Category Archives: News

PALMER’S SERVICE CENTER PRESENTS DOLLAR DOG NIGHT AT THE FONDA SPEEDWAY ON SATURDAY, AUGUST 3

By: Ron Szczerba

Fonda, NY – On Saturday, August 3 at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway, longtime supporters of the track Alton and Carole Palmer of Palmer’s Service Center will present “Dollar Dog Night” with hot dogs sold at the concession stands for only $1! Racing will begin at 7:00 p.m.

On the racing card that evening will be the Sunoco Racing Modifieds, the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman $1,000 to win thanks to Eric Orozco Racing, the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman, the Algonkin Motel Pro Stock “Best of 8” Series $800 to win presented by American Racer Tire, the Trackside Body Works Street Stocks, and the Four Cylinder Cruisers.

Taking a look at the 2019 regular season so far with only two point races remaining before the track shuts down for the annual Fonda Fair, there have been 14 events held for the Sunoco Modified division with seven different drivers winning those events led by current point leader Rocky Warner with five victories. Stewart Friesen is next with three wins while Danny Varin has two. Single wins have gone to four different drivers including Matt Sheppard, Dave Constantino, Bobby Varin, and Mike Maresca. For Constantino it was his first career win in the division at Fonda.

The Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman have competed in a total of 12 events with seven different drivers winning those events led by current point leader Tim Hartman Jr. with four feature wins. Mark Mortensen and Brian Calabrese each have two wins apiece while Adam McAuliffe, Cody Clark, Chad Edwards, and Nick Scavia all have one win apiece.

Five different drivers have won the 11 races held in the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman division with current point leader EJ McAuliffe leading the category with four feature victories. Rich Christman is next with three feature wins followed by first year driver Brett Mortensen who has two wins while Steve Wagoner and Michael McCallion both have one win apiece. For Christman, Mortensen, and Wagoner it was their first career wins in the division.

The Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks have raced 11 times with five different winners in that division led by Luke Horning with five wins, which gives him the point lead going into this week’s racing events. Kenny Gates and Nick Stone both have two feature wins apiece while Ivan Joslin and Josh Coonradt both have one win apiece with the win for Coonradt coming in the prestigious “Hondo Classic” event back in June.

The Trackside Body Works Street Stocks have raced 11 times in 2019 with four different winners taking the victories in those events led by point leader Jason Samrov and Dave Horning Sr. who both have four victories apiece. Stephen Young and Michael Arnold are the other two winning drivers, Young with two victories while Arnold has one single win.

Ken Hollenback has dominated the Four Cylinder Cruiser division with four victories in the six total events held with first time winner in the division Cole Lawton winning the other two races. Hollenback is also the current point leader.

Please join us this Saturday afternoon August 3 starting at 4:00 p.m. as the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame and Museum welcomes last week’s sportsman winner Nick Scavia, last week’s limited sportsman winner Michael McCallion and fresh off his top-five finish, modified driver Scott Huber.

All three of these drivers will be on hand before the races this Saturday afternoon with their racecars on display. Be sure to stay and browse through the many exhibits and displays that encompass the storied history of the “Track of Champions” in the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame and Museum.

We look forward to seeing you this Saturday at the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame and Museum, where the past comes back to life!

Since 1953, the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway has hosted the best in stock car racing. Now under the management of BD Motorsports Media LLC, the speedway will operate weekly on Saturday nights from April through August plus several special events. Fonda Speedway is located on the Montgomery County Fairgrounds off New York State Thruway Exit No. 28 at 21 S. Bridge Street Fonda, NY 12068.

Race Day Information:
Gates Open: 4:00 p.m.
Hot Laps: 6:00 p.m.
Racing: 7:00 p.m.

Ticket Pricing:
Adults: $11.00
Seniors: (65 & above) $9.00
Kids 11 & Under: FREE
Pit Entry W/Fonda Speedway License: $30.00
Pit Entry W/O License: $35.00
Parking in Speedway Lot: FREE

Concession Stands & Beer Booth Open

Fonda Speedway Novelty Stand: Brand new Fonda Speedway available for purchase.

Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame and Museum
Opens @ 3:30 pm
Admission to the Hall of Fame and Museum: FREE
Check out their Facebook page for special weekly happenings!

Speedway Office Phone: 518-915-4395
Speedway Address: 21 South Bridge Street, Fonda, NY 12068
Speedway E-Mail: fondaspdwy@gmail.com
Speedway Website: www.thefondaspeedway.com
Speedway Twitter: @thefondaspdwy
Speedway Facebook: www.facebook.com/thefondaspdwy

AMSTERDAM MOHAWKS BASEBALL WELCOMES FONDA SPEEDWAY TO THEIR GAME ON TUESDAY, JULY 30

By: Ron Szczerba

Amsterdam, NY – On Tuesday, July 30 at the Rao Family Stadium at Shuttleworth Park in Amsterdam NY, the Amsterdam Mohawks baseball team welcomes Fonda Speedway to their stadium for their game against the Saugerties Stallions with the first pitch scheduled for 6:35.

If you wear your favorite drivers t-shirt, you are entitled to reduced admission on that night with some Fonda Speedway drivers also making an autograph appearance prior to the start of the game. Drivers scheduled to be in attendance that evening for the autograph session include: Craig Hanson, Cody Bleau, Happy Harry Shaffer, Michael Jackson, Jason Greco, Tony Farone, and Chucky Dumblewski.

Shaffer will have his Swagger Factory Apparel #1H 602 Crate Sportsman racecar on display along with Dumblewski who will have his Algonkin Motel #7 Pro Stock on display at the game. The Fonda Speedway Pace Truck will also be on hand along with Joe Millington who will have his street legal modified there as well.

MW ROOSEVELT & SONS NIGHT AT THE FONDA SPEEDWAY QUICK RESULTS 7/27/2019

SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH – 30-LAPS – ROCKY WARNER, Josh Hohenforst, Stewart Friesen, David Schilling, Scott Huber, Brian Gleason, Bobby Varin, Michael Maresca, Pep Corradi, Dave Constantino, Craig Hanson, Jessica Friesen, Cody Bleau, Korey Wilder, Jeremy Smith, Ed Harris, Darren Smith, Anthony Cardamone, Brian Pessolano, Aaron Jacobs, Steve Akers (DNS), Danny Varin (DNS)

HEAT RACE WINNERS: Jessica Friesen, David Schilling, Josh Hohenforst

SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH $1,000 TO WIN THANKS TO ERIC OROZCO RACING – 25-LAPS – NICK SCAVIA, Mark Mortensen, Adam McAuliffe, Cody Clark, Andrew Buff, Chad Edwards, Tim Hartman Jr., Kurtis Hohensheldt, JaMike Sowle, Aaron Burton, Brian Calabrese, Tony Farone, Harry Shaffer, Joe Williams, Josh DeMagistris, Joe Orlando, Tim Dwyer, Jason Greco, Griffen Mansmith, Kathy Bellen, Matt Meade, Brian Borst, Brendan Gibbons, Jeremiah Munson

HEAT RACE WINNERS: Harry Shaffer, Cody Clark, Andrew Buff

MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH – 20-LAPS – MICHAEL MCCALLION, Brett Mortensen, EJ McAuliffe, Rich Christman, Alan Hanson, Dylan Eldred, Bill Port, Jack Hamm, Steve Wagoner, John Young

ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH BEST OF 8 SERIES PRESENTED BY AMERICAN RACER $800 TO WIN – 20-LAPS – NICK STONE, Josh Coonradt, Kenny Gates, Devon Camenga, Jason Morrison, Chuck Dumblewski, Bill Knapp, John Roese, Ivan Joslin, Jim Normoyle, Alicia Hughes, Luke Horning, Justin Knight, David Demorest, Randy Cosselman

HEAT RACE WINNERS: Chuck Dumblewski, Luke Horning

TRACKSIDE BODY WORKS STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH – 15-LAPS – JASON SAMROV, Dave Horning Sr., Michael Arnold, Al Relyea, Cliff Haslun, Josh Samrov, Stephen Young, Rocco Procora, Matt Bush

CRSA SPRINT CAR FEATURE – 20-LAPS – MIKE KISER, Sydney Prince, Thomas Radivoy, Justin Mills, Jeff Trombley, Emily VanInwegen, Dalton Herrick, John Scarborough, Mike VanPelt, Mark Taylor, Jesse Pruchnik, Mark Connelly, Link Pettit, Matt Prescott, Dana Wagner, Darryl Ruggles, Josh Flint, Cory Sparks, Johnny Kolosek, Mark Traver (DNS)

HEAT RACE WINNERS: Emily VanInwegen, Darryl Ruggles, Dana Wagner

MW ROOSEVELT & SONS PRESENTS THE CRSA SPRINT CARS THIS SATURDAY, JULY 27 AT FONDA

By: Ron Szczerba

Fonda, NY – The Saturday, July 27 at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway, MW Roosevelt & Sons AKA Roosevelt’s Towing & Recovery will present the CRSA Sprint cars along with all other regular divisions minus the Four Cylinder Cruisers in a racing program scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m.

Competing along with the CRSA Sprint cars will be the Sunoco Modifieds, the Swagger Factory Apparel 602 Crate Sportsman ($1,000 to win thanks to Eric Orozco racing), the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman, the Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks, and the Trackside Body Works Street Stocks.

The CRSA 305 Sprint Cars have competed in 18 sanctioned events at Fonda from 2009 through 2018 with 11 different drivers winning those events. Leading the way with four CRSA victories at Fonda is Danny Varin followed by Josh Pieniazek with three wins. Cory Sparks and Kyle Smith both have two wins apiece while Dylan Swiernik, John Matrafailo, Tyler Rice, Jordan Thomas, Mike Kiser, Brett Jaycox, and Jeff Trombley all have one CRSA win apiece at Fonda.

Danny Varin is no stranger to the Fuccillo Automotive Group Mike Cole Memorial Victory Lane at Fonda as he has three wins with the Empire Super Sprint (ESS) 360-Sprints at Fonda along with one win in the “Open” Sportsman division and nine wins in the Sunoco Modified division.

Trombley is also a multi time winner at Fonda with 35 wins in the Sunoco Modified division along with one win in the 358-Modified class. He was the 2001 & 2002 Track Champion at Fonda in the Modified division and was the master of opening day victories as well with wins on opening day back in 1997, 1999, 2000, & 2002.

So come out this Saturday to the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway to help long time track contributors and sponsor to many different drivers at Fonda through the years, MW Roosevelt & Sons, celebrate another special evening of competition at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds facility!

Since 1953, the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway has hosted the best in stock car racing. Now under the management of BD Motorsports Media LLC, the speedway will operate weekly on Saturday nights from April through August plus several special events. Fonda Speedway is located on the Montgomery County Fairgrounds off New York State Thruway Exit No. 28 at 21 S. Bridge Street Fonda, NY 12068.

Fonda Speedway is on the web at www.thefondaspeedway.com. To learn more, call the office at 518.915.4395, like Fonda Speedway on Facebook www.facebook.com/thefondaspdwy or follow on Twitter: @thefondaspdwy.

Race Day Information:
Gates Open: 4:00 p.m.
Hot Laps: 6:00 p.m.
Racing 7:00 p.m.

Ticket Pricing:
Adults: $12.00
Seniors: (65 & above) $10.00
Kids 11 & Under: FREE
Pit Entry W/Fonda Speedway License: $30.00
Pit Entry W/O License: $35.00
Parking in Speedway Lot: FREE

Concession Stands & Beer Booth Open

Fonda Speedway Novelty Stand: Brand new Fonda Speedway available for purchase.

Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame and Museum
Opens @ 3:30 pm
Admission to the Hall of Fame & Museum: FREE
Check out Their Page for Special Happenings!

Speedway Office Phone: 518-915-4395
Speedway Address: 21 South Bridge Street, Fonda, NY 12068
Speedway E-Mail: fondaspdwy@gmail.com
Speedway Website: www.thefondaspeedway.com
Speedway Twitter: @thefondaspdwy
Speedway Facebook: www.facebook.com/thefondaspdwy

FONDA SPEEDWAY FORCED TO CANCEL AFTER HEAVY RAIN HITS THE SPEEDWAY ON SATURDAY, JULY 20

By: Ron Szczerba

Fonda, NY – Just after the racecars were called to the speedway for hot lap sessions just before 6:30 on Saturday evening, a storm came through the Fonda, NY area with lightning and heavy rain resulting in the third rained out racing program of the 2019 racing season. Rain checks from Saturday evening are good for the week of your choice for the remainder of the point season which ends on Saturday, August 10.

Next Saturday, July 27 the CRSA Sprint cars will join a racing program consisting of the Sunoco Modifieds, the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman ($1,000 to win thanks to Eric Orozco Racing), the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman, the Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks, and the Trackside Body Works Street Stocks. Starting time will be 7:00 p.m.

 

RECOVERY SPORTS GRILL & BBL COMPANIES PRESENT “HALL OF FAME NIGHT” AT THE FONDA SPEEDWAY SATURDAY

By: Ron Szczerba

PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGES ON SATURDAY, JULY 20 DUE TO THE EXTREME HEAT CONDITIONS PREDICTED – ALSO PLEASE NOTE THE CORRECTED NOTES ABOUT HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES DICK BENNETT & BERNIE MYRUSKY

Fonda, NY – An exciting and memorable night is upon us this coming Saturday July 20 at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway when the Recovery Sports Grill & BBL Companies presents “Hall of Fame Night”.

The Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame induction ceremonies will take place at the Fonda Speedway Museum starting at 3:00 p.m. The 2019 inductees into the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame include drivers Dave Camara, Danny Ody, Randy Glenski, and Jack Cottrell; car owners Dick Bennett and Bernie Myrusky; track personnel Doreen Marcucio; track contributor John Grady; and Chet Hames will be honored as the Bill Fake-Track Pioneer.

The 4th Annual Bruce Dostal Dedication to the Fonda Speedway Museum awards will also be handed out to Laurie Fallis, Peter Lazzaro, and Bobco Videos!

Due to the predicted extreme heat on Saturday, the time schedule has been adjusted for Saturday’s racing program. Gates will now open at 5:00 p.m. with Hot laps at 6:30 p.m. and Racing begins at 7:30 p.m.

The racing card will include the Sunoco Racing Modifieds, the Swagger Factory Apparel 602 Crate Sportsman, the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman, the Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks in a Best of 8 Series event presented by American Racer, the Trackside Body Works Street Stocks, and the Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modifieds (MVVDMS) are all in action!

Below are excerpts from Fonda Speedway Museum’s own Matt Noles, which appeared on the Fonda Speedway Museum & Hall of Fame Facebook page the past couple of weeks. Noles writing is Hall of Fame worthy in its own right so please enjoy his short stories on each of the 2019 Hall of Fame inductees.

