FONDA - Ronnie Johnson dominated the early laps of the 30-lap modified feature Saturday night at Fonda Speedway.
However, a late-race caution erased the half-track advantage Johnson had on the field. It was also the break Matt DeLorenzo, who was in a battle with Darwin Greene for third, was looking for.
With Johnson now in sight, DeLorenzo built momentum as he worked past Greene on lap 22 and overtook Danny Varin for the runner-up spot with five laps to go.
Ryan Odasz (14R) races with Kyle Hoffman (16) during modified action at Fonda Speedway on Saturday. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
Dave Lape powers through turns three and four during modified action Saturday at Fonda Speedway. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)
The Cropseyville modified pilot continued his march to the front and dove under Johnson exiting turn two on lap 28 to take the lead and pull away for his third victory of the season.
Joining DeLorenzo with victories on Dave Lape Tribute Night were Kenny Gates (pro stock), Mark Mortensen (602 sportsman), Reuben Kennedy Jr. (street stock), Ken Hollenbeck (4-cylinder single cam) and Pete Vila (4 cylinder dual cam). Dave Constantino picked up the $500 hard charger award in memory of Sonya Grady in the 20-lap sportsman feature.
Danny Varin picked up the victory in the CRSA 305 sprint A-main and locked up the "Northway Challenge Sprint Series" title with the victory.
Lape, who closed out 50 years of competition at Fonda Speedway Saturday night, paced the field before falling back to his starting spot.
The modified main got off to a rough start as pole sitter Jeremy Wilder spun in front of the field and collected Tony Pepicelli.
Johnson moved to the pole and was flagged for jumping the start but he was able to hold off Jimmy Davis to lead the opening lap and when Davis dropped out on lap 15 found himself a half-track in front of Varin, Greene and DeLorenzo, who were locked in a battle for second.
Varin put some space between himself and the race for third between DeLorenzo and Greene.
Pep Corradi slowed to a stop with a flat tire on the front stretch to bring out the caution and allow the field to catch up with Johnson.
Varin challenged Johnson on the restart but could not find a path past the leader.
DeLorenzo was building momentum in his battle with Greene and with the race running under green continued his march to the front and into the lead after taking the two to go sign.
Johnson came home second followed by Varin, Greene and Elmo Reckner. A.J. Romano, Jeff Rockefeller, Brian Gleason, JaMike Sowle and Craig Hanson completed the top 10.
Mortensen won out over Rocky Warner in a race-long battle for the top spot for his fourth victory of the season in the 20-lap 602 main event.
Jeremiah Munson as third with Constantino, who started last, finished fourth with Freddy Muhlberger fifth.
Gates took full advantage of his front row starting spot the beat out Pete Broderson for his 52 career pro stock win. With the victory Gates moves to the top of the all-time win list in the division replacing Todd Hoffman who held the record with 51.
Broderson placed second followed by Ivan Joslin, Nick Stone and Jason Casey.
Racing returns to Fonda Speedway for a two-day event on Saturday and Sunday with Sunday's program feature the season-ending 100-lap feature for the modified division.