Racing Around: Fonda set for busy weekend

One of the most anticipated events since it was announced last fall, the return of the Fonda 200, is finally here.

The $53,000-to-win main event is being touted as the single richest event in the history of Fonda Speedway with the purse structure for the main event at a minimum of $125,675.

At one time, the Fonda 200 was sandwiched between Super DIRT Week and the Eastern States 200, giving drivers and race fans a season-ending triple crown of dirt track racing. I can recall drivers winning two out of three but not sweeping the big races.

Fonda Speedway’s weekend will start tonight with free grandstand admission for the open practice for all divisions starting at 6:30 p.m. and wrapping up at 9:30 p.m.

Friday, the gates open at 3 p.m. with a full slate of racing on tap starting with warm-ups at 5:45 p.m.

General admission is $22 and $25 for adult reserved seating.

The green flag will drop on the race program at 7 p.m. with the rained-out 25-lap Patriot Sprint Tour feature leading off the program followed by heat races for the street stocks and pro stocks.

In a twist from other years, the Sunoco modifieds will run 15-lap qualifying races for the 200 on Friday in between the features for the pro stocks, street stocks and a second Patriot sprint feature.

For the fans and campers staying at the speedway, the Tompkins Drive Band will be performing live in the Entertainment Building following the evenings’ race program.

Saturday, the gates are scheduled to open at 1 p.m. with hot laps for the Crate 602 Sportsman and Modifieds taking to the speedway at 5 p.m. Admission is $35 for general admission and $40 for reserved seats. A weekend pass is available for $55 for unreserved seating and $62 for adult reserved seats.

Racing will take to the speedway at 6 p.m. with heat races for the Swagger Factory Apparel sportsmen followed by 15-lap B-Mains for the modifieds.

Following the 25-lap, $1,500-to-win sportsman feature, driver introductions will take place for the Fonda 200.

The $53,000-to-win Fonda 200 will be run in two 100-lap segments, allowing the race teams to safely refuel and make changes to the cars.

The winner will take home a special trophy created by Tonkin Fabrications LLC, a jacket recognizing the Fonda 200 victory, Orange County Speedway is putting up a $500 Hard Charger award, while Bob Hilbert Sportswear, who is also presenting the winner’s jacket, is presenting a $300 team wear t-shirt package for the Hard Luck Award

One of the most interesting drawings to be held at the track Saturday will be for a new Teo Pro Car. Drivers who had perfect attendance during the 2019 season at Fonda Speedway will be eligible for the drawing.

Salute to Bobco

It was a special moment on the track last Thursday at Albany-Saratoga Speedway for Bob James.

The track honored the long-time videographer in a pre-race ceremony but the highlight came when Kenny Martin wheeled the Bobco Video sponsored No. 93 onto the track.

The car’s appearance was a total surprise to Bob as “Krazy” Kenny had moved to North Carolina and Bob was told the car was being prepped to race there. Martin drove the car for a fifth-place finish in the main event after starting scratch on the field.

James is battling cancer and as it always does, the racing community has stepped up to help out one of their own with several fundraisers to help out with expenses.

There will be a helmet drive at Fonda Speedway on Saturday and there is a GoFundMe page set up for fans interested in helping out.

By Paul Wager

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