WALL TOWNSHIP – Modified stock car racer Roger Coss admitted that, after the first lap of the 40-lap race at Wall Stadium Speedway on Sept. 5, if you told him he would end up the Modified feature winner he would not have believed you.
The Lafayette, Sussex County, driver, who races at Wall Stadium only as time allows, was making his first appearance of the season, according to a press release.
Mechanical problems burdened his No. 17 during early evening practice and more problems developed during qualifying, forcing him to start last in the 22-car field. Things got worse for Coss as he was involved in a first lap accident. Fortunately, he was able to continue.
After battling with Matawan’s Anthony Sesely at the outset, Holmdel’s Andrew Krause was the early leader until a fluid leak forced him to the pit area for the night.
Kevin Davison of Howell, Brick Township’s Eddie McCarthy and Ron Frees of Lanoka Harbor then wrestled for the lead through several cautions as Coss picked his way to the front..
A big turning point came on a lap 19 restart when McCarthy and Frees, who were fighting for the lead, tangled exiting turn four.
The ensuing restart saw Davison and Coss fight for first before Coss was able to slip into the lead and then race on to the win. Davison was the runner-up, while Jackson’s Jason Treat, Ricky Collins of Willow Grove, Pa., and Jason Hearne of New Egypt completed the top five.
“First off, I want to dedicate this win to my father,” Coss said in the winner’s circle. “He has been with my racing since the start, but we lost him during the off-season. I don’t get to race as often as I would like to now because I am a one-man show in the race shop. The way things were going earlier this evening I never thought I could win tonight. You just have to keep pushing.”
When the first 18 laps of the Sportsman 25-lapper went off without a hitch, everyone thought a clean race was on the slate.
But once the first caution flag waved many more followed. Robert Sutphin of Brick Township and Manahawkin’s Jake Nelke were the top two in a big pack in the final laps before a big scramble ensued before Nelke crossed the finish line first.
The official order of finish then changed, however, when officials announced that, in their opinion, Nelke contributed to the race-ending scramble and awarded the win to Sutphin.
Neil Rutt III of Edison, Freehold’s Tomas Stainionis, Jarret DiGiantomasso of Jackson and Howell’s Eric Lane were second through fifth.
Wall Township’s T.J. Graves took the lead just before the halfway point and raced on to win the 4-Cylinder Stock 25-lapper. Sal Liguori of Hazlet crossed the finish line second, while points leader Ryan Maher of Neptune City, William Cross of Hazlet and Sean Vuksanic of Wall Township wrapped up the top five.
Peter Bruno of Little Silver grabbed his first win of the year in the Legend Cars 25-lapper. Quinn Trimmer of Waldwick, Red Bank’s Eric Green, Brick Township’s Bryan Gardella and Joe Przybylinski of Fairfield completed the top five.
Jeff Kott took the win in the 25-lap race for the visiting Three Quarter Midgets over Geo Sutton, Ryan Tidman, Joey Bailey and Tim Proctor.
The 2020 Saturday night regular season will continue on Sept. 12 with the Sportsman cars, Factory Stocks, 4-Cylinder Stocks, Legend Cars and Limited Late Models all seeing action in “Carnival Night” main events.
The pit area will open at 1 p.m. Grandstands will open at 4:30 p.m., qualifying starts at 5:30 p.m. and main event action starts at 7 p.m., according to the press release.
Wall Stadium is on Route 34 in Wall Township. The speedway hotline number is 732-681-6400.