On Saturday July 1 the pro stocks will take center stage at Fonda Speedway as they pay tribute to one of their own. The Hondo Classic is named for Hondo Carpenter, a popular competitor in the division who lost his life in an ATV accident on July 4, 2005.
Each year dozens of supporters of this event contribute to the bonus money that is awarded along with the track purse. This year those bonuses total over $3,300.00 and will likely climb some more before the cars take to the track.
According to the competitors, the money is always welcome but the big draw is the bragging rights. Commemorative shirts are made each year and the Friends of Hondo Memorial Society provides each competitor with one. Those shirts list all the names of the previous winners on the back and we all want to know if we will be seeing a new name on next year’s edition or if it will be a repeat winner. TShirts will also be available for purchase at the track the day of the race.
The first Hondo Classic was won by Jim Burton in 2006. Nick Stone took home the honors in 2007, 2008, and 2016. Kenny Gates won in 2009 and again in 2015. Pete Broderson won twice, in 2012 and 2014. Chip Smith (2010) Rob Yetman (2011) Kenny Martin, Jr (2013) each have one win.
Some of the major sponsors of the event are The Wheel People Show with Ed Lamberton, Kelly’s Pharmacy, Bulldog Concrete & Supply, Midtel Communications, Bobco Racing Video and the New York State Stock Car Association. Many race teams contribute to the bonus money as well. Without such support this event would not be possible. Each year, the organizers Kelley & Kaitlyn Keefe, are asked when the last Classic will be. They respond with “as long as there is interest from the racers and support from the sponsors, we will keep it going.” “We still miss Hondo every day. He loved the pro stock division and so do we.” I guess that means no end is in sight.
For more information on the event, or to see how you can get involved, contact Kelley Keefe at (518) 527-8667 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.