Highlight Moments From Unmuffled Episode 52

On Episode 52 of Unmuffled we talked with Renee Dupuis on the 20th anniversary of her historic first victory in a Modified at the now closed Riverside Park Speedway.

Dupuis talked about the changing landscape of females competing in the sport over the last two decades and the frustrations she’s sees in 2019.

“I think that I did come to embrace the whole [being a female in racing] thing,” Dupuis said. “Whatever advantage you have, you have to take advantage of it. If there’s something that stands out and gets you sponsorship or gets you attention or gets you the attention of a crew chief that can help you, whatever it is, you really have to take advantage of that. And I hate to sound like ‘Oh I did this 20 years ago’, but I did. I did it 20 years ago and there were no females. I never raced against another female until I raced at Wall a couple years ago with Shawna Ingraham, and she did a great job. But there were no females.

“Now it’s like there are a lot of females. And there are a lot of females that are really really competitive and that I support and that I would love to see move up the ranks and do better. But then there are some females that are just out there and they think they get attention because they are a female and I think the sport has a come a long way from where we were 20 years ago and I think it’s not enough to just be a female out there anymore. And I don’t care where you start. You can start at the bottom, but as long as you show improvement and you get better, that’s fine. But if you’re going to just kind of hang around and not show any improvement, for me it’s very frustrating. There’s a lot of time and money and effort that goes into whatever sort of racing you do. When I see that it’s just kind of wasted it’s super frustrating for me. Like ‘God, put somebody else in there and give them a chance.’ There’s a ton of people that deserve to be in good equipment and show what they’re capable of and to watch resources just get completely wasted to me is very frustrating.

“… I’m sure there’s going to be some people that are not going to agree with that, but it’s just my perspective. Sitting around for the last couple of years and getting to watch local racing, touring series racing, being able to kind of sit back and watch all that from a different perspective, having been involved as a driver, having been involved as a car owner, having been involved as my own crew chief at times, I have a of perspective where I can kind of see it from different viewpoints. There’s just some of it that’s frustrating, but then there’s some of it that’s absolutely fantastic. Like Meg Fuller when she came on the scene last year and just a couple races in she won [in a Street Stock] at Stafford. That’s phenomenal. That kid is going to do great things. I’m happy for her. There are a ton of females that are doing very well. But there’s some that aren’t.”

Ron Silk (Photo: Jim DuPont/RaceDayCT)

Former NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour champion Ron Silk, a 16-year veteran of the series, talked about how sees the health of the division in 2019.

“I think it’s pretty good right now. I think it’s different than it was 10 years ago. Ten years ago there were a lot more car owners per say. At least it seems that way to me. It was easier to find a ride. There were more available seats. There’s more family-owned teams now where either the guy driving is a son or owns the car himself, which I don’t think is necessarily a bad thing. I like what the Tour has done with schedule. It’s nice to go down and race those two races down south early in the year when the weather is not great up here. And then we’re pretty much racing up in the Northeast, where I think we should be racing. Obviously that’s where these cars are most popular.

“I think when the spec engine came out it was a big discussion and people weren’t happy with it with all the investment they had into their built motors. But I think it’s worked out. I think in the long run the spec motor is definitely a cheaper option than the built motor. It’s cheaper to maintain. I hope the Tour keeps doing well for a long time. I enjoy racing in it, I love the cars and all the race tracks up here.”

Todd Owen

Longtime SK Modified and Tour Type Modified veteran Todd Owen talked about his resurgence over the last three years.

“It’s the people that you surround yourself with. I have some awesome people that work out of our shop with us. My crew, my friends, my family, everybody that helps out, I wouldn’t or couldn’t be where I am right now with that. I guess basically the biggest thing is I just started focusing more on what I needed to do in life more than anything to get my racing program straightened out.”

Visit the RaceDayCT Insiders Patreon page to access the entire episode of Unmuffled and also access all our previous broadcasts.

Episode 52 of Unmuffled is presented by our Patreon marketing partners from New England Racing Fuel, RH2Way Radios, Swanson Buick/GMCLifeCare Family Chiropractic, SAFCO Foam, Mid-State Site Development, Central Mass Tree, Draco Racing Springs, Dunleavy’s Truck & Trailer Repair, Compressed Air USA, Mike Smeriglio III CPA, Hoosier Tire EastMidState Compressor, Mark’s Northeast Motorsports Expo, Pro-Tech 8 Gloves, Bullring Bash,Independent Wheel, 100 Percent Printing, Casagrande Builders, Falmouth Ready Mix, Wheelers Auto, Rent A Race Car New England, Four Seasons By The Lake, Mark’s Parts, Mark’s Classic Cruise, Sign Pro, North End Auto PartsMagna Steel Sales, New Hampshire Motor SpeedwayRiverhead Raceway, Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway.

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  1. Geez could Renee be talking about Melissa in the 01 tour car
    I will say this when Renee competed on the tour she was pretty competitive had some good runs

  2. sour grapes of cat fighting says

    If the 01 is doing the best she /they can at this time then so be it.. I think they are … why would someone spend such a considerable amount of money and time to run the tour and not have the desired outcome ?. there are other teams who show up and may not be competing for the win but are there non the less doing what they love.. without those teams there would be no racing.. I like Renee. but she sounds bitter here ..perhaps a little jealous and is probably angry that in her mind the equipment other females are driving isn’t getting used to its full potential … well go get yourself a ride for goodness sake Rene . not taking away anything she has accomplished in the past ..probably some rides “for rent” perhaps someone will step up and put her in a car ..are there still some quality rides with open seats in the sks at Stafford??? ..or a touring series??? someone should give her a call and she can walk the walk…

  3. Fast Eddie says

    I’d bet a fair sum of cash if Rene made a run in Melissa’s car, the difference would be like night and day. Rene (and/or a number of other drivers) could definitely have that car running more competitively.

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