Chuck Hossfeld has been all over the map in two decades of racing, from local racer to a short-lived development deal in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. But whenever he comes back to his “home” series, the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour, he has always been a threat to win.
The “Hot Shoe” already had two RoC titles to his name, one in his last full season in 2011 and one dating back to 1997. However, going into 2014 Hossfeld did not have a feature win in an asphalt Modified since the New Smyrna (FL) World Series in February 2013 and was winless on the Tour since his last championship season. The luck needed to turn around.
“What had happened is we started Jerry Gradl Motors with my partner Jerry Gradl and it took a toll on our race team because we were focusing on the business,” Hossfeld told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “Matt Hirschman got on a really good run and was pretty much dominant, but we tried to step up our game over the winter time.”
Perhaps investing in the luck of the Irish by revealing the team’s new green and white livery in March contributed as well, but having the car ready to achieve results on the track was a must. Hossfeld commended Team Manager Mike Parks and crew for making sure the car was prepared when arriving at the race track each weekend.
The season started off with them showing their muscle by finishing runner-up to Matt Hirschman during the first three races. Each race the margin became slimmer, and two events later at Lancaster Speedway (NY) Hossfeld broke into victory lane for the first of four times the remainder of the season. Included was a victory in the prestigious Race of Champions 200 at Oswego Speedway (NY), the third time he has accomplished that feat.
Hossfeld was again one of the fastest cars in practice and certainly one of the favorites going into the final race of the season, a return to Lancaster. Unfortunately, the luck would not hold out and his successful season came to a crashing halt in the turn one foam. Still, the momentum built throughout the year was enough to bring his mangled machine back to the frontstretch after the feature and be announced as champion.
The Ransomville, New York driver has plans to compete in the upcoming North South Shootout at Caraway Speedway (NC) and would like to return to New Smyrna and a couple more NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour shows next season. Nevertheless, the Race of Champions Tour is where he will be committing to full time in 2015 and the foreseeable future.
“RoC is really my home for a couple reasons,” said Hossfeld. “It’s close to home, it’s a great series, I’m proud to be part of it, and I see it on the upswing. Hopefully it continues doing what it is doing and hopefully we continue running successfully like we are.”
For a driver who started out on the western New York short track weekly scene and has even dabbled on dirt, it is clear that Hossfeld seems quite content that the RoC Tour is where he wants to be. Despite claiming the championship there is still more to be done in relation to the always increasing competition.
“We’re going to try to step up our game again over this winter time, and just continue to keep plugging away,” said Hossfeld. “We have our arsenal built up pretty well. We’ll continue trying to be successful.”
Racing has its ups and downs, but for many the results show when they stick with it no matter how many other commitments and obstacles take place. 17 years after his first series title, Chuck Hossfeld shows no signs of stopping.
“I’ve dedicated my life up until this point so I guess I’ll just continue.”
-By Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Correspondent – Twitter: @AaronCreed
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com