Don Hawk, David McGrath, Sid DiMaggio, Who’s Off Their Meds And Much More On The Latest Unmuffled

On Episode 121 of Unmuffled we catch up with SRX Series CEO Don Hawk on the big announcement today on the series schedule for 2022. We also check in with New Hampshire Motor Speedway executive vice president and general manager David McGrath to talk about the start of the NASCAR Cup Series season coming up and some of the cool new things happening in 2022 in Loudon. And we also check in with our old buddy Sid Dimaggio from Vault Productions to talk about his plans for the 2022 and also rap about things going on from the local tracks. And we have our wildcard chatter segment with some boxing talk – remember Peter McNeeley? We also check in on who is off their meds on Facebook. And as always try to fill in some of the blanks on the rumor mill front.

Episode 121 of Unmuffled is presented by our Patreon marketing partners from New England Racing Fuel, Swanson Buick/GMCLifeCare Family Chiropractic, Mid-State Site Development, SAFCO Foam, Broad Brook Brewing Company, Tick Mike’s Organic Tick & Mosquito Spray, Mid-State Site Development, Tri-Track Open Modified Series, Compressed Air USA, Hoosier Tire EastMidState Compressor, Casagrande Builders, Falmouth Ready Mix, Coastal 181, Wheelers Auto, Rent A Race Car New England, Sign Pro, North End Auto PartsMagna Steel Sales, Mark’s Northeast Motorsports Expo, JDV Productions, NASCAR, New Hampshire Motor SpeedwayRiverhead Raceway, Stafford Motor Speedway and Thompson Speedway.


  1. Most of you busting your hump every day trying to make a living don’t have time to research and digest everything said on Unmuffled. I do and since I’m bored to death waiting for February 12th I’m going to prattle on about a few things.

    -So the winner of the Sizzler looks to be getting a spot in the SRX race it appears. Not a new thing the winner of a race at Slinger made it in and did quite well but this is an interesting twist for we local fans.
    Admittedly I tend to read too much into these things but have to wonder. How do the top guys in modifieds that may not have scheduled the Sizzler that would have a real chance to win it ignore this opportunity. I’m talking about the Massa 51 team, Hirschman, the 16 and 79 as well. A two day commitment that’s expensive but the money being put up is great. Does this get them off the fence and onto the entry list?
    Nine different drivers have won Stafford open races. Any of them could win the Sizzler and you could add 9 more that have the chops to do it so it’s going to wide open. For those signed up already how does this SRX incentive change their preparations? How many will be bringing their best motor and chassis combination, doting every I and crossing every T for this one? Local favorites like Pitkat in that new Dunleavy 88, Dowling, Rocco, Williams. What are they thinking now???
    -SRX will tell you they are not competing with NASCAR and will be making of special point of it this year. Then again they hire a guy in Don Hawk with a resume that includes multiple positions in his career growth that are intimately associated with NASCAR he might as well have NASCAR tattooed on his forehead. Aside from that he’s obviously a really enthusiastic guy as well as being sharp as a tack and a natural step up in leadership as the series evolves.
    -I tend to forget who Shawn Courchesne is he’s been doing this deal for so long. I could imagine however if you got him in a relaxed situation and pumped him with a few drinks you could listen to his stories all night in covering sports. Not to say that RaceDayCt is not a big deal it’s the natural development of a career. However hobnobbing with nationally known sports figures when newspapers were relevant and covering big events is certainly a long way from the local racing scene.
    -Sid DiMaggio made the point that when he started over a decade ago no one was doing video and now it’s prolific. He implied that there was some commonality in the products now and a great deal more competition. There may be all of that and Vault Productions may have content that is garden variety stuff in todays video world. That being a video device, mic and people talking. Like the Making Laps podcast I love but lets be honest. It’s three guys with minimal preparation just saying whatever comes to mind. Or the NLARO on the Road series that is just a person video taping an experience in life and reacting.
    I get it, everyone wants to be The Joe Rogan experience. Just video, audio, a person with opinions and questions. Respected expert or conspiracy theorist everyone has the same credibility with no fact checking or regard for what is real. It’s trash. Put out, reacted to and irrelevant as soon as the next bizarre nonsense appears.
    What separates Vault Productions and Mr. DiMaggio eluded to it is the extensive research and editing. Bonssa Tuffa did it once for his TC special and was exhausted after the successful effort. DiMaggio does it all the time and what he has on his plate coming up is mind boggling based on the amount of work it will take to put the product out. So no Mr. DiMaggio in my view you have no peer on the local racing scene. The best of Vault Productions like the Speedbowl documentary series will be relevant and interesting a decade or two from now. All the trash podcasts that are outrage generators will be long forgotten. It may not make you rich but at least your legacy will be respected and not that of a crass opportunist like Rogan.
    -Welcome JDV Productions to the list of marketing partners. I did listen carefully and noticed a couple things. Marketing the JDV races separately is a good idea in my view. Jennerstown is what it is but as the season approaches it strikes me that the package of races in New Hampshire could take on their own identity. Many, many teams in easy commute and if they somehow can be more team friendly can attract a lot of the teams that appear in MRS and TTOMS events. It also makes the point that the NWMT events this year are more open events then ever with this separate marketing push.

