By RON SZCZERBA
FONDA, NY – Guaranteed starting spots are hard to come by for any big racing events, if there are any even available. In 2018, DIRTcar announced earlier this year that six Super DIRTcar Series events held this season would award guaranteed starting positions to the winners of those events in the NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week 200 to be held this October at the Oswego Speedway.
Included in those six events will be a very special one which will be held on Wednesday, August 1 at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway where the winner of the fourth annual Jack Johnson Tribute event, known simply as “the Jack” will be guaranteed the number 12 starting position in the NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week 200 at Oswego this October, symbolic of the historic car number that Johnson used during his racing career.
Also in competition at Fonda on Wednesday, August 1 will be the 13th Annual “Hondo Classic” for the pro stocks and a street stock challenge. It was also recently announced that the Hondo Classic event would be a King of Dirt Pro Stock Series event. Racing action will begin at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, August 1.
Earlier this year DIRTcar made the guaranteed starting spots available for Super DIRT Week official in a press release saying “In order to further honor the career of an outstanding big block modified driver, the Fourth Annual Jack Johnson Tribute race will offer a guaranteed starting position in the big event. Jumpin’ Jack Johnson, an unstoppable force at the Fonda Speedway and on the Super DIRTcar Series circuit for a quarter century, won four Super DIRTcar Series championships between 1978 and 1988, and sits fifth on the All Time Super DIRTcar Series win list with 57 victories.”
Johnson was a two time winner of the Super DIRT Week at Syracuse event back in 1979 and 1984. His victory in 1979 was the first time in the history of the race at that time that a driver from New York State had won the event! He also won three Super DIRTcar Series events at Fonda back in 1976, 1979, and 1980.
In just a few short years, the Jack Johnson Tribute race at Fonda has proven to be one of the most highly sought after victories on the big block modified calendar. With the added prize of a guaranteed starting position in the NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week big block modified finale, spectators at the historic “Track of Champions” will be in for a spectacular show. Previous winners of the event were Stewart Friesen, Matt Sheppard, and Mike Mahaney.
Earlier this year it was also announced that Fonda Speedway would be hosting two Super DIRTcar Series events in 2018, the Jack Johnson Tribute race as stated above, and the second date being Saturday, September 22 as part of the Mohawk Valley Weekend at the “Track of Champions”.
“We’re extremely excited to have another date at Fonda Speedway added to the Super DIRTcar Series schedule” stated Fonda promoter, Pete Demitraszek. “The fact that we were able to add our Jack Johnson tribute to the Super DIRTcar Series schedule makes the event more special.”
Summarizing previously held Super DIRTcar Series events held at Fonda in the past, there were 36 events held with 18 different drivers winning those events led by Brett Hearn who has a total of seven series event wins back in 1986, 1987, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, and 2014. Following behind Hearn in series wins at Fonda is Danny Johnson who has a total of four (1983, 1988, 1992, 1993); Jack Johnson with three (1976, 1979, 1980); Dave Lape (1973, 1991), Lou Lazzaro (1977, 1978), C.D. Coville (1981, 1982), Jimmy Horton (1984, 1996), Doug Hoffman (1989, 1999), Kevin Collins (1990, 1994), and Bobby Varin (1995, 2017) all with two victories apiece followed by Ralph Holmes (1972), Will Cagle (1974), Wayne Reutimann (1975), Bob McCreadie (1985), Alan Johnson (2000), Tim McCreadie (2003), Billy Decker (2015), and Jimmy Phelps (2016) who all have one victory apiece in series events held at Fonda.
For more information about the Super DIRTcar Series and the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway you can go to their respective websites www.superdirtcarseries.com and www.newfondaspeedway.com