LANCASTER, N.Y. – Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. continued his phenomenal 2016 season on Saturday night at Lancaster National Speedway as he captured the 27th annual Tommy Druar/Tony Jankowiak Memorial 110 event for the Race of Champions Modified Series for the second year in a row.
Emerling won the race without making a pit stop after most of the field pitted for a new right rear tire at some point during the event.
T.J. Potrzebowski and Chuck Hossfeld led a field of 24 Modifieds to the green flag for the most prestigious single-day event on the Lancaster National Speedway schedule. Hossfeld grabbed the lap one lead with Potrzebowski and Emerling settling in behind him.
Business picked up early at the front of the field as Emerling wasted little time in going after Hossfeld. On lap 5 he took over the lead after passing Hossfeld to the inside out of turn two.
NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Ryan Preece of Berlin, CT made his first ever start at Lancaster in the Booker Motorsports #40. Preece started third, but he followed Emerling to the front of the field and took over the lead on lap 12.
There was one more lead change before the race even reached lap 20 as George Skora III came screaming through the field. Skora appeared to be on a mission as he caught and passed Preece for the lead on lap 17.
The first caution of the race came on lap 30 for a spin out in turn 3 by Tyler Rypkema due to a flat right front tire. During the caution period, Skora relinquished the lead when he pitted for a new right rear tire. This put Preece and Emerling back out in front.
Skora brought the yellow flag out again on lap 41 when he developed left front flat tire. He was able to get back to the pits and stay on the lead lap.
Hossfeld moved around Preece to reclaim second place on lap 50 just before the yellow flag waved for a third time when Kirk Totten and Karl Hehr got together in turn two. Hossfeld made a pit road visit during the caution period to give the runner up spot back to Preece.
Preece remained in second place until lap 74 when he brought the Booker Motorsports entry in for a new right rear tire. This moved Daren Scherer and Daryl Lewis, Jr. into second and third place respectively. They were the only cars besides Emerling that had yet to make pit stop.
Hossfeld came back through the field after making his pit stop just before the halfway point of the race. He was back up to fourth with 25 laps to go. The “Hotshoe” got by Lewis for second with just 15 laps remaining and then went after Emerling for the lead.
Hossfeld got to the back bumper of Emerling and even gave him a shot of the “chrome horn” a couple times, but he could not make the pass. Hossfeld could only watch for the third Modified race in a row at Lancaster as he followed Emerling as they crossed under the checkered flag.
Emerling scored his third Modified win of the season at Lancaster and sixth overall on the RoC Modified trail. He now has 11 total wins in 2016, including four Sunoco Sportsman wins at Lancaster. He won without making a pit stop, but still managed to run fastest laps of the race in the later stages of the feature.
Daryl Lewis, Jr. finished a career best third as he also ran all 110 laps on the same set of tires. Mike Leaty finished fourth. Skora battled back to round out the top five.
In other action, Mark Hoch of West Seneca, N.Y. was declared the official winner of the Advance Auto Parts Street Stock feature for his second win of the season. Hoch was awarded the win after the first and second place finishers were disqualified in post-race inspection.
Rich Sharpe led all 25 laps of the feature, but was hounded by Hoch for the first 23 laps of the race. The race’s only caution came just as the leaders had taken the white flag. That set up a green-white-checkered finish with Sharpe pulling away in the end.
Kevin Bainbridge picked up his seventh win of the season in the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders. Bainbridge passed Jamie Woods for the lead on lap 17 when he made a bonsai run to the inside going into turn one. He cleared Woods for the lead and then drove away for the final eight laps to score the win.
Bainbridge competed despite being struck in the face with a rock during his heat race. The rock came through his window net and hit him just above his left eye. Bainbridge required stitches, but he still managed to score the victory.
Kyle Hutchinson of East Aurora, N.Y. dominated the 20-lap NYPA TQ Midget feature. Hutchinson passed Arik McGruder for the lead on lap 3 and never looked back. Series points leader, Dave Wollaber, finished second. Tommy Catalano, Andy Nye and Erik Musto rounded out the top five.
Lancaster National Speedway wraps up the month of August next Saturday with Truck Night presented by Hunter Truck Sales and Peterbilt of Buffalo. The Race of Champions Big 10 Super Stocks will join the Sunoco Sportsman, Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks and Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders. Anyone with a current CDL license can get in for just $5.
-Lancaster National Speedway Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com