By JAMES A. ELLIS
FONDA — The Twin 20 modified features produced a pair of first-time winners Saturday night at Fonda Speedway.
Nick Heywood and David Schilling sprinted to the front of the pack to notch their career modified feature wins on Recovery Room Sports Grill Fan Favorite Night at the Track of Champions.
“This is amazing. A lot of people stuck behind me when they probably shouldn’t have and I really appreciate those people,” Schilling said in Victory Lane. “I didn’t know if this day would ever come. We have run so many races here and were never good enough to win. I don’t know if I would have won if this was 30 laps but we will certainly take it.”
Josh Coonradt wired the field to win his first Pro Stock feature of the season at Fonda, while Payton Talbot held off Chad Edwards to take home his third 602 Crate Sportsman feature win of the season and Connor Prokop scored his third Limited Sportsman victory of the season.
Ken and Kerrie Hollenbeck locked up the Single Overhead Cam and Dual Overhead Cam Mini Stock track titles with their one-two finish in the 12-lap feature for the 4-cylinder division.
Heywood and Darwin Greene brought the first of two 20-lap modified features to the green with Greene getting out front before Heywood took control exiting turn four on the opening lap.
Greene, Pep Corradi, Schilling and Brian Gleason were able to close on Heywood as the leaders encountered lap traffic. Heywood opened his lead to a straightaway as his pursuers got bottled up behind lapped cars racing for position.
Rocky Warner used the lapped traffic to his advantage to make a late race charge to finish second behind Heywood, with Greene third, Schilling fourth and Brian Gleason fifth. Corradi, Chris Curtis, Ronnie Johnson, Danny Varin and Bobby Hackel IV completing the top 10.
“It has been a rookie year for us that’s for sure,” Heywood said in Victory Lane. “We have been persevering and pushing every week. Wes [car owner Wes Moody] kept saying we just keep going and we are going to get it and tonight was our night.”
For Moody, who was the first driver to top the 100 MPH mark on the mile at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, it was his first feature win at Fonda as a driver or car owner.
“I have been racing here for over 60 years and this is the first feature win,” Moody said as he joined Heywood in the Victory Lane celebration. “I won a lot of heat races myself but to have someone like Nick behind the wheel of my cars makes me really proud.”
With the modifieds staying on the track, Heywood drew to invert six cars for the start of the second feature, putting Corradi and Gleason on the front row with Gleason and Schilling behind them and Warner and Heywood making up the third row.
Gleason broke away for the early lead over Corradi and Schilling before the first yellow came out on the third lap for Demetrios Drellos and Hackel.
Schilling moved into second on the restart and took the point on a lap seven restart. Warner took over second a lap later when Gleason slowed to a stop with a flat tire, bringing out the caution.
Schilling held off a challenge from Warner on the restart and pulled away over the final 10 green-flag laps to score his first career modified feature win at Fonda Speedway.
Warner recorded his second runner-up finish of the night in the second 20-lap feature, with Danny Varin third, Johnson fourth and Ryan Odasz fifth. Dave Constantino, Matt DeLorenzo, Craig Hanson, Gleason and Heywood round out the top 10.
Griffin Mansmith set the early pace over Harry Shaffer in the caution-marred 25-lap 602 Sportsman feature.
Cody Clark moved into second and was pressuring Mansmith for the lead before falling victim to a flat right rear tire with nine laps to go.
Talbot inherited to runner-up spot behind Mansmith and wrestled the lead away on the restart.
Chad Edwards, who suffered a flat tire on lap 10, drove back through the field and was seventh on the restart before moving up to second behind Talbot.
Talbot was able to hold off Edwards’ challenges to post his third win of the season at Fonda. Edwards was second followed by Troy Palmer, Tim Dwyer, Chip Constantino, Mansmith, Brendan Gibbons, Tanner Warner, Brett Mortensen and Carter Gibbons.
A pair of early-race cautions sent contenders Luke Horning and Buck Gasner to the pits with damage.
As Coonradt distanced himself from the field, all eyes were on the side-by-side battle for second between the father-son team of Chucky and Caden Dumblewski.
Caden used the high line to hold his father at bay until lap five when Chucky was able to gain control of the spot.
As the elder Dumblewski set sail to chase down the leader, Caden found himself battling with Beau Ballard, Nick Stone and Kenny Gates for the third spot.
Ballard and Stone managed to slip past the younger Dumblewski with two laps remaining but could not mount a run to chase down Chucky Dumblewski and Coonradt before the checkers dropped over Coonradt’s hood for his seventh career win and initial win of the season at Fonda.
“This is just great for our team and our family,” Coonradt said in Victory Lane. “We lost our grandfather this week and he would be in West Virginia watching this on TV so this one is for him.
Ballard was third, Stone fourth and Caden Dumblewski fifth. Morrison finished sixth followed by Gates, Jim Normoyle, Andy Graves and Ivan Joslin.
Gus Kamburelis and A.J. Greco battled for the lead early in a caution filled Limited Sportsman feature before Greco took charge on a lap six restart.
Greco began stretching his lead over Josh Kane before the caution flew with three laps remaining.
