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Racing Around: Limited division growing at Fonda

June 10, 2010
By JAMES A. ELLIS, The Leader-Herald

Last season the 602 limited sportsman division ran its first full season at Fonda Speedway with small numbers and only three different regular-season feature winners - Jeremiah Munson (6 wins), Mike Ketchum (6) and Ray Zemken (2).

What a difference a year makes.

In six weeks of racing so far this season, there have been five different winners and 24 cars took the green for the 20-lap Memorial Day Weekend feature.

John "I Won't Run Crates" Scarborough has two feature wins this year, while Munson, Zemken, John McAuliffe and Adam McAuliffe each have one.

John McAuliffe opened the season with his first 602-feature win, and then went to the open sportsman division for a couple of weeks, before returning to the crate division.

The action also has picked up.

I commented last year while watching the division that it seemed like you were waiting for the drivers to step on the gas.

This year, it looks like they have found what the pedal on the right is for.

The lap times in the feature were within a half-second of the fastest lap in the open sportsman main. However, it is interesting that Scarborough's quick time during the heat races, when the track is normally faster, was 22.365. During the feature, when the track was pretty much used up after all the regular features and ESS sprints, his quick time was 22.368.

I also rate that feature in the top five so far this season, with Scarborough recovering from an early-race caution to get back to the front and Adam McAuliffe turning back his challenges to claim his first career win at Fonda.

The growth in the division is not limited to Fonda Speedway. Glen Ridge Motorsports Park also has seen steady growth in the division it introduced as "Budget Sportsman."

My one hope is that the division stays, as far as open-wheel racing goes, affordable.

The modern sportsman division was originally intended for drivers to gain experience with small blocks and used modified chassis. It wasn't long before that bubble burst and the cost of being competitive skyrocketed.

Trying again

Wednesday's rain forced the postponement of racing at Fonda Speedway and Royal Mountain Ski Area until tonight.

Fonda will host the O'Reilly All-Star Circuit of Champions 410-sprint cars and a 30-lap, $3,000-to-win modified feature today. Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing scheduled for 7 p.m.

Royal Mountain postponed its Monster Energy Drink Supercross opener to today with the gate dropping on the weekly competition at 7 p.m.



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