Racing Around: Wilder focused on solid finishes
If you asked Jeremy Wilder 10 years ago how to win a track championship, he probably would have told you to win every race.
Now a veteran, but still a young lion, Wilder has refocused his thoughts on that this season.
“It is tough to win races, so in order to win a championship, you have to finish as many races as you can and do as good as you can,” Wilder said. “That is what we are shooting for this year. We might not have the most wins on the year, but I think we will be right up there with the rest of them. In big-picture racing, you have to finish consistent. You can’t go out there and try to win every single race. Let’s face it; unless you are a certain amount of guys, you aren’t going to do it. It is hard to go out and win races when you are against guys like Bobby Varin and Ronnie Johnson every week.”
So far,; so good.
Wilder has posted five top-five finishes in six races at Fonda and three top fives and a win in four events at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park. The other races were ninth-place finishes at both tracks.
“We had a little bit of a mishap at Glen Ridge early and got a flat tire and ended up with a ninth-place finish,” he said.
However, consistency has put the Fort Plain modified pilot near the top of the early points battles.
At Fonda, he is tied with Varin for second in the points battle only eight points behind Johnson and 10 ahead of Danny Johnson.
At the Ridge, he is fourth in the standings, only 12 back from points-leader Josh Hohenforst.
Racing against drivers who know what it takes to win titles as well as races has helped Wilder settle in to the new approach.
“You learn a lot of things over the years watching and following Bobby, Stewie [Friesen] and Ronnie after they got by me like the different lines they use and how they get through traffic. When you race with guys like Bobby and Ronnie, you learn things. You figure out what the key is to winning championships. You know Bobby Varin didn’t do well when he started out. He probably thought if I win everything I will win the championship. He raced hard and did the best he could. But if you go up to him now if you ask him you have to go out and you have to be consistent. You have to do well and you have to put together a whole season.”
Varin now has six track titles at Fonda and three at Glen Ridge to go with multiple wins all around the DIRT circuit.
“That is the big thing this year; finishing races and doing as well as we can,” Wilder said. “Hopefully, we get a couple of wins here and there and it would be a good season overall. And you have to put the car in the trailer in one piece.”
Gates to greet fans
Fonda Speedway pro stock champion Kenny Gates will have his car on display and will be on hand to greet race fans early Saturday afternoon at Granny’s Ice Cream at the Royal Mountain Campgrounds on Route 29 in Caroga Lake before heading to compete at Fonda Speedway.