Everything You Need to Know About ’23 Fonda Season

By Ron Szczerba

FONDA,NY-With the turn of the calendar to 2023, the excitement of the 72nd consecutive season of racing at the Fonda Speedway is in the air with the schedule for 2023 recently released. This will be the fifth season that Brett Deyo and his staff at BD Motorsports Media LLC have promoted motorsports events at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds track so be sure to mark your calendars now for a huge season at the “Track of Champions”.

WEEKLY DIVISIONS

Amsterdam Truck Center Modifieds, Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman, Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman, Below Zero Ice Cream Pro Stocks, and the Fonda Fair Four Cylinders.

MEMORIAL EVENTS




The 72nd season of racing at Fonda will start on “Opening Night” 2023 Saturday, April 22 with the Jack Johnson Memorial Montgomery County Open featuring the Amsterdam Truck Center Modifieds with sail panels competing in a 40-lap $12,000 to win event. All other regular divisions will also be in action with points beginning in all classes. Previous winners of Jack Johnson Tribute/Memorial events at Fonda include Mike Mahaney (2012, 2017), Stewart Friesen (2015, 2022), Matt Sheppard (2016), and Rocky Warner (2021).

On Saturday, May 27 the first ever Dave Lape Memorial event will take place with the event also being the first of three “Thunder on the Thruway Series” events at Fonda for the Amsterdam Truck Center Modifieds, the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman, and the Below Zero Ice Cream Pro Stocks. All other regular divisions will also be in action along with the Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series (MVVDMS).

Saturday, July 8 will feature the Eighth Annual “Bill Ag Memorial” Modified Elimination races along with all other regular divisions in action. Previous winners of the event honoring the late Bill Anagnostopoulos include Ronnie Johnson (2016, 2017, 2021), Bobby Varin (2014), Tim Fuller (2018), Stewart Friesen (2019), and Demetrious Drellos (2022).

The 18th Annual “Hondo Classic” honoring the late Hondo Carpenter will be run for the Below Zero Ice Cream Pro Stocks on Saturday, July 22 along with all other regular divisions. Previous winners of the “Hondo Classic” include Nick Stone (2007, 2008, 2016, 2017, 2020), Kenny Gates (2009, 2015, 2018), Pete Broderson (2012, 2014), Jim Burton (2006), Chip Smith (2010), Rob Yetman (2011), Kenny Martin Jr. (2013), Josh Coonradt (2019), Luke Horning (2021), and Beau Ballard (2022).

The 19th Annual “Earl Halaquist Memorial” Sprint Car event will be held under the Empire Super Sprint (ESS) banner on Saturday, August 5 with all other regular divisions also in action. This event was held at different tracks over the years but the 2023 event will be the 13th time the event was held at Fonda. Previous winners of the “Earl Halaquist Memorial” event include Justin Barger (2007, 2008, 2010, 2011), Danny Varin (2017, 2018, 2022), Chuck Hebing (2006, 2014), Blake Breen (2004), George Suprick (2005), Doug Emery (2009), Jessica Zemken-Friesen (2012), Jeff Cook (2013), Matt Tanner (2015), Steve Poirier (2016), Jordan Poirier (2019), and Paulie Colagiovanni (2021).

SERIES EVENTS

The Short Track Super Series (STSS) will celebrate their 10th Anniversary in 2023 with Bob Hilbert Sportswear as the title sponsor with two series events this season at Fonda. The first will be the $10,000 to win “Firecracker 50” for the STSS Modifieds along with a $2,000 to win 25-lap STSS Crate 602 Sportsman event on Sunday, July 2. The second STSS event at Fonda in 2023 will be the prestigious $53,000 to win “Fonda 200” for the STSS Modifieds along with an event for the STSS Sportsman on Saturday, September 16.

The previous four “Firecracker 50” events for the STSS Modifieds at Fonda have all been won by Stewart Friesen while Friesen also has a victory in in the “Fonda 200” in 2021 while Matt Sheppard was the winner of the 2022 edition of the 200-lap event. In STSS 602 Sportsman competition at Fonda during the last four years, Chad Edwards and Cody Clark both have two wins apiece while Rocky Warner and Tim Hartman Jr. each have one win apiece.

The 2023 “Thunder on the Thruway Series” for the Amsterdam Truck Center Modifieds, the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman, and the Below Zero Ice Cream Pro Stocks will have three events at Fonda this season on Saturday May 27, Saturday July 1, and Saturday July 15. The “Thunder on the Thruway Series is a six-race series between Fonda and the “Home of Heroes” Utica Rome Speedway with three events set to be held at Utica Rome on Friday June 16, Thursday June 29, and Saturday August 19.

SPRINT CARS

There will be three different groups of Sprint Cars competing at Fonda this season including the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) on Saturday May 6 and Saturday August 5, the Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) on Saturday, May 20, and the CRSA Sprint Cars on Saturday June 3, Saturday July 29, and Friday September 15.

The visit by the ASCoC marks the ninth time in Fonda Speedway history that 410 Sprint Cars have competed at the “Track of Champions”, with each of the previous four events falling under ASCoC sanctioning.

