Lancaster, N.Y. – The 2017 Race of Champions Asphalt Modified and Super Stock Series seasons will kick off at Lancaster (N.Y.) National Speedway on Saturday, April 29 with a race that pays tribute to the fans. The “Fans in the Stands 75” will see Orchard Park, N.Y.’s Patrick Emerling kick off the season as the defending champion of the Modified Series, a role which is new to Emerling.
“It is pretty exciting to come into the opener as the defending champion,” stated Emerling, driver of the Buffalo Auto Auction Troyer machine. “Our goal is no different this year than it was last year. Winning the championship was great, but we achieved that goal by limiting mistakes and winning races. We had an outstanding year last year and that is what it’s going to take to repeat. The Series has so many great competitors. We have been working hard this off season and I think we will be ready to go when the green flag flies.”
Emerling had a perfect record at Lancaster in 2016, winning all four races, but it wasn’t without serious competition. Chuck Hossfeld of Ransomville, N.Y., Mike Leaty of Williamson, N.Y., Daryl Lewis, Jr., of Ontario, N.Y., George Skora, III of Eden, N.Y., all battled Emerling at the front last season. There were also challenges posed by up and coming Tyler Rypkema of Owego, N.Y., T.J. Potrezbowski of Elmira, N.Y., and Bryan Sherwood of Binghamton, N.Y., all of whom are expected to be at the series opener at Lancaster on April 29.
“Modified racing is extremely competitive,” Emerling continued to explain. “We have to be on our game when the rubber hits the road at Lancaster. If you let up, those guys are going to drive by you. I can’t wait to get going.”
In addition to the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series opening their season, the Race of Champions Super Stock Series will begin their 2017 championship season. Last season, Joe Mancuso of Buffalo, N.Y., won the title and he will look to carry that momentum into the new season.
“Being the defending Series Champion is a humbling honor,” offered Mancuso. “Winning a championship is something I never dreamed could happen since I started my racing career. Defending the championship and proving that we are a worthy of the honor would mean even more to our team.”
Where: Lancaster National Speedway, Lancaster, N.Y.
When: Saturday, April 29, 2017. Racing at 2:00 pm
Directions: The track is located at 57 Gunnville Road in Lancaster, N.Y., just North of Route 33 and minutes from the New York State Thruway.
What: Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series fueled by Sunoco, “Fans in the Stands 75”
More Information: http://speedway.lancasternationalspeedway.com/ (Track Phone: 716.759.6818) / www.rocmodifiedseries.com
The Race of Champions is a sanctioning body presenting Modified and Stock Car racing on asphalt and dirt surfaces throughout the Northeast, with events in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The 67th annual Race of Champions weekend will take place in 2017 at Lake Erie Speedway in North East, Pennsylvania and is the second longest consecutive auto-racing event in North America, second only to the Indianapolis 500.
-Race of Champions Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com/MoJo Photos