After just three races to start off the 2018 season, the RoC Asphalt Modified Tour is ready to launch into the core of their schedule, and it all starts at what is essentially a brand new racetrack.
Formally Cayuga Speedway, the reborn Jukasa Motor Speedway in Nelles Corners, Ontario will bring the RoC Modifieds north of the border for the only time in 2018. After reopening in 2017, this sleek 5/8-mile oval is still knocking the sawdust off, and it remains a mystery for most Modified drivers. However, some drivers have traveled up to do some testing, including Chuck Hossfeld.
The three-time RoC Tour champion is fresh off a one-day test held back in June. Hossfeld’s impressions are high to say the least.
“I can tell you that the place is literally one of the nicest short tracks you will go to. It’s state of the art, brand new, and fun to drive because it’s fast and smooth. I’m pretty excited to go over there this weekend. It’s fast, you don’t lose a lot of speed in the center of the corners. It’s super smooth and it’s a rush to drive,” Hossfeld told Speed51.com.
In addition to the 100-lap RoC event, the Supermodifieds of ISMA will join in on the action for a 50-lap feature race. While the two have little connection to each other outside being on the same schedule, Hossfeld believes their winged-cousins may be of help for the quality of racing.
“With the Supermodifieds over there, I think it’s going to help the RoC race, because with the wings on the Supers, they’ll have more grip and be able to run higher on the track, which is going to widen out the groove for us and make a good outside. It should help out passing and guys being able to race more comfortably with the extra room. I think it’s going to be a great race this weekend.”
Armed with knowledge from the test, plus a win last time out at Lancaster National Speedway (NY), Hossfeld enters the weekend with both momentum and confidence.
“I believe we do (have some momentum), we’ve had issues learning our new car, and it’s cost us the results. I really felt that going into this last race we had a better handle on it, our car wasn’t perfect, but we’ve really made gains. I’m confident. Going into the last race at Lancaster we had a better handle on it, our car wasn’t perfect, but I think this weekend we can go back to back on the RoC. It’ll be three overall with our last Sport Mod win. Hopefully the changes we made after Lancaster make it even better. Time will tell.”
As for the points lead and the championship chase, it is something that is lower on Hossfeld’s priority list. But he is happy to have an early shot.
“I didn’t even know that. Sometimes I don’t even want to know. I decided a long time ago that if you go into the races trying the best you can, the points usually take care of themselves. That’s what we’ll continue to do, just got to try our best. If we have a lead, we’ll try to build on it. Hey, better to be leading than not leading.”
Jukasa also begins a busy stretch for the RoC between this Saturday and August 4, with four of the season’s eleven races in that period. Hossfeld knows that good results at Jukasa and the following Saturday at Holland, NY could prove crucial for the remainder of 2018.
“There’s going to be some back to back races with some good tracks for us. The next one after Jukasa is Holland, which is close to home for us, even though it’s not a place where I’ve had a lot of laps, probably raced there only five times, so I would love to carry on and get a win there. But the stretch will be good, hopefully it’s good for the teams and fans, and we’ll get some attention. We need to put the races together and see how we do.”
Race fans can watch both the RoC Modifieds and the ISMA Supermodifieds live from Jukasa Motor Speedway this Saturday on Speed51’s Summer Thunder TV broadcast, which is free for all Speed51 premium subscribers.
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT