FULTONVILLE - The 2012 racing season has been one Jeremy Wilder will remember.
Earlier this season, he picked up his first career modified victory at The Ridge, something he would do three more times during the year.
Wilder's season-long performance culminated in his first career modified track championship at The Ridge on?Saturday.
"This is kind of a capstone on our year," Wilder said. "We had a very good year with four wins This means a lot to us. To have a year like we have had and to add a championship to it is huge."
Also awarded track championships Saturday night were Rocky Warner (sportsman), Dave Grace (rookie sportsman) and Chuck Wainright Jr. (cruiser). Rob VanAernam locked up his third straight street stock championship last Saturday.
Picking up feature wins on the night were Stewart Friesen (modified), Harry Shaffer (sportsman), Grace (rookie sportsman) and Anthony Alger (cruiser). In the added CRSA sprint car A-main, Danny Varin picked up the victory over Cory Sparks, Art Kiser, Chad King and Josh Pieniazek.
Coming into the night, Wilder held a 21-point advantage over Bobby Varin in the modified points standings. Varin started seventh in the 20-car field, while Wilder started in 12th. Varin quickly moved into the top five but saw his night end along with his shot at the track championship end on lap four when his car slowed exiting turn four. Wilder's run was not uneventful as he went pitside on lap 10 with a flat tire but returned to the feature.
"We knew Bobby had a good car and we finished third to him in the heat race," Wilder said. "I didn't realize he dropped out until we came in with a flat tire and went back out that is when I knew he was out. After that, I was just out to get a good finish."
While Wilder was cruising to his track championship, Craig Hanson and Stewart Friesen hooked up in a battle for the win in the 35-lap main event.
Hanson took the lead from Jim Becker on lap five and Friesen pulled into the runner-up spot on lap 11. A lap 18 caution brought Friesen up to Hanson's back bumper, but the Tribes hill modified pilot was up to the challenge.
Friesen tried multiple lines to get around Hanson but was rejected until lap 32 when he made a move in traffic to gain the top spot. Hanson made a strong bid to regain the lead on a last-lap restart, but Friesen had enough to turn back the challenge and pick up the victory. Hanson was second followed by Becker, Marc Johnson and Wilder.
Shaffer wired the field to pick up his third sportsman feature win of the season, but the battle for the track championship followed a path of many twists and turns.
Chad Edwards came into the night 22 points ahead of Warner.
By lap five Edwards was five spots ahead of Warner but got tangled with Kory Wilder in a turn two accident. Edwards made a quick pit stop and rejoined the field seven spots behind Warner.
When the red flag flew on the restart for a multi-car accident, Edwards' night became more complicated as the clutch in his sportsman went out.
He was able to rejoin the race and keep his championship hopes alive after a push to get started.
Warner pulled into second behind Shaffer with five laps to go and Edwards had worked his way back into seventh, but his night came to an end on a lap-23 restart when Jeff Rockefeller caught the inside berm and got out of shape, collecting Edwards. When Edwards was towed to the pits, his finish placed him two points behind Warner who was running second. On the restart, Chris Schaffer powered around Warner to take over second, a move that moved Edwards back on top in the points by two. However, as the field exited turn four and headed for the checkers, Schaffer slid up the track and Warner dove to the low side of the speedway to reclaim the runner-up spot and the sportsman title by two points. Schaffer finished third behind Shaffer and Warner with Brian Gleason fourth and Brian Pessolano fifth.
Saturday's race program was the final night at The Ridge under the promotership of Mike Romano and Jake Spraker.