Racing Around: Fonda win special for Drellos
In the early years at Fonda Speedway, the Drellos family knew the fast way to Victory Lane with drivers like Kenny Shoemaker, Pete Corey Jeep Herbert, Buck Holiday and Paul Marshall behind the wheel of the famous No. 111 and 111A coupes.
On June 16, Demetrious Drellos, the grandson of famed team owner Chris Drellos, put his family name along with another family with a strong history at Fonda Speedway, Bill and Erik Nelson, in Victory Lane again with his first career big block modified feature win.
“After two weeks it has sunk in, but the specialness has definitely not worn off,” said Drellos last Saturday in a pre-race appearance at the Fonda Speedway Museum. “It still feels pretty unbelievable and has gotten slightly more believable. It has been two weeks with the rain out. It felt good to have the rainout because we got to be the winners for two weeks.”
During the 30 lap feature, Drellos showed patience as he found a rhythm in the low groove with the Nelson-owned No. 85.
“I knew the outside was really fast that night I went there for a few laps and went by some guys and got in a good position,” he said. “I saw Darwin [Greene] and Jimmy [Davis] running the top lap after lap and my car was good on the bottom. I know you can’t run the top here for 30 laps on a soft tire so I stayed on the bottom and let the race come to us until Timmy [Fuller] went by us. Then once he got by us I said OK time to stop saving.”
Fuller led on lap before mechanical issues sent him to the pits and opened the door for Drellos’ history-making run to the front.
“I wish I was smart enough to say I am good enough to watch the lap counter and race, but I am not,” Drellos said with a laugh. “When Darwin and Jimmy started getting racy, it broke some of their momentum and opened it up for me to get by them.”
Drellos took the lead with two laps left and hit the line ahead of Jeremy Wilder, Bobby Varin, Greene and Davis to add a big-block win at Fonda to his big-block victory at Albany-Saratoga last year in his own No. 111.
“Bobby and all those guys are fast week after week but sometimes you get into your race and it is what it is,” Drellos said.
Standing in Victory Lane where is grandfather’s cars ended up so many times was not an event wasted on the 21-year-old Queensbury driver.
“I am pretty aware of it [the history],” he said. “I have been around racing all my life. I have heard all the stories and my dad has told me about them. That is why the number on my car is the 111. But I guess to win at Fonda where the 111 was most famous is pretty huge to have a Drellos back in Victory Lane is some way. It is special in multiple ways.”
For the Nelson team, which can trace its racing roots at Fonda back to the days of NASCAR sanctioning, it was their first big-block modified win to go with a win in the sportsman division by Erik.
“They were asking around and I got in contact with them and said I would be more than willing to because I didn’t want to race at The Valley this year,” Drellos said about how he and the Nelson team hooked up. “It turned out really well. Two families with history here combined by me driving in their car and it worked out really well.”
After filing my story from Fonda Speedway last Saturday, it was announced that CRSA 305 Sprint Car A-Main victory Bobby Hackel IV was disqualified for an engine rules infraction, giving Jeff Trombley with win in the Warren Alexson No. 3A. The DQ moved Thomas Radivoy, Sydney Prince, Dustin Purdy and Gerald Sehn up to complete the top five.
Special night at Fonda
It is time for the kids to get creative.
Banner Night returns to the Track of Champions this week and the young race fans are encouraged to show their support for their favorite drivers with creative works of art that will be displayed in front of the grandstand.
On the track, the big blocks will compete in the 50-lap, $3,500-to-win Firecracker 50, while the Limited Sportsman division will vie for $250-to-win in their main event.
The evening will be capped off by the annual fireworks display in the sky over Fonda Speedway in conjunction with the village of Fonda’s After the Fourth Celebration that will start at 3 p.m. at the Fonda Recreation Park.
Also the four-time sportsman feature winner this year Nick Scavia will be on hand at the Fonda Speedway Museum with his North Country Electrical LLC-sponsored No. 17 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
New points leader
Heading into Saturday’s racing there is a new name at the top of the modified point standings.
Gloversville’s Josh Hohenforst slipped past Bobby Varin into the top spot in the battle for the track championship.
Hohenforst has 350 points, while Varin, who was caught up in an opening-lap wreck last week, has 348. Jeremy Wilder and Tim Fuller are tied for third with 326 and Rocky Warner is fifth with 314.
Scavia is on top in the 602 Sportsman class with a 14-point lead over Ray Zemken, while Kenny Gates is 42 points up on Josh Coonradt in the pro stock standings. Johnny Young is 26 points ahead of Jason Samrov in the Street Stock division and Derrick McGrew Jr. is in front of Michael McCallon in the limited sportsman.