By MIKE MALLETT
It’s been 17 years since a 200-lap event has been held at the famed Fonda Speedway. Thankfully, this coming weekend it returns to the ‘Track of Champions.’ The race will be the biggest version of the event ever as it will pay a whopping $53,000 to the winner with a total payout of over $125,000 going to the feature field starters.
Dirt Track Digest breaks down the event here with all the information needed for the return of the Fonda 200 at the Fonda Speedway.
Who to Watch
Stewart Friesen: This was the easiest pick. He’s Stewart Friesen and it’s Fonda Speedway. Enough said. In all seriousness, Friesen has won the 200 at Super DIRT Week, Eastern States and has a host of other big name event wins to his credit. Heading into the Fonda 200, he has to be the overall favorite to add this win to his resume on Saturday night.
Brett Hearn: Hearn has won the Fonda 200 on four different occasions. Hearn, like Friesen, has multiple 200 lap feature wins to his credit besides Fonda including Super DIRT Week, Eastern States and the Outlaw 200. The only difficulty Hearn may face is his lack of success on American Racer tires. Saturday just be the day he gets that squared way and picks up $53,000.
Matt Sheppard: Sheppard won the opening race of the season at Fonda and he was second in the Firecracker 50. He’s a favorite wherever he goes and the Fonda 200 is no different. He hasn’t been clicking off as many wins as of late. Look for him to be in hunt at the end for the big paycheck.
Rocky Warner: Although lacking the pedigree of the three other guys on the list, Warner has been impressive at Fonda in 2019 in his Jake Spraker owned ride. Warner picked up the track title while leading all drivers in wins. He’s shown he belongs in the Modified ranks after some early struggles. I think he’ll be mixing it up at the end of the race for the win.
Billy Decker: If anyone is owed something by Fonda Speedway, it’s Decker. He’s had some tough luck the last few times he’s visited Fonda, including a wild flip that saw him destroy a car in turns three and four. Like several favorites, he has big race wins. Saturday just could be the day he turns things around at the ‘Track of Champions.’
Tim Fuller: Fuller is a former track champion at Fonda Speedway. Although he hasn’t been at Fonda much in 2019, he’ll still be a factor on Saturday. Fuller will attempt to overcome a couple of drawbacks. He hasn’t run his big-block a ton this season and he doesn’t have a lot of experience on American Racers. Those could hold him back, but he’s a pro and that will show on Saturday.
Mike Mahaney: Mahaney is just good a Fonda. He pulled off the upset in 2017 by winning the Jack Johnson Tribute event which earned him a $12,000 payday. He’s also a former winner of the Ice Jam. The 200 could be the biggest payday of Mahaney’s career.
Bobby Varin: Varin has more laps around Fonda Speedway than nearly everyone else entered into Saturday’s 200. Like others on the list, Varin has won on the big stage. He won at Syracuse on the Mile while also scoring an Eastern States 200 victory. There is no doubt he’ll run toward the front of the field in the feature on Saturday night. He’ll be hoping to cap of the season by bringing home the big check for Alton and Carole Palmer.
Dave Constantino: Constantino has been consistent for much of the season at Fonda finishing fifth in the point standings. He’s coming off a podium finish in the last event run at Fonda last week. He may not have the resume of others on the list, but he’s got a car that is maneuverable and can take him to the front. Don’t be shocked if he’s up front at the checkered flag.
Demetrios Drellos: Racing is all about confidence. Drellos is riding high after winning his first Super DIRTcar Series race this past weekend. Running with the series has only improved the young driver. Last Saturday night’s win was a breakout victory and he could continue to ride that wave on Saturday.
Mike Gular: Like Drellos, Gular is coming off the biggest win of his career last weekend at the Grandview Speedway where he won the Freedom 76 and $25,000. As I said, confidence is important and he’s got things rolling right now. After spending the year at the Orange County Fair Speedway, Gular has experience on big tracks and in big paying races. That helped him Saturday and it should help him be a factor in the 200.
Mike Maresca: Maresca has been so close to scoring a breakout win in the Modified ranks. He’s simply due. If he attends the event on Saturday night he’ll be someone to keep your eyes on. He’s been good at Fonda this year finishing in the top 10 in points. He’s improved tremendously as a driver and Saturday’s 200 may be where he finally puts it all together and finishes the job.
