Andy Jankowiak, Ryan Lagoda, Dave Wollaber, and Kevin Bainbridge Win Saturday Portion of US Open

By: Steven Petty

Photo Kristen Ruble Photography

LANCASTER, NY (September 11, 2021) …Andy Jankowiak from Tonawanda, NY held off Jimmy Zacharias and George Skora III to claim his ninth victory during the 33rd US Open Weekend at NYIRP at Lancaster Speedway and Dragway on Saturday night. For the second-generation driver, it was also his 24th career Sportsman win at Lancaster. Ryan Lagoda from Middleport, NY won his second Super Stock feature of the season. Dave Wollaber from North Tonawanda, NY won the Jerry Gradl Motors NYPA TQ Midget feature event for his second victory of the season. It was also Wollaber’s sixth career triumph during US Open Weekend, and 30th career TQ Midget win at Lancaster. Kevin Bainbridge from Amherst, NY won the 4 Cylinder feature. 

Andy Jankowiak and Tony Carbone was on the front row for the Sportsman feature event, with Jankowiak showing eth way over Camden Barber, Carbone, Blake Barney, and Tom MacLeod racing in the top five. Todd Lorenzo slowed on the back straightaway to bring out the race’s first caution on lap three. On the restart, Jankowiak would take off over Barber, with Carbone being challenged and would be passed by Blake Barney to move into third place. Following a Neal Dietz Jr spin on lap eight, Jankowiak would once again take off over Barber and Barney, with Jimmy Zacharias, and Carbone racing in the top five with George Skora III running in the sixth position. Barney would battle with Barber for second off a lap 13 restart, as Skora and Mike Fiebelkorn Jr moved into fifth and sixth respectively. Zacharias would move into third place on lap 18, as Jankowiak and Barney pulled away from the field. The leaders would hit lap traffic with 20 laps remaining. Tony Carbone would bring out the caution on lap 31, