December 2007 Update

Hello Everyone!  It has been a while since I've written an update for the website, so I thought that I would come on and get everyone up to date on the happenings of our race team.  We have made good progress on the Modified.  The complete drivetrain is in, minus the engine.  We are currently putting together 3 hub-to-hub front ends, as well as fabricating a lot of the interior bodywork.  We had a spare set of outer body panels left from last season, so we are going to use those.  That means that we already have the body drilled to fit the car, which is going to save us a lot of time.  Campbell's Engines is working on our engine, and we hope to have that back within the coming weeks.  So, at this point, I feel like we are in good shape with our Modified program.

We have also been tinkering with the two Tobias Slingshots that we are going to field for special shows in 2008.  Currently we are waiting for our new 2008 Slingshot body to arrive.  At that point, we can fit it to one of the cars and start making the second body.  We are planning on having the older Slingshot frame powder coated once we are able to make sure that all of the body braces are taken care of. 

Other than that, I've been making a few subtle changes to the website, with hopes that you'll be seeing a few larger ones in the coming weeks.  I updated the For Sale page to display images, for those of you out there that might be interested in the spare parts that we have around the shop.   

I hope everyone has a great Holiday Season, and I'll keep you posted on the progress of our race team, as we move toward the 2008 season.  Take care for now!


Weekend Update 10/20-10/21

Hello Everyone!  My racing season has officially come to an end for 2007, but I certainly ended it on a high note.  Last Saturday night at Paradise Speedway I picked up my 5th Slingshot win, and secured the 2007 Fall Series Slingshot Track Championship.  The cold fall weather made for another slick racetrack, and I struggled with the Slingshot all night long.  In hot laps the car was pushing really bad, so we made a pretty significant adjustment for the heat race.  I got out in front of the field due to my pole starting position, but the car still had a terrible push.  I ended up blocking the low line so that I couldn't be passed, hanging on for the heat win.  We made yet another major adjustment to the car for the feature, and this time we hit it pretty close to where we needed to be.  The car actually got loose in the later sections of the corners, but you needed to be set up extremely loose to get the car to make the initial turn into the corners.  With the car turning better, I was able to stretch out a decent lead in the feature event to score the win.  Along with the win came my first Championship since my last Microd Championship in 1995.  I never expected to go out and win 5 of the 7 fall series races, so it was a nice suprise end to the season.

Looking back, the 2007 season was a pretty successful one.  Although we still struggled at points, I feel like we made a lot of gains with our Modified program.  I earned my first four top-5 finishes this season which is a definite step in the right direction.  I really thought that we had a shot to win our first Modified race on a couple occassions throughout the summer, but that is going to have to wait until 2008.  I also had a lot of fun with the "extra-curricular" racing that I had a chance to do this season.  If someone had told me that I was going to win a 600cc Sprint Car race on June 2nd, with all the top name guys in attendance, I would have thought they were crazy.  Nonetheless, it happened and I consider that a nice accomplishment to add to my racing resume.  I also never thought that I would be a Slingshot Champion this season.  At the beginning of the year, I had no intention of finishing the year as we did, but it is funny how things work out sometimes. 

I would like to thank everyone that has made this season possible for myself and the 1Up Motorsports Team.  I look forward to even more success in 2008!

Take care for now!

Weekend Update 10/13-10/14

Hello Everyone!  Paradise Speedway got yet another week of racing in last Saturday night.  The rain held off but it was a pretty cold evening.  The conditions made for an uncharacteristically slick track, and I struggled with the slingshot setup all night long.  Towards the end of the evening I was able to get through turns 1 and 2 ok, but I picked up a terrible push in turns 3 and 4.  A couple of times I thought I was going to catch the wall out to turn 4, but the dirt banking that they have built up before the concrete allowed me to turn that last little bit I needed to set the car down the straightaway.  Despite all the handling issues, I did hold on to win both the heat and the feature events, recording my 4th Paradise slingshot win in the last 5 races. 

This Saturday night is the final race night for Paradise Speedway, so hopefully the weather will give them a break one more time.  It is evident that the fall and winter weather is creeping in on us, but one more run would be a lot of fun before we have to hang it up for the year. Paradise Speedway has certainly treated me well this year, with 4 Slingshot wins, and a huge 600cc Sprint Car win back in June.  Hopefully I can keep the current momentum rolling into the Modified season of 2008.

Well, we're going to be at Paradise one more time this weekend, so I hope to see everyone there!  Take care for now!


Weekend Update 10/6-10/7

Hello Everyone!  Despite two rainshowers, Paradise Speedway did get their racing in on Saturday evening.  The weather did lead to a late night, as the racing finished right around midnight.  Then, the skies opened up again just as the last checkered flag of the evening flew.  This past Saturday was the Slingshot National Tour race at Paradise and 29 of the best Slingshots drivers in the country showed up.  I was fortunate enough to draw a pretty good starting spot for my heat race, and I was able to drive from fourth up to the lead.  Unfortunately, I slipped up the track with 2 laps to go and I dropped back to second at the finish.  The good news was that you only needed to get in the top 3 of your respective heat race to get into the feature starting position draw.  Luck was on my side because I drew the second starting spot for the 30 lap feature event. 

All 29 cars started the feature, so I was very pleased to be starting on the front row, and not back in the pack where I knew that things would get crazy.  I got a really good start and I grabbed the lead on the first lap.  I led until the first caution on lap 6.  Unfortunately, I spun my tires on the restart and fell back into the second postion.  I held second for up until the last restart which was just before halfway.  Having to restart on the outside lane was not what I was hoping for, and two more guys got underneath me before I was able to slide back down into the fast lane.  For the remainder of the race, the 4 of us in the front were locked nose to tail, but nobody could muster up enough momentum to make any passes.  So, at the checkered flag, I ended up finishing in the 4th position.  While I definitely would have like to have won the event, 4th out of 29 cars is respectable in my book.  The car got just a little too loose to make any moves on the leaders as the race progressed, so I'm going to have to do a little more setup work before the next major event.  All in all, it turned out to be a good night, and I found out that our slingshots are as good as any others out there, as I was in the hunt for the win all night long. 

I believe there is just one more Saturday night left for the slingshots at Paradise, so after that we'll be back in rebuilding mode until April.  It's going to be a busy winter rebuilding both the Modified and the two Slingshots. 

I had the opportunity to go to Super DIRT Week on Sunday, which turned out to be a great day for racing.  I thought that DIRT actually put on a pretty good show, and I feel that I got my money's worth as I left.  They basically had 9 solid hours of racing on Sunday.  Despite the fact that it was the typical Syracuse track were passing is limited, all the different strategies made for a very entertaining Rite Aid 200.  It was definitely a fun day.

Take care for now!

Weekend Update 9/29-9/30

Hello Everyone!  This past weekend I was fortunate enough to win my 3rd Slingshot feature in a row at Paradise Speedway.  Dad and I rebuilt his 88 car with the new frame that we received last week, and the car ran great.  Putting the car together took a little longer than we expected, so we were a little rushed getting to the track on Saturday night.  We had an engine ground problem during hot laps, but we were able to get it fixed, and also put the finishing touches on the setup before the heat race.  I started 4th and I was able to grab the lead as we went down into turn 1 for the first time.  I held on for the win in the heat, which gave me the pole for the feature.  I won the drag race at the start of the race, and never looked back to earn my 3rd straight Slingshot win.

Bob Dreste ran the 76 car which took me to my Slingshot wins up until this point.  He had a lot of fun in the car and finished the night with a very respectable 3rd place finish.  Bob will once again be in the 76 car this weekend for the Slingshot National event at Paradise.  I'm going to drive Dad's 88  car and we will find out how fast we have really become as we go up against the best Slingshot drivers in the country.  Until then, take care for now!



