Story By: JUSTIN ST. LOUIS / KING OF DIRT – FONDA, NY – Tim Hartman Jr. and Bobby Hackel each made some dirt track racing history on Saturday, September 14 at the legendary Fonda Speedway.
Second-generation driver Hartman became the first driver to win the Dodson Construction “Northeast Crate Nationals” event three times, and fourth-generation racer Hackel won his first championship with the King of Dirt Racing (KOD) Crate Modified Series.
Glenville, N.Y., racer Hartman was utterly dominant in the 50-lap main event. After driving from eighth place to a runner-up finish in his qualifying heat, Hartman – the 2019 Fonda Speedway Sportsman Modified track champion – drew the outside pole for the main event. A 45-minute rain delay and five caution periods did little to slow Hartman down, and he led every lap en route to his third win in the marquee Crate Sportsman Modified race.
Hartman had brief challenges during the race from Tim Falter and Brian Borst, and JaMike Sowle made a last-ditch effort after the final restart with three laps to go, but Hartman never wavered and drove off to the victory. His win was worth $2,000 cash and a $250 bonus from Andy’s Speed Shop. Glen, N.Y., veteran Sowle was never out of the top five during the race and ended up second.
Schoharie, N.Y., runner Borst had an outstanding drive and was the third-place finisher. Defending Nationals winner Brian Calabrese of Johnstown, N.Y., came from 11th to finish fourth, and Hackel came from 16th in the fast-paced race to round out the top five. Former Fonda champion Chad Edwards finished sixth with Robert Bublak Jr. – earning substitute points for Tony Ballestero – in seventh place. Elmo Reckner came from 26th to finish eighth, followed by Aaron Burton and Fonda Limited Sportsman champion E.J. McAuliffe.
The three-race KOD championship battle was wide open in 2019, and Hackel was the driver standing tallest at the end. Hackel’s title run began with a victory on May 26 in the A-Verdi Storage & Office Solutions “Memorial Day Kickoff 50” at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, but a tough 18th-place showing in the “Leon Gonyo Memorial 40” at Devil’s Bowl on August 11 created a jumble at the top of the leaderboard.
Vince Quenneville entered the Fonda finale with a four-point lead on Hackel, with Adam Pierson, Billy Lussier, Joey Scaborough, and Calabrese all within 14 points. Scarborough and Pierson each crashed on lap 1, Quenneville had a tough night that began with a poor draw for his qualifying heat and ended with a 16th-place finish in the main event, and Lussier was one of 12 drivers who failed to qualify for the 30-car starting field.
All told, Rensselaer, N.Y.’s Hackel was able to squeeze into the championship spot by just seven points over Quenneville, 377-370. Calabrese ended up in third place overall, just one point behind Quenneville at 369. Ballestero (363) and Scarborough (362) rounded out the top five in the unofficial final standings, followed by Reckner, Pierson, Frank Hoard III, Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, and Mike Fisher.
Elmo’s Speed & Supply qualifying heat wins went to Sowle, Calabrese, Scarborough, and Connor Cleveland, and the last-chance consolation qualifiers were won by Joe Williams and Tucker O’Connor.
UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – 10th Annual Dodson Construction “Northeast Crate Nationals”
King of Dirt Racing Crate Modified Series – 50 laps
Fonda Speedway – Fonda, N.Y.
Sunday, September 14, 2019
1. (2) Tim Hartman Jr., Glenville, N.Y.
2. (3) JaMike Sowle, Glen, N.Y.
3. (6) Brian Borst, Schoharie, N.Y.
4. (11) Brian Calabrese, Johnstown, N.Y.
5. (16) Bobby Hackel, Rensselaer, N.Y.
6. (5) Chad Edwards, Mayfield, N.Y.
7. (18) Robert Bublak Jr., Ballston Spa, N.Y. (substitute for Tony Ballestero)
8. (26) Elmo Reckner, Ballston Lake, N.Y.
9. (10) Aaron Burton, Sharon Springs, N.Y.
10. (14) E.J. McAuliffe, Broadalbin, N.Y.
11. (13) Mike Fisher, Castleton, Vt.
12. (1) Tim Falter, Cicero, N.Y.
13. (9) Joey Scarborough, Brandon, Vt.
14. (20) Michael Wagner-Fitzgerald, Gansevoort, N.Y.
15. (29) Joe Orlando, Glen, N.Y.
16. (30) Vince Quenneville, Brandon, Vt.
17. (23) Harry Shaffer II, Fonda, N.Y.
18. (24) Matt Meade, Binghamton, N.Y.
19. (28) Frank Hoard III, Manchester Center, Vt.
20. (17) Dana Camenga, Earlville, N.Y.
21. (4) Daniel Morgiewicz, Goshen, N.Y.
22. (27) Bill Port, Amsterdam, N.Y.
23. (21) Joe Williams, Pattersonville, N.Y.
24. (15) Mark Mortensen, Scotia, N.Y.
25. (25) William August, Ballston Spa, N.Y.
26. (19) Brett Mortensen, Fonda, N.Y.
27. (12) Connor Cleveland, Corinth, N.Y.
28. (7) Ron Proctor, Charlton, N.Y.
29. (8) Adam Pierson, East Corinth, Vt.
30. (22) Tucker O’Connor, Lake Pleasant, N.Y.
Did Not Qualify (12): Cody Clark, Brendan Gibbons, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Marshall Hurd, Michael Ketcham, Shane Larman, Billy Lussier, Griffin Mansmith, Michael McCallion, Spencer Rapp, Dan Santabarbara, Brent Warren
King of Dirt Racing Crate Modified Series Champion: Bobby Hackel
Elmo’s Speed & Supply Heat Winners: JaMike Sowle, Brian Calabrese, Joey Scarborough, Connor Cleveland
Consi Winners: Joe Williams, Tucker O’Connor
Andy’s Speed Shop Bonus: Tim Hartman, Jr.
American Racer Tire Awards: JaMike Sowle, Brian Borst
Fastline Performance Hard Charger Award: Elmo Reckner (+18 positions)