The 800th BLOG 19th June 2024 ‘Heat Wave’

800th Blog  19th June 2024 ‘Heat Wave’

Back in 2005, I was one of two North American columnists for Europe’s leading oval racing journal , the now defunct SHORT CIRCUIT MAGAZINE.

It was a glossy magazine , and one of the ways I prepared for my monthly column , was to jot down notes about my racing trips .

This developed into  a ‘Blog’  that I  e-mailed , to a selected list of racing friends. I called it ‘RICK At THE RACES.

One of the recipients  was my friend, the late Craig Revelle. It was now 2008, and he was just starting off his business, Finish Line Web Design. 

He suggested that he built one for the  Blog and my many racing pictures.

I agreed, and the RICK AT THE RACES web site was born.

The rest is now history and this latest BLOG marks the 800th edition, . (The rest are all stored in the web sites archives and can be checked out ).

This offering begins on Thursday the 13th of June.

The Mohawk International Raceway NY , just across the International Bridge from my home in Cornwall , were staging a round of the American Racer Series for Modifieds, and it promised to be a good one.

Joining me for a couple of days of racing, was my good friend Chantal Lesage . We  got to the track  nice and early , so hung out with her father,  Ted, in the Tech garage.

39 Modifieds were present, which was great number for a mid week show.

While on my pit wander, I chatted with Craig Marshal, who takes care of the Carey Terrance race team .

Craig and his father were beside the tribute car ‘wrapped’  in memory of his late brother Jeff, who had  previously been the team chief.   Carey would be racing it that night.

The Sportsman , Rookie Sportsman and Pro Stocks were joining the modifieds on the program.

The first of the features , was for the Rookie Sportsman.

This was won by Camdin Cook  from the Evans Mills area of NY and the race took place before the intermission.

After the break it was the Sportsman Feature

Nick Heywood clinched this one

Next up was the main event, American Racer Series for the Modifieds.

What a great race this turned out to be.

For lap after lap we had side by side dueling between Ryan Arbuthnot and David Hebert. Both of them racing cleanly and giving each other respect.

At the checkers it was Ryan by a short distance.

Chasing  closely behind was Chris Raabe who completed the podium.

The final race of the night was for the Pro Stocks .

This was one of the best Pro Stock races I’ve seen for a long time, with five drivers up front battling for the lead.

Marc Lalonde was at the front when it mattered.

The show was all over at a sensible time, and  would of been back to my place before 11-00 pm , if the line up at Canada Customs hadn’t taken 30 minutes. That was the only thing to spoil a good night.

The next day we were off to Autodrome Granby in Quebec . I gave a ride to my ‘tog’ buddy Don Simpson for this one.

Granby were putting on a round of the Canadian Big Block Series.

  Once at the track , we hung out with our friends at the 124 J team .

The race car is owned by James  Marshall McDowell and his wife, Martine Dagenais with Luke Whitteker as the  driver.

Don took this nice picture of Chantal and Martine beside the hauler.

During my pit wander , I came across Justin Lalancette. I’ve known Justin  for many years , and he’s the former SEAWAY GM  car salesman that sold me , my beloved Impala.

He was driving the # 59 Big Block.

Once racing began , I took a few Hot Lap shots from the outside of turn four.

Then I  moved back to the middle for the heat races.

The Sportsman , Novice Sportsman and the Pro Stocks joined the Big Blocks on the program.

The ‘togs’ getting ready for Victory Lane, Me Don and Dan Mailhot

The Big Block feature was up first , which was good news for me .

With a hectic weekend of racing  I wanted to get away early.

As expected , David Hebert, the track expert , and multi times winner , took the checkers in this one.

Alex Therrien was second and Mathieu Desjardins took third.

We didn’t stay for the remaining features and were soon heading back to Cornwall.

It was nice to be home before 1-00 am.

On Saturday my plans were to drive solo to the evening races at the Brockville Ontario Speedway.

After a nice breakfast at the Stacked restaurant  in Cornwall , I said goodbye to Chantal as  she returned home to Gatineau.

I then took a leisurely drive down to Brockville.

With my local Mohawk International Raceway now running on Saturday nights , It’s been a difficult decision to miss the B.O.S , but with M.I.R taking a  Saturday off, it gave me the opportunity of attending .

I was hoping for another early finish as my plans for Sunday  were quite busy .

With the new early start time of 6-00pm , things looked good.