Weekend Update 9/21-9/22

Hello Everyone!  This past weekend I had the opportunity to run two Slingshot races, and I was fortunate enough to win both of them.  Things have really started clicking with the Slingshot and I have been able to run fast and turn out some excellent results.  On Friday night I decided to head down to Starlite Speedway for their Season Championship Race.  I mainly wanted to see what the Slingshot would do on a much smaller track than Paradise.  The car was a lot of fun to drive there because you have to slide the car sideways all the way around the tight corners.  I was able to finish a close second in the heat race, which gave me the second starting spot for the feature.  When the green flag dropped, I was able to win the drag race down into the first turn and began to open up my lead.  On lap 12 the caution flew for a spin, which erased my straightaway advantage.  I was able to get a good restart and I extended my lead once again over the last 8 laps to take the win.  This was a pretty exciting victory, as I never expected that I would have a car good enough to compete for the win.  Friday was the first time that I had ever seen Starlite Speedway, and I pretty much guessed on the setup.  Nonetheless, the car drove great and I was able to get my second Slingshot victory.

On Saturday I changed the car back over to the Paradise setup from the week before, and it again ran really well.  I was able to get the lead from the start of both the heat and feature races, and I was able to hold on for the wins.  So, that made two Slingshot wins on the weekend, extending my consecutive win streak to 3. 

This weekend, we expect to have Dad's Slingshot back together, as the new frame has arrived from Tobias.  The plan right now is for myself to run Dad's car this weekend, as he is not yet healed up enough to get back in the driver's seat.  My #76 Slingshot will have Bob Dreste behind the wheel, so hopefully he will have as much success as I have had in that car recently.  Hopefully, I will be able to get Dad's new car dialed in quickly so I can challenge for another win at Paradise this weekend.  It should be a lot of fun!

Take care for now!

Schedule Change

Our weekend schedule has been changed slightly. We have added a Slingshot race at Starlite Speedway on Friday night. They are having their end of the season championships and we thought it would be fun to roll down there and see how we measure up against their regulars. As long as nothing crazy happens that night, we still plan on running Paradise as usual on Saturday. Take care for now!


Weekend Update 9/15-9/16

Hello Everyone!  I had the opportunity to run the Slingshot on Saturday night at Paradise Speedway and a I ended up winning both the heat and the feature for the evening.  I was a little surprised that I was as fast as I was because the car didn't feel as good as it has in the first couple outings.  The track at Paradise was a little different than what I'm used to seeing though, which became very glazed over on the bottom groove because of the cold conditions.  Despite the conditions, the car was very quick and I was able to get out to about a 10 car length lead in both the heat and feature to score the wins.

Dad is doing a little better now that he has had about a week to heal his injuries.  He took a really hard hit into the dirt bank in turn 3.  We already have another chassis on the way, so once he is back to 100%, the car should be ready to get back out there.

This week I plan on going to the Wednesday night Paradise practice to work on a couple new setups, and of course I will be at Paradise for the race on Saturday.  I turn 25 years old on Thursday, so maybe I'll be able to get another win this weekend for my birthday!  I'll keep you updated on how everything goes...

Take care for now!

Weekend Update 9/8-9/9

Hello Everyone!  It was a different kind of racing weekend for myself and the team.  As I'm sure most of you have seen on the main page, last week my dad, Bob Dreste, and I purchased two Tobias Slingshots.  Since the weekly modified shows at Canandaigua and Weedsport are done for the season, we have a little bit of free time.  So, we decided to buy the Slingshots because Paradise Speedway runs weekly races well into October.  Plus, they run Wednesday night practice sessions, which will allow us to get a lot of laps in before we have to hang it up for the winter.  So, Saturday night was our first race with the new cars and everything went pretty well.  It started to rain when we got there, which made things a little interesting for a while.  Eventually it cleared up though, and they got a great night of racing in.  I started 5th in the heat race, and had an intense battle with fellow 1Up Motorsports racer, Tucker Rae, for 4th place.  With the heads-up starting format, I started 4th in the feature.  I was able to hold on to the lead pack, but I didn't have a setup that was good enough to go up and challenge for the win.  Ultimately, I ended up where I started, in 4th position.  Considering that I had never even been in a Slingshot before, I was happy to be able to run with the leaders all night.   Going into the evening, I didn't even know if I was in the ballpark when it came to the setup, but it turns out that I was pretty competitive.  Now I have 5 more weeks to dial the car in and get up there and contend for a win!

Also on Saturday, Dad made his oval track dirt racing debut in the other Slingshot.  He was pretty quick right out of the box, and kept getting faster all night long.  In the end, he ended up finishing in the 6th position.  He said that he had a lot of fun, and I'm sure he will be right up with the leaders by the end of the fall season. 

On the Modified side of things, we found out on Sunday that we did hurt the engine when the rearend blew at Weedsport last week.  Unfortunately, this is going to end our Modified season, as we are going to have to take the engine back to Billy Campbell for repairs.  At this point in the season, it doesn't make sense to rush around for 1 final race at Weedsport in October, so our plan is just to start our preparations for the 2008 season. 

In the meantime, we'll be playing around with the Slingshots for the remainder of the season.  You can catch us on Wednesday and Saturday nights at Paradise Speedway for the next 5 weeks.  It should be a lot of fun!

Take care for now!

Weekend Update 9/1-9/2

Hello Everyone!  Well, the regular season of DIRT racing for 2007 ended with an action packed weekend.  I had a decent weekend overall.  We certainly were busy though, with double features on both Saturday and Sunday.  Canandaigua didn't run heats, so that wasn't as rushed, but unfortunately I got caught up in a crash in the first feature which had us working through much of the break to get the car fixed up for the second one.  I had a really good car in the first feature, but a car spun out right in front of me on a restart and I had nowhere to go and got collected.  I had to finish the last 25 laps with a bent right front shock which made the car hop through the corners.  However, I was still able to drive it back up to 7th after making a pit stop on lap 10 to assess the damage to the car.

In the second feature, I didn't have much better luck than in the first feature.  I think I had a top-5 car, but I got hit and bent a tie rod early in the race, and was only able to hold on to a 10th place finish.  I was definitely hoping to finish better in the races on Saturday, but getting two top-10 finishes wasn't too bad considering the hardships that we had to overcome.  When it was all said and done, we moved up one spot in the points to tie Dave Rauscher for 5th place overall, 8 spots better than I finished in my rookie season. 

On Sunday we headed off to Weedsport for the Super DIRT Series twin 53 lap races.  I time-trialed in my typical fashion, which put us near the back of the starting grid for the heat race.  I don't know what it is, but I have never been a great time-trialer, and it shows almost every time we go to a Super DIRT Series race.  That is one aspect of my driving that I'm going to have to work on to be successful.  My effort on Sunday was good enough for 29th out of 37 cars that made an attempt.  The good news is that my car has been working very well under racing conditions at Weedsport and I was able to hold my own in both the heat and the consi to earn the 27th starting spot in the feature event.  In the first feature I had a very competitive car, and was able to drive up to 18th position, still on the lead lap, by the end of the event.

In the second feature, I had an even better car, and I was able to drive from 18th to 10th.  Unfortunately, on lap 29, we had a part failure, which blew the rearend gears.  This sent a shock through the drivetrain, and resulted in the driveshaft breaking off of the back of the transmission.  We are still sifting through the damage, and are a little worried about the condition of our engine which turned 8800 RPM when the rearend broke.  Hopefully everything will be fine.  Needless to say, our night was over, with a 24th place finish in the second race.  While the final Weedsport points have not yet been posted, I believe that I finished 7th overall this season, which isn't bad considering I missed a race about a month ago when the driveshaft broke.  We moved up 12 positions this year, with which I am quite pleased.

Assuming that everything is ok with our engine, we plan on repairing the damage for the "Win and You're In" twin 25s at Weedsport on October 6th.  We've stumbled across a Weedsport setup that I really like, so I can't wait to go back there and try it out one more time before the long winter begins.

Take care for now!

Weekend Update 8/25-8/26

Hello Everyone!  There isn't too much to report on from last weekend's racing.  Weedsport was off on Sunday, and I ended up turning 3 hot laps on Saturday at Canandaigua before the rain started to fall.  I was planning on running tonight (Tuesday 8/28) at the Brewerton Mini-Series show, but that has been cancelled for unknown reasons.  Therefore, the team and I have been left with an easy week, as the car is pretty much ready to go for the upcoming weekend.  This weekend is going to be a busy one for sure.  We have double features on tap for both Saturday and Sunday, with Weedsport's races being yet another Super DIRT Series event.  They certainly have stuffed a lot of racing into the final weekend of the DIRT regular season.  However, it should be a lot of fun as we have been running as good as we have been all season long.  Until then, take care for now!


