By: Ron Szczerba
Fonda, NY – Sampson Motor Car Night on Saturday evening at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway was a special evening for Matt DeLorenzo. The defending Track Champion was able to win his first feature of 2023 in the BBL Companies #3D Bicknell car and in the process took over the point lead by two points with only three events remaining in the regular season.
To top that off it was the 43rd win of DeLorenzo’s career at Fonda placing him in a tie for ninth place on the All-Time Win list with Bill Wimble.
“I have to thank my brother Mike,” DeLorenzo said in FX Caprara Car Companies victory lane. “He was the only one working on the car today, I met him here at the track. The track was really slick, it was awesome. Great job on the track, it was real racy, and I know what it takes to put this show on. Thanks to the fans it is great to see them come out and support us.”
Other winners on Samson Motor Car Night at Fonda were Clayton DuMond (Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman), Jonathan Feagles (Montgomery County Office for Aging Limited Sportsman), Ken (SOHC) and Kerrie (DOHC) Hollenback (Fonda Fair Four Cylinders).
Two special events were also held on Saturday evening, the 18th annual Hondo Classic, honoring the late fan favorite driver Hondo Carpenter put on by Kelley and Kaitlyn Keefe along with the 2nd Annual BOBCO Memorial Dash honoring the late videographer Bob James put on by Mark Krosky. Kenny Gates was the winner of both events with more coming on those events in a separate release.
Opening ceremonies began with an invocation by Pastor Greg Nitz followed by the National Anthem sung this week by Jenna Sue. The 50/50 ladies did their normal fantastic job with a prize of $2,377 going to Ashley from Gloversville.
The 30-lap Amsterdam Truck Center Modified feature began with pole position starter JaMike Sowle taking the lead at the drop of Joe Kriss’ green flag with third place starter Brian Calabrese in the second position as lap one clicked on the lap counter. One lap later, Calabrese was the race leader after getting by Sowle on the inside of turn four.
Rocky Warner started the event in the fifth position and was up to the third spot at that point when he suffered a flat right rear tire in turn two bringing out the first caution of the event. He had the tire changed and restarted the event at the rear of the field. Calabrese continued to lead on the restart with Alex Yankowski getting up to a top five position after starting ninth.
Bobby Varin brought out the last caution of the race on lap three after slowing in turn three and retired from the event at that point. Matt DeLorenzo started the event in the eighth position and on the restart moved up to the third position from Jack Lehner. Sowle never gave up on the outside line and got back around Calabrese for the lead on lap seven at the finish line.
DeLorenzo got by Calabrese for the second position on lap ten while tenth place starter Demetrios Drellos completed the top five after getting by Lehner for the spot. Just before the halfway point on lap 14, DeLorenzo took the lead away from Sowle on the inside of turns three and four and pulled away to a comfortable advantage. At the halfway point, the top five consisted of DeLorenzo, Sowle, Yankowski, Drellos, and Calabrese.
Despite lap traffic on lap 19 and over the remaining laps, DeLorenzo had no issues and went on to a straightaway win in the BBL Companies #3D over Yankowski, Drellos, Calabrese, and Sowle.
“I got to the front quick and the car was real good,” DeLorenzo said. “I think that getting to the front quickly was the key. It’s tough, I’ve got a lot of seconds this year. Everybody is fast. When asked about possibly winning another Track Championship this year DeLorenzo told Mimi Lazzaro “we’ll just take it race by race and hope for the W.”
Mark Mortensen led at the start of the 25-lap Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman feature from his outside pole starting position with Harry Shaffer second after sharing the front row with Mortensen. On lap three, Shaffer broke something in the right rear of his car and slowed on the backstretch to bring out the caution.
Mortensen maintained the lead on the restart, running so high in turns one and two that he scraped the wall with the right rear of the car. Fourth place starter Clayton DuMond was the new second place car with Troy Zilles in the third position on the restart with Mortensen and DuMond side by side for the lead on lap eight, Mortensen running the outside and DuMond the inside.
At the line to complete lap nine, DuMond got by Mortensen for the lead and stretched out his advantage while Tanner Warner was now pressuring Mortensen for the second position. With five laps to go, DuMond was stuck behind the lap car of Dylan Eldred and that lasted over the remaining laps of the event while Warner was able to get by Mortensen for the second position with two laps to go.
“I didn’t really know what to do with the lap car,” DuMond said. “It didn’t seem like there was much on the outside, so I was just hoping nobody was going to go around the outside of me. I’m not any good on top, I’m a bottom feeder and it worked out for me tonight.”
Warner was right on the rear bumper of DuMond for the lead on the final lap, but DuMond was able to hang on to the lead for his first win of the season and the second of his career in the division in the Sampson Motor Car sponsored #314 DKM car. Warner, Mortensen, Zilles, and Brendan Gibbons completed the top five at the checkered flag.
“Mark (Mortensen) was fast on top, but I knew I couldn’t keep up with him up there,” DuMond said. “I could roll underneath him, so I kept it wound up enough on the bottom to go by him. Every week is a learning experience, but it’s great to put our sponsor Sampson Motor Car in victory lane on their night. This one is for Jerry Sampson. We lost him earlier this year, I asked him to give me a little help tonight and it worked.”
The 15-lap Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman feature began with Brandon Tyler leading lap one until Steve Wagoner took the lead away from Tyler on lap two. Tenth place starter Jonathan Feagles was moving to the front lap after lap in the event and on lap 12 took the lead away from Wagoner on the outside of the backstretch and went on to his third win of the season in the Fitzpatrick Family Ties Auto Sales sponsored #55.
