Racing Around: Plenty of racing during Memorial Day weekend


Stephen Gray (25) cuts to the low side of the speedway, making it three-wide through turn four with Greg Havlicek, center, and Cody Clark during 602 Crate Sportsman heat race action last Saturday night at Fonda Speedway. (James A. Ellis)

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, and there is plenty of racing action going on.

Locally, Albany-Saratoga Speedway will be hosting a $3,000-to-win modified feature, a $1,500-to-win pro stock feature and a $1,000-to-win features for the sportsman, limited sportsman and street stock classes.

Friday night, Utica-Rome Speedway has a regular night of racing, plus the addition of the Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series.

Saturday, the action switches to Fonda Speedway for the first leg of the $4,000-to-win FX Caprara Thunder on the Thruway Series, along with a $1,500-to-win Crate 602 Sportsman feature and $1,000-to-win for the pro stocks. Stewart Friesen, Chad Edwards and Nick Stone are the defending modified, sportsman and pro stock champions for the series, respectively.

Danny Varin dominated last Saturday’s modified feature, but will not be at Fonda Speedway Saturday night as he will be racing with the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) Friday night at Brewerton Speedway, and then heading for Fulton Speedway Saturday night with his 360 sprinter. Varin has won all three of the ESS series events so far this season.

Lebanon Valley Speedway will host Military Appreciation Night Saturday, with all armed forces personnel admitted free of charge for a regular race program featuring a $3,000-to-win modified main event.

Sunday, of course, is the Indianapolis 500 for IndyCars and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor speedway.

However, the modifieds will hit the dirt at Weedsport for the $7,500-to-win Super DIRTcar Series Heroes Remembered 100, while a little closer to home, Glen Ridge Motorsports Park will host Heroes Night with a regular race card and free grandstand admission for veterans and active military.

Monday, the Super DIRTcar Series modifieds will make the trek to Lebanon Valley Speedway for the $13,500 King of Spring 100, which carries a guaranteed starting spot at NAPA Super DIRT Week.


Royal Mountain Ski Area in Caroga Lake will kick off its motocross season with its traditional Memorial Day Weekend doubleheader.

The nine-time Central New York Motocross Racing Association (CNYMRA) Track of the Year will host a pair of District 3 events Saturday and Sunday.

Sign-up is from 7 to 9 a.m., with practice starting at 8:30 a.m.

CNYMRA D3 events are also scheduled for June 12, July 2-3 and Aug. 21. The annual New England Hill Climb will take place on July 24.

Royals’ 33rd season of Wednesday night Supercross season is slated to start June 1 and runs through Aug. 31.


Last Saturday, the New York State Stock Car Association (NYSSCA) held its Safety Awards Night for the Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series (MVVDMS). Winning the safety awards were Jimmy Fugel and Speedy Niedeheimer (Vintage Antique), Carl Cram and Harry Baldwin (Vintage Mystique), John Roese and Will Reed (Vintage Late Model), Joe Rando and Bryon Seyfried (Vintage Sportsman), and John Flach and Jack Miller (Vintage Modified) with the Wild Card Award going to George Berberich.

Due to COVID restrictions for the past two years, NYSSCA finally got the chance to induct the members of the Class of 2021 into its Hall of Fame on May 15.

The organization utilized the Fonda Speedway Museum and Hall of Fame for the event honoring JoAnn Flanigan, Gene Cole, Randy Ross, Roger Treichler, John P. Flach, John C. Flach, and Brett Hearn.


Fonda Speedway sportsman driver Stephen Gray returned to racing last Saturday night after missing a couple weeks of racing.

Gray, a standout three-sport senior athlete at Fort Plain High School, suffered a broken jaw after colliding with another player during a baseball game.

Gray finished 11th in the 23-car 602 Crate Sportsman feature in his return.

Glen Ridge Motorsports Park announcer, podcast media personality and photographer Brady Houser has been released from Albany Medical Center after suffering a partially collapsed lung. I am sure it will not be long before we see him back around the tracks.

Matt Sheppard picked up the victory at the Short Track Super Series “Dirty Jersey” event Tuesday night at New Egypt Speedway.

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