Weekend Update 8/18-8/19

Hello Everyone!  It was a busy weekend for myself and the team.  On Saturday, Canandaigua was off again for the Modifieds, so I headed over to Paradise Speedway.  Once there, I was offered a ride in a 600cc Micro Sprint by Tom Keyes.  So, I suited up and prepared for a night of racing.  I fought some handling problems early in the evening, but I was still able to get a 3rd place finish in the heat race.  With the heads-up format, the heat race finish earned me the 9th starting position.  The car drove well in the feature and I was able to drive up to the 5th position at the end of the race.  I was pretty pleased with this finish, as I had never been in the car until that night.  Special Thanks go out to Tom Keyes for allowing me to run his car.  It certainly made for a fun evening. 

On Sunday, I was back in the Modified for the Super DIRT Series event at Weedsport.  The car was good all night, but I still feel like I'm not getting the most out of the car during time trials.  We timed 22nd, which put us near the back of the heat race.  I was in the hunt for the last qualifying spot, but fell a little short, which forced me into the consi.  I wondered if the curse of the Super DIRT Series was going to bite me again, but fortunately we had a pretty solid consi run, which got us in the field.  The bad news was that I had to start 28th, and at Weedsport the leaders catch the back of the pack in a hurry.  The car was really good in the first feature, but track position killed me.  I ended up getting trapped a lap down with 4 other guys, so I pretty much just tried to save the car for the second feature after this happened.  I ended up with a 19th place finish in the first feature, but I knew that we were going to do even better in the second one.  Starting 19th gave me a little bit of a cushion in the second feature, and the car was good enough to run the high side right through the black portions of the track.  This allowed me to move up to 13th by the end of the race.  I had a great battle with Frank Cozze for that 13th position, which was very promising in the fact that we are getting to a point where we can compete with the top running competitors.  In two weeks, we will have the opportunity to do the same race all over again at Weedsport, so hopefully we can improve on our qualifying, and have an even better run in the feature events.

This week we are back at Canandaigua.  It's hard to believe that we are already down to the last two weekends of the regular season.  We've been running pretty good as of late, so hopefully we can capitalize on our momentum this weekend. 

Take care for now!

Weekend Update 8/11-8/12

Hello Everyone!  Another weekend of racing is in the books.  Our weekend actually started on Thursday night with the Super DIRT Series rolling into Canandaigua Speedway for its annual stop.  Threatening skies kept a lot of moisture in the track and the speedway was probably the tackiest that I've ever seen it in the last 10 years.  I brought our car there with the slick track setup in it, and I got a little bit of a shock.  With rain in the area, they rushed the show along and I wasn't able to get the car setup changed for the time trials.  On both of my time trial laps the car was way too tight and I ended up qualifying 30th.  This was pretty disappointing because I knew that we had a lot faster car than the times that I set.  However, due to the poor time trial I had to start 8th in the heat race, in which I ended up finishing 7th.  The heat races were quite difficult as everyone was pretty much full throttle all the way around the speedway, and passing was almost non-existent.  So, we ended up in the consi, where I was running 5th and nearly spun out when I hit some water trying to pass the 4th place car.  I had to completely get out of the throttle to collect the car and ended up dropping back to the 7th position.  The good news was that I only had to get in the top 10 to make the feature, so a 7th place finish was good enough to break the "Curse of the Super DIRT Series."  It took me 8 tries, but I was finally able to qualify for a Super DIRT Series event.  Hopefully this will now start a streak of successful qualifying attempts.  I had to start 27th in the feature, which turned out to be one of the hardest races that I've ever run.  At this point there were a few sprinkles in the air, and the visibility in the middle of the pack wasn't that good.  There were some tense times, but I was fortunate enough to get to the end of the race without getting wrecked.  By the end of the race I had moved up to 19th position, which wasn't a bad effort in my first Super DIRT Series attempt.  DIRT really rushed the drivers all night due to the weather that was moving into the area, so we quickly turned the car around and got out there for the 2nd 50 lap feature.  Just as we did, the skies opened up and the race had to be cancelled.  The unfortunate part about that is that with the split purse, we actually got less money for running the Super DIRT Series race than we would have if it had been a regular event. 

Canandaigua was off for the Modifieds on Saturday, but we headed out to Weedsport on Sunday.  The car ran great in hot laps and in the heat race.  I started 2nd and finished 2nd in the heat race, which turned out to be our only race of the evening.  Just as the features were starting, the rain started to fall, and they were forced to postpone the remainder of the event to a later date.  It's too bad it rained because I really thought that we were going to have a good finish.  I guess it will just have to wait until the make-up date. 

This Saturday Canandaigua is off again for the Modifieds, but we will be at Weedsport on Sunday to run in the Super DIRT Series event that has been a hold-over since May.  Until then, take care for now!


Weekend Update 8/3-8/5

Hello Everyone!  After a weekend off, this past weekend turned out to be one of the busiest that we've had so far this year.  We ended up running Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night for the first 3 race weekend of the year.  On Friday we went to the Super DIRT Series race at Brewerton.  We had a decent car early on, but a late draw in time trials left us only 21st fastest.  The car ran great in the heat race, but unfortunately I got spun on lap two and could only rebound to an 8th place finish.  This sent me into the consi, where I finished in the 6th position.  Unfortunately, only five cars qualified from the consi, so we were unable to qualify for the 100 lap main event.  Despite the fact that we didn't qualify, the car was as good as it has ever been at Brewerton, so at least it was a good test session for the upcoming sail panel races there later in the year.  The bad news is that the curse of the Super DIRT Series is still alive as I am now 0-7 when it comes to qualifying for these events. 

On Saturday night at Canandaigua, the car ran as good as it has run all year long.  I was able to get a 2nd place finish in the heat race, and rebounded in the feature to get 5th after a tough start which pushed me all the way back to 11th at one point.  The key to Saturday night was getting through the big wreck on lap 9.  I believe that 7 cars were involved in the crash and there were some anxious moments while I came through the carnage.  Thankfully, I was able to get through without any major problems.  Over the last 15 laps, the car was great, and I was making good time on the leaders.  Unfortunately, I got stuck so far behind early, that I ran out of laps to get to the front.

On Sunday night, the car was really fast again.  I was able to get my first heat race win at Weedsport, which is something that I've been working at now for over a season and a half.  So, that was pretty exciting to get that out of the way, and get a little reassurance that our Weedsport program is going in the right direction.  In the feature, the car drove great early, and I was able to drive up to the 2nd position.  I stayed there until lap 15 when the car started getting a little loose.  I fought the loose condition the rest of the way, and slid back to the 7th position at the end.

Overall, the team and I had a good weekend.  Despite not qualifying on Friday, the car ran great all weekend, and I feel like we are ready to make a charge going into the final month or so of the season.  The week is a special week, as the Super DIRT Series returns to Canandaigua Speedway. is one of the sponsors of the race tomorrow night, so hopefully we can have a good outing for all of the fans in the audience.  It should be a fun night, so I hope to see everyone there.

Take care for now!

Weekend Update 7/21-7/22

Hello Everyone!  Last weekend turned out to be quite a unique weekend for racing.  On Saturday, the Five Star Series made a stop at Canandaigua Speedway, while Sunday offered up a rare regular 35 lap race at Rolling Wheels with none of the tour regulars in attendance.  Saturday night seemed more like a Super DIRT Series race than a regular Canandaigua race.  There were a ton of really good cars in attendance and a shortened field of 24 cars in the feature put a premium on qualifying.  I fought a pretty bad push problem in the heat, but I was fortunate enough to hold on to the 4th position at the end to earn a direct qualifying spot into the feature.  The only bad part is that I was forced to start 14th in a tough field of cars.  The car started off pretty good in the feature, and I was able to move up to around 10th before we had a pretty major problem.  I got hit going into turn 3, which I thought was no big deal.  Then going down the front straightaway, the left rear tire exploded, which sent me right into the front stretch wall.  Good work by my crew got me back out on the lead lap after a left rear tire change, but the contact with the wall severely damaged the front end of the racecar.  I was able to go back out and pick up 4 extra spots, which earned us the 15th finishing position.

