Chasin’ Racin’: Tremont rebounds at Albany Saratoga

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By Mark Kane

For Capital Region Independent Media

Adam Pierson had a solid run for second in the NAPA Modified feature. Chasin’ Racin’ photo

As we get older we have watched some of the very best win their first feature and their last, and all those wins that came in between.

For those who have been lucky enough to watch Kenny Tremont Jr. through the years you have seen one of the best the Capital District has had to offer. His records stand for themselves with countless wins and championships, and he has done it with Ken Tremont Sr. right by his side.

Not only is Tremont Jr. a force to be dealt with here in the Capital District, but in the days when the Tremonts hit the road, they were well respected and another tough competitor in the pits with a chance to win, and that they did, and still are.

After not having the best of starts in 2022, Kenny Tremont Jr. turned his luck around and put on a show for his many fans as the 13-time champion, and now with 81 wins to his credit, picked up the popular win.

ALBANY SARATOGA SPEEDWAY

At Albany Saratoga, once again the track was in great shape and the on-track racing only proved it with cars rim riding the high side and teams running low against the wall, and yes, if they can fit, they will work the middle groove as well.

Car counts are holding steady. Seems weekly we lose a few, but gain a few new teams.

This looks like a year of hit and miss for teams. With what it is costing them to just get ready through the week, if they can actually get what they need,  what it costs for hauler fuel, pit pass, race fuel, maybe if lucky a new tire, food — yup, you better drive your butt off to even think you are going to make money to do it all over again next week.

Drivers, their families and team members are a special breed as it takes full commitment for those involved keeping a car ready for a weekly battle.

Kenny Tremont Jr. picks up a popular win at the Albany Saratoga Speedway NAPA Modified feature. Chasin’ Racin’ photo

The Tremont 115 Team has always been about family and their many fans who have been through the best of times and those times that were not so easy, have been right there cheering them on. Well, cheering, yelling, screaming, I don’t care what you want to call it, but there sure was a lot of it coming from the grandstands at Albany Saratoga Speedway as true veteran of the dirt wars Kenny Tremont Jr. just picked up another win at the “Great Race Place.” I am glad I was there to witness the great run.

At the drop of the green it was Jack Speshock grabbing the early lead on the high side, with Matt Depew and Scott Huber battling for second, with Huber now to second. On the move into the top 5 early was Kenny Tremont Jr. working from seventh by lap 3. Showing why he has become a legend at the track, Tremont Jr. continued his march and would be fourth on lap 6 and two laps later was the new third-place car, with his sights on Huber, who was sitting second and Speshock with a comfortable lead out front. 

Behind the leaders it was heating up as Adam Pierson was on the move from fifth row to fifth spot, as was Peter Britten, Demetrios Drellos and Mark Johnson all on a charge. With a great run out front Speshock continued to lead as Tremont now had Huber in his sights and would make the challenge as they raced the back stretch side by side with Tremont Jr taking the spot.

The caution was out to tighten the field as the 14 of Morey slowed and now the lead was gone and he had Tremont and Pierson, who was showing speed, ready to pounce. Once back to green Speshock continued to be the leader as the racing was heating up just outside the top 5. The caution would wave once again with contact between last week’s winner Jessey Mueller and Mike Mahaney.

Once back to green two quick yellows found Tremont and Pierson racing hard, swapping positions with a great battle. On the move was Mark Johnson and Demetrios Drellos now sitting just outside the top 5 of Speshock, Tremont and Pierson, with Depew and Jack Lehner holding their own. Lap 20 found the 3J of Johnson now in the top 5 as upfront the battle was heating up for second.  

Once again, as the 115 of Tremont and 215 Pierson were again nerf bar to nerf bar with Tremont getting the spot and with a great run, was quickly all over the rear deck of Speshock, becoming the new leader on lap 26 as Depew had fallen out of the top 5 and Matt DeLorenzo was now into the top 6 and hounding the 3J of Johnson.

With 30 down and five to go, once again bad luck struck the 08 team of Speshock as the car slowed to a rest on the backstretch after a great run. It came down to a five-lap shoot out and that is what it was as the cars had been battling their way to the front of this tough NAPA Modified field were now looking to get into the fight for the win.

When the green dropped Kenny Tremont Jr. used his years of experience to once again power his way to the lead as behind the leader it was tight racing action as Johnson and Lehner battled side by side and Drellos had it wound up on the high side coming fast, as was Peter Britten, now battling for a top 5.

