Racing Around: Fonda rained out for 7th time, restart propels Vernold to Albany-Saratoga win

Kris Vernold celebrates in Victory Lane after recording his first career modified feature win on the dirt Friday night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

Kris Vernold celebrates in Victory Lane after recording his first career modified feature win on the dirt Friday night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

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After going the entire 2022 season without a rain out, Fonda Speedway suffered its seventh rainout of the season Saturday night.

With a prediction of severe weather hitting the area near race time, the track management decided early in the day to not race Saturday night.

It was a tough decision to make as Saturday was the last regular show of the season and championship night for the weekly divisions and the Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series (MVVDMS) drivers.

Ultimately, the storms missed the speedway,

With the cancellation, Demetrios Drellos has been named the 2023 Modified track champion after taking a six-point lead over defending track champion Matt DeLorenzo last week. Payton Talbot collected his second-straight Crate 602 Sportsman championship by a 25-point margin over Chad Edwards.

While several drivers switched to coil suspension under their Pro Stocks, Ivan Joslin remained on leaf springs and picked up his first career Pro Stock championship, edging seven-time track champion Kenny Gates by 16 points , Beau Ballard by 26, Josh Coonradt by 28 and Shane Playford by 36.

Kyle Dingman did not visit Victory Lane this season but was a consistent finisher each week to pick up the Limited Sportsman championship. Dingman just needed to take the green to secure the championship as he would have entered the night with a 60 point lead over Lance Hill.

Ken and Kerrie Hollenbeck successfully defended their Single Overhead Cam and Dual Overhead Cam 4-cylinder Mini Stock championships. Ken earned the overall track title by an eight-point margin, 618-610, over his brother.

Earning the 2023 Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series championships were: Don Briggs (Antique), Carl Cram (Mystique), John Roese (Late Model), Mike Francisco (Sportsman) and Randy Delaney (Modified).

Fonda Speedway will take its annual break for the Fonda Fair before returning to action for the Fonda 200 Weekend, Sept. 14-16 featuring the $53,000-to-win Fonda 200 for big block modifieds on Sept. 16.


Lebanon Valley Speedway took a chance and bet against the weather Saturday night but came up short.

Chad Jeseo won his second Pro Stock feature of the season over Frank Twing, Zach Sorrentino, Tommy Dean and Rick Duzlak.

Mike Bussino led every lap of the Boomer’s Classic for Street Stocks. Jeff Meltz Sr., Chris Stalker, Jesse Murphy and Dave Striebel Jr. completed the top five.

Rain forced the postponement of the remainder of Saturday’s race card. Track management announced that instead of running double features this coming Saturday to make up for the rained-out features, the Big Block main event will now be 50 laps, paying double the purse and carry double points.

Plans for the remaining rained-out Sportsman and Limited Sportsman features are yet to be announced.


Kris Vernold had one modified feature win at Albany-Saratoga Speedway 13 years ago when the track was asphalt.

Vernold showed he can get the job done on dirt as well, picking up the victory in the 35-lap modified feature Friday night at the Great Race Place.

Vernold, who finished last in a special Wednesday night event at Malta, chased down early race leader Justin Stone and benefitted from a late-race restart to take over the top spot and pull away.

Stone found himself in a tight battle for the runner-up spot with Ryan McCartney, Jack Lehner, Kenny Tremont Jr. and Marc Johnson.

Lehner, who started 10th, used the low line to get up for the second-place finish, with McCartney third, Tremont fourth and Demetrios Drellos came on to edge Johnson for fifth. Stone finished sixth followed by Adam Pierson, Peter Britten and Anthony Perrego who was a substitute driver in Matt DeLorenzo’s No. 3D as DeLorenzo was on vacation with his family.

In the features-only make-up event Wednesday night, Pierson came home the victor in the modified feature over Neil Stratton, McCartney, Rich Ronca and Drellos.

Friday’s Sportsman feature events came down to photo-finishes.

In the first 20-lap feature, Jeff Washburn grabbed the early lead but in the closing laps had Jim Osgood all over his back bumper. The yellow flew on lap 18, setting up a two-lap shoot out for the win.

Over the final two laps, Osgood and Washburn traded paint multiple times, but as they were concentrating on each other, Zach Buff made it a three-way battle for the lead.

Buff dove under Osgood and Washburn between turns three and four, setting up a three-wide drag race to the finish line with Osgood getting the nod by .004 seconds over Buff and Washburn for his first career feature win.

