FONDA — Stewart Friesen made yet another visit to victory lane Saturday night at Fonda Speedway, winning the Sunoco Modified feature ahead of his wife, Jessica Friesen, to earn his sixth win in seven events at Fonda this season.
Stewart Friesen’s win was the 66th of his career at Fonda, passing Bobby Varin for sole possession of fourth place on the track’s all-time modified wins list.
Saturday’s event marked the return to racing at Fonda after the track took a two-week break following changes to state regulations that barred fans from attending races at speedways across the state due to concerns over COVID-19. Racing resumed at Fonda without fans in attendance.
Roger Henion Jr. started the 30-lap modified feature with the lead, but Dave Constantion moved up from fourth to take the lead on lap three, just before the red flag flew on lap four for a multi-car pileup that included Henion, Dave Schilling, defending track champion Rocky Warner, Danny Varin, Josh Hohenforst and Scott Huber.
Another red flag came out shortly after the restart when Darwin Greene hit the wall in turn four, finishing his night.
Following the chaos, Constantino maintained his lead with Michael Maresca moving into second. Marseca briefly took the lead on lap seven, but Constantino took the top spot back on the backstretch a lap later.
Stewart Friesen, who started 12th, was up to third by lap 10 and engaged in a three-way battle for the lead. Maresca took the lead at the halfway point of the event, but that lasted just one lap as Stewart Friesen got by both Maresca and Constantino for the front spot.
Meanwhile, Jessica Friesen started the event alongside her husband in the sixth row and was in the top five when Stewart took the lead. As Stewart pulled away for the victory, Jessica picked off cars one-by-one and eventually got by Maresca for second on lap 21.
Stewart Friesen rolled home to the victory, with Jessica Frisen in second as Maresca, Constantino and Schilling completed the top five.
“It’s been a good run for us in July and hopefully we can keep it going,” Stewart Friesen said in victory lane as his son Parker celebrated on the roof of the race car. “First and second for the team is great, we had some motor issues with Jessica’s car but were able to straighten it out.”
Defending Swagger Factory Apparel Crate 602 Sportsman track champion Tim Hartman Jr. picked up his first win of 2020, making a move on lap nine to take the lead and motoring home to victory ahead of Brian Calabrese, Brian Borst, Joe Williams and Chad Edwards.
“This is just a relief,” Hartman said in victory lane. “I’ve been struggling here at Fonda but have done well everywhere else. We found something with the car recently and went to Lebanon Valley and won so I was hoping it would work here and it did. I feel like this is my first career win again because we’ve been struggling so badly.”
Stephen Gray picked up his first career feature win in the Montgomery County Office for Aging Inc. Limited Sportsman event, collecting the checkered flag in the 20-lap race ahead of Brett Mortensen, Carter Gibbons, Dylan Eldred and Johnny Young.
Nick Stone continued his stellar season in the Algonkin Motel Pro Stock feature, picking up his fifth win of the season and moving into a tie with Todd Hoffman for second in the division’s all-time wins list at Fonda with 51. Kenny Gates, Jim Normoyle, Beau Ballard and Rich Crane rounded out the top five.
Jason Samrov won the Robert’s Towing & Recovery Street Stock feature ahead of Zach Sorrentino, Al Relyea, Lou Gancarz and Dave Horning Sr. Finally, Cole Lawton was first across the line in the Four Cylinder Cruser feature, leading the DOHC class, while Ken Hollenback was the top finisher in the SOHC class.
Fonda Speedway will be back for a midweek event Wednesday, with racing set to start at 7:15 p.m.