Getting Busy (23rd May 2024 BLOG)

Getting Busy (23rd May 2024 BLOG)

The race season is now fully underway as the last of my two local tracks had their season openers.

This weeks Blog begins on Thursday the 16th of  MAY , when I joined my ‘Tog’ buddy Don Simpson in his Chevy Cruze for a trip to the Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, NY. 

This was to be my first  of four races,  in four days.

After a successful opening night, the previous week , we were looking forward to the another good one .

Once again there was a good turn out of cars on this mid-weeker, The grandstands had plenty of people too.

I kept to my usual agenda and took my hot lap pictures on the outside of turn four.

I then moved to my regular spot on the infield beside turn one and two.

Joining the headlining Modifieds and Sportsman, were the Limited Sportsman, Renegades and Mini Stocks.

The first of the features was for the Modifieds. 

Justin Stone took the early lead in this one , but was eventually caught and passed by Chris Raabe and Mike Mahaney .  

Raabe went on to take the checkers.

The Sportsman feature followed this, where Donovan Lussier made easy work of it,  from his front row starting position.

This was his second consecutive win, following an opening night victory.

The race was over at a nice sensible time so it was time for Don and I to make our exit. 

We were back over the border in Cornwall before mid-night.

On Friday my original plan was to take things easy and go to my local Can Am Speedway at Lafargeville NY , but changed my mind after hearing of something else going on.

There was an American Racer Series for Modifieds taking place at the Le RPM Speedway (St Marcel de Richelieu) and a few drivers from my area where going to be there.

It was a lovely sunny day and just right for a road trip to Quebec.

Although the weather favorable, there was the possibility of rain later in the night.

I got there at about 4-30 pm and the pits were already filling up.

My first port of call was to visit a new team making it’s debut.

My friends ,  Luke Whitteker , James Marshall McDowell and his wife Martine Dagenais , have joined forces,  and this was the first race for their 124 J .

Martine is the daughter of long time driver, and car owner , Pierre Dagenais , and they were parked beside his 124 that is now driven by Mario Clair.

I tried a new shooting spot for the hot-laps . High up in the grandstand on the exit of turn four.

The program consisted of Modifieds, Sportsman , Mod-Lites and Lightening.

For the heat races I moved to the infield.

After the intermission it was time forthe features.

By now time was moving on, and the expected rain was rapidly approaching .

Unfortunately, the main event of the night was scheduled last.

The Mod-Lites and Lightening Sprints got their features in , after various stoppages for wrecks etc.

The Sportsman feature then followed and with few delays, it was in the books.

Raphael Cougeon was the winner.

As he pulled up  to Victory Lane , the rain arrived.

The presentations were called off and the awaiting Modifieds returned to the pits.

It was now 10-15 pm , and it rained quite heavy , so  I made my exit.

I later learned, it was officially  ‘rained out’  some time after.

What a pity , we had to miss out on the big race of the night.

It was about 1-00 am , that I arrived home in Cornwall.

For the past 20 or so years , I’ve regularly attended the Brockville Ontario Speedway and the Mohawk International Raceway, but for this year they are running on the same nights. (Saturdays) so I have a difficult choice deciding  where to go. 

I’m now 70 years old and don’t have the energy , and ‘get up and go’ that I used to have. My brain thinks I can do stuff, but the body won’t co-operate.

Taking all this into account, a round trip to the B.O.S takes me  2 hours 30 minutes , whereas my local M.I.R normally takes less than 30 mins. 

So, with four races in four days  , I chose the nearest place. I’m not abandoning  the B.O.S as  I’m hoping to get to a few races later this year.

I left home about 4-30 and was over the International Bridge and at the M.I.R in plenty of time to relax in the car before checking out the pits.

I attended the pre race drivers meeting, where they were informed about the new Race Director  for this 2024.

Former Modified driver Randy Conners is taking over the job.

I chatted with him afterwards and grabbed this picture of him with flagman, Travis Bruno.

The program  consisted of the  358 Modifieds, Sportsman , Rookie Sportsman and Min-Stocks. The Pro-stocks were also paying a visit for their Farnham Lager Series. There were 29 cars in attendance , adding to a good number of Modifieds (21) .

The first of the features was  for the Mini Stocks and Rookie Sportsman.

These were won by Tony Frezzo and Mathew LaValley , respectively .

Once these were done it was time for the Pro-Stocks to have their series race

Sid Harmer Jr took this one.

The Modified feature followed

Preston Forbes took an early lead  and pulled away in front.

We looked all set for a surprise winner until a yellow flag closed up the field .

Soon after the restart Carey Terrance and Tim Fuller got by .

Fuller then passed Terrance to grab his second Victory of the weekend.

(in my absence he had won at Can Am the night before)

The Sportsman feature concluded the night.

Cedric Gauvreau took this one after passing , long time leader Gabriel Cyr in the closing stages.

Mohawk International Raceway, NY 18th May 2024 Rick @ the Races

The show was all over by 10-30 and the only thing that spoiled my night was the 25 minute delay at the Canada customs.

They only had two lanes open on this Saturday night when everyone was leaving the track. They should know better !

Eventually they opened up another two lanes, but by then it was too late , I had reached the front.

It was the Long Weekend (Victoria Day) in Canada and the traditional opener for the Cornwall Motor Speedway ( Sunday the 19th May) . It was the start of the tracks 55th year.

It was a beautiful hot sunny day and the place was packed with fans and race teams.

While wandering the pits I spotted George Herbison, father of Chris and grandfather of Jarrett.

I had to wish him Happy Birthday as it was his 80th.

Earlier this year Billy Cooke and Dave Heaslip  turned 80, and George told me an interesting fact. 55 years ago when the track first opened, all three of them were racing that day.

The main event was the 55 lap Canadian Nationals for the ‘Sail Panel’ Modifieds .

There was also  a 35 lapper for Sportsman  plus Rookie Sportsman , Pro Stocks, and Mini Stocks. Once again the Pro Stocks were there for another round of Farnham Series.

I took hot lap pics from the pit tower before moving to the infield.

The first of the features was for the Rookie Sportsman.

This was won by Jacob Nadeau

The Pro Stock feature was up next, and 35 laps for a big field of cars like this, was a recipe for disaster.

A few of us photographers had a ‘friendly bet’ on how many cautions/stoppages  there would be . I guessed  six , but I  underestimated that.

The race eventually got in the books with at least nine cautiions/stoppages ( I lost count) .

Marc Lalonde was the winner.

With so much time lost during the race , their Victory Lane pics were postponed until the end , and the Modifieds came straight out on the track.

In contrast this race went the full distance with just a few cautions, (two, I think)

Early leader was Carey Terrance, but on lap 48 of this 55 lapper Jackson Gill blasted past and continued on to the checkers.

I spoke to Jackson , of Lafargeville NY, after the race and he told me this was his second career Modified win, his first being at the Fulton Speedway NY.

Mat Williamson also managed to get past Terrance to come in as runner up.

Time was marching on so the Mini Stocks feature was hurried on to the track.

Antione Dumouchel won this .

The  25 lap Sportsman race ended the night with Dominic Lussier adding another victory to his list.

Cornwall Motor Speedway 19th May 2024 Rick @ the Races

It ended a bit later than expected, but luckily the holiday Monday meant that most people didn’t have work the next day.

The rest of my week was spent relaxing, and on Wednesday I took my Thunderbird along to the first Cornwall Olde Car Club Cruise of the season.

We have a new location this year , beside the St Lawrence on the grounds of the Canadian Royal Airforce Association, club.


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