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Monday, October 2, 2017

Lancaster Dragway crowns 2017 champs

Lancaster National Dragway's 2017 season came to a rainy end on Friday, September 29 after the final Franco's Pizza IHRA Drag Racing event of the year was rained out. With the schedule now in the books that means the 2017 drag racing track champions have been decided, and they will be honored at the Season Awards Banquet on Friday, November 10. 
2017 Top ET champ Dale Eckert
credit: Neffke Motorsports Photography

Dale Eckert captured his first career Mallare Enterprises Top ET championship following a run of 10 titles in 11 years while competing in Mod ET. Eckert edged Jan Winkowski by just ten points to lock up the title. 

Reid Ricketson became just the third different driver in 12 year to win the McGard Mod ET championship. Ricketson and teammate Ray Thurston IV combined to win two races in 2017 to help clinch the track title one week before the season ended. 

In Hebeler's Sales Bikes and Sleds, Mike Peters won his second-straight track championship. Peters won three out of the first four races of the season and then won the final race of the year to edge fellow four-time race winner Lucas Salemi for the title. He has won the Bikes & Sleds championships in three out of the last four years.

Mason Fix repeated as track champion in Tread City Tire Street ET. Fix won the final two races of the year to help propel him ahead of Eddie Semlitsch for the Street crown. 

In the Tuesday night Junior Dragster program, Zac Vitez won his second track championship in three years. 

Keep up with the off-season at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

2017 U.S. Open: Jankowiak captures RoC Modified win on Sunday at Lancaster Speedway

Andy Jankowiak captured the U.S. Open 125 Race of Champions Modified Series event on Sunday afternoon at Lancaster National Speedway after starting on the pole and leading 124 of 125 laps. It was his first U.S. Open Modified victory and his seventh U.S. Open win overall.

RoC Modified winner Andy Jankowiak
Jankowiak was joined on the front row by Tommy Catalano to lead the 23-car field to the green flag. A total of 25 cars signed in at the start of the day before Tony Hanbury and Eric Beers were forced to withdraw from the event. Beers had drawn the outside pole position for the feature, but a broken rocker arm took him out of competition.

The first half of the race was dominated by Jankowiak and Catalano as the pair pulled away from the pack during a run of 66 green flag laps without a caution. By the halfway point of a race Jankowiak was catching a pack of lapped cars that included former U.S. Open winners Matt Hirschman and Chuck Hossfeld. Hirschman had started 11th and was leading the group of cars that were hanging on to the tail end of the lead lap. Hossfeld time trialed third fastest overall, but a mechanical problem kept him from running his heat race and he had to start at the rear of the field. The caution flag came on Lap 66 just before Jankowiak was going to put Hossfeld a lap down. On the ensuing pit stops, Jankowiak’s crew got him back out on the track in the lead, but the big winners were Hossfeld and Hirschman, as they followed Jankowiak out of the pits to move into second and third place, respectively.

Hirschman eventually moved into second after a restart on Lap 79 and he and Jankowiak pulled away from the field in the later stages. Jankowiak then started to pull away from Hirschman as the race went past Lap 100. Jankowiak held on to earn his first win in the U.S. Open 125. The win gives him seven career U.S. Open victories, which ties Chuck Hossfeld for most overall wins. Jankowiak also joins Karl Hehr and Todd Hoddick as the only drivers to win U.S. Open features in three different divisions.

In victory lane, Jankowiak dedicated the win to the memory of Ted Christopher. He had a piece of duct tape in his car with the phrase “Be Ted” written on it as inspiration. “I just wanted to win this for Teddy, I don’t even think he liked me,” said Jankowiak. “It’s been an emotional time for Modified racing and just what Teddy meant to racing. I always ride around and I always try to save my tires, but TC never did that. I went out and led every single lap because that's what TC would’ve done.”

Hirschman cruised to his second-place finish in his first Modified start at Lancaster this season. Mike Leaty finished third and he gained ground on teammate Emerling for the RoC Modified Series championship. Scott Wylie and George Skora III rounded out the top five.

Late Model winner Dave Heitzhaus
Dave Heitzhaus won the 30-lap Race of Champions Late Model Series feature. Heitzhaus inherited the lead on Lap 14 after Ron Nurmi and Bobby Weber tangled in Turn 2 while racing for the top spot. He then held off a late race challenge from Terry Weldy to score his second-straight U.S. Open Late Model win. Nurmi was making his final Late Model start before hanging up his helmet in retirement. The three-time track champion started on the pole and led the first 14 laps, but he got caught up in a couple incidents to finish ninth. 

Street Stock winner Rich Sharpe
Rich Sharpe of Lancaster dominated the 35-lap Advance Auto Parts Street Stock feature for his 10th win of the season. Sharpe took the lead from Mark Hoch on Lap 8 and never looked back as he cruised his way to a second-straight U.S. Open victory. A long green flag run during the second half of the race combined unseasonably hot temperatures made the race a war of attrition for several drivers. Brian Hoffman finished second followed by Andy Cryan, Garrett Cleversley and Jarrod Brown.

Keep up with the action at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com

2017 U.S. Open: Hossfeld tops Sportsman field Saturday at Lancaster Speedway

Lancaster National Speedway kicked off the 29th annual U.S. Open weekend on Saturday night with over 100 cars pitside across four divisions. Chuck Hossfeld captured the main event of the program, winning the 75-lap Race of Champions Sunoco Sportsman feature for the second year in a row.
In other X-Press Signs Stock Car Series action, Tim Gullo won the Race of Champions Super Stock feature,  Kevin Bainbridge won the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder U.S. Open feature for the second-straight year, and Dave Wollaber won the NYPA TQ Midget feature.

Sportsman winner Chuck Hossfeld
39 Sunoco Sportsman attempted to qualify for the 28-car starting field for round two of the Race of Champions Sportsman Series. Neal Dietz Jr. established a track record for Sportsman cars during qualifying with a quick time of 18.174 seconds.

Sportsman rookie Jeremy Haudricourt and Kevin Miller led the field to the opening green flag. Miller and Tommy Catalano eventually settled into the top two spots when the race restarted. Catalano took the lead from Miller on Lap 5 before pulling away from the field early on.

Defending race winner Hossfeld started ninth and was on the move from the drop of the green flag. He moved up to fourth place by Lap 6 and took over the runner-up position from Miller just five laps later. Catalano and Hossfeld pulled away during a long green flag run through the middle stages of the event, with Hossfeld taking the lead from Catalano on Lap 38. The pair caught lap traffic shortly thereafter and Catalano was able to maneuver around Hossfeld and a lapped car to regain the lead on Lap 49. The 31 laps of continuous green flag racing was interrupted moments later for a spin by Owen Bednasz on Lap 49. It took Hossfeld two laps after the race restarted to regain the lead on Lap 51.

