This weekend not only marks the end of the summertime bulk of the 2017 Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series schedule, but also marks an annual salute by the racing community to honor two racing stars who were taken far too soon. The 28th Tommy Druar / Tony Jankowiak Memorial 110 brings together all the cars and stars to Lancaster National Speedway (NY), a track that was synonymous with both drivers, and is called home by Modified stars, including three-time RoC champion Chuck Hossfeld.
Hossfeld of nearby Ransomville, NY has traveled around the nation throughout his racing career, but long raced throughout the New York/Pennsylvania region. Both Druar and Jankowiak are drivers that Hossfeld looked up to, which has him bringing his A-game to the Tommy/Tony race.
“Tommy Druar and Tony Jankowiak were a pair of replicable guys,” Hossfeld told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “It’s such an important race because they died early, but the second generation of Andy Jankowiak and Matt Druar still come out and enjoy racing and to love it the way they do is really neat all these years later. It’s a big weekend and a big race at Lancaster.”
While Hossfeld’s success at Lancaster is more than impressive, including multiple Tommy/Tony trophies, he feels that this year the competition is on an equal or slightly higher playing field. But he and the No. 22 team have been concentrating on changing that over the past few weeks.
“I don’t feel like we’re a favorite yet; our car has been fast all year, and we’ve done some things over this time off these past couple of weeks to make it last longer,” Hossfeld explained. “It seems like Matt Hirschman has been on a roll; he’s fast, a lot of guys are fast. We’ve been there, it just seems like our car isn’t lasting the way we want it. So we made these changes to try to be the car to beat, but right now we’re not out of the game by any means but I’m hoping that now we have a better chance of staying in it at the end is all.”
While Hossfeld has been working in the shop on a part-time racing schedule, his competitors have been tearing up the tracks over the summer. This summer is an important one for Hossfeld off the track, which is where he has devoted most his time, but he assures his fans that he has no long-term plans of backing off from the racing side.
“I don’t want to say racing has been a second priority, but this summer I’m getting married to my longtime girlfriend and we got some property out back behind my house that we are trying to get ready for the wedding, and it’s been a big chore,” Hossfeld said. “So we’ve been picking and choosing some races so that it can fit in with my schedule as far as all my chores we got going on to fit in for that wedding which is coming up shortly. It’s not like I’m slowing down on racing or anything; it’s just a busy summer off the track for us.”
Beyond the Tommy/Tony Memorial, Hossfeld has just two events that are circled in pen on his calendar, but they just so happen to be the final two events on the RoC schedule and two of the biggest in all of Modified racing.
“We got the U.S. Open at Lancaster (September 24) which is always a good time, a fun weekend. We got the Race of Champions at Lake Erie (September 28-30), which I’m excited about, we’ll race both the Sportsman and the Modified. And of course we got the Tommy/Tony race which we’ve been fortunate to win four or five times, so hopefully we can add another one. I’m not a 100-percent sure beyond that, but that’s what we’ve got in the near future.”
Be sure to keep up with all the action from the Tommy/Tony Memorial 110 at Lancaster National Speedway this weekend right here on Speed51.com.
-By: Connor Sullivan Speed51.com CT, MA, RI & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/MoJo Photos