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FRIESEN AND LEHNER CAPTURE VICTORIES AT FONDA ON PALMER’S SERVICE CENTER NIGHT
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7/8/2024

7/8/2024

Fonda Speedway


FRIESEN AND LEHNER CAPTURE VICTORIES AT FONDA ON PALMER’S SERVICE CENTER NIGHT

By: Ron Szczerba

Fonda, NY – On a hot and humid night at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway the racing action was hot as well with the evening starting out with a Meet & Greet for the fans on the frontstretch followed by a full night of racing in all regular divisions along with the Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series.

Starting the day off was the 2024 Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies, held at the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame & Museum. Inductees for 2024 included Jeff Trombley, Steve Burega, Tim Healey, Denny & Debbie Tilison, and Jim Ellis. Royce Gage and Michael Jackson were also awarded the Bruce Dostal Dedication to the Fonda Speedway Museum awards at the induction ceremony.

The evenings racing program was sponsored by Palmer’s Service Center, owned by Carole and Alton Palmer who are a big part of racing at Fonda along while sponsoring many drivers at the track as well. Some of those drivers are Brett & Mark Mortensen, Kenny Gates, Haleigh Gates, Chip Constantino, JaMike Sowle, Ricky Quick, Jay Ingersoll, and Bobby Rhinehardt. The Palmer’s also sponsor many activities at the track itself with Alton in the Fonda Speedway record books as well with a total of 56 Open Sportsman division wins along with five Modified victories!

Winners at Fonda on Palmer’s Service Center Night included Stewart Friesen (make-up race from 5/25) and Jack Lehner (Amsterdam Truck Center Modifieds), Brendan Gibbons (Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman), Kenny Gates (Leatherstocking Credit Union Pro Stocks), Corky Warner (make-up feature from 5/25) and Steve Wagoner (Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman), Ken Hollenback (SOHC) and Jay Ingersoll (DOHC in the Fonda Fair Four Cylinder divisions.

Winners of the Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series (MVVDMS) were Randy Delaney (Modified), Brian Gray (Sportsman), Will Reed (Late Model), Joe Rando (Mystiques), and Jimmy Fugel (Antiques).

The make-up Amsterdam Truck Center Modified feature from 5/25 saw Ryan Odasz lead from his pole position start when the green flag dropped. The race was red flagged with no laps completed for Michael Maresca who flipped his car in turn three. Maresca was not injured in the wreck. On the restart going into turns one and two, Stewart Friesen took the lead and never looked back from that point on, leading the remaining laps for his 91st career win at Fonda in the Halmar #44.

With only one caution flag in the event, it didn’t allow for much movement up through the field but two drivers who were on the move were Jack Lehner who started seventh and Alex Yankowski who started tenth. Lehner moved into the second position on lap four and held it to the checkered flag while Yankowski took the third position away from Jessica Friesen with four laps remaining to place third at the end. Jessica Friesen hung on for a fourth place finish with Odasz the last car on the lead lap finishing fifth.

“When you called me 39 the last time we talked I just went with it,” Friesen said in victory lane to Mimi Lazzaro as they kidded about ages. “Thanks to the whole Halmar Team, obviously we had a good draw back in May and it paid off. Track was really fast, a little bit narrow, but it will widen out as the night goes on. How about Corky Warner? I watched that kid grow up here in the pits at Fonda.”

Cody Clark led the opening laps of the regularly scheduled Amsterdam Truck Center Modified feature event with Jack Lehner and Alex Yankowski swapping the third position a few times before the first caution flag flew on lap six with Brian Pessolano second at that point. Clark continued to lead on the restart with Lehner taking the second position away from Pessolano at that point. The halfway point of the event saw Clark leading with Lehner, Yankowski, Pessolano, and eighth place starter Bobby Hackel IV in the top five.

With five laps to go in the event, just as Clark looked to be shaking off some of the bad luck that he has had so far in 2024, he slowed coming out of turn four with steam coming from the top of the motor bringing out the final caution of the event. Lehner was the leader on the restart, and he pulled away for the win with Yankowski, Pessolano, ninth place starter Ronnie Johnson, and 13th place starter Stewart Friesen completing the top five.

The win for Lehner in the Nelson Motorsports #85 was his THIRD career win at Fonda, the first one coming back on 5/1/2021 (also in the Nelson Motorsports car) while his second career win came in his self-owned #2 back in the “Ultimate Underdog” even on Fonda 200 weekend on 9/15/2022.

