By: Ron Szczerba
Fonda, NY – People were invited to come to the Fonda Speedway to dine at Denise’s Concessions on Saturday evening and quite a few people did just that and along with the drive in on the infield it was a great night of racing at the “Track of Champions”.
When the final checkered flag flew on Kelly’s Meat Market Night the winners in all divisions included Stewart Friesen (Sunoco Modifieds), Joe Williams (Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman), Brett Mortensen (Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman), Josh Coonradt (Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks), Al Relyea (Robert’s Towing & Recovery Street Stocks), Ken Hollenbeck (SOHC Four Cylinder Cruisers), and David Frame (DOHC Four Cylinder Cruisers) who all visited the Fuccillo Automotive Group Mike Cole Memorial victory lane.
The 50-50 for the evening was worth $1,761 and was won by Mike Glock of Scotia, NY.
Mimi Lazzaro did a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem before all the action started on Father’s Day weekend 2020.
The 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature began with Modified Rookie Adam McAuliffe and Danny Varin on the front row with Varin taking the lead at the drop of Joe Kriss’ green flag. Varin held the advantage through two caution flags before sixth place starter Michael Maresca took over the lead on the backstretch on lap five.
The caution flag flew again shortly afterwards and, on the restart, 10th place starter Stewart Friesen went from sixth to third and one lap later got by both Varin and Maresca for the lead on the outside of turn four. Invader Mat Williamson started the event in the eighth starting position and by lap 10 he was up to the third spot behind Stewart Friesen and Maresca.
While Stewart Friesen was running the outside groove, Maresca stuck with the low lane and was keeping pace with the leader, side by side at times, until Stewart Friesen decided it was time to make a lane change to the low line on lap 11 when he was also in heavy lap traffic. Two more yellow flags slowed the field as Jessica Friesen, Varin, and McAuliffe all fell out of the event with various issues.
Stewart Friesen was up to the challenge that restarts can often bring and maintained the lead through each of them. From lap 17 to the checkered flag Stewart Friesen was in lap traffic but weaved back and forth from the inside to the outside to get by them and stay in front of his competitors as he went on to a back to back win, the 62nd of his career at Fonda, in the Halmar #44 Bicknell car.
Maresca, Williamson, 12th place starter Matt DeLorenzo, and 15th place starter and defending Sunoco Track Champion Rocky Warner completed the top five.
Stewart’s son Parker celebrated with a roof dance on victory lane before Mimi Lazzaro got to interview the winner who said “I just love this race track, no matter where you start you just have to find a groove and a place to race. Tonight, there was brown up on top and the bottom was good too so you could race anywhere you wanted.”
Joe Williams took advantage of his front row starting position to take the lead at the drop of the green flag in the 25-lap Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman feature with fourth place starter Brian Calabrese in tow. Chad Edwards started the event in the seventh position and on lap three he was able to get by Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald for the third position while sixth place starter Mark Mortensen also got by Wagner-Fitzgerald for the fourth position.
Edwards got by Calabrese for the second position on lap six while ninth place starter Brian Borst also gained positions into the top five. Lap traffic slowed Williams on lap eight allowing Edwards to close in on the leader and from that point on in the event the leader was in lap traffic with Edwards trying whatever he could to get by both the lap cars and the leader.
Williams made a feature win saving move on the final lap as he got by two lap cars on the inside of turns one and two to give himself a little breathing room. That was short lived however as Edwards was on his rear bumper again going into turn three but Williams was able to hold on to the lead and win the event by 0.298 seconds over Edwards in the Wagon Train BBQ sponsored #19L for his first career win in the division.
Calabrese, Mortensen, and Borst completed the top five.
“This is my first win on dirt in the crate sportsman and it seems like it took forever to get it done,” Williams said in victory lane. “But we kept the car in one piece and got the win so I’m very happy.”
Williams had one other win during his career at Fonda which came in the “Open” Sportsman division back on May 1, 2004.
Pete Nowicki Jr. started on the pole position in the 15-lap Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman feature event and took the lead at the drop of the green flag. Carter Gibbons started the event in the third position and was the new second place car at the completion of lap one.
On lap two on the inside groove on the back stretch, Gibbons was the new race leader and he immediately stretched out his advantage to a comfortable margin. After starting the event in the 12th position, last weeks winner Brett Mortensen was up to the second position on lap six after getting by both Johnny Young and Dylan Eldred for the spot.
At that point Gibbons was out to a straightaway advantage but lap after lap Mortensen was able to cut into that lead and by lap nine, he was running lap times a half second faster than Gibbons. With two laps to go, Mortensen was on Gibbons rear bumper and on the outside groove on the backstretch Mortensen got by Gibbons for the lead. Mortensen went on to a back to back win after winning on opening night for his fourth career win in the division in the 518 Realty sponsored Teo car.
Gibbons, Eldred, Young, and Kyle Dingman completed the top five.
“I was trying to stay off the gas as much as I could to keep the rear end underneath me in the slick areas on the track,” Mortensen told Mimi Lazzaro on victory lane.
The 20-lap Algonkin Motel Pro Stock feature was an exciting one with Justin Knight the race leader at the drop of the green flag. On lap four, defending track champion Luke Horning was the new race leader after getting by Knight on the outside of turns three and four. The yellow flag was out one lap later for last weeks winner Nick Stone whose hood came undone and he was forced to the hot pit to remove the hood and restart at the rear of the field.
