Racing Around: Friesen rolling at Fonda

It looks like the defending track champions are setting the tone for the season at the local tracks.

Stewart Friesen has opened the points chase at Fonda Speedway the same way he did in 2012, with back-to-back feature wins.

Brett Hearn is 3-for-3 at Lebanon Valley and picked up the season opener at Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Friday night.

Friesen’s victory Saturday night came as a bit of a surprise as Alton Palmer had the field covered until the closing laps when lapped traffic came into play.

“I had no idea when I broke free he was leading,” Friesen said about Palmer. “He was running a solid high line, then a lapped car broke his momentum enough for me to sneak up on him. If it was a clear track, I don’t think we had anything for him.”

However, starting 2013 with four straight wins as he did in 2012 could be difficult for Friesen.

Palmer has turned in a pair of strong runs only to have bad luck raise its head late in the race. Danny Varin also came from deep in the field Saturday to register a third place finish and Josh Hohenforst also has turned in solid runs so far this season.

The one local track that will not have a defending champion is Glen Ridge Motorsports Park, as Jeremy Wilder has left to compete on Fridays at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

Wilder turned in a strong opening night performance Friday finishing eighth in the main event behind a talented group including Hearn, Friesen, Peter Britten, Ronnie Johnson, Matt DeLorenzo, A.J. Romano and Kenny Tremont. Also breaking into the top 10 were former Ridge regulars Bodie Bellinger and Marc Johnson.

New promoters Pete and Matt Demitraszek got their first night of racing at Glen Ridge on Friday after a pair of weather-delayed season openers.

Admittedly, not everything went smoothly on opening night, but all-in-all I would give it a B-minus.

Some glitches still need to be worked on, and I am sure many already have been addressed. One of the concerns was the admission price.

Apparently it was a blanket $10 general admission to the grandstands, no matter what age. The Demitraszeks have released a press release addressing the issue.

“Next week grandstand admission will be as follows; 12 yr. old and up $10, 6 to11, $5, 5 and under free. I apologize for any inconvenience this past week but hopefully you the fans, the most important people will understand. I am looking forward to seeing all of you next week. Once again, thank you all for your support.”

One thing the drivers seemed in agreement on was that the track was flat, fast and had lots of bite. That is something you seldom hear drivers agree on.