The term “FASTRAK Builds Champions” is becoming a true testament in the sport of auto racing. The list of drivers that have found success after starting in the FASTRAK brand include the likes of Jonathan Davenport, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Chris Ferguson and more. That list grew Friday night at I-77 Speedway as Ryan Montgomery broke through for his first career ULTIMATE Mid-Ohio Valley Super Late Model Series win in front of a packed house in Ripley, West Virginia.
The fans were thrilled with an awesome performance by a couple of West Virginia young hot shoes. Montgomery held off the charge of modified competitor turned Late Model racer Tyler Evans from Mineral Wells, West Virginia. Evans would try to make a banzai move exiting turn three in the closing laps and even to the checkered flag with efforts to get around Montgomery’s left rear but would fall short.
“I’m so thrilled to finally win on the ULTIMATE Super Late Model Series, it being at a West Virginia track win it’s just absolutely more special,” said Montgomery in victory lane. “I’ve watched ULTIMATE for years while competing in FASTRAK and never thought I’d make it to this level. They are the region’s best of the best to beat, now we’re one of the elite to make that list.
“I raced modifieds before against Tyler Evans and honestly he spanked my tail, so to come out here holding off a strong effort by him in the Super Late Models is special indeed,” said Montgomery. “There is so much respect I have for him, he’ll be going places soon, too.”
David Hess from Waterford, Pennsylvania settled for a third place finish after giving the fans a thrilling scare and impressive save of the night, getting sideways roaring into the turn for the opening laps then slamming back down hard on the clay 3/8th mile oval. Kody Frame had a solid night, staying out of trouble for a solid fourth place run at the finish. Another FASTRAK competitor now up to the super late models, Kenny Rucker from Pond Gap, West Virginia, would avoid hiccups during the 40-lap battle to capture the top five for the season opening race.
A couple of top contenders from the Wild and Wonderful State had mechanical issues causing a disappointing night for them. Second-place starter Zack Dohm was an early contender, but caution would fall on Nicholas Parsons slowing the field. On the restart, an oil line ruptured on Domn’s car, causing heavy smoke and forcing an early exit.
Chris Garnes and Robert Bostic would also suffer engine and handling issues during qualifying and heat race competition, which forced them to retire from the opening race for the 2019 ULTIMATE Mid-Ohio Valley Super Late Model Series with a disappointing start for a championship hunt as well.
Tyler Carpenter of Parkersburg, West Virginia went through a roller coaster of highs and lows before the green flag would even fly, preventing Carpenter from answering the call for the opening race for the 2019 MOV series. After being the second quick qualifier, Carpenter’s car was deemed light at scales, costing him his qualifying time and relegating him to the rear of the field for his heat race. Carpenter would charge through the field to take the win in that heat race.
The top six qualifiers competed in a $75 dash to lock up the three rows of the feature. This placed heat winners Jeremy Blake and Tyler Carpenter on the fourth row for the feature. However, during the conclusion of the four-wide salute to the fans Carpenter would suffer contact with Kenny Rucker before stalling on the front stretch with a broken drive shaft.
After an eventful evening, Montgomery hopes to carry Friday’s momentum into Saturday night, when the ULTIMATE Mid-Ohio Valley Super Late Model Series races at Florence Speedway (KY).
“This is just a speechless humbling night for me,” said Montgomery. My father (Jeff), the crew, we are going to remember this one, what a great way to kick off the Summer. Now we’ll go to Florence Speedway trying to sweep the weekend.”
OFFICIAL RESULTS from I-77 Speedway (Ripley, WV) pending tire samples
1st #12 Ryan Montgomery, 2nd #17t Tyler Evans, 3rd #44 Dave Hess Jr., 4th #97 Kody Frame, 5th #457 Kenny Rucker, 6th #K11 George Klintsworth, 7th #1w Bill Whited, 8th #3 Brian Thomas, 9th #17d Zack Dohm, 10th #B4 Jeremy Blake, 11th #17 Kenneth Newhouse, 12th #10 Kyle Bond, 13th #4 Nicholas Parsons, 14th #50 Ronnie Mayle, 15th #7h Zachary Hill, 16th #David Gibson II, DNS #28 Tyler Carpenter, #42 Chris Garnes, #24R Robert Bostic
Race fans who missed Friday’s ULTIMATE Mid-Ohio Valley Super Late Model Series Event at I-77 Speedway can watch an on-demand replay of Speed51’s Summer Thunder TV presented by PFC Brakes broadcast of the event by clicking here.
-Story by: Wesley Outland, Speed51.com Correspondent – Twitter: @wesleyoutland
-Photo credit: Speed51.com