Column By: TOM WENNER / RPW – PORT ROYAL, PA – Ryan Godown stole the $5,000 Spring Speed Showcase Short Track Super Series victory from Mike Gular Sunday at the Port Royal Speedway with a stellar last lap pass for the win.
That was after the two Modified titans had battled for the top spot over the last 25 laps of the race.
Godown drove from his 7th place starting position to lead with 23 to go after Stewart Friesen dropped from the event with mechanical failure. After Friesen’s departure pole starting Mike Gular who led a majority of the race and Godown battled for the Spring Showcase victory right down to the last lap of the race.
Mike Gular driving a 360 cubic Inch small block engine and Godown with the larger big block modified power plant gave the fans their money’s worth with an epic finish to the Spring Speed Showcase.
At the drop of the 40 lap main event Mike Gular immediately took command from pole starting spot with his Conestoga Valley Custom Kitchens Inc. Bicknell 2a Bicknell and drove into the lead. A caution flag was waving early in the event for David Van Horn’s #323 as he retired from competition.
As the field returned to green flag action Gular maintained his lead with Mike Mahaney chasing and the heavy hitters in the field were racing to the front. Godown, Mat Williams and Friesen were racing 5th-6th and 7th respectively with 3 down.
On lap 8 the caution was again needed for NJ’s Jimmy Horton as he suffered a mechanical failure in turn 2.
With 32 to go the field circled under caution with Gular controlling the field and Mahaney, Friesen, Godown and Williams trailing behind. Kevin Hirthler took the Green Lane Wm. Penn modified to the pits during this lap 8 caution. On the lap 9 re-start Stewart Friesen blasted from his 3rd spot to the lead with a strong restart.
Once out front Stewart Friesen displayed a very strong Halmar Bicknell #44 as he drove away from the field over the next few laps of green flag racing action. Back in the field Matt Sheppard and Michael Maresca were coming to the front. Sheppard and Maresca started 11th and 12th respectively and were racing into the top 10 and looking for more as both showed some great speed.
Out front, Stewart Friesen was Rolling the top with his Halmar and driving away from the competition. On lap 14 Duane Howard #15g exits from competition to the infield.
On lap 15 the caution lights are turned on for Jared Umbenhauer in the Clay #88c. As Umbenhauer is helped from the speedway, Stewart Friesen comes to a stop in front of the flagman. The Halmar #44 suffered a mechanical failure and was not under power any longer and Friesen was pushed to the pit area. After winning his heat race from last starting position, The Halmar needed assistance to be pushed from the scale to his pit area. Once has to wonder if that was sign of things to come for the Sprakers NY Modified Champion.
With 25 still to go, A new race was now set forward. The running order for the final 25 laps was Gular in front, Godown in 2nd, followed by Mahaney, Williamson, Sheppard, and Maresca. Back to green with Gular in front and on the 23 to go lap, it was the Ringoes Rocket Ryan Godown taking the lead. B Main starters Alex Yankowski and Billy Pauch Jr. were making bids into the top 10 from 21st for Yankowski and 26th from Pauch Jr.
Mike Maresca moved 3rd with 21 to go on a great drive from 12th starting spot. With 17 to go, The #401 of Frank Cozze retired from the event. HJ Bunting retired from the event with 16 to go. As Gular and Godown battle for the lead and were beginning to enter lap traffic with 10 to go the race was really heating up.
The yellow lights were turned back on for a lap 32 caution as Brandon Grosso suffered a flat tire.
With 8 laps to go the field running order was set as Gular your leader, Godown 2nd, Maresca 3rd, Mahaney, Sheppard, Williamson, and Matt Stangle from a 32nd provisional starting spot. After a quick drop of the green, The yellow was turned back on for David Schilling and Jessica Friesen in the 1z also retired from the event.
Another green and quick yellow on lap 7 for the #96 of Billy Pauch Jr. with a LR Flat and Joseph Watson #30 retired from the event. Pauch Jr. rejoined the field. Another green and yellow with 6 to go as Danny Creeden #16x retired from competition.
As the field heads for the green and 5 laps to go Gular and Godown are battling for the front spots followed by Maresca, Williamson, Mahaney, Sheppard, Perrego, Stangle. The last 5 laps of the race were epic. Mike Gular down low in the small block and Ryan Godown running the big block power on the top of the track.
Gular and Godown put on show that any race fan would be appreciative of. As they approached the white flag Godown drove the Bicknell RM Motorsports #26 into turns 1 & 2 harder than ever before and the hail mary drive worked as he exited turned turn 2 with enough speed to complete the pass and tuck down in front of Gular in turns 3 & 4 to seal the drive to victory.
Godown crossed 1st, Gular 2nd, Maresca 3rd, Williamson, Sheppard, Mahaney, Perrego, Danny Johnson, Ryan Watt and Matt Stangle completed the Top 10.
Ryan’s victory lane celebration was certainly an epic celebration. Ryan thanked his hard working crew and a long list of sponsors who support the #26 team. He is riding a strong wave of success and is certainly keeping it going with a runs like today.
Ryan felt like he picked the wrong tire for the A Main but still pulled off the win. The Godown race team sponsors are Ellery’s Grill, Camp Out Inc., BOSS Snow Plows, Creston Hydraulics, IZZI Trucking & Rigging, SW Hacker, Weaknect Archery, ART’s, DSP Photos, TMI, and Trick Race Parts
Mike Gular ran a great race finishing 2nd was a very humble with a runnerup. Gular was happy with 2nd. Thanked the fans for braving the cold. Mike was very Thankful of his crew, owner and all of their team supporters for getting where they are today. He is looking to return in October and hopefully finish 1 spot better with the big $ on the line.