RPW Column: Matt Delorenzo “Thunders” To Fourth Win Of 2022 At Fonda Speedway

Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – FONDA, NY – Sometimes, veterans just have a knack for specific track conditions.

Saturday night at Fonda Speedway, Matt Delorenzo confirmed that.

The famed Fonda, NY oval’s racing surface proved to be dry, hard and slick for the 30-lap Modified feature and that seemed to play right into Delorenzo’s hands.

Combine that with a seventh starting position and absolutely zero caution flags to bunch the field together and you’ve got a night Matty D will remember for a while,  The former track champion took home the $4,000 Thunder on the Thruway Series win on Hall of Fame night for the 41st time in his career.

“Hat’s off to my brother, Mike,” Delorenzo said.   “He’s got these cars dialed in with Brian (Gleason) winning last week for his first win.  Running here and at Albany-Saratoga, this is the same car, and worked on it all day to get ready for tonight.  I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.”

Mike Mahaney took off from the drop of the green, utilizing a front row starting spot to grab the lead and led the first eight circuits.

However, it was as if the #3D of Delorenzo was not to be denied on this night.  By lap four, he was up to fourth and three laps later, he was in the runner-up spot chasing down the leader.

The #35 of Mahaney became mired in heavy two-wide lap traffic which allowed the BBL Companies pilot to close in, eating up the nearly 10-car length lead in one lap.

As the lap counter clicked off lap nine, Delorenzo was inside of Mahaney, capturing the top spot.  Mahaney fought back on the outside as the two went into turn one, but the Matt was too strong on the low lane and motored down the backstretch with the lead.

“I was really good off of turn two on the outside,” he said.  “I could get a lot of bite and those lap cars were brutal.”

Did Delorenzo know how well he was able to maneuver the lap traffic compared to his competitors?

“I didn’t know how close Mike (Mahaney) was after I got by him,” he said.  “Then, I saw I was lapping some pretty good cars.  I was just praying for no cautions.”

Picking up his fourth win of the 2022 season at Fonda, Delorenzo thanked everyone for the support of his efforts, but gave a lot of credit for the team’s success this year to his brother, Mike.

“Mike did a lot of studying over the winter, trying to figure out the springs and shocks for this car,” he said.  “We’ve learned, you do a little bit of adjustment and you can throw yourself way off.  Like last week, we did a little to try and tighten the car up and it was way too tight.  I couldn’t drive the car but tonight, it was on.”

Mahaney held on for second place at the finish with Ronnie Johnson coming home third in his DKM Chassis #2RJ.  Rocky Warner, in a throwback AJ Romano #16 in honor of the 2022 Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame inductee, came home fourth with Alex Yankowski bringing his #84 to the line in fifth.

The Sportsman feature event winner, Cody Clark, might want to send a thank you card to Clayton DuMond at some point this week.

At the lap 10 mark of the main event, Clark, was sitting second and was in a heated battle with early race leader Jason Reome and third-place Payton Talbot as the field began to encounter lap traffic.

Going through turns three and four, Clark went high to go around the lap car of Pete Lorenzo while Talbot went low.  Talbot got better bite through the corner and took the second position.

It looked as if those three were going to have a spirited battle for the top spot.  That’s when the caution came out for DuMond, who spun off of turn two.

That gave the second position went back to Clark and on the restart, the Salisbury Center, NY driver worked the high side around Reome to take hold of the lead.  That was a position he’d never relinquish, as Clarke went on to score the $1,500 first place prize.

“The track was definitely tricky tonight,” Clark said.  “Early on in the night, the car was really good and for the feature, we kind of threw some different stuff at it.”

Even though Clark is in the top five in points at the speedway, he and his team are always working to get better and Saturday night was a perfect case for that.

“We’re just trying to develop and get better so we can keep up with Chad (Edwards) and (Payton) Talbot,” he said.  “All in all, the car was good tonight.”

The great equalizer in any feature event is usually lapped traffic, and Saturday was no exception.  How was traffic to maneuver for Clark?

“I just couldn’t get through lap traffic the way I wanted to,” he said.  “I couldn’t roll the corner like I wanted to, like I was when I had open track.  That’s what made it tough.”

