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Racing Around: Fonda to host CRSA

April 22, 2010
By JAMES A. ELLIS, The Leader-Herald

There will be more at stake for the Capital Region Sprint Car Agency (CRSA) drivers this weekend than just a prestigious victory at Fonda Speedway.

The feature winner will pick up a guaranteed starting spot in the "A" main at the RaceSaver Nationals Sept. 3 and 4 at Fork Mountain Speedway in Bassett, Va.

"RaceSaver is the sanctioning body based in Virginia," CRSA CEO Brian Grisel said. "French Grimes came up with the idea [305 sprinters] and started it about 13 years ago. The Nationals are at his track in Virginia and they are almost like the Knoxville Nationals."

The RaceSaver Sprint Series has grown with the addition of racing organizations like the CRSA.

"There are seven or eight sanctioned series now," Grisel said. "There are groups in Virginia; they are starting one in New Jersey this year, which I am helping them out to get them going. There is one in Ohio and three in Texas. There are 700 to 800 cars now and each year a car from every division goes to Nationals. Last year we did not have a car there but this year we have some guys who are interested in going."

Grisel, a former 360 competitor, founded the CRSA in 2006 to get local sprint car enthusiasts involved in the sport.

"I really didn't know if it would take off," Grisel said about the 305s. "I liked the rules and I knew we had guys around who could not afford the 360 stuff and I know what I went through with the 360s."

Grisel achieved one of his goals last season when the CRSA raced for the first time at Fonda Speedway.

"We rained out the first week we were supposed to be there and rescheduled for the next week," he said. "Last year, it was one of the biggest crowds they had last year at the track. I am hoping that this year it will be the same. I am hoping the get the drivers over in the stands to talk with the fans during intermission."

Even with tough economic times, the car counts have been steady for the series' shows.

"The year before last we averaged 27 to 28 cars and last year we averaged a full field of 24 to 25 cars and I think it will be about the same this year," Grisel said. "For the big shows like Fonda, we will probably draw over 30 cars this weekend. Last year, we had 29."

One challenge Grisel has overcome this year is finding tracks with openings in their race cards.

"It has been hard getting shows because tracks are adding classes and there is no time or room for anything else," he said. "But the last couple of weeks we have added more shows. At the beginning of the year, we had 13 shows and now we have 18. There are some guys who want to do more and some who want to do less, but I am fine with that amount."

On Saturday, the CRSA will be part of Fonda's program featuring the start of the points chase for the modified, sportsman, 602 limited sportsman, pro stock, street stock and UMP division track championships. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 6 p.m.

Glen Ridge Opener

With last week's rain out, Glen Ridge Motorsports Park has pushed back its opening night of points racing for another week.

The open tire rule will still be in effect for Friday night's non-points racing.

All divisions will be in action with the gates opening at 4:30 p.m. and racing set for 7 p.m.

The 2010 points season will now begin on April 30.

Thunder Series rescheduled

Wet and cold weather conditions forced the postponement of the 49th Season Opener at Utica-Rome Speedway and the opening race of the Thunder on the Thruway series. The 50-lap, $5,000-to-win modified main event will be run Sunday along with the sportsman, pro stock and pure stock divisions. Gates open at 3 p.m. with racing getting underway at 5:30 p.m.



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