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Racing Around: Change of luck leads to victory

July 4, 2013
By JAMES A. ELLIS (sports@leaderherald.com) , The Leader Herald

After a streak of bad racing luck, Brian Pessolano thought about taking a break from racing.

Instead, he decided to give it one more shot and he is glad he did.

After ending up off his wheels in a multi-car wreck in turn one two weeks ago, Pessolano was hooked up Saturday night and grabbed his second career 602 sportsman feature win at Fonda Speedway.

"We needed this. It has been a rough couple of weeks," Pessolano said. "After wrecking a really good race car we had at the beginning of the year, then going up to Glen Ridge, where we are the points leader, and blowing a motor last week, we contemplated just walking away for the rest of the year. But we decided to come back, thank God."

Pessolano's No. 24P was twisted up in a multi-car wreck in turn one two weeks ago along with Tim Hartman Jr., who he passed to take the lead.

"We needed a front clip and rear clip and the other side of the body doesn't look too good now but it serves its purpose," Pessolano said.

Saturday's win was also special because this time crew chief Cliff Montanye was able to join the Canajoharie driver in Victory Lane.

Montanye was transported to the hospital with a heart condition after Pessolano's first win at Fonda last season. This time it was a complete, happy crew along with his daughter Ashley and fiancee Jennifer, celebrating the victory.

"That is the most important thing," Pessolano said.

Emotional win

I don't think there were too many dry eyes in the house Saturday, at least not on Victory Lane, when Ronnie Johnson won the 30-lap modified feature at Fonda Speedway and dedicated the win to his father Jumpin' Jack Johnson.

"Bottom line is this race was for my father," Johnson said as he choked back some tears. "He is struggling a bit right now and I can't say anything more than that right now."

The win came one year and a week after Ronnie's last win at Fonda and completes a trifecta of winning at least one feature at each of the tracks he is competing at this year - Fonda, Albany-Saratoga and Utica-Rome.

It also was the 23rd of his career at Fonda, 126 behind Jumpin' Jack.

Initial victory

Congratulations go out to JaMike Sowle on his first career modified feature win at Albany-Saratoga Speedway last Friday night.

The former Glen Ridge Motorsports Park champion beat some stout company, including runner-up Brett Hearn, Ronnie Johnson and Marc Johnson to the checkers.

He backed it up with a strong showing Saturday night at Fonda Speedway, leading the majority of laps in the modified feature before fading to a fifthplace finish.

Change of venue

Wondering where John Scarborough went?

Along with fellow Vermont driver Carol Parker, Scarborough has made the move to the asphalt tracks with the late models.

In Sunday's 100-lap Vermont State Late Model Championship Series race at Devil's Bowl Speedway, Scarborough, driving the No. 16, placed 12th and Parker placed 24th in the No. 24.

Both dirt-track veterans are earning rookie points in the series.

 
 

 

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