This & That: Getting Track Time – DTD Exclusive

By Ed & Betty Biittig

Kadon Hohensheldt is the driver we met as we strolled through the pits at Fonda this week. We stopped to ask him how his father, Kurtis, was doing after the horrific crash he took in the first turn at Fonda a few weeks ago. We are happy to learn that Kurtis is doing well, according to Kadon.

This season is Kadon’s first year racing in the 602 Sportsman class at Fonda; actually, it’s his first year racing an open-wheel car. The only other type of vehicle he has raced is a dirt bike, and that was when he was a kid, racing with his father. As a matter of fact, Kadon says he and his dad raced everywhere back in 2015 and 2016.

“I decided to skip the rookie class and go straight to Sportsman,” said Kadon. And he knows that to be competitive, he needs to race weekly, so he took on that task this season to get track time. The first month out, he ended up on his roof, and it took all he had to get the car repaired and ready to race again.

Kadon has been around racing all his life; his uncles are the Pessalano’s, and we know his father. To help support his racing efforts, Kadon works for JJP Slipforming, Inc.

Kadon knows the importance of sponsors and says, “I couldn’t do this without all of them.”

Shults Auto Center, 518 Concrete Construction & Harscaping, JJP Slipforming, Inc., B&B Excavating, Mrs. M. LLC Landscaping and Snowplowing, and JK Signworks all make it possible for Kadon to be on track each week. He relies a lot and gets much help from Limited Sportsman chauffeur Tyler Bobar and friend Trevor Brownell. On Sunday, Tyler Bobar won the Limited Sportsman feature at Glen Ridge in Kadon’s No. 42.

Earlier in the evening at Fonda this past Saturday, we heard that if the racing rained out this Saturday (championship night), promoter Brett Deyo was looking at racing on Sunday, so we wanted to confirm the information. We asked Brett the question, and his answer was, “We are definitely looking at a rain date, so points end on the track.”

Deyo has been dealing with many rainouts and rescheduling events this season.

Utica-Rome’s racing was cut short by rain on Friday and will now pick up where it left off on September 8, except for the Pro Stocks feature event. With a $10,000-to-win Pro Stock Autism Awareness event on the schedule for September 8 at Albany-Saratoga, the rained-out 20-lap Pro Stock feature from this past Friday will be added to this Friday’s August 11 program at Utica-Rome.

It was celebrations of family and first-time wins at Fonda on Saturday. Fourth-generation driver and first-time Modified winner, Bobby Hackel, IV, celebrated his first win with his grandfather, Bob Hackel, Sr., in victory lane, and then on Sunday, Bobby, IV, and his father, Bob, Jr., presented the SAM award to Bob, Sr., at the annual NESCOT Steak & Chicken Bake.

Third-generation driver A. J. Greco, Jr., celebrated his first win in the Limited Sportsman division on Saturday, and with him in victory lane was his sister, Junior Miss Fonda Fair, Olivia Greco, along with Fonda Fair Princess Riley Meredith and Miss Fonda Fair, Lillian Lighthall.

NESCOT (North East Stock Car Old Timers) held their annual steak and chicken bake on Sunday on the Fonda Fairgrounds. Along with all the delicious food and reminiscing among those in attendance, NESCOT also handed out the annual SAM (Superior Achievement in Motorsports) awards. Those honored were longtime NESCOT Treasurer Richard Carpinello and drivers Jimmy Fugel, Bob Hackel, Dick Hansen, and Johnny Kollar.

On Sunday during the NESCOT get-together, NESCOT Trustee Al Kugler walked up to David Peek, son of Harry, and handed him a steering wheel that he had hung onto for 27 years and said, “This is the steering wheel from the last car your father drove.” Kuglar was the owner of the car.

At Glen Ridge on Sunday, there were two Late Models on the track practicing for next Sunday’s Rush Late Model event. Demetrios Drellos and Rob Pitcher both showed the crowd what to expect next week.

The MVVDMS was scheduled to race at Albany-Saratoga on Friday for the Grady Vintage Photos Memorial event organized by Chris Grady to honor the memory of his father, racing photographer John Grady, but Mother Nature had other plans. Although the vintage cars did not get to race, Chris handed out the promised tow money to all those present.

This week’s Tremont Trivia is a continuation of Kenny’s first win in 1982. After he recorded his first win in May 1982, Ken, Jr., went on to take the Modified Championship at Lebanon Valley that year. His record that season showed, along with the one win, 14 top fives. Kenny now has 14 big block championships at The Valley and five small block titles.

As we close, with heavy hearts, we send our thoughts and prayers to the Davies’ family, Joann and Brian, on the death of their husband and father, Don. Don was a long-time member of the racing media, and he and his wife Joann traveled throughout the Northeast and Canada, covering auto racing for AARN. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. RIP, Don.

Until next week, please send all news and/or comments to