After the Canandaigua race, we found out that the damage was even worse than we first thought.  Not only was the front axle trashed, but so was the front frame, which is covered by the nose piece.  We ended up having to spend most of the early morning hours, and then all of the next day straightening and welding the frame back up, but the team pulled together and we made it to Rolling Wheels in plenty of time on Sunday.  Unfortunately, I drew a pretty poor number in the pre-race draw, which created an uphill battle that we fought for the remainder of the evening.  Due to a 7th place finish in the heat race, I had to start 19th in the feature.  The car actually handled decent in the feature and I was able to move up to 13th by the end of the race. 

Over the last couple of days we have continued to rehabilitate the car from the damage endured on Saturday night and we should be back to 100% by the weekend.  This weekend Canandaigua and Weedsport are both off for the Modifieds so we are planning on running Brewerton on Friday night.  If the forcasted rain holds off, it should be a good test session for the upcoming Super Dirt Series and Victoria Series races at Brewerton in the coming weeks.  So, that is our plan for this weekend.  I'll let you all know how it goes!

Take care for now!

Weekend Update 7/14-7/15

Hello Everyone!  This past weekend turned out to be a tough one for our team.  On Saturday night, we battled Mother Nature for several hours, and then on Sunday night we had a major mechanical failure that put an end to our night before it even got started.

Saturday night at Canandaigua was one of those nights where you just wish that the weather would make up its mind.  From about 4PM on the sprinkles fell on the racetrack, but it wasn't enough to cancel the show until about 9:30PM.  So, we had to go out and run our heat race on an extremely fast racetrack.  We were pretty much wide open all the way around the speedway and it put up some impressive times for the Modifieds.  I had a really fast car, and but there wasn't a whole lot of passing opportunities, so I had to settle for a 2nd place finish, up one from my starting spot of 3rd.  Then the race to beat the rain began, and I thought for a while that they were going to get the show in.  However, the rain really started to fall halfway through the sportsman feature and the night was over.  So, I will start from the 6th position when the postponed feature is run on September 1st.

So, it was off to Weedsport on Sunday.  I was pretty confident that we were going to run well since the car has been decent there in recent weeks.  I inherited the pole for the heat race when Ryan Bartlett could not make it to the starting grid in time.  I jumped out to the early lead and swapped the lead with Steve Paine a couple times before I heard a huge bang in the driveline on lap 3.  I coasted to a stop to find that the driveshaft had let go and pretty much tore apart everything between the engine and the rearend.  We made a valiant effort to get the car fixed but halfway through the repairs we found that the transmission had been broken in the incident.  So, we were forced to load up for the night.  Missing the feature last night certainly hurt our Weedsport point standings, but I believe that we can rebound from the unfotunate circumstances and get back up in the thick of things. 

The damage to the car was pretty severe last night, but all of the safety hoops kept the driveshaft from getting into the driver compartment, for which I'm thankful.  We should be able to get everything fixed up and hope to see everyone this weekend at Canandaigua on Saturday and at a special Rolling Wheels Raceway appearance on Sunday.

Take care for now!

Update 7/10
Following the writing of this weeks update, it has been learned that Brewerton Speedway has postponed the Victoria Rules show for this Wednesday 7/11.  We will see everyone at Canandaigua on Saturday!

Weekend Update 7/7-7/8

Hello Everyone!  We only had one race last weekend, since Weedsport was off for the Modifieds.  On Saturday night at Canandaigua I took a pretty radical setup in an attempt to increase the forward bite in the car.  In hot laps the car responded well, but as the night went on and the track slicked up a bit, the car was very erratic.  I fell from 4th to 7th in the heat race and knew that I better get the new setup out of the car for the feature.  I took the car back to what we had been running at Canandaigua for the last month or so.  The only problem was that I was trying new things because this setup wasn't working on the black slick track conditions, which is what we had again on Saturday.  Right from the start, the car wasn't that good.  I tried running every lane that I could think of, but nothing worked all that great.  By no means did we run bad, but we just weren't a threat to win.  I was able to hold on to a 10th place finish at the end, which is respectable.  I've got new torsion bars that are going in the car this week, and I'm going to go back to the basic setup that was working well, only with a few minor tweaks that I've learned from my experiments.  Hopefully we can get our momentum back and start another string of top-5 finishes like we had going last month. 

Before we can get back to Canandaigua and Weedsport though, we are going to run the Victoria Rules races at Brewerton on Wednesday night.  They are running twin 20s with the sail panels, which should be a lot of fun.  I know that we all had a great time there a couple weeks ago for the first race in the series.  This one should be just as good, and hopefully we can improve our finish and crack the top 10!

Take care for now!

Weekend Update 6/30-7/1

Hello Everyone and Happy 4th of July!  This past weekend we only had one race, which was at Weedsport on Sunday night.  The Five Star Series was at Fulton on Saturday, so we had the night off from Canandaigua.  We took a little different base setup to Weedsport and it worked out pretty well.  It probably wasn't as big of a difference than I would have liked, but I think it might have been a step forward in our slick track program.  The car also ran really well in the heat race, when there was still bite in the track.  I started third and was able to get to the leader with one lap to go.  We went side-by-side down the bacdstretch and into turn 3, but unfortunately he was able to get a better run off of the top side of turn 4 to get the heat win by about a car length.  I was still pleased with 2nd, as it was pretty evident that we had the best car in that race.  In the feature, I started 9th and quickly made my way up to 6th.  I ran a lot of the race in that position but I think I fell off a little more than some of the guys, as they caught me within the last 15 laps to push me back to my original starting spot of 9th.  Normally when the track gets slick, we fall back outside the top 10, so I was pleased to at least hold our own.  Slick tracks have been our nemesis this year, but I think we are making progress on them.  The car was really fast for the first 15 laps, but then it tailed off, which is what we still need to work on.  I'm sure we'll get it in due time.  In the meantime, Sunday night was another solid top 10 for us at Weedsport, which is leaps and bounds better than we ever did there last year.  It's exciting to see the progress that we've made this year so far, and I really think we're on the brink of breaking through to the next level. 

On a side note, Marilou went ahead and won her first DIRT feature in the van "karmageddon" race at Weedsport on Sunday.  She drove a good race and held off strong pressure from the second place driver.  Not bad for her first time ever on the track. 

This weekend is another 1 race weekend since Weedsport is off for the Modifieds.  However, we will be back at Canandaigua on Saturday night and ready to give it another shot.  Also, coming up on our schedule is the second race of the Brewerton Victoria Mini-Series, which will take place on Wednesday, July 11th.  So, even though we have Sunday off, we are still going to have a busy week ahead of us.  It should be fun!  Take care for now!


Weekend Update 6/23-6/24

Hello Everyone!  I still named this entry the standard "Weekend Update" but this week we also had a special mid-week show.  I'll get to that in just a bit.  First, we had a race at Canandaigua on Saturday night.  For some reason, a few of the Fulton cars decided to switch over to Canandaigua last week, so we had a pretty high car count of 22 based on this year's standards.  Somehow, the handicapping system fell so that my heat race included the top-3 point earners plus a couple of the fast invaders.  Unfortunately, the heat didn't work out too well because of this, and I finished 6th, one spot out of a qualifying spot.  That left me with a lot of work to do in the feature, having to start from the 16th position.  The track got really black for the feature and I was certainly caught off guard by the conditions.  I had the same setup in the car that had gotten me back-to-back 3rd place finishes, but the car was just way too loose this week.  Even the bottom groove, which has been the only good lane, had nothing to offer in terms of forward bite.  I was able to finish the race ok, but I was never a threat to move up through the field as I had planned.  In the end, I finished 12th, moving up only 4 spots from my starting position.  While this wasn't the finish that I was hoping for, it wasn't a bad night, as we came out of it with no damage, and we can go back and try to figure out what we need to do to make the car better when the track gets really slick like that again. 

