Ridge Electrifies ASCS Northwest vs. Rocky Mountain Field at Great Falls GREAT FALLS, Mont. (June 26, 2009) -- Jared Ridge tried to act like he was sitting on a couch racing video games, but his nerves overrode his imagination. Ridge ...
Ridge Electrifies ASCS Northwest vs. Rocky Mountain Field at Great Falls
GREAT FALLS, Mont. (June 26, 2009) -- Jared Ridge tried to act like he was sitting on a couch racing video games, but his nerves overrode his imagination.
Ridge overcame more than both Friday night at Electric City Speedway, where the 20-year-old racer picked up his first career sprint car victory in the American Sprint Car Series Northwest vs. Rocky Mountain Region event.
"I just had to keep telling myself, 'Remember, this is just a video game' so I wouldn't put too much pressure on myself," said Ridge, a Snohomish, Wash., resident who is in his fourth year of racing in reality.
"It was nerve-racking as ever. I just wanted to get the whole race over with. I was praying for the white flag and the checkered."
Ridge survived two restarts in the final six laps with a handful of west coast veterans breathing down his back, including Steven Tiner of Elverta, Calif.
"He hit his marks and it was one of those tracks where you had to hit your marks every lap," said Tiner, who tied a career-best ASCS finish with second place.
"That's what veteran drivers do. So obviously he's rising to the occasion."
Ridge started the race on the outside of the first row with polesitter Henry Van Dam of Enumclaw, Wash., sprinting to the early lead.
Van Dam entered lapped traffic on lap eight only to find himself spun out while trying to lap Shane Broers in turn two of lap 15.
"(Broers) gave me the bottom and I took the bottom, then he took it back," said Van Dam, who rallied to finish seventh. "Nothing I could do.
"You forget about this because you really feel like you gave one away. You don't ever want to leave feeling like you gave one away."
With lapped traffic in the mix, Ridge then drove away from Tiner on a pair of restarts for spins by Trevor Kirkland on laps 16 and 25. However, after Broers' the only lapped car between Ridge and Tiner spun in front of the field on a restart of lap 25, Ridge was forced to hit his marks with Tiner a close second.
"I was really trying not to screw up those last few laps," Ridge said. "I just knew I had to hit my marks. I'd been hitting my marks all night, so it wasn't too big of a deal. But then again, I've been in that same situation where I was faster than everybody and happened to screw up because I was pressured."
Ridge kept his car on the bottom of the track to secure the win.
Jason Solwold, who had won his three previous features at the Speedway, drove from 10th to fifth in the first three laps. When Van Dam spun out Solwold climbed to third, which is where he finished. It earned him the Hard Charger award for passing seven cars.
"The sooner you can get cars the better," said Solwold, who hails from Burlington, Wash. "You've just got to push the whole time."
Roger Crockett of Medford, Ore., placed fourth and Marysville, Wash., resident Jayme Barnes, the defending Northwest Region champion, was fifth.
The Northwest Region will host the second of the two-day show at the Electric City Speedway on Saturday. The gates open at 3 p.m. with racing scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
ASCS Northwest vs. Rocky Mountain Results from Electric City Speedway:
Heat One (10 Laps): 1. 94-Steven Tiner, 2. Oj-Jeremy McCune, 3. 44-Kelly Miller, 4. 11w-Shane Broers, 5. 38-Jerry Brown, 6. 57k-Kolter Kosten, 7. 77-Mark Sweet, 8. 72-Phil Dietz.
Heat Two (10 Laps): 1. 12-Jared Ridge, 2. 11-Roger Crockett, 3. 25c-Chad Groves, 4. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 5. 7x-Paxton Lambrecht, 6. 35-Chip Roe, 7. 27dd-David Hoiness.
Heat Three (10 Laps): 1. 23n-Jayme Barnes, 2. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 3. 99-Jacob Ossenfort, 4. 98-Joe Ramaker, 5. 28-Joe Perry, 6. 23-Colin Baker, 7. 5h-Justyn Cox.
Heat Four (10 Laps): 1. 98m-Mitch Olson, 2. 51-Jason Solwold, 3. 10-Danielle Ossenfort, 4. 37-Trevor Kirkland, 5. 12p-Randy Pierce, 6. 33-Tucker McCune, 7. 27r-Russ Kosten.
"B" Feature (12 Laps): 1. 12p-Randy Pierce, 2. 7x-Paxton Lambrecht, 3. 38-Jerry Brown, 4. 5h-Justyn Cox, 5. 28-Joe Perry, 6. 72-Phil Dietz, 7. 23-Colin Baker, 8. 27dd-David Hoiness, 9. 57k-Kolter Kosten, 10. 35-Chip Roe, 11. 77-Mark Sweet, 12. 33-Tucker McCune, 13. (DNS) 27r-Russ Kosten.
"A" Feature (30 Laps): 1. 12-Jared Ridge, 2. 94-Steven Tiner, 3. 51-Jason Solwold, 4. 11-Roger Crockett, 5. 23n-Jayme Barnes, 6. 25c-Chad Groves, 7. 33v-Henry Van Dam, 8. 0j-Jeremy McCune, 9. 98-Joe Ramaker, 10. 44w-Austen Wheatley, 11. 98m-Mitch Olson, 12. 44-Kelly Miller, 13. 10-Danielle Ossenfort, 14. 99-Jacob Ossenfort, 15. 7x-Paxton Lambrecht, 16. 5h-Justyn Cox, 17. 12p-Randy Pierce, 18. 11w-Shane Broers 19. 37-Trevor Kirkland, 20. 38-Jerry Brown.
ASCS Northwest Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Steven Tiner 712, 2. Jared Ridge 706, 3. Henry VanDam 686, 4. Roger Crockett 676, 5. Mitch Olson 668, 6. Chad Groves 613, 7. Randy Pierce 579, 8. Justyn Cox 577, 9. Chadd Noland 491, 10. Austen Wheatley 331.
ASCS Rocky Mountain Region Points (Top Ten): 1. Jake Ossenfort 428, 2. Jeremy McCune 416, 3. Randy Pierce 412, 4. Kolter Kosten 380, 5. Tucker McCune 333, 6. Mark Sweet 331, 7. (tie) Randi Miller and Joe McCarthy 290, 9. Joshua Hodges 280, 10. Dustin Hall 278.