RPW Column By: LAURIE FALLIS / RPW – GLOVERSVILLE, NY – It was an amazing year for the Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series, (MVVDMS) in 2019. Here’s part 2 of our season in review.
The next special event was honoring the “Rock City Falls Rocket” Jack Cottrell at Fonda Speedway. Festivities started off at the speedway’s Hall of Fame Museum with cars being displayed for the fans to get an up close and personal look at them.
Autographs were given by Cottrell in a packed house at the museum. He was then presented with a beautiful plaque of his years of racing to show our appreciation in what he has given to the history of our sport on checkered board square. Jack also presented the winning trophies in victory lane.
John Flach would capture his second Vintage Modified win and his first career checkered flag at Fonda. Bryon Seyfried would go back-to-back with the Vintage Sportsman while John Roese got by Malcum Warner in the later stages of the race for to claim his first win in Late Model.
Once again, it was the “Racing School Teacher” Frank Blanchard capturing the win over Ed Docskalik in the Vintage Antique class.
On a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon in mid-July, the Fonda Speedway inducted their 2019 Hall Of Fam class and MVVDMS was again a big part of the festivities. Drivers displaying their cars in front of the Museum has always been a big hit.
With temperatures in the high 90’s and clear skies, it was time to take the heat to the racetrack, completing the historic night with Vintage Racing.
However, the clear skies didn’t last. Mother Nature decided to bring in her own game plan that would change the course of the night. Clouds came rolling in and then the severe rain storm forcing management to cancel the show after many attempts.
Brett Deyo added the series in on another night for a makeup race on Fonda’s Championship night. However, it was a non-point show for the series. Winners of that race were again John Flach in Vintage Modified, Sportsman was Dan Wood, John Roese in Late Model and, once again, Frank Blanchard in Vintage Antique.
The next point show took the series to its birth place, the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park for the “Thrill On The Hill.” With a jammed pack pits of cars representing the past, it was the action on the fastest 1/4-mile track that was the real buzz.
Veteran Stanley Wetmore tried holding off another veteran, John Flach, for the victory. It was like racing days gone by, bringing back memories for the drivers and the fans of these two dueling it out like they use to at Lebanon Valley.
Flach would take advantage of heavy lap traffic and a spinning car directly in front of the leaders. Evasive action was taken by the leaders as they scrambled to avoid contact. Caution would come out and officials had Flach nipping Wetmore at the line for the completed lap just before the incident. He was then shown as the leader for the restart.
The two crafty veterans ran together for a few laps but it was Flach that claimed victory over his long-time friend.
Another great battle was in the Vintage Sportsman between Mike Francisco, Jon Kuleszo and Kevin Perry. The trio swapped positions for many laps with misfortune coming to Fransisco, the leader at the time. He went high and rode the backstretch wall, ending his good run.
The battle began to heat up between Kuleszo and Perry, who was now the leader. Kuleszo would end up spinning, but then began to make his way back through the pack. Unfortunately, he ran out of time and was unable to get back close enough to challenge the winner in the end. Perry would get the victory for his car owner Carl Cram.
Justin Knight made his first appearance in the series and made it count, capturing the Late Model victory and Frank Blanchard kept his win streak rolling with the win in the Vintage Antique class.
Stay tuned for Part 3 which will encompass the final events of the season and more on who made this season so special for the series.