Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Godown Picks up $4000 RoC Modified Win at Selinsgrove
by Dino Oberto
SELINSGROVE, Pa. -- The touring Race of Champions (RoC) Dirt Modifieds made a rare Tuesday appearance at Charlie Paige’s Selinsgrove Speedway and although the car count was less than expected, the field was of high quality with the top names in dirt Modifieds doing battle in the “Schools Out” 35-lap event.
Taking the lead on lap five, Ryan Godown of Ringoes, NJ, a top runner at Grandview and Big Diamond Speedways as well New Egypt Speedway in his home state, was the big winner, collecting over $4000 in prize money.
Modifieds at Selinsgrove are infrequent as the track is best known for running Sprints and Late Models. However, for the past five years the RoC opened their season in March at there to packed grandstands and a full pit area of Northeast dirt Modified standouts.
Thus a second date was sought and Tuesday marked the first time in track history a midweek show was run at the historic Snyder County oval and 30 years to the day that the first Modified race was held at the track.
After a pair of heats, which were won by Jimmy Horton and Godown, a redraw of the top eight took place with Grandview and Big Diamond Speedway regular Duane Howard picking the pole. Upstate New York’s Bobby Albert drew the outside of row one.
At the drop of the race commencing green, Albert got bumped while heading into turn one and slide to a halt against the outside fence, forcing a complete restart.
Brett Hearn was up to second for the re-go and when the action went back to green Howard was able to secure the lead for the first lap. Another caution waved at the conclusion of the first circuit for Horton who spun in turn three.
On the double file restart Hearn was able to overpower Howard for the lead and Godown followed suit as he advanced to second on the ensuing go-around.
He was then storming in on Hearn and ready to strike when once again the caution was out due to Tommy Sheetz who tagged the wall in turn four.
Hearn opted to take the outside lane for the restart and when the action resumed Godown went door-to-door with him into the first two corners. Getting a better bite, Godown then eked ahead as they blasted down the back stretch and by the time they reached the next corner, the lead belonged to him.
“The car was good and I felt like I was getting through (turns) three and four better than he (Hearn) was,” said Godown.
“I know he was hanging a little bit in three and four and that’s where I had to make my pass. It was only 35 lap race and I didn’t want to do anything stupid right out of the gate.”
The rest of the way he proved to be too strong for anyone to make any serious challenges as he built as much a four second lead during one stint of green flag laps.
There were some opportunities after a few more cautions for the front runners to make a run on him but each time Godown closed the door on them.
While Godown was showing the way, some of the best racing was taking place for second spot as Hearn and Doug Manmiller continually ran tight. Late into the race Alex Friesen emerged and turned the battle for second into a three man dogfight.
Godown had been cruising his way home when a final yellow came out just as he took the white flag, which erased a commanding lead he had at the time. The caution was for debris.
That gave second running Manmiller one last chance at the leader. He made a valiant attempt too, going into turn one on the restart but Godown was not about to let this slip away and sped off to .705 second margin of victory.
“The track was phenomenal and the car was fast. I love coming here and I love the speeds here. I wish I could race here every week. I know there was a little less cars tonight but you had one heck of a group of Northeast Modified drivers and it was a great effort by everyone,” said Godown.
In the end Manmiller just barely held onto second as Stewart Friesen almost got him at the line. Hearn and Danny Johnson completed the top five.
Unfortunately Manmiller and Hearn were disqualified when their cars failed to meet the legal weight requirements during the post-race inspection. That in turn elevated Howard and Jimmy Phelps into the top five.
Bob Bussey of Northumberland won the 15-lap Road Runner feature. He started on the pole for and went on to lead every lap for his fifth win this season.