RPW Column By: TOBY LAGRANGE / RPW – GLOVERSVILLE, NY – It is mid-January and following a stretch of unseasonably warm weather the normal frigid nights are yet again upon us.
With the 2020 racing season a seemingly forever three months away and the car show season about a month sooner, race teams all over the Capital Region of New York are burning the midnight oil to keep their shops warm and get their hot rods ready for the new season.
No place is that more true than in the old Stump City – Gloversville and the shop of the driver simply known as Cousin Luke…Luke Horning
The 2019 campaign was very successful for the Fulton County resident. Horning passed under the checkered flags first 18 times during the season, including in some of the Pro Stock divisions biggest races. Those wins propelled him to track championships at both the Fonda Speedway and the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.
“We won the championship at the Fonda Speedway and the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park,” Horning said. “We also collected six wins at each track and won three races at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway.”
Included in those three wins at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway are wins in the 50 lap Fall Pro Stock Classic which was worth $5,000 and the DIRTcar Series event held during the first annual Malta Massive Weekend two weeks later.
In addition to visiting victory lane six times at the Fonda Speedway and winning his first career Pro Stock track championship at the famed Montgomery County speed plant, Horning also set a new fast time record for the division.
“We set the fastest Pro Stock time this year at Fonda,” Horning said. “That was big for me.”
The Horning team kept winning when they traveled outside of the Capital Region. Luke put the car in victory lane at the Utica-Rome Speedway and down at the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“We made it to the Utica-Rome Speedway three times,” Horning said. “We won two of those events and ended our season down in Charlotte with a win. We won a total of 18 races and had a ton of second and third place finishes.”
Horning also was the winner of the LaGrange Media King of the Capital Region Pro Stock rankings and finished fifth in the overall standings.
The 2020 season will see Horning and his self-owned team take part in a grueling, three night a week schedule in the Capital District. Horning will be a regular at the Albany-Saratoga Speedway on Friday nights, the Fonda Speedway on Saturday nights and at the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park on Sunday nights.
“Looking ahead at the 2020 season I would like to win at least one-track championship but would love two,” Horning said. “We would really like to get better at Albany-Saratoga and to try and improve on that 18-win total from last year.”
Horning will be piloting a pair of cars built by Stone Motorsports. Sponsors are what keeps a race team on the track and Horning has a bunch of dedicated ones for the 2020 season. Horning will be sponsored by Catalytic Recovery, L&M Mason Contractors, Handyman on Demand, Randoo Candoo, West End Auto, Ted’s Auto Body, WMD Design, Pro Installers, RCT Roofing and Trackside Body Works.
Horning started his racing career in the Street Stock division at both the Fonda Speedway and at the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park. He progressed into a winner before moving to the Pro Stock division where he once again is a threat to win each event he enters.
With the days getting longer every day, it will not be long until we hear the roar of the engines at all of the area speedways. When the green flag waves do not be surprised to see Cousin Luke holding the checkered flag in victory lane.