The 2012 racing season could be described as a break-out year for Jeremy Wilder.
Wilder made the jump from the sportsman division to the modifieds and found success.
The Fort Plain modified pilot notched his first modified feature win at Fonda Speedway and notched three feature wins en route to outdueling Bobby Varin for the modified track championship at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.
The success led to Wilder picking up a ride in the No. 24 modified for the season-ending 112-lap, $12,000-to-win Tribute to Champions race honoring Jumpin' Jack Johnson and Wilder will continue to pilot the big block at Fonda this season.
"I am really excited about this year," Wilder said. "We had a good season last year winning the championship at the Ridge and getting my first win here. It was all good. We gained a lot of experienced and it opened up this opportunity. It is a good car with a great big block. The guys maintain it and I go down there during the week to help. They do a great job. It is a great team and I am glad they welcomed me into it."
The team picked up a ninth place finish at last Saturday's season-opening 40-lap Ice Jam at Fonda Speedway.
Wilder also gained experience last season on the New York State Fairgrounds mile during Super DIRT Week, racing to a 20th place finish in the small block feature.
Although his success at Glen Ridge led to his first track championship, Wilder does not plan to return to The Ridge to defend his title.
"We are going next week to get a new big block car and are going to run Malta on Friday nights to start out and see how that goes," Wilder said. "We also are planning to run as much of the Super DIRT Series as we can and maybe here and there on some other series races."
Fonda Speedway will open its battle for the 2013 track championships Saturday night with a full regular race card set to hit the track for the 61st consecutive season at 7 p.m.
Albany-Saratoga Speedway is scheduled to open its gates at noon Sunday for a test-and-tune session.
The track will be open to all divisions from 3 to 7 p.m. Grandstand admission is free with a $15 pit fee.
Albany-Saratoga's season-opener is slated for April 19.
Stewart Friesen, who had 28 feature wins last season and the field covered in last Saturday's Ice Jam until a flat tire dropped him from the lead, will be running Friday nights at Albany-Saratoga this season in the Jake Spraker-owned No. 1J.
Fonda Speedway 602 Sportsman champion Cody Bleau was behind the wheel of John Kollar's 10% last weekend and will campaign the car this year at Fonda. He also will make the move to Albany-Saratoga in the Davis No. 173 this season.
I hope Saturday's large turnout of pro stocks is a positive indication of what the division will be this season.
A field 16 quality pro stocks took the green for the 15-lap dash for cash sponsored by defending track champion Pete Broderson.
Glen Ridge Motorsports Park is on track for its 2013 season opener Friday.