The biggest wreck of the feature happened on lap 69 for multi-car pileup that included Owen Bednasz, Andy Lewis and Timmy Catalano. All drivers were ok, but all three cars suffered serious damage. Hossfeld held on through a few final restarts to win the U.S. Open Sportsman feature for a second year in a row. The victory gives him seven career U.S. Open with five in the Modifieds to go along with his two Sportsman wins. That gives Hossfeld the record for most overall U.S Open victories.

Catalano settled for second, followed by Tyler Rypkema in third; Daryl Lewis Jr. and George Skora III rounded out the top five.

Super Stock winner Tim Gullo
Joel Gleason and Joe Mancuso led the field to the green flag in the 30-lap Race of Champions Super Stock feature, with Mancuso taking the early lead. Gullo came up through the field quickly after starting in the 10th position, moving into the second spot by Lap 6. Mancuso slipped up around Lap 23 when pushed high in Turn 2, allowing Gullo to take the lead; Mancuso eventually got tangled up with Gleason as the pair battled for second place with less than five laps to go.

Gullo cruised the rest of the way for this fourth RoC Super Stock win at Lancaster in 2017 and his first victory in the U.S. Open. Eric Hadley finished second followed by Tommy Reese, Terry Cheetham and TJ Cochrane.

4-Cylinder winner Kevin Bainbridge
Kevin Bainbridge captured his second straight U.S. Open win in the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders. Bainbridge started 10th and picked his way through the field to get to the front. The race came down to catching teammate Chris Bugenhagen for the lead in the closing laps. Both cars approached lap traffic going into Turn 1 on Lap 22 when Bugenhagen got hung up behind a lapped car and Bainbridge drove past him on the inside to take the lead. Bainbridge held off Dave Brunka in the final two laps to secure his second U.S. Open win a row, with Bugenhagen settling for third. Jason Anasiewicz and pole sitter Russ Hartke rounded out the top five.

NYPA TQ Midget winner Dave Wollaber
Dave Wollaber captured his fifth career U.S. Open win in the NYPA TQ Midgets. Wollaber took the lead with just seven laps to go on a three-wide pass between leader Kyle Hutchinson and the lapped car of Vinny Christiano Jr. This was Wollaber’s first U.S. Open win since 2008. Bobby Holmes finished second followed by Hutchinson, Erik Musto and Brandon Zavarella.

Keep up with the action at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com

Masullo tops Lancaster Dragway “Thank You Thursday” drag racing program

Joe Masullo captured the Top 8 class on Thursday night
credit: Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway
Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway held a Thursday night show for the Franco's Pizza IHRA Drag Racing program as a special opening act for U.S. Open weekend. Thank You Thursday was also special treat for fans as they were able to catch the next-to-last drag race of the 2017 season for just $5. 

In Top 8 Eliminator, Joe Masullo scored his first win of the season while denying Brian Hitchcock his third-straight Top 8 victory. Masullo took advantage of a breakout by Hitchcock to score the win.

Jeff Sobczysnki picked up the win in Mallare Enterprises Top ET over class points leader Dale Eckert. Eckert handed Sobczysnki his first Top win of the season by breaking out by just .02 seconds. He now holds a slim 10 point lead over Jan Winkowski going into the final race of the season. 

In McGard Mod ET, Clay Ricketson grabbed his second victory of the year, defeating Jeff Kerl in the final round. Ricketson's brother Reid clinched the 2017 McGard Mod track championship as he extended his points lead to 90 with one race to go. 

Mike Peters was victorious for the fourth time this season in Hebeler's Sales Bikes & Sleds. Peters rode past the sled of Rob Brandel in the finals to earn the win. He holds a 50-point lead over Lucas Salemi going into next Friday's Season Championship Night. 

Mason Fix scored his second-straight win in Tread City Tire Street to extend his points lead in the class. Fix went head-to-head with Lancaster National Dragway Wall of Famer DJ Raiser in the final round, but Raiser red lighted the race. Fix leads Eddie Semlitsch by 40 points in the race for the Street ET title. 

Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway would like to congratulate the racers and officials that represented the facility last weekend at the IHRA Division 3 Summit Team Finals at Pittsburgh Raceway Park in New Alexandria, PA. Team Lancaster won the Best Team Spirit Award for showing their home track pride and Dale Eckert won in Mod Eliminator. 

The 2017 season comes to an end next Friday, September 30 on Season Championship Night. The TNT Hot Rod Series joins the four weekly classes as we crown our track champions. Time trials start at 5 p.m. Find out more at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com

Monday, September 18, 2017

Farnham, Wagner score big at Ransomville’s King of the Hill weekend

Matt Farnham in victory lane Friday night
credit: Tom Stevens
2017 Ransomville Speedway Sportsman Champion Matt Farnham scored the win in the Sid Jeffery Memorial for the Investors Service Sportsman presented by Performance Mfg. and Jeffery Machine to cap off Friday night action during the 26th annual King of the Hill Weekend at Ransomville Speedway. Pete Stefanski and Jason Fontaine won the dash races for the KiPo Chevrolet Street Stocks.  Matt Hornquist won his first Gippsters Collision 4 Bangers feature of the season while Chris Leone clinched his third divisional title. Kyle Wendt won his fifth Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman feature of the season, while Cameron Tuttle was crowned the divisional champion.  

Chris Burek and Farnham brought the field of Sportsman to the green flag for the inaugural running of the Sid Jeffery Memorial with Farnham taking command of the field early on. Farnham would lead all 30 laps to win the inaugural Sid Jeffery Memorial.

Stefanski and Chris Dziomba led the first Street Stock dash to the green flag for the 15-lap event with Stefanski in the lead early. Stefanski would hold off his nephew Jake to get the win. Fontaine and Vince Fargnoli brought the second dash to the green with Fargnoli taking the lead. Fontaine took the lead from his brother-in-law on Lap 9 and drove away from the field to score the win. The top five in each dash race were locked into the redraw for the Street Stock King of the Hill 100 on Saturday night.
Derek Wagner in victory lane Saturday night
credit: Tom Stevens
Derek Wagner scored his biggest win of his career to date with a Saturday night tally in the King of the Hill 100 for the Sportsman, his third win of the season. Stefanski won the King of the Hill Street Stock 100 for the Street Stocks, while Leone scored his fifth win of the season in the 4 Bangers.  Rick Blech won the main event for the Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman. 

Greg Martin and Wagner brought the field of Sportsman to the green flag for the King of the Hill 100 with Wagner taking the early lead and holding off Farnham to score the win.

Stefanski and Mike Kramarz led the field of Street Stocks to the green flag for the main event with Stefanski showing the way early. Stefanski was passed by nephew Jake on Lap 6 but regained the lead on Lap 8. The two traded the lead a few more times before late in the race, when Uncle Pete finally got the best of his nephew and went on to win the race.