Prokop made a strong move to go from third to first on the restart and record his third win of the season. Greco finished a career-best second, followed by Kane, Brady Cordova and Ryan Sweet.
John Napoli led the opening lap of the 12-lap 4-cylinder feature before Ken Hollenbeck, who started ninth, took the lead on the second circuit.
The race was slowed when Zach McSpirit, who was challenging for second, made hard contact with the first-turn wall. McSpirit walked away from the accident uninjured.
Kerrie Hollenbeck took over the lead on the restart, before his brother went back to the front to notch his 13th SOHC win in 14 races this season. Kerrie was second across the line for his 10th DOHC victory of the season.
Dale VanAllen was third across the line with Justin Ramsey fourth and Todd Morey fifth.
Fonda Speedway will return to action next Saturday with the CRSA 305 Sprint Cars joining the evening’s race card.
Glen Ridge Motorsports Park postponed it’s Sunday race program due to the high heat index and predicted thunderstorms. The featured $500-to-win Daryl Hillman Memorial Classic for the Mini Stock division has been rescheduled for Aug. 7.
The Super DIRTcar series event scheduled for Sunday night at Weedsport Speedway was postponed until Aug. 15 due to the inclement weather forecast.
Matt Sheppard took home the victory Thursday over Stewart Friesen in the Richie Evans Remembered 61 at Utica-Rome Speedway. Sheppard backed up the victory by capturing the $12,000-to-win Gary Simpson Memorial Friday night at Georgetown Speedway.
Demetrios Drellos picked up his first modified feature win of the season Friday night at Albany-Saratoga, while Chucky Dumblewski notched his second-straight Pro Stock feature win.
Kyle Armstrong picked up the $5,000 victory Saturday night in the 30-lap big block modified feature at Lebanon Valley Speedway.
Fonda Speedway Results
July 23: Recovery Sports Grill Fan Favorite Night Modified Twin 20’s
SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE TWIN 20 No.1 – NICK HEYWOOD, Rocky Warner, Darwin Greene, David Schilling, Brian Gleason, Pep Corradi, Chris Curtis, Ronnie Johnson, Danny Varin, Bobby Hackel IV, Ryan Odasz, JaMike Sowle, Craig Hanson, Matt DeLorenzo, Dave Constantino, Bobby Varin, Rich Christman, Demetrious Drellos, Brian Pessolano, Don Bellen, Jim Introne Jr. (DNS), Tucker O’Connor (DNS)
SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE TWIN 20 No. 2 – DAVID SCHILLING, Rocky Warner, Danny Varin, Ronnie Johnson, Ryan Odasz, Dave Constantino, Matt DeLorenzo, Craig Hanson, Brian Gleason, Nick Heywood, Darwin Greene, Bobby Varin, Demetrious Drellos, Brian Pessolano, Don Bellen, JaMike Sowle Chris Curtis, Rich Christman, Pep Corradi, Bobby Hackel IV, Jim Introne Jr. (DNS), Tucker O’Connor (DNS)
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Heywood, Danny Varin, Warner
SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25-laps – PAYTON TALBOT, Chad Edwards, Troy Palmer, Tim Dwyer, Chip Constantino, Griffen Mansmith, Brendan Gibbons, Tanner Warner, Brett Mortensen, Carter Gibbons, Cody Clark, Greg Havlichek, Clayton DuMond, Troy Zilles, Jason Reome, Anthony Cardamone, Cory White, Tony Farone, Stephen Gray, Harry Shaffer, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Dylan Eldred, Mark Mortensen, Jason Greco, Matthew Perry (DNS)
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Shaffer, Mansmith, Zilles
GRECO’S NAPA HARD CHARGER AWARD – Talbot plus 11 from 12th to 1st
ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE – 20-laps – JOSH COONRADT, Chucky Dumblewski, Beau Ballard, Nick Stone, Caden Dumblewski, Jason Morrison, Kenny Gates, Jim Normoyle, Andy Graves, Ivan Joslin, John Holmes, Don Collins, AJ Walters, Randy Cosselman, Buck Gasner, Gary Silkey, Luke Horning
HEAT RACE WINNERS – $50 bonus from RCK Motorsports – Coonradt, Joslin
MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 15-laps – CONNOR PROKOP, AJ Greco, Josh Kane, Brady Cordova, Ryan Sweet, Wesley Sutliff, Ashton DeWitt, Gus Kamburelis, Walter Cook, Michael Kalkbrenner, John Anderson, Mark Lighthall, Phil Arnold, Lance Hill, Bobby Rhinehardt, Bob Rowback, Jonathan Feagles, Zach Dufel, Corky Warner, Harold Robitaille, Kyle Dingman, Timmy Wilmot, Collin Williams
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Hill, Kamburelis, Robitaille
FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE – 12-laps –KEN HOLLENBECK (SOHC), KERRIE HOLLENBECK (DOHC), Dale VanAllen, Justin Ramsey, Todd Morey, Wayne Russell Jr., John Napoli, Josh Ramsey, Zach McSpirit, TJ Marlitt, David Peek-Britten, Len St. Andrews