The second edition of Monticello Raceway’s Junior Free For All is slated for Monday, June 17th one day after Father’s Day Holiday. The race for drivers, all juniors, is meant as a tribute to their fathers, all of whom are or have been, involved in the standardbred sport.
“With the addition of Peter Lutman, Jr. we now have eight drivers for our race,” noted Eric Warner the tracks director of racing. “And should something unforeseen happen we have a couple of ‘juniors’ waiting in the wings.”
Headlining to event is Bruce Aldrich, Jr. who is currently 7th in North America in races won this season with 239. And of that total Aldrich’s 167 wins at the Mighty M has him atop on the local leaderboard.
Although a terrible racing accident forced Aldrich off his drive behind Tracys Song last week he has been the regular pilot behind Nancy Fugere’s pacer whose 18 wins --all consecutive-- is tops in North America.
But the race will be no cake walk for Aldrich. Among those he’ll be competing against will be Jimmy Marohn, Jr. ,who scored four more driving victories yesterday (June 10) here at Monticello. Last year young Jimmy was the Mighty M’s leading driver and he is currently second behind Aldrich in races won here with 134. His seasonal total of 156 wins ranks him 26th on the North American leaderboard.
And then there’s Billy “Zeke” Parker, Jr. who is currently third in races won here this season with 94. Zeke has won 17 driving titles at the Mighty M and he has won titles at every racetrack where he competed on a regular basis. He is closing in on 11,000 career wins and his current total of 10,972 driving victories ranks him seventh all-time in the history of the sport.
With Jimmy Taggart, Jr’s 78 driving victories this year four out of the top five drivers in races won at Monticello Raceway thus far are all ‘juniors’.( In case you’re curious as to who is fourth in the driver’s standing it’s Jimmy Devaux with 87 driving victories.)
Aldrich will also have to content with the Junior Free For All’s defending champion Greg Decker, Jr. Last year Decker reined K Z Bezz to a 1:57.4 victory in the inaugural event.
Besides Peter Lutman, Jr., others who will join the fray are Jimmy Doherty, Jr, son of Hall of Famer Jim Doherty and former Mighty M driving champ Joe Ricco, Jr. who for the past few decades has been in the real estate business. Recently Ricco has been driving weekly hoping to add to his career total of 977 victories and eventually register 1000 career wins.
Post positions, as well as driving assignments for the upcoming Junior Free For All, will be drawn by lot on Wednesday, June 12th .