DICK BENNETT & BERNIE MYRUSKY
The Fonda Speedway has been home to many of dirt racing’s most iconic drivers. At the same time, it has also been home to some of the most iconic cars of the day as well. Yet one color combination managed to have more staying power than most; the Bernie’s Liquor No. 71.

The #71 was owned by Bill King, who owned racecars at Fonda from 1955-1984 under the King Family racing name according to Bill’s son, former Fonda Speedway announcer and 2015 Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame inductee Jim King who was and always will be known as “the voice” of Fonda Speedway. Bennett hung around the garage and worked on the racecar according to Jim while according to the Fonda book it was sponsored under the Bernie’s Liquor Store name.

The #71 car became famous in its own rite with drivers like Jim Luke, Ken Jones, Lee Millington, Lou Lazzaro, Don Wayman, Jack Farquhar, Robbie Kotary, Don Wayman, Irv Taylor, Ken Shoemaker, Jack Johnson, Lew Boyd, and others finding themselves behind the wheel of this historic machine. Many of them went on to become Hall of Fame drivers in their own time.

DANNY ODY
When the street-stock division – now known as the pro-stock division – came into existence in 1981, nobody knew how impactful it would be almost 40-years later. Some of the best drivers to race at the Fonda Speedway have come from the full-fendered class that some fans saw as a one-off, one-season wonder. Drivers with names like Towns, Hoffman, Achzet, Arell, Ballard, Hart, Martin, Noviczski, and Gates became household entities.

Yet there was one that came before them all, Danny Ody. Danny Ody – or known simply as Danny O – became a pioneer in his own way during that fateful ’81 season. With three-career victories to his name in the division, the driver of the No. 1 drove to the first-ever street-stock/pro-stock track championship in the history of the “Track of Champions”.

It wasn’t just his racing career that left an important mark – though with his career victory tally surpassing the century mark in countless types of cars and at countless different venues certainly helped – it was also his work through the New York State Stock Car Association and his own love of racing through Old Speedways that solidified his well-known love affair with motorsports.

Sadly, the local racing scene was blindsided with the devastating news in January 2014, when his untimely passing was made known. Little did we comprehend the void, which was to be left behind in the wake of his loss and over five-years on, that void is still there. From street-stocks to mini-sprints, from IMCA modifieds to vintage modifieds, Danny Ody raced them all and he raced them well. Quick with a smile and determined to make you laugh, Danny O was quite simply an ordinary man that managed to do extraordinary things.

RANDY GLENSKI
The Utica, New York region has long been a hotbed for dirt racing talent and for good reason; Lou Lazzaro. The ‘Incomparable One’ did more than win races throughout his storied career; he also influenced many young men to follow in his footsteps. One has to look no further than the list of winners from the region. The names and faces stand out like neon signs on a moonless night. Names like Richie Evans, Tommy Wilson, Ben Novak and last but not least by any means, Randy Glenski.

Though the kid with the All-American looks knocked out two quick modified feature victories in his sophomore season in 1983 and another in 1992 – along with a runner-up finish at the Mile in Syracuse that October – Glenski’s powerhouse 1981 season behind the wheel of his legendary No. 17 late-model solidified his stature as one of Fonda’s greats.

Garnering the late-model title in 1981 – which vaulted him into the realm of the modified division in 1982 – and 16 overall victories in the division – placing him fifth on all the all-time win-list – the name Randy Glenski became synonymous with the “Track of Champions.” To those that call Fonda Speedway their home, his name still – undoubtedly – very much is.

CHET HAMES
The term pioneer is often overused to the point of nausea. Yet few words are apt for his description. Chet Hames was Fonda’s first starter throughout what became known as the “Glory Years” and the colorful Saratoga resident – for all intents and purposes – developed the mantra that all flaggers have emulated since; be a part of the show but don’t be the show.

Starting the races from his perch in the center of the front stretch, Hames fit in as a daredevil amongst the legion of barnstormers that were the early years of dirt racing at the famed Fonda oval. With his silk flags flying, full-bodied coupe missiles that were ill handling at best would pass by within what seemed to be fractions of an inch every Saturday night.

The dust infused ballet that should have resulted in the untimely demise of Hames did nothing short of inspire a young generation of race fans to become flaggers themselves; or at least dream of being so someday. In short, it was awe inspiring, entertaining, pioneering and above all else, legendary.

JOHN GRADY
The history of Fonda Speedway is rich and deep leaving many to comprehend the mystique behind the “old girl”. Yet as important as the stories are, they would be merely words on a page if not for the thousands upon thousands of iconic images that accompany them. Like a venerable story unto themselves, the photos that have been captured since day one up to the present catalog what the “Track of Champions” truly is.

Since the inception of motorsports photography at the Montgomery County oval, many men – and women for that matter – have captured the moments, the emotion, and at times, the agony of competition at the half-mile facility. It’s a work of art that was started by the late Russ Bergh that continues to this day. Among those that have dubbed themselves as photographers, one man stands out seemingly more than most. With the eye of an artist, our next inductee was always in the right place at the right time to capture the history through his viewfinder.

For longer than many of us have even been on this earth let alone in attendance on Saturday nights, John Grady was there capturing the most memorable moments. When the NASCAR Grand National cars returned to Fonda in 1966, Grady was there to capture the action. When there were still snowbanks lining the infield at the opener in 2001, Grady was once again there.

While some will never be more than picture-takers, Grady was a photographer to the very core. He documented decades of history in a way that few before – or since for that matter – were able to accomplish. In short, he has become as iconic as the photos he’s taken though he would have been the last one to admit such a thing. After all, a good photographer places the subject matter in the foreground while he or she remains out of sight in the background. That’s what John Grady attempted to accomplish every single solitary moment at the speedway.

DAVE CAMARA
It’s often amusing – for lack of a better term – how often history seems to repeat itself. When Jack Johnson, a man who really needs no introduction, began his racing career, he was given a helping hand by his friend and mentor Harry Peek. The latter went on to become a four-time track champion at Fonda and – as the founder of the coveted “Peek charge” – he would also go on to become a Hall of Fame member.

Fast forward a few decades. When Dave Camara, a man who really needs no introduction, began his racing career, he was given a helping hand by his friend and mentor Jack Johnson. The latter went on to become an 11-time track champion at Fonda and he would also go on to become a Hall of Fame member. As was stated, history does tend to repeat itself.

Dave Camara didn’t sit behind the wheel of a modified until 1990. What’s more, he never sat behind the wheel of anything else. With an Olsen chassis put together by his teacher, Camara immediately showed what he was capable of. Fans and competitors alike took notice of the Camara Slate No. 26.

By the mid-90s, the Vermont native was calling Fonda Speedway home on Saturday nights and it didn’t take him long to cement his place in the history books – he went to victory lane for the first time in 1995 – and by 1998, he beat out fellow competitor Mike Romano for his first-career title at the “Track of Champions.”

If there were any detractors stating that his triumph was a fluke, he backed up his performance the following year with another title in 1999. His critics were silenced in short order. Though he retired from racing with little to no fanfare at all – which it can be assumed was his preferable way of making his exit – the imprint he left behind is still very much felt by those who watched his rise from obscurity to dirt modified prominence. In fact, on the not so rare occasion, his name is still mentioned with the wonder and hope that his return is imminent. On Saturday, July 20, it is for at least one more time.

