Wild Racing Gives Hamilton Wall Triumph
WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Saturday night’s Modified stock car race at Wall Stadium Speedway offered several possibilities for a storybook ending.
First it looked like a division newcomer would race to his first career Modified win. Then it appeared that the opening night victor would claim his second straight win. Just moments later it appeared that the first female in the speedway’s 63 year history would grab the win.
Finally when all the dust settled a driver who was told just a year and a half ago that he probably would never have full use of his left hand again raced to the big win in just his second start after sitting out the entire 2012 season recovering.
Chris Hamilton, who had suffered through five surgeries on his left hand after a November 2011 racing accident, was the happy Modified winner taking the lead on the final restart with just a few laps remaining. He had been in contention most of the way.
Modified newcomer and last year’s Sportsman champ Eric Mauriello rocketed to the lead early and looked like a sure winner as he paced most of the 40-lap distance. The caution flag waved with just four laps to go setting up the suspense.
On the ensuing restart Mauriello was challenged by opening night winner Steven Reed of Freehold. When the green flag returned Mauriello went spinning and Reed was told to go to the rear of the field by officials for what they felt was his part in the incident.
This moved lady racer Shawna Ingraham to the top spot. She and teammate Ken Woolley Jr. then raced side-by-side into the first turn battling for the lead when they touched and spun. When this duo went to the rear of the field for bringing out the caution Hamilton powered his No. 20 to the lead and on to the win.
Chas Okerson, Adam LaCicero, Mauriello and Reed completed the top five.