RPW Column: Craig Hanson Stops Matt DeLorenzo’s Fonda Speedway Win Streak With Crowd-Pleasing Side-By-Side Victory

Column By: TOM WENNER / RPW – FONDA, NY – Craig Hanson is known as the “Grader Operator” at the Fonda Speedway.

On Saturday night, race fans got to know him for a different reason.

Craig Hanson drove the Ken Hanson Paving 20C to a crowd standing side by side victory over Matt DeLorenzo in the 30 Lap Supply Wagon Rentals A Main.

Delorenzo was going for 3 in-a-row and missed the mark by ½ a car length at the checker flag. If you are Modified racing fan, this was the race to see.

Delorenzo drove from his 12th starting spot to challenge for the win. The race for the win was a close one with Hanson battling Matty D, Demetrios Drellos, and Ronnie Johnson over the final 6 laps for the legendary Fonda victory lane.

At the drop of the Joey Criss green flag Craig Hanson powered his 20c into the lead, Jim Introne Jr. followed with Pep Corradi and Bobby Varin in tow. As the field ran down the backstretch Jim Introne Jr’s 9x hit an infield tire and the left front collapsed causing the car to be disabled in front of the field powering towards him.

The 42 of Tucker O’ Conner struck the 9x of Introne and collected the 234 of McAuliffe and 1 Greene. Rocky Warner caught the 9x as he drove by causing damage to the #1 Warner machine. O’ Conner, Introne, Warner retired from the event.

After an extensive cleanup of cars and the track, the race went back to green flag action. Craig Hanson blasted to the lead with Bobby Varin in the 18 following. Pep Corradi, Ronnie Johnson from 9th early in the event and Brian Calabrese in 5th.

As the race clicked off early laps Ronnie Johnson moved the 2RJ into 3rd and DD moved his 111 into 5th on Lap 8.

Craig Hanson was setting a torrid pace in the lead opening up a 4.4 second lead over Bobby Varin at lap 10. Matt DeLorenzo was on the move breaking into the Top 10 on Lap 12 from his 12th starting spot.

As the field clicked off lap 13 Ronnie Johnson had caught Bobby Varin and was challenging for 2nd. Craig Hanson was driving away in lap traffic with a 4.6 second lead and Demetrios Drellos was now challenging for 3rd.

On lap 14 the yellow flag was waving for the 27a of Steve Akers. Akers went to the pits and Craig Hanson’s 4+ second lead was wiped out. The running order after the field was reset was Hanson your leader, Ronnie Johnson 2nd, DD 3rd, Corradi 4th, Calabrese 5th, Zemken 6th, Schilling 7th, Delorenzo 8th, Lehner 9th.

The green was displayed again and the Fonda Sunoco Modifieds powered back to action. Craig Hanson went back to the lead. On lap 17 DD went after Ronnie Johnson for 2nd.

Matt Delorenzo moved the BBL Companies 3D by Jessica Zemken in the 1z on lap 18 for 5th. A lap later on 19, Matty D. moved into 4th. Craig Hanson was still the leader and opening up a new lead by over a full second. Ronnie Johnson in 2nd followed by DD in 3rd, Matty D was 4th, and Bobby Varin in the 18 for 5th.

On lap 24, the caution lights were turned back on for David Schilling. Right before the caution lights came on, Ronnie Johnson had made a strong move by Craig Hanson for the lead. As the lap was not completed and scored – Hanson goes back to the lead. RJ was 2nd, DD 3rd, Matty D 4th, Varin in 5th. This caution set the stage for a 6 lap dash to the checkers.

On the restart with 6 to go, Craig Hanson went back to the lead. Matt DeLorenzo moved into 2nd on the next lap.

At the 4 to go mark DD and Matt Delorenzo were battling for 2nd and 3rd. Craig Hanson was still your leader with a few car lengths to spare. With Delorenzo into 2nd and riding the bottom of the track, Hanson was ripping the top side of the Fonda clay.

As the field came to the 2 to go mark, Matt D & Craig Hanson put on a remarkable battle for the win.

