2017 Fonda Speedway Season in Review

By RON SZCZERBA

FONDA, NY – The 2017 track championships at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway were won by drivers in two completely different ways, either multiple victories or consistency brought the title to the drivers in the five different divisions run regularly during the 2017 racing season.

Tim Fuller led the consistent drivers with his first career Fonda Speedway championship in the modified division with only one feature win, which was the first win of his career at Fonda. Cory White was the limited sportsman champion at Fonda in 2017 with no feature victories but enough consistent finishes to bring him his first career title as well.

Drivers who had multiple victories bring them titles at Fonda in 2017 included Rocky Warner with eight feature wins in the sportsman division, Kenny Gates whose seven wins brought him the title in the pro stock division, and Johnny Young who captured his first street stock title with a total of five feature wins. Ken Hollenback was declared the 4-cylinder/cruiser champion even though the division did not run on a regular basis at Fonda in 2017.

For Warner it was his fourth consecutive title in the sportsman division after winning the title in 2014, 2015, 2016, & 2017. Warner’s impressive record at Fonda also includes track championships in the pro stock division in 2011 and street stock championships in 2005 and as co-champion in 2007.

Gates is now a six time champion in the pro stock division after he won the title this year with title coming in 2004, co-champion in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2016, & 2017.

Hollenback also has an impressive record in the 4-cylinder/cruiser division as 2017 was his fifth career title in the division with titles in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, & 2017.

Leading the way in feature wins in 2017 in the modified division at Fonda (with career win totals in parenthesis) was Stewart Friesen with six wins (47 career wins, eighth on the all-time win list) followed by Bobby Varin with five feature wins, which included the final three events of the season one of them being the Super DIRTcar Series season ending event (57 career wins, fourth on the all-time win list); Jeremy Wilder (eight career wins, tied for 25th on the all-time win list) and Josh Hohenforst (three career wins, tied for 29th on the all-time win list) both with two feature wins; Mike Mahaney (three career wins, tied for 29th on the all-time win list); Darwin Greene (two career feature wins, tied for 30th on the all-time win list); Justin Boehler, Tim Fuller, and Mike Maresca all had one feature win in 2017 which was the first of their careers at Fonda and all three drivers sit in a tie in 31st place on the all-time win list.

All total in the modified division there were nine different winning drivers in a total of 19 feature events with a double winner declared in one of those events due to scale issues in pre-race tech.

In the sportsman division Warner led the way as stated above with a total of eight wins in 2017 (25 career wins which is number one on the all-time win list) followed by Cody Clark with two feature wins (five career wins, seventh on the all-time win list); Mark Mortensen (18 career wins, second on the all-time win list), Dave Constantino (15 career wins, third on the all-time win list), Ray Zemken (seven career wins, fifth on the all-time win list), Tony Farone (five career wins, seventh on the all-time win list), Chad Edwards (three career wins, ninth on the all-time win list), Harry Shaffer, Aaron Burton, and Nick Scavia all eight drivers with one feature win in 2017. For Shaffer, Burton, and Scavia it was their first career win in the division at Fonda.

In summary there were 10 different winning drivers in a total of 18 racing events in the sportsman division at Fonda in 2017.

In the limited sportsman division William August led the way with four feature wins in 2017 followed by Mike Block, EJ McAuliffe, Larry Niemiec, and Kathy Bellen, all with two feature wins while Travis Billington and Devin Willis both had one feature win at Fonda in 2017.

Seven different drivers won feature events at Fonda in the limited sportsman division in a total of 14 events in 2017.

Gates led the way in the pro stock division at Fonda in 2017 with seven wins (first on the all-time win list with 72) followed by Luke Horning (12 career wins in the division, tied for 12th on the all-time win list) and Ivan Joslin (nine career wins, tied for 14th on the all-time win list) both with three feature wins; Nick Stone with two feature wins in 2017 (42 career wins at Fonda, fourth on the all-time win list); Chuck Dumblewski (11 career wins, tied for 13th on the all-time win list), Dennis Joslin (two career wins, tied for 21st on the all-time win list), Jim Normoyle (seven career wins, tied for 16th on the all-time win list), and Gus Hollner (one career win, tied for 22nd on the all-time win list) all four drivers with one feature win in 2017.

In the pro stock division there were eight different winners in a total of 19 feature events at Fonda in 2017.

Johnny Young led the way in feature wins in the street stock division with five on his way to the 2017 title (eight career wins in the division, tied for 13th on the all-time win list); Dave Horning Sr. (57 career wins, first on the all-time win list), Cliff Haslun (three career wins, tied for 18th on the all-time win list), and Steve Cosselman (six career wins, tied for 15th on the all-time win list) all with two feature wins at Fonda in 2017; Rob VanAernam (38 career wins, third on the all-time win list), Joey Wilson (two career wins, tied for 19th on the all-time win list), Steven Young (one career win, tied for 20th on the all-time win list), Ellis “Bubby” Shaffer (one career win, tied for 20th on the all-time win list), David Cook (one career win, tied for 20th on the all-time win list), and Zach Sorrentino (one career win, tied for 20th on the all-time win list) all six drivers with one feature win at Fonda in 2017.

All total there were 10 different winning drivers in a total of 17 events in the street stock division at Fonda in 2017.

Although the 4-Cylinder/Cruiser division did not run regularly in 2017 a total of 12 feature events were run with six different drivers winning those events led by track champion Ken Hollenback with five wins (42 career wins in the division, first on the all-time win list); PJ Bleau with three feature wins (three career wins in the division, tied for fifth on the all-time win list); Chris Andrew, Kerrie Hollenback (17 career wins in the division, second on the all-time win list), Ben Righi, and Wayne Russell all with one feature win in 2017. For Andrew, Righi, and Russell it was the first of their career in the division at Fonda.

The CRSA, Patriot, URC, and ESS Sprint car groups all made appearances at Fonda in 2017 with Brett Jaycox and Kyle Smith (CRSA), Jared Zimbardi (Patriot), Cory Sparks (URC), and Danny Varin (ESS) were the winners of those events with Danny Varin also winning the prestigious Kramer Williamson Memorial in the final event of the 2017 season for his second ESS win of 2017 at Fonda.

The New York State Stock Car Association (NYSSCA) held their annual “Safety Awards Night” at Fonda on June, 10 awarding the first place finishing driver in each of the feature events that was a NYSSCA member $75 along with a NYSSCA hat and yearbook while the second place finishing driver who was a NYSSCA member received $25, a NYSSCA hat, and a yearbook.

Recipients of the NYSSCA awards in each division were Josh Hohenforst and Danny Varin (modifieds), Harry Shaffer and Chad Edwards (sportsman), William August and Wesley Sutliff (limited sportsman), Kenny Gates and Josh Coonradt (pro stock), Cliff Haslun and Johnny Young (street stock).

Please also check the Fonda Speedway website www.newfondaspeedway.com regularly during the off season as announcements are made concerning the 2018 season at the “Track of Champions”.