VARIN AND WARNER EARN KOD VICTORIES AT FONDA
Marc Johnson And Rocky Warner Are Kings Of Their Divisions
Story By: Rob Hazer/KoD
Photos By: Matt Noles/RacersGuide.com
September 25, 2017 (Fonda, NY) – King Of Dirt Racing rolled into Fonda Speedway for the season finale in both the Small Block Modified and DIRTcar East Region divisions. When the dust settled Bobby Varin claimed his second consecutive tour victory and Rocky Warner captured his fifth of the season. Marc Johnson secured the Small Block Series title, while Rocky Warner earned the KOD/DIRTcar East championship.
Jessey Mueller and Matt DeLorenzo led the field to the green flag, with Mueller taking the early race lead. With DeLorenzo in the runner up spot a battle shaped up with Elmo Reckner, Jeremy Wilder, and Bobby Varin inside the top five.
Just behind them Mike Maresca and Josh Hohenforst raced side-by-side, with Jeff Rockefeller and championship point leader Marc Johnson having a their own door-to-door slugfest. Allision Ricci, Brian Gleason, and Mike Mahaney were all racing hot and heavy for position inside the top 10.
Tough break on lap nine for Matt DeLorenzo who had the front end bent after contact with an infield tire in turn three. On the following restart Mueller went back to the lead, but Varin was pressuring. Reckner made a move on the high side to take the third position from Wilder as they battled.
On lap 21 Bobby Varin used a high side move on Mueller in traffic to take the top spot, but the race was far from over. Wilder began closing in on Mueller, while Maresca was closing in on both. Mike Mahaney had worked his way up to sixth, with Marc Johnson working his way up to seventh from his 12th place starting position.
With only a few laps remaining Wilder suffered a flat right rear tire, Maresca worked his way into the runner up spot and appeared to be closing in on the front running Varin, but time was running out. Varin would finish strong picking up the KOD Small Block Modified win followed by Mike Maresca, Jessey Mueller, Elmo Reckner, and Mike Mahaney rounding out the top five. Marc Johnson secured the series championship with a solid sixth place finish.
“We had a really good car. Alton and Carole gave me really good equipment. It took a little bit to get this kind of momentum going. The last eight days have been phenomenal,” said Bobby Varin after claiming his second consecutive win on the KOD tour.
Rocky Warner and Connor Cleveland led the field to the green flag with the 2015 Champion taking the lead from the 2016 Champion. Chad Edwards settled in for battle with Mark Mortensen and Dave Constantino, as they battled for position inside the top five.
A pair of early race cautions slowed the field with Aaron Burton, Harry Shaffer, and Floyd Billington having their evenings cut short.
On the restart Edwards moved past Cleveland into the runner up spot with Constantino working the high side roaring into third. Willy Decker, Mark Mortensen, Tim Hartman Jr., and Cody Clark all raced hard for position inside the top 10.
Back up front Dave Constantino closed in on Rocky Warner for the top spot. Working through traffic they battled for the race lead, which allowed Edwards to close the gap in third. Warner would make some smooth moves in traffic and roll to the win and claim the 2017 KOD/DIRTcar East Region title. Constantino, Edwards, Cleveland, and Hartman Jr. rounded out the top five.
“Track was tough tonight and sitting on the pole you’re kind of a sitting duck, but we were able to get it done. Hazer does the point deal separated by one so you can’t breathe a lot thinking you got a big point lead, so we just do our best and Jake gives is great equipment,” said Rocky Warner after his title clinching win at Fonda.
KOD SMALL BLOCK NOTES: 25 drivers signed in for the King Of Dirt Racing Small Block Modified Series at Fonda Speedway. Tough break right away in hot laps for Brett Hearn, as he lost an engine, which was reportedly one for Super Dirt Week at Oswego. Marc Johnson earned a top 10 finish, which in return solidified his title run claiming the 2017 KOD Small Block title.
KOD SPORTSMAN NOTES: 40 Sportsman checked in at Fonda for the KOD/DIRTcar East Series event. With Warner’s series title he’ll go on to chase the Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series overall point championship, as will other competitors from the King Of Dirt Series. Warner, Edwards, Sabia, and Watson all enjoyed wins on tour in 2017 and are guaranteed starts at Charlotte for the Friday night All-Star invitational during the Short Track World Championships. Warner earned a guaranteed starting spot at Oswego for Super Dirt Week.
NOTABLE SMALL BLOCK RUNS: One must start recognizing the accomplishments of Bobby Varin who has won two consecutive Small Block tour races (Albany Saratoga, Fonda). Mike Maresca is a fun personality that can get the job done and he ran part time on tour in 2017 finishing second at Fonda Friday night. Jessey Mueller put together another solid run finishing third capping off a season in which he earned second place in points. Elmo Reckner has had one of those seasons he’d like to forget, however Friday night at Fonda he had his best tour finish to date with a solid fourth place run. Mike Mahaney has been one to recon with in his W16 Small Block each time he’s raced KOD in 2017 and he earned a top five finish at Fonda to his credit. Allison Ricci has been a treat on tour in 2017 with a positive attitude and earned an eighth place finish at a track she’d never raced at before. Rocky Warner continues to impress in the Small Block Modifieds with another top 10 finish. Last but not least Marc Johnson earned the 2017 King Of Dirt Racing Small Block Modified crown with a sixth place finish.
NOTABLE SPORTSMAN RUNS: Dave Constantino finished second for the third time at Fonda during the year-end race and for the second time during a KOD Sportsman race. Tim Hartman Jr. has enjoyed success on the KOD tour finishing top five again this time at Fonda despite not being a full time regular. Mark Mortensen was impressive all evening and raced to a solid sixth place finish, while tour regular Brian Pessolano brought home a top 10 for team green. Willy Decker made it two top 10’s for team green, with Afton Speedway track champion Cody Clark solidly finishing in ninth.
