By James A. Ellis
FONDA — After successfully defending his home turf Tuesday with a victory over Stewart Friesen in the Super DIRT Series event at Bridgeport, Ryan Godown made his first trip to Fonda Speedway Saturday night.
Godown came within a lap of pulling off an upset but could not hold off the charge by Matt DeLorenzo.
DeLorenzo pressured Godown in the closing laps, often putting a nose ahead only to have his effort turned back. His persistence paid off as he set Godown up exiting turn two and powered into the lead entering the third turn and beat the field to the checkers for his second straight 30-lap modified feature win of the season.
“I was trying to keep the car straight,” DeLorenzo said of his race strategy. “I didn’t want an out-of-towner to beat us here on our home track. I thought last week was sweet, but to be able to pass Stewie [Stewart Friesen] and then Ryan Godown. Those two guys have been winning all the races. This just feels awesome.”
Nick Stone picked up his third straight feature win of the season in the 20-lap Pro Stock feature, while Brian Calabrese made the most of a late-race restart to get his first win of the season in the Crate 602 Sportsman feature. Josh Kane broke through for the first feature win of his career in the Limited Sportsman feature, while Ken and Kerry Hollenback were repeat winners respectively in the single and dual cam 4 cylinder division.
By luck of the redraw, a pair of highly touted invaders, Godown and Alex Yankowski, started the modified feature on the pole and third respectively, with Fonda regulars Tucker O’Connor and David Constantino alongside.
Godown and Yankowski broke away from the pack at the drop of the green with sixth-place starter Rocky Warner in pursuit.
Stewart Friesen picked his way into fourth from his seventh starting spot and DeLorenzo moved from 12th to ninth before the caution flew on lap five when Bobby Varin slowed with suspension issues.
Yankowski got the jump on Godown on the first restart attempt only to have the start called off as he fired too soon.
Before the field could get a lap in, the red flag was thrown after contact between O’Connor and Jessica Friesen resulted in a seven-car pileup between turns three and four. All the drivers walked away from the incident.
Yankowski took over the point on the restart, leaving Godown and Stewart Friesen for second, while DeLorenzo, Warner and Jack Lehner battled for the fourth spot.
Running the high side of the speedway, Yankowski opened a substantial lead and was making his way through heavy traffic and DeLorenzo moved past Friesen into third before the caution flew on lap 12.
The 17-year-old modified pilot out of Jermyn, Pa., held onto his lead until lap 19 when Godown took over on the restart with DeLorenzo, Friesen and Warner moving forward along with Ronnie Johnson, who started 19th, as Yankowski began to fade.
Constantino slowed on the front stretch, bringing out the final caution of the race, setting a four-lap shootout for the win.
With a single-file restart, Godown was able to hold his lead, only to have DeLorenzo attacking in the low groove and Friesen in the high line.
DeLorenzo put a nose in front in turns three and four with Godown able to take the lead back running the high line through one and two.
As the leaders took the white flag, DeLorenzo made a strong bid on the inside of turn one, pulling even with Godown exiting turn two and beating him into turn three to take the lead and hold on for his 39th career win at the Track of Champions.
Godown finished second with Stewart Friesen third, Warner fourth and Johnson fifth. Yankowski, Demetrious Drellos, Nick Heywood, Varin and Adam McAuliffe rounding of the top 10.
Griffin Mansmith and Michael Ballestero brought the 25-lap 602 Sportsman feature to the green with Ballestero getting the early advantage.
Brett Mortensen charged into the lead on lap five and was pulling away before contact with a lapped car sent him crashing hard into the first-turn wall, causing heavy damage and ending his night.
Chad Edwards, who started 13th, inherited the lead, with Troy Zilles, Ballestero, Cody Clark and Payton Talbot making up the top five.
Clark settled into second on the restart and went to work cutting into Edwards’ lead. Clark got alongside Edwards on lap 18 only to have his momentum broken by a caution.
Calabrese made the most of the restart to pull into second before a lap 20 caution set up a five-lap sprint to the finish.
After running lap 21 side-by-side with Edwards, Calabrese took the lead and pulled away for his first win of the season and seventh of his career at Fonda Speedway.
Edwards, Clark, Zilles and Jason Reome rounded out the top five followed by Talbot, Blaine Klinger, Troy Palmer, Mark Mortensen and Tanner Warner.
Steve Cosselman set the early pace in the 20-lap Pro Stock feature before Kenny Gates took the point on lap five.
Gates remained in control of the race until lap 15, when Stone used a lap 14 restart to set up Gates for the pass and collect his third-straight feature win of the season.
