FULTONVILLE - With a stout field of invaders on hand at The Ridge on Sunday afternoon, Bobby Varin successfully defended his home turf.
Varin led all but three laps of the $3,000-to-win, 35-lap modified main event to pick up his third win of the season in the Andy's Service No. 97 car.
Harry Shaffer picked up his first win of the season, slipping past Fred Muhlberger before holding off Chad Edwards for the sportsman division victory.
Andy Bachetti (34), Billy Decker (91) and Rich Smith (16R) run three wide through turns one and two during modified heat race action Sunday at The Ridge.
The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis
Jason Samrov took the street-stock feature from green to checkers to pick up his second win of the year in the street stock division, while Brad Sardelli picked up his first win in the rookie sportsman division and Chuck Wainwright Sr. brought home the cruiser division checkers.
Varin wasted little time getting to the front of the modified feature. Starting fourth on the 17-car starting grid, the Sharon Springs modified pilot moved past early-race leader JaMike Sowle on lap four and never looked back.
While Varin was cruising on the front end, David Constantino, Jeremy Wilder and Danny Varin were hounding Sowle for the runner-up spot. Sowle was up to the challenge until Wilder found a way past him on lap 27.
Meanwhile, the invaders were coming to the front.
Last Sunday's winners Matt Sheppard, Billy Decker, Kenny Tremont and Andy Bachetti all were within striking distance and looking for a caution to bring the leader back to the field, but it never came as Varin crossed under the checkers a half-track ahead of Wilder for his 17th career modified feature win at The Ridge.
Sheppard got past Sowle on the final lap for third with Decker completing the top five. Danny Varin, Bachetti, Marc Johnson, Tremont and Craig Hanson made up the second five.
The 35-lap sportsman feature kept the fans on the edge of their seats as Muhlberger and Shaffer staged a racelong battle that was interrupted twice by cautions.
Shaffer pressured Muhlberger continuously during the feature but was blocked as Muhlberger used lapped traffic to block his attempts.
While Muhlberger and Shaffer battled for the lead, Edwards and Rocky Warner diced it out for third. It was not long before the battle for the lead became a four-car fight.
Muhlberger and Shaffer hit the line together on lap 32, with Edwards looking for a spot in third.
Shaffer used the low line out of turn two to get the lead away from Muhlberger, and Edwards followed a lap later, but could not chase down Shaffer as he picked up his first career sportsman division victory.
Muhlberger finished third, followed by Chris Schaffer and Warner. Brian Pessolano, Greg Pessolano, Tim Hartman Jr., Korey Wilder and Mike Ostrander completed the top 10.
Racing will resume Sunday at The Ridge, with the green flag dropping at 6 p.m.