JACK COTTRELL
Saratoga County has long been known for producing winning racecar drivers and our next inductee is no exception. Rock City Falls, New York is merely a dot on the map. In fact, if one were to attempt driving a scant two miles-per-hour over the speed limit, one would simply miss it. Aside from a paper plant, there really isn’t much to see aside from trees and the occasional stop sign.

Yet from this venerable speedbump arose one of Fonda’s greatest talents in the late model division and one of the more consistent drivers of his era in the modified division as well. He is none other than the “Rock City Falls Rocket”, Jack Cottrell. From the outset of his career – one that would inevitably land him in the Hall of Fame – Cottrell was a special talent. With a simply adorned No. 8 that would become his trademark until his retirement in 2004, Cottrell battled with some of the best that Fonda’s first full-fendered division had to offer.

What’s more is he bested them all on numerous occasions. With 11-career victories to his name – landing him seventh on the all-time win list – Jack Cottrell brought all of his talents to the forefront in 1979, garnering his first track championship at the hallowed fairgrounds oval. It was only logical that he would move on to the modified division and for the Fonda faithful, it was a move well made. Heading to victory lane in September of 1981, Cottrell proved that he belonged with the stars of the top division. By 1988, he even surpassed a few of them.
Actually, he surpassed all of them.

When D.I.R.T (Drivers Independent Race Tracks) decided to head north of the border and take a swing at putting dirt modifieds back on the asphalt, Jack Cottrell answered the call. Loudly. Emphatically. Victoriously. He bested all of the top names of the day leaving Fonda fans with an immense sense of pride that one of their own went on the road and brought home the trophy. It’s a story that’s still told with pride by those that are in the know. For some, it’s a story that still brings chills and smiles in equal measure.

With his final victory coming at the “Track of Champions” in April of 1999, Cottrell left one more fond memory behind as he claimed the 358 Modified title that season. Retiring a scant five-years later, the memories of his exploits both at Fonda and elsewhere have left a long-lasting imprint in the minds of many. It’s amazing what a man from a dot on a map can accomplish.

DOREEN MARCUCIO
Speedways are full of unsung heroes. Officials, track maintenance personnel, ticket booth workers and so on show up every week – sometimes for decades – and perform their jobs with little or no recognition; no fanfare to speak of. Nearly every job performed at the racetrack goes unnoticed. It seems to be a thankless occupation.

Yet every now and then you run across an individual from the aforementioned list that has not only put in an incredible amount of time and dedication into their work, they’ve done so with such devotion that they can’t help but stand out from blurred background of behind the scenes activity. In this case, her name is Doreen Marcucio.

Since 1969 – that’s quite literally five decades – Doreen has showed up to work the various concession stands around the Fonda Speedway. Week after week and season after season, she’s been there faithfully taking care of both the passionate patrons and the drivers they watch. One can say it’s nothing short of a love affair.

She did take a few years off after the arrival of her sons. Still, for 46 out of 50-years she’s been signing-in weekly. It’s not perfect attendance but it’s damn near close enough. Though she will be the last to admit it – and the last to have expected any recognition at all – Doreen has successfully and thoroughly weaved herself into the colorful tapestry that is the “Track of Champions”. In her own way, she’s as much a part of its storied history as the members already in the Hall of Fame. Now it’s her turn to take her place amongst them.

The 4TH Annual Bruce Dostal Dedication to the Fonda Speedway Museum Awards will also be presented to Laurie Fallis, Peter Lazzaro, and Bobco Videos!

Race Day Information:
Gates Open: 5:00 p.m.
Hot Laps: 6:30 p.m.
Racing 7:30 p.m.
Ticket Pricing:
Adults: $11.00
Seniors: (65 & Above) $9.00
Kids 11 & Under: FREE
Pit Entry W/Fonda Speedway License: $30.00
Pit Entry W/O License: $35.00
Parking in Speedway Lot: FREE
Concession Stands & Beer Booth Open
Fonda Speedway Novelty Stand: Brand new Fonda Speedway available for purchase.
Speedway Office Phone: 518-915-4395
Speedway Address: 21 South Bridge Street, Fonda, NY 12068
Speedway E-Mail: fondaspdwy@gmail.com
Speedway Website: www.thefondaspeedway.com
Speedway Twitter: @thefondaspdwy
Speedway Facebook: www.facebook.com/thefondaspdwy

Since 1953, the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway has hosted the best in stock car racing. Now under the management of BD Motorsports Media LLC, the speedway will operate weekly on Saturday nights from April through August plus several special events. Fonda Speedway is located on the Montgomery County Fairgrounds off New York State Thruway Exit No. 28 at 21 S. Bridge Street Fonda, NY 12068.

Fonda Speedway is on the web at www.thefondaspeedway.com. To learn more, call the office at 518.915.4395, like Fonda Speedway on Facebook www.facebook.com/thefondaspdwy or follow on Twitter: @thefondaspdwy.

 

MARESCA AND DANNY VARIN SHARE TWIN 20 MODIFIED WINS AT FONDA

By: Ron Szczerba

Fonda, NY – What does a chicken BBQ, a huge raffle with many priceless items up for grabs, Banner Night, and great racing action with a complete racing program completed in just three hours all have in common? They were all events that happened at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway on Saturday evening as Corr/Pak Merchandising and One Zee Tees presented a special night at the track called “Autism Awareness”.

Total amount raised for the event to benefit the Crossroads Center for Children in Rotterdam, NY was over $15,500! Fonda Speedway management made a generous donation of half of the 50/50 prize money which totaled $2712 and was part of the final total as well. Great job by all involved in the event including Ivan Joslin and his racing team who had their Autism Awareness paint scheme on their #49 Pro Stock, Stewart and Jessica Friesen who had a big part in the event as well as their son Parker attends the Crossroads Center for Children, and all volunteers who donated their time to the event as well.

Under the weather but still doing an amazing job with the National Anthem during opening ceremonies was Fonda Speedway’s own Mimi Lazzaro with feature winners on Saturday evening at Fonda consisting of Michael Maresca and Danny Varin (Sunoco Modified Twin 20’s $1,500 to win each), defending track champion Chad Edwards (Swagger Factory Apparel 602 Crate Sportsman $1,000 to win thanks to Eric Orozco Racing), Brett Mortensen (Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman), Nick Stone (Algonkin Motel Pro Stock Best of 8 Series presented by American Racer Tire), Jason Samrov (Trackside Body Works Street Stocks), and Ken Hollenbeck (Four Cylinder Cruisers).

The New York State Stock Car Association (NYSSCA) also held their Safety Awards Night for the Four Cylinder Cruisers with Hollenbeck collecting a $75 bonus along with a NYSSCA hat and yearbook while Cole Lawton took home the second place prize from the organization of $25, a NYSSCA hat, and yearbook.

Korey Wilder and Michael Maresca started Sunoco Modified Twin 20 feature #1 on the front row with Maresca taking the lead at the drop of Joe Kriss’ green flag. After starting in the fourth position, Dave Constantino got by Wilder for the second position on lap two with sixth place starter Josh Hohenforst also getting by Wilder for the third position at that point.

Danny Varin started the event in the 10th position and was making his way to the front on lap four, trying a move down the middle of two cars coming out of turn two. The move backfired however when the car on the bottom slid up slightly rubbing tires with Varin who then got into Wilder with both cars spinning on the backstretch. Point leader Rocky Warner and Stewart Friesen were also involved but all four cars were able to pit and rejoin the race at the rear of the field.