Craig Hanson scored the popular Fonda Sunoco Modified Victory over Matt Delorenzo. Hanson stopped Matty D’s attempt at 3 in a row. Delorenzo finished 2nd, Demetrios Drellos 3rd, Ronnie Johnson 4th, Bobby Varin 5th, Pep Corradi 6th, Jessica Friesen 7th, Dave Constantino 8th, Chris Curtis 9th, JaMike Sowle 10th.

In victory lane, Hanson known as the “Grater Operator” because he spends 7 days at week at the Fonda Speedway working on the track surface. The 20c Modified sponsored by Ken Hanson Paving, Race Prep Shock Service and Grant Racing Engines visits Fonda Speedway Victory Lane for the 1st time since 2016.

Ken shared in victory lane “We were battling Carb and Fuel Log issues in the feature”. “I am happy that we survived it as I held the foot to the floor those last 6 laps”. Winning tonight was special for Hanson as his father was enjoying his birthday today.

SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE – 30-laps – CRAIG HANSON, Matt DeLorenzo, Demetrious Drellos, Ronnie Johnson, Bobby Varin, Pep Corradi, Jessica Friesen, Dave Constantino, Chris Curtis, JaMike Sowle, Jack Lehner, Rich Christman, Steve Akers, Nick Heywood, Brian Calabrese, Darwin Greene, Ray Zemken, David Schilling, Dylan Scribner, Brian Pessolano, Adam McAuliffe, Jim Introne Jr., Tucker O’Connor, Rocky Warner, Danny Varin (DNS), Ryan Odasz (DNS), Ronnie Holmes (DNS)

8th career win in the division for Hanson and the first since 7/30/2016

LAP LEADERS – 1-30 Hanson

HEAT RACE WINNERS – O’Connor, Calabrese, Hanson

SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25-laps – CODY CLARK, Chad Edwards, Payton Talbot, Michael Ballestero, Michael McCallion, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Brian Calabrese, Chip Constantino, Brett Mortensen, Brendan Gibbons, Tony Farone, Harry Shaffer, Troy Palmer, Clayton DuMond, Mark Mortensen, Troy Zilles, Greg Havlichek, Carter Gibbons, Tanner Warner, Jason Reome, Jeremy Tyrrell, Dan Santabarbara, Tim Dwyer, Cory White, Griffen Mansmith

14th career win in the division for Clark

LAP LEADERS – 1-11 Ballester, 12-25 Clark

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Ballestero, Brett Mortensen, McCallion

GRECO’S NAPA HARD CHARGER AWARD – Edwards from 12th to 2nd

ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE – 20-laps – NICK STONE, Luke Horning, Beau Ballard, Shane Playford, Josh Coonradt, Jason Morrison, Devon Camenga, Kenny Gates, Randy Cosselman, Steve Cosselman, Caden Dumblewski, Slater Baker, Chuck Dumblewski, Gary Silkey, John Holmes, Scott Towslee, Ivan Joslin, Don Collins

4th win in a row and the 63rd of his career in the division for Stone

LAP LEADERS – 1-2 Baker, 3-5 Morrison, 6-20 Stone

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Ballard, Towslee

MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 15-laps – ZACH DUFEL, Josh Kane, Tom D’Angelo, Bob Rowback, Ryan Sweet, Mark Lighthall, Kyle Dingman, Michael Kalkbrenner, Walter Cook, Wesley Sutliff, Craig Wholley, Lance Hill, Timmy Wilmot, Nate Bedell, Harol Robitaille (DNS), Connor Prokop (DNS)

1st career win in the division for Dufel

LAP LEADERS – 1-6 Rowback, 7-15 Dufel

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Wholley, Sweet

FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE – 12-laps – KERRIE HOLLENBACK (DOHC), KEN HOLLENBACK (SOHC), Zach McSpirit, Christopher Jennings Sr., Len St. Andrews, Heath Bush, Dale VanAllen, Chad Hoffman, David Peek-Britten, Gina Voris, TJ Marlitt, Shawn Hemstreet, John Napoli (DQ)

3rd win of 2022 and the 24th of his career in the division for Kerrie Hollenback

4th win of 2022 and the 72nd of his career in the division for Ken Hollenback

LAP LEADERS – 1-4 VanAllen, 5-6 Napoli, 7-12 Kerrie Hollenback

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