It was difficult for "Krazy" Kenny Martin to keep his emotions in check last Thursday after winning the eighth annual Hondo Classic at Fonda Speedway.
After pulling into Victory Lane with his 49th pro stock win, Martin went to the back of his No. 93, removed the trunk lid and held it up, showing fans the tribute to Carpenter that is always there. He followed it up with a resounding "This is Hondo's Night . . . Thunderstruck!"
Carpenter carried the phrase Thunderstruck on the sunshield on his purple No. 9 pro stock honoring the AC/DC song.
The popular driver was killed in an ATV accident on July 4, 2005, and Martin was coaxed out of retirement to take over the driving duties in his close friends car.
"It is just a privilege to drive this race car in honor of Hondo Carpenter," he said. "We were awesome buddies. We built our first race cars in my garage. I think I am paying him back. I think he always wanted to have this race. This is just awesome
The victory was bittersweet.
With over $5,000 raised for the event, Martin earned about $2,300 in prize money through lap sponsors and contingency prizes.
Event organizer Kelley Kefe handed Marting four envelopes of cash on Victory Lane containing just under $500. Martin put the money in the car and then handed it to his wife, Diane, when he drove to the pits. She put the envelopes in her purse.
Later, Keefe delivered the remainder of the prize money to Martin's pit and the money was put away while the sprint car feature was on the track and before the teams loaded up.
When it came time to total up the winnings, it was discovered that the track payoff and the winner's envelopes were missing with close to $800 in them. Jeff McPhail, Martin's teammate, also discovered money missing.
A $200 reward has been offered along with a full 2013 season of DVDs by Bobco Video for information leading to the capture of the person or people involved.
Meet and Greet
Saturday night, Fonda Speedway will host its annual on- track Meet and Greet.
During intermission, the drivers from all divisions will bring their cars onto the front stretch and will be available for autographs and photo opportunities with the fans.
Some of the drivers will have pictures or other items available at their cars for the young fans.
With the mid-program rain out last week at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park, the second of the Twin 15-lap sportsman features will be run before the regularly scheduled program, including the Magsarus Racesaver Sprints.