Story By: RON SZCZERBA / FONDA SPEEDWAY – FONDA, NY – After a fourth-place finish in the Camping World Truck Series at IRP on Friday evening to start the playoffs in the truck series, Stewart Friesen was back home at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway on Saturday evening for Parks Companies Night.
When the checkered flag flew to complete the 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature event, Friesen was the winner after a spirited battle with Bobby Hackel IV, Rocky Warner, and lap traffic.
“Racing with Rocky and Hackel there was tough,” Friesen told Mimi Lazzaro in victory lane. “Everybody was trying to race to the front and the track definitely had some character tonight, it was really fast. I found a line up on the cushion in one and was able to hold a lot of speed. Had a great car tonight, a great engine, and thanks to everyone at Fonda for sticking it out tonight it’s been a late one.”
Other winners at Fonda on Parks Companies Night included Clayton DuMond (first career win in the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman), Ivan Joslin (Algonkin Motel Pro Stock), Wesley Sutliff (first career win in the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman), Ken Hollenback (SOHC) and Kerrie Hollenback (DOHC) in the Fonda Fair Four Cylinder division, and Jordan Hutton (CRSA Sprints).
Opening ceremonies included a prayer by Pastor Greg Nitz followed by the National Anthem which was sung by Fonda Speedway starter Joe Kriss. Congratulations to Chris from Delancey who was the 50/50 winner of $2,864! As always great job by all of the Fonda Speedway 50/50 girls for all of their hard work.
The Sunoco Modified feature began with Tucker O’Connor leading at the drop of Joe Kriss’ green flag from his pole position start with outside pole starter Craig Hanson in tow. Hanson got by O’Connor for the lead on the outside at the finish line to complete lap four with Bobby Hackel IV also getting by O’Connor for the second spot.
The yellow flag was out on lap five for Chris Curtis who clipped the inside wall in turn two and shot to the outside of the track with Brian Gleason making hard contact with the rear of Curtis who was done for the evening with significant damage to his car but thankfully he was okay. Gleason was able to go to the hot pit and continue on at the rear of the field.
Hackel led on the restart with tenth place starter Rocky Warner, 12th place starter Stewart Friesen, and 11th place starter Jessica Friesen also getting by Hanson for positions second through fourth. The top three of Hackel, Warner, and Stewart Friesen were nose to tail on lap 12 for the lead with lap traffic coming into play.
At the halfway point in the event Hackel continued to lead followed in the top five by Stewart Friesen, Warner, Jessica Friesen, and Bobby Varin. On the outside of turn two with 10 laps to go, Stewart Friesen took over the lead with Warner also getting by Hackel for the second position. Heavy lap traffic came into play at this point with Stewart Friesen trying for several laps to get by the lap car of Ryan Odasz who was racing hard for positions of his own with the cars in front of him.
When Stewart Friesen cleared the lap cars of Odasz and Darwin Greene, it gave him a little breathing room as Warner was still stuck behind them. When George Foley slowed on the front stretch on lap 28, it brought out the caution and cleared the lap cars from the front of the field with Stewart Friesen pulling away on the single file restart.
Stewart Friesen led the remaining laps for his fifth win of the season and the 84th time of his career at Fonda in the Halmar #44 Bicknell car followed in the top five by Warner, Hackel, Varin and 24th place starter David Schilling. For Warner it was his fourth consecutive second place finish in the last four feature events in the Parks Companies #1.
“Hackel has been doing a real good job coming over here from the Valley, he figured out the line up on the cushion, so I figured well it’s pretty slick on the bottom, so I’ll just follow him” Friesen added. “Then we got a caution there and got some clean air for the last couple of laps.”
Jason Reome led early on in the 25-lap Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman feature until Clayton DuMond took the top spot away by the time lap one was completed. Seventh place starter Cody Clark was the new third place car behind Reome on lap six with lap traffic coming into play for DuMond three laps later.
The yellow flag was out on lap 12 taking away the straightaway lead that DuMond had built up with Reome and Brett Mortensen the top three on the restart. Mortensen and Clark swapped the third position a couple of times before Clark took the spot back on the next restart after an unnecessary caution was brought out by Tony Farone who stopped on the track to bring out the caution then when the yellow was thrown, he drove to the pit area.
