Three of the top drivers on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour have entered this weekend’s 36th annual “Turkey Derby” stock car classic at Wall Stadium. The 2009 NASCAR Modified champion, Donny Lia, will be at the wheel of the Blewett Motorsports No. 1, a car that Lia sold to the New Jersey based team after experiencing much success in it. Ted Christopher, who finished third in the 2009 NASCAR point race, will be in the field as will the fourth place tour point earner Rowan Pennick. Pennick will be at the wheel of his familiar No. 93, while Christopher is slated to drive a Pennick team car numbered 13.
This trio of top drivers will have plenty of competition in Saturday’s tour type Modified 100-lapper. Among the most recent entries are Connecticut speedsters Les Hinckley and Woody Pitkat, while New York will be represented by the recent entries of Ken Darsch, Tony Ferrante, Jr. and Justin Bonsignore. Pennsylvania drivers have also been mailing in entries recently as Earl Paules, Matt Hirschman and John Markovic join the recent tour type Modified entries. Local favorite Tim Arre has also filed a last minute entry.
Entries for the companion Red Bank Sleep Shoppe Modified 100-lapper have also grown recently. Local racers Chris Hamilton, Chris Lane, Rob Schultz, Marc Nappi, David Reinhardt and Ron Frees have all penned entries in the last week and will be joined by invaders Patrick Emerling and Eric Goodale, both of New York, and Zane Zeiner of Pennsylvania.
Friday’s Late Model stock car 75-lapper has also attracted a lot of last minute entries. Among the entry forms received in the last week are Pennsylvania drivers Travis Fisher, Mike Sweeney, and Lorin Arthofer, while New Yorkers Kenny Matlach, David Macomber and Artie Pedersen have also sent entries in recent days.
Promoter Jim Morton has announced the time schedule for the 36th annual running of the “Turkey Derby” season ending stock car classic. As has been the case since the outset, Turkey Derby competition is always held during the daylight hours and is presented on Friday and Saturday (Nov. 27 and 28) of Thanksgiving weekend. This year, Sunday afternoon action has been added featuring Enduro style racing.
On Friday, November 27, pit gates will open at 7:00 a.m., with pre purchased ticket holders’ grandstand gates opening at 9:30 a.m. and grandstand seating opening at 10:00 a.m. On the track, all eight divisions that will see competition on the weekend will practice on Friday morning starting at 8:30 a.m. The Garden State Vintage Stock Car Club vehicles will then go 15-laps at 12:15 p.m., before qualifying begins at 12:30 p.m. Friday’s qualifying will consist of time trials for the Red Bank Sleep Shoppe Modifieds and the Late Model stock cars, along with heat races and consolation races as needed for the Calabreeze Pools Sportsman cars, Flanagan Retail Development Factory Stocks, I.N.E.X. Legend Cars, Street Stocks and the RBSS Modifieds.
Friday main events are set to start at 2:30 p.m. with the Legend Cars in a 25-lapper, the Late Models in a 75 lapper and the Factory Stocks rounding out Friday’s action in a 30-lap feature.
On Saturday, November 28, pit gates will again open at 7:00 a.m., with pre purchased ticket holders’ grandstand gates opening at 9:30 a.m. and grandstand seating opening at 10:00 a.m. On the track, Street Stock, TQ Midget, Calabreeze Pools Sportsman, RBSS Modified and tour type Modified practice will start at 8:30 a.m., while a mandatory drivers’ meeting is set for 9:10 a.m. Qualifying, which will consist of tour type Modified time trials and a “B” main and TQ Midget heat races will be next up at 11:00 a.m.
Saturday’s opening ceremonies will be presented at 12:35 p.m., before the Saturday main events of Turkey Derby XXXVI take the green flag at 1:00 p.m. The Sportsman 30-lapper will be first up, followed by the tour type Modified 100-lapper, Street Stock 30-lapper, RBSS Modified 100-lapper and the TQ Midget 25-lap main event.
For the first time ever, late-November racing action will be carried over to Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend as the shore speedway presents another of it’s popular “$5 Family fun Days.” Heading the Sunday card will be the popular NEETS Enduro Series and the INEX Legend Cars. All gates will open at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, with Legends practice at noon and main event action set for 1:00 p.m.
In the event of a Friday rainout on Turkey Derby weekend, Friday’s three main events will be added to Saturday’s card with qualifying kept to a minimum for only the divisions that absolutely need it. In the event of a Saturday rainout, Turkey Derby Day 2 action will be rescheduled to Saturday, December 5. If Sunday is rained out, that days events will be contested on Sunday, December 6.
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. Monday through Friday. Information and Turkey Derby entry forms are available by calling 732-681-6400 and at www.wallspeedway.com.