FONDA — Jack Lehner had a special night Saturday at Fonda Speedway. Not only did he score his first-ever win at the “Track of Champions,” but he did so by returning the iconic, family-owned Nelson Motorsports No. 85 car to Fonda’s victory lane.
“To get a win for me is special,” Lehner said in victory lane. “But to get a win for them [car owners Bill and Erik Nelson] makes it even better.”
Lehner became the 135th different driver to win in the Modified division at Fonda over nearly 1,400 feature races all-time. His winning car, the Nelson Motorsports/Bloomfield’s Florist No. 85, has been a staple at Fonda for years, with both Bill and Erik Nelson piloting the car at points. Erik Nelson scored a win in the No. 85 on July 30, 2005, while Demetrious Drellos drove the car to his first career Fonda win on July 16, 2018.
Other winners on Southern Adirondack Night presented by O’Connor Motorsports were Brian Borst (Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman), Nick Stone (Algonkin Motel Pro Stocks), Stephen Gray (Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman) and Tyler White (DOHC) and Shawn Hemstreet (SOHC) in the Fonda Fair Cruisers.
Lehner took the lead in the 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature at the drop of the green flag after starting on the front row, with Jessica Friesen and last week’s winner Rocky Warner moving into second and third, respectively.
Lehner had a straightaway lead by lap 11, then ended up in heavy lapped traffic two laps later. That allowed Friesen to close in by lap 19, but when Lehner finally cleared the lapped cars, he again established a comfortable lead.
Matt DeLorenzo and defending track champion Michael Maresca moved into second and third, but Maresca’s run ended with four laps to go when he came into contact with the inside wall in turn two. Lehner held on to the checkered flag for the win, with DeLorenzo, Craig Hansen, Friesen and Tim Fuller completing the top five.
“I got my start here at Fonda, so it holds a special place in my heart,” Lehner said. “I can’t think of a better place to get a win. Erik and Bill put everything into this so I’m happy to get a win for them. There is nothing like getting a win to build your confidence because thinking that you can win and knowing that you can win are two totally different situations.”
Borst started the Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman feature in fifth, but moved through the field and eventually chased down leader Brett Mortensen, taking over first place while in lapped traffic on lap 21.
Cody Clark made a late run and got by Mortensen for second, but Borst was too strong as he scored his second career win in Fonda’s Crate 602 Sportsman division. Clark, Mortensen, Dylan Eldred and Tony Farone completed the top five.
The 20-lap Algonkin Pro Stock feature — the first race in the America Racer/Lias Tire Super Six Series — saw a number of cautions, but also a side-by-side race for the win between Stone and Luke Horning. The two battled for the front spot for the latter half of the race, and were engaged in a fierce duel following a restart in the final laps.
Eventually, it was Stone driving the inside line that earned the victory — his 54th in the division — ahead of Horning, Josh Coonradt, Kenny Gates
John Young led the first eight laps of the 15-lap Montgomery County Office for Aging Limited Sportsman feature before third-place starter Gray took over the lead at the line to complete lap nine. Gray went on to his second career win in the division followed by last week’s winner Carter Gibbons, Young, Kyle Dingman and opening night winner Jeremy Tyrrell.
Tyler White led from lap three until the finish in the 12-lap Fonda Fair Cruiser feature to secure the victory in the DOHC class, while Shawn Hemstreet was fifth overall and tops in the SOHC class.
SUNOCO MODIFIED (30 laps) — Jack Lehner, Matt DeLorenzo, Craig Hanson, Jessica Friesen, Tim Fuller, Josh Hohenforst, Rocky Warner, Ronnie Johnson, David Schilling, Dave Constantino, Mike Mahaney, Brian Gleason, Pep Corradi, Brian Pessolano, Ancel Collins, Steve Akers, JaMike Sowle, Rich Christman, Derrick McGrew Jr., Jeff Rockefeller, George Foley, Dylan Scribner, Michael Maresca, Bobby Varin, Adam McAuliffe.
SWAGGER FACTORY APPAREL CRATE 602 SPORTSMAN (25 laps) — Brian Borst, Cody Clark, Brett Mortensen, Dylan Eldred, Tony Farone, Tucker O’Connor, Chad Edwards, Mark Mortensen, Brian Calabrese, Addison Bowman, Tim Hartman Jr., Aaron Burton, Mike Ketchum, Anthony Cardamone, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Troy Palmer, Nick Scavia, Ricky Quick, Tim Dwyer, Tanner Warner, David Manchester, Michael McCallion, Brendan Gibbons, Joe Orlando, Kathy Bellen, Dan Santabarbara.
ALGONKIN MOTEL PRO STOCK (20 laps) — Nick Stone, Luke Horning, Josh Coonradt, Kenny Gates, Beau Ballard, Steve Cosselman, Bill Knapp, Chuck Dumblewski, Devon Camenga, Frank Hoard Jr., Cliff Haslun, Kyle Hoard, Gary Silkey, Mike Kalkbrenner, Terry Graves, Andy Graves, Jason Morrison, Shane Playford, Ivan Joslin, AJ Walters, Jim Normoyle, Randy Cosselman, Don Collins, Chris Cross.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY OFFICE FOR AGING INC. LIMITED SPORTSMAN (15 laps) — Stephen Gray, Carter Gibbons, John Young, Kyle Dingman, Jeremy Tyrrell, Clayton DuMond, Taylor LaPlante, Ryan Sweet, Jonathan Feagles, Bill Port.
FONDA FAIR CRUISERS (12 laps) — Tyler White (DOHC), Billy Hillman, John Napoli, Kerrie Hollenback, Shawn Hemstreet (SOHC), Brandon Tyler, Wayne Russell Jr., Ken Hollenback, Zach McSpirit, Dale VanAllen, AJ VanHoesen, David Peek-Britten, Lee Horning, Slappy White.
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