ve known for many years, and Mike Bowman , who recently switched from Mods to Sprints.

Mike # 71 was up from his home in St Cathrines , and told me, it was the ‘politics’ of the Modified scene in his area, that was the deciding factor for his change.

I also spoke Nicholas Merkley who is the latest driver to race for the AJ Dickey Motorsports Sportsman team.

He was there with my good friend Luke Whitteker, who was helping him out. 


Nicholas # 99BB has been a regular Street Stocks driver for quite a while and he and Modified driver Luke,  have been buddies for many years.

Once the racing began, the Sprint Cars , were first to run , followed by the Sportsman , Modifieds , Rookie Sportsman and Mini Stocks, so there I had no escape 🙂

After the heat races, it was Matt Billings who took the checkers in the 25 lap Sprint Car feature.

Meanwhile , Lee Ladouceur’s sixth place finish was good enough to secure this years track championship.

Next up , it was the Sportsman Feature

We had a new face in Victory Lane, when young Brennan Moore fought off a late challenge from William Racine, and got his first B.O.S feature win.

The head line event , for the 358 Modifieds followed this.

Ryan Arbuthnot had an unchallenged run to the checkers in this one  , after passing early leader Jarrett Herbison.

With so much racing happening on my schedule, I needed an early, night so decided to skip the Rookie Sportsman and Mini Stock features, and to make my exit.

As I was leaving , I saw this beauty in the parking lot. 

I’ve always had a soft spot for Hudsons.

Ever since having a Dinky Toy model in my childhood, and then after that , witnessing  USAF’s  Captain Doug Harvey , drive his famous Hudson in a stock car race around London’s  Harringay Stadium (London) in  1969/70.

Doug was from New Smyrna, Florida and at that time was serving his country at the USAF base in Chelverston, England,

Photographer Unknown.

On Sunday (20th August) , I was at my local Cornwall Motor Speedway and just like the B.O.S , the night before, we had Sprint Cars added to the program.

They joined the domestic divisions of 358 Modifieds  , Sportsman, Pro Stocks and Mini Stocks. The Sportsman race was a bit different, and open to drivers who had yet to win a race this year.

The Mini Stocks had their feature before the intermission.

It turned out to be a great race between Marc Dagenias and Antoine Dumouchel.

They crossed the line together with Dumouchel, just a few feet ahead.

After the break,  the Sprint Cars were next to have their feature

 Lee Ladouceur took this one. Here he is Victory Lane with his mum Chris and dad, Laurent.

Next up , it was the Modified feature,

This was a good one.

There was a good battle going on between Gage Morin and Carey Terrance, which ended with  Morin getting the win . A few months ago,  Ron Morin who is Gage’s grandfather was seriously ill and we were all very worried about him. He made a great recovery and is now up and about and his normal self attending the races,  We had to get him in a Victory Lane picture,

and I had to photo bomb this one, didn’t I ?

Thanks to my buddy Don Simpson for catching the moment as I’ve know the Morin for many years. Ron is one of my closest friends, and I’ve followed Gages progress since he was racing in the karts.

The Pro Stock Feature was next

Joceyn Roy, got this one

The Sportsman feature ended the night

It was won by Brian Preville , from Sorel, Quebec.

Everything was all over by 10-15 pm , a nice early finish, and just what I wanted.

Monday, was a day of relaxation, and preparation for another little road trip.

The Ransomville Speedway NY had a Super DirtCar Series scheduled for Tuesday the 22nd of August, and I wanted to go. It’s been six years since my last visit.

That was back in 2017, when I was with my Quebec  ‘tog’ buddy Daniel Mailhot,  for the Super DirtCar Series that year.

So, early on Tuesday morning , I crossed the border at Cornwall into the U.S.A.   I got on the NY Thru Way at Syracuse and took it down to the Batavia exit where I headed via Lockport to Ransomville.

I arrived at  the Lakeview Motel , which is only a five minute drive from the track at 3-00 pm.

After relaxing for a while , I headed down the road to the track.

It was nice to be back there after all this time,

I soon met up with my  Niagara region ‘tog’ buddies Alex Bruce, and Ransomville Track photographer Tom Stevens.

As well as the Super DirtCar Series for Big Block Modifieds, there was also a DirtCar Sportsman Series race taking place.

I took my hot lap pictures from turn three and four, and the racing shots from one and two.

After the heats , it was the re-draw and Jimmy Phelps picked Pole Position.

After a short intermission , it was Big Block feature time.

It was a 75 lapper, and it didn’t take long for Matt Sheppard to get to the front.

I , just like most people thought, the race was ‘over’ once Matt got to the front, but we were all in for a shock.

Hometown hero , Erick Rudolph (from Ransomville) was gradually ‘reeling him in’ .

He made the pass, and started pulling ahead, until a late caution brought them together again.

From the green , Sheppard tried to make a move, but Rudolph shut the door, and the local man pulled away once more, staying up front until the checkers.

Mat Williamson got third to complete the podium,

Once the Victory Lane pics were over, it was time for the Sportsman to have their series race.

This was won by Brett Senek.

It was all over by 10-30 pm and I was soon back at my room.

For Wednesday, my plans were undecided, and I was going to play it by ear.

The Airborne Speedway at Plattsburgh NY were having another try at getting a rained out show from the 8th of July in the books.

Each previous attempt was also lost to rain.

I wanted to be there , but the drive is in excess of eight hours so I’d see how things went. I didn’t intend to rush, and wanted a leisurely drive back.

Instead of taking the Thruway, I took the shorter cross country route, via Rochester and Oswego along the southern banks of Lake Ontario. Its a route I’d never taken before.

By the time I got to Watertown NY it was obvious I wouldn’t arrive at Plattsburgh before 7-00pm, so my Airborne idea was scratched.

Instead , I headed via the 1000 Islands bridge and back to Cornwall.


In my absence , Mike Mahaney was the Airborne winner .

Thursday the 24th of August was a big midweek show at my local Cornwall Motor Speedway.

I was there early and the pits began to fill up with many long distance travelers.

Mat Williamson was there and so was Erick Rudolph.

I had a good chat with Erick and we talked about his Tuesday night win.

Things looked good until about an hour before the hot laps were due to begin. A few spots of rain , turned into bigger spots of rain until I was forced to shelter in the tech garage.

The rain continued and it wasn’t long before the inevitable cancelation/postponement notice was announced.

So , if have a plus side to it, I was home in good time to finish off this weeks Blog.