Tanner Warner brought out one final caution on lap 21 when he came to a stop on track until the yellow came out then drove to the pit area. DuMond continued to lead on the single file restart and led the remaining laps for his first career win in the division in the Sampson Motor Car #314 DKM car followed by Clark, 12th place starter Chad Edwards, 29th place starter Payton Talbot, and Reome.
“This feels amazing,” DuMond said in F.X. Caprara Car Companies Victory Lane. “I didn’t think that we were gonna get here this year, so this is amazing. Every caution I kept hearing them getting closer and closer behind me but thought I can’t mess up, don’t mess up or they are gonna get around me, but I was able to hit my lines perfect and was able to hold them off.”
Randy Cosselman led the first two laps of the 20-lap Algonkin Motel Pro Stock feature until fourth place starter Ivan Joslin took the lead away on the inside of turn two on lap three. Tenth place starter Nick Stone was the new third place car on a lap three restart after Caden Dumblewski made contact with the wall in between turns one and two.
Joslin was a half straightaway ahead at the halfway point with Cosselman, Stone, 17th place starter Luke Horning, and sixth place starter Jason Morrison in the top five. Cosselman and Stone were putting on a great side by side battle for the second position while Joslin pulled away to a straightaway advantage with a few laps remaining. Cosselman’s great run came to an end on lap 17 when he slowed in turn two to bring out the caution, erasing the big lead that Joslin had built up.
Joslin pulled away on the single file restart while Stone and Horning battled side by side for the second position allowing Joslin to pull away even further. Joslin led the remaining laps for his first win of the 2022 season in the One Zee Tees sponsored #49, the 11th win of his career in the division at Fonda, and his first win since 5/11/2019. Stone held on for second followed by Horning, seventh place starter Kenny Gates, and 11th place starter Beau Ballard.
“It’s been a little rough for us with motor problems and last week my car looked like a can opener on lap one so I’m just glad to be here,” Joslin said in victory lane. “We worked so hard with everything going on with this coil and leaf thing, but we can still get it done. That restart came with three laps to go, and I was just like not again, so with Nick (Stone) right behind me I knew that I had to make this thing as wide as possible.”
Wesley Sutliff started the 15-lap Montgomery County Office of the Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman feature and drove the bottom of the track for the entire event through a couple of cautions to lead every lap on his way to his first career win in the division in the CWS Construction #2004 car. Eighth place starter Kyle Dingman finished second followed by 18th place starter Zach Dufel, 24th place starter Josh Kane, and fifth place starter Michael Kalkbrenner.
“I was pumped,” Sutliff said in victory lane. “This is our first win of the season at Fonda, I thought I had the car beat, then the caution came out and I saw the #1D (Kyle Dingman) beside me and thought that it was over, but we had the car tonight. I really want to thank my wife; she is the biggest supporter I have. I love you babe, this one’s for you.”
Ken (SOHC) and Kerrie Hollenback (DOHC) were the winners in the Fonda Fair Four Cylinder division after finishing first and second overall followed in the top five by Wayne Russell Jr., TJ Marlitt, and David Peek-Britten.
Kyle Pierce led at the start of the 20-lap CRSA Sprint Car feature event from the outside pole with John Cunningham close behind in second. Cunningham slowed in turn four on lap two to bring out the first of a total of three caution flags in the event with fourth place starter Jordan Hutton taking the lead away on the restart.
At the halfway point in the event Hutton was the race leader followed by Dalton Herrick, Thomas Radivoy, Ronnie Greek, and Jeff Trombley. That is the way they would finish the event as well at the checkered flag with Hutton going on to his second career win in the division at Fonda.
“The car was so amazing,” said Hutton who is the current CRSA Sprint point leader. “I can’t thank everyone enough, it’s amazing to be the point leader. That was our goal, but Herrick was second tonight, so we’ll see what it comes down too.”
