By James A. Ellis
FONDA — After a tough wreck last week, Craig Hanson was ready to give up, but his friends and crew convinced him to keep going.
Hanson took advantage of an advantageous starting position in the front row to lead the modified function 35 laps and record his first modified function victory since July 2016 on Saturday night at Fonda Speedway.
As a bonus, the win served as a special birthday present for her father and former Altered Feature winner Kenny.
“I really wanted to win one for dad on his birthday,” Hanson told Victory Lane. “After the wreck last week I was ready to quit but all the guys worked and we got back together and here we are so I have to thank them for that.”
Nick Stone recorded his fourth victory as a pro stock in as many weeks on Saturday, while Cody Clark notched his first victory of the season in the main sportsman of 602 boxes and Zach Dufel took his first career victory in the category limited sports. Kerrie and Ken Hollenback continued their early season success in the 4 Cylinder Division, with Kerrie going first under the ladies for the DOHC win, followed by Ken for his fourth SOHC win this season.
Danny Varin celebrated at Victory Lane after completing a last-to-first race to claim victory in the 25-lap A-Main in the Empire Super Sprint (ESS)’s first appearance at Fonda Speedway since 2018.
Jim Introne Jr. and Hanson brought the field of modified 24s to the green with Hanson taking the lead early with Pep Corradi a close second.
The race was red-flagged on lap two after Introne, who was running third, hit an inside tire, collapsing the front end of his modification and coming to a stop on the rear stretch, sending the field scattering. Tucker O’Connor couldn’t avoid Introne’s car and made hard contact with her.
Brian Pessolano and Rocky Warner were also caught in the wreckage. No injuries were reported in the crash.
Bobby Varin took a big step on the restart and immediately put pressure on Hanson before he could get away from the field, leaving Varin, Ronnie Johnson and Demetrious Drellos to fight for second place.
Hanson’s big lead was erased when Steve Akers slowed with a 15th lap puncture to bring caution out, bringing Johnson, Drellos, Varin and a Matt DeLorenzo within striking distance.
Johnson and Hanson fought a two-car battle for the lead with Johnson ahead on the inside of the first corner, only to be taken into the lead by a caution, bringing the score back to the previous lap, putting Johnson behind Hanson on the restart.
Drellos took second on the restart before DeLorenzo moved on in pursuit of Hanson.
Looking for his second late pass for his third straight win, DeLorenzo was able to join in but couldn’t pass Hanson before the ladies fell on the hood of his No. 20C for his eighth career victory modified.
“We have a problem with the carburettor or the fuel intake; I was coming out of the corner and it was jumping so I wasn’t going very hard because I didn’t want to hit the wall,” Hanson said in victory lane. “When Ronnie got past me I thought I gave it away, but the last six laps I just held him down.”
DeLorenzo finished second followed by Drellos, Johnson and Varin. Corradi, Jessica Friesen, Dave Constantino, Chris Curtis and JaMike Sowle complete the top 10.
Michael Ballestero and Harry Shaffer took the 602 Crate Sportsman field to the green with Ballestero taking the early lead before the yellow blew to Tanner Warner, who slowed with suspension issues.
Clark was racing forward from his starting 10th place, taking the lead from Ballestero on lap 12 with Michael McCallion, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Brian Calabrese and Chad Edwards heading forward.
Defending track champion Edwards, who started 12th, entered second with three laps to go.
As in the second week of competition, Clark and Edwards encountered traffic jams in the final laps, with Clark stuck behind a slower car and Edwards scrambling for a final lap and corner pass for the win.
This time Clark was able to force his way through the back markers to claim the win. Edwards placed second, followed by Payton Talbot, Ballestero and McCallion.
“This year has been a roller coaster ride for us,” Clark said in victory lane. “We’ve been consistent this year, but we couldn’t get into winning lane until tonight, so hopefully we can continue for the rest of the year.”
Danny Varin’s 360 Empire Super Sprint car sustained damage to its upper wing in a multi-car crash that raised the red flag for a blocked racing surface. Varin’s crew was able to repair the wing and put him back in the race at the back of the peloton.
When the race finally started, Steve Glover took the lead before Jason Barney took the point on lap six with Chuck “The Cobra” Hebing second.
Paulie Colagiovanni moved up to second on lap 13 and two laps later was the new race leader with Varin second.
Varin completed his charge at the front on lap 18 and kept his third victory (Fulton and Utica-Rome) in as many races with the ESS this season. The victory also came at the party sponsored by Supply Wagon Rentals, a major sponsor of his car.
Jordan Poirier, Colagiovanni, Josh Pieniazek and Barney complete the top five.
Scott Towslee set the pace in the 20-lap Pro Stock streak before Jason Morrison took the point on a third-round restart.
Stone, who started eighth, took the lead on lap six, while Kenny Gates, Luke Horning and Shane Playford kept the fans on their toes in their battle for third place.
Horning settled into second on a restart on lap 10 and immediately pressured Stone, taking the lead on the back straight on lap 13, only for Stone to make a strong crossover move to dive under Horning to retake the lead. head out of turn four.
Stone maintained his advantage through the final six laps to claim his fourth and 63rd consecutive victory of his career at Fonda Speedway. Horning, Beau Ballard, Playford and Josh Coonradt complete the top five.
Bob Rowback led the green flag drop in the 15-lap Limited Sportsman feature with Ryan Sweet close behind.
