Lancaster, N.Y. — Tommy Catalano of Ontario, N.Y., strapped into an unfamiliar car this past Saturday night at Lancaster National Speedway in the Race of Champions Late Model Series fueled by Sunoco event and when the checkered flag flew, he stood in victory lane. It was Catalano’s first ever Late Model victory.
“I received a call from Bob Minacapelli late this week with an offer to drive his car,” beamed Catalano in victory lane. “I am very thankful that he called. It was a great opportunity to drive a good car and we had to hold off one of Lancaster’s best in Bob Weber to earn the victory. Now we need to get a win with the Modified, we’ve been getting closer.”
After the redraw, Catalano drew the top starting spot flanked by Frank Batista, Jr., of Alden, N.Y., with Catalano getting the jump on the start. Batista chased until Bob Weber of Clarence, N.Y., moved to second and gave Catalano a run for this money.
Dave Heitzhaus of Strykersville, N.Y., started 8th and worked his way steadily through the field to challenge Weber for second in the late stages of the race, but ran out of laps and finished third.
Eldon King, III of Delevan, N.Y., finished 4th and Ron Nurmi of Buffalo, N.Y., who came back from a devastating accident in the first Late Model race of the season, rounded out the top-five.
King and Heitzhaus won the two qualifying races.
Pos Car Number Name
1 12 Tommy Catalano
2 11 Bobby Weber
3 45 Dave Heitzhaus
4 0 Eldon King III
5 2 Ron Nurmi
6 66 Terry Weldy
7 45 Frank Batista, Jr.
8 09 John Julicher
9 24 Dave Rigan
10 9 Jeff Ruddy
11 48 Sam Fullone
12 07 Nick Crassi
13 31x Ron Richter
14 93 Dave Russell (DNS)
-Race of Champions Press Release
-Photo Credit: Joe Grabianowski