Fonda Speedway crowns 2013 track champions

FONDA – The season-long points battles came to an end Saturday night with the crowning of the 2013 Fonda Speedway track champions.

For the second-straight season, Stewart Friesen finished on top of the modified standings, while Pete Broderson and Ken Hollenbeck, who finished the season with a perfect 13-for-13 record, were repeat champions respectively in the pro stock and 4-cylinder single cam divisons.

Rob VanAernam regained the street stock track championship he held in 2010 as well as 1998 and 1999.

Dave Constantino entered the second of the twin 15-lap 602 sportsman features with a slim four-point lead over Rocky Warner and pulled off his fourth win of the season to claim his first career track championship, while Kerrie Hollenbeck ran second to his brother Ken, in the 4-cylinder feature to claim the 4-cylinder dual cam championship.

JaMike Sowle powered his way to his first career modified feature win at the Track of Championship leading every lap of the first 22-lap feature.

Friesen solidified his second-straight modified track championship with a seventh-place finish in the opening race.

The battle for second intensified as Danny Varin, who entered the night trailing Matt DeLorenzo by six points for second in the points, placed second behind Sowle. The runner-up finish, coupled with DeLorenzo’s fifth-place finish put Varin ahead by two points heading into the second 22-lap feature.

With an eight-car invert for the second modified feature, Ronnie Johnson and Friesen started on the front row with Friesen having little trouble taking the field from green-to-checkers for his ninth win of the season.

“We will take it. It is always cool to celebrate a victory as well as a championship,” Friesen said. “In the first race we were a little bit too tight but I think we have a good car here for the 100 lapper and the 50 lapper.”

Reflecting on his team’s performance, Friesen said, “It is a long season and it takes a lot of work. Thad Parks works his butt off just so we can have a racecar to bring to the track and I am really appreciative of the effort those guys put into it. A championship is all about the crew.”

DeLorenzo challenged Johnson for second but settled for third with Varin fourth putting them in a tie for second-place in the final points standings.

The battle for the 602 sportsman championship came down to the wire.

Constantino came into the night with a 14-point lead over Warner.

“The Flying Squirrel” closed the gap in the first 15-lap feature by knocking 10-points off the lead with his runner-up finish to Brian Pessolano, while Constantino finished sixth.

Constantino had the advantage at the start of the second feature as the inversion put him two rows in front of Warner in the starting grid.

Tim Hartman Jr. held the early lead until the final five laps of the feature when Constantino dove under a lapped car, while Hartman went high, to take the lead and pull away to lock up his first career track championship.

Hartman edged Warner for second, while 2012 champion Cody Bleau was fourth.

Kenny Gates celebrated double in the opening 15-lap pro stock feature.

Gates has been held winless all season but nailed down his first win of the year with a solid run over Nick Stone.

The victory marked Gates’ 51st career feature win in the division, tying him with Todd Hoffman for first place on the all-time pro stock win list.

Stone finished second in the opening event and charged to the front early to take home his fourth win of the season.

Broderson rallied back from a flat tire to finish seventh in the first feature before finishing fourth in the nightcap to lock up his second straight division title.

In the lone street stock main, a 15-lapper, Duke McSpirit was first under the checkers but was later disqualified for illegal headers on his car, handing the win over to Reuben Kennedy Jr.

VanAernam finished fourth in the feature to secure his fourth-career street stock track championship.

In the 4-cylinder main event, Ken Hollenbeck grabbed the lead heading into the first turn on the opening lap and never looked back as he took the checkers for his 13th straight win to finish the season undefeated.

Ken Hollenbeck followed his younger brother in second to claim his first Fonda Speedway championship.

A.J. Romano found his way back to Victory Lane with his victory in the modified B-main, while Justin Auspelmyer took home the win in the 602 sportsman B-main.

Fonda Speedway will take its annual break for the annual Montgomery County Fair and will return to action on Sept. 14 with Dave Lape Tribute night celebrating the seven-time track champion’s 50th and final season of racing.

Also on the program will be the CRSA 305 sprint cars and open competition for all divisions.