By: Ron Szczerba
Fonda, NY – On July 27, 2010 Stewart Friesen won the first modified feature of his career at the “Track of Champions” Fonda Speedway and he followed that up with another victory in the last event of the 2010 racing season. Since that time Friesen has compiled a total of 27 wins in just four seasons at Fonda with the 27th coming on Saturday evening on John Grady Vintage Photo Night at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds track in the Park’s Companies #1F Teo car.
Winners in other divisions at Fonda on Saturday evening were Tony Farone (sportsman), Pete Broderson (pro stock), Dave Horning Sr., (street stock), and Frank Blanchard (vintage). Over 40 former late model drivers were on hand for the racing event at Fonda on Saturday many getting interviewed by Jim King during the intermission. At the completion of the pro stock feature event they all posed on victory lane for a photograph with pro stock feature winner Pete Broderson.
Saturday evening at Fonda was a special night for photographer John Grady and his family and friends who were all in the VIP tower that evening. Grady has taken stock car photos for over 50 years after starting in the late 50’s at the Menands Speedway. During his photography career he was the track photographer at the Utica Rome Speedway from 1960 through 1965, the Albany Saratoga Speedway from 1965 through 1978, the Fonda Speedway from 1979 through 1981, and the Lebanon Valley Speedway from 1982 through 1995.
John along with his son Chris and his wife Sondra ran the novelty booths at Fonda and Albany Saratoga for many years. With the help of Bruce Kosis and Bob Novack John has over 50,000 images catalogued in his collection! His photos have been published in various racing publications over the years and are currently on display at the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the Saratoga Automobile Museum. John is a member of the New York State Stock Car Association Hall of Fame (NYSSCA) and his memory of yesterday provides a living link to the old days of stock car racing.