By: Ron Szczerba
FONDA, NY – Years ago race tracks used to hold Twin 20 racing programs to “spice up” their racing cards on a yearly basis. Though they are not held as much now as they were before, the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway held one of those racing programs on Saturday evening under the BD Motorsports Media management banner.
Once the final checkered flags flew on the evening it was Danny Varin and Stewart Friesen (Sunoco Racing Modifieds), Brian Calabrese (held over 602 Crate Sportsman feature from 5/25) and Cody Clark (Swagger Factory Apparel 602 Crate Sportsman regular feature), Rich Christman (Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman), Luke Horning (Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks Best of 8 Series presented by American Racer), and Jason Samrov (Trackside Body Works Street Stocks) standing in the Fuccillo Automotive Group Mike Cole Memorial victory lane.
It was also New York State Stock Car Association (NYSSCA) Safety Awards Night with Modified drivers Friesen and Dave Constantino taking home some extra cash from the organization along with Clark and Tony Farone (602 Crate Sportsman), Christman and EJ McAuliffe (Limited Sportsman), Horning and Ivan Joslin (Pro Stocks), and Samrov and Stephen Young (Street Stocks).
Prizes handed out by NYSSCA organization members on hand Dan Wood (President), Jann Ivancic-McGaffin (Vice President), and Bonnie Mortensen (Fonda Speedway Track Representative) included $75, a NYSSCA hat & Yearbook to the first NYSSCA member across the finish line in the feature events along with $25, a NYSSCA hat, and Yearbook to the second NYSSCA member across the finish line. Pep Corradi was also awarded a $50 Wildcard award from the organization.
Taking part in the opening ceremonies for the evening were Miss Fonda Fair 2018 Julia Marrone, Jaiden Farrington (Jr. Miss Fonda Fair), Chloe Lyons (Princess), and Sydney Arminio (Jr. Princess) with Marrone doing a great job singing the National Anthem in front of the big crowd on hand. The 50/50 prize for the evening went to Jen Spraker from Meco and was worth $2,224!
The Fonda Speedway Kid’s Club held a very special event on Saturday evening, partnering with Buck Gasner and his race team along with his sponsor Something Fishy Aquarium to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis in honor of Paige and Eric Tooker. Drivers went through the grandstands with their helmets during intermission to collect for the great cause.
The first Sunoco Modified Twin 20 started with Ryan Odasz leading from his pole position start at the drop of Joe Kriss’ green flag with outside pole position starter Pep Corradi in second. The yellow was out just after lap one was completed for Corradi who came to a stop in turn three and was done for the evening at that point.
On the restart, fifth place starter Josh Hohenforst was the new second place car while Stewart Friesen, who started 13th, was all of a sudden up to the fourth position with a great run on the outside after the race was restarted. Friesen was the new third place car on lap three after getting by Vinny Sanganetti for the position while Hohenforst was now challenging Odasz for the lead.
Hohenforst made a move on the inside of turns three and four on lap nine to take the lead away from Odasz with Friesen also getting by Odasz for the second position at that point. At the halfway point in the event Hohenforst was the race leader followed by Friesen, Odasz, Dave Constantino, and ninth place starter Matt DeLorenzo.
Hohenforst was held up for just a second by a lap car on lap 15 in turn three allowing Friesen to get by on the inside for the lead, but the race wasn’t over yet. Hohenforst got to the inside of Friesen in turn four on the final lap coming to the checkered flag in a drag race to the finish but Friesen held on for his second win of the season and the 56th of his career at the “Track of Champions.”
Hohenforst, Constantino, Danny Varin, and DeLorenzo completed the top five in the event.
“That was a lot of race track right there,” Friesen said after exiting his #44 Halmar DKM Cyclone car. “They made it such a wide track for the feature that I got up on the fourth row on that restart and picked up some spots. We have been all over the dart board with this car but thanks to DKM, Billy the Kid power, and Integra shocks we are standing here tonight.”
The second feature had an inverted start of four positions as picked by Friesen in victory lane after the first feature with Danny Varin starting on the pole and taking the early lead. The only caution of the event was on lap two for Michael Maresca who had something break in the rear of the car in turns one and two and came to a stop on the backstretch.
Varin continued to lead on the restart in the Magsarus T-Rex Express #93 but behind him there was a three way battle brewing for the second position between Constantino, Hohenforst, Friesen, and sixth place starter Rocky Warner. Friesen and Warner swapped the fourth position a few times before Friesen finally got the position for good on lap five.
Friesen then made a slide job pass on Constantino in turn two for the second position with Warner also getting by Constantino for the third position at that point. Varin held a half straightaway advantage at the halfway point with Friesen, Warner, Constantino, and David Schilling completing the top five.
After working on Friesen for the second position for many laps, Warner finally got the second position with four laps to go and was able to close in on the leader but couldn’t get by as Varin went on to his eighth career win at Fonda in the Ed Munger owned car with Warner, Friesen, Hohenforst, and DeLorenzo completing the top five.