“The first win for Erik and Bill (Nelson) is very memorable,” Lehner said in victory lane. “We’ve had a lot of good runs since and now we found ourselves back in victory lane. This thing has been on fire all night long, it’s been one of those nights that we did have a great racecar all night and it was super fun to get it done again for Erik and Bill for all of the hard work that they put into it. Not sure what happened to Cody (Clark), I had nothing for him, so this was lucky for me.”

Connor Prokop led at the start of the 25-lap Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman feature event after starting on the pole position. Brendan Gibbons started the event in the fifth position and moved up to the second spot by lap five with Brett Mortensen third, eighth place starter Chad Edwards fourth, and 14th place starter Payton Talbot fifth.

When the leader moved into lap traffic on lap eleven, Gibbons got by not only a few lap cars but also Prokop as he took the lead in the event going into turn four. Gibbons pulled away from that point on to his first career Fonda win in the Cloud Nine Cannabis #B24 Bicknell car followed by Talbot, Edwards, Prokop, and 12th place starter Dylan Madsen in the top five.

“it’s about damn time,” Gibbons said in victory lane. We’ve struggled here, just been all over the map. Tonight, after the first lap I knew that I had something, so I just had to stay clean. My buddy Andrew Buff used to tell me to drive it better, so I put the car the way it was after the heat race and drove it better. I joked for awhile that if I ever won here at Fonda that I’d never come back, but I think I’ll come back next week.”

The Palmer’s Service Center sponsored car of Kenny Gates led every lap after starting on the outside pole position in the 20-lap Leatherstocking Credit Union Pro Stock feature event. Third place starter Beau Ballard gave Gates a serious challenge over the first half of the event until a flat right rear tire slowed him on lap 11. Ivan Joslin started the event in the fourth position and placed second at the checkered flag with Jason Morrison third, Ballard getting back up to fourth, and Mike Hill fifth.

“The track was perfect for me,” Gates said after the win. “The car worked good on the bottom and seemed to be getting faster and faster as the race went on. I was surprised how good it was. Thanks to Alton and Carole Palmer on Palmer’s Service Night, they have been great sponsors for years.”

Corky Warner led every lap of the make-up Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman feature from 5/25 for his first career win in the division followed in the top five by AJ Greco, Jeff Bobilin, Walter Cook, and Lance Hill.

“This is definitely awesome,” Corky told Mimi Lazzaro in victory lane. “To be a kid flagging in the grandstands to winning here at Fonda is pretty cool. It’s not easy for sure, we put in a lot of hours at the shop and to be able to win at Fonda is awesome.”

The regularly scheduled Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman feature was won by Steve Wagoner, the second win of his career in the Broadalbin Manufacturing Inc. #32. Walter Cook, Lance Hill, Kirsten Swartz, and AJ Greco completed the top five in that event.

“It’s unbelievable,” Wagoner said of his win. “I don’t even know what to say. Starting on the front row, the wolves are behind me, I had to go. Been around a long time watching one of the greats Bob Savoie. I helped him for years and I wish that he was here tonight. But he is here with me somewhere tonight for sure.”

The Fonda Fair Four Cylinder feature was won by Palmer’s Service Center sponsored Jay Ingersoll in the DOHC class and Ken Hollenback in the SOHC class. For Hollenback it was his 100th career win in the division at Fonda.

“The car was good,” Ingersoll said after his DOHC victory. “Palmer’s Service Center Night what more can I say? I can’t describe it, they do so much for me, anything that I ever need they are always there for me, it’s great.”

“When I first started I’d be happy to get one win,” Hollenback said after his SOHC win. “The guys that came with me didn’t want to pit for me as it seemed as though I was in a wreck every week years ago. I guess now I’ll go for 200 wins now. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be racing; it depends on my health I guess. I’ll just take it week by week.”

