FONDA — When the National Association for Stock Car Automobile Racing (NASCAR) began sanctioning stock car racing in 1948, Fonda Speedway was a charter member of the organization.
While racing events were spotty in the early years, the track began its streak of 72 consecutive years of competition under the NASCAR banner before dropping the sanction in the late 1960s.
Fonda Speedway promoter Brett Deyo recently announced that the “Track of Champions” would once again fly the NASCAR banner.
“I’ve been looking at the possibility (of sanctioning with NASCAR) for the last few years,” Deyo said in a news release. “For Fonda and Utica-Rome, we have the same core racers running both nights, Friday night at Utica-Rome and Saturday night at Fonda. It gives them an opportunity to run for a state championship, the regional championship and the national championship.”
Deyo also promotes racing at Georgetown Speedway in Delaware, which will also attract NASCAR sanctions.
“From the Georgetown perspective, there is more growth here,” he said. “We have a more ambitious schedule than we’ve run (recently). We’ve been a part-time track since 2016. We’re still not weekly at Georgetown, but we’re running more than we have in the past.”
The NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series sanctions weekly short tracks across the United States and Canada. Layne Riggs is the defending NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Division I national champion.
Fonda and Utica-Rome Speedways have previously been home to numerous Modified and Sportsman National Champions, including Richie Evans, Jerry Cook, Bill Wimble and Rene Charland.
Fonda Speedway hosted four NASCAR Cup Series races in the 1950s and 1960s. Junior Johnson, David Pearson and Richard Petty won these events, known as the Fonda 200. NASCAR last sanctioned Utica-Rome Speedway in 2016.
For Deyo, giving the competitors at his three tracks the chance to earn more money and the chance to race for state, regional and national championships made it a much easier decision to join the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series.
“It opens up a whole other earning potential for our racers and that really excited me because we always try to give them the most opportunities to make money that we can,” said Deyo. “I felt the NASCAR program gives them that opportunity without having to do anything different than they were already doing.”
Fonda Speedway kicks off its season 24-26. March with its annual car show at Viaport Rotterdam, before the cars are on their way to 40 laps, $12,000 to win the Jack Johnson Memorial Montgomery County Open on April 22nd.
Utica-Rome Speedway opens April 21 with Honoring Alex for Modifieds.
Deyo also promotes the Short Track Super Series (STSS), which kicks off its 10th anniversary season with the annual Sunshine Swing at All-Tech Raceway in Lake City, Florida, on July 7-11. February.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Deyo said. “We pride ourselves on paying well at our tracks. Anytime you can give them an opportunity to run for more money, that’s a good thing. Not to mention the exposure that comes with it, the honor of be a NASCAR champion. Especially during the 75th season, there’s just a lot of hype that comes with it.”
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