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Racing Around: Odasz ends dry spell at Fonda

July 15, 2010
By JAMES A. ELLIS, The Leader-Herald

The 2010 racing season has been frustrating for modified driver Ryan Odasz.

A bunch of poor finishes left him in doubt of his abilities behind the wheel.

Saturday night everything came together for the Ballston Spa driver as he picked up his first win of the season and ninth of his career at Fonda Speedway.

"First and foremost I have to thank the fans for being here tonight because without them I wouldn't be able to do what I love to do every week and that is race," Odasz said in victory lane. "Secondly I have to thank my car owner, Bill Schoons, for not firing me as it has been a horrible year so far. It has been a trying year for us with the driver making mistakes, but getting a win makes it a good season for us."

Odasz was fast out of the box Saturday as he parlayed a three-wide move off turn two into a comfortable heat race victory.

Then a pair of brief showers passed over the speedway adding moisture to, but not drenching, the track.

"I liked it and welcomed it with open arms," Odasz said about the rain. "The new tires we had were set up for a slick track."

With the help of a pair of early race cautions, Odasz moved from his fifth-place starting spot past early-race leader David Constantino by lap five.

With the track to his liking and turning laps in the low 19-second range, Odasz pulled away to a sizeable lead as the modifieds clicked off the final 25 laps caution free.

"We have been working, working, working the past few weeks, but just have had nothing to show for it. The cards didn't fall our way," Odasz said. "It is so tough to win here now, everybody has good equipment. It is a crapshoot week-in and week-out. You are gambling every week when you go to the track and whoever pulls 21 is going to win that night."


Chip Smith has parked his pro stock in Victory Lane four times over the past five seasons at Fonda Speedway.

However, with the confusion faced by the division early this season, Smith opted not to be a regular at the Track of Champions this year.

Saturday he returned and picked up another win, the fifth annual 20-lap Hondo Classic. A victory he claimed to be "such a big deal for us, it is just like winning Syracuse."

Kelley Keefe again did an outstanding job organizing the tribute race for the late Hondo Carpenter.

Smith collected well over $500 in bonus money thanks to the many lap sponsors and contingency awards.

All 23 drivers in the event received bonuses regardless of their finish.

Double features

Despite the efforts of the track crew, rain finally won out with six laps in the books last Friday night at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.

Racing will resume Friday night with double features slated for all divisions.

The modified feature will resume on lap six with John Lutes in the lead.

Last Friday's features will be first on the program followed by a brief intermission and then the regularly scheduled race program.

Among the 14 features scheduled to be run is the third leg of the Harry's Auto Street Stock Series and the Kiwanis Club also will be on hand to present their Hard Charger Award to the modified driver who passes the most cars from his starting position in the second modified feature of the night.

Gates will open at 4:30 p.m. with warm-ups hitting the track at 6:30 and the green flag dropping on the race program at 7 p.m.

Heat race money

Bonus money for the modified heat race winners will be up for grabs Saturday on be Morris Ford/Palmer's Service/Snapple Night at Fonda Speedway.

Fonda Futures coordinators Ed and June Keyser will present $100 to each modified heat race winner honoring their son on Michael Keyser Memorial Night.



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