By THOMAS COUGHLIN
Changes are happening daily at the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park. In an effort to be prepared for the 2014 racing season, crews are working through the beautiful fall weather to accomplish as much as possible before the cold and snow of winter settle in the Mohawk Valley.
If you were fortunate enough to make it to "The Ridge" last night, you would have noticed new signage throughout the facility. A new pit shack has been added near the scaling area, along with the tons of fill that have been dumped in the backstretch area between turns two and three. Glen Ridge has added an electronic scoring loop that is used with transponders on the race cars to provide accurate numbers in regard to lap times.
There will be at least one new team at the "Moody Mile" in Syracuse, when everyone heads out West for the "Syracuse 200" presented by NAPA Auto Parts, Oct. 9 to 13. While 2012 winner Brett Hearn and 2009 champion Matt Sheppard plan on using equipment that has worked for them in the past, Bobby Varin -- a six-time modified champion at Fonda Speedway and the 2013 track champion at Glen Ridge -- will be with a new team and equipment when the 42nd Super DIRT Week begins. Varin has teamed up with businessman Brian Sisson to undertake the task of qualifying for and winning the biggest race of the year. Varin will have a new Hig Fabrications chassis car, out of Jerry Higbie's shop in Goshen, with Higbie scheduled to be working the pits for the week. A new big block motor from JPM Racing Engines will supply the power under the hood for the black No. 710. At this time, Varin and team have plans after Syracuse to attend the "Eastern States 200" at the Orange County Fair Speedway on the weekend of Oct. 27, and the "World Finals" at Charlotte, N.C., Nov. 7 to 9.
Tonight, the I-88 Speedway in Afton will have a 60-lap, $5,000-to-win modified race along with a 40-lap race for the C.R.S.A. Sprints and a 20-lap feature for the 4 cyl. trucks. Bobby Varin was throwing around the idea of taking his No. 00 down to race, while his son Danny said that "he was excited about driving in an extra-lap event with the No. 07p sprinter" as most sprint car races average 20-30 laps. Danny did have issues with his car last week at Fonda as, when the team was tearing the motor down this week in the garage, they found that both head gaskets would need to be replaced, but the team saw no reason that they wouldn't be ready for I-88.
If you haven't been to the Saratoga Automobile Museum lately, you only have until Nov. 3 to see the current exhibit of BMW cars and motorcycles, then the museum will reopen with its 'Re-Made In America' exhibit featuring vehicles owned by and fabricated by various residents of New York and New England.