Point leader Chad Edwards came home in the second spot with a magnificent charge from deep on the starting grid (12th) while Talbot stayed right with him at the finish to cross the line third.  Chip Constantino and Mark Mortensen rounded out the top five.

In the 20-lap Pro Stock feature, Nick Stone captured his ninth win of the 2022 season, but this one was far from easy.

After Ivan Joslin led the first seven circuits, a caution for Randy Cosselman bunched everyone up.  On the restart, veteran Chuck Dumblewski took command of the feature with Joslin in pursuit.

By the time the race hit the midway point, Stone had worked from his tenth starting spot to third and was chasing down Joslin.  He’d get by the 49 for second one lap later and then set his sights on the leader, Dumblewski.

A caution on lap 13 for Kenny Gates who had a left front flat tire brought Stone right next to the leader for the final restart of the night.

Then, the battle was on, as driver from Schenectady, NY pressured leader Dumblewski lap after lap, but to no avail.

That was, however, until the two cars came to the line to get Joe Kriss’ white flag.

Stone inched ahead of Dumblewski on the bottom lane by mere inches as they entered turn one.  Then, he slid up to take away the line that Chuck had been running.

From there, it was all Nick Stone as he went on to capture another one at the Track of Champions.

“A second place finish would have been great tonight, but that was an awesome race,” Stone said.  “The slicker the track gets, it’s just an equalizer.  Nobody’s got much over anyone else.”

To Stone, what makes a track like Saturday at Fonda so much fun to race?

“It’s all about whoever can be the smoothest,” he said.  “Either that or whoever can find a little bit of bite to get off the corners.”

Did he think he had anything for Dumblewski as the laps were winding down?

“I think when I showed Chucky a nose, he then wasn’t hitting his marks quite as good as he was before that caution,” he said.  “There was no catching him before that.”

Stone stated that this wasn’t just him who made it to victory lane.  It was a total team effort.

“From Scott and Leslie (Carl) who gets these tires ready to Todd, Kirkland, Matt Gus, and everyone on the crew, this is all because of them,” he said.  “Of course, my girlfriend Jamie helps out a lot too with this and the business.  I’ve just got a great team right now.  That’s what does it.”

Dumblewski crossed the line second with Beau Ballard in third, Luke Horning in fourth and last week’s first-time Pro Stock winner, Jason Morrison, in fifth.

Connor Prokop was victorious in the Limited Sportsman feature with Kerrie Hollenback winning the Four-Cylinder Dual Cam feature and Todd Morey taking his first career Fonda Speedway win in the Single Cam.

Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified feature winners included Jack Miller in Modified, Joe Rando in Sportsman, Will Reed in Late Model, Harry Baldwin in Mystique and Jimmy Fugel in Antique.

 

THUNDER ON THE THRUWAY SERIES SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE – 30-laps – $4,000 to win – MATT DELORENZO, Mike Mahaney, Ronnie Johnson, Rocky Warner, Alex Yankowski, David Schilling, Craig Hanson, Pep Corradi, Bobby Varin, Ryan Odasz, Jessica Friesen, Demetrios Drellos, Dave Constantino, Jack Lehner, Tucker O’Connor, Chris Curtis, JaMike Sowle, Brian Gleason, Scott Huber, Darwin Greene, Kyle Coffey, Neil Stratton, Roger Henion Jr., Rich Christman, Nick Heywood, Randy Green, Ray Zemken, Justin Wright, JR Hurlburt, Frank Cozze, Jim Introne Jr., Aaron Jacobs

4th win of 2022 and the 41st of his career in the division at Fonda for DeLorenzo

LAP LEADERS – 1-8 Mahaney, 9-30 DeLorenzo

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Schilling, Mahaney, Sowle

THUNDER ON THE THRUWAY SERIES SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25-laps – $1,500 to win – CODY CLARK, Chad Edwards, Payton Talbot, Chip Constantino, Mark Mortensen, Troy Zilles, Jason Reome, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Stephen Gray, Tanner Warner, Joe Toth, Kevin Chaffee, Brendan Gibbons, Troy Palmer, Cory White, Brett Mortensen, Jason Greco, Thomas Sherby, Carter Gibbons, Greg Havlichek, Harry Shaffer, Jeremy Tyrrell, Jeremy Slosek, Griffen Mansmith, Peter Lorenzo, Jim Avery, Steve Davis, Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, Tim Dwyer, Clayton DuMond, Kevin Ward

