THE 18th ANNUAL HONDO CLASSIC HIGHLIGHTS THE RACING PROGRAM AT FONDA ON SATURDAY, JULY 22 ALONG WITH THE 2nd ANNUAL BOBCO MEMORIAL DASH
By: Ron Szczerba
Fonda, NY – On Saturday, July 22 at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway, Sampson Motorcar will sponsor the racing program consisting of two very special events. The 20-lap Below Zero Ice Cream Pro Stock feature will be the 18th edition of the Hondo Classic in memory of the late Hondo Carpenter featuring a total purse of $2,929.97 in bonuses and lap sponsorships (amount as of the time of the writing of this press release) on top of the regular track purse!
In addition to that the 2nd Annual Bobco Memorial Dash for Cash in memory of the late, long time Fonda Speedway videographer Bob James who passed away on September 20, 2020, will be held. Organized by Bob’s longtime friend Mark Krosky, the top two finishers in each of the Below Zero Ice Cream Pro Stock heat races will be eligible to participate in the five-lap dash event.
Bob James was a long-time car owner for Hondo Carpenter so what better night to have a Dash for Cash in his honor than during Hondo Classic Night!
The Amsterdam Truck Center Modifieds, Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman, Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman, and Fonda Fair Four Cylinders will also be in action with gates opening at 4:00 p.m., hot laps at 6:00 p.m., and racing at 7:00 p.m.
The Hondo Classic is named for Hondo Carpenter, a popular competitor in the Pro Stock division at the Fonda Speedway who lost his life in an ATV accident on July 4, 2005. Each year dozens of supporters of this event contribute to the bonus money that is awarded along with the track purse. According to the competitors, the money is always welcome but the big draw to the event is the bragging rights.
Hondo’s statistics at Fonda included five wins in the street stock division to go along with four wins in the pro stock class. But perhaps what had even more meaning for Hondo was his popularity with the kid’s and the fans, always ready to take a photo with anyone or autograph anything that a fan desired.
The First Annual Hondo Classic was won by Jim Burton in 2006. Nick Stone is a five-time winner of the event in 2007, 2008, 2016, 2017, & 2020 while Kenny Gates is a three-time winner of the event in 2009, 2015, & 2018. Pete Broderson has won the event twice in 2012 and 2014 while Chip Smith (2010), Rob Yetman (2011), Kenny Martin, Jr (2013), Josh Coonradt (2019), Luke Horning (2021), and Beau Ballard (2022) each have one win in the event along with Burton.
Also, this Saturday, July 22nd the 2nd Annual BOBCO Memorial Dash for Cash for Pro Stocks will take place at the Fonda Speedway. Bob James (BOBCO) was very well known as he was the Official Videographer of the Albany-Saratoga, Fonda, Lebanon Valley, Glen Ridge and Devils Bowl Speedways. He videoed at Fonda for over 25 years.
The tower on the roof at Fonda Speedway is dedicated in his memory and is named “The Bobco Video Terrace.” His videos were known to many as “The next best thing to being there.” And they were just that.
James started going to the races with his parents when his mother was pregnant with him, and when he was old enough to remember who the drivers were, his favorites were Harry Peek and Jack Johnson. However, it was one other driver who gave him his first kiddie ride that he will never forget, that was Lou Lazzaro.
He started videoing racing events at Fonda back in 1986 when he got his first video camera. At that time, he would either go on the infield or in turn four to do his videotaping. At the midpoint of the 1992 season at Fonda, the videographer at Fonda left, and James was asked to take over at that time.
James started owning a race car when he and his cousin Hondo Carpenter got into the sport back in 1996 as partners. Their first car was purchased in 1996 which Hondo raced in the street stock division at Albany Saratoga for one year in 1997. Chris Fain built them their next street stock which Hondo ran at Fonda and Albany Saratoga for two or three years before moving up to pro stocks and running only at Fonda.
This year’s BOBCO Memorial Dash has a purse of $3054.00. Same format as last year, Top 2 finishers from each of the 3 heat races. They will redraw for their starting spots in the dash. 6 cars racing 6 laps.
Payout for the BOBCO Memorial event will be as follows:
1st $1009, 2nd $759, 3rd $509, 4th $409, 5th $209, 6th $159
The New York State Stock Car Association (NYSSCA) will also pay a $100 bonus the first NYSSCA member across the finish line in the BOBCO Memorial Dash.
Last year’s winner of the 1st Annual BOBCO Memorial Dash was Nick Stone.
Fonda Speedway Weekly Report
Miss any action from last week’s racing? The Fonda Speedway weekly report can take care of that. A 90 second summary of the previous Saturday racing action will air throughout the week across seven local radio stations including:
WCSS 1490 & 106.9 in Amsterdam/Schenectady
WIZR 930 & 102.9 in Johnstown/Fonda/Gloversville
WKAJ 1120 & 97.9 in St. Johnsville/Canajoharie
WYVS 96.5 in Speculator and the North Country
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!
All races at Fonda Speedway – will be broadcast live on FloRacing (www.floracing.tv) as part of the $150 annual subscription.
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 or follow the speedway on Twitter and Instagram: @thefondaspdwy.