“This feels good,” Varin said in victory lane. “We have been struggling and on a drought for awhile but the last couple of weeks we have got it together. I learned to just slow life down a little and worry about what the car wants. As far as the race for second, I could care less what was going on behind me I’m standing here in victory lane.”
The Swagger Factory Apparel 602 Crate Sportsman feature from 5/25 started with Joe Orlando in the lead with a red flag out for a wreck involving Griffen Mansmith and Andrew Buff in between turns three and four with Buff ending up on his roof before any laps were completed. All drivers were okay.
On the restart, sixth place starter Mark Mortensen and eighth place starter Chad Edwards both made great moves on the outside to get into the third and fourth positions respectively. Unfortunately the caution was out again just after lap one was completed for a multi car wreck in turn four with Tony Farone getting over on his roof. Farone and all of the other drivers involved in the wreck were okay.
The race was restarted as an original start relegating Mortensen and Edwards back to their original starting positions back in the field. Orlando led again on this restart with fourth place starter Brian Calabrese the new second place car on lap seven after he got by Kurtis Hohensheldt for the position with Edwards also getting by for the third spot. At the halfway point in the event Orlando was the leader followed by Calabrese, Edwards, Hohensheldt, and Brian Borst.
Orlando got into lap traffic on lap 18 of the 25-lap event with Calabrese able to close in quickly because of it. On the inside of the front stretch at the finish line to complete lap 21, Calabrese was the new race leader and he went on to his second consecutive win of the season and the third of his career at Fonda in the LM Mason Contractors #21C over Orlando, Edwards, Hohensheldt, and 12th place starter Tim Hartman Jr.
“Two in a row this is awesome,” Calabrese told Mimi Lazzaro in victory lane. “Cars were getting by me on the original first start but I just kept racing and the restarts afterwards definitely helped me. I’m still learning all of this and I just kept dialing front brake into it, saw the lap cars coming, and was able to get by for the win.”
After flipping his racecar in the first feature event, Tony Farone and crew made repairs and won his qualifying heat race for the second feature putting his #18 on the pole for the second 25-lap event. Farone wasted no time taking the early lead with Brian Borst in tow at the drop of the green flag.
After starting fifth, Nick Scavia was the third place car when the yellow came out on lap seven for Tim Hartman Jr. who slowed on the backstretch. He would go to the hot pit for repairs and restart at the rear of the field.
On the restart, Farone continued to lead as Cody Clark came up on the outside from the sixth position to second with Brian Calabrese now in the top five after starting 14th. With three laps to go, Clark closed in on Farone and with one lap to go Clark went three wide on the inside of both Farone and a lap car for the race lead.
Clark went on to the win in the North Hudson Woodcraft #4 Teo car over Farone, Borst, Scavia, and Calabrese for his first win of the season and the seventh of his career in the division at Fonda.
“We’ve been struggling this year,” Clark said in victory lane. “The last two weeks have been decent but we are a low budget team and we just do what we can.”
The Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman feature began with an early caution flag for Spencer Rapp who got together with Brett Mortensen on the backstretch with Rapp done for the night at that point while Mortensen pitted on the hot pit road to make repairs and continued on at the rear of the field.
John Young was the race leader on the restart from his pole position start with another caution flag out at the completion of lap one for Bill Port who was in the wall between turns one and two. Port was okay and continued on at the rear of the field. Young led again on this restart with sixth place starter Steve Wagoner the new second place car and challenging Young for the lead on lap four, running side by side for position.
Young held the lead position for two more laps until Wagoner took the lead away on the outside of turn four with eighth place starter Rich Christman now in the third position. Christman went from third to first on lap seven to take the race lead away and went on to his second win of the season over Wagoner, EJ McAuliffe, Brendan Gibbons, and John Young. In postrace inspection, Wagoner was disqualified for not having a rev box moving Mortensen into the top five.
The Algonkin Motel Pro Stock feature, which was a Best of 8 Series event sponsored by American Racer, began with Bill Knapp the early leader. Nick Stone started the event in the sixth position and went to the outside immediately, going three wide to the lead as lap one was completed. Ivan Joslin and Cassidy Wilson were the second and third place cars early on with 10th place starter moving to the front quickly.
Horning was able to get by both Wilson and Knapp for the third position by lap eight with Stone out to a straightaway advantage on lap 11. Horning was the new second place car on lap 14 after getting by Joslin for the spot with the yellow out with four laps to go closing up the field. Horning got by Stone for the lead on the inside of turns three and four and went on to his fourth win of the season and the 18th of his career at Fonda over Joslin, Josh Coonradt, Stone, and eighth place starter Kenny Gates.
