DION PONDERS OXFORD 250 RUN FOR MIKE ROWE by MikeTwist
It Might Be Too Late in the Game For Two New England Legends to Team Up
As the clock ticks closer to the TD Banknorth 250, a classic pairing for the biggest short track race of the year in New England is looking less likely. Area race fans will likely need to be satisfied with what could have been for this season’s race.
And what could have been would have been big.
Rowe has his own car sitting in his shop after he decided to join up with the SP2 Motorsports team for 2005. That pairing has already produced two victories so far. The seed for a Dion/Rowe team got its start during the off season at an Oxford press conference when the two drivers did a little bit of bench racing.
If a ride was offered would Dion take it? A lot depends on how his family’s race team would react to the ride.
“I probably would,” said Dion. “When he first approached me at the Oxford press conference, I said ‘Gee, drive for Mike Rowe, that would be great.’ But I really can’t do anything without my brothers. I really need them to get excited. If I get excited, they’ll go along because I’m their brother. But I want them to get enthusiastic and say ‘that’s a good ride, let’s do it.’ I hope that Mike keeps bugging Paul and Roger [Dion]. The minute that they say go, I’m ready. I’m their driver.”
Dion and Rowe are considered two of the best in New England. Dion has won the 250 three times and Rowe has been to victory lane there twice. They’ve battled wheel-to-wheel in many forms of racing, but the two drivers have always respected each other.
“I think a lot of Mike,” said Dion. “To have someone of Mike’s caliber to select me as a driver would be great. To have one of your peers select you. Wow. Nothing is more of a compliment to a driver than to have your peers picking you. Not a car owner or a sponsor, but a driver that I’ve gone wheel to wheel with and crashed against. To have him say ‘I’d let you drive my car’ means a lot to me. Wow.”
“I think that our paths were a little different, but I think that we both represented where we raced. He represented Oxford. We both represented the 250, Busch North, ACT and outlaw racing. I think that he’s proud of his career and I’m proud of mine.”
Another project that Dion has been involved in has been a book chronicling his career that he has helped MRN Broadcaster Dave Moody write.
Dion (#29) dices it up with Andy Santerre at NHIS earlier this month. ( Leif Tillotson Photo)
“It’s coming good,” Dion said of the book. “Monday night [after NHIS] we sit down and I’ll put a name and a time and a place with all of the pictures. It’s going to the publisher next week.”
Dion has enjoyed the time that he has spent working on the publishing project since it has given him a chance to look back – and ahead.
Mike Rowe (51 Photo)
“I told Dave about six weeks into it that everybody should get a chance to just sit down and write a book. To week by week think back on your life and then convey it to somebody is great. You realize what life you have left and know that you can do a heck of a better job with it.
"You can appreciate the people that you know and learn from the things that I did when I was young that were dumb. Now, being around the sport, my brothers and my friends, I know that I’m pretty blessed to be able to do this. Whether you have a good day or not, it’s still pretty neat.”
Two drivers who might be consider the best stock car racecars out of Northern New England ever discussed teaming up for the 250 with Dave Dion driving a car owned by Mike Rowe.
According to Dion, the possibility of driving for Rowe was raised earlier this month after the IBG-PASS Series competed at Oxford Plain Speedway.
“Mike called me after that fiasco up at Oxford,” said Dion. “I returned his call and got his voicemail. Then I was busy at Lake Erie and I said that I’d get back to him. I know he’s busy.”