Johnson wins season opener at Ridge
FULTONVILLE – At the drop of the green flag for Sunday’s modified feature at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park, Marc Johnson was the only driver in the field of 15 cars with a feature win so far this season.
After 35 laps around the fast quarter-mile track, that still held true.
Johnson, who won opening night at Albany-Saratoga Speedway, led all but the opening lap of the main event, and held off off Kenny Tremont for the victory.
Joining Johnson with feature wins Sunday on Rifenburg Construction Night were Nick Stone (pro stock), Brett Wright (602 sportsman) and Justin Phillips (Lightning Sprints).
Josh Hohenforst and Johnson brought the modifieds to the green flag with Hohenforst holding the point on the opening circuit.
Johnson slipped past Hohenforst on the second lap and Tremont and JaMike Sowle followed suit on the next lap.
Johnson quickly caught the backmarkers in the field, allowing Tremont to move to within striking distance and track the leader as he picked his way through the slower traffic.
The first caution of the race came on lap 13 when Justin Boehler made heavy contact with the third turn wall. While the field was under caution, Sowle, Jeff Brownell, Craig Hanson and Elmo Reckner went pit side with Reckner the only one to return to the track.
With a clear track, Johnson and Tremont battled for the lead while Bobby Varin, Hohenforst and Jeremy Wilder engaged in a fight for the third spot.
The second and final caution of the race came on lap 24 when Shaun Pangman came to a stop.
Tremont pressured Johnson on the restart but could not mount a challenge as Johnson pulled away to a full straightaway lead for the win.
Tremont was second, followed by Varin, Wilder and Hohenforst. John Lutes Jr., Elmo Reckner, Bob Vedder, Floyd Billington, Jimmy Nagle and Pangman round out the top 10.
Rocky Warner held the early lead in the 25-lap sportsman feature but was penalized after contact with a lapped car on lap 9, turning the front spot over to Shea Montgomery.
The progress of the race was slowed by a pair of yellow flags and a red flag on the ensuing restarts.
Derrick McGrew pressured Montgomery and came away with the lead on the 10th lap, bringing Timothy Davis and Wright with him.
With five laps remaining, Wright rode the high side of the speedway to the lead, dropping McGrew to second with Davis, Mark Mortensen and Warner locked in a tight battle behind him.
The caution flew when McGrew spun on the backstretch, moving Davis, Mortensen, Warner and Montgomery up a spot.
Wright pulled away on the restart to claim his first Glen Ridge feature win. Davis held off Warner for second with Mortensen and Montgomery completing the top five.
Joe Szczapa was in charge of the caution-marred Empire Lightning Sprint feature until coming to a stop on the final lap between turns three and four with an engine fire allowing Phillips to get past and pick up the victory.