Perry, New York – Wyoming County International Speedway has partnered with Lancaster National Speedway and The Track at Hillside Buffalo to create a series of five qualifying events for the Second Annual Jim Pierce Memorial SST 100. The Sportsman/SST Modified feature winners of specific races at each track will earn a guaranteed starting spot for the memorial 100-lap event, which is scheduled for October 13, 2018 at WCIS.
The qualifying series encompasses the Joe Reilly Sportsman Summer Slam 75 (June 16) and the Sportsman Feature at the US Open (September) at Lancaster; the George Decker Memorial 75 (August 4) at The Track at Hillside; and the WCIS 58th Anniversary 58-Lap SST Modified feature (July 28) and Labor Day SST Modified 100 (September 1) at Wyoming County International Speedway.
“We are thrilled to be able to work in conjunction with all of the tracks that Pierce used to compete at and especially being able to highlight what were some of his favorite events to race,” said Lori Overdorf, race organizer.
The inaugural memorial race last year honored local racer Jim Pierce, who passed away suddenly last August at the age of 47. In his No. 26 SST Modified, Pierce captured multiple feature wins at Wyoming County Speedway, as well as a 2007 SST Modified Championship. He also took home feature wins at Lancaster National Speedway, The Track at Hillside, Lake Erie Speedway and competed at other local tracks in Western New York.
“We are truly honored to show our continued tribute to not only a fellow racer, but a friend, by running the Jim Pierce Memorial,” said Jim Majchrzak, WCIS owner. “We are very happy to work with other local tracks to make this event one of the marquee shows of the season.”
Lancaster didn’t hesitate to throw their support and involvement behind the tribute and work with their neighboring short tracks.
“Like cousin Jim (Majchrzak) said, Jim Pierce was not only a racer at Lancaster, but a friend to many,” said Tim Packman, Lancaster track president. “If we can gain more interest for the Sportsman divisional races at our respective tracks and pay tribute to a great person and championship driver, then all the better for everyone involved.”
The Track at Hillside management as well as the Decker family were enthusiastic as well about joining in the qualifying series.
“Racing at times, on the track and in the pits, can get ferocious between competitors and crews but this show of support for the Pierce family is an example of the true brotherly nature the community is all about. It is great what Lori Overdorf is doing to make this race happen and it is a privilege to have Hillside Buffalo play a small part in it.” commented Hillside General Manager Nick Johnston.
A “Lucky 15” Lap Money program for the drivers will also take place for the Jim Pierce Memorial SST 100 and will be run by Lori Overdorf. Laps are a minimum of $26 each, in honor of Pierce’s racing number, and are now available for purchase. Specialty awards such as Hard Charger, Hard Luck and more are available for sponsorship as well. All of the lap money raised will go towards the drivers participating in the memorial race. To purchase a lap, please contact LOverdorf@hotmail.com or at 716-207-2824.
In addition to the lap money, a custom trophy is being designed by Dennis Murphy and RNE Precision. Additional bonuses for participating drivers are also in development.
The Shootout at the Bullring, slated for October 13 and 14, 2018 will feature some of the best racers from the east coast vying for the checkered flag. For more information visit www.thebullringwcis.com.
photo credit Rob Micoli
Cryan back in victory lane; Palmer gets first win
LANCASTER, N.Y. (June 7, 2018) – Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. pulled off a rare feat on Thursday night at Lancaster National Speedway as he swept both of the VP Racing Fuels Sportsman features. Emerling won the rain delayed feature from May 19, and then won the regularly scheduled 35-lap main event to complete the twofer.
The X-Press Signs Stock Series midweek special at Lancaster started with the continuation of the VP Racing Fuels Sportsman feature that was rained out after 14 laps on May 19. The race picked up on lap 15 with Mike Leaty leading Emerling, Neal Dietz, Jr., Mark Pennell and Andy Jankowiak.
Leaty and Emerling quickly pulled away from the field when the race resumed. There was only one brief on caution on lap 19 when Matt Druar spun out in turn four. The rest of the race went caution-free with Emerling chasing his Race of Champions Modified Series teammate, Leaty.
Emerling appeared to have the stronger car late in the race and he took the lead with seven laps to go. Leaty, however, came right back to recapture the lead one lap later before resigning it away for good on lap 30. It was Emerling first Sportsman win of the season at Lancaster. Leaty held on for second over a hard-charging Neal Dietz, Jr. Mike Ramos and Owen Bednasz rounded out the top five.
