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Racing Around: Zemken posts solid showing with 602

August 6, 2009
By JAMES A. ELLIS, The Leader-Herald

Tuesday night, Ray Zemken landed a solid blow for Fonda Speedway's 602 limited sportsman division.

The veteran driver put together a solid run to finish second behind Luke Munroe and ahead of David Towns in the 25-lap added feature.

Granted, 18 sportsmen took the green for the feature, but with the race being run caution free, it allowed Zemken to keep his momentum going forward. If there were a caution, in my opinion, the open sportsman cars have the advantage on restarts.

Fellow 602 competitors Aaron Jacobs and Rich Lamont also made the field and proved to be competitive.

Does this mean that all 602s would be competitive with the open class?

No.

However, on certain nights, tracks like Fonda, favor less power to get the job done. It is somewhat like the "slower is faster" theory.

The rumor mill has it that crate engines will be the sportsman class' engine of choice next year. Of course, with all the different crate options becoming available and the drivers figuring out how to get the most out of them, the competition should be close.

The drivers with the open sportsman engines will need to make the jump to the modifieds, where the small blocks have already proven themselves. It was not too long ago that the 358 was looked at like the 602 crate. But over time, and under certain conditions, the small block has proven to be a winner.

I will confess, though, there is nothing like the sight and sound of a 700-horsepower big block modified firing up and running wide open at Fonda.

Tuesday night

While the racing Tuesday night at Fonda Speedway was outstanding in both the modified and sportsman divisions, the car counts were disappointing.

The midweek special drew 30 modifieds for the 60-lap, $6,000-to-win feature, while there were only 18 sportsman cars taking to the speedway for a 25-lap, $1,000-to-win main.

The season-opening Ice Jam, draws big numbers, usually because it is one of the first races of the year and drivers are looking to see what their new cars can do.

Tuesday's show drew modified invaders Brett Hearn, Stewart Friesen, Andy Bachetti, Danny Johnson, Mike Ricci, Pat Ward and sportsman invader A.J. Filbeck.

Racing at the Ridge

With rainouts on four of the last five Friday nights, Glen Ridge Motorsports Park has adjusted its schedule.

Glen Ridge will open its program Friday with kiddie rides. The program will feature the final leg of the Harry's Auto Street Stock series and the champion will crowned. Justin Knight leads the series with John Babcock second in series points and defending series champion Dave Bayes in third.

Not only is the series title on the line, but cars displaying a Wendy's Restaurants sticker will qualify for a bonus that boosts the winner's share to $450.

The sportsman division will be running for a bonus purse as the UPS Store bonus has pushed the winners share to $600. The race winner must have the UPS sticker on their car to qualify for the bonus. Stickers for both the street stock and sportsman bonuses will be available at the track.

The full race card also includes the DIRTcar modifieds, cruisers and the second enduro of the season.

Gates open at 5 p.m., with hot laps taking to the track at 7 p.m. and racing starting at 7:30 p.m.

 
 

 

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