On the restart, Friesen got by six cars within a lap but it was called a no start situation so he had to try it all over again one more time. Maresca chose the outside lane on the restart and powered away at the drop of the green flag with Friesen sitting in the fourth position on lap 14 after getting by Bobby Varin. Hohenforst got a bad restart and lost three positions back to sixth in the process with the yellow out again on lap 15 for Wilder who was in the turn two wall.

The restart was single file this time with Maresca continuing to lead while Stewart Friesen got by his wife Jessica on lap 16 for the third position. The top three of Maresca, Constantino, and Stewart Friesen were nose to tail with only two laps to go but at the checkered flag it was Maresca the winner followed by Stewart Friesen who got by Costantino coming out of turn four on the final lap, Jessica Friesen, and Bobby Varin.

The win for Maresca was his first of the 2019 season and the second of his career at Fonda in the St. Lawrence Radiology #7mm Teo car with his first win coming back on August 19, 2017.

“It’s been awhile but it’s pretty cool to win here at Fonda in front of this crowd,” Maresca said in the Fuccillo Automotive Mike Cole Memorial victory lane. “We were tinkering with little things on the car in the Firecracker 50 race here a week ago Wednesday and we found something that worked.”

An invert of eight positions for the second Sunoco Modified Twin 20 event saw Danny Varin and David Schilling on the front row with Varin the early race leader. Bobby Varin started the event in the fourth position and got by both Schilling and Craig Hanson for the second spot with an early caution flag out on lap three.

Schilling and Hanson were waging a tremendous battle for the third position after the restart with Stewart Friesen moving up to join in on the race for the third position on lap 10 after starting seventh. Danny Varin held a straightaway advantage on lap 13 and was in lap traffic while Schilling’s great run came to an end on the next lap as he slowed and drove to the pits while running in the top five.

Friesen moved into the second position with five laps to go but when Danny Varin put four lap cars between himself and Friesen with only three laps to go it sealed the win for him in the T-Rex Express #93 over Friesen, Bobby Varin, Hanson, and Rocky Warner.

For Danny Varin it was his second win of the 2019 season after also winning Twin 20 #2 back on 6/8 and the ninth of his career in the division at Fonda.

“I think Brett Deyo needs to do these Twin 20’s more often,” Varin said in victory lane. “This season has seen a lot of hits and misses and it has been a rocky road for this team but thanks to Ed Munger and Dave Cruickshank who support me 100%.”

The 25-lap Swagger Factory Apparel 602 Crate Sportsman feature got off to a rocky start when Josh DeMagistris came out of turn four sideways collecting the car of Nick Scavia who was behind him at the time. Scavia was done for the evening while DeMagistris continued on and took the lead at the second try to start the event.

Sixth place starter JaMike Sowle was a man on the move at the start, using the outside line on the track to get by both Andrew Buff and Tim Dwyer for the second position by lap nine. On the outside of the backstretch, Sowle took the lead away from DeMagistris with the yellow flag out on lap 13 for a car that was stopped on the infield.

The single file restart saw Sowle continue to lead the event with a new driver coming into play at that point, eighth place starter and defending track champion Chad Edwards. Edwards got by DeMagistris for the second position on lap 16 and was right on the leaders back bumper with five laps to go. Edwards got by Sowle on the inside of the backstretch on lap 21 and went on to his first win of the 2019 season and the seventh of his career in the division in the Tom Spencer owned #37.

Sowle, DeMagistris, Dwyer, and ninth place starter Brian Calabrese completed the top five in the event.

“It’s good to be back here in victory lane at Fonda,” Edwards told Mimi Lazzaro in victory lane. “I got up to second and then I had to pick and choose to try to find a line to catch the leader. It’s been a tough year, we went back to our old car tonight, the one we won the championship with last year.”

The 20-lap Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman feature started with Bill Port and Brett Mortensen on the front row with Mortensen taking the early race lead. Mortensen built up a straightway advantage by lap five as seventh place starter EJ McAuliffe was making his move to the front, getting by John Young first and then Port for the second position on lap eight.

Mortensen held a straightaway plus lead of 5.535 seconds at the halfway point with McAuliffe, Port, Young, and Steve Wagoner completing the top five. McAuliffe was closing the gap lap after lap but when Mortensen cleared lap traffic safely during the final two laps it sealed the win for him, his second win of the season in the Simmons Machine/Hometown Pub & Grub, Jumpin’ Jack’s Drive-In of Scotia #1B Teo car.

McAuliffe finished in the second position followed by 11th place starter Rich Christman, Wagoner, and sixth place starter Michael McCallion.

“The car felt good tonight,” Mortensen said in victory lane. “It was tough because I didn’t know where anybody was behind me.”

The 20-lap Algonkin Motel Pro Stock feature started with Jim Normoyle leading from his pole position start. Nick Stone started the event in the fourth position and on lap two he got by Andy Graves for the second spot. On the outside of the front stretch at the finish line to complete lap four, Stone took the lead away from Normoyle with 12th place starter Luke Horning now in the top five.

Horning got by Normoyle for the second position on lap eight but at that point in the race Stone was a full straightaway ahead. By lap 12 the top four had pulled away from the rest of the field with Horning closing in on Stone lap after lap. Horning made one last ditch effort coming out of turn four on the final lap as he ducked inside the leader but he wasn’t close enough as Stone went on to his first win of the season and the 43rd of his career in the division in the Meltz Lumber #27.

Horning, seventh place starter Kenny Gates, Normoyle, and Justin Knight completed the top five in the event.

“We have been playing with things on the car that we aren’t very familiar with,” Stone said in victory lane. “And I think that we finally have it figured out. I help everyone I can when I can, said the builder of Pro Stock cars that makes it that much better when we win.”

Cliff Haslun led the first five laps in the Trackside Body Works Street Stock feature event until Jason Samrov got by for the lead on a lap six restart. Samrov survived multiple caution flags and a challenge from Dave Horning Sr. to take his third win of the season and the 11th of his career in the division over Horning Sr., Michael Arnold, Haslun, and Al Relyea.

Ken Hollenbeck led all 12-laps of the Four Cylinder Cruiser feature event for his fourth win of the season and the 46th of his career in the division over Cole Lawton, PJ Bleau, John Napoli, and TJ Marlitt.

Next Saturday, July 20 the recovery Sports Grill & BBL Companies will present Hall of fame Night with all divisions in action except for the Four Cylinder Cruisers. Starting time will be 7:00 p.m.

Since 1953, the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway has hosted the best in stock car racing. Now under the management of BD Motorsports Media LLC, the speedway will operate weekly on Saturday nights from April through August plus several special events. Fonda Speedway is located on the Montgomery County Fairgrounds off New York State Thruway Exit No. 28 at 21 S. Bridge Street Fonda, NY 12068.

Fonda Speedway is on the web at www.thefondaspeedway.com. To learn more, call the office at 518.915.4395, like Fonda Speedway on Facebook www.facebook.com/thefondaspdwy or follow on Twitter: @thefondaspdwy.

