There was much talk in the off-season about Dave Lape turning back the clock and running a black paint scheme similar to the one run on his No. 22 in the 1980s.
Instead, at the Fonda Speedway car show this year the big block modified sported the bright blue paint his cars have run for more than a decade.
Saturday, the rumors of “the black car” were put to rest as the Palmer’s Service modified was rolled out of the trailer with the sharp, flame adorned, black-andwhite body panels.
The nose piece carried the words “Back in Black … The Matt Noles Project.”
The rear panel saluted former members of Lape’s crew who have died.
After leading the majority of laps in his qualifier, Lape settled into second behind Pat Ward. The retro-look modified has yet to see feature action as Saturday’s modified, sportsman and pro stock features fell victim to rain and will be run first on this Saturday’s race program.
The 360 Open Sprint Car feature that was on track when the rains came will be run May 31 in addition to the scheduled ESS Sprint car program. Justin Barger was leading the race when the red flag was displayed for Warren Alexson’s fourth-lap accident. He is the defending race winner of both the 360 Open and ESS events.
Fans should get their money’s worth ($10 general admission) this week with double features for modifieds, sportsman and pro stocks, and main events for the street stocks and IMCAs plus the first appearance of the season for the budget sportsman racers.
VanAernam Memorial at Glen Ridge
The annual Bob VanAernam Memorial race for street stocks will be run Friday night at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.
The event is the kickoff event of a four race series with a separate points champion being crowned at the season-ending banquet.
The 30-lap feature will pay $300 to the winner.
If the car count for the event is 20 cars or more, Andy’s Service Center and Snap-On Tools are each putting up a $100 bonus, bringing the winner’s share to $500.
Though it is still early in the season, the modified points chase at The Ridge is heating up.
There is a three-way tie for the top spot with 192 points between defending track champion Craig Hanson, JaMike Sowle and Floyd Billington.
With back-to-back victories in the budget sportsman division, Jeremiah Munson has taken a small lead over Angela Hoard.
Powered by three feature wins in four weeks, Dave Bayes sits eight points ahead of Chuck McSpirit, who holds the other feature win, in the street stock division. Dave Sullivan and Rob VanAernam are dead-locked in third.
Kerrie Hollenbeck is in command of the cruiser points chase with 224 points while Chris Andrew and Bobby Reinhardt are tied for second with 206 points apiece.
Hohenforst wins at Malta
After suspension problems knocked Josh Hohenforst from the lead in the opening night sportsman feature at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, the Gloversville driver dominated Friday night’s sportsman main to pick up his second career win.
James A. Ellis is a sports reporter for The Leader-Herald. We invite your feedback on this or any other sports-related topic. E-mail your opinions or ideas to us at email@example.com.