Sunday was an off day for us at Weedsport.  However, I went to Weedsport to watch the World of Outlaw Late Model race, which was very impressive.  Every time the late models come to upstate NY, they seem to put on a spectacular show.  We didn't have all of Sunday off however.  The team and I spent most of the day getting ready for the Victoria Mini Series Race that was held at Brewerton on Tuesday night.  We built sail panels for this race and had them all lettered up to match the rest of the car.  They certainly look a little weird, but they came out looking pretty good in my opinion.  So, on Tuesday afternoon we headed off to Brewerton.  The only downside of the day was the heat, but we were all able to make the best of it.  The roster for the race ended up looking a lot like a Super DIRT Series race, which made for hard racing.  In hot laps we fought an extremely tight condition, but after making a right front spring and brake adjustment, the car was pretty good in the heat race.  I was able to hold on to 6th position, earning the last qualifying spot through the heat race.  This was a big relief, because they ended up sending 6 cars home, and nobody wants the pressure of having to race your way in through the consi.  We made some adjustments and the car wasn't that bad in the feature.  It may have been a little on the loose side, but my biggest problem was coming through the traffic from my 18th starting position.  I went a lap down late in the race, but overall it was a good night to finish 15th.  The main thing was that we learned a lot for when we go back there in a couple weeks for the next race in the mini-series.  It was a lot of fun to go back to Brewerton, and I can't wait for the next race there.

This coming weekend, the Five Star Series is at Fulton, so Canandaigua is off for the Modifieds.  I'm going to take Saturday off, but you can be sure that I'll be there for the race on Sunday night at Weedsport.  Until then, take care for now!


Weekend Update 6/16-6/17

Hello Everyone!  The team and I ended up having a really good couple of races last weekend.  We started off at Canandaigua on Saturday night with a 2nd place finish in the heat race.  We made a couple of changes and the car was really good for the feature as well.  I took the lead on the second lap and stretched out to over a 3 second lead before the caution came out on lap 10.  Unfortunately, I got passed on the ensuing restart, but we had a decent car the rest of the way and ended up finishing 3rd for the second week in a row.  I battled for the lead deep into the feature, which is another step in the right direction.  I've been really happy with how the car has driven at Canandaigua lately, so hopefully we can continue our good performance there in the coming weeks. 

On Sunday we went back to Weedsport after having the previous week off.  The car ran really good in the heat race and I was able to move up from 5th to 3rd, just missing 2nd by about a foot.  The track stayed pretty good for the feature.  There were two distinct lanes that you could run.  I set up for the bottom, and that is where I stayed for most of the feature.  Somehow I was able to avoid all of the incidents that seemed to be happening all around me, and I was able to move up from my 9th starting position to 6th at the end of the race.  I seriously think that I may have been one of only a couple cars in the field that didn't hit at least one wall during that race on Sunday.  It was really a wild race!

So, we are coming off of our best Modified racing weekend to date, and I'm very excited about getting back to Canandaigua on Saturday night.  Weedsport is off this week due to the World Of Outlaws Late Model show, but I plan to be in action this coming Tuesday night at Brewerton Speedway for the Victoria 200 Mini Series event.  We have already begun to build our "outlaw sail panels."  As soon as I have a picture of the car, I'll post it on the main page.  It should be an exciting week of racing, so I hope that all of you can make it out to the track.  Take care for now!


Weekend Update 6/9-6/10

Hello Everyone!  We only had one race over the weekend, as Weedsport had the week off.  However, we had quite an event-filled night at Canandaigua on Saturday.  With the Super DIRT Series at Fulton, the door was wide open for someone to score an upset win.  The car felt really good in hot laps, and when the dropped the green flag in the heat race, it only took me a couple laps to get to the lead.  Just as I was settling in at the top spot, I made a mistake and got my right rear tire in the black slick section of the track in turn 3.  Much to my surprise, the car spun around.  Up until this point I've never been in real danger of spinning out since I started driving the Modifieds.  Nevertheless, the car spun around on this occassion, and unfortunately I got collected by Derrick Podsiadlo who was running in second place at the time.  Both of us were hurt too badly to continue the heat race which was a big disappointment.  When we got back to the pits we went right to work at switching to our backup front axle assembly.  I have to send out a huge thank you to all of the people that helped us swap out the front axle.  James Henry, Dave Conant, Scott Kruetter, and Mike Desane played a big part in getting us back in competitive shape for the feature event.  I think it may have been a little unfortunate that we had to start 13th in the feature because I honestly believe that we had a car good enough to win the feature.  For all 35 laps the car was on a rail and I was able to drive from 13th up to 3rd by the end of the race.  Not only did we get our best finish to date, but we did it by passing the most cars that we've ever passed in a race.  I would have liked a caution somewhere in the last third of the race to see if I had anything for the leaders.  We had new torsion bars, new rear tires, and a little different shock package than normal for the feature on Saturday night, and it seemed to pay off.  I could stay lower than everyone that I passed, which was key to our success.  So, the plan for this weekend is to take back the same setup and hope for same, if not better, results.  I'm really happy with the direction that the team seems to be heading.  We were able to rally together and rebound after a tough start on Saturday, which is only going to make us stronger.  I can't wait for the weekend to give it another try!  Until then, take care for now!


Weekend Update 6/2-6/3

Hello Everyone!  This past weekend turned out to be an exciting one for me.  I got my first feature win in a 600cc Micro Sprint at Paradise Speedway on Saturday night.  Canandaigua Speedway didn't run the Modifieds on Saturday night due to the Five Star Series being held at Can Am Raceway Park.  Therefore, I had the opportunity to head over to Paradise Speedway and run Paul Habeck's back-up 600cc Micro Sprint.  It is always fun to go back to Paradise Speedway, as it was the first dirt track that I ever raced on, and the place where I earned my first-ever feature win back in 1991 in a Microd.  Due to the random draw for heat race position, I was able to start 4th.  The track was pretty slick and my plan was to stick to the bottom.  I did so and I was able to drive up to 2nd by the end of the heat race.  I was pretty loose in the heat, but I decided to leave the car alone, as Paradise normally takes rubber and actually tightens up as the night goes on.  Due to my 2nd place finish in the heat, I was able to start 5th in the feature.  This ended up being a key aspect of the night because the bottom line of the racetrack was the place to be.  When they dropped the green flag on the feature, everyone in front of me drove really hard into turn 1 and slid up the track.  I went in easy, stayed low and was able to pick off 2 spots right on the first corner.  At this point I got stuck behind the 2nd place car and couldn't seem to find a way around.  It finally came to a point where I knew that I was going to have to drive the car really hard into turn 3 on the bottom to make the pass.  I did so, and a little to my surprise, the car stuck perfectly.  The unfortunate part was that the caution came out on the next lap and I had to give the spot back.  So, I was back in 3rd with 8 laps to go.  I was able to get a really good restart and the 2nd place car slid up in turn 1, so I was able to get that spot almost instantly.  Then, I set my sights on the leader.  I was able to reel him in within that lap by driving hard into turn 3 again.  I got a great run off of turn 2 on the next lap and took the lead going into turn 3.  Once I was out in front, I knew that I was going to be in pretty good shape.  I was running the extreme bottom of the racetrack, and I don't think that any car could ever have made an outside lane pass given the slick conditions.  So, I was able to hit my marks and bring home the win.  It really felt good to get another feature win at Paradise Speedway, 14 years after my last one at the speedway.  Not to mention that the last time I won any kind of feature was almost 2 years ago at Canandaigua on 7/9/2005.  It was good to finally break the win drought and to really get the confidence going as we get into the summer months of the season.  I definitely have to send out a special thank you to Paul Habeck and NorthEastern Pool and Spa for giving me the opportunity to get the win.  He gave me everything that I needed to get the job done, which included the sacrifice of his softest right rear tire (there wasn't much tread left on it after the feature).

Sunday was another interesting night.  With rain pouring heavily at home, I never would have thought that Weedsport would be able to get the show in, but they did.  We had a good car early in the night, picking up a 4th in the heat race.  However, when the track got slick for the feature, the setup that has been working really good at Weedsport seemed to struggle a little bit.  I had a pretty big forward bite issue and I fell to 14th by the end of the race.  Thankfully we didn't hurt the car very much, so I will have time this week to try to work out some of the setup issues that we may have had.  I'm sure we'll get it figured out, because I don't think we are far off on setup at Weedsport. 

