The final event for the Great Lakes Super Sprints at Butler Motor Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 27 was supposed to be a run for the championship. Rather, heavy rains forced the cancellation of the event. After a couple days of trying to reschedule the event, GLSS staff officially announced the end of the 2016 racing season, but what a season it has been for 17-year-old Chase Ridenour, of Perry.
Wanting to be competitive all summer long, Ridenour had a top five point finish in the GLSS along with four feature wins, combined with ten top five finishes propelled Ridenour to his first GLSS championship. The eleven top ten finishes, ten top five finishes, four feature wins in 13 events gave Ridenour an average finish of just 4.7. Six events were rained out.
The turning point of the season came on June 17 when Ridenour took second place at Mt. Pleasant speedway in Mt. Pleasant. The small, 1/4 mile oval was the type of track that Ridenour had struggled with early in his career. With the strong run at Mt. Pleasant, the team gained confidence that they were making the correct chassis adjustments, as well as driving adjustments to be competitive on all types of tracks. The remainder of the season, Ridenour would not finish outside the top five.
After a two year absence from victory lane, the long awaited second victory came on the first night of a three way weekend at Tri-City Motor Speedway in Auburn on July 29. After a race long battle with sprint car stand-out Dustin Daggett, Ridenour was able to take advantage of a rare mistake by Daggett in the closing laps to take the win. The following night at Merritt Speedway in Lake City, Ridenour led every lap to pick up his second win in a row with the GLSS. On night three at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Ridenour would have to come from behind with a thrilling last lap pass for the victory. The fourth win would come two weeks later on Aug. 13 at Thunderbird Raceway in Muskegon.
Aside from the Great Lakes Super Sprints schedule, Ridenour also ran several events at other race tracks. He was able to secure his first top ten finish with Tony Stewart’s Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions, as well as an 18th place run with the Craftsman World of Outlaws. The final highlight of the season was a feature win on July 16 at Butler Motor Speedway in their weekly sprint car division.
For the remainder of 2016, Ridenour plans to run just a few more races. A three day event, the Canadian Sprint Car Nationals at Ohsweken Speedway, in Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada on Sept. 15, 16, and 17. Plus, the Craftsman World of Outlaws will return to Hartford Speedway in Hartford on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
The Ridenour Racing team would like to thank their dedicated season sponsors, Lucas Oil Products, K&N Filters, David Nichols Excavating, Longs Transmission Service, The Great Gazebo, Ridenour Towing, and Ridenour Auto Repair.
For more information on the Ridenour Racing team, on their official website at www.chaseridenour.com.