By ED & BETTY BIITTIG
Three drivers at Albany-Saratoga in the Four Cylinder division all belong to the Ramsey family. Two of the Ramsey’s Josh and his cousin Justin have been around the sport for most of their lives. This season Josh is back behind the wheel for the second year in Four Cylinders in the No. 42d. He says he tried racing at age 17 and now at 35 wanted to try it once more. His cousin, Justin drives the No. 01d in the division and has been behind the wheel the past two years and at 34 years old, says that Four Cylinders is what he can afford.
Ashlynn, 14-year-old daughter of Josh has just two races under her belt and one condition of her being able to race each week, is that she keep her grades up as a ninth grader. On Friday you could see that someone had shared with her how important it was to stay out of the way of the more experienced racers in the division and Ashlynn did just that.
The Ramseys are a great example of what racing is all about, a family racing together and having fun in a sport that they all love and have been involved in for years.
Friday night Jack Speshock celebrated his first career win in the Modified division and as you might guess it was quite a celebration in the Victory Lane area.
Jack has come through the divisions beginning in karts, before moving to Legend cars. In 2012 he moved to Sportsman and collected victories at Albany-Saratoga, Devil’s Bowl and Thunder Mountain. In 2020 Jack made the move to Modifieds and says since then he has led so many features at the Malta oval. “I’ve led a lot of races and then something would break”, said Jack, keeping him from victory lane.
The No. 08 on Jack’s car comes from Dale Earnhardt Jr. He added the zero because he thought there would be too many eight’s in the division. The chassis he drives is a Bicknell.
Jack is supported by many dedicated sponsors and crew. Crew chief, John Russo, tire man, Tyler Ducharme, and crew members, Thomas Clarke and Brett Bacon. The sponsors on the Speshock No. 8 are Donnelly Construction, Inc., Mangino Chevrolet-Buick-GMC, Frank Adams Jewelers, RM Bacon, Hoosick Hoisting, Mooradian Hydraulics, EMI Guiderrail and Versatile Trailer Sales. And last but certainly not least Jack has his girlfriend, Mattie Coffey supporting him in his racing efforts.
Another successful Dollar Night at Fonda on Saturday and 110 competitors were on hand to compete before the packed grandstands. Stewart Friesen came off a second place finish in the NASCAR Truck Series and took his Modified to victory lane at Fonda , for the 86th time.
We spoke with current 602 Crate Sportsman points leader, Payton Talbot on Saturday about his season so far and he said he is happy with the way things are going for him at both Utica-Rome and Fonda. He really likes when he wins and of course is not as happy when he finishes in any other position.
We also ran across Matt Richardson of Morrisville, NY. Matt runs the No. 262 Crate Sportsman regularly at Utica-Rome and on Saturday he ran Fonda for the first time in his career. “It’s a fun track but it took longer to learn than I expected, ” said Matt. I wish I would have trusted the car more.” He expects to return to Fonda this season five or six times for the Thunder on the Thruway Series and the STSS.
Matt began racing for the first time in 2020, in a 602 Crate Sportsman and has raced at several Central New York tracks, Brewerton, Fulton, Skyline, Brookfield, Thunder Mountain and he recently added Accord to his track list when he raced there for the STSS North Region event. And now of course he can add Fonda.
Although he has been racing for only three years, Matt is no stranger to dirt racing, his father Ron also raced the No. 262 for many years. And the story behind that No. 262 is that it was his father’s football number in high school. His father also referred to the 262 as meaning “2 six packs 2 go”.
Matt is another racer supported by a dedicated crew and sponsors. Crew members are Ronnie Randall, Dan Richardson, Chase Davis, Leslie Barnes and his dad, Ron.
Sponsors include Energy Savers, Inc., Contempo Tile, Barnes Blue Stone, ReSell CNY, Georgetown Inn, Roger’s Construction, Lerch’s Perch, and GF Zimmer’s Funeral Home.
Matt has two sons, Blake 10 and Colton 8 who enjoy seeing him race when they can get to the track and also enjoy watching dad race on FloRacing.
When Glen Ridge brought back the 358-Modifieds this season it gave the opportunity to Corey Cormier of Middletown to return to the track and try his hand at a Modifieds. He had previously been at the track in a Crate Sportsman.
Cormier is another racer that has progressed through the divisions in racing from karting where many have started. He’s raced Slingshots, Sportsman and now is in Modifieds and experienced his first win in a Mod at Middletown, April 30, 2022. This is his first year driving a Bicknell after being in TEO’s. The story behind the No. 26R that Corey drives is that it’s his Uncle Robert’s birth date.
Corey is another racer supported by several dedicated sponsors and crew. His crew consists of his father, Derrick Cormier and grandfather, Norman Mann, Jason Utter, Kevin Jones and Mike Mikelulski and the sponsors on his car are Comfort Experts Heating & Cooling, American Remodeling, LLC., Frank Stevens Roofing, Remee Wire & Cable, East Coast Speed, and A Plus Sewer Service. Corey says he also relies greatly on Tim Jones of Bicknell Racing for advice with car.
We close this effort with a heavy heart from more sad news in the racing community with the passing of Keith Shoemaker, son of racing veteran, Kenny Shoemaker.
Until next week please send all news and/or comments to email@example.com