WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. ~ Jason Hearne used power, speed, handling and raw emotion to race to victory in the 40-lap main event for Downs Ford Modified stock cars at Wall Stadium Saturday night. The victory on Christmas in July/NAPA Auto Parts Night was the second win of the season for the New Egypt resident who is the son of the speedway’s all-time most winning driver, Gil Hearne (101 wins).
Hearne took advantage of a front row starting spot to jump into the lead early and fought to hold that spot each and every lap. Brick’s Ron Frees was his first challenger before Holmdel’s Andrew Krause moved to second with Chas Okerson of Freehold advancing to third. Only three cautions slowed the test and Krause spent the first half of the event riding the outside lane trying to take the lead while Okerson was on their bumpers in third.
Okerson was finally able to slip into second on the inside lane near the half way mark and Howell’s Eric Mauriello followed him through for third. The tight top four of Hearne, Okerson, Mauriello and Krause then battled all the way to the finish with Ken Matlach of New Hyde Park, N.Y. wrapping up the top five.
“It is incredible to win on the birthday of the greatest racecar driver ever Richie Evans,” an emotional Hearne said in the winner’s circle. “He gave so much to so many but the greatest gift Richie Evans left me personally was Tara Evans Farrell and Richie Evans Jr. Also, I was given a photo of (the late) Jim Willis early tonight. I took the picture of his beautiful smile and sat alone for a while and it brought tears to my eyes. I had two angels riding with me that gave some much to so many and I hope I made them both proud tonight.”
Unlike the Modified race the 30-lapper for the Snap On Sportsman cars suffered with so many incidents that it had to be cut to 20-laps. Larry Thompson of Parlin moved to the front on lap eight and avoided all the trouble to take the win. Mayetta’s Tyler Truex was the runner-up with Jarrett DiGiantomasso, Tuckerton’s Robby Walton and Brick’s Dom Fattarusso completing the top five.
The Surfside Collision 4 Cylinder Stocks ran non-stop in their extra-distance 40-lapper with Mike Carr of Wall grabbing his second win of the year. Brian Osborn of Howell chased him most of the way before finishing second with Todd Pilla of Beachwood crossing the line third. Brick’s Ronnie Mullen and Fred Cannock of Port Monmouth were fourth and fifth.
Louie Keraitis of Toms River grabbed the lead on the final lap to win the Green Flag Driving Experience Legend Cars 25-lapper. Defending champ Robert French of Howell was second while Nick Van Wickle of Edgewater, who led most of the way, settled for third. Vinny Troia and Malcolm Campbell were fourth and fifth. Ronnie Mullen of Brick later borrowed Keraitis’ car to win the special “Over 40 Legends Race.”
Geoffrey Sutton won the 25-lapper for the touring Three Quarter Midgets.
Stock car racing continues this Saturday night (July 30) as the speedway presents “Giveaways Galore Night.” On the track the Modifieds will return in a 40-lap main event, the Snap On Sportsman cars will compete in twin 25 lappers and the Elite Maintenance Limited Late Models, the O’Shea’s Auto Repair Factory Stocks and the 4 Cylinder Stocks will each battle in a 25-lapper. Grandstand seating opens at 5:00 p.m., qualifying starts at 5:45 p.m. and feature racing begins at 7:00 p.m.
The complete updated regular season schedule, which runs on Saturday nights through the end of September, is available at wallspeedwayracing.com as are the rules and regulations for all divisions. Post-season events, the “Spooky Spectacular” in October and the Thanksgiving weekend “Turkey Derby,” are also being planned.
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 hotline number is 732-681-6400, the website is wallspeedwayracing.com and email address is CKMotorsports@aol.com.
MODIFIED FEATURE 40 Laps – 1. JASON HEARNE, NEW EGYPT, 2. Chas Okerson, 3. Eric Mauriello, 4. Andrew Krause, 5. Ken Matlach, 6. Jason Treat, 7. Trevor Alspach, 8. Steven Reed, 9. Derek Hopkinson, 10. Jonathan Mandato, 11. Zack Alspach, 12. Chris Lane, 13. Shawna Ingraham, 14. Ron Frees, 15. Shaun Carrig, 16. Ken Woolley, 17. Ed Delage
SPORTSMAN FEATURE – 30 Laps – 1. LARRY THOMPSON, PARLIN, 2, Tyler Truex, 3. Jarrett DiGiantomasso, 4. Robby Walton, 5. Dom Fattarusso, 6. Robert Sutphin, 7. Ricky Collins, 8. Jason Caruso, 9. Matt Langbein, 10. Blake Barney, 11. Kenny Van Wickle, 12. Eric Lane, 13. Joe Cocca, 14. Roland DeMartino, 15. Brian Doyle, 16. Jimmy Wolcott, 17. Dave Bailey, 18. Robert Vassilatos, 19. Kevin Davison, 20. Shanon Mongeau
4 CYLINDER FEATURE – 40 Laps – 1. MIKE CARR, WALL, 2. Brian Osborn, 3. Todd Pilla, 4. Ronnie Mullen, 5. Fred Cannock, 6. Jason Lane, 7. Kyle Scisco, 8. Mike Lavery, 9. Darren Burdge, 10. Darianne McLaren, 11. Jeff Loesch, 12. Richard Smith, 13. Frank Ciancitti
LEGEND CARS FEATURE – 25 Laps – 1. LOUIE KERAITIS, TOMS RIVER, 2. Robert French, 3. Nick Van Wickle, 4. Vinny Troia, 5. Malcolm Campbell, 6. Ron Merlino, 7. Peter Bruno, 8. Chris Gall, 9. Art Marrero, 10. James Van Wickle, 11. Steve Woytysiak, 12. Roger Nickerson, 13. Kevin Yeatts