Column By: LAURIE FALLIS / RPW – FULTONVILLE, NY – The Mighty Modifieds made their debut in 2019 at the Glen Ridge Motorsports Park and it was a night Rocky Warner will remember for a while.
This was the first stop of many for the Modifieds this season, sponsored by Palmer’s Service Center, and what a beautiful day for racing it was.
For Rocky and the Spraker Racing Team, it was twice the fun. Warner made it to victory lane twice on the night. He was able to win both the Modified Sportsman features.
You could say he came to clean house and that’s exactly what he did as he pulled the broom out of the hauler and swept Victory Lane.
In the Modified feature, Warner would be setting on the Pole Position as Mike Ricci would make his return to the Ridge, rolling off from the outside pole in the 35-lap main event.
Warner went to the lead with Bobby Varin following along. Ricci would go three wide with Jackie Brown and Mike Maresca but ended up coming to a stop on the first lap. He rejoined the back of the field.
Varin was now on the outside front row for the restart. With two veterans of the track up front, it was looking to be a shootout.
Warner would get the jump and opened up a lead, As lap 11 clicked off, the leader was hitting lap traffic.
The running order behind Warner at the time was Varin, Brown, Maresca and Randy Green.
As Warner was going through lap traffic, Varin was reeling him in. How close was he getting? He was only two car lengths away and was quickly closing in until a caution came out for Ricci once again.
Rocky pulled away on the restart and put the car on cruise control with the clear race track in front of him. The race remained green giving Rocky Warner a half a track lead and his third Modified win at ‘the Ridge.’
Varin would have nothing for Warner and settled for the bridesmaids spot. Maresca would hold onto third with Green and Brown rounding out the top five.
“It’s always easier to start up front,” Warner said. “That makes it it even better. It’s always great to win here. We have found a good shock combination and i love these Teo cars I’m driving.”
After victory lane ceremony it was time for “the Squirrel” to hop into his Sportsman to do double duty. With it still being the final week before handicapping takes effect, Warner would start the feature on the outside row.
Scott McCoy would bring the field to the green flag, but it was Warner that would take the lead.
Brian Calabrese would take second followed by Andrew Buff, McCoy and Joe Orlando.
Buff would try to reel in Calabrese for second position but would then settle in the third spot as the race stayed green.
It would be all Warner as he would go on to the second win of the night and his third of the year in Sportsman at the track. Calabrese would come home in second with a solid run, followed by Buff. Orlando, who had a strong in a new DKM chassis, was fourth with Chad Edward getting to the top five after a tough night in the Spencer Racing machine.
Pro Stock action had Rookie driver Steve Cossleman bring the field to the green with hotshot Nick Stone on the outside. Stone jumped out to the early lead with Justin Knight moving into second with a pass on the inside of Cosselman.
The car that was on the move was the hottest Pro Stock drver out there, Luke Horning. Horning took over second on a restart from Knight and went low to take the lead from Stone on the same circuit.
Stone was not going to let Horning pull away as the duo’s raced side-by-side for 10 laps. The final two laps had Horning on the top and Stone down low. Coming on the lap car of Jamie Warner, heading into turn three, Horning would have the advantage. He used the lap car as a pick while Warner took the bottom lane away from Stone.
That was all Horning needed to seal the deal as he went on to win his third-in-a-row at the Ridge. With a great run, Stone came home second. Ivan Joslin was third, Jim Normoyale was fourth and Graves passed Cosselman for fifth.
The Limited Sportsman winner was Brendon Gibbons. He was followed by Billy August, Tucker O’Conner, Harold Robitaillie and Brett Mortensen.
Brock Pinkerous took the early lead in the Jr. Slingshots feature and never looked back. He was victorious over Backus, Blowers, Duncan and Fallis.
The All Star Slingshot feature was won by Brett Putnam, coming from fourth starting position. It would be his second in-a-row at the Ridge.
Mike Hill took the early lead as Putman stalked him. Putnam put his machine on the outside on lap 12 and pulled away for the convincing win. Hill settled for the runner-up spot with Ballard third, Rookie driver Garrett Poland was fourth followed by Vandy.
Mini Stock Dual Cam feature winner was Josh Kane. He was followed by John Napoli and Jason Celebucki. Josh Samrov would come acorss the line fourth, giving him the Single Cam victory. Chris Burenett rounded out the top five.
Street Stock action would see Jason Samrov get the early lead but not hold on for long as Cliff Haslun took advantage after a restart. He looked like he was going to run away with it until Clifford Booth had something to say about that. Booth began pressuring Haslun for the lead but Haslun would not be denied.
Booth finished second followed by Damion Andersen, Ken Allen and Samrov.