Chris Young: Wild Ride to a Sixth-Place Finish

Chris Young: Wild Ride to a Sixth-Place Finish

Despite riding the wall, Chris Young (49) managed to recover to a sixth-place finish. The wild action occurred during the modified feature at Riverhead Raceway in New York.

“I was battling for third with Roger Turbush just before this happened,” Young, of Riverhead, New York, said. “I got higher up on the track than I wanted to be, into the marbles, which caused my car to start to slide sideways along with Turbush’s car [who is on the right in the photo].

“Then, I turned my wheel to the right instead of left, and my car got up onto the wall. It stayed straight, right through the flag stand’s ladder, and at the end of the straightaway, I turned left and back onto the track.”

The wild action didn’t come without cost (besides the flag stand’s ladder and Turbush DNF-ed). Young incurred a flat right-front tire — but that was the extent of the damage to his modified.

“Racing at Riverhead is a constant dogfight, and I reinforced my car for that dogfight,” said Young. “I rode the wall because my nerf bars did not collapse. My skid plate protected the rear end. When we got back to the shop, the toe was perfect. There was no damage but scrape marks on the chassis.”

Fortunately, his crew could swap in a new tire under caution.

“The place was electric when I came back out onto the track,” Young said. “I made eye contact with [flagger] Bruce [Noll] for the second time and could see he was surprised.”

After restarting in the rear with five laps to go, Young worked his way to a sixth-place finish.

Chris Young is no stranger to passing, however, at the tight, ¼-mile paved oval.

In August, he qualified third for the Bubba 150. The track offered the Highmark Building Efficiency Challenge, which awarded a $2,500 bonus to one of the top qualifiers who could win the race after starting last in the 18-car feature. When the top two qualifiers declined, Young accepted.

After steadily making his way through the field, he finished second. While the Challenge initially paid $500 for a podium finish to whomever accepted it, Highmark Building’s Rich Gerbe upped the bonus to $1,000.

Young hopes he can finish one place better this upcoming weekend, when he races the Twin 49s that are in honor of his father, Chris Young.

“My father had 33 feature wins at Riverhead, and to me he was the ultimate competitor — I learned everything from him,” said Young. “We lost him in 2015. When my dad passed, there was a memorial race. I had not raced a modified and went out in his car. It was like I was driving a golf cart — I was embarrassed and knew I could do better. These two memorial races this coming weekend are a sort of redemption for me. To honor him, I must run well.”

(For more on Young, read “Chris Young: Back in Victory Lane for the First Time.”)