By Jamie Dymond
SULLIVAN COUNTY May 27, 2003 Three years ago Dave Dunlap, owner of Hilltop Contracting, made a pact with two of his workers, Todd Gadoury and Fred Hyzer.
Lets go racing at Kauneonga Speedway, were the words Dave Dunlap muttered and for better or worse he has kept his promises to both Gadoury and Hyzers son, Mike.
Last year during their second season of racing, John DeMarmels of Parksville joined Gadoury and Hyzer, both of Liberty. Then Dunlap, who had proven himself to be a promise keeper, told the boys clinch the championships and each of you can move up one class!
All three of them set their sights on the points championship and week by week it became a closer reality. They dominated weekly and on several occasions all three sat in victory lane on the same night.
DeMarmels, who has raced for 12 years, was unbeatable in the Eight Cylinder Division. He has 56 career wins and 12 of those victories came last season. In the Six Cylinder Division, Gadoury put his Monte Carlo in victory lane 17 times last season. Hyzer, who is the youngest member of the team and a sophomore at Liberty Central School, visited victory lane five times.
The job was complete as each one of them were awarded their trophies and track point champion leather jackets at the awards banquet in November of last year.
Unfortunately, Dave Rocket, promoter of the Kauneonga Speedway, threw a wrench in Dunlaps plan. Rocket announced that he would discontinue the Six Cylinder Division.
But Dunlap kept his promise. Gadoury landed in the Eight Cylinder Division, where he is quickly adapting to a higher level of competition with more cars going at a faster speed. Three weeks into the 2003 Kauneonga Speedway racing season, Gadoury, who is currently third in points, is once again the man on the move.
With no Six Cylinder Division to move up to, Hyzer got to jump up to the Eight Cylinder Division. All things considered, he is proving himself to be more than capable as he has finished eighth, 14th, and ninth in the seasons first three races. He is racing against men who have competed in the division for five or six years.
DeMarmels will be making his first appearance in the Street Stock division in a few weeks. DeMarmels 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix is sure to be a top contender.
Joining the Hilltop Contracting Team this season is Liberty resident Shawn Tyler. Tyler collected his first win in the Four Cylinder race on May 17.
Dunlap has created a winning racing team, which is no small feat. Dunlap takes pride in the building and maintenance of the four cars that reside in his shop in White Lake. These guys have more in common than a similar paint scheme on their race cars and those blue flame shirts they sport at the races. Each one has a passion for racing that is undeniable. Anyone who has been at the race track can see it.
In the world of racing, talk is cheap and actions speak volumes. Each of the drivers has proven himself on the track and shown a level of dedication that is only present in winners.