7/6/2024 PALMER’S SERVICE CENTER NIGHT

AMSTERDAM TRUCK CENTER MODIFIEDS

22 entries

Feature (30 Laps): 1. 85-Jack Lehner[6]; 2. 84Y-Alex Yankowski[7]; 3. 24P-Brian Pessolano[1]; 4. 2RJ-Ronnie Johnson[9]; 5. 44-Stewart Friesen[13]; 6. 97-Bobby Hackel IV[8]; 7. 1-Rocky Warner[10]; 8. 93-Ryan Odasz[16]; 9. 7MM-Michael Maresca[12]; 10. 21C-Brian Calabrese[18]; 11. 21P-Luciano (Pep) Corradi[11]; 12. 20C-Craig Hanson[14]; 13. 42-Tucker O'Connor[2]; 14. 1G-Darwin Greene[19]; 15. 4-Cody Clark[3]; 16. 34-Dave Constantino[4]; 17. 15M-Daniel Morgiewicz Jr[17]; 18. 96-Andy Graves[21]; 19. 76-Jamike Sowle[15]; 20. 66-Don Bellen[20]; 21. 27-Jason Reome[22]; 22. 1Z-Jessica Friesen[5]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 42-Tucker O'Connor[2]; 2. 84Y-Alex Yankowski[5]; 3. 34-Dave Constantino[4]; 4. 1-Rocky Warner[6]; 5. 44-Stewart Friesen[8]; 6. 93-Ryan Odasz[7]; 7. 1G-Darwin Greene[3]; 8. 27-Jason Reome[1]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 4-Cody Clark[2]; 2. 97-Bobby Hackel IV[5]; 3. 1Z-Jessica Friesen[4]; 4. 21P-Luciano (Pep) Corradi[6]; 5. 20C-Craig Hanson[3]; 6. 15M-Daniel Morgiewicz Jr[7]; 7. 66-Don Bellen[1]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 2RJ-Ronnie Johnson[5]; 2. 85-Jack Lehner[4]; 3. 7MM-Michael Maresca[6]; 4. 24P-Brian Pessolano[1]; 5. 76-Jamike Sowle[2]; 6. 21C-Brian Calabrese[3]; 7. 96-Andy Graves[7]

5/25 Makeup Feature (30 Laps): 1. 44-Stewart Friesen[2]; 2. 85-Jack Lehner[7]; 3. 84Y-Alex Yankowski[10]; 4. 1Z-Jessica Friesen[6]; 5. 93-Ryan Odasz[1]; 6. 1G-Darwin Greene[3]; 7. 24P-Brian Pessolano[9]; 8. 97-Bobby Hackel IV[17]; 9. 4-Cody Clark[12]; 10. 21P-Luciano (Pep) Corradi[16]; 11. 76-Jamike Sowle[21]; 12. 1-Rocky Warner[14]; 13. 34-Dave Constantino[15]; 14. 15M-Daniel Morgiewicz Jr[13]; 15. 27-Jason Reome[18]; 16. 20C-Craig Hanson[11]; 17. 66-Don Bellen[20]; 18. 42-Tucker O'Connor[8]; 19. 21C-Brian Calabrese[4]; 20. 2RJ-Ronnie Johnson[19]; 21. 7MM-Michael Maresca[5]; 22. (DNS) 111-Demetrios Drellos; 23. (DNS) 35-Chris Curtis; 24. (DNS) 9S-Matt Sheppard

SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN

28 entries

Feature (25 Laps): 1. B24-Brendan Gibbons[5]; 2. 14T-Payton Talbot[14]; 3. 10%-Chad Edwards[8]; 4. 12P-Connor Prokop[1]; 5. 89-Dylan Madsen[12]; 6. 78-Tanner Warner[10]; 7. 1B-Brett Mortensen[3]; 8. 12B-Tyler Bobar[4]; 9. 84-Ricky Quick[7]; 10. 12T-Tyler Peet[17]; 11. 14J-Jeremy Tyrrell[9]; 12. 63-Chip Constantino[11]; 13. 9K-Blaine Klinger[15]; 14. 42H-Kadon Hohensheldt[2]; 15. 1H-Harry Shaffer[16]; 16. 43-Tavien Blowers[19]; 17. 96-Michael McCallion[24]; 18. 2K-Mike Kalkbrenner[21]; 19. 25-Stephen Gray[13]; 20. 40D-Butchie Irwin[18]; 21. 8-Josh Kane[20]; 22. 1M-Mark Mortensen[26]; 23. 4-Al McCoy[27]; 24. 6-Pat Mann[28]; 25. 31J-John DuMond[22]; 26. 312-Bill Port[23]; 27. 99-Clyde Peek[25]; 28. 74-Matt Perry[6]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 84-Ricky Quick[4]; 2. 78-Tanner Warner[6]; 3. 14J-Jeremy Tyrrell[5]; 4. B24-Brendan Gibbons[3]; 5. 25-Stephen Gray[7]; 6. 1H-Harry Shaffer[2]; 7. 43-Tavien Blowers[10]; 8. 31J-John DuMond[8]; 9. 99-Clyde Peek[1]; 10. 6-Pat Mann[9]

Heat 2 (8 Laps): 1. 1B-Brett Mortensen[2]; 2. 10%-Chad Edwards[4]; 3. 12P-Connor Prokop[1]; 4. 63-Chip Constantino[6]; 5. 14T-Payton Talbot[8]; 6. 12T-Tyler Peet[7]; 7. 8-Josh Kane[3]; 8. 312-Bill Port[9]; 9. 1M-Mark Mortensen[5]

