FONDA - After hitting the wall in warm-ups, Stewart Friesen anxiously watched the heat races - and the thruway exit - from Fonda Speedway's infield while waiting for a team member to arrive with a back -up car.
The car, his regular ride at Utica-Rome Speedway, arrived just before the second-set of warm-ups and he jumped in for a few solo laps.
Starting last in the 22-car field and chased down and passed race leader JaMike Sowle with five laps to go and pulled away to his eighth feature win of the season at the Track of Champions.
Stewart Friesen picked up his eighth modified win of the season Saturday at Fonda Speedway. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
"It was actually two unrelated incidents," Friesen said of the warm-up accident. "The temperature got real hot on the second lap. I noticed that and was going to pull it in. Well then I thought I would go through one and two real quick one time to see if would come back down, but I totally [expletive] up and put it in the fence."
Joining Friesen with victories Saturday night were David Constantino (602 sportsman), Pete Broderson (pro stock), Wayne Rubscha (street stock), while Ken and Kerrie Hollenbeck respectively won the 4-cylinder single and dual-cam divisions.
Sowle made the most of his front-row starting spot to lead the modifieds into the first turn. Behind him, Justin Boehler and Alton Palmer engaged in a tight battle for the runner-up spot. Palmer gained control of the spot on lap five, well behind front-running Sowle.
Friesen worked his way from 22nd to 11th at that point and broke into the top five on lap 13 behind Sowle, Palmer, Boehler and Jeremy Wilder.
With the race running caution-free, Friesen carried his momentum past Palmer into second with eight laps to go and quickly cut into Sowle's lead.
With Sowle running a high-line through the turns, Friesen turned hard left to the bottom of the track in turn one and slid up into the lead with five laps to go.
Sowle made one countermove but could not complete the pass as Friesen pulled away for a full straightaway lead at the checkers.
Sowle held off Palmer for second with Danny Varin getting up for fourth and Elmo Reckner fifth. Matt DeLorenzo, Mark Kislowski, Ronnie Johnson, boehler and last week's winner Jimmy Davis completed the top 10.
Kurtis Hohensheldt and Chip Constantino battled for the early in the 20-lap 602-sportsman feature that was slowed by multiple cautions in the opening four laps.
When the races began ticking off under the green, David Constantino won the battle between himself, Connor Cleveland, Hohensheldt and Rocky Warner to take the point on lap seven.
Constantino was brought back to the pack when the final caution of the race flew on lap 13.
The second-generation driver was up to the challenge and, with an open track, held off Warner for his third win of the season. The win also boosted his division points lead to 10 points with three points races remaining in the regular season.
Jeff McPhail showed the 14-car pro stock field the fast way around the track for the first two circuits before Kenny Gates took over on lap three.
Broderson made the most of a lap four restart to pull into second and then take the lead a lap later. Kenny Martin also used the restart to move ahead, taking third on the fifth lap and second at the mid-way point.
With the race running under green-flag conditions, Broderson maintained his advantage over Martin to record his fifth win of the season. Martin was second followed by Gates, Nick Stone and Chuck Dumblewski.
Jamie Warner held the early lead in the 12-lap street stock feature with Neil Cosselman and Rubscha close behind in second and third.
Rubscha made one move on the bottom to get past both Warner and Cosselman on lap four and take the lead.
Rob VanAernam joined the battle pulling into second with four laps remaining but could not chase down Rubscha before the checkers dropped over his hood for his first career feature win.
VanAernam finished second with Reuben Kennedy third, Cosselman fourth and Jerry Cohn Jr. fifth.
Ken Hollenbeck got to the front of the 4-cylinder feature on the opening lap and after Keith Tesiero Jr. dropped out with a broken spindle, went unchallenged for the 10-lap main event. Kerrie Hollenbeck pulled off a last-lap pass on Keith Tesiero Sr. to take the dual-cam trophy.