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Racing Around

Glen Ridge survives another challenge

June 5, 2008
By JAMES A. ELLIS, The Leader-Herald
I guess racetracks have been and probably always will be targets for criticism.

Twice this year there have been scares that the town of Glen was attempting to shut down Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.

Wednesday night the Town Board met again and Glen Ridge owners again came away with the assurance that the board was not trying to shut it down. Only looking out for the town by making sure that all the “i’s” were dotted and “t’s” crossed with the track owners Jim and Jeff Hayes.

Granted when the track opened it was for go-karts and slingshots. The karts and slingshots are long gone and now modifieds are the premier class.

If I remember correctly, last year, the board put a curfew on the Sunday night racing with the previous management team. When Mike Romano and Jake Spraker took command, they switched race night to Fridays and I believe they have run a number of times past 9 p.m. without problems.

Complaints against race tracks are nothing new, though. Fonda Speedway was pressured about the noise levels when Ralph Compani ran the track and again when Ric Lucia came on board.

Albany-Saratoga and Lebanon Valley have also withstood challenges of people looking to shut down the tracks by people who bought or built houses near the tracks, but didn’t realize race cars make noise and dirt tracks create dust.

I know not everybody embraces the sport of auto racing, and crowds and car counts have thinned out over the past couple of decades. The sport itself is not the same as it was 10 or 20 years ago, heck, even five years ago for that matter.

I guess what puzzles me is some of the “fans.”

I check in on some racing Web sites and read their forums. I actually like the forums. They are great places to voice your opinion, and everyone is entitled to theirs.

But sometimes I have to shake my head and wonder what the “fans” are doing. The comments sometimes are more destructive to the sport and the tracks than any town board could ever think of being.

Granted it is just a handful of “fans” who do this, and yes, not everything in the racing world is rainbows and sunshine. But if the fans and media don’t support the sport from a positive angle, then who will?

Just my opinion.


After driving to a second-place finish a week ago, 14-year-old Kory Wilder did one better last Friday, picking up his first career victory in the budget sportsman division at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.

Speaking of budget sportsmen, they will run double features Saturday at Fonda Speedway.

Added event

The Glen Ridge Motorsports Park announced that on July 4, special races will be run for the modified and budget sportsman divisions.

The two races will be open tire rule race with the modifieds racing 40 laps for an added purse, while the budget sportsmen will run 30 laps. Both are non-points races, but 20 points will be awarded for all regulars attempting to qualify.

Street stocks and cruisers will be on the racing card as well, running for regular points plus the card features the debut of the XL 600 mini mods.

King of Dirt

The second race in the King of Dirt Series at Caroga Creek Raceway will take place Friday night. The first leg of the event drew more than 100 karts to the pit area.


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