Heat 3 (8 Laps): 1. 42H-Kadon Hohensheldt[1]; 2. 89-Dylan Madsen[6]; 3. 12B-Tyler Bobar[2]; 4. 74-Matt Perry[3]; 5. 9K-Blaine Klinger[4]; 6. 40D-Butchie Irwin[5]; 7. 2K-Mike Kalkbrenner[7]; 8. 96-Michael McCallion[9]; 9. 4-Al McCoy[8]

Greco’s NAPA Hard Charger – Talbot +12

LEATHERSTOCKING CREDIT UNION PRO STOCKS

8 entries

Feature (20 Laps): 1. 35-Ken Gates[2]; 2. 49-Ivan Joslin[4]; 3. 715-Jason Morrison[5]; 4. 15-Beau Ballard[3]; 5. 15M-Mike Hill[6]; 6. 75-Gary Silkey[1]; 7. 1D-Nick Santuccione[7]; 8. 62-Nick Danna[8]

Heat 1 (8 Laps): 1. 35-Ken Gates[5]; 2. 75-Gary Silkey[1]; 3. 49-Ivan Joslin[8]; 4. 15-Beau Ballard[7]; 5. 715-Jason Morrison[4]; 6. 15M-Mike Hill[6]; 7. 1D-Nick Santuccione[3]; 8. 62-Nick Danna[2]

MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING LIMITED SPORTSMAN

22 entries

Feature (15 Laps): 1. 32-Steve Wagoner[1]; 2. 47-Walter Cook[3]; 3. 22L-Lance Hill[4]; 4. 24-Kirsten Swartz[5]; 5. 12AJ-AJ Greco[8]; 6. 618-Bobby Rhinehardt[10]; 7. 1B-Jeff Bobilin[2]; 8. 37-Ryan Sweet[6]; 9. 797-Corky Warner[17]; 10. 44-Rocco Constantino[14]; 11. 13J-Jim Mallia[13]; 12. 11-Josh Persse[12]; 13. 57-Ben Balzer[11]; 14. 55-Kolton Weiler[9]; 15. 44J-Adam Tranka[7]; 16. (DNS) 14W-Timothy Wilmot; 17. (DNS) 85R-Bob Rowback

Heat 1 (6 Laps): 1. 32-Steve Wagoner[2]; 2. 24-Kirsten Swartz[5]; 3. 37-Ryan Sweet[7]; 4. 44J-Adam Tranka[8]; 5. 55-Kolton Weiler[9]; 6. 57-Ben Balzer[1]; 7. 13J-Jim Mallia[3]; 8. 14W-Timothy Wilmot[6]; 9. 797-Corky Warner[4]

Heat 2 (6 Laps): 1. 1B-Jeff Bobilin[2]; 2. 47-Walter Cook[3]; 3. 22L-Lance Hill[4]; 4. 12AJ-AJ Greco[8]; 5. 618-Bobby Rhinehardt[5]; 6. 11-Josh Persse[1]; 7. 44-Rocco Constantino[6]; 8. (DNS) 85R-Bob Rowback

5/25 Makeup Feature (15 Laps): 1. 797-Corky Warner[2]; 2. 12AJ-AJ Greco[6]; 3. 1B-Jeff Bobilin[5]; 4. 47-Walter Cook[7]; 5. 22L-Lance Hill[4]; 6. 618-Bobby Rhinehardt[10]; 7. 32-Steve Wagoner[3]; 8. 57-Ben Balzer[12]; 9. 85R-Bob Rowback[1]; 10. 44J-Adam Tranka[8]; 11. 11-Josh Persse[9]; 12. 44-Rocco Constantino[11]; 13. (DNS) 26B-Maddy Broedel; 14. (DNS) 2-Brandon Tyler; 15. (DNS) 5C-Randy Cosselman; 16. (DNS) 16H-Dylan Hutson; 17. (DNS) 87J-Joel Knudsen Jr

FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDERS

14 entries

Feature (12 Laps): 1. 97JD-Jay Ingersoll[10]; 2. 33D-Kerrie Hollenbeck[6]; 3. 12S-Ken Hollenbeck[11]; 4. 54S-Wayne Russell Jr[5]; 5. 42D-Hayleigh Gates[8]; 6. 212S-TJ Marlitt[3]; 7. K1S-William Liberatore[4]; 8. 420XS-Tim Warner[2]; 9. 29JD-John Ray[12]; 10. 17RD-Joe Bouck Jr[13]; 11. 29D-Howard Marlitt[9]; 12. 223S-Josh Beals[7]; 13. 23TD-Keith Tesiero Jr[14]; 14. 98S-Stephanie Maille[1]

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