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Written By The Mountain Eagle on 7/3/24 | 7/3/24

 Brian Pessolano was a Dave Lape fan and racing student of Lape so his win on Saturday in one of the Dave Lape twin 22-lap features was very special and emotional.  Biittig photo

 Alton and Carole Palmer were presented with their Hall of Fame plaque by NYSSCA rep, Bonnie Mortensen on Saturday at Fonda.  Ed Biittig had the honor of inducting the Palmers into the Hall of Fame.  Biittig photo

By Ed & Betty Biittig

Our Saturday our racing was at Fonda and included the NYSSCA Hall of Fame inductions at the Fonda Speedway Hall of Fame & Museum prior to all the racing. It was a special night all around celebrating Dave Lape’s legacy at Fonda with the Dave Lape Memorial including the MVVDMS and NYSSCA Night.  It was a very busy night for all.   

Inducted at the ceremony in the Fonda Museum and Hall of Fame building were Alton and Carole Palmer, former Fonda promoter, Ric Lucia, and drivers, Jeff Trombley and John Kollar. 

Alton and Carole Palmer have made racing their life.  They met at Fonda, were married in 1976 and the rest is part of Fonda Speedway history. 

Alton sits atop the All-Time Win list in Sportsman with 56 wins and was Track Champion five times.  He won at other tracks in the Northeast, including a win at the NYS Fairground for the July 4,1999 race.

When Alton hung up his helmet, he and Carole remained heavily involved with car ownership and through their sponsorship.  Many other drivers in other divisions have benefited from the Palmer Service Center sponsorship in the past and currently.   

Jeff Trombley began his racing career in Go-Karts before moving to Mini Stocks at Albany-Saratoga where he recorded eight wins and the championship in 1983. 

Trombley made the move to Modifieds in 1984 at Fonda where he sits 11th on the all-time win list with 35 wins.  He won back-to-back track championships in 2001 and 2002.  Jeff also had wins at other tracks in the area. 

Jeff currently races with the CRSA Sprints where he has 13 wins and four championships.   

John Kollar first came to Fonda as a fan when he was a kid.

Kollar began racing in 1968 in his No. 10% Modified and recorded three wins during his time there. John was successful also at Utica-Rome, three wins; Devil’s Bowl, two wins; and two at Albany-Saratoga.

When John retired from racing, he became an owner of the No. 10% and currently has driver Chad Edwards behind the wheel.  The car has been very successful and John says he has only one thing left on his bucket list and that is to win at Super Dirt Week in Oswego.   

Ric Lucia became a race fan at Fonda.  He later began a brief racing career.  His racing career netted one feature win and third place in points and the Most Improved Driver Award as one of the highlights. 

In 1997, Ric submitted and was awarded the bid to run Fonda and then convinced his friend Marty Beberwyk to be his General Manager and the next 17 years he spent much of his time, first improving the facility with new bleachers in turn four, a concrete wall and catch fence along the front stretch.

He always prided himself in being visible and hands on as a promoter. 

The Dave Lape Memorial Night turned out to be a very emotional and exciting night for competitors and fans alike. 

Three different drivers celebrated first career wins Brian Pessolano, Modifieds; Mike Kalkbrenner, Crate 602 Sportsman and third generation driver, 13-year-old, Rocco Constantino, were all ecstatic to be on Checkerboard Square in victory lane at the Track of Champions.  It was only Constantino’s third time out for a race. 

There were make-up races from previous rain outs and NYSSCA Night with money given out to the top two finishing members across the line in each division plus a wild card.

NYSCCA bonus winners were: Modifieds Brian Pessolano and Jessica Friesen; Sportsman, Mike Kalkbrenner and Dylan Madsen; Pro Stock, Ivan Joslin and Devon Camenga; Limited Sportsman, Tim Wilmot and AJ Greco; Four Cylinder, Jay Ingersoll and Ken Hollenbeck and Randy Cosselman, the Wild Card.

Until next week please send all news and/or comments to


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