Racing Around: Miller returns from sprint car crash, eyes Saturday competition at Fonda

Amsterdam’s Chad Miller (88) and Fultonville’s Chase Moran (4P) battle for position during an Empire Super Sprint car qualifier on May 6 at Fonda Speedway. (James A. Ellis)

Amsterdam’s Chad Miller (88) and Fultonville’s Chase Moran (4P) battle for position during an Empire Super Sprint car qualifier on May 6 at Fonda Speedway. (James A. Ellis)

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During a May 6 Empire Super Sprint (ESS) qualifier, Chad Miller was involved in an accident that sent his car rolling on top of the first turn wall at Fonda Speedway. Miller was uninjured, but his sprint car was destroyed.

“I am OK. It wasn’t as violent inside the car as it looked,” Miller said. “It bent a couple of valves in the motor but it is probably done until Malta.”

After missing the ESS race at Utica-Rome last Friday, Miller is set to return to competition this Saturday with a new Panther chassis under him and a 410 sprint car engine under the hood when the Tezos All-Star Circuit of Champions invade Fonda Speedway on its second night of a three-day swing that includes Outlaw Speedway on Friday and Weedsport on Sunday.

“We put a new car together with another Panther chassis,” Miller said. “We are planning on running Fonda and Weedsport but are not sure about Outlaw right now.”

Miller is a familiar competitor on the sprint car circuits, competing with the 305s in the Capital Region Sprint Car Association (CRSA), the 360s in the ESS and the 410s on the ASCoC.

“It is nice to be able to go to different tracks and try different series,” Miller said. “The travel is tough. I raced in Ohio [Atomic Speedway] on Thursday night and then Lernerville on Friday with the 410 and then made the seven-hour ride home from Lernerville. We got home, switched the motor and went to Fonda on Saturday. So, I don’t do it all the time but being a family operation, we try to plan it so everyone can go.”

Racing against the upper echelon of sprint car drivers like Kyle Larson, Tyler Courtney, Tim Shaffer, Rico Abreu and Lance DeWeese in the 410 class has given Miller a positive outlook.

“I don’t feel much different running with them. They are really good but they make mistakes too,” he said. “I feel like running with the ESS guys that they are pretty good and a lot of them don’t make mistakes too often.”

Though Miller competes on the sprint car circuits, his roots are firmly connected to the local dirt tracks, especially Fonda Speedway.

His grandfather, Ray Sitterly Sr. and uncle Ray Jr. both raced and won on the local dirt tracks. Miller also spent time competing in the sportsman division at Fonda before making the move to sprint cars, where he carries the familiar C-88 on his ride.

“Ray was my grandfather so I just used that number,” Miller said. “We just put the C at the end because that is more common in sprint cars. I got to see him race a couple of times.”

Sitterly’s red C-88 coupe is housed in the Fonda Speedway Museum at the speedway for fans to enjoy seeing before the racing action on Saturday nights.

“It is really special,” Miller said. “That was my grandfather’s car and he only won one race at Fonda and it was with that car. It is a pretty special car.”

However, Miller’s racing career followed a different path.

“I always wanted to race sprint cars,” he said. “I did race my uncle’s car a couple of times when he had a modified. I just knew it was going to be such a learning curve to go right to sprint cars so I raced sportsman for two years before I got into sprint cars. I knew I wasn’t ready when I got out there in the sportsman.

“It takes time to just learn how to hold your line and get comfortable out there.

I feel like that made the move to sprint cars a lot easier. A sprint car drives a lot easier than a modified or sportsman and the setup is a lot easier.”

Miller carries sponsorship from Miller’s Excavating and Landscape, Hutchinson Farm, Star’s Café and Deneens Repair Service on his sprinters and credits his mother and father, girlfriend Shannon, Dakota, Jeff and Braden along with Tom Domery, who owns the 305 sprint car, for helping out on the car.

“I have been racing sprints for seven years,” Miller said. “I have one feature win at Utica-Rome with the CRSA. I would like to get one at Fonda. My grandfather has one [modified] and my uncle has one [street stock]. So, I want to get at least one.”

The visit by the ASCoC marks the ninth time in Fonda Speedway history that 410 Sprint Cars have competed at the “Track of Champions,” with each of the previous four events falling under ASCoC sanctioning.

Shane Stewart (7/28/2002 World of Outlaw Gumout Series), Daryn Pitman (7/29/2003 410-Sprint Open), Craig Keel (7/14/2005 410-Sprint Open), and Danny Lasoski (7/18/2006 National Sprint Tour 410-Sprints) won the first four 410-Sprint events ever held at Fonda while the last four events, all sanctioned by the All-Star Circuit of Champions, were won by Daryn Pittman (2010), Tim Shaffer (2011 & 2012), and Danny Dietrich (2013).

Fred Rahmer holds the track record with a lap of 15.110 for an average speed of 119 mph in a 410 sprinter.


Lance Willix has found Glen Ridge Motorsports Park in Fultonville very much to his liking lately.

Last season, Willix took home the checkers from the DIRTcar 358-modified special event. Sunday, he made it two in a row as Willix led the field from green-to-checkers for the victory as the 358s made their return to the speedway as a weekly show.

It was Willix’s fourth career win at The Ridge. Garrett Poland was second, followed by Corey Cormier, Jordan McCreadie and Bill August.

