WALL TOWNSHIP – Anthony Sesely of Hazlet and Manchester’s Scott Riggleman, both former driving champions at Wall Stadium, used speed and talent to score big victories at the speedway on Sept. 11.
The American Pride Night event honored all of those lost during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks 20 years earlier, those lost to the resulting health issues, and the late popular Wall Stadium racing personality Johnny Gasko who passed away earlier this year, according to a press release.
In the Modified 40-lap feature, Derek Hopkinson of Toms River and Ricky Collins of Willow Grove, Pa., wrestled for the lead early as Sesely shadowed them both while riding third.
Sesely dove into second behind Hopkinson on lap 26 and then shadowed the leader before diving into the lead on lap 30.
From that point on Sesely led the remainder of the non-stop contest, with Hopkinson, Collins, Farmingdale’s Tommy Martino Jr. and Jackson’s Steven Reed completing the top five.
“This car was a real rocket tonight,” Sesely said after the race. “Both of the cars in front of me have been real fast this year. I just rode in third and let them play cat and mouse. When it looked like there might not be a caution I went after it.”
Riggleman’s win in the 94-lap Johnny Gasko Memorial race was another thriller with just one caution slowing the pace.
The outcome came down to a battle between Riggleman and defending champ Elliot Wohl of Beachwood for most of the race.
After that lone lap 38 caution, the duo raced side-by-side for several laps before battling all the way to the checkered flag.
Howell’s Johnny Carpenter, Bryan O’Shea of Neptune City and Billy Both of Rahway wrapped up the top five.
“Elliot is always fast so I kept an eye on him all the way,” Riggleman said after his 101st career win. “This car I am driving was Johnny’s car. We were friends for a long time. This win means the world to me.”
Former champion Kevin Davison of Howell won the 25-lap feature for the Sportsman cars, taking the lead when early pace setter Ryan Fisher of Howell spun in turn two on lap 17.
Larry Thompson of Parlin, Carsten DiGiantomasso of Jackson, Manahawkin’s Jake Nelke and Jackson’s Jarret DiGiantomasso were second through fifth.
Ryan Maher of Neptune City won the 25-lap feature for the Fast 4 cars, taking the lead near the halfway point. Burlington’s Alonzo Morales, Howell’s Ian Ashford, Mike Lavery of Orangeburg, N.Y., and Hazlet’s Billy Pross completed the top five.
Kevin Nowak of Medford, N.Y., won the Legend Cars 25-lap feature, taking the lead early and never looking back. Eugene Drew of Vernon, Brick Township’s Bryan Gardella, Peter Bruno of Little Silver and Tanner Jones were second through fifth.
Buddy Sload won the 25-lap feature for the touring TQ Midgets.