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'Big R': Ron Martin Memorial Summer Nationals, Mike Bonesky Memorial


Mon, Aug 21st 2023 10:10 am

Submitted by Ransomville Speedway 

One of the most anticipated races of the season is this coming Tuesday at the Ransomville Speedway as the Big Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series will be in competition for the Ron Martin Memorial Summer Nationals, and the Sportsman Super DIRTcar Series will be in action for the third annual Mike Bonesky Memorial. Both races are in honor and memory of two individuals who dedicated their lives to racing and the Ransomville Speedway. 

The racing action will be presented by Stirling Lubricants, Evergreen Tree Service, Wendt’s Propane, National Maintenance Contracting Corps (NMCC), Hebeler’s Sales & Service, and Krown Undercoating. 

It is the 38th edition of the Summer Nationals, and the 39th all-time appearance for the Big Blocks at the “Big R.” The Ron Martin Memorial Summer Nationals is in honor of Ron Martin and his dedication to Ransomville Speedway.

Ron “Pops” Martin was an integral part of the Ransomville Speedway family. Martin was a longtime official of the Thursday night go-kart program and was on the track prep crew for the Friday night racing program as well as Thursday nights. He was also the sponsor of his son, Greg’s, racing efforts with Ron Martin Motorsports. Besides working at the track, Ron was also employed by Lawta Farms and, prior to that, he was employed by Leaseway (Anchor Motor Freight) as a truck driver for 26 years, retiring in 2010. He enjoyed playing cards and spending his mornings with the “crew” at Dunkin Donuts in Ransomville. Ron was also an exempt member of the Ransomville Volunteer Fire Co.

The cars and stars of the Super DIRTcar Series will be invading Ransomville, as the “Big R” stars will look to defend home turf. Last season, 358 Modified track champion Mat Williamson scored his first Summer Nationals triumph, driving the Buzz Chew Chevrolet No. 88. Series superstars like nine-time and reigning series champion Matt Sheppard, Jimmy Phelps, Max McLaughlin, and more will all look for the victory on the Niagara Frontier against Ransomville’s tough field of 358 Modifieds, including 2013 Summer Nationals winner Erick Rudolph. 

The third annual Mike Bonesky Memorial for the Sportsman Super DIRTcar Series will also take place that evening. Sportsman drivers from throughout New York state and Southern Ontario will make the trip to Ransomville to race in honor of memory of longtime media member Mike Bonesky. The Bonesky family has put together a lucrative lap sponsorship program for the race, with an additional $2,000 being added to the race purse via lap sponsorships and other contingency awards. 

Mike Bonesky lived and breathed racing. He raced in the Bomber division at Ransomville Speedway in the early 1980s. After being behind the wheel, Bonesky had a pen, paper, and eventual computer with him as he was a columnist and writer in both the Gater Racing News and Area Auto Racing News. He also spent time handling the public relations duties for the indoor TQ Midget races at the Niagara Falls Convention Center as well as Holland International Speedway. Most recently, Bonesky was a member of Ryan Susice’s pit crew and spent time helping his grandson, Jackson’s, go-kart efforts for Thursday nights at “The Little R.”

Bonesky was an avid racing fan in general, as he had traveled to over 100 different tracks throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. Bonesky passed away unexpectedly in December of 2020. He was a graduate of Niagara Wheatfield High School and served in the United State Army.

The previous two editions of the Mike Bonesky Memorial have produced two different winners. In 2021, Scott Kerwin battled his way to the win. Last season, it was multitime divisional champion Brett Senek capturing the checkered flag. 

It will be round three of the Championship Series for the Sportsman Super DIRTcar Series, and the 35th all-time series appearance at the Big R.

Pit gates will open at 4 p.m., with grandstands opening at 5 p.m. Racing will get underway at 7:15 p.m. The Summer Nationals will be streamed live and exclusively on DIRTVision.

Wednesday, Aug. 23, will be utilized as a rain date, if needed. 

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