The ‘Lil Bear’ Outruns ‘The Hitman’ For Checkers At Glen Ridge

Column By: LAURIE FALLIS / RPW – FULTONVILLE, NY – Sunday was a beautiful day for racing, and what could be better than spending Mother’s Day with all the Mom’s at a dirt track…racing!

I spent Sunday night at my home for the last night of each weekend, the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.  It was the last race for heads up start as, starting next week, officials will start with the handicap system.  Translation?  Drivers who has recorded the best finishes will now be starting in the back.  Many drivers took advantage of their front row starting positions in their feature events during the course of the night.

In the 30-lap Crate Modified feature, Dave Constantino started on the pole wiht Tim “The Hitman” Hartman Jr. in the Parillo #27 had the outside by virtue of where they finished in their heat.  As the came to the green, it was the “The lil bear” Constantino that took the lead with Hartman in tow.  Adam McAuliffe, making his first trip of the year to Glen Ridge, was third.  He was piloting the DeRocher #10d.  Jim Introne and Corey Cormier held down the rest of the top five spots.

The driver of the Cyclone Chassis #7 was well in command as the rest of the pack settled in.  Approaching lap 16, Constantino found himself hitting lap traffic, allowing Hartman to gain a little but never able to make the pass.

The caution flew on lap 21 for the #20 of Cormier as he made contact with the first turn wall while running in fourth. With the field bunched up, would it be what Hartman needed to claim his first victory or would Constantino take his first of the year.

The green flew and it once again it would be the #7 pulling away into the lead, but Hartman was not letting him out of his sights this time.  As the laps clicked down, Hartman was digging to get inside of Constantino, and with two to go he made one last ditch effort in turns one and two.  The two made contact with both getting a little out of shape, but they kept their cars going in the right direction.

At the finish, it was Constantino getting his first win of the year, leading flag-to-flag. Hartman had to settle for second followed by McAuliffe, Joe Orlando, and Don Bellon.

“It’s finally good to get the win,” Constantino said.  “I knew Tim was on the inside of me, but I was not giving up the bottom.  We got a little twisted out there, but I have to thank my sponsors for giving me a great car to drive.”

The Limited Sportsman had Greg Perron and ‘Hot Shoe’ Billy August on the front row and, as the green dropped, it was the green machine of Perron taking the top spot.  However, the caution came out on the second lap as August as he slowed on the backstretch.

On the restart it was Perron, Larry Niemiec,  Derrick McGrew Jr., Shane Larman and Clint Bonner your top five.  The race continued under green flag conditions for the remainder of the race with Perron crossing the finish line first for the first time in his career.  McGrew ran a smooth race to come home in the runner-up spot followed by Niemiec, Ryan Heath and Larman.

After celebrating in victory lane, Perron’s happiness didn’t carry over to the pits, as after post race inspection was completed, it was deemed that the winner had an illegal distributor in his machine.  He was stripped of his win and points for the night, thus giving the victory to the McGrew.

“I just put this motor in the car at the beginning of the season and just started it up not knowing what it detailed,” the disappointed Perron said after the race.  “I didn’t even have a thought to check the distributor.  We will be back next week and try for the victory again.”

The Pro Stock feature was, once again, dominated by “Cousin” Luke Horning as he also led from green-to-checkers.  It was his third win in three races at Glen Ridge this season. He was followed across the line by Ivan Joslin, Devon Camenga, Justin Knight and Jamie Warner.

On tap for the Street Stocks was the Albany-Saratoga / Glen Ridge Street Stock challenge.  Round 1 went to Malta’s very own Randy Miller who took the lead on lap two and never looked back.  Miller had a great weekend as he also won Friday night at the “Great Race Place.”  Second was John Young followed by Dave Stickles, Steve Cosselman and Scott Lawrence.

“I really enjoy this track and can’t thank my crew enough for getting me here,” Miller said.  “This was a total team effort.”

The 4-Cylinders were once again showing the biggest car count and it was Andy Graves, yet again, taking the victory in fine fashion.  He is currently on a three-race win streak and was followed to the line by PJ Bleau, Cole Lawton, Wayne Russell Jr and Kurt Simonds.

“I want to thank all the mothers that let us go racing on this day,” Graves said after his win.

In the Sr. Slingshot class, Mike Hill has it rolling as he is proving that he is the man to beat, winning his second-in-a-row. The runner-up finisher was Bryce Cherko.  Third with a strong run was Brett Putnam followed by Tyler Vadney and Jim Mudge.

The Jr. Slingshots also had a two-time winner when all was said and done as the #40g of Garrett Poland showed the youngsters the fast way around. Following him across the line were Matthew Backus, Connor Hill, Darryn Fallis and Julianna DeRocher.

I hope all the mother’s had a terrific day at the races, as their sons or husbands brought home the victories as a gift, But sometimes it’s not always about winning or losing.  It’s just about having fun and being with great family and friends.  That’s more important in life.

As always, thank you to our military, especially all our service women who are moms that could not be with their family on their special day, Thank you!!!  BE SAFE AND SEE YOU ALL AT THE RACES.