Bob Rowback, Michael Kalkbrenner, Kyle Dingman, and Mike Hill completed the top five at the checkered flag. Wagoner was the actual second place finisher but was disqualified in post-race tech for an illegal coil.
“The car has just been really good every week and everything went right tonight,” Feagles said. I just keep having things happen that really shouldn’t be happening, I got into the back stretch wall tonight and I was just hoping my tire wouldn’t go down but everything else went pretty smoothly. Coming from 10th to first tonight makes me feel like I did something.”
Ken (SOHC) and Kerrie (DOHC) Hollenback were the winners in the Fonda Fair Four Cylinder feature event. It was the ninth win of the 2023 season for Ken (94th of his career) and the sixth win for Kerrie (40th of his career).
Next Saturday, July 29 the CRSA Sprint cars will join all regular divisions on Parks Companies Night at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway.
Fonda Speedway Weekly Report
Miss any action from last week’s racing? The Fonda Speedway weekly report can take care of that. A 90 second summary of the previous Saturday racing action will air throughout the week across seven local radio stations including:
WCSS 1490 & 106.9 in Amsterdam/Schenectady
WIZR 930 & 102.9 in Johnstown/Fonda/Gloversville
WKAJ 1120 & 97.9 in St. Johnsville/Canajoharie
WYVS 96.5 in Speculator and the North Country
If you are a race fan that gets to the track early, be sure to check out the Fonda Speedway Museum & Hall of Fame which is located on the Fonda Fairgrounds at the rear of the parking area going down towards turn four. The museum is open from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on race days and admission is free!
All races at Fonda Speedway – will be broadcast live on FloRacing (www.floracing.tv) as part of the $150 annual subscription.
Since 1953, the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway has hosted the best in stock car racing. Under the management of BD Motorsports Media LLC, the speedway will operate weekly on Saturday nights from April through August plus several special events. Fonda Speedway is located on the Montgomery County Fairgrounds off New York State Thruway Exit No. 28 at 21 S. Bridge Street Fonda, NY 12068.
Fonda Speedway is on the web at www.thefondaspeedway.com. To learn more, call the office at 518.915.4395, like Fonda Speedway on Facebook or follow the speedway on Twitter and Instagram: @thefondaspdwy.
7/22/2023 SAMPSON MOTOR CAR NIGHT
AMSTERDAM TRUCK CENTER MODIFIED FEATURE – 30-LAPS – MATT DELORENZO, Alex Yankowski, Demetrios Drellos, Brian Calabrese, JaMike Sowle, Ronnie Johnson, Jack Lehner, Cody Clark, Chris Curtis, Dave Constantino, David Schilling, Rocky Warner, Dave Camara, Ron Holmes, Stewart Friesen, Bobby Varin, Bobby Hackel IV
1st win of 2023 and the 43rd of his career in the division for DeLorenzo who is now tied for 9th on the All-Time Win List with Bill Wimble.
LAP LEADERS – 1 Sowle, 2-6 Calabrese, 7-13 DeLorenzo
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Sowle, Curtis
SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25-LAPS – CLAYTON DUMOND, Tanner Warner, Mark Mortensen, Troy Zilles, Brendan Gibbons, Stephen Gray, Chad Edwards, Payton Talbot, Blaine Klinger, Brian Calabrese, Chip Constantino, Jeremy Tyrrell, Matt Perry, Zach Dufel, Michael McCallion, Butchie Irwin, Brett Mortensen, Josh Kane, Don Bellen, John DuMond, Dylan Eldred, Kadon Hohensheldt, Tim Dwyer, Clyde Peek, Wesley Sutliff, Harry Shaffer, Jason Greco (DNS)
1st win of 2023 and the 2nd of his career in the division at Fonda for DuMond.
LAP LEADERS – 1-8 Mark Mortensen, 9-25 Clayton DuMond
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Zilles, Edwards, Mark Mortensen
GRECO’S NAPA HARD CHARGER AWARD – Tyrrell +8
MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 15-LAPS – JONATHAN FEAGLES, Bob Rowback, Michael Kalkbrenner, Kyle Dingman, Mike Hill, Kirsten Swartz, Chris Kugler, Ryan Sweet, Brandon Taylor, Tim Wilmot, Bobby Rhinehardt, Jim Mallia, Dylan Huston, Gus Kamberelis, Cian DiMezza, John Anderson, Jeff Bobilin, Tyler Bobar, Jason Palombo, Aaron Armitage, AJ Greco, Lance Hill, Corky Warner (DNS), Collin Williams (DNS), Steve Wagoner (DQ coil)
3rd win of 2023 and the 3rd of his career in the division for Feagles.
LAP LEADERS – 1 Tyler, 2-11 Wagoner, 12-15 Feagles
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Kalkbrenner, Warner, Rowback
FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE – 12-LAPS – KEN HOLLENBACK (SOHC), KERRIE HOLLENBACK (DOHC), Brandon Ely, Len St. Andrews, Wayne Russel Jr., Hayleigh Gates, TJ Marlitt, David Peek-Britten, John Ray, Tim Warner
9th win of 2023 and the 94th win of his career in the division for Ken Hollenback
6th win of 2023 and the 40th career win in the division for Kerrie Hollenback
LAP LEADERS – 1 Warner, 2-5 Kerrie Hollenback, 6-12 Kerrie Hollenback