By RON SZCZERBA
FONDA, NY – On Saturday afternoon April 6, Fonda Speedway management held a staff meeting for employees of the track for the 2019-racing season. Heather Deyo and Denise Page held separate meetings for employees of certain areas of the speedway while Brett Deyo and Jamie Page held a meeting in the Fair Board office at the entrance of the fairgrounds for the remaining employees who were present.
“History keeps the Track of Champions what it is today,” Brett Deyo said during the meeting. “We need to get the people back in the seats here at Fonda, the ones that used to come here on Saturday nights, but now for whatever reason have decided to stay away. We are going to do this with a gotta get it done approach which will feature an efficiently run racing program on Saturday evenings.”
The season gets started at Fonda on Saturday, April 13 with an Open Practice session with gates opening at 2:00 p.m. and warm-ups from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The first actual race of the season will take place the following Saturday, April 20.
The Sunoco Modifieds will kick off the historic 2019 racing season at the Fonda Speedway on Saturday, April 20 with some serious cash on the line. The opening night winner will take home a $4,000 paycheck! While the stars and cars compete for some big cash on Opening Night, the fans can enjoy this race unfold before their eyes for NO EXTRA ADMISSION COST! That’s right; Adult Grandstand Admission will remain at $11, Seniors 65-plus stay at $9.00 and Kids 11 & under are FREE!
Also on the April 20 Racing Card will be the Sunoco Modifieds ($4,000 To Win!), 602 Sportsman ($1,000 To Win Thanks To Eric Orozco Racing), Pro-Stock (Best of 8 Series), Montgomery County Office for Aging Limited Sportsman, and the Trackside Body Works Street Stocks.
April events will have front gates opening at 3:30 p.m. with hot laps at 5:30 p.m. and racing at 6:30 p.m. All other Saturday racing programs through the summer will have gates opening at 4:00 p.m. with hot laps at 6:00 p.m. and racing at 7:00 p.m.
The order of events during the racing program on Saturdays at Fonda in 2019 will have a weekly drivers meeting in the pit area before hot laps; the National Anthem after the hot laps; heat races for Pro Stocks, 602 Sportsman, and Modifieds in that order; features for the Street Stocks, Limited Sportsman, Cruisers, and Vintage cars; consolation races if necessary; a group victory lane for the winners of the Street Stock, Limited Sportsman, Cruisers, and Vintage features; followed by the Pro Stock, Modified, and 602 Sportsman features with a separate victory lane for each of those divisions. The 50/50 winner will be drawn after the Modified feature.
“Brett and I will be going around the pit area and the grandstands meeting the drivers and the fans and thanking them for coming to the Fonda Speedway,” Jamie Page said. “We also want to give the drivers exposure to the fans and sponsors by opening up the pit area after the races.”
Some new things at Fonda for 2019 will be the Sunoco Race Fuels Start Zone, similar to what NASCAR is doing which gains some exposure for the sponsor Sunoco, and the Race Clean Save Some Green program where if the Street Stock feature stays green for the entire feature event without any cautions the drivers will be admitted into the pit area the following week for free! There will also be a Social Media Policy in place along with rules in the pit area regarding altercations in the pits, which will all be gone over during the drivers meeting on opening day.
“Social media can be the greatest or the worst thing for Fonda,” Brett Deyo said. “We want to keep a positive attitude here at Fonda and we want Fonda to be “The Saturday Night Race Track”.
With race dates changing in format at a couple of area tracks, there is now no conflict for the Fonda 200 in September.
“The 200 is our showcase and my plan is to keep everything looking clean here at Fonda,” Brett Deyo said. “Appearance is a big thing to me, racing here at Fonda is a presentation, and I plan to have all of our vehicles match and keep the overall appearance of the Fairgrounds high on my priority list.”
“We are in this because we enjoy doing it and plan on having fun at it even with all of the hard work that is involved,” Jamie Page said. “And there will be no yelling here, we will be happy to talk to anyone at any time but that’s what it will be, talk not yell.”
“My plan is to stay on track and worry about Fonda,” Brett Deyo said. “I am not going to worry about what other tracks or other organizations are doing, my focus is on the Fonda Speedway.”
The list of sponsors who have come on board with the “Track of Champions” for 2019 includes the following in no particular order: BD Motorsports Media LLC, Eric Orozco, American Racer Cup presented by Sunoco Racing, Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series fueled by Sunoco, Sunoco Race Fuels Bruce-Insinger of Insinger Performance, Lias Tire, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Fuccillo Automotive Group, John Lakata, Autism Awareness, Corr Pak Merchandising, One Zee Tees, Greco’s Auto & Truck Parts NAPA, Trackside Body Works, BBL Construction Services, Recovery Room Sports Grill, Palmer’s Service Center, Bill Lake Homes, Montgomery County Office for the Aging, Benjamin Moore Paints, DKM Fabrication, MW Roosevelt & Sons, Roosevelt Towing & Recovery, Teo Pro Car, Montgomery County Championships, Mav-TV, Make A Wish, and School House Pools!
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 www.thefondaspeedway.com. To learn more, call the office at 518.915.4395, like Fonda Speedway on Facebook www.facebook.com/thefondaspdwy or follow on Twitter: @thefondaspdwy.