All posts by Michael Jaworecki

Team Effort: Stewart Friesen Recovers from Flat Tire to Win $53,000 Fonda 200

Written by Chris Moore

FONDA, NY – A team effort.

Sprakers, N.Y.’s Stewart Friesen recovered from an early race mishap – thanks in large part to his crew – to claim the Southside Beverage ‘Fonda 200’ at Fonda Speedway.

“I got together with a lapper, cut the tire, broke the shock… hats off to my guys, they did such a great job. Tonight was such a great team effort,” an elated Friesen proclaimed in Victory Lane.

Friesen netted over $53,000 for his win in the highest paying Modified race in the Northeast in 2021. The win was also Friesen’s 31st career Bob Hilbert Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco victory, the most in series history.

Friesen raced to the lead after the halfway break, and never relinquished the lead from there, dominating the final 100 laps of the highest paying event in the history of the STSS.

The ‘Fonda 200’ was the penultimate race of the Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply North Region championship chase.

Friesen’s quest began from the sixth position, while Jeff Rockefeller and Fonda, N.Y.’s Danny Varin started on the front row, following the Beyea Custom Headers redraw.

Rockefeller would lead the opening two laps before Varin raced around the Ballston Spa native to take the top spot.

Varin raced to the front, setting a torrid pace while multiple battles took place inside the top-10, including Friesen, who was methodically marching forward.

The first yellow came out just past lap 20 as Covington Township, Pa.’s Alex Yankowski, who was running in the top-10, came to a stop on the front straightaway due to mechanical issues.

By then, Friesen had climbed to the runner-up spot, setting up a battle between Friesen and Varin for the lead.

Multiple instances saw Friesen and Varin race side-by-side for the lead as the top two knifed through lap traffic. While they battled, Johnstown, N.Y.’s 

Rocky Warner was catching the leaders, making it a three-car battle for the top spot.

Varin and Friesen continued to set a good pace, while Warner began to fall into the clutches of a hard charging Ronnie Johnson, who had raced from 14th to a fight for third.

Lap 66 saw Varin lose the lead for the first time since he gained the top-spot on lap three, as the Fonda native slid up the racetrack in the third turn, allowing Friesen to drive underneath Varin and take the lead.

The lead however was short lived, as Friesen got stalled behind lap car Brett Haas, giving Varin the opening to drive back underneath Friesen and take the lead. The following lap, attempting to skate by Haas down the front straightaway the two cars made contact, blowing Friesen’s right-rear tire and breaking the right-rear shock.

Friesen quickly made it to the pits, where his crew saved the No. 44’s opportunity to win the race. Friesen returned to the racetrack before the green flag flew, keeping himself on the lead lap.

Under the same yellow, fifth-place-running Mike Mahaney came to the pits as well, putting on fresh rear tires.

The yellow and cars heading to the pits moved Ronnie Johnson and Anthony Perrego into the second row, while Varin and Warner brought the field to green.

Duanesburg native Ronnie Johnson continued his march from 14th when the field went back to racing, quickly driving by Warner for second and setting his sights on Varin.

Another yellow on lap 75 gave more drivers the opportunity to come get fresh tires before the halfway break and allowing Ronnie Johnson to restart alongside Varin. Johnson would keep pace with Varin before sliding by on lap 87 to take the lead.

Johnson would carry the lead all the way to the halfway break, picking up the $200 bonus courtesy of Superior Remodeling.

At the halfway break, drivers could elect to head to the infield to add only fuel to their racecars or head to the pits, giving them the option to make any adjustments they wanted to their racecars for 10 minutes.

The drivers who pit shortly before the lap 100 break, elected to head to the infield – including Friesen – while several of the leaders went pitside.

When the field went back to racing, Cropseyville, N.Y.’s Matt DeLorenzo was the leader, and Friesen was alongside.

The story of the second half of the race was much different than the first, as Friesen would jump off the outside on the restart and take the lead for good.

Rocky Warner gave Friesen a challenge, showing his nose to the outside of Friesen at one point, before Friesen kicked it into high gear.

“I saw him at the top of turn two once and realized I had to go. I went as hard as I could after that… I wasn’t conserving tires anymore,” explained Friesen of Warner’s challenge to him.

Friesen’s dominant second half of the race saw him lead all 100 laps, including comfortably pulling away in the final ten lap green flag run, racing to his 11th Fonda Speedway win of the season, and the $53,000 victory in the Halmar International No. 44.

