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Racing Around: Rough stretch for sprint car racing

August 8, 2013
By JAMES A. ELLIS (sports@leaderherald.com) , The Leader Herald

This has not been the best week for race fans with the death of ageless veteran sprint car driver Kramer Williamson and, of course, Tony Stewart's accident in a sprint car Monday in Iowa in which he suffered a broken leg.

Coupled with Jason Leffler's death, also in a sprint car, the dangers of auto racing in general have been brought to the forefront.

With Stewart's injury, some people have questioned whether he should be making appearances and racing other than in the full-bodied NASCAR stock cars.

I think it is great he still enjoys getting back to his short-track roots, and, judging by the turnout of fans at the tracks he has raced at so do the fans.

Of course, when Stewart was at Fonda Speedway on July 19 he was the main attraction even though another regular on the Sprint Cup circuit also was on hand.

Dave Blaney was, and still is, a top-notch sprint car driver and has piloted modifieds as well as sprint cars around the local tracks.

And lets not forget Ken Schrader: what kind of car hasn't he driven and won in?

There is talk sponsors may want to have more say in what drivers do when not racing in their primary divisions.

That's kind of harsh, but it is done in other sports where teams have provisions so a player doesn't get hurt playing pickup basketball and end up unable to compete.

It will be interesting to watch what unfolds in the offseason when contracts are reviewed and renewed.

Mr. Supermodified

Canajoharie's Otto Sitterly survived a first-lap crash to pick up a $10,000 pay day last Saturday at Oswego Speedway.

Sitterly's modified suffered a bent nose wing, which he was able to repair on pit lane.

He was able to drive back through the field and pass Brian Sweeney for the lead on lap 44 of the 75 lap POMCO Group sponsored event.

The win was Sitterly's second straight at Oswego and third of the season as well as 27th of his supermodified career.

Feature winners

The roller-coaster season continues for Ronnie Johnson, only this time it is a positive turn.

Johnson picked up his second win of the season last Friday night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

Another Fonda Speedway regular also picked up a victory Friday night in Malta.

Connor Cleveland took home the winner's purse in the sportsman division. Cleveland has made his presence felt in the 602 sportsman division at Fonda with numerous top five finishes.

Jimmy Davis hit pay dirt at Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday, pulling off a last-lap pass against Pat Ward to claim the modified feature win.

Schedule update

Glen Ridge Motorsports Park has altered its schedule for the upcoming weeks.

The Ridge will run two more Friday night shows before switching to Saturday nights on Aug. 24, 31 and Sept. 7.

The Sept. 7 show will feature a 60-lap, $4,007.11-to-win modified feature sponsored by Sowle Tractor Repair.

This week the modified and sportsman divisions will run topless, and Aug. 16 the Lucas Oil Outlaw Midget POWRi Series will join the regular race program.

Then season will end at Glen Ridge on Oct. 19 when its hosts its 602 Nationals race.

 
 

 

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