FONDA SPEEDWAY ROARS BACK INTO ACTION THIS SATURDAY, MAY 20 AFTER TWO CONSECUTIVE RAINOUTS
By: Ron Szczerba
Fonda, NY – This Saturday, May 20 Demitraszek Enterprises looks to get their 2017 season back on track after two consecutive rainouts the last two weeks. Drivers and race fans will look forward to some great racing action on that night, as VP Small Engine Fuels will sponsor a regular night of racing in all divisions starting with the first heat race taking the green flag at 7:00 p.m.
There will also be a driver’s autograph session this Saturday, May 20 at the “Track of Champions” with details of the time that event will be held being posted on the www.newfondaspeedway.com website closer to the Saturday race date.
This Saturday will also be the held over tribute to two great drivers who called Fonda home at one point during their racing careers, those two drivers being Dick Schoonover and Rene Charland. Charland and Schoonover are both members of the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame with inductions back in 1988 and 2016 respectively.
They are both NYSSCA Hall of Fame members as well as Charland was inducted back in 1989 while Schoonover was inducted back in 2005. Charland is also a member of the New England Auto Racing (NEAR) Hall of Fame and was inducted by Bruce Cohen in the inaugural class of the NEAR organization Hall of Fame back in 1998.
On Saturday August 6, 2016 the evening that Schoonover was inducted into the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame, pro stock competitor Tom Denton honored Schoonover by re-numbering his pro stock to Schoonover’s number, which was 26A. Re-numbering the car as Denton did may have brought him some good luck as well as Denton won his first career feature event in the pro stock division at Fonda on that night.
The May 20 racing program leads us into the Memorial Day weekend event at Fonda on Saturday, May 27 which will be Military Appreciation Night with all Veterans or active duty military members being admitted to the track free of charge with ID or a DD214. The Patriot 360-Sprint Car Tour will be in action at Fonda that night as well, with Palmer’s Service Center sponsoring the evenings racing activities.
SHARON HOPING MOTHER NATURE COOPERATES SATURDAY FOR 4TH ATTEMPT AT "STEEL VALLEY THUNDER" OPENER; JR SPRINTS & E-MODS ALSO PART OF PROGRAM WITH KEN SCHRADER IN ACTION
By Mike Leone
Hartford, OH May 20, 2017 After managing to complete the inaugural Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event clear back on April 21, who would have thought one month later Sharon Speedway would still be looking to complete its first "Steel Valley Thunder" program? But that is the case after rain has washed out the first three attempts juggling the schedule and make-up features from last year around. While it looked like last Saturday was golden as sunny skies were present at race time, rain showers dropped off Lake Erie during the program forcing a rain out with rain checks to be honored. All drivers received 10 show-up points.
This Saturday night (May 20) will be take #4 for the "Steel Valley Thunder" opener on Mark Thomas Ford Night as part of the 88th anniversary season. The Hovis Auto & Truck Supply Big-Block Modifieds, E-Mods, Gibson Insurance Agency Stock Cars, Summit Racing Equipment Econo Mods, and Junior Sprints will be part of the program beginning at 7 p.m. The 2016 "Apple Festival Nationals" E-Mod make-up feature will also be on the program. Admission remains at the very low $10. The HTMA/Precise Racing Products RUSH Sportsman Modifieds will have the night off.
Last Saturday night, a big field of 50 Penn-Ohio Stocks turned out with their heat races going to Andy Buckley, Rob Shook, Curt J. Bish, Rusty Moore, and Rusty Martz. Subbing for Jimmy Weller III, Peter Britten dominated the first heat race for the Big-Block Modifieds, while Rex King won the second heat race. Rocky Kugel won the opening heat event for the RUSH Sportsman Modifieds before the rains came. There were 25 RUSH Mods on hand. The Econo Mods never hit the speedway other than their warm-ups.
Former NASCAR star, Ken Schrader, will return Saturday to compete in the rained out $3,000 to-win Renegades of Dirt Modified feature from the "Apple Festival Nationals" last September. Even though the E-Mods are not part of the weekly "Steel Valley Thunder" program, they will make monthly appearances including this Saturday night when they'll also compete in a complete new 20-lap program. There is no registration fee. While the make-up feature field is set, new cars are permitted to run in the new program. Alan Dellinger is the track's all-time winningest driver in the division with 87 victories. Active racers Joel Watson, Scott Stiffler, and Jeff Johnson are second through fourth on the win list with 26, 20, and 18 wins respectively. In 2016, Joe Gabrielson, an eight-time winner at the track, captured his first career track championship.
Rounding out the program are the Junior Sprints for children that compete at several different speedways throughout western Pennsylvania and Ohio. The Junior Sprints made their first ever appearance on night one of the "Apple Festival Nationals" last September and it was third-generation driver Mike Lutz, Jr. scoring the win.
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