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A TRIBUTE TO DAVE LAPE IN THEIR OWN WORDS

By: Ron Szczerba

Fonda, NY – Last Saturday evening at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway there were many special moments at the track during opening ceremonies for the 30th edition of the Fonda 200.

The starting field lined up on the front straightaway, driver introductions with the drivers walking down in front of the grandstands as they were introduced to greet the fans, a four wide salute by the starting field, and the vintage race cars of CD Coville (owned by Bruce Gray and driven by Kyle Fallis), Jack Johnson (owned by Bryon Seyfried and driven by Malachi Matthews), and Dave Lape (owned and driven by Joe Rando) pacing the field.

But the special moment that touched the hearts of all of the fans and everyone in attendance was the tribute to Dave Lape who recently passed away. Here are the thoughts of two of Dave’s family members and two very special friends who spoke about Lape on victory lane in their own words while the #22 Vintage Modified race car of Joe Rando sat on victory lane.

MIMI LAZZARO

“Last week we lost a hero, a legend, a friend,” Lazzaro said to the crowd. “Mr. Dave Lape left us before we completed our 2022 racing season. Dave was a friend to all of us and we thank Dave for all of the memories and thrills that he gave us. He will continue to live through us because legends never die.”

JESSICA LAPE-SCHWAB

“I was born on a Sunday after a rain out and I was back here six days old the next Saturday,” Lape-Schwab said. “We won the track championship that year so clearly, I’m a good luck charm. I would like to share the perspective of a driver’s daughter. Others may see a driver, a promoter, a Champ Car Fabricator, a speed shop owner, a competitor, but truly I just see my dad.”

“Growing up in my family was so different than other people that I knew. Typically, people would go to work and come home at the end of the day. My dad worked from home in the garage so he could make my school lunches, remind me to pick up my room, and welcome me home after school.”

“My parents worked as a team with the same goal and success. In my house I learned to be part of a team. My mother Jackie was a significant team member to my dad. On Saturday nights when we were here at Fonda and able to celebrate together that made the most precious memories. My parents modeled how marriage and life is a team sport.”

“Racing has taught me the significance of kindness, gratitude, help, communication, and the value of relationships that are developed during a life. Racing is a family, let’s keep working together towards a goal to keep this sport alive and thriving.”

JACKIE LAPE

“David’s goal when he wasn’t as competitive as he wished he could be, was to just be here at Fonda, and there are probably a few people that got a little sick on the one lap Lape,” she said. “But he didn’t care because he was here, he wanted to make it to 50 years at his home away from home, so we kept going and we made the best of it and I’m glad we did that.”

“What I want to say is that we were most excited and happy that Fonda Speedway was back. We watched it for years going downhill but look at what Brett (Deyo) has done, look at this track, look at this place. Brett, I hope that you are here for 50 years and thank you, I am so proud.”

ED BIITTIG SR.

“With Dave being here for 50 years, one of the drivers that never left, he never went out on the road or somewhere else on a Saturday night, the only time he left was when there was a race somewhere else,” Biittig Sr. said. “Otherwise, David Lape was here, if David Lape had chosen to race rough like others, he may have had 200 wins. But he chose to drive his car in the hauler every night and not have it in pieces.”

“He had respect for everyone that was involved in racing. As far as I’m concerned, there were three amigos here and now they are all in heaven. Lou (Lazzaro), Jack (Johnson), and David (Lape), those three did so much for this speedway, they are the history of this speedway.”

“If you want to know something that you can do in Memory of David Lape between now and next spring when we return to this racetrack, get a piece of paper out and write 1-22 on it. Then do 22 acts of random kindness of any kind whether it be to shovel a person’s sidewalk, walk a person’s dog, making sure that a neighbor has groceries, anything.”

“It is one of those things that we can do for the Memory of David Lape and that is very important because he was so very important to this place Fonda Speedway. David Lape was this speedway, and he gave so much of his life to it.”

RON SZCZERBA

Although I didn’t say anything about my friend and my hero Dave Lape the evening of his tribute at the track, I’d like to share some thoughts about him now.

When I was 10 years old my brother Jim took me to the Fonda Speedway for the first time. At the time my brother was driving a 1969 Camaro and when we got to the track, I identified Dave by the car that he was driving at the time. It was the red, white, & blue #22 Camaro that looked just like my brother’s car except for the colors. I became an instant fan and added a hero to the list that included my father, my brother, and my other family members.

From that point on the Fonda Speedway became my Saturday night home (and it still is) and I couldn’t wait to get there every Saturday night to watch my hero Dave Lape compete. It was also precious time spent with my brother who took me everywhere with him when I was a kid. Every Saturday I would buy a Gater Racing News and an Area Auto Racing News and read them cover to cover when we got home from the races on Saturday nights.

I started a scrapbook and pasted in it all of the Dave Lape photos that I could find in those papers along with stories about races that he had won at any tracks that he competed at. When he won what was then called the Schaffer Qualifier at Fonda back on 7/31/1973 I purchased a photo of Dave and the Cadillac bodied car that he was driving at the time in victory lane and believe it or not got up enough nerve to go up and ask Dave for his autograph on the picture.

I still have the photo and for those of you that know me I am not one of the most outgoing or outspoken people out there, so it took a lot of nerve for me to go up and ask him for that autograph. Once I got the photo in a frame, I put it up on my dresser in my room with two checkered flags hanging behind it on the wall. It was my own personalized Dave Lape display.

In the month of June 1999, I was writing for Tracy Paige for Redline Magazine and had the chance to interview Dave about his racing career. I remember being just as nervous going to do that interview as I was when I asked him for his autograph on that picture of him and his race car back in 1973. It was a day that I’ll never forget, along with the day that Dave took a picture with me when he had his rebuilt #44B race car at the Fonda Speedway Museum and other memories that come to mind when I think of my racing hero Dave Lape.

MATT SHEPPARD WINS THE 30TH EDITION OF THE FONDA 200

By: Ron Szczerba

Fonda, NY – NASCAR or any of the big league motorsports sanctions had nothing on the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway on Saturday evening as they had all of the pageantry and special ceremonies as well including a tribute to the late Dave Lape, the starting field lined up on the front straightaway, driver introductions with the drivers walking down in front of the grandstands as they were introduced to greet the fans, a four wide salute by the starting field, and the vintage race cars of CD Coville, Jack Johnson, and David Lape pacing the field.

Then it was time to race in the prestigious Fonda 200 presented by Southside Beverage which saw its share of different strategies and twists and turns during the long-distance race. When the checkered flag flew it was “Super” Matt Sheppard the winner of the $53,000 prize in what he called the “crown jewel that we were looking for.”

Also in action on Saturday evening was the Swagger Factory Apparel STSS Crate 602 Sportsman with Cody Clark taking home the top prize after having to repair damage to the car when the left side short rod bracket got ripped off of the frame of the car taking all of the other parts on the left side of the car with it during his qualifying event. The crew was able to get it all back together allowing Clark to take home the win in the event.

The tribute to Dave Lape started off the evening with more on that coming later in a separate release. Pastor Greg Nitz said the prayer followed by the singing of the Canadian National Anthem by Joe Kriss. Mimi Lazzaro performed the National Anthem as the crowd sang along with her in a touching moment and then it was race time.

The top three starters Stewart Friesen, Bobby Hackel IV, and Max McLaughlin were three wide through turns one and two at the start with Friesen taking the lead going down the backstretch. The yellow was out with no laps completed for the Ultimate Underdog event winner from Thursday evening Jack Lehner going hard into the tire wall in turn three. His car sustained heavy damage but fortunately he walked away from the wreck.

Friesen led on the restart with fifth place starter Mike Mahaney the new second place car and when lap traffic came into play on lap five Mahaney was able to close in on Friesen. The action started getting hot and heavy after a caution on lap 16 with Anthony Perrego the new third place car after starting fourth. Laps 30-36 saw four changes to the race lead starting with Mahaney who took the lead from Friesen on lap 30 on the inside of the backstretch.

Perrego also got by Friesen for the second position at that point and took over the race lead briefly on lap 33 at the line to complete the lap. Friesen never dropped too far back however and went three wide around the outside of both Mahaney and Perrego to take the lead back two laps after that. Lap traffic made these passes for the lead very difficult but kept the leader close to the other competitors with Mahaney getting the lead back from Friesen on lap 36.

Everybody settled in at that point with the top five at the quarter race mark consisting of Mahaney, Perrego, Friesen, McLaughlin, and 11th place starter Matt Sheppard. On a restart after a lap 65 caution, Mahaney continued to lead the event while Friesen fell back to the ninth position. Mahaney held a straightaway lead on lap 77 with all cars racing around the bottom of the track at that point.

During a caution flag period on lap 89, Mahaney decided to go to the hot pit for adjustments to his race car handing the lead over to Perrego who led through to the halfway point with Sheppard the new second place car followed by McLaughlin, 23rd place starter Danny Varin, and Friesen who fought his way back into the top five.

At the halfway point competitors had a choice to either go to the infield for fuel only and a tire pressure adjustment or go to the hot pit for tires and adjustments to the race car. The first driver to go to the infield was Billy Decker who came out first as the leader of the second half after track prep was completed.

Decker led the next seven laps until lap 108 when Marc Johnson who also pitted on the infield and came out third for the restart, took the lead on the inside of Decker at the line to complete the lap. Decker was able to retake the lead three laps later but that was only for a brief time as Johnson went to the outside of him in turn four on lap 115.

At that point Sheppard, who restarted the second half of the race in the 13th position, was moving his way to the front, getting by Mahaney for the third position on lap 117. Sheppard was the new second place car two laps later after getting by Decker with Johnson now out to a straightaway lead. A yellow flag on lap 132 slowed the field and took away the big lead that Johnson had built up. On the restart, Sheppard took over the lead after getting by Johnson on the outside of turns three and four.

Lap 150 saw another caution slowing the field and under the caution Friesen went to the hot pit, coming out in 16th place for the restart. The yellow was back out on the restart, this time for Friesen, who went up in smoke on the front stretch ending his day. Mahaney and Perrego both got by Johnson for the second and third positions on the restart with only one more caution flag slowed the field through the last 50 laps.

The final caution came out with 10 laps to go with a single file restart putting Sheppard under control of the race followed in the top five by Perrego, Mahaney, Danny Varin, and Johnson in the top five. Sheppard got out of the groove in turns one and two with only a few laps to go allowing Perrego to close in down the backstretch, but then Perrego slipped up in turns three and four allowing Sheppard to get away and take the big win in the Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply #9 Bicknell car.