Andrew Buff reeled in Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald in the second 20-lap feature and edged Wagner-Fitzgerald by .012 seconds for his first win of the season at Albany-Saratoga. Tim Hartman Jr, Travis Billington and Mike Ballestero complete the top five.

Scott Duell and Taylor Wason won the dual 20-lap sportsman features on Wednesday.

Friday night’s Pro Stock feature also came down to the final turn.

With his hood coming loose late in the race, Jason’s Casey held on to beat Rich Crane by .347 seconds for the $1,000 victory. Kim Duell came home third followed by Jay Casey and Jay Corgin.

Brandon Emigh, who scored the Pro Stock victories Aug. 4 and on Wednesday, finished sixth, with Jordan Madiano, Chucky Dumblewski, Josh Bussino and Dean Charbonneau completing the top 10.

Connor Crane and Dakota Green won the two 15-lap limited sportsman features Friday, while Crane and Nick Auspelmyer chalked up the Limited Sportsman wins on Wednesday.

PJ Cram drove to his second-straight Street Stock feature win on Wednesday only to have Chris Stalker end his streak Friday with a last-lap pass to get his second win of the season.

David Frame picked up the dual cam and overall victories both nights in the 15-lap 4-cylinder main events, while Kyle Lanfear was the first single cam finisher in both events.


Friday, August 11

NAPA MODIFIEDS: KRIS VERNOLD, Jack Lehner, Ryan McCartney, Ken Tremont Jr., Demetrios Drellos, Marc Johnson, Justin Stone, Adam Pierson, Peter Britten, Anthony Perrego (subbing for Matt DeLorenzo), Brian Calabrese, Ronnie Johnson, Keith Flach, Neil Stratton, Josh Hohenforst, Jack Speshock, Jeremy Pitts, Matt Depew, CG Morey, Vinnie Visconti, Derek Bornt, Ryan Stortini, Rich Ronca, Robert Bublak Jr., James Meehan, Garrett Poland, Brandon Daley. Mike Mahaney. DNS: Brett Graham, Don Ronca, Jessey Mueller.

NORTHEAST PAVING AND SEALCOAT SPORTSMAN (first feature): JIM OSGOOD, Zach Buff, Jeff Washburn, Daryl Nutting, Chad Edwards, Dylan Madsen, Taylor LaPlante, Mike Coffey Jr., Joey Scarborough, Chris Crane Jr., Scott Duell, Drew Cormie, Craig Wholey, Mike Jeske, Scott Bennett, Zachary Graham, Alex Bell (subbing for Jon Miller), Mike Benson, Dave Baranowski Jr.

NORTHEAST PAVING AND SEALCOAT SPORTSMAN (second feature): ANDREW BUFF, Michael Wagner Fitzgerald, Tim Hartman Jr., Travis Billington, Mike Ballestero, Tommy D’Angelo, Tyler Rapp, Ron Proctor, Travis Witbeck, Eric Mack, David Boisclair, Taylor Wason, Marty Kelly III, Elliot Lussier, Dan Grignon, Bryce Breault, Brandon Darrah, Justin Barber.

SARATOGA MASONRY PRO STOCKS: JASON CASEY, Rich Crane, Kim Duell, Jay Casey, Jay Corbin, Brandon Emigh, Jordan Modiano, Chucky Dumblewski, Josh Bussino, Dean Charbonneau, Phil Difiglio, Shane Henderson, Dave Stickles, Jaxson Ryan, Pete Vila, Chad Jeseo, Kyle Hoard, Jimmy Eaton.

HAUN WELDING LIMITED SPORTSMAN (first feature): CONNOR CRANE, Steve Burch, Chad Gregory, Steve Miller, Chase Zimmer, Tanner Coon, Mike Parodi, Mike Baker, Alex Palmer-Sawyer, Walter Cook, John Santolin, Jordan Hill, Sara Arnold, Kyle Swart.

HAUN WELDING LIMITED SPORTSMAN (second feature): DAKOTA GREEN, James Galarneau, Dylan Grogan, Ron Delease, Dan Seguin, Scott Towslee, Kamden Duffy, Pat Miner, Phil Arnold, Nick Arnold, Mike Arnold, David Zelker, Damian Amderson.

LAKE AUTO PARTS STREET STOCKS: CHRIS STALKER, PJ Cram Jr., Jimmy Duncan, Dan Madigan, Jason Samrov, Jeff Meltz Sr., Matt Mosher, Nick Napoli, Mark Lester, Dana Van Veghten, Mark Burch, Ray Pierre Jr., Josh Hemming, Dan Buell, Josh Samrov, Damien Ward, Joey Morey.

