Friday, December 6, 2013
Jonathan Condon thinks of one thing and one thing only when he straps into his race car and stares down the one-eighth of a mile straight-away at Winterport Dragway.
“I want to go fast,” said Condon, 12, of Chelsea. “It’s a straight shot. It’s a lot of fun.”
Condon, a seventh-grader at Chelsea Elementary School, competes in the track’s Junior Dragsters division. He’s leading the point standings in a quest for a second consecutive championship.
And, Condon is quick to point out, he indeed goes fast.
“I’ve gone 85 (mph) before,” he said. “We’re only supposed to go 80. They had to tell me to slow it down.”
Condon makes it to most of the races and is often accompanied by his parents and grandfather.
“This is his third year of doing this,” said Jonathan’s mother, Tanya Condon. “He got into it by watching other kids racing on YouTube with his grandfather (Walt McCarty).”
In 2010, the Condons purchased a car and spent the winter preparing it for the 2011 season. Condon said he was quickly hooked.
“I only wish it would last longer,” he said. “It’s only about a seven- or eight-second ride. It’s just a straight shot.”
Added Tanya Condon: “His first race was Easter Sunday in 2011 and I could tell he was hooked. I remember watching him and I could tell right away.”
Did she ever have any concerns with her young son drag racing?
“I looked into it pretty good,” she said. “I did all the research. I was nervous at first, but once I realized he knew what to do, I was OK with it. He’s had the throttle stick on him twice and he knew how to shut it down. Plus, he’s in a fireproof suit, has a roll cage and is in a five-point racing harness. He’s pretty safe in there.”
Points races will continue well into October and Jonathan Condon said he’s already looking forward to next season.
“I’d like to do it as long as I can,” he said. “I love the drag racing but maybe eventually I’ll switch out to a bigger car.”
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Beech Ridge Motor Speedway will host its ninth annual Pro All Stars Series North 300-lap feature Sunday.
Farmingdale driver Johnny Clark, who has struggled a bit for a second straight season, is a three-time 300 winner at Beech Ridge. He won the race in 2008, 2010 and 2011.
“It’s always been a race we’ve been good at,” he said. “I’m really optimistic. I’m pumped for this race. We’ve taken the whole car apart and fine-tuned everything. We’ll be ready.”
Clark is sixth in points. Joey Doiron leads the tour with 1,957 points while Cassius Clark of Farmington is second with 1,936.
However, Johnny Clark won the PASS Triple Crown series by virtue of a fourth-place finish last weekend at the Autodrome Chardiere in Quebec. The Triple Crown is a series of three races spread throughout the summer that pays $7,500 to the winner.
“It was a nice pay day,” he said. “
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Ajay Picard made a successful return to racing after missing a few months with back and other injuries suffered in a Pro Stock race June 8 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.
Picard of Palmyra finished third in the annual Last Chance Motorsports 150 on Sept. 1 at Unity Raceway. He also won his heat race.
“Not a bad day,” Picard said. “I felt good after, too. I came out of it OK.”
Picard will race the annual Long John on Oct. 13. He will head back to Beech Ridge next year in a new car from Distance Racing Products, a company owned by Farmington native Jeff Taylor.
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Left turns: The Brackett family made it a clean sweep in the Late Model division at Oxford Plains Speedway last weekend. T.J. Brackett won the points championship while his father, Tim, finished second and sister, Vanna, checked in third. ... Zach Emerson of Wales finished third in the Street Stock division at OPS as well. ... Spud Speedway will host its final points races of the season Saturday at 1 p.m. ... Wayne Helliwell, Jr., has all but wrapped up the American-Canadian Tour points championship. Helliwell has a 41-points lead over Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. with just one points race left.
Bill Stewart — 621-5640