“I’m not really sure what happened,” Sheppard told Chris Moore in victory lane regarding the last few laps of the event. “I felt pretty comfortable but there with three or four laps to go I felt like the thing dropped down on the left rear and I thought that I was getting a flat tire. I was scared to death but then it kind of took back off.”

“We had a decent car all weekend, decent but not really good enough to win,” Sheppard continued. We just kept working on it and working on it and took one last stab at it during the halfway break. This thing came to life in the second half of the race, and I finally found the balance that I was looking for. Such a great season, and I can’t say enough about this whole team, but I can’t wait to see my picture on this trophy with all of the other winners.”

“He (Sheppard) really missed it in turns one and two there that one time and we closed in on him pretty good but down in three and four we got a little bit tight, and he gained on us,” Perrego said after finishing second. “Our car rolled really good there in the second half, but we were a little better in the first half. Obviously, a great night for us though to come home second. I was just biding my time, trying to be patient. I overdrove it one lap and fell one spot short.”

“Or you could say that I just got pushed out of the way,” Mahaney said regarding a pass by Sheppard after Chris Moore asked him about the top two cars making better adjustments than him at the halfway point. “They were a little faster, I felt like we were better in the first half of the race. That sure was a crap shoot when you sit there, you already made changes to the car, and then they do track prep. That’s a tough one and a real serious challenge so live and learn I guess.”

Bobby Varin was named the Hard Charger of the event after starting 40th and finishing 11th saying “We didn’t have the fastest car; I wish it was a little bit quicker but coming from 40th to 11th that’s not a bad run. Hats off to my crew, after blowing a motor on Thursday they busted their ass on this car for two days straight.”

The 25-lap Swagger Factory Apparel STSS Crate 602 Sportsman feature began with Cody Clark leading after the luck of the draw placed him on the pole position for the start. Fifth place starter Troy Zilles moved into the second position on lap four with the caution out at that point for Tanner Warner who was in the wall in turns one and two.

Clark chose the outside for the restart and held the lead with sixth place starter Payton Talbot moving up to the third position on lap nine after getting by Jeremy Tyrrell. Clark was in lap traffic on lap 11 when the caution came out again, with Clark again choosing the outside on the restart. Zilles was the new race leader on the restart with 16th place starter Tim Hartman Jr. the new third place car behind Clark.

One more caution came out on lap 16 and this time Clark got the best of the restart, taking the lead away and going on for the win in the Upstate Motorsports #4 DKM car, his fourth of the season and the 17th of his career at Fonda. Zilles, Hartman Jr., 12th place starter Michael Ballestero, and Talbot completed the top five.

“When I came in after the heat race, I had no idea if we were gonna be able to make it out for the feature,” Clark said in victory lane. “All the guys from DKM along with guys from other race teams came over to help, it’s amazing how other people come and help out everybody. We’ve had a decent year in my book, a lot of bad luck more than anything, we put a lot of preparation coming into this race, all we wanted to do is win and end the year on a good note, so we were able to do that.”

Keep track of off-season news and plans for the 2023 racing season by going to the Fonda Speedway 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 the speedway on Twitter: @thefondaspdwy.

DATE – 9/17/2022 DAY 3 OF THE 2022 FONDA 200 WEEKEND PRESENTED BY SOUTHSIDE BEVERAGE

STSS SUNOCO MODIFIED “FONDA 200” FEATURE – 200-LAPS – $53,000 TO WIN – MATT SHEPPARD, Anthony Perrego, Mike Mahaney, Danny Varin, Marc Johnson, Billy Decker, Andy Bachetti, Jessica Friesen, Max McLaughlin, Brian Gleason, Bobby Varin, Rocky Warner, David Schilling, Tyler Dippel, Chris Curtis, Alex Yankowski, JaMike Sowle, Brian Pessolano, Mat Williamson, Jimmy Horton, Payton Talbot, Stewart Friesen, Alan Johnson, Dave Constantino, Ronnie Johnson, Nick Heywood, Allison Ricci, Bobby Hackel IV, Aaron Jacobs, Matt DeLorenzo, Ryan Godown, Brett Haas, JR Hurlburt, Tucker O’Connor, Jeff Trombley, Craig Hanson, Darwin Greene, Danny Creeden, Tim Fuller, Jack Lehner, Demetrious Drellos (DQ Weight)

1st win of 2022 and the fifth of his career in the division for Sheppard at Fonda

LAP LEADERS – 1-29 Stewart Friesen, 30-32 Mahaney, 33-34 Perrego, 35 Stewart Friesen, 36-89 Mahaney, 90-100 Perrego, 101-107 Decker, 108-110 Marc Johnson, 111-114 Decker, 115-134 Marc Johnson, 135-200 Sheppard

“B” MAIN RACE WINNERS – Dippel, Horton

DID NOT QUALIFY – Scott Huber, Ryan Darcy, Jason Reome, Nick Stone, Neil Stratton, Danny Johnson, Matt Sobiech, Tanner Warner, Ancel Collins, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Daniel Morgiewicz, Jeremy Slosek

STSS SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25-LAPS – CODY CLARK, Troy Zilles, Tim Hartman Jr., Michael Ballestero, Payton Talbot, Steve Davis, Troy Palmer, Brendan Gibbons, Chad Edwards, Jeremy Tyrrell, Stephen Gray, Chip Constantino, Mark Mortensen, Jeremy Slosek, Dan Santabarbara, Dylan Madsen, Tyler Peet, Michael McCallion, Kyle Dingman, Jason Greco, Tim Deffer, Ben Feldman, Matthew Perry, Michael Arnold, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Carter Gibbons, Clayton DuMond, Travis Green, Harry Shaffer, Tanner Warner

4th win of 2022 and the 17th of his career in the division for Clark

LAP LEADERS – 1-11 Clark, 12-16 Zilles, 17-25 Clark

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Madsen, Talbot, Palmer, Tyrrell, Shaffer, Ballestero

CONSOLATION RACE WINNERS – Brendan Gibbons, Davis, Mark Mortensen

DID NOT QUALIFY – Jason Reome, Blaine Klinger, Karl Barnes, Dale VanAllen, Dale Welty, Brian Borst, Joe Williams, Brett Mortensen, Gerard LeClair, Ron Proctor, Wesley Sutliff, Michael Kalkbrenner, Greg Crooker, Walt Henry, Corky Warner, Josh Kane, Bob Fachini, Doug Kline, Griffen Mansmith, Adam Taft, John Santolin, Garrett Poland, Greg Havlichek, Don Bellen, Chris Kugler, David Hackett Jr., Tim Dwyer, Joey Scarborough, Zach Dufel, Clyde Peek

GRECO’S NAPA HARD CHARGER AWARD – Stephen Gray +15 positions 26th to 11th

FONDA SPEEDWAY QUICK RESULTS DAY 3 OF THE 2022 FONDA 200 WEEKEND PRESENTED BY SOUTHSIDE BEVERAGE

STSS SUNOCO MODIFIED “FONDA 200” FEATURE – 200-LAPS – $53,000 TO WIN – MATT SHEPPARD, Anthony Perrego, Mike Mahaney, Danny Varin, Marc Johnson, Billy Decker, Andy Bachetti, Jessica Friesen, Max McLaughlin, Brian Gleason, Bobby Varin, Rocky Warner, David Schilling, Tyler Dippel, Chris Curtis, Alex Yankowski, JaMike Sowle, Brian Pessolano, Mat Williamson, Jimmy Horton, Payton Talbot, Stewart Friesen, Alan Johnson, Dave Constantino, Ronnie Johnson, Nick Heywood, Allison Ricci, Bobby Hackel IV, Aaron Jacobs, Matt DeLorenzo, Ryan Godown, Brett Haas, JR Hurlburt, Tucker O’Connor, Jeff Trombley, Craig Hanson, Darwin Greene, Danny Creeden, Tim Fuller, Jack Lehner, Demetrious Drellos (DQ Weight)

1st win of 2022 and the fifth of his career in the division for Sheppard at Fonda

LAP LEADERS – 1-29 Stewart Friesen, 30-32 Mahaney, 33-34 Perrego, 35 Stewart Friesen, 36-89 Mahaney, 90-100 Perrego, 101-107 Decker, 108-110 Marc Johnson, 111-114 Decker, 115-134 Marc Johnson, 135-200 Sheppard

“B” MAIN RACE WINNERS – Dippel, Horton

DID NOT QUALIFY – Scott Huber, Ryan Darcy, Jason Reome, Nick Stone, Neil Stratton, Danny Johnson, Matt Sobiech, Tanner Warner, Ancel Collins, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Daniel Morgiewicz, Jeremy Slosek

STSS SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25-LAPS – CODY CLARK, Troy Zilles, Tim Hartman Jr., Michael Ballestero, Payton Talbot, Steve Davis, Troy Palmer, Brendan Gibbons, Chad Edwards, Jeremy Tyrrell, Stephen Gray, Chip Constantino, Mark Mortensen, Jeremy Slosek, Dan Santabarbara, Dylan Madsen, Tyler Peet, Michael McCallion, Kyle Dingman, Jason Greco, Tim Deffer, Ben Feldman, Matthew Perry, Michael Arnold, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Carter Gibbons, Clayton DuMond, Travis Green, Harry Shaffer, Tanner Warner

4th win of 2022 and the 17th of his career in the division for Clark

LAP LEADERS – 1-11 Clark, 12-16 Zilles, 17-25 Clark

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Madsen, Talbot, Palmer, Tyrrell, Shaffer, Ballestero

CONSOLATION RACE WINNERS – Brendan Gibbons, Davis, Mark Mortensen

DID NOT QUALIFY – Jason Reome, Blaine Klinger, Karl Barnes, Dale VanAllen, Dale Welty, Brian Borst, Joe Williams, Brett Mortensen, Gerard LeClair, Ron Proctor, Wesley Sutliff, Michael Kalkbrenner, Greg Crooker, Walt Henry, Corky Warner, Josh Kane, Bob Fachini, Doug Kline, Griffen Mansmith, Adam Taft, John Santolin, Garrett Poland, Greg Havlichek, Don Bellen, Chris Kugler, David Hackett Jr., Tim Dwyer, Joey Scarborough, Zach Dufel, Clyde Peek

GRECO’S NAPA HARD CHARGER AWARD – Stephen Gray +15 positions 26th to 11th

DECKER, FRIESEN, MCLAUGHLIN, & HACKEL WIN FONDA 200 QUALIFIERS WHILE GATES GETS BACK TO VICTORY LANE IN THE PRO STOCKS

By: Ron Szczerba

Fonda, NY – Day 2 of the 2022 Fonda 200 weekend presented by Southside Beverage was held on Friday evening at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway with five different classes of race cars in action including the STSS Modifieds, the Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks, the Fonda Fair Four Cylinders, the CRSA Sprint Cars, and the Street Stocks all in action.

