Racing Around: DeLorenzo notches first Fonda Speedway feature win since 2013

Chad Edwards (10%) dives under Kevin Crave (28) for a qualifying spot during 602 Crate Sportsman heat race action Saturday night at Fonda Speedway. Edwards, the defending division champion,  went on to win his second straight sportsman feature of the season. (James A. Ellis)

By James A. Ellis

FONDA — After arriving at Fonda Speedway Saturday night, Matt DeLorenzo was concerned as he was there but his crew had not hauled in with his and Brian Gleason’s modifieds.

When the team arrived, they unloaded a potent big block and the former modified track champion and speedway promoter went to work. At the end of the 30-lap feature DeLorenzo parked the BBL-sponsored modified in Victory Lane for his first feature win at the Track of Champions since 2013.

“I didn’t even know if I was going to be here today,” DeLorenzo said in Victory Lane. “I was with my girls, who were playing softball. I showed up here and missed practice. My hat is off to my brother Mike and Brian [Gleason]; they worked their butts off getting the cars ready. My brother says I can’t run a big block, but I guess I just showed them.”

Joining DeLorenzo with victories Saturday night were Chad Edwards (602 Crate Sportsman), Nick Stone (Pro Stock) and Lance Hill (Limited Sportsman), while Ken and Kerry Hollenbeck won the single and dual cam 4-cylinder cruiser divisions respectively. For Edwards and Stone it was their second-straight feature wins of the season.

In the added Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series features, Jimmy Fugel (Antiques), John Marks (Mystiques), Curtis Condon (Late Model), Randy Delaney (Modified) and Brian Gray (Sportsman) took home the feature win trophies.

Jessica Friesen and JaMike Sowle brought the modified field to the green with Rocky Warner and DeLorenzo starting in the second row.

Friesen jumped out to the early with Warner, Sowle, Jack Lehner and DeLorenzo in pursuit.

DeLorenzo found bite on the outside and powered past Sowle and Lehner into third before the yellow flag flew on lap four.

Warner used the restart to take the lead away from Friesen and DeLorenzo followed into second a lap later. The duo pulled away from the pack with DeLorenzo diving to the low side of turn one to come away with the lead on lap 13.

As DeLorenzo checked out on the field, Stewart Friesen was picking his way toward the front from his 12th place starting spot.

After a long battle for position with Davie Constantino for the fourth spot, Stewart Friesen got past Jessica Friesen for third and began pressuring Warner for second.

Warner used lapped traffic to break Stewart Friesen’s momentum as he made a strong bid for the runner-up spot with five laps to go.

Friesen finally completed the pass with two laps to go but could not chase down DeLorenzo as he crossed under the checkers for his 38th modified feature win at Fonda Speedway.

“I kind of figured Stewie [Stewart Friesen] would be coming so I just kept the car as straight as I could and it all worked out,” DeLorenzo said. “I was praying not to have a yellow flag.”

Stewart Friesen finished second with Warner third, Ronnie Johnson fourth and Jessica Friesen fifth. Constantino, Demetrious Drellos, Danny Varin, Lehner and David Schilling round out the top 10.

The 602 Crate Sportsman feature was red-flagged on the opening lap when Jason Reome got out of shape entering turn four, collecting Justin Severance, Payton Talbot and Kevin Crave. Severance made hard contact with the wall, flipping and ending up on his roof outside of the fourth turn. Severance was able to walk away from his heavily damaged sportsman.

When the race restarted, the field was chasing Cody Clark as he pulled away from Greg Havlicek and Brian Calabrese for a full straightaway lead before the caution flew on lap 11.

After a second caution, Edwards moved past Calabrese into second on the restart and closed the gap on Clark.

Clark was able to pick his spots to get through lapped traffic until the final turn on the last lap when he had to check up for a slower car and Edwards dove to the inside and out dragged Clark to the checkers for his second-straight feature win and 15th of his career.

Calabrese was third, followed by Mark Mortensen and Tanner Warner. Talbot, Clayton DuMond, Tony Farone, Reome and Jason Greco complete the second five.

