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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

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

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