Fonda to induct seven into hall

Dave Lape found his way to Victory Lane at Fonda Speedway in a modified 99 times in his storied racing career. Now, he will make the journey one more time.

Lape leads the seven-member Class of 2015 to be inducted into the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame Saturday night.

Joining Lape will be announcer Jim King, driver and race team owners Alton and Carole Palmer, journalists Ed and Betty Biittig and journalist Andy Fusco.

The Palmers and Lape already have been honored as inductees into the DIRT Motorsports Hall of Fame, while King also is a member of the NYSSCA Hall of Fame.

I have been fortunate to be able to work alongside, talk with, share laughs and stories with all of them and can say without a doubt, the honors are well deserved.

Lape’s 50-year career speaks for itself and if it didn’t, King’s voice over the speakers at tracks large and small made them memorable. Calling a race is not easy, especially when you call stock car, snowmobile and motorcycle races, but one of the worst things that can happen is dead air time. King is a master of keeping fans involved with his stories and interviews between races.

The Palmers have been involved in racing for decades with Alton, recording 56 sportsman feature wins before jumping to the modifieds and picking up 11 more with “The General” at his side. It has become a common sight to see Palmer Service sponsorship on several cars from Ronnie Johnson, Ricky Quick and Kenny Gates among the many teams they have helped out. That does not count the drivers and teams they have lent a helping hand to without recognition.

The Biittigs have been around the tracks for a long time as columnists for several trade papers. It is a tribute to the husband and wife team that drivers and fans at the tracks don’t refer to them as the Biittig’s, just Ed and Betty.

Their love for the sport has been handed down to their son Ed “Fast Eddie” Biittig Jr., who has made his mark bringing the local race scene to fans in front of a video camera.

Fusco was a race fan at heart that started out as a columnist at The Leader-Herald, moved on to be a regional editor for Stock Car Racing Magazine and contributor and author of several books on racing. Fusco also was successful away from the race scene as a lawyer and judge in Auburn. He also represented DIRT Motorsports in legal affairs, making sure drivers, owners and promoters were represented by someone who understood racing.

The festivities will begin, rain or shine, at 1 p.m. at the track museum at the fairgrounds where the Hall of Fame will be housed. The meet and greet will run to 4 p.m. with the induction ceremonies taking place on Victory Lane during intermission of the night’s racing program.

Just in case, a rain date for the induction ceremonies has been slated for July 25.

Friesen wins

at Five Mile Point

Stewart Friesen pulled off a last-turn-last-lap pass of Pat Ward to capture the $6,000-to-win Super DIRTcar Series “Greatest Drivers 65” Wednesday night at Five Mile Point Speedway.

It was his first big-block modified series points-race win this season.

Friesen, a former Five Mile Point Speedway champion and a member of the track’s 65 Greatest Drivers all-time list with 35 feature wins at the quarter-mile track.

Sitterly gets his wings

Canajoharie’s Otto Sitterly has won almost everything in sight for the supermodifieds at Oswego Speedway. However, they all came with a wingless supermodified.

That changed last weekend as Sitterly celebrated in Oswego Speedway victory lane after claiming his first career ISMA Supermodified victory in the prestigious King of Wings championship.

Hondo Classic

There is no doubt that one of the biggest pro stock races of the season in the northeast is the Hondo Classic at Fonda Speedway.

Efforts are already in full swing to make the 10th annual event even bigger with Kelly Keefe spearheading the drive for lap sponsorships and contingency prizes. Sponsorships are available by contacting Keefe at kellkeefe@aol.com or 527-8667.

The 39-lap Hondo Classic is scheduled to be run at Fonda Speedway on September 26.


Just a call out to the fans, drivers and management at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park for turning out for, participating in and putting on the Bob Savoie Memorial event last Friday.

It was great to see a large crowd on hand for the night, some I know were first time visitors.

The modified feature was one that definitely appealed to race fans as the underdog John Lutes Jr., who picked up his first career feature win two weeks earlier, held off a late-race charge from the veteran and defending track champion Bobby Varin for the second win of his career.