Out front it was all Kenny Tremont Jr. picking up the NAPA Modified win with Adam Pierson and Demetrios Drellos with a great late-race charge, with Marc Johnson and Peter Britten rounding out the top 5.

In other action, just to show the difference in winners, we go from a true veteran of the sport to a 12-year-old winning the Sportsman. Yes, 12, and no, not the Limited Sportsman. Remember the name Brock Pinkerous, as it is a name I think we will hear for years to come. This young man has a ton of talent and car control and is very good with his fans and media.

In the Pro Stocks it was Chucky Dumblewski, as Craig Wolley won the Limited Sportsman, Al Relyea won the Street Stocks, and David Frame with the 4Cyl. win.

FONDA SPEEDWAY

At Fonda Speedway it was one of those nights, but in a good way.

Once again they have that track under control with a great 2- and 3-wide racing surface producing great non-stop racing action. It was dollar night — $1 got you in and the place was packed, and I am sure after Saturday we may just have a few new fans sitting in the seats weekly.

How good was it, the old grandstand was rockin’ as the hometown hero was taking on the bad boy, an outsider who had never even seen the place. With rain washing out the racing in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, young gun Alex Yankowski, who is steadily making a name for himself, and  Ryan Godown, who it is hard to believe was making his first-ever appearance at the “Track of Champions” invaded the track. 

Ryan Godown invades Fonda Speedway for the first time and lost the lead on the last lap. Chasin’ Racin’ photo

So far in 2022, Godown, the Ringoes Rocket, has five wins in nine starts, with wins on the Super DIRTcar Series as well as the Short Track Super Series, and two wins at Bridgeport Speedway, and looked like someone who had been around Fonda’s half-mile his entire life.

That old girl that sits along the Mohawk is tough for veterans of the track, let alone walking in, and by luck of the draw would start on the pole for the feature with a fine field of SUNOCO Modifieds on your back bumper. No pressure there. Oh, and you have a Modified rookie sitting next to you.

At the drop of the green it was Godown getting the advantage with Yankowski quickly moving into the runner-up spot, with Rocky Warner and Stewart Friesen looking to stand up for their home turf, were on the move and quickly in the top 5.

The yellow was out for Bobby Varin as he slowed down the front chute with a broken suspension tightening the field once again. Back to green and a multi-car tangle in turn 4 brought out the red.  What was bad luck for some was good luck for Bobby Varin, as work continued to get his car back to the track and that they did. 

When going back to green Varin could see the whole field. Upfront it was Godown, Yankowski, Warner, Friesen and Pep Corradi in the top 5. Yankowski started to work on Godown using the high side, and reeled in the 26 of Godown and would use the high side of turn 4, again looking like a veteran, not a 17-year-old with limited starts at Fonda. One would think you were in New Jersey.

Once out front, Yankowski stayed on the high side and just made that 84Y sing as he went past the covered grandstand and into turn 1, with Godown chasing and Friesen’s 44, last week’s winner Matt DeLorenzo now in fourth after working past Warner. 

Alex Yankowski showed the field the fast way around Fonda Speedway during the early going of the SUNOCO Modified feature. Chasin’ Racin’ photo

The high side was the place to be. Sure brought back some memories of the battles that fans have seen throughout the history of Fonda Speedway. These motors they are using sure have a different sound as it echoes through the grandstands, raw horsepower and that is what it was.

The caution was out as JaMike Sowle sat at the entrance to pit road in turn 3 with a flat. The Palmer team had the 76 back to the speedway for the green as DeLorenzo was now up to third and Ronnie Johnson was working his way to the front after starting deep in the SUNOCO Modified line up for the second week.

Again a tire was down to bring out the yellow, this time it was for Jack Lehner. Back to green it was Godown back in command with DeLorenzo now in pursuit. Out front Godown was in full command until the caution came out for the 34 of Dave Constantino, who stopped in turn 4.

Once back to green it was Godown and DeLorenzo putting on a great battle for the lead that brought the crowd to their feet, the hero and the villain both on powerful steeds giving it all they had, with Godown making his first mistake, giving DeLorenzo the hole he needed and he took it and would be the new leader going into 3 and down in front of the standing crowd.

In other action Brian Calabrese won the 602 Sportsman, Nick Stone was Pro Stock winner, Josh Kane Limited Sportsman, and Ken Hollanback won the 6-Cyl.

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