Derrick McGrew Jr. jumped out to an early lead and pulled away from Andrew Buff to win his first 30-lap DIRTcar sportsman feature to go with 17 wins in the limited sportsman and slingshot divisions. Floyd Billington was third with Zach Buff and Cody Ochs rounding out the top five.

Five-time track champion Luke Horning started his season off on the right foot, winning the 20-lap Pro Stock feature over Johnny Rivers, Steve Cosselman, Slater Baker and Shawn Perez Jr. It was Horning’s 41st Pro Stock win at The Ridge.

Matt Mosher took home the Street Stock victory over Joe Wilson, Jason Samrov, Jason Barrett and Josh Samrov.

Tavian Blowers captured his first career Limited Sportsman feature win, while Damian Ward won his initial Dual Cam Mini Stock feature and Bruce Liddle took home his 24th career Single Cam Mini Stock feature win.

In the Tobias Slingshot features, Bodie Marks won his second-straight Junior Slingshot division feature, while A.J. Albreada won the All-Star division main event.

The Glen Ridge Motorsports Park is back in action Sunday on Relay for Life night with the inaugural running of the Silver Fox Showdown, in memory of Don Warner.

Glen Ridge Motorsports Park

May 14 results

Red Chair DIRTcar 358 Modifieds (35 Laps) – LANCE WILLIX, Garrett Poland, Corey Cormier, Jordan McCreadie, Bill August, Tucker O’Connor, Jeff Gallup, C.J. Castelletti, Chris Bisson, Aaron Jacobs, Richie Price, Carter Gibbons.
Classic Muscle Parts DIRTcar Sportsman (30 Laps) – DERRICK MCGREW JR., Andrew Buff, Floyd Billington, Zach Buff, Cody Ochs, Ricky Quick, Brendan Gibbons
Yurkewecz Auto Crushers DIRTcar Pro Stocks (20 Laps) – LUKE HORNING, Johnny Rivers, Steve Cosselman, Slater Baker, Shawn Perez Jr., Kyle Weiler, Chuck McSpirit, Doug Sheely, Richard Spencer
Limited Sportsman (15 Laps) – TAVIAN BLOWERS, Connor Hearn

Street Stocks (15 Laps) – MATT MOSHER, Joe Wilson, Jason Samrov, Jason Barrett, Josh Samrov, Rob VanAernam, Matt Wells
Leatherstocking Credit Union DIRTcar Mini Stocks (15 Laps) – (D) DAMIAN WARD, (D) Gina Voris, (S) BRUCE LIDDLE, (D) Brian Blanck, (D) Chad Hoffman, (S) Jack Minery, (D) Nicholas Bunn, (S) Jamie Warner, (D) Jay Ingersoll, (S) Blaze Post, (S) Hayleigh Gates (DNS)
Northeast Paving & Sealcoat All-Star Slingshots (15 Laps) – A.J. ALBREADA, Brett Putnam, Sloan Cherko, Devin Pierce, Adam Fusco, Jim Pollard, Dave Viall, Scott Sprague, Alex Boisvert, Justin House, Paul Holic (DNS)
Northeast Paving & Sealcoat Junior Slingshots (12 Laps) – BODIE MARKS, E.J. Hatch, Kolton Gamble, Blake Patrick, Braxton Martin, Lucas Cole, Colton White, Jayden Wust, Izzy Pangman, Addi Pangman, Logan Carter, Alex Viall, Alex Cosselman.


• Craig Hanson was back at Fonda Speedway Saturday night as a spectator after flipping on opening night resulting in a back injury.

Hanson said recovery is going well and that he is scheduled for X-rays in a couple of weeks to check on the healing process for a fractured vertebra.

• Jen Greco was one of the proudest people on Victory Lane Saturday night after watching her son A.J. pick up his first career limited sportsman feature win.

She pointed out that the win on Mother’s Day eve by her son duplicated the feat of her husband, Jason, who won his first sportsman feature on Mother’s Day eve two years ago.

• Early in her career, NHRA champion Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney was a top competitor on the infield drag strip at Fonda Speedway. Her presence is still felt at the speedway with sponsorship on Aaron Burton’s Crate 602 Sportsman with Shirleys, a non-profit organization to help children in need.

The organization carries the slogan “Sometimes the Smallest Wishes Provide the Biggest Smiles.”

• The 602 Crate Sportsman division will have the night off at Fonda Speedway as the Track of Champions host the $10,000-to-win Tezos All-Star Circuit of Champions 410 Sprint Car Tour. The Limited Sportsman and 4-cylinder classes will be running features only.

Grandstand admission will be $30, with kids 11 and under admitted free.

• Albany-Saratoga Speedway will be featuring a $4,000-to-win main event for the modifieds Friday night along with a $1,000-to-win sportsman feature on the regular race card that includes the 4-cylinders this week.

• Utica-Rome will again host a $5 Grandstand Admission event Friday night with the slingshots added to a full regular race program with handicapping beginning for all divisions this week.

Utica-Rome will also welcome the Kenny Wallace Dirt Racing Experience on Saturday. Fans who want to try their hand at racing on the dirt can register at

• Lebanon Valley Speedway will host a full regular race night with both big block and small block modifieds and the 11th Annual $2,000-to-win Andrew Sherman Memorial for the Sportsman division.

• Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vermont, will run a 50-lap Enduro this Saturday along with a special three-segment special event for the 500cc Mini Sprints and a Kids Poster Contest with awards being handed out for the best posters.


By Andrew Pugliese

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