Fonda Speedway 2020 Season Review

By RON SZCZERBA

FONDA, NY – Suffering through a challenging 2020 due to New York State-imposed COVID-19 regulations, the Fonda Speedway managed to hold a total of 11 racing events, some of them on Sunday and weekday evenings getting away from the traditional Saturday evening racing programs trying to get races in.

2020 was the second season of leadership at the “Track of Champions” by Brett Deyo and his BD Motorsports Media LLC management team. Opening day for the 2020 season turned into “opening days” with the first racing events of the season taking place on Saturday and Sunday June 13 & 14.

Only a few events were staged with fans in attendance, either in the grandstands or on the infield in a drive-in type setting, but because of Dirt Track Digest TV there was pay per view available for every racing event in 2020. One unique aspect of the infield drive-in was that the fans in attendance on the infield were able to celebrate with the winning drivers up close and personal near the Fuccillo Automotive Group Mike Cole Memorial Victory Lane.

2020 SEASON SUMMARY


SUNOCO MODIFIED DIVISION – a total of 10 racing events were held in this division with Stewart Friesen leading the way with eight feature wins while Jeff Heotzler and Anthony Perrego won the other two events. For both Heotzler and Perrego it was their first career wins in the division at the “Track of Champions”.

At the conclusion of the 2020 racing season there have been a total of 1378 racing events held in the headline Sportsman-Modified Division as titled in the book FONDA! with 134 different drivers winning those events.

SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN DIVISION – a total of 10 racing events were also held in this division with Chad Edwards and Cody Clark leading the way with two feature wins apiece. Single event winners in 2020 were Nick Scavia, Joe Williams, Brian Calabrese, Tim Hartman Jr., Tony Farone, and Bobby Hackel IV. For Williams and Hackel IV it was their first career wins in the division at Fonda with Williams having a previous win in the “Open” Sportsman on 5/1/2004.

At the conclusion of the 2020 racing season there have been a total of 214 racing events held in the division with 41 different drivers winning those events.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN DIVISION – A total of six racing events were held in this division with Brett Mortensen leading the way with three feature wins while Johnny Young, Dylan Eldred, and Stephen Gray were the other winners in the division. For both Young and Gray, it was their first career wins in the division at Fonda.

At the conclusion of the 2020 racing season there have been a total of 72 racing events held in the division with 30 different drivers winning those events.

ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK DIVISION – A total of nine racing events were held in this division with Nick Stone leading the way with seven feature wins including the prestigious Hondo Classic event. Josh Coonradt and Luke Horning were the winners of the other two events in the division.

At the conclusion of the 2020 racing season there have been a total of 715 events held in the division with 95 different drivers winning those events.

ROBERT’S TOWING & RECOVERY STREETS STOCK DIVISION – A total of seven racing events were held in the division with Al Relyea and Jason Samrov leading the way with two feature wins apiece. Lou Gancarz, Michael Arnold, and Hunter Sanchez were the other winners in the division with the wins for Relyea, Gancarz, and Sanchez being the first of their careers in the division at Fonda.

At the conclusion of the 2020 racing season there have been a total of 578 events held in the division with 107 different drivers winning those events.

FOUR CYLINDER CRUISER DIVISION – A total of six racing events were held in the division with seven different drivers winning those events in combined SOHC (single overhead cam) and (DOHC dual overhead cam) races. Ken Hollenback (SOHC) led the way with five feature event wins followed by John Napoli (DOHC) with two wins.

Justin Pope (DOHC), Zach McSpirit (SOHC), David Frame (DOHC), Cole Lawton (DOHC), and Josh Kane (DOHC) were all first-time winners in the division at Fonda.

The SOHC and DOHC cars ran in the same feature event with a separate winner declared for both motor combinations.

 

At the conclusion of the 2020 racing season there have been a total of 90 events held in the division with 19 different drivers winning those events with both SOHC and DOHC winners declared in each of the events during certain racing seasons.

 

The MOHAWK VALLEY VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED SERIES also competed at Fonda three times in 2020 with Jimmy Fugel, Joe Trudeau, and Chuck Scofield winning the Antique feature events; John Flach, Kyle Hoard, and Randy Delaney winning the Replica Modified feature events; Frank Hoard (two wins) and Mike Francisco winning the Replica Sportsman events; and John Roese (two wins) and Adam Warner winning the Replica Late Model events.

 

2020 FONDA SPEEDWAY TRACK CHAMPIONS

 

SUNOCO MODIFIED DIVISION – MICHAEL MARESCA – first career championship in the division at Fonda and one of only five drivers to win a championship in the lead division at the “Track of Champions” defined as the Sportsman-Modified division in the book FONDA!

 

The four other drivers who won Modified track titles at Fonda without the benefit of a win during the season were Jim Luke in 1955, Don Hendenburg in 1956, Pete Corey in 1965, and Ray Dalmata in 1979. These were all Modified track titles according to the book FONDA!

 

At the conclusion of the 2020 racing season there have been a total of 26 different drivers winning a track title in a total of 69 championship seasons in the division at Fonda.

