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Racing Around: Bellinger set to race late models

May 5, 2011
By JAMES A. ELLIS ( , The Leader Herald

Over the years, I have watched Bodie Bellinger successfully compete and win racing dirt bikes, Tobias Slingshots and sportsman division cars.

Now the Johnstown driver is adding another division to his growing list - late models.

Friday night at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park, Bellinger took to the track for the first time in the late model.

The first session on the track was a little tentative but after a close second-place finish in the sportsman feature, his confidence was up during the second trip on the track.

"It was much better the second time out," Bellinger said. "I like it."

After the first session, he said it was difficult judging how close he was to the wall because, with the driver being on the left side of the car instead of in the middle, there is more body on the right. He said it would take time to adjust to the long front end and not seeing the nose of the car.

"It is a former Chub Frank car," Bellinger said. "We plan on running Saturday nights at Fulton Speedway in the crate division and will continue to run the sportsman here on Friday's. We also are looking at running some of the series events with the car."

While both cars have crate engines in them, he said there is a difference in the power that is generated, mainly due to the style of car.

While the body panels were blank Friday night, when it hits the track they will carry sponsorship from Charles Tibbitts, NAPA of Johnstown and Gloversville, Hillside Service, Mike Sowle's STR Trailer Repair, KB dogs and B&B Heating Oil.

"I have to thank Jeff Hayes and my mom and dad for getting this deal together," Bellinger said.

Special events

Saturday, Fonda Speedway will have the first of two kiddie ride nights on the schedule this season. The free rides will be offered following warm-ups, so plan on getting there early.

A second kiddie ride night is slated for July 23 and an on track driver Meet 'N Greet is scheduled for June 4.

Friday, Glen Ridge Motorsports Park will host the opening race of the four-race Harry's Auto Street Stock Series. The competitive series has drawn drivers from other tracks to the Ridge in an attempt to cash in on the bonus money.

Dennis Joslin is the defending series champion.

Under new management

Oswego Speedway will open for its 61st season under new management.

Recently, ownership of the historic race track along Lake Ontario was transferred from Pat Furlong and Steve Gioia to brother's John and Eric Torrese. The Torrese's are the third ownership group at Oswego Speedway since it was built in 1951. The Caruso family built and owned the track from 1951 to April 2004.

The home of the supermodifieds will conduct an open practice for supermodifieds, winged supermodifieds, small block supermodifieds, RoC Modifieds, super stocks, late models and SST modifieds on May 14. The first race of the season scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend.

Pits open at 10 a.m. for tech inspection. The main grandstands will open at noon, with free admission. Practice will start at 1 p.m. and continue until 5 p.m.

Canajoharie's Otto Sitterly is the defending supermodified track champion, while Johnstown's Kreig Heroth will be looking to improve on his 2010 fourth place, one feature win finish in the small block division.

Pit Notes

Due to wet grounds, Utica-Rome Speedway has again been forced to cancel its season opener. They will now aim for a May 15 starting date.

Despite all the reports last week that Fonda Speedway would not race on Saturday due to flooding, Ric Lucia and his crew had the track in racing condition Saturday night, preventing a third-straight cancellation.

After a successful season opener at Fonda Speedway, especially for Danny Varin, the Capital Region Sprint Agency Sprint Cars will travel to Orange County Fair Speedway on Saturday for its second race of the season.

It was not the first time Bobby and Danny Varin have pulled off victories on the same night. They did it a few years back at Utica-Rome Speedway when Bobby won the modified feature and Danny captured the sportsman main event.

Due to the steady growth of crowds at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park, new bleachers have been ordered and will be installed on the first turn side of the existing grandstands.

On a positive note from the Ridge, the bucket truck that was pushed into service on the first three nights of racing remained parked Friday night.

Mayfield's Dustin Delaney returned to Fonda Speedway on Saturday night in the No. 39 modified after three years of racing on NASCAR's Camping World Series.

Caroga Creek Raceway will make its third attempt at getting its season-opener in Friday night with racing scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.



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