Up until the past two weeks, Glen Ridge Motorsports Park has been blessed with good weather and the drivers have rewarded the fans with top-notch racing.
Friday night, The Ridge appears ready to shake off its two-week weather layoff with its biggest modified event to date.
"Mike Sowle [Sowle Tractor Trailer Repair] talked to us a little bit over the winter and said he wanted to do something big for July 4," Glen Ridge co-promoter Mike Romano said. "He did the fireworks last year and said he wanted to do want to do the fireworks, again and a 50 lapper with $2,500-to-win. He put that money up and we raised the rest of the purse for the rest."
Friday night's race card now features the 50-lap, double-point DIRTcar modified feature, the DIRTcar sportsman, rookie sportsman feature, street stocks and cruisers along with a fireworks display.
"It is actually good for the fans because we would have to charge more money, but thanks to Mike, the fans are now getting this entire show for $10," Romano said.
Reflecting on the first half of the season, Romano smiled and called it "Phenomenal. Weather-wise, up until the last two weeks, we were the only track that did not have a rain out. Most tracks have only gotten about five shows in and we have 10. The racing has been spectacular this season and we have had so many people say the track has been great. There are guys running up on the top, guys running the bottom and we have added a lot of new faces."
One of the new faces has adjusted to the quarter-mile very nicely.
"Kenny Tremont has been better than I expected," Romano said. "I knew Kenny would be good, but I didn't think he would be leading the points. He is very consistent. I think he has figured it out and has run real strong the last three weeks. He will be tough because he is smart and does not put himself in compromising spots. I am sure that in the 50-lapper he will take his time and get to the front."
The car counts also have been consistently strong in all divisions.
"Even with the bad economy, our car counts have been good," Romano said. "We knew we were going to get some new modifieds this year, and we have averaged about 22 cars, which is good. And the sportsman the last two weeks, we had 30 regular sportsman. Plus, two weeks ago, we had 18 rookies. The last race, the cruisers picked it up and we had 18 of them. It has been good."
Romano is looking for the momentum built in the opening weeks to carry over as The Ridge has several special events on tap in the second half of the season.
"The ESS are coming July 15 and we have the Tobias Speedsters coming the end of July," he said. "The Lightning Sprints are coming back next week. They put on a phenomenal show the first time they were there. The track is awesome for them.
It has been all good this year. We added more bleachers that was definitely a necessity. I am looking forward to the rest of the season."
Gabriel wins at I-88
The Thunder Series rolled into I-88 Speedway Tuesday night but could not get the entire program in as rain forced the track to cancel racing before all the qualifying and features hit the track.
The teams returned to the track Wednesday night and I-88 regular Jim Gabriel defended his home turf, leading 42 of the 50 laps to claim the $5,000-to-win modified feature.
Rich Ricci was second, followed by Tim McCreadie, Danny Johnson and defending Thunder Series champion Stewart Friesen.
After suffering its fifth rainout of the season Fonda Speedway is ready to roar back into action Saturday night, Morris Auto Group night, with a regular race card on tap plus its annual fireworks display.
The sixth annual Hondo Classic will take to the track on July 9 and will serve as a Pro Stock Thunder Series race.
On July 27, the Lucas Oil Late Models will return to the speedway along with a 50-lap, $5,000-to-win modified Thunder Series event for the midweek show.