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Racing Around: Glen Ridge winning battle with weather

April 28, 2011
By JAMES A. ELLIS ( , The Leader Herald

I 'm not sure which is worse, the wait for the first race of the season or getting the first race in, under ideal conditions, and then having weather delays.

While Fonda Speedway has had its program on hold since running April 9, Glen Ridge Motorsports Park has put together three weeks of top-notch racing.

Three weeks into the season, the Ridge has had three different modified feature winners, two of them first timers. And there already is an epic battle building for the modified points championship.

Craig Hanson has jumped out on top with 150 points, while track newcomer Kenny Tremont Jr. and Bobby Varin are tied for second with 148 and Jackie Brown is in fourth with 146.

Brown is the only driver out of the top four that has a feature win. One oddity, while all of them have completed all 90 feature laps run this season, none of the top three has led a lap yet. Brown led all 30 in his feature win.

Defending DIRTcar sportsman track champion Bodie Bellinger has taken the early lead in the sportsman ranks, also without leading or winning a feature so far, with 140 points.

John Marsh Jr., who had a feature win two weeks ago, but wrecked out of last weeks main, is second with 136, while Brian and Greg Pessolano are third and fourth with 134 and 132 points respectively.

A pair of former pro stock division drivers are making noise in the rookie sportsman ranks. Rocky Warner and Jeremy Pitts appear the have adjusted well to the open-wheel division. Warner has won two of the three rookie features this season, one more and he moves up, while Pitts finished fourth in his division debut.

Defending street stock champion Rob VanAernam has won two of the three street stock mains and has jumped out to an early lead over Chuck McSpirit 176-160.

McSpirit has the only other feature win in the division so far this season and has won his heat race all three weeks. McSpirit has also led 20 feature laps, while VanAernam has led only nine and has no heat race victories.

Trying again

Fonda Speedway will try to get its season points chase under way again this week with the modifieds, 602 sportsman, pro stock and street stock divisions on the race card along with the CRSA 305 sprinters, which were scheduled to run last week.

Looking back, in 2006 Fonda Speedway had eight regular-season events rained out, including four out of five Saturday night programs in the month of July. That was the year the Mohawk River poured over its banks, putting the fairgrounds under four feet of water.


Kudos to Rick LaMont on his first career sportsman feature win last Friday at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.

After failing to qualify for the April 15 feature, LaMont held off Chuck Allen on a late-race restart to get the win.

Openings delayed

The wet spring conditions have pushed back the opening night of racing again at Utica-Rome Speedway, from Sunday to May 8.

The opening night program will feature the annual Mother's Day special featuring a 50-lap, $5,000-to-win Thunder Series feature for modifieds along with sportsman, pro stocks and pure stocks on the card.

Caroga Creek Raceway also has been battling Mother Nature trying to get its season opener in. CCR has scheduled opening night for Friday with a rain date slated for Saturday. Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing starting at 6:30 p.m.



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