Racing Around: McAuliffe building on success
After a sixth-place finish in the sportsman feature last October at Super DIRT Week, Adam McAuliffe was anxious to get back on the track this spring.
Normally focusing his racing efforts on the local tracks at Fonda, Albany-Saratoga and Glen Ridge the Broadalbin driver expanded his horizons and ventured out with great success.
“A lot of drivers have told me before that if I could win at Fonda, I could win pretty much anywhere, and we pretty much proved that,” McAuliffe said Wednesday after picking up the victory in the “Grand Daddy” 602 Sportsman World Championship, the Brian Hanaburgh Memorial race sponsored by Tom and Sharon Spencer and McDonald’s at Fonda Speedway.
So far this season, McAuliffe had posted victories at Fonda, Albany-Saratoga, Bridgeport and Delaware International.
“We are usually fast out of the box whereever we go as long as we do our homework,” McAuliffe said. “I love coming to Fonda. I kind of wanted to free up my weekends that is why we haven’t come as much this year. I love it. This is where I have always been good and I have kind of got a handle on it.”
A switch in chassis last year before Super DIRT Week has also helped in the process.
“My brother Kyle does all the work on the car and he works really hard at it. Friday’s is pretty much racecar day,” McAuliffe said. “We put the hours in and our [DKM] Cyclone Chassis is next to none. It is the same exact chassis Stewart Friesen runs and when he comes here [to Fonda] he is good too. The motor is the only difference.”
Night of Features
There has been a format change from the past Night of Features scheduled for Saturday at Fonda Speedway.
In the past, all divisions ran double features at a shortened distance with no heat races, just B-mains for the drivers 12th and back in points, with the top 12 handicapped.
This Saturday there will still be no heat races and B-main will be run for 12th and back in points. The change comes in the features when a single feature at the normal distance will be run.
So heading into the final race of the regular season, Bobby Varin leads Josh Hohenforst by two points, 662-660.
The points break down like this: 1st: 60 2nd 56; 3rd 52; 4th 50; 5th 48, etc. dropping two points a position to 15th then by a single point the rest of the way with the minimum amount of points being 20 from 23rd down.
The 602 sportsman points battle is going to come down to the final turn of the main event as the top five in points are separated by 24 points.
Chad Edwards leads the way with 616 points, while Tony Farone is six back in second with 610 and Nick Scavia is seven back with 609. Ray Zemken sits in fourth with 602 and Cody Clark is fifth with 592.
Josh Coonradt picked up the win last week and cut into Kenny Gates’ points lead but it will be a tough task for him to catch Gates as he hold a 38-point advantage over Coonradt and 45 points over third place Chuckie Dumblewski.
In the street stock division, it looks like Johnny Young will lock up his second straight championship as he enters the night with a 56-point lead and only needs to take the green to win the title. The battle for second is between Jason Samrov and Cliff Haslun who are tied for the runner-up spot with 646 points apiece.
11-year-old Derrick McGrew Jr. locked up his points title last week and will be looking to garner his seventh feature win of the season in the Limited Sportsman class Saturday to go with his first Fonda Speedway track championship.
Aftershock at The Ridge
What has to be the most ambitious night of racing this season at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park will put a pair of big-money events on the fast quarter-mile track.
The modifieds will be at The Ridge for the second time this season to compete for $2,500 plus lap money and contingencies in the 66-lap Aftershock.
They will be joined by the 602 Sportsmen for the 55 -lap, $1,000-to-win Hoosier Daddy in memory of Don Warner.
Also on the race card are the pro stock, Limited sportsman, mini stocks, street stocks and the All-Star senior and junior alingshots.
During intermission, the Hayes Family, Randy Hotaling, Bob Vedder and Warner will be inducted into the Glen Ridge Motorsports Hall of Fame.
With the extended race program, the track management has moved the starting time back an hour, with racing starting at 5 p.m. Sunday. General admission for the event will be $8.
Third generation hits the track
Wednesday night, Tanner Warner of Gloversville took the track in Brian Calabrese’s back-up 602 sportsman car, making him the third generation of Warners to turn laps at Fonda Speedway.
He is the son of Rocky “The Flying Squirrel” Warner and grandson of Don “The Silver Fox” Warner.
Maybe Tanner needs a racing nickname like “The Charging Chipmunk” or “Tornado” Tanner Warner.
Stampede at ‘Toga
Marc Johnson picked up the victory over Ronnie Johnson in the 50 lap Short Track Super Series Stampede at ‘Toga Wednesday night at Albany Saratoga Speedway.
Matt Sheppard came from the back of the field to finish third with Anthony Perrego fourth and Frank Cozze fifth.