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Racing Around: King claims first CRSA victory

September 10, 2009
By JAMES A. ELLIS, The Leader-Herald

If Chad King has been walking around with a big smile of his face all week, who can blame him.

The 31-year-old sprint car driver out of Caroga Lake picked up his first career CRSA sprint car A-Main victory Sunday at Devil's Bowl Speedway.

"Finally, finally, finally," King said. "I have worked hard at it. It has been difficult, but that is the name of the game. It is finally sinking in. Everyday I look at the car and I get a big smile on my face."

King started fifth in the 20-lap A-Main and raced his way into third when leader John Matrafallo spun and second-place runner John Cunningham suffered mechanical problems on the seventh lap.

"I heard Brian Grisel come over the radio and say I was on the point. I didn't even realize I was running third," King said.

King endured a series of restarts, holding off veterans Warren Alexson and 2007 Series Champion Chuck Alessi to cross under the checkers first.

"There were quite a few cautions between there [lap seven] and the finish and I was worried that someone would get me on one of the restarts. The car was unbelievable," he said. "I thought about it all the way home in the hauler. I just can't believe I won a race in a sprint car. I have been working for two full years in the car. Before that I was running slingshots at Caroga Creek and won a couple of championships doing that."

King made the move to CRSA sprint cars when his car owner was looking for a new challenge.

"The car owner, Cliff Wright, wanted to go bigger and better and he asked me to jump in and try it," King said. "The first time I was in the car was at Glen Ridge and it felt real good. My first full season was last year."

King has been building toward the victory with strong finishes recently including two Magsarus hard charger awards on July 22 and Aug. 1 at Utica-Rome and Orange County Speedways.

"The race before this I finished eighth at Woodhull but it all came together at Devil's Bowl," King said. "I like the size of like Malta and Devil's Bowl. They have good clay. Fonda is a real fast track and you think a lot while you are in the car because the straightaways are so long. We had a real good car at Orange County and we are going back down there for Eastern States Weekend. We have a real good setup for down there."

With the season winding down and an A-Main victory to his credit, King now has his eye on the point standings.

"I am running third in points and there are 26 points between the leader [Jeremy Quick] and me, so we are pushing for the points. But I am totally happy with the win," he said. "To be consistent all year and to be able to put the car back on the trailer in one piece and just have to clean it up to go racing the next week is a big plus."

King thanked all the sponsors behind the No. 24 including Tollgate Ice Cream, Wilde Fire Equipment, A&B Speedshop, Sowle's Hardware, BDK motorcycles and Fulton County Electric.

"I really can't thank my father, Jeff King, enough for working on the car. Mikey Voght and his father 'Sudsy,' Tom Hall and my mother Debbie, my wife Alicia and my two little girls, Sydne and Kate, enough," King said. "Cliff gave me the chance and I have been trying to prove to him I could do it. Everybody that has helped me, I can't thank them enough. They have stuck behind me and let me live my dream. I have always dreamed about driving a sprint car and now battling for the points lead is unbelievable. I just don't have the words to explain it."

Classic victory

Canajoharie's Otto Sitterly put the exclamation point on his season at Oswego Speedway.

The three-time and 2009 super modified track champion, picked up the victory in the 53rd annual International Classic.

Sitterly made the race-winning pass on lap 160 of the 200 lap event and put the field 34-car field well behind him

In a press release from the speedway, Sitterly's Victory Lane speech included several thank yous.

"I've been coming here since 1990; I can appreciate what this race means. My dad [Bob] was a driver on dirt, and he brought me up with the realization that hard work pays off. He's the one that puts this stuff in my blood. He worked hard in the garage, hard at the track, and do our best. The thing that hits me the most is I have a wife and kids that all love me, and are absolutely the best. They are the ones that are home when I'm out in the garage; they all dedicate themselves to this, and are 100 percent behind us. That's the thing that really hits me the most. To my owner, John Nicotra, thank you for believing in someone that came from the grassroots. There are times I think he's crazy, but he knows what he's doing. This is a big win for John too. John really loves this place, and it's great to give him his first Classic win. This is going to take a while to sink in, that's for sure."

Congratulations champions

Glen Ridge Motorsports Park crowned its track champions Saturday night.

Jeff Brownell Jr. picked up the DIRTcar modified track championship for the second straight year, while Kory Wilder won the double-points DIRTcar sportsman feature and locked up his first career track championship.

Justin Knight capped off his eight-win season with his first Glen Ridge street stock championship. Kerrie and Ken Hollenbeck won the cruiser division 4-cyl. and 6-cyl. championships

In the rookie sportsman feature, Anthony Cardamone picked up his inaugural victory.



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