The 2017 Ransomville Speedway season concludes on Monday, October 16 with the rescheduled World of Outlaw Craftsman Sprint Cars Big R Outlaw Shootout presented by Budweiser. Pit gates open at 4 p.m. with grandstand gates opening at 5 p.m. and racing getting underway at 7 p.m.  Joining the “Greatest Show on Dirt” will be the Sportsman. Keep up with the action at www.ransomvillespeedway.com

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

McPherson wins Safecracker 100 at Humberstone

Cody McPherson celebrates
credit: Softouch Photos
Cody McPherson won the Trevor Wilkens Memorial Safecracker 100 for the Sportsman Super DIRTcar Series on Mike Knapp Ford Night at Humberstone Speedway on Sunday evening. For McPherson, it was his second straight win on the Series and fourth in 2017 at Humberstone. Dave Bailey won his eighth JC Auto Street Stock feature of the season, while Kyle Haynes won his second Cosco Haulage Mini Stocks feature of the season. Mitch Dumont won the main event for the Mike Knapp Ford Pro 4 Trucks, and Rick St. Pierre won the main event for the Vintage Cars.

Emily Puchalski and Ron Davis III brought the field to the green flag for the Sportsman event with Puchalski showing the way early on. Puchalski continued to lead until Davis took the lead away on Lap 9. On a Lap 13 restart, McPherson made his way into the lead for the first time in the event and led until late in the race, when Chad Chevalier took the lead with eight laps to go; McPherson retook the lead with less than five laps remaining and went on to hold off Chevalier and Brad Rouse to get the win.  

Front-row starter Kyle Pelrine took the early lead in the 20-lap season finale for the Street Stocks. 2017 track champion Bailey took the lead away from Pelrine exiting Turn 4 on Lap 2 and dominated the rest of the way, picking up his eighth win and sixth in a row.

The last racing event on the 2017 schedule is the annual Eve of Destruction next Sunday, September 17. An Enduro, Boat-Trailer Race, Demolition Derbies and more are on the card. Gates open at 9 a.m. in the pits, 10 a.m. in the grandstands and racing begins at noon.  Find out more at www.humberstonespeedway.com

Lancaster Speedway crowns 2017 track champions

Lancaster National Speedway crowned its 2017 track champions for the X-Press Signs Stock Series on Saturday night during Season Championship Night. The final night of the regular season featured close racing and plenty of drama as drivers tried to capture every remaining point.

The Sunoco Sportsman title chase came down to three young drivers going after their first divisional crown with Shawn Nye leading Kevin Miller and Owen Bednasz. Nye padded his points lead through the heat races as he was the only driver of the three to earn points in the qualifiers. Miller’s night started on a bad note as he developed mechanical issues in his primary car during hot laps, and he was forced to borrow Joe Brainard’s car to compete.

Sportsman winner Jake Lyon
In the 35-lap main event, Tony Carbone and Jayme Thompson started on the front row with Nye back in 10th, Bednasz in sixth and Miller 16th. Carbone grabbed the lead at the drop of the green flag with Jake Lyon following him into the second position. The trio of Carbone, Lyon and Bednasz pulled away from the pack early on as the race settled into a long green flag run. Lyon eventually got by Carbone for the lead on Lap 12, then started to open up a gap between himself and Bednasz and Carbone. He opened up a half-straightaway lead over his next closest competitor while cruising to his first win of the 2017 season.

Sportsman champ Shawn Nye
Tommy Catalano, who started 12th, got by Bednasz late in the race to finish second. Bednasz had to settle for third place, while Jeff Brown finished fourth. Nye finished fifth to clinch the 2017 Sunoco Sportsman track championship. Nye earned two wins and strung together a series consistent finishes to lock up the title in just his second season in the Sportsman. He got his start racing go-karts and TQ Midgets before moving into the open-wheeled cars. 

The Advance Auto Parts Street Stock championship was already decided before Championship Night began as Rich Sharpe of Lancaster had locked up the title thanks to nine feature wins in 2017.

Street Stock champ Rich Sharpe
Frank Prell and Ken Maltby led the field of 20 Street Stocks to the final opening green flag of the regular season. Prell took advantage of his pole position, leading the opening laps before Maltby got by him on a restart on Lap 7. Maltby held the spot for four laps before he was overtaken on a restart by Andy Cryan.

Street Stock winner Ken Maltby
Sharpe started 12th, and just like he has done in every other race this season, he was able to come through the field to be a factor. He was running second on a Lap 18 restart when he made contact with Cryan in turn 2. Sharpe spun out and Cryan was sent to the tail of the field for contact, handing the lead back to Maltby with just seven laps to go. He survived the final circuits to capture his first career Street Stock win at Lancaster.

The closest championship battle was in the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders with Bobby Woch starting the night with a one point lead over Jason Anasiewicz. Both drivers earned the same amount of points in their heat races to keep the deficit at just a single point going into the feature.

Joe Brunka started on the pole for the feature with Anasiewicz to his outside. The pair battled side-by-side for the lead during the opening 10 laps of the race. Woch started seventh, but he almost gave up that starting position after his car developed transmission problems in his heat race. He and his team contemplated running home to get a backup car, but they eventually chose to run with what they brought to the track. Despite the problems, Woch worked his way through field as he moved from seventh to third by Lap 10. A caution on Lap 12 bunched up the field and gave him a shot to challenge Anasiewicz. The race restarted with Anasiewicz getting hung out to dry on the outside of Woch and his teammate Dan Dressel. Anasiewicz and Dressel made contact on Lap 17 and Dressel spun out, which led to Anasiewicz being penalized to the rear of the field.

4-Cylinder winner Joe Brunka
Brunka led every lap of the feature, but he had to hold off Chris Pennell throughout the second half of the race. Pennell stayed on Brunka’s back bumper in the closing laps as Brunka held on for his first win of the season. Woch finished third to clinch his second career Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder track championship. Dave Brunka and Anasiewicz rounded out the top five.

4-Cylinder champ Bobby Woch
Dave Wollaber won the 20-lap NYPA TQ Midget feature. Wollaber led most of the race, but he had to hold off Kyle Hutchinson and Bobby Holmes in the final five laps to secure the win. Hutchinson finished second and locked up the NYPA TQ Midget Series championship.

NYPA TQ Midget winner Dave Wollaber
On Saturday, September 16, Lancaster National Speedway welcomes the Monster Truck Racing League for a family fun event. The monster trucks are part of a night of metal smashing and crashing that also includes a Demolition Derby. The event starts at 6 p.m. with a pit party from 4-5:30 p.m., where fans can get close to their favorite monster trucks.