When the checkered flag flew for the final time on Friday evening standing in victory lane were Kenny Gates (Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks), Brandon Ely (DOHC Four Cylinder) & Ken Hollenback (SOHC Four Cylinder), Mike Kiser (CRSA Sprint Cars), and Adam Tranka (Street Stocks). Along with that four 15-lap qualifiers were held for the Fonda 200 for the STSS Modifieds with Billy Decker, Stewart Friesen, Max McLaughlin, and Bobby Hackel IV taking those wins.

Pastor Greg Nitz said a prayer to start the opening ceremonies followed by Joe Kriss singing the National Anthem. Congratulations to Joan from Lake Luzerne who was the winner of $2,928 in the 50/50 raffle. Great job as always by the 50/50 girls!

STSS Modified Fonda 200 Qualifier #1 presented by Park’s Companies saw Billy Decker take the lead from Jack Lehner on lap eight and go on for the win and the $500 bonus from Park’s Companies. In victory lane afterwards, Decker had a great quote about the Fonda 200 coming up tomorrow.

“The outside was a little slippery there when we were doing the pace laps but then it felt pretty good under that caution, so I sailed it in there, it stuck, and I got away with one,” Decker told Mimi Lazzaro in F.X. Caprara Car Companies Victory Lane. “It would be big; we didn’t come here to get our hair cut. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow now and I certainly would like to knock this one off. These new lights help a guy like me see better.”

STSS Modified Fonda 200 Qualifier #2 presented by Fastline Performance was won by Stewart Friesen who led all 15-laps on the way to the $500 bonus from Fastline Performance.

“You get a better look at the front stretch with these new lights that’s for sure,” Friesen said in victory lane afterwards. “The place looks good, and the track is in good shape. The Halmar #44 is fast, more motor problems with the #1Z which is unfortunate, but I’m proud of the Halmar Team, we’ve got a fast hot rod here and I’m looking forward to tomorrow. The track is very fast right now but it’s going to change a lot for tomorrow for sure.”

STSS Modified Fonda 200 Qualifier #3 presented by Upstate Auto saw Max McLoughlin lead every lap on his way to the $500 bonus from Upstate Auto.

“I just had to float it through the corner through the black,” McLaughlin said in victory lane. “The lap traffic got a little interesting there a couple of times, my car really got free around the lap cars. I was pretty happy with the car, but we’ll make a couple more changes to it to get it a little bit better and hopefully come tomorrow we’ll be able to give them a run for their money. Fonda isn’t one of my better tracks, but it sure has been good so far this weekend.”

Bobby Hackel IV led all 15-laps of the STSS Modified Fonda 200 Qualifier #4 taking home a $500 bonus from Dave Prime Jr. Mac Tools.

“Yesterday (Thursday) was a good precursor for tonight,” Hackel said in victory lane. “Unfortunately, it’s one race you almost never want to qualify for (the Underdog 33 for non-winners). We’ve had a really good season and getting out here to Fonda and running Utica Rome, getting my ass out on the road is helping our program racing with Brett Deyo and his staff, I just love what they are doing.”

“I’m trying to chase the coat tails of the big guys,” Hackel continued saying. “I learn from them every time and we’re getting close. I want to be better out on the road, race with the best of the best, keep chasing them around and learning things. They do it full time, so they better be good, so if I want to get there someday, I better go out and do it and learn to race with them. I’ve got great people behind me that are leading me to do this, so I’ll keep trying to roll with it, keep making notes, and learn how to drive these things better.”

The 25-lap Algonkin Motel Pro Stock feature began with Beau Ballard leading from his pole position start with Slater Baker in second. The red flag was out on lap three for Chuck Dumblewski who flipped his car in turn four and then again on the restart for Randy Cosselman who came to a stop in turn four. Dumblewski was not injured in the wreck but was done for the night at that point.

Baker took the lead away from Ballard on lap five with Kenny Gates up to the second position after starting seventh. On lap seven on the inside of the backstretch, Gates was the new race leader while Baker, Ballard, and Josh Coonradt were waging a three-way battle for the second position. At the halfway point, the top five consisted of Gates, Baker, Ballard, Coonradt, and 10th place starter Ivan Joslin.

Gates’ straightaway advantage was taken away by a caution flag on lap 14 placing the new second place car of Ballard alongside for the restart. Both Coonradt and Joslin got by Baker for the third position on lap 16 just before the yellow came out again. Two restarts were needed to get the race going again with Ballard sticking right to Gates’ rear bumper on every restart.

One final caution was out with five laps to go but on this single file restart Gates got away from Ballard and stretched out his advantage to the checkered flag for his 86th career win, his first win since this event on Fonda 200 weekend last year! Ballard, Coonradt, Joslin, and Baker completed the top five.

“It’s taken us all year to get here,” Gates said in victory lane. “I couldn’t be happier. I just had to run clean laps because I knew that the Utica Rome Track Champion (Ballard) was right up my tail, so I had to turn good laps, or he was gonna go by us. I was able to hit my marks and finish the race out clean to get here to victory lane. There was grip on the bottom tonight and that suits me perfectly. They call me the catfish and the catfish swam on the bottom tonight.”

The 15-lap Fonda Fair Four Cylinder feature saw four lead changes over the 15-lap distance with 2022 Track Champion Ken Hollenback and invader Brandon Ely waging a war for the overall lead in the event on laps two through six when they swapped the lead three times. On lap six, Ely took the overall lead in the event with his DOHC after starting sixth and went on to his first career win at Fonda. Ken Hollenback finished second overall and was the SOHC winner.

“It feels good, there is no better feeling, it means everything,” Ely said in victory lane. “I’ve got a big racing legacy for a family and to pull a win off here it’s phenomenal, I couldn’t ask for a better night. I am the grandson of Chuck Ely and Butch Jelley is my great uncle, so I am the prodigy of those two.”

“It was pretty good,” Ken Hollenback said of his car and his overall second place finish. “It was kind of scary in the beginning, so I was just trying to be patient. He (Ely) was a little quicker, but we were good enough to finish second.”

Stone Motorsports/Online Performance put up $1,000 total ($500 to win, $300 for second, and $200 for third) to bring the Street Stocks back to Fonda for Fonda 200 weekend with Chris Murray leading every lap of the 20-lap event for the win after starting the race in the second position. In post-race tech, Murray was disqualified for an illegal exhaust handing the win over to pole position starter Adam Tranka who finished behind Murray before the disqualification.

“You’ve got to be in it to win it,” Tranka said in victory lane. “Chris (Murray) had a very fast car; I was just trying to settle in there. The last couple of laps I was getting closer and closer, but I just couldn’t get to him. This is a really great win for us, I’ve come here since I was a little kid so to get a win here at Fonda, Oh My God.”

The 20- lap CRSA Sprint Car feature began with Tomy Moreau leading at the drop of the green flag until lap three when Jordan Hutton got by for the lead on the inside of turns one and two after starting second. Hutton held the lead for three laps until lap seven when fourth place starter Jeff Trombley got by on a restart with a slide job pass in turn two.

Trombley held the number one position until 10th place starter Mike Kiser made a cross over move in turn four to get by for the lead on lap 15 and he led the remaining laps for his first win of the season at Fonda and the fifth of his career at the “Track of Champions” in the CRSA Sprint class placing his in the number one position on the All-Time Win List.

“It came together really well,” Kiser told Brady Houser in victory lane. “I normally don’t run the bottom, but I tried the top and it just wasn’t working. It’s too far around, I’ve never hit the bottom so hard for so many laps in my life so I guess that I can drive in the slick a little bit. Jeff (Trombley) is a great guy, he’s always helping me, so I’ve got to thank him and the Warren Alexson #3 Team for all of their help. This motor from John Grant has great power so I have to thank him as well.”

“The car was good,” Trombley said after finishing second. “I burnt the right rear off a little bit, and I got loose the last four or five laps, but Mike ran a good race.”

“I think I just made a few mistakes,” Hutton said after finishing third. “I let Trombley get underneath me on the restart and when that happened, I lost a little bit of momentum and gave up the bottom but I’m pretty satisfied with a third-place finish.”

A special six lap Dash for Cash was also held in memory of Arnold “Arnie” Ainsworth who was a legendary photographer and racing historian and recently passed away. The dash was held for the top six in STSS Halmar Elite Series points with money put up by Arnie’s grandson AJ who paid $450 for first place, $250 for second place, and $100 for third place. Ryan Godown took the first-place prize with the win and was followed by Matt Sheppard, Stewart Friesen, Max McLaughlin, Jimmy Horton, and Mat Williamson.

Today concludes the 2022 Fonda 200 Weekend presented by Southside Beverage with the $53,000 to win Fonda 200 for the STSS Sunoco Modifieds and a 25-lap STSS Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman race with racing set to begin with hot laps at 5:00 p.m.

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 of 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: @thefondaspdwy or Instagram: @fondaspeedway.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, FloSports, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, BDR Speed, Halmar International, Ollie’s, River Valley Builders, Hurlock Auto & Speed, Velocita-USA, St. Lawrence Radiology, Franklin Products, Design for Vision & Sunglass Central, Belmont’s Garage, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, Prime MAC Tools, F.X. Caprara Car Companies, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, EIBACH, Elite Welder Testing & Training, Flach Performance Products, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, Penske Racing Shocks, Schultz Racing Fuel Cells, Spyder Filters, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, Wegner Automotive & Wilwood.