SEPTEMBER 22, 2017 ELMO’S SPEED SUPPLY KING OF DIRT RACING SMALL BLOCK MODIFIED SERIES SEASON FINALE PRESENTED BY HOOSIER RACING TIRE AT FONDA SPEEDWAY (40 Laps) – 1) Bobby Varin, 2) Mike Maresca, 3) Jessey Mueller, 4) Elmo Reckner, 5) Mike Mahaney, 6) Marc Johnson, 7) Josh Hohenforst, 8) Allison Ricci, 9) Rocky Warner, 10) Brian Gleason, 11) Jeff Rockefeller, 12) Shaun Pangman, 13) Jack Lehner, 14) Demetrios Drellos, 15) Jason Herrington, 16) Neil Stratton, 17) Michael Sabia, 18) Vinny Sangenetti, 19) Ricky Davis III, 20) Jeremy Wilder, 21) Sean Mandel, 22) Matt DeLorenzo, 23) Tony Pepicelli, 24) Erik Nelson, 25) Brett Hearn.
Heat Race Winners – Jessey Mueller, Marc Johnson, & Matt DeLorenzo.
Lap Leaders – Jessey Mueller (1-19), Bobby Varin (20-35).
Hard Charger – Mike Maresca (+7)
Fast Axle Superior Sixth – Marc Johnson ($50 Certificate)
J-Tees Fast Timer – Jeremy Wilder (19.374)
Newcomer Of The Race – Jessey Mueller (3rd)
2017 King Of Dirt Racing Small Block Modified Champion – Marc Johnson
SEPTEMBER 22, 2017 KING OF DIRT RACING DIRTcar EAST SPORTSMAN SERIES SEASON FINALE PRESENTED BY 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, ANDY’S SPEED SHOP, DODSON CONSTRUCTION, & DEAN’S ELECTRICAL SERVICE AT FONDA SPEEDWAY (30 Laps) – 1) Rocky Warner, 2) Dave Constantino, 3) Chad Edwards, 4) Connor Cleveland, 5) Tim Hartman Jr., 6) Mark Mortensen, 7) Brian Pessolano, 8) Willy Decker, 9) Cody Clark, 10) Tony Farone, 11) David Manchester, 12) Scott Duell, 13) Davied Schilling, 14) Rob Maxon, 15) Cory Cromier, 16) Joe Williams, 17) Jeff Watson, 18) Josh DeMagistris, 19) Kevin Chaffee, 20) AJ Miller, 21) Floyd Billington, 22) Michael Sabia, 23) James Meehan, 24) Andrew Buff, 25) Darryl Nutting, 26) Ray Zemken, 27) Harry Shaffer II, 28) Dan Santabarbara, 29) Aaron Burton.
DNQ – Willy Decker Jr., Corey White, Mason Olmstead, Joe Orlando, Jim Osgood, Justin Auspelmyer, Will Shields, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Mike Jackson, Reggie Bonner, Griffen Mansmith.
Airondac Leather Heat Race Winners – Willy Decker, Dave Constantino, David Schilling, & Rocky Warner.
DTD Lap Leaders – Rocky Warner (1-30).
Hard Charger – Dave Constantino (+9)
Fast Axle Superior Sixth – Mark Mortensen. ($50 Certificate)
J-Tees Fast Timer – Dave Constantino (20.402)
Killer Crate Newcomer Of The Race – Mark Mortensen (6th)
2017 King Of Dirt Racing DIRTcar East Sportsman Champion – Rocky Warner
2017 KING OF DIRT RACING SMALL BLOCK MODIFIED SCHEDULE
06/13/17 Devil’s Bowl Speedway Marc Johnson (Winner)
07/09/17 Utica Rome Speedway Erick Rudolph (Winner)
07/30/17 Lebanon Valley Speedway JR Heffner (Winner)
08/20/17 Utica Rome Speedway Matt Sheppard (Winner)
09/09/17 Lebanon Valley Speedway Kenny Tremont Jr. (Winner)
09/15/17 Albany Saratoga Speedway Bobby Varin (Winner)
09/22/17 Fonda Speedway Bobby Varin (Winner)
2017 KING OF DIRT RACING SPORTSMAN SCHEDULE (DIRTcar East Region)
05/28/17 Devil’s Bowl Speedway Chad Edwards (Winner)
06/18/17 Utica Rome Speedway Rocky Warner (Winner)
07/15/17 Lebanon Valley Speedway Jeff Watson (Winner)
08/15/17 Albany Saratoga Speedway Rocky Warner (Winner)
08/20/17 Utica Rome Speedway Rocky Warner (Winner)
08/31/17 Lebanon Valley Speedway Michael Sabia (Winner)
09/08/17 Albany Saratoga Speedway Rocky Warner (Winner)
09/22/17 Fonda Speedway Rocky Warner (Winner)
2017 KING OF DIRT RACING PRO STOCK SCHEDULE
06/02/17 Albany Saratoga Speedway Kenny Martin Jr. (Winner)
06/18/17 Utica Rome Speedway Rob Yetman (Winner)
07/07/17 Albany Saratoga Speedway Robbie Speed (Winner)
08/20/17 Utica Rome Speedway Chuck Dumblewski (Winner)
08/26/17 Lebanon Valley Speedway Jay Casey (Winner)
09/17/17 Devil’s Bowl Speedway Kenny Martin Jr. (Winner)
For more information on the King Of Dirt Racing Series visit on the web at www.kingofdirtracing.com.
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