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Saturday, August 13 - After spending the evening at the Royal Mountain RV campground 12 miles above Fonda we left around 11 and weaved our way down the back roads toward the speedway. We were one of the first people beside some fair workers and the track crew to arrive at Fonda and we choose a parking area near the back of the fairgrounds against a chain link fence to park the motorhome for the evening. The only problem here was that there is a railroad track that ran right behind us and trains passed by (loudly) every 45 minutes to an hour. Bob and I walked across the street to the ice cream stand and I purchased some awesome Maine wild blueberry hard ice cream. It was so good that I purchased two others and walked them back to Pat and Mike to munch on.
Tonight was a special night at Fonda being dubbed BBL Championship night with each division running two features each with the exception of the four cylinders who only ran one feature. It was the final night for the point’s battles with a champion to be crowned in each division. The racing started at 7 with two B mains for the 602 crate sportsman to round out the starting field followed by two B mains for the modifieds with 64 year old veteran, Dave Lape, capturing one of the B mains. Then it was right into the first of nine features on the evening the 10 lap street stock feature which started 13 cars and went non-stop. Dave Horning Sr. won this five minute affair with some good side by side racing taking place. The pro stocks were next up and Pat and I agree that these guys put on some of the best racing every time we visit Fonda. Tonight was no exception with Rocky Warner advancing from midpack to win the 15 lap non-stop feature which started 18 cars.
The 33 lap modified feature was third on the dance card with 25 cars taking the green flag at 8:05. The action was lively and spirited and even though the race had five cautions they did not take away from the good racing. Danny Varin ran a fine race to notch the feature victory over Mark Kislowski, Matt DeLorenzo (who is one of the more impressive competitors at Fonda), Ryan Odasz and Ronnie Johnson. The first 602 sportsman 20 lapper ran with only one caution and had some impressive runs during the race with 27 cars starting. Mark Mortensen came home with his fourth win of the year winning over Korey Wilder and Ray Zemeken, father of Jessica. Ken Hollenbeck scored his second win of the weekend in the lone 4 cylinder cruiser feature in another non-stop race over a 12 lap distance with Ben Righi being crowned the first 2011 track champion. The second street stock feature was again entertaining with Cassidy Wilson winning and being crowned the street stock track champion for 2011. The second 15 lap pro stock feature again went non-stop with Ivan Joslin scoring his first victory and Rocky Warner chasing him across the line and garnering the 2011 pro stock championship.
At this point in the program the track locked down and like Hagerstown Speedway during Octoberfest there was no more track to run on. With Ronnie Johnson holding a five point lead going into the final race and main contender, Bobby Varin, starting third and Johnson starting sixth it looked like the son of Jumping Jack had his work cut out for him. Well, Johnson went right to work and stormed into the lead on lap three and never looked back building up over a straightway lead over second place. The checkered waved at 10:17 with Johnson streaking underneath to the roar of the crowd in the old wooden grandstand. It was Johnson’s fifth win of 2011 and more importantly he was the 2011 modified point champion!! He was joined in victory lane by his legendary father, Jack, recovering from a race crash and battling lung cancer, as the crowd cheered wildly as the celebration went on. The best thing of the interview was when Mimi Lazzaro asked Ronnie Johnson if his father had given him any advice before starting the last race and he replied that Jack told him “Race to Win” and he must have listened well as he blew the field away in a dominating fashion. Bobby Varin came home a distant second with Danny Varin taking third, Jim Davis fourth and Elmo Reckner taking the fifth spot. We still have one more feature to go and the second 20 lap 602 sportsman feature went green at 10:30. Doug Flynn took off and was never headed winning his first career race at Fonda winning over Robert Bubiak and Vermont’s John Scarborugh with the final checker waving at 10:45 ending a fine night of high speed action. Mark Mortensen was crowned the 2011 602 sportsman track champion.
From the national anthem sang expertly by trackside announcer, Mimi Lazzaro, until the final checker at 10:45 it was a well run program spun off in quick succession. It was the cherry on top of the sundae to top off a fine weekend of racing. If only the trains had stopped running during the evening and early morning hours!!
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