RACING AROUND: Fonda set to open its season Saturday

It is expected to be a highly emotional night Saturday when Fonda Speedway opens the gates for its 70th consecutive racing season at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds.

With the passing of 11-time track champion Jumpin’ Jack Johnson and popular Clem DaBiere fresh in their minds, fans will be back in the stands for the first time after being locked out last season due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Also, this week to help with the social distancing required, there will be 45 drive-in spots available on the infield for the Palmer’s Service Center-sponsored opening night race program. Grandstand admission will be $11 with seniors (ages 65 and up) $9 and race fans 11 and under are admitted free.

Of course, as we have become accustomed to over the past year, there will be some mandates in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

For fans enjoying the covered grandstand seating:

— All attendees must have a temperature check upon entering the facility.

— Masks are required to enter the facility and while visiting restrooms and concession areas.

— Montgomery County has asked for the name and contact number for fans attending each Saturday night. That information will be collected at the grandstand gates.

— Every-other-row of the covered grandstand will be available for seating.

— The open-air, turn-four bleachers will be available for seating.

The drive-in area proved to be a popular choice utilized briefly last season to give fans a chance to watch the races.

The same entrance policies will be in place plus . . .

— There are 45 available infield drive-in spots.

— Spots are $60 each and include up to four passes (attendees must arrive together).

— Reserve a spot by e-mailing [email protected] E-mails will be answered in the order they are received. Please provide make and model of vehicle.

— Credit card pre-payment is preferred to expedite the arrival process.

— Drive-in attendees may enter between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.

— When arriving at the speedway, drive-in vehicles will stay to the right and form one line.

— All vehicles will exit the infield on the backstretch out of the turn-two gate.

— Please cooperate with all parking attendants and security.

— Must wear masks while using the restroom and/or the concession areas.

For fans who are still uncomfortable with the restrictions or are unable to attend, the special pre-race ceremonies will be live on the Fonda Speedway Facebook page.

The racing program — the Sunoco Modifieds, the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman, the Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks, the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman, and the Fonda Fair Cruisers — will also be televised live on Flo Racing, the official Live Stream Partner of the Fonda Speedway. Subscriptions are available for Flo Racing by going to their website

Pre-race ceremonies

Between hot laps and the first heat race of the evening, there will be a ceremony on Victory Lane honoring Jack Johnson.

Ronnie Johnson has confirmed that he will be in attendance on Saturday evening to address the crowd and share some memories of his legendary father.

The iconic No. 12A has arrived at the Fonda Speedway Museum from its spot at the Saratoga Auto Museum and will be on display throughout the night.

There will also be Jumpin’ Jack Johnson Memorial products be on sale at the Ronnie Johnson souvenir trailer.

Glen Ridge opener set

Glen Ridge Motorsports Park is set its opening day of racing for May 2 featuring weekly divisions of competition for the DIRTcar 602 crate sportsman, limited sportsman, DIRTcar pro-stocks, street stocks, mini stocks along with All-Star and junior slingshots.

Albany-Saratoga to open Friday

Albany-Saratoga Speedway is set, weather permitting, to open 7 p.m. Friday with the “Hell or High Water” race card featuring the $5,600-to-win main event for the modifieds.

The sportsman winner Friday will receive $1,500, while the pro stocks will battle for a $1,000 payday.

In the event of rain or snow on Friday, the “Hell or High Water” card will be held on Sunday, with racing beginning at 4 p.m.

By Paul Wager