Racing Around: Wilder second at Utica-Rome

While on vacation this week, I had the opportunity to venture over to Utica-Rome Speedway to be a fan and watch the 100-lap New Yorker for small-block modifieds.

When Matt Sheppard drew the outside pole, fans were ready to write him the winner’s check but Fort Plain’s Jeremy Wilder drew the pole and wasn’t so willing to just hand him the victory.

Wilder gave Sheppard all he could handle Sunday night on a challenging track as he used a lapped car to pass Sheppard late in the race before lapped traffic also played a part in Sheppard getting the lead back with eight laps left.

Wilder wasn’t ready to settle for second as he made a charge off turn four on the final lap and came within a wheel (.042 seconds) of picking up a $4,000 paycheck.

“It was a fun race,” Wilder said after the race. “The track conditions weren’t ideal but everyone had to race on them and that was part of the show tonight. You had to search for lanes and deal with lapped traffic and we were right there. When I got the lead there I knew it was far from over. Matt got back by me. I got to run a lot of laps behind him and got to see where he might go.”

Rocky Warner also had a solid run in the event, moving from 15th to ninth, while Bobby Varin finished 12th after staring 19th on the field.

The local area was also well represented in the sportsman division as Amsterdam’s A.J. Filbeck powered his way around the outside of Kyle Inman to pick up the opening night victory.

A.J. Miller finished on the lead lap in 21st, while Cody Clark battled an ill-handling race car to finish 22nd, four-laps down.

Andrew Buff, who won last week at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park, finished 16th and Charlie Tibbitts crossed the line in 12th.

Former Fonda Speedway regular Shane Henderson picked up the victory in the pro stock main event. Nick Stone set the early-race pace but went pit side six-laps in when suspension problems.

Bill Knapp and Jim Normoyle were second and third in the event.

Fonda KOD rescheduled

Rain claimed Saturday night racing at Fonda Speedway for the second time this season and it also took down the King of Dirt 602 Sportsman Series event for the second time.

The series event has now been rescheduled for July 14 at The Track of Champions, while the date had not been announced for the series event at Glen Ridge.

The series opener will now be May 27 at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Vermont where Chad Edwards is the defending race champion. Also on the race card will be the SCONE 360 Sprints and a full program of racing.

Johnson, Britten win at Albany-Saratoga

Ronnie Johnson picked up his first win of the season, moving from the outside pole to the lead and into Victory Lane in the held-over modified feature at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, while Peter Britten parked the Andy’s Speed Shop No. 97 Troyer in Victory Lane. Britten paid tribute to Maynard Troyer, who passed away last week, in Victory Lane.

“Krazy” Kenny Martin scored the victory in the pro stock feature Friday at Albany-Saratoga. The pro stocks will run double-features this week to make up for the rained-out May 4 feature.

Track management announced that double features will be run for the Sportsman on June 1, the 4-Cylinders on June 8 and the Street Stocks on June 15.

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