Varin picks up modified victory at Fonda

FONDA – A late-race caution was not what A.J. Romano wanted, but exactly what Bobby Varin needed.

Romano got the edge on race leader Bodie Bellinger on a lap 24 restart to take the lead, with Varin moving up to third.

The caution flew again with three laps remaining, when Mark Kislowski spun off turn four.

Varin moved to the high side to get around Bellinger on the restart, but Romano was able to hold off a challenge from Varin to hold the lead with two laps to go.

Varin got alongside exiting turn two, but Romano held him off the length of the backstretch. Varin drove deep into turn three, powered alongside Romano on the short chute and completed the pass, exiting turn four for the white flag.

Romano could not mount a counter move before Varin crossed under the checkers for his first win of the season at Fonda Speedway.

Joining Varin with victories Saturday night were David Constantino (602 sportsman), Jim Normoyle (pro stock), Dave Horning Sr. (street stock) and Keith Tesiero Sr. (4 cyl.)

The 602 sportsman feature was red-flagged with three laps remaining when a pair of cars tangled and slid across Victory Lane striking a track photographer.

The photographer was alert when Medivaced from the speedway. No report on his condition was available at press time.

Justin Boehler held the early lead in the 30-lap modified feature, with Bellinger and last week’s winner Josh Hohenforst in pursuit.

The caution flew on lap six when defending track champion Stewart Friesen made hard contact with the frontstretch wall and went pitside with a flat right rear tire. He returned to the rear of the field, but was not a factor in the race.

Bellinger and Romano slipped past Boeher on the restart with Hohenforst and Jeff Rockefeller making up the top five.

With 10 laps remaining, Varin joined the top five and moved past Hohenforst into fourth before the caution flew on lap 23.

On the restart, contact at the front of the field exiting turn four had an accordion effect on the field, with Jeremy Wilder and Hohenforst getting pushed up against the fourth-turn wall, ending their strong runs.

When the race restarted, Romano made his bid for the lead and came around to lead lap 25 with Bellinger and Varin battling for third.

The caution flew with three laps remaining, putting the leaders nose-to-tail. Varin got a good start to get past Bellinger and kept the forward momentum going to cross the line for his 47th career victory.

Romano recorded his second-straight runner-up finish, with Bellinger third, Brian Gleason fourth and Alton Palmer fifth.

Ronnie Johnson, Jeff Trombley, Boehler, Pep Corradi and JaMike Sowle completed the top 10.

For Horning, Saturday’s victory marked the 40th street stock win of his career. John Bradt finished second, with Jason Samrov crossing the line third and Neil Cosselman fourth. Cosselman was later moved up to third as Samrov was disqualified in post-race tech.

Racing returns to the speedway for a special midweek show Thursday featuring a 50-lap, $5,000-to-win main event for the modifieds, plus a $1,000-to-win GRIT Series event for the 602 sportsman division.