When Chris Ross was a child, he couldn’t wait to get to Albany-Saratoga Speedway, which was about a half-mile from his house, to watch the races on Friday nights.
But he did a lot more than watch Friday night, He fulfilled a dream that he had for the last 45 years when he won the 35-lap modified feature at the Malta track.
“I grew up a half-mile from Albany-Saratoga, and now live about a mile and a half away,” Ross said. “I was a little too young to work on my father’s car, but I have worked on other cars in the pits at this track. This win is much needed and a big relief for this team, as we didn’t get off to the start that I thought we should have, not to mention that I have been waiting 45 years to get here.”
When Don Ronca couldn’t make the starting lineup for the feature, Mike Perrotte moved up to start alongside Dave Manny on the front row. Perrotte took the lead at the drop of the green flag, but going into turn two, he slid up the track, allowing four cars to get underneath him. Derrick McGrew was the race leader at the completion of lap one, with Ross in second after starting third.
An early yellow was out on lap four for two-time winner Mike Bruno and Ron Proctor, who crashed in turn four. Proctor was done for the night, while Bruno made a visit to the pit area and restarted at the rear of the field. Also involved was Kenny Tremont Jr., but his car never came to a stop, so he continued on in his original position.
After another caution on lap six for debris in turn one, Ross took over the lead on the restart, with Keith Flach going from fourth to second while Tremont followed him through for third. On lap 10, Tremont was the new second-place car, with Ross out to a half-straightaway lead. Four laps later, Tremont was up to the leader’s rear bumper and pressured him to the checkered flag.
Flach joined in to make it a three-way battle on lap 22 with Tremont trying everything in the book to get by Ross for the lead. On the final lap, Tremont tried to go outside of Ross for the lead in turns two and three, but it wasn’t meant to be, as Ross held on to the win over Tremont, Flach, Manny, McGrew, Perrotte, Marc Johnson, Bruno, Don Scarborough and Matt Depew.
“It is just great to race so close to home, and be able to get a win,” Ross said. “This Bicknell car is owned by Don Foor, and I also have to thank Gendron’s Truck Center, Wubbified Associates and Mohawk Self Storage for their help on this car. My father and I have bucked conventional wisdom with this car, and we refuse to buy parts for it and choose to build them ourselves. I have to thank Kenny [Tremont] for being back there to school me tonight. I am thankful that it was him racing me because he was tenacious, but patient.”
“We had problems last week with the motor skipping, so we swapped that out this week and tonight, we had some carburetor issues that we straightened out before the feature event,” Tremont said. “Chris’ car ticked like a clock, and I am still trying to learn my limits here on this surface, along with trying to get used to making adjustments to the car that will give me the feel that I want in it.”
Mike Scorzelli was the winner of the pro-stock feature event, with Darryl Carl, Fred Little, Sheldon Martin and Scott Duell completing the top five.
Andy Durie was the sportsman feature winner, followed by Jason Herrington, Chris Johnson, Adam Tranka and Luke Klob.