SUNOCO MODIFIED TWIN 20 FEATURE #1 FINISH – $1,500 TO WIN – 20-LAPS – MICHAEL MARESCA, Stewart Friesen, Dave Constantino, Jessica Friesen, Bobby Varin, Craig Hanson, David Schilling, Danny Varin, Rocky Warner, Josh Hohenforst, Pep Corradi, Brian Pessolano, Steve Akers, Vinny Sanganetti, Ed Harris, Korey Wilder, Cody Bleau, Brian Gleason

SUNOCO MODIFIED TWIN 20 FEATURE #2 FINISH – $1,500 TO WIN – 20-LAPS – DANNY VARIN, Stewart Friesen, Bobby Varin, Craig Hanson, Rocky Warner, Michael Maresca, Brian Gleason, Jessica Friesen, Cody Bleau, Dave Constantino, Josh Hohenforst, Pep Corradi, Korey Wilder, Steve Akers, Ed Harris, Brian Pessolano, David Schilling, Vinny Sanganetti, Scott Huber (DNS)

HEAT RACE WINNERS: Josh Hohenforst, Michael Maresca

SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH – $1,000 TO WIN THANKS TO ERIC OROZCO RACING – 25-LAPS – CHAD EDWARDS, JaMike Sowle, Josh DeMagistris, Tim Dwyer, Brian Calabrese, Tim Hartman Jr., Andrew Buff, Adam McAuliffe, Aaron Burton, Jason Greco, Harry Shaffer, Mark Mortensen, Travis Green, Jeremiah Munson, Joe Orlando, Tony Farone, Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, Thomas VanVorst, Brendan Gibbons, Kathy Bellen, Jason Reome, Cody Clark, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Griffen Mansmith, Dan Santabarbara, Brian Borst, Nick Scavia, Joe Williams

HEAT RACE WINNERS: Brian Calabrese, Andrew Buff, Chad Edwards

MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH – 20-LAPS – BRETT MORTENSEN, EJ McAuliffe, Rich Christman, Steve Wagoner, Michael McCallion, John Young, Alan Hanson, Bill Port, Dana Camenga, Taylor LaPlante, Jack Hamm, Dylan Eldred (DNS)

ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH BEST OF 8 SERIES PRESENTED BY AMERICAN RACER – $800 TO WIN – 20-LAPS – NICK STONE, Luke Horning, Kenny Gates, Jim Normoyle, Justin Knight, Chuck Dumblewski, Josh Coonradt, Andy Graves, Jason Morrison, Ivan Joslin, Devon Camenga, Bill Knapp, John Roese, Cassidy Wilson, Beau Ballard, Jeff McPhail, Randy Cosselman, Jamie Warner, Alicia Hughes, David Emigh, Reuben Kennedy Jr.

HEAT RACE WINNERS: Jim Normoyle, Nick Stone, Luke Horning

TRACKSIDE BODY WORKS STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH – 15-LAPS – JASON SAMROV, Dave Horning Sr., Michael Arnold, Cliff Haslun, Al Relyea, Josh Samrov, Stephen Young, Zach Sorrentino

FOUR CYLINDER CRUISER FEATURE – 12-LAPS – KEN HOLLENBECK, Cole Lawton, PJ Bleau, John Napoli, TJ Marlitt

AUTISM AWARENESS/BANNER NIGHT AT THE FONDA SPEEDWAY PRESENTED BY CORR/PAK MERCHANDISING & ONE ZEE TEE’S QUICK RESULTS 7/13/2019

SUNOCO MODIFIED TWIN 20 FEATURE #1 FINISH – $1,500 TO WIN – 20-LAPS – MICHAEL MARESCA, Stewart Friesen, Dave Constantino, Jessica Friesen, Bobby Varin, Craig Hanson, David Schilling, Danny Varin, Rocky Warner, Josh Hohenforst, Pep Corradi, Brian Pessolano, Steve Akers, Vinny Sanganetti, Ed Harris, Korey Wilder, Cody Bleau, Brian Gleason

SUNOCO MODIFIED TWIN 20 FEATURE #2 FINISH – $1,500 TO WIN – 20-LAPS – DANNY VARIN, Stewart Friesen, Bobby Varin, Craig Hanson, Rocky Warner, Michael Maresca, Brian Gleason, Jessica Friesen, Cody Bleau, Dave Constantino, Josh Hohenforst, Pep Corradi, Korey Wilder, Steve Akers, Ed Harris, Brian Pessolano, David Schilling, Vinny Sanganetti, Scott Huber (DNS)

HEAT RACE WINNERS: Josh Hohenforst, Michael Maresca

SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH – $1,000 TO WIN THANKS TO ERIC OROZCO RACING – 25-LAPS – CHAD EDWARDS, JaMike Sowle, Josh DeMagistris, Tim Dwyer, Brian Calabrese, Tim Hartman Jr., Andrew Buff, Adam McAuliffe, Aaron Burton, Jason Greco, Harry Shaffer, Mark Mortensen, Travis Green, Jeremiah Munson, Joe Orlando, Tony Farone, Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, Thomas VanVorst, Brendan Gibbons, Kathy Bellen, Jason Reome, Cody Clark, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Griffen Mansmith, Dan Santabarbara, Brian Borst, Nick Scavia, Joe Williams

HEAT RACE WINNERS: Brian Calabrese, Andrew Buff, Chad Edwards

MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH – 20-LAPS – BRETT MORTENSEN, EJ McAuliffe, Rich Christman, Steve Wagoner, Michael McCallion, John Young, Alan Hanson, Bill Port, Dana Camenga, Taylor LaPlante, Jack Hamm, Dylan Eldred (DNS)

ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH BEST OF 8 SERIES PRESENTED BY AMERICAN RACER – $800 TO WIN – 20-LAPS – NICK STONE, Luke Horning, Kenny Gates, Jim Normoyle, Justin Knight, Chuck Dumblewski, Josh Coonradt, Andy Graves, Jason Morrison, Ivan Joslin, Devon Camenga, Bill Knapp, John Roese, Cassidy Wilson, Beau Ballard, Jeff McPhail, Randy Cosselman, Jamie Warner, Alicia Hughes, David Emigh, Reuben Kennedy Jr.

HEAT RACE WINNERS: Jim Normoyle, Nick Stone, Luke Horning

TRACKSIDE BODY WORKS STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH – 15-LAPS – JASON SAMROV, Dave Horning Sr., Michael Arnold, Cliff Haslun, Al Relyea, Josh Samrov, Stephen Young, Zach Sorrentino

FOUR CYLINDER CRUISER FEATURE – 12-LAPS – KEN HOLLENBECK, Cole Lawton, PJ Bleau, John Napoli, TJ Marlitt

AUTISM AWARENESS NIGHT PRESENTED BY ONE ZEE TEE’S & CORR/PAK MERCHANDISING THIS SATURDAY, JULY 13 AT THE FONDA SPEEDWAY

By: Ron Szczerba

Fonda, NY – After a huge televised racing event on Wednesday, July 3 called the Firecracker 50 for the Sunoco Modifieds along with a Saturday evening off from racing for speedway management and staff to recover from the event, the historic half mile facility known to all as the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway will be back in action this Saturday, July 13 for Autism Awareness Night presented by One Zee Tees and Corr/Pak Merchandising.

It all starts with “’Tailgate for a Cause” at the Entertainment Building from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. with a Chicken BBQ. Tickets for the BBQ are available for purchase from either Ivan Joslin or Jessica Friesen for just $10! Joslin’s #49 Pro Stock car will be on display at the Chicken BBQ as well so stop by for some autographs and to check out the Autism Awareness themed racecar.

A Bounce House will be on site for early arriving families so the parents can enjoy their Chicken BBQ while the kids play! A tie-dye station will also be set up for the first 50 kids, 15 years of age and younger!

BUG Country will be live on location from 2-4 p.m. with a remote broadcast during the BBQ!