Shane Stewart (7/28/2002 World of Outlaw Gumout Series), Daryn Pitman (7/29/2003 410-Sprint Open), Craig Keel (7/14/2005 410-Sprint Open), and Danny Lasoski (7/18/2006 National Sprint Tour 410-Sprints) won the first four 410-Sprint events ever held at Fonda while the last four events, all sanctioned by the All-Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC), were won by Daryn Pittman (2010), Tim Shaffer (2011 & 2012), and Danny Dietrich (2013).

The Empire Super Sprints (ESS) have competed at Fonda a total of 25 times from 1987 to 2022 with a total of 14 different winning drivers. Local favorite Danny Varin leads the way with six ESS wins at Fonda followed by Justin Barger with five, Lance Yonge and Steve Poirier both with two wins apiece. Ten different drivers have one single ESS feature win at Fonda including John Brutcher, Bobby Parrow, Tom Taber, Craig Lane, Doug Emery, Jessica Zemken-Friesen, Jeff Cook, Chuck Hebing, Stewart Friesen, and Davie Franek.

There are 13 different winning drivers in a total of 27 CRSA Sprint events at Fonda from 2009 to 2022. Mike Kiser leads the way with five feature wins while Danny Varin has four. Josh Pieniazek and Cory Sparks are next with three wins apiece while Kyle Smith, Jeff Trombley, and Jordan Hutton have two wins apiece. Dylan Swiernik, John Matrafailo, Tyler Rice, Jordan Thomas, Brett Jaycox, and Josh Flint complete the list with one win apiece.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Other special events to take note of at Fonda for 2023 include “Dollar Night” with $1 grandstand admission on Saturday May 13, “Twin 20’s” for the Amsterdam Truck Center Modifieds on Saturday June 17, “Fan Appreciation Night” with $5 grandstand admission on Saturday June 24 which includes a pre-race Meet & Greet, “Hall of Fame Night” on Saturday July 1, “Autism Awareness Night” on Saturday July 15, and “Benjamin Moore Paints Championship Night” on Saturday August 12 when all of the 2023 Track Champions in their respective divisions will be crowned.

The “Fonda 200 Weekend” closes out the 2023 season on Thursday September 14 through Saturday September 16 with all regular Fonda Speedway divisions in action during the three-day event.

VINTAGE

For the vintage racing fan there will be five appearances by the Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series (MVVDMS) at Fonda in 2023 on Saturday April 29, Saturday May 27, Saturday June 10, Saturday July 1, and Saturday August 12.

Weekly grandstand admission is $13 (Adults), $11 for Seniors (ages 65-plus) and Kids 11 and under are admitted FREE. There are increases for special events.

Pit admission is $35 (Members) and $40 (Non-Members). Kids (ages 6-12) pay $10 and Children five and under pay $2. Increases for special events are noted on the schedule.

All race events will again be broadcast LIVE on FloRacing (www.floracing.tv) with an annual subscription. Dirt Track Digest TV will handle the production.

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 www.facebook.com/thefondaspeedwy or follow the speedway on Twitter: @thefondaspdwy.

Fonda Speedway 2023 Schedule of Events

Weekly Grandstand Admission: $13 (Adults) – $11 (Seniors ages 65 & Up) – Kids 11 and under FREE – Increases for special events as noted with * 

Weekly Pit Admission: $35 (Fonda Members) – $40 (Non-Members) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2 – Increases for special events as noted with*

Gates Open: 4 p.m. – Hot Laps: 6 p.m. – Racing: 7 p.m. (unless otherwise noted)

Weekly Divisions: Amsterdam Truck Center Modifieds, Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman, Montgomery County Office for Aging Limited Sportsman, Below Zero Ice Cream Pro Stocks & Fonda Fair Four Cylinders

Saturday, April 15 – Open Practice (Rain Date: Wednesday, April 19)

Pit Gates Open: 2 p.m. – Practice 4-7 p.m.

Grandstand Admission: FREE – Pit Admission: $30 (Members) or $35 (Non-Members) 

Saturday, April 22 – 72nd Season Opener: Jack Johnson Memorial Montgomery County Open: Modifieds with sail panels 40 laps, $12,000 to win (25 show-up points) – All divisions (points begin)*

Gates Open 2:30 p.m. – Hot Laps: 5:30 p.m. – Racing: 6:30 p.m.

Grandstand Admission: $25 (Adults) – $23 (Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $40 (Member) or $45 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Saturday, April 29 – All divisions plus Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Racing Series

Gates Open: 3:30 p.m. – Hot Laps: 5:30 p.m. – Racing: 6:30 p.m.