Warner raced to second in the Jake Spraker-owned No. 97 and King Ferry, N.Y. native Mike Mahaney rounded out the top three, making it the same podium finishers as the 2019 ‘Fonda 200.’

Danny Varin grabbed fourth in the Ed Monger-owned No. 93 and Wallkill, N.Y.’s Tyler Dippel rounded out a solid night with a top five in the Teo-Pro Car No. 1.

Johnstown, N.Y.’s Craig Hanson raced to sixth after blowing his primary engine on Thursday night in his Ken Hanson Paving no. 20c. Broadalbin, N.Y.’s Adam McAuliffe was the Andy’s Speed Shop $500 Hard Charger, racing from the 33rd position to finish seventh. Matt DeLorenzo held onto eighth in the BBL Companies No. 3D and Binghamton, N.Y.’s Darren Smith came from 28th to finish ninth in the Jeremy Smith Racing No. 12. East Greenbush, N.Y.’s Bobby Hackel IV rounded out the top-10 in the Sharpe Motorsports No. 97.

Fifty-two STSS big-block/small-block Modifieds attempted to qualify for the 40-car field.

Gloversville, N.Y.’s Chad Edwards claimed his second career STSS win at Fonda Speedway, picking up the $2,000 payday in the Precision Hydraulic & Oil Crate 602 Sportsman North Region race.

Edwards charged to the front from his seventh starting position to get the win. Edwards, the 2021 Fonda Speedway champion, raced by fellow Fonda regular Tucker O’Connor to grab the lead just past the halfway point to pick up the win.

South New Berlin, N.Y.’s Payton Talbot raced from the 24th starting position to finish runner-up and close the deficit on point leader Tim Hartman Jr. Genoa, N.Y.’s Will Shields rounded out the podium finishers. Tucker O’Connor and outsider Michael Sabia rounded out the top five.

Racing returns for the STSS on Friday, October 8 at Afton Motorsports Park for the ‘Short Track Super Nationals’ for the final event of the Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply North Region for the Modifieds. The two-day weekend of racing culminates with North Region championship race (50 laps, $5,500 to win & $400 to start). The Precision Hydraulic & Oil Crate 602 Sportsman North Region (25 laps, $1,500 to win) join the Modifieds in crowning North Region champions.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.

The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, FloRacing, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Hurlock Auto & Speed, Velocita-USA, Design for Vision/Sunglass Central, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, Penske Racing Shocks, Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz, Algonkin Motel, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, Belmont’s Garage, Superior Remodeling, Spyder High Performance Filters, Fastline Performance, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, WELD Racing & Wilwood.

FONDA 200 PRESENTED BY SOUTHSIDE BEVERAGE RESULTS SUMMARY – FONDA SPEEDWAY SEPTEMBER 18, 2021

Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply North Region Event No. 9 Modified Feature Finish (200 laps): STEWART FRIESEN, Rocky Warner, Mike Mahaney, Danny Varin, Tyler Dippel, Craig Hanson, Adam McAuliffe, Matt DeLorenzo, Darren Smith, Bobby Hackel IV, David Schilling, Ronnie Johnson, JaMike Sowle, Brett Haas, J.R. Hurlburt, Pep Corradi, Chris Curtis, Brian Gleason, Addison Bowman, Roger Henion Jr., Steve Akers, Rich Christman, Jessica Friesen, Darwin Greene, Jeff Rockefeller, Josh Hohenforst, Alan Johnson, Brian Pessolano, Anthony Perrego, George Foley, Andy Bachetti, Matt Sobiech, Dave Constantino, Alex Yankowski, Ray Zemken, Tanner Warner, Will Shields, Tim Dwyer, Aaron Jacobs.

Did Not Start: Billy Van Pelt, Matt Sheppard

Did Not Qualify: Bill August, Jason Reome, Tanner Forbes, Corey Lowitt, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Ancel Collins, Corey Cormier, Dan Santabarbara, Brian Calabrese, Ronnie Holmes, Rich Eggers.

