By Mark Kane
For Capital Region Independent Media
When you’re hot, you’re hot, and in the 2022 racing season, Matt DeLorenzo is on fire here in the Capital District.
Picking up wins at both the Albany Saratoga and Fonda Speedways, DeLorenzo is leading the points at both tracks with the same hot rod, and that is a tough thing to do.
The DeLorenzo team headed by Matt’s brother Mike has to turn the car around and make the changes they need to make on Saturday before the car is loaded and headed for Fonda. The competition at both tracks is as tough as it gets and both tracks are about as different as night and day with size and configuration. The only thing the same is they both are dirt tracks.
So far in 2022, Matt has picked up five wins, three at Fonda Speedway and two at the Albany Saratoga Speedway, and he has had to do it the hard way, coming from mid-pack. Now at some tracks that might be easy, but here in the Capital District, getting to the front from a mid-pack starting spot is tough to do as both tracks have earned their nicknames.
For Albany Saratoga, “The Great Race Place,” and for Fonda, “The Track of Champions,” weekly live up to their reputation and it is not only Matt that is winning but the fans who are getting to watch some great dirt track racing action.
A great weekend of racing found the winged sprint cars make their way to the Capital District with the ESS 360 at Albany Saratoga and the CRSA 305 Sprints at Fonda. Both series came to the Capital District with a good field of cars and loads of talent. The winged warriors put on a great show at both facilities for the fans with Jason Barney with the ESS win at Albany Saratoga and Jeff Trombley picking up the CRSA win at Fonda.
For Trombley it is like coming home when he enters the Fonda Speedway pits as the former weekly competitor has picked up 35 wins and two championships in the Modifieds over his career before climbing aboard the 3A Sprinter of Warren Alexson, where he continues to win. Since moving to the 3A Sprinter, the popular Trombley has accumulated 17 wins and with his win at Fonda moves into first place in points and looking for fifth CRSA championship.
ALBANY SARATOGA SPEEDWAY
On Friday night, 25 NAPA Modifieds made their way to the Albany Saratoga Speedway to take Rich Peterson’s green flag.
At the drop of the green it was C.G. Morey grabbing the early lead from his outside pole position with Ryan McCartney and Scott Huber on his rear deck looking for the lead. On the move was Jack Speshock and his 08 machine, who started on the third row putting his 08 into second on lap 3 and hounded the leader.
Also on the move was the 32 of James Meehan and Marc Johnson who worked their way into the top 5 as behind the top 5 it was 2- and 3-wide racing.
Back up front things started to heat up for the lead as Morey on the top and Speshock using the bottom raced for the lead as Speshock would be the new leader on lap 8 with Morey, Meehan, Johnson and McCartney in the top 5. Quickly Marc Johnson had the 3J into the top 3 and worked his way to second around Morey as DeLorenzo was now in the top 5 after starting 11th on lap 20. Starting 15th on the field, Kenny Tremont Jr. was on the move and coming fast in the 115 now just outside the top 5.
The first and only caution flew as the Ravena Rocket Keith Flach, who was inside the top 10 and in a tight battle, slowed in turn 3. On the restart, Speshock again would be the leader but it was DeLorenzo showing the power, grabbing the third spot, shuffling Johnson to third as Tremont was now fifth.
Lap 27 found DeLorenzo get a great run through turns 3 and 4 to be the new leader down the front straight and quickly pulled away from the field and held on to secure his second NAPA Modified win of the year at the Malta speed plant and 18th of his career. Speshock for the second week was second with Marc Johnson, Kenny Tremont Jr., and Jeremy Pitts rounding out the top 5.
In other action, Joey Scarborough would grab the lead on lap 1 and never look back, dominating the Sportsman feature and picking up the win with Pat Jones, Cody Ochs after a great side-by-side battle with young Brock Pinkerous was third, 17th place starter Tim Hartman Jr. was fourth and 12-year-old Pinkerous held on for another great run.
The Pro stocks found the 2021 champ Chad Jeseo come from his sixth row starting spot to win the caution-filled feature event after grabbing the lead on lap 15 from race sponsor Luke Horning. Rounding out the top 5 were Chucky Dumblewski, Scott Towslee and Rob Yetman.
In the Limited Sportsman it was Chris Bisson in for the win and Jimmy Duncan picked up the Street Stock feature.
Another perfect day for racing at the Fonda Speedway greeted the fans along with a fine field in the pits.
The SUNOCO Modifieds made their way to the track for their 30-lap feature with JaMike Sowle and Rocky Warner bringing the field to the green with Warner getting the jump and third place starter Dave Constantino quickly moving to take over the second position with Sowle, R.J., Ronnie Johnson, and a fast-moving 10th starting Matt DeLorenzo holding down the top 5.
