Area Stock Car Racing: Seminar planned for full-fendered pro stock, street stock divisions

Fonda Speedway, Fonda Fairgrounds, off South Bridge Street in Fonda on Friday, April 3, 2020.

Fonda Speedway, Fonda Fairgrounds, off South Bridge Street in Fonda on Friday, April 3, 2020.

I feel that it’s a positive sign for all involved when you see people offering to help others, and that will happen shortly, as another helpful seminar is on the horizon.

This one will be for the full-fendered pro stock and street stock divisions. A collaboration between Kim Duell, Nick Stone, Scott Carl, Dave Madej and Dan Nelson will take place on Saturday, March 11. Hosted by Stone Motorsports and Duell Family Racing, the seminar will cover a number of areas to help race teams get the most from their investment. Topics to be covered include front end geometry/scaling techniques, basic maintenance and race prep, plus pro stock tire prep and the do’s and don’ts of getting and keeping sponsors.

The seminar is meant to be a teaching/learning opportunity as those involved have nearly a combined 90 years of racing experience to share. The program is free, and those in attendance will receive a ticket upon entry for door prizes. The location is at 12 Sacandaga Road in Scotia at 1 p.m. For any further information, please contact Kim Duell or Nick Stone.

The Eastern Motorsport Press Association held its 50th convention last weekend in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. It began with the salute to the champions interview session, where champions throughout the motorsport community were invited to present a brief overview of their racing career and discuss what they endured to achieve their championship title, along with a look at their future goals. This year’s list of champions included drivers such as Kenzie Adams, a young lady who was the Evergreen Raceway Park (Pa.) 4-cylinder stock champion, and 15 others including Ryan Godown, who won the modified championship at New Jersey’s Bridgeport Speedway.

Last Saturday was full of presentations from various promoters or their representatives, who spoke briefly about their facility and/or sanctioning body. Again similar to Friday night, many forms of motorsports were represented from quarter-mile asphalt tracks to the World Racing Group, which promotes the World of Outlaws sprint cars and the Super DIRTcar Series.

One presentation was about a new form of racing called Juice Box Racers, which is for youngsters around 4-5 years old, using battery-powered carts. In a way it is similar to big wheel racing. However, a 24-volt battery is the power source.

Also coming out during the WRG presentation was the addition of a Super DIRTcar Series race for modifieds at Albany-Saratoga Speedway in Malta on Tuesday, June 13, and a race at Airborne Park Raceway in Plattsburgh on Wednesday, June 14.

The highlight of the convention was the annual awards presentation and Hall of Fame inductions. Inducted were sprint car driver Greg Hodnett, announcer/broadcaster Mike Joy, the King of the Outlaws/sprint car driver Steve Kinser, open wheel racer Bobby Marshman, longtime car owner Frank Rio and asphalt modified driver Reggie Ruggiero.

Safety can never be emphasized enough, and last Wednesday at the annual Chili Bowl was a prime example. A young driver by the name of Ashton Torgerson took a wild flip during his qualifying race. Flips tend to be expected during the fierce open-wheel midget car competition on the small indoor track. However, when Torgerson flipped, somehow he was ejected through the top of the car. He was taken to the hospital and after a short stay, he returned a couple days later to the Chili Bowl as a spectator.

This young driver is more than lucky to be alive, let alone having only minor injuries. Will there ever be a definite answer as to what allowed this horrifying accident to occur? Probably not, but his safety belts coming loose is the main thought. How did this happen? Were there issues earlier that were not addressed?

The main thing is that he will be OK, and no matter what, always make sure that your driver is using the necessary safety equipment and using it properly.

Picking up a new modified chassis recently was former big block modified hot shoe driver Josh Hohenforst of Gloversville. Hopefully, Josh can get everything together for a full season of racing at the Track of Champions. That surely is something that many would like to see.

If I have not mentioned it before, Utica-Rome Motocross is building a track or tracks on part of the side property of Utica-Rome Speedway. A few race dates have been released, May 21, July 9, Sept. 10 and Oct. 15 are listed for the Central New York Motorcycle Riders Association racing. I will have more information at a later date.

Another high note for the local racing community is that it appears that Morgan Romano, who is the daughter of former big block modified driver A.J. Romano, originally of Johnstown, will be crowned as the new Miss U.S.A. Morgan was Miss North Carolina and first runner-up to Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel. Gabriel was recently crowned Miss Universe and I believe that may put Romano in position to replace Gabriel as Miss USA. Congratulations to the whole Romano family.

Supposedly happening Saturday in Pennsylvania at the Motorsports Racecar and Trade Show in the Philadelphia Expo Center, B.D. Motorsports Media LLC. promoter Brett Deyo has an announcement to make at 12:30 p.m. As promoter of Fonda Speedway, Utica-Rome Speedway, Georgetown Speedway and the Short Track Super Series, this will be very interesting.

Sadly, in a roundabout way related to motorsports, Robbie Knievel the son of legendary motorcycle daredevil Evil Knievel passed away last week at the age of 60.

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