By ED & BETTY BIITTIG
The news last week that the RUSH Late Models are coming to Glen Ridge on Sunday, August 13 was a surprise, and an even bigger surprise was that Glen Ridge will run the RUSH Late Models as a weekly sanctioned division at the track for next season.
Glen Ridge officials, Jay Fitzgerald and Alicia Hughes have been looking at the possibility of bringing the group to Glen Ridge, and a week ago the announcement was made.
“We wanted to bring this together and announce it now, so drivers would be able to plan for next season,” said Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald also said that Glen Ridge will have an informational meeting at the end of the season. He and Alicia Hughes are already ramping up the promotion. They will travel to Woodhull Raceway on August 8 to promote the August 13 RUSH Late Models event at Glen Ridge before the RUSH affiliation next season.
“All of this would not be possible without Glen Ridge’s promoter, Ray Sefrin,” said Fitzgerald. The addition of the RUSH Late Models at Glen Ridge is one of the biggest moves for Capital District racing in many years.
Bringing the RUSH Late Models to The Ridge was not a surprise to Modified driver Demetrios Drellos, he has been working toward it for a while now. The young Modified driver had success in the Late Models in Florida and enjoys racing them.
Drellos was at the Glen Ridge oval on Sunday, handing out information and talking to drivers about the RUSH Late Model organization, taking laps in his No. 111 Late Model for the crowd, and commenting after his hot lap sessions on how amazingly smooth the Glen Ridge track surface was.
Demetrios was willing to answer questions and explain his Late Model to the drivers on Sunday. There was much interest, and many drivers talked to and asked questions of Drellos throughout the night.
One of Glen Ridge’s former Slingshot competitors, Brock Pinkerous has been racing with the RUSH Late Models this season and has been successful. He will be one of the drivers for next season.
Another driver to take the leap is, Luke Horning, who already has the offer of a ride in a Late Model for the August 13 event and, according to his Facebook page, has a car in the works for next season.
In talking with Derrick McGrew, Sr., on Sunday, he said his team will be headed to Ohio this week to pick up a car for Derrick, Jr.
The River’s Pro Stock race team is looking at a Late Model due to the fact that the payout is better than the Pro Stocks.
One other announcement from Fitzgerald at the driver’s meeting on Sunday was, no division will be dropped next season to accommodate the RUSH Late Models.
The August 13 event will be sponsored by Yurkewecz Auto Crushers and Northeast Paving & Sealcoat and will offer National Series points and $1000 to the winner.
What all this means for the drivers that decide to try something new in the area next season is that those RUSH members competing weekly at Glen Ridge in 2024 will be eligible to race for several programs provided by the RUSH Late Model organization, including the City Chevrolet National Weekly Series Championship, the City Chevrolet “Track Pack Bonus,” and the “Futures Cup” for those eligible racers. Membership is not mandatory to compete in any RUSH-sanctioned event, but membership does include a $100,000 excess participant accident policy, over and above the driver’s health insurance and speedways’ participant accident policy.
Demetrios Drellos is proving this season that he is one of the standouts in local racing. He is talented, ambitious, and willing to try something new to improve his racing.
On Friday night at Albany-Saratoga, Drellos came from the 14th starting spot to win the Stan the Man 32-lap Modified event for the second time, becoming the only one to do so in the six year history of the event honoring promoter Lyle DeVore’s father. The win put Drellos seven points behind defending track champion and current point leader, Matt DeLorenzo for the track title this season.
With only two weeks left in points at Fonda, Drellos sits two points behind DeLorenzo, who is also the defending track champion there.
Last week, Kenny Tremont, Jr., announced his retirement from racing, and we began to look back in our records for some Tremont trivia. Kenny’s first win at Lebanon Valley was on May 29, 1982. The Modified field that night numbered 24 drivers, all but two of whom are no longer competing. The two competing currently are Brett Hearn, who actually retired and has now returned to race occasionally, even picking up a win last November at the World Finals. The other is Tommy Corellis, who, at 82 years old, has returned to the high banks to help with track prep and has also been competing with the Modfieds on Saturday nights.
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