Hohenforst picks up guaranteed starting spot with Glen Ridge win

Josh Hohenforst poses in Victory Lane after winning the 50-lap, $2,500-to-win Vengeance for the Palmer’s Service Modifieds Sunday night at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

FULTONVILLE — After being a regular competitor at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park for several seasons, Josh Hohenforst took a three-year break from racing at the quarter mile.

Sunday he returned with a goal — pick up the guaranteed starting spot in the $53,000-to-win Fonda 200 on Sept. 28 at Fonda Speedway.

Mission accomplished.

Hohenforst made the most of a lap 10 restart to get ahead of early-race leader Craig Hanson and beat Rocky Warner to the checkers to win the 50-lap, $2,500-to-win Vengeance for the Palmer’s Service Center modifieds.

“We came up here tonight looking to get locked in to the 200 at Fonda,” Hohenforst said in Victory Lane. “The track was phenomenal tonight. When it came around to the feature it was wide and racy. I can’t thank everybody that has been behind me and my sponsors enough.”

Glen Ridge also crowned its track champions Sunday on the final night of competition for the 2019 season.

Warner won the Red Chair 602 Crate Modified championship, while Luke Horning won his third-straight Yurkewecz Auto Crusher Pro Stock championship and Jerry Cohn claimed the Limited Sportsman title. Cliff Haslun wrapped up his first street stock championship while John Napoli won the Dual Cam Mini Stock title and Tim Billington locked up the Single Cam Mini Stock championship.

In the Slingshot divisions, Brock Pinkerous won the Northeast Paving & Sealcoating Junior Slingshot title and Mike Hill won his third-straight All-Star Senior Slingshot crown.

Joining Hohenforst with victories Sunday were Andrew Buff (602 Crate Modified), Horning (Pro Stock), Tanner Warner (Limited Sportsman), Damon Anderson (Street Stock), Josh Kane (DOHC Mini Stock), T.J. Marlitt (SOHC Mini Stock), Danny Ballard (All-Star Slingshot) and Lucas Duncan (Junior Slingshots).

In the special Wing Champ Racing Series, Matt Chavis picked up the $1,000 winner’s check over Josh Persse, Ryan Kendell, Ryan Swartz and Don Folts.

Richie Price and Hanson brought the field of 22 modifieds to the green with Hanson grabbing the early lead. Hohenforst, who started third, followed him to the front with Mike Ricci and Price close behind.

The caution flew on lap 10 when Bobby Varin slowed with a flat and went pitside. Varin returned at the rear of the field.

Hohenforst grabbed the lead from Hanson exiting turn two on the restart and Jackie Brown Jr. slipped past Ricci into third.

At the midway point, Hohenforst used the high side of the speedway to make his way through traffic and build a substantial lead over Hanson. Brown and Randy Green battling for third as Ricci, Demetrios Drellos, Brian Pessolano and Warner, who started 19th, joined in the battle.

The caution flew on lap 26 for Price, erasing Hohenforst’s lead and putting Hanson and Green back within striking distance.

Warner benefited from the restart, moving from seventh to third in three laps and then past Hanson into second with 11 laps to go.

With a clear track after the restart, Hohenforst built a full straightaway lead over the field and used all of it to beat Warner to the checkers for his fifth career modified feature win at The Ridge and first since 2016.

Warner was second with Michael Maresca, Brown and Hanson completing the top five. Green, Drellos, Scott McCoy and Ricci complete to top 10.

Warner also finished second in the 602 Modified feature as Buff grabbed the lead from Joe Orlando on the second lap and cruised to the victory. Orlando was third with Ricky Quick fourth and JaMike Sowle fifth.

Horning got to the front on the opening lap of the 20-lap Pro Stock feature and held off a late-race charge from Nick Stone for the win, Steve Cosselman placed third with Jim Normoyle fourth and Buck Gasner fifth.

Tanner Warner picked up his first career victory in the Limited Sportsman feature over Garrett Poland,Harold Robitaille, Cohn, Dana Camenga and Isaac Walker.

By Paul Wager

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