Racing Around: Fonda set to host sprint cars

Memorial Day Weekend means sprint cars. Fonda Speedway and Utica-Rome Speedway will play host to the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints on Saturday and Sunday respectively, while Albany-Saratoga Speedway will welcome the A-Verdi Storage Containers Patriot Sprint Tour on Friday night.

Fonda Speedway’s will feature the Earl Halaquist Memorial, a $2,000-to-win event for the 360 sprinters. Former speedway promoter Ric Lucia and race director Marty Beberwyk have put up $500 to sponsor the Dash for Cash event for the ESS.

The sprinters join a full card of racing on Military Appreciation Night sponsored by A-Verdi Storage Containers.

It was also announced that the sprint cars of Bobby and Danny Varin along with Josh Flint will be on display at the Fonda Speedway Museum from 3:30- 5 p.m.

The ESS action switches to Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday for a second $2,000-to-win event, weather permitting. Utica-Rome has been plagued by wet weather and had run only one out of four race nights on the schedule so far this season.

Racing starts at 6 p.m. General Admission will be $22 for adults, $18 for seniors, students and military, while fans under 16 are admitted free.

The Patriot Tour has also hit bad luck with the weather and has only one race in the books so far this year, a victory by Jason Barney at Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

The Great Race Place has modified its race card to accommodate the sprint cars. The sprint cars and modifieds will be running heats, but all other divisions in action will be running features only. General admission will be $16 for adults, with kids 11 and under admitted for $2. Racing will begin at 7 p.m.

Changes for 4-cylinders

The management team of Glen Ridge Motorsports Park announced that there will be changes for the 4-cylinder mini stock division starting Sunday.

The class will now be cored for Dual Overhead Cams and Single Overhead cams, with separate points for each division. The cars will run one feature with two winners.

The Ridge is scheduled to host an extra distance, $300-to-win feature for the Slingshot division this week in addition to its regular race program.

Racing family losses

This past week the local racing family lost former modified driver Doc Blanchard and a great supporter and race fan Brian Hanaburgh.

Blanchard was best known for driving his No. 49 on the local racing circuit and is a member of the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame.

The track is scheduled to host a tribute night in his honor on June 23.

Hanaburgh may not have turned a wheel in a race car on the track at Fonda, but his involvement as a sponsor and fan are well known.

The former owner of eight area McDonald’s including ones in Fultonville, Gloversville and Johnstown, believed in keeping local themes in his restaurants, which led to the Fultonville McDonald’s being the original location for the Fonda Speedway Museum with pictures and memorabilia prominently displayed.

He was also instrumental in the sponsorship of the season-ending races on McDonald’s Weekend at Fonda. The season-ending race program has undergone several name changes over the years, but it is still referred to by many fans and drivers as McDonald’s Weekend.

Hanaburgh received many awards through the years for his charitable contributions to the local communities and was a positive influence in whatever endeavor he became part of.

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