Racing Around: Pro stocks, sportsman divisions set to take stage this weekend

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Rocky Warner (21C) and Nick Stone (1J) run side-by-side during warm-ups in preparation for the Short Track Super Series 602 Crate Sportsman action Sunday at Fonda Speedway. (James A. Ellis)

While the modifieds held top billing last weekend, this week it is time for the pro stocks and sportsman divisions to step into the spotlight.

The 17th Annual Hondo Classic for the pro stock division will headline the race card, running 29 laps for, well with all the lap money and contingencies added to the purse, who knows.

A pair of new special events will be added to the program this year, The BOBCO Dash for the Pro Stocks and the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman Black Flag Race.

The Hondo Classic has become one of the prestigious races of the season for the pro stocks, often drawing cars from its regular Saturday night homes and bringing drivers out of retirement for one night.

The race honors the memory of popular pro stock driver Hondo Carpenter, who drove the purple and white No. 9 at Fonda Speedway and was killed in an ATV accident on July 4, 2005.

The BOBCO Dash honors longtime racing videographer and car sponsor Bob James, who died last year after a lengthy battle with cancer.

The top-two finishers from each heat will compete in the dash, with the winner picking up $509 and dropping down by position to $409, $369, $329, $289 and $269 for sixth. The top three will go to victory lane, with the winner given a big check, winner’s banner and a trophy that will have the winner’s name engraved on the year the event is run.

With many sponsors involved, the family of Bob James would like to thank the racing community for their support of the special memorial dash in his memory.

Drivers in the 602 crate sportsman division are eligible to compete in the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman Black Flag Race.

By virtue of winning last Saturday’s limited sportsman feature, Connor Prokop secured the final starting spot in the 16-car field. The remainder of the field will consist of the top eight in points, plus the next seven fastest in hot laps.

The race consists of four, four-lap rounds with four drivers eliminated following each round.

The first round will be handicapped by points, with Prokop starting last. After the first three rounds, the remaining cars will stop at the flag stand and the leader will draw an invert number for the next round. If a driver brings out a yellow, they are automatically black flagged.

Again, how much you win depends on your luck with a $2,300 purse plus contingencies. As a bonus, all the drivers with perfect attendance will be put in drawing for a Swagger Factory Apparel Driver’s Suit valued at $999.

As if the special race program wasn’t enough, fans will also get a break on Fan Appreciation Night presented by Sampson Motorcar with a $5 general grandstand admission.

BRYAN GOEWEY MEMORIAL AT LEBANON VALLEY

After being rained out last week at Lebanon Valley Speedway, the 44-lap, $10,000-to-win Bryan Goewey Memorial for big block modifieds will be run Saturday night, along with the $1,000-to-win George Marcus Memorial presented by Gillespie Automotive and the Marcus family.

For fans of chaos and mayhem, the annual Eve of Destruction will take place Tuesday night at the Valley starting at 6:30 p.m.

HACKEL IV RETURNING TO FONDA

The Hackel Family Race Team split with its primary sponsor at Lebanon Valley, Sharpe Motorsports, and will be running at Fonda Speedway weekly Bobby Hackel IV behind the wheel of the Killer Crate No. 97.

VICTORY LANE QUOTES OF THE WEEK

The excitement of winning or earning a podium finish can lead to great quotes.

After winning the single overhead cam division of the 4-cylinder mini stock feature, among several shouts of “I WON AT FONDA SPEEDWAY!”, Todd Morey remembered to thank his sponsors and associates, including Randy LaJoie, who produces the LaJoie of Racing seats that several driver use.

“Randy LaJoie builds the best seat in the house; my seat is worth more than the car,” the former Fonda Speedway track announcer said.

Morey returned to Fonda Speedway Tuesday and Wednesday, returning to another competition in which he enjoyed success in the past, monster truck racing. Morey was behind the wheel of the After Shock.

After placing third behind Stewart Friesen and Matt Sheppard in Sunday’s Firecracker 50, Mat Williamson said, “This is like Stew’s personal bank account here at Fonda, so it’s tough to keep up with him, and Matt Sheppard is good anywhere he goes, so to be up here on the podium with them, I am happy about it.”

After placing fifth in the Firecracker 50 for the modifieds, Rocky Warner drove a catch-ride in the Brian Calabrese 21C 602 Crate Sportsman to victory in the Firecracker 30.

“I told Brian it’s a lose-lose situation for me because if I win, I’m a bully, and if I lose, they will pick on me about it,” Warner said. “But we’re here and we took home the check.”

PIT NOTES

Glen Ridge Motorsports Park will host a DIRTcar pro stock series event Sunday night, along with slingshot by Tobias Super Nationals Series, along with all its regular weekly divisions.

Utica-Rome will feature Twin 20s for the modifieds Friday night, paying $1,500-to-win each. The Tobias Slingshots will join the other regular weekly divisions.

Fastline Performance customers in the crate 602 sportsman division have won every feature this season at Utica-Rome and Fonda Speedway.

There is a bounty on the line with a $200 Fastline certificate to any non-Fastline customer who wins over a Fastline car at Utica-Rome or Fonda.

The bounty will increase $50 per week, maxing out at $500 in Fastline cash.

If the bounty does max-out with no winner, the certificates will be divided up between the Fastline winners.

Rocky Warner and sponsor Tad Parks honored A.J. Romano on his induction into the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame by carrying Romano’s No. 16 and paint scheme on the modified last Saturday night.

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