Hanson wins Glen Ridge season opener
FULTONVILLE – After two postponements of its opening night of racing, Glen Ridge Motorsports Park roared into action for the first time this season Friday night.
Veteran campaigner Craig Hanson showed he is ready to battle for the 2013 modified track championship.
The 2007 track champion got his season off to a good start, taking the field of 12 modifieds green to checkers for the opening night feature win.
Joining Hanson with opening night victories were Brian Pessolano (sportsman), Ben Righi (cruisers), Rob VanAernam (street stock), Joe Thorne (rookie sportsman) and Stan Wetmore (vintage modifieds).
By virtue of their heat race victories, Hanson and Elmo Reckner brought the modifieds to the green but the field went immediately to caution as it was determined Reckner jumped the start.
On the second attempt, Hanson won the battle into the first turn over Reckner and pulled off to a slight advantage.
The lead was short-lived as the first caution of the race flew on lap seven when Brett Graham’s ride slowed and stopped off turn two.
Hanson maintained his advantage on the restart leaving Reckner to battle for the runner-up spot with Jim Becker, Bobby Varin and Richie Price.
Becker fell back in the field, while Jeff Rockefeller moved up to join the battle.
Hanson’s commanding lead evaporated when the caution flew when Price and Rockefeller tangled between turns three and four, setting up a one-lap dash for the victory.
Hanson held off Reckner’s strong bid for the lead to get the win. Varin finished third followed by Becker, Price and Bob Vedder.
Pessolano used his front-row starting sport to its fullest advantage and led the first 14 laps of the sportsman feature, while Ray Zemken and Rocky Warner were engaged in a tight battle for second.
Zemken found his way past Pessolano on lap 15 and Warner would follow suit on a late-race restart.
Zemken and Warner locked in a battle for the lead and were side-by-side as they came off turn four for the white flag.
Neither driver made it back to the flag as contact sent Warner flipping end-over-end over the front end of Zemken’s sportsman.
Both drivers were uninjured in the wreck.
Greg Pessolano, who was running fourth, got caught up in the melee, while Brian Pessolano found a path through and inherited the lead with John Marsh Jr. in second, Kory Wilder third and Lamont fourth.
Pessolano held the lead on the restart but a faltering engine hampered Marsh on the final lap, allowing LaMont to get up for second, followed by Wilder and Greg Pessolano nipped Marsh at the line for fourth.
Dave Horning Sr. led the early laps of the street stock main event unchallenged. VanAernam made a late run and caught Horning with four laps remaining.
The duo ran door-to-door over the final laps with VanAernam getting a bumper ahead at the finish for the victory.
Horning was second followed by Jason Samrov and Jon Young.
Shane Playford challenged Righi from the start but could not find a way around the veteran and settled for second with Kerrie Hollenbeck third and Keith Tesiero fourth.