By George, Riden ends nine year PASS drought!

George Riden raced his way back to the winner’s circle for the first time in nine years, winning the Sunday night Pennsylvania Sprint Series feature at BAPS Motor Speedway. (Photo by Frank Buhrman)

By Frank Buhrman

YORK HAVEN, Pa. (Aug. 29) – George Riden had been trying to get his IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car out to the track more often.

It paid off Sunday night, when the Elizabethtown veteran won his first Pennsylvania Sprint Series race in nine years, taking the 20-lap feature at BAPS Motor Speedway.

Riden drew the outside pole and took the lead from polesitter Drew Young on lap three. He then fought off a ferocious challenge from Dom Melair, whose efforts to go past the leader fell just short.

“Work has gotten pretty busy,” Riden said in victory lane. “Racing had to be put on the backburner but these guys over here have been working their butts off and we finally found some speed. It’s been a long time, man, so I’m just happy, just happy.”

The win was Riden’s seventh with PASS but his first since Sept. 29, 2112. All six previous wins were at Path Valley Speedway.

The veteran racer was a PASS regular from 2005-13 but has run sporadically since then and didn’t compete at all in 2020. This was his sixth start of 2021 and a fifth-place finish at Selinsgrove back in May showed that driver and car still had it in them. The combination really paid off Sunday.

Melair, who started third, moved past Young on lap four and did everything possible to get by Riden but had to settle for second, only 0.150 seconds back. Derek Hauck, who had started eighth, advanced past several other stout runners and appeared to have something for Melair and even Riden near the end, but he wound up a second and a half back of the leader in third.

Mid Atlantic Sprint Series regular Tim Iulg ran to a solid fourth and Doug Dodson finished fifth and claimed the Auto Core Recycling Hard Charger award, coming from 13th starting.

Feature results – 1. George Riden; 2. Dom Melair; 3. Derek Hauck; 4. 1Tim Iulg; 5. Doug Dodson; 6. Ken Duke; 7. Justin Mills; 8. Rick Stief; 9. Erin Statler; 10. Tim Tanner Jr.; 11. Dylan Smith; 12. Austin Reed; 13. John Walp; 14. Aiden Borden; 15. Mike Melair; 16. Kristina Pratt; 17. Paul Moyer; 18. John Fiore; 19. Roger Weaver; 20. Larry McVay; 21. Drew Young; 22. Garrett Bard; 23. Branstin Shue; 24. Jarrett Cavalet.