Column By: BOBBY CHALMERS / RPW – FONDA, NY – Saturday evening’s Short Track Super Series Fonda 200 at the Fonda Speedway had the makings of being a good night for both Jack Lehner and Demetrios Drellos.
Unfortunately, neither got the results they wanted when the checkered flag flew.
For Lehner, the Ultimate Underdog for 2022, his 200-lapper was over basically before it started in the turn three tire wall on lap one after contact with another car.
“It was just a bad deal for us,” Lehner said. “We were at the mercy of an inexperienced driver who crashed us lap 1 of 200.”
The contact severely damaged the chassis of Lehener’s #2 Benson’s Pet Center Bicknell, including ripping off the front clip of the car just in front of the radiator.
“The chassis can’t be saved,” he said. “It’s trashed. Too bad too because it was a brand new car and now it’s junk.”
Now Lehner is down to one bullet left for the rest of his 2022 racing schedule, which includes Super DIRT Week and the completion of the Super DIRTcar Series schedule.
“We’re back to being a one-car team for now,” he said. “I’ve had only one car for a couple of years now. Last week was the first time in a long time we were a two car stable, but now, we’re back down to one. Hopefully we can gather some money together to get another frame at some point.”
Does having only one car for as many races as Lehner plans to run change how he will drive?
“You can’t change the way you race with just one car,” he said. “You have to be going for it every time out or else it’s a waste. Whatever happens happens.”
The accident didn’t change Lehner’s attitude, though.
“We will keep chasing the Super DIRTcar Series tour and keep digging as hard as we can,” he said. “I’m sure we will be able to bounce back.”
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum is Demetrios Drellos who completed all 200 laps of the $53,000-to-win show at Fonda last Saturday night.
However, the box score at the end of the track’s official press release doesn’t show where the Queensbury, NY driver cross the finish line.
After coming home with a solid fifth at the checkers, the #111 came up underweight when crossing the scales.
“We were 12 pounds light after the race,” Drellos said. “Our fuel man rushed and added fuel to the car without seeing how much we burned. We ended up with two gallons less than we wanted.”
Drellos and the team are making no bones about the fact that they made the mistake.
“It was our mistake and we’ll own up to it,” he said. “We’re disappointed, but moving on to the next one.”
Even though the result wasn’t what the Drellos team wanted, Demetrios was still happy with his weekend in Fonda.
“It’s all good, really,” he said. “We’ve been good at Fonda all year. This is nothing to hang our heads low about. We made a mistake. We’ll learn from it and move on.”
What’s next on the agenda for the Drellos Motorsports team?
“We’re going to hit a few more races before we call it a year,” he said. “We’re going to pass on Super DIRT Week this season but may hit Utica that week, then do Port Royal and Georgetown before finishing the season at the World Finals with the Super DIRTcar Series.”
After past year where Drellos has been fast at Oswego Speedway, why skip the event in 2022?
“Honestly, we don’t have the time right now to put into going there 100%,” he said. “My work and family schedule isn’t going to allow me to get away for DIRT Week this year.”