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Racing Around: Lape to be honored by Fonda

June 3, 2010
By JAMES A. ELLIS, The Leader-Herald

Dave Lape's statistics as a driver over a stellar 47-year career speak for themselves.

The veteran modified driver has posted 191 big block and small block victories at 12 different tracks and 13 track championships, seven of which came at Fonda Speedway.

The "Track of Champions" will pay tribute to Lape and his trademark No. 22, with twin 22-lap features as the Thunder on the Thruway Modified series rolls into the speedway Saturday.

The Modifieds will compete in Twin 22-lap feature events paying $2,500-to-win each event and $220 to take the green flag.

A few year's ago, I wrote that the 13-point flames on the side of Lape's No. 22 represented a Phoenix because it seemed that every time his career seemed to take a downturn, he found a way to revive it and again rise to the top.

At Fonda Speedway that has resulted in 99 wins, 97 second place finishes, 83 thirds, 57 fourths and 47 fifth-place finishes.

The wins have come in five decades stretching from the 1960s to 2000s including 20 consecutive winning seasons between 1977 and 1996.

Many of Lape's former car-owners will be on hand Saturday night as well as a pair of cars that Lape piloted.

Unfortunately, one of them is not my favorite, the Camaro-bodied modified he piloted in the early years of my attending the races at Fonda Speedway.

Lape will take part in a meet and greet autograph session in front of the grandstand before the evening's race program.

Some of the special guests expected to be on hand for the program include longtime Fonda Speedway announcer Jim King, Bill Wimble, Dick Berggren, Andy Fusco and Lew Boyd who will present the Coastal-181 Cup to the overall winner of the twin 22-lap event.

Good recovery

Jessica Zemken recovered from a disappointing finish in the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint A-Main last Saturday at Fonda Speedway by claiming the ESS main event Sunday night at Utica-Rome Speedway.

Although her feature finish at Fonda after brushing the first-turn wall and later spinning, was not what she was hoping for, the rest of the night was very positive.

Zemken won her qualifier and powered her way to victory in the Winner's Circle-sponsored Dash for Cash.


Over the years, Bobby Varin has shown he can jump behind the wheel of almost any modified and be competitive.

Last September he added sprint cars to his resume, driving the Demitraszek No. 61 on McDonald's Weekend.

Last Saturday, Varin made his second start in the sprinter and narrowly missing a podium finish with his fifth-place run in the 25-lap Earl Halaquist Memorial feature for the Empire Super Sprints.

Earlier in the night, Varin had the No. 00 modified hooked up and raced to his third feature win of the season and 44th of his career.

He backed that win up with a feature win Sunday night at Utica-Rome.



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