Bobby Hackel IV races to first Fonda Speedway feature win

Bobby Hackel IV celebrates in Victory Lane after winning his first career modified feature Saturday night at Fonda Speedway.

Bobby Hackel IV celebrates in Victory Lane after winning his first career modified feature Saturday night at Fonda Speedway.

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FONDA — With a new car under him and his grandfather looking on, Bobby Hackel IV broke through for his first career modified feature win Saturday night at Fonda Speedway.

The fourth-generation driver took the lead at the drop of the green and held off challenges first from Jack Lehner and then Stewart Friesen to record his initial feature win.

“This means a lot,” Hackel said in Victory Lane. “I want to thank everybody that made this happen. It’s been a hell of a week, a lot of changes in my life, my race team, and everything about it. I’ve got some of the best people around me and I have to thank them for sticking with me through all these years. We’re finally starting to see the fruits of everyone’s hard work and labor. This is amazing.”

Third-generation racer A. J. Greco also had a large family turnout as he posted his second limited sportsman feature win of the season, while Brett Mortensen collected his second career 602 Crate Sportsman feature win and Kenny Gates drove to his 91st Pro Stock feature win. Wayne Russell Jr. nipped Kerry Hollenbeck at the line to win the overall and single cam mini stock feature, while Hollenbeck scored the dual cam victory.

Hackel jumped from his modified into his ESS 360 sprint car and led the opening five laps of the 25-lap A-main as second-generation driver Danny Varin made his way to the front and pulled away to pick up his seventh career ESS sprint car victory at the Track of Champions.

Hackel and Dave Camara brought the field of 24 modifieds to the green with Hackel taking control. The first yellow of the race came on lap three when Ronnie Johnson slowed to a stop on the frontstretch. Under the caution, defending track champion Matt DeLorenzo went pit side with a flat tire. He returned to the track at the back of the field.

Hackel continued to control the pace on the restart with Lehner and Rocky Warner in pursuit.

The second caution came on lap seven when Matt Sheppard stopped with a flat tire, which he changed before returning to the race.

Hackel again held his advantage on the restart as Friesen and Demetrios Drellos joined the top five.

With the leaders running in traffic, Friesen settled into a distant second with Lehner, Drellos and Alex Yankowski completing the top five.

The final caution of the race came with nine laps remaining, moving Friesen alongside Hackel for the restart and putting Lehner, Drellos and Yankowski within striking distance.

Choosing to restart on the outside of the front row, Hackel won the race into the first turn and led the final laps to back up his feature win Monday at Five Mile Point Speedway with his first modified feature win at Fonda Speedway.

“I had to squeeze him a little bit [Friesen] but I’m sure that he understands I was just trying to win,” Hackel said. “I want to thank Bob Godgart at Killer Crate, my dad who isn’t here tonight, my girlfriend, my family, my grandfather, and all the guys that have been with me forever and especially Andrew Buff who helped me square and set up every inch of this car.”

Drellos finished third, with Lehner and Yankowski rounding out the top five. Sheppard and DeLorenzo fought their way back from their early-race pit stops to finish sixth and seventh respectively, with Warner, JaMike Sowle and David Schilling completing the second five.

With his third-place finish, Drellos now has a six-point lead over DeLorenzo heading into the final points race of the season.

Harry Shaffer grabbed the lead at the drop of the green of the 25-lap 602 Crate Sportsman feature and led the opening 13 laps of the feature before Mortensen took over the top spot ahead of Shaffer, Jeremy Tyrrell, Chad Edwards and Payton Talbot.

With Mortensen and Shaffer out front, the battle for third between Edwards and Talbot heated up. The duo ran side-by-side, swapping leads multiple times over the closing laps, with Edwards holding on for a third place finish with Talbot fourth and Chip Constantino fifth. Tyrrell, Brendan Gibbons, Blaine Klinger, Troy Zilles and Stephen Gray round out the top 10.

