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Racing Around: Glen Ridge in action on Sunday

September 9, 2010
By JAMES A. ELLIS, The Leader-Herald

With the modified and pro stock divisions taking the week off at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park, the sportsman division will take center stage.

Glen Ridge will host the 60-lap, $1,500-to-win 602 Nationals for the sportsman division Sunday, along with Championship Night for the street stock and cruiser divisions plus an enduro.

"When Jake [Spraker] and I took the track over that was the class they were really pushing," Glen Ridge co-promoter Mike Romano said. "That class has grown more than any other class with great turnouts. We decided that since nobody has done a big race with those guys, we would do a big 602 race before somebody else does. We found the right date where nobody else was running and put up a purse that was probably four times what they normally race for. This is $1,500-to-win and we have bonus money besides."

The main event on Riley Mortuary/Dodson Construction Night will feature a 26-car field with $100 to take the green. No modified drivers will be allowed to compete and a B-main and a rookie race also are on tap.

"The rookie race will be $100 to win," Romano said. "Normally, we present the rookie winner and trophy and added him to the feature field, but this time the winner gets $100 and is not added."

The Ridge also has opened the tire rule to allow competitors to run on their regular track tires. However, there is a bonus for the first driver who finishes with four Hoosier tires, Glen Ridge's track tire, on the car.

"We tried to make it as even as we could," Romano said. "They can't say they didn't want to buy tires. We have had a lot of interest from cars from Vermont, New Hampshire, some Lebanon Valley cars and DIRT cars coming and we have had call from guys who race at Accord. We are looking at having 35 or more cars."

Gates are scheduled to open at noon with hot laps taking to the track at 3 p.m. and the green flag dropping on the day's racing at 3:45 p.m.

"We will run the features after dark so it will be a good race, but we want to try to get everybody back on the road around 8 p.m.," Romano said.

Champions crowned

Glen Ridge crowned three of its track champions last Saturday night.

JaMike Sowle picked up his first career modified track championship; while Bodie Bellinger took home the sportsman division title and Rocky Warner won the pro stock division crown.

Sowle and Craig Hanson battled throughout the season, but a hard crash by Hanson two weeks ago gave Sowle the points lead, which he protected Saturday night with a seventh place finish to claim the title by 19 points over Hanson who finished fifth in Saturday's feature won by Elmo Reckner.

"JaMike finished every lap of every race, heat race and features and had four feature wins," Romano said. "Craig had a bad wreck two weeks ago that hurt, but he also had four wins this season."

Bobby Varin finished third in the points chase and had the most feature wins in the division with five.

Jimmy Davis had two feature wins this year with Erik Nelson, David Constantino and Reckner completing the win list.

The sportsman division point's battle came down to the final turn of the final lap Saturday.

Bellinger needed a win to have a shot at the title. The Johnstown High School student did what he needed to, picking up his lone win of the season Saturday.

Tony Farone was riding in fourth on the final lap, which would have tied him with Bellinger for the title.

However, Brian Pessolano slipped past Farone on the last lap to give Bellinger the title by two points, 846-844.

Warner picked up his sixth pro stock victory of the season Saturday to claim the track championship by 54 points over runner-up Buddy Hencke.

The street stock division title will be decided Sunday.

Rob VanAernam is looking to add the Glen Ridge track championship to his Fonda Speedway track championship and holds a 20-point lead over Brian Cosselman, 908-888, heading into the final point race.

Chuck McSpirit runs in third with 882 points. VanAernam has four wins this season, while McSpirit has five and Cosselman is looking for his first win of the year.

Ken Hollenbeck leads the overall cruiser division point battle with seven wins and 884 points. Laurie Fallis is second with three wins and 870 points heading into the final point's race.



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