Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Isles Demo Man

I may WEAR my Islanders pride, but Gravel drives his. He gives a new mean to "Drive for Five."

I met Mike and his son Alex on the NYIC message board a few years ago. He used the customized station-wagon wreck as his avatar. He's a true blue Islanders fan that attends games, goes on the group road trips and shows up for the events. He spent six months getting the graphics on this derby big boy just right. Last week, he made an announcement on the message board.

"I'm ending my racing career after 31 years of doing demolition derby. I promised myself I would stop when it wasn't fun anymore. While I still enjoy racing, it is putting pressure on me with work, family, and maintaining a home. Time is the real enemy. I've raced at Freeport, Islip, Riverhead, up and down the east coast, Ohio, Mass., PA., I usually get 1 race out of a car."

From what I've seen of demolition races, that would figure. Mike wants to go out in his pride & joy. It's been a good run for him with help along the way.

"A very good friend is my major sponsor. Bob Benison of Albin Ave. Auto Salvage in Lindenhurst. He has given me free reign with his flatbed, fully equipped shop, and his 2 best mechanic's Juan and Vinny Belfiore. Without these people, I would have quit long ago, but not on my terms, which is very important to me."

So for Gravel and the Isles 'wreck,' this will be a bitter-sweet ending. But better to go out on your own terms.

The last race of Gravel's Islander pride will take place at Riverhead Raceway on Sept. 19, 2009. Come out and cheer him on.


Anonymous said...

Thats my brother!!!!!! Love him. Now go kick some butt!

Anonymous said...

Good Deal Brother.. It's not bad retiring from Demo's. You can hang ut with me now,,LOL Your bro Pete

Building Materials Supplies said...

The Isles Demo Man

THanks for sharing