Spraker doubles up at Fonda
The office walls at Jake Spraker’s Used Cars and Glove Cities Taxi are lined with trophies and photos commemorating the almost 200 feature wins by drivers that have driven his race cars.
Saturday night, Ronnie Johnson parked the Jake Spraker-owned modified in Victory Lane at Fonda Speedway for the first time since the two teamed up, while Rocky Warner drove the Spraker-owned No. 1J sportsman onto Victory Lane for the second time in as many weeks at Fonda Speedway.
Having cars under the ownership of the same person take home feature wins in two different divisions, I thought was a first.
However, when I asked Spraker about it, he just nonchalantly sat back and said, “Did it before. I am not sure of the date but it was in 2003 with Jeff Trombley and Tim Clemons. I had forgotten all about it.”
Of course I had to go back and check programs I have saved (told my wife, there was a reason I was saving them) and sure enough, there it was – July 26, 2003; Trombley and Clemons in Victory Lane at Fonda Speedway in the No. 1J.
“I saw it on Doug’s Dirt Track Diary. He has a few videos on there and what he was doing announcing down there in 2003 I don’t know.”
Some of the drivers who have contributed to the nearly 200 feature wins for Spraker over the years reads like a Who’s Who of racing with Ray Dalmata, Mike Romano, Alan Johnson, Danny Johnson, C.D. Coville, Bobby Varin, Jack Johnson. Ronnie Johnson and Tim Clemons are just some of the drivers who have filled the seat in a Spraker-owned modified, while others like Warner and Clemons have driven sportsman cars and Steve Welch gave Spraker a pro-stock championship at Fonda and won the best-appearing car and crew at Super DIRT Week In the Big Red 1.
“In 2003 between Trombley, Timmy and Alan Johnson, we had about 30 wins that year and Rocky had 29 alone last year,” Spraker said.
Reflecting on Saturday’s accomplishment, Spraker said “I was happy as heck.”
The season actually got off to a rough start for the team as Warner had emergency heart surgery and crew chief Mark Sullivan, also had a medical emergency just prior to the start of the season.
But when race time came, the cars were ready and winning as Warner won opening night at Utica-Rome Speedway and the first two weeks at Fonda, while Johnson has a win at the Track of Champions.
With all the races won, the one at the Finale at the Fairgrounds – Super DIRT Week 44 with Warner at the wheel still ranks up there.
“We got the money and the trophies but we just didn’t get to celebrate,” Spraker said. “We will be there at the first one at the new place wherever it is.”
It is a fitting honor that Saturday night, Dalmata will be honored at Fonda Speedway on Ray Dalmata Tribute Night with a display in the Fonda Speedway Museum at the fairgrounds and the 35-lap modified feature run in his honor.
SDW 45 Update
It has been reported that the World Racing Group and DIRTcar have come up with a backup plan for the 45th NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week.
The event is scheduled Oct. 5 through 9 at the new Glenn Donnelly owned Central New York Raceway Park, but just in case, the new facility isn’t ready they are looking at covering the renowned five-eighths-mile asphalt racing surface at Oswego Speedway, the home of the Supermodifieds, and holding the premier event there.
DIRTcar was forced to seek a new location for Super DIRT Week after state legislators voted renovate the property, tearing down the historic grandstand and destroying the mile track.
An agreement was reached between DIRTcar Racing, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Donnelly to move Super DIRT Week to CNYRP when construction is complete.
There is an AMA Pro Flat Track event scheduled at the new facility in August; if the place is ready.
We will try it again.
Opening night at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park is slated for this Friday with a full slate of racing plus POWRi Midgets on the race card.
The quarter-mile has had its opening night postponed by wet grounds or rain for the past three weeks and the forecast doesn’t look favorable again for Friday.