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Friday, September 23, 2016

Lancaster kicks off weekend of racing with Championship Night

Lancaster National Speedway wrapped up its most successful regular season for its stock car program in over a decade Thursday with Season Championship Night.

The event was originally scheduled for September 10 but postponed due to rain. Track officials wanted to give competitors a chance to finish the points season with one final race instead of a rain out.

George Skora III
The Sunoco Sportsman title was up for grabs between Jake Lyon and Tommy Catalano, with Lyon holding a 44-point advantage as the night began. Catalano won his heat race, while Lyon finished second in his heat to cut the gap to 42 before the feature began.

Catalano started ninth in the feature with Lyon rolling off from 12th. Lyon’s championship hopes hit a speed bump on Lap 6 when he banged wheels with Mark Pennell going into Turn 1. He spun into the infield, but didn’t appear to suffer any significant damage.  Lyon did have to go the rear of the field.
Tommy Catalano was coming through the field, but his run for a title took a detour to the pits on Lap 11. He returned to action, but was in and out of the pits for the remainder of the race.

2016 Sportsman champ Jake Lyon
On Lap 19, a multi-car incident was triggered when Amy Catalano spun on the frontstretch. Jeff Brown wheel-hopped her car and got airborne before colliding with the wall as several other cars piled in. The lengthy clean up required speedway officials to end the program out of respect for the midnight curfew enforced by the town of Lancaster. The race was past halfway and was declared official, with George Skora III taking the win, followed by John Barber, Matt Druar, Sherri Hogan and Shawn Nye.

Lyon finished sixth to earn his first career track championship. He won three times this season, including two wins in the final three races of the year.

Rich Sharpe
The Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks had their largest field of the season with 32 cars on hand as several drivers from other tracks took advantage of the weeknight show to get some track time before the U.S. Open. The field was trimmed to 26 after heats and a last chance qualifying race.

Lou Carbone and Rob Pocobello led the impressive field to the green flag. Rookie Trevor Pettit moved through the field to challenge Carbone for the lead, getting under Carbone off of Turn 2 on Lap 15. Carbone’s car pushed up the race track as Pettit went by to take the lead. When Carbone came back down the track, he did so in front of Mark Hoch and Dave Wilson. All three cars went sliding through the infield on the backstretch. Carbone and Hoch made it through, but Wilson’s car tagged a jersey barrier and mound of earth that protects one of the infield light poles.
2016 Street Stock champ Dave Wilson

The race resumed with Pettit leading Pocobello and 2015 track champion Rich Sharpe. Sharpe went after Pettit the green flag flew and he took over the lead on Lap 16. Mike Scott had followed Sharpe to the front of the pack from his 18th starting position. The former Super Stock feature winner was in the Cochrane Motorsports No. 76 entry for the evening. Sharpe managed to hold on to score his first win of 2016.

Dan Dressel
Despite his run in with the concrete barrier in the infield, Wilson managed to finish the race and he passed under the checkered flag to lock up the 2016 Street Stock track title. It was Wilson’s first championship at Lancaster, added to his previous titles at Holland and Lake Erie. Three early season victories and a consistent second half of the season propelled Wilson to the championship.

Dan Dressel captured his first career Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder feature. Dressel passed Joe Brunka for the lead on Lap 15 and pulled away for the final 10 laps to score the win. Brunka settled for second with Jim Dauer, Kevin Bainbridge and Bobby Woch rounding out the top five. Bainbridge had already wrapped up the 2016 track championship thanks to seven wins on the season.

2016 4-Cylinder champ Kevin
Bainbridge
Lancaster National Speedway concludes the 2016 season with the 28th annual U.S. Open this weekend. Event information can be found at www.thelancasterusopen.com.

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