Ready for racing at the Ridge
After going 0-for-April to start the season, Glen Ridge Motorsports Park is ready to get its racing season underway Friday night.
“We originally talked about opening the first week of May but gambled with the rest of the tracks and moved it to the first week in April,” Glen Ridge promoter Pete Demitraszek said. “That really didn’t work out for anyone. Some years you win and some years you don’t. This year nobody won.”
The extra time has allowed the track to settle and the parking area and the road leading to it to dry out a bit.
The Ridge will host a regular show of modifieds, 602 sportsmen, 602 rookie sportsmen and 4-cylinders with drivers drawing for starting spots. The track points battle will start May 8.
“I feel the drivers were more frustrated about not racing than we were about not opening,” Demitraszek said. “We just don’t need bad press that the track is not right or bad press that the concessions were not right. We would rather wait until the weather is in our favor.”
The weather for the weekend looks promising with decent temperatures and just a slight chance of showers for a little dust control.
“All-in-all, I think it is better that we waited instead of destroying people cars,” Demitraszek said. “From a business standpoint, it is frustrating to have to wait because we lost a month of business this year. But from a publicity standpoint and building good relations with the drivers here, not wrecking their equipment is number one. The extra month did hurt us, but it probably saved some of their racing equipment. It is going to be nice this week and we hope the drivers and fans turn out.”
Racing is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.
Fonda Speedway will host a regular program Saturday with the limited sportsman class making its season debut.
After the success of the modified elimination challenge last year, the special event has been extended to include the pro stock, sportsman this season. The pro stocks will take the challenge Saturday, with the modifieds going May 16 and the sportsman May 30.
For long time race fans, Bill Knapp’s pro stock may bring back memories.
Knapp changed his number from 21 to 23 and changed his paint scheme to a light blue to honor his close friend and former late model driver Earl Mewhorter who died toward the end of the 2014 racing season.
Sheppard wins at Utica-Rome
Matt Sheppard picked up the modified win at Utica-Rome Speedway last Sunday.
The veteran driver from Waterloo captured the 30-lap modified main-event with a late race pass of Matt Hulsizer. It was Sheppard’s second NASCAR Whelen All-American Series win of the 2015 season.
Other winners included Claude Hutchings Jr., in the open sportsman, AJ Filbeck in the 602 sportsman and Mike Welch in the pro street stocks.
The modifieds will be in action at Utica-Rome on Sunday, as well as the open sportsman, 602 sportsman and the pro street stocks. The mod-lite division also will also be in action.
Gates open at 3:30 p.m. with racing action scheduled for 6 p.m. General admission will be $13 while kids 16 and younger are free.
For more information, visit the track’s website, www.uticaromespeedway.com.