“I’m sad that my mother is not here, and my dad isn’t here as well,” Mortensen said in Victory Lane. “It’s been a rough season, the car started off real fast then we just kind of lost the car for a little while. Then DKM helped us out and now we’re back on track. I think that we have a strong car, and this was the perfect track for my driving style.”

The 20-lap Pro Stock feature was marred by a multi-car pileup in the first turn after contact between Gary Silkey and Ivan Joslin. Silkey slid up the track making hard contact with the first turn wall and collecting Randy Cosselman and Michael Achzet, while Shane Playford, Andy Graves and John Holmes came to a stop on the inside of the speedway after a scramble to avoid Silkey. Playford, Cosselman and Holmes were able to return to the race, while Silkey, Graves and Achzet were done for the night.

Devon Camenga held the lead over Gates and Joslin on the restart before Gates slipped past Camenga to lead the final 14 laps and collect his fifth win of the season and 91st of his 30 year career at Fonda Speedway.

Joslin finished a distant second followed by Camenga, Luke Horning and Josh Coonradt.

Brandon Tyler led the opening lap of the 15-lap Limited Sportsman feature before Tyler Bobar took over the point on lap two.

Greco wrestled the lead away on a lap nine restart and pulled off to his second win of the season. Lance Hill rallied to finish second with Bobar third, Tyler fourth and Kyle Dingman fifth.

There were three lead changes in the 12-lap 4-cylinder feature with Wayne Russell Jr. leading the first two laps. Hayleigh Gates was the next to lead the event on laps three through eight followed by Kerrie Hollenback who led laps nine through eleven. On the final lap coming to the checkered flag, Russell Jr. was able to get by Hollenback for the overall win as a SOHC while Hollenback was the first DOHC car across the finish line.

Hackel led the opening five laps in the Earl Halaquist Memorial feature for the ESS spring cars with Jordan Poirier taking over the lead. Varin started sixth position and took the lead away from Poirier on the outside of turns three and four on lap 13.

Varin led the final 12 laps to record his seventh career ESS Sprint win at Fonda and his fourth in the Earl Halaquist Memorial event with wins in 2017, 2018, 2022, and 2023. Poirier, Jordan Thomas, Paulie Colagiovanni, and Matt Tanner completed the top five.

Fonda Speedway will close out its regular season schedule Saturday with Championship Night and the crowning of the 2023 track champions. The Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series will also be in action with Track Champions in that series being decided as well.


Curtis Lumber Night

August 5, 2023

AMSTERDAM TRUCK CENTER MODIFIED FEATURE – 30-LAPS – BOBBY HACKEL IV, Stewart Friesen, Demetrios Drellos, Jack Lehner, Alex Yankowski, Matt Sheppard, Matt DeLorenzo, Rocky Warner, JaMike Sowle, David Schilling, Cody Clark, Chris Curtis, Dave Camara, Brian Calabrese, Pep Corradi, Ancel Collins, Brian Pessolano, Ronnie Holmes, Danny Varin, Dave Constantino, Dylan Scribner, Bobby Varin, Ronnie Johnson, Carl Schilling

1st career win in the division at Fonda for Hackel IV

LAP LEADERS – 1-30 Hackel IV

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Warner, Hackel IV, Johnson

SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25-LAPS – BRETT MORTENSEN, Harry Shaffer, Chad Edwards, Payton Talbot, Chip Constantino, Jeremy Tyrrell, Brendan Gibbons, Blaine Klinger, Troy Zilles, Stephen Gray, Matt Perry, Zach Dufel, John DuMond, Clayton DuMond, Michael McCallion, Josh Kane, Mark Mortensen, Tanner Warner, David Manchester, Kadon Hohensheldt, Clyde Peek, Don Bellen, Jason Reome, Wesley Sutliff, Dan Santabarbara, Connor Prokop, Butchie Irwin, Tim Dwyer

1st win of 2023 and the 2nd win of his career in the division for Brett Mortensen

