Racing Around: Fonda expected to open its 71st season on Saturday

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Fonda Speedway is expected to begin the racing season on Saturday.

A very wet racing surface may have forced the cancellation of a pair of practice sessions at Fonda Speedway, but it has done little to dampen the outlook for the upcoming season at the Track of Champions.

Saturday, weather permitting, Fonda Speedway will open for its 71st season of competition, with all the weekly classes opening the points battle for track championships.

“We want to make sure we get the season off on the right foot,” Fonda promoter Brett Deyo said in a press release Tuesday. “The track crew worked to get equipment on the surface, and it remains very, very wet. It is in everyone’s best interest to pull the plug and wait for some drying time.”

Things will be rolling earlier than normal on the Palmer’s Service Center Opening Night.

The pit gates will be open at 1 p.m. for technical inspection. The pits will be cleared at 2:30 p.m. for teams to purchase their pit passes for the night. The pits will reopen at 3 p.m. The cars will take to the tracks at 5:30 p.m. for hot laps before the first heat race of the season takes the green at 6:30 p.m.

If you are looking for the husband-and-wife racing team of Stewart and Jessica Friesen on Saturday, you will need to turn on the television.

The Friesens will be taking their talents to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Friday’s truck practices will be aired on FS1 at 3:05 and 5:35 p.m., with Saturday’s four 15-lap heat races being aired on FS2 Saturday from 4:30-5:30 p.m., and the Cup cars running their qualifiers from 6 to 7 p.m.

The 150-lap feature for the trucks is scheduled to air on FS1 at 8 p.m. Saturday.

MALTA OPENER

Albany-Saratoga Speedway promoter Lyle DeVore aspired getting the season started on April 1, but had to cancel due to the weather. Then last Friday’s practice session was pushed to Sunday, a good move that allowed the cars to take to the track for the first time this year.

Friday, the Great Race Place will open its gates for its 57th season of racing with a 57-lap, $6,500-to-win modified feature. Bart Contracting, one of the sponsors for the night, has put up bonuses of $200 for a heat race victory, $300 for the most spots gained in the feature and an extra $500 if the feature winner starts in 15th or further back.

The sportsman and pro stock division are also on the race card, battling for $1,000-to-win main events.

Just in case, a rain date has been scheduled for Sunday.

OPENING DAYS

Glen Ridge Motorsports Park decided not to battle the early-season rainouts that have plagued the track in the past. Instead, The Ridge has scheduled its season-opener for May 1.

The fans will benefit at the Sunday evening opener as The Main with the Red Chair will treat fans to $1 hot dogs, and Jay Fitzgerald Racing and Classic Muscle Parts is providing free popcorn for everybody.

It should be noted that the Glen Ridge Facebook page has been hacked, so a new one has been created. Fans are now asked to go to www.facebook.com/theglenridgemp to keep up with all the latest news and results.

Utica-Rome Speedway will conduct an open practice for all divisions next Saturday ahead of its 

April 29 season opener.

Headlining the show will be the inaugural 30-lap, $6,800-to-win “Honoring Alex” for the modifieds. The race is a tribute to the late Alex Friesen, who promoted several racing facilities and passed away in December 1996.

The Monster Truck Racing League’s “Monster Truck Madness” will be making a visit to Utica-Rome on 

Sept. 10-11.

RACING RETURNS TO ROYAL

The snow is barely off the slopes and Jake Tennis and his crew are already working to get Royal Mountain ready for its highly successful motocross and supercross seasons.

Royal will host its first race of the season on Memorial Day Weekend, welcoming the Central New York Motocross Riders Association for a two-day event.

The popular weekly Wednesday night supercross season gets underway on June 1.

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