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ANDY JANKOWIAK LEADS WIRE-TO-WIRE FOR U.S. OPEN 125 VICTORY

Heitzhaus & Sharpe repeat as U.S. Open winners 

LANCASTER, N.Y. (September 24, 2017) – Andy Jankowiak of Tonawanda, N.Y. captured the U.S. Open 125 Race of Champions Modified Series event on Sunday afternoon at Lancaster National Speedway. Jankowiak started on the pole and lead 124 of 125 laps for his first U.S. Open Modified victory and his seventh U.S. Open win overall.

“Total team effort today,” said Jankowiak, “we went out and practiced and we were fast right out of the box.” “I gotta thank my crew, I killed them today with mounting tires. We all came together as a team.”

Jankowiak was joined on the front row by Tommy Catalano to lead the 23-car field to the initial green flag. A total of 25 cars signed in at the start of the day before Tony Hanbury and Eric Beers were forced to withdraw from the event. Beers had drawn the outside pole position for the feature, but a broken rocker arm took him out of competition.

The first half of the race was dominated by Jankowiak and Catalano as the pair pulled away from the pack during a run of 66 green flag laps without a caution. Daryl Lewis, Jr., Daren Scherer and Mike Leaty settled into the rest of the top five slots.

By the halfway point of a race Jankowiak was catching a pack of lapped cars that included former U.S. Open winners Matt Hirschman and Chuck Hossfeld. Hirschman had started 11th and was leading the group of cars that were hanging on to the tail end of the lead lap. Hossfeld time trialed third fastest overall, but a mechanical problem kept him from running his heat race and he had to start at the rear of the field.

The caution flag came on lap 66 just before Jankowiak was going to put Hossfeld a lap down. Bobby Holmes spun in turn 2 to bring out the first yellow flag of the race.

This led to the entire field coming down pit road to change a tire and make adjustments. Jankowiak’s crew got him back out on the track in the lead. The big winners were Hossfeld and Hirschman as they followed Jankowiak out of the pits to move into second and third place respectively.

Hirschman eventually moved into second after a restart on lap 79 and he and Jankowiak pulled away from the field as the went into the later stages. Jankowiak then started to pull away from Hirschman as the race went past lap 100.

A couple of late cautions put the end of the race in doubt for a just little longer. The first caution came on lap 121 for a spin by Jack Ely on the frontstretch. Patrick Emerling then spun out in turn four on lap 123 to set up a green-white-checkered run to the finish.

Jankowiak would not be denied as he held on to earn his first win in the U.S. Open 125. The win gives him seven career U.S. Open victories, which ties Chuck Hossfeld for most overall wins. Jankowiak also joins Karl Hehr and Todd Hoddick as the only drivers to win U.S. Open features in three different divisions.

In victory lane, Jankowiak dedicated the win to the memory of Ted Christopher. He had a piece of duct tape in his car with the phrase “Be Ted” written on it as inspiration. “I just wanted to win this for Teddy, I don’t even think he liked me,” said Jankowiak. “It’s been an emotional time for Modified racing and just what Teddy meant to racing. I always ride around and I always try to save my tires, but TC never did that. I went out and led every single lap because that’s what TC would’ve done.”

Hirschman cruised to his second place finish in his first Modified start at Lancaster this season. Mike Leaty finished third and he gained ground on teammate Emerling for the RoC Modified Series championship. Scott Wylie and George Skora III rounded out the top five.

Dave Heitzhaus of Strykersville, N.Y. won the 30-lap Race of Champions Late Model Series feature. Heitzhaus inherited the lead on lap 14 after Ron Nurmi and Bobby Weber tangled in turn two while racing for the top spot. He then held off a late race challenge from Terry Weldy to score his second-straight U.S. Open Late Model win.

Nurmi was making his final Late Model start before hanging up his helmet in retirement. The three-time track champion started on the pole and led the first 14 laps, but he got caught up in a couple incidents to finish ninth.

