Ely wins career first Wall Stadium Modified race

WALL TOWNSHIP – Third generation race car driver Jack Ely won his first Wall Stadium Speedway Modified stock car race on Sept. 26 in just his second appearance behind the wheel of the famous Dick Barney Big Red No. 14.

The Wall Township resident, who is filling in for team driver Blake Barney, who is recovering from an illness, completed the non-stop event in 8 minutes, 43.544 seconds, according to a press release.

Ely, who took advantage of a front row starting spot, wrestled for the top spot with Matawan’s Anthony Sesely in the early going before taking command of the race.

That left Sesely to fight for second with Toms River’s Derek Hopkinson, former champion Steven Reed of Jackson and points leader Andrew Krause of Holmdel.

As Ely distanced himself from the pack, his most challenging moment came near lap 25 when lapped cars blocked his path. Ely was able to negotiate through the traffic and race on to the win. Hopkinson, Sesely, Reed and Krause wrapped up the top five.

β€œIt is an honor to be able to fill in for Blake and drive the red No. 14,” Ely said in the winner’s circle. β€œThis car right here is the best car I have ever raced. My father and grandfather raced here so it is an honor to be the first member of my family to win a Modified race here. My step-grandfather, who supported my racing every lap, passed away over the winter so I want to dedicate this win to his memory.

β€œIt is also an honor to add my name to the list of famous drivers who have won in a Dick Barney No. 14.”

Howell’s John Carpenter took the lead early in the companion 25-lapper for the Factory Stocks and raced on to his first win of the campaign.

Carpenter fought off eventual runner-up Elliot Wohl of Beachwood and former champion Mike Montano of Freeport, N.Y. Points leader Bryan O’Shea of Neptune City and Scott Riggleman of Manchester were fourth and fifth.

T.J. Graves of Wall Township took the lead near the halfway mark and raced on to win the 25-lap feature race for the 4-Cylinder Stocks. Burlington’s Alonzo Morales chased Graves to the stripe, with Farmingdale’s Doug Ashford, points leader Ryan Maher of Neptune City and Hazlet’s Sal Liguori wrapping up the top five.

Carsten DiGiantomasso of Jackson grabbed the top spot near lap 20 and then led Brick Township’s Robert Sutphin across the finish line in the Sportsman 25-lapper. Title contender Jake Nelke of Manahawkin was third, with Jackson’s Jarret DiGiantomasso, fourth, and Rob Anderton of Howell, fifth.

Buddy Miller of Asbury Park raced to his first win in the 25-lap event for the Limited Late Models by taking the lead on lap five and never looking back. Long Island’s Rick Giannino, points leader Chris Silvestri of Hazlet, Toms River’s Steve Puglisi and Bayville’s Mike Tillett were second through fifth.

The regular season continues Oct. 3 with the Modified stock cars racing in a 40-lap event while the Factory Stocks, 4-Cylinder Stocks, Sportsman cars, Legend 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.

Wall Stadium is on Route 34 in Wall Township. The speedway hotline number is 732-681-6400.