CANAJOHARIE, NY - Five-time Fonda Speedway track champion and the 2000 Fonda Most Popular Modified driver, Dave Lape, 54 and from Canahoharie, is set to begin his 38th season of competition driving the Burrows Motorsports No. 22 this Saturday at...
CANAJOHARIE, NY - Five-time Fonda Speedway track champion and the 2000 Fonda Most Popular Modified driver, Dave Lape, 54 and from Canahoharie, is set to begin his 38th season of competition driving the Burrows Motorsports No. 22 this Saturday at his beloved "Track of Champions".
After a back injury caused by an accident at Fonda in 1997, two winless seasons in 1997 and 1998, and finishing the building of a new home, in 1999 Lape purchased a TEO Pro Car from Bobby Hearn. He decided it was time to re-focus on racing and strengthen his team, and immediately out of the box with the new car, Lape was in victory lane on May 22, just one week after his idol, Lou Lazzaro won his 113th and final Fonda triumph. As the 1999 season came to a close, Lape was in contention for a top finish week in and week out, and put together enough consistent finishes for a fourth place points ranking.
Lape, who as a young boy at Fonda was a fan of legends Lou Lazzaro, Pete Corey, and Bill Wimble, was inspired in 1964 to begin racing with his heroes. During the 2000 season at Fonda, he found the "Fountain of Youth", as the veteran driver scored three feature wins and finished a respectable third in the final season point standings, bringing his Fonda win total to 90 victories, spread out over 29 winning seasons of competition. Currently, Lape ranks third on the all-time win list at Fonda, with only Lou Lazzaro (113 wins) and Jack Johnson (136 wins) above him.
Several of his performances, especially his victory last year on May 27, seemed to turn the clocks at Fonda back 20-years when Lape dominated Fonda along with the likes of Jack Johnson and Lou Lazzaro. For that victory, Lape was awarded with Fonda management's "Crowd Pleaser" award along with the New York State Stock Car Assocation's (NYSSCA) Outstanding Performance award for the Modified division at Fonda.
With a total of 180 career feature wins with wins at eleven different tracks, Lape received one more important distinction during the 2000 season. DIRT Motorsports, celebrating its 25th anniversary, ranked him as the 10th best driver in their Top 25 All-Time Best drivers on the DIRT circuit.
Other important point titles Lape has received during his illustrious career include the 1977 Mr. DIRT Championship driving the very first Tobias chassied car plus three championships at Cayuga County ('77, '82, & '83), two at Utica-Rome ('81, '85), and one Albany-Saratoga ('82). Lape's five Fonda championships came in 1983, 1986, 1987, 1991, and 1992. Among his biggest wins are the Eastern States 200 at Orange County in 1984 and the Rolling Wheels 200 in 1985 and 1989.
After two seasons of running the 1999 TEO Pro Car, Dave thought it was time to update and freshen the equipment, and thankfully, team owners Fred and Louise Burrows agreed.
During the off-season, the team purchased a 2001 TEO Pro Car, which he received days before the Christmas holiday. Lape has been busy all winter preparing the car for the new season, which will mark his fifteenth consecutive year with car owners Fred and Louise Burrows. Under the hood will be an updated potent Boyd motor, and the entire team is fired up and ready for the new season with great optimism.
In the twilight of his career, Lape is quick to recognize that if it were not for sponsorship and the support of many valued friends, he would not be able to continue racing at such a competitive level.
Sponsors of the team for the 2001 season at Fonda include Fred Burrows Trucking & Excavating of Whitesboro along with Canajoharie area businesses Central National Bank, M.W. Roosevelt's and Sons Chevy-Olds, and W.W. Custom Clad. Other sponsors include A & B Speed Equipment in Johnstown, Buanno's Body Shop in Gloversville, and Prime Signs in Fonda.
Lape, who still enjoys racing and winning races especially for his 8-year old daughter Jessica and wife Jackie, has lived his childhood fantasy every Saturday night for nearly 40-years at Fonda Speedway. He has lived for racing just like his late hero Lou Lazzaro, and is hungry for more victories to add to his distinguished career. He will always carry a touch of racing history, and the Fonda flame burns brightly on the side of the No. 22, Dave Lape!