This week Weedsport is off for the Modifieds, so our only race will be Saturday night at Canandaigua.  I'm looking forward to going back because I had a really good car the last time we were there, before I hit the wall.  I really feel that we are on the verge of breaking through at both Canandaigua and Weedsport, so I can't wait to go back and try again.

Before I go, everyone make sure to go check out my interview about my win at Paradise last Saturday night. 

I will see everyone at the track on Saturday!  Take care for now!


Weekend Update 5/26-5/27

Hello Everyone!  Along with the Memorial Day weekend came a pretty heavy schedule for myself and the team.  On Friday night I got the opportunity to race a 600cc Sprint Car for Paul Habeck Racing at Freedom Raceway.  This was my first New York Modified Midget Series start of the season, and it started off as a successful one.  The car handled really well from the start of the night and I was able to drive from 5th to 3rd in the heat race.  This allowed me to draw for one of the top 12 starting spots of the feature.  Luck was on my side and I drew the 2nd position.  At the start of the race I settled into 2nd but quickly discovered that I was faster than the leader.  On a lap 4 restart I was looking to make my move for the lead when my chain broke ending my night.  That was a little bit of a disappointment because I'm pretty sure that I had the car to beat the night. 

The next night was off to Canandaigua, which didn't end up much better than the previous night.  Again, I had a really good car, and I was able to rocket from 5th to 2nd on the first lap of the feature.  I tried the high side to get around the leader, but there was no bite on the top of the speedway.  So, I settle back in 3rd on the bottom of the track when I miscalculated a pass and hit the inside wall of turn 2.  This instantly made my left front tire go flat and as I was trying to get out of the way in turn 3, I got hit by another competitor and spun around.  When I made a pit stop to get the tire changed, we discovered that the front axle and the tie rod were also bent.  At this point, we had to call it quits for the night.  The good news is that the car was really good, so I have high expectations in the coming weeks for our team at Canandaigua Speedway. 

We ended up working most of the night and all of the next day to get the car ready for the Super DIRT Series race at Weedsport on Sunday.  We actually got done about an hour ahead of schedule, which was a nice surprise.  So, we headed off to Weedport where everything looked good until about ten minutes before hot laps.  This is when the skies opened up and the race got washed out.  I swear that Weedsport is becoming notorious for raining once everyone has already made the trip there.

On Monday night we went to the World of Outlaws Sprint show at Rolling Wheels.  These guys put on a great show, and it is always fun to see the Outlaws in person.  My ears were still ringing from the sound of those guys when I went to bed that night.

Canandaigua is off this weekend for the Modifieds due to the 5-star race at Can Am.  So, the only Modified race for us this weekend will be at Weedsport on Sunday night.  However, I will be making my return to Paradise Speedway on Saturday in Paul Habeck's 600cc Sprint Car.  It's always a fun time to go to Paradise, so Saturday night should be a blast.  I hope to see everyone there.

Take care for now!



Weekend Update 5/19-5/20

Hello everyone!  The team and I had another solid weekend at Canandaigua and Weedsport.  I ended up taking the same setup that finished 4th at Weedsport the week before to Canandaigua and the car ran really good.  I had a great heat race, in which we ended up taking the win over Chuck Bower and Gary Tomkins.  It was good to get the first heat win of the year out of the way.  I had a feeling that we would win a qualifier soon, as we have been running pretty good early in the night at Canandaigua all year.  I had another good run in the feature as well.  I was able to hold my 3rd starting spot all the way until about lap 23 when I was shuffled back to 7th on a restart.  It was still our best run at Canandaigua, and the car ran as good as it ever has there so I was pretty happy with the result.  I really think that we are getting closer and closer to having a break-out night at Canandaigua.  Even with the cars back from Can-Am last Saturday, we had our best ever finish, which is very promising for the future. 

On Sunday we went to Weedsport.  To my surprise, Weedsport was even tackier than it was the week before.  Only this week, the cushion on the top of the track never really got that big, which made the top side a lot more difficult to run.  I ended up running a low line in turns 1 and 2 and a high line in turns 3 and 4.  After a 5th place finish in the heat race, I was able to take my 6th place starting spot in the feature and run a very solid 35 laps to a 7th place finish.  At one point I got up to 4th, but lap traffic really seemed to hinder my progress more than the other drivers around me.  However, I was still very pleased to back up our 4th place finish from the prior week with another strong top 10.  I really think that we have stumbled across a really good, consistent setup for Weedsport.  It actually worked really well at Canandaigua too.  With a little more work and a few more tweaks I think that we could really start to get ourselves in contention for a win. 

This coming weekend is going to be a busy one for myself.  On Friday night I'm going to be running one of the Paul Habeck Racing 600cc sprint cars at Freedom Raceway in the New York Modified Midget Series race.  That is going to be a lot of fun, and a nice little warm up for the weekend, which is going to include Canandaigua on Saturday and the Super DIRT Series race at Weedsport on Sunday.  Let's hope this is the weekend that I break the Super DIRT Series qualifying jinx.  I think we've got a really good shot on Sunday based on how well we have been running of late at Weedsport.  It should be a lot of fun!  I will see everyone at the track this weekend, and take care for now!


Weekend Update 5/12-5/13

Hello Everyone!  This past weekend sure was an exciting one for the 1Up Motorsports team and myself.  We ran well on Saturday night.  For the third straight race at Canandaigua, we ended up finishing 8th.  However, I left feeling like we had a better car than our finishing position showed.  We were in 6th with about 5 laps to go before we slipped back two spots at the end.  Canandaigua has been surprisingly slick all year, but we are slowly getting closer to a setup that is going to work really well there under slick conditions.  Each week the car feels a little bit better, so I can't wait to go back next week and try again.  I did have a great battle with Derrick Podsiadlo and Butch Tittle that came down the to wire.  Everyone that I've talked to said that we put on the best show of the night.  Hopefully next time we can do it for the win, instead of for 6th place. 

Over the first two races at Weedsport we've struggled with forward bite a little bit, so I decided that I was going to go back to the basic Bicknell setup (with a few minor tweaks) to give ourselves a fresh start.  Weedsport ended up staying a little tackier than normal on the high side all night, and the setup worked great.  The car ran really well in the heat race and I was able to finish in 2nd place.  I pretty much left the car alone for the feature.  I took out some stagger but that was about it.  Due to some engine problems by Sean Beardsley, the pole got handed to me and the car was good right from the drop of the green flag.  I took the early lead, but lost it when Tom Juhl drove around me on the outside lane.  Right then I knew that I better get up there, and when I did, the car really came to life.  There was a nice cushion on the top of the track and I was really able to keep the momentum up all the way around the track.  I was unable to make up any ground on Tom Juhl, so I just tried to settle in and run a smooth line.  Jimmy Phelps caught me on lap 23 which pushed me back to 3rd.  The car was still good at that point so I knew that we should be able to hold on for a good finish.  I thought I had 3rd locked up, but I hopped the cushion in turn 1 on lap 32 and tapped the wall.  This slowed me up enough for Steve Paine to drive by on the inside.  Thankfully, I was able to gather the car up and finish the last few laps in the 4th position.  This was really a breakout night for the team and myself, as we logged our first top 5 finish in a Modified.  Our previous best at Weedsport was 11th, so it was a vast improvement from what we had become accustomed to.  Even when I had to go to the bottom of the track to get by some lap traffic, the car had really good forward bite.  Needless to say, I was very pleased with how the car responded to the changes that I made on Sunday morning.  Maybe, just maybe, I've stumbled across a setup that works well for my driving style.  Only time will tell.  I am definitely planning on taking a similar version of that setup to Canandaigua to see how it works there. 

Also, be sure to check out my post-race interview from Weedsport on

So, now we've got a little momentum on our side and hopefully we can start getting into a streak of top 5 finishes.  I feel that we've already made good progress in the first 7 races and I'm glad that we are starting to see some results in return for our hard work.  Before I go, I just want to say thank you to all of the people who have stopped by to lend their support and to tell us that we are going in the right direction.  I will see everyone at the track this weekend, and take care for now!


