By THOMAS COUGHLIN
Changes continue to take place throughout the Northeast racing scene. Crews are busy working at both Fonda Speedway and the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park to get as many of the upgrades and improvements accomplished as possible before the really cold weather puts the brakes on preparation for the 2014 season.
Another Mohawk Valley track that will see changes in the coming year is the Utica-Rome Speedway, as during its annual awards banquet at the Turning Stone Casino last weekend it was announced that the Vernon oval would be sanctioned by NASCAR for its weekly racing events. Drivers at U-R will be competing in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and are eligible for both a New York State and national title with this new partnership. This is not the only NASCAR track in our area as Devil's Bowl Speedway in Vermont has been sanctioned for a number of years and Airborne Park Speedway near Plattsburgh has also joined on for the 2014 season -- the only difference being that the latter two tracks are asphalt and U-R is a clay surface. It is great to see all of the off season work taking place, now if the economy, can pick up enough to support all of these great racing facilities.
One more race is yet to come in the frigid Northeast, as independent promotor Brett Deyo is offering another of his high-paying short track specials. As you know, drivers and fans are always asking for just one more race, never willing to give in to the forces of nature and putting away their racing fever, to officially end the season. Deyo has promoted some of the top paying shows all year at a number of various speedways. Not only are the payouts generous, but he also sprinkles in good prizes and bonuses throughout the feature program and qualifying events, along with lap sponsorships. "The Gobbler" will be held at the Accord Speedway on Saturday, Nov. 30. This is Thanksgiving weekend, so be sure to mark your calendars. The 50-lap event for big block/small block modifieds will pay $7,117.11 in part thanks to Sowle Trailer Repair and Glen Ridge Motorsports Park. Sportsman cars -- both open and crate motor -- will race a 25-lap feature for $1,000. Free hot chocolate will be available all day with any concession purchase. Gates will open at 11 a.m. with the drivers meeting at 12:30 p.m., and hot laps begin at 1 p.m. with the first green flag planned for 1:30 p.m. Grandstand admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors over age 65 and $5 for children 11 and under. There is limited indoor seating for $30, contact the speedway at 845-626-3478 to reserve an indoor seat. Pit admission is $35 with no license required.
On that same day the Saratoga Automobile Museum, will present its annual Lost Speedway program. Guest speakers on the schedule include journalist and FOX Sports reporter Dr. Dick Berggren, longtime writer Andy Fusco, former racer Brian Ross and a host of others. Plenty of racing memorabilia will be on display along with many old time racers and officials. This is another prime opportunity to soak up as much racing history as possible. The display will kick off at 11 a.m. with the formal presentation to begin at 12:30 p.m. Also on display will be the new "Remade in America" exhibit, which includes creations from Boyd Coddington and Brian Ross, among others.
Don't forget that Sunday is the Spaghetti Dinner to benefit injured driver Dave Buanno at the Checkers Out Speedway on Route 30A between Fonda and Johnstown. The event runs from noon until 5 p.m. Tickets at the door are $11 for the meal, racing and raffles will also be available.