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Racing Around: Lape makes changes

April 9, 2009
By JAMES A. ELLIS, The Leader-Herald

While talking with veteran modified driver Dave Lape at the recent Fonda Speedway car show, it was a little unusual to hear him say that he has to learn how to drive all over again.

With 99 modified feature wins under his belt at the Track of Champions in 45 seasons, I think he has some idea of how to get around the half-mile.

However, those wins came with a big block under the hood. Lape starts his 46th year of modified competition with a small block under the hood and a new sponsor on the rear quarter panels.

"We had this small block in for the McDonald's race at the end of the year," Lape said. "But we made the wrong adjustments for the feature. We set the gear up for a hard, slick track like we did for the big block. We learned quickly that you don't do that for the small block. We will have to learn all over again. It is kind of exciting."

Delaney Construction has come on board as a primary sponsor on the No. 22, which returns to sporting a bright blue paint scheme after carrying a retro-look black paint job for most of the 2008 campaign. Of course, the traditional 13-point flames remain around the numbers.

There was plenty of good news coming out of the car show. There also were plenty of new questions.

Most of the questions were about crate engines and the addition of the limited sportsman 602 crate division to the weekly race card that already features the modifieds, sportsman, IMCA, pro stock and street stock divisions.

Some of those questions will be answered this weekend as fans will get their first look at the competition in the class as the 602s will be the undercard on Saturday's season-opening event featuring the 40-lap, $4,000-to-win "Ice Jam" for modifieds. The winner of the modified feature also will pick up a guaranteed starting spot in the May 10, $10,000-to-win Victoria 200 at Utica-Rome Speedway.

Warm-ups also are scheduled Saturday for all divisions. Racing is slated to start at 4 p.m.

Also on Saturday's program is the annual Easter egg hunt for the Fonda Futures Kid's Club. The young fans are asked to sign-up for the hunt at the Kid's Club table at Gate 2.

Fonda Speedway will drop the green flag on the chase for the 2009 track championships with a full card of racing April 18.

Mallett returns to Fonda

After a one-year hiatus, Mike Mallett will return to the announcer's tower at Fonda Speedway this season.

Mallett teamed up with Paul Szmal two years ago before moving on to call the Empire Super Sprint races.

Szmal moved from the area during the offseason to take an announcing position in the Midwest.

Caroga Creek, Glen?Ridge postponed

Caroga Creek Raceway was scheduled to host its first race of the season Friday. However, the weather has forced the non-points show to April 17.

The event will feature all go-kart divisions plus slingshots. A swap meet also is slated at the Ephratah raceway.

Glen Ridge Motorsports Park was scheduled to host a practice session Friday, but was forced to postpone the event. Track officials are working on another date for the event.



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