Empire Super Sprints To Run Fonda Speedway On Memorial Day Weekend

Story By: RON SZCZERBA / FONDA SPEEDWAY – FONDA, NY – If you have never witnessed sprint cars racing at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway, Saturday, May 26 is a perfect opportunity for you to see the lightning fast speeds the winged sprint cars turn on the ½ mile fairgrounds track.

Sprint cars have been a staple of the Memorial Day weekend racing programs at the “Track of Champions” in the past and this year is no different, as the ESS group will be making their first appearance back at Fonda on Memorial Day weekend since 2015.

Also on the racing card on Saturday, May 26 sponsored by A-Verdi Storage Containers will be all regular weekly divisions including the big block modifieds, 602 sportsman, pro stocks, and street stocks. It will also be Military Appreciation Night with racing scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m.

According to the ESS website, the Earl Halaquist Memorial feature event for the ESS sprint cars will pay $2,000 to the winner and $300 to start. Marty (former Fonda Speedway Race Director Marty Beberwyk) and Ric (former Fonda Speedway promoter Ric Lucia) will sponsor the Dash for Cash event for the sprint cars with a $500 purse.

Previous winners of the Earl Halaquist Memorial event held by the ESS Group at the various tracks the event was held:

  • 8/14/2004 – Dundee, NY – Blake Breen
  • 8/15/2005 – Dundee, NY – George Suprick
  • 8/12/2006 – Dundee, NY – Chuck Hebing
  • 7/22/2007 – Fonda, NY – Justin Barger
  • 8/5/2008 – Fonda, NY – Justin Barger
  • 5/23/2009 – Fonda, NY – Doug Emery
  • 5/29/2010 – Fonda, NY – Justin Barger
  • 5/28/2011 – Fonda, NY – Justin Barger
  • 5/26/2012 – Fonda, NY – Jessica Zemken-Friesen
  • 9/21/2013 – Fonda, NY – Jeff Cook
  • 8/26/2014 – Afton, NY – Chuck Hebing
  • 8/25/2015 – Afton, NY – Matt Tanner
  • 8/23/2016 – Afton, NY – Steve Piorier
  • 8/12/2017 – Fonda, NY – Danny Varin

The history of the ESS group at Fonda shows a total of 19 events run at the track with 13 different winning drivers led by Justin Barger with five wins; Lance Yonge and Steve Poirier both with two wins; John Brutcher, Bobby Parrow, Tom Taber, Craig Lane, Doug Emery, Jessica Friesen, Jeff Cook, Chuck Hebing, Stewart Friesen, and Danny Varin all with one win apiece.

Three events have been held so far in 2018 on the ESS series with Jason Barney, Paul Kinney, and Mark Smith the winners of those events. The current ESS point standings show Barney leading the way with 353 followed by Coleman Gulick with 269, Kinney with 236, Jonathan Preston with 227, and Matt Tanner with 217.

So come to the Fonda Speedway on Saturday, May 26 and help the Demitraszek family celebrate Memorial Day on Military Appreciation Night as we honor all of our soldiers who fight every day for our freedom so that we can enjoy the lifestyles that we do.


Are you a tailgater who likes to get to the track early. One way to kill some time before the racing action starts is to visit the Fonda Speedway Museum, which is located in one of the buildings along the railroad tracks of the Fonda Fairgrounds. Inside you will see many displays showing some of the history of the Fonda Speedway in order to give you a sense of why it is called the “Track of Champions”.

This Saturday, with the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) in town to race at Fonda, the sprint cars of Bobby and Danny Varin along with Josh Flint will be on display at the museum from approximately 3:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. according to Matt Noles who is helping to organize events at the museum this year.

What a fantastic team the Lape family (David, Jackie, & Jessica) have put together at the museum to make it a truly special place to visit to see the history of the Fonda Speedway with not only Matt Noles assisting them but also Randy and Travis Colegrove as well.

“Please let fans know that they can come to the museum and look around before the racing program each week,” Jackie Lape said in an e-mail to me this week. “We always have new items and special cars coming in and out, plus we have a free weekly raffle for a free grandstand pass donated by promoter Pete Demitraszek. We even have a kid’s area, with race car coloring pages for the kids to color, so moms bring the kids to the museum for a nice break and awesome items for the whole family to see.”

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