Rocky Warner Wins Short Track Super Series Firecracker 50 Sportsman Feature At Fonda

Story By: RON SZCZERBA / FONDA SPEEDWAY – FONDA, NY – The Short Track Super Series Crate 602 Sportsman division was also in action at Fonda Speedway in a 30-lap $2,000 to win event which was won by Rocky Warner in a pickup ride in the Brian Calabrese owned #21C.

“Brian asked me numerous times to drive this car, but I just don’t have much interest in running crates especially after running modifieds and being successful. I had a lot of fun there but for his sponsors I wanted to help him out and we got the job done.”

After two tries to start the event, Brett Mortensen led at the start of the 30-lap $2,000 to win STSS Crate 602 Sportsman feature which was round four in the Precision Hydraulic & Oil Crate 602 Sportsman North Region with Greg Havlichek in tow. On a restart on lap two, Troy Zilles who started third and Payton Talbot and Rocky Warner who started seventh were the new second and third place cars by lap ten with Mortensen in lap traffic two laps later.

Warner got by Zilles for the second position on lap 15 and before the lap was completed, he also got by Mortensen for the lead. Tire issues came into play in this feature just as it did in the modified feature as Zilles and Havlichek both got by Mortensen for the second and third positions when Mortensen’s pace started to slow as his right front tire started to go flat.

With five laps to go Mortensen slowed on the front stretch with a flat tire and one by one after that, drivers started to have tire issues putting them out of the hunt for the win. Chad Edwards brought out an unnecessary caution with two laps to go when he came to a stop in turn three to bring the caution out then drove into the pit area done for the evening.

Warner hung on to the lead for the remaining two laps on the way to his 26th career win in the division over Zilles, Talbot, sixth place starter Tanner Warner, and ninth place starter Mark Mortensen who took over the fifth position on the final lap.

“I told Brian (Car owner Brian Calabrese) that I had to focus on my modified but then told me that he would take care of everything and all I would have to do is to drive the car,” Warner said of his pickup ride in the #21C. “I also told Brian that it’s a lose, lose situation for me because if I win, I’m a bully and if I lose, they will pick on me about it but we’re here and we took home the check.”

“Finishing second to Rocky is like a win for me,” Zilles told Mimi Lazzaro after the race. “He helps me out a lot and I appreciate it.”

“We got hung out on the top for quite awhile there, we didn’t get back down I think until around lap six,” Talbot said after his third-place finish. “But the car was real good, we got by a few people so I’m glad that we could come out of here with a third-place finish. Consistency definitely helps, it helps win championships, and that is my goal this year.”

STSS CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 30-laps – $2,000 to win – ROCKY WARNER, Troy Zilles, Payton Talbot, Tanner Warner, Mark Mortensen, Cody Clark, Justin Comes, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Tyler Peet, Jeremy Slosek, Clayton DuMond, Blaine Klinger, Carter Gibbons, Troy Palmer, Travis Green, Steve Davis, Kreg Crooker, Mike Nagel Jr., Joe Toth, Ben Feldman, Chad Edwards, Brendan Gibbons, Jared LaBagh, Brett Mortensen, Greg Havlichek, Taylor LaPlante, Jeremy Tyrrell, Stephen Gray, Matt Perry, Chip Constantino, Thomas Sherby (DNS)

1st win of 2022 and the 26th of his career in the division for Warner

LAP LEADERS – 1-14 Brett Mortensen, 15-30 Rocky Warner

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Peet, Brett Mortensen, Clark, Mark Mortensen, Zilles

CONSOLATION RACE WINNERS – Gray, Perry

DID NOT QUALIFY – Jimmy Avery, Michael Ballestero, Dale Welty, Nick Stone, Kevin Crave, Tom Princiotta, Greg Crooker, Griffen Mansmith, Harry Shaffer, Dylan Madsen, Jason Reome, Doug Kline

GRECO’S NAPA HARD CHARGER AWARD – Troy Palmer 17 positions from 31st to 14th

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