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Racing Around: Busy slate planned at Fonda

September 24, 2009
By JAMES A. ELLIS, The Leader-Herald

It will be difficult to top the racing at Fonda Speedway's 2008 McDonald's Weekend but the drivers will try this weekend.

Ronnie Johnson battled Brett Hearn side-by-side for the majority of laps in both of the weekend's modified features with Johnson coming away with a sweep of the events. However. Hearn's runner-up finish in the McDonald's 100 locked up the NMX Thunder Series championship.

There is a change in this year's McDonald's Weekend racing lineup.

Saturday, the ESS sprint cars will join the race program with their championship finale, along with a 40-lap, $4,000-to-win open event for modifieds, an IMCA Tour race, street stock open feature, 4-cylinder feature and a $1,000-to-win main event for the 602 limited sportsman division.

Sunday's race card has been extended from the traditional two-division race card to three this year with a $1,000-to-win pro stock feature and $1,500-to-win sportsman main event on the program with the $9,500-to-win McDonald's 100.

This year the Dual Track Thunder Series titles are on the line for the modifieds, sportsman and pro stock divisions.

The series winner receives $4,500 for the six-race series run at Fonda and Utica-Rome speedways. The series' second- place finisher gets $2,500, with $2,000 going to third place, $1,750 for fourth and $1,250 for fifth.

Heading into the final modified race of the series, Fonda Speedway track champion Bobby Varin leads with 192 points, followed by Pat Ward, (176), Ronnie Johnson (160), Jim Davis (130) and Stewart Friesen (129).

The sportsman and pro stock features will also be the final events of their Best-of-Three Series.

David Towns and Mark Kislowski are tied at the top of the sportsman series with 116 points, while Luke Munroe has 104, A.J. Filbeck and Jason Memrick are tied for fourth with 76 followed by Jason Rood with 70 and Ray Zemken with 64.

Pit gates will open at 11 a.m. both days with the front gates opening at noon and racing starting at 2 p.m.

Close finish

Sunday, the feature events at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park kept the fans in the stands guessing until the checkers fell.

The 30-lap modified feature came down to a matter of inches as Mike Ricci and Bobby Varin exited the fourth turn in a dead heat and were wheel-to-wheel less than 100 feet from the checkers. Ricci managed to put a wheel ahead at the finish for the win.

If the finish line was where it used to be before being moved further down the track last year, it might have been Glen Ridge's first dead-heat finish.

The clay is moved

Earlier this week, the process of removing the clay from the asphalt racing surface at Albany-Saratoga Speedway began.

Albany-Saratoga promoter Bruce Richards is looking to run the 200-lap $1,000-to-win enduro for 4- and 6-cylinder cars plus a 30-lap powder puff feature for 4- and 6-cylinder cars Oct. 17.

Racing is scheduled to start at noon.

Albany-Saratoga will host the Asphalt Assault, which will feature modifieds Oct. 24.

Racing is slated to start at noon.

Clash at the Creek

This weekend, Caroga Creek Raceway has plenty on its schedule.

Championship night will take place Friday.

It will be the final night for earning points as drivers race to attain the title of track champion.

Gates will open at 4 p.m. with warm-ups hitting the speedway at 6:30 p.m.

On Saturday, the annual Clash at the Creek race will serve as the first of a new four-race fall series.

All divisions will be running 25-lap features with the exception of the slingshot division which will run a 100-lap feature with a mandatory pit stop.

Gates will open at 4 p.m. with warm-ups hitting the speedway at 6:30 p.m.

There will be free admission to the covered grandstand for spectators on both nights.

The Clash at the Creek will be the first race in Caroga Creek's new fall tour.

Following Saturday's action, the track will be switching to Sundays. Caroga Creek will host races on Oct. 4, Oct. 11 and Oct. 18.

Gates will open at 10:30 a.m. for the fall series events and warm-ups will begin at 1 p.m.

For more information, visit the track's Web site,

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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