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Racing Around: Racing returns to area tracks

After a three-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic a sense of normalcy returned last weekend.

Fonda Speedway opened its gates for a Saturday night of racing, albeit without fans cheering from the iconic covered grandstand, with a solid field of sportsman, pro stock and vintage modifieds on hand.

However, on Sunday fans got their first opportunity to watch live racing as promoter Brett Deyo took a page from Orange County Speedway’s playbook, offering limited drive-in parking, only on the infield instead of overlooking the backstretch.

After the availability was announced earlier in the week, it did not take long for the 125 spots offered at $60 to vehicles limited to four fans apiece, to fill up.

It may have been a little chilly Sunday, but there were plenty of smiling faces as some fans got a different perspective of the races.

You know they were missing the racing action when on a couple of occasions, a modified rumbled down the old dragstrip headed for the infield scales and they stopped talking just to watch them roll by.

The infield drive-in will be available again this week at the same price, but if you prefer some outdoor dining, Denise’s Concession menu will be available for fans that would enjoy track food on a Saturday. While it will still be $60 per car for the reserved infield parking, there will be an $11 charge at the front gate for fans who would like to enjoy a meal along the frontstretch at the track as the cars make their way around the newly resurfaced speedway. Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing starting at 7 p.m.

Of course, social distancing must be practiced and face coverings are required.

This event will also be streamed live on Dirt Track Digest TV.

Glen Ridge Motorsports Park also opened its gates for the first time this season Sunday, with Tony Farone picking up the victory in the 602 sportsman feature.

The Ridge will be back in action this Sunday, again without fans in the stands, with a full Father’s Day race card scheduled.

Short Track Super Series

Stewart Friesen was having a successful weekend of dirt-track racing, coming from the rear to finish second at Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Friday night and getting the win at Fonda on Sunday.

However, Tuesday’s Short Track Super Series race at Big Diamond Speedway in Pennsylvania was not good to him.

After qualifying for the Anthracite Assault through the consi, Friesen started deep in the pack but brought out the red flag on lap three when he rolled the Halmar No. 44 modified.

Billy Pauch Jr. won the event, with Jimmy Horton coming home second in the event that drew 45 modifieds.

After losing an engine Saturday night in the 602 Sportsman feature at Fonda, Tim Hartman, Jr. made a late-race pass to pick up the victory.

The next scheduled event for the STSS is July 1 at Fonda Speedway featuring the Sunoco modifieds in a 50 lap, $10,000-to-win feature with the 602 Crate Sportsmen running 25 laps for $2,000 to win.

Big Show canceled

Brett Hearn’s The Big Show 12 scheduled for Tuesday at Albany-Saratoga Speedway has been postponed to 2021 because of mass gathering restrictions to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

Racing loses a friend

Bonnie Dostal, a long time fixture at the local speedways, had died after a long battle with cancer.

Bonnie could be found in the tower scoring races for many years at Fonda Speedway, Glen Ridge and even at Caroga Creek Raceway, but also worked alongside her husband Bruce Dostal in the pit areas at the A&B Speedshop parts truck.

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