Montgomery County

Friesen races to modified win at Fonda Speedway

Mortensen, Relyea, Pope and McSpirit also notch feature wins
Stewart Friesen and his son, Parker, celebrate in victory lane Sunday night at Fonda Speedway.
Stewart Friesen and his son, Parker, celebrate in victory lane Sunday night at Fonda Speedway.

Categories: Fulton Montgomery Schoharie, Sports

FONDA — The opening weekend of racing at Fonda Speedway capped off Sunday night with a familiar face in victory lane as Stewart Friesen claimed his 61st career win in the Sunoco Modified division.

“What can I say?” Friesen said in victory lane. “The track was much different than I am used to, very slick, and I had to slow the pace down a little as when I ran up high, I was almost in the wall.”

Other winners on day two of opening weekend were Brett Mortensen (Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman), Al Relyea (Robert’s Towing & Recovery Street Stocks) and Justin Pope (DOHC) and Zach McSpirit (SOHC) in the Four Cylinder Cruisers. For both Relyea and Pope it was their first career wins at Fonda.

While there were no fans in the grandstand, spectators were allowed on the infield in a drive-in atmosphere.

Michael Maresca started the 30-lap modified feature up front, with Adam McAuliffe in tow. Brian Gleason started seventh, but was on the move early and took over third by lap three.

Defending track champion Rocky Warner and Larry Wight eventually got around both McAuliffe and Gleason to enter the top three and challenge Maresca for the lead. Behind them, Matt Sheppard and Friesen moved into the top five and were in a fierce battle for fourth on lap 12 before the yellow flag came out.

Friesen was fifth on the restart, but went three-wide on the drop of the green flag and moved into second, then used the inside groove to get past Maresca for the lead on lap 14. Warner got by Maresca a lap later to take the second spot.

Friesen was out to a straightaway advantage with 10 laps to go, but soon encountered lapped traffic. He ducked inside and outside of the lapped cars to maintain his advantage, and while a strong run from Sheppard got him past Warner for the runner-up spot, it was Friesen who went on to claim the first modified feature at Fonda in 2020. Sheppard, Warner, Maresca and Matt DeLorenzo completed the top five.

In the 15-lap limited sportsman event, Mortensen led from the drop of the green flag and navigated six caution flags to pick up his third career win in the division ahead of Yule Cook, Kadon Hohensheldt, Carter Gibbons and Dylan Eldred. Cook, Hohensheldt and Gibbons were all disqualified in post-race tech inspection, moving Eldred into second with Jeff Lutes, Johnny Young and Pete Nowicki Jr. rounding out the official top five.

In the 15-lap street stock feature, Relyea took over the lead on lap nine after spinning leader Jason Samrov around to bring out a caution. Relyea took control on the restart and went on to the win ahead of Dave Horning Sr., Michael Arnold, John Bradt and Jim Duncan.

Pope led every lap of the Four Cylinder Cruiser feature to earn his first-ever win at Fonda as a dual overhead cam car. Runner-up McSpirit was declared the single overhead cam car winner. Wayne Russell, Bubba Cook and Ken Hollenbeck completed the top five.

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