Sixth place starter Josh Coonradt was now making his way to the front, taking the second position away from Knight on lap eight and setting his sights on Horning for the lead. On lap 11, Coonradt was right on Horning’s rear bumper for the lead with 11th place starter Kenny Gates now the new third place car.
Coonradt went between a lap car and Horning for the lead on lap 12 in turn three with the caution out shortly afterwards. On the restart, Coonradt continued to lead with Horning, Gates, Knight, and Stone who did a remarkable job to get back to the front without a hood on his race car.
Stone and Horning were running side by side for the second position with five laps to go allowing Coonradt to stretch out his advantage. The final caution of the event was out on lap 16 closing up the field and allowing for a great finish. Coonradt stayed low on the track with Stone running the high groove over the final laps, side by side at times, with Coonradt holding on to get the victory, the fifth of his career in the division at Fonda.
Stone, Horning, Gates, and 17th place starter Devon Camenga completed the top five in the event.
“After the heat race and warm-ups, I didn’t know if I had anything to compete for the win with,” Coonradt said in victory lane. “Under the yellow I was looking to make something happen when we went green again and we made it here to victory lane.”
Michael Arnold led the first two laps of the Robert’s Towing & Recovery Street Stock feature before last weeks winner Al Relyea took over the lead on lap three after starting seventh and went on to a back to back win after winning last weeks event. Defending Track Champion Jason Samrov was second followed by Dave Horning Sr., Arnold, and Lou Gancarz.
Ken Hollenbeck led all 15 laps in the Four Cylinder Cruiser feature after starting fourth and went on to his 51st career win in the division in the SOHC while David Frame was declared the winner in the DOHC class after finishing second in the event behind Hollenbeck. John Napoli, Zach McSpirit, and Wayne Russell completed the top five in the event.
For announcements on next week’s racing events at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway please go to the track’s website or Facebook page.
Since 1953, the ‘Track of Champions’ Fonda Speedway has hosted the best in stock car racing. 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/thefondaspeedwy or follow on Twitter: @thefondaspdwy.
SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE – STEWART FRIESEN (62nd career win in the division), Michael Maresca, Mat Williamson, Matt DeLorenzo, Rocky Warner, Josh Hohenforst, Dave Constantino, Brian Gleason, David Shilling, Brian Pessolano, Danny Creeden, Roger Henion Jr., Allison Ricci, Bodie Bellinger, Craig Hanson, Rich Christman, Leo Fotopoulos Jr., Darwin Greene, Steve Akers, Ricky Davis III, Danny Varin, Adam McAuliffe, Jessica Friesen, Scott Huber, Devin Willis, Jim Introne Jr., Troy Palmer, Jeff Hoetzler, Kathy Bellen (DNS).
Lap leaders – 1-4 Danny Varin, 5 Michael Maresca, 6-30 Stewart Friesen.
Heat race winners – Danny Varin, Michael Maresca, Jessica Friesen.
SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – JOE WILLIAMS (1st career win in the Crate 602 Sportsman division), Chad Edwards, Brian Calabrese, Mark Mortensen, Brian Borst, JaMike Sowle, Nick Scavia, Cody Clark, Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Tucker O’Connor, Thomas VanVorst, Tim Dwyer, Anthony Cardamone, EJ McAuliffe, Charlie Tibbitts, Dan Santabarbara, Kevin Chaffee, Tim Hartman Jr., Ricky Quick, Rich Ricci III, Michael McCallion, Don Bellen, Aaron Cross, Griffen Mansmith, Brendan Gibbons, David Manchester, Joel Knudsen Jr. (DNS).
Lap leaders – 1-25 Joe Williams.
Heat race winners – Brian Borst, Brian Calabrese, Chad Edwards.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – BRETT MORTENSEN (4th career win in the division), Carter Gibbons, Dylan Eldred, John Young, Kyle Dingman, Bill Port, Jeff Lutes, Harold Robitaille, Clayton DuMond, Stephen Gray, Pete Nowicki Jr., Kadon Hohensheldt (DNS).
Lap Leaders – 1 Pete Nowicki Jr., 2-13 Carter Gibbons, 14-15 Brett Mortensen.
ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE – JOSH COONRADT (5th career win in the division), Nick Stone, Luke Horning, Kenny Gates, Devon Camenga, Beau Ballard, Jason Morrison, Randy Cosselman, Andy Graves, David Emigh, Bill Knapp, Chuck Dumblewski, Jim Normoyle, Steve Cosselman, Jamie Warner, Justin Knight, Ivan Joslin, Tanner Warner, Don Collins.
Lap leaders – 1-3 Justin Knight, 4-11 Luke Horning, 12-20 Josh Coonradt.
Heat race winners – Nick Stone, Jim Normoyle.
ROBERT’S TOWNG & RECOVERY STREET STOCK FEATURE – AL RELYEA (2nd career win in the division), Jason Samrov, Dave Horning Sr., Michael Arnold, Lou Gancarz, Josh Samrov, John Bradt, Mark Burch, Jason Barrett.
Lap leaders – 1-2 Michael Arnold, 3-15 Al Relyea.
FOUR CYLINDER CRUISER FEATURE – KEN HOLLENBECK (SOHC, 51st career win in the division), David Frame (DOHC, 1st career win in the division), John Napoli, Zach McSpirit, Wayne Russell, Shawn Hemstreet, David Peek-Britten, Bubba Cook, Mike Landux, Riley Pedrick, Justin Sargalis, Pat McSpirit.
Lap leaders – 1-15 Ken Hollenbeck.