While some people consider living in West Virginia as being in the middle of nowhere, those that do live there not only call it home, but also see it as the crossroads between the north and south. Last Saturday, Ryan Montgomery took the road north to Western Maryland and the historic Greater Cumberland Raceway, taking on the ULTIMATE Northeast Super Late Model regulars in the Queen City 50.
Despite challenges from many of the veteran stars, Montgomery kept the No. 12 out at the front of the field until the end, taking down his first ULTIMATE Northeast win and second overall in 2019. Afterwards, he had plenty of friends and family to celebrate the triumph with.
"It’s awesome, my dad went there when he raced in the early 90’s, and he gives me a lot of leadership of what to do. I had put my guys on the frontstretch and the backstretch to signal how close guys were. It was cool, my family was there, and a bunch of people that don’t get to see me race a lot. It was cool to win in front of them," Montgomery told Speed51.
Raised as a bullring driver, Montgomery has taken on bigger challenges and bigger tracks since moving up to Super Late Models. Even though big tracks like Cumberland are still difficult for him, he has gained the ability to adapt quickly.
"I like going to new race tracks and going to different racetracks whether they’re big or small. It takes a different driving style and gives you something to try and adapt. When I went out for hot laps, I was horrible. I kept cutting it off too early, wasn’t arcing it out enough, and that’s just due to me being on bullrings for a long time. It was pretty good once I got it figured out in qualifying and stuff. To go out and travel a little bit for some money is pretty nice too, especially if you win!"
More satisfying for Montgomery on Saturday, was holding off the likes of ULTIMATE Northeast aces Jared Miley and Matt Cosner.
"Me growing up, when I ran a Crate car in the Northeast, Jared was one of the top guys to beat in Supers in our area, and Matt the same way. I grew up with those guys racing Late Models, and I was racing Crates. So, to beat them means a lot to me, because I know how much they take care of their stuff, and how much they are on their A-game when they show up.
With time beginning to run out on the 2019 racing season, Montgomery has narrowed down the dates and places of where he will finish things out.
"Due to my work schedule I can't race Friday, but I'll be at Thunder Mountain on Saturday for the ULTIMATE Northeast finale. I'm going to head over to Atomic (OH) later this year, and also end the year in Florence for the ULTIMATE Mid-Ohio Valley."
Speed51 will be on hand for both nights of racing this Friday and Saturday at Thunder Mountain Raceway in Pennsylvania for the ULTIMATE Northeast season finale.
Video highlights from Saturday's ULTIMATE Northeast race at Greater Cumberland Raceway can be viewed now on the Speed51 Network, "The Official Video Home of ULTIMATE."
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor - Twitter: Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51