Area stock cars: Dumblewski, Joslin savoring initial victories

The pro-stock division has been the most competitive class at Fonda Speedway so far this season, wit

The pro-stock division has been the most competitive class at Fonda Speedway so far this season, with six different winners in seven events. Two of those winners, Chucky Dumblewski and Ivan Joslin, were in Victory Lane for the first time in their careers at the Track of Champions.

“It feels real good to finally win at Fonda,” Dumblewski said. “Now, I want to try and do it again. This car is brand new for this year, and was built by Chris Fain from the ground up, and has been awesome since the first time it hit the track.”

Dumblewski suffered through two bad weeks in a row to start the season, but has rebounded to put him seventh in the point standings.

“The first week of the season, I had trouble with the distributor in the car, and the second week, I started the feature without a clutch and ended up blowing the clutch right out of it halfway through the event,” he said. “Since then, the worse that I have finished is fifth, and the car has been consistently fast.”

Dumblewski raced go-karts for six or seven years at Dodge City and Albany-Saratoga, and at the age of 17, he decided to move up to race a pro-stock at Fonda, where he has been ever since.

“I was still in high school when I started racing a pro-stock, so this is my seventh year in the division,” he said. “I did real well in my rookie year, with a lot of top-five finishes. I led some laps and finished second a few times, as well.”

In the final race that season, Dumblewski wrecked the car in the front straightaway at Fonda, and the car was never the same again.

“We used the same car for six years, but never really had good luck with it after the wreck,” he said. “Changes wouldn’t affect the car, and for the past two or three years, we knew that we were going to have to get a new car. We got hooked up with Chris and had him build it, and I guess that the new car is what I really needed, after all.”

Dumblewski had the same thing happen to him in go-karts, as he never had real good equipment when he started, but three or four years after he started, he got some good equipment and started doing well.

“You need to have good equipment to do well in any level of racing,” he said. “It is the only way to go because you can’t expect to do well with bad equipment. Chris’s cars are always up front, and he helped us out with the old car before I asked him to build us the new one. At the time, he wasn’t really building cars, but he agreed to build one for us and it has worked out well.”

Although drivers usually want to move up in class as quickly as possible, Dumblewski has held back and will continue to do so until he feels he has succeeded in the highly competitive full-fendered division.

“You always want to move up,” he said. “But we always said that we wouldn’t until we basically beat the class. We didn’t just want to jump up to a sportsman or a modified until we maybe win a championship in the Pro Stocks. Once that happens, it is possible that we will move up to even a late model on either dirt or asphalt, a sportsman car or a modified, but we never wanted do it without at least winning a feature in a pro-stock.”

Although Dumblewski didn’t set out to win a championship in 2009, he did want out to win races and then possibly concentrate on a track title next year.

“Next year, maybe we’ll come out with two cars and go for the pro-stock championship,” he said. “Then we may possibly move up, maybe leaning towards asphalt only because we are in a left-hand driven car now. You never know.”

With the win three weeks ago still fresh on his mind, Dumblewski and his team have built up something that they were starting to lose — confidence.

“Right now, our confidence is up,” he said. “We definitely needed the new car and the win because we were all losing confidence with the old car. It got to the point that we didn’t even want to work on the car anymore, but it is all coming together now.”

Another first-timer

Two weeks before Dumblewski got his first pro-stock win at Fonda, Ivan Joslin collected his first win at the Track of Champions.

“It was great to get the first win out of the way,” he said. “We didn’t have too much time to celebrate the win, though, as we needed to get ready to race at Utica-Rome the next day, but the win was great for my dad and my uncle, along with everyone else who works on the car.”

Joslin has been running at Utica-Rome for most of the season, with four top-10 finishes in seven events. At Fonda, he sits sixth in points.

“We have been having some good runs at Utica-Rome, but we can’t seem to have two consistent weeks in a row,” he said. “We’ve also been running good at Fonda, and finally broke out into the win column.”

At age 16, Joslin started racing in enduro with his dad and his uncle, and the next year, he moved up to the street stock division.

“We bought an old junker just to get out there and try it out,” he said. “We made every race, and finished most of them.”

After two years and one win at Fonda in a street stock, Joslin moved up to the pro-stock div­ision.

“We moved up to a pro-stock, and it took awhile to get the first win,” he said. “Hopefully, more will come, now that we have some momentum behind us after the win.”

Going into the season Joslin’s goals were a top-five finish in the point standings and getting a win. Now, he’s halfway there.

“Now that we got the win and are doing well in points, we are looking for more consistent runs and hopefully, be in contention for the championship at the end of the season,” he said.

The car that Joslin drove to the win at Fonda is the oldest one in his stable, and was the original car that he bought four years ago.

“I bought the car used, and it is a Spraker chassis that was once owned by Bobby Gile,” he said. “I tried other cars in the past, but didn’t have too much success with them, so we went back to running old reliable for this year.”

Joslin does have another pro-stock at his shop, an HRD chassis. But he doesn’t have any plans to bring the newer car out anytime soon.

“I can fit into this older car better, and know how it handles and what to adjust on it when it doesn’t handle,” he said.

Don’t look for Joslin to move up to another division anytime soon, either, as he is happy where he is.

“Unless the class phases out, I have no plans to move up to another division,” he said. “I like the full-fendered cars, and I also like racing with the bunch of guys that I am racing with now. The pro-stock division is a good class, and all of the guys that run in it are a great group of people.”

Around the tracks

Ken Tremont Jr.’s victory at Devil’s Bowl Speedway last Sunday was the 275th win of his career.

Billy Decker won the rain-shortened Super DIRT Series race Wednesday night at Orange County Speedway. “The Big Show” was the first promotional venture by driver Brett Hearn.

Ben Durie outran Dan Petronis and Mark Burch to come away with his first career win in the limited feature laat Friday night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

Weekend schedule

Tonight at Albany Saratoga Speedway will be Salute to Dads/Awareness Night. The CRSA Sprint cars will be in action along with all other divisions except for the sportsman division. It will be Fan Appreciation Night, with no increase in admission and the return of qualifying heat races in all div­isions with a starting time of 6:45.

Tonight at Glen Ridge Motor­sports Park will be Topless Night, with the modifieds and sportsman running without roofs on their cars. All other divisions will also be in action with a starting time of 7:30.

At Fonda on Saturday, the first leg of the Dual Track Thunder Series for modifieds is on tap, with a 50-lap feature paying $5,000 to the winner. All other divisions will also be in action, with the pro-stocks running a Best-of-Three Thunder Series race paying $700 to win. Rain checks from last Saturday will be honored for the next two weeks, but if they are used this week, an extra $3 will be added because of the 50-lap modified feature.

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