Friesens sweep top spots in Fonda feature

Jessica and Stewart Friesen watch the 602 Sportsman feature on the track as their cars are teched on the infield after their one-two finish in the modified feature Saturday night at Fonda Speedway. (The Leader-Herald/james A. Ellis)

FONDA — Over the years, fans have become accustomed to seeing history made at Fonda Speedway.

Saturday night, history again was made even without the fans in the stands to take it all in.

While Stewart Friesen posted his sixth win in six visits to Fonda Speedway this season, Jessica Friesen came on strong in the closing laps to cross the line in second to become the first husband-and-wife race team to post a one-two finish in a modified feature at the Track of Champions.

“It’s been a good run for us in July and hopefully we can keep it going,” Stewart Friesen said in Victory Lane. “First and second for the team is great, we had some motor issues with Jessica’s car but were able to straighten it out. The track was good, its been different every week, tonight it blew off and slicked up more than I thought it would. I love it here at Fonda, and I’m looking forward to when we can have fans in the stands again.”

Joining Stewart Friesen with victories Saturday night were Tim Hartman Jr. (602 Sportsman); Steven Gray (Limited Sportsman); Nick Stone (Pro Stock) and Jason Samrov (Street Stock). Cole Lawton and Ken Hollenbeck respectively won the dual and single cam 4-cylinder Cruiser division features.

The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis Steve Cosselman (25) leads Ivan Joslin (49), Nick Stone (27) and Beau Ballard down the backstretch during a Pro Stock qualifying event Saturday night at Fonda Speedway.

Roger Henion Jr. and Steve Akers brought the field of 26 modifieds to the green with Henion grabbing the early lead. David Constantino charged to the point on the third lap.

The first caution of the race came on lap five when Danny Johnson slowed with a flat tire. He made a quick pit stop and returned to the field at the rear.

The red flag flew on the restart as a multi-car wreck in turn two knocked some of the early-race hard-chargers out of contention.

On the restart, David Schilling got into the rear of second-place runner Henion Jr. getting him out of shape as got out of shape as the field was getting up to speed.

With no where to go, division points leader and defending Sunoco Modified Track Champion Rocky Warner, Danny Varin, Josh Hohenforst, and Scott Huber were among the cars that piled in, with Varin’s car landing with its rear end on the hood of Warner’s modified.

The track crew was able to lift Varin’s car off Warner’s front end and he was able to drive to the pits to make repairs and return to the race as Varin’;s car was double-hooked off the speedway.

A second red flag flew again on the restart as Darwin Greene slid high between turns three and four, making hard contact with the end of the pit exit.

Mike Maresca took over the second spot behind Constantino on the restart and the front-running duo swapped spots in a side-by-side battle before Constantino was able to regain control of the race.

As Constantino and Maresca battled for the lead, Stewart Friesen was on the move, settling into third after starting 12th and Jessica Friesen followed into fourth by the midway point of the 30-lap feature.

Maresca put a nose ahead at the line to lead lap 15 before Stewart Friesen swept past both Constantino and Maresca to take the lead on lap 16.

With the race running under the green, Stewart Friesen distanced himself from the field as Jessica Friesen slipped past Maresca to take second with nine laps to go but could not chase down her husband before the checkers waved on his 66th career modified feature win at Fonda Speedway.

Maresca finished third with Constantino fourth and Schilling fifth. Jack Lehner finished sixth in his debut with the Nelson No. 85, with Adam McAuliffe seventh, Bobby Varin eighth, Matt DeLorenzo ninth and Henion Jr. 10th.

With his third-place finish, Maresca unofficially moves to the top of the points standings with 271, while Warner and Stewart Friesen are tied for second with 265 and DeLorenzo is fourth with 255.

Brendan Gibbons started on the pole and lead early in the 25-lap Crate 602 Sportsman feature. Brian Borst powered his way from his fifth starting spot to take the lead on lap five.

Hartman was charging to the front, move from eighth and passing Borst for the lead after a restart with 11 laps to go and led the remaining laps for his first win of the season at Fonda. He was followed under the checkers by Brian Calabrese, Borst, Joe Williams and Chad Edwards.

Andy Graves and Beau Ballard battled on the frontend of the Pro Stock feature, often running side-by-side as Jim Normoyle and Bill Knapp closed in to make it a four-car battle for the lead.

Normyle took over the lead on a lap seven restart with Ballard, Grave and Knapp separating him from Stone and Kenny Gates.

Graves’ night ended on lap 10 when his car spun and rolled slowing onto its roof to bring out the red. Graves was uninjured but retired to the pits for the night.

Stone settled into second on the restart and took the point on lap 13 before pulling away for his 51st career win, moving him into a tie with Todd Hoffman for the second spot on the division’s career win total. Gates, who leads the division career win list with 83, made a last-lap pass on Normoyle to finish second with Ballard fourth and Rich Crane fifth.

Harold Robitaille led at the start of the 20-lap Limited Sportsman and opened a straightway lead before Stephen Gray ran steady laps to close the gap by the midway point and make the pass for the lead on lap 11. Carter Gibbons got by Robitaille with five laps to go but could not hold off a late-race charge from Brett Mortensen as Gray recorded his first win at Fonda Speedway with Mortensen second, Gibbons third, Dylan Eldred fourth and Johnny Young fifth.

Dave Horning Sr. led the opening laps of the 15-lap Street Stock feature before defending track champion Jason Samrov took over the lead on lap four. Samrov went on to his second win of the season and the 15th of his career in the division over Zach Sorrentino, Al Relyea, Lou Gancarz, and Horning Sr. completing the top five.

Ken Hollenback moved from 11th to the lead on the first circuit of the 15-lap 4-cylinder Cruiser feature but could not hold off Cole Lawton as he moved into the lead on the final lap to claim his first overall win of the season. While Lawton took home the DOHC trophy, Hollenback was the SOHC victor.

Stewart Friesen’s, which was worth $3,000 after a Dedicated Race Fan of the Fonda Speedway boosted the winners share in the event.

Other Dedicated Race Fan Bonuses handed out on Saturday evening were $100 to the fifth, 10th, and 15th place finishers in both the Sunoco Modified and Algonkin Motel Pro Stock feature events. Those bonuses were collected by Schilling (fifth), Henion Jr. (10th), and Ricky Davis III (15th) in the modifieds and Crane (fifth), David Emigh (10th), and Graves (15th) in the Pro Stock feature.

Competition Carburetion also presented $50 to the driver who set the fastest lap time in the feature events with those bonuses won by Constantino (19.929), Hartman Jr. (21.020), and Stone (22.023).

Uncle Harry’s Smokehouse also paid out a $50 bonus to the overall winner of the Four Cylinder Cruiser feature which was won by Lawton.

Racing will return to Fonda Speedway Wednesday with a midweek program labeled the 7 come 11 Special sponsored by Moody Mile Motorsports and Dirt Track Digest. The racecard will feature the modifieds competing for $3,711 to win in a 30-lap event, the Crate 602 Sportsman in a 25-lap $1,000 to win event and the Pro Stocks battling in a 20-lap feature for $1,000 to win.

Again, no spectators will be allowed in the grandstand or infield areas. The racing program will be broadcast exclusively on Dirt Track Digest TV with race time at 7:15 p.m.

SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE – 30-LAPS – STEWART FRIESEN, Jessica Friesen, Michael Maresca, Dave Constantino, David Schilling, Jack Lehner, Adam McAuliffe, Bobby Varin, Matt DeLorenzo, Roger Henion Jr., Rocky Warner, Brian Gleason, Craig Hanson, Jeff Hoetzler, Ricky Davis III, Steve Akers, Brian Calabrese, Ed Harris, Rich Christman, Danny Johnson, Darwin Greene, Josh Hohenforst, Danny Varin, Scott Huber, Jim Introne Jr., Vincent Visconti

LAP LEADERS – 1-2 Henion Jr., 3-14 Constantino, 15 Maresca, 16-30 Stewart Friesen

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Gleason, Constantino, Warner

SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25-LAPS – TIM HARTMAN JR., Brian Calabrese, Brian Borst, Joe Williams, Chad Edwards, Tony Farone, Michael McCallion, EJ McAuliffe, Mark Mortensen, Cody Clark, JaMike Sowle, Tim Dwyer, Tucker O’Connor, Thomas VanVorst, Rich Ricci III, David Manchester, Griffen Mansmith, Ricky Quick, Kathy Bellen, Justin Severance, Brendan Gibbons, Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, Kevin Chaffee, Joel Knudsen Jr., Don Bellen (DNS), Kurtis Hohensheldt (DNS)

LAP LEADERS – 1-4 Gibbons, 5-8 Borst, 9-25 Hartman Jr.

HEAT RACE WINNERS – McCallion, McAuliffe, Dwyer

MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 20-LAPS – STEPHEN GRAY, Brett Mortensen, Carter Gibbons, Dylan Eldred, Johnny Young, Harold Robitaille, Clayton DuMond, Jeff Lutes, Pat Mann, Pete Nowicki Jr., Kyle Dingman, Kadon Hohensheldt (DNS)

ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE – 20-LAPS – NICK STONE, Kenny Gates, Jim Normoyle, Beau Ballard, Rich Crane, Bill Knapp, Josh Coonradt, Justin Knight, Devon Camenga, David Emigh, Don Collins, John Roese, Dan Krajewski, Jason Morrison, Andy Graves, Ivan Joslin, Steve Cosselman, Luke Horning, Tanner Warner, Dave Horning Sr., Randy Cosselman

LAP LEADERS – 1-4 Graves, 5 Ballard, 6-12 Normoyle, 13-20 Stone

HEAT RACE WINNERS – Knapp, Crane, Stone

ROBERT’S TOWNG & RECOVERY STREET STOCK FEATURE – 15-LAPS – JASON SAMROV, Zach Sorrentino, Al Relyea, Lou Gancarz, Dave Horning Sr., Michael Arnold, Josh Samrov

LAP LEADERS – 1-3 Horning Sr., 4-15 Jason Samrov

FOUR CYLINDER CRUISER FEATURE – 15-LAPS – COLE LAWTON (DOHC), KEN HOLLENBACK (SOHC), Kerrie Hollenback, Zach McSpirit, Wayne Russell, John Napoli, Shawn Hemstreet, Dan Haslun, David Peek-Britten, Mike Landoux, Pat McSpirit, Jeffery Tubbs, Brandon Tyler, Todd Morey, Bubba Cook, David Frame

LAP LEADERS – 1-13 Ken Hollenback, 14-15 Lawton


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