Ten-time speedway driving champion Chas Okerson ended a winless streak of over a year on Aug. 12 by winning the 40-lap feature race for Freehold Ford Modified stock cars at Wall Stadium Speedway. It was the Freehold speedster’s 18th career Modified win.
Because of his lackluster season to date, Okerson started on the front row and charged to the lead immediately. The first 34 laps went off without a caution, as Jackson’s Jason Treat chased Okerson while top point-earners Jimmy Blewett of Howell, Steven Reed of Jackson and Holmdel’s Andrew Krause charged toward the front.
When Krause spun in the fourth turn on lap 34 for a caution, Okerson lost the cushion he had built up over the field and on the ensuing restart, Blewett charged into second. Two more cautions bunched the field for late race restarts, and Blewett tried hard to race around Okerson for the lead. Okerson was able to stand his ground to take the win. Blewett, Reed, Treat and Manchester’s Shanon Mongeau completed the top five.
“I think I needed this win more than the race team did,” Okerson said after the race. “I’ve been slacking a little bit this year. I’ve been doing this a long time and needed a break. It really feels good to be back up front and winning again.”
Howell’s Richie Byrne overcame tough fortunes that have plagued him all season to cross the finish line first in the “Joe Kafka Memorial” 35-lap main event for the O’Shea’s Auto Repair Factory Stocks. Byrne jumped to the lead early but then lost the top spot to Elliott Wohl of Beachwood on lap 22. Wohl’s fortunes then turned sour, as his car started to smoke and dropped from the race. Byrne then regained the lead and raced on. Mike Montano of Fort Myers, Florida, Manchester’s Scott Riggleman, Wall’s Bryan O’Shea and Tom Rajkowski of Fords completed the top five. Officials are reviewing the race, so the finish is not yet official.
Tyler Truex of Mayetta raced into the lead on lap 15 and then raced home to his second win of the year in the 25-lapper for the Snap On Sportsman cars. Jackson’s Kyle Scisco raced through the pack for second, with former champ Kevin Davison of Howell finishing third. Kenny Green of Farmingdale and Nick Shaw of Warren wrapped up the top five.
Darianne McLaren of Edison won her first feature race in the 25-lapper for the Surfside Collision 4-Cylinder Stocks. In a show of respect for the young lady driver, every car in the feature race stopped by victory lane to congratulate her. Howell’s Brian Osborn challenged late in the race before settling for second, with Jackson’s Darren Burdge, Wall’s TJ Graves and Chris Silvestri completing the top five.
Louie Keraitis of Toms River out-dueled Wall’s Robert French to win the 25-lapper for the Green Flag Driving Experience Legend Cars. Vinny Troia of Browns Mills, Brick’s Chris Gall and Brian Spencer of Edison were third through fifth.
Wall’s Rob Ormsbee crossed the finish line first in a shortened main event for the Elite Maintenance Limited Late Models. Brian Doyle of Ronkonkoma, New York, Hazlet’s Greg Miranda, Neil Rutt and Mike Tillett wrapped up the top five at the line. Officials are reviewing the race, so the finish is not yet official.
Racing returns on Aug. 19 with the annual running of the “Woody’s 105” for the Freehold Ford Modifieds. The card will also feature the Sportsman and Factory Stocks in 25-lappers and the 4-Cylinder Stocks in twin feature races.
Pit area will open at 1 p.m., with practice running from 3-5 p.m. Grandstands will open at 5 p.m. Qualifying starts at 5:45 p.m., and main event action starts at 7 p.m.
More information on Wall Stadium and the 2017 Saturday night schedule can be obtained by visiting the website at wallspeedwayracing.com.
Wall Stadium is located on Route 34 in Wall Township, just 1 mile north of Garden State Parkway exit 98 and Interstate 195 exit 35B. The speedway hotline number is 732-681-6400 and email address is CKMotorsports@aol.com.