Area stock car racing: Stone gives EMS chassis a thumbs-up

With a pro stock feature win at Fonda already under his belt, Nick Stone is pleased with the EMS cha

When Nick Stone got a call from Rocky Warner about going to the Gater Racing News car show in March, Stone decided to go along for the ride. Although he never planned it, he ended up buying a new race car at the show, but it wasn’t an HRD chassis, which he had used since he started racing. It was an EMS chassis which was something totally new and totally different than what he was used to.

It didn’t take Stone long to become accustomed to the new car, as he won the pro-stock feature at Fonda Speedway in only his second time out in the car.

“I had no plans to go out to the show in Syracuse, but I really wanted to try one of the offset chassis and see how different they really were,” Stone said. “I was going to have Bernie Companion build me a new car, but he wasn’t going to be able to have it ready for me by the start of the season, and I

really wanted to start out the year at Fonda with a new car.”

As Stone walked around the Gater Racing News show, he saw the EMS car on display, and decided that was what he wanted.

“As soon as I saw the car and the workmanship that was involved in it, I knew that I wanted one,” Stone said. “I’m sure that Bernie’s car would have been a good one, too, but after I stopped and talked to the guys at the EMS booth at the Syr­acuse show, I decided to buy the car that they had on display there.”

Stone figures that he saved over $2,000 buying the car at the show because they were running a

special that included powder-coating, which is usually an extra $600.

“It was just a spur-of-the-

moment deal for me to buy the car,” Stone said. “I saw the EMS cars up at Super DIRT Week in Syracuse last fall, but I really had no interest in buying one until I looked at it, and saw how different they really were.”

“The EMS Chassis is an offset flex chassis, and has a lot more left-side weight, where the HRD Chassis is more of a perimeter chassis,” Stone said. “The EMS car has a little different configuration back where the fuel cell is mounted in the car. It was just time for me to go new school instead of staying with old school.”

Stone started his racing career in 1998 in the pro-stock division in a kit car that Kenny Martin Jr. and Chris Fain of HRD Chassis put together. Stone has used an HRD car ever since.

Stone was very successful in the HRD car at Fonda, and accumulated 19 feature wins in the pro-stock

division. He hopes that his 20th win, in the EMS car, is just the beginning.

Stone enjoys competing in the pro-stock division, and doesn’t see himself moving out of the class.

“I really hope that the car counts pick up in our class,” Stone said. “It hurts the newer guys in our class, like my brother Tony and Sheldon Martin, who need the seat time, when we don’t have enough cars to run heat races because I feel that you learn more in a heat race, running side-by-side with your competitors, than you do in warmups for a couple of laps.”

Stone is also running in the pro-street stock class at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, and hopes to continue to do so in his EMS/Noel’s Machine Shop-powered No. 27.

“We decided to try something different this year, and run at

Albany-Saratoga to try and get a win at a track other than Fonda,” he said. “We will continue to run at Malta, as long as we are not jeopardizing our points at Fonda.”

Stone plans on going to Syracuse in the fall for Super DIRT Week, but has no plans on running in any of the DIRT series shows.

“I can’t run the DIRT shows with the motor that I have in the car now, but I have another Noel’s engine that I will save for use at Syracuse only.”

MORE ON EMS

Eric and Matt Marin are the owners of the EMS Chassis business in Carmel, and they developed the car to try some new and different things, as Eric is a racer himself.

“In 2000, we built our first car, and we have been building cars ever since,” Eric said. “The total amount of cars that we have built to this point is now up to 40. Nick [Stone] has already proved himself to us, as he already has a win at Fonda in one of our cars.”

The Marins already have a good amount of cars at Lebanon Valley and on the DIRT circuit, but wanted to get more running at both Albany-Saratoga and Fonda. Stone is, hopefully, just the start of that process.

“We want to get up to Albany-Saratoga very soon to try and get Nick’s car dialed in a little bit better,” Eric said. “We are also working with Ed Thompson at Albany-Saratoga, and he is now interested in buying one of our cars.”

Eric Marin has been racing for 13 years, and that gives him a chance to try out different concepts with the cars that he builds. Last Oct­ober at Eastern States weekend at Orange County Speedway, Marin won the feature event, after finishing second to Don Carlson at Super DIRT Week.

Ironically, Carlson was also running an EMS chassis, and he and Marin won two of the biggest events of the 2007 season, along with winning the Mr. DIRT Pro-Stock Championship with Pete Stefanski behind the wheel of one of their chassis.

“We have been fortunate enough to have success pretty much anywhere that we have one of our chassis running,” Marin said. “It is now time for me to mellow out on racing and concentrate on running our business.”

WEEKEND SCHEDULE

Tonight at Albany-Saratoga Speedway will be Scout/Youth Sports Night, with any youngster wearing his or her local scout or sports jersey admitted to the grandstands free of charge. All divisions will be in action, with a starting time of 6:45.

Last Friday’s nasty weather forced the cancellation of the racing program at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park and the annual Bob VanAernam Memorial street stock race, as well.

Glen Ridge has rescheduled the race for tonight, and since the cancelation, Andy’s Service Station owner Andy Romano has added more money to the purse. The race could now be worth $550 to the winner, $220 to the second-place finisher and $130 to the third-place finisher. Tony Mango from Snap-On tools has added $100 to the winner’s share, along with the $250 added from Andy’s Service Station.

This will surely be a popular event with a very hefty purse (the purse is based on a 20-car field) for the street stock drivers as they battle for 30 laps in spirit of one of the great men of the sport, the late Bob VanAernam. All other div­isions will be in action, as well, and rain checks from last Friday will be honored at the gate. Starting time is 7:30 p.m.

After two consecutive rainouts, Fonda Speedway will try again on Saturday to get another racing program in the books. There will be double features in the modified, sportsman, and pro-stock divisions (due to the rainout on April 26) along with single feature events in the IMCA, street stock and budget sportsman divisions. There will also be Kiddie Rides for the kids. Starting time for the racing program will be 6 p.m.

Lebanon Valley will be hosting Madsen Overhead Doors and Wentworth Construction Night Saturday, with the winner of the big block feature earning $3,000. Because Wentworth is one of Brett Hearn’s sponsors. there’s been speculation that Hearn might skip Orange County and be heading to the Valley.

Albany-Saratoga’s sister track, Devil’s Bowl in West Haven, Vt., will begin its season Saturday with a practice session. The first racing card of the season is scheduled for Sunday, May 18. Ken Tremont Jr. will return to defend his track title.

Many of the area’s drivers will be heading to Utica-Rome Sunday for the Victoria 200, which will pay $10,000 to win. Racing will begin at 2 p.m.

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