Kenny Gates and Shane Playford made up the front row for the 20-lap Pro Stock feature with Gates, getting the early advantage at the drop of the green.

Gates held off Stone on a lap three restart before the defending division champion got hooked up on the high side to take the lead as Luke Horning and Beau Ballard battled for the third spot.

Horning found a way around Gates for second at the half-way point and challenged Stone for the top spot on a lap 17 restart but came up short at the finish as Stone notched his second-straight win and 61st of his career in the division. Gates was third followed by Ballard and Playford.

Lance Hill turned back race-long pressure from Connor Prokop and Zach Dufel to collect his first win of his career in the Limited Sportsman feature with Jonathan Feegles and Kyle Dingman rounding out the top five.


Jessey Mueller picked up his third career modified feature win over Brian Gleason and Jack Lehner Friday night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.
Matt Sheppard took home the Honoring Alex Friesen feature win Friday night at Utica-Rome Speedway, while Larry Wight continued his early-season success by grabbing the opening night modified feature win at Land of Legends Speedway in Canandaigua.
At Lebanon Valley Speedway, Andy Bachetti started 15th and charged to his second-straight modified feature win.


SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE – 30-LAPS – MATT DELORENZO – Stewart Friesen, Rocky Warner, Ronnie Johnson, Jessica Friesen, Dave Constantino, Demetrious Drellos, Danny Varin, Jack Lehner, David Schilling, JaMike Sowle, Adam McAuliffe, Bobby Varin, George Foley, Chris Curtis, Rich Christman, Brian Pessolano, Tucker O’Connor, Nick Heywood, Brian Calabrese, Darwin Greene, Ed Harris, Ray Zemken, Ryan Odasz, Craig Hanson, Steve Akers, Pep Corradi
SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25-LAPS – CHAD EDWARDS, Cody Clark, Brian Calabrese, Mark Mortensen, Tanner Warner, Payton Talbot, Clayton DuMond, Tony Farone, Jason Reome, Jason Greco, Greg Havlicek, Chip Constantino, Brendan Gibbons, Dan Santabarbara, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Jeff Gallup, Dylan Eldred, Troy Palmer, Brett Mortensen, Troy Zilles, Tim Dwyer, Kevin Crave, Carter Gibbons, Harry Shaffer, Justin Severance, Michael McCallion (DNS), Michael Ballestero (DNS)
ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE – 20-LAPS – $1,000 TO WIN – NICK STONE, Luke Horning, Kenny Gates, Beau Ballard, Shane Playford, Josh Coonradt, Devon Camenga, Scott Towslee, Jason Morrison, Andy Graves, Tyler Bushey, Randy Cosselman, John Holmes, Steve Cosselman, Gary Silkey, Slater Baker, Don Collins, Ivan Joslin, Jim Normoyle, Chuck Dumblewski
MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 15-LAPS – LANCE HILL, Connor Prokop, Zach Dufel, Jonathan Feagles, Kyle Dingman, Craig Wholly, Nate Bedell, Bob Rowback, Walter Cook, Wesley Sutliff, AJ Greco, Frank Twing Jr., Ryan Sweet, Tommy D’Angelo, John Anderson, Michael Kalkbrenner (DNS), Brady Cordova (DNS), Josh Kane (DNS), Harold Robitaille (DNS)
FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE – 10-LAPS – KEN HOLLENBACK (SOHC), KERRIE HOLLENBACK (DOHC), John Napoli, Lee Horning, Dale VanAllen, Shawn Hemstreet, David Peek-Britten, TJ Marlitt, Zach McSpirit, Len St. Andrews, Annabella Ball, Christopher Jennings Sr., Gina Voris
2nd win of 2022 for Ken Hollenback and the 70th of his career in the division at Fonda
1st win of 2022 for Kerrie Hollenback and the 22nd of his career in the division at Fonda
LAP LEADERS – 1-2 Napoli, 3-6 Kerrie Hollenback, 7-10 Ken Hollenback

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