Story By: RON SCZCERBA / NYSSCA – FONDA, NY – On a very busy race night at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway on Saturday June 11, the New York State Stock Car Association (NYSSCA) held their annual Safety Awards Night with $75 going to the first NYSSCA member across the finish line and $50 to the second NYSSCA member across the finish line in all feature events along with a NYSSCA hat.
NYSSCA Safety Night winners included Craig Hanson $75 and JaMike Sowle $50 (Sunoco Modified), Mark Mortensen $75 and Payton Talbot $50 (Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman), Nick Stone $75 and Kenny Gates $50 (Algonkin Motel Pro Stock), Kyle Dingman $75 and Ryan Sweet $50 (Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman), Ken Hollenback $75 and Len St. Andrews $50 (SOHC Fonda Fair Four Cylinder), John Napoli $75 and Kerrie Hollenback $50 (DOHC Fonda Fair Four Cylinder).
Other scheduled 2022 NYSSCA Safety Nights at this time include Afton Speedway (6/24), Utica Rome (7/8), Woodhull (7/16), Glen Ridge (8/7), and Devils Bowl (8/20) with Safety Nights at Albany Saratoga and Lebanon Valley still to be determined at the time of this release.
Prior to Opening Ceremonies last Saturday on victory lane at Fonda, the NYSSCA organization also handed out four different awards to five different drivers. Rocky Warner and Ronnie Johnson received the 2021 NYSSCA Outstanding Performance Award as the first ever Modified division co-champions last season (2021) in the 70-year history of the Fonda Speedway where there have been twenty-six different championship winning drivers.
Also winning a 2021 NYSSCA Outstanding Performance Award was Jessica Friesen who was the first woman to ever win a Modified feature in the history of the “Track of Champions” after her win on July 10 of last year. Friesen has competed in the Sportsman division at Fonda during her career along with Sprint cars where she has one victory in a 360-Sprint car at Fonda back on 4/29/2006 before moving up to the Modified division. Friesen was not in attendance at Fonda on Saturday and will get her award later this season.
NYSSCA also handed out two 2021 Dedication to Racing Awards to Craig Hanson and Cliff Haslun. Hanson not only runs the family business Hanson Paving but also runs the grader and does track prep at Fonda during the week and on race nights, races his self-owned Hanson Paving sponsored #20C Modified, and assists as a Short Track Super Series Official when time allows. Hanson has a career total of nine Modified wins at Fonda during his career in eight winning seasons, the first one coming on 7/30/2005 and his last one this past Saturday on 6/11/2022.
Whether it was in his self-owned #13 Street Stock or the Dennis Joslin owned Pro Stock car back in 2021, Cliff Haslun has always been a driver who does what he can with what he has. Making a lot of parts for the race car himself and getting to the track in any way possible, Haslun has always been there to compete and do the best he can with what he has making him a great candidate for the NYSSCA Dedication to Racing Award. Halsun has a total of five Street Stock victories at Fonda during his career.