The program consisted of Modifieds, Sportsman, Rookie Sportsman, Street Stocks and Sprint Cars.

While walking the pits , I caught up with Matt Billings .

It was good to see him back behind the wheel of a Modified, after taking a few years off to do Sprint Cars.

He was driving the Steve Polite owned car that was previously raced by Danny O’Brien.

With the earlier start time and very few stoppages things went along quickly.

The first of the features was for the Rookie Sportsman.

This was won by young Logan Brown on his first visit to the B.O.S 

 I’ve seen him win a few features at his local Can Am Speedway this year.

The Sportsman feature was up next, and this was won by another Can Am ‘invader’ .

Gavin Eisele took this one.

The Modified feature followed .

Ryan Arbuthnot , the usual favorite to win at the B.O.S , went out early with mechanical problems , which left it open to the other leading contenders.

Kyle Dingwall stayed up front to take the checkers, after fending off challenges from Dylan Evoy and Johnathon Ferguson.

The race was all done , just after 9-00 pm . 

A nice early finish for the stuff  I was there to see, so I made my exit ,  passing on the Street Stocks and Sprint Car features.

As mentioned earlier, Sunday was going to be a busy one. I was up at 7-00 am in the morning , so I could be out of the house by 8-30 am.

The Cornwall Road Warriors Car Club were holding their second annual Fathers Day Car Show.

I attended last years event that was held at the former Courtaulds Factory site on Montreal Road, but for this year they had secured a more desirable location, Lamoureaux Park , by the cities water front.

The cars were to enter the showing area at 9-00 am and I met up with the Cornwall Olde Car Club ten minutes before , so we could cruise in together.

On arrival,  the Park was already filling up with cool cars .


Once I’d registered , the official volunteers directed me where to park.

The first person I recognized was my buddy, Hugh Primeau , the announcer at the Cornwall Motor Speedway.

Like me , he would be leaving early to be at the track in good time for the evening races.

The place was filling up quickly and I have to say , it’s one of the biggest car shows I’ve attended. I’m guessing  there were nearly 500 cars in attendance.

Who would believe it ?

A voice from the car parked behind me said ” Hey Rick , how are you” .

It was Tim Dorning , one of the weekly Late Model drivers from my days as track photographer at the now defunct , Capital City Speedway near Ottawa.

He was there with his wife Liz. We , hadn’t seen each other for many years , so chatted about the good old days of the Wednesday night races from years gone by.

FLASH BACK TO TIM DORNING at the CCS , 14 Years Ago .

There were far too many cars in attendance for me to get pictures of everything,  but I’ve always had a soft spot for Studebakers.

I stayed until about 1-30 pm before , I made my slow and careful , exit.

Lamoureux Park is only 5 minutes away from home , so I was soon putting the Thunder Bird  back in the garage and getting the Impala ready to head off to the Speedway.

I was  at the Cornwall Motor Speedway at about  4-00 pm with plenty of time to get my stuff set up.

That night the regular divisions were joined by the touring Mod Lites.

As usual I took the hot lap pics from the pit tower.

Then onto the middle for the heats.

The first feature was for the Rookie Sportsman, that took place before the intermission.

This was won by Kyle Reif

During the break , the young drivers of the Cornwall Karting  Club were presented with their 2023 trophies in front of the main grandstand by Modified driver (and former Karter) Brianna Lascelle.

After the intermission the Mod Lites took to the track for their feature.

Winner was Antonin Lafleur.

The big race of the night, the Modified feature was next

Carey Tarrence stamped his authority on this one , with very few challenges.

Then on to the Sportsman feature

This one went to Shane Pecore.

Next up was the main event for Pro Stocks

This gave Marc Lalonde another victory to add to his weekend tally

The final race of the night was for the Mini Stocks

This went to Antoine Dumouchel.

That concluded the busy weekend for yours truly.

A heat wave and extreme heat warnings had been forecast for the coming week.

On Monday and Tuesday , I hibernated in the house with the AC cranked up.

My plans to attend the races at the Fulton Speedway NY on Wednesday 19th June , came to an end , when the high temperatures caused an early cancellation.

Instead I took the Thunderbird to the Cornwall Olde Car Club Cruise Night.

While I was there, I heard via Face Book more bad news.

My plans for the next day had succumbed to the same fete as Fulton.

The Airborne Park Speedway had pulled the plug on Thursday nights races because of the heat situation.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that things cool down for Friday nights races.

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