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Racing Around: Champs honored at Fonda

August 18, 2011
The Leader Herald

Looking back at Saturday night at Fonda Speedway there are a few things that fans should stow away in their memory banks to talk about in the off-season and beyond.

But first, congratulations to all the 2011 track champions - Ronnie Johnson, Mark Mortensen, Rocky Warner, Cassidy Wilson and Ben Righi.

Johnson's win carried with it a couple of added bonuses.

The first he announced after winning the second feature, that the car he was driving all season was one that was purchased for his father, Jack Johnson, to run if he opted to return to racing after his hard wreck in turn one a couple of years ago that triggered a series of career-ending events.

However, what made Saturday night special, besides the crowning of the champions, was seeing a pair of champions, Jack Johnson and Dave Lape, in Victory Lane again.

I think Jack's smile and eyes were brighter when he joined Ronnie in Victory Lane after he won the second feature to lock up his first track title than when he won his final championship in 1996.

And the smile on Lape's face (Jackie and Jessica, too) as he patiently waited to go to Victory Lane after winning a B-main was as broad as ever. It was like sunlight through the clouds of frustration for the past couple of seasons. Is only B-mains counted toward win 100. Does this make his win total 99 ?

The seven-time track champion announced he already has a new car ordered for next season.

Seeing both of them standing in Victory Lane again was great and fitting with Ronnie, Mortensen and Righi winning their first titles. Wilson won the street stock title two years ago and Warner has a street stock championship to his credit.

Warner also announced that he will be moving up to the sportsman division full time next year. He has bounced between the pro stocks at Fonda and Utica-Rome and the sportsman division at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park this season.

CRSA Special Event

Saturday's CRSA race at Fonda Speedway will carry a special tribute.

The event is the first running of the Deborah Grisel Memorial Race. This race is in honor of the late wife of former president and founder of CRSA, Brian Grisel. It will be the largest payday in the history of CRSA.

Several sponsors have put up bonus money to pay all positions in the heats and B-Main along with lap money in the A-Main and extra tow money for non-qualifiers. All of this is added on top of our regular purse structure.

Also, cars or drivers who attempt to start the heats on Friday at Penn Can will draw for the top starting spots in the heats. The Saturday-only cars will draw for the remaining positions. Twenty-four cars will start through qualifying. The 25th and 26th positions are reserved for the highest finishers from Penn-Can that fail to qualify.

For more detail on the bonus money and sponsors, visit the Deborah Grisel Memorial Facebook page.

Langenback Memorial

On Sept. 10, Lebanon Valley Speedway will be holding its version of the Hondo Classic with the inaugural Jim Langenback Memorial, a 54-Lap Prostock main event, Also on the card are the sportsman, budget sportsman, prostock ECHO Series, 4- Cylinders and The 8th Annual Boomer's Performance 20-Lap Purestock Classic.



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