Warner wins Modified Throwdown

Small Block/Big Block Throwdown winner Rocky Warner, cener, is joined in Victory Lane by third-place finisher Jack Lehner, left, and runner-up Bobby Varin Sunday at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

FULTONVILLE — It was a breakthrough night for Rocky Warner at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.

Warner picked up his first feature win of the season in the Jake Spraker-owned No. 1J modified in the 35-lap, $1,100-to-win Small Block/Big Block Showdown Sunday night at The Ridge.

“We had a tough run last night and had to work hard this morning to get the car ready,” Warner said in Victory Lane.

David Constantino picked up his fourth-straight crate modified victory, while Justin Knight held off Luke Horning for the win in the pro stock main event. Steve Cosselman picked up the win in the street stock feature and Derrick McGrew Jr. won his third Limited Sportsman feature of the season. Andy Graves picked up his fourth win of the season in the dual-cam mini stock feature and Johnny Bennett took top honors in the single-cam mini stock main.

Bryce Cherko picked up his second win of the season in the added $300-to-win special event for the Senior Slingshot division and Connor Hill won the Junior Slingshot main event.

Rocky Warner celebrates in Victory Lane after picking up the victory in the 35-lap Small Block/Big Block Throwdown Sunday night at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

In their first appearance at The Ridge since July of 2017, the Big Block and Small block Modifieds took center stage.

By virtue of a redraw, Jack Lehner and Warner brought the field of 15 modifieds to the green with Warner outracing Lehner into the first turn to grab the early lead.

Varin began picking his way forward from his fifth starting spot and overtook Lehner for second with 15 laps to go.

Warner had a solid lead erased by a caution on lap 24. Varin kept the nose of the Palmer Service No. 76 out of Warner’s sight until the last minute on the side-by-side restart.

Warner was up to the task and held off Varin’s challenge for the lead, while Cody Bleau moved into fourth behind Lehner on the restart.

Willy Decker, left, Rocky Warner, Jack Lehner and Randy Green make up the front row in a 4-wide salute on the parade lap for the Small Block/Big Block Throwdown Sunday night at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

Varin would have one more shot at Warner as the caution flew with two laps remaining. Again “The Flying Squirrel” was up to the task and held off Varin for his second career modified feature win at The Ridge. His first came in a Ray Sefrin-owned No. 79 big block on May 17, 2013.

Varin crossed under the checkers second followed by Lehner, Bleau and Shaun Pangman. Randy Green, Lou Torres, Eldon Payne Jr., Jimmy Introne Jr. and Corey Lowitt complete the top 10.

“We had a really good race car but hands down Rocky had the fast car tonight,” Varin said. “Hats off to him. He may be a rookie in the modifieds but he has a lot of laps around here and he did a good job.”

Constantino quickly made his way to the front of the 25-lap crate modified feature, taking the lead from Jimmy Introne Jr. on lap four, leaving him to battle with Chris Curtis and Tim Hartman Jr. for the second spot.

Curtis pulled into second on lap six as the order of the three-car battle shuffled with Hartman third and Introne fourth.

Colin Dubois and Tyler Thompson made late-race charges to the front and moved into contention in fourth and fifth respectively when the caution flew with six laps remaining.

Constantino easily held his advantage on the front end of the feature as Dubois pressured Hartman for the third spot.

Hartman got under Curtis on the white-flag lap to finish second behind Constantino, while Curtis held off DuBois for third and Joe Orlando rallied to come home in fifth. Thompson, Introne, Torres, Vinny Visconti and Scott McCoy round out the top 10.

Knight and Ivan Joslin battled side-by-side for the majority of the 20-lap pro stock feature with Luke Horning stalking the leaders in third.

Horning went pitside under a lap six caution and rejoined the field at the rear but wasted little time getting back to third behind Joslin and Knight.

Joslin slowed on lap 16 exiting turn two, bring out the caution. He made his way pitside and rejoined the race for the final four laps.

Knight was able to hold off Horning on the restart and turned back a lap 18 challenge off turn four to pick up his first win of the season. Horning, the division points leader, finished second followed by Joslin, Jim Normoyle and Ron Delease.

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