Saturday night, I arrived at Fonda Speedway later than normal due to commitments earlier in the day.
It was a pleasant sight, though, when I came over the bridge at about 5:30 and looked down at the fairgrounds parking lot — it was packed.
Lately, the Fonda crowds have been late arriving, but at least they still are arriving for a night of entertainment.
Granted, having 70 laps of feature racing on the track before qualifiers for the regular show and kiddie rides were a big factor, but it was great to see the turnout.
The program did run over a bit as the sportsman and budget sportsman features did not make it onto the track before the midnight curfew. The sportsman division will not run double features this week and the budgets are scheduled to run double features when they return June 7.
I do have to apologize to the pro stock division drivers. In my haste to get a story filed for Sunday’s edition, I left out the second pro stock main event.
So, here is a brief account of the race.
After a fifth-place run in the held-over pro stock feature, defending division champion Ken Gates stared on the outside of the front row and took command at the drop of the green.
Kenny Martin took the lead on a lap-eight restart, but would fall victim to a flat left rear tire with three laps to go. Gates went back to the point and held off Chip Smith for his first win of the season.
For Smith, it was his second runner-up finish of the night. Ivan Joslin, Luke Klob and Nick Stone made up the top five.
The budget sportsman division made its first appearance at the track this season with 18 cars on hand. Heat race victories went to Bill Wilder and Frank Hoard III.
Saturday night, a pair of local drivers made their return to Fonda Speedway after taking a year off.
Drew Fallis was on hand in the T31 sportsman and drove to a qualifying spot in his heat race.
John Bradt returned to the track in the street stock division and pulled off a secondplace finish in the first street stock feature of the night.
Twister Valley ready
Twister Valley Sports Complex in Fort Plain will open its gates for the 2008 season this weekend.
Saturday the track will be open for practice for bikes and quads from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a charge of $20 per rider. Sunday, the Rock Maple Racing tour event will take to the track featuring Quad, Pit bike racing and the Utility Quad Challenge.
Sunday is the scheduled 42nd season opener for Albany-Saratoga’s sister speedway Devil’s Bowl in Vermont. . . . Johnstown’s A.J. Romano is the early season points leader in the modified division at Albany-Saratoga Speedway. He leads Todd Stone by four points. . . . Modified rookie Danny Varin led early in both modified features Saturday night at Fonda Speedway. It looked like a promising night for the second-generation driver until he got turned around on a restart in the second feature. His No. 93 suffered major damage in the multicar wreck. . . . Danny Johnson picked up the victory in last Sunday’s Victoria 200 at Utica-Rome Speedway.