Rich Sharpe of Lancaster dominated the 35-lap Advance Auto Parts Street Stock feature for his tenth win of the season. Sharpe took the lead from Mark Hoch on lap 8 and never looked back as he cruised his way to a second-straight U.S. Open victory.

A long green flag run during the second half of the race combined unseasonably hot temperatures made the race a war of attrition for several drivers. Brian Hoffman finished second followed by Andy Cryan, Garrett Cleversley and Jarrod Brown.

The conclusion of the 29th annual U.S. Open brings the X-Press Signs Stock Car Series season to a close for Lancaster National Speedway. The next event will be the annual Season Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 11.

RESULTS

RACE OF CHAMPIONS MODIFIED SERIES

Fast Qualifier: Matt Hirschman (17.077 seconds)

Heat Winners: Patrick Emerling, Matt Hirschman, Bobby Holmes

U.S. Open 125 Finish: ANDY JANKOWIAK, Matt Hirschman, Mike Leaty, Scott Wylie, George Skora III, Tyler Rypkema, Chuck Hossfeld, Daryl Lewis, Jr., Austin Kochenash, Tommy Catalano, Cam Barber, Bryan Sherwood, Daren Scherer, Jack Ely, Patrick Emerling, Amy Catalano, Bobby Holmes, John Barber, Matthew Galko, Karl Hehr, Danny Knoll, Jr., Jake Rought, Chris Ridsdale DNS: Eric Beers, Tony Hanbury

RACE OF CHAMPIONS LATE MODEL SERIES

Heat Winners: Dave Heitzhaus, Eldon King III

Feature: DAVE HEITZHAUS, Terry Weldy, Dave Rigan, Sam Fullone, Tommy Catalno, Frank Batista, Jr., Jeff Ruddy, John Julicher, Ron Nurmi, Ron Richter, Bobby Weber, Nick Crassi, Eldon King III DNS: Dave Russell

ADVANCE AUTO PARTS STREET STOCKS

Heat Winners: Eric Brown, Andy Cryan, Rich Sharpe, Brian Hoffman

Feature: RICH SHARPE, Brian Hoffman, Andy Cryan, Garrett Cleversley, Jarrod Brown, Mark Hoch, TJ Cochrane, Ken Maltby, Dave Wilson, Tim Welshans, Dave Vona, Craig Orr, Rich Pocobello, Matt Druar, Frank Prell, Scott Gleed, Steve DeCapua, Keith Flanigan, Tommy Wentland, Gino Pinto, Rick Meyers, John Carlson, Lou Carbone, Tommy Reese, Dylan Carbone, Nik Welshans, Eric Brown DNS: Jason Deiter

 PHOTOS BY JOE GRBAIANOWSKI

CHUCK HOSSFELD CAPTURES U.S. OPEN SPORTSMAN 75 FOR SECOND-STRAIGHT YEAR

Earns track record 7th career U.S. Open victory 

LANCASTER, N.Y. (September 24, 2017) – Lancaster National Speedway kicked off the competitive portion of the 29th U.S. Open weekend on Saturday night with over 100 cars pitside across four divisions. Chuck Hossfeld of Ransomville, N.Y. captured the main event of the program as he won the 75-lap Race of Champions Sunoco Sportsman feature for the second year in a row.

In other X-Press Signs Stock Car Series action, Tim Gullo of Elmira, N.Y. won the Race of Champions Super Stock feature. Kevin Bainbridge of Buffalo won the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder U.S. Open feature for the second-straight year. Dave Wollaber of Ransomville, N.Y. won the NYPA TQ Midget feature.

A total of 39 Sunoco Sportsman attempted to qualify for the 28-car starting field for round two of the Race of Champions Sportsman Series. Neal Dietz, Jr. established a track record for Sportsman cars during qualifying with a quick time of 18.174 seconds.

Sportsman rookie Jeremy Haudricourt and Kevin Miller led the field to the opening green flag. What started out as a promising night for Dietz ended very quickly as he was involved in an incident on the opening lap of the race. He returned to a few laps before dropping out on lap 8. Miller and Tommy Catalano eventually settled into the top two spots when the race restarted. Catalano took the lead from Miller on lap 5 before pulling away from the field early on.

