This & That – Spring is Here – DTD Exclusive

By ED & BETTY BIITTIG

One of the first signs of Spring is daylight saving time and this past weekend we put our clocks ahead one hour. Next to come is this weekend’s Northeast Racecar Show at the VIA Port Mall in Rotterdam and the weather forecast even looks a little like Spring with the temperatures rising toward the end of this week. The annual car show at the mall in Rotterdam has become known as the one place to be on St. Patrick Day weekend for race fans and new would be fans. Word is that the Hoyenga owned car of Cody Bleau will be on display, Ivan Joslin’s Autism Awareness Pro Stock car along with many others. David Peek will be overseeing RC racing in one of the vacant stores in the mall.

One week after the car show is the annual Mortensen Motorsports Dinner-Dance Fundraiser and this year it will be held at the Winner’s Circle in Fonda, N.Y. March 23rd from 4-9 pm. Buffet style dinner, 50/50 raffle and only $20 for adults, kids 6-12 $8.00, under 5 free.

On Saturday night at the Winner’s Circle Restaurant the King of Dirt Racing Series honored their champions. The 358-Modified Champion for 2018 was Bobby Varin driving the Palmer Racing No. 76. In addition to winning the title Varin and the Palmer team was also honored with the Award of Excellance for their generous donation of their winnings at the Fonda KOD event. They donated their first prize money to fellow competitor Allison Ricci’s charity, Miles of Hope for Breast Cancer. Promoter of the KOD Series, Rob Hazer also announced on a Facebook video that he will cut back on his tour series this coming season to take care of some health issues. The KOD Series will not include the 358 Mods or Pro Stocks in 2019. The Crate Mods will be the only KOD touring division this upcoming season.

More news from Fonda a couple weeks ago, racecar builders, DKM and Fonda Speedway teamed up for this coming season in a special promotion. Known for their black DKM flag flown in victory lane wherever one of their cars win the DKM brand has come to prominence in the dirt track racing world in the short few years the team of Eric Mack, Dave Constantino and Kyle Hoffman have been together. DKM and Fonda have joined forces for a ‘Black Flag Section’ of the speedway’s grandstands located in turn four. Fans watching the action from the ‘Black Flag Section’ will enjoy special promotions and giveaways regularly courtesy of DKM. The ‘Black Flag Section’ will be marked with DKM flags in the air and signage throughout.

This past week another promotion was announced when Teo-Pro Car and Fonda Speedway teamed up to award a driver for their loyalty to the track during the 2019 season. Competitors in the Sunoco Racing Modified, 602 Crate Sportsman and the Montgomery County Office for the Aging, Inc. Limited Sportsman divisions will be put into an end of year drawing to win a Teo-Pro Car chassis complete with body mounts. The drawing will take place during the Fonda 200 Weekend in September. Teo-Pro Car has also signed on as a presenting sponsor for the Fuccillo Auto Group Firecracker 50 paying $10,000 to win on July 3rd.

Because it’s been a few weeks we thought we should give The New York State Stock Car Association (NYSSCA) a shout out. They held their 50th Anniversary awards banquet on February 23rd at the Polish Community Center in Albany. Drivers from eight NYSSCA member tracks were given awards for their 2018 season accomplishments. NYSSCA was founded in 1969 by a group of racers for the purpose of having a voice at local tracks. The organization today concentrates on benefiting members in time of need and giving back to the membership in the form of safety awards at member tracks throughout the season. Today’s membership numbers nearly 700 and includes drivers, car owners, officials and fans who pay just $25. for a yearly membership. Special guest speaker at the banquet Karl Fredrickson, publisher of Speedway Illustrated Magazine address the crowd of 450 and also offered a free subscription to the magazine for all NYSSCA members.

Each year NYSSCA inducts members into their Hall of Fame at the Saratoga Auto Museum in a ceremony that took place earlier in the day. This years class included Gary Iulg, Jerry Rose, Curt VanPelt and Pat Ward. If you have never seen the NYSSCA display at the Saratoga Auto Museum it is one you should try and visit sometime, maybe a trip this summer. The Racing in New York exhibit is a comprehensive display of the history of racing in New York State thanks to the hard work of many volunteers headed by longtime journalist and historian, Ron Hedger.

For anyone who have signed into the pit gate at Lebanon Valley you know Bobby Waters who was part of the Lebanon Valley racing community for 53 years. Bobby lost his battle with cancer on March 1st. Bobby did not collect checkered flags or trophies but was always there and was a true friend to racing and he will surely be missed. The next time we seen Bobby he will be at the ticket window at the Pearly Gate. RIP in peace, Bobby. There will be a memorial service for Bobby Waters on Sunday, March 24, 2019 at Noon at Lebanon Valley Speedway’s Clubhouse.

We hope to see many of you at the car show this weekend. Until next week please send all news and/or comments to biittig@yahoo.com