The 2RJ of Johnson worked his way to third in turn 3, putting Sowle back to fourth as he went right to work on Constantino and would be the new second place car. DeLorenzo was also moving up as he worked his way around Constantino as the two made slight contact to take over third in turn 4. With Warner out front, R.J. started to reel in the leader as the co-champions from last year are still looking for their first win of the year. Getting a run out of turn two Johnson on the bottom and Warner on the high side were side by side down the back stretch as they came up on the 33 of Rich Christman, who had slowed to head to the pits, taking Warner’s momentum away as Johnson would be the new leader.
The top 3 would be Johnson, Warner and DeLorenzo, all past champions at “The Track of Champions.”
Once out front the 2RJ of Johnson started to pull away as DeLorenzo was closing in on Warner’s rear bumper. On the move was the 1Z making a great move down the back chute, getting by two cars to move into the top 5.
A great race inside the top 10 was developing between Bobby and Danny Varin, Craig Hanson, and Demetrios Drellos. The caution was out as Steve Akers slowed coming down the front stretch, bringing the field back to Johnson, who had a comfortable lead over DeLorenzo, Warner, Constantino and JZ, Jessica Friesen.
Back to green Johnson would lead going into turn one on the bottom as DeLorenzo wound up on the high side, becoming the new leader out of turn 2. It was Danny Varin, who had worked his way to just outside the top 5 after starting deep in the pack.
Once out front, DeLorenzo was the class of the field and held on for his third win of the year and 40th of his career at “The Track of Champions,” Fonda Speedway, over Johnson, Constantino, J. Friesen and early race leader Rocky Warner rounding out the top 5 on another smooth racing surface that has been producing some great racing with multiple grooves.
FONDA SPEEDWAY – SPORTSMAN
Weekly the Fonda Speedway Sportsman have been putting on a great show for the fans with a talented field of both veterans and young talent making their way to the front. These are the names we are going to be seeing in the Modifieds at some point and if so, the Modified field is going to be in good shape for some time.
There are some in the class who are ready to make the move now as they have the talent and experience, but racing is an expensive hobby and the $$$$$ are what is holding most from moving up, or it could be they are just having fun doing what they are doing and that is what it is all about.
One of the young guns, Payton Talbot, picked up his first win of the year and second of his career after taking the lead with just three laps to go and holding off three-time champion Chad Edwards after a last lap caution flag. For Talbot it was his second win of the weekend after winning Friday night at Utica Rome.
After starting mid-pack, Talbot and Edwards worked their way to the front as did Cody Clark, who brought out the yellow early, spinning after going too high in turn 4, and then again put on a charge on the high side.
It was Harry Shaffer with the early lead before Brandon Gibbons worked his way to the lead on lap 3. Behind the leaders the Sportsman were putting on a show with great nerf bar to nerf bar racing throughout the field. Making his way from his 10th starting position, Brian Calabrese took the lead on a restart after Troy Zilles brought out the caution after contact with the back stretch wall tightening up the field.
With Calabrese out front, Talbot and Edwards battled and battled hard for second, swapping the position as Clark was making his way to the front. It was Talbot making his move on the top side of turn 2, becoming the new leader with three to go and held off the field after a last lap caution.
Following Talbot to the line was Edwards, Calabrese, Clark with a great run, and Chip Constantino with a solid run rounding out the top 5.
In the Pro Stocks, once again for his seventh straight win and 66th of his career, Nick Stone picked up the win. In the Limited Sportsman it was young Connor Prokop grabbing the lead at the green and never looking back to pick up his first win with a great run out front as the young talent was smooth and hit his marks lap after lap. Congrats, young man, on your first win. Four cylinders were won by Ken Hollenbeck and John Napoli as Jeff Trombley picked up the popular CRSA Sprint win.
In other racing action it was Matt Sheppard picking up round 2 of the Thunder on the Thruway Series SUNOCO Modified win at Utica Rome Speedway with Alex Yankowski, Alan Johnson, Pat Ward and Andy Bachetti rounding out the top 5.
The Sportsman found Payton Talbot starting the weekend off with a win as did Nick Stone, picking up the Pro Stock feature as Seth Martin picked up the Limited Sportsman win.
At the Valley of Speed, Lebanon Valley Speedway, it was Brian Berger picking up the J.C. Flach Memorial $5,000 to win event, his first win in six years. Following Berger to the line were Keith Flach, Bobby Hackle IV, Marc Johnson and Andy Bachetti rounding out the top 5. Bachetti grabbed yet another Small Block win as well that night.
The (STSS), Short Track Super Series found Anthony Perrego picking up the win at the Bloomsburg Fairground Speedway, along with the $7,000 paycheck. Ryan Godown, Danny Bouc, Matt Sheppard and Mike Gular rounded out the top 5. Local racers Andy Bachetti 11th, Brett Hass 16th and Bobby Hackle 20th.Travis Green won the STSS 602 event, with Payton Talbot hitting the road and finishing 11.
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