Rookie Ricky Ross, Jr. Outruns Veterans to Score Sport Modified Win at Sundance

Date: 6/28/2009 11:21:35 AM

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Sundance Vacations Speedway media contact:

Gene Ostrowski  (570) 752-7193      

Promoter:  Joe Callavini (570) 788-7544


Upcoming events:

Saturday, July 4- FIREWORKS, PLUS "Duct Tape 50" Ed Makarewicz, Sr. Factory Stock Memorial, Modifieds, Late Models and TQ Midgets


Rookie Ricky Ross, Jr. Outruns Veterans to Score Sport Modified Win at Sundance


St. Johns, PA- After several rained out events, what is known as the “B Program” took to the asphalt at Sundance Vacations Speedway on Saturday. When it was all said and done, Ricky Ross, Jr. held off a full field of open wheel veterans to score his first career Sport Modified main event. Steve Clark drive away with the checkers in the Street Stock division and Jon Smith extended his points lead by winning his second FWD feature of the season. Zane Zeiner pulled the hat trick and claimed his third-straight INEX Legends victory.


In his fourth open wheel start, Mountaintop’s Ricky “The Rocket” Ross, Jr. visited victory lane. It wasn’t an easy feat for the man, as he had to hold off two of the finest asphalt modified drivers for the accomplishment.


Ross started from the pole position in the 40-lap main event after winning the heat race earlier in the evening. With one lap complete, Ross was in command over Joe Wielgosz, Beryle Herman and Scott Adams.


The second of four yellow flags waved when Mike Skarbowski’s engine expired on lap thirteen. At the time the front running driver was battling for the fourth position.


Green flag racing resumed and Zane Zeiner, who had started eleventh, jumped into the second spot, followed by Earl Paules, Barry Callavini and Mike Speeney.


Zeiner worked multiple grooves on the track in his attempts to overtake Ross. Meanwhile, Paules pressured Zeiner for the runner-up position. The duo raced hard and in doing so Ross pulled a few car lengths.


The final caution flag flew on lap 21 when Bob Wilson spun in turns three and four. A flat tire sidelined Callavini from his top five run during the caution period. 


Ross had a terrific restart and kept the two veterans in his mirror. He drove off to claim his first career open wheel victory in the division over Zeiner, Paules, Speeney and Jason Hearne.


The win is special for Ross indeed. During his rookie season in every division that he has competed in at the speedway the far, the talented hot shoe has visited victory lane. Those divisions include the Factory Stocks, Street Stocks, Late Model and now the Sport Modifieds.


Zane Zeiner, Beryle Herman and Ricky Ross, Jr. were heat race winners.  


Hoping to change his string of bad luck around this season, Brian Wozniak led the full field of Street Stocks to the drop of the green in the 25-lap feature.


With Steve Clark in his mirror, Wozniak led the opening laps. Clark rode patiently in the second spot with Robert Fink, Joe Barbush and John Stonier in the top five with seven laps complete.


Stonier was sent to the rear of the field on the following lap due to contact that sent Steve Shultz into a spin.


The lap eight restart was crucial for Clark and he wasted no time and took the race lead when green flag racing resumed.


Several quick cautions plagued the event and J. Barbush moved into second. J. Barbush had the opportunity on one of the restarts to take the race lead, but Clark overpowered him.


Clark went on to take the win, which was his first official victory of the season over J. Barbush, Richie DiMarco, Chip Wanamaker and Wozniak.


Steve Clark, Richie DiMarco and Brian Wozniak were heat race winners and Rodney Gruber picked up the consi win.


Thirteen-year-old Mike Kline led his fellow Four Cylinder FWD competitors to the drop of the green in the 20-lap feature event.


The only caution of the race came on the first lap when Chris Toole spun in turns one and two. Green flag racing continued and Kline remained out front.


Jon Smith worked into the runner-up spot by lap five and Nikki Sager, Robert Fink and Brian Kunkel followed suit.


Smith worked on Kline, waiting for the right opportunity to complete the pass, which he made on the sixth lap. Not long after, Fink overtook Kline for second.


Despite running down the leader and nearly grabbing the win out of turn four, Fink was forced to settle for second behind Smith. Kline had his best career finish with a third place effort and Sager and Kunkel completed the top five.


The win marks Smith’s second win of the season at the speedway.  


Jon Smith and Robert Fink were heat race winners.


Greg Rittenhouse led the small field of INEXT Legends to the drop of the green flag in the 20-lap feature event. Scott Hubler quickly took command and Zane Zeiner followed into second.


Lap after lap, Hubler held off Zeiner and appeared that he might notch his second win of the season, but that went by the wayside when he lost momentum while setting up a pass on a lapped car.


Zeiner seized the opportunity, closed in and took the race lead on lap 12. He never looked back and took the checkers for his third straight win over Hubler, Steve Gaul and Rittenhouse.


Sundance Vacations Speedway is just minutes from Hazleton, Pa, located on St. John’s Road, between Routes 93 and 309. Grandstand admission for all regular events is just $10 for ages 11 and older. Children 10 years of age and younger are admitted for free. For further information, please visit the track site at


Sport Modified (40-laps): 1. RICKY ROSS, JR. 2. Zane Zeiner 3. Earl Paules 4. Mike Speeney 5. Jason Hearne 6. Scott Adams 7. Scott Riggleman 8. Barry Callavini 9. Beryle Herman 10. Paul Frantz 11. Dave Garfinkel 12. Joe Wielgosz 13. Harry Schaefer 14. Paul Brinckman 15. Mike Mangini 16. Bob Wilson 17.Dean Ficarro 18. Bob Ankner 19. Frank Reakes 20. Mike Skarbowski DNS: Pat Verwys


Street Stocks (25-laps): 1. STEVE CLARK 2. Joe Barbush 3. Rich DiMarco 4. Chip Wanamaker 5. Brian Wozniak 6. Todd Barbush 7. John Stonier 8. Rodney Gruber 9. Mike Schadder 10. Jeff McGrath 11. Robert Fink 12. CJ Lehmann 13. Josh Oswald 14. Brad Barbush 15. Tony Hilliard 16. Robert Haueisen 17.Allen Gruber 18. Darryl Schwartz 19. Steve Hoffman 20. Steve Shultz 21. Scott Meckes 22.Ron Babula 23. Dan Cascioli


4 Cyl. FWD (20-laps): 1. JON SMITH 2. Robert Fink 3. Mike Kline 4. Nikki Sager 5. Brian Kunkel 6. Ken Kleppinger 7. Eric Banashefski 8. Frank Katona 9. Pete Maier 10. Jake Oswald 11. Joe Katona 12. Chris Toole


INEX Legends (20-laps): 1. ZANE ZEINER 2. Scott Hubler 3. Steve Gaul 4. Greg Rittenhouse


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