April 3rd, 2005
By BRETT DEYO
BINGHAMTON, NY – An off-season full of hype and anticipation will culminate this Sat., April 9 at Fonda Speedway.
Ric Lucia’s historic half-mile oval will host the first event of the Race of Champions Dirt Modified Tour’s inaugural season. The “Ice Jam” 50-lap event, offering a $4,000 winner’s share and $500 small-block bonus will serve as the first point race of the North Region.
Racing is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Pit gates open at 10 a.m. and grandstand gates open at 11 a.m. Hot laps will hit the track at noon.
“The Race of Champions has a storied history,” remarked RoC Dirt administrative director Andrew Harpell, referring to the Race of Champions origin, which dates back to 1951 at the Langhorne (Pa.) one-mile dirt track.
“What better place to begin the first season of the RoC Dirt Tour than Fonda, a track that boasts so much tradition in dirt racing?”
A banner field of big-block/small-block Modifieds is expected to descend on “The Track of Champions,” led by invaders David Van Horn Jr., Mitch Gibbs, Brian Weaver and Alan Johnson, along with Fonda top guns Bobby Varin, Jeff Trombley, Tony Pepicelli, Mike Romano and Matt DeLorenzo.
Capital District legends Dave Lape (2004 Fonda champion) and Jack Johnson will be joined by a number of top stars trying to contend for RoC glory as well.
Young Ryan Bartlett of Adams, N.Y., a Thunder Alley (N.Y.)/Can-Am (N.Y.)/Brockville (Ont.) regular was the first official entry for the Fonda event. The RoC Tour will visit Fonda twice more in ’05: Weds., July 27 and the annual McDonald’s Weekend on Sept. 24-25.
Last year, 57 competitors took part in the “Ice Jam” with Watertown, N.Y.’s Tim McCreadie garnering the victory. McCreadie rebounded from an accident in hot laps to pilot teammate Vic Coffey’s car to the win over Pat Ward, Brett Hearn, Tim Fuller and Matt Sheppard.
An equally talented field is expected to descend on Fonda for this year’s lid-lifter.
“There is no sense in waiting,” Fonda promoter Ric Lucia commented. “The first race of the RoC Tour will be at Fonda on April 9. So if you are going to be in the running for the roses you better be there.”
Following the Fonda event, the RoC Sportsman Tour takes center stage at Penn-Can (Pa.) Speedway on April 24, and the RoC Modified Tour rolls into Utica-Rome (N.Y.) Speedway on May 8 for a 66 ˝-lap contest.
Fonda Speedway is located one mile off New York State Thruway Exit 28 in Fonda, N.Y. The business phone is (518) 382-3115 and the race day line is (518) 853-4235. For more information, visit the Fonda website at www.fondaspeedway.com.
For further RoC info, contact Andrew Harpell at (607) 238-0432 or visit the RoC Dirt website: www.rocdirt.com.
Grandstand General Admission: $15
Pit Fees: $25
Pre-Race Entry: $15 (if received prior to April 5); $20 after that date.
Tire Information: American Racer compounds 50, 48 or 44. Left-front: Any tire option for this event. Contact Jumpin’ Jack’s Speed Shop at (518) 355-5314 for tire information.
Race Distance: 50 green flag laps
General Race Rules: The standard motor, body, chassis and safety rules, based on 2004 DIRT rules.
Weight Information: Big-Block Modifieds – min. 2,500 lbs no tolerance (’04 DIRT legal);
Small-Block Modifieds – min. 2,400 lbs. no tolerance (’04 DIRT legal); Big Diamond/Grandview 9-to-1 small blocks – min. 2,400 lbs. no tolerance; any other small block combination must weigh a min. 2,500 lbs. no tolerance; NO mixing and matching of rules.