Lancaster, NY – Tony Hanbury of Owego, NY overcame a heat race crash and a spinout midway through the feature to win the Tommy Druar/Tony Jankowiak Memorial Modified 125 as part of the 26th annual US Open at Lancaster Speedway.
In other divisional action, Jeff Brown of Hamburg, NY won the Late Model feature. Joe Mancuso of Buffalo won the Big 10 Super Stock Series feature. Scott Wylie of Blasdell, NY won the IMCA-style Modified feature. Shawn Nye of Lancaster, NY and Jonathan Reid of Lockport, NY won the TQ Midget features.
Twenty-three Modifieds took the initial green flag for the Race of Champions Modified Tour 125-lap feature. George Skora III and Dave Wollaber led the field to the start of the race with Skora taking the early race lead.
Chuck Hossfeld quickly moved from the eighth starting position to the runner-up position by lap four. Hossfeld wasted no in time in pressuring Skora for the lead and took over first place on lap 20.
The second caution of the race came out on lap 27 when Andy Jankowiak went spinning through the infield grass down on the backstretch.
Jimmy Zacharias started fifth and passed Skora for the second position on lap 24. Zacharias was then able to get by Hossfeld for the lead on the restart following Jankowiak’s spin.
Hossfeld started slipping through the field after he relinquished the lead to Zacharias. He developed a flat right rear tire and quickly fell out of the top five. On lap 46 he tangled with Daren Scherer going in to turn one. Hossfeld made hard impact with the wall and Thermal Foam in turn one but was able to walk away. He had already clinched the 2014 Race of Champions Modified Tour championship by starting the feature.
Several of the leaders pitted during the caution period for the Hossfeld incident, including Nick Pecko, George Skora, Austin Kochenash and Mike Fiebelkorn, Jr. Pecko was running third at the time of his pit stop.
The race restarted around lap 50 with Zacharias leading Sam Fullone, Brian DeFebo, Bobby Holmes and Mike Leaty. Holmes and Leaty made their way past DeFebo after the race restarted.
The caution flag was displayed once again on lap 67 when Tony Hanbury spun in turn two. Hanbury started 21st following a crash in his heat race that damaged the right rear corner of the Kurzejewski Racing #21.
During the caution period Erick Rudolph, Brian DeFebo and Karl Hehr all pitted. Rudolph brought out the caution shortly after the ensuing restart when he crashed in turn one. This signaled more pit stops for the leaders as Zacharias, Holmes, Leaty, Skora and TJ Potrzebowski all came in. By the time Zacharias relinquished the lead he had earned a $370 bonus for leading lap 37 and a $730 bonus for leading lap 73.
This put Sam Fullone into the lead followed by Kirk Totten, Nick Pecko, Andy Jankowiak and Austin Kochenash. Pecko, from Vandling, PA, took over the lead from Fullone on lap 83 with Jankowiak and Kochenash moving into the top three. Zacharias brought out the yellow flag on lap 92 when spun in turn four. Fullone and Totten took this opportunity to come down pit road after falling backwards through the field. They were the last two cars on the lead lap to make a pit stop.
Karl Hehr spun in turn one on lap 100 to bring out the yellow once again. This set up the stretch run to the finish with the final 25 laps to be run under green flag conditions and caution laps not counting until the conclusion. On the ensuing restart Bobby Holmes cut down a left rear tire and spun into the wall making a hard impact. He would be able to walk away from the crash.
Jankowiak got the better of Pecko on the restart to take the lead on lap 101. This set up an intense battle at the front of the field between Jankowiak, Pecko, Leaty and Kochenash. The intensity proved to be too much as the quartet crashed on the backstretch on lap 108.
This handed the lead to Hanbury who was running fifth when the leaders crashed. George Skora inherited second place followed by Zacharias, Jankowiak and Kochenash. Jankowiak and Kochenash kept those positions because they maintained their momentum during the crash on the backstretch.
Hanbury took command of the field during the final 17 laps. His car slid around the track on the right rear tire but held a good line as the laps wound down. Zacharias eventually moved into second place but could not close within a couple car lengths of the leader.
Hanbury drove on to victory for his first career US Open win. It wrapped up a fantastic finish to the season for him and the Kurzejewski Racing team. They finished second in the Race of Champions 200 at Oswego Speedway and won the Sportsman feature during Race of Champions weekend. Hanbury then won the Sportsman feature during the Fall Brawl at Shangri-La II Speedway and finished second in the US Open Sportsman feature.
“The car wasn’t the greatest all day and that crash happened in the heat, that was total driver error,” said Hanbury, “this thing is all tore up. From lap one of the feature to lap 125 the left front was off the ground on the on the front stretch so something is really messed up.”
Hanbury could not believe that things played out the way they did to set him up for the victory.
“It was amazing,” said Hanbury, “at the beginning of the race I was riding, we made our pit stop and they checked it out and said we were good to go. It doesn’t look pretty but it goes like hell.”t
Zacharias finished second followed by Kochenash in third. TJ Potrzebowski and George Skora II rounded out the top five. Terry Cheetham, Andy Jankowiak, Mike Fiebelkorn, Jr., Mike Leaty and Kirk Totten completed the top ten finishers.
Jeff Brown of Hamburg, NY won the 50-lap Late Model feature for his second-career win in the event. Brown inherited the lead on lap 15 when Bobby Weber pulled off the track while running first place. Weber came back on the track after giving up the lead but had to go the tail of the field. He drove through the pack to challenge Brown for the lead but suffered mechanical problems with two laps go. Brown captured the win driving a car that had not been raced since July 2013. Dave Russell finished second followed by Dave Heitzhaus, Ron Nurmi and Mike Scorzelli.