Grandstand Admission: $13 (Adults) – $11 (Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $35 (Member) or $40 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Saturday, May 6 – Supply Wagon Rental Night: Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints (ESS) 360 Sprint Cars – All divisions*

Grandstand Admission: $20 (Adults) – $18 (Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $35 (Member) or $40 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Saturday, May 13 – Dollar Night – $1 Grandstand Admission – All divisions

Grandstand Admission: $1 (Adults & Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $35 (Member) or $40 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Saturday, May 20 – Tezos All Star Circuit of Champions 410 Sprint Cars plus Modifieds, Pro Stocks, Limited Sportsman (feature only) and Four Cylinder (feature only) – Crate 602 Sportsman off*

Grandstand Admission: $30 (Adults) – $28 (Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $40 (Member) or $45 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Saturday, May 27 – Dave Lape Memorial Night – Thunder on the Thruway Series Modifieds ($4,000 minimum to win), Crate 602 Sportsman ($1,500 to win) & Pro Stocks ($1,000 to win) – All divisions plus Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Racing Series*

Grandstand Admission: $15 (Adults) – $13 (Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $35 (Member) or $40 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Saturday, June 3 – CRSA Sprint Cars – all divisions*

Grandstand Admission: $15 (Adults) – $13 (Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $35 (Member) or $40 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Saturday, June 10 – All divisions plus Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series

Grandstand Admission: $13 (Adults) – $11 (Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $35 (Member) or $40 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Saturday, June 17 – Ferris Mowers presents Modified Twin 20s – All divisions*

Grandstand Admission: $15 (Adults) – $13 (Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $35 (Member) or $40 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Saturday, June 24 – Bill Lake Modular Homes Fan Appreciation Night – $5 Grandstand Admission – Pre-Race Meet & Greet – All divisions

Grandstand Admission: $5 (Adults & Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $35 (Member) or $40 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Saturday, July 1 – Hall of Fame Night – Thunder on the Thruway Series Modifieds ($4,000 to win), Crate 602 Sportsman ($1,500 to win) & Pro Stocks ($1,000 to win) – All divisions plus Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Racing Series*

Grandstand Admission: $15 (Adults) – $13 (Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $35 (Member) or $40 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Sunday, July 2 – Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco ‘Firecracker 50’ – STSS Modifieds 50 laps, $10,000 to win & STSS Crate 602 Sportsman 25 laps, $2,000 to win (25 show-up points both divisions)*

Grandstand Admission: $28 (Adults) – $26 (Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $40 (Member) or $45 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Saturday, July 8 – Dirt Track Digest Night: Bill Ag Memorial Modified Elimination Races – All divisions

Grandstand Admission: $13 (Adults) – $11 (Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $35 (Member) or $40 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Saturday, July 15 – One Zee Tees/AIM Autism present Autism Awareness Night – Thunder on the Thruway Series Modifieds ($4,000 to win), Crate 602 Sportsman ($1,500 to win) & Pro Stocks ($1,000 to win) – All divisions*

Grandstand Admission: $15 (Adults) – $13 (Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $35 (Member) or $40 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Saturday, July 22 – Pro Stock Hondo Classic (draw, 25 show-up points) plus all divisions

Grandstand Admission: $13 (Adults) – $11 (Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $35 (Member) or $40 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Saturday, July 29 – Parks Companies Night: CRSA Sprint Cars – All divisions*

Grandstand Admission: $15 (Adults) – $13 (Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $35 (Member) or $40 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Saturday, August 5 – Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints (ESS) 360 Sprint Cars Earl Halaquist Memorial – All divisions*

Grandstand Admission: $20 (Adults) – $18 (Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $35 (Member) or $40 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Saturday, August 12 – Benjamin Moore Paints Championship Night: All divisions plus Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series

Grandstand Admission: $13 (Adults) – $11 (Seniors) – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $35 (Member) or $40 (Non-Member) – Kids (ages 6-12): $10 – Children (ages 5 and under): $2

Thursday, September 14-Saturday, September 16 – $53,000-to-win Fonda 200 Weekend 

Thursday, September 14 – Amsterdam Truck Center Modified “Ultimate Underdog 33” plus Montgomery County Office for Aging Limited Sportsman & Open Practice All Divisions*

Reserved Seating: $15 (all seats)
General Admission: $12 – Kids 11 and under FREE

Pit Admission: $35 (Non-Member) or $30 (Fonda Member) – $10 Kids (ages 6-12) – $2 Children (ages 5 and under) 

Friday, September 15 – Short Track Super Series Amsterdam Truck Center Modified Qualifying Races plus CRSA Sprint Cars, Below Zero Ice Cream Pro Stocks, Street Stocks & Fonda Fair Four Cylinders*

Reserved Seating: $25 (all seats)
General Admission: $22 – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $45 (Non-Member) or $40 (Member) – $10 Kids (ages 6-12) – $2 Children (ages 5 and under) 

Saturday, September 16 – STSS Modified B-Mains & Fonda 200 plus Swagger Factory Apparel STSS Crate 602 Sportsman*
Reserved Seating: $40 (all seats)
General Admission: $35 – Kids 11 and under FREE
Pit Admission: $50 (Non-Member) or $45 (Member) – $10 Kids (ages 6-12) – $2 Children (ages 5 and under)

Friday, September 29-Sunday, October 1 – Garden Motorsports Inc. presents “Monster Truckz” – Visit www.monstertruckz.com to learn more (Season Passes not valid at this event)