(04/13/12 About Bloggin' Time) - Glen Ridge provided some race-a-licious action Friday night all around, which included a Modified feature that made it hard for fans to keep their rear end planted to the bleachers. What the fans and myself were treated to was a sloberknocker between three championship winning racecar drivers.
First my night started off by visiting with Klinko Steve Kline and Dynamite Dave Grace whom are two 2nd year drivers in the Rookie Sportsman looking to gain seat time. From there it was on to make Erik “Willy” Nelson and Jamike Sowle Twitter stars, which if you were following the Twit feed I posted pictures of both Modified drivers. Wandered my way past the ear bleeding pit meeting to prepare for some heat race action. Jokes started flying right away and smiles were all around, as it was race night.
Prior to heat race action I spent 15 fun filled minutes talking with Lex Luther’s archrival, Supermatt. That’s right Matt Sheppard and I got to rappin’ about all kinds of fun racing details that started with a thanks. It was appreciated he took the time to answer some questions for a previous article, which shed light on comparing touring modified series. This time we chatted racing like two chicks chat Twilight, Team Edward or Team Jacob? (lol) I can honestly say chatting with Matt was enlightening and I was feeding my hunger for information. I love to learn and anyone including myself can learn a lot from Sheppard. It was a most enjoyable chat before he headed off to take the big block out for his heat race.
Keyser Soze brought the usual suspects to my spot in front of the VIP tower including Boss Hog himself, which was fitting since Rosco just got done rallying the troops and sent Cletus to line up the cars for hot laps. (lol) Oh come on that joke fit perfectly, absolutely no offense intended and who doesn’t like the Dukes Of Hazzard? (Insert laugh here lol) Visiting with the people that make our sport tick is one of the things I enjoy the most at the track, so running into an old school Street Stock/Sportsman pilot named George Audi was a treat.
Shortly after he was side by side with Phlan Hart, which brought back memories of when it was a chore to finish top 10 in a Street Stock race at Fonda Speedway. Remember Audi, Hart, Arell, Achzet, Guffrie, Ballard, French, Martin, Gates, Meyers, and a slew of others. All it took to make me pull out a 1990’s Fonda DVD to see an old full fender race was two wily old veterans chatting about the golden era of Street Stock racing.
Well we can’t dwell on the past so back to the future for the Modified feature. It was without question one of the top 5 Modified races of all time at Glen Ridge. With only 2 cautions in 35 laps of racing on the Montgomery County Bull Ring it was quite pleasing to see the race turn out so close when all the heavy hitters started up front. Lap 2 saw Lance Willix exit turn 4 and subsequently wrap the right front tire around his header pipes. It was a hard hit and brought out the 1st yellow, which Willix got out of his car and expressed his displeasure with Bobby Varin. The only other yellow came on lap 22 when Jeremy Wilder suffered a flat tire and slowed on the track.
Other than that it was a 4-car battle for the win that started with Marc Johnson who led early. He was swallowed up by Sheppard, Friesen, and then Varin who engaged in all out twisted metal mayhem for the win, which had fans screaming from the sober folks in turn four bleachers to the not so sober folks in turn 1 grand stands. Sheppard was under fire from Varin and then Stew would poke his nose on the top. Varin got under Sheppard for two turns, but Matt’s no rookie and shuffled back by Varin. All the while Stewart Friesen was waiting for the opportunity to slip by. Sheppard held off all advances for the win, Friesen got by Varin for 2nd, Marc Johnson was 4th, and Jackie Brown Jr. cracked the top 5 with a solid run. It was a race so good I got Twitter’s cramp in my index finger, because I couldn’t type out the action fast enough. (lol)
Got a chance to chat with my pal Kelly Wilder who educated me on the difference between a 4.11 ring & pinion and a 4.86 and I appreciate the humor in that. (wink, wink lol) Ed Bitting Jr. and I always catch up and rap about racing along with whatever else we deem necessary to laugh at. This week it was the uncanny courage or simply insanity of his Fox Fast Track camera kick-side. The man who’s name I forgot at this point was outside turn 4, on the back of the pace truck, looking for all angles to shoot video, and bravely did it all without wearing his little reflective vest that is required. (puzzled? Me too lol)
Took the chance to chat with Chris Schaffer who drives the #34c Sportsman after his wreck last week off the backstretch. He said he was ready to roll and the car wasn’t damaged that badly. Unfortunately Chris found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time again suffering a bent front end in a red flag wreck on lap 9 that included Rick Lamont and John Marsh Jr. All drivers were ok, but not the start Schaffer wanted to his 2012 season. Surely he’ll get it back together and have a crack at a good starting spot next week. Look for him to win it. (Ok Chris I picked you, now don’t let me down, no pressure though kid lol)
The Sportsman race was all about Chad “lunchbox” Edwards who took the lead on lap one and never looked back. Even despite a few restarts he was never seriously challenged, as he ran away from a green machine and a flying squirrel. Sounds like a comic book script right? (lol) It was the first win at Glen Ridge for Edwards since September 19, 2010 when he won the 602 Nationals. 20 bucks says wherever he is sometime soon they’ll be paging “will Chad Edwards 2010 602 national champion, father, and home owner please report to the front desk please!?” (lol I do that to my friends, yes) One alarming thing that stood out to me was the significantly reduced size of the Sportsman field. With only 20 total on hand it appears the Great Race Place is in fact having an impact on the field size at The Ridge. Surely not intentional, but when a track previously had 50+ it’s hard to not notice over half the cars missing in action.
Chucky “the love muscle” McSpirit won the Street Stock race, Wild Bill Fox won the Rookie Sportsman, and for the first time this week Ken Hollenbeck won the Cruiser race. After yapping about Taco’s with my homeboy Butch Hazzard Jr. it was time to hit McDonalds for a Big Mac Attack. Big daddy was low on energy and needed fuel in the tank, but before I left I did catch up with Bobby V. and asked if it was a rut that sent him up the track in turn 2.
He said no-sir-e-bob it was the water that seems to be the only flaw thus far in 2012 at Glen Ridge. It lays in the bottom of turn two each week, as if it’s not draining out and sends cars up the track when someone spits it out on the track. Last week it happened to Edwards in the Sportsman feature, this week it got Varin in the Mod heat, which is why he slid up the track and made contact with Delaney and was sent to the rear. Someone get rid of that water pretty please, it’s causing accidents. Oh and tell the official to leave the Flyin’ Onion alone, k, thanks. (lol)
Alright folks that’s it for this Blog entry, which is written in a much different style than my Feature Column. Since the Feature Column has a title “Observe and Report” it was time to name the Blog. Since I’m fashionably late all the time to everything the only fitting name was “About Bloggin’ Time” for your reading enjoyment. I joke a lot race fans, but in the end I love this here sport of ours. Read it, live it, love it.
PS…My top 3 picks were Sheppard, Friesen, & Varin, which came in perfect order. That makes my pick percentage a solid 67% for 2012 so far. Oh yeah me logico esa undeniabla. (lol)
John Lutes Jr. was 12th