Fonda Speedway’s Return To Glory

A field of modifieds prepare to go racing at Fonda Speedway this year. (Dave Dalesandro Photo)
A field of modifieds prepare to go racing at Fonda Speedway this year. (Dave Dalesandro Photo)

When asked what else he attributes his success to, Deyo answered quickly. “The car counts have held up and we’ve done better than the last guy in getting the show done,” he said. “These days, you have to have all that.”

One hurdle Deyo faced was when DIRTcar scheduled races against his season-ending weekend, which was scheduled to include a 200-lap big-block modified feature. DIRTcar later reworked its calendar, allowing its teams to chase the $53,000 winner’s purse at Fonda.

“I don’t have a problem with DIRTcar, they’ve got a problem with me,” said Deyo, whose STSS is seen by some as a challenge to the Super DIRTcar Series. “I liked it when Mike Perrotte was directing their programs. He respected me and stuck up for me and I respected him for that. He and I used to talk a couple of times a month but since he retired, there’s been no communication to speak of.

“I’d really like to get together with them, so our series schedules don’t clash. I don’t take it personally, as some would tell you I do, but it seems like they get pretty touchy.

“I don’t want to race anymore,” he continued. “We’ve almost got too many races now. My guys all work and can’t run around all over, so I’d like to do a dozen races or so next year with bigger purses.”

Deyo has long been known for having a large number of sponsors for his series and has brought many new sponsors to Fonda, leading observers to wonder how he can attract money when others can’t.

“I’m willing to take less,” Deyo said with a smile. “I find a place that works for them, get them involved and build on that. The bigger sponsors get more exposure and it works for everyone.”

The chief beneficiaries of all this are Deyo’s racers, who run relatively short features on smaller tracks for exceptional rewards. He calls his touring shows the “working man’s series,” and while he does attract professionals such as Matt Sheppard, Eric Rudolph and Billy Decker to events where they don’t have conflicts, the majority of his fields are filled by Saturday night racers looking to expand their horizons.

Another star who makes as many STSS shows as possible is Stewart Friesen. He also managed to get to Fonda when the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series events weren’t on Saturday and claimed four wins while finishing the season in the top five in points.

“Brett is a fresh promoter with an old-school edge,” said Friesen. “Bottom line, he’s brought Fonda back to life. He offers great purses for us racers but an even better program that is well run and efficient for the fans.

“The Fonda area is full of passionate race fans that once again have a great place to enjoy awesome dirt- track modified racing.” n