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Racing Around: Varins pick up victories

May 31, 2012
By JAMES A. ELLIS ( , The Leader Herald

It was a good racing weekend for Bobby and Danny Varin.

Bobby opened the Memorial Day Weekend with a hard-fought victory over Stewart Friesen at The Ridge. Danny led the first 13 laps before crossing under the checkers third.

Saturday night, Danny came from 14th to claim his second-straight modified feature win at Fonda Speedway.

Bobby suffered a flat tire early in the race but recovered to go from scratch on the field to finish seventh. He later went out in the ESS A-main and placed fourth.

Sunday at Utica-Rome Speedway, Danny led the 30 lap modified feature before Pat Ward got past. Bobby charged up to challenge Ward and the two ran side-by-side for a long time, often swapping leads during the lap, but Ward managed to have a nose in front at the line. Ward masterfully used lapped traffic to get enough of a break to get the win, Bobby was second, Danny fifth.

Monday, Bobby returned to U-R and claimed his second-straight $10,000-to-win Victoria 200 over Jimmy Davis. Danny again led early before settling into seventh at the finish after battling with Brett Hearn and Danny Johnson for most of the race.

Not a bad holiday weekend.

Bobby also seems to like running sail panels on the Dover Brake 00. Sunday was his fourth extra-distance victory at Utica-Rome. He has back-to-back victories in the Victoria and the New Yorker.

More changes at The Ridge

The Ridge will move its racing program from Friday to Sunday night beginning this week and Mike Sowle and Sowle Tractor Trailer Repair of Fultonville sweetened the pot for the modified and sportsman drivers.

The modified feature Sunday will be a 50 lapper, paying $2,711 to the winner.

The sportsman main event also will be 50 laps with a $1,000 going to the victor.

On June 10, the modified feature will pay $2,000 and the sportsman drivers will race 40-laps for &750.

The final week of the three-week trial will feature a $3,000-to-win modified feature and $750 for the sportsmen on June 17.

The street stocks, cruisers and rookie divisions also will be in action on those dates.

Pit gates open at 3 p.m. for the Sunday races with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are slated to take to the track between 5 and 5:30 p.m. and the green flag dropping on the racing at 6 p.m.

Enjoyable day

Sunday, I was fortunate enough to be part of the crowd on hand at the induction ceremonies for the DIRT Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Fonda Speedway was well represented as 11-time track champion Jumpin' Jack Johnson led the field of drivers that included "Mr. Smallblock" Pete Bicknell and Ovide Doiron.

Alton and Carole Palmer were honored as recipients of the Gene DeWitt Outstanding Car Owner Award. Alton still competes weekly at Fonda in the modifieds. He also, along with his wife, Carole, owns Ronnie Johnson's car and provides sponsorship for many other competitors at the tracks.

Also honored in the ceremonies in Weedsport were Cheryl Kirkland, Billy Colton and Dianne Tobias for their contributions to the sport of dirt track racing. Along with Shane Andrews who has done announcing at the Track of Champions alongside former Fonda Speedway announcer Jim King and Hall of Fame curator, racing historian and pioneer Jack Speno.

Zemken wins

Jessica Zemken turned in another strong performance in an ESS sprinter at Fonda Speedway Saturday night.

Zemken picked up the win in her heat race and took home the Winner's Circle Dash-for-Cash victory before winning out in an exciting battle with Corey Sparks to claim the 25-lap A-Main victory.

Sunday, Zemken and Sparks were battling again at Utica-Rome Speedway. This time it was for fifth and sixth with Sparks getting fifth. Shawn Donath won the ESS A-main, followed by Charlie Donk, Paul Kinney and Justin Barger.



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