Racing Around: Point races continue to heat up at area tracks
I know it is hard to believe school is out, the thoroughbreds take to the track at Saratoga Race Course in two weeks and there is only six more Saturday nights of racing remaining before Fonda Speedway crowns its 2019 track champions.
After announcing at the car show at ViaPort Mall in March that the Jake Spraker-owned No. 1J team would be chasing the sportsman points this season, the team has been the story of the season so far — in the modified ranks.
Rocky Warner has parked the 1J in Victory Lane three times this season at The Track of Champions and is leading the points, 474-450 over defending track champion Bobby Varin in the Palmer’s Service No. 76. Danny Varin is sitting third with 386 points and David Constantino is fourth with 376. Stewart Friesen rounds out the top five with 362 and two feature wins.
The top five have won eight of the nine modified features run this year with Matt Sheppard picking up the other on opening night.
Warner is also leading the points at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park in the 602 Crate Modified division, going 4-for-4 in the main events, and the Palmer’s Service Center modified points standings, winning two of the three features so far this season.
Tim Hartman is on top in the 602 sportsman division at Fonda with a 52-point advantage over Cody Clark and 54 points over Adam McAuliffe.
Luke Horning has put up five victories at Fonda Speedway and is on top in the pro stock points standings 56 points ahead of Josh Coonradt, 456-400, while Nick Stone is third with 392.
E.J. McAuliffe has four limited sportsman victories this season at Fonda and leads Rich Christman, who has two wins, in the points, 448-426.
Jason Samrov and Michael Arnold are on top of the point standings in the street stock division with Samrov leading 438-412. Dave Horning Sr. has the most victories so far this season with four and sits fifth in points with 326.
Ken Hollenbeck and Cole Lawton have posted victories in the 4-cylinder division and Hollenbeck leads the points 284-272 over Lawton.
Horning also leads the pro stock points at The Ridge, while Cliff Haslun leads the street stocks and Brendan Gibbons leads the limited sportsman class. John Napoli and Tim Billington, respectively, lead the dual and single overhead cam mini stock divisions.
Big week of racing ahead
If Mother Nature cooperates, this coming week is packed with special events at the local race tracks.
Saturday night, the rain-delayed Bill Ag Memorial Modified Elimination Race will join the 14th annual Hondo Classic for the pro stocks along with a full race program. Making the night, sponsored by School House Pools, even more appealing is that general admission is just $5.
The USAC East Coast Sprint Car series will be making its first local appearance Sunday night at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park along with a full regular race card minus the pro stocks. Admission will be $15 for adults and $4 for kids 11 and younger.
Then it is back to Fonda Wednesday for the inaugural Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series event. The Sunoco Modifieds will take to the track for the $10,000-to-win, Fucillo Auto Group Firecracker 50 presented by Teo Pro Car along with a $1,500-to-win main event for the 602 sportsman division. General admission will be $22. As a bonus, the race will be taped by MAVTV and is slated to be broadcast in September.
Fonda will not race on July 6, so The Ridge will welcome fans that day for the a pair of special events — “Vengeance” — a $2,500-to-win, 50-lap feature for the modifieds that carries a guaranteed starting spot in the Fonda 200, and “Hoosier Daddy II for the 602 sportsman division, as well as a full regular race card.
You can also kick off the Fourth of July celebration Friday night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway with fireworks added to a full night of racing.