Fonda Speedway scheduled to open today

JaMike Sowle takes over the driving duties in the Palmer’s Service Center No. 76 this year and will be behind the wheel as Alton and Carole Palmer provide sponsorship as Fonda Speedway kicks off its 70th consecutive season of racing tonight with fans in the stands at the venerable Montgomery Fairgrounds speedway. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)


Fonda Speedway

FONDA — There is nothing like the excitement of a new racing season, for drivers, crews, and fans and the opening event of the 2021 racing season at Fonda Speedway will be no different today.

Adding to that excitement and making it a must-see event for any race fan will be Ronnie Johnson who has confirmed that he will be in attendance this evening at Fonda to address the crowd and share some memories of his legendary father Jumpin’ Jack Johnson who passed away recently. It stands to be one of the most memorable and emotional moments in the history of the “Track of Champions.”

Pre-Race ceremonies will be live on the Fonda Speedway Facebook page for fans who are unable to attend. The racing program will also be televised live on Flo Racing, the official Live Stream Partner of the Fonda Speedway. Don’t miss a lap of 2021 action at Fonda with a subscription to Flo Racing by going to their website www.floracing.com

All new Jumpin’ Jack Johnson Memorial products will also be on sale at the Ronnie Johnson souvenir trailer.

Alton and Carole Palmer of Palmer’s Service Center will sponsor opening day 2021 at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway.

On a normal basis, opening day at Fonda consists of a single racing program with all divisions in competition.

Last year, a two-day opening weekend was held with separate divisions running each day. It was the latest start to a racing season ever in the history at the Fonda Speedway and was all due to the COVID-19 pandemic putting the area on pause.

This year in 2021, opening day will be back to normal with all regular divisions running the same evening including the Sunoco Modifieds, the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman, the Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks, the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman, and the Fonda Fair Cruisers.

Last year’s opening weekend winners at Fonda were Stewart Friesen (Sunoco Modifieds), Nick Scavia (Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman), Nick Stone (Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks), Brett Mortensen (Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman), Al Relyea (first career win in the Trackside Body Works Street Stock Division), Justin Pope (DOHC) and Zach McSpirit (SOHC) who were both first time winners in the Four Cylinder Cruiser division.

In opening day events at Fonda held over the last 69 years, Jack Johnson leads the way with eight opening-day victories in 1972, 1976, 1982, 1983, 1988, 1991, 1992, and 1994. Following close behind with seven opening day wins is Lou Lazzaro who won events in 1963, 1964, 1966, 1969, 1971, 1977 and 1978.

Two drivers have taken home five opening day wins as Dave Lape (1981, 1984, 1989, 1993, and 1995) and Pete Corey (1955, 1956, 1959, 1962, and 1967) both accomplished the feat.

Jeff Trombley has four opening day victories (1997, 1999, 2000 and 2002) along with Stewart Friesen (2015, 2016, 2018 and 2020) while Bobby Varin (2001, 2005 and 2010) has three wins.

Jim Luke (1954, 1957), C.D. Coville (1979, 1980), Danny Johnson (1990, 2007), Pat Ward (1996, 2009) and Matt Sheppard (2014, 2019) all have two wins apiece.

Drivers who have one victory in opening day events at Fonda are Buddy Shuman (1948), Chuck Kotwica (1953), Irv Taylor (1958), Bill Wimble (1960), Tom Kotary (1961), Ken Shoemaker (1965), Don Wayman (1968), Rene Charland (1970), Maynard Forrette (1973), Dave Pelczar (1974), Pep Pepicelli (1975), Jimmy Horton (1985), Bob McCreadie (1986), Mike Romano (1987), Dave Camara (1998), Brett Hearn (2003), Tim McCreadie (2004), Mitch Gibbs (2006), Ronnie Johnson (2011), Mike Mahaney (2012)

and Justin Boehler (2017).


Fonda Speedway

Palmer’s Service Center Opening Night – Fan Policy

Fans will be welcomed to Fonda Speedway today for Palmer’s Service Center Opening Night!

Grandstand Admission: $11

Seniors (ages 65 and up): $9

Kids 11 and under are free.


Grandstand Policies

∫ All attendees must have a temperature check upon entering the facility.

∫ Masks are required to enter the facility and while visiting restrooms and concession areas.

∫ Montgomery County has asked for the name and contact number for fans attending each Saturday night. That information will be collected at the grandstand gates.

∫ Every-other-row of the Covered Grandstand will be available for seating.

∫The open-air, turn-four bleachers will be available for seating.

∫ To aid with social distancing, the Infield Drive-In will be open (see policies below).


Drive-In Policies

∫ There were 45 available Infield Drive-In spots available for tonight but have been sold out.

∫ Spots are $60 each and include up to four passes (attendees must arrive together).

∫Reserve a spot by e-mailing fondaspeedwayangela@gmail.com. E-mails will be answered in the order they are received. Please provide make and model of vehicle.

∫ Credit card pre-payment is preferred to expedite the arrival process.

∫ Drive-In attendees may enter between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.

∫ When arriving at the speedway, Drive-In vehicles will stay to the right and form one line.

∫ All vehicles will exit the infield on the backstretch out of the turn-two gate.

∫ Please cooperate with all parking attendants and security.

∫ Must wear masks while using the restroom and/or the concession areas.

Since 1953, the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway has hosted the best in stock car racing. Under the management of BD Motorsports Media LLC, the speedway will operate weekly on Saturday nights from April through August plus several special events. Fonda Speedway is located on the Montgomery County Fairgrounds off New York State Thruway Exit No. 28 at 21 S. Bridge Street Fonda, NY 12068.


Fonda Speedway is on the web at www.thefondaspeedway.com. To learn more, call the office at 518.915.4395, like Fonda Speedway on Facebook www.facebook.com/thefondaspeedwy or follow the speedway on Twitter: @thefondaspdwy.


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