Defending race winner Chuck Hossfeld started ninth and was on the move from the drop of the green flag. He moved up to fourth place by lap six and took over the runner-up position from Miller just five laps later.

Catalano and Hossfeld were the class of the field as they pulled away during a long green flag run through the middle stages of the event. Hossfeld took the lead from Catalano as the pair went under crossed flags to mark the halfway point of the race on lap 38. They caught lapped traffic shortly thereafter and Catalano was able to maneuver around Hossfeld and a lapped car to regain the lead on lap 49.

The 31 laps of continuous green flag racing was interrupted moments later for a spin by Owen Bednasz on lap 49. It took Hossfeld two laps after the race restarted to regain the lead on lap 51.

The biggest wreck of the feature happened on lap 69 for multi-car pileup that included Owen Bednasz, Andy Lewis and Timmy Catalano. All drivers were ok, but all three cars suffered serious damage.

Hossfeld held on through a few final restarts to win the U.S. Open Sportsman feature for a second year in a row. The victory gives him seven career U.S. Open with five in the Modifieds to go along with his two Sportsman wins. That gives Hossfeld the record for most overall U.S Open victories.

Catalano had to settle for second after leading on two separate occasions. Tyler Rypkema rebounded from an early race spin to finish third. Daryl Lewis, Jr. finished fourth. George Skora III rounded out the top five.

Joel Gleason and Joe Mancuso led the field to the green flag in the 30-lap Race of Champions Super Stock feature. The pair battled back-and-forth early on before Mancuso took control of the race.

Tim Gullo came up through the field quickly after starting in the tenth position. He had moved up the second spot by just lap 6. Mancuso and Gullo were the dominant cars for most of the race as they pulled away from the pack during the longer green flag runs.

Mancuso slipped up around lap 23 when pushed high in turn two, which allowed Gullo to take the lead. Mancuso eventually got tangled up with Gleason as the pair battled for second place with less than five laps to go.

Gullo cruised the rest of the way for this fourth RoC Super Stock win at Lancaster in 2017 and his first victory in the U.S. Open. Eric Hadley finished second followed by Tommy Reese, Terry Cheetham and TJ Cochrane.

Kevin Bainbridge captured his second straight U.S. Open win in the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders. Bainbridge started tenth and he managed to pick-and-choose his way through the field to get to the front. The race came down to catching teammate Chris Bugenhagen for the lead in the closing laps. Both cars approached lap traffic going into turn 1 on lap 22 when Bugenhagen got hung up behind a lapped car and Bainbridge drove past him on the inside to take the lead.

Bainbrdige held off Dave Brunka in the final two laps to secure his second U.S. Open win a row. Brunka finished second with Bugenhagen settling for third. Jason Anasiewicz and pole sitter Russ Hartke rounded out the top five.

Dave Wollaber captured his fifth career U.S. Open win in the NYPA TQ Midgets. Wollaber took over the lead with just seven laps to go on a daring three-wide pass between leader Kyle Hutchinson and the lapped car of Vinny Christiano, Jr. Wollaber held on to score his first U.S. Open win since 2008.

Bobby Holmes finished second followed by Hutchinson, Erik Musto and Brandon Zavarella.

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.lancasternationalspeedway.com. Additional information for racers and fans can be found on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/LancasterSpeedway) and on Twitter (@LancasterSpdwy).

