A lap around the tracks

Marc Johnson of Guilderland poses for pictures after winning Tuesday's King of DIRT 358 Series race at Devil's Bowl Speedway.
Marc Johnson of Guilderland poses for pictures after winning Tuesday's King of DIRT 358 Series race at Devil's Bowl Speedway.

Six nights, six different race tracks. That’s a lot of racing.

It’s impossible to discuss every highlight (and lowlight), so let’s go panning for gold and see how many nuggets we can come up with.

Is there anyone hotter than Marc Johnson?: The defending Albany-Saratoga Speedway modified champion won three of those six races, taking the regular Friday night feature at Albany-Saratoga, winning the first King of DIRT 358 series race at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Fair Haven, Vt., on Tuesday and then coming right back and taking the checkered flag in Wednesday night’s “Make-up Madness” show at Albany-Saratoga.

What’s the tally? A cool $7,500 for three nights. That will help pay off that bank loan he took out over the winter to buy a new motor.

One race, two winners: The header on the Fonda Speedway press release read “Hohenforst awarded feature win after Friesen disqualification.”

Stewart Friesen won Saturday night’s modified feature at Fonda Speedway, but came up light on the scales on the post-race weigh-in and was disqualified, giving the win to Josh Hohenforst, the second-place car.

Plain and simple.

But between Saturday night and Tuesday, promoter Pete Demistrazek discovered there was a problem with the scales. In the speedway’s Facebook post, he wrote, “The scale seemed to have operated correctly early in the evening, but started to malfunction as the night went on. We have come to learn that the scale was run over and vandalized on Friday night by people attending another function on the Fair Grounds. We feel it is in the best interest to everyone to award both Stewart Friesen and Tim Fuller the full point value of their respective finishing positions, Stewart will also be credited with a win, along with Josh Hohenforst.”

I give Demistrazek credit for admitting there was a mistake, but why give Hohenforst a win? Just go back to the original order of finish. Hohenforst finished second to a perfectly legal race car. That’s a second-place finish, not a win.

What’d he say?: Sometimes, it pays to read between the lines.

In the King of DIRT release from Tuesday night’s show at Devil’s Bowl, promoter Rob Hazer wrote, “KOD race control determined visibility to be challenging for drivers, and went away from double-file restarts for the remainder of the event.”

What he really meant was, “It was too damn dusty to see!”

More from Glen Ridge: The new promotional team at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park is working hard to get fans and cars back into the little bullring. They’ve announced that the weekly card, which has been moved from Friday night to Sunday, will consist of 602 crate sportsman as the top class, and will include limited sportsman and four-cylinders. Other classes may be added, but that’s still being discussed.

The 602 class will have a sliding purse. With 20 or more cars, the winner will get $750. That’s great money for that class. With 19 cars or less, the purse will pay $600 to win. If the 602s don’t turn out for that kind of money, they may as well close the place down.

Grandstand admission has been cut to $8 ($6 for seniors and $2 for children 12 and under), also a good move.

The track will have a practice session this Sunday, and then get back to racing on Sunday, June 25.

One question still lingers. Is 71-year-old Bob Vedder the 2017 modified point champion? In the two modified races that were run, he had a win and a fourth, giving him two more points that Johnny Lutes Jr. (a second and a third).

It’s not his fault the track discontinued the modified division.

Watch this kid: LJ Lombardo, a 21-year-old driver out of Danbury, Conn., recorded his first win at Lebanon Valley last Saturday.

Area racing fans got the opportunity to watch Lombardo last season, when he spent Friday nights at Albany-Saratoga Speedway. This year, he’s switched to Lebanon Valley.

There’s a good back story to this.

Lombardo’s girlfriend is Mikey Albreada. If that last name sounds familiar, her father is Robert Albreada, whose business, Albreada Waste, was a major sponsor of Lebanon Valley driver Andy Bachetti.

Mikey Albreada has an older brother, Robbie, who worked on Bachetti’s crew for a number of years and knows all about setting up a car for the high banks. This year, Robbie Albreda decided to join Lombardo’s team as crew chief.

And after seven weeks of racing at the Valley, they’re in victory lane.

Rocky Warner won Wednesday night’s sportsman feature, which paid $1,500 to win, at Albany-Saratoga Speedway. Those are the kind of paydays owner Jake Spraker likes.

One of the drivers who will probably make the switch to Glen Ridge is sportsman driver Tim Hartman. Although the Hartman family (Tim Sr. and Tim Jr.) have supported Albany-Saratoga for years, Tim Jr. drives a car owned by Mike Parillo, who is now the co-promoter at Glen Ridge.

Keith Flach finished fifth in Sunday night’s Super DIRT Series race at 5 Mile Point Speedway. That was his best finish of the season on the series.

Fonda Speedway will holding one of its popular “Meet and Greet” sessions with drivers following warmups on Saturday night.

Reach Gazette Sports Editor Tom Boggie at 395-3160 or [email protected].

Categories: -Sports-

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