FONDA – For decades, racing has been a tradition that has been developed and passed down from generation to generation.
Families like Rollie, Jack, Joe and Ronnie Johnson, Ken and Craig Hanson, Kenny Martin Sr., Kenny Martin Jr. and Sheldon Martin, Paul and Tim Dwyer, Bobby and Danny Varin, and Andy, Mike and AJ Romano are just a handful of families that have supported Fonda Speedway over the years as well as families like the Proctors, McCreadies and countless others at other tracks throughout the Northeast have been the backbone of the sport.
The Dumblewski family have added their name to that growing list of father and sons keeping the racing tradition going.
Cayden Dumblewski has joined his father Chucky competing weekly at Fonda Speedway in the pro stock division driving cars 7C and 7D respectively.
“He is actually a third-generation race driver,” Chucky Dumblewski said. “My grandfather raced before me. He raced modifieds for a while. I started in go-karts, and then my grandfather and uncle got us into stock cars.”
Cayden Dumblewski, a 15-year-old freshman at Broadalbin-Perth High School, has competed on the local go-kart and motocross tracks before moving to the full-fender cars.
“He wanted to start in go karts and we got him out there a few times over the years,” Chucky Dumblewski said. “We had the two cars sitting there, and I figured it was time to let him cut his teeth a little bit in it.”
Cayden Dumblewski jumped at the opportunity.
“Motocross wasn’t really working out for me, so I talked to my dad about it, that a pro stock would be nice and he always wanted me to get in one,” he said. “I started off at Malta with street stock tires on it. Then we moved up to the pro stock and moved here to Fonda because there is more room. I haven’t had the greatest runs, but I am trying.”
A veteran pro stock driver with multiple feature wins at the area tracks, including 12 at Fonda, and a top five finish on the mile at Syracuse, Chucky Dumblewski has seen progress in his son’s driving abilities.
“He has a lot to learn, but every week, he is getting smoother,” he said. “He has spun out and hit the wall, so he is getting used to it all real quick. He does great for just starting and keeping up.”
When asked what it was like diving into turn one at speed for the first time, Cayden Dumblewski got wide-eyed, saying, “It was pretty crazy! I went in there and realized ‘Wow, I am actually driving a racecar right now.’ It is quite the experience just being out there in one of these cars, especially at such a young age. I have been watching racing my whole life, and it is just a fun experience.”
Of course, there is always a certain competition between father and son.
If it came down to racing side-by-side with his father on the last lap, the last turn of a pro stock feature sometime in the future, Cayden Dumblewski wasted no time answering, “I am winning. I am driving as hard as I can. My father or not I am driving as hard as I can to win that race.”
Chucky Dumblewski just leaned back with a big smile, saying, “We can only hope.”
BILL AG MEMORIAL ELIMINATION RACE
Saturday night, the annual Bill Ag Memorial Race will take to the track at Fonda Speedway with more than $4,000 on the line from a number of contributors to the Dirt Track Digest-sponsored event.
If a driver manages to sweep the competition, he can take home $3,001 in cash.
The top five in modified points heading into this weekend are eligible for the event. In the past, a sixth driver was added out of a draw from the drivers sixth through 10th in points.
However, after Craig Hanson’s victory last Saturday, there is a tie for fifth place, so the field is set with Matt DeLorenzo, Ronnie Johnson, Demetrious Drellos, Bobby Varin, Hanson and Rocky Warner set to battle in the one-on-one competition.
Since there is sponsorship from Tom Coughlin and the Dirt Modified Nostalgia Tour, there will still be a drawing from the sixth through 10th spots and somebody will earn $100 without turning a lap.
After taking home $5,678.12 from last year’s event, Johnson became a three-time winner and is the defending champion. Bobby Varin won the inaugural race in 2014, with Tim Fuller winning in 2018 and Stewart Friesen in 2019. Johnson won in 2016, 2017 and 2021. The 2015 and 2020 races were postponed.
HONDO AND BOBCO MEMORIAL EVENTS FOR PRO STOCKS
It looks like July 9 will be a big night for the pro stock and 602 crate sportsman divisions.
First, it is a $5 fan appreciation night sponsored by Sampson Motorcar. The night is scheduled to include the Crate 602 Sportsman Challenge Races, plus the 17th annual Hondo Classic for the Pro Stocks.
Recently, another event has been added to the already highly anticipated night, the Bobco Memorial Dash for Pro Stocks.
Announced by Mark “Crash” Krosky, the event has $1,790 already in a pot that keeps growing.
The dash honors longtime Fonda Speedway and Albany-Saratoga Speedway videographer Bob James, who passed away last September. Bobco, as he was known to his racing family, was a major sponsor of Carpenter and many other drivers in the pro stock and former street stock classes.
Krosky explained that the top two cars from each pro stock heat race will qualify for the dash.
As it stands right now, if there are three heat races, the winner of the six-car dash will receive $475 and the sixth-place finisher $185. If there are four heat races, the winner of the eight-car dash will receive $425 and the eighth-place finisher will get $140.
Of course, the prize money will increase as the contributions continue to come in for both events.
For the Hondo Classic, please message the Friends of Hondo Memorial Society through Facebook or email at [email protected].
To contribute to the Bobco Dash, message Krosky through his Facebook page.
The Patriot Sprint Tour will be added to the regular race card Friday night at Utica-Rome Speedway.
Glen Ridge Motorsports Park will host the DIRTcar Racing 602 Crate Sportsman Eastern Region Series Sunday night.
Lebanon Valley Speedway will host the 23-lap Bubba Tanner Memorial for Pro Stocks.