Varin picks up modified win at Fonda

Luke Horning (2H) races through turns three and four during pro stock action at Fonda Speedway on Saturday. Horning went on to win both 20-lap features. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

FONDA — Having a fresh motor proved to be the difference Saturday night for Bobby Varin.

Varin started deep in the field and made the most of the lone caution of the 30-lap feature to get to early-race leader Pep Corradi, make the pass with eight laps to go and pull away for his first win of the season Saturday night at Fonda Speedway.

“We just got our good engine back that we blew up the first week,” Varin said in Victory Lane. “We put it in last Monday and worked on it all week long. It was running pretty good but we still have a couple of bugs to work out. I have to say thanks to Carole and Alton Palmer. They have done a fantastic job for us and have given us great race cars and everything we need to do this.”

In the twin 20-lap pro stock feature events on the night “Cousin” Luke Horning ended defending track champions Kenny Gates win streak at four by sweeping the evening’s main events.

Rocky Warner collected his fourth feature win in five weeks in the sportsman division, while Johnny Young picked up the street stock feature win, E.J. McAuliffe won his second-straight limited sportsman feature and P.J. Bleau won the added cruiser division main event.

Jeremy Wilder (24) and Craig Hanson (20C) race through turn four during modified action Saturday at Fonda Speedway. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

Shaun Pangman and Corradi brought the field of 19 modifieds to the green with Pangman grabbing the early advantage.

Corradi got to the front on lap nine and quickly distanced himself from the field.

Pangman engaged in a tight battle with Jimmy Davis and Craig Hanson for the runner-up spot, while Varin, last week’s feature winner Josh Hohenforst and Ronnie Johnson moved up quickly to challenge the front runners.

Hohenforst was challenging for sixth when he came to a stop on the outside of turn two to bring out the caution and erase Corradi’s half-track advantage.

Corradi was able to hold Varin off on the restart, while Johnson, Tim Fuller and Stewart Friesen pressured Hanson behind them.

Varin got around Corradi on the backstretch on lap 21 but could not maintain the advantage as Corradi charged back between turns three and four.

Varin completed the pass a lap later and pulled away for his 56th career win and the fifth different modified feature winner of the season.

Corradi crossed the line second, with Johnson third, Fuller fourth and Friesen fifth. Hanson, Davis, Jeremy Wilder, Scott Huber and Darwin Greene complete the top 10.

Randy Cosselman grabbed the early lead in the first 20-lap pro stock feature and held off pressure from Jim Normoyle and Chuck Dumblewski through the early laps.

Horning made a run to the front and got under Cosselman coming off turn two and contact between the two sent Cosselman spinning in front of the field, collecting Gates and Josh Coonradt.

Dumblewski settled into second behind Horning, while Nick Stone got hooked up in the high groove to move up and challenge Normoyle for third. Stone lost his momentum after brushing the first-turn wall with six laps to go as Horning remained in control on the front end to pick up the victory.

Dumblewski was second, followed by Normoyle, Gus Hollner and Stone.

Horning started the second 20-lap feature in eighth and moved up to sixth when the initial front row of Cosselman and Coonradt scratched putting A.J. Walters and Justin Knight up front.

Knight grabbed the lead at the drop of the green, but Horning charged to the front and slipped past Knight for the lead on lap six.

Knight and Dumblewski swapped spots in second and third with Hollner, Stone, Frank Twing and Gates running in a tight pack behind them.

Hollner found his way out of the pack and moved into second with five laps to go but there was no denying Horning his second win of the night and 11th of his career at Fonda.

Hollner was second followed by Dumblewski, Stone and Gates.

Brian Calabrese and Tim Hartman Jr. Brought the field of 23 sportsmen to the green with Calabrese taking the point and setting the pace for the first four laps.

Hartman got in front of Calabrese on lap five but could not shake him as Calabrese kept the pressure on.

Tony Farone joined the front runners and Calabrese turned his attention to defending his runner-up spot.

Farone came to a stop in turn two with mechanical trouble with 10 laps to go, allowing Warner to catch up to the front of the field and bring Ray Zemken and Chad Edwards into contention as well.

Warner moved up to second and Edwards to third on the restart but Hartman had enough to hold them at bay until the final three laps.

Warner got a nose in front of Hartman on the backstretch on lap 22 but could not keep the lead as Hartman came back and slid up in front of Warner in turn four.

Warner again made a charge coming down for the white flag and this time made it stick to grab the lead and hold off a last-lap charge from Hartman to register his 21st career sportsman win at Fonda.

Hartman was second followed by Edwards, Adam McAuliffe and Zemken.

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