Gullo, Sharpe and Anasiewicz Score Victories
Story By: DAN BUCHANAN / LANCASTER SPEEDWAY MEDIA
Photos By: MARK RANNALLETTA / RACERSGUIDE.COM
LANCASTER, N.Y. – April 30, 2017 – The home of Modified racing in Western New York delivered another memorable moment on Saturday evening as Andy Jankowiak of Tonawanda, N.Y. won the Fans in the Stands 75 at Lancaster National Speedway in the opening round of the Race of Champions Modified Series. It was his first ever Modified win at Lancaster.
In X-Press Signs Stock Car Series support division action, Tim Gullo of Elmira, N.Y. won the Race of Champions Super Stock event, Rich Sharpe of Lancaster won the Advance Auto Parts Street Stock feature and Jason Anasiewicz of Lancaster picked up his second-straight win in the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders.
Amy Catalano and Tyler Rypkema led the Fans in the Stands 75 field to the opening green flag with Rypkema grabbing the early lead. Most of the first half of the race went caution-free with Rypkema leading Daryl Lewis, Jr., Patrick Emerling, Mike Leaty and Catalano during the opening segment.
A 30-lap stretch of green flag racing was halted on lap 35 for a spin by Kirk Totten in turn 4. When racing resumed Emerling got by Lewis for the runner-up position. A couple more caution periods set up a restart on lap 37 with Rypkema and Emerling on the front row. When the race resumed Emerling would find himself in the lead just as the crossed flags were displayed.
The most serious incident of the day happened after a restart on lap 39. Kevin Miller and Amy Catalano touched tires going down the backstretch, which sent Catalano hard into the wall outside wall. Catalano walked away from the accident, but her day was over.
Emerling developed a flat left front tire during the red flag period to clean-up the accident scene. This sent him to the pits and put his four-race Lancaster Modified win streak in jeopardy.
This also gave the lead back to Rypkema, who was followed by Jankowiak, Chuck Hossfeld and George Skora III. Skora had already had an eventful day by that point as he recorded the fastest overall lap during time trials after being involved in a crash during practice. He then broke a driveshaft in his heat race and started last for the feature. Skora was forced to make a couple pit stops early in the race because his shifter kept popping out of gear and his crew had to secure it in place with a ratchet strap.
Jankowiak took the lead from Rypkema after a restart on lap 46. Hossfeld and Skora eventually moved into second and third respectively to drop Rypkema to fourth. Skora landed in the runner-up spot with 25 laps to go.
During the stretch run to the finish Jankowiak kept his McGrath/Jankowiak Racing #12 just low enough in the corners to prevent Skora from passing him on the inside. A late race move to the outside by Skora also proved to be unsuccessful.
Jankowiak crossed the finish line for his first win in the Race of Champions Modified Series at Lancaster. He is a three-time track champion with numerous wins in the Sportsman, Street Stocks, TQ Midgets and 4-Cylinders, but it took him several years to triumph at his home track in a Modified. The win also came his very first start driving a Modified owned by 2005 Modified track champion Tom McGrath.
Skora settled for second, which was a moral victory of sorts after his long day. Emerling came back to finish third. Hossfeld and Daren Scherer rounded out the top five.
The Race of Champions Super Stocks also opened their season at Lancaster on Saturday. Tim Gullo of Elmira earned his first win at Lancaster after a spirited battle with Joe Mancuso. Gullo led from the drop of the green flag from the outside pole position. Mancuso eventually joined him at the front of the field and the pair pulled away from the pack.
Mancuso took the lead from Gullo on lap 23. Three laps later Gullo worked to the inside of Mancuso in turn 2. The pair made heavy contact down the backstretch as Gullo regained the top spot. Both cars received damage, but continued with Gullo going on to win. Mancuso finished second followed by Josh Hunter, Dana Novoa and Frank Petroski.
In the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks, 2015 track champion Rich Sharpe made his first start of the season a memorable one as he captured the 25-lap feature. Sharpe drove around the outside of Tommy Wentland for the lead on lap 10 and never looked back.
Mark Hoch bounced back from a rough opening day to finish second. Nik Welshans had a shot to open the season with back-to-back wins, but settled for third. Wentland and Ken Maltby rounded out the top five.
Jason Anasiewicz remained perfect in the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders as he led every lap to win the feature for the second week in a row. Anasiewicz faced stiff competition from Kevin Bainbridge and Bobby Woch this time around, but he held strong in the front of the field. Bainbridge, Woch, Dan Dressel and Dave Brunka completed the top five.
Lancaster National Speedway closes out the Saturday matinee portion of its schedule this Saturday, May 6 at 2 p.m. with the first visit of the year from the X-Press Signs Late Models plus the Sunoco Sportsman, Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks and the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders. Saturday night racing begins on May 13.
About Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway: Founded in 1959, Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway is a multi-use facility located on 77 acres just outside of metropolitan Buffalo, N.Y. The facility features a 1/8-mile drag strip, a 1/2-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 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).
X-PRESS SIGNS STOCK CAR SERIES RESULTS
RACE OF CHAMPIONS MODIFIED SERIES
Time Trials Fast Time – George Skora III – 16.912 seconds
Heat Winners: Patrick Emerling, Andy Jankowiak, Tommy Catalano
Fans in the Stands 75 Finish: ANDY JANKOWIAK, George Skora III, Patrick Emerling, Chuck Hossfeld, Daren Scherer, Tyler Rypkema, Camden Barber, TJ Potrzebowski, Bryan Sherwood, Kevin Miller, Mike Leaty, Kirk Totten, Alan Bookmiller, Amy Catalano, Karl Hehr, Daryl Lewis, Jr., Tommy Catalano
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS STREET STOCKS
Heat Winners: Nik Welshans, Rich Sharpe, Tim Welshans
Feature: RICH SHARPE, Mark Hoch, Nik Welshans, Tommy Wentland, Ken Maltby, Tim Welshans, Dave Wilson, Trevor Pettit, John Carlson, Jarrod Brown, Rob Pocobello, Max Northem, Keith Flanigan, Garrett Cleversley, Lou Carbone, Mike Rogers, Frank Prell, Tom Northem, Jimmy Pierce, Gino Pinto DNSL Michal Dalfonso, Jr., Dennis Londos
RACE OF CHAMPIONS SUPER STOCKS
Heat Winners: Bobby Schosek, Tim Gullo, Josh Hunter
Feature: TIM GULLO, Joe Mancuso, Josh Hunter, Dana Novoa, Frank Petroski, Bobby Schosek, Rob Misczak, Josh Schoonamaker, Joel Gleason, Robert Fink, Pete Pieczysnki, Jeff Whalen, Kyle Sharpe, Ryan Lagoda, Zach Willis, Ron Richter DNS: Vern Hedderick, Tom Barron
ROAMING BUFFALO 4-CYLINDERS
Heat Winners: Dan Dressel, Bobby Woch
Feature: JASON ANASIEWICZ, Kevin Bainbridge, Bobby Woch, Dan Dressel, Dave Brunka, Mark Scarpace, Dave Milbrand, Jr., Alex Morris, Chris Pennell, Russ Hartke, Josh Schosek, Charles Palmer, Bob Palmer, Casey Pew, Paul Flye, Chris Bugenhagen, Zach Cleversley DNS: Joe Brunka