LAP LEADERS – 1-13 Shaffer, 14-25 Brett Mortensen

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Tyrrell, Constantino, John DuMond


BELOW ZERO ICE CREAM PRO STOCK FEATURE – 20-LAPS – KENNY GATES, Ivan Joslin, Devon Camenga, Luke Horning, Josh Coonradt, Shane Playford, Beau Ballard, Jim Normoyle, Caden Dumblewski, Nick Santuccione, Jason Morrison, John Holmes, Gary Silkey, Andy Graves, Randy Cosselman, Michael Achzet

5th win of 2023 and the 91st win of his career in the division for Gates

LAP LEADERS – 1-6 Camenga, Gates

HEAT RACE WINNERS – $100 bonus to each heat race winner from RCK Motorsports – Morrison, Camenga

MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 15-LAPS – AJ GRECO, Lance Hill, Tyler Bobar, Brandon Tyler, Kyle Dingman, Mike Hill, Jonathan Feagles, John Anderson, Tim Wilmot, Kirsten Swartz, Phil Arnold, Bob Rowback, Jeff Bobilin, Kolton Weiler, Collin Williams, Aaron Armitage, Michael Kalkbrenner, Joel Knudsen Jr., Tim Deffer, Dylan Huston, Craig Coons, Chris Kugler, Bob Rhinehardt, Ryan Sweet, Cian DiMezza, Andrew MacFadden, Brandon Goodell, Jim Mallia, Steve Wagoner (DNS), Gus Kamberelis (DNS)

2nd win of 2023 and the 2nd win of his career in the division for Greco

LAP LEADERS – 1 Tyler, 2-8 Bobar, 9-15 Greco

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Greco, Lance Hill, Bobar

FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE – 12-LAPS – $100 bonus to both the SOHC and DOHC winners from Upstate Auto – WAYNE RUSSELL JR. (SOHC), Kerrie Hollenbeck (DOHC), Haleigh Gates, Len St. Andrews, TJ Marlitt, Tom Hill, Brittany Ladd, Luke Sheldon, Tim Warner, Ken Hollenback, Doug McSpirit (DNS)

2nd win of 2023 and the 5th win of his career in the division for Russell Jr.

7th win of 2023 and the 41st

LAP LEADERS – 1-2 Russell Jr., 3-8 Gates, 9-11 Kerrie Hollenback, 12 Russell Jr.

EMPIRE SUPER SPRINT (ESS) EARL HALAQUIST MEMORIAL FEATURE – 25-LAPS – DANNY VARIN, Jordan Poirier, Jordan Thomas, Paulie Colagiovanni, Matt Tanner, Shawn Donath, Jason Barney, Dylan Swiernik, Bobby Hackel IV, Kyle Smith, Jeff Cook, Chad Miller, Logan Crisafulli, Jake Dykstra, Steve Glover, Trevor Years, Dylan Menditto, Lacey Hanson, Jeremiah Munson, Kyle Dutcher, Cory Sparks, Billy VanInwegen (DNS)

7th career win in the ESS Sprints for Varin

LAP LEADERS – 1-5 Hackel IV, 6-12 Poirier, 13-25 Varin

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Thomas, Varin, Barney

ESS DASH – Donath


Rain forced the cancellation of Friday night’s race program at Albany-Saratoga Speedway before the cars hit the track.

Utica-Rome Speedway did get the program started but a hard rainstorm passed over the speedway after the qualifying events and the 4-cylinder feature were in the books.

Friday night’s program will pick up where it left off – with the ESS B-Main – on Sept. 8, except for the Pro Stock feature event.

With a $10,000-to-win Pro Stock event on the schedule at Albany-Saratoga Speedway that day, the 20-lap Pro Stock feature will be added to this Friday’s program.

Justin Pope and Wayne Russell Jr. raced their way to Victory Lane in the 4-cylinder feature before the rain came.

Albany-Saratoga Speedway will be back in action Wednesday night with a features-only June 16th make up event

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