GREG’S TOWING FOUR CYLINDERS: DAVID FRAME, Kyle Lanfear (first single-cam finisher), Josh Mason, Robert Garney, Daniel Joubert, Josh Sullivan, Olivia Swinton, Dave LaBarge, Chris Danylieko, Andrew Palmer, Josh Rheome, Brittany Ladd, Tom Hill, Ashlynn Ramsey, John Ramsey. DQ: Adam Montville.


Wednesday, August 9

NAPA MODIFIEDS: ADAM PIERSON, Neil Stratton, Ryan McCartney, Rich Ronca, Demetrios Drellos, Keith Flach, Derek Bornt, Justin Stone, Jack Speshock, Jack Lehner, Matt Depew, Marc Johnson, Brian Calabrese, Ken Tremont Jr., Jeremy Pitts, Max McLaughiin (subbing for Peter Britten), Mike Mahaney, Ronnie Johnson, CG Morey, Don Ronca, Vinnie Visconti, Kris Vernold.

NORTHEAST PAVING AND SEALCOATING SPORTSMAN (first feature): SCOTT DUELL, Mike Coffey Jr., Andrew Buff, Scott Bennett, Elliot Lussier, Tyler Rapp, Jon Miller, Derrick McGrew Jr., Floyd Billington, Davis Boisclair, Mike Ballestero, Michael Wagner Fitzgerald, Daryl Nutting, Chad Edwards, Marty Kelly III, Justin Barber, Travis Witbeck.

NORTHEAST PAVING AND SEALCOATING SPORTSMAN (second feature): TAYLOR WASON, Dylan Madsen, Craig Wholey, Tim Hartman Jr., Ron Proctor, Dan Grignon, Zach Buff, Joey Scarborough, Mike Benson, Drew Cormie, Dave Baranowski Jr., Bryce Breault, Jeff Washburn, Eric Mack, Tommy D’Angelo, Chris Crane Jr., Jim Osgood, Cody Ochs, Brandon Darrah.

SARATOGA MASONRY SUPPLY PRO STOCKS: BRANDON EMIGH, Rich Crane, Jordan Modiano, Jason Casey, Chucky Dumblewski, Shane Henderson, Dean Charbonneau, Kyle Hoard, Kim Duell, Jay Casey, Phil Defiglio, Pete Vila, Jay Corbin, Luke Horning.

HAUN WELDING LIMITED SPORTSMAN (first feature): CONNOR CRANE, Steve Burch, Ron Delease, Chase Zimmer, Mike Arnold, Nick Arnold, Tanner Coon, John Santolin, Jordan Hill, Mike Baker, Alex Palmer-Sawyer.

HAUN WELDING LIMITED SPORTSMAN (second feature); NICK AUSPELMYER, Dylan Grogan, Scott Towslee, Dan Seguin, Mike Parodi, Dakota Green, Chad Gregory, Kyle Swart, James Galarneau, Walter Cook, Sara Arnold.

LAKE AUTO PARTS STREET STOCKS: PJ CRAM, Jeff Meltz Sr., Chris Stalker, Jimmy Duncan, Mike Bussino, David Emigh (subbing for Josh Hemming), Jim Dellea, Nick Napoli, Chris Murray, Damien Ward, Matt Mosher, Ray Pierre Jr.

GREG’S TOWING FOUR-CYLINDERS: DAVID FRAME, Elmer Montville, Greg Zindler, Slappy White, Kyle Lanfear (first single-cam finisher), Tom Hill, John Mason, Daniel Joubert, Robert Garney, Olivia Swinton, Brittany Ladd, Micah Grant, Andrew Palmer.


Matt Sheppard continued to dominate the modified division at Utica-Rome Speedway, recording his ninth win of the season and 69th of his career at the Vernon, N.Y., speedway.

Sheppard started 11th and passed Alan Johnson for the lead on lap 11 before pulling away for the win. Willy Decker came home second followed by Alex Yankowski, Billy Decker, Rocky Warner, Johnson, Pat Ward, Andy Bachetti, Michael Trautschold and Justin Wright.

Matt Janczuk grabbed his fifth-straight 602 Crate Sportsman feature win and took over the top spot in the point standings from Payton Talbot Friday night. David Hackett was second and Blaine Klinger third.

Nick Stone made a last-to-first run, making a last-lap, last-corner pass over Tom Denton to claim the victory in the held-over Pro Stock feature. Denton, Josh Coonradt, Bret Belden, and A.J. Walters were the top five.