STSS MODIFIED QUALIFYING RACE #1 FOR THE FONDA 200 – 15-LAPS – $500 BONUS THANKS TO PARKS COMPANIES LLC – 7 QUALIFY – 3 REDRAW – BILLY DECKER, Ryan Godown, Jack Lehner, Payton Talbot, JaMike Sowle, Marc Johnson, Matt DeLorenzo, Scott Huber, Ryan Darcy, Josh Reome, Aaron Jacobs, Rocky Warner, Jeremy Slosek (DNS), Nick Stone (DNS)

$100 BONUS FOR THE HIGHEST FINISHING FONDA SPEEDWAY REGULAR FROM THE GANG IN SECTION 8 – PAYTON TALBOT

STSS MODIFIED QUALIFYING RACE #2 FOR THE FONDA 200 – 15-LAPS – $500 BONUS THANKS TO FASTLINE PERFORMANCE – 7 QUALIFY – 3 REDRAW – STEWART FRIESEN, Jessica Friesen, Andy Bachetti, Alan Johnson, Brian Gleason, Danny Creeden, Nick Heywood, Jimmy Horton, Tucker O’Connor, Brian Pessolano, Danny Johnson, Bobby Varin, Craig Hanson

$100 BONUS FOR THE HIGHEST FINISHING FONDA SPEEDWAY REGULAR FROM THE GANG IN SECTION 8 – BRIAN GLEASON

STSS MODIFIED QUALIFYING RACE #3 FOR THE FONDA 200 – 15-LAPS – $500 BONUS THANKS TO UPSTATE AUTOMOTIVE – 7 QUALIFY – 3 REDRAW – MAX MCLAUGHLIN, Anthony Perrego, Matt Sheppard, Mat Williamson, Ronnie Johnson, Danny Varin, Tim Fuller, Tyler Dippel, David Schilling, Allison Ricci, Brett Haas, JR Hurlburt, Matt Sobiech

$100 BONUS FOR THE HIGHEST FINISHING FONDA SPEEDWAY REGULAR FROM THE GANG IN SECTION 8 – RONNIE JOHNSON

STSS MODIFIED QUALIFYING RACE #4 FOR THE FONDA 200 – 15-LAPS – $500 BONUS THANKS TO DAVE PRIME JR. MAC TOOLS – 7 QUALIFY – 3 REDRAW – BOBBY HACKEL IV, Mike Mahaney, Demetrious Drellos, Dave Constantino, Alex Yankowski, Chris Curtis, Jeff Trombley, Darwin Greene, Tanner Warner, Ancel Collins, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Daniel Morgiewicz, Neil Stratton

$100 BONUS FOR THE HIGHEST FINISHING FONDA SPEEDWAY REGULAR FROM THE GANG IN SECTION 8 – DEMETRIOUS DRELLOS

ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE – 25-LAPS – KENNY GATES, Beau Ballard, Josh Coonradt, Ivan Joslin, Slater baker, Frank Twing, Jim Normoyle, Gary Silkey, Zach Sorrentino, Kyle Weller, Jeff McPhail, Steve LaRochelle, Caden Dumblewski, Mike Baker, Dillon Vanston, John Holmes, AJ Walters, Don Collins, Randy Cosselman, Chuck Dumblewski

1st win of the 2022 season and the 86th of his career in the division at Fonda for Gates

LAP LEADERS – 1-4 Ballard, 5-6 Baker, 7-25 Gates

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Ballard, Coonradt

FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE – 15-LAPS – BRANDON ELY (DOHC), KEN HOLLENBACK (SOHC), Kerrie Hollenback, Billy Hillman, Jay Ingersol, Bruce Liddle, Steve Burbank, Kyle Lanfear, Dale Van Allen, Jamie Warner, Jordan Ryder, Chad Hoffman, Todd Morey, Dustin Cameron, Chris Jennings Sr., Chris Hall, John Ray, Keith Tesiero Jr., Blaze Post, Kyle Coley (DNS)

$50 BONUS FROM UPSTATE AUTO FOR BOTH THE SOHC (KEN HOLLENBACK) & DOHC (BRANDON ELY) WINNERS

17th win of the 2022 season and the 85th of his career in the division at Fonda for Ken Hollenback

1st career win in the division at Fonda for Ely

LAP LEADERS – 1 Burbank, 2-3 Ken Hollenback, 4 Ely, 5 Ken Hollenback, 6-15 Ely

STREET STOCK FEATURE – 20-LAPS – ADAM TRANKA ($500 BONUS FROM STONE MOTORSPORTS/ONLINE PERFORMANCE), Jason Samrov ($300 BONUS FROM STONE MOTORSPORTS/ONLINE PERFORMANCE), Matt Mosher ($200 BONUS FROM STONE MOTORSPORTS/ONLINE PERFORMANCE), Ray Pierre Jr., Cliff Haslun, Jason Barrett, Lou Gancarz, Even Denue, Josh Samrov, Greg Brockway, Isaac Hirsch, Bob Gibson, Matt Wells, Dave Horning Sr., Chris Murray (DQ Illegal Exhaust)

1st career win in the division at Fonda for Tranka

LAP LEADERS – 1-20 Murray (DQ Illegal Exhaust)

CRSA SPRINT CAR FEATURE – 20-LAPS – MIKE KISER, Jeff Trombley, Jordan Hutton, Thomas Radivoy, Dalton Herrick, Tomy Moreau, Kyle Pierce, Billy Vaninwegen, Dana Wagner, Trevor Years, Timmy Lotz, Mike VanPelt, Mark Taylor, Darryl Ruggles, James Layton, Link Pettit, John Cunningham (DNS), Aaron Shelton (DNS), Ron Greek (DNS)

1st win of 2022 and the 5th of his career in the division at Fonda for Kiser moving him to the top of the All-Time Win List at Fonda for the CRSA Sprint Cars

LAP LEADERS – 1-2 Moreau, 3-6 Hutton, 7-14 Trombley, 15-20 Kiser

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Moreau, Vaninwegen

ARNOLD AINSWORTH DASH FOR CASH FOR THE TOP SIX IN STSS HALMAR ELITE SERIES POINTS – 6-LAPS – RYAN GODOWN ($450), Matt Sheppard ($250), Stewart Friesen ($100), Max McLaughlin, Jimmy Horton, Mat Williamson

FONDA SPEEDWAY QUICK RESULTS 9/16/2022 DAY 2 OF THE 2022 FONDA 200 WEEKEND PRESENTED BY SOUTHSIDE BEVERAGE

STSS SUNOCO MODIFIED QUALIFYING RACE #1 FOR THE FONDA 200 – 15-LAPS – $500 BONUS THANKS TO PARKS COMPANIES LLC – 7 QUALIFY – 3 REDRAW – BILLY DECKER, Ryan Godown, Jack Lehner, Payton Talbot, JaMike Sowle, Marc Johnson, Matt DeLorenzo, Scott Huber, Ryan Darcy, Josh Reome, Aaron Jacobs, Rocky Warner, Jeremy Slosek (DNS), Nick Stone (DNS)

$100 BONUS FOR THE HIGHEST FINISHING FONDA SPEEDWAY REGULAR FROM THE GANG IN SECTION 8 – PAYTON TALBOT

STSS SUNOCO MODIFIED QUALIFYING RACE #2 FOR THE FONDA 200 – 15-LAPS – $500 BONUS THANKS TO FASTLINE PERFORMANCE – 7 QUALIFY – 3 REDRAW – STEWART FRIESEN, Jessica Friesen, Andy Bachetti, Alan Johnson, Brian Gleason, Danny Creeden, Nick Heywood, Jimmy Horton, Tucker O’Connor, Brian Pessolano, Danny Johnson, Bobby Varin, Craig Hanson

$100 BONUS FOR THE HIGHEST FINISHING FONDA SPEEDWAY REGULAR FROM THE GANG IN SECTION 8 – BRIAN GLEASON

STSS SUNOCO MODIFIED QUALIFYING RACE #3 FOR THE FONDA 200 – 15-LAPS – $500 BONUS THANKS TO UPSTATE AUTOMOTIVE – 7 QUALIFY – 3 REDRAW – MAX MCLAUGHLIN, Anthony Perrego, Matt Sheppard, Mat Williamson, Ronnie Johnson, Danny Varin, Tim Fuller, Tyler Dippel, David Schilling, Allison Ricci, Brett Haas, JR Hurlburt, Matt Sobiech

$100 BONUS FOR THE HIGHEST FINISHING FONDA SPEEDWAY REGULAR FROM THE GANG IN SECTION 8 – RONNIE JOHNSON

STSS SUNOCO MODIFIED QUALIFYING RACE #4 FOR THE FONDA 200 – 15-LAPS – $500 BONUS THANKS TO DAVE PRIME JR. MAC TOOLS – 7 QUALIFY – 3 REDRAW – BOBBY HACKEL IV, Mike Mahaney, Demetrious Drellos, Dave Constantino, Alex Yankowski, Chris Curtis, Jeff Trombley, Darwin Greene, Tanner Warner, Ancel Collins, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Daniel Morgiewicz, Neil Stratton

$100 BONUS FOR THE HIGHEST FINISHING FONDA SPEEDWAY REGULAR FROM THE GANG IN SECTION 8 – DEMETRIOUS DRELLOS

ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE – 25-LAPS – KENNY GATES, Beau Ballard, Josh Coonradt, Ivan Joslin, Slater baker, Frank Twing, Jim Normoyle, Gary Silkey, Zach Sorrentino, Kyle Weller, Jeff McPhail, Steve LaRochelle, Caden Dumblewski, Mike Baker, Dillon Vanston, John Holmes, AJ Walters, Don Collins, Randy Cosselman, Chuck Dumblewski

1st win of the 2022 season and the 86th of his career in the division at Fonda for Gates

LAP LEADERS – 1-4 Ballard, 5-6 Baker, 7-25 Gates

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Ballard, Coonradt

FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE – 15-LAPS – BRANDON ELY (DOHC), KEN HOLLENBACK (SOHC), Kerrie Hollenback, Billy Hillman, Jay Ingersol, Bruce Liddle, Steve Burbank, Kyle Lanfear, Dale Van Allen, Jamie Warner, Jordan Ryder, Chad Hoffman, Todd Morey, Dustin Cameron, Chris Jennings Sr., Chris Hall, John Ray, Keith Tesiero Jr., Blaze Post, Kyle Coley (DNS)

$50 BONUS FROM UPSTATE AUTO FOR BOTH THE SOHC (KEN HOLLENBACK) & DOHC (BRANDON ELY) WINNERS

17th win of the 2022 season and the 85th of his career in the division at Fonda for Ken Hollenback

