Racing Around: Area tracks ready for holiday weekend

Memorial Day Weekend is always an exciting time at the local speedways, with bonus events added to the weekly race programs.

The Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints will race at Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Friday before traveling to Fonda Speedway on Saturday and Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday.

Fonda Speedway also will feature the 44-lap, $4,444-to-win Lou Lazzaro Memorial for modifieds.

Also Saturday, active military members and veterans will gain free general admission for the event with a valid military I.D., and fans wearing a Lazzaro hat, shirt or jacket will receive a $4 discount on a general admission ticket, which is $14 for Saturday’s special program.

Fonda Speedway promoter Matt DeLorenzo ran against Lazzaro during the 1999 season and was the winner of both previous races run in honour of Lazzaro.

He will try to make it a three-peat as he returns to the cockpit of the No. 3D modified at the Track of Champions Saturday night for the event.

The modifieds also will race for $250-to-win in the heat races and lap sponsorships throughout the 44-lap feature, as well as contingency awards for the top invader, hard charger and hard luck awards.

Along with the modified feature and heat race incentives, plans are being made to offer a payout to those drivers in the ‘B-main’ as well.

“We’re trying to ensure that all modified drivers walk away from this event with something, regardless of whether or not they make the feature,” Lazzaro’s daughter Melissa Lazzaro, said in a news release. “It’s important to me that nobody goes home empty-handed.”

“The Monk,” who passed away on May 1, 2000, recorded 113 modified feature wins and four track championships at Fonda Speedway in a career that spanned five decades.

He also was a four-time New York State NASCAR Champion and held track titles at Albany-Saratoga, Utica-Rome and Victoria Speedways.

He is a member of the DIRT Motorsports Hall of Fame, the New York State Stock Car Association Hall of Fame and the Eastern Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame.

Changes at Glen Ridge

Promoter Mike Sowle said Glen Ridge Motorsports Park the 2014 season would be a work in progress.

Sowle announced that the 602 sportsman division will undergo a purse restructuring starting this Sunday.

The winner of the sportsman feature will now receive $1,000 for an A-Main victory. Plus there also will be a B-Main where the winner will receive $250 or a spot in the A-Main.

All other participants in the B-Main will be paid $50.

Sunday, the modifieds will run for $2,711 in the main event sponsored by Yurkewecz Auto Crushers, and the lightning sprints will join the VP Small Engine Fuels-sponsored night.

Active military and veterans will receive free grandstand admission Sunday with ID or DD214.

“We are continuing our improvements to the facility on a weekly basis,” Sowle said in a news release. “Pete Demitraszek has the track in great condition and we have a new lap counter in place and a new PA system, which will be installed for next week’s racing program. The vintage cars will race at the Ridge on the first and third Sunday of every month and the Xcel 600 modifieds, will become a weekly division as well.”

Sowle said bounce houses have been set up at the track as well as other activities planned to help maintain a family-friendly atmosphere at the track.