The second half of the Sportsman doubleheader started with a stacked lineup at the front of the field. The top 12 qualifiers redrew for their starting position following the three heats. Emerling drew the pole with Leaty alongside on the front row. Former track champion Chuck Hossfeld lined up third after sitting out the first feature because he was not hand for the initial start of the race.
Emerling and Hossfeld took off from the field at the drop of the green flag, but the race was halted on lap four when Jeremy Haudricourt plowed in to the Thermal Foam in turn three. The lead duo blasted away again when the race restarted and went on a 21-lap green flag run that saw them pull away by more than a straightaway over the rest of the field.
The leaders were working through lapped traffic on lap 25 when Jayme Thompson spun on the front straightaway just ahead of them to bring out the yellow flag. On the ensuing restart, Emerling pushed up high into Hossfeld in turn two to set off a chain reaction that saw several cars pileup, including Mark Pennell and John Barber.
That set up a final restart for Emerling and Hossfeld. Hossfeld hounded Emerling for the final ten circuits, but Emerling was able to hold off the challenge. He held on to pick up his second victory of the night. Hossfeld settled for second. Mike Leaty scored his top three finish of the night in third place. Jake Vernon and Amy Catalano rounded out the top five.
In the Advance Auto Street Stocks, Andy Cryan of Buffalo picked up his second-straight win. Cryan passed polesitter Mark Hoch down the back straightaway on lap seven to take the lead for good. He pulled away during the rest of the caution-free feature to lock up the win. Dave Vona finished second. Hoch, Ken Maltby and Mike Dalfonso rounded out the top five.
Charles Palmer of Cheektowaga, N.Y. scored his first career win in the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders. Palmer led all 25 laps from the pole, but he was shadowed by Chris Pennell for most of the race. He protected the low lane while Pennell tried to sneak under Palmer several times.
Palmer held on for his first ever 4-Cylinder checkered flag. Pennell finished second, followed by Joe Brunka, Dave Brunka and Dan Dressel.
Jan Carlson won the 10-lap Ladies Race 4-Cylinder exhibition. Taylor Mittner finished second, followed by Sam Hockwater and Mariah Reilly.
The X-Press Signs Stock Car Series is in back action on Saturday, June 16 with the Joe Reilly Sportsman Summer Slam 75. The Summer Slam 75 is the longest regular season race of the year for the VP Racing Fuels Sportsman. The Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks, Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders and NYPA TQ Midgets will also be in action.
About Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway: Founded in 1959, Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway, WNY’s Premier Motorsports and Event Facility, 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.
VP RACING FUELS SPORTSMAN
May 19 Feature (resumed from lap 14) – PATRICK EMERLING, Mike Leaty, Neal Dietz, Jr., Mike Ramos, Owen Bednasz, Tommy Catalano, John Barber, Andy Jankowiak, Matt Druar, Dave Kozlowski, Leo Becker, Jake Vernon, Jayme Thompson, Zach Knowlden, Scott Wylie, Tony Carbone, Mike Rogers, Shawn Nye, Timmy Catalano
Heat Winners: Chuck Hossfeld, Owen Bednasz, Shawn Nye
Feature: PATIRCK EMERLING, Chuck Hossfeld, Mike Leaty, Jake Vernon, Amy Catalno, Mike Ramos, Owen Bednasz, Tommy Catalano, Shawn Nye, Andy Jankowiak, Tony Carbone, Matt Druar, Jayme Thompson, Alan Bookmiller, Dave Kozlowski, Neal Dietz, Jr., John Barber, Mark Pennell, Scott Wylie, Mike Rogers, Dave Catalano, Jeremy Haudricourt DNS: Leo Becker
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS STREET STOCKS
Heat Winners: Dave Vona, Andy Cryan
Feature: ANDY CRYAN, Dave Vona, Mark Hoch, Ken Maltby, Mike Dalfonso, Jr., Tommy Wentland, Garrett Cleversley, Chris Powers, Jeff Szafraneic, Josh Schosek
ROAMING BUFFALO 4-CYLINDERS
Heat Winners: Chris Pennell, Charles Palmer
Feature: CHARLES PALMER, Chris Pennell, Joe Brunka, Dave Brunka, Dan Dressel, Scott Fritz, Bobby Woch, Jason Anasiewicz, Andy Danielwicz, Casey Pew, Dave Evans, Jimmy Pierce
PHOTOS BY PAULA THOMPSON