1st career win in the division at Fonda for Ely

LAP LEADERS – 1 Burbank, 2-3 Ken Hollenback, 4 Ely, 5 Ken Hollenback, 6-15 Ely

STREET STOCK FEATURE – 20-LAPS – ADAM TRANKA ($500 BONUS FROM STONE MOTORSPORTS/ONLINE PERFORMANCE), Jason Samrov ($300 BONUS FROM STONE MOTORSPORTS/ONLINE PERFORMANCE), Matt Mosher ($200 BONUS FROM STONE MOTORSPORTS/ONLINE PERFORMANCE), Ray Pierre Jr., Cliff Haslun, Jason Barrett, Lou Gancarz, Even Denue, Josh Samrov, Greg Brockway, Isaac Hirsch, Bob Gibson, Matt Wells, Dave Horning Sr., Chris Murray (DQ Illegal Exhaust)

1st career win in the division at Fonda for Tranka

LAP LEADERS – 1-20 Murray (DQ Illegal Exhaust)

CRSA SPRINT CAR FEATURE – 20-LAPS – MIKE KISER, Jeff Trombley, Jordan Hutton, Thomas Radivoy, Dalton Herrick, Tomy Moreau, Kyle Pierce, Billy Vaninwegen, Dana Wagner, Trevor Years, Timmy Lotz, Mike VanPelt, Mark Taylor, Darryl Ruggles, James Layton, Link Pettit, John Cunningham (DNS), Aaron Shelton (DNS), Ron Greek (DNS)

1st win of 2022 and the 5th of his career in the division at Fonda for Kiser moving him to the top of the All-Time Win List at Fonda for the CRSA Sprint Cars

LAP LEADERS – 1-2 Moreau, 3-6 Hutton, 7-14 Trombley, 15-20 Kiser

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Moreau, Vaninwegen

ARNOLD AINSWORTH DASH FOR CASH FOR THE TOP SIX IN STSS HALMAR ELITE SERIES POINTS – 6-LAPS – RYAN GODOWN ($450), Matt Sheppard ($250), Stewart Friesen ($100), Max McLaughlin, Jimmy Horton, Mat Williamson

ULTIMATE UNDERDOG “33” AT FONDA WON BY JACK LEHNER

By: Ron Szczerba

Fonda, NY – Day 1 of the 2022 Fonda 200 weekend presented by Southside Beverage saw the #2 Benson’s Pet Center Modified of Jack Lehner in victory lane for his first win of the 2022 season and the second of his career at Fonda. Lehner’s first win at Fonda was back on 5/1/2021 in the Nelson Motorsports #85 but last night the win came in his self-owned #2 powered by a motor borrowed from Paul Pinkerous.

“I have a lot of cool people that make this all happen for me and thanks to Paul Pinkerous, this is his motor that he let us use this week,” Lehner told Mimi Lazzaro in victory lane.

The “Ultimate Underdog 33” was a race that allowed anyone, from any track, to participate in if they didn’t have a win during the 2022 racing season. It also allowed a few of the Crate 602 Sportsman competitors to get some track time and experience running with the Modifieds.

The other event held on Thursday evening was a 20-lap event for the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman cars and it was Kyle Dingman taking home the $1,100 win in the Sickler Construction car #1D. For Dingman it was his fourth win of the 2022 season and the sixth of his career in the division at Fonda.

Special thanks to Holmes & Kugler Towing who contributed $1,000 to the winner of the event making it a big $1,100 payday for the competitors in the division.

Pastor Greg Nitz said a prayer before Stephanie May performed the National Anthem during opening ceremonies. Great job by all of the 50/50 girls with the winner Aaron from Fonda, NY taking home the $1,349 prize!

Jimmy Horton led the first lap from his outside front row starting position with the yellow flag coming out just after the first lap was completed for Ryan Odasz who was in the turn two wall. On the restart, Bobby Hackel IV was the new race leader with Horton dropping all the way back to the sixth position, Hackel pulling away to a straightaway advantage by lap five.

JaMike Sowle started the event in the fifth position and was running fourth before making a great move on lap six to get around both Chris Curtis and Jack Lehner for the second position. When George Foley slowed in turn four on lap eight, Lehner who was running third on the restart made his move into the second position as he got by Sowle with Ronnie Johnson also getting by Sowle for the third position after starting 11th.

The top three of Hackel, Lehner, and Johnson were nose to tail for the lead just before the halfway point in the event with Johnson getting by both Lehner and a lap car for the second position on lap 17. At the hallway point in the event Hackel, Johnson, Lehner, Sowle and 15th place starter Tanner Warner were in the top five with the race for the lead becoming a very interesting one as lap traffic came into play.

Johnson and Lehner both made a strong bid for the lead just past the halfway point when the lap car of Matt Sobiech was right in front of the leader with Johnson and Lehner looking for a way to get by both the lap car and Hackel for the lead. Hackel maintained the lead at that point after getting to the outside of the lap car with Johnson and Lehner also clearing Sobiech to continue their battle for the lead.

Warner’s great run came to an end on lap 18 when he suffered what looked like a flat tire, but it must have been more serious as he never re-entered the race from the hot pit. The top three continued their see saw battle to lap 22 when Lehner got by Johnson for the second position and began pressuring Hackel for the lead three laps later.

Coming out of turn four to complete lap 27, Lehner took the race lead away from Hackel and immediately pulled away to a straightaway advantage with only two laps to go. He led the rest of the way to Joe Kriss’ checkered flag for the win followed by Hackel, Johnson, Sowle, and 18th place starter Tyler Dippel.

“That was definitely a lot of fun,” Lehner said in victory lane. “It got kind of hairy with the lap cars not being sure which way they were gonna go so I think that played a big part in it. Bobby was running a good race there running the bottom and sliding across the track, I was hoping that would fade for him when the track slickened up, I felt really good on the bottom, so it just worked out for us.”

“You had to pick your lane wisely, I was pretty tight early but as the race went on, I felt like I was getting better and better so it kind of fell at the right time in the right place for us,” Lehner continued saying. “The new lighting is awesome, usually you can’t see a whole lot on the top of turns two and three, and three and four is kind of dark but it is lit right up now. It’s great that Brett (Deyo) did that, he’s always trying to make it better.”

27 cars started the 20-lap Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman feature with Lance Hill the early race leader. Second and fourth place starters Zach Dufel and Butchie Irwin made contact at the start with Irwin getting the second position while Dufel dropped back to third.

Two consecutive yellow flags slowed the field one lap into the event and on the single file restart the top two of Hill and Irwin pulled away from the third place running Dufel. When something broke on the left rear of the leading car of Hill, it brought out the caution and handed the lead over to Irwin on lap five.

On the restart, 10th place starter Kyle Dingman took over the second position and at the halfway point it was Irwin, Dingman, Dufel, 16th place starter Connor Prokop, and eighth place starter Michael Arnold in the top five. Dingman took the lead away on a lap 11 restart ad pulled away from the rest of the field.

With one lap to go the red flag was out after EJ Gallup rolled his car over in turn four but landed on all four wheels and kept on going. Other cars were involved as well causing the red flag condition. Dingman got a good restart and led the final lap to the big win followed in the top five by Irwin, Dufel, Arnold, and Michael Kalkbrenner.

“When I ended up getting up to second with Butchie (Irwin) there, I knew that he’s been doing this stuff for a long time,” Dingman said in F.X. Caprara Car Companies Victory Lane. “My only thinking was I knew he was gonna fire there at the first sign and I just had to drive it harder into the turn. He did that but it stuck for me, and I drove out to a lead and never looked back after that.”

“It got a little scary there during that red flag on the front stretch, but the car was awesome and went anywhere that I wanted it to,” Dingman continued to say. “Thank you to my crew and sponsors and everyone that helps me, this is my final Limited Sportsman race. I’m moving up to the regular sportsman division next year, so this is definitely the way to go out.”

Day two of the 2022 Fonda 200 Weekend presented by Southside Beverage continues today (Friday) with qualifying events for the STSS Sunoco Modifieds for the Fonda 200, The Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks, the Fonda Fair Four Cylinders, the Street Stocks, and the CRSA Sprint cars with racing beginning at 7:00 p.m.

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 – 9/15/2022 DAY 1 OF THE 2022 FONDA 200 WEEKEND PRESENTED BY SOUTHSIDE BEVERAGE

SUNOCO MODIFIED “ULTIMATE UNDERDOG” FEATURE – 33-LAPS – $2,000 to win – JACK LEHNER, Bobby Hackel IV, Ronnie Johnson, JaMike Sowle, Tyler Dippel, Chris Curtis, Tucker O’Connor, Scott Huber, Jeff Trombley, Payton Talbot, Ancel Collins, Brian Pessolano, Ryan Darcy, Aaron Jacobs, Joe Williams, Brett Mortensen, Mark Mortensen, Matt Sobiech, Mark Pullen, Tanner Warner, Bobby Varin, Jimmy Horton, Nick Stone, George Foley, Vinnie Sanganetti, Ryan Odasz, Brett Hass, Stephen Gray, Allison Ricci, Jessica Friesen (DNS), Daniel Morgiewicz (DNS)

1st win of 2022 and the second win of his career in the division for Lehner

LAP LEADERS – 1 Horton, 2-26 Hackel, 27-33 Lehner

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Sowle, Curtis, Varin

MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 20-laps – $1,100 to win – $1,000 added to the winners share by Holmes & Kugler Towing – KYLE DINGMAN, Butchie Irwin, Zach Dufel, Mike Arnold, Michael Kalkbrenner, Nick Arnold, Timmy Wilmot, Mike Hill, Jonathan Feagles, Phil Arnold, AJ Greco, Corky Warner, Harold Robitaille, Walter Cook, Chris Kugler, Connor Prokop, Josh Kane, EJ Gallup, Wesley Sutliff, Colin Clow, Dale VanAllen, Russ Farr, Lance Hill, Cian DiMezza, Gus Kamberelis, Mark Lighthall, Tim Deffer (DNS)

4th win of 2022 and the 6th of his career in the division for Dingman

LAP LEADERS – 1-4 Hill, 5-10 Irwin, 11-20 Dingman

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Irwin, Dingman, Michael Arnold