Gates was second followed by Shane Playford, Beau Ballard, Cosselman, Jason Morrison, Luke Horning, Ivan Joslin, Josh Coonradt and Chuck Dumblewski.
The Limited Sportsman feature was red flagged on the opening lap when Jonathan Feagles made hard contact with the backstretch wall after avoiding another car and was T-boned by A.J. Greco. Both cars suffered were heavily damaged in the crash. Both Feagles and Greco were shaken up but remained at the speedway.
Kane, who moved up from the 4-cylinder division, took the lead on the restart and led all 15 laps for his first career Limited Sportsman feature win. Michael Kalkbrenner finished second with Connor Prokop third, Zach Dufel fourth and Kyle Dingman fifth.
Shawn Hemstreet led the opening lap of the 4-cylinder Cruiser feature before Zach McSpirit took the point for the next four laps. Ken Hollenback took the lead on lap six and held off his brother Kerrie for his 71st career win in the division. Kerrie Hollenbeck picked was second under the checkers and the first in the dual-cam Cruiser class. McSpirit was third across the line, followed by John Napoli and Hemstreet.
Friday night, 60-year-old Kenny Tremont Jr. picked up his 81st modified feature win of his career at Albany-Saratoga Speedway. That same night, 12-year-old Brock “Bam Bam” Pinkerous took home his first career victory in the 25-lapn Limited Sportsman feature and Chuck Dumblewski garnered his first win of the season in the Pro Stock division.
Matt Sheppard and Beau Ballard picked up their second-straight wins of the season in the Modified and Pro Stock divisions at Utica-Rome Speedway.
Marc Johnson drove to his first modified feature win of the season Saturday night at Lebanon Valley Speedway, while Tim LeDuc took home the season-opening modified feature win at Devil’s Bowl Speedway.
The ESS 360 Sprint Cars will make their return to Fonda Speedway after a three-year hiatus as part of a full regular season race card next Saturday.
2022 FONDA SPEEDWAY RESULTS
SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE – 30-laps – MATT DELORENZO, Ryan Godown, Stewart Friesen, Rocky Warner, Ronnie Johnson, Alex Yankowski, Demetrious Drellos, Nick Heywood, Bobby Varin, Adam McAuliffe, Chris Curtis, JaMike Sowle, Brian Calabrese, George Foley, Jack Lehner, Rich Christman, Jim Introne Jr., Darwin Greene, Steve Akers, Pep Corradi, Ed Harris, Dave Constantino, Dylan Scribner,
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Yankowski, Stewart Friesen, Curtis
SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25-laps – BRIAN CALABRESE, Chad Edwards, Cody Clark, Troy Zilles, Jason Reome, Payton Talbot, Blaine Klinger, Troy Palmer, Mark Mortensen, Tanner Warner, Clayton DuMond, Dan Santabarbara, Tim Dwyer, Brendan Gibbons, Jeremy Slosek, Greg Havlichek, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Michael McCallion, Harry Shaffer, Griffen Mansmith, Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, Chip Constantino, Jason Greco, Michael Ballestero, Brett Mortensen, Cory White, Carter Gibbons
HEAT RACE WINNERS – McCallion, Mansmith, Reome, Ballestero
CONSOLATION RACE WINNERS – Talbot
ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE – 20-laps – NICK STONE, Kenny Gates, Shane Playford, Beau Ballard, Steve Cosselman, Jason Morrison, Luke Horning, Ivan Joslin, Josh Coonradt, Chuck Dumblewski, Devon Camenga, Gary Silkey, Randy Cosselman, Slater Baker, Jim Normoyle, John Holmes, Don Collins, Scott Towslee, Chris Cross, Dillan Vanston (DNS)
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Steve Cosselman, Coonradt
MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 15-laps – JOSH KANE, Michael Kalkbrenner, Connor Prokop, Zach Dufel, Kyle Dingman, Bob Rowback, Craig Wholley, Lance Hill, Ryan Sweet, Nate Bedell, Walter Cook, John Anderson, Tom D’Angelo, Harold Robitaille, Cian DiMezza, Jonathan Feagles, Mark Lighthall, AJ Greco
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Kane, Kalkbrenner
FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE – 12-laps – KEN HOLLENBACK (SOHC), KERRIE HOLLENBACK (DOHC), Zach McSpirit, John Napoli, Shawn Hemstreet, Lee Horning, Todd Morey, David Peek-Britten, Daniel Joubert, Christopher Jennings Sr., TJ McSpirit, Dale VanAllen.