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Racing Around: Mahaney earns first Fonda win

April 12, 2012
By JAMES A. ELLIS ( , The Leader Herald

Opening day upsets are not uncommon at Fonda Speedway.

Charlie Kotwica, Dave Pelczar, and Mitch Gibbs all scored their lone victories at Fonda Speedway on opening day.

Last Saturday, 22-year-old invader Mike Mahaney added his name to the list of opening-day modified feature winners, beating the Fonda regulars in his third visit to the speedway.

While the young gun from King Ferry, Cayuga County, is a relative unknown to most of the race fans around here, he has been drawing the attention of the Central New York fans.

"We run around the Syracuse area at Brewerton, Fulton and Weedsport," Mahaney said after Saturday's win. "We started coming over here to Fonda and Utica-Rome and we're just having fun. We started running pretty good and it has worked out for us."

Mahaney also said he will be a regular at Utica-Rome Speedway this season.

Saturday's Ice Jam also saw another rarity, at least of late; two of the top three cars on Victory Lane were Troyers.

Mahaney and third-place finisher Jimmy Davis ran the new chassis design from Troyer with small blocks under the hood.

"This definitely is not the old Troyer 4-link," Mahaney said of the updated chassis design.

Josh Hohenforst, the local distributor for Troyer Race Cars, also ran the new chassis, as did long-time Troyer campaigner A.J. Romano.

"Troyer has definitely got their stuff together," Hohenforst said. "Mahaney and Jimmy Davis have the new small block cars that Troyer is building. A.J. and I have the big block cars and they have a couple of different things on them. A.J. finished 10th in the feature and I won the heat race, but did not have enough time to work on the car enough for the feature and finished back in the pack, which I am not thrilled about."

Hohenforst said that the technology in the updated Troyer has brought the chassis in line, and in some cases move past, the Teos and Bicknells that are campaigned with success on the local tracks.

"Basically the car has been changed a lot from how they were built. They have definitely come a long way. The design and everything is up to date. As far as technology, they are way beyond what they used to be," he said. "For Mahaney and Jimmy Davis to have success right out of the box with new cars they have never driven before says a lot."

Race chaser weekend

Next week could be a race chaser's dream, if you have enough gas money.

Under new management, Albany-Saratoga Speedway opens for the season with dirt-track racing that earned it the nickname the Great Race Place.

The track kicks off its season with a special Thursday night show featuring modifieds, budget sportsmen and four cylinders.

Friday night, The Ridge will run a regular show of modifieds, sportsmen, street stocks and cruisers.

Saturday night, Fonda Speedway will host the CRSA 305 sprinters along with modifieds, 602 sportsmen, pro stocks and street stocks.

If Utica-Rome opened on April 21, it would make a great four-day, four-track tour, but alas, they are scheduled to open on April 28.

Also, Albany-Saratoga's opening weekend will feature modifieds running for $2,500-to-win along with pro stocks and street stocks on April 20.

If you need something to do this Sunday, the Malta facility will have a free grandstand for its practice session. Gates open at noon with the cars taking to the resurrected racing surface from 3 to 7 p.m. There will be a $15 charge for the pits.

Point battles begin

The battle for the track championships will begin Friday and Saturday nights at The Ridge and Fonda Speedway.

Both tracks will be running full regular race cards.

Racing at Caroga Creek Raceway also gets under way this weekend with a regular show and a practice session for Saturday's RMR Outlaw Series.

Gates open Friday at 4 p.m. with racing starting at 6:30 p.m. The gates will open at 10 a.m. Saturday with the karts hitting the track at 1 p.m.

CCR will open the points battle for its track championships on April 27.



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