John Young, of Montrose, battles for the lead Saturday at Thunder Ridge Motor Sports Park, south of Craig. The event was the new racetrack’s inaugural run for stock cars. Young said with time and support, he’s confident Thunder Ridge will succeed.

Photo by Joshua Gordon

John Young, of Montrose, battles for the lead Saturday at Thunder Ridge Motor Sports Park, south of Craig. The event was the new racetrack’s inaugural run for stock cars. Young said with time and support, he’s confident Thunder Ridge will succeed.

Thunder Ridge Motor Sports Park crowns 1st super stock champion

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Quotable

“It feels kind of cool to be the first winner here. I started

racing when I was 8 years old as a way to express myself, and while others race as a hobby, it is a lifestyle for me because that is what it has to be to compete.”

John Young

Montrose resident about winning the inaugural stock car race Saturday at Thunder Ridge Motor Sports Park

Numerous delays didn’t turn away potential spectators for Thunder Ridge Motor Sports Park, a new racetrack development south of Craig.

For the park’s inaugural stock car races Saturday, close to 100 people showed up to support the track.

“I want to say I am grateful for all the loyal fans who came out and stayed,” track president Gregg Kolbaba said Saturday. “I was very impressed with the attendance and the loyalty they showed by staying.”

The track, which was slated to open in June, was forced to postpone the first race for several weeks because of weather and other issues.

When the weather cooperated, equipment malfunctioned, such as what happened last weekend.

“We still have plenty of things to work out, but it will only get better,” Kolbaba said. “On one hand, it is a huge accomplishment (to have the first race), while on the other hand, we know we still have some work to do.”

Super stock was the show for the fans, with four cars competing to be the first racer to take home a trophy from Thunder Ridge.

John Young, of Montrose, won the opening race and completed the sweep with a victory in the 15-lap main event.

“I was pretty much racing against the track,” said Young, 24. “It was mostly smooth with a few bumps and dips to look out for, but if (Kolbaba) has time to work on it, it will be a very fast track.”

Young took the lead early in both races and clearly had the fastest car on the track, which he never quit pushing.

“It feels kind of cool to be the first winner here,” he said. “I started racing when I was 8 years old as a way to express myself, and while others race as a hobby, it is a lifestyle for me because that is what it has to be to compete.”

A modified car also made an appearance to get some track time for what Kolbaba said is sure to be an expanding field.

“There are going to be more cars here in the future, no matter what,” he said. “People weren’t sure because of the delays and if you travel you have to be sure the races are going to happen.

“Now, people will know there have been races and they will start to show up.”

Young said there might have been a limited field in the first race Saturday, but he has confidence the track will expand and improve.

“When I first showed up, I told them I wanted to support them and leaving was not supporting them,” he said. “What they are trying to do is bring racing back to the Western Slope, and I am going to try and be out here whenever I can.

“The whole event went good and I kept it between the walls while taking no damage, and walked away with a trophy.”

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