FONDA SPEEDWAY 2023 – A LOOK BACK – THE 2023 SEASON AT THE FONDA SPEEDWAY
By: Ron Szczerba
Fonda, NY – After the 2022 racing season at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway had no rained out events, the 2023 season was much different with a total of six rain outs. One thing the rain outs didn’t affect was the competition, with the 2023 Track Champions decided unfortunately by one of the six rain outs, with only a few points deciding who got the titles in their respective divisions.
At the end of the regular season the Fonda Speedway Track Champions for 2023 were Demetrios Drellos (1st career title in the Amsterdam Truck Center Modifieds), Payton Talbot (2nd career title in the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman), Ivan Joslin (1st career title in the Below Zero Ice Cream Pro Stocks), Kyle Dingman (1st career title in the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman), Ken Hollenback (10th title in the Fonda Fair Four Cylinder SOHC class), and Kerrie Hollenback (3rd title in the Fonda Fair Four Cylinder DOHC class).
A total of 14 events were held in the Amsterdam Truck Center Modified division with 11 different drivers winning those events. Stewart Friesen led the way with three feature victories including the Dave Lape Memorial event and the Fonda 200. Rocky Warner was a two time winner with single event wins going to Tim Fuller who won the Jack Johnson Memorial event, Ronnie Johnson, Max McLaughlin, Demetrios Drellos, Cody Clark, Matt Sheppard who won the Firecracker 50, Matt DeLorenzo, Bobby Hackel IV, and Danny Varin.
For McLaughlin, Clark, and Hackel it was their first career wins in the Modified division at Fonda. The All-Time Win List at Fonda now consists of 1432 racing events with 143 different drivers winning those events.
Thirteen total events were held in the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman division with seven different drivers winning those events led by 2023 Track Champion Payton Talbot with seven feature wins. Talbot was the only driver with more than one victory with single event wins going to Mark Mortensen, Zach Dufel, Dan Santabarbara, Butchie Irwin, Clayton DuMond, and Brett Mortensen.
The wins for Dufel and Irwin were the first of their careers in the division with the All Time Win List now showing 51 different winning drivers in a total of 264 events.
2023 was the first season that the Fonda Speedway was NASCAR Sanctioned with a special accomplishment achieved by Payton Talbot as he was also crowned the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Division II Champion!
Kenny Gates led the way with six wins in the Below Zero Ice Cream Pro Stock division in a total of 12 events that were run. Track Champion Ivan Joslin and Beau Ballard were both two time winners in the division while Luke Horning and Shane Playford won single events making up the list of five different winning drivers in the division.
Playford was the only first time winner in the Pro Stock division which now shows a total of 99 different drivers winning a total of 761 feature events at Fonda.
Kyle Dingman was crowned the Track Champion in the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman division without the benefit of a feature win. A total of 12 events were run in the division with a total of nine different feature winners led by Jonathan Feagles with three feature victories. AJ Greco was a two time winner with single event winds going to Connor Prokop, Zack Welch, Lance Hill, Mike Hill, Tyler Bobar, Tim Wilmot, and Michael Arnold.
Welch, Greco, Feagles, Mike Hill, Bobar, Wilmot, and Arnold were all first time winners in the division which now has a total of 49 different winning drivers in 117 events.
Twelve events were held in the Fonda Fair Four Cylinder SOHC division with Ken Hollenback (10 wins) and Wayne Russell Jr. (two wins) the only two drivers to go to victory lane. In the DOHC class Kerrie Hollenback led the way with seven wins while Brandon Ely (two wins), Corey Valade (two wins), and Jay Ingersol (one win) took the wins in the other events.
Valade and Ingersoll were first time winners in the division with the All Time Win List now featuring a total of 27 different drivers winning the 136 total events.
Qualifying positions are getting more and more critical with the importance of getting qualified into a handicap position week after week making a big difference in a drivers success. The Modified division featured 27 different drivers winning heat and consolation events while the 602 Crate Sportsman division had 24 different winners, the Pro Stock division had 10 different winners, and the Limited Sportsman division had 20 different winners.
Leading the way with a total of five qualifying event wins in the Modified division was JaMike Sowle while Chad Edwards led the way with seven qualifying event wins in the Crate 602 Sportsman division. Luke Horning led the way in the Pro Stock division with four qualifying event wins while five different drivers tied for the most qualifying event wins in the Limited Sportsman division with three including Chris Kugler, Bob Rhinehardt, Kyle Dingman, Kirsten Swartz, and AJ Greco.
Stay informed on upcoming plans for the 2024 racing season at the “Track of Champions” as they become available by going to the Fonda Speedway website or social media outlets.
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.