Glen Ridge set to move to Fridays
Glen Ridge Motorsports Park promoter Mike Sowle has done many things to draw drivers to the quarter-mile dirt track.
He has offered incentives such as free tires for three wins, a barrel of race fuel for five wins, changed the starting time from 6 to 7 p.m., increased the purse in the sportsman divisions even added more racing divisions.
Despite all the efforts, one question kept popping up: “Where are the cars?”
The modified division has drawn between 10 and 18 cars a week, while the sportsman division dropped to 10 cars before Sowle upped the winner’s share of the purse to $1,000 and the car count jumped to 23 and 21 cars in the feature the past two weeks.
Now, The Ridge is making another bold move in an attempt to draw more cars: The track is moving its race program back to Friday nights, starting this week. The start time for the program will remain at 7 p.m. with gates opening at 4:30 p.m.
“We are making the move in an attempt to increase the car count and make it easier on the fans,” Sowle said. “I think a lot of teams and fans are out of money by Sunday. If you buy your whole crew in on Friday and Saturday, Sunday is going to kill them. People only have one or two nights to entertain, so I think Friday will be a great night.”
However, the move comes with a price.
Some of the drivers who have supported the track on Sunday’s are committed to other tracks on Fridays. Plus, DIRT Motorsports, which sanctioned the Sunday racing for the 2014 season, has withdrawn the track’s sanction and removed the mid-week Super DIRT Series Modified race from its schedule.
Sowle also announced the street stock division will not be on the race card. In a two-week experiment for the class, only one driver, Dave Horning Sr., showed up. He ran with the pro stocks and was awarded the victory both nights.
The track also has a new race director.
Ron Smith took over the duties from Sowle two weeks ago.
“Ron is doing a great job and the last two weeks have run smooth,” Sowle said.
Earlier this week, it was announced the sportsman division will get another incentive to run there on Friday nights.
In addition to offering $1,000-to-win, drivers will now receive $100 to take the green in the feature each week.
Hoosier will still be the official tire and starting Friday, Sunoco fuel will be sold at the track but drivers will also be able to use the VP fuel as well.
A weekly, test-and-tune session also has been scheduled at the track on Saturdays from noon to 4 with free admission to the grandstands.
Empire State Championship 50
Tonight’s midweek show at Fonda Speedway keeps growing.
Besides the 50-lap, $5,000-to-win, all green laps modified feature and a 30-lap, $1,000-to-win GRIT Series event for the 602 sportsman division, the National Guard-sponsored Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR simulator will be at the track.
Also for pre-race entertainment, The Bush Wackers Band will be playing from 5 to 6 p.m. in front of the grandstand.
The winner of the “Empire State Championship 50” also will receive a guaranteed starting spot for the 29th annual Outlaw 200 at Fulton Speedway on Oct. 4. Show-up points will be awarded to all of the Fonda regulars in both divisions.
Some of the invaders who have announced they will run tonight include Brett Hearn, Billy Decker, Pat Ward, Tim McCreadie and Mike Mahaney. Also racing will be track promoter Matt DeLorenzo.
Saturday night will be a special night for kids at Fonda Speedway.
Children under the age of 12 will be admitted free, and it is also banner night for young race fans to create banners for their favorite drivers. Banners are to be brought to the souviner trailer before the night’s racing program, and they will be displayed on the front of the grandstand during the program.
Also, there will be a bike giveaway featuring two 16-inch and two 20-inch bikes donated by street stock driver John Bradt and modified driver Ronnie Johnson and his wife, Shelley.
Face painting by JoJo’s Fabulous Faces will be available free of charge under the covered grandstand from 5 to 7 p.m.
On the track, the 602 sportsman division will run a 25-lap, $800-to-win feature on NYSSCA night.
Fonda Speedway track photographer Bill McGaffin is recovering at home after being hit by a sportsman division car while taking pictures last Saturday at Fonda Speedway.
“I am sore,” McGaffin said Wednesday morning. “I have four broken ribs, a black eye and staples in my head. It could have been much worse.”
With his feature win Sunday at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park in the Xcell 600 division, Kyle Fallis joined his father, Drew, and mother, Laurie, as feature winners. Drew has victories in the sportsman division at Fonda Speedway and “Freeda” is a feature winner in the cruiser division at Glen Ridge. In a side note, Kyle “borrowed” his father’s car for the win, while Cody Clark finished third in the race in his car.