Cat’s in the cradle: How I live the first dream I ever had, every day

I reflect often on how blessed I am to be able to do any number of things. From going to college, having a job, being healthy – and being able to call myself a racecar driver.

But one of the things I can’t quantify, no matter how much I think about it or count myself fortunate for it, is the great relationship I have with my Old Man, who’s been a tremendous role model for me through the years, to say the absolute least.

Since I was 8 years old, we’ve been going to the races together, sometimes with my mother and sister, about 35 times a year on average, for the last 14 years now.

That works out to roughly 490 days and nights at speedways both dirt and paved. We’ve fielded entries at 30 racetracks (those are just the ones I can think of right now) across Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, South Carolina and Florida. That includes nearly every dirt track in New York, others we have visited without a car, and the only few we’ve never set foot at are Canandaigua, Freedom, Genesee, Afton and Woodhull.

So, we race a lot.

We ride in the truck together a lot, at least an hour each way. Every race comes with a week’s worth of work in the garage, where we watch TV or listen to classic rock on the dusty speaker in the corner to pass the time we spend on our backs on the concrete floor, working on cars we hope will roll into victory lane that weekend.

So, it’s more than just a lot of time I spend with my dad, who started his own racing career back in 1986 at Devil’s Bowl Speedway. He hung up the helmet in the early 2000s to raise me and my older sister and run his business.

With Dad manning the wrenches and me at the wheel, we won a lot of races together in the days of go-kart and scale-car racing, about 125 of them. The closest races were in Argyle and Ballston Spa, New York. The furthest were in Hamlin and Reading, Pennsylvania.

Now, in the ranks of fairly major, regional auto racing, we’ve collected three victories since 2017. Things got a lot harder when we started racing against 40 or more cars every week compared to up to 10 in the days of karts and scale-cars.

We recently returned from a trip to Lake City, Florida’s All Tech Raceway where in a week’s worth of racing we placed fifth out of 44 entries with a string of top-10 finishes. Before that, we were in South Carolina, racing in seventh position when a tire failure on the final lap relegated us to 18th.

Before racing, dad attended Castleton University and earned a bachelor’s degree in Media and Communication. He wrote columns in the Central New York based racing news publication The Gater Racing News and worked at Domino’s, later becoming a franchisee, a position he retired from in 2019.

Outside of racing, I attend Castleton University, earning my bachelor’s degree in Media and Communication. I’ve written racing articles for Dirt Track Digest and RacePro Weekly, been hired to broadcast racing events for groups like Lebanon Valley Auto Racing, Orange Motorsports Entertainment and RacePro Weekly, and I still have my first job that dad gave me eight years ago at the Domino’s Pizza location he used to own in my hometown of Bennington.

The first thing I ever wanted to do in life, was to be like my dad, and at least in the racing, the writing, the education, and the pizza, all of which I am only able to do with the outstanding support of my family, supporters, teachers and mentors, I’m sort of close.

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