Story By: RON SZCZERBA / FONDA SPEEDWAY – FONDA, NY – Saturday evening at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway, the Recovery Sports Grill presented “Fan Favorite Night” featuring Twin 20 lap events for the Sunoco Modifieds.
When the final checkered flag flew to complete the two feature events there were two first time winners celebrating in the F.X. Caprara Car Companies victory lane, Nick Heywood in the Moody Mile Motorsports #24H owned by the legendary Wes Moody and David Schilling in the BDR Speed #20 which had a Wegner spec motor in the car carrying him to victory lane.
“It’s been a rookie year for us that’s for sure,” Heywood told Mimi Lazzaro in victory lane. “But we’ve been persevering and pushing every week busting our butts. Wes (car owner Wes Moody) keeps saying we just gotta keep rubbing it and we’re gonna get it and tonight was our night.”
“This is amazing,” Schilling said after the second twin 20 event. “A lot of people stuck behind me when they probably shouldn’t have and I really appreciate all those people, Brett Deyo, my dad, all of the people on this car. I didn’t know if this day was ever gonna come, I ran so many races here, but we were never good enough to win. I don’t know if I would have won if it was 30-laps, but we’ll certainly take that.”
With the wins, Heywood and Schilling became the 139th and 140th different drivers to win a Modified feature event at Fonda in a total of 1413 events!
Other winners on Recovery Sports Grill “Fan Favorite Night” at Fonda were Payton Talbot (Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman), Connor Prokop (Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman), Josh Coonradt (Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks), Ken Hollenback (SOHC) and Kerrie Hollenback (DOHC) in the Fonda Fair Four Cylinders.
Pastor Greg Nitz said the prayer to start opening ceremonies while Abbileigh Coon of Cortland, NY sang the National Anthem. The 50/50 on a very hot night was $2092 and was won by Craig from Hunter, NY.
The starting lineup for the first twin 20 event was determined by normal handicapping procedures with Darwin Greene and Nick Heywood making up the front row, running the entire first lap side by side before Heywood cleared Greene coming out of turn four to complete the lap. Heywood was in lap traffic by lap eight with Greene, Pep Corradi, David Schilling, and Brian Gleason completing the top five at the halfway point in the event.
Greene was held up by the lap cars of Rich Christman and Brian Pessolano just after the halfway point in the event allowing Heywood to pull away while ninth place starter Rocky Warner made his way by Schilling and Corradi for the third position on lap 17. Heywood was out to a half track lead with only two laps to go and went on for the win over Warner who took the second position on the final lap, Greene, Schilling, and Gleason.
“We travel two and a half hours from Plattsburg, NY so it’s a haul,” Heywood added. “We are on the road from Friday night to Sunday mornings and we’ve been pushing for it. Wes has been trying to win here at Fonda for 60 years, so he finally got it. What a great feeling.”
“It’s been a long time,” Wes Moody said to Mimi Lazzaro in victory lane. “I’ve been here over 60 years, and this is my first feature win, I won a lot of heat races myself but to have somebody like Nick behind wheel of my car I am really proud of him and his whole family.”
The starting lineup for twin 20 number two was inverted by six placing Corradi and Gleason on the front row at the start. When Joe Kriss threw the green flag to start the event, Gleason was the race leader with an early caution out on lap two. On the restart, Schilling went by both Warner and Corradi for the second position with Danny Varin now fourth behind Warner.
Corradi brought out the caution on lap three for what was thought to be a flat tire, but the issues must have been even more serious as he fell out of the event after bringing out the caution again three laps later. On the restart, Schilling took the lead from Gleason with Warner also getting by Gleason for the second position.
Another yellow was out on lap eight for Gleason who suffered a flat right rear tire with Schilling choosing the inside for the restart. At the halfway point the top five consisted of Schilling, Warner, Varin, Ryan Odasz, and Ronnie Johnson. One final yellow flag was out on lap ten with Schilling pulling away on the restart to a comfortable lead. Schilling went on to his first career win at Fonda followed in the top five by Warner, Varin, Johnson, and Odasz.