RESULTS

SUNOCO SPORTSMAN

Heat Winners: Chuck Hossfeld, Neal Dietz, Jr., Kevin Miller, Tyler Rypkema

Consi winners: Timmy Catalano, Bobby Holmes

Fast qualifier: Neal Dietz, Jr. (18.174 seconds)

Feature: CHUCK HOSSFELD, Tommy Catalano, Tyler Rypkema, Daryl Lewis, Jr., George Skora III, Shawn Nye, Zack Knowlden, Jeff Brown, Joe Evans, Rusty Smith, Andy Jankowiak, Alan Bookmiller, Bobby Weber, Kevin Miller, Amy Catalano, Keith Flanigan, Owen Bednasz, Andy Lewis, Timmy Catalano, Sam Fullone, Jayme Thompson, Bobby Holmes, Sherri Hogan, Tony Hanbury, Jeremy Haudricourt, Neal Dietz, Jr., Scott Wylie, Tim Nies DNQ: Jake Lyon, Mark Pennell, Jake Vernon, Tony Carbone, Connor Sellars, Russ Gian, Justin Demelo, Jay Withey, Jr., Mike Meyers, Dave Kozlowski

RACE OF CHAMPIONS SUPER STOCKS

Heat Winners: Joel Gleason, Tim Gullo, Terry Cheetham

Feature: TIM GULLO, Eric Hadley, Tommy Reese, Terry Cheetham, TJ Cochrane, Joe Mancuso, Zach Willis, Joel Gleason, Josh Hunter, Dana Novoa, Rob Misczak, Dale Lazzaro, Shawn Frarey, Bobby Schosek, Kyle Sharpe, Ryan Lagoda, Jeff Whalen, Josh Schoonamker, Vern Hedderick DQ: Tommy Barron, Jake Wylie DNS: Mike Scott, Tommy Krawczyk

ROAMING BUFFALO 4-CYLINDERS

Heat Winners: Bobby Woch, Kenny Hejna, Dave Milbrand, Jr.

Feature: KEVIN BAINBRIDGE, Dave Brunka, Chris Bugenhagen, Jason Anasiewicz, Russ Hartke, Chris Pennell, Dan Dressel, Kenny Hejna, Dave Milbrand, Jr., Marc Scarpace, Tim Durfy, Casey Pew, Paul Flye, Mark Meyers, Michele Russo, Bob Palmer, Charles Palmer, Jr., Bob Bogner, Mark Annis, Jr., Josh Schosek, Jacob Gustafson, Nikki Maltby, Joe Brunka, Bobby Woch, Travis Murphy DNS: Bobby Hanel, Jr.

NYPA TQ MIDGETS

Heat Winners: Dave Wollaber, Bobby Holmes

Feature: DAVE WOLLABER, Bobby Holmes, Kyle Hutchinson, Erik Musto, Brandon Zavarella, Andy Nye, Tommy Catalano, AJ Hessler, Mark Schulz, Jonathan Reid, Chad Haywood, Vinny Christiano III, Vinny Christiano, Jr., Tony Patrea, Jim Fleischman, Dan Dressel, Jamie Pew, Kevin Wilson, Patrick Smith, Ryan Hessler, Sean McNamara

ATTACHED PHOTOS BY JOE GRABIANOWSKI

LANCASTER SPEEDWAY READY TO CLOSE OUT 2017 SEASON WITH THIS WEEKEND’S U.S. OPEN

Hundreds of racers, thousands of fans expected during 3-day event

LANCASTER, N.Y. (September 19, 2017) – Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway will close the curtain on the 2017 X-Press Signs Stock Car Series season with this weekend’s U.S. Open. This three-day event is in its 29th year and has become the area’s most popular racing event of the season with racers and fans.

Over 150 race teams from all over the Northeast are expected to compete across the seven divisions of racing this weekend, including the Race of Champions (RoC) Modified Series, Sunoco Sportsman, Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks, RoC Late Model Series, RoC Super Stock Series, Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders and NYPA TQ Midgets.

“The U.S. Open is Lancaster’s biggest event of the season, with great racing and tons of fans having fun in the stands and camping area,” said Tim Packman, Track President. “With the forecast of summer-like weather for this weekend, this could be our biggest one ever.”

Western New York’s Racing Finale kicks off on Friday night, September 22, with the traditional practice session and U.S. Open Kickoff Party. Pit gates open and inspection begins at 4 p.m. with practice for all divisions taking place from 6-9:30. The grandstand gates will open at 5:30, and fans will be allowed to enter for free to watch practice.

