By JAMES A. ELLIS
FONDA — On a night when Demetrios Drellos parked his family’s iconic 111 in Victory Lane for the first time in decades, Matt DeLorenzo locked up his second career modified track championship Saturday night at Fonda Speedway.
“It wasn’t our plan to be here every week,” said DeLorenzo during the championship awards ceremony. “We started running really well at the beginning of the year so we kind of worked it out so I could race here every Saturday. The track kind of threw me a curveball the last month being choppy and stuff and I wasn’t really comfortable. We had motor problems but it all worked out.”
Nick Stone capped off his third straight and fourth overall Pro Stock track championship in winning fashion with his 10th win of the season. Ken Hollenbeck recorded his 16th win of the season for his fourth straight, and ninth in 11 seasons, Single Overhead Cam 4-cylinder championship, while his brother Kerrie collected his 13th Dual Overhead Cam victory of the year for his second track championship.
Josh Kane notched his second win of the season as Zach Dufel overcame being involved in an early-race accident to secure the Limited Sportsman track championship and Troy Zilles held off championship contenders Payton Talbot and Chad Edwards to his first career 602 Crate Sportsman feature win.
Talbot finished second in the caution-marred feature to record his first career track championship over third-place finisher Edwards.
After a 21st place finish last week, DeLorenzo entered the 30-lap modified feature on Benjamin Moore Championship Night with an eight-point advantage over Ronnie Johnson and 14 points over Rocky Warner. DeLorenzo started sixth, Johnson eighth and Warner 10th in the 21-car field brought to the green by Tucker O’Connor and Brian Gleason.
Gleason set the early pace as Craig Hanson with DeLorenzo, Drellos and Johnson on the move toward the front.
Drellos moved into second on lap nine, while Johnson got past DeLorenzo for the fourth spot with Danny Varin, O’Connor and Warner in pursuit.
DeLorenzo retook the fourth spot on lap 13 and Drellos dove under Gleason heading into turn one on lap 17 to take the lead and pull away as the race ran under the green for the remainder of the 30 laps.
“It took all season then on the final night we finally got it done,” Drellos said in Victory Lane. “It has been an up and down year for us but we have had fun. We worked on a really good shock package the past few weeks and ran a small block tonight after running the big block most of the season.”
Varin used the low groove in the final 10 laps to move from fifth to second ahead of Gleason and DeLorenzo as Johnson and Warner continued to battle behind Hanson.
At the finish it was Drellos picking up his second career modified feature win with Varin second, DeLorenzo third, Gleason fourth and Hanson fifth. Warner, Johnson, Dave Constantino, O’Connor and JaMike Sowle complete the top 10.
Stephen Gray took the lead at the drop of the green for the 602 Crate Sportsman feature and led the opening laps until Greg Havlicek took over on lap five.
Gray’s night ended on a lap six restart when he got into turn one a little too hard and hit the wall bringing out the caution.
Zilles, who started eighth, took the lead on the restart with Cody Clark bringing out another caution on the next lap with a broken right rear suspension while running third. Edwards, who started 11th, moved into second on lap eight, while Talbot, who started 12th, moved into third.
Zilles held the lead through four more cautions, choosing the outside on each double file restart to maintain his lead and record his first 602 Sportsman victory.
Talbot got by Edwards for second with five laps remaining and held off his challenges on a pair of late-race restarts to lock up the 602 Sportsman track championship.
Jason Reome crossed under the checkers in fourth but was disqualified after coming up light in postrace tech, moving Troy Palmer and Brendan Gibbons into the top five.
“We had a good night,” Zilles said in Victory Lane. “We hit on the setup. Every caution when they said the 14T [Talbot] was behind me. I was saying to myself this isn’t good, but I was just happy that I could hold him off. This feels awesome.”
Luke Horning took over the lead from early race leader Gary Silkey and held off Stone until lap five when Stone, who started eighth, took over the point.
The battle for second behind Stone heated up with Horning, Chucky Dumblewski, Kenny Gates, Ivan Joslin and Beau Ballard swapping position in a pack.
Stone went on to his 10th win of the season followed by Horning, Dumblewski, Joslin, and Ballard.
“When the track gets a little slicker you can see a difference,” Stone said in Victory Lane. “The last couple of weeks we had some bite in the track and every car was fast, great racing it just makes it tough. We struggled a little there and the rough tracks aren’t real coil friendly either, but now we are right back to where we were and the car felt like it did early in the season.”
Corky Warner set the early pace in the 15-lap Limited Sportsman feature that was red-flagged on lap three when third-place runner Tim Wilmot got crossed up in turn four and clipped by Connor Prokop, sending him spinning at the exit of the turn.
Dufel caught the left quarter panel and Walter Cook rolled his ride after launching over the front end of Wilmot’s car. No injuries were reported in the incident and Dufel, Nate Bedell, Prokop and Phil Arnold were all able to make repairs and return to the race action, while Wilmot, Cook, A.J. Greco and Harold Robitaille were done for the night.
Josh Kane passed Warner for the lead with seven laps to go and pulled away for his second win of the season. Warner held on for second with Jonathan Feagles a close third, Prokop fourth and Ryan Sweet finishing fifth.
Championship contender Kyle Dingman placed seventh behind Mark Lighthall with Dufel coming from the back of the pack to finish eighth to secure the division title.
“My heart dropped,” Dufel said about being involved in the lap three wreck. “I saw his [Wilmot] car get loose and tried my best to avoid him but couldn’t. The guys got me back out there and I was able to get back up through. When I got behind the 1D [Dingman] I probably could have gone to the top but I was happy to be there.”
The Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series (MVVDMS) was also in action Saturday and honored its championship drivers.