FONDA 200 WEEKEND PRESENTED BY SOUTHSIDE BEVERAGE DAY 1 QUICK RESULTS

SUNOCO MODIFIED “ULTIMATE UNDERDOG” FEATURE – 33-LAPS – $2,000 to win – JACK LEHNER, Bobby Hackel IV, Ronnie Johnson, JaMike Sowle, Tyler Dippel, Chris Curtis, Tucker O’Connor, Scott Huber, Jeff Trombley, Payton Talbot, Ancel Collins, Brian Pessolano, Ryan Darcy, Aaron Jacobs, Joe Williams, Brett Mortensen, Mark Mortensen, Matt Sobiech, Mark Pullen, Tanner Warner, Bobby Varin, Jimmy Horton, Nick Stone, George Foley, Vinnie Sanganetti, Ryan Odasz, Brett Hass, Stephen Gray, Allison Ricci, Jessica Friesen (DNS), Daniel Morgiewicz (DNS)

1st win of 2022 and the second win of his career in the division for Lehner

LAP LEADERS – 1 Horton, 2-26 Hackel, 27-33 Lehner

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Sowle, Curtis, Varin

MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 20-laps – $1,100 to win – $1,000 added to the winners share by Holmes & Kugler Towing – KYLE DINGMAN, Butchie Irwin, Zach Dufel, Mike Arnold, Michael Kalkbrenner, Nick Arnold, Timmy Wilmot, Mike Hill, Jonathan Feagles, Phil Arnold, AJ Greco, Corky Warner, Harold Robitaille, Walter Cook, Chris Kugler, Connor Prokop, Josh Kane, EJ Gallup, Wesley Sutliff, Colin Clow, Dale VanAllen, Russ Farr, Lance Hill, Cian DiMezza, Gus Kamberelis, Mark Lighthall, Tim Deffer (DNS)

4th win of 2022 and the 6th of his career in the division for Dingman

LAP LEADERS – 1-4 Hill, 5-10 Irwin, 11-20 Dingman

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Irwin, Dingman, Michael Arnold

THE $53,000 FONDA 200 IS ONLY DAYS AWAY

By: Ron Szczerba

Fonda, NY – In a press release put out earlier this month, Fonda Speedway announcer Chris Moore said it best regarding the 2022 edition of the Fonda 200. “It’s Time.” The Fonda 200 weekend presented by Southside Beverage is just days away at the historic Fonda Speedway.

The stars of the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled by Sunoco clash with Fonda Speedway’s best in pursuit of a $53,000 grand prize.

The historic – and now annual – event serves as the richest winner’s share in Modified racing with a purse nearing $140,000 for Saturday’s main event.

The “Fonda 200” also plays a hand in both the Halmar International “Elite” Series (Round No. 4) and the River Valley Builders North Region (Round No. 9), paying $25,000 and $15,000, respectively, to their champions.

A LOOK BACK AT THE 2021 FONDA 200 WEEKEND

On day one of Fonda 200 weekend 2021, Pittsfield Massachusetts driver Brett Haas started on the outside of the front row in the “Underdog 33” event, taking the lead at the drop of the green flag. He led every lap of the event through four caution flag periods and restarts, winning not only his first career victory at the Fonda Speedway but also his first win of the entire 2021 racing season in the Mac Tools #55.

A regular competitor at the Lebanon Valley Speedway, Haas finished third in the season long point standings without the benefit of a race win. The “Underdog 33” at Fonda was held with that in mind as it was for competitors from any racetrack who didn’t have a victory during the 2021 racing season.

“I’ve had some awful luck here,” Haas said in victory lane. “But tonight, I had a good draw, and I knew that I had a good car, so I was finally able to get the monkey off my back here at Fonda.”

On day two of the 2021 Fonda 200 weekend, the four qualifying heat races for the Fonda 200 were won by Matt Sheppard, Rocky Warner, Tyler Dippel, and Danny Varin.

The Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks ran a feature event that saw Kenny Gates lead every lap from his pole position start to take his second win of the 2021 season and the 85th of his career at Fonda.

“This is the shot in the arm that we needed,” Gates told Mimi Lazzaro in victory lane. “The car was on rails tonight and I could go anywhere that I wanted to with it. The track was prepared well, and I couldn’t be happier. Thanks to all of my sponsors and thanks to my long-time sponsor George Smith of School House Pools for all of his support through the years it has definitely been a great ride.”

Jordan Hutton led every lap of the CRSA feature event after starting on the front row for his first career win in the CRSA Sprints which was also his first career win at Fonda. “I’m so excited right now,” Hutton said in victory lane. “I ran the car wide open all race long and I don’t think I’ve ever had such a good car. Turn four was the most challenging here at Fonda. I almost went too high and out of the groove there many times tonight.”

Matt Mosher was the winner of the Street Stock feature, the first of his career at Fonda, taking the lead on lap 14 of the 20-lap event. “This is awesome,” Mosher said in victory lane about his first career win. “I broke a brake hub in practice and started last, but I was able to make my way to the front.”

PJ Bleau (DOHC) led the final ten laps of the Fonda Fair Four Cylinder feature for the overall victory with Ken Hollenback finishing second to take the win as a SOHC.

On day three of Fonda 200 weekend 2021, Chad Edwards got by Tucker O’Connor for the second position on a lap ten restart in the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman feature and started pressuring Michael Sabia for the lead as the two ran side by side for many laps. Edwards took the lead away from Sabia on the inside of turns one and two on lap 18 and led the remaining laps for his fourth victory of the season and the 13th of his career in the division.

“The track was real racy tonight, the car had a lot of speed,” Edwards said following his win. “I have to thank my car owner John Kollar for going above and beyond to give us what we need to race and be successful.”

The opening ceremonies at any event can be special, the one at the 29th edition of the Fonda 200 on Saturday 9/18/2021 was one of the best. Drivers were introduced according to their starting positions and walked to their cars in front of the fans in the grandstand.

When Joe Kriss’ green flag was thrown to start the Sunoco Modified “Fonda 200” event, pole position starter Jeff Rockefeller took the early lead as the drivers all settled in for a long 200 laps. Outside pole position starter Danny Varin took the lead away from Rockefeller on the outside of turn two with sixth place starter Stewart Friesen up to the second position by lap 12 after getting by Rockefeller.

Friesen took the lead away from Varin on the inside of turns three and four on lap 66 only to have Varin get back by for the lead on the backstretch of the next lap. The race took a turn for the worse on lap 67 for Friesen who cut down a right front tire to bring out the caution. Friesen would pit to change the tire and discovered that he also had a broken right rear shock which his crew changed, and he went back out on the track in the 24th position.

Lap 101 saw Friesen get by Matt DeLorenzo for the lead with Mike Mahaney getting by David Schilling and DeLorenzo for the second position on lap 109 with Friesen now out to a straightaway advantage. Through two more cautions Friesen pulled away on each restart to a straightaway lead each time, including lap 155 with lap traffic coming into play, but he would go on to the $53,000 victory.

“Pretty wild out there today, I could get to the 93 (Varin) but then he would get away from me,” Friesen told Chris Moore in victory lane. “Had the tire go down and a broken shock and thanks to my crew for getting things changed for me to get back out there. The best race in New York State was here at Fonda today.”

“I saw the 97 (Warner) along side of me at one point and knew that I had to get going,” Friesen continued. “On the restarts I just tried to get a good launch and get back to the top. Congratulations to Jake Spraker who was a great car owner that I got to drive for at one point in my career.”

A LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2022 FONDA 200 WEEKEND

The 2022 Southside Beverage Fonda 200 weekend begins this Thursday (Sept. 15) with the Sunoco Modified ‘Ultimate Underdog 33’ taking place. Any driver unable to pick up a Modified victory at any speedway this season will be eligible to participate.

The Montgomery County Office of the Aging Limited Sportsman join the program, now racing for a $1,100 top prize thanks to Holmes & Kugler Towing in Schenectady, N.Y. Open Practice for all other divisions participating during the weekend will also be available.

On Friday (Sept. 16) the STSS big-block/small-block Modifieds take part in 15-lap Qualifying Races for Saturday’s main event.

Joining STSS Modified Qualifying Races will be the CRSA Sprint Cars, the Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks, Stone Motorsports/Online Performance Street Stocks ($500 to win, $300 for second, $200 for third) and Fonda Fair Four Cylinders.

Friday night’s racing action will be followed by a post-race party with LIVE music in the Entertainment Building on the fairgrounds.

The weekend concludes on Saturday, Sept. 17. The STSS Modifieds take part in Last Chance Races to set the final starting field for the $53,000-to-win ‘Fonda 200’ headliner paying $1,000 to take the green flag.

The Swagger Factory Apparel STSS Crate 602 Sportsman join the Saturday program, battling for 25-laps in Round No. 6 of the Precision Hydraulic & Oil North Region.

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 of 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: @thefondaspdwy or Instagram: @fondaspeedway.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, FloSports, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, BDR Speed, Halmar International, Ollie’s, River Valley Builders, Hurlock Auto & Speed, Velocita-USA, St. Lawrence Radiology, Franklin Products, Design for Vision & Sunglass Central, Belmont’s Garage, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, Prime MAC Tools, F.X. Caprara Car Companies, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, EIBACH, Elite Welder Testing & Training, Flach Performance Products, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, Penske Racing Shocks, Schultz Racing Fuel Cells, Spyder Filters, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, Wegner Automotive & Wilwood.

2022 FONDA SPEEDWAY TRACK CHAMPIONS THOUGHTS IN THEIR OWN WORDS

By: Ron Szczerba

Fonda, NY – Saturday evening August 13 was labeled as Benjamin Moore Paints Championship Night, and it didn’t disappoint as point races were very close in three of the regular five divisions, with the champions not decided in those three divisions until the final checkered flag was thrown in each of the feature events. Here are each of the Track Champions thoughts, in their own words, after the championships were decided.

2022 SUNOCO MODIFIED TRACK CHAMPION MATT DELORENZO

DeLorenzo was the 358-Modified Track Champion at Fonda in 2004 & 2005 along with the Big Block Track Champion in 2007.

“It wasn’t our plan to be here at Fonda every week, but we started running real well at the beginning of the year so we kind of worked things out that I could race here every Saturday,” DeLorenzo told Mimi Lazzaro during the championship celebration. “The track kind of threw me a curve ball the last month being choppy and stuff, and the car just really wasn’t comfortable. We also had motor problems, but it all worked out. This is the first time we’ve run a big block here all year, I always had a small block here, but everybody went to a small block back then.”

