After suffering through two horrendous early season crashes that were not his fault, Freehold’s Steven Reed rebounded with the biggest victory of his career Saturday night by winning the 49th running of the “Garden State Classic 150” at Wall Stadium. Just as the Reed received good news with his impressive Able Ford Subaru Racing Series victory, fans in the large grandstand crowd also got positive news as promoter Jim Morton announced with he had a tentative agreement with property owners to present racing again in 2010.
When the Red Bank Sleep Shoppe Modifieds lined up for the 150-lap grind, Reed was third on the grid by the luck of the draw after posting the fastest one lap time in time trials. The event got off to a rocky start, however, when Tim Arre of Toms slammed the fourth turn rail with his No. 81 and was then hammered by point leader Jimmy Blewett of Howell in the No. 5. Both cars were out of the race with heavy damage and Arre was transported to the Jersey Shore Medical Center with a possible shoulder injury. (Editor's Note Arre has since been released from the hospital on Sunday and he hopes to race this coming Saturday night if his car can be repaired in time)
Once that accident was cleared, Reed charged to the front of the field. Reed’s No. 55 then held the lead for the remainder of the distance, although several challengers tried to steal away the glory. First Shaun Carrig of Little Falls knocked on Reed’s door, before Anthony Sesely of Matawan moved into the runner-up spot at the half way mark. Neptune’s Tommy Farrell then took his turn at the leader starting on lap 120 before Chas Okerson of Freehold took up the chase near lap 130. Chris Hamilton of North Haledon, who took over second with just ten laps remaining, chased Reed to the finish line.
At the checker flag it was Reed, Hamilton, Okerson, Carrig and Brick’s Robert Geibel rounding out the top five. Sesely was sixth.
“This is the one race that has always eluded my family, so I am glad to win it,” Reed said. “At first we were going to pit for new tires, but we were running so good on what we had, we decided to stay out there.”
Reed was one of the few finishers who completed the distance on one set of tires.
“I am really proud of all the people who help me,” Reed said. “We’ve wrecked this car a couple of times this season and they just keep coming back and making it perfect. I have to thank my Mom and Dad and all the crew. This win is big.”
In support division action, Roush Racing team member Ryan Flores made one of his rare Wall Stadium visits worthwhile by winning the 25-lapper for the INEX Legend Cars over Brick’s Bryan Gardella and Mark Tischler of Bridgewater.
Gregg Miranda of Hazlet fought off stiff competition from start to finish to win the 25-lap main event for the Street stocks. Justin Gumley of Colts Neck applied plenty of pressure before finishing second, while Ralph Gargiulo of Brick was third.
Kevin Davison of Howell fought off Brick’s Robert Sutphin to win the 25-lapper for the Calabreeze Pools Sportsman racers, while Dan Curtis of Jackson was third. Vinnie Green of Red Bank won a 20-lap wrestling match with runner-up Richard Petey of Hackettstown to grab the Flanagan Retail Development Factory Stock trophies. Joey Helberg of Union was third.
Wall Stadium races back into action this Saturday night, July 25, with the Modifieds, Sportsman, Street Stocks, Legend Cars and Factory Stocks in action. Also on the card will be the first appearance of the year by the ATQMRA TQ Midgets. The Midgets will race in the 30-lap “Tony Romit Memorial.”
The day will start at high noon when competitor gates open, while a two hour paid practice session will begin at 1:00 p.m. The day’s regularly scheduled practice will run from 3:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m., while spectator seating opens at 4:00 p.m. Qualifying for all divisions begins at 6:00 p.m. with main event racing starting at 7:30 p.m.
Wall Stadium presents professional motorsports events every Saturday night through Labor Day. Most Sunday afternoons feature the “Small Car Series” on the fifth mile paved “inner oval.” Legend Cars, Bandoleros, TQ Midgets, Open Karts, Champ Karts, Microstocks and World Formulas are on the card. For more information on the Sunday Series visit http://wtssundayseries.synthasite.com
Wall Stadium is located on Route 34 in Wall Township, N.J., just one mile north of Garden State Parkway exit 98 and Interstate 195 exit 35B. The speedway office is open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and all day Saturday during events. The speedway hotline number is 732-681-6400, while more information is also available at www.wallspeedway.com.
MODIFIED FEATURE – 150 Laps – 1. STEVEN REED, FREEHOLD, 2. Chris Hamilton, 3. Chas Okerson, 4. Shaun Carrig, 5. Robert Geibel, 6. Anthony Sesely, 7. Adam LaCicero, 8. Marc Nappi, 9. Scott Riggleman, 10. John McCormack, 11. Rob Hyer, 12. Dave Anderson, 13. Tom Cottrell, 14. Jason Treat, 15. Dave Michel, 16. Tommy Farrell, 17. Billy Cole, 18. David Reinhardt, 19. Chris Lane, 20. Stu Paer, 21. Tim Arre, 22. Jimmy Blewett