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RACING AROUND: McAuliffe, Coonradt post solid showings

I am not sure if it was happiness or just relief, but Adam McAuliffe and Josh Coonradt were two of the happiest people at Fonda Speedway Saturday night.

Both drivers have struggled early this season with ill-handling cars, motor issues and just plain bad luck.

Coonradt started eighth in the feature and used the high side to get to the front in the closing laps.

He showed that he has figured out the new set up under his pro stock as he and car builder Nick Stone ran side-by-side for more than a lap, Coonradt kept his momentum up on the high side and pulled away from Stone on the final lap for the win.

McAuliffe took a step back to regroup, brough back an older car with a coil setup instead of the new 4-link.

Although Stewart Friesen was able to chase him down in traffic, McAuliffe was smiling after the race.

There are some new names making their presence known at the front of the pack at Fonda Speedway this year.

Gary Silkey showed the pro stock field the fast way around the track for most of the main event before being foiled by a late-race restart.

Jason Reome also led most of the 602 sportsman feature before Mark Mortensen was able to reel him in and take the lead. Mortensen cut a tire with two laps remaining, putting Reome back on the point to hold off veteran Kurtis Hohensheldt for his first career win at Fonda.

Second-generation driver Taylor LaPlante drove a steady race to become the fifth different driver in as many weeks to pick up their first wins in the limited sportsman division.

Saturday night also marked the return of Chuck McSpirit, Greg Havlicek and Bob Rowback to competition weekly at Fonda.

McSpirit has purchased a new pro stock after stepping away from competition for a few years to work as a member of the track crew.

Havlicek and Rowback have teamed up in the sportsman division with Rowback, who has been competing in the Xcel Modifieds, will run the No. 85 in the limited sportsman division events, while Havlicek, who started the year behind the wheel of the pace truck, will pilot the car in the 602 sportsman class.

It should also be noted that longtime pace car driver Billy Peek was all smiles as he was back behind the wheel of the pace truck last Saturday night.

Double features at The Ridge

A downpour prior to the start of the pro stock feature Sunday night at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park had led to double features this week for the pro stock and limited sportsman divisions.

A pair of series will be making their stops at The Ridge this Sunday at the Tobias Empire Series and FantaSStic 4 Street Stock Series will be on the race card along with a full regular race program.

Passing the helmet

Fonda Speedway and Glen Ridge 4-cylinder competitor Shawn Hemstreet was injured recently in an accident at his garage while working on the race car.

There will be a helmet pass in the grandstands Saturday to help with expenses as he will be out of work while recovering from the injuries.

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