With the regular season in the books, Lancaster National Speedway can focus on the 29th annual U.S. Open weekend, Friday through Sunday, September 22-24. The three days of racing and fun is headlined by the U.S. Open 125 for the Race of Champions Modified Series. Full details are available at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com

Rouse claims Sportsman Super DIRTcar victory at Ransomville

Street Stock champ Jake Stefanski
credit: Tom Stevens
Former Mr. DIRT Sportsman champ Brad Rouse took the win in the 50-lap feature for the Sportsman Super DIRTcar Series on Niagara Frontier Publications and WGR 550 night at Ransomville Speedway. For Rouse, it was his second win in the Western Region on the Sportsman Super DIRTcar Series. Ken Camidge won his second feature of the season in the KiPo Chevrolet Street Stocks, while Jake Stefanski became the third member of his family to earn a track championship, as Jake won his first Street Stock championship. Cole Susice earned his fourth win of the season in the Gippsters Collision 4 Bangers, and Kyle Wendt picked up his fourth win of the season in the Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman.

Ransomville regulars Brett Senek and Derek Wagner were on the front row for the Sportsman feature with Senek taking the lead early. Andrew Smith battled with Wagner for second as Western Region points leader Rouse and defending race winner Ron Davis III raced inside the top five. Rouse passed Wagner exiting Turn 2 on Lap 5 to move into third place, and inherited second from Senek on Lap 19 after Senek got a flat tire and went into the pits. Rouse took the lead after a Lap 32 restart and led the final 18 circuits to score his first win at Ransomville and second on the Sportsman Super DIRTcar Series Western Region Tour.

Brian Monahan and Pat O’Keefe were on the front row for the Street Stock feature with O’Keefe jumping into the lead early on. Pete Stefanski took second away from Monahan on Lap 4 and took the lead on a Lap 5 restart, with points leader Jake Stefanski moving into fifth place. Camidge took over second on Lap 10 and went after race leader Pete Stefanski, catching him on Lap 11 and completing the pass on Lap 12. Camidge held on for the win, his second of the season, and wth his fourth-place finish, Jake Stefanski was crowned the Street Stock divisional champion.

Racing continues next weekend, Friday and Saturday, September 15-16, as Investors Service presents the annual King of the Hill Weekend. On Friday, the Sid Jeffery Memorial will be held for the Sportsman along with dash races and qualifying for the Street Stocks for the King of the Hill 100 on Saturday; the Novice Sportsman and 4 Bangers will also race for their track championships on Friday night. Saturday will feature twin 100-lap features for the Sportsman and Street Stocks plus 4 Bangers and Novice Sportsman. The pit gates will open at 5 p.m. with grandstands at 6 p.m. and racing at 7:15 p.m. Find out more at www.ransomvillespeedway.com

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Season championships awarded at Humberstone Speedway

credit: freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici
James Michael Friesen won the main event for the PC Works DIRTcar Sportsman, while Chad Chevalier won the track championship on Season Championship Night at Humberstone Speedway. Chad Homan won his seventh Maple Leaf Foods RUSH Late Models race of the season and clinched his first track championship, while Dave Bailey won his seventh feature of the season for the JC Auto Street Stocks and clinched his second consecutive track title, thus completing the Tri-Track (Ohsweken, Merrittville, and Humberstone) Championship Sweep. Jason Coutu celebrated his second win of the season in the Cosco Haulage Mini Stocks with Cole Hardy winning his first track title. Dylan Llord won his fourth Mike Knapp Ford Pro 4 Truck feature of the season and clinched his second straight divisional title.

Friesen and Jay Mallory brought the DIRTcar Sportsman to the green flag for their 25-lap feature with JMF showing the way. Friesen was dominating, leading flag-to-flag to score the win, his first of the season at Humberstone. With his second-place finish, Chevalier was crowned the 2017 PC Works DIRTcar Sportsman champion.  

Chad Homan took off in the lead from his pole position start in the 20-lap main event for the Maple Leaf Foods RUSH Late Models. Sam Pennacchio took the lead away from Homan on Lap 8, only to have Homan regain the lead on Lap 11. A restart with five to go found Homan, Pennacchio and Rob Pietz working in the top three, with Homan holding off Pennacchio to score his seventh win of the season and clinch the track title.

Derek VanMil and Kyle Pelrine were on the front row for the Street Stocks 20-lap feature event with Pelrine showing the way. Bailey made his way up to third place by Lap 6 and took the lead on Lap 11, going on to score the win and clinch his second straight track championship.

Austin Werstroh and Rob Sauder brought the Mini Stocks to the green flag for their 15-lap feature event with Werstroh showing the way early on. After two cautions, Coutu took the lead and went on to score the win; with his second-place finish, Cole Hardy won the track title by just one point over Coutu.

Mitch Dumont and Danny Wurster made up the front row in the 15-lap feature for the Mike Knapp Ford Pro 4 Trucks with Dumont showing the way. While working lap traffic, Llord inherited the lead from Dumont. Llord took off in the lead after a late-race restart, going on to score the win and clinch his second straight track title.

The Sportsman Super DIRTcar Series will be completing their three-day Niagara Region swing with the only 100-lap event on their schedule at Humberstone Speedway next Sunday, September 10 for the annual Trevor Wilkens Memorial Safecracker 100 presented by Mike Knapp Ford.  The Street Stocks, Mini Stocks, Pro 4 Trucks and Vintage Cars are also on the racing card. Pit gates open at 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the grandstands, with racing schedule for 6:30 p.m. Find out more at www.humberstonespeedway.com

Scott Wylie wins George Decker Memorial 75 at Holland

The top three finishers in the George Decker
Memorial - credit: Holland Speedway
Scott Wylie was victorious in the 18th running of the George Decker Memorial 75 presented by Decker Promotions on Busch Beer and Upstate Automotive Group night at Holland International Speedway on Saturday evening. Jacob Gustafson won his first career race at Holland in the Butcher Palmer Memorial 32 for the Advance Auto Parts Hornets, while Jake Wylie won the main event for the Bank of Holland Chargers. Bryce Norton was the winner for the INEX Legends, and Marty Hughes won the main event and the track title for the M&M U Pull-It Figure 8’s. Kyle Hutchinson won the main event for the NYPA TQ Midgets with Dave Wollaber earning his second Holland championship.

Tommy Catalano earned his second straight Pro Modified track championship, joining his mother Amy by winning both the Holland and Spencer Speedway track championships in the same season. Nik Welshans won his first Charger track championship, and Anthony Riforgiato won his first Holland track title for the INEX Legends.

Andy Jankowiak and Jeremy Haudricourt brought the Getzoni Agency NASCAR Pro Modifieds to the green flag for the George Decker Memorial 75 with Jankowiak showing the way early on. Wylie passed Jimmy Zacharias to take over second on Lap 7 and battled Jankowiak for the lead. Zacharias retook second from Wylie on Lap 12 and took the lead on Lap 25 with George Skora moving into second. Skora took the lead from Zacharias on Lap 30 while Wylie and Jankowiak battled for second, with Wylie taking over the runner-up spot with less than 30 laps to go. Wylie took the lead from Skora on the final lap and held off Skora and Jankowiak to score his first career George Decker Memorial Pro Modified 75.

