By RON SZCZERBA
For the Recorder
FONDA - On Saturday, the 40-lap $4000 to win "Ice Jam" event for Modifieds will begin the 61st consecutive year of competition at the Track of Champions Fonda Speedway.
Also on the racing card that day with the modifieds will be the 602 Sportsman division along with the Pro Stocks and warm ups for all other divisions.
The 602 Sportsman feature will be a qualifier for the Hurricane 100 event which will be held later this season at the Brewerton Speedway while the Pro Stock division will compete in a 15-lap $250 to win Dash for Cash event put on by 2012 Fonda Speedway Pro Stock Champion Pete Broderson.
Pit gates will open at 1 p.m. on Saturday with front gates opening at 2 p.m. and racing at 4 p.m.
Last year when the #21 Woodside Farms-sponsored Troyer car of 22-year old Mike Mahaney came out on the track for warm-ups on Saturday afternoon at the Fonda Speedway for the 2012 Ice Jam event, many people may have been wondering "who in the world is Mike Mahaney"?
When the checkered flag flew to end the 2012 Ice Jam modified feature event everyone in the grandstand at Fonda knew him as the newest first-time winner at the Track of Champions after he captured the 40-lap $4,000 to win event in exciting fashion after taking the lead on lap 37 from Elmo Reckner and holding off Matt DeLorenzo for the victory.
Jim Davis, Reckner, and 2012 Fonda Speedway Modified Track Champion Stewart Friesen completed the top five in the 2012 Ice Jam event.
Mahaney raced at the Fonda Speedway a handful of times, if that, before taking the big Ice Jam win last year. Mike is the son of former racer Jim Mahaney and together they run the family farm called Woodside Farms in King Ferry, NY.
"Nobody knows who I am," Mahaney said in victory lane after last year's Ice Jam. "We just came here today to try out this Finger Lakes motor and I just can't believe it, this is awesome."
Mahaney ended up taking a lot of money away from the Fonda Speedway in 2012. After winning $4,000 in the Ice Jam event in April of last year he finished off the 2012 Fonda Speedway season with a win in the Honoring Legends Modified event in September taking home $12,000 for his win in that event.
Also on the racing card for last year's Ice Jam event were two Dash for Cash events for the 602 Sportsman division and a single Dash for Cash for the Pro Stocks which were won by Brian Gleason, Jeff Rockefeller, and Kenny Gates respectively.
In opening day events at Fonda held over the last 60 years, Jack Johnson leads the way with eight opening day victories in 1972, 1976, 1982, 1983, 1988, 1991, 1992, and 1994. Following close behind with seven opening day wins is Lou Lazzaro who won events in 1963, 1964, 1966, 1969, 1971, 1977, and 1978.
Two drivers have taken home five opening day wins as Dave Lape (1981, 1984, 1989, 1993, and 1995) and Pete Corey (1955, 1956, 1959, 1962, and 1967) both accomplished the feat. Jeff Trombley has four opening day victories in 1997, 1999, 2000, and 2002 while Bobby Varin has three in 2001, 2005, and 2010. Jim Luke (1954, 1957), C.D. Coville (1979, 1980), Danny Johnson (1990, 2007), and Pat Ward (1996, 2009) all have two wins apiece.
Drivers who have one victory in opening day events at Fonda are Buddy Shuman (1948), Chuck Kotwica (1953), Irv Taylor (1958), Bill Wimble (1960), Tom Kotary (1961), Ken Shoemaker (1965), Don Wayman (1968), Rene Charland (1970), Maynard Forrette (1973), Dave Pelczar (1974), Pep Pepicelli (1975), Jimmy Horton (1985), Bob McCreadie (1986), Mike Romano (1987), Dave Camara (1998), Brett Hearn (2003), Tim McCreadie (2004), Mitch Gibbs (2006), Matt DeLorenzo (2008), Ronnie Johnson (2011), and Mike Mahaney (2012).
For more information on the 2013 season at the Track of Champions you can go to their website at www.fondaspeedway.com