CHAD EDWARDS EARNS POPULAR NATIONALS WIN
First Time Ever Running A Crate Motor For Lunchbox
September 19, 2010 By Rob Hazer (Fultonville, NY) – Chad Edwards had enjoyed mild success in the Open Sportsman division racing a majority of his career at the Fonda Speedway. At the 2nd Edition of the 602 Nationals he shocked the crate racing world by passing two former Glen Ridge track champions to claim the $1,500 to win 60 Lap Dodson Construction 602 Nationals Presented By Riley Mortuary.
Kurtis Hohensheldt and former Glen Ridge track champion Jeremiah Munson would lead the field to the green flag at ‘The Ridge’ to start the Nationals main event. Hohensheldt in his Dodson Construction 54 took the early lead over the Prime Property Services 4 of Munson.
Quickly the Edwards Food Service 37 of Edwards moved from his 5th starting spot to take 3rd, while challenging the front running pair. Yellow flag flew for the 1st time on lap 5 with a multi-car incident in turn two including Chris Schaffer, Derrick McGrew, Fred Muhlberger, and Justin Forsthoffer. All drivers were able to return except McGrew who suffered front-end damage. For the 2nd strait Nationals, McGrew was pit-side early.
On the restart Hohensheldt went back to the lead, while Munson and Edwards engaged in a battle for the 2nd position. The DKM Fabrication 63 of Chip Constantino cracked the top 5 moving into 4th bringing the 1D of Wayne Sterns with him to 5th.
On lap 6 Edwards made a big move on the top of the Fastest 1/4 Mile On Dirt passing Munson like he was tied to a tree and set his sights on race leader Hohensheldt. Just two turns later Edwards powered by the outside of Hohensheldt to take the race lead.
Munson was able to slip by Hohensheldt on the bottom to grab the runner up spot shuffling the 54 back to 3rd. One lap later Sterns found something on the top, as he passed Hohensheldt then Munson and began closing in on Edwards for the top spot.
For the second strait time during the Nationals a battle broke out for the race lead, but this time not between two Jacks. Edwards who took the lead early had his hands full with the Co-Op 1D of Wayne Sterns. Sterns was able to take away the lead from Edwards by the 1/3 mark in the 60-lap feature event. Edwards worked his way back side-by-side with Sterns using the bottom and the pair went door-to-door for a handful of laps before Edwards was able to pull away into the lead in lap traffic.
With Hohensheldt and Munson fading back it opened the door for the 715 of Phil Recchio to crack the top five, while battling with Constantino for 4th. Edwards began pulling away, as he flexed his crate muscle putting cars down a lap one by one. By half way he had worked his way to a full straightaway advantage.
Sterns was still holding down the 2nd position, with Recchio, Constantino, and now 2010 Glen Ridge track champion Bodie Bellinger rounding out the top five.
Bellinger began charging to the front taking 4th, 3rd, and 2nd in the matter of two laps. His sights were set on the high flying “Lunchbox” Chad Edwards who had a straightaway lead and was driving away into the sunset with the $1500 win.
At the 2/3 mark in the feature event Edwards was cool as the other side of the pillow with a lead so big he was in another zip code. Bellinger trying high and low running second was trying to close the distance, as the event was relatively caution free since early on.
On lap number 45 the yellow flag waived for only the 2nd time, as the 24 of Mike Tholin and the 44 of Greg Pessalano came together in turn number two. This was the shot Bellinger needed to close the distance and challenge for the 602 Nationals Championship.
When the green flag flew again Edwards powered away from Bellinger who tried a high side move in turn one, but found himself in the loose stuff sliding out near the wall. Nobody else in the top five had anything for the front running duo, as the laps wound down.
Try as he might, Bodie Bellinger had absolutely nothing for Chad Edwards in the closing laps. Edwards won by a full straightaway dominating the Dodson Construction 602 Nationals Presented by Riley Mortuary. For Edwards it was his 1st 602 Nationals Championship and the biggest win of his career.
“This is great, everything went great. I’m honestly overwhelmed right now,” said Edwards in Victory Lane. Before thanking those who helped him win the 602 Nationals Championship he said “I only have one other win in my career, this definitely tops it.”
9/19/10 DODSON CONSTRUCTION NORTHEAST CRATE NATIONALS PRESENTED BY RILEY MORTUARY FEATURE RESULTS (60 Laps) – 1) Chad Edwards, 2) Bodie Bellinger, 3) Chip Constantino, 4) Wayne Sterns, 5) DJ Brundige, 6) Phil Recchio, 7) Jeremiah Munson, 8) Brian Pessalano, 9) Mike Ketchum, 10) Chuck Allen, 11) Melony Coons, 12) Ryan Dutton, 13) Chis Schaffer, 14) Harry Shaffer, 15) Jay Lias, 16) Kurtis Hohensheldt, 17)Dave Herrick, 18) Jack Gentile, 19) Fred Muhlberger, 20) John Marsh Jr, 21) Mike Tholin, 22) Greg Pessalano, 23) Frank Hoard Jr, 24) Justin Boehler, 25) Jimmy Eaton, 26) Justin Forsthoffer, 27) Derrick McGrew.
Heat 1 Finish (4 Qualified): Bodie Bellinger, Jeremiah Munson, Chip Constantino, Chuck Allen, Derrick McGrew, Troy Palmer, Brian Pessalano, Mike Burdo, Joe Ketchum. (9 Total)
Heat 2 Finish (4 Qualified): Mike Ketchum, Chad Edwards, Greg Pessalano, Fred Muhlberger, Melony Coons, Dave Herrick, Justin Boehler, DJ Brundige, Justin Forsthoffer, Ryan Dutton. (10 Total)
Heat 3 Finish (4 Qualified): Mike Tholin, Jay Lias, Kurtis Hohensheldt, Jack Gentile, Leo Souice, Jerry Campbell, Laudy Hoyenga, Luke Klob, Anthony Cardamone.(9 Total).
Heat 4 Finish (4 Qualified): Phil Recchio, Wayne Sterns, John Marsh Jr, Chris Schaffer, Jimmy Eaton, Harry Shaffer, Wayne Debinfloyd, Randall Soucie, Bill Fox, Frank Hoard Jr.(10 total)
B-Main Finish: (10 Qualified): Derrick McGrew, Justin Boehler, DJ Brundige, Jimmy Eaton, Leo Soucie, Ryan Dutton, Harry Shaffer, Melony Coons, Brian Pessalano, Justin Forsthoffer, Dave Herrick, Mike Burdo, Frank Hoard Jr, Anthony Cardamone, Joe Ketchum, Luke Klob, Jerry Campbell, Rick LaMont, Bill Fox, Randall Soucie.