Bob Vedder Wins Modified Feature at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park
Bright blue skies, cool and comfortable temperatures, and lightning fast speeds greeted fans at the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park this past Friday night. The track proved to be extremely tacky which proved to push all the racers to their limits on the already fast quarter mile. The mighty modifieds once again headlined the racing card and saw Jim Becker and John Lutes Jr. lead the field to the green. Becker was able to jump out front but 3rd and 4th place starters Erik Nelson and Shaun Pangman were right on his tail. On lap 15, the racing action was paused as Bob Vedder got hooked on Donnie Elliott’s shock towers. Controversy came on the restart as Pangman got a huge run going into 1 and made contact with race leader Becker, causing Becker to go around. Nelson was also caught up in the accident, tearing the left door almost off and knocked the muffler off the car. He went pitside and returned to the track, but ultimately dropped out a few laps later. Pangman retained the lead but it would only last a couple laps as he would have a right rear go down, putting him to the pits. He tried to return but would lose his power steering, ending his night. 71 year old Vedder would gain the lead and capture his first checkered flag on the 2017 season. John Lutes Jr. would finish 2nd and hold off his niece Alissa Cody, who is new to the modified division this year.
The sportsman feature also provided great action as Ricky Quick and “Happy” Harry Shaffer would make up the front row. Ricky, driving the #76 Palmer’s Service car, took the lead and would never look back. Harry would be all over Ricky lap after lap, but Ricky’s car proved to be just a bit too much for Shaffer. The race for 3rd and 4th was one that kept fans on the edge of their seats. Chris Curtis and Jim Introne Jr. swapped the position every lap, ran side by side for all 25 laps. When the checkered flag flew, Ricky Quick would claim the win, followed by Shaffer, Curtis, Introne Jr., and Brian Nelson.
The IMCA modifieds once again graced the speedway with Beau Ballard and Aaron Jacobs pacing the field to the green. Beau would be the first to the lead, but it wouldn’t take Will Ward long to get to second place and begin chasing the leader down. It looked like Beau would claim his first victory at Glen Ridge on the 2017 season but the car began to pop and bog down, allowing Will a chance for the win. Beau did his best to prevent Will from getting the lead for many laps, but on lap 18 Will finally got under the ill-running leader and would go on to capture his second win in a row at the fast quarter mile, followed by Beau, Aaron Jacobs, Billy Ward and Mike Butler.
The Crusiers were on hand for another Friday night. TJ Marlitt and Chris Andrew made up the front row. Andrew wasted no time and jumped out to a huge lead with 4th place starter Pat McSpirit grabbing 2nd place. Although McSpirit tried and pushed his machine to the max, no one was touching Andrew on the night. At the checkered flag, Andrew had lapped all but 2nd place finisher Pat McSpirit. The slingshots were also back in action with Sr. and Jr. features. In the Sr. feature, Bryce Cherko started pole and jumped out to an early lead. His brother Spencer got by 2nd place starter Mike Hill and began running down his brother. Last week’s Sr. winner Jim Pollard and Brian Tobey Jr. were on a mission moving forward rapidly while swapping positions among themselves. Bryce would claim the checkered after 20 laps, with his brother finishing a close second. Tobey Jr. bested Pollard by one position, finishing 3rd and 4th respectively, and Mike Hill rounded out the top 5. The Jr. Slingshots had a rough start as Derrick McGrew Jr. came to a stop before the green flag was thrown. He was pushed pitside and teammates Garrett Polland and Blake Mahieu lead the field to the green. McGrew Jr. attempted to return but the chain came off and ended his night before it could begin. Polland and Mahieu battled hard all race long but Garrett would get the win. Mahieu grabbed second and Sloan Cherko finished a strong 3rd place.
This coming weekend is Memorial Day weekend and it’ll be Military Appreciation Night at Glen Ridge this Friday night. All active service members and veterans will get in the grandstands free with proper ID. On the card will be a normal show along with the Mohawk Valley Vintage Dirt Modified Series and the PowrI Outlaw Midgets. Gates will open at 4:30pm, and hot laps will start at 6pm. Be sure not to miss it!