Racing Around: Weather hampers area tracks

All you can do about the weather is complain about it.

Showers last weekend cost Fonda Speedway a night of racing. Glen Ridge Motorsports Park was not at 100 percent even though its got its opener in.

The wet grounds, though, did little to dampen the spirits of the fans and drivers in attendance to launch the track’s first season under new promoter Mike Sowle.

“I thought things went great considering it was the first time doing this for most of us,” Sowle said. “I had drivers call on Monday saying how the track was in great shape and said they cannot wait to come back. Yes there were a few glitches, but we expected that. We have already looked at how we can correct them.”

The racing surface itself was not in its normal race condition. A late afternoon rain shower did not help as it tightened the track up, making it a one to one-and-a-half groove track in the turns. In the past, GRMP tended to widen out during the night.

But by no means did it lessen the racing that was seen throughout the night.

Marc Johnson was masterful holding off Kenny Tremont Jr., both in traffic and on an open track, to get the opening-night modified feature win.

The sportsman feature took a bit longer to run than the modified and pro stock features combined, but there was plenty of action and some new drivers on the scene as 29 sportsman drivers attempted to qualify.

A pair of new drivers to the track, Brett Wright and Timothy Davis, outlasted the field of 23 to take home the top two spots in the sportsman main.

Sowle said he was pleased overall with the car count, but is concerned about having only eight pro stocks sign in.

“I was a little disappointed in the pro stock turnout,” he said. “I thought with the DIRT sanctioning it would allow more drivers to compete on multiple nights. We had eight cars show up and I hope that will improve.”

The Lightning Sprints also had a good turnout for their season-opener.

“The Lightning Sprints are looking forward to coming back,” Sowle said. “I think we will run them second on the program instead of last next time so the track won’t be as rough for them.”

This Sunday, the Lost Boyz Auto Sales-sponsored night was scheduled to be a regular show of modifieds, sportsman and pro stocks. Sowle announced that the 4-cylinder division has been added to the race card and that the class may be a regular feature the rest of the year.

CRSA sprinters rescheduled

Wet grounds forced the cancelation of last week’s racing at Fonda Speedway that was to mark the first race of the season for the RaceSaver CRSA 305 sprint cars.

The sprinters will now be part of the May 17 program that also marks the first Infield Tailgate night of the season.

The rain last Saturday also forced the cancellation of the big block Super DIRT Series opener at Fulton Speedway. No make up date has been scheduled.

Filbeck wins season opener

A.J. Filbeck picked up the sportsman feature win Sunday night at the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series sanctioned Utica-Rome Speedway.

Mike Mahaney won the modified feature over Stewart Friesen, and Danny Varin won a heat race en route to a ninth-place finish in the modified main.

Another season opener

Caroga Creek Raceway is scheduled to open its season of go-kart racing Friday night, weather permitting, with a test-and-tune event.

Hulsizer dies

Modified driver Steve Hulsizer, 47, from Bridgeport, lost his fight to colon cancer Tuesday.

Hulsizer was a regular at Utica-Rome Speedway and picked up the last feature win of his career in the No. 88 last season at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.