The Big 10 Super Stock Series finished their 2014 season at the US Open with Joe Mancuso of Buffalo clinches the series championship by winning the 35-lap feature. Mancuso took lead from Jay Mudra following a restart on lap 19 and then led the final 16 laps to earn the victory. It was Mancuso’s second career US Open Super Stock victory. Dave Johnson finished second followed by Lexi Wilson, Jake Lyon and Jake Wylie.
Scott Wylie of Blasdell, NY led flag-to-flag to win the 12-lap IMCA-style Modified feature. It was the first ever race at Lancaster Speedway by the open-wheeled cars. Eric McCray finished second followed by Carter Mook, Chris Briggs, Dominic DePonceau and Wesley McCray. It was third career US Open feature win for Wylie, who won Cup Lite Racing Series features in 2005 and 2006.
Jonathan Reid of Lockport, NY won the US Open “Open” TQ Midget feature. The Open TQ division featured a special rule book to incorporate several series of TQ Midget cars. Reid was scheduled start on the outside pole for the feature but was involved in an incident with pole sitter Brandon Zavarella on the initial start of the race.
Reid drove back through the field and passed Andy Jankowiak for the lead on lap 11. He held on to earn his second-career US Open victory. Jankowiak settled for second followed by Zavarella, Kyle Hutchinson and Andy Nye.
Shawn Nye of Lancaster, NY won the 25-lap NYPA TQ Midget Series feature. Nye passed his brother, Andy Nye, for the lead on lap five and survived several challenges to claim the victory. Jonathan Reid backed up his Open TQ win with a second place finish. Dave Wollaber, Andy Nye and Mark Schulz rounded out the top five.
Short Track Management CEO, Bill Catania, issued a challenge to the TQ Midget feature winners during the victory lane celebration. Catania put up $300 of his own money for a winner-take-all five-lap “King of the TQs” match race. Nye held off Reid for the five lap dash to claim the bonus and the “King of the TQs” crown.
The US Open is now complete after three attempts to get the final day of competition in the books. Over 200 race teams competed during the event across ten divisions. Short Track Management would like to thank all of the fans and racers that supported the 26th edition of the US Open at Lancaster Speedway. STM looks forward to their future involvement with Lancaster Speedway and hope to have details on that role in the near future.
-Short Track Management Press Release. Photo Credit: Speed51.com
RACE OF CHAMPIONS MODIFIED TOUR
Heat Winners – George Skora III, Jimmy Zacharias, Mike Leaty
Tommy Druar/Tony Jankowiak Memorial 125 Finish – TONY HANBURY, Jimmy Zacharias, Austin Kochenash, TJ Potrzebowski, George Skora III, Terry Cheetham, Andy Jankowiak, Mike Fiebelkorn, Jr., Mike Leaty, Kirk Totten, Karl Hehr, Chris Ridsdale, Brian DeFebo, Sam Fullone, Nick Pecko, Bobby Holmes, Bryan Sherwood, Erick Rudolph, Daren Scherer, Chuck Hossfeld, Dave Wollaber, Kevin Lewis, Daryl Lewis, Jr.
Heat Winners – Bobby Weber, Jeff Brown
Feature – JEFF BROWN, Dave Russell, Dave Heitzhaus, Ron Nurmi, Mike Scorzelli, Scott Nurmi, Eric Brown, Bobby Weber, Rich Littlefield, Ron Richter, Frank Batista, Eldon King III, Terry Weldy, Dave Whittaker, Sam Fullone
BIG 10 SUPER STOCK SERIES
Heat Winners – Jay Mudra, Dave Johnson, Joe Mancuso
Feature – JOE MANCUSO, Dave Johnson, Lexi Wilson, Jake Lyon, Jake Wylie, Eric Brown, Mitchell Wright, Mark Zagoda, Tim Welshans, Jeff Whalen, Brandon Sherwood, Joe Fetzer, Jim Steffenhagen, Jr., Mike Scott, Pete Pieczynski, Nate Peckham, Ted Welshans, Kevin Ide, Tony Bilotte, Bob Ripley, Rob Pocobello, Chuck Tripp, Charles Coonrod DNS – Jay Cannonico DQ – Jay Mudra
Heat Winner – Scott Wylie
Feature – SCOTT WYLIE, Eric McCray, Carter Mook, Chris Briggs, Dominic DePonceau, Wesley McCray
NYPA TQ MIDGET SERIES
Heat Winners – Jonathan Reid, Jared Turnbull, Dave Wollaber
Feature – SHAWN NYE, Jonathan Reid, Dave Wollaber, Andy Nye, Mark Schulz, Andy Jankowiak, Nick Groff, Charlie DiRosa, Cutris McLeod, Pat Smith, Cody Molleneaux, Ryan Hessler, Sean McNamara, Mack DeMan, Jared Turnbull, Chad Haywood, Matthew Catania, Erik Musto, Jimmy Zacharias, Jeremy Haudricourt, Camden Barber, Vinny Christiano, Jr.
“OPEN” TQ MIDGETS
Heat Winners – Brandon Zavarella
Feature – JONATHAN REID, Andy Jankowiak, Brandon Zavarella, Kyle Hutchinson, Andy Nye, Jared Turnbull, Shawn Nye, Mack DeMan