Rowback survived an early race restart, Dufel moving into second on lap four and making a strong outward move on the short chute between turns three and four to set up his pass for the lead coming out of turn four .
Dufel earned his first career win in the division with last week’s winner Josh Kane second, Tom D’Angelo third, Rowback fourth and Sweet fifth.
Cody Clark (Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman), Zach Dufel (Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman), Nick Stone (Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks), Kerrie Hollenback (DOHC) and Ken Hollenback (SOHC) in the Fonda Fair Four cylinders
Dale VanAllen led the first four laps of the 4-cylinder feature before John Napoli took the lead on lap five. Napoli led two laps before 11th-place starter Kerrie Hollenback took the lead and held off brother Ken for the overall victory. Napoli finished third but were disqualified in post-race tech for a kneecap infraction, displacing Zach McSpirit, Christopher Jennings Sr. and Len St. Andrews into the top five.
Matt DeLorenzo added to his early season success with a Friday night finale win at Albany-Saratoga Speedway over Kenny Tremont, Peter Britten, Mike Mahaney and Demetrious Drellos
Matt Sheppard and Beau Ballard remain undefeated at Utica-Rome Speedway, going three-for-three in modified and pro stock features, respectively.
Sheppard backed up his win at Utica-Rome by taking the Modified Feature win at Land of Legends Speedway.
Eddie Marshall took the Big Block Mod Feature victory at Lebanon Valley Speedway on Saturday night, while Andy Bachetti took the Small Block Mod Feature Checker.
The Short Track Super Series heads to Outlaw Speedway in Dundee on Tuesday for the 50-lap “Outlaw Showdown” and $5,000 to be won.
FONDA SPEEDWAY RESULTS
MAY 14 — NIGHT OF SUPPLY WAGON RENTAL
SUNOCO MODIFIED FEATURE – 30 Spins – CRAIG HANSON, Matt DeLorenzo, Demetrious Drellos, Ronnie Johnson, Bobby Varin, Pep Corradi, Jessica Friesen, Dave Constantino, Chris Curtis, JaMike Sowle, Jack Lehner, Rich Christman, Steve Akers, Nick Heywood, Brian Calabrese, Darwin Greene, Ray Zemken, David Schilling, Dylan Scribner, Brian Pessolano, Adam McAuliffe, Jim Introne Jr., Tucker O’Connor, Rocky Warner, Danny Varin (DNS), Ryan Odasz (DNS), Ronnie Holmes (DNS)
HEAT RACE WINNERS – O’Connor, Calabrese, Hanson
SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 25 laps – CODY CLARK, Chad Edwards, Payton Talbot, Michael Ballestero, Michael McCallion, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Brian Calabrese, Chip Constantino, Brett Mortensen, Brendan Gibbons, Tony Farone, Harry Shaffer, Troy Palmer, Clayton DuMond, Mark Mortensen, Troy Zilles, Greg Havlichek, Carter Gibbons, Tanner Warner, Jason Reome, Jeremy Tyrrell, Dan Santabarbara, Tim Dwyer, Cory White, Griffen Mansmith
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Ballestero, Brett Mortensen, McCallion
GRECO’S NAPA HARD CHARGER AWARD – Edwards from 12th to 2nd
ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK FEATURE – 20 Laps – NICK STONE, Luke Horning, Beau Ballard, Shane Playford, Josh Coonradt, Jason Morrison, Devon Camenga, Kenny Gates, Randy Cosselman, Steve Cosselman, Caden Dumblewski, Slater Baker, Chuck Dumblewski, Gary Silkey , John Holmes, Scott Towslee, Ivan Joslin, Don Collins
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Ballard, Towslee
MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 15 Laps – ZACH DUFEL, Josh Kane, Tom D’Angelo, Bob Rowback, Ryan Sweet, Mark Lighthall, Kyle Dingman, Michael Kalkbrenner, Walter Cook, Wesley Sutliff, Craig Wholley, Lance Hill, Timmy Wilmot, Nate Bedell , Harol Robitaille (DNS), Connor Prokop (DNS)
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Wholey, Sweet
FONDA FAIR FOUR CYLINDER FEATURE – 12 laps – KERRIE HOLLENBACK (DOHC), KEN HOLLENBACK (SOHC), Zach McSpirit, Christopher Jennings Sr., Len St. Andrews, Heath Bush, Dale VanAllen, Chad Hoffman, David Peek-Britten, Gina Voris , TJ Marlitt, Shawn Hemstreet, John Napoli (DQ)
TOUR LEADERS – 1-4 VanAllen, 5-6 Napoli, 7-12 Kerrie Hollenback
LUCAS OIL EMPIRE SUPER SPRINT FEATURE – 25 laps – DANNY VARIN, Jordan Poirier, Paulie Colagiovanni, Josh Pieniazek, Jason Barney, Chuck Hebing, Jeff Trombley, Steve Glover, Joe Trenca, Mike Kiser, Davie Franek, Cory Sparks, Jordan Thomas, Jeff Cook, Joe Kata, Dylan Swiernik, Matt Tanner, Tyler Cartier, Chad Miller, Mikey Kruchka, Lacey Hanson, Keith Granholm, Brett Wright, Kelly Hebing
TOUR LEADERS – 1-2 Glover, 3-14 Barney, 15-17 Colagiovanni, 18-25 Varin
HEAT RACE WINNERS – Kata, Wright, Poirier
DASH WINNER – Franek
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