Column By: LAURIE FALLIS / RPW – FONDA, NY – As the saying goes, there is no place like home!
For 2019, David Schilling, after a few years of never really having a home track consistently while campaigning in the Sportsman division, made the decision to move up into the Modified ranks and he sure is glad he found a home in the Mohawk Valley at the Fonda Speedway.
Over the past years the team has been journeymen, traveling around to many of the different tracks, but felt they had the backing and experience to take there race team to the next level at “The Track Of Champions.”
“Its certainly was a learning experience racing at the different tracks, like setups and tires combinations, different rules, but it helped our team tremendously on learning and certainly improving my driving skills. Plus, it was really cool driving at all the different track” David stated.
Being the new kid on the block in the Modified ranks for the 2019 racing season David is excited he can finally settle in and focus on one track, in which he can hang his helmet each and every Saturday night at the Fonda Speedway.
With consistent runs it will be only a matter of time before the rookie will add his name of being a modified winner at the famed oval. David best finish to date this year is a third place, finishing behind Warner and Friesen on that night.
The St. Lawrence Radiology #20 put in a respective showing at the Brett Deyo STSS in front of the largest crowd ever for that series events.
David would start twenty eighth on the starting grid, but in the end of the Firecracker 50 lapper he would record a 14th place finish with a star studded field. Quite an achievement for the rookie.
The young gun is currently sitting sixth in points only fourteen behind “Mr. Freeze,” Stewart Friesen and eighteen points behind David Constantino who currently rides in the fourth spot, who did capture a victory early in the season.
The Chassis that they campaign with is a 2017 Bicknell that David stated has been very good to him. The horsepower they run under the hood is a 358 Bedell Motor.
Lets find out a little bit about the driver who hails out of East Greenbush, NY.
Dave Schilling is a twenty three year old whom like many of racers started his racing ventures when he was seven years old in the go kart ranks.
He had also did a little legands racing, but he new he wanted to eventually get into open wheel racing. When he finally had his chance, Modified racing it was and Lebanon Valley Speedway was the track he made his debute.
After running almost the full season he realized maybe it was to soon for that level and moved into the Sportsman ranks to get his feet wet a lil more. He would capture wins at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway where he did run regular early on in his Sportsman career.
As stated they just traveled around gaining valuable experience, having a good time traveling to different tracks. They never would get a win in their adventures, but they were always competitive having good runs. “It was alot of fun crossing off tracks on our list” he said”
The team decided it was time! And the
2019 season, they felt everything would be into place and to give Modifieds a shot once again.
What made you feel this time around you were ready to take that next step? And why Fonda Speedway?
“I’ve always wanted to get back into a Modified, the Crates were nice being you could run a million laps on a motor which you really can’t do with a Modified. We have the backing that we feel needed. My Dad owns 1-800 I Got Junk which is a big part and support of our team.
This is also where David is employed full time for his father.
“It wouldn’t be possible if not for the Maresca’s from St. Lawrence Radiology which helps us with our power plant. Mike Maresca is a fellow competitor in the Modified division. Without the backing of them and my father this wouldn’t be possible, along with our other great sponsors and the dedicated crew that we have.” A thankful Shilling stated.
With Brett Deyo being the new sheriff at the track that is planted along the “mighty” Mohawk, what attracted you?
I really like what Brett has going on. First few time here I was absolutely terrible years ago. I slowly started to take a liking to it as it’s a super tough track to get around.
“I like how Brett runs the show, his payouts and rules and tires, it just makes for a great combination. It was an easy choice for me, and I really like this place alot!”
What is it you like and dislike about the track?
“The track is very racie, it’s difficult and technical along with being very challenging. All four turns are completely different, it not like any other place. The guys that race here are extremely competitive which make them hard to race against, while being fun as well.”
“It certainly can get a little crazy out their because the turns are so difficult and guys can be all over at times which can make thing pretty hairy at times but you get that at every track.”
“I do like the fact that I only live fifty minutes from the track compared to last year when we would travel two to six hours to a race.” Shilling said.
David’s goal for the 2019 season is a top five in points. It would be a great accomplishment with the talented drivers that competes at the track.
Being we are at the halfway point and he is currently sitting sixth in point you could clearly say he is knocking on the door of his goal. I also informed him that he is also in contention for being rookie of the year at the place he calls home, Fonda Speedway!
With the steady runs, and on any given night when everything falls into place, dont be surprised if you hear the young gun of David Schilling #20 getting into victory lane.