The drivers gunning for a spot in the 40-lap NMX Go Green Thunder Series feature had to make a choice Saturday night at Fonda Speedway. Run for the heat race victory and get 10 points for the win, or settle into third, collect six points, but start up front.
In the pit meeting before last Saturday’s race program, race director Marty Beberwyk announced the unique points system.
Five drivers qualified for the main event through the heats, all would collect points toward the Thunder Series championship.
Heat winners picked up 10 points, eight for second, six for third, four for fourth and two for fifth. The top three drivers were inverted in the feature line up with the third place finishers filling the top four spots, second place drivers, five through eight and the winners ninth through 12th. The rest of the qualifiers would fall in.
Beberwyck said the format would be used for the entire series.
So, that means feature winner Matt DeLorenzo picked up 60 points for the feature win plus eight points for his second-place finish in the third qualifer for a total of 68 Thunder Series points. Only the 60 for the win go toward the track championship.
Runner-up Pat Ward came away with 64 points (56 plus 8), while third-place finisher Dave Camara has 58. Brett Hearn finished fourth and Bobby Varin fifth, but finished the night tied with Camara with 58 points. Hearn received 50 for fourth and eight points for second in his qualifier. Varin won his qualifier for 10 points plus 48 from the feature.
Plus, all non-qualified drivers entered in the heat races received 20 points toward the track championship, the minimum for qualifying for a feature.
This could lead to some very interesting strategy come the season-ending 100-lapper in September.
The modified drivers also must have taken the Go Green series title seriously as they went the 40-lap feature caution free.
It should be noted that a pair of “young guns” turned in solid performances on the track Friday night at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.
Fourteen-year-old Korey Wilder turned in a strong second place finish in the budget sportsman division.
Nate Sitterly, son of Oswego supermodified racer Otto Sitterly, raced his way to a third place finish in the xruiser division feature.
On a side note, Otto won the main event at Oswego two weeks ago and is the supermodified points leader.
Sprint car action
Local sprint car fans will get their fill this weekend.
Friday the CRSA sprinters will take to the track at Glen Ridge for their first race of the season. The evening’s race sponsor is Lacko Farms of Middleburgh.
The rain-delayed 360-open sprinters will run their main event at Fonda Speedway. Also on Fonda’s program are the Empire Super Sprints.
The ESS race will be the Fifth Annual Earl Halaquist Memorial in honor of the event National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee. The event is also the second leg of the GSSI I-90 Challenge where five drivers will share a $1,000 point fund set up for the two events at Utica-Rome and the Halaquist Memorial event at Fonda.
Leading the GSSI points coming into the Halaquist Memorial is Utica winner Jason Barney, followed by Lance Yonge, Jeff Cook, Dan Kaszubinski and Justin Barger. All five drivers have a shot at the overall title with Barger looking to make the biggest move as he is the defending Memorial winner.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.