|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.”
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.