Fonda Speedway crowns track champions

Varin, Gates, Edwards, Young, McGrew Jr. claim titles

Rocky Warner poses in Victory Lane after claiming his first career modified victory at Fonda Speedway on Saturday. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

FONDA — As Rocky Warner crossed under the checkers for his first career modified feature win, Bobby Varin finished fifth, one spot ahead of Josh Hohenforst to lock up his seventh modified track championship Saturday night at Fonda Speedway.

Varin was later joined on Victory Lane to celebrate by 602 sportsman champion Chad Edwards, pro stock champion Kenny Gates, street stock champion Johnny Young and limited sportsman champion Derrick McGrew, Jr.

The Night of Features at the Track of Champions produced four first-time winners.

Warner, who has won feature in the street stock, pro stock and sportsman divisions added the modified division to his resume in the Jake Spraker-owned No. 1J. He was joined by Charlie Tibbitts in the 602 sportsman class, Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald in the limited sportsman and Michael Arnold in the street stock division, while Josh Coonradt picked up his second straight pro stock feature win.

Varin and Hohenforst entered the night with two points separating them in the season-long points battle and started 10th and eighth respectively, while Darwin Greene and Cody Bleau made up the front row for the 30-lap modified feature.

Fonda Speedway crowned its 2018 track champions on Saturday. Pictured, from left, are Derrick McGrew Jr. (limited sportsman), Kenny Gates (pro stock), Chad Edwards (602 sportsman), Bobby Varin (modified) and John Young (street stock). (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

Greene got the front first, pulling Warner, who started third, with him.

Hohenforst made a strong bid on the outside but clipped the first-turn wall on lap two allowing Varin to get past.

Warner and Jeremy Wilder slipped past Greene on the second lap and began to separate themselves from the pack.

By lap 10, Tim Fuller had picked his way into a distant third, while Varin and Stewart Friesen ran in a pack with Greene and Hohenforst was in a three-way battle for seventh with Bleau and Shaun Pangman.

Warner’s progress was slowed a bit when he began encountering lapped traffic on lap 12.

Fuller had made his way into second ahead of Wilder on lap 14, with Friesen moving into third with 10 laps to go.

Meanwhile, Varin was running in fifth and Hohenforst eighth on lap 20 with Hohenforst steadily moving up.

With seven laps to go Fuller was on Warner’s back bumper heading into turns one and two, but “The Flying Squirrel” used lapped traffic to hold off the defending track champion and pick up his first modified feature win at Fonda Speedway.

Fuller was second with Friesen third and Wilder fourth. Hohenforst recovered and chased fifth-place finisher Varin under the checkers but came up four points short in the final points standings.

Greene, Bleau, Pangman and Scott Huber rounded out the top 10.

Edwards entered the night with a six-point lead over Tony Farone and seven points over Nick Scavia.

While Tibbitts and Ray Zemken battled on the front of the 25-lap 602 sportsman feature, Faone and Scavia traded spots behind David Manchester for fourth and fifth with Edwards and Brian Borst watching the action behind them.

With 12 laps to go, Edwards made what proved to be the championship winning move in the Spencer Racing No. 37 as he got to the outside exiting turn two and rode the high line through turns three and four, passing Farone and Scavia to take over the fourth spot. Two laps later he got past Manchester for third, where he finished behind Tibbitts and Zemken. Adam McAuliffe came from the back of the pack to finish fourth, followed by Scavia, Manchester, Farone, Borst, Mark Mortensen and Brian Pessolano.

Coonradt and Horning staged a battled that started on the second lap of the 20-lap pro stock main, when they settled into second and third behind early-race leader Ivan Joslin.

Both Drivers got around Joslin on lap six and were joined by Chuckie Dumblewski and Gates after a lap-nine restart.

After several laps of side-by-side racing with Horning, Coonradt was able to pull ahead an notch his second-straight win and third of the season.

Horning was second, with Dumblewski third and Gates was fourth to lock up his seventh championship in the pro stock division. Justin Knight, Joslin, Cassidy Wilson, Randy Cosselman, Jeff McPhail and Scott Govertson completed the top 10.

Gerard LeClair showed the limited sportsman field the fast way around the track for the first 12 laps of the 15-lap feature before Wagner-Fitzgerald got alongside exiting turn two on lap13 and pulled into the lead coming off turn four and hold on for the victory. LeClair was second followed by Michael McCallion, E.J. McAuliffe and Cory White.

Rob VanAernam set the early pace in the 15-lap street stock feature but came to a stop with four laps to go, leaving Arnold, Young and Dave Horning Sr. To battle for the win.

Arnold had enough to turn back the challenges from Young and Horning Sr.

To pick up his first career win at Fonda Speedway. Young, who locked up his second-straight track championship at the drop of the green, was second, followed by Horning, Chase Aussicker and Zach Sorrentino.

Fonda Speedway will now take a break for the annual Fonda Fair and return to action on Sept. 15.