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Racing Around: Fonda heading into final stretch

July 5, 2012
By JAMES A. ELLIS ( , The Leader Herald

July is here and that means it is just past the midway point of the racing season at Fonda Speedway.

Just a quick review.

Mother Nature has only won twice this year, well off her pace of five-and-a-half rainouts by this time last year. The half was on June 6, 2011, when Tim Shaffer winning the All-Star Sprint feature after a four-hour delay that sent the modifieds to double features on Aug. 10 and Brett Hearn picked up career wins 799 and 800.

The 2012 season opened with the young invader Mike Mahaney upsetting a stellar field of modifieds to win the season-opening 40-lap Ice Jam.

Stewart Friesen, in his first year as a regular Saturday night runner at the Track of Champions, opened the modified points chase with four straight feature wins. He has five on the season.

Danny Varin broke Friesen's streak with back-to-back wins, one from the front row and the other from deep in the pack.

Jeremy Wilder found his way to Victory Lane in a modified for the first time in career, while defending track champion Ronnie Johnson and 2007 track champion Matt DeLorenzo have one apiece.

Obviously, with five wins, Friesen controls the points chase for the modified division with 560 points, 116 ahead of Johnson.

One of the most consistent and improved drivers this year has been Josh Hohenforst. With a second-place finish two weeks ago and a third-place finish last Saturday the Gloversville driver has pulled into third in the points, just three behind Johnson.

Bobby Varin is uncharacteristically winless so far this season but was third in the point standings until this week as a DNF allowed Hohenforst to move past him by seven points.

Elmo Reckner made a big gain Saturday as his fifth place finish catapulted him from eighth to fifth in the standings. The battle for the fifth spot can change from lap to lap as Jimmy Davis is one point behind Reckner, 404-403, while Matt DeLorenzo is next with 401 and Danny Varin is right there with 400.

There are eight Saturday night points races remaining with the double main events on the Aug. 18 Night of Features. I have excluded the two midweek shows for the modifieds because they normally carry show up points meaning you get the same whether you are first, second or last.

The battle for the top spot in the 602 sportsman division looks like it will go down to the wire again this year.

Defending division champion Mark Mortensen has an eight point lead over Cody Bleau, 490-482. With his win last Saturday, Rocky Warner moved ahead of John Scarborough for third. Warner has 480, while Scarborough has 470. Jeff Rockefeller rounds out the top five with 404 points.

The pro stock standings reflect one of their main events. The lead keeps changing and no one is pulling away.

There have been 10 races and six different winners. Kenny Martin has three wins but is in third place behind Pete Broderson and Kenny Gates. Broderson leads Gates, 542-538, while Martin has 520. Luke Horning is fourth with 444 and Ivan Joslin is fifth with 436.

The top five drivers all have feature wins this year.

In the street stock division, Chuck McSpirit has two feature wins and holds a six point advantage over Rob VanAernam, 526-520. Randy Cosselman is third with 500, while Dave Horning Sr., who has six feature wins so far this year, rides fourth with 486 points. Reuben Kennedy Jr. and Neil Cosselman are tied for fifth with 472 points.

McSpirit rolled his car last Sunday at The Ridge but reportedly will have his back-up car ready for action this Saturday.

Defending 4-cylinder champion Ben Righi has again risen to the top of the division with three feature wins and 382 points. Ken Hollenbeck has five wins and 366 points, while Kerrie Hollenbeck has one win and 320 points.

Hondo Classic

The Pro Stock division moves from the under card to the main event this Saturday with the 20-lap seventh annual Hondo Classic.

The race honors the late popular pro stock driver Hondo Carpenter, who died in an ATV accident on July 4, 2005.

Kelley and Kaitlyn Keefe along with Kevin Northrup have again worked hard gathering contingency prizes and sponsors for lap money and other assorted rewards for everyone in the again anticipated large field.

Twin 25s at The Ridge

This Sunday at The Ridge the modifieds will be running two $1,500-to-win 25-laps features. The winner of the first race will draw the invert for the starting grid of the second feature.

The starting time has been moved to 6 p.m. for warm-ups and racing getting under way at 6:30 p.m.

This was done to allow it to get dark enough for the scheduled fireworks display.

Good sportsmanship

During warm-ups Saturday night at Fonda Speedway the yoke broke on the rear end of Jimmy Davis' No. 73 modified.

He announced he was looking for a ride for the evening and Todd Morey stepped up, giving Davis his No. M2 for the night.

Morey was not without a ride for the night as he jumped into his brother's, C.G. Morey, No. 14 Crash Palace backup car for the night.

Big Show 4

Brett Hearn's Big Show 4 will run Tuesday night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

The 100-lap DIRT series event is anticipated to draw a large field of big block modifieds and a large crowd of fans.

It is suggested that fans arrive early as parking as well as the grandstand seating will be tight.

The local law enforcement agencies have stated that parking along Route 9 will not be allowed and violators will be towed.



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