Just when things in racing seemed to be getting closer to normal, a new situation has come to the forefront — a tire shortage.
At the start of the driver’s meeting for the “Firecracker 50” Short Track Super Series Sunday, Fonda Speedway promoter Brett Deyo addressed the situation.
“I talked with the Scott Junod, the Director of Racing at American Racer, and his suggestion for me, with the inventory they have, would be to close this weekend for the season at both tracks [Fonda and Utica-Rome],” Deyo said. “ We really can’t do that. Option one is to close for the season, which I don’t think anybody here wants to do. We are looking at getting 50 tires, maybe, July 12, 50 50s for here and Utica-Rome. That’s just enough to get drivers upset because that’s 50 tires for about 110 cars between the two tracks.”
Deyo said that he had considered the suggestion of closing for two weeks, but “two weeks isn’t going to do us any good, it would do is cost us two weeks because there is no tire fairy that at the end of two weeks is going to drop a bunch of inventory here.”
For now, the modified and sportsman drivers will be changing compounds from the hard 48-50s to a softer 44-48 compound.
“Option two would be to keep racing but run a 44 or harder on the left rear a 48 or herder on the right rear and then an open front. That’s basically our only option right now, ”Deyo said. “Those 50 tires we are going to get in mid-July aren’t really going to do anything for us. The next batch of 50s aren’t due until the middle of August and by that time we are already closed.”
After the STSS Southern Swing last spring, there was some hope there were some American Racer tires left over.
“I called to Texas and got some tires sent up from there from our Louisiana program,” Deyo said. That’s going to be our only other option to keep going. If we stay with the 48-50 it will be ‘see you at the Fonda 200,’ unfortunately. It’s a labor deal and a petroleum deal. The [Hoosier] D300s are just as hard to find. what we’ve got is what we’ve got.”
So, starting this weekend at Fonda and Utica-Rome, the Modified, Crate 602 Sportsman and Limited Sportsman divisions will run:
Right-Rear: American Racer 48 compound or harder (any track stamp)
Left-Rear: American Racer 44 compound or harder (any track stamp)
Front Tires: American Racer 33 or harder (any track stamp)
One of the premier events of any racing season in the Northeast for the Pro Stock division is the annual Hondo Classic in honor of the late driver and fan favorite Hondo Carpenter.
There are still spots available for lap money and contingencies for anyone who would like to sponsor the event.
Drivers will get 25 show-up points for the event and can run either American Racer or Hoosier tires.
Along with the full race card, and in conjunction with the Village of Fonda, there will be a bonus of fireworks during the program.