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Racing Around: Hearn’s switch pays off

August 11, 2011
By JAMES A. ELLIS ( , The Leader Herald

Race drivers have been known to be a tad bit superstitious. Some believe green cars and number 13 are bad luck. Others have good luck charms in their cars, and others do anything to prove it wrong, like Eddie SanSousie did driving a green No. 13 modified with a black cat on it back in the late 1970s, early 80s.

Even Brett Hearn, who now has 800 feature wins to his credit, looks for ways to end streaks of bad finishes.

When Hearn pulled into the pits at Fonda Speedway, especially in the mid 90s and early 2000s, he was the man to beat. Hence, his 25 feature wins without being a Saturday night regular.

However, since August 5, 2008 he had been kept from Victory Lane at Fonda Speedway, until Wednesday night.

For the past few years, Hearn has been pitting about three-quarters of the way down the front row in Fonda's pit area. Wednesday night, the team pulled the hauler into a spot across from the pit concession stand. The change must have worked as he left with career feature wins 799 and 800 and 24 and 25 at the Track of Champions.

"That wasn't the plan until we got here and was just a spur of the moment kind of thing," Hearn said. "I just kind of looked at that spot and kind of liked it. You know what; it hasn't been working for us down there, so let's try something different."

Hearn's win record includes 473 big-block modifed wins, 325 small-block wins and 2 URC Sprint Car wins.

He has 295 of those wins came at Orange County Speedway in Middletown and 98 at Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Hearn has posted wins at 48 different tracks in 10 states and two Canadian provinces.

"I don't know. When I started out [in 1975], I didn't think I would win 20," he said. "I have had so many good people help me over the years I can't start to name them all."

Night of Features

Saturday, the modifieds will compete in two 33-lap events with the top 12 in points being handicapped into the first feature event. Starting positions 13, 14, 15 and 16 in points will follow behind the top 12 in the starting lineup with the rest of the field coming from the B-main.

A single point separates defending modified track champion and current point leader Bobby Varin (584) and Ronnie Johnson (583). Ryan Odasz (524), Matt DeLorenzo (516), and Jeff Trombley (497) complete the top five in points going into the Saturday night.

The 602 sportsman will follow the same rules but will run a pair of 15-lap features.

The top 10 in pro stock points will be handicapped into the first 15-lap feature event with the remaining starting positions decided by the driver's positions in the point standings as no B-main will be run.

Mark Mortensen leads the 602s with 548 points, followed by defending track champion John Scarborough (514), Cody Bleau (496), Robert Bublak (486), and Jeremiah Munson (476).

The race to the pro stock title enters the final points night with Rocky Warner leading Kenny Gates by only six points, 552 to 546. Pete Broderson is third with 516 followed by Dean Charbonneau and Chuck Dumblewski who are tied with 476 points.

The street stocks also will run two features with regular handicapping setting the starting lineup for the first race, while the 4-cylinders will run a single feature event.

Following the first features in the modified, 602 sportsman, pro stock, and street stock divisions, the winner will draw for the number of positions (1-10) to invert for the second feature event.

Cassidy Wilson (594), defending Fonda Speedway track champion Rob VanAernam (580), Randy Cosselman (560), Neil Cosselman (528), and Chuck McSpirit (490) hold the top five spots in street stock points.

Ben Righi holds a 30-point lead over Keith Tesiero Sr. in the 4-cylinder point standings.



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