Kenny Hejna took off into the early lead in the Butcher Palmer Memorial 32 for the Hornets. Gustafson took the lead away from Hejna at the halfway mark and drove away from the field to score his first career win at Holland. The points standings after the Hornet feature are under official review.
Josh Hathaway and Nik Welshans set the pace early on in the 50-lap finale for the Chargers. Wylie moved into fourth place with 30 laps remaining, and passed Eric Brown to take over third at the halfway mark. Wylie then passed Nik Welshans to take over the second position and took the lead away from Hathaway on Lap 30, leading the rest of the way for the win.

Holland’s 58th season will come to a crashing end on Saturday, September 9 with Crash-A-Rama, featuring events such as the popular Enduro, School Bus Figure 8 Races, Boat-Trailer Race and more, plus the return of Double Decker Racing. Discount tickets are available at Advance Auto Parts locations throughout Western New York. Pit gates and registration will open at 2:30 p.m., grandstands at 4 p.m. and the show will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.hollandspeedway.com 

Hitchcock takes Top 8 Eliminator win at Lancaster Dragway

Top 8 Eliminator winner Brian Hitchcock
credit: Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway
Lancaster National Dragway kicked off the final month of the season for the Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing on Friday night with Brian Hitchcock earning his second-straight win in Top 8 Eliminator. Hitchcock ran his 5.18 dial-in in the final round as he defeated Wayne Cleveland for his third win overall in 2017. The loss denied Cleveland his third win of the year in Top 8.

In Mallare Enterprises Top ET, veteran Billy Leber took the win aboard Joe Masullo’s rear engine dragster with a phenomenal pass in the finals as he had a near-perfect .501 reaction time and just missed his 4.99 dial-in with a 5.009 ET.

Keith Banas earned his second-straight win in McGard Mod, holding off Jeff Kerl in the finals as he matched his 6.73 dial-in.

The final round in Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds featured two of the class’s biggest winners this season in Lucas Salemi and Vic Puglia. Salemi got the win over Puglia on Friday night for his fourth win of the season. The win helped Salemi to get within 10 points of Mike Peters for the Bikes & Sleds points lead with three races left this season.

The chase for the championship was also on in Tread City Tire Street as Mason Fix earned his first class victory of the year. That puts Fix just two rounds behind Ed Semlitsch for the points lead.

Rachel Jewell was victorious in the final round of the Buffalo Street Outlaws. Jewell’s 1968 Chevrolet Chevelle beat the Buick Grand National of Grant Farmer to score the win. Aaron Astyk won the BSO Street Limited class after Don Belkota red-lighted in the finals. 

Lancaster National Dragway’s jam packed September continues next Friday with Alcohol Funny Cars plus a full card of racing. Joe’s Transmission TNT Hot Rod, the Junior Dragster 7.90 class plus a $250-to-win special for Tread City Tire will join the rest of the weekly classes of Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing. Keep up with the action at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com

Rudolph, Susice win big in Modifieds at Ransomville

Modified track champion Ryan Susice
credit: Performance Video and Photo
Third-generation driver Erick Rudolph won the 50-lap finale for the Krown Undercoating Modifieds on Salerno’s Snowplowing, Labatt’s, and Tim Hortons night at Ransomville Speedway Friday night, his third win of the season. With his third place finish, Ryan Susice made it a three-peat, winning his third-straight Modified Track Championship. Derrick Borkenhagen won his first feature of the season for the Investors Service Sportsman, while Matt Farnham defended his 2016 Sportsman title just by taking the green flag in the main event. Brandon Sherwood won his third feature of the season for the KiPo Chevrolet Street Stocks, Chris Leone won his fourth feature of the season in the Gippsters Collision 4 Bangers, and Cameron Tuttle won his sixth feature of the season for the Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman. 

Cousins Allan and Kenny Wills brought the field of Modifieds to the green flag for their season finale with Allan Wills showing the way early on. Rudolph quickly moved up through the field, taking the runner-up spot from Pete Bicknell on Lap 12 and the lead on Lap 21. After Bicknell slowed and pulled into the pits on Lap 36, Rudolph was able to run away from the field. 

Dustin Gorhan and Borkenhagen set the pace in the points finale for the Sportsman with Borkenhagen showing the way throughout the event for his first win of the season. Farnham went on to finish second on his way to his second-straight title. 

Jordan Moden and Pat O’Keefe were on the front row for the Street Stocks feature event with O’Keefe showing the way early. Sherwood took over the lead after an early-race restart and held off Ken Camidge to score the win, his third of the season. 

Matt Hornquist and Steve Matson set the pace in the main event for the 4 Bangers with Hornquist showing the way early. Leone made his way up to second on Lap 12 and took over the lead from Hornquist with three to go, going on to score his fourth win of the season. 

Robbie Johnston and Tuttle were on the front row for the Novice Sportsman feature event with Tuttle quickly getting the lead and staying there, going on to score his sixth feature win of the season.

Racing will continue next Friday, September 8 as Niagara Frontier Publications and WGR 550 presents the Sportsman Super DIRTcar Series plus Street Stocks, 4 Bangers, and Novice Sportsman. The Street Stocks Championship will be decided next Friday night. The pit gates will open at 5 p.m. with grandstands open at 6 p.m. and showtime at 7:15 p.m. Keep up with the action at www.ransomvillespeedway.com

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Wollaber wins Mini Indy 50 at Holland

Dave Wollaber takes the NYPA TQ Midget win at Holland
credit: Holland Speedway
Dave Wollaber continued his winning ways at Holland International Speedway on Saturday evening, winning the Jerry Gradl Sr. Memorial Mini Indy 50 for the NYPA TQ Midgets on VSP Marketing Group presents First Responders Night. In other action from Saturday night, multi-time Getzoni Nationwide Insurance Agency NASCAR Pro Modified champion Neal Dietz Jr. won the Pro Modified feature, while Tim Welshans earned another victory in the Bank of Holland Chargers. Ben Russo won the main event for the Advance Auto Parts Hornets, Anthony Riforgiato won the INEX Legends feature, and Marty Hughes continued his perfect season by winning the M&M U Pull-It Figure 8 feature.

Veteran racer Charlie DiRosa and second-year driver Tony Petrea brought the field of NYPA TQ Midgets to the green flag for the annual running of the Jerry Gradl Sr Memorial Mini Indy 50, with third-place starter Erik Musto taking the early lead. Just three laps into the event, Wollaber drove by Musto to take over the lead. The caution flew on Lap 25 for a mid-race break to fill the fuel tanks and make slight adjustments to the cars, with Wollaber controlling the field over Jonathan Reid, Tommy Catalano, Andy Nye and Mack DeMan. AJ Hessler flipped after making contact with a spinning Petrea, bringing out the red flag on Lap 26. On the restart, Wollaber and Catalano exchanged the lead for several circuits before Wollaber took the lead for good with just three laps remaining and went on to score the win.  

