Bobby Varin launched his bid for a fourth track championship Saturday with a dominating victory in the 30-lap modified feature Saturday afternoon at Fonda Speedway.
“It is great to bring one home early in the season for car owners Jake and Nancy Spraker,” Varin said in victory lane. “It was a great run for us, and it is amazing what good equipment can do for you. We were fortunate to start on the front row today because we were able to pick and choose a line on the speedway.”
It was Varin’s 34th career modified feature win at Fonda. He also earned track championships in 2000, 2005 and 2006.
Other winners at Fonda Saturday were John Scarborough (sportsman), Nick Stone (pro stock), Danny Ballard (IMCA) and Neil Cosselman, who took the first victory of his career in the street stock division after Cassidy Wilson was disqualified from first for having roller-rockers in his engine.
With a heads-up format deciding starting positions grid for the modified feature, Varin started on the pole after winning the first heat race, with Alton Palmer alongside on the front row. At the drop of the green flag, Varin rocketed to a big lead, while Palmer lost a few spots at the start when Alan Barker, Ronnie Johnson and Pat Ward all passed him by the time lap one was completed.
By lap four, Varin was out to a straightaway advantage, while Jack Johnson was making a three-wide move around both Donnie Corellis and Dave Camara from just out of the top 10 after both Johnson and Camara were forced to qualify in the consolation event. Varin was already lapping cars by lap eight, with Ward pressuring Ronnie Johnson for the third position.
On lap nine, Ward got by Ronnie Johnson for the third position and five laps later, he was able to get by Barker for the second spot. At the halfway point, the top five were Varin, Ward, Barker, A.J.
Romano (who started seventh), and last week’s winner and defending modified track champion, Matt DeLorenzo.
By lap 18, Varin had built a half-track lead, while Ward was making three-wide moves around lapped cars in order to try to gain ground on the leader. Romano got by Barker for the third position on lap 23 as Varin was now lapping cars that were in the top 10.
When Brett Graham crashed into the wall in turn three with only one lap to go, the caution was out for the first time. Under yellow, Jack Johnson’s car started smoking heavily and was done. With nine lapped cars between Varin and Ward on the restart, there wasn’t much hope that Varin could be caught, so Ward and Romano put on a little race of their own.
Going into turn three on the white-flag lap, Romano got by Ward for the second spot, but when the checkered flag fell, it was Varin taking home the win followed by Ward who was able to retake the second position from Romano at the line, followeed by DeLorenzo, Barker, Ronnie Johnson, Ryan Odasz, Jack Johnson, Camara and Palmer.
Odasz was the last car on the lead lap in seventh after the blistering pace that Varin had set.
“You never want to see the yellow flag while leading because you never know where the second place car is behind you,” Varin said. “You can’t let your guard down at all with guys like Matt DeLorenzo, who is always there at the end, and Pat Ward, who started fourth, around you.”
Scarborough and Luke Munroe started the sportsman feature on the front row, but it was the third-place car of last week’s winner, David Towns, that went from third to first at the drop of the green flag to take the lead. By the time lap one was completed, Scarborough was able to get the lead away from Towns, with John McAuliffe up to third
after getting past Munroe.
On lap four, McAuliffe got under Towns on the frontstretch, and
going into turn one, McAuliffe took Towns right to the wall to take over the second position. McAuliffe was running the outside groove, and when Scarborough got into lapped traffic on lap 13, McAuliffe was able to close in.
Lap after lap, Scarborough would take McAuliffe’s outside line away from him in turns one and two to hang on to the lead. On the final lap, Towns got underneath both McAuliffe and the lapped car of Mark Bishop going into turn four, and was able to wrestle the second position away from McAuliffe.
Scarborough took the win, the first since his fiery crash last year, followed by Towns, McAuliffe, Tony Farone, Mark Kislowski, Munroe, Jeremy Wilder, Chad Edwards, Neil Erickson and Dave Constantino.
Stone dominated the pro stock feature for his 20th career feature win, followed by Roy Fifield, Kenny Martin, Jr., Kenny Gates and Chip Smith.
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