By ED & BETTY BIITTIG
Last week was a week of travel for us, and a lot of racing. Tuesday it was a trip to Gary and Donna Palmer’s Accord Speedway for the running of the seventh annual Battle of the Bull Ring, another STSS event by Brett Deyo productions. On hand were 33 Modifieds and 36 Sportsman with four cylinders also on the card. When driving into the Ulster County track you are greeted with beautiful landscaping surrounding the sign announcing the Accord Speedway. The Palmers are always working to improve the appearance of their facility. The evening was action packed as it always is at Accord.
Tim Hartman Jr., had a good night and walked away with the win in the Sportsman event and also qualified and finished 13th in the Jim Becker owned No. 9 Modified. After the event, we snapped a photo of Allison Ricci and Danny Creeden in the STSS trailer and you can decide if it was Allison or Danny giving the advice or maybe the answer will come the next time they compete in a STSS event. It’s always a pleasure to get to Accord if only for a couple events each year. Our next trip will be for “The Gobbler” on November 30, a great event to close out the racing season.
Friday is was off to Utica-Rome for the Tony Stewart All Star Circuit of Champions sprints. Utica-Rome is one of the speedways that has suffered more than their share of weather related cancellations. On Friday it had rained prior to the evening’s events but stopped early enough for the show to go on. To our way of thinking, the rain helped the surface, when we went to victory lane at the end of the night our feet stuck to the tacky track. The sprint competitors also took note of the tacky surface that made for some very fast racing. Winner Aaron Reutzel of Clute, TX., said he had watched a video of racing from the track and had expected a dry, slick surface. Many of them had to make adjustments for the unexpected track conditions. It was great to get back to Utica-Rome and see so many of our friends that we’ve made there over the years. At the end of the show we shot this photo of sponsor Turn One LLC, one of the evening sponsors as they posed with Tony Stewart, the other sponsor was Clinton Tractor.
Saturday was Autism Awareness and Banner Night at Fonda presented by One-Zee-Tees and Corr-Pak Merchandising and it all started with a BBQ from 2-4 p.m. The Friesen and Joslin Race teams were a big part of organizing the event to benefit Crossroads Center for Children in Rotterdam.
Ashley Abeling, Fonda’s Kids Club coordinator headed up the activities for the Banner Night and took care of the judging of the banners. Winning banners were done by, Elliott Moyer and Joseph Hoffman, second place, Jacob Knapik and third, Cooper Hanson.
Hailie Downing was the winner in the 12-16 age group. A big raffle was held in the Kids Club area under the grandstand. The total amount raised for Crossroads was $15,700 from the barbecue, raffle and Fonda Speedway management donated the second half of the 50/50 to Crossroads Center for Children.
Kenny Hollenbeck of Sloansville took the checker in the Four Cylinder Cruiser event on Saturday. The win was the fourth of the season for Hollenbeck. Hollenbeck has dealt with two blown engines this season. Hollenbeck was also awarded $75, a hat and yearbook from the N.Y.S.S.C.A. on their safety award night for four cylinders.
We’re always looking for first time fans and on Saturday sitting right in front of us in the grandstands was Peter Pasqualino who was at Fonda and his first ever auto racing event with his good friend Al Hanna. Peter is a Professor at Fulton-Montgomery Community College and had Keith Shoemaker as a student, Keith peeked his interest in racing and Peter decided to make the trek on Saturday. Al has been a Fonda regular since 1957.
Although the Palmer Service race team with Bobby Varin behind the wheel haven’t had the wins they’ve had in prior years, they still remain one of the popular teams at Fonda on Saturday nights. The novelty stand relayed to us that they have request for many of the teams racing apparel. Varin and the Palmer team came on strong in the fall of 2017 when they had three wins in a row at the year-end events at the Track of Champions, plus a win in the King of Dirt 358 Series at Albany-Saratoga. So although their year has not been as strong for the defending track champions, don’t count them out as a factor in the points chase that will end on August 10. Varin currently sits second to Rocky Warner in points.
Bobby Varin has seven track championships at Fonda putting him tied with Dave Lape in second on the championship list. We spoke with Alton on Saturday night and he said they would like to run a few Deyo (STSS) shows at the end of the season. Coming up August 3 at Fonda is Palmer Service Center Night and Dollar Hot Dog Night.
Pro Stock driver Ivan Joslin had a lot to do with the Autism Awareness night at Fonda on Saturday, Joslin runs the Autism Awareness car each week and currently sits eighth in points in the division with one win on the season. Joslin is recently dealing with some injury issues, a torn meniscus and ALC and says he is trying to make it to the end of the season before having surgery for both because it’s a six month recovery period. We wish him well.
Within the past week 602 Sportsman driver, Brian Borst of Schoharie posted that he was going to take some time off from racing. When we spoke with him and the team at Fonda on Saturday we learned that he was out voted by his team so Brian was once again back in his No. 69 Sportsman on Saturday night.
At Glen Ridge Sunday we spotted a fourth generation Proctor family member launching his racing career in a Limited Sportsman. Isaac Walker was at the track with his uncles and was sitting in the car for the first time. Isaac went out for warm up (two laps) his first time behind the wheel and then it was on to the feature. He did a respectable job his first time out and finish the race with no damage to the car.
This week the Fonda Hall of Fame will induct the 2019 members give out special awards. Ceremony begins at 3:00 p.m. The vintage cars will be in action once again along with regular divisions of racing. BBL sponsors the night’s racing beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Until next week please send all news and/or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org