By: Ed & Betty Biittig
This past weekend was full of firsts, first time fans, first time winners and a first time driver all making for an exciting weekend of racing plus we spoke with one enthusiastic competitor.
On Friday evening in victory lane with Mike Mahaney after his win in the SDS event at Albany-Saratoga we met some great folks from Saratoga NAPA stores. NAPA is the series sponsor and they were there to celebrate with the winner and present the big check. We spoke with Veronica from Saratoga NAPA and she shared that it was her first ever racing event and how much she enjoyed all of it.
Brian Gleason was the winner in the Modified division and became the 138th different winner in that division at Fonda since 1948.
Jason Morrison became the 98th different winner in the Pro Stock Division and first time winner Bob Rowback in the Liminted Sportsman division was the 41st different winner since that division began in 2012.
The Super DIRTcar Series winner at Albany-Saratoga on Friday night was Mike Mahaney and first time winners there were David Boisclair in Sportsman and Dan Seguin won for his first career win in the Kevin McMillan Memorial Limited Sportsman event and picked up $500.
Dan Seguin is in his second year behind the wheel of his No. 8s Limited Sportsman and on Friday his father, two sisters and a niece and nephew were at the track cheering him on so it was extra special to have them there for the win. When we spoke with him, he said he is still getting calls about the win and it’s a great feeling. The number on Dan’s car the No. 8, comes from his birthday information; he was born on 8/8 at 8:08 and weighed 8 lbs. 8 oz. His car is a 2014 TEO, a former Matt DeLorenzo car that he purchased from Bo Karl. And Dan does not skimp on his safety equipment, a double layer fire suit and Simpson helmet, because he thinks it’s important. Sponsors helping Dan are MSV Roofing and Siding, CB Waste Removal, Wyrestorm, Jay’s Auto Repair and Operation Adopt a Soldier. Dan relies on fellow competitor, Jimmy Nagle for much advice and guidance in his racing efforts.
On Sunday at Glen Ridge witnessed a young lady’s first time behind the wheel of a racecar, the No. 25A Pro Stock was driven by Aubrey Theriault, the step-daughter of Pro Stock racer, Jay Fitzgerald. Aubrey is familiar with all the local speedways and no stranger to working on and being fully involved with a racecar. Her first time on a race track in a race was respectable and in a very short time she was passing cars, some more than once. This fall Aubrey will be headed back to the University of North Carolina where she is majoring in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in motorsports.
Also on Sunday we saw a young man win his first JR Slingshot event, Jaden Pierce from Eagle Bridge, NY celebrated his first win of his career. We often hear the term racing family and the Pierce family is certainly one that fits that term. They have also been part of our racing family for years. We saw Jaden’s dad, Chad win his first race on the high banks of Lebanon Valley. Jaden’s grandfather, Edmund “Peanut” Pierce, who we lost in 2020, was a car owner for many years at Lebanon Valley with Claude Hoard behind the wheel and we also talked many times with Jaden’s great-grandfather, Harold as he was always at the races to cheer the family on. Sunday we believe that Harold and Peanut, were cheering Jaden on from a higher place.
This week we spoke with one of the most enthusiastic racers we’ve seen in a long time. Kurtis Hohensheldt races in the 602 Sportsman division at Fonda and has been racing open wheel cars for about 12 years, seven of those at Fonda and prior to making Fonda his home track he raced at Glen Ridge where he has three wins. He has raced around New York State at several of the popular dirt tracks, Five Mile Point, Outlaw, Fulton and Afton where he also has a GRIT Series win.
Before moving to racing cars, Kurtis raced four wheelers and before that as a kid he raced bicycles. He has always just loved racing. He lives in Palatine Bridge with his girlfriend, Taya and daughter, Taysha and son, Kadon.
To help support his racing efforts Kurtis drives to Albany daily where he works for JJP Slip Forming and he also has several sponsors on his No. 54H, Catman’s Bread, Compeer, S&G Auto Body, Mrs. M, LLC Landscaping and Design and Poor Breadman. His crew consists of his daughter, Taysha and son Kadon plus, Brady and high school friend, Richard Chest. Like all racers, Kurtis relies on help from other racers in the pits, like Jason Greco and Jason Reome. He knows that his tired equipment has kept him from the performance he would like. “We’re the only one on bars” says Kurtis, referring to his 2017 Bicknell. He’s currently working on another Bicknell sitting in his shop waiting for a body. We thoroughly enjoyed our interview with Kurtis and we wish him well in his quest for his first win at the Track of Champions.
This Saturday the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame will honor the 2022 inductees at their annual ceremony at the Fonda Speedway Museum on the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. Drivers being honored are A. J. Romano, Tim Clemons and Steve Welch, car owner Jeff McWalker. The Special Bruce Dostal Dedication to Museum award will go to Alton and Carole Palmer and the Canajoharie Eagles Club.
We’re heading into a busy racing weekend. Hope to see many of you and wish you a safe and happy 4th of July holiday.
Until next time please send all news and/or comments to email@example.com