A.J. Miller and his family have been racing at various speedways in 2020.
One that they have traveled to on a regular basis is the Penn Can Speedway in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. The young driver from Glen finally made those long hauls down I-88 pay off as he captured the sportsman feature last Friday night. Miller parked his Pioneer Window sponsored 14J in victory lane for the first of hopefully many times this year.
On Wednesday, Miller was at the Can Am Speedway near Watertown for a DIRTcar 602 sportsman show. Miller had an off night and finished 27th.
Albany-Saratoga Speedway had another great night of racing last Friday. Mat Williamson scored his career first modified feature at the Great Race Place. Keith Flach finished second in the 35-lap feature, followed by Stewart Friesen, Matt DeLorenzo and Anthony Perrego.
Tim Hartman Jr. just keeps adding up the victories. Hartman won for the second week in a row in the 602 sportsman division, followed by Brian Calabrese, Connor Cleveland, Robert Bublak and Mike Coffey Jr.
Nick Stone took the pro stock feature, outdistancing Josh Coonradt, Luke Horning, Jason Meltz and Dan Older.
In the limited sportsman, Garrett Poland scored the victory over Yule Cook, Taylor Wason, Tyler Rapp and Jared Powell.
Another career first happened at Fonda Speedway last Saturday as Jeff Heotzler captured his first modified feature at the Track of Champions, driving the Palmer’s service Center No. 76 TEO pro car chassis. Heotzler led all 30 laps in the Alton and Carole Palmer-owned car.
This win also added to the long list of driver combinations that have had success behind the wheel of the potent No. 76 from Howes Cave. Finishing second was 2019 modified track champion Rocky Warner, who was followed by a hard-charging Danny Varin, DeLorenzo and Josh Hohenforst.
Chad Edwards captured his eighth career 602 sportsman victory. Rounding out the top five in the 25 lap feature were Kevin Chaffee, JaMike Sowle, Tim Hartman Jr., and Cody Clark.
Nick Stone scored the 20-lap Algonkin Motel pro stock feature. Jim Normoyle finished second, followed by Coonradt, Kenny Gates and Horning.
A few more interesting tidbits about last Saturday. Heotzler and Allison Ricci are former Orange County Fair Speedway regulars, and while they live down that way, they now both are racing at Fonda on a regular basis. Stewart Friesen, who is a multi-time modified champion at Fonda, and his wife Jessica were both out of town, racing at OCFS. Stewart finished fourth, and Jessica seventh in a very stacked feature.
In a race against the weather last Sunday night, Glen Ridge Motorsports Park was able to finally win. When racing started after a nearly two-hour delay, the racers were treated to a fast track that was prepared with help from A-S promoter Lyle DeVore.
Tucker O’Connor scored his second DIRTcar 602 sportsman feature. Chasing O’Connor across the finish line were Andrew Buff, Hunter Lapp, Cody Ochs and Scott McCoy.
Beau Ballard was victorious in the Yurkewecz Auto Crushers DIRTcar pro stock division. Drivers completing the top five were Andy Graves, Horning, Jay Fitzgerald and Tanner Warner.
Limited sportsman feature winner Garrett Poland outran Stephan Gray, Issac Walker, Wason and Troy Zilles.
Kenny Allen scored the street stock feature over Harley Shepard, Adam Tranka, Jim Duncan and Damon Anderson.
Royal Mountain near Johnstown is scheduled to open this weekend and host motocross racing on both days.
Both Dodge City Speedway in Howes Cave and Caroga Creek Race Park in Ephratah are tentatively planning to open next weekend. Dodge City is scheduled for July 10, with a 7:30 p.m. start time. Caroga Creek is scheduled for July 11 with a practice day starting at 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. A gate fee of $10 will be charged.
The following week at Caroga Creek will be the season-opener. Gate fee will be $10, plus an entry fee for each class entered. Gates open at 9 a.m., practice at 11 and racing at 1 p.m. This is open to all weekly divisions of slingshots, excel 600cc modifieds and go-karts.
Little by little, I am starting to see where some of the motorsports museums are starting to open up. While they have closed to the public, staff at various museums have been busy adding to and arranging new exhibits for guests to view.
Thursday saw a couple of tracks in action. Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown was running modifieds and the wingless USAC East Coast sprint cars. The season-opening event was won by Steven Drevicki over Billy VanInwegen, Davie Franek, Eric Jennings and Varin. Varin dominated his heat race in qualifying for his debut with the club.
The two 50-lap modified features at OCFS were won by Stewart Friesen and Matt Sheppard.
Seven-time Fonda modified track champion Bobby Varin will make his 2020 debut tonight. Varin will return to using the No. 18V on the side of his Bicknell chassis.
Fonda’s Firecracker 50 was rained out on Wednesday and has been rescheduled for Sunday. Hot laps are at 6 p.m., and racing at 7.
Glen Ridge Motorsports Park also has a full card of racing Sunday.
Enjoy your Independence Day. Stay healthy and safe.