Jeremy Wilder Races To First Career Modified Victory at “The Track of Champions!”

By JAMES A. ELLIS (sports@leaderherald.com) , The Leader Herald

FONDA (June 9, 2012) – A little bit of rain Saturday night at Fonda Speedway did not bother Jeremy Wilder.

The young gun out of Fort Plain made the most of his front row starting spot; a moist track and a fresh big block to turn back all challengers for his first career modified feature win at the Track of Champions.

Wilder was joined in Victory Lane Saturday by Mark Mortensen (602 sportsman), Kenny Martin (pro stock), Dave Horning Sr. (street stock) and Kerrie Hollenbeck (4-cylinders).

A brief rainstorm passed over the speedway three laps into the 15-lap street stock feature.

After a 45-minute delay with the street stock and 4-cylinder drivers help, the track was run in and became fast and tacky.

When the street stock feature resumed, Horning used his experience to get to the front quickly and pull away for his fourth win of the season.

Hollenbeck followed with his victory leaving a fast racing surface for the 602 Sportsman drivers.

Justin Boehler found the fast track to his liking as he burst out front ahead of Doug Flynn and Jeff Rockefeller.

Boehler held the point on a trio of restarts, but the cautions also allowed defending track champion Mortensen to move up through the field.

Mortensen picked his way to the front with three laps remaining and brought Flynn with him as they hit the checkers in front of Boehler. Rockefeller was fourth and Tony Farone fifth.

The fast track held together for the modifieds.

The main event got off to a slow start as contact in turn one at the drop of the green broke the front end of Craig Hanson’s modified, leaving him stopped in turn two bringing out the caution.

With the field back to its original restart, Wilder jumped in front of Mark Kislowski and Ryan Odasz. With a clear track, Wilder set a blistering pace recording the fastest lap of the race at 18:801 seconds.

The first caution of the race flew on lap seven when Eric Stumpf came to a stop on the inside of turn three.

Odasz moved into second behind Wilder on the restart and brought Bobby Varin and Stewart Friesen with him.

Wilder was brought back to the pack again when Dave Lape slowed on the front stretch with a flat tire and Aaron Jacobs came to a stop in turn two.

Wilder had no trouble holding the lead on the restart as the battle behind him livened up.

Alton Palmer and Ronnie Johnson got past Friesen on the restart and joined the battle for the runner-up spot between Odasz and Varin.

Friesen picked his way back into the top five when the caution came out again on lap 25.

Varin dove to the inside of Odasz entering turn three and hit the inside burm, sending him out into the side of Odasz’s car. The impact sent Odasz hard into the wall outside turn four, ending his night.

Varin held his position behind Wilder, followed by Johnson, Friesen and Danny Varin.

The field put two more green-flag laps in the book before the final caution of the race flew on lap 27, setting up a shoot out for the checkers.

Wilder was up to the challenge, pulling away to his first modified feature win.

Friesen got by Bobby Varin on the final lap for second with Johnson fourth and Elmo Reckner nipping Danny Varin for fifth. Palmer, Matt DeLorenzo, josh Hohenforst and Kislowski round out the top 10.

The pro stock feature turned into a tight three-car battle from green to checkers.

Pete Broderson set the early pace with Rob Noviczski, Martin and Kenny Gates close behind.

Martin and Gates found their way past Noviczski and closed the gap on Broderson who had pulled up to a half-straightaway lead.

Martin slipped past Broderson exiting turn two on lap 12 but could not break away.

Gates tried multiple lines to get past Broderson but was unsuccessful unto lap 19. He mounted a charge at Martin, pulling up close in turn three on the final lap but could not find the line past Martin as he picked up the victory.

Broderson was third with Chip Smith and Noviczski completing the top five.

Due to the rain, the meet and greet for the fans and drivers that was scheduled for Saturday was postponed until a later date.