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Racing Around: NYSSCA to honor Fonda contingent

July 12, 2012
By JAMES A. ELLIS ( , The Leader Herald

Earlier this year I attended the New York State Stock Car Association Hall of Fame inductions that included Dave Lape and Jim Shampine.

Apparently, NYSSCA has decided that one a year is not enough.

Saturday night at Fonda Speedway, the organization will induct three more Hall of Fame members in a trackside ceremony - Jumpin' Jack Johnson, Dave "Dover" Dave Cruickshank and Jack W. "Black Flag" Blackwood Jr.

Johnson, an 11-time Fonda Speedway track champion with 149 feature wins, was inducted into the DIRT Hall of Fame on Memorial Day Weekend.

Cruickshank most recently has owned the modified driven at the Fonda Speedway by Bobby Varin since the 2008. Together they have a total of 15 wins at Fonda along with Modified Track Championships in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

Blackwood Jr. started his racing career in the 1960s as the crew chief for the modified car of Ernie Gahan. In the 1970s, Blackwood Jr. was the official starter at the Fonda Speedway and was best known by the Fonda Speedway fans as the only starter to start the feature races while standing on the track to wave the green flag.

During the late 80s, early 90s Blackwood was a mechanic for Randy Snyder on his DIRT modified and for his Busch Grand National North team for three years during the 1990s.

Ron Hedger, Tom Boggie and Jim King will conduct the induction ceremonies on Victory Lane during the race program's intermission.

NYSSCA will also conduct ceremonies at other tracks throughout the season.

On Aug. 12 Don "Had" Hadcock, Dick Sweet, Milt Johnson, Tommy Williams Sr.

Inductees for Lebanon Valley and Albany-Saratoga will be announced at a later date.

Stewart at Fonda

Fonda Speedway management announced Monday that reigning Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart will compete at the Track of Champions on July 19 with the University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions 410 sprint cars.

Stewart also is scheduled to compete with the touring group at Brewerton Speedway on Wednesday with his Mobil 1/Office Depot No, 14 sprint car.

No autograph sessions are scheduled with the appearance.

Stewart also ran at The Ridge in 2010 with the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint cars.

This marks the third trip to Fonda Speedway for the 410 All-Star touring sprint cars.

Daryn Pittman won the inaugural All-Star visit to the track over Tyler Walker and Jessica Zemken.

Tim Shaffer prevailed last year over Fred Rahmer and Lance DeWeese after an extended rain delay.

Earlier that night Rahmer set a new track record with 15.110-seconds in time trials.

Joining the UNOH sprinters on the program will be the modified division running for $4,000-to-win in a 30-lap main event.

Pit gates will open at 4 p.m. atthe July 19 show with the front gates opening at 5 p.m. General admission will cost $30. Children age 6 to 11 will cost $3, and children younger than five will be admitted free.

Bobby Allison at S.A.M.

The Saratoga Auto Museum has the red-and-white Chevelle on display that Bobby Allison drove to his first NASCAR series victory in its "From?Moonshine to Millionaires - NASCAR's History, Heroes and Technology." exhibit.

Allison is scheduled to be in Saratoga for a pair of appearances this week. Wednesday the famed driver will be at the first of four meet-and-greet events at the museum and will be the guest of honor at the museum's annual Thunder and Glory gala on July 19.

Later this summer, Richard Childress, Ron Hornaday and Kyle Busch are scheduled to appear at the museum.

Tickets will cost $15 and are available at the auto museum during business hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily or online at

Big Show 4

Congratulations to Bobby Varin and Stewart Friesen on their excellent runs at Albany-Saratoga Speedway Tuesday night at Brett Hearn's Big Show 4.

Varin was scheduled to drive the Dover Brake 00 at the race, but engine trouble canceled that plan. Instead he asked Andy Romano to drive the No. 97 he runs at The Ridge.

Good move.

Varin went out, passed Hearn for the lead on lap 77, and went on to pick up the $6,000 victory over the top Super DIRT Series teams.

Friesen continued his hot streak at Albany-Saratoga in the Jake Spraker-owned No. 1J.

Friesen started 10th in the field and steadily worked his way to the front, narrowly missing out on a second-place finish as Hearn nipped him by .025-seconds for the spot.

The local tracks were well represented at the mid-week show for modifieds.

Matt DeLorenzo, Ronnie Johnson, Mark Kislowski and C.G. Morey turned in strong runs in the main event. Jimmy Davis jumped behind the wheel of Erik Nelson's No. 85 for the night, and Jessica Zemken filled in for Danny Johnson in the No. 27J while he served out a one-race DIRT Series suspension.

Josh Hohenforst also attempted to make the field but mechanical problems in warm-ups sidelined the No. 6H.



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