Friesen picks up eighth win of season
FONDA – On a night when Fonda Speedway honored the late Danny Ody, two-time defending track champion Stewart Friesen powered his way into Victory Lane for his eighth modified feature win of the season Saturday night.
Friesen bolted from his 15th starting spot into second behind race-leader Mark Kislowski on lap 10 and went to work erasing Kislowski’s full straight-away lead.
Friesen found his way to the front with nine laps remaining and pulled away for his 28th career modified feature win at the Track of Champions.
Joining Friesen with feature wins on Danny Ody Memorial Night were Mark Mortensen (602 sportsman), Chuck Dumblewski (pro stock) and Dave Horning Sr. (street stock), Adam Pierson (POWRi midgets), while Darral Hulbert won the special Vintage Modified event.
Vinny Sanganetti and Scott Huber brought the field of 20 modifieds to the green, with Sanganetti getting the lead heading into the first turn.
The first of two cautions in the event came on lap 2, when Brian Gleason got out of shape and collected Bobby Varin.
Varin, who entered the race two points behind Friesen in the modified points battle, went pitside and returned at the back of the pack.
Kislowski was in second behind Sanganetti when the caution flew for a second time when Craig Hanson came to a stop against the wall in turn four on lap four.
Kislowski made the most of the restart to take over the lead and quickly distanced himself from Sanganetti.
Meanwhile, Friesen and Ronnie Johnson were picking their way through the field and Varin was charging from the back.
With 10 laps in the book, Kislowski held a big lead as Friesen got around Sanganetti for the runner-up spot, with Jeff Trombley third, while Bodie Bellinger, Varin and Johnson locked in battle for the fourth spot.
Kislowski caught the back markers in the field by the midway point, allowing Friesen to close to within striking distance. After following the leader for a few laps, Friesen dove the the low side of turn two and pulled up in front of Kislowski on the backstretch to lead lap 21.
At the checkers, Friesen had built a four-second lead over Kislowski in the runner-up spot. Johnson won the battle over Varin to finish third, and Jeremy Wilder came on late in the race to pick up a top-five finish.
Bellinger crossed under the checkers in sixth, followed by Alton Palmer, Sanganetti, Korey Wilder and Elmo Reckner.
With the win, Friesen extended his points lead over Varin to 12 points with three feature events left in the final two weeks of the regular season.
Ray Zemken took the lead in the 20-lap sportsman feature at the drop of the green, with Chris Schaffer following him in second and Mortensen in third.
Schaffer passed Zemken exiting turn two on lap 14, but had his night ended on lap 15 when contact with Zemken sent him into the first turn wall. Mortensen dove low to avoid the wreck and came away with the lead. Zemken was penalized and put to the rear for taking out the leader.
While Mortensen cruised on the front end in the closing laps, Jeremiah Munson, David Constantino and Rocky Warner battled for the second spot.
The trio exited turn two, three wide on the final lap, and when they got back to the finish line, Munson edged Constantino by .002 for the runner-up spot. Warner was fourth and Adam McAuliffe was fifth.
Cassidy Wilson held the early lead in the 20-lap pro stock feature before relinquishing the point to Jason Casey on lap four.
Luke Horning took over the front spot on lap nine, but clipped the wall in turn one, allowing Nick Stone to get by as the caution flew.
Dumblewski slipped past Stone on the lap 11 restart and Kenny Gates ducked under Stone for second on lap 13.
A lap later, contact between Gates and Stone sent Gates spinning in turn four, collecting Casey and Pete Broderson. Stone was penalized for the contact and all four drivers restarted the race at the back of the field.
Gates charged his way through the field and finished second behind Dumblewski, with A.J. Walters coming home third, and Broderson and Stone fourth and fifth, respectively.
Wayne Rubscha held the early lead over Jerry Cohn in the 15-lap street stock feature, but relinquished the point to Johnny Young on lap six.
Horning, who started scratch on the field of 12, settled into third on lap seven and moved into the top spot with three laps remaining.
Horning posted his 45th career street stock win and seventh of the season over Young, while John Bradt and Jason Samrov finished third and fourth, respectively.