Anthony Sesely of Matawan served notice to all in attendance Saturday night that he is gunning for the 2010 Supreme Manufacturing Modified driving title by posting an impressive victory in the season opening 40-lap main event at Wall Stadium. The famous third mile paved oval opened its 60th season Saturday night.
Sesely wasted little time in showing his No. 16’s strength as he rocketed to the lead early. Freehold’s Steven Reed was also fast as his No. 55 was soon in second spot. This duo wrestled for several laps before Sesely built a comfortable margin and rode out the 40-lap distance in non-stop fashion. The top two cars were both powered by the track’s new spec engine. The engine, which can be assembled by a race team for just under $10,000 and by a professional engine builder for just over $10,000, is offered in an attempt to save race teams money.
Tommy Farrell of Tinton Falls held off the advances of defending champion Chas Okerson of Freehold for third, while Adam LaCicero of Lavallette was fifth.
“I have to thank my family and my crew for putting this together,” Sesely said. “They gave me a great car. We worked hard all winter to really have something for Jimmy (Blewett). We’re ready. We’re waiting for Jimmy (Blewett) to come back and race.”
Jimmy Blewett was a big winner in 2009 at the speedway, but did not enter Saturday’s season opener.
Brick’s Robert Sutphin overcame early trouble with his No. 50 to win the 25-lap main event for the Sportsman cars. After a front stretch crash slowed the pace at the opening green flag, Sutphin rocketed to the front and never looked back. Mike Smith of Wall crossed the finish line second, but when his car failed a post race inspection Christian LaCicero of Lavallette claimed runner-up honors. Andrew Krause chased the leader most of the way before spinning exiting the final turn in an attempt to take the lead. He spun across the line for third. Charlie Kremer III of Toms River and Joe King, Jr. of Absecon wrapped up the top five.
“This win is the crew’s win,” Sutphin said in the winner’s circle. “We broke a clutch in qualifying and they had to change it for the feature. They really worked hard for this win.”
Gregg Miranda of Hazlet grabbed the opening night win in the 25-lapper for the Street Stocks. Defending champ Carl Thomas of Tinton Falls crossed the line second, while Beachwood’s Bill Vanderveen, Long Island’s Ray Mineri and Howie Conk of Jackson completed the top five.
Howell High School Junior Robert French raced to his first ever main event win in the 25-lapper for the INEX Legend Cars, holding off the constant attacks of Malcolm Campbell the entire way. Brian Spencer, Trevor Alspach and Mike Fulton were the remainder of the top five finishers.
Ricky Williams won the 20-lap nightcap for the Flanagan Retail Development Factory Stocks over a hard charging Tim O’Shea. Defending champ Mike Bilello of Neptune was third, with Elliott Wohl of Howell, fourth and Wall’s Rob Longo, fifth.
Wall Stadium roars back into action this Saturday night (April 10) with four 35-lap main events on the agenda. With the Modified stock cars having the night off, the Sportsman racers, the Street Stocks, the Legend Cars and the Factory Stocks will all battle in extra distance 35-lap features. With the Modifieds off for the night, adult admission will be reduced to $14, while young people aged 12 to 16 will be $10, children 6 to 11 will be $6 and kids 5 and under are free. Gates will open at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, with qualifying set for 5:30 p.m. and main events set for 6:30 p.m.
The weekend will kick off on Friday evening as the track presents its first “Friday Night Cruise Night” of the year. For these events, held the second Friday of the month through October, Custom Cars fill the pit area and later in the evening cruise the third mile paved oval. Admission is free to all for this event, which runs from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.
On Sunday, the fifth mile paved “inner oval” kicks off the 2010 “Sunday Series” featuring Go Karts, wingless Midgets, Legend Cars, Bandoleros and Micro Stocks starting at noon. For more information call 732-681-6400 or 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 – 40 LAPS – 1. ANTHONY SESELY, MATAWAN, 2. Steven Reed, 3. Tommy Farrell, 4. Chas Okerson, 5. Adam LaCicero, 6. David Reinhardt, 7. Nick Gargiulo, 8. Dave Cranmer, 9. Roger Coss, 10. Harry Schaefer, 11. Robert Geibel, 12. Patrick Emerling, 13. Shaun Carrig