It was a Thursday night to be remembered in Lancaster, New York. Defending Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour titlist Chuck Hossfeld held off some fierce competition in front of numerous fans for his second win of the season. It was a gratifying win for the Ransomville, New York driver in many ways.
“First of all, it’s good to see Lancaster on the upswing,” Hossfeld told Speed51.com powered by JEGS after the Ol’ Boy Cup 60-lap race victory. “To see the new pavement, the grass cut, new stands and a packed house on Thursday night was great.”
This was the first RoC show at Lancaster National Speedway since last year’s U.S. Open, and the improvements that have been made by new General Manager Melissa McGowan and team were noticeable.
This was the inaugural running of the Ol’ Boy Cup, a 60 lap sprint in memory of Bill Colton, who was known, among many things, for innovating the soft Styrofoam-type walls to the 5/8-mile high speed facility in the early 1990s that later were introduced at other area tracks. They were in place yet again on this night and did come in handy during a heat race when Bobby Holmes’ car did not turn going into one and went straight into the wall. Holmes would be okay and his car would recover to finish sixth in the feature.
Colton’s son Billy, the owner of Troyer Race Cars, and family were in victory lane with Hossfeld.
“To win for Bill Colton Sr., who was a great friend of mine, I don’t know if everyone would know the story but he helped get me racing,” Hossfeld mentioned. “I still have sponsors today that he introduced me to. He was just a great friend of mine, as he was to a lot of racers.”
Despite setting the pace for the entire distance, Hossfeld would still have pressure from some of the usual RoC suspects. The redraw put him on the outside front row with fellow Western New Yorker Andy Jankowiak on the inside. Hossfeld would initially make the outside line stick on the fresh pavement out of the corner and would gain the lead.
Jankowiak filed into second, but was forced to pit during a caution and had to make a valiant run the remainder of the race. It would not be enough as he would finish in fourth.
Jankowiak was rather critical of himself after the race, which was not the first time this season that he was left feeling this way.
“The radiator overflow hose fell off; I forgot to tighten it,” Jankowiak stated. “Just a steady consistency of beating ourselves, it’s really discouraging. Third time this year in RoC we’ve been running awesome in front of Chuck or Matt and just something broke.”
A late caution bunched the field with a hard charging Jankowiak as well as multiple-time RoC champion Matt Hirschman to contend with. Despite the shortest race distance of the year for the Tour, Hirschman had appeared to save his Modified for the end as he consistently does. He gave Hossfeld a challenge, but still did not have enough in the remaining laps.
“I just steadily moved forward right from the start, and put ourselves in a position to contend,” Hirschman recapped. “We kind of made a run at it and gave it our best try. I was right there with them, but not enough to make a serious challenge.”
Hirschman was coming fresh off a win in the Tri-Track Challenge Series open show at Monadnock Speedway (NH), but has still yet to enter victory lane in RoC in 2015. He still feels optimistic with how the team has improved.
“From where we started the season to where we are now we’re making progress,” Hirschman said. “We’re back to where the last three times I raced we were in a position to win, and like Monadnock sometimes that’s all you need to be is in position. We still have a little bit of work to do. We’re getting close, but we need to be one spot better.”
Hossfeld agreed that it was not an easy feat, but admitted that he had confidence in his equipment.
“We had a great car,” Hossfeld said. “We had pressure from one of the best in the business in the closing laps. I knew when (Hirschman) started eighth that he would probably conserve a little bit, and running with Andy J and Tony Hanbury I did what I had to do. It was a great night for us.”
While next up for the RoC Tour is Holland Speedway (NY) in two weeks, Hossfeld and team have added one more race to their 2015 schedule before then.
“We were having so many rain outs that I don’t want to get rusty,” Hossfeld explained. “When it feels like we have such a great team and we’re not racing, we decided to go to Seekonk so hopefully we have a good run there. I did win a (NASCAR Whelen Modified) Tour race with Bob Garbarino there and had some good runs. I think we’ll be prepared and have a good showing.”
In addition to Hossfeld, Hirschman and Jankowiak are expected to compete in next week’s Seekonk Speedway (MA) Modified Madness show for the Tri-Track Open Modified Series.
A Trackside Now replay of Thursday night’s event at Lancaster can be viewed by clicking here.
– By Aaron Creed, Speed51.com Pennsylvania/Central New York Editor – Twitter: @aaron_creed
– Photo credit: Speed51.com
RoC Modifieds Ol’ Boy 60 Unofficial Results
1 2 22 Chuck Hossfeld
2 8 60 Matt Hirschman
3 11 07 Patrick Emerling
4 1 73x Andy Jankowiak
5 14 71 Jimmy Zacharias
6 25 8 Bobby Holmes
7 6 27x Rusty Smith
8 26 90 Daren Scherer
9 10 21 Tony Hanbury
10 3 1x Mike Leaty
11 13 32 Tyler Rypkema
12 16 69 Tommy Cloce
13 19 65 George Skora III
14 18 17 Roger Coss
15 23 45 Amy Catalano
16 12 51 T.J. Potrzebowski
17 17 95 Bryan Sherwood
18 9 47 Jim Storace
19 21 11 Kirk Totten
20 4 59 Karl Hehr
21 5 9x TJ Zacharias
22 27 54 Tommy Catalano
23 15 27 Donny Hartzell
24 28 1 Chris Risdale
25 22 24 David Rigan
26 24 2 Todd Lorenzo
27 7 48 Sam Fullone
28 20 10 Daryl Lewis Jr.