CONSTANTINO SCORES A CONVINCING WIN AT FONDA
By: Ron Szczerba
Fonda, NY – As Mimi Lazzaro said in victory lane after a very convincing win by Dave Constantino in his Laudy Hoyenga owned #34 DKM Chassis, you never know how Constantino will react in victory lane after a win because “the character this guy has is awesome”. His character and enthusiasm were evident in victory lane again on Saturday evening with a very happy car owner celebrating the big win along with the entire DKM crew.
“It feels like about ten years,” Constantino said in F.X. Caprara Victory Lane about the time since his last win at Fonda which was on 5/4/2019. “I needed this real bad. I’m getting too fat to do roof dances, but I have to thank Laudy (car owner Laudy Hoyenga) for hanging with us, we tried some stuff and really struggled here last year but we have our shit together now.”
Other winners on Dirt Track Digest DTD TV/Bill Ag Memorial Night Saturday evening at Fonda were Chad Edwards (Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman), Luke Horning (Algonkin Motel Pro Stock), Kyle Dingman (Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman), Ken Hollenbeck (SOHC Fonda Fair Four Cylinder), Kerrie Hollenbeck (DOHC Fonda Fair Four Cylinder), and Demetrious Drellos (Bill Ag Memorial Modified Elimination Races).
Pastor Greg Nitz said the prayer to start the opening ceremonies and Mimi Lazzaro performed the National Anthem to start the nights racing program. Mike from Broadalbin was the winner of the $2,538 50/50 after all the hard work was done by the 50/50 girls Julie Compani, Heather Marr, Rose McLoughlin, and Miss STSS Emilee Mills who was also on hand on Saturday evening!
The 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature began with Dave Constantino leading at the drop of Joe Kriss’ green flag with Chris Curtis in tow. By lap eight, Constantino held a straightaway advantage and was in lap traffic with sixth place starter Rocky Warner getting by Curtis for the second spot one lap later.
Just as Warner would close in on Constantino in lap traffic, Constantino would stretch out his lead all over again after he cleared the lap cars, in a back-and-forth kind of battle. At the halfway point the top five consisted of Constantino, Warner, Curtis, ninth place starter Demetrious Drellos, and tenth place starter Ronnie Johnson.
Brian Gleason brought out an unnecessary caution with eight laps to go in the event when he came to a stop in turn three. Once the caution was thrown, he drove to the hot pit area and then rejoined the field. Constantino chose the outside for the restart and cleared Warner coming out of turn two and again stretched out his advantage.
“I didn’t know if the car was gonna stick on the restart with Rocky,” Constantino said. “I never lifted, and it went.”
As Constantino stretched out his lead in the closing laps on his way to the victory, the race was for the third position between Curtis and Drellos who swapped the spot numerous times over the final laps. Constantino went on to the win in the DKM Fabrication #34 followed in the top five by Warner, Drellos, Curtis, and Johnson.
“I need to thank Chris Curtis for the shock change tonight,” Constantino added. “Thanks also to Laudy (car owner Laudy Hoyenga) and my crew, I couldn’t do this without them. Also, thanks to Swagger Factory Apparel for designing my new race suit. Sometimes you ask for something crazy and it doesn’t work out, but they did a great job on this suit.”
Clayton DuMond led from his outside pole starting position at the start of the 25-lap Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman feature. Shortly after lap one was completed, the red flag was out for a multi car wreck in turn two involving Mark Mortensen, Jeremy Tyrrell, Joe Williams, Cody Clark, and Chip Constantino, three of those drivers who were in the top five in points at the beginning of the night.
The wreck started when Tim Dwyer came down and made contact with Tyrrell who then came in contact with Mortensen. Mortensen came in contact with one of the tires along the inside of turn two with his front end jumping up in the air after the contact. Tyrrell was next to have his car jump up in the air after he made contact with the inside concrete wall with Mortensen actually going under the Tyrrell car at that point because Tyrrell was so high in the air.
Williams, Clark, and Constantino had nowhere to go and tried their best to avoid the wreck but still suffered damage to all of their cars. Fortunately, all drivers were okay after the wreck.
DuMond held the lead on the restart and was out to a straightaway lead on lap nine with 12th place starter Chad Edwards up to the fifth position on lap ten and three laps later he was the new second place car after getting by Griffen Mansmith. With under ten laps to go, Edwards closed in on DuMond, getting by DuMond for the lead on lap 18 in turn four.
One final caution came out with five laps to go for Mansmith who slowed on the front stretch while running fifth and for Stephen Gray who was in the back stretch wall. Edwards held the lead on the single file restart with 22nd place starter Payton Talbot in the third position with one lap to go. Edwards went on to his fourth win of the season and the 17th of his career in the division in the John Kollar owned #10% followed by DuMond, Talbot, Troy Zilles, and Troy Palmer.
“Last week we finished seventh, our worst finish of the season but still not too bad,” Edwards told Mimi Lazzaro in F.X. Caprara Victory Lane. “I hit the yuke tire in turn four last week, got a flat tire, and just kind of rode it out. It has been a tough week, I really wanted to win tonight after the unexpected loss of our good friend Kenny Tyler, so we were able to get it done for him and his family.”
The 20-lap Algonkin Motel feature began with Chuck Dumblewski the early leader from his outside pole position start with Jason Morrison second. Dumblewski and Morrison remained side by side at times for the first two laps with fifth place starter Luke Horning making it a three-car race for the lead on lap four with Morrison on the inside, Horning in the middle, and Dumblewski on the outside.
Horning was the new race leader on lap four after the move down the middle of both Morrison and Dumblewski in turn four with the top five at the halfway point consisting of Horning, sixth place starter Kenny Gates, Morrison, Dumblewski, and 11th place starter Nick Stone. In the closing laps Horning was running the outside while Gates was in his familiar spot down low. With three laps to go, Stone was up to the top two making it a three-car race for the lead and the win.
The final caution came out on the final lap for AJ Walters and John Holmes who were stopped after a spin in turn four. On the restart, Horning stayed on the outside while Stone was in the middle and Gates down low coming out of turn four to the checkered flag. Horning was the winner by 0.172 seconds at the line for his first victory of the season and the 26th of his career in the division over Stone, Gates, Morrison, and seventh place starter Beau Ballard.
“When I heard him say 8N in second, I wasn’t sure if that was the way it was gonna end, I might wreck this thing again,” Horning said. “I knew that I was gonna leave early on the restart, even before Joe (starter Joe Kriss) scolded me but I took a chance hoping that Nick (Stone) would leave with me and maybe they would let it go.”
“To have Nick run me clean on that last restart was more than I expected so thanks to him for that,” Horning continued to say. “I don’t agree with everything that Nick is doing but he has done a lot for the Pro Stock class, but I think that it is heading in the wrong direction and don’t agree on the path that we are going in. To break his streak means a lot to me and my crew, we tore this thing up many times this year, but here we are in victory lane again.”
Mark Lighthall led the first four laps of the 15-lap Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman feature event before tenth place starter Kyle Dingman took over the lead on a lap five restart. Dingman went on to his third win of the 2022 season and the fifth of his career over Lighthall, Gus Kamburelis Timmy Wilmot, and Josh Kane.
Ken Hollenbeck started the Fonda Fair Four Cylinder feature event in the eighth position, but it didn’t matter as he was the leader at the completion of lap one and led the remaining laps for his ninth win of the 2022 season and the 77th of his career in the division over Kerrie Hollenbeck, John Napoli, Todd Morey, and Len St. Andrews.
Demetrious Drellos won the seventh annual Bill Ag Memorial Elimination Dash Race over Craig Hanson, Rocky Warner, Ronnie Johnson, Bobby Varin, and Matt DeLorenzo. The match races were two lap events for the top five in points as of 6/11/2022 and because of a tie for the fifth position in points there was no wildcard pick.
Round one was won by Varin over DeLorenzo, round two was won by Johnson over Varin, round three was won by Hanson over Johnson, round four was won by Hanson over Warner, and the final round was won by Drellos over Hanson.
“It feels great to be back here in victory lane at Fonda,” Drellos said in victory lane. “Hopefully, we can get another one later on in the regular feature, but it was cool to win $1,000 it was a fun race.”
After being pushed to victory lane for the ceremonies for the Bill Ag event, Drellos said “I gotta figure out what’s wrong with the car, I think I broke the driveshaft, but I rather it happened now than during the regular feature.”
Next Saturday June 25, A-Verdi Storage Containers Night will feature the Patriot Sprint Tour (PST) 360- Sprint Cars along with all other regular divisions in action at the “Track of Champions”.
If you are a race fan that gets to the track early, be sure to check out the Fonda Speedway Museum & Hall of Fame which is located on the Fonda Fairgrounds at the rear of the parking area going down towards turn four. The museum is open from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on race days and admission is free!
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 the speedway on Twitter: @thefondaspdwy.
DATE – DIRT TRACK DIGEST (DTD) TV NIGHT – BILL AG MEMORIAL
SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE – 30-laps – DAVE CONSTANTINO, Rocky Warner, Demetrious Drellos, Chris Curtis, Ronnie Johnson, Matt DeLorenzo, Craig Hanson, Jack Lehner, Bobby Varin, JaMike Sowle, Ryan Odasz, Tucker O’Connor, Brian Pessolano, Rich Christman, Jim Introne Jr., Brian Gleason, Bailey Boyd, Jason Greco, Nick Heywood (DNS)
1st win of 2022 and the 2nd of his career in the division at Fonda
LAP LEADERS – 1-30 Constantino
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Varin, Lehner
SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25-Laps – CHAD EDWARDS, Clayton DuMond, Payton Talbot, Troy Zilles, Troy Palmer, Tanner Warner, Brett Mortensen, Jason Reome, Michael McCallion, Chip Constantino, Carter Gibbons, Tony Farone, Greg Havlichek, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Anthony Cardamone, Tim Dwyer, Griffen Mansmith, Stephen Gray, Cody Clark, Brendan Gibbons, Tommy D’Angelo, Harry Shaffer, Jeremy Tyrrell, Mark Mortensen, Joe Williams, Cory White (DNS)
4th win of 2022 and the 17th of his career in the division at Fonda
LAP LEADERS – 1-17 DuMond, 18-25 Edwards
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Zilles, Mansmith, Brendan Gibbons
GRECO’S NAPA HARD CHARGER AWARD – Talbot 19 positions 22nd to 3rd
ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE – 20-laps – LUKE HORNING, Nick Stone, Kenny Gates, Jason Morrison, Beau Ballard, Chucky Dumblewski, Josh Coonradt, Jim Normoyle, Ivan Joslin, Randy Cosselman, AJ Walters, Gary Silkey, Caden Dumblewski, Don Collins, John Holmes, Dillon Vanston, Chris Daughtry, Slater baker (DNS)
1st win of 2022 and the 26th of his career in the division for Horning
LAP LEADERS – 1-3 Chuck Dumblewski, 4-20 Horning
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Chuck Dumblewski, Morrison
MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 15-laps – KYLE DINGMAN, Mark Lighthall, Gus Kamburelis, Timmy Wilmot, Josh Kane, Connor Prokop, Harold Robitaille, Michael Kalkbrenner, Walter Cook, John Anderson, Lance Hill, Bob Rowback, Wesley Sutliff, Frank Twing Jr., Cian DiMezza, Brady Cordova, Matt Perry, Zach Dufel, Nate Bedell, Ryan Sweet (DNS)
3rd win of 2022 and the 5th of his career in the division for Dingman
LAP LEADERS – 1-4 Lighthall, 5-15 Dingman
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Lighthall, Wilmot
FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE – 12-laps – KEN HOLLENBECK (SOHC), KERRIE HOLLENBECK (DOHC), John Napoli, Todd Morey, Len St. Andrews, Christopher Jennings Sr., Wayne Russell, Heath Bush, TJ Marlitt, David Peek-Britten
9th win of 2022 and the 77th of his career in the division for Ken Hollenback
6th win of 2022 and the 27th of his career in the division for Kerrie Hollenback
LAP LEADERS – 1-12 Ken Hollenback
BILL AG ELIMINATION MATCH RACES OVERALL RESULTS – DEMETRIOUS DRELLOS, Craig Hanson, Rocky Warner, Ronnie Johnson, Bobby Varin, Matt DeLorenzo
MATCH RACE #1 – Varin defeats DeLorenzo
MATCH RACE #2 – Johnson defeats Varin
MATCH RACE #3 – Hanson defeats Johnson
MATCH RACE #4 – Hanson defeats Warner
MATCH RACE #5 – Drellos defeats Hanson
BILL AG MEMORIAL AWARDS & BONUSES
|Driver #1 – Draw – in Pits – Lane Choice||Bobby Varin||WINNER|
|Pick – Draw in Pits||Matt DeLorenzo|
|Round 1 Winner||Bobby Varin|
|Pick – Lane Choice||Ronnie Johnson||WINNER|
|Round 2 Winner||Ronnie Johnson|
|Pick – Lane Choice||Craig Hanson||WINNER|
|Round 3 Winner – Lane Choice||Craig Hanson||WINNER|
|Round 4 Winner||Craig Hanson|
|Pick – Lane Choice||Demetrios Drellos||WINNER|
|Fastest Elimination Lap – Overall||Demetrios Drellos||18.498|
|Final Driver 6-10||Tie for 5th|
|Hot Lap Hero||Rocky Warner||18.158|
|Heat 1 Winner||Nick Heywood|
|Heat 2 Winner||Jack Lehner|
|Fast Time Heat 1||Nick Heywood||18.284|
|Fast Time Heat 2||Rocky Warner||18.636|
|Lap 1 Leader||Dave Constantino|
|Lap 2 Leader||Dave Constantino|
|3rd on Lap 3||Rocky Warner|
|8th on Lap 8||Matt DeLorenzo|
|Lap 11 Leader||Dave Constantino|
|11th on Lap 11||Brian Gleason|
|Halfway Leader||Dave Constantino|
|6th on Lap 28||Matt DeLorenzo|
|6th Finish||Matt DeLorenzo|
|7th Finish||Craig Hanson|
|8th Finish||Jack Lehner|
|9th Finish||Bobby Varin|
|10th Finish||JaMike Sowle|
|11th Finish||Ryan Odasz|
|12th Finish||Tucker O’Connor|
|13th Finish||Brian Pessolano|
|14th Finish||Rich Christman|
|15th Finish||Jim Intone, Jr.|
|16th Finish||Brian Gleason|
|Last Car on Lead Lap||Tucker O’Connor|
|1st 1 Lap Down||Brian Pessolano|
|Feature Hard Charger||Craig Hanson +8… 15th to 7th|
|Hard Luck||Nick Heywood|
|Bill Ag Award||Brian Pessolano|