HERMON, Maine — Carmel’s Ted Ryder never expected to win a points championship in the Sport Fours division at Hermon’s Speedway 95.
His highest previous finish was fifth in the Little Enduro points during Wacky Wednesday racing at Speedway 95 last year.
“I was just hoping to keep up with them,” said the 38-year-old Ryder.
But Ryder did capture the title by 25 points over Steve Heath of Milo.
Hudson’s Donny Silva was third, 59 points behind Ryder after the final points race of the season was held Saturday night.
It was Ryder’s first year in the Sport Fours.
“My Wacky Wednesday car ran pretty close to the same times as the Sport Fours so I did a few more things to it to see if it could be competitive in the Sport Fours,” said Ryder.
He never paid attention to the points until halfway through the season when he noticed he was third.
“But I was over 100 points behind the leader,” said Ryder. “I never imagined that I’d win the points.”
But he did.
“It’s pretty cool,” said Ryder who didn’t win a race or finish second but was able to nab 11 top-five finishes in 19 races: four thirds, four fourths and three fifths.
Ryder said the key to his success was “doing a lot of work on the car.”
“I think I cracked five transmissions,” said Ryder, a Hampden Academy graduate. “I did a lot of preventive maintenance on the car.”
Ryder and next-door neighbor Jeremy Scott worked on each other’s cars throughout the season.
Scott finished second in the Bombers class thanks to five wins and four seconds.
Ryder said the most challenging portion of the season occurred after his car hit a wall head-on.
“I spent 45 hours putting it back together. That was a rough week,” said Ryder who drives a 1992 Mitsubishi Eclipse. “People were surprised I came back the following week.”
That was his only major accident.
“I was fortunate other than that one night when we hit the wall,” said Ryder.
Ryder began racing 13 years ago but took five years off to do projects such as finish his new house.
He returned to racing last year in the Little Enduros.
He said he enjoys the “adrenaline rush” you get racing cars and he also likes the “people and the atmosphere at the track.”
The co-owner of New England Spray Foam Insulation said he’s looking forward to the final two nonpoints races at Speedway 95 and defending his points championship next year.
In addition to Ryder, the other Saturday night points champions were Holden’s Steve Moulton in the Sportsman class; Harrington’s Andrew McLaughlin, Strictly Streets; Hermon’s Andrew Crosby, Bombers; and Ellsworth’s Andy Saunders, Late Models.
Moulton finished with 1,970 points and was followed in the Sportsman class by Skowhegan’s Kris Matchett (1,831), Ellsworth’s Bradley Norris (1,819), Prospect’s D.J. Moody (1,676) and Franklin’s Mike Overlock (1,624). Moulton led the division in wins with eight.
McLaughlin had 1,926 points to outdistance the brother-and-sister team of Shelby (1,799) and Matt (1,637) Kimball from Cornville, Clifton’s Jim Carr (1,615) and Harrington’s Alex Berry (1,430). McLaughlin had a division-high 10 wins.
Saunders’ 1,823 points were 144 more than runner-up Deane Smart of Milford (1,679). John Kalel II of Orrington (1,672), Winterport’s Ryan Deane (1,616) and Hermon’s Ryan Modery (1,579) rounded out the top five.
Mike Hopkins of Hermon had a class-high seven wins.
Crosby had 1,946 points in the Bombers and Scott was next with 1,835.
Bangor’s Scott Bonney (1,713), Bucksport’s Russell Blenkhorn (1,566) and Newport’s Mark Lane (1,562) completed the top five. Crosby and Scott had five victories each to share the lead.
Behind Ryder, Heath and Silva in the Sport Fours were Becky Elston-Burns of Carmel, who was 101 points behind Ryder, and Bradley Dolan of Glenburn, who was six points behind Elston-Burns.
Skowhegan’s Zach Audet led the division in wins with six and Dolan had five.
Racing at Speedway 95 will begin at 3 p.m. Saturday and the Late Models and Sportsman will each run 50-lap features. The Strictly Streets, Sport Fours, Bombers and Stars of Tomorrow will also race.
Travis Benjamin, Cassius Clark face off
Travis Benjamin of Morrill and Farmington’s Cassius Clark will each be gunning for their first Pro All-Stars Series Super Late Model North points championship on Sunday at Oxford Plains Speedway. Racing starts at 1:30 p.m. It will be the 15th and last race in the series and Benjamin will take an eight-point lead over Clark into the race.
Wiscasset racing Oct. 20
New Wiscasset Raceway owner Richard Jordan and wife Vanessa have scheduled Fall Fury Races beginning at 11:05 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20.
Practice will begin at 9 a.m. and there will be a drivers’ meeting at 10:15 a.m.
The rain date will be the next day.
There will be racing in the Mini-Stocks (four-cylinder cars), V-8s, Late Models, Enduros with roll cages and Enduros without roll cages. There will also be the Wicked Good Vintage Racing Association and the NELCAR Legends race cars.
There will also be a practice from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13.
There will be a $5 donation requested per person for the Oct. 13 practice and the Oct. 20 racing.