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RACING AROUND: Lehner posts first Fonda win

The smile on Jack Lehner’s face was still as broad and bright as it was in Victory Lane as he greeted fans in the pit area at Fonda Speedway.

The 22-year-old modified pilot wired the field Saturday night to park the Nelson-owned No. 85 in Victory Lane for his first career modified feature win.

“The car was flawless. We didn’t change anything all night,” Lehner said. “We were pretty good for the heat and for the feature. We made it through unscathed and came out on top. It doesn’t get any better than that.”

The Ginja Ninja survived a restart midway through the race and built a good lead only to have the pack catch up to him as he encountered slower cars racing for position. Second-place runner Jessica Friesen got close enough to put a nose under the leader but had to check up for the lapped cars as Lehner got by on the outside and pulled away for the win.

“Did she? I didn’t even know that” Lehner said when asked if he knew she was there. “I was definitely worried because we closed on them [lapped cars] quick and then it was a few laps to get by them. I thought someone had to be on my bumper. I was worried about Rocky [Warner] because he started right behind me. The whole race I felt like someone was right there. I was just trying to run away.”

In his fourth season racing modifieds, Lehner expanded his racing schedule, making trips south with the Short Track Super Series and the Super DIRT Series.

“It has definitely helped a lot,” he said. “The biggest thing is running the Super DIRT Series. With those guys you get to measure where you stand with the best of the best. You get to see how they run their programs, how they do things and you learn from that. That has really helped accelerate everything we have done.”

Lehner reflected on his first modified feature win, saying, “It is so special to be not only to get the win here at Fonda because this is where I got my start but to get the win for Bill and Erik [car owners Bill and Erik Nelson] I know how much it means to them and how much they have put into this whole deal. It is just such a great set up we have here.”

Thunder on the Thruway

The first leg of the six-race “It’s Huge” Fuccillo Autoplex of Nelliston Thunder on the Thruway Series will take to the track Saturday night at Fonda Speedway.

The new series will feature three races at the Fonda Speedway and three races at the Utica Rome Speedway with a separate point fund and increased purses for each event.

The Sunoco Modifieds will run a 35-lap event paying $4,000-to-win and $300 to take the green, while the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman will compete in a 25-lap main event paying $1,500-to-win and $125 to take the green and the Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks will run a 20-lap feature paying $1,000 to win and $80 to take the green flag.

Other Thunder on the Thruway Series races will be run on May 14 at Utica Rome, July 3 at Fonda, July 30 at Utica Rome, July 24 at Fonda and Sept. 5 at Utica Rome.

The Montgomery County Vintage Dirt Modified Series also will be on hand Saturday night along with the Limited Sportsman and Cruiser divisions.

Admission for Saturday night’s race program will be $15 for adults and $75 for the popular reserved drive-in spaces that includes four passes.

Glen Ridge ready to go

After an opening night rain-out, Glen Ridge Motorsports Park will open their gates Sunday night with a full race card including the first leg of the “FantaSStic 4 Street Stock Series,” an eight-race series run between The Ridge and Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

The grandstands open at 4 p.m. with hot laps taking to the track at 5:30 and heat races taking the green at 6 p.m.

It is also $1 hot dog night, courtesy of the Man with The Red Chair. Admission will be $10 for adults and $4 for kids 7 and under. Masks are required and CDC guidelines must be followed.

Starting May 14, the 4-Cylinder Mini Stock division at the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park will be DIRTcar Racing sanctioned.

The division will still follow home track rules and drivers will be eligible to race for more than $2,000 in year end prize money to go with the championship money from The Ridge.

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