Neal Dietz (84) & Sherri Hogan (74) race side-by-side PHOTO BY JOE GRABIANOWSKI
Lancaster kicks off season with stellar car counts and crowd
LANCASTER, N.Y. (April 30, 2016) – Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway celebrated the start of its 58th season of Stock Car racing with the “Queen City Clash” on Saturday afternoon with the biggest turnout of racers and fans for an opening day event in over a decade.
Jake Lyon of Elma, N.Y. captured the opening day win in the Sunoco Sportsman. Lyon started on the pole and led all 35 laps to kick off the 2016 campaign in victory lane.
The Sportsman main event started with a parade lap in honor of Joe Reilly, the crew chief of 2015 Sportsman champion Mark Pennell who passed away last Sunday. Before the race the Thompson Racing cars of Pennell and Jayme Thompson led the field on a parade lap, and then the field took a ceremonial lap with the pole position left open in Reilly’s memory.
Lyon jumped out to the lead once the race went green. Billy Burd eventually moved into the second position, and he and Lyon hooked up to run away from the field during a long green flag run. Burd has returned to the Sportsman division this season as the new hired gun for car owner Paul Graff.
The caution flew on lap 27 when Mike Rogers stopped on the track with mechanical issues to halt the race after a stretch of 26 consecutive green flag laps. This allowed the field to catch up to Lyon and Burd, who had driven off from the pack.
Shortly after the race went back to green Neal Dietz, Jr. was able to overtake Burd for second. Dietz then chased Lyon for the final six laps, but could not catch the TDH Refrigeration #29 as Lyon crossed under the checkered flag first. Dietz settled for second followed by Burd, John Barber and Mark Pennell.
TJ Cochrane of Cheektowaga, N.Y. took the win in the 25-lap Queen City Clash main event for the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks. The two-time Street Stock track champion made his first start in the division since 2014 after driving a Sportsman last season.
Cochrane started fifth in the 16-car field as Lou Carbone and Mark Hoch led the pack to the green flag. Hoch jumped out to the early race lead while Cochrane worked his way to the front. He eventually wrestled the lead from Hoch on lap 8. Hoch didn’t let Cochrane get away though as he stayed glued to his back bumper right until the finish.
Cochrane held on for the win to make his return to victory lane. He hopes to have his Sportsman car on track later this season. Hoch finished second followed by Dave Wilson, Keith Flanigan and Tommy Wentland.
Kevin Bainbridge of Buffalo won the 25-lap Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder feature to win on opening day for the second year in row. Bainbridge passed pole sitter Billy Anderson for the lead on lap 9 and then drove on to victory. His teammate, Bobby Woch, was on his back bumper in the closing laps, but could not make the pass for the win. Anderson finished third with Tim Durfy and Chris Pennell rounding out the top five.
Jake Wylie of Blasdell, N.Y. picked up the win in the Race of Champions Big 10 Super Stocks. It was Wylie’s second-straight Super Stock win at Lancaster dating back to last year’s U.S. Open. Wyle passed Tommy Krawczyk for the lead on lap 9 and never looked back.
A total of 64 cars signed in for competition for the Queen City Clash. That is 24 more cars than were on hand for opening day last season. The car count was also higher than any regular season Stock Car event during the 2015 season.
Stock Car racing continues at Lancaster National Speedway on Saturday, May 7 as the Late Models join the three weekly divisions of competitions. Racing starts at 2 p.m. for the final afternoon show before Lancaster switches to its traditional Saturday night start time. It’s also “Walk the Track” day as race fans will be able to walk the ½-mile alongside their favorite drivers.
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.
Heat Winners: Neal Dietz, Jr., John Barber, Billy Burd
Feature: JAKE LYON, Neal Dietz, Jr., Billy Burd, John Barber, Mark Pennell, Tommy Catalano, Jayme Thompson, Alan Bookmiller, Sherri Hogan, Amy Catalano, Kevin Lewis, Bobby Lippa, Jr., Andy Jankowiak, Mike Ramos, Matt Druar, Dick Kluth, Tim Lewis, Mike Rogers, Scott Stolzenberg, DNS: Tim Garlock, Tim Nies, Ed Cain
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS STREET STOCKS
Heat Winners: Dave Wilson, Mark Hoch
Feature: TJ COCHRANE, Mark Hoch, Dave Wilson, Keith Flanigan, Tommy Wentland, Jerome Hruby, Dennis Londos, Trevor Pettit, Ken Maltby, Heather Weber, Jarrod Brown, Lou Carbine, Ed Culliton, Garrett Cleversley, Jim Stein
ROAMING BUFFALO 4-CYLINDERS
Heat Winners: Kevin Bainbridge, Chris Pennell
Feature: KEVIN BAINBRIDGE, Bobby Woch, Billy Anderson, Tim Durfy, Chris Pennell, Frank Prell, Howard Guthrie, Billy McNerney, Laurie Krol, Jason Anasiewicz, Jamie Woods, Dan Dressel, Jim Dauer, Joe Brunka, Zach Cleversley, Chris Bugenhagen, Rich Bartel DNS: Bob Bogner
RACE OF CHAMPIONS BIG 10 SUPER STOCK SERIES
Heat Winner: Jake Wylie
Feature: JAKE WYLIE, Tom Krawczyk, Jim Steffenhagen, Robert Fink, Bobby Schosek, Joe Mancuso. Chuck Tripp, Vern Headdrick, Ron Richter