Racing Around: Fonda ready to kick off new season

Granted, since 1999 it has been a common sight seeing Matt DeLorenzo turning laps around Fonda Speedway.

That hasn’t changed.

Wednesday, the new promoter at the Track of Champions was still turning laps around the historic speedway.

Only he was going clockwise. (But still in the high groove).

In a grader.

Towing a sheepsfoot roller.

After canceling the season-opening Ice Melt 40 last Saturday, it looks like everything is a go for this Saturday night.

The weather has cooperated enough the past week and the track crew has been able to work the track and clean up a lot of the winter debris in anticipation of opening night.

DeLorenzo said the crew will be putting up the billboards and the new Fonda Speedway banner along the backstretch, as well as touching up the paint where it is needed.

With the inside walls removed, DeLorenzo said the track is almost 10 to 15 feet wider in the first and fourth turns. To help drivers know where the inside of the track is, tires have been sunk into the ground with just about a quarter of the tire showing.

This could get interesting since I can remember before the walls went up, promoters tried building the berm up on the inside, and by the end of the night, the top of it would be flattened from drivers putting their left front on it (yes running on the infield) to make a pass.

DeLorenzo said that interest in the opening-night program has picked up lately.

“I have gotten a lot of phone calls and emails the past couple of days,” DeLorenzo said. “It sounds like we are going to have a good turnout. Billy Decker, Pat Ward, Peter Britten, Dale Planck have all said they will be here.”

Of course, some of the drivers will be making the trip to Lebanon Valley Speedway for its 62nd season opener featuring a $3,000-to-win modified feature.

Canandaigua is hosting an open practice session Saturday before launching its season next weekend with the two-day Jan Corcoran Memorial Weekend on Friday and Saturday.

Albany-Saratoga Speedway will conduct an open practice session Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m. with free grandstand admission before kicking off its season on April 18.

Glen Ridge Motorsports Park is slated to run its opening night show on April 27.

On the Hard Clay

Orange County Speedway managed to get their season opener in last Sunday with Andy Bachetti taking the field from green to checkers for the 50-lap Super DIRT Series victory, while Brian Krummel held off Fonda regulars Connor Cleveland and Rocky Warner for the 25-lap Dig Safely New York GRIT Series Crate 602 Sportsman win.

Stewart Friesen placed ninth, Jimmy Davis 10th and Darwin Greene 19th in the modified feature. Other modified drivers from the local tracks making the trip to Middletown to compete but who did not make the main event include Elmo Reckner, Mike Mahaney, C.G. Morey, Craig Hanson and Jackie Brown Jr.

The local tracks were well represented in the GRIT Series sportsman event.

Cleveland finished second and Warner was third. Ivan Joslin placed ninth with Brian Pessolano 10th, John Scarborough 12th, Dave Constantino 15th. Derrick McGrew 16th and Curtis Hohensheldt 20th in the 24-car feature. Ray Zemken and Scott Duell also made the trip but did not qualify.