RACING AROUND: Offseason busy for area tracks
Since the final race of the 2018 season at both Fonda Speedway and Glen Ridge Motorsports Park, there have been plenty of changes, news and excitement heading into the 2019 season.
First, after the final checkered flag dropped on the season at Fonda Speedway, Brett Deyo was announced as the new promoter with a three-year deal at the Track of Champions.
It didn’t take long before Deyo started announcing his plans for the venerable Montgomery County half mile.
One of the first things he announced was that the drivers will switch to American Racer tires instead of Hoosiers as the track will no longer fly the DIRTCar banner.
Then he released a preliminary schedule for the season featuring the return of the Fonda 200 Weekend to the schedule with a $20,000-to-win for the winner of the 200 lap modified feature.
Well that event has taken legs and grown to a recently announced $53,000 to win the Sept. 28 event.
It will be interesting to see the drivers roster for that weekend with DIRTCar modified events scheduled at Utica-Rome on Friday and Canandaigua on Saturday and Super DIRT Week XLVIII at Oswego the following week.
Deyo has had plenty of success as the promoter of the Short Track Super Series, drawing large fields of modifieds and sportsmen at the events, so I am sure there will be plenty of story lines as the season progresses.
Also prominently featured will be the Bob Hilbert Sportswear STSS Fueled by Sunoco, $10,000-to-win Firecracker 50 for modified on July 3 with a $1,250-to-win STSS Crate 602 sportsman event on the undercard. The race is also scheduled to be televised nationally on MAV-TV.
With the mid-week event and holiday weekend the speedway will be dark on July 6.
The weekly purses have also been upgraded.
The modifieds will now race for $2,400-to-win, $1,300 for second and $250 to take the green.
The winner’s share of the $4,005. weekly purse for the 602 sportsman division is now $700 with $100 to take the green and the pro stocks will get $500 to win and $75 to take the green.
Street stocks and limited sportsman will race for $100 to win and the 4-cylinder division will get $75.
Special events for all divisions dot the schedule, ranging from twin-20s for the modifieds, a Best of Eight Series for the pro stocks as well as the annual Hondo Classic on June 29.
The Patriot Sprint Series will appear on Memorial Day Weekend, while the Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series will hit the track four times during the 2019 season.
I think one of the most intriguing promotions on the schedule is slated for May 18 when grandstand admission for everyone is just $1 for a regular night of racing. It will be interesting to see how full the grandstands will be that night.
While Deyo is the promoter, he has built a solid support group to handle the weekly operations at the speedway.
Jamie and Denise Page, who operated I-88 Speedway in Afton from 2010-16 will be the operations manager and concession managers, while another pair of familiar faces return to handle track prep.
Roger Heroux, who handled track prep during Matt DeLorenzo’s promotership, returns and former speedway promoter Ric Lucia has also agreed to return to assist with the track prep.
Staying in tune with the happenings down in the valley, the “Little Track on the Hill” has also made the move to make American Racers the official track tire of Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.
Crate modifieds will again be the featured class at The Ridge and will run for $600 to win a regular feature. However, if there are more than 20 cars in the field, the winner’s share jumps to $750.
The MVVDMS returns to The Ridge after a short hiatus to run what is being billed as “The Thrill on the Hill.”
Sprint cars also will return to The Ridge as the CRSA sprinters will take to the quarter mile on June2 and July 28.
One of the biggest additions to the schedule at Glen Ridge this season are the USAC East Coast Sprint Cars on June 30 and the Wingless Racers Alliance will take to the track for the first time on June 16 and will return on Aug. 11.
I am sure there will be plenty more updates and breaking news out of both speedways before the cars hit the track in April, but first I am looking forward to the annual Northeast Racecar Show on March 15 through March 17 at Viaport Mall in Rotterdam.