“Casey Wegner put the spec motor in this thing, and it ran great right around the top,” Schilling said. “There was some bite leaving on the bottom right there (pointing towards turn four) so that is why I restarted each time on the inside. If you restarted on the top, you couldn’t grab anything and that’s how I got by Brian (Gleason). I was trying to stay conservative; I wasn’t very consistent, so I guess that was just nerves.”
Harry Shaffer and Griffen Mansmith started the 20-lap Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman feature on the front row and ran lap one side by side until Mansmith cleared Shaffer at the line to complete the lap. Brett Mortensen started the event in the fourth position and took the second spot away from Shaffer on lap three but under a caution one lap later suffered a flat tire and headed to the hot pit. He would restart at the rear of the field.
On the restart, tenth place starter Cody Clark was the new third place car while 12th place starter Payton Talbot was right behind in fourth. Another yellow flag slowed the field on lap 11 for a four-car wreck in turn four with point leader Chad Edwards going to the hot pit at that point. He would restart at the rear of the field. Clark was the new second place car on the restart with Talbot in the third spot with Clark pressuring Mansmith for the lead on lap 16 just before he suffered a right rear flat tire to bring out yet another caution. Clark also went to the hot pit for a tire change and rejoined the rear of the field.
Talbot got by Mansmith for the lead with a slide job pass in turn two on the restart and led the remining laps through two more caution flags for his third win of the season and the fourth of his career in the division at Fonda. Edwards came all the way through the field to finish second followed by Troy palmer, Tim Dwyer, and Chip Constantino who also suffered a flat tire and had to come through the field.
“This car was awesome,” Talbot said in victory lane. “I didn’t know where Chad (Edwards) was, I knew that he went into the pits but then I heard over the Raceceiver that he was second. I knew he would be on the bottom; I tried the bottom a few times and the car just wasn’t good enough on the bottom, so I had to stick with the top. Turn one and two was pretty good, three and four I was sliding a bit, I could enter real good but then I would slide up. I was trying to keep my momentum up and it paid off.”
The Algonkin Motel Pro Stock feature started with Josh Coonradt leading from the pole position. With no laps completed, the yellow flag was out for Luke Horning who was in the wall in turn two. Horning was not injured but was done for the evening at that point. As Coonradt continued to lead, Caden Dumblewski and his father Chuck were racing for the second position, swapping the spot twice before Caden took control of the position on lap four.
Coonradt held a straightaway lead by lap seven with Chuck Dumblewski getting by his son Caden on lap 11 with 12th place starter Nick Stone now in the fourth position behind Caden Dumblewski. 11th place starter Beau Ballard got by both Stone and Caden Dumblewski for the third position with three laps to go but it was Coonradt that won by a straightaway for his first win of the season and the seventh of his career in the division at Fonda over Chuck Dumblewski, Ballard, Stone, and Caden Dumblewski.
“This win is great for our team and my family,” Coonradt said. “We lost our grandfather this week and this one is for him. With the field of cars, you have here you don’t know who is behind you and starting up front you don’t know what lane they are running. There are so many good, fast, competitive cars here that you just don’t know where anybody is.”
Connor Prokop took the lead on a lap 13 restart after the top two of AJ Greco and Josh Kane came together after the green flag flew on the restart. For Prokop it was his third win of the 2022 season in the 15-lap Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman division and he was followed in the top five by Greco, Kane, Brady Cordova, and Ryan Sweet in the top five.
Ken and Kerrie Hollenback put on a great race for the overall win in the 12-lap Fonda Fair Four Cylinder division with Ken nipping Kerrie at the line for the overall win with Dale VanAllen, Justin Ramsey, and Todd Morey completing the top five.
Next Saturday, July 30 Parks Companies will present a regular racing program in all divisions along with the CRSA Sprint Cars. Gates will open at 4:00 p.m. with hot laps at 6:00 p.m. and racing at 7:00 p.m.
If you are a race fan that gets to the track early, be sure to check out the Fonda Speedway Museum & Hall of Fame which is located on the Fonda Fairgrounds at the rear of the parking area going down towards turn four. The museum is open from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on race days and admission is free!
SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE TWIN 20 #1 – NICK HEYWOOD, Rocky Warner, Darwin Greene, David Schilling, Brian Gleason, Pep Corradi, Chris Curtis, Ronnie Johnson, Danny Varin, Bobby Hackel IV, Ryan Odasz, JaMike Sowle, Craig Hanson, Matt DeLorenzo, Dave Constantino, Bobby Varin, Rich Christman, Demetrious Drellos, Brian Pessolano, Don Bellen, Jim Introne Jr. (DNS), Tucker O’Connor (DNS)
1st career win in the division at Fonda for Heywood
LAP LEADERS – 1-20 Heywood
SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE TWIN 20 #2 – DAVID SCHILLING, Rocky Warner, Danny Varin, Ronnie Johnson, Ryan Odasz, Dave Constantino, Matt DeLorenzo, Craig Hanson, Brian Gleason, Nick Heywood, Darwin Greene, Bobby Varin, Demetrious Drellos, Brian Pessolano, Don Bellen, JaMike Sowle Chris Curtis, Rich Christman, Pep Corradi, Bobby Hackel IV, Jim Introne Jr. (DNS), Tucker O’Connor (DNS)
1st career win in the division at Fonda for Schilling
LAP LEADERS – 1-6 Gleason, 7-20 Schilling
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Heywood, Danny Varin, Warner
SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25-laps – PAYTON TALBOT, Chad Edwards, Troy Palmer, Tim Dwyer, Chip Constantino, Griffen Mansmith, Brendan Gibbons, Tanner Warner, Brett Mortensen, Carter Gibbons, Cody Clark, Greg Havlichek, Clayton DuMond, Troy Zilles, Jason Reome, Anthony Cardamone, Cory White, Tony Farone, Stephen Gray, Harry Shaffer, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Dylan Eldred, Mark Mortensen, Jason Greco, Matthew Perry (DNS)
3rd win of 2022 and 4th of his career in the division for Talbot
LAP LEADERS – 1-16 Mansmith, Talbot
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Shaffer, Mansmith, Zilles
GRECO’S NAPA HARD CHARGER AWARD – Talbot plus 11 from 12th to 1st
ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE – 20-laps – JOSH COONRADT, Chucky Dumblewski, Beau Ballard, Nick Stone, Caden Dumblewski, Jason Morrison, Kenny Gates, Jim Normoyle, Andy Graves, Ivan Joslin, John Holmes, Don Collins, AJ Walters, Randy Cosselman, Buck Gasner, Gary Silkey, Luke Horning
1st win of 2022 and 7th of his career in the division for Coonradt
LAP LEADERS – 1-20 Coonradt
HEAT RACE WINNERS – $50 bonus from RCK Motorsports – Coonradt, Joslin
MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 15-laps – CONNOR PROKOP, AJ Greco, Josh Kane, Brady Cordova, Ryan Sweet, Wesley Sutliff, Ashton DeWitt, Gus Kamburelis, Walter Cook, Michael Kalkbrenner, John Anderson, Mark Lighthall, Phil Arnold, Lance Hill, Bobby Rhinehardt, Bob Rowback, Jonathan Feagles, Zach Dufel, Corky Warner, Harold Robitaille, Kyle Dingman, Timmy Wilmot, Collin Williams
3rd win of 2022 and the 3rd of his career in the division for Prokop
LAP LEADERS – 1-5 Kamburelis, 6-12 Greco, 13-15 Prokop
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Hill, Kamburelis, Robitaille
FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE – 12-laps –KEN HOLLENBACK (SOHC), KERRIE HOLLENBACK (DOHC), Dale VanAllen, Justin Ramsey, Todd Morey, Wayne Russell Jr., John Napoli, Josh Ramsey, Zach McSpirit, TJ Marlitt, David Peek-Britten, Len St. Andrews
13th win of 2022 and the 81st of his career in the division for Ken Hollenback
10th win of 2022 and the 30th of his career in the division for Kerrie Hollenback
LAP LEADERS – 1 Napoli, 2-6 Ken Hollenback, 7-9 Kerrie Hollenback, 10-12 Ken Hollenback