The end of the 2015 racing season is approaching quickly, which means it is almost time for Lancaster National Speedway’s biggest event of the season. The 27th annual U.S. Open is scheduled for September 25-27 featuring eight divisions of racing. The Open serves as the biggest asphalt racing weekend in Western New York.
The headline of the event is the U.S. Open 125 for the Sunoco Race of Champions Modified Tour on Sunday, September 27. This race is the most prestigious Modified on the Lancaster schedule. Tony Hanbury of Orchard Park, NY overcame a heat race crash in last year’s event to become the 16th different Modified winner in U.S. Open history.
The U.S. Open 125 is also the next to last event of the RoC Modified Tour schedule. Orchard Park’s Patrick Emerling currently holds a five point lead over three-time U.S. Open winner Matt Hirschman in the tour title chase. Andy Jankowiak, Chuck Hossfeld and Hanbury are in the hunt for the RoC Tour championship as well.
The 27th annual U.S. Open weekend kicks off with a practice session for all teams on Friday night September, 25. Immediately after practice it’s the annual U.S. Open Kickoff Party in the main concourse featuring live music. The Friday night fun also includes the return of the U.S. Open Adult Tricycle Race.
Pit gates open at 4 PM on Friday with practice running from 6:30 to 9:30. Grandstand gates open at 6 PM with free general admission for all race fans that want to watch practice.
Racing action begins at 4:30 PM on Saturday with heats and features for the 4-Cylinders, Legends, Street Stocks and Sportsman plus heat races for the NYPA TQ Midget Association.
The 75-lap Sportsman feature is the main event on Saturday with around 40 cars expected to try and make the show. Andy Jankowiak of Tonawanda, NY has won this race every year for the last five years, and will go for a sixth win in 2015.
New for this year is a lap money program for the Sportsman feature. Laps can be sponsored for just $25 each. This will add an additional $1,875 to the Sportsman purse based on all laps being sold at $25. Drivers running in the top 15 on each lap will be eligible to win. Winning positions will be drawn randomly.
The INEX Legends will join the inner-oval action on Saturday night with $500 on the line for the winner. The U.S. Open Legends feature is a qualifier for the Race of Champions at Chemung Speedrome on October 3. The winner of the 25-lap feature will be a guaranteed starter for the Legends race during Race of Champions weekend, and will also be locked into the feature redraw as long as they compete in a heat race.
Pit gates will open at 12:30 PM on Saturday, September 26. Grandstand gates open at 2:30 just as practice gets under way. The racing action will be capped off by gigantic fireworks display.
U.S. Open weekend concludes on Sunday with heats and features for the RoC Modified Tour, X-Press Signs Late Models, Super Stocks and the feature for the NYPA TQ Midgets.
Modified drivers will have a chance to earn extra money thanks to the U.S. Open Modified 125 lap sponsorship program. Lap sponsorships are currently being sold for $25. Anyone interested in sponsoring a lap can contact Barb Holmes at the speedway office.
Pit gates open at 9:30 AM for Sunday’s program with practice starting at 10:30. Opening ceremonies will take place at noon, immediately followed by the first heat race of the day.
The official U.S. Open website is online at www.thelancasterusopen.com with the complete schedule of events. Race teams can register their cars and buy pit passes in advance through the U.S. Open website. Fans can purchase pre-sale tickets online as well.
A two-day adult general admission ticket is just $40, which is a savings of $5.00. A student (age 12-17) weekend ticket is $15, with kids under 12 free. Family passes are available for families with two adults and two students. Free camping is available in the speedway parking lot.
Founded in 1959, Lancaster National Speedway is a multi-use facility located on 77 acres just outside of metropolitan Buffalo, NY. The facility features a 1/8-mile drag, a 5/8-mile oval track and hosts several non-motorsports events such as car shows and concerts. For the latest information on Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway check out our all-new website www.lancasternationalspeedway.com. Additional information for racers and fans can be found on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/LancasterSpeedway) and on Twitter (@LancasterSpdwy).
The US OPEN – September 25-27 – Schedule
Lancaster National Speedway, Lancaster, NY
*All times and events subject to change
3:00pm Hauler Pre-Stage, Secure Facility
4:00pm Pit Gates Open, Inspection Begins
6:00pm Grandstand Gates Open
6:30pm – 9:30pm Practice – by round (minimum of two rounds)
9:30pm (approx.) Conclusion of Practice – US Open “Kick Off Party”/Band in Concourse
11:30pm Pit Area Closed / Secure Facility
12:30pm Pit Gates Open – Inspection Begins
2:30pm Front Gates Open – Practice by Division (2 Rounds per Division – Inner Oval First)
3:00pm Fan Festival, Kids
4:15pm Driver’s Meetings (TQ Midgets, 4 Cylinders, Street Stock, Sportsman – Tech Barn)
4:30pm Opening Ceremonies (Invocation & Anthems)
4:45pm NYPA T.Q. Midget Qualifying Races (8-laps) – Inner Oval
5:00pm 4 Cylinder Qualifying Races (8-laps each) – Inner Oval
5:20pm Legends Qualifying Races (8-laps each) – Inner Oval
5:40pm Street Stock Qualifying Races (6-laps each)
6:00pm Sportsman Modified Qualifying Races – (8-laps each)
6:20pm 4 Cylinder Feature Race – (25-laps) Immediately Followed by Victory Lane
6:50pm Legends Feature Race (25-laps) Immediately Followed by Victory Lane
7:15pm Street Stock Feature (25-laps) Immediately Followed by Victory Lane
7:45pm Sportsman Modified Feature Race (75-laps) Immediately Followed by Victory Lane
8:45pm Sportsman Modified Victory Lane
11:00pm Pit Area Closed / Secure Facility
9:30am Pit Gates Open
10:30am Front Gates Open – Practice by Division (2 Rounds per Division – Inner Oval First)
11:00am Fan Festival, Kids
11:45am Driver’s Meetings
12:00pm Opening Ceremonies (Invocation & Anthems)
12:10pm NYPA T.Q. Midget Last Chance Showdown Qualifying Race (8-laps)
12:20pm Lancaster Super Stock Qualifying Races (8-laps each)
12:40pm Late Model Qualifying Races (10-laps each)
1:10pm Race of Champions Modified Tour Qualifying Races – (10-laps each)
1:45pm NYPA” T.Q. Midget Feature Race (25-laps) Immediately Followed by Victory Lane
2:10pm Lancaster Super Stock Feature Race (25-laps – based on car count)
2:45pm Late Model Feature (30-laps) (Immediately Followed by Victory Lane)
3:15pm Race of Champions Modified Tour Stages Feature on Frontstretch (Lemans Style)
3:30pm Race of Champions Modified Tour Driver Introductions
3:45pm Command to Start Engines
3:55pm Race of Champions Modified Tour US Open 125 (125-laps)
5:30pm Race of Champions Modified Tour Victory Lane
7:00pm Pit Area Closed / Secure Facility
– Lancaster National Speedway press release
– Photo credit: Alex & Helen Bruch