Tim Welshans took the lead from his pole position on the opening circuit of the 25-lap feature for the Chargers division, with Nik Welshans and Josh Hathaway battling for second for most of the distance, just a couple of car lengths back of race leader Tim Welshans, as the trio were the class of the field on this night. Tim scored the win over brother Nik and Hathaway.

Holland’s 58th season continues on Saturday, September 2 with the 18th running of the George Decker Memorial 75, plus a full Holland NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program on Season Championship Night. The Chargers will be running a 50-lap event and the Hornets will be running the inaugural Butch Palmer Memorial 32. Pit gates will open at 2:30 p.m. with grandstands opening at 4:45 p.m. and heat racing at 5 p.m. Find out more at www.hollandspeedway.com

Nye extends points lead with Sportsman win at Lancaster Speedway

Lancaster National Speedway hosted Big Rig Night presented by Mallare Enterprises on Saturday night for the X-Press Signs Stock Car Series. It was also the next-to-last night of the regular season with only one more race before the track champions are crowned for the 2017 season.

Shawn Nye extended his points lead in the Sunoco Sportsman with his second feature win of the season, while Mark Hoch was declared the official winner of the Ken Heckler Tribute 51 for the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks. Tim Gullo picked up his third Race of Champions Super Stock feature win at Lancaster in 2017, and Dan Dressel grabbed his first win of the year in the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders.

Sportsman winner Shawn Nye
The 35-lap Sunoco Sportsman feature got off to rough start as outside pole sitter, Jayme Thompson, spun out while coming to the green flag. Dick Kluth couldn’t avoid her and slammed into Thompson’s stopped car. This moved division points leader Nye to the outside pole alongside Owen Bednasz for the restart.

When the green flag finally waved it was Nye getting the jump on Bednasz to take the lead. Bednasz ran second until Lap 9 when he and Jake Lyon tangled in Turn 3 after a restart. Both cars were able to continue, but they had to go to the rear of the field.

Bednasz’s misfortune moved Kevin Miller to the runner-up position. Nye and Miller were the class of the field for the rest of the race as they held the top two spots. Nye led all 35 laps to capture his second win of the season. The victory extended his points lead in the division as he earned the maximum of 70 points with the feature win plus winning his heat and leading the most laps in the feature.

Teammates Zach Truesdail and Tyler Rypkema battled fiercely for third place for most of the race with Truesdail narrowly taking the final podium position. Bednasz came back to finish fifth.
The Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks ran their longest race of the year as they paid tribute to former racer and official Ken Heckler with a 51-lap tribute race. Jerry Kosmowski and Trevor Pettit led the field of 27 Street Stocks to the green flag with Pettit taking the top spot early on and holding the lead until Lap 8 when he was overtaken by Max Northem. Northem, who was celebrating his 17th  birthday, led for three laps before giving way to Brian Hoffman, who pulled out to a straightaway-sized lead. He led until the yellow flag waved lap on Lap 26 for a competition caution at the race’s halfway point. That allowed officials to invert the top 11 cars following a random draw to decide how many cars were inverted.

Street Stock winner Mark Hoch

Eric Brown was shown as the leader after the inversion followed by Ken Maltby, Pettit, Jarrod Brown and Mark Hoch. Division points leader Rich Sharpe started 20th and made his way up to second place before the top 11 were inverted; that put him back in 10th place as Sharpe was on a quest for his tenth feature win of the season. It took Sharpe less than 10 laps to make his way back to the runner-up position as he moved into second on Lap 34, when a caution set up a restart with Brown and Sharpe lined up on the front row. Sharpe took over the lead when the race resumed.

Jake Wylie moved his way to the front and took advantage of a restart on Lap 42 to drive by Sharpe and take over the lead. At that point, Sharpe starting going backwards through the field and eventually stopped on the track on Lap 44 with a flat tire. The final seven laps were dominated by Wylie as he was the first car to cross the finish line. The win, however, was awarded to Hoch after Wylie and second-place finisher Brown were disqualified in post-race inspection. The win was Hoch’s first victory of the season. Rich Pocobello was credited with second, with Hoffman in third. Sharpe got a new tire and was able to come home fourth and put a lock on the 2017 Advance Auto Parts Street Stock championship with one race remaining. Trevor Pettit rounded out the top five.

RoC Super Stock winner Tim Gulllo

The Race of Champions Super Stocks made their fourth visit of the season to Lancaster. Tommy Krawczyk and Joe Mancuso battled for the lead in the opening stages of the 30-lap feature before Mancuso developed a problem on Lap 11 and brought out the caution when he stopped on the track. Mancuso was able to drive his way to back to fourth place before a caution on Lap 17 allowed Mancuso to catch up to the lead pack once again. With 10 laps to go Mancuso was once again in second place and looking to challenge Krawczyk for the lead, but on Lap 23 Mancuso and Krawczyk made contact in Turn 4, which spun out Krawczyk and forced Mancuso to the rear of the field. This gave the lead to RoC Super Stock Series points leader Gullo, who was able to cruise for the final seven laps to score his third Super Stock win at Lancaster in 2017. Robert Fink finished second with Ryan Lagoda, Joel Gleason and Jeff Whalen rounding out the top five.

4-Cylinder winner Dan Dressel
Dan Dressel led all 25 laps to win the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder feature, but the bigger story was the battle for the division championship. Jason Anasiewicz led Bobby Woch by six points at the start of the night. Both drivers were in the same heat race, and Woch won the race to pick up five bonus points, while Anasiewicz had his right rear wheel fall off during the heat race and was unable to finish. This shrank his lead to one point for the feature. Woch started sixth for the main event while Anasiewicz had to start 14th. It took Woch just 10 laps to move into second place behind his teammate Dressel. Anasiewicz meanwhile methodically worked his way through the field to move into third place with five laps to go. With Woch finishing second and Anasiewicz in third, it unofficially gives Woch a five point lead heading to Season Championship Night.

Lancaster National Speedway closes out the regular season for the X-Press Signs Stock Series on September 9 with Season Championship Night. The track champions will be crowned in all three weekly divisions plus the NYPA TQ Midgets will also be in action. Racing starts at 6:30 p.m. The rain date for Season Championship Night is Sunday, September 10 at 2 p.m. Keep up with the action at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com

Big Rig Night a hit at Lancaster Dragway

It was a “truckin’” good night at Lancaster National Dragway on Friday for Big Rig Night presented by Mallare Enterprises. Over 200 cars and trucks filled the pits for the Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing program.

Dump Truck winner Dennis Timm
credit: Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway
A total of 56 semi and dump trucks signed in to compete in special Big Right Night classes. Dennis Timm won the Dump Truck class in his 2017 Kenworth, defeating Dave Peckham in the final round. Jim Mallare of Mallare Enterprises won the Semi-Truck category, defeating Sean Lindsley in the final pairing.

