Racing Around: Bennett, Myrusky to be honored

It doesn’t seem that long ago that while walking home from Estee Middle School I always seemed to make a slight detour off Main Street.

The trip took me behind a laundromat between Second and Third Avenues to a garage behind it to peer in through the garage door windows just to check on the Bernie’s Liquor No. 71.

It did not matter if it was the big coupe, the Valiant or the smaller coupe with Snoopy flying along for the ride, the red and white No. 71 was a staple at Fonda Speedway 1955 through 1979 and a highly competitive ride provided to many of the top drivers by car owners Dick Bennett and Bernie Myrusky.

Drivers like Jim Luke, Ken Jones, Lee Millington, Lou Lazzaro, Don Wayman, Jack Farquar, Robbie Kotary, Don Wayman, Irv Taylor, Ken Shoemaker, Jack Johnson, Lew Boyd and piloted the sportsman/modified during its 25 season run.

Saturday, Bennett and Myrusky and the iconic No. 71 will join many of the drivers who drove it and made Fonda Speedway the Track of Champions as members of the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame.

They will be joined by drivers Dave Camara, Danny Ody, Randy Glenski and “The Rock City Falls Rocket” Jack Cottrell.

Photographer John Grady, who always greeted me with a story or a joke, will be inducted as a Track Contributor, while Doreen Marcuci is being recognized for her long time dedication as a worker at the speedway in the Track Personnel category and Chet Hames, who used to drop the green flag on the field standing on the racing surface, is being honored with the Bill Fake Track Pioneer award.

They are being joined by Laurie Fallis, Peter Lazzaro and Bob James and BOBCO Videos as the recipients of the Fourth Annual Bruce Dostal dedication to Fonda Speedway Museum Awards.

The induction ceremonies will be held in the Fonda Speedway Museum building at the speedway from 3 to 6 p.m. followed by a full regular race program plus the Hall of Fame Spectacular featuring the Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modifieds.

Modifieds return to The Ridge

The Palmer’s Service Center fueled by Sunoco Race Fuels Modifieds return to Glen Ridge Motorsports Park Sunday night.

The weekly divisions will run for double points this week.

Royal Hillclimb

Sunday Royal Mountain Ski Area hosted its Monster Energy 35th annual Hillclimb with many local riders among the 165 entries attempting to ride up the 600 foot course on the Royal Slope.

Johnstown’s Kip Simonds III was a double winner on the day, winning the micro mini with a time of 19.150 and 65cc class with time of 24.854.

Jim George of Oppenheim won the Mini Junior division with a time of 22.000, while Hayden Zelich of Johnstown was third in the 125cc (13.792) and third in 200cc with a time of 12.942.

Fort Plain’s Kyle Oertel was second in the 200cc division with his time of 12.568, while Johnstown Casey Battisti was second in the stock wheelbase class with a time of 10.972 and Mayfield’s B.J. Smith was third in the 4-stroke class with a 9.999.

Josh Randall of Dolgeville won the snowmobile division on a Yamaha with a time of 15.545.

Tour regular James Green, of Charlton, Mass., posted the fastest time of the day with a 9.174 seconds to win the 450cc division.


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