 

SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN DIVISION – CHAD EDWARDS – second career title in the division after winning it back in 2018. The title in 2020 came in the John Kollar Motorsports #10%, which was Kollar’s first career championship as a car owner!

 

At the conclusion of the 2020 racing season there have been a total of eight different drivers winning a track title in a total of 12 championship seasons in the division at Fonda.

 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN DIVISION – BRETT MORTENSEN – first career title in the division.

 

At the conclusion of the 2020 racing season there have been a total of six different drivers winning a track title in a total of six championship seasons in the division at Fonda.

 

ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK DIVISION – NICK STONE – second career title in the division after winning it back in 2014.

 

At the conclusion of the 2020 racing season there have been a total of 22 different drivers winning a track title in a total of 40 championship seasons in the division at Fonda.

 

ROBERT’S TOWING & RECOVERY STREET STOCK DIVISION – JASON SAMROV – second career title in the division after winning it back in 2019.

 

At the conclusion of the 2020 racing season there have been a total of 13 different drivers winning a track title in a total of 24 championship seasons in the division at Fonda.

 

FOUR CYLINDER/CRUISERS – KEN HOLLENBACK (SOHC) and JOHN NAPOLI (DOHC). For Hollenback it was his seventh title in the division at Fonda after winning it back in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020. For Napoli it was the first of his career in the division at Fonda.

 

At the conclusion of the 2020 racing season there have been a total of four different drivers winning a track title in a total of seven championship seasons at Fonda.

 

2020 MILESTONES

 

STEWART FRIESEN – moved into fourth place on the All-Time Sportsman-Modified Win List at Fonda with a total of 68 victories coming in 10 winning seasons, the first one coming on 7/27/2010 and his last on 8/15/2020. The top three ahead of Friesen are Jack Johnson with 149, Lou Lazzaro with 113, and Dave Lape with 99.

 

NICK STONE – moved into second place on the All-Time Pro Stock Win List at Fonda with 53 while Kenny Gates tops the win list with 83.

 

BOB JAMES – was honored by Fonda Speedway promoter Brett Deyo on the evening of the Hondo Classic event in July. James was in attendance for the race that evening and was honored during pre-race ceremonies.

 

Pre-race ceremonies began that evening with the invocation by Ed Biittig Sr. who stood alongside Bob James who was in a wheelchair on victory lane.

 

“Ladies & gentleman watching this race tonight on DTD TV this is a very tough night for me and many others,” Biittig started his invocation saying. “This guy right here (Bob James or Bobco as he is known to so many who was next to Ed in a wheelchair) has given us 30 years of more than anyone could ask for. I want people to know that what the fans and others have done with all of their prayers has kept Bob with us.”

 

“Brett & Heather Deyo renaming the perch up there, it’s so very important to look at this, Bob is a special human being,” Ed continued to say. “This place is the Track of Champions and you Bob are one of those champions. We think the world of you Bob.”

 

“We wanted to do a little something special here along with the Hondo race,” Fonda Speedway promoter Brett Deyo said. “The perch up there on top of the grandstand has been the official tower and home to Bobco Video for many, many years. You have captured so many moments here at the Track of Champions documenting history and you are part of that history.”

 

“Tonight, and for the remainder of time here at the Fonda Speedway the perch up there is going to be known as the Bobco Video Tower in your honor so thank you for everything you’ve done to preserve the history of the Fonda Speedway.”

 

“Thank you very much,” Bob James said afterwards. “I appreciate what you’ve done for me, 30 years of racing events plus motorsports events at the Fonda Fair, I’ve taken a lot of videos and have enjoyed it all.”

 

James’ passing in September of this year was a huge loss to the racing community and to the Fonda Speedway.

 

ANTHONY PERREGO – broke the track record at Fonda with a lap of 18.12 seconds on 9/20/2020, the previous record held by Bobby Varin of 18.136 seconds set on 4/11/2009.

 

BRETT MORTENSEN – with his Track Championship in the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman division in 2020, he joined his brother MARK MORTENSEN (2011 Fonda Speedway 602 Sportsman Track Champion) as one of only two brother combinations to ever win Track Championships at the Fonda Speedway.

 

The other brother combination to do the same feat was KEN HOLLENBACK (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020 all in SOHC) and KERRIE HOLLENBACK (2013 DOHC) who won Track Championships in the Four Cylinder/Cruiser at Fonda.

 

LOOKING AHEAD TO 2021

 

After a challenging 2020 due to New York State-imposed COVID-19 regulations, Fonda Speedway will be back – stronger than ever – in 2021.

 

The BD Motorsports Media LLC management team returns for its third season at the historic Track of Champions half-mile oval. The first on-track activity of ’21 is planned for Saturday, April 10 with an Open Practice session.

 

The famed Fonda 200 weekend returns to the Montgomery County Fairgrounds Thurs.-Sat. Sept. 16-18, 2021 offering $53,000 to the race winner of the Modified event. Keep posted for further information on this event.

 

Keep posted for further off-season news from the Track of Champions.

 

Since 1953, the ‘Track of Champions’ Fonda Speedway has hosted the best in stock car racing. 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/thefondaspeedwy or follow-on Twitter: @thefondaspdwy.