The stars and cars from the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series made their way to the Lancaster National Speedway for the second time this season on Thursday night. After 60 laps of Modified action in the Ol’ Boy Cup 60, it would be .019 seconds deciding the victory in favor of Chuck Hossfeld.
Hossfeld set quick time in qualifying to start the night, picking up the Speed51.com Top of the Board Award. He would also go on to win his heat race, along with Mike Leaty and Cam Barber taking victories in their heat races. After the heat races, the top four drivers from each heat went on to the redraw. Daryl Lewis Jr drew the number-one pill to start alongside Hossfeld who pulled number two.
On lap 20, Tommy Catalano slowed on the speedway, bringing out the race’s first caution. On the ensuing restart, Hossfeld found his way around the No. 10 of Lewis and set off with the lead. As the laps clicked off, Mike Leaty found himself getting closer to the black No. 22 of Hossfeld, reaching the second position on lap 34 from his 10th-place starting position.
When the yellow flag came out for a spinning Scott Wiley, Leaty was given his opportunity. On lap 37, Leaty finally reached the rear bumper of Hossfeld and give him a tap through turns 3 and 4. From there, the race was on. Leaty dogged Hossfeld lap after lap, giving him an occasional tap in the rear bumper. Twice Leaty tried too hard and lost plenty of ground but ran Hossfeld back down in a matter of laps.
When the white flag went in the air, Leaty threw everything he had at Hossfeld into turn one, driving it in deep to get next to Hossfeld on the outside. Leaty again drove in deep in three and four, pulling alongside of Hossfeld for a drag race to the checkered flag. As they crossed the line, Hossfeld claimed the thriling victory over Leaty by an incredible .019 seconds.
“My spotter Henry did a great job. I knew where he was strong, so what I tried to do was, I tried to make him go around me, I wasn’t giving him the bottom if I could. If he got me, it would’ve been good for him, but I wasn’t going to make it easy on him,” Hossfeld told Speed51.com. “It was a great race, good for the fans. We won by just the smallest margin. What blows my mind is I had to let off a little early going across the start-finish line because of a couple lapped cars and if he would have gotten me there I would have been sick to my stomach. But here’s the truth, it doesn’t matter because we won.”
The win was the first for Hossfeld this year, ending a Race of Champions winless drought going back into the 2016 season.
“Racing is a rollercoaster and I had mentioned that I thought we would be tough again,” he stated. “You get that sense when things are going to be good. We were down for a little bit and we struggled with the car but we’re inching back. It’s not perfect yet, it wasn’t like it was perfect, but good enough to win.”
Although Mike Leaty came up just a couple of feet short of the victory to beat Hossfeld on his home turf, he was still pleased with his result.
“It would’ve been really nice to even start in the top half of the redraw. If we could’ve started around sixth, seventh, somewhere in that neighborhood, had a few more laps to work over Chuck with a little bit better tires we would have been even stronger and probably could have gotten around him,” Leaty claimed. “It’s hard to get around Chuck Hossfeld at Lancaster. But to give him that kind of run and just come up a nose short is a really good run for our team.”
The Race of Champions Modified Tour will head north of the border for their next event at Jukasa Motor Speedway in Hagersville, OT Canada on July 14. Race fans will once again be able to watch that race live on Speed51.com’s Summer Thunder TV
Ol’ Boy Cup 60 Unofficial Finish
Lancaster National Speedway (NY) – June 28, 2018
1) Chuck Hossfeld
2) Mike Leaty
3) Daryl Lewis Jr.
4) Patrick Emerling
5) Daren Scherer
6) Andy Jankowiak
7) George Skora III
8) Karl Hehr
9) Amy Catalano
10) Eric Beers
11) Scott Wylie
12) Zack Knowlden
13) Timmy Catalano
14) Kreig Heroth
15) Tyler Rypkema
16) Alan Book Miller
17) Jack Ely
18) Danny Knoll Jr.
19) Kevin Miller
20) Tommy Catalano
21) John Barber
22) Camden Barber
23) Chris Ridsdale
-By: Evan Canfield, Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent/MoJo Photos – Twitter: @ecanfield17
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/MoJo Photos