BY: KYLE SOUZA
SEEKONK, Mass. – Each week, Seekonk Speedway releases the digital magazine to fans across the country. The magazine has interactive ways for the fans to find out what happened over the past week at the track. Whether it’s feature stories, race results, or a sponsor profile, there is plenty for fans to read and view.
Speaking of the race results stories, have you ever wondered who puts them together? Each week, for years, the stories have been published but many of you may not know who is actually writing them. Here is your chance to find out.
Dana Rowe, who is a substitute teacher at Keith Middle School in New Bedford during the school year, has been doing the race results stories for years. But that isn’t how he got his start in racing at the famed third-mile.
“When my son was four of five years old, we were camping up in New Hampshire, right near Lee USA Speedway,” Rowe said. “My son asked what the noise was and I told my wife we should take him to the race track. We didn’t do it that year, but the next time we went up to New Hampshire, we went to the track. He loved it.”
The year after, Dana took his son to the opening practice session at Seekonk. It was then that Dana started getting deeply involved in the racing at Seekonk. Although he had done writing for the school paper at UMass Dartmouth, Rowe was only getting started. He worked as the editor of a weekly newspaper in Westport shortly after and then he worked for the Standard Times out of New Bedford.
“They told me I had to go cover soccer and I told them I had never been to a soccer game before in my life,” Rowe said. “About all I knew was that they kicked the ball around until it went into the ball.”
After that venture, Rowe moved to the Taunton Gazette, where he did some more writing. It was later on that he started getting involved in racing at the third-mile oval even more.
In 1991, Rowe got a job writing for the Seekonk Speedway inside the weekly program. Instead of doing race results at the time, Rowe did some feature stories. One of the fondest memories of his writing at Seekonk came while doing a feature story about former champion Wayne Dion.
“I went down to his shop and just did the usual thing,” Rowe said. “Wayne told me he had been at Seekonk for years and everyone knew his history, so I told him I wanted him to tell me his future. He started telling me about some of his racing dreams. It turned out well. Wayne said that he thought he had given me a terrible interview, but the article I wrote was the best anyone had ever written about him.”
Shortly after, Rowe took a few years away from racing. About eight years ago, he brought a friend to the track and all of a sudden he was back doing work for the program. While working at a railroad, Rowe met his a girl that had been hired as a photographer.
“She said that she loved auto racing, but she had never been to a track to see an actual race, and she was from North Carolina, so I had to change that” Rowe said. “I brought her here to Seekonk to see the test and tune session. She took a ton of pictures. She loved it.”
While he was at the test session with her, Rowe was walking around the pits and current office manager Gail Pangelinan spotted him and made a phone call.
“Gail called me and said that they had seen me walking around the pits even though I hadn’t been there in a while,” Rowe said. “She asked me to come back to the track and do some of the race results. That’s how it all got started up again.”
Rowe mentions that he enjoyed the feature stories over the years, but since then, he has focused in on doing the race results stories for both Fast Friday and NASCAR Saturday nights. His stories appear weekly both on the website and inside the digital magazine.
So, there you have it. The man walking around the pit area with the white beard is the same man that writes the stories, like this one, you read on a weekly basis.