In the regularly scheduled Pro Stock feature, Luke Horning broke a three-year winless streak at Utica-Rome, leading all 20-laps for the victory over Stone, Walters, Belden and Ken Griffin.

Connor Prokop slipped past Carson Rothwell to gain the lead and pull away to victory over Tyler Bobar and Zack Welch in the Limited Sportsman main event, while Rudy King Jr.and Len St. Andrews won the Dual Cam and Single Cam divisions of the 4-cylinder mini stock feature.

Brett Putnam won the All-Star Slingshot feature, while Trevor Houghton took home the Junior Slingshot win.

Utica-Rome will move its race card to Saturday night this week, hosting the Tezos All-Star Circuit of Champions 410 Spring Cars along with Thunder on the Thruway Series features for the modifieds, 602 Crate Sportsmen and Pro Stocks in the six-race series finale’.


Dog Days of Summer Special

Friday, August 11

3 Bastards Brewing Modified Feature Finish (30 laps): MATT SHEPPARD, Willy Decker, Alex Yankowski, Billy Decker, Rocky Warner, Alan Johnson, Pat Ward, Andy Bachetti, Michael Trautschold, Justin Wright, Addison Bowman, JaMike Sowle, Tanner Van Doren, Ron Holmes, Randy Shantel, Jim Becker, Aaron Jacobs, Alex Payne, Bobby Hackel IV, Tim Mayne, Alan Barker, Joel Thomas.

Did Not Start: Jeremy Slosek, Jim Walsh

Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (25 laps): MATT JANCZUK, David Hackett, Blaine Klinger, Mike Richmond, Blake Sarpriacone, Jeremy Slosek, Jim Nagle, Willy Decker Jr., Chip Constantino, Stephen Denton, Matthew Richardson, Ed Lukas, David Dickey, Shawn Frost, E.J. Gallup, Mike Loney, Allan Hodge, Jim Rothwell, Josh Amodio, Seth Martin, Bobby Heintz, Payton Talbot, Ed Downing, Stephen Gray.

Next Generation Graphix Pro Stock Feature Finish (20 laps): LUKE HORNING, Nick Stone, A.J. Walters, Bret Belden, Ken Griffin, Johnny Holmes, George Cushman, Hunter Keith, Tim Wood, Ed Kotary, Matt Rose, Andy Graves, Tom Denton, Gus Gould, Dalton Szewczyk, Josh Coonradt, Kyle Money.

Did Not Start: Jason Morrison, Jim Normoyle, Jerry Streeter

Next Generation Graphix Pro Stock Make-Up Feature Finish (20 laps): NICK STONE, Tom Denton, Josh Coonradt, Bret Belden, A.J. Walters, George Cushman, Tim Wood, Johnny Holmes, Gus Gould, Andy Graves, Matt Rose, Kyle Money, Ed Kotary, Jason Morrison, Hunter Keith, Luke Horning, Jerry Streeter, Dalton Szewczyk, Ken Griffin, Jim Normoyle.

Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman (20 laps): CONNOR PROKOP, Tyler Bobar, Zack Welch, Andrew MacFadden, Nick Zielinski, Eric Jensen, Johnny Feagles, Kennedy Payne, Kolton Weiler, Carson Rothwell, Eymarah Bowman, Hunter Tarbania, Ernie Staelens, Matt Bukovan, Mike Haman, Brad Poppleton, Maddy Broedel, Dalton Doyle, Bobby Newman, Aaron Page.

Did Not Start: Corky Warner

Fonda Fair Four Cylinder Feature Finish (12 laps): RUDY KING JR. (DOHC), David Denova, Sophia Denova, Len St. Andrews (SOHC), Hayleigh Gates, Hank Wedgren, T.J. Marlitt, Hank Wedgren Jr., Wayne Russell Jr., Kyle Coley, Jacob Jipson, Jean Foster.

Senior Services Inc. All-Star Slingshot Feature Finish (20 laps): BRETT PUTNAM, Chris Darrow, Corky Warner, Nicholas Jenkins, Tadd Granger, Scott Sprague, Paul Holic, Jason Dufel, Kevin Loveless, Corbyn White.

Junior Slingshot Feature Finish (15 laps): TREVOR HOUGHTON, Bodie Marks, Blake Banek, Sullivan Dickey, Jakoby Thompson, Jayden Wust, Preston Trautschold, Brody Janczuk, Ayna Sarpriacone, Ayden Goodier, Chase Spoor.

Algonkin Motel Hard Luck Award: Jim Normoyle

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