Story By: CHRIS MOORE / SHORT TRACK SUPER SERIES – FONDA, NY – It’s time. The Fonda 200 weekend presented by Southside Beverage is just days away at the historic Fonda Speedway.
The stars of the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco clash with Fonda Speedway’s best in pursuit of a $53,000 grand prize.
The historic – and now annual – event serves as the richest winner’s share in Modified racing with a purse nearing $140,000 for Saturday’s main event.
The ‘Fonda 200’ also plays a hand in both the Halmar International ‘Elite’ Series (Round No. 4) and the River Valley Builders North Region (Round No. 9), paying $25,000 and $15,000, respectively, to their champions.
The ‘Fonda 200’ began in 1955 when iconic Junior Johnson claimed the inaugural event, which served as a NASCAR Grand National event.
Johnson, David Pearson, and ‘The King,’ Richard Petty, are all on the ‘Fonda 200’ win list as NASCAR Grand National event winners in the late 1950s and 60s.
The ‘Fonda 200’ became an annual event starting in 1983 when Charlie Rudolph found Fonda Speedway checkered square.
The race ran every year through 2002 (with the exception of 1996) before taking a 17-year hiatus.
The historic event returned in ‘19 and ‘21, with 2020 falling by the wayside due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Sprakers, N.Y.’s Stewart Friesen has added his name to the ‘Fonda 200’ win list, claiming each of the previous two editions.
Friesen, Fonda’s winningest active Modified driver, also leads all STSS competition in wins since the series began in 2014.
The 2022 Southside Beverage Fonda 200 weekend begins this Thursday (Sept. 15) with the Sunoco Modified ‘Ultimate Underdog 33’ taking place. Any driver unable to pick up a Modified victory at any speedway this season will be eligible to participate.
The Montgomery County Office of the Aging Limited Sportsman join the program, now racing for a $1,100 top prize thanks to Holmes & Kugler Towing in Schenectady, N.Y. Open Practice for all other divisions participating during the weekend will also be available.
On Friday (Sept. 16) the STSS big-block/small-block Modifieds take part in 15-lap Qualifying Races for Saturday’s main event.
Joining STSS Modified Qualifying Races will be the CRSA Sprint Cars, the Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks, Stone Motorsports/Online Performance Street Stocks ($500 to win, $300 for second, $200 for third) and Fonda Fair Four Cylinders.
Friday night’s racing action will be followed by a post-race party with LIVE music in the Entertainment Building on the fairgrounds.
The weekend concludes on Saturday, Sept. 17. The STSS Modifieds take part in Last Chance Races to set the final starting field for the $53,000-to-win ‘Fonda 200’ headliner paying $1,000 to take the green flag.
The Swagger Factory Apparel STSS Crate 602 Sportsman join the Saturday program, battling for 25-laps in Round No. 6 of the Precision Hydraulic & Oil North Region.