Racing Around: Fonda to honor Blanchard

Over the years I have gotten to know a few drivers and people involved with racing but even before I became a fan in the stands on a regular basis in the 70s, I knew who Doc Blanchard was.

Mainly because he worked with my father as a mechanic at Glove Cities Chevrolet, but I looked up to him because he was a racecar driver.

I vaguely remember him picking my father and me up at our house, getting in the car with them.

The car had push buttons for the automatic transmission and he turned to me and asked “What should I push, Race, Nothing or Destroy?” Of course I said Race. Good thing too, or we probably would have ended up in our garage.

Anyway, I continued to cheer for him over the later years of his career that I understand included running jalopies at a long defunct track in Perth. Don’t go looking for his name on the list of feature winners at Fonda Speedway, it isn’t there. But he was there almost every week, fielding modifieds and believe ending with a late model before hanging up his helmet.

On Saturday night the Track of Champions will honor the memory of Edward “Doc” Blanchard, who passed away in May at the age of 88, with a tribute night Saturday featuring a memorabilia display at the Fonda Speedway Museum.

First-time winners

When I talked with Randy Cosselman about the competition in the pro stock division at Fonda Speedway he said that there are 10 cars there every week that can win on any given night.

Over the past three weeks, there have been three first-time winners in the division, with Cassidy Wilson, Cosselman and now Josh Coonradt.

Pit notes

— It has happened more than once that a driver struggles to get the handle on a new car, then slips back into an old car and picks up the win.

That happened last Saturday for Chad Edwards as he went back to the car he won the Grand Daddy with and drove to his first win of the season.

— The Fonda Kids Club is planning a big Bike Giveaway night for the young fans on June 30. Any race team or fans who would like to donate a bicycle can contact Ashley Abeling via the Fonda Kids Club Facebook page or just bring the bicycles to the Kids Club table under the grandstands at Gate 2 on that night.

— The New York State Stock Car Association presented its Safety Awards in Victory Lane Saturday night at Fonda Speedway. Receiving the bonus awards were: Street Stocks: Jason Samrov, Johnny Young and Rob VanAernam; Pro Stocks: Josh Coonradt and Jim Normoyle; Limited Sport: Derrick McGrew Jr. and Cory White; Sportsman: Chad Edwards and Mark Mortensen; Modified: Demetrios Drellos and Jimmy Davis, while Pro Stock driver Reuben Kennedy Jr. was the wild card recipient.

— Enjoy fireworks? Albany-Saratoga Speedway will light up the skies on June 29, while Glen Ridge Motorsports Park will add a display to its July 1 program and Fonda Speedway will have a fireworks display on July 7.

— The Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series (MVVDMS) will invade Devil’s Bowl Speedway this Sunday.

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