Weekend Update 5/5-5/6

Hello Everyone!  We ended up having great weather for both races over the weekend.  However, both races ended up being anything but normal.  On Saturday at Canandaigua, it took until the last possible minute for the car count to reach a respectable level.  There ended up being 19 cars, but for a long while we thought there was only going to be about 12 modifieds in the pit area.  I think DIRT started getting nervous and after the driver's meeting, all of us modified drivers were pulled aside and told that we were probably going to run twin 15 lap features on Saturday night.  This triggered a good bit of backlash from all of the modified drivers, who then unanomously voted to stick together and only run a 35 lap race.  DIRT's theory behind the twin 15s was to provide greater action for the fans seeing that there was a relatively small car count.  Unfortunatly, running twin races almost doubles the cost of racing for each competitor.  Whether the amount of laps is 15 or 25, we would have to put new tires on the car for each feature event, doubling our tire consumption for the night.  Needless to say, DIRT ended up giving in and letting us run the scheduled 35 lap feature event.  I started 5th in the feature and quickly jumped up to 3rd place.  In the next few laps I made some driving errors and next thing I knew I was in 9th place.  That was pretty discouraging because I could tell that the car was much better than that.  I was able to regroup during a caution and drive back up to the 6th position.  Then a late-race restart jumble cost me, and I ended up finishing the race in 8th place.  Overall, we had a decent night.  I think the car was capable of much more than an 8th place finish, which is encouraging.  In addition, the car seemed to be handling better than it ever has on a slick surface. 

I ended up leaving the exact same setup in the car to start Sunday's event at Rolling Wheels.  I was able to draw 4 in the pre-race sign-in, which put me on the pole of the second heat.  I was able to grab the early lead, but ended up sliding back a few positions by the end.  It came down to a drag race between Danny Johnson and myself for 4th place, which he unfortunatly won by about a foot.  So, we ended up finishing the heat race in 5th, which was the last qualifying spot.  Even though we fell back a few spots, I was pretty pleased with the progress that we had made since our first trip to Rolling Wheels last fall, in which we were not even competitive by my standards.  Rolling Wheels also provided us with a nice place to test our new engine combination.  Thankfully, I was very pleased with how the engine performed.  The real debacle of the day began with the start of the feature event.  This was when I believe that the dust level at Rolling Wheels reached a new high.  They dropped the green flag and there was an immediate dust cloud that encased everything and everyone.  When I started slowing down to figure out where I was going, I got hit from behind and was sent spinning down into turn 1.  I just tapped the outside wall with the back bumper, so the damage wasn't bad enough to keep me from continuing.  I know that the guy behind me never saw me, so you can't really blame him.  I certainly know that I couldn't see any of the cars that were ahead of me.  So, I rejoined the field at the back and this time I was really cautious driving into turn one.  This time, as I started to turn into the corner, I saw a car flying through the air next to me.  Come to find out, the 8 car never saw the inside wall and launched himself off of it.  Luckily, I missed that wreck.  DIRT then decided to restart the race single file, which didn't really help matters that much.  I was basically just riding around from then on.  On lap 24, I felt something fail in the brake system in turn 3.  As I came down the front stretch I was going to try to turn into the pits.  As I was slowing down, I came out of the dust cloud and saw the pit entrance pass me by.  At that point I had no choice but to hit the brakes and I spun into the grass off of turn 1.  As it turned out, a brake pad somehow broke out of the left front caliper, ending our day.  It was probably for the best, because I was pretty much ready to pull off anyways.  It was just way too dangerous to be out there, running at speed, and not being able to see the front of your car due to the amount of dust.  How anybody finished the race is beyond me.  I was planning on running the full Rolling Wheels schedule, but after the track conditions last night, I think I'm going to have to reevaluate those scheduled dates.  Even though the ending wasn't the greatest, we did learn that our engine enhancements are working, and that we are gaining ground on our slick track setup, so it was a postive day and weekend overall.  We'll fix the damage from yesterday and see everyone at the track this weekend.

Take care for now!

Weekend Update 4/28-4/29

Hello Everyone!  Last weekend turned out to be a light weekend for us.  We only got one race in on Sunday at Weedsport.  The weather didn't cooperate with us Saturday at Canandaigua, but we all went there and sat in the rain for a couple hours before it was decided that the races couldn't continue.  After we left Canandaigua, we actually headed down to Paradise Speedway to see Bob run his 270cc micro sprint.  At Paradise, the weather stayed good just long enough for us to get there.  Then the skies opened up and washed out that event as well.  So it turned out to be a double washout on Saturday, but that lightened our workload for the trip to Weedsport on Sunday.  The weather couldn't of been any better and there was a pretty good field of 29 modifieds that showed up.  The car was decent early in the day, just like it was last week.  I was able to qualify through the heat race for the second week in a row, which is a vast improvement from always running the consolation races last season.  DIRT sent 5 cars home, and for once we were not one of them.  I made a lot of changes to the car inbetween the heat and the feature in an attempt to have a better feature car than I had the week before.  We definitely went in the right direction, as the car was a lot better.  Unfortunately, we still dropped back to 14th place, but that is still a lot better than where we were finishing at Weedsport last season.  We still have work to do to increase the forward bite in the car, but I am happy with our progress and the fact that I was able to stay on the lead lap in a race that went green for the entire distance.  Little by little, we are having better results and it is very encouraging to everyone involved with the race team.

This weekend is going to be another busy one.  The weather looks like it is going to be great, so we are going to try to run Canandaigua on Saturday night and Rolling Wheels on Sunday.  The 5pm start time at Rolling Wheels doesn't leave us much time to turn the car around, but hopefully we won't damage the car too badly on Saturday evening.  I always look forward to going to Rolling Wheels, and this time I get to try out our new engine combination.  Last year, Rolling Wheels was the place where we could definitely see that we were lacking in our engine program.  I think we should have all of that solved now, so I can't wait to go back and try my hand at the Wheels!

I'll see everyone this weekend, and take care for now!

Weekend Update 4/21-4/22

Hello Everyone!  The weather turned out to be great for the opening week of racing.  It is hard to believe that most everything dried up in time for last weekend.  I think it may have even caught some of the racetracks off guard, which created some pretty dry and dusty conditions.  I think Canandaigua was the dustiest that I've seen it in years.  The slick racetracks made for some interesting racing though.  Overall, our performance over the weekend was decent.  We had some high points and low points, but we started off this season a whole lot better than we did last year. 

I took a little bit of an experimental setup to Canandaigua on Saturday.  Looking back on it, it may not have been the best idea due to the heads-up start of the first week.  I really struggled with the car in the hot laps and the heat, which didn't give us the greatest starting position for the feature.  If it is any consolation, I did learn alot from the changes that we made with the car early on in the day.  What is even better is that the car responded to the changes when we decided that we better go back to last year's setup for the feature.  I ended up having a pretty good car during the feature on Saturday.  It wasn't a threat to win, but it was a nice stable setup for the first race of the season.  As it turned out, we had about a tenth place car, that I was able to finish 8th with due to some attrition during the race.  The car drove well, and it didn't loosen up a lot late in the race like it normally did last year.  That tells me that we are definitely going in the right direction.  The 8th place finish tied our best ever finish from last year, so it is very encouraging to repeat that performance in the first race this season. 

On Sunday afternoon, the first race at Weedsport was held.  I basically took the same setup there that was working good for us at the end of last year.  The car seemed quick right out of the box, and I was able to score a 3rd place finish in the heat.  This was a pretty big achievement, as I was not able to qualify through a heat at all last year at Weedsport.  Our luck continued when the pre-race inversion put us on the pole for the feature event.  I thought that we were going to be really good in the feature, but due to a number of factors the car got extremely loose and I slid back through the pack.  However, we were able to stay on the lead lap and finish the race in 16th.  Despite the struggles that I faced in the feature event, I feel that we made good progress with our Weedsport effort over the winter.  The car really felt good early in the day, and now we just have to fine tune our setup to make sure we are in the running when it counts.

