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Racing Around: Glen Ridge point battles heating up

July 30, 2009
By JAMES A. ELLIS, The Leader-Herald

While there has been a lot of attention to the Saturday night rainouts, Mother Nature appears to have switched venues.

Glen Ridge Motorsports Park has rained out three of the last four Friday nights and this Friday does not look too promising either.

The points battle at the Ridge is heating up in the DIRTcar modifieds with defending modified track champion Jeff Brownell Jr. leading 2007 track champion Craig Hanson and Paul Kinney by 56 points. Brownell Jr. has 622 points, while Hanson and Kinney have 566.

Brownell has four feature wins so far this year and Kinney has two. Hanson has kept pace without the benefit of a victory but has placed in the top five in nine of 11 starts.

Jeremiah Munson has a 48-point lead over Korey Wilder in the DIRTcar sportsman points chase. Bodies Bellinger is 38 points behind Wilder in third.

Things have come together for Justin Knight this season at Glen Ridge. He has seven victories in 11 starts and the street stock points lead over John Babcock, 678-626. Babcock has two wins this season, while Rob VanAernam and Shannon McDermott have one each in the division.

Knight also holds the lead over Babcock in the Harry's Auto Street Stock Series.

Laurie Fallis tops the points chase in the 4-cylinder cruiser division with a 21-point advantage over Ken Hollenbeck. Kerrie Hollenbeck pretty much has a secure hold on 6-cylinder title, leading Harley Shepard, 720-594.

In the Ridge Runners sportsman series, Jack Gentile tops the standings with 152 points with Wayne Stearns two points behind and Angela Hanson third with 118.

Back on top

Canajoharie's Otto Sitterly is back on top of the supermodified point standings at Oswego Speedway.

Sitterly, the defending track champion, leads the points chase with 600 points, while Joey Payne is second with 563, while Doug Didero is third with 554.

Sitterly, who has two wins this season, will compete in the $10,000-to-win Mr. Supermodified event Saturday at Oswego.

Kudos to the people behind the scenes

Most race fans are familiar with IMCA driver Howard "the Iceman" Smith. He has been a longtime supporter of Fonda Speedway's street stock and IMCA divisions as a driver.

Kelley Keefe and Ed and June Keyser are also familiar sights at the Track of Champions.

Last Saturday night, they all stepped up their games and switched their normal roles to be race promoters.

As he has done in past seasons, Smith sponsored the Wilma Smith Memorial honoring his mother. He has done this since being a competitor with the street stocks sponsoring a dash for non-tobacco using drivers. When he moved up to the IMCA, he carried the tradition with him.

The Keysers are well known to the kids at Fonda Speedway for their work with the Fonda Futures Kid Program.

Saturday, they provided heat race victory bonuses to modified drivers, Dave Lape, Elmo Reckner and Jimmy Davis and sportsman drivers Neil Erickson and Tony Farone. The bonuses were presented in memory of their son, Michael, who was killed in an accident shortly after graduating from high school.

Keefe's efforts as the driving force behind the Hondo Carpenter Classic for pro stocks has made the race one of the premier local events for the division.

Saturday's race drew 28 competitors to Fonda Speedway, each competitor in the feature went away with a bonus in their pay, and they all received a complimentary package of prizes put up by a variety of race sponsors.

Rumors have it Keefe is already working on the Fifth Annual Hondo Carpenter Classic.

Congratulations to everyone involved in bringing,

Speaking of rain

Watching the news last night, one of the local stations showed flooding along Route 20 in the area of Lebanon Valley Speedway.

The field across from the track appeared under water and up to the doors of some campers along the tree line. The infield at the speedway also was underwater.

Rain also forced the postponement of Wednesday night's 50-lap Lucas Late Model race at Utica-Rome Speedway to tonight.

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



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