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Racing Around: Champs flex muscles

April 23, 2009
By JAMES A. ELLIS, The Leader-Herald

It was a good weekend for the defending track champions.

At Fonda Speedway, Bobby Varin and Jeremy Cramer posted feature victories in the modified and IMCA divisions respectively. At Glen Ridge Motorsports Park Jeff Brownell Jr., Kerrie Hollenbeck and Jeremiah Munson raced to wins.

Fonda Speedway sportsman champion David Towns and Glen Ridge street stock champion Chuck McSpirit didn't do too bad either, as both brought home second-place finishes. Kenny Gates also had a strong run, coming on late to finish a close third in the Fonda pro stock main.

I know it is way too early to even be thinking about a points chase, but it is the psychological factor it gives the champs. Now, like a race lineup determined by time trials, the rest of the field is chasing the fast car.

One good thing about having heads-up starts the first couple of weeks until handicapping standards can be established, it leads to some outstanding racing action in the qualifiers.

The move of the night came in a modified heat race, when A.J. Romano slid hard into turn one, dove under Varin and came away with the lead. Varin was able to get back in front on the last lap of the qualifier to earn the outside pole, but it served notice that Romano has his modified handling and will be a factor as the year progresses.

Luke Munroe also pulled off a feat that has not been done too many times in the past couple of seasons. In the sportsman feature, Munroe chased down and passed Towns after he got a lead. Munroe was fast all day, coming from the last starting spot in his heat race to finish third.

Towns, Mark Kislowski and Munroe were locked in a battle on the front end of the feature before Munroe came on late in the race to pick up his fourth career victory.

Brownell's run in the Glen Ridge modified feature also was impressive.

With cautions dominating early in the race, Brownell stayed patient on the restarts to hold his advantage. Behind him, Varin, driving Erik Nelson's big-block, and Josh Hohenforst kept the fans on their feet with their battle for the runner-up spot.

Munson and Angela Hanson also kept the fans cheering as they diced for the lead in the budget sportsman main. Hanson held off Munson until late in the race when he slipped by to pick up the victory.

Saturday, Angela let her husband, Craig Hanson, borrow the car after his modified developed mechanical problems in his heat race. He drove the No. 113 to a 14th-place finish in the feature.

Inaugural run

The Capital Region Sprint Car Agency will make its first visit to the "Track of Champions" Saturday night.

The group of highly-competitive 305 sprint cars has established itself with close competition and plenty of local talent.

The CRSA main event is a double point feature with the winner receiving a bid to the Racesaver 305 Nationals at Fork Mountain Raceway in September.

Starting time change

Fonda Speedway will make the switch to its traditional 6 p.m. starting time Saturday. The program will feature modifieds, sportsman, 602 Limited Sportsman, pro stock, IMCA and street stock competition along with the added CRSA sprinters.



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