“Back then Bobby Varin I know ran a big block and we always battled back in the day, so it’s been a while hasn’t it. Now everybody has the open small block with Brett’s rules, but it shows that the big block can be competitive. I’ve been sleeping at the shop a lot, I have to thank my wife for letting me do that and my kids they are pretty busy in their lives too so I’m glad they are all here tonight, my mother is here too so it’s pretty cool.”

“The kids were putting the pressure on me saying dad you better win tonight, so I said to them it is just like you being up at home plate with a full count on you and the bases are loaded and the score is tied. A lot of pressure tonight for sure and I just wanted to do good for everybody and finish. My brother Mike is the brains behind the operation and Brian (teammate Brian Gleason) both of them really work hard every week to try and figure out these coil cars.”

“My dad Tom runs around to get parts for us, and we have a great bunch of people along with a lot of extra people tonight to help out which is cool so hats off to my brother Mike he does a phenomenal job. I have to thank BBL Companies who have been with me since I started racing, REO Welding, Collette Mechanical, Recovery Sports Grill, Carey Electric, MCD Metals, Kevin Enders, Dan Bedell whose motor was in the car tonight, Bicknell Racing Products, and Dennis from Integra Shocks. We have been running the same car at both Albany Saratoga and Fonda all season long and tonight this is actually my teammate Brian’s car.”

2022 SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN TRACK CHAMPION PAYTON TALBOT

First career Track Championship in the division at Fonda for Talbot.

“Yeah, this is awesome,” Talbot said during the championship celebration. “I didn’t really expect it coming into tonight, I knew that Chad (Edwards) was going to be tough. I didn’t know if the top or bottom was gonna be better, but we got lucky there when Chad pulled the slide job on us, we had enough momentum to get back by him on the bottom. I ran the top for a while, Troy (Palmer) and Chad were checking out, so I was just following them. You know the car didn’t feel bad and I think the tires got a little more heat in them on exit.”

“At the end there I was just trying to run the bottom and keep the 10% behind me. We’ve had a wicked year here, I can’t ask for anymore, I’ve got an awesome crew behind me and trying keep up on maintenance on this thing week in and week out, it paid off. You’ve gotta check everything you can’t have mistakes. We’ve just had a fantastic year; I don’t think that we’ve broken down yet knock on wood.”

“I have to thank Travis at Ted’s Body Shop, Mike Walton at Fastline Performance, Joe from Precision Hydraulic Oil, Parker at Parker Excavating, Hig Fab Chassis, Jeff at JK Signworks, Brian at Donath Motorworks, Brandon at DIG Race Products, MIR, CC, Northeast Forestry, and Tom Moore at Training Tails.”

2022 ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK TRACK CHAMPION NICK STONE

Stone had previous Track Championships in the division at Fonda back in 2014, 2020, and 2021.

“Preparation is everything,” Stone said. “I guarantee we have the most prepped out race car. The body looks a little rough, but you take this body off and the car looks brand new underneath it. We got the tires that we needed and didn’t have to be conservative, everything was always prepped out perfect.”

“On Tuesday we all go up to the garage to work on the car and luckily, we never wrecked, all of our stuff was very minor. We noticed things before something happened and that’s how you do it. Every time I go out there, I’m focused, and it’s been both ways for me during my racing career, I’ve had very little help at times, to doing it all yourself, so you come to the track and have some good nights, and you have some rough nights because you’re always working on the car.”

“Some of the guys that I see struggling I know exactly what they are going through because I know how it is, I’ve been there. I finally caught a nice ride with Todd, and I know he enjoys it, so it is kind of a perfect combination. I have to thank Todd, Melissa, Gus, Matt, Scott, Jamie, and my dad. Todd had these sponsors over the years, and some have followed me over, so our teams merged together real well.”

2022 MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN TRACK CHAMPION ZACH DUFEL

First career Track Championship in the division at Fonda for Dufel.

“I honestly have no words, I’ve dreamt of being here just as a crew member and being here as a driver is so special to me,” Dufel said. “Obviously with Mike (car owner Michael Jackson) and his long road to recovery I can’t thank him enough, Harry Shaffer, the whole Shaffer family, Harry has been there for me since day one. He’s been there all season telling me what to do, I’m taking his and Mikey’s tips and it worked out. It’s insane, I literally have no words, it’s awesome.”

“If my dad was here (the late Jay Dufel who was a long time crew member for Jack Johnson) he would have been telling me to move up mid-season but Chad (Edwards) is a friend of mine and he will be a good mentor when I move up next year so hopefully we’ll run well, we’ll see what we have for them at the end of the season and how we match up with them so I’m excited.”

“Winning anything at the Fonda Speedway is cool,” Dufel’s car owner and team manager Michael Jackson said. “This team has worked really hard, not everybody is here tonight, but we’ve tried to build a program that can win, Zach is a new piece of that, well he’s been a piece for a long time, but to be able to accomplish what he has done this season has been great.”

Mimi concluded the interview with Jackson saying, “I am so happy that you are still here with us, you defied medical experts, you defied life, and you are here, it is so awesome to have you here and thank you for everything that you do for racing,” Lazzaro said about Jackson.

“Thank you for that Mimi, I wasn’t ready for that,” Jackson said with emotion.

2022 FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER SOHC TRACK CHAMPION KEN HOLLENBECK

Ken Hollenbeck had previous Track Championships in the division at Fonda back in 2012 (SOHC), 2013 (SOHC), 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020 (SOHC), and 2021 (SOHC).

“This is a new car for us this year,” Ken Hollenbeck said. “Everybody else has my old junk cars now.”

2022 FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER DOHC TRACK CHAMPION KERRIE HOLLENBECK

Kerrie Hollenbeck had a previous Track Championship in the division at Fonda back in 2013 (DOHC).

“I thought they were gonna give us championship belts,” Kerrie Hollenbeck said. “I was gonna do a back flip off the top of the car. But anyways I am a champion and God bless my brother Kenny who is the overall champion.”

CLOSING THOUGHTS ON THE REGULAR SEASON

“It was a fun season, always fun at Fonda,” head announcer Chris Moore said. “The people here are what make it great, our racers gave us great support, we have had a great season. But we’re not done yet, we’ve got the Fonda 200 coming up in a month, so we’ve still got a lot to do.”

“It’s been a really, really good time,” Fonda Speedway General Manager Jamie Page said. “We have an awesome group here, it’s like a family, it’s pretty awesome to have the people that we do here at Fonda.”

“Pretty amazing season really,” Fonda Speedway promoter Brett Deyo said. “We survived through a lot of factors, tire shortages, inflation, and no rain outs. Who would have thought that when we moved the first race to a Sunday to get it in that we would get every other race in. We were struggling with a wet spring, but everybody stuck with us. It was an awesome season, great car counts, fan counts, tonight was off the charts.”

“The 50/50’s were great, I think we survived a wild season and now we can regroup and get ready for the Fonda 200,” Deyo continued to say. “I am excited going into the 200, I think we have a lot of momentum and no conflicts this year on the schedule, so it should be pretty wild.”

The Fonda Speedway will be taking a break now for the annual Fonda Fair before the season ending Fonda 200 weekend takes place on September 15-17. Stay tuned to the Fonda Speedway Facebook page and the website for details on the $53,000 to win event!

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.

DRELLOS GETS SECOND CAREER WIN ON CHAMPIONSHIP NIGHT AT FONDA, DELORENZO CROWNED 2022 SUNOCO MODIFIED TRACK CHAMPION

By: Ron Szczerba

Fonda, NY – It was labeled as a “Championship Title Fight” on Facebook between Matt DeLorenzo; Ronnie Johnson; and Rocky Warner in the Sunoco Modified division, Payton Talbot and Chad Edwards in the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman division, Zach Dufel and Kyle Dingman in the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman division.

At the end of Benjamin Moore Paints “Championship Night” drivers who were crowned 2022 Fonda Speedway Track Champions included DeLorenzo in the Sunoco Modified division, Talbot in the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman division, Nick Stone in the Algonkin Motel Pro Stock division, Dufel in the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman, Ken Hollenbeck in the SOHC Fonda Fair Four Cylinder division, and Kerrie Hollenbeck in the DOHC Fonda Fair Four Cylinder division.

Back on June 16, 2018, Demetrios Drellos won the first Modified feature of his career at Fonda in the Bill & Erik Nelson owned #85. After being very competitive the entire 2022 season at Fonda until bad luck struck him numerous times, Drellos won his second career feature event at the “Track of Champions” on Saturday evening in the family owned Drellos Motorsports #111.

“It took all season and on the final night we finally got it done,” Drellos told Mimi Lazzaro in victory lane. “I can’t thank my mom & dad enough along with my wife, Tom, Joe, and Joanne they have been here all season. It’s been an up and down year and we just had a blast. Congratulations to Matty D for clinching the championship.”

Other feature winners on Benjamin Moore Paints Championship Night at Fonda were Troy Zilles (first career win in the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman division), Nick Stone (Algonkin Motel Pro Stock), Josh Kane (Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman), Ken Hollenbeck (SOHC Four Cylinder), and Kerrie Hollenbeck (DOHC Four Cylinder).

The Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series (MVVDMS) was also in action with the following drivers capturing feature wins and season championships.

Jimmy Fugel was the Antique division feature winner and won the 2022 Track Championship in the division, Curtis Condon was the winner of the Late Model division feature event and the 2022 Track Championship, John Marks was the winner of the Mystique division feature while Carl Cram captured the Track Championship, Dan Colvin was the Sportsman feature winner and the 2022 Track Champion, and Randy Delaney was the Modified feature winner and the 2022 Track Champion.

Pastor Greg Nitz said the prayer during opening ceremonies while Mimi Lazzaro sang the National Anthem before the “Championship Title Fight” began. The 50/50 of $3,899 has not yet been claimed so double check your tickets to see if you were the winner! If the prize is not claimed, it will be rolled into the Fonda 200 weekend drawing.

The 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature began with outside front row starter Brian Gleason taking the early lead with Craig Hanson in the second position by lap three after starting seventh. Matt DeLorenzo started the event in the eighth position and was up to the fourth position at that point while tenth place starter Ronnie Johnson also moved into the top five as the championship battle began.

Gleason held the lead through two caution flags on laps five and seven while 11th place starter Demetrious Drellos was sitting in the fourth position on a lap seven restart. Three laps later on lap ten, Drellos was the new second place car while DeLorenzo and Johnson were swapping the fourth position a couple of times before DeLorenzo took control of the spot on lap 13. Gleason continued to lead at the halfway point followed by Drellos, Hanson, DeLorenzo, and Johnson.

