Ryan Glenski capped a somber day at Myrtle Beach Speedway (S.C.), winning the Southeast Limited Late Model Series (SELLM) 100-lap feature on Saturday.
While Glenski celebrated the victory – the 200th of his career – he couldn’t help but think about the tragedies that have stricken the Myrtle Beach Speedway community in 2017. Yesterday, Jackie Ward passed away following a two-car incident in the SELLM Challenger Division race. In August, long-time Myrtle Beach Speedway competitor Terry Evans succumbed to injuries suffered in a highway accident leaving the speedway on July 21st.
“It was a somber day yesterday with Jackie, and a couple of months ago with Terry,” Glenski told Speed51.com. “I know Terry would have been out here tonight, and more than likely I would have been chasing him. I’m thankful that God is looking out for us.
“Terry was riding shotgun,” Glenski added. “He should have been here in victory lane tonight. I’m just thankful.”
Glenski took the lead with 22 laps remaining, passing Sam Mayer on a late-race restart. Glenski and Mayer had battled for the lead throughout the evening, but Mayer won every battle until that restart.
“Those first couple of restarts, I just couldn’t get the run up off of two on him,” Glenski said. “Finally, I got a little bit of an advantage on him and just muscled my way through there. I knew it was clear sailing from there.”
Chris Chapman finished second on the evening after qualifying 17th. Chapman worked his way through the field, but ran out of time and tire life to contend with Glenski for the victory.
“I tried to use my head all night, get through the wrecks and set myself up,” said Chapman. “Starting 17th ain’t the ideal thing here, you’ve got to pass so many cars. I used too much tire up to have anything for Ryan at the end. If it weren’t for that, I think we could have had a good race for the win.”
Chapman discussed the challenges, even as a veteran, of coming to the race track after Ward’s passing.
“I hate that for Jackie, but he went the way he probably wanted to,” Chapman said. “It’s tough when stuff like that happens, but I’ve been racing twenty-some years. You’ve just got to put it out of your head. I know that’s what he’d want us all to do.”
Another local winner also found his thoughts centered around Ward and Evans in victory lane Saturday. Chad McCumbee, a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran who both cut his teeth at Myrtle Beach and occasionally races at the 0.538-mile oval when his road racing schedule allows, won the Super Truck division’s 75-lap event.
In victory lane, he offered his condolences to Ward’s family, while saying he also felt Evans’ presence in the cockpit, referencing the No. 38 Super Truck he frequently raced.
“I want to say, first and foremost, we’re thinking about the family of Mr. Ward,” McCumbee said in victory lane. “I don’t really know what to say, but our thoughts and prayers are with his family. I think this team was so strong today, it felt like it was two trucks running as one. I think we may have had that 38 truck running with us tonight.”
For an on-demand replay of Saturday’s Trackside Now coverage, click here.
-By Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @ZTEvans
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
Southeast Limited Late Model Series
Myrtle Beach Speedway, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
|38||3C||Miguel Cesar Jr|