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Story By: Jeff Gravatt/Wall Stadium

Photos By: Pete MacDonald/

WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J. ~ The list of Tour Type and Wall/SK Modified stock car teams planning to compete in the Thanksgiving weekend Turkey Derby continues to grow! Well over 80 race teams from all divisions were in the Wall Stadium Speedway pit area for both the November 16 and the November 23 final practice session. If these practice turnouts are any indication, the 46th running of the Turkey Derby stock car classic could feature a record setting field in both quality and quantity.

The Turkey Derby is presented on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend during the daylight hours.

Among the Tour Type Modified stock car standouts expressing interest in the annual classic are multi-time Turkey Derby winner Jimmy Blewett of Howell who tested his Wall and Tour Type Modifieds during practice. Also seen turning fast laps were Holmdel’s Andrew Krause, Andy Jankowiac of Tonawanda, N.Y., Anthony Sesely of Matawan and Pennsylvania’s Bobby Jones.

Former winner Eric Mauriello of Brick, Matt Hirschman of Northampton, Pa., defending winner Dave Sapienza of Riverhead, N.Y., Derek Hopkinson of Toms River, Zane Zeiner of Bath, Pa., Ricky Collins of Willow Grove, Pa. and Long Island racer Kenny Darch also reportedly plan to see action. Also reportedly planning to compete in Tour Type Modified action are Justin Bonsignore of Holtsville, N.Y., Brick’s Ron Frees, Chas Okerson of Freehold, Kyle Ellwood of Riverhead, N.Y., Jonathan Mandato of Toms River and Jackson’s Blake Barney. More entries are expected during the final days leading up to the race.

The speedway’s own Wall/SK Modifieds will also be well represented by both local favorites and invaders. Former winner Jimmy Blewett, newly crowned champ Steven Reed of Jackson, Jason Hearne of New Egypt, Brick’s Marc Rogers and Howell’s Eric Mauriello are all reportedly planning to compete in the Wall Modified 100-lap feature. Mayetta’s Tyler Truex, Kenny Van Wickle of Manasquan, Joey Merlino of Pine Hill, Shaun Carrig of Little Falls, Zack Alspach of Willingboro, Jackson’s Jason Treat and Chris Andretta of Neptune are also expected to be in the field.

Many of the above mentioned racers participated in practice.

Several racers are contemplating competition in both pavement type Modified races. In fact, Andrew Krause plans extra duty he is planning to compete in the Dirt Modified feature race. A healthy field of Dirt Modifieds practiced during the two tune-up sessions.

The current list is compiled of teams that have filed entries, secured tires for the weekend and participated in two Saturday practice sessions on November 16 and 23.

Like the Modified classes, all divisions that will compete in Turkey Derby action look to be well represented by both locals and invaders on race weekend.

On Friday, November 29, day one of Turkey Derby, pit area gates will open at 6:30 a.m., practice will begin at 8:30 a.m. and grandstand seating will open at 9:30 a.m. Qualifying is set for noon with feature racing scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m. The Sportsman cars will compete in a 50-lap main event, the Limited Late Models will battle in a 50-lapper and the Factory Stocks and the 4 Cylinder Stocks will each battle in 40-lap races.

On Saturday, November 30, the pit area will again open at 6:30 a.m. with practice at 8:30 a.m. and grandstands opening at 9:30 a.m. Qualifying will start at 11:00 a.m. with main events set for 1:00 p.m. The Tour Type Modifieds are set for a 150-lap, $6,000 to win feature race while the speedway’s Wall/SK Modifieds will compete in a 100-lap feature race that offers $5,000 to the winner. Dirt Modifieds will also be on the Saturday card in a 50-lap feature and the Green Flag Driving Experience Legend Cars will compete in a 30-lapper. The TQ Midgets will race on the inner oval in a 30-lap race.

The Turkey Derby weekend will then wrap up on Sunday, December 1, with pit gates opening at 10:00 a.m., practice starting at 11:00 a.m., grandstand opening at 11:30 a.m., qualifying at noon and main events set for 1:00 p.m. The Legend Cars will be competing in a 40-lapper and the Factory Stocks will race in a 50-lapper. The 4 Cylinder Stocks are set for a 50-lapper on Sunday while the Dirt Outlaw Stocks and the Dirt Sportsman cars will each compete in 25-lap main events. Demolition Derby action will cap off Sunday’s card.

Among special awards offered for the weekend will be the Larsen Brothers Memorial Fast Time Award for both the Tour and Wall Modified divisions.

A special commemorative Turkey Derby 46 sweatshirt is available during the weekend and fans are reminded to bring small headset type radios to listen to the live call of the race events over the track’s 90.1 FM frequency. Campers are welcome but they are urged to call the speedway office prior to the event to make mandatory reservations.

Turkey Derby rules, registration forms, ticket purchase forms and more detailed information are all available on the speedway website at

Wall Stadium Speedway is located on Route 34 in Wall Township, N.J., just one mile north of Garden State Parkway exit 98 and Interstate 195 exit 35B. The speedway hotline number is 732-681-6400 and email address is