All in all, it was a good weekend for our team.  All of our work over the winter seems like it is going to pay off, and the car held up nicely throughout the weekend.  I expect to see the same dry slick racetracks this coming weekend that I saw last weekend, so I've already begun formulating a setup plan to boost our slick track package.  I just don't foresee non-slick tracks with the 5pm start times again for this weekend.  So, hopefully we'll be a little more prepared for the dry conditions this weekend and improve on last week's finishes.  The weather is looking good for Saturday and Sunday, so we'll see everyone this weekend at Canandaigua and Weedsport. 

Take care for now!

Final Preparations

Hello Everyone!  This weeks almost seems like deja vu of last week.  The Canandaigua practice session has already been cancelled for the second week in a row.  In addition, Fulton has already cancelled for Saturday night.  This sets almost the same stage as last week, where Canandaigua could end up having a psuedo Super Dirt Series race on opening night.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see how it turns out.  I actually had the chance to drive by Canandaigua Speedway earlier today and there was still a lot of standing water, especially in the pit area.  Hopefully the temperature will get high enough over the next couple days to dry everything out in time for Saturday afternoon. 

In the meantime, we have received our engine, and it is in the car and almost ready to go.  We just have to fit our new Beyea exhaust and we are race ready.  The extra week really worked in our favor, as I'm not sure that we would have made it in time for last weekend.  So, you can imagine how happy I was to hear that last weekend was cancelled.  We had really good results with the engine on the dyno, and I'm excited to see what our new head and intake combination has to offer on the racetrack.  I really believe that we are now in the ballpark when it comes to our engine program.  I definitely think that the horsepower and torque that we were lacking last year was a bigger hinderance than we even thought. 

So, over the next couple days we're going to be putting the finishing touches on everything, and if it starts to dry up, we'll see everyone at Canandaigua and Weedsport this weekend!  Take care for now!


Off-season Update 4/12

Hello Everyone!  I thought I would write a quick little update on our status.  Unfortunately, we are about a day and a half away from dropping the green flag at Canandaigua, and we are still without an engine.  The good news is that Billy Campbell has promised us that it will be ready in time.  Right now the plan is to put the engine on the dyno Friday night, and then drop it in the car Saturday morning, just in time for the race.  I sure hope everything goes as planned, because this whole situation has become pretty stressful for myself and the team.  Just a few months ago we were way ahead of schedule, and I never thought that we would be forced into this last-minute situation.  However, I guess you can't do much about engine parts being backordered.  We have had time to get everything in place for a quick engine installation, so I'm confident that we'll make it to the race on Saturday without any problems.  The real question is with the weather.  There isn't supposed to be any rain on Saturday, but the cold weather is going to persist, which is going to make it tough on everyone.  I guess we'll just have to see how it plays out. 

We had the opportunity to take the car to the DigSafely NY show at Turning Stone Casino on Tuesday.  The car was once again a big hit with the attendees, and the new paint scheme looked awesome under the Turning Stone spotlights.  I have pictures of the event that I will post soon. 

Well, if the weather holds off, we'll see everyone at Canandaigua and Weedsport this weekend.  In the meantime, we'll be thrashing away getting our engine situation taken care of.  Hopefully the wait that we had for the engine parts will pay off for us.  Take care for now!


Off-season Update 3/30

Hello Everyone!  Racing is now just 15 days away, and we are only about a week away from the practice day at Weedsport.  For most of the winter our race team as been way ahead when it comes to being ready.  Unfortunately,  we've slipped behind over the last couple weeks due to some circumstances that are out of our control.  Billy Campbell is still waiting for our new heads and intake to arrive in order to have our engine finished.  For whatever reason the heads got backed up in production, and that has put us behind a little bit on the engine.  We are also still waiting on the delivery of our new Beyea Custom headers.  Hopefully, they will arrive in another week or so.  Otherwise, we'll have to use last year's headers for the first couple races.  I'm sure everything will work out just fine, but we are definitely going to be rushed a little bit more than we were expecting.  The chassis itself is mostly done other than going through and checking to make sure that everything is tight one more time.  We got the body panels back from Pilat Design last Saturday, and they look great.  The car is a completely different color scheme than we have ever had before.  However, I think it is also one of the best looking cars that we've ever put together, so I hope that everyone likes the color change.  As soon as we get the body mounted, I'll put up some pictures of the finished product. 

So, that leaves the question of what I'm going to do about the practice day at Weedsport.  There is very little chance that the modified is going to be ready for the April 7th practice day, and I also have to take the car to the DigSafely New York show at Turning Stone on Tuesday, April 10th.  Due to those reasons, I won't be running the Modified on the 7th.  However, as of right now, I'm scheduled to do a gearing test with the Paul Habeck Racing 600cc sprint cars that day at Weedsport.  The only problem that I'm seeing with that plan is the weather.  I realize that we are still over a week away, but the weather looks like it's going to be very cold, with the possibility of snow.  If that is still the case come the 7th, we may have to postpone the gear test.  So, we'll have to see how it shakes out. 

No matter what happens next week, we will definitely be there opening night at Canandaigua on April 14th.  I'm looking forward to getting back to the track, as this season is going to be exciting.  So, hopefully I'll see everyone on the 7th at Weedsport for practice.  In the meantime, I'll keep everyone updated here on our engine progress as everything starts to take shape.  Take care for now!


Off-season Update 2/23

Hello Everyone!  Well, the countdown to racing season is definitely going quickly and we are almost to the 50 days to go mark.  Things are progressing very nicely with our car and I truly believe that there is the potential for us to have a breakout season in 2007.  The body is on the car (I will be posting the pictures soon) and pretty much all of the chassis components are in place.  We are getting ready to do the last bit of painting on the body and then that is ready to go to get the graphics done.  I will also be posting the new car design soon for everyone to see.  I'm really happy with the way it turned out and this year's car is definitely going to be one our our best looking racecars that we've built.  Other than that, we are just awaiting the return of our engine and we are ready to go.   

I have tried to sort through the schedules that have been posted by DIRT and I've come up with my tentative 2007 racing schedule.  It is going to be a busy year juggling all of my Modified responsibilities, and also trying to get in as much NYMM racing as I can.  I've put astericks by the races on the schedule that I would like to race at this time, but are ultimately going to be decided upon when the dates get closer. 

I'm also going to try to get some pictures of the NYMM Series car that I will be driving on select occasions in 2007.  Last year I found the NYMM Series to be a fun challenge and I can't wait to run with that series again.  I'm especially looking forward to the Fulton race when the NYMM Series opens for the World Of Outlaw Sprint Cars.  Hopefully everything will work out, and I will get to compete that night.  I think that I will have a definite advantage at Fulton due to the amount of laps that I've logged there in the past. 

As I'm sure you can tell, it's going to be an exciting season.  Stay tuned to the site as the season's pace is starting to quicken, and a lot more information should be coming soon. 

Take care for now!

Off-season Update 1/15

Hello Everyone!  On Saturday night I had the opportunity to attend the New York Modified Midget Series banquet as a guest of Paul Habeck Racing.  The people at NYMM should be commended on the quality of not only their banquet, but the entire series as well.  The banquet had a great turnout, and it was done with a great amount of professionalism.  To my surprise, I was honored with a framed certificate for finishing 39th in points after running only 3 races.  I certainly wasn't expecting that, so it is evident that I've been racing in DIRT for a while now.  I also got my Rookie Graduation certificate for completing three races in the NYMM series.  For the first three races, all new drivers to the series must start at the back until they can prove that they are capable of not causing any major problems.  While we had quite a few laughs throughout my three races about the fact that they were starting a DIRT Modified driver at the back, they stuck to their policy and enforced the rules as they should have.  Overall, the NYMM banquet was a huge success and I look forward to my next chance to run in their series. 

The Modified is coming along nicely.  Right now we are in the process of finishing up the interior sheet metal, and soon we are going to be able to start hanging the new body.  The new front hubs and rotors just came in, so they are being installed as well.  Dan Pilat is also working on options for our 2007 graphics design.  I'll post them as soon as we receive them from Dan.  I'll be sure to take some more pictures this week for the 2007 rebuild page.  We have certainly made a lot of progress.

There have also been some questions rolling in as to my 2007 schedule plans.  Currently I'm just waiting on the release of the schedules from DIRT before I set up my 2007 schedule.  I have addressed the scheduling issues further in the lastest entry of "Ask Chad."

Take care for now!

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