“I caught the 82 (Wilson) and I just settled in behind him,” Horning said in victory lane. “Then I made a slide job pass to get by him and raced hard with the 49 (Joslin) before I found some grip on the bottom and was able to get by Nick for the lead. Tonight it was all about finesse where last week you really had to be up on the wheel.”
A red flag at the start slowed the Trackside Body Works Street Stock feature when Michael Arnold got on his roof in turn three. Arnold was not injured but was done for the evening at that point. On the restart and for the first two laps of the event, Cliff Haslun was the race leader before Jason Samrov took control of the race with a pass on the inside of the back stretch on lap three.
Stephen Young took away the lead briefly on lap six, but when the lap was officially scored it was Samrov who got back by Young for the lead in a great side by side battle. Samrov led the remaining laps for his first win of the season and the ninth of his career at Fonda over Young, Haslun, Zach Sorrentino, and Robert Wilmont.
Next Saturday, June 15 at Fonda the Bill Ag Memorial Modified Match races will take place along with all other divisions in action featuring Father’s Day giveaways. Starting time will be 7:00 p.m.
Since 1953, the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway has hosted the best in stock car racing. Now 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. To learn more, call the office at 518.915.4395, like Fonda Speedway on Facebook or follow on Twitter: @thefondaspdwy.
SUNOCO MODIFIED TWIN 20 FEATURE #1 FINISH – 20-LAPS – STEWART FRIESEN, Josh Hohenforst, Dave Constantino, Danny Varin, Matt DeLorenzo, Rocky Warner, Michael Maresca, David Schilling, Bobby Varin, Korey Wilder, Elmo Reckner, Craig Hanson, Brian Gleason, Darwin Greene, Vinny Sanganetti, Steve Akers, Jessica Friesen, Roger Henion Jr., Allison Ricci, Scott Huber, Ed Harris, Cody Bleau, Ryan Odasz, Aaron Jacobs, Pep Corradi
SUNOCO MODIFIED TWIN 20 FEATURE #2 FINISH – 20-LAPS – DANNY VARIN, Rocky Warner, Stewart Friesen, Josh Hohenforst, Matt DeLorenzo, Brian Gleason, Elmo Reckner, Dave Constantino, Bobby Varin, Jessica Friesen, Craig Hanson, Korey Wilder, Steve Akers, Allison Ricci, Darwin Greene, Cody Bleau, Vinny Sanganetti, Ed Harris, Scott Huber, David Schilling, Roger Henion Jr., Aaron Jacobs, Michael Maresca, Pep Corradi, Ryan Odasz (DNS)
HEAT RACE WINNERS: Ryan Odasz, Pep Corradi, Danny Varin
SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (RAIN DELAYED FROM 5/25) – 25-LAPS – BRIAN CALABRESE, Joe Orlando, Chad Edwards, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Tim Hartman Jr., Brian Borst, Mark Mortensen, Cody Clark, Tim Dwyer, Jason Greco, Dan Santabarbara, Adam McAuliffe, Aaron Burton, JaMike Sowle, Thomas VanVorst, Josh DeMagistris, Mike Jackson, Nick Scavia, Tony Farone, Griffen Mansmith, Andrew Buff
SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN REGULARLY SCHEDULED FEATURE – 25-LAPS – CODY LARK, Tony Farone, Brian Borst, Nick Scavia, Brian Calabrese, Chad Edwards, Mark Mortensen, Adam McAuliffe, Andrew Buff, Aaron Burton, Tim Hartman Jr., Kurtis Hohensheldt, Joe Orlando, Dan Santabarbara, JaMike Sowle, Josh DeMagistris, Jason Greco, Mike Jackson, Thomas VanVorst, Tim Dwyer, Griffen Mansmith
HEAT RACE WINNERS: Tony Farone, Brian Borst, Adam McAuliffe
MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH – 20-LAPS – RICH CHRISTMAN, EJ McAuliffe, Brendan Gibbons, John Young, Brett Mortensen, Jack Hamm, Bill Port, Spencer Rapp, Steve Wagoner (DQ No Rev Box)
ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (BEST OF 8 SERIES PRESENTED BY AMERICAN RACER – 20-LAPS – LUKE HORNING, Ivan Joslin, Josh Coonradt, Nick Stone, Kenny Gates, Chuck Dumblewski, Justin Knight, Bill Knapp, David Emigh, Cassidy Wilson, Shane Henderson, Andy Graves, Beau Ballard, Jason Morrison, Randy Cosselman, Reuben Kennedy Jr., Jeff McPhail, Buck Gasner, John Roese, Jim Normoyle, Alicia Hughes
HEAT RACE WINNERS: Luke Horning, Josh Coonradt, Nick Stone
TRACKSIDE BODY WORKS STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH – 15-LAPS – JASON SAMROV, Stephen Young, Cliff Haslun, Zach Sorrentino, Robert Wilmont, Josh Samrov, Michael Arnold, Brittany Celebucki