posted July 08, 2001 12:53 PM
DAVE MICHEL IS MODIFIED WINNER ON EMOTIONAL SATURDAY NIGHT AT WALL STADIUM
WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. ~ Choking back emotions while celebrating in the winner's
circle, defending Neptune Research Modified stock car driver Dave Michel
grabbed his first win of the season in the Marian O'Rorke Memorial
Independence 76 at Wall Stadium Saturday night. While remembering the
speedway's late office manager, the Manahawkin speedster dedicated his
victory to six-time Pro Stock champion Ray Gastelu. Gastelu passed away at
the speedway one week earlier from natural causes.
Michel was not alone with his thoughts of Gastelu. In fact, fans,
crewmembers and competitors raised over $4,500 when they passed through the
pit area and grandstands with their helmets. Track manager Tucker Nicol then
threw in a complete Pro Stock main event purse to raise the total to
approximately $6,500 to help with the funeral expenses of the fallen racer.
In the Modified main event, Dan McLaughlin, Jr. of Toms River charged to
the front at the outset and held off competitors through several early race
cautions, one of which knocked out point leader Jimmy Blewett of Howell.
Michel moved into contention by lap 15 and raced into the lead soon after.
Thinking of the double points towards the Coors Light/NAPA Auto Parts title,
Michel then held off challenges from Farmingdale's Steve Whitt and Howell's
John Blewett III for his 59th career win. Blewett, Whitt, Brick's Mike
Carpenter and Freehold's Harry Reed completed the top five.
"I lost the front brakes around lap 20," Michel said as he pointed to a
left front suspension soaked with brake fluid. "I had my hands full with the
The companion 20-lapper for the Garage Door Express Street Stocks was an
emotional roller coaster. Lakewood's Steve Costello led most of the way,
while Jackson's Greg Gastelu, the brother of the fallen Pro Stock champ,
worked his way through the field. During the closing laps Gastelu moved in to
challenge Costello for the win.
Costello offered plenty of room to Gastelu, who nearly pulled off a pass
late in the race before a caution waved. Gastelu then tried his best before
settling for second to his friend and competitor. Darren Burdge of Howell,
Parlin's Larry Thompson and Farmingdale's Craig Wallis were third through
The fans in the packed grandstands emotionally stood and applauded Ray
Gastelu and the NGK Spark Plugs Pro Stock field as they paced the oval
two-times with the pole position left open for the late champion. When the
green flag waved, defending titleholder Rob Williams of Farmingdale raced to
a win that he dedicated to his friend and rival. Charlie Kremer III of Toms
River was second and Chas Okerson of Freehold was third.
John Menzak of Whitehouse Station grabbed his first win of the year in
the 20-lapper for the Weiss' Boots & Apparel Legend Cars over early leader
Brian Gardella and veteran Ronnie Dunstan. Bill Weichert grabbed his first
career win in the Monmouth Truck Equipment Truck Series over Phil Naylor and
The shore speedway features two nights of action this coming weekend. On
Saturday night, the Modifieds, Pro Stocks, Street Stocks, Truck Series and
Legend Cars will battle in regular distance main events with the first
qualifying event starting at 7:00 p.m. Spectator gates open for Downs Ford
Motorsports Night at 5:00 p.m. On Sunday, the Mid Summer Demolition Derby
will be presented at 7:00 p.m. The Street Stocks and Three-Quarter Midgets
will also compete in 25-lap feature races.
Wall Stadium is located on Rt. 34 in Wall Township, N.J. just a mile north of
Garden State Parkway Exit 98 and Interstate 195 Exit 35B. The speedway
hotline is 732-681-6400 and the internet address is www.wallstadium.com.
WALL STADIUM RACE RESUTLS - JULY 7, 2001
NEPTUNE RESEARCH MODIFIEDS
FEATURE - 76 LAPS - 1. DAVE MICHEL, MANAHAWKIN; 2. John Blewett III; 3. Steve
Whitt; 4. Mike Carpenter; 5. Harry Reed; 6. Curtis Truex, Jr.; 7. Felix
Verlangieri; 8. Robert Schlechtweg; 9. Dave Garfinkel; 10. Sean Gartner; 11.
Augie Hahn; 12. Jamie Tomaino, Jr.; 13. Mike Carr; 14. Bob Geiger; 15. Tim
Arre; 16. Tom Cottrell; 17. Ronnie Mullen; 18. Brian Jost; 19. Marc Rogers;
20. Dan McLaughlin, Jr.; 21. Jimmy Blewett; 22. Ryan Seaman; 23. Kevin
Flockhart; 24. Matty Ricco; 25. John Cambra
NGK SPARK PLUGS PRO STOCKS
FEATURE - 25 LAPS - 1. ROB WILLIAMS, FARMINGDALE; 2. Charlie Kremer III; 3.
Chas Okerson; 4. Jim Vogt; 5. John Therkildsen; 6. Jim Benton; 7. Jim
McLaughlin; 8. Rich DeSarno; 9. Mark Schullstrom; 10. Allan Camp; 11. Mike
DeSantis; 12. Doug Weh; 13. Bob Sweeten; 14. Jack Minaldi
GARAGE DOOR EXPRESS STREET STOCKS
FEATURE - 50 LAPS - 1. STEVE COSTELLO, LAKEWOOD; 2. Greg Gastelu; 3. Darren
Burdge; 4. Larry Thompson; 5. Craig Wallis; 6. Rich Gould; 7. Bob Stackles;
8. Mark Bartlett; Jason Duvall; 10. John McCormack; 11. Anthony Crimaldi; 12.
Bill Vanderveen; 13. Ron Frees; 14. Tom Healy; 15. Charlie DiGiantamasso; 16.
Chuck Jadacki; 17. Greg Moench; 18. Bob Milwicz; 19. JR Nixon; 20. Billy
Doyle; 21. Jim Downey; 22. Chris Brennan; 23. Andrew Schroeder; 24. Lee
Pelton; 25. Greg Miranda; 26. Gregg Clerico
MONMOUTH TRUCK EQUIPMENT TRUCK SERIES
FEATURE - 20 LAPS - 1. BILL WEICHERT; 2. Phil Naylor; 3. Jerry Stanzione; 4.
Kenny McGowan; 5. Steve Naylor; 6. Tim Buckley; 7. Glenn Higgins; 8. Bruce
Van Norde; 9. Ray Somers; 10. Mike Heuser; 11. Adam Jamison; 12. Brian Worth;
13. Chris Olcott
WEISS' BOOTS & APPAREL LEGEND CARS
FEATURE - 20 LAPS - 1. JOHN MENZAK, WHITEHOUSE STATION; 2. Bryan Gardella; 3.
Ronnie Dunstan; 4. Jimmy Tomaino; 5. JJ Jensen; 6. Vinnie Esposito; 7. Tim
Henry; 8. Rob Ricker; 9. Glenn Logan; 10. Rudy Rinderer; 11. Vinnie Esposito;
12. Joe Robertazzi; 13. John Kolarchick; 14. Bobby Baltera; 15. Mark
Esposito; 16. Robert Hendrickson; 17. Shane Cartwright; 18. Paul Kane; 19.