Calabrese collects bounty as The Ridge crowns champions
FULTONVILLE — On a night when Glen Ridge Motorsports Park crowned its track champions, Brian Calabrese collected the big prize.
The Gloversville driver made the most of a late-race caution and out raced David Constantino in a two-lap shootout to win his first feature of the year and end a streak dating back to May 6 where either Constantino or Tim Hartman Jr. took home the feature win.
For his performance, Calabrese picked up the bounty put up by Bill Yukowicz and “Jim the Man in the Red Seat” that had grown to $1,200 on top of the $600 regular purse for the feature win.
“I started on the pole but fell back but was able to get back up front,” Calabrese said in Victory Lane. “We made contact on the start and did tap. I did not intentionally get into him, it was just part of racing hard.”
Constantino crossed the line second to lock up the track championship in the crate modified division, while Derrick McGrew Jr. won the limited sportsman championship and “Cousin” Luke Horning captured his second-straight pro stock title. Steve Cosselman was crowned the street stock champion, while Mike Hill won the All-Star Senior Slingshot title and Garrett Poland successfully defended his track championship in the junior slingshot division. P.J. Bleau took home the dual-cam 4-cylinder mini stock track title and C.J. Shepler claimed the single-cam mini stock championship.
Joining Calabrese with feature wins Sunday were Ryan Heath (limited sportsman), Justin Knight (pro stock), Cosselman (street stock), Josh Samrov (dual cam mini stock), Wayne Russell Jr. (single cam mini stock), Tyler Vadney (senior slingshot) and Poland (junior slingshot).
Calabrese started on the pole and led the opening three laps before Hartman got to the front on a lap four restart. Constantino moved up from his fifth starting spot to take the point on lap seven and remained there through a series of restarts. Calabrese used the restarts to stay close to the leader. The caution flew for a final time with two laps to go for debris on the speedway, setting up the two-lap shootout.
Calabrese out-dragged Constantino into the first turn on the restart but Constantino charged back to cross under the white flag in a dead-heat with Calabrese.
The leaders rubbed as they headed into the first turn side-by-side. Constantino slid up the track, clipping the second-turn wall, breaking his momentum and allowing Calabrese to pull ahead to collect his first win of the season and the $1,200 bonus.
Hartman got up for second, with Constantino third, Bill August fourth, Heath fifth, Joe Orlando sixth and Jim Cronk sixth.
The Ridge will take a week off before starting its fall tour schedule on Sept. 23.