WALL TOWNSHIP – Using speed, handling and a strategy that included a late race pit stop for two new tires, Andrew Krause of Holmdel raced through the field in the closing 28 laps to win the third annual “Cliff Krause Memorial” presented by NAPA Auto Parts Modified stock car race at Wall Stadium Speedway on Sept. 19.
Krause also won the first edition of the event in 2018, according to a press release.
The race, which paid $7,127 to the winner, is contested each season to honor the man who is credited by most people for re-establishing the one-third-mile paved oval’s rich racing heritage. Cliff Krause passed away in January 2018. His family continues to operate the speedway.
2019 race winner Eric Mauriello of Brick Township was the first leader of the contest as Krause began his climb to the front of the 24-car field from the 12th starting spot.
Mauriello fought off a host of contenders, including Jason Hearne of New Egypt, Jon Mandato of Toms River, Tyler Truex of Little Egg Harbor and Howell’s Jimmy Blewett, through the caution-plagued first 79 laps.
During a lap 79 caution, Mauriello and many of his fellow top runners ducked into the pit area for tires and Krause took over the lead.
During the following 20 laps the new tires on the top runners’ cars proved to be important as the group tracked down Krause.
Krause then elected to pit on lap 99 for two new tires and the added traction propelled him from the rear of the field to the front.
Krause then wrestled for the top spot with 15 laps remaining before securing the lead and racing on the to emotional win. Blewett and Mauriello were second and third, while Steven Reed of Jackson, who was always in contention, was fourth, and Truex was fifth.
“I wish my dad was here to enjoy this win with me,” Krause said after the race. “He was my best friend and I miss him so much. He loved this place just like my mother and sister do. Wall Stadium meant a lot to him. I have to thank my family and everyone who works on the car for this. I think a lot of people were second guessing us when we pitted late for tires. I guess it worked!”
Former champion Mike Montano of Freeport, N.Y., won the companion 25-lap race for the Factory Stocks, grabbing the lead from Howell’s John Carpenter near the 20-lap mark.
Elliot Wohl of Beachwood, Rahway’s Billy Both and points leader Bryan O’Shea of Neptune City wrapped up the top four. Carpenter was fifth.
Points leader Ryan Maher of Neptune City raced to the lead on lap 18 and took his third win of the season in the 4-Cylinder Stock 25-lap race.
Alonzo Morales of Burlington raced to second and early leader Ian Ashford of Farmingdale was third. Hazlet’s Sal Liguori and Billy Pross of Hazlet were fourth and fifth.
Mike Alcaro of New Milford took the lead early and never looked back in winning the Legend Cars 25-lapper. Riley O’Keefe, Wall Township’s Rob Silver, Peter Bruno of Little Silver and Quinn Trimmer of Waldwick wrapped up the top five.
The 2020 season continues Sept. 26 with the Modified stock cars racing in a 40-lap event, while the Factory Stocks, 4-Cylinder Stocks, Sportsman cars and Limited Late Models are on the card in 25-lap 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. Updated schedule details are available at wallspeedwayracing.com