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Racing Around: Racing season wraps up

September 30, 2010
By JAMES A. ELLIS, The Leader-Herald

Well, it is the end of the local racing season and time to clean off the desk of notes and quotes and look back at some of the interesting story lines.

For Glen Ridge Motorsports Park, 2010 would have to be considered their breakout season. Promoters Mike Romano and Jake Spraker made several changes to the facility in the off-season adding more banking, a wall around turns one and two and upgrades throughout the facility.

Though there were a few nights when the track conditions were not the best, overall the surface was racy.

The initial appearance of the Empire Super Sprints at the speedway proved to be a big success and would have drawn a good crowd even without the appearance of Tony Stewart. The 602 Nationals also proved to be a success even after being delayed a week by rain.

For Fonda Speedway, the introduction of the Lucas Oil Late Models to the schedule was among the highlights of a stellar season despite six rainouts.

The May 15 Lou Lazzaro Memorial will be remembered for an outstanding race, won by Matt DeLorenzo, as well as the effort put into the program by Mimi Lazzaro, Matt Noles and countless others.

The 2010 season also saw the 602 limited sportsman division explode from a dozen or so drivers in 2009 to a draw of more than 30 drivers at times this year.

However, that also signaled a decline in the open sportsman division, which was dominated by David Towns as he picked up his fourth straight championship and 11 feature wins before announcing his retirement on Victory Lane following his Sept. 18 victory.

Veteran driver Elmo Reckner picked up his first modified feature win at Fonda Speedway, while Stewart Friesen came in to pick up his first and second career Fonda Speedway features winning the 50-lap and 100-lap Thunder on the Thruway Series events en route to winning the series points battle. Craig Hanson and Jimmy Davis recovered to pick up feature wins a week after destroying their cars in accidents.

Also picking up their first career victories this season were Adam McAuliffe, Robert Bublak and Cody Bleau in the 602s; Pete Broderson and Matt Shadic in the pro stocks and UMP modifieds, respectively, with Dennis Joslin and Ken Conroy picking up their initial wins in the street stocks.

The Track of Champions finally got a complete McDonald's Weekend in the books without rain on one or both days.

It also was announced that the UMP modified division, which George Catanzano dominated by winning 10 of the 14 features this season, would not return to the speedway in 2011.

Other notes

Troy Palmer was a busy person last Saturday.

The 602 limited sportsman driver was a little late arriving at Fonda Speedway because he had a soccer match for the Johnstown Sir Bills in Hudson Falls that morning. He had little time to rest as he jumped in the No. 17T and qualified for the feature event in which he finished ninth.

A familiar family name to Fonda Speedway fans in the '50s and '60s returned to the track this past weekend.

Jeff Kotary, the nephew of Cliff, Tom and Robbie Kotary who raced modifieds at Fonda, was behind the wheel of the yellow No. 3 modified Saturday and Sunday.

Kotary has been a regular at Utica-Rome Speedway and said he was at Fonda with the idea of possibly competing there on a regular basis in 2011.

Just an additional note, the Oct. 6 Mr. DIRTcar Series doubleheader for 358-modifieds and sportsman at Can-Am Motorsports Park has been cancelled due to damage from a tornado that hit at the speedway in August.

I know there are plenty of other highlights and stories that happened at the local tracks this season and they would probably fill a book. But, we need something to talk about in the off-season, right?



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