Jimmy Fugel was the Antique division feature winner and won the 2022 Track Championship in the division, Curtis Condon was the winner of the Late Model division feature event and the 2022 Track Championship, John Marks was the winner of the Mystique division feature while Carl Cram captured the Track Championship, Dan Colvin was the Sportsman feature winner and the 2022 Track Champion, and Randy Delaney was the Modified feature winner and the 2022 Track Champion.
The Fonda Speedway will be taking a break now for the annual Fonda Fair before returning for three days of racing action starting on Sept. 15 for the season ending Fonda 200 weekend featuring the 200-lap, $53,000-to-win main event for the modifieds on Sept. 17.
Fonda Speedway Results
Benjamin Moore Paints Championship Night, Aug. 13
SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE – 30-laps – DEMETRIOUS DRELLOS, Danny Varin, Matt DeLorenzo, Brian Gleason, Craig Hanson, Rocky Warner, Ronnie Johnson, Dave Constantino, Tucker O’Connor, JaMike Sowle, Nick Heywood, Bobby Hackel IV, Jessica Friesen, Bobby Varin, Pep Corradi, Ryan Odasz, Ed Harris, David Schilling, Nicholas Plumstead, Alissa Cody, Darwin Greene, Chris Curtis (DNS), Alex Yankowski (DNS)
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Warner, Sowle, Corradi
2022 SUNOCO MODIFIED TRACK CHAMPION – MATT DELORENZO
SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25-laps – TROY ZILLES, Payton Talbot, Chad Edwards, Troy Palmer, Brendan Gibbons, Mark Mortensen, Chip Constantino, Tanner Warner, Dan Santabarbara, Tim Dwyer, Matthew Perry, Anthony Cardamone, Kathy Bellen, Cory White, Jeremy Tyrrell, Carter Gibbons, Greg Havlicek, Harry Shaffer, Bill August, Brett Mortensen, Clayton DuMond, Jason Greco, Jeremy Slosek, Stephen Gray, Cody Clark, Dylan Eldred, Griffen Mansmith, Nicholas Plumstead, Jason Reome (DQ weight)
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Gray, Zilles, Clark
GRECO’S NAPA HARD CHARGER AWARD – Santabarbara +17 27th to 10th
2022 SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 TRACK CHAMPION – PAYTON TALBOT
ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE – 20-laps – NICK STONE ($100 bonus from RCK Motorsports), Luke Horning, Chuck Dumblewski, Ivan Joslin, Beau Ballard, Josh Coonradt, Kenny Gates, Jim Normoyle, Jason Morrison, Andy Graves, Gary Silkey, Caden Dumblewski, Randy Cosselman, Don Collins, Dillon Vanston, AJ Walters, John Holmes
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Ballard, Gates ($50 bonus to each heat race winner from RCK Motorsports)
2022 ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK TRACK CHAMPION – NICK STONE
MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 15-laps – JOSH KANE, Corky Warner, Jonathan Feagles, Connor Prokop, Ryan Sweet, Mark Lighthall, Kyle Dingman, Zach Dufel, Phil Arnold, Nate Bedell, Chris Kugler, Michael Kalkbrenner, Jeff Lutes, Bob Rowback, Wesley Sutliff, Timmy Wilmot, Lance Hill, Harold Robitaille, Walter Cook, AJ Greco, Steve Wagoner
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Warner, Sweet, Prokop
2022 MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN TRACK CHAMPION – ZACH DUFEL
FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE – 12-laps – KEN HOLLENBACK (SOHC), KERRIE HOLLENBACK (DOHC), Justin Ramsey, Todd Morey, David Peek-Britten, Len St. Andrews, Dale VanAllen, Josh Ramsey, Christopher Jennings Sr., TJ Marlitt
FONDA FAIR SOHC FOUR CYLINDER TRACK CHAMPION – KEN HOLLENBACK
FONDA FAIR DOHC FOUR CYLINDER TRACK CHAMPION – KERRIE HOLLENBACK
MOHAWK VALLEY VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED SERIES (MVVDMS) ANTIQUE FEATURE – JIMMY FUGEL, Jimmy Hyde, Mike Wheeler, John Wood, Jim Glass, Dustin Chapman, Harley Sheppard, John Mason, Mark Reardon, Bryan Scofield, Speedy Niedeheimer, Phil Mitchell, Don Briggs (DNS), Tex Gordan (DNS)
2022 MVVDMS ANTIQUE DIVISION CHAMPION – JIMMY FUGEL
MOHAWK VALLEY VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED SERIES (MVVDMS) MYSTIQUE FEATURE – JOHN MARKS, Dan Karl, Rich Leveque, Mark Anatriello, Harry Baldwin, George Palmer, George Berbench, Carl Cram
2022 MVVDMS MYSTIQUE DIVISION CHAMPION – CARL CRAM
MOHAWK VALLEY VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED SERIES (MVVDMS) LATE MODEL FEATURE – CURTIS CONDON, John Roese, Will Reed, Ed Docskalik, Bill Knapp (DNS)
2022 MVVDMS LATE MODEL CHAMPION – CURTIS CONDON
MOHAWK VALLEY VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED SERIES (MVVDMS) SPORTSMAN FEATURE – DAN COLVIN, Malach Mathews, Bryon Seyfried, Merv Blackwell, Gene Wrightstone, Jon Trudeau, John Constantino, Larry Stokes, Andy McFadden, Mike Francisco (DNS)
2022 MVVDMS SPORTSMAN CHAMPION – DAN COLVIN
MOHAWK VALLEY VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED SERIES (MVVDMS) MODIFIED FEATURE – RANDY DELANEY, Joe Rando, Jack Miller, Darral Hulbert, John Flach
2022 MVVDMS MODIFIED CHAMPION – RANDY DELANEY