Lap Money Bonuses: Danny Varin ($381.12); Stewart Friesen ($249.49); Jeff Rockefeller ($120)

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonuses (FREE Tire Certificates): Bobby Hackel IV (ninth) & David Schilling (11th)
Autism Awareness Winner’s Award presented by Halmar ($250): Stewart Friesen
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Bonuses: Danny Varin (fourth) & Darren Smith (ninth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($50): Tyler Dippel(Redrew 11th)
Henry’s Exhaust System Bonus ($50 Certificate):
 David Schilling
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Stewart Friesen ($150 Certificate – first); Rocky Warner ($75 Certificate – second); Mike Mahaney ($50 Certificate – third); Bobby Hackel ($25 Certificate – 10th)
Qualifying Event Winners ($500 Each): Matt Sheppard (Upstate Auto); Rocky Warner (Dave Prime MAC Tools); Tyler Dippel (DKM Fabrication); Danny Varin (FloRacing)
Spyder High Performance Filters Bonuses:
 Tyler Dippel (FREE Filter – fifth); J.R. Hurlburt (50-percent Certificate – 15th)
Sunoco Race Fuels/Insinger Performance Bonuses ($50 Certificates): Rocky Warner (second); Ronnie Johnson (12th); Rich Christman (22nd)
Sunoco Race Fuels Hard Luck Award (Drum of 112 or 114 Fuel): Billy Van Pelt
Superior Remodeling Halfway Leader Bonus ($200): Ronnie Johnson
Andy’s Speed Shop Hard Charger Award ($500): Adam McAuliffe (33rd to seventh)
TKS Painting Front-Row Bonuses:
 Jeff Rockefeller (Pole – $50); Danny Varin (Outside Pole – $25)
Wilwood Brakes Lucky 7 Bonus ($75 Certificate): Adam McAuliffe (seventh)

Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Precision Hydraulic & Oil North Region Event No. 7 Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (25 laps): CHAD EDWARDS, Payton Talbot, Will Shields, Tucker O’Connor, Michael Sabia, Jeremiah Munson, Troy Palmer, Tim Hartman Jr., Brian Borst, Tanner Warner, Jeffrey Gallup, Corey Cormier, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Jeremy Tyrell, Chip Constantino, Kevin Crave, David Manchester, Scott McCoy, Brian Calabrese, Brendan Gibbons, Tyler Peet, Dale Welty, Hunter Lapp, Cody Clark, Tim Dwyer, Troy Zilles, Michael Ballestero, Brett Mortensen, Aaron Burton.

Did Not Start: Mark Mortensen

Did Not Qualify: Carter Gibbons, Jason Reome, Michael McCallion, Taylor LaPlante, Aaron Jacobs, James McIntosh, Willy Decker Jr., Jeremy Slosek, Maverick Eldridge, Nikki Ouellette, Ricky Quick, Rich Eggers, Walt Hammond Jr., Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, David Hackett Jr., Billy Eggers, Karl Barnes, Kyle Dingman, Stephen Gray, Peter Carlotto, Lance Hill, Zach Dufel, Travis Green, Clayton DuMond, John Santolin, Ron Proctor, Walter J Hammond, Butch Wilcox, Griffen Mansmith, Walter Cook, Wesley Sutliff

American Racer/Lias Tire Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): Tim Hartman Jr. (eighth)
Beyea Custom Headers Redraw Bonus ($25): Cody Clark(Redrew 12th)
Fastline Performance Bonuses ($100 Certificates): 
Payton Talbot(second) & Corey Cormier (12th)

RYAN GODOWN INVADES GRANDVIEW SPEEDWAY AND NETS A $30K PLUS PAYDAY IN 51ST ANNUAL FREEDOM 76 MODIFIED CLASSIC

BECHTELSVILLE, PA. – Ryan “The Ringoes Rocket” Godown invaded the 1/3-mile clay high banks of Grandview Speedway on Saturday night to be one of the 67 drivers participating in qualifying events for the 51st Annual Freedom 76-lap Modified feature.

The decision to travel from New Jersey was a profitable one for the 2021 Bridgeport Motorsports Park Modified point champion. Godown outgunned leader and last year’s winner Jeff Strunk, who was vying for his ninth victory in the prestigious event, on the 52nd lap restart and was able to continue the momentum until he pulled into victory lane for a $30,000 plus payday which was his first ever triumph in the race. He earned lap money, a Bob Hilbert Sportswear jacket, in addition to the Lynn Himes Great Effort award worth $100 for being the highest finishing driver not in the top 10 in Grandview points. Standing in victory lane he commented he couldn’t believe he was standing there and that he just kept plugging on the bottom knowing Strunk was behind him.

Following a top three engine tech after the race that included Godown, Strunk and Timmy Buckwalter everyone received a clean slate.