Semi winner Jim Mallare
credit: Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway
In Top 8 Eliminator, Brian Hitchcock scored his first win of the season after overcoming the starting line advantage his opponent, Steve Harkiewicz. The remaining classes were forced to split due to curfew. The large car count combined with a cold race track made it impossible to complete the entire program before midnight. Tread City Tire Street was down to the final pair of Eddie Semlitsch and Mark Santucci. Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds and a special Pick-Up Truck class sponsored by Halleen’s Automotive were down to three competitors each. McGard Mod was down to the semi-finals. Mallare Enterprises Top has five drivers remaining.  

On Friday, September 1 the Buffalo Street Outlaws return to Lancaster as part of a full card of Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing. Keep up with the action at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com

Hebing takes Patriot Sprint Tour win at Ransomville

Chuck Hebing in victory lane at Ransomville
credit: Alex and Helen Bruce
Chuck Hebing won his first feature of the season on the Patriot Sprint Tour as Moley Magnetics presented the racing action at the Ransomville Speedway on Friday evening. Kevin Wills scored his first win of the season in the Investors Service Sportsman, while Jake Stefanski scored his third straight win and fourth of the season in the KiPo Chevrolet Street Stocks. Chris Leone won his third Gippsters Collision 4 Bangers feature of the season, and Bubby Pawlak scored his first career Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman feature win.

Jordan Thomas and Hebing brought the A-Verdi Storage Containers Patriot Sprint Tour to the green flag for their 25-lap A-Main with Thomas taking the lead early on. Hebing took the lead away on Lap 3 and caught lap traffic by Lap 8. Hebing pulled away from the field and took the win, with Ryan Susice, Kyle Drum, Jared Zimbardi and Jordan Thomas completing the top five. 

Dustin Gorhan and Anthony Muscato led the field of Sportsman to the green flag for their 25-lap feature with third-place starter Eddie Cain leading the opening circuit. Brett Senek took the lead on a Lap 4 restart and was in control of the field when Wills passed Cain to take second away on Lap 7. Senek and Wills pulled away, with Wills taking the lead on Lap 15. Wills opened up his lead late in the event and went on to score his first win of the season. Senek would hold off Matt Farnham for the runner-up spot, with Dave DiPietro and Greg Martin completing the top five.    

Racing continues on Friday, September 1 as Labatt’s, Salerno’s Snowplowing and Tim Hortons presents the 50-Lap Krown Undercoating Modified Special plus a full card of racing with Ransomville track titles for the Modifieds and Sportsman on the line. The pit gates will open at 5 p.m. with grandstands at 6 p.m. and racing at 7:15 p.m. Keep up with the action at www.ransomvillespeedway.com

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

McGinnis takes Modified feature at Ransomville’s Monday Madness

credit: freedigitalphotos.net/David Castillo Dominici
Jeff McGinnis won the Krown Undercoating Modified feature as Randy’s Smoke Shop and Investors Service presented #MondayMadness at Ransomville Speedway. For McGinnis, it was his first victory of the season. Derek Wagner scored his second Investors Service Sportsman feature of the season, while Jake Stefanski won his third KiPo Chevrolet Street Stock feature of the season. Ryan Plante won his first Gippsters Collision 4 Bangers feature of the season, and Cameron Tuttle scored his fifth Stevenson’s Hardware Novice Sportsman feature of the season.

John Smith and Steve Lewis Jr. brought the field of Modifieds to the green for their feature with Smith leading the way early. McGinnis caught Lewis for second place and took the spot on Lap 5, then took the lead from Smith on Lap 12. McGinnis held off Pete Bicknell to score the win, with Ryan Susice, Erick Rudolph and Tommy Flannigan completing the top five.

Brett Martin and Garrison Krentz led the Sportsman to the green with Krentz in the lead early on. Kevin Wills took the lead on Lap 14 and held on to cross the finish line first, but was light at the scales. Second-place finisher Krentz was also light at the scales, giving the win to third-place finisher Derek Wagner. 

Pat O’Keefe and Brandon Sherwood were on the front row for the Street Stocks 20-lap feature with Sherwood, the former track champion, taking the initial lead, but Jaren Israel took the lead at the end of Lap 1. Stefanski took the lead away from Israel at the line on Lap 4, and the pair swapped the lead for several circuits. Stefanski cleared Israel for the lead on Lap 8 as Billy Bleich Jr. battled with Israel for second. Bleich eventually grabbed second, then battled Stefanski for the lead, going on to take it on Lap 13. Bleich crossed the line first, but was disqualified in post-race tech, giving the win to Stefanski.

Friday racing will continue at Ransomville on Friday, August 25 as Moley Magnetics presents the second visit of the season by the Patriot Sprint Tour, which will be joined by the Sportsman, Street Stocks, 4 Bangers and Novice Sportsman. The pit gates will open at 5 p.m. with grandstands open at 6 p.m. and racing at 7:15 p.m. Find out more at www.ransomvillespeedway.com

Rouse picks up sixth Sportsman win at Humberstone

Brad Rouse in victory lane
credit: Softouch Photo
Brad Rouse won his sixth main event on the season for the PC Works DIRTcar Sportsman on Port Colborne Home Hardware Night at Humberstone Speedway on Sunday evening. Paul Klager won the feature event for the visiting Mod Lites, while Chad Homan won his sixth Maple Leaf Foods RUSH Late Models. Dave Bailey won his fifth JC Auto Street Stocks feature of the season, Leroy Buscumb scored his third win of the season for the Cosco Haulage Mini Stocks, and Kyle Tomaski won his fourth Mike Knapp Ford Pro 4 Trucks feature of the season.

Chad Chevalier and Rouse were on the front row for the main event for the Sportsman with Chevalier leading the way early. Rouse reeled in Chevalier and took the lead just prior to the halfway mark. Cody McPherson would bring out the race’s first caution on Lap 20, and on the restart, Rouse continued to lead with Adam Leslie and Chevalier battling for second. The caution came back out as Tom Richau Jr. and Jordan Cosco got together exiting Turn 4, with Richau needing a tow back to the pits. Rouse pulled away from Chevalier on the restart and scored the win.

Jeffrey May and Klager brought the Mod Lites to the green flag for their main event with Klager quickly taking the lead and going on to score the win, his second at Humberstone in 2017.
Buscumb and Rob Sauder brought the field of Mini Stocks to the green flag for their 15-lap feature event with Buscumb taking the early race lead and holding off Brandon Iudiciani to score the win, his third of the season.

Richard Hare and Max Chichuck battled for the lead in the early stages of the Cooper Motorsports Minivans of Mayhem event. Neil Martins raced in third with second generation racer Tina Ronning making her second appearance of the season raced in fourth place. Chichuck looked underneath Hare and completed the pass for the lead late in the race, going on to score the win. Hare finished second followed by Martens and Ronning.

Next weekend is Pete Cosco Memorial Weekend, Saturday and Sunday, August 26-27. Saturday will feature the Race of Champions Dirt Modified Series and the Race of Champions Sportsman Series plus the Mini Stocks in a non-point event; gates will open at 5 p.m. in the pits and 5:30 p.m. in the grandstands, with race time scheduled for 6:30 p.m. On Sunday, Cosco Haulage presents the third annual Pete Cosco Memorial for Modifieds. Big Block Modifieds will be allowed to run against the Niagara Region’s best 358 Modified drivers. A full Humberstone show is also on the card with gates opening at 4:30 p.m. in the pits and 5 p.m. in the grandstands, with racing scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Keep up with the action at www.humberstonespeedway.com

George Skora III wins Tommy/Tony RoC Modified race at Lancaster Speedway

George Skora III
George Skora III won the 28th annual Tommy Druar/Tony Jankowiak Memorial 110 – his first career victory in the Race of Champions Modified Series – Saturday night at Lancaster National Speedway.
Mother Nature tried to put a damper on the evening as, for the second week in a row, a heavy rain storm soaked the speedway just minutes before the show started. Once the rain ended it took about two hours for the track crew to get things dry enough to race.

21 Race of Champions Modifieds took the green flag for Lancaster’s most prestigious race of the year. L2 Autosport teammates Patrick Emerling and Mike Leaty lined up on the front row after starting positions were set through time trials, with the fastest four cars in each qualifying group advancing to the redraw for the top 12 starting spots. Heat race were eliminated for all divisions to save time after the rain delay.

Emerling, the two-time and defending race winner, jumped out to the lead when the green flag waved, looking for his second win of the week after capturing his first NASCAR Modified Tour win on Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.  

Bobby Holmes, a three-time Sportsman track champion, started seventh in the Hoddick Racing #7NY and quickly worked his to the front as moved from seventh to second by Lap 20. Holmes then hounded Emerling for the lead, eventually taking the lead away from Emerling on Lap 33. After a few caution flags, a Lap 71 restart saw Andy Jankowiak collide with Emerling, sending Emerling head first into the Thermal Foam blocks on the frontstretch. Jankowiak suffered damage to his right side nerf bars and had to pit. Holmes was sent to the rear of the field for not maintaining proper speed on the restart. Leaty also had to fall to the rear as he spun out in the fracas.

Skora, who started 12th and spent the early part of the race outside the top ten, inherited the lead after pit stops. Skora quickly built up an advantage of over a second in the remaining 20 laps, running his fastest laps of the night with less than 10 laps to go. Skora cruised to the victory for his the first Modified win of his career. The second-generation driver initially made his name in Late Model racing, but he has earned his stripes since a shift to open-wheeled cars a few years ago.

“We finally got that monkey off our back, what an unbelievable night,” said Skora. “It wasn’t Bristol, but Lancaster is pretty special to me. It just played out great, Pat (Emerling) and Mike (Leaty) might have had the fastest cars, but you have to race the race. We had two jinxes earlier in the year; my luck had to change sooner or later for me.”

Rich Sharpe
In other X-Press Signs Stock Car Series action, Rich Sharpe added his ninth win of the season in Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks. The start of the race was delayed by about 30 minutes to finish up drying the track following the 4-Cylinder feature.

Tom Northem grabbed the early lead from the pole position. Northem and Keith Flanigan got together coming off Turn 4 on Lap 3, and both cars had to slow down to avoid crashing. That handed the lead to Garrett Cleversley who led for several laps before being passed on Lap 10 by Tim Welshans. Welshans led until Lap 15 when he was passed by Mark Hoch. Hoch’s stay at the front of the field was also short-lived as he lost the lead to Jake Wylie two laps later.

Sharpe slowly worked his way through field, and was running sixth when Wylie took the lead. He then began his march to the front, taking third place on Lap 19 and moving into second place with four laps to go. Sharpe quickly caught Wylie and passed him on the outside in Turn 1 with less than two laps to go.

Dave Milbrand Jr.
Dave Milbrand Jr. was credited with the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder feature victory after Joe Brunka, who led all 25 laps from the pole position, was disqualified in post-race inspection.
The NYPA TQ Midgets were scheduled to compete, but chose not to race after they were asked to run a feature only program.

Lancaster National Speedway is back in action this Saturday with Big Rig Night presented by Hunter Truck Sales and Peterbilt of Buffalo. The Sunoco Sportsman will be back in action plus the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks will run the rescheduled Ken Heckler 51 Tribute race. The Race of Champions Super Stocks and Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders will also be on the race card. Keep up with the action at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com.

Quotes in this piece provided by Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Mallare takes Top 8 win at Lancaster Dragway

Michael Mallare celebrates his Top 8 win - credit:
Neffke Motorsports Photography
Lancaster National Dragway got their first Franco’s Pizza Friday Night IHRA Drag Racing event of August in the books on Friday night following two-straight weeks of rain outs. The good weather came at the right time as Lancaster played host to the Hanna Motorsports Jet Funny Cars after their traditional Memorial Day weekend date was rained out. Both the First Strike and Top Secret Eastern Raider jet cars wowed the fans with passes of less than four seconds and speeds that topped over 200 mph.

In Franco’s Pizza IHRA Drag Racing action, Michael Mallare captured his first Top 8 win of the season, while Dan Szewczyk took the win in Mallare Enterprises Top ET. In McGard Mod, Keith Banas scored his first win of 2017, while both Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds and Tread City Tire Street had repeat winners as Vic Pgulia (Bikes & Sleds) and John Wachowicz (Street) won for the second event in a row.

Mallare entered Friday night with a 0-4 record in final rounds this season in Top 8 Eliminator. His luck finally changed as he was able to beat Joe Masullo for his first win of the season. In the Mallare Enterprises Top ET final, Shawn Beatty was set to face Szewczyk in the final pairing, but Szewczyk was unable to make the call to the starting line due to mechanical problems. Beatty, however, graciously allowed Szewczyk to make repairs to his car so they could race instead of taking the bye run and the automatic win. Szewczyk was ready to go 30 minutes later and drove past Beatty at top end to score the victory aboard his Head Knocker 1941 Willys.

Banas scored his first win of the year in McGard Mod over Rich Hodge. Banas had to only make up a tenth second head start on the starting tree to edge Hodge at top end.

Puglia backed up his first career Bikes & Sleds win on July 28 with his second of the season, defeating Drew Nearhoof in the final round to score the victory. Wachowicz returned to Tread City Tire Street victory lane in his Lincoln Mark VI with a win over Eddie Semlitsch in the finals.

The Junior Dragster 7.90 Index class made its second Friday night appearance of the season and the final round was a rematch of the first race, with Alexandra Young picking up the win over her sister, Victoria.

Lancaster National Dragway is back in action this Friday night with the popular Big Rig Night presented Hunter Truck Sales/Peterbilt of Buffalo and Mallare Enterprises. There will be a special Big Rig/Dump Truck class and a Pickup Truck class sponsored by Halleen’s Automotive. CDL license holders will receive discounted admission. Find out more at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com