Racing Around: Benefit event big success

There were plenty of smiles to go around last Thursday at Caroga Creek Speedway.

The special night benefitting Melodies Center of Albany Medical Center Children with Cancer or Blood Disorders Fundraiser that put local race drivers out of their supermodifieds, modifieds and sprint cars and into Wing Champ Karts has to be deemed a success.

Josh Hohenforst, who was still smiling Saturday night at Fonda Speedway, picked up the win in the 20-lap A-main but he was far from being the only one smiling as Todd Moran and his staff at Caroga Creek surpassed the goal of raising $5,000 as the fans turned out to support the inaugural event and raise $6,104 for the Melodies Center.

I don’t think anybody can say that the 19 drivers who participated in the event didn’t take it seriously. They are racers and want to win.

After warmups and the heat races, fans were able to walk through the pits and look on as the drivers downloaded information to the kart owners or pitched in washing and prepping the tires looking to gain that extra half second or so that could lead to the victory.

The only real downside on the night was the length of the program that seemed to run behind most of the night. But I believe the majority of fans that were in attendance will give the staff at Caroga Creek Speedway a Mulligan on that. After all it was a great time and there are not too many go-kart tracks that would even attempt to undertake such an event.

Hopefully, the night will become an annual event for a good cause.

Hearn reaches another milestone

Last Friday night Brett “The Jet” Hearn landed in Victory Lane for the 108th time in his career and pushed his 42-year career win total to 900.

It didn’t take long for him to start knocking down victories in his next 100 wins as he rocketed to his 901st career win Saturday night at Lebanon Valley Speedway.

According to the information on Hearn’s website he has posted eight wins out of 42 starts so far this year with 33 top 10 finishes. He now has victories at 49 different tracks with 558 coming in a big-block modified, 339 in a small-block and two sprint car wins. They have added up to 78 track and series championships along the way.

I think even the Boo-Birds who greet Hearn with a serenade every time he is introduced in pre-race ceremonies, would have to applaud the milestone achievement.

Hondo Classic totals

It took a little time to sort out all the prize money and contingencies that go to participants in the Hondo Classic for the Pro Stocks that was run last Wednesday at Fonda Speedway, but the final results are in.

Nick Stone picked up his second straight victory in the 30-lap event and earned $1,059.99 in prize money.

Chuckie Dumblewski gave Stone a run for his money and earned $795 for his second-place finish.

ESS at Fonda

The track record for the 360-sprint cars at Fonda of 15.415 seconds that was established on Sept. 19, 2016 by Jessica Zemken-Friesen could be in jeopardy Saturday night when the Empire Super Sprints invades Fonda Speedway.

It is also the final points show before the regular-season ending “Night of Features” at the Track of Champions on Aug. 19.

Heading into Saturday night’s show, Tim Fuller holds a 22-point lead over Bobby Varin with four races remaining — a 30-lap feature Saturday and triple 20s on the night of features.

Congratulations

It has been a big year for the Shaffer racing family.

Earlier this season, Harry Shaffer picked up his first career sportsman feature win at Fonda Speedway after 30 years of trying.

Last Saturday night his cousin, Ellis “Bubby” Shaffer, who was voted the 2015 Most Popular Street Stock Driver, parked his No. 86 street stock in Victory Lane for the first time in 14 years of competition.

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