Dodson ready for new season
For the past eight years, the Dodson Construction sportsman team has been at or near the top of the standings at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park and Fonda Speedway.
In the beginning, team owner Rich Dodson got involved with Brian and Greg Pessolano at The Ridge and provided sponsorship for other drivers.
Since that time, Greg retired and Brian moved on to the Ray Sefrin-owned West End Towing team, but Dodson stayed involved as a team owner, putting Chad Edwards in the car and a short-lived term with John Scarborough last season.
When most teams are cutting back, Dodson has expanded his team for the upcoming season.
“This is my ninth year now, as owner, but I have always liked racing,” Dodson said. “We will be fielding three cars this year. Chris Schaffer has been with us for a while and he lost his car last year so we got together and he came aboard. Chad was already there and then my brother-in-law Greg Pessolano, who was retired, decided to come back. So I couldn’t tell Greg no. That is how I ended up with three cars this year.”
Schaffer drove for Dodson at the end of the 2015 season after a wreck at Fonda Speedway destroyed his No. 34C with just a couple of weeks left in the points battle.
Schaffer responded with an exciting side-by-side battle with Rick Quick at Fonda and brought home a runner-up finish. The run secured the ride for this season.
It is never hard to spot the Dodson cars when they are at the track. Just look for the bright green paint schemes and somehow the number four being involved.
“Brian and Greg came up with their basketball numbers (24, 44) and now they all end with the number 4,” Dodson said.
Edwards drives the No. 14, Schaffer the No. 34C and Greg returns to his No. 44. There was also the extended Dodson team sponsorship on the No. 54 of Kurtis Hohensheldt.
There was an old superstition that a green racecar at a track was bad luck. However, green has become the signature color for Dodson.
“Team Green, we love to be different,” Dodson said with a laugh. “That goes back to the days when the boys had Arctic Cats. We always liked them so now we are known as the Green Machine Team.”
Getting one car ready for weekly competition is a challenge, so getting a three-car team ready for competition at two tracks presents another challenge.
“Just getting things organized,” Dodson said is the biggest challenge so far. “Getting so many pieces out at one time and figuring out how we were going to organize everything. Basically, I gave each guy a task to do. One guy organized the shocks, another the motors. I had chassis and they are all under one roof at my shop at home. So that makes it a little easier.”
Team Green will concentrate its racing activity at Glen Ridge and Fonda this season.
“We are going to have two cars on the track each night,” Dodson said. “Chad will run both tracks. Chris is going to run Fonda and Greg will run The Ridge. And then the special races, if they happen to be at Fonda, he will be there. I wish the boys good luck this year because they have all worked hard. A sweep of the awards at the banquet would be awesome.”
Glen Ridge cancels opener
Glen Ridge Motorsports Park was slated to drop the green flag on its points battle Friday night but extremely wet grounds has forced opening night to be postponed to April 22.
However, the practice session scheduled for Fonda Speedway is still on.
Gates will open at noon for inspection for both Fonda and Glen Ridge racers with practice running from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The grandstands will not be open at Fonda this Saturday only the pit area with a $15 admission and Fonda season passes will be honored.
Food will not be available at Fonda due to the concessions not being open because of Department of Health water testing requirements.
With the cancellation of the Glen Ridge opener it creates a special weekend April 22 and 23 as both the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park and Fonda Speedways will both be holding their season openers weather permitting.
Utica-Rome opener set
With a promising forecast for Sunday Utica-Rome Speedway is set to 55th season opener.
The first night of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing will be highlighted by Twin 20’s for the Gates-Cole Insurance modifieds.
The SUNY Canton 602 sportsman, Broedel Energy open sportsman, and pro stocks will also be in competition.
Albany-Saratoga to host practice
A practice session is scheduled for Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Albany-Saratoga Speedway. The pit gates will open at 9 a.m. for inspection.