By ED & BETTY BIITTIG
Friday we returned to the “Great Race Place” Albany-Saratoga where we saw over 160 cars listed on the pit board, certainly a great car count.
This season the track management has chosen to run two 20-lap features for the 602 Crate Sportsman and on Friday they also ran two 15-lap features for the Limited Sportsman as well.
We saw a familiar name in the 602 Sportsman line up. Tony Farone, driver of the No. 18, is one of the veteran drivers in the Sportsman ranks but said he has only been to the Malta oval seven of eight times in his career. His last time was during Covid when he finished second to Connor Cleveland and it was his first time on coils. Tony has raced for 27 years, however most seasons he has not been able to race a full season because of his concession business that takes him to many local fairs and other events. “I race for the fun of it,” said Farone and Friday nights seem to be a great fit for him and his concession obligations.
Tony has eight wins at both Fonda and Glen Ridge and as of Friday night he now has his first win at Albany-Saratoga. He began his racing career in karts where he raced for 13 years and amassed 125 wins and seven track championships. One of his biggest fans throughout his career was his mother, Christine, who he lost this past September. On Friday we believe she was looking down from heaven with a big smile on her face.
Farone said he has talked with other drivers throughout his career and asked them how he would know when it’s time to hang up his helmet. Dave Lape and Pep Pepicelli both told him, “You will know.”
Kim Duell has been a staple in Capital District racing for 46 years and he has raced with some of dirt racing’s best. Kim is a second generation driver in a three generation racing family; his father, Gordon raced at White’s Beach back in the day and his son, Scott races in the 602 Sportsman division at Albany-Saratoga where Kim races his familiar No. 14 Pro Stock.
Kim Duell began his racing career in 1977 in a six cylinder Hobby Stock and by 1984 was behind the wheel of a Modified. His record shows three wins at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in the Mod. After the Modified he switched to Sportsman and ran at both Albany-Saratoga and Fonda. When his son Scott began to race, Kim took time off to concentrate on his son’s career. By 2003 Kim was building a car for his son to race in the Pro Stock division. He built a car for Joe Lazzaro’s son that was raced once at Super Dirt Week. Lazzaro offered Kim the ride and he couldn’t say no.
Kim races weekly at Albany-Saratoga where he is second on the Pro Stock All Time Win List with 27 wins, just one win away from tying Rob Yetman who holds the top spot. His first win in a Pro Stock at the Great Race Place was June 16, 2006. He was track champion at the Malta oval in 2008 on the dirt and 2010 on the asphalt.
On Friday Kim was behind the wheel of his Twister Pro Stock chassis when he took the checker in the Pro Stock feature. The chassis is one that he and Dave Madej have been developing since 2013 when they teamed up and became friends to boot. Kim has a great group of people with him as his crew, Dave Madej, Dan Nelson, Dave Hurd, Brandon Yakush, Brian Feeney, Richard Barnes, Scott Kortz and Damon Anderson.
Kim says he still loves racing even though he may move a little slower getting in and out of the car and he really enjoys just being a part of the local racing family. When Kim decides to retire from his driving duties, he will be building cars because that is one thing he loves to do.
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