Through the luck of the draw, guaranteed starter for finishing second to 2021 Grandview NASCAR Modified point champion Craig Von Dohren, Tim Buckwalter started on the pole in the Saxton Motorsports No. 23X. He wasted no time in taking off on the start and soon began to pull away from fellow competitors Jordan Henn, Ryan Krachun, Dylan Swinehart and Frank Cozze.

Buckwalter’s sizeable lead was erased by Ron Haring Jr. when he brought out the first yellow on the 13th lap after stopping in turn two. Buckwalter continued the pace when action resumed, but by now Krachun and Cozze were putting the pressure on him.

The yellow was out again on lap 24 when Meme DeSantis spun in the third turn. The front of the pace was approaching. Buckwalter and Krachun avoided him, but Cozze, who was third and Brett Kressley, who had just moved into sixth, weren’t as fortunate. DeSantis and Cozze went off on the hook. Kressley drove away under his own power and went pit side never to return to action. On the restart Strunk, while fourth, swept to the outside and in a daring move and was now the new leader being pursued by Buckwalter, Godown, Krachun and Duane Howard.

Godown overtook second on the 27th lap and set his sights and goal at passing Strunk.

Once again the pack was regrouped when Davey Sammons stopped in the second turn backstretch apron. Strunk wasted no time pulling away since he knew Godown was just waiting for the right opportunity to pass him and cross the win off his bucket list.

The red had to be thrown on the 47th lap following a homestretch accident that blocked the track. Before the race went green again, Manmiller, while running fifth, had to make a pit stop with a flat tire. He rejoined the race in the rear, but was only able to get up to 11th. On the restart Strunk kept Godown behind him, but Godown stayed right with him and didn’t give up.

Cole Stangle brought out the final yellow when he stopped in the second turn with a flat tire. This restart saw Godown charge past Strunk into first.

While Godown showed the way now Strunk, Buckwalter, Howard and Krachun tried to chase him down.

Lapped traffic entered the picture once again on the 63rd lap and this allowed the second  through fifth place drivers to reel Godown in, but they couldn’t get the job done and Godown went on to claim the victory. Finishing second was Strunk trailed by Buckwalter, Howard and Krachun. Sixth through tenth were Ryan Grim, Craig Von Dohren, Billy Pauch Jr., and Dillon Steuer. Manmiller received the Bobby Gunther Walsh Sponsor’s Hard Charger award worth $760. He gained 20 positions as he went from the 34th starting spot to 11th.

Mike Maresca, Steuer, Dave Dissinger, Jared Umbenhauer, Godown and Kressley won the six qualifying events. Rick Laubach and Brian Hirthler won the consies to advance to the Schaeffer Motorsports Minuteman 20.

Qualifying through the Minuteman 20 to get into the Freedom 76 were Mike Gular, Davey Sammons, Danny Bouc, Manmiller and Varin.

The winner of the GT Radiator Repairs Cash Dash worth $1,000 was Brett Kressley.

RACE RESULTS

51ST ANNUAL Freedom 76 Modified Feature (76-Laps): 1. Ryan Godown, 2. Jeff Strunk, 3. Timmy Buckwalter, 4. Duane Howard, 5. Ryan Krachun, 6. Ryan Grim, 7. Craig Von Dohren, 8. Billy Pauch Jr., 9. Dillon Steuer, 10. Clay Butler, 11. Doug Manmiller, 12. Dylan Swinehart, 13. Brad Brightbill, 14. Jared Umbenhauer, 15. Dominick Buffalino, 16. Nate Brinker, 17. Dave Dissinger, 18. Cole Stangle, 19. Ray Swinehart (past winner provisional), 20. Mike Gular, 21. Brad Grim, 22. Danny Bouc, 23. Mike Lisowski, 24. Louden Reimert, 25. Jordan Henn, 26. Bobby Varin, 27. Davey Sammons, 28. Nick Rochinski, 29. Michael Maresca, 30. Frank Cozze, 31. Brett Kressley, 32. Meme DeSantis, 33. Ron Haring Jr. DNQ: Briggs Danner, Mike Laise, Ryan Lilick, Jimmy Leiby, Bobby Gunther Walsh, Joe Funk III, Kenny Gilmore, Billy VanInwegen, Mary Levy, Jesse Leiby, Danny Erb, Brett Gilmore, Craig Whitmoyer, Brad Arnold, Danny Creeden, Kyle Merkel, Glenn Owens, Steve Young, John Willman, Cale Ross, Kyle Weiss, Dan Lane, Ryan Watt, Dan Waisempacher, Ron Kline, Kevin Hirthler, Cory Merkel, Rick Laubach, Brian Hirthler, Justin Grim, Billy Osmun, Jack Butler and Kevin Graver Jr.

