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Racing Around: Frigid weather, hot racing

May 3, 2012
By JAMES A. ELLIS ( , The Leader Herald

For the local race fans who were willing to tough it out through the cold temperatures, there was plenty of hot racing Saturday at Fonda Speedway.

The street stock division set the tone for the night, with Rob VanAernam, Randy Cosselman and Chuck McSpirit running a tight three-car battle for the lead and Dave Horning Sr., Greg Havlicek, Neil Cosselman and Jerry Cohn racing behind them.

The always-competitive pro stock feature again proved to be one of the best of the night with Ivan Joslin, Pete Broderson and Kenny Gates putting on a three-car battle for the lead.

It took some time for Stewart Friesen to figure out Fonda Speedway, but once he did, he became a threat every time he visited.

Now that he is a regular Saturday night runner at Track of Champions, that threat has increased.

Friesen's run Saturday night was impressive. Fans who said there was no passing, or that the front-runners were going backwards could not have been watching "Mr. Freeze." He found a line, got up to fifth, scraped the inside wall on a restart, dropped to ninth and came back to pass Jimmy Davis for the lead before pulling away.

While the slick, black track was more acceptable to a small block, Bobby Varin was able to get power to the track with his big block to go from mid-pack to a top-five finish.

The CRSA 305-sprint cars continued the trend with Josh Pieniezak holding off Gary Palmer, Tyler Rice and Brett Jaycox, while Danny Varin was charging to join them at the front before retiring to the pits on lap 9.

Rice, who started seventh, moved into the lead with five laps remaining.

While the racing surface was pretty much used up when the 602 sportsmen took the track, Robert Bublak and Justin Ausplemyer found a rhythm and did not overdrive the track.

Rocky Warber also found a good line and came from back in the pack, passed Ausplemyer and cut Bublak's full straightaway lead to a car length before the checkers dropped in favor of Bublak.


Unfortunately, the local Friday night racetracks were not as fortunate as Fonda was Saturday.

With Wet conditions and near-freezing temperatures The Ridge, Caroga Creek and Dodge City Speedways opted to postpone racing for the night.

The Patriot Sprint Car Series was scheduled to run at The Ridge last Friday.

The Ridge management and the Patriot series have been talking and checking schedules for a possible make-up date.

Top of the charts

Canajoharie's Otto Sitterly, the defending Budweiser International Classic 200 champion, topped the supermodified speed charts with a time of 16.810 seconds (133.849 mph) during last Saturday's practice session at Oswego Speedway.

The 4-time track champion turned his fast lap behind the wheel of the Nicotra Racing No. 6 machine, which will be driven in the season-opener Saturday by Davey Hamilton.

Fort Plain's Kreig Heroth, driving the Ray Hedger built, Doug Soucy owned No. 04, turned the fastest lap for the Pathfinder Bank SBS Series machines at the practice session. Heroth turned a lap of 19.430 seconds (115.800 mph) around the 5/8 mile asphalt surface.



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