Racing Around: Fonda Speedway season reaches midway point

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Matt DeLorenzo poses in Victory Lane at Fonda Speedway on May 1 after winning the modified feature ending a nine-year winless streak at the ‘Track of Champions.’ DeLorenzo has three feature wins at Fonda this season and two more at Albany-Saratoga Speedway and leads the points at both tracks. (James A. Ellis photo)

The season has hit the midway point at Fonda Speedway.

Really?

Weren’t we just at the car show at Via Port Mall of Rotterdam?

In nine weeks of racing, there have been five different modified feature winners, five feature winners in the 602 sportsman division and six in the limited sportsman class. The pro stock division has seen only two winners, while there has been only one winner in the mini stock single overhead cam and two in the dual overhead cam divisions.

And Mother Nature has won on one Saturday night aside from pushing the Jack Johnson Memorial to Sunday.

Matt DeLorenzo leads the modifieds with three wins, while Craig Hanson and Stewart Friesen have posted two wins apiece and Danny Varin and Dave Constantino have one win each.

Defending division champion Chad Edwards has parked the John Kollar-owned 10% in victory lane four times so far this season. Cody Clark has a pair of victories, while Payton Talbot, Mark Mortensen and Brian Calabrese have one win apiece.

In the limited sportsman class, Mayfield’s Kyle Dingman has posted three wins, while Zach Dufel has two wins and Harold Robitaille, Connor Prokop, Josh Kane and Lance Hill have scored one win apiece in the first half of the season.

Nick Stone had his streak of eight-straight pro stock feature wins snapped last Saturday by Luke Horning. The racing in the pro stocks has tightened up as the drivers have adjusted their setups to compete against Stone, who has 67 career pro stock victories, 18 behind career wins leader Kenny Gates, who has 85.

Ken and Kerrie Hollenbeck have dominated the mini stock division this season, with John Napoli the only other driver to stand in victory lane.

Ken Hollenbeck has been able to get to the front quickly to be first across the line with his SOHC “Junkyard Jet” several times in front of a field dominated by dual overhead cam cars.

The second half of the season should be as productive, with special events scheduled almost every weekend.

On Saturday, the Patriot Sprint Tour (PST) 360-Sprint Cars will be added to the regular race card. On July 2 and 3, the “Track of Champions” will host a two-day Fourth of July event featuring big-money, extra-distance features for the modifieds and 602 sportsmen.

The weekend also includes the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame inductions on July 2, and a fireworks spectacular on July 3.

The pro stocks take center stage on July 9 with the 17th Annual Hondo Classic, along with the inaugural BOBCO Memorial Dash in honor of longtime track videographer Bob James.

SCHEDULE CHANGES AT THE RIDGE

The 358 modified event that was rained out earlier this month at Glen Ridge Speedway has been rescheduled for July 17, while the Wheels of Fury Enduro scheduled for July 17 has been moved to July 31.

Fan Appreciation Night has been rescheduled for July 3, while the Futures Fortune Fifteen for the Northeast Paving and Sealcoat Junior Slingshots has been rescheduled to Aug. 7 and the annual Glen Ridge Motorsports Hall of Fame induction ceremony has been moved to Aug. 28.

Last Sunday, Zach Buff edged his older brother Andrew by less than a car length to pick up his second-straight 602 sportsman modified victory in the 40-lap, $1,000-to-win East Region Series event at “The Ridge.” Cody Ochs broke up a 1-2-3 Buff Family finish, beating Justin Buff to the checkers for third, while Ricky Quick placed fifth.

Andy Graves won the pro stock feature, while Butchie Irwin took home the limited sportsman victory and Adam Tranka won the street stock main.

Jay Ingersoll took top honors in the SOHC mini stock division and Billy Hillman on the DOHC feature, while Adam Fusco topped the all-star slingshot field and Connor Crane took top honors in the junior slingshot feature.

Sunday is “Bring a Buddy” night at “The Ridge” with a special buy one adult general admission ticket and get one free.

SUPER DIRT SERIES AT MALTA

The fifth leg of the Super DIRTcar Series will take place Friday night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway,

The 71-lap, $7,500-to-win series race will take the place of the regular modified feature, while the sportsman, pro stock and limited sportsman will run on the race card, with the limiteds running a B-main and a feature.

Racing is slated to start at 7 p.m. Adult grandstand admission will be $28.

70TH BIRTHDAY PARTY

Lebanon Valley Speedway will host a special event Saturday celebrating its 70th anniversary of racing on the high banks.

There will be an autograph session starting at 4 p.m. featuring the winningest big block drivers. The first 500 fans through the front gate will receive a commemorative big block modified poster. Also, wear a vintage racer t-shirt and get in for $10. Other events are scheduled throughout the evening including fans enjoying a slice of birthday cake.

PIT NOTES

Matt DeLorenzo has had an outstanding first half of the race season. He has notched five feature wins — three at Fonda and two at Albany-Saratoga — and is leading the point standings at both tracks.

Danny Varin will be doing double-duty Saturday night at Fonda, competing in the Patriot Tour 360 Sprint Cars as well as piloting the Magsarus No. 93 modified. He is coming off a big weekend in which he won the PST event at Utica-Rome on Friday before switching to the asphalt at Evans Mills Race Park to claim the ESS Sprint victory.

Dave Camara and C.D. Coville greeted fans at the Fonda Speedway Museum last Saturday night. Camara caught the racing action from the infield and wandered out to the front stretch wall to have a look at the racing surface.

Camara said it was the first time he had been to the track since being inducted into the Fonda Hall of Fame and he still misses racing.

Matt Perry made his debut last Saturday night in the No. 74 limited sportsman, making him a third-generation competitor.

I offer an apology to everyone from last week’s column about the Dumblewski Pro Stock race team. Throughout the article, I misspelled the youngest member of the team’s name. It should have read Caden, not Cayden.

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