Racing Around: Bellinger prevails at Malta
After winning back-to-back track championships in the sportsman division at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park, Johnstown’s Bodie Bellinger has bounced around between racing late models and modifieds at different tracks before landing at Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Friday nights this season.
Although hampered by motor problems this season, Bellinger has remained consistent and competitive with a pair of top 10 finishes with a best run of sixth on May 31.
On Friday, everything fell in place for Bellinger as he turned back challenges from Stewart Friesen and Jeremy Wilder to record his first modified feature win.
“This is the first time I have won at that track and my first modified feature anyplace,” Bellinger said. “We had a couple of motor problems and we have a good Bedell motor right now and it runs great.”
It didn’t take long for Bellinger to take control in the race as he moved from his third place starting spot to the lead on the opening lap. However, it was not an uncontested victory.
“Stewie raced me real clean,” he said. “He got to me one time in traffic and got under me. The caution came out and got me back in front. I was happy about that. When I got the white flag I couldn’t believe I was still leading. When I came through and got the checker I was so happy I was smiling under my helmet. I couldn’t wait to get out of the car and get pictures taken.”
Bellinger said he had to thank his parents, John and Karen, B&B Heating Oil, Johnstown NAPA and Charlie Tibbetts for their support this season. Bellinger said he wants to back up the win with another solid run but knows it won’t be easy.
“It is nice starting up front you can get a good run,” he said. “The hardest part about starting back farther is that there is not a lot of passing, but we will try to get it done.”
Points battle shaping up
With five weeks of racing left in the regular season at Fonda Speedway, the points battle for the 602 sportsman championship is deadlocked.
With his feature win last Saturday, Rocky Warner pulled into a dead heat with David Constantino at the top of the standings with 526 points. Ray Zemken is in third with 496, while Cody Bleau and Ricky Quick are tied for fourth with 492.
Matt DeLorenzo pulled to within 30 points of Stewart Friesen in the modified points battle. However posting back-to-back wins helped Stewart Friesen open a 66 point advantage.
Pete Broderson has a 30 point lead over Kenny Martin in the pro stock division, while Rob VanAernam has a 54 point lead over Neil Cosselman in the street stock division.
There is little doubt in the 4-cylinder single cam competition as Ken Hollenbeck remains unbeaten in nine races. Kerrie Hollenbeck holds a 48-point lead over Keith Tesiero Jr. in the dual cam division.