News, Note and Quotes from The Jack at Fonda Speedway – DTD Exclusive

By JEFF WITHEY

Promoters use the term your going to only need the edge of your seat because the racing is going to be so intense. They were dead on for Saturday night. Spectacular crashes, disqualifications, and oh yeah there was a full feast of racing on Saturday that went into the wee hours of Sunday morning. You got your monies worth for sure.

Horrific Crash

Billy Decker, the protege of Jack Johnson who spent the early portion of his career under Johnson’s tutelage took a horrific crash in turn four during big-block modified hot laps. Decker’s car careened into the tires that line turn four and went airborne. The severity of the damage ripped the front axle out of the Mike Payne owned Bicknell mount. Decker was as high as the turn four fence at one time. Upon landing he did a series of end over end rolls. The car looked as if it was put through a shredder it was so mangled. Decker, 54 of Unadilla, N.Y., walked away unscathed but didn’t return to the track with a back up car. Instead he went home to prepare and recoup for Sunday’s STSS event at Thunder Mountain aboard the Jeremy Smith owned 91.

Heat Race Incidents

While the night was dedicated to Jack Johnson, son Ronnie Johnson was making his return back to Fonda after racing the 2018 season at Lebanon Valley. Johnson, 45 of Duanesburg, N.Y., was involved in a scary wreck in his heat race. While racing three wide coming down the front stretch just past the halfway point of his heat race, his 2RJ Teo went high into one and lost grip and pounded the turn one wall. Johnson barrel rolled over two and a half times. Johnson escaped serious injury, but his car suffered some pretty substantial damage. Rescue workers removed the roof to ensure Johnson was okay. According to Ronnie’s sister Natalie, Johnson was just very sore on Sunday…

Also, in the same heat, while leading Jessey Mueller from Olmstedville, N.Y., hit a hole in turn two and flipped his family owned DKM chassis. Mueller picked up his first career win earlier this summer at Albany Saratoga. On Saturday, Mueller only put about three or four laps in for hot laps with his small-block when the motor went south. According to his dad, “the motor lost oil from the scavenge and the motor was starved of oil.”…

Mike Mahaney did double duty. He drove the Buzz Chew 88 big block and the Doug Emery ESS sprint car. During his hot lap session, he had the left rear tire come off his sprint car and he too found the tires along the turn four wall. Mahaney took a provisional to make the ESS feature…

Pro Stocks also got involved in the carnage as well. CD Beauchamp spun in turn four collecting the leader of the race, Chuckie Dumblewski who had an 8-second lead with 8 to go in the feature…

Positive Vibes All Around

When you’ve won over 900 wins in your career and your regarded as perhaps the best that has ever driven a modified, there probably isn’t much you haven’t done. Add winning the richest 200 lap race for crate sportsman in Vermont history to your resume. Brett Hearn went to the recently held Vermont 200 at Devils Bowl Speedway in Fair Haven, VT. Hearn last raced there in a big-block when the USNA series raced there is the summer of 2000.

“I had a guy who helps me with my motors and he had a crate engine that was bought a few years ago from JEGS. It hadn’t even been out of the box it came in. We thought about coming here for the DIRT 358 race on Friday but when the plan to go to Vermont came to fruition it was hard not to go there. The payout drops off so significantly in the 358 races and there was $10,000 on the line up there. It was like a day of golf just a really fun day with no pressure.”

Hearn also went on to add “the place was absolutely perfect. Track prep, the people, everything. The only negative which I told Mike (Bruno) was you can’t get people out at 1030 at night on a Sunday. Other than that, it was perfect. Even the track where the old pavement is way down on the bottom was smooth.”

When asked if it bothered him that a driver of his stature was racing with lesser talented drivers or drivers with significantly less experience he was blunt in his reply.

“If your track has a headline division of big block, small block or crate sportsman and you bring a legal car and follow the rules than I see no issue in it at all.”

Hearn won $13,100 for 200 laps.

Look for Hearn to be driving a small block car for Jeff Daley during Super DIRT Week satellite shows.

“Were putting the finishing touches on the car now,” said Hearn. “Were not quite ready for Oswego but we will be ready to go as always.”…

Tim Fuller cut back on his travel this summer due to a lack of help. He sold his toterhome and trailer and concentrated on racing close to home. He absolutely owned Mohawk International this summer with 8 wins, setting the new record in the process. Fuller is no stranger to Fonda. He was the 2017 track champion. But in all the years on the Super DIRTcar Series tour he had never won an extra distance race at Fonda. That is no more, Fuller put together a masterful run and withstood the hard charging efforts of Stewart Friesen and Hearn in late race heroics that earned him a $6,000 payday and the 12th spot for Oswego. Last weekend Fuller swept the 358 and big-block series races at Mohawk. He’s getting hot at the right time for sure…

Rocky Warner, using a spec 358 for the Jake Spraker 1J finished an impressive fifth in the 100-lap affair…

A burger and some fries probably and something to wash it down sounds good to Larry Wight.  To Wight it was the difference between fifth and last. He was light on the scales after the race by one pound. The track sold out of most items during the marathon racing affair that ended after 1am Sunday…

On Saturday I reported that there will be a new promoter at Fonda Speedway in 2019. I reported I didn’t receive a call at press time from Brett Deyo and was abruptly hung up on by the current promoter. Later in the day after the story was filed I did get a call from Brett Deyo. Look for a complete story after Tuesday night. I am sorry for any negative light that was cast on Brett or Pete. I strive for accuracy in the stories I file on behalf of DTD…

Up next for the Super DIRTcar Series is the Napa 200 presented by Billy Whittaker Cars & Trucks at Oswego on October 7th. Following Oswego is Brockville on October 12th and then the World Finals in Charlotte to crown the Super DIRTcar Series champion