RPW Column By: TOBY LAGRANGE / RPW – FORT PLAIN, NY – It is a division that often takes the back seat to the Modified type divisions that it usually shares the nightly card with. However, when feature time comes, it is usually the one that puts on the best show on a consistent basis.
The division that I am speaking of is the Pro Stock division. While the number of tracks that host weekly Pro Stock events has shrunken considerably since the circuit wide transformation from the original Street Stock division to the top, local full fender division roughly two decades ago, one thing remains consistent – the Capital District of New York has some of the toughest weekly fields around.
One driver that is more often than not at the top of that weekly battle is Fort Plain, New York’s Justin Knight.
Knight, a former king pin in the equally stout area Street Stock division, got his start in racing like so many others, including myself. By sitting in the stands at the Fonda Speedway on Saturday nights.
“I got my start in racing by going to the Fonda Speedway when I was around ten years old,” Knight said. “It has been in my blood ever since. I started with a successful career in the Street Stock division and then moved up to the Pro Stocks.”
The 2019 season was one of consistency and success for the Western Montgomery County resident. It included a trip to victory lane.
“The 2019 season was as good as expected,” Knight said. “We claimed one win at the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park and were a consistent top five car at the Fonda Speedway. We finished sixth in points at Fonda and inside the top five at Glen Ridge.”
For the 2020 season things will look a lot like a year ago, including returning to the seat of the potent Todd Hoffman owned machine. Hoffman himself a many time track champion and feature winner at the Track of Champions.
“In 2020 we intend on competing weekly at the Fonda Speedway and the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park,” Knight said. “We also plan on making another trip to Super DIRT Week in October and maybe a few hit and miss shows here and there.”
Looking ahead at what the Hoffman/Knight team hope to accomplish in the new season reveals a surprise to no one – feature wins and championships.
“Our goals for 2020 are to get that elusive first Fonda Speedway Pro Stock feature win in the Pro Stocks,” Knight said. “We are hoping for several wins at both tracks and to compete for the track championship at both tracks as well.”
A key to contending for wins and the championships will be their equipment, which is something that the team has freshened.
“This year is looking positive,” Knight said. “We have updated all of our equipment with two brand new engines and have a brand-new Stone coil chassis at our disposal. In addition, we had the older car updated at the end of last year, so we have high hopes for this year.”
Another key to the 2020 season for the Hoffman/Knight team are their sponsors. For the new season the team will be sponsored by Paul’s Lawn & Landscaping, Palatine Motel & Car Wash, Midway Auto Body and Ripepi’s Bar & Restaurant.
Justin would also like to extend his special thanks to those that help make each season possible.
“I would like to thank Todd (Hoffman) first,” Knight said. “If it weren’t for his generosity I definitely wouldn’t be racing. He gives me anything that I need to get the job done. He has also helped fellow racers and race tracks whenever needed. I would also like to thank my girlfriend Allana for all that she does as well as Todd’s girlfriend Melissa, Kirk Dannible, Uncle Dick, Johnny Harrison, Jack Putnam and Joe Millington. We have a great team and everyone does their part as without them none of this would be possible.”
The new season is only about a month and a half way but when Mother Nature relents and the green flag waves in April, keep an eye out for the Hoffman/Knight team as they are one of the toughest competitors in the divisions toughest region.