“Honestly, we just needed five more laps,” Herrick said in victory lane. “He (Hutton) was better early, and I was better late. He started getting a little loose and I just kept on getting better and better. I needed to be a little freer early on, and it would have been real exciting at the end.”
“I needed less laps,” Radivoy said at the conclusion of the feature event. “The car was over heating; on the last lap it was 280 degrees, so it was hot. We put this car together Monday because we wrecked our other car earlier this year.”
Next Saturday, August 6 the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints (ESS) 360 Sprint Cars will be on the racing program at Fonda along with all other divisions in action with gates opening at 4:00 p.m. followed by 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 – 30-laps – STEWART FRIESEN, Rocky Warner, Bobby Hackel IV, Bobby Varin, David Schilling, Matt DeLorenzo, Jessica Friesen, Demetrious Drellos, Craig Hanson, Nick Heywood, Ronnie Johnson, JaMike Sowle, Pep Corradi, Brian Gleason, Ryan Odasz, Tucket O’Connor, Rich Christman, Darwin Greene, Dylan Scribner, George Foley, Jim Introne Jr., Alissa Cody, Chris Curtis, Bill August, Dave Constantino
5th win of 2022 and the 84th of his career in the division at Fonda
LAP LEADERS – 1-3 O’Connor, 4-5 Hanson, 6-19 Hackel, 20-30 Friesen
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Curtis, O’Connor, Hackel
SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25-laps – CLAYTON DUMOND, Cody Clark, Chad Edwards, Payton Talbot, Jason Reome, Brett Mortensen, Troy Palmer, Troy Zilles, Mark Mortensen, Jeremy Tyrrell, Chip Constantino, Dylan Eldred, Carter Gibbons, Jeremy Slosek, Brendan Gibbons, Griffen Mansmith, Dan Santabarbara, Tim Dwyer, Anthony Cardamone, Kathy Bellen, Tanner Warner, Tony Farone, Sam Hoxie, Cory White, Matt Perry, Nicholas Plumstead, Stephen Gray (DNS), Harry Shaffer (DNS), Greg Havlichek (DNS)
1st career win in the division at Fonda for DuMond
LAP LEADERS – 1-25 DuMond
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Clark, DuMond, Reome
GRECO’S NAPA HARD CHARGER AWARD – Talbot +25 spots from 29th to 4th
ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE – 20-laps – IVAN JOSLIN, Nick Stone, Luke Horning, Kenny Gates, Beau Ballard, Josh Coonradt, Jason Morrison, Dean Charbonneau, Gary Silkey, Chuck Dumblewski, AJ Walters, Jim Normoyle, Don Collins, Randy Cosselman, Buck Gasner, Caden Dumblewski, John Holmes, Dillon Vanston (DNS)
1st win of 2022 and the 11th of his career in the division at Fonda for Joslin
LAP LEADERS – 1-2 Cosselman, 3-20 Joslin
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Stone, Gates
MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 15-laps – WESLEY SUTLIFF, Kyle Dingman, Zach Dufel, Josh Kane, Michael Kalkbrenner, Tim Wilmot, Jonathan Feagles, Phil Arnold, Bobby Rhinehardt, Bob Rowback, Nate Bedell, Ryan Sweet, Harold Robitaille, Corky Warner, Jeff Lutes, Steve Wagoner, Walter Cook, Lance Hill, Connor Prokop, Gus Kamburelis, Cian DiMezza, Collin Williams, Mark Lighthall, John Anderson (DNS)
1st career win in the division at Fonda for Sutliff
LAP LEADERS – 1-15 Sutliff
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Sutliff, Dingman, Kalkbrenner
FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE – 12-laps – KEN HOLLENBACK (SOHC), KERRIE HOLLENBACK (DOHC), Wayne Russell Jr., TJ Marlitt, David Peek-Britten, John Napoli, Len St. Andrews
14th win of 2022 and the 82nd of his career in the division for Ken Hollenback
11th win of 2022 and the 31st of his career in the division for Kerrie Hollenback
LAP LEADERS – 1-3 Napoli, 4 Kerrie Hollenback, 5-12 Ken Hollenback