Racing Around: Warner set to make history

When Joe Kriss’ green flag drops for the start of the 30-lap modified main event Saturday night at Fonda Speedway, history will be made.

With a 70-point lead over defending track champion Bobby Varin heading into the final night of points for the season at Fonda Speedway, Rocky Warner has locked up his first modified track championship and added another track championship to team owner Jake Spraker’s growing list of track titles.

Warner and Spraker teamed up to win the consecutive sportsman track championships at Fonda before jumping to the modified division last year and picked up one feature win.

At the annual car show in March at the Via Port Mall, a sign on the No. 1J listed the modified engines for sale and it was announced that the team would be going back to the sportsman division.

Before opening night, the decision was made to give the modifieds another go and it has proven to be a good one.

“The Flying Squirrel” has picked up five feature wins, a couple in dramatic last-lap pass fashion, to go with three modified wins at the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park and another at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

The historic part comes from being the only driver to claim Fonda Speedway track championships in four different divisions — modified (2019), sportsman (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), pro stock (2011) and street stock (2005, 2007). He also has six modified feature wins, 25 sportsman wins, 12 pro stock wins and 12 street stock feature wins to bring his Fonda Speedway win total to 68 features wins. Couple that with his 53 total feature wins in the four divisions at The Ridge and it brings his career total to 121 at the two Montgomery County speedways alone.

Varin is a solid second, and with Stewart Friesen heading to Michigan International in search of his second Gander Outdoors Truck Series victory this Saturday, David Constantino and Danny Varin have a chance at moving up into the third spot in the standings. Constantino needs 43 points and Varin 44 (top seven finishes) to pass Friesen for the third spot.

Tim Hartman Jr. is poised to collect his first career 602 sportsman championship with a 48-point advantage over defending track champion Chad Edwards and 50 points over Adam McAuliffe.

In the Pro Stock division, “Cousin Luke” Horning looks to collect his first track championship as he leads Nick Stone by 30 points, 637-607, heading into the final race, while E.J. McAuliffe clings to a 16-point advantage over Rich Christman in the limited sportsman class.

Jason Samrov has a solid 44-point lead over Mike Arnold in the Street Stock division and Ken Hollenbeck is 20 points up on Cole Lawton in the 4-cylinder cruiser division standings.

Friesen gets NASCAR Series victory

There was a rumble in the Northeast last Thursday as race fans tuned in to watch Stewart Friesen pick up his first career victory on the Gander Outdoors Truck Series in the Dirt Derby at Eldora Speedway.

The noise was from the multitude of fans yelling at their TVs over the final laps and then cheering as “Mr. Freeze” crossed under the checkers for the victory and secured a spot in the series playoffs.

He then made it back in time to compete at Fonda Speedway on Saturday and made a late-race pass to collect his 58th career modified feature win at the track.

With the way things had been going for Friesen on the truck series, I had to hold my breath when I saw NASCAR had suspended three members of a truck series team after the race at Eldora.

The three — Crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz, truck chief and former Johnstown resident Austin Pollak and engineer Jonathan Stewart — were from second-place finisher Sheldon Creed’s team for loss of ballast from the No. 2 race truck. They will return to the series on Sept. 10.

Friesen and Creed are slated to run a 10-lap exhibition race in the trucks at Orange County Speedway on Sept. 17 as part of the Centennial 100 Weekend.


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