  2. Otis Sistunk says

    Wow Doug it seemed like that last three paragraphs/pages you offered up was nothing more than you taking a long way around to criticize Joe Rogen. I frequent this site much less than I would because you and a few others like you feel compelled to weigh in on non racing topics like you are right and you must put it in text on these comment sections. Just because you have not been challenged much if any before now you seem to be taking more liberties to “enlighten “ the rest of us. Don’t need people on a racing comment section weighing in on politics or anything else. Plenty of places to take that in besides coming on here to see your backhanded critiques and criticisms.

  3. Fair enough but I wouldn’t classify Rogan as political. He’s a media personality and since his current dust up concerns vaccinations it would be more health related then anything wouldn’t it?
    If you’re being honest whether you visit the site or not has nothing to do with me. It’s a comment at the end of an article from an anonymous nobody and there’s no rule you are obligated to read it.
    The way it looks to me is what you want to do most is complain. Not offer any insights of your own, not try to cobble a unique entry of your own that people might find interesting using your own initiative you just want to react and complain. Were it not me it would be someone else on Facebook or another message board any place you can just be annoyed by someone about something.
    So effectively you’ve called me an a-hole so join the crowd.

  4. Otis Sistunk says

    I did not call you a name ,effectively or no, and I don’t care how you would or would not classify Rogan, I don’t come to this site for either. I also don’t care to see your opinion on health related dust ups and vaccinations or masks or things that you , a self proclaimed nobody can’t seem to leave out of so many of your comments. I am being honest and the reason I don’t try to cobble together any constructive entries of my own is because of non racing innuendos by you and a few other’s. I can’t get past your veiled attempts to criticize or enlighten people who don’t see non racing topics the way you do. This is the only message board that I frequent and I don’t do social media so no it would not be someone else annoying me about something .I will however take your advice and ignore any and all comments .

  5. Now that these podcasts (atleast from what I can tell) are getting longer, which is a great thing. But i cant always listen to the whole thing at once. Would you ever consider putting some time stamps in the description for each guest and the rumor part?

    “SRX will tell you they are not competing with NASCAR and will be making of special point of it this year. Then again they hire a guy in Don Hawk with a resume that includes multiple positions in his career growth that are intimately associate”

    I think you are reading a tad too much into it. Motorsports, and just sports in general, tend to. Recycle the same people among themselves (not saying that’s a bad thing). I’m not sure how many great decisions SMI has had in the last 15 years while he was there, either. They screwed up Bristol, Texas and Kentucky with reconfiguration. They made Sonoma worse by running the carousel. They pretty much picked a fight with the drivers with the Atlanta reconfiguration. They used PJ1 a lot. The only thing got right IMO was the roval. Seems odd he left when it was going to be such a major year for both the company and sport in his work area between next gen, Nashville fairgrounds, North Wilksboro and anything else. Odd they haven’t named a replacement 3 months later still.

    Will be interesting to see what he can do with SRX though, and if you see any “SMI-ness” in his decisions.

  6. Zig13,
    I’ll definitely take that thought into consideration as far as putting some descriptions for length.

  7. “Otis Sistunk”-I thought that name jogged a memory. Great name and much like the NFL football player Otis Sistrunk who played for the Raiders in the 1970’s. That jogs another memory. You know the hardship inflation is having on many now? Try closer to 15% when Otis Sistrunk was playing football in the 1970’s with mortgages routinely at 17%.
    Let’s take a step back here and look at the bigger picture.
    This thread relates to content provided exclusively to Unmuffled subscribers. In order to make an informed comment it’s probably a good idea to have listened to what was said. I am an Unmuffled subscriber, I did listen to the content and I did comment on specific things that were said.
    Hopefully we’re making progress here. You’re taking my suggestion to ignore me and that’s a good thing. Don’t punish Mr. Courchesne because of me he works so hard tt this.. At this point in time he’s providing more content then ever before and at an exciting time with New Smyrna on our doorstep, the Sizzler, SRX and all the driver moves and race decisions being made. More in my in box just this morning, it’s freakin great.
    Consider joining Unmuffled if you haven’t done so already so when you start to whine about me at least you’ll have some idea of what the topics were in the first place. You never know you might actually get motivated to make a contribution that does show you know something about racing like zig13.

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