Schaeffer Motorsports Minuteman 20: 1. Mike Gular, 2. Davey Sammons, 3. Danny Bouc, 4. Doug Manmiller, 5. Bobby Varin.

GT Radiator Repairs Cash Dash (10 Laps): 1. Ryan Godown, 2. Mike Maresca, 3. Jared Umbenhauer, 4. Craig Von Dohren, 5. Timmy Buckwalter, 6. Jeff Strunk, 7. Dillon Steuer, 8. Dave Dissinger, 9. Ryan Godown.

COMING EVENTS:

Saturday, September 25, 7 p.m., Outlaw Racing Series Enduros and Vintage Racing

Saturday, October 16, 6 p.m. Thunder on the Hill Series featuring Triple 20 features for Small Blck and Big Blck Modifieds plus Sportsman

Sunday, October 17, 1 p.m. Outlaw Racing Series Enduros and Vintage Racing

Sunday, November 7, starting at 7 a.m. Fall Racers Flea Market

BROWN BLOWS A TIRE, DOIRON CAPTURES THE TROPHY AT STAR CLASSIC

By Souza Media/Kyle Souza

PHOTO: Rob Branning/GSPSS

EPPING, N.H. — While series points leader Gabe Brown blew a tire in the lead in the final laps, Joey Doiron was the next man up, scoring the Granite State Pro Stock Series win at the Star Classic at Star Speedway on Friday, September 17. Doiron bested Bryan Kruczek in a final restart dash to the finish to take the No. 73 to Victory Lane in front of a strong crowd to open the 56th annual Classic festivities at the New Hampshire oval.

The story of the night was Gabe Brown. 

After winning the third qualifying heat race, Brown rolled to the lead on lap 33 of the 100-lap race, passing Kruczek for the top spot. From there, he dominated — pulling away to a lead of over three seconds as the field crossed the line with four laps to go. However, the next time the field crossed the line, Brown was not the leader — instead pouring out a shower of sparks from under his No. 50 with a right-front tire flat. After a dominating performance, Brown was left frustrated, heading into the pits to repair, and coming back out to finish in seventh at the end of the race.

After Brown fell out of contention, it was Doiron who charged to the front and took down the big victory. The final laps were marred with cautions — with a scary wreck in turn four collecting Jacob Dore and others, and a late wreck in turn one collecting Ryan Kuhn, and others. In the end, Doiron wasn’t going to be denied, taking his car to Victory Lane in just the second outing for the new ride.

“We really should have been second tonight, Gabe Brown had all of us covered, but I’d rather be lucky than good,” Doiron said. “It worked out for us. We have never been able to seal the deal before here at Star and we finally got one. Just the second race on a new car, the first one didn’t go so hot for us — we’re still working the bugs out.”

Kruczek finished second, just short of a repeat, as the Bobby Webber Racing driver had won the Granite State Pro Stock Series event at Star in May. Evan Beaulieu was third, posting a solid podium, followed by Luke Hinkley and former champion Devin O’Connell.

Kuhn, after spinning late after contact with Kruczek, was sixth at the finish, followed by Brown, David Oliver, Josh King and Bobby Pelland. The 100-lap feature took just under one hour to complete. Doiron, Brown and Casey Call won the qualifying heat races earlier in the day.

The next race on the schedule for the Granite State Pro Stock Series is a visit to Lee USA Speedway for the annual Octoberfest weekend on Sunday, October 3. 

For more information on Star Speedway, visit StarSpeedwayNH.com. For more information on the Granite State Pro Stock Series, visit gspss.net and follow the series on social media for the latest updates.

RESULTS: Granite State Pro Stock Series at Star Speedway; September 17, 2021:

  1. Joey Doiron
  2. Bryan Kruczek
  3. Evan Beaulieu
  4. Luke Hinkley
  5. Devin O’Connell
  6. Ryan Kuhn
  7. Gabe Brown
  8. David Oliver
  9. Josh King
  10. Bobby Pelland
  11. Bobby Cabral
  12. Tyler Tomassi
  13. Joey Kendall
  14. Casey Call
  15. Jacob Dore
  16. Rusty Poland
  17. Adam Gray
  18. Charlie Buxton
  19. Ryan Green
  20. Randy Cole
  21. Bobby Baillargeon
  22. Corey Bubar
  23. Bill Helliwell