HERMON, Maine — Carmel’s Ted Ryder is certainly persistent. And it has finally paid off for him.
Ryder, who had 11 top-five finishes in winning the Sport Four class points title a year ago but never finished higher than third and had four did-not-finishes this season, collected his second straight win in the Sport Fours on Saturday night at Speedway 95 as he took the lead from Hudson’s Donny Silva on the third lap and never looked back in the 35-lap series race.
It was the second in the three-race series.
There was a caution on lap 32 but Ryder pulled away from Skowhegan’s Ed Archer Jr. to win by 10 car lengths. Hermon’s Kevin Hartley was third with Bangor’s Jim Goodman and Exeter’s Gary Richards rounding out the top five in the 14-car field.
“The car was awesome,” said the 39-year-old Ryder, who didn’t finish four races due to two wrecks and two mechanical problems before breaking through for his first ever Sport Four win last weekend.
“The car felt fast and it had good grip. It had real good grip on that last restart,” explained Ryder, who said that he “wasn’t too worried” when the caution came out with three laps to go.
“I seemed to get by [Archer] pretty good,” said Ryder.
Archer was involved in that lap 32 wreck with Carmel’s Tim Richardson Jr.
“That created a push in my car,” said Archer. “I didn’t want to wreck Ted so I didn’t push the issue. But the car was good tonight and I was able to get my first top three in this class.”
Archer’s previous best finish was a fifth on June 1.
In the 40-lap Late Model race, 18-year-old Ryan Modery of Hermon took the lead by passing Corinth’s Lloyd Nickerson on the inside on lap 19 and held off Nickerson the rest of the way to post a three car-length victory.
Ellsworth’s Andy Saunders was third with Orrington’s John Kalel II and Harrington’s Andrew McLaughlin completing the top five. Sixteen cars took the green flag.
Modery won a race last year as a rookie in the class and he also had a fourth and a fifth in 18 races. He cracked the top five for the first time in six races with a fifth last weekend.
“We just try to keep moving forward every week. The car was really good tonight. It always goes good on the inside,” said Modery, who graduated from Hermon High earlier this month. “This feels really good. It has been a while since I got a win.”
Last year’s win came on July 8.
Nickerson said his car was “very good.”
“It was a little tight at the end. I didn’t have anything for Ryan. He definitely had the better car in the corners,” said Nickerson, who added that he was “tickled to death” with his runner-up finish after finishing last a week ago because of carburetor problems.
In the 25-lap NELCAR Legends race, Ryan Hammar of Pembroke, N.H., started last in the 11-car field but worked his way up to take the lead on lap 13 when Mathew Bourgoine of Newport, who had led since they dropped the green flag, fell off the pace because car problems.
He pulled away to win by 12 car lengths over teammate T.J. Laro of Concord, N.H.
Westbrook’s John Peters was third, followed by Lincoln’s Alan Smith and Matt Chagnot of Derry, N.H.
The Legends cars are 5/8ths scale replicas of cars from the 1930s and 1940s. The cars use motorcycle engines.
“I don’t know what happened [to Bourgoine],” said the 17-year-old Hammar, whose win was his series-leading fifth of the season. “I was just trying to get up to the front so I could run with the top three. I focused on being consistent and then I was going to try to run down [Bourgoine]. But [Bourgoine] pulled off.”
“[Bourgoine] was fast. I might have caught him but I don’t know if I would have gotten close enough to make a pass,” said Hammar, who will be a senior at Pembroke Academy in the fall.
Laro said his car was good in the short runs “but it got real loose on the last run” so he couldn’t challenge Hammar.
Peters said his car was good but it wasn’t good enough to challenge Hammar and Laro.
“They really had things figured out,” said Peters.
The 25-lap Sportsman feature had 11 cars and Hermon’s Kris Watson and Skowhegan’s Kris Matchett dueled after a lap 22 restart with Watson edging Matchett by half a car length.
It was Watson’s fourth straight win and fifth overall.
Milford’s Joe Legere was third followed by Bradley’s Bradley Smart and Glenburn’s D.C. Alexander.
In the Strictly Streets, Skowhegan’s Zach Audet, who began the season in the Sport Four class and had a win and a second in five races in that class, took the checkered flag by three car-lengths over Lamoine’s Derek Mingo.
Audet, who led the Sport Four class in wins a year ago with six, had started third in the nine-car field but took the lead on lap four and led the rest of the way.
Completing the top five behind Audet and Mingo were Harrington’s Alex Berry and the sister-brother tandem of Cornville’s Shelby and Matthew Kimball.
There were only four cars in the Bomber class so the abbreviated 15-lap race produced a 20 car-length win for Carmel’s Dennis Burns, his second this season. Brewer’s Sam Betts was second with Bangor’s Scott Bonney taking home third and Newport’s Mark Lane finishing fourth.