3rd win of 2022 and the 16th of his career in the division at Fonda for Clark

LAP LEADERS – 1-10 Reome, 11-25 Clark

HEAT RACE WINNERS – DuMond, Clark, Reome

GRECO’S NAPA HARD CHARGER AWARD – Palmer 13 positions 27th to 14th

THUNDER ON THE THRUWAY SERIES ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE – 20-laps – $1,000 to win – NICK STONE, Chuck Dumblewski, Beau Ballard, Luke Horning, Jason Morrison, Josh Coonradt, Kenny Gates, AJ Walters, Shane Playford, Randy Cosselman, Caden Dumblewski, Gary Silkey, Billy Hillman, Ken Griffen, Don Collins, Ivan Joslin, Dan Krajewski, John Holmes (DNS)

9th win of 2022 and the 68th of his career in the division at Fonda for Stone

$100 bonus for finishing positions 2-11 from the Man with the Red Chair

LAP LEADERS – 1-7 Joslin, 8-18 Chuck Dumblewski, 19-20 Stone

HEAT RACE WINNERS – $50 bonus to each heat race winner from RCK Motorsports – Stone, Ballard

MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 15-laps – CONNOR PROKOP, Zach Dufel, Michael Kalkbrenner, Lance Hill, Walter Cook, Kyle Dingman, Mark Lighthall, Ryan Sweet, Matt Perry, Harold Robitaille, John Anderson, Bob Rowback, AJ Greco, Frank Twing Jr., Wesley Sutliff, Nate Bedell, Gus Kamburelis (DNS)

2nd win of 2022 and the 2nd of his career in the division at Fonda for Prokop

LAP LEADERS – 1-11 Kalkbrenner, 12-15 Prokop

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Cook, Dufel

FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE – 12-laps – KERRIE HOLLENBACK (DOHC), Justin Ramsey, Corey Valade, TODD MOREY (SOHC), TJ Marlitt, David Peek-Britten, Christopher Jennings Sr., Josh Ramsey, Wayne Russell Jr, Ken Hollenback, Dale VanAllen, Kyle Lanfear, Lee Horning, Olivia Swinton, John Napoli, Zach McSpirit (DNS)

1st career win in the division for Morey (SOHC)

7th win of 2022 and the 29th of his career in the division for Kerrie Hollenback

$50 to each winner in the division (Morey SOHC & Kerrie Hollenback DOHC) from Upstate Auto

LAP LEADERS – 1-3 Peek-Britten, 4 Ken Hollenback, 5-12 Kerrie Hollenback

MOHAWK VALLEY VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED SERIES (MVVDMS) ANTIQUE FEATURE – JIMMY FUGEL, Don Briggs, Speedy Niedeheimer, Bryan Scofield, Jimmy Hyde, Mike Wheeler, John Wood, Dustin Shepard, Mark Reardon, Charlie Scofield, Harley Sheppard

MOHAWK VALLEY VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED SERIES (MVVDMS) MYSTIQUE FEATURE – HARRY BALDWIN, Carl Cram, Dan Karl, George Palmer, Rich Leveque, George Berbench, Mark Anatriello

MOHAWK VALLEY VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED SERIES (MVVDMS) LATE MODEL FEATURE – WILL REED, John Roese, Ed Docskalik, Curtis Condon

MOHAWK VALLEY VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED SERIES (MVVDMS) SPORTSMAN FEATURE – JOE RANDO, Merv Blackwell, Dan Colvin, Brian Gray, John Constantino, Paul Billings, Malach Mathews, Larry Stokes (DNS)

MOHAWK VALLEY VINTAGE DIRT MODIFIED SERIES (MVVDMS) MODIFIED FEATURE – JACK MILLER, Randy Delaney, Jackie Brown Sr.

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