Immediately after practice the main concourse will come to life with the U.S. Open Kickoff Party. Buffalo’s premier retro band, Disco Duck, will be playing live music starting at 9:30 p.m., just outside of the 12 Gates Brewing Beer Stand.

Saturday’s racing action will be headlined by the 75 lap main event for the Sunoco Sportsman. The top Sportsman teams from across the region will do battle against Lancaster’s weekly regulars to make the starting grid for one of the most prestigious races for Sportsman Modifieds. This event is also a part of the Race of Champions Sportsman Series, which kicked off its schedule last Friday at the Delaware (Ontario) Speedway.

The Race of Champions Super Stocks, Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders and NYPA TQ Midgets will also run their heats and features on Saturday. Pit gates open at 12:30 p.m. with practice starting at 2. Front gates will also open at 2 p.m. with qualifying beginning at 4:30.

The Race of Champions Modified Series takes center stage on Sunday with the running of the 29th annual U.S. Open 125. This race is the biggest of the year for Modified racing in Western New York and is the penultimate event of the RoC Series season.

The Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks and Race of Champions Late Models fill out the program on Sunday afternoon. Both highly competitive divisions will have stacked fields going after the chance to add their name to the U.S. Open trophy.

Pit gates open on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. with practice beginning and front gates opening at 12 noon. Heat racing starts at 2 p.m.

Free camping is available all weekend in the Speedway parking lot.

The full schedule of events and information on ticket pricing can be found on the U.S. Open event page on the Lancaster National Speedway website.

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.lancasternationalspeedway.com. Additional information for racers and fans can be found on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/LancasterSpeedway) and on Twitter (@LancasterSpdwy).

29th ANNUAL U.S. OPEN BY THE NUMBERS:

29: This is the 29th annual U.S. Open event. It was started in 1989 by the late Alex Friesen to create a major end-of-season event at the facility. It was his vision that made the Open into what it is today.

345: There will be 345 laps of feature racing action among the seven divisions of competition.

22: The numbers of years between U.S. Open wins for Dave Heitzhaus of Strykersville, N.Y. Heitzhaus won the Late Model feature last year to give him his first Open victory since 1994 when he won the Late Model Pro Stock for the third time in seven years.

22 (part 2): 22 different drivers have won the U.S. Open Super Stock feature. There was only one repeat in the first 20 years of the event. In 2016, Mike Nichols won the race for the second time in his career. Jay Mudra has won the race three times for the most all-time wins.

6: The record for most career U.S. Open feature wins is six, which is held by four drivers. Chuck Hossfeld became the latest driver to reach that mark last year when he won the Sunoco Sportsman U.S. Open feature to go along with his five Modified titles.

2: A pair of drivers have won U.S. Open features in three different divisions. Karl Hehr won the inaugural Late Model (then Super Stock) feature in 1989, he won the Sportsman race in 1995 and then scored what might be the most popular win in the event’s history when he captured the 2002 Modified feature. Todd Hoddick accomplished the feat more recently with wins in the Super Stock (1999), Late Model (2007) and Sportsman (2009) features.

2005: The year Eric Beers of Northampton, PA won the U.S. Open 125. Beers will retun to Lancaster for the first time in several years this weekend to attempt to win his second. His Delange Racing teammate, Jack Ely of Wall, N.J., will make his Lancaster debut as well.

13: In 2015, Terry Weldy (Street Stock) and Bobby Hanel, Jr. (4-Cylinders) both got their first U.S. Open wins in 13 years. Both drivers had last won at the 2002 edition of the event with Weldy winning the Super Stock race and Hanel victorious in the Street Stocks.

$61,485: That is the total posted purse to be paid out among the seven divisions. The total does not include any lap money or other bonuses to be paid out.

407: The number of miles Matt Galko will travel from Meriden, CT to drive the Kluth Motorsports Modified in the U.S. Open 125 in his first Lancaster start.

ATTACHED PHOTO BY JOE GRABIANOWSKI

LNS0919-1: Patrick Emerling takes the checkered flag in the 2016 U.S. Open 125