Once the track gates open, a huge raffle will take place under the grand stands at the Fonda Speedway Kid’s Club underneath the grandstand at Gate 2. There will be a number of prizes available including two Hot Pit passes for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series event at the Pocono Raceway, a Pellet Smoker, racecar door panels, gift certificates and much, much more!

So who wants a Friesen #1Z or #44-racecar panel? Confirmed by Jessica Friesen there will be three #44 blue panels, one #44 red panel, one #1Z door panel, and one #44 roof available for raffle prizes! Tickets for all of the raffle prizes that will be available will be $1.00 each with all proceeds of the raffle and Chicken BBQ benefitting the Crossroads Center for Children, which is attended by Stewart and Jessica Friesen’s young son Parker!

There are also blankets that were made by Kathleen Wood up for grabs as raffle prizes along with a specially made panel with the #49 Ivan Joslin, the #44 Stewart Friesen, and the #1Z of Jessica Friesen on it which will be signed by all three drivers. The panel was designed and created by Fonda Speedway track photographer Jeff Karabin and JK Motorsports Concepts and Sign Designs.

Fonda Speedway management will also donate the second half of the 50/50 to the Crossroads Center for children!

Also happening at the Fonda Speedway Kid’s Club on Saturday, July 13 will be Banner Night so kid’s design and put your artistic talents to good use to come up with a banner of your favorite driver or drivers!

And all of that is before the racing action even starts!

On the racing card will be the Sunoco Racing Modifieds who will compete in Twin 20 feature events paying $1,500 to win each, the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman in a $1,000 to win feature event thanks to Eric Orozco Racing, the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman, the Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks in a “Best of 8 Series” event presented by American Racer Tires, the Trackside Body Works Street Stocks, and the Four Cylinder Cruisers on a busy and full night of racing.

The New York State Stock Car Association (NYSSCA) will be presenting their Safety Awards to the Four Cylinder Cruiser division drivers on Saturday as well. Any drivers who are not yet members of the NYSSCA Organization can see Fonda Speedway track rep Bonnie Mortensen at the Sportsman car #1M trailer to become a member and be eligible for the monetary awards to be given out.

Race Day Information:
Gates Open: 4:00 p.m.
Hot Laps: 6:00 p.m.
Racing 7:00 p.m.

Ticket Pricing:
Adults: $13.00
Seniors: (65 & above) $11.00
Kids 11 & Under: FREE
Pit Entry W/Fonda Speedway License: $30.00
Pit Entry W/O License: $35.00
Parking in Speedway Lot: FREE

Concession Stands & Beer Booth Open

Fonda Speedway Novelty Stand: Brand new Fonda Speedway available for purchase.

Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame and Museum
Opens @ 3:30 pm
Admission to the Hall of Fame & Museum: FREE

Mark Mortensen, driver of the #1M Swagger factory Apparel 602 Crate Sportsman who was the feature winner back on Saturday, June 29, will be at the museum to sign autographs and meet with fans so please come over to see Mark and check out the wonderful Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame & Museum!

Please also check out the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame & Museum for other happenings this Saturday evening July 13.

Speedway Office Phone: 518-915-4395
Speedway Address: 21 South Bridge Street, Fonda, NY 12068
Speedway E-Mail: fondaspdwy@gmail.com
Speedway Website: www.thefondaspeedway.com
Speedway Twitter: @thefondaspdwy
Speedway Facebook: www.facebook.com/thefondaspdwy

FRIESEN SECURES $10,000 FIRECRACKER 50 VICTORY WITH FINAL TURN, LAST LAP PASS AT FONDA

By: Ron Szczerba

Fonda, NY – Special, a one word description for the Firecracker 50 racing event at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway on Wednesday, July 3. First time was a two word description of the event as there were many things that happened for the first time ever at the legendary speedway in its 68th season of championship racing.

For the first time ever the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) made an appearance in both the Modified and 602 Crate Sportsman divisions. Series announcer Jeff Ahlum did a great job keeping the huge crowd informed of what was happening on the track along with Fonda Speedway announcers Paul Szmal and Jay Severson.

Also for the first time MAV TV Motorsports taped the event with a release date of late August or early September for viewing.

Thirty eight Modifieds and 35 602 Crate Sportsman cars signed in for the evenings events at the speedway and when Joe Kriss’ final checkered flags flew for the evening, Stewart Friesen in the Halmar #44 DKM Cyclone car and Tim Hartman Jr. in the Mike Parillo #22 car stood in the Mike Cole Memorial Fuccillo Automotive Group victory lane celebrating their victories.

For Friesen it was his third victory of the 2019 season at Fonda, the 57th of his career at the track in the Modified division, and the ninth time during his career that he has won an event at the “Track of Champions” at a distance of 50-laps or more.

For Hartman Jr. it was his fourth win of the season and the eighth of his career in the 602 Crate Sportsman division at Fonda.

Both Friesen and Hartman Jr. are currently the point leaders in the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) in their respective divisions.

The 50/50 was won by Kevin Golas of Selkirk, NY and was worth $3985!

Opening ceremonies for the event were “special” in their own right as two restored military jeeps from Gibbons Military Motors stood on victory lane with the American Flag attached the back of the vehicles.

One of the jeeps according to Gibbons was a 1945 Willys MB, nicknamed “Lil’ Buddy”, which saw service with the US Army in WWII. This jeep was restored by Brendan and Richard Gibbons (WWII veteran) in 2010.

The other jeep was a 1942 Willys MB, nicknamed “Dolly.”, which saw service with the United States Marine Corps and US Army during WWII along with postwar service with the US Airforce in Europe. This Jeep was restored in 2011 by Brendan and Richard Gibbons.

The jeeps were piloted by Taylor LaPlante and Alex Comins.

Ed Biittig Sr. did his usual wonderful job with the invocation saying “Racing is it for me as many of you know and I’ve been praying for a long time to see this type of crowd again at Fonda. This year with the efforts of Brett & Heather Deyo and their wonderful staff, Fonda Speedway is back and now I pray that its success continues.”

Mimi Lazzaro did a great job singing the Canadian National Anthem while Captain Eric Chan of the 109th Air Lift Wing of the New York National Guard did a great job with the National Anthem while Lori Scanlon signed the National Anthem.

While the Anthems were being sung, two horses were coming down the front stretch with Kaitlyn Scott riding Keote and Adrienne Bell riding Jack.

The starting grid was brought down the front stretch and stopped while Short Track Super Series (STSS) announcer Jeff Ahlum ran down the starting field. The family of Mike Cole, which included Nancy Cole, Jean Cole, Tony Cole, Lucas Cole, Julie Ruszkowski, Mackenzie Ruszkowski, Garrett Johnson, and Phil Beaver then gave the command “Gentleman Start Your Engines”.

The Fuccillo Automotive Group pace truck with the Cole family riding in the bed of the truck, then led a four wide parade lap around the speedway while Joe Kriss’ waved both the American and checkered flags.

The entire pre-race ceremony was enough to give you goosebumps, great job by the Deyo family and the staff at the speedway along with John Lakata and anyone else who may have been involved in it.

By the luck of the draw, Rocky Warner and Jessica Friesen started the Firecracker 50 event on the front row with Friesen taking the race lead at the drop of the green flag. Jessica’s husband Stewart Friesen wasn’t wasting any time getting up through the field from his eighth place starting position, getting by two cars up to the sixth spot by lap two.