Drellos closed in on Gleason on lap 16 and one lap later was the new race leader with a pass on the inside just as the lap was completed. With no caution flags for the remainder of the event, Drellos pulled away with the attention now turning to the drivers who were in contention for the 2022 track title DeLorenzo, Johnson, and Rocky Warner who was up to the sixth position on lap 21.

Johnson and Warner swapped the sixth position a couple of times before Warner took over the spot late in the event. As DeLorenzo held on to a third-place finish to the checkered flag, 13th place starter Danny Varin moved steadily into the top five, getting by Gleason for the second position with only three laps remaining. Drellos was the race winner followed by Varin, DeLorenzo, Gleason, and Hanson with DeLorenzo winning the championship.

“That was a lot of fun,” Drellos said. “We worked on a real good shock package the last few weeks and we’ve perfected it I guess a little bit and were able to get through the holes a lot better than Brian (Gleason) was. We finally got enough momentum up that when he bobbled, we capitalized on it.”

The Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman feature was a caution filled event with the championship not decided until the checkered flag flew. Stephen Gray led at the drop of the green flag and led the first four laps until lap five when Greg Havlichek took over the lead. Gray’s night came to an unfortunate end on lap six when he got into turn one a little too hard, spun his car, and backed it into the wall bringing out the caution. Gray was done at that point in the event.

Eighth place starter Troy Zilles took over the lead on the restart with Cody Clark bringing out another caution on the next lap with a broken right rear suspension while running third. Chad Edwards started the event in the 11th position and moved into the second spot on lap eight after getting by Havlichek for the position with 12th place starter Payton Talbot also getting by Havlichek for the third spot at that point.

At the halfway point in the event the top five consisted of Zilles, Edwards, Talbot, Jason Reome, and Havlichek. Zilles held the lead through four more cautions, choosing the outside on each double file restart to hold on to the top spot and went on to his first career win in the division in the Alpin Haus sponsored #14Z. Talbot got by Edwards for the second position on lap 20 and sealed up the championship with Troy Palmer, and Brendan Gibbons completing the top five behind Edwards.

“Had a good night,” Zilles said in victory lane. “We hit on the setup, and it was a great night. Every yellow when they said on the Raceiver that the 14T (Talbot) was behind me I was saying to myself this isn’t good, but I was just happy that I could hold him off.”

Gary Silkey led the first lap of the Algonkin Motel Pro Stock feature before fifth place starter Luke Horning moved into the lead on lap two on the inside of turn three. Eighth place starter Nick Stone was the new second place car on lap three while seventh place starter Beau Ballard was right behind in third.

On the outside of turns three and four, Stone took the lead away from Horning with Ballard also getting by Horning for the second position. At the halfway point Stone led the way with Horning, Gates, ninth place starter Chuck Dumblewski, and Ballard completing the top five. Dumblewski got by Gates for the third position just past the halfway point while lap traffic came into play for Stone with four laps to go.

Stone went on to his 10th win of the season and the 2022 Track Championship in the Todd Hoffman owned #8N followed in the top five by Horning, Dumblewski, last weeks winner and 11th place starter Ivan Joslin, and Ballard.

“When the track gets a little slicker you can see a difference,” Stone said in victory lane. “The last couple of weeks we had some bit in the track and every car is fast, great racing it just makes it tough. We struggled a little there and the rough tracks aren’t real coil friendly either, so we struggled a little on that, but now we are right back to where we were at, and the car felt like it did early in the season.”

Josh Kane led the last seven laps of the 15-lap Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman feature for his second win of the season followed in the top five by Corky Warner, Jonathan Feagles, Connor Prokop, and Ryan Sweet. Zach Dufel was involved in an accident on lap two but was able to finish just behind Kyle Dingman to seal up the championship for Dufel.

“We were pretty strong all season,” Kane said after the victory. “For the ups and downs, wrecking one car and having to learn a whole new car definitely paid off tonight though. I was just praying they stay clean, the last thing I want to do is have another wreck after destroying one car, it definitely doesn’t feel good to crash.”

Ken and Kerrie Hollenbeck continued their domination of the Fonda Fair Four Cylinder division, Ken winning his 16th feature of the season in the SOHC and Kerrie the 13th of the 2022 season in the DOHC. Both were also crowned the 2022 champions in their respective classes.

The Fonda Speedway will be taking a break now for the annual Fonda Fair before the season ending Fonda 200 weekend takes place on September 15-17. Stay tuned to the Fonda Speedway Facebook page and the website for details on the $53,000 to win event!

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.

SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE – 30-laps – DEMETRIOS DRELLOS, Danny Varin, Matt DeLorenzo, Brian Gleason, Craig Hanson, Rocky Warner, Ronnie Johnson, Dave Constantino, Tucker O’Connor, JaMike Sowle, Nick Heywood, Bobby Hackel IV, Jessica Friesen, Bobby Varin, Pep Corradi, Ryan Odasz, Ed Harris, David Schilling, Nicholas Plumstead, Alissa Cody, Darwin Greene, Chris Curtis (DNS), Alex Yankowski (DNS)

1st win of 2022 and the 2nd of his career in the division at Fonda

LAP LEADERS – 1-16 Gleason, 17-30 Drellos

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Warner, Sowle, Corradi

2022 SUNOCO MODIFIED TRACK CHAMPION – MATT DELORENZO

SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25-laps – TROY ZILLES, Payton Talbot, Chad Edwards, Troy Palmer, Brendan Gibbons, Mark Mortensen, Chip Constantino, Tanner Warner, Dan Santabarbara, Tim Dwyer, Matthew Perry, Anthony Cardamone, Kathy Bellen, Cory White, Jeremy Tyrrell, Carter Gibbons, Greg Havlichek, Harry Shaffer, Bill August, Brett Mortensen, Clayton DuMond, Jason Greco, Jeremy Slosek, Stephen Gray, Cody Clark, Dylan Eldred, Griffen Mansmith, Nicholas Plumstead, Jason Reome (DQ weight)

1st win of 2022 and the 1st of his career in the division at Fonda

LAP LEADERS – 1-4 Gray, 5-6 Havlichek, 7-25 Zilles

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Gray, Zilles, Clark

GRECO’S NAPA HARD CHARGER AWARD – Santabarbara +17 27th to 10th

2022 SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 TRACK CHAMPION – PAYTON TALBOT

ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE – 20-laps – NICK STONE ($100 bonus from RCK Motorsports), Luke Horning, Chuck Dumblewski, Ivan Joslin, Beau Ballard, Josh Coonradt, Kenny Gates, Jim Normoyle, Jason Morrison, Andy Graves, Gary Silkey, Caden Dumblewski, Randy Cosselman, Don Collins, Dillon Vanston, AJ Walters, John Holmes

10th win of 2022 and the 69th of his career in the division at Fonda

LAP LEADERS – 1 Silkey, 2-4 Horning, 5-20 Stone

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Ballard, Gates ($50 bonus to each heat race winner from RCK Motorsports)

2022 ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK TRACK CHAMPION – NICK STONE

MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 15-laps – JOSH KANE, Corky Warner, Jonathan Feagles, Connor Prokop, Ryan Sweet, Mark Lighthall, Kyle Dingman, Zach Dufel, Phil Arnold, Nate Bedell, Chris Kugler, Michael Kalkbrenner, Jeff Lutes, Bob Rowback, Wesley Sutliff, Timmy Wilmot, Lance Hill, Harold Robitaille, Walter Cook, AJ Greco, Steve Wagoner

2nd win of 2022 and the 2nd of his career in the division at Fonda

LAP LEADERS – 1-7 Warner, 8-15 Kane

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Warner, Sweet, Prokop

2022 MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN TRACK CHAMPION – ZACH DUFEL

FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE – 12-laps – KEN HOLLENBECK (SOHC), KERRIE HOLLENBECK (DOHC), Justin Ramsey, Todd Morey, David Peek-Britten, Len St. Andrews, Dale VanAllen, Josh Ramsey, Christopher Jennings Sr., TJ Marlitt

16th win of 2022 and the 84th of his career in the division at Fonda for Ken Hollenbeck

13th win of 2022 and the 33rd of his career in the division at Fonda Kerrie Hollenbeck

LAP LEADERS – 1-2 Morey, 3-12 Ken Hollenbeck

FONDA FAIR SOHC FOUR CYLINDER TRACK CHAMPION – KEN HOLLENBECK

FONDA FAIR DOHC FOUR CYLINDER TRACK CHAMPION – KERRIE HOLLENBECK

MOHAWK VALLEY VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED SERIES (MVVDMS) ANTIQUE FEATURE – JIMMY FUGEL, Jimmy Hyde, Mike Wheeler, John Wood, Jim Glass, Dustin Chapman, Harley Sheppard, John Mason, Mark Reardon, Bryan Scofield, Speedy Niedeheimer, Phil Mitchell, Don Briggs (DNS), Tex Gordan (DNS)

2022 MVVDMS ANTIQUE DIVISION CHAMPION – JIMMY FUGEL

MOHAWK VALLEY VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED SERIES (MVVDMS) MYSTIQUE FEATURE – JOHN MARKS, Dan Karl, Rich Leveque, Mark Anatriello, Harry Baldwin, George Palmer, George Berbench, Carl Cram

2022 MVVDMS MYSTIQUE DIVISION CHAMPION – CARL CRAM

MOHAWK VALLEY VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED SERIES (MVVDMS) LATE MODEL FEATURE – CURTIS CONDON, John Roese, Will Reed, Ed Docskalik, Bill Knapp (DNS)

2022 MVVDMS LATE MODEL CHAMPION – CURTIS CONDON

MOHAWK VALLEY VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED SERIES (MVVDMS) SPORTSMAN FEATURE – DAN COLVIN, Malach Mathews, Bryon Seyfried, Merv Blackwell, Gene Wrightstone, Jon Trudeau, John Constantino, Larry Stokes, Andy McFadden, Mike Francisco (DNS)

2022 MVVDMS SPORTSMAN CHAMPION – DAN COLVIN

MOHAWK VALLEY VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED SERIES (MVVDMS) MODIFIED FEATURE – RANDY DELANEY, Joe Rando, Jack Miller, Darral Hulbert, John Flach

2022 MVVDMS MODIFIED CHAMPION – RANDY DELANEY

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