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Racing Around: Weather hampers program

June 9, 2011
By JAMES A. ELLIS (sports@leaderherald.com) , The Leader Herald

I can honestly say, I do not want to be a promoter. It is a thankless job.

Wednesday night at Fonda Speedway, the cars were on the track for warm-ups when a series of thunderstorms rolled through the Mohawk Valley, wiping out all the preparation already put in to get the track race ready for the scheduled O'Reilly All Star Circuit sprint cars and a 30-lap, $3,000-to-win modified feature.

The deluge left standing water on the racing surface and puddles on the infield.

It would have been easy for Ric Lucia to cancel the show entirely, but instead he opted to take a shot at getting the program in. After the rain stopped, it took over an hour and a lot of effort, including a track crew worker climbing down into an already overflowing drain to unplug it, but the racing did return to the track almost two and a half hours behind schedule.

The track was lightning fast as evidenced by Fred Rahmer setting a new track record with a lap of 15.110, topping Tyler Walker's lap of 15.281 in a 410 sprinter.

However, the setback brought the tracks curfew into play and the traveling sprint cars got their feature in while the modifieds had their main event postponed to Aug. 10. Even though I really didn't understand the need for a fuel stop midway through the 30-lap feature, the race itself was very good with lead changes and a last lap pass by Tim Shaffer for the victory.

As always, there is the group of fans who would rather keep their eye on the donut hole instead of the donut itself.

Promoters can't control Mother Nature. For Lucia, it was a lose-lose situation.

If he cancelled, the naysayer's would have said he pulled the plug too early, because it stopped raining after an hour. Instead they were complaining the program ran long and the modifieds did not run their feature.

Was I disappointed that the modifieds did not run, sure. But it is what it is and I chose to applaud the effort.

Positive notes

During the second modified heat Saturday night at Fonda Speedway, the top five - Rob Perry, Mark Kislowski, A.J. Romano, Alton Palmer and Ryan Odasz - were cruising on the front end, but the battle going on behind them was fun to watch.

Phil Burnhart Jr. (156), Matt Depew (667) and C.G. Morey (14) were locked in a three-car battle.

Then in the closing laps Chuck Allen (374) and Brad Rothaupt (51r) joined in.

Fonda Speedway's 4-cylinder division is normally the last feature of the night, but last week they were run earlier in the program and put on a good show.

Ken Hollenbeck and Dan Krajewski literally traded paint on the front stretch as they battled for the lead with Krajewski, the division points leader, going on for the victory.

 
 

 

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