Stewart then got by Erick Rudolph and Allison Ricci for the fourth position on lap five with the yellow flag coming out at that point for Larry Wight who slowed in between turns three and four. Wight would pit and rejoin the field at the rear on the restart.

Jessica Friesen choose the outside lane for the restart and maintained her lead position while Stewart Friesen got by Brett Hearn for the third position followed by seventh place starter Matt Sheppard and fifth place starter Rudolph who were also able to get by Hearn for positions in the top five at that point.

Lap 11 saw Jessica Friesen in lap traffic while Stewart Friesen and Sheppard were able to get by Warner for the second and third positions. Stewart Friesen was right behind his wife racing for the lead on lap 17 and was able to get by for the point on that same lap on the inside of turn three. At the halfway point in the event the top five consisted of Stewart Friesen, Jessica Friesen, Sheppard, Rudolph, and Warner.

Stewart Friesen was a full straightaway ahead of his wife Jessica who was still in the second position but that all changed on lap 31 when Jessica stopped her car on the backstretch and while under caution Stewart suffered a flat right rear tire handing the lead over to Sheppard. Stewart Friesen would pit to change the tire and restart at the tail end of the lead lap cars while Jessica’s great run came to an end while running second.

Rudolph took the lead away from Sheppard on the restart while Friesen went down the middle of both Larry Wight and Hearn for the eighth position. The yellow flag was out on lap 37 with the top five on the restart consisting of Rudolph, Sheppard, 11th place starter Anthony Perrego, Warner, and sixth place starter Mike Gular. On this restart, Sheppard took over the race lead while Friesen got by Gular, Warner, and Perrego on the outside for the third spot.

When Friesen took the second position away from Rudolph on lap 41, Sheppard held a straightaway advantage but the race was far from over. Gular’s great run came to an end on lap 44 when he drove to the infield on the backstretch with no caution being thrown as Friesen closed in on Sheppard.

Sheppard used the lap car of Cody Bleau as a pick in turn one with only two laps to go but Friesen was able to get by as well setting up a dash to the finish. On the final lap, Friesen had momentum on his side as he went to the outside of Sheppard in turns three and four. Coming out of turn four, the two were side by side in a drag race to the checkered flag with Friesen winning the event at the line by 0.120 seconds!

Friesen exited his car on victory lane and stood on the roof in celebration after the win with a red, white, and blue wreath around his neck. Jessica Friesen also had her car pushed to victory lane as it carried an In Memory of Mike Cole logo on the back of it.

“Thanks to all these great race fans for packing this place,” Friesen said in victory lane. “That late race caution was key for me. We rolled the dice and put on a softer compound tire when we pitted for the flat tire. Matt (Sheppard) was good down the middle and I just tried to keep the tires under me until the last lap when I went for it on the outside.”

“This is so special,” Friesen continued on to say. “This one is for Mike Cole, I’m gonna have a beer for him tonight.”

The victory for Friesen was worth $10,000 along with a specially designed trophy by John Lakata.

The luck of the draw also set the starting positions for the 25-lap Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) 602 Crate Sportsman feature with Adam McAuliffe and Cody Clark making up the front row for the start. McAuliffe led at the drop of the green flag while third place starter Tim Hartman Jr. took the second position away from Clark on lap three.

The first yellow flag of the event fell on lap four and on the restart Hartman Jr. was the new race leader. Chad Edwards was on the move at that point, taking the third position away after starting back in sixth. As Hartman Jr. pulled away from the field with McAuliffe in second, fourth place starter Brian Calabrese took away the third position from Edwards on lap nine with the caution out on the next lap for two cars that were hooked together in turn four.

At the halfway point in the event the top five consisted of Hartman Jr., Calabrese, McAuliffe, Edwards, and ninth place starter Mark Mortensen. Despite lap traffic with five laps to go, Hartman Jr. went on for the win followed by Calabrese, McAuliffe, Edwards, and Mortensen.

“I knew that it was going to be a tough race,” Hartman Jr. said in victory lane. “We made the right adjustments before the feature, putting more gear in the car to help us on restarts, and we were able to hit lap traffic just right to get the win.”

There will be no racing at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway on Saturday, July 6 with the next event on the schedule being held on Saturday, July 13 when Corr-Pak Merchandising & One Zee Tee’s presents Autism Awareness and Banner Night.

On the racing card will be Twin 20’s for the Sunoco Modifieds paying $1,500 to win each one, the Swagger Factory Apparel 602 Crate Sportsman paying $1,000 to win thanks to Eric Orozco Racing, the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman, the Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks in a Best of 8 Series event presented by American racer paying $800 to win, the Trackside Body Works Street Stocks, and the Four Cylinder Cruisers with a starting time of 7:00 p.m.

Since 1953, the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway has hosted the best in stock car racing. Now under the management of BD Motorsports Media LLC, the speedway will operate weekly on Saturday nights from April through August plus several special events. Fonda Speedway is located on the Montgomery County Fairgrounds off New York State Thruway Exit No. 28 at 21 S. Bridge Street Fonda, NY 12068.

Fonda Speedway is on the web at www.thefondaspeedway.com. To learn more, call the office at 518.915.4395, like Fonda Speedway on Facebook www.facebook.com/thefondaspdwy or follow on Twitter: @thefondaspdwy.

$10,000 TO WIN BOB HILBERT SPORTSWEAR SHORT TRACK SUPER SERIES (STSS) FUELED BY SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH – 50-LAPS – STEWART FRIESEN, Matt Sheppard, Erick Rudolph, Anthony Perrego, Rocky Warner, Andy Bachetti, Larry Wight, Brett Hearn, Mat Williamson, Craig Hanson, Michael Maresca, Billy Decker, Bobby Varin, David Schilling, Mike Mahaney, Matt DeLorenzo, Allison Ricci, Billy VanPelt, Cody Bleau, Steve Akers, Danny Creeden, Mike Gular, Jessica Friesen, Jeremy Smith, Corey Cormier, Billy Pauch Jr., JR Hurlburt, Alan Barker, Dave Constantino

HEAT RACE WINNERS: Mike Gular, Erick Rudolph, Anthony Perrego, Stewart Friesen

CONSOLATION WINNER – Larry Wight

DID NOT QUALIFY – Tim Hartman Jr., Vinnie Sanganetti, Brian Gleason, Jimmy Horton, Josh Hohenforst, Scott Huber, Roger Henion Jr., Danny Varin

$2,000 TO WIN BOB HILBERT SPORTSWEAR SHORT TRACK SUPER SERIES (STSS) CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH – 25-LAPS – TIM HARTMAN JR., Brian Calabrese, Adam McAuliffe, Chad Edwards, Mark Mortensen, Tim Dwyer, Jimmy Johnson, JaMike Sowle, Aaron Burton, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Dan Santabarbara, Cody Clark, Travis Green, Blaine Klinger, Harry Shaffer, Jim Housworth, Joe Orlando, Dustin Jordan, Brendan Gibbons, Jonathan Swift, Brett Mortensen, Joe Williams, Andrew Buff, Bobby Flood, Nick Scavia, Brian Borst, Jeremy Tuttle, Matt Shultz, Tommy Collins

HEAT RACE WINNERS: Nick Scavia, Travis Green, JaMike Sowle, Brian Calabrese

CONSOLATION WINNER – Brian Borst

DID NOT QUALIFY – Tom Princiotta, Jeff Holt, Griffen Mansmith, Jonathan Swift, Daniel Morgiewicz, Dustin Jordan, Will Eastman, Tony Farone

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