Expected Entries as of 9/25
- Danny Varin
- Roger Henion Jr
- Allison Ricci
- Jessica Friesen
- Bobby Varin
- Rocky Warner
- Mike Gular
- Matt DeLorenzo
- Demetrios Drellos
- Andy Bachetti
- Matt Sheppard
- Stewart Friesen
- Mike Mahaney
- Billy Decker
- Anthony Perrego
- Tim Fuller
- Brett Hearn
- Dave Constantino
- Alex Yankowski
- Daniel Johnson
- Brian Pessolano
- Craig Hanson
- Pep Corradi
- Brian Gleason
- Josh Hohenforst
- Scott Huber
- Aaron Jacobs
- Alex Tonkin
- Steve Akers
- Matt Hitchcock
- Dylan Scribner
- Michael Mcclinton
- Korey Wilder
- David Schilling
- Brett Tonkin
- Danny Johnson
- Vinny Visconti
- Darwin Greene
- Jim Introne
- Elmo Reckner
FEATURE (200-LAPS): 1 $53,000, 2 $20,000, 3 $10,000, 4 $7,000, 5 $4,000, 6 $3,000 7 $2,500 8 $2,250, 9 9 $2,000, 10 $1,750, 11 $1,400, 12 $1,300, 13 $1,200, 14 $1,100, 15 $1,000, 16 $900, 17 $800, 18 $775, 19 $750, 20 $740, 21 $730, 22 $720, 23 $710, 24 $700, 25 $675, 26 $650, 27 $625, 28 $600, 29 $600, 30 $600, 31 $600, 32 $600, 33 $600, 34 $600, 35 $600, 36 $600
Total Purse: $125,675
B-Main: 1 Transfer to 200, 2 Transfer to 200, 3 Transfer to 200, 4 Transfer to 200, 5 Transfer to 200, 6 Transfer to 200, 7 $150, 8 $150, 9 $150, 10 $150, 11 $150, 12 $150, 13 $150, 14 $150, 15 $150, 16 $150, 17 $150, 18 $150, 19 $150, 20 $150, 21 $100, 22 $100, 23 $100, 24 $100
Total Purse: $2,500
Past Fonda 200 Winners
Steve Danish (1963), Bill Wimble (1964), Lou Lazzaro (1969), Harry Peek (1970), Charlie Rudolph (1983 & 1985), Jimmy Horton (1984 & 1994), Jack Johnson (1986 & 1988), Kenny Brightbill (1987), Mike Romano (1989), Doug Hoffman (1990, 1991 & 2001), Bob McCreadie (1992 & 1993), Brett Hearn (1995, 1997, 1998 & 2002), Steve Paine (1999) and Kenny Tremont Jr (2000).
Drivers will draw for starting positions in their heat races which will be run on Friday, September 27.
Each heat race will be 15-laps in distance. Car counts will determine how many cars qualify for Saturday 200 lap race.
- 30-45 cars: Three (3) qualifying races, top-10 cars transfer from each/six (6) cars transfer from the B-Main
- 46-60 cars: Four (4) qualifying races, top-7 cars transfer from each/two (2) B-Mains will transfer four (4) cars each
- 61-80 cars: Five (5) qualifying races, top-6 cars transfer from each/two (2) B-Mains will transfer three (3) cars each
- 81-plus cars: Six (6) qualifying races, top-5 cars transfer from each/three (3) B-Mains will transfer two (2) cars each
A B-Main or B-Mains will be run on Saturday, September 28 to set the field of 36 cars for the Fonda 200.
The feature will start heads up based on qualifying event finishes on Friday night with the B-Main cars falling in at the tail of the field.
During the 200, all laps count with a maximum of three laps under caution until lap 190. The last 10 laps must be run under green flag conditions.
At lap 100, a yellow/red will be called for 10 minutes. Cars staying on the track will be permitted to refuel, adjust tire pressures, re-apply tear-offs ONLY on the front straightaway and will maintain their position. Cars heading to the Hot Pit area may change tires or make other adjustments but must start behind the cars remaining on the speedway.
Schedule of Events
Thursday, September 26
Open Practice, Camper & Trailer Parking Begins
Gates Open: 2 p.m. – Practice 6:30-9 p.m.
Friday, September 27
A-Verdi presents Patriot Sprint Tour (PST) plus PST heldover feature from May 25, Sunoco Modified Qualifying Races, Pro Stocks $1,000 to win, Street Stocks $500 to win presented by Roberts Towing & Recovery & Four Cylinder Cruisers*
Pit Gates Open: 3 p.m. – Hot Laps: 5:45 p.m. – Racing: 7 p.m.
Saturday, September 28
Fonda 200 paying $53,000 to win for Sunoco Modifieds, Modified Last Chance Races plus Crate 602 Sportsman $1,500 to win*
Gates Open: 1 p.m. – Hot Laps: 5 p.m. – Racing: 6 p.m.
Thursday, September 26
Grandstand Admission: FREE
Pit Admission: $20 with Fonda license/$25 w/o
Friday, September 27
Grandstand Admission: $22 general / $25 reserved / Kids Under 11 FREE
Pit Admission: $35 with Fonda license / $40 w/o
Saturday, September 28
Grandstand Admission: $35 general / $40 reserved / Kids Under 11 FREE
Pit Admission: $45 with Fonda license / $50 w/o
Grandstand Admission: $55 general / $62 reserved / Kids Under 11 FEE
Pit Admission: $95 with Fonda license / $110 w/o (3-day pass), $75 with Fonda license / $85 w/o (2-day pass)
Where to Watch
Friday and Saturday night’s action will be streamed on DirtTrackDigest.tv. This will be a DTD TV Xtra event with multiple camera angles and live scoring. There are multiple options available for purchase.
Friday Night Only: $25
Saturday Night Only: $35