Patrick Emerling picked up his first win of the year in the Sunoco Sportsman at Lancaster National Speedway Saturday night during Autograph Night. Tommy Catalano scored his first career win in the Race of Champions Late Models, Rich Sharpe won his sixth feature in a row and eighth overall this season in the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks, and Bobby Woch was declared the winner of the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder feature for his third win of 2017.
20 Sportsman took the initial green flag for the 35-lap feature with Owen Bednasz and Jayme Thompson leading the field. Bednasz dominated most of the race as he took off from the pole position and pulled away from the field. A number of cautions set up a four-lap showdown between Bednasz and Emerling, as the two drivers battled wheel-to-wheel for two laps before Bednasz lost the handling in Turn 2 and spun out to bring out the yellow flag for the final time. Emerling, who started 15th in the feature, lined up with Tommy Catalano for the final restart of the night, racing side-by-side during the green-white-checkered finish with Emerling holding off Catalano by a half car length. It was Emerling’s first Sportsman win of the season at Lancaster after he won eight times in 2016 between the Sportsman and Modifieds.
The Race of Champions Late Models Series made their second appearance of the season at Lancaster, with Tommy Catalano on the pole for the 30-lap feature. Catalano took off from Frank Batista at the drop of the green flag to take the early lead. Bobby Weber quickly moved into the second position to challenge Catalano early on. Catalano and Weber battled side-by-side during the opening laps before Weber nearly spun out on Lap 4. He saved the car, but this allowed Catalano to pull away. A late caution gave Weber a final chance at Catalano for the win, but Catalano drove to the victory while Weber fended off Dave Heitzhaus in the closing laps to finish second. The win for Catalano gives him victories in three different divisions at Lancaster, including the Sportsman, TQ Midgets and Late Models.
Nine-time Late Model track champion John Julicher made the final start of his career driving a car owned by Bobby Weber. Julicher ran in the Late Model race at Lancaster two weeks ago, but mechanical issues sidelined him early in the event. This time he was able to run the entire feature and finished eighth.
In the Street Stock feature, Rich Sharpe took the lead on a Lap 17 restart and never looked back, winning his sixth race in a row. Sharpe started 15th in the 24-car field, but he quickly maneuvered his way to the front. The first caution of the 25-lap race happened on Lap 16 when Brian Hoffman broke a right front wheel. On the ensuing restart, Sharpe got the jump on race leader Dave Wilson to take the lead for good. He cruised the final eight laps for his eighth win of the season.
Bobby Woch was declared the winner of the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder after Dave Milbrand Jr. was disqualified during post-race inspection. It was Woch’s third win of the season.
Lancaster National Speedway will be off this Saturday for the Sunday Nostalgia Drag Racing weekend. The X-Press Signs Stock Car Series return to action on Saturday, August 12 for Kids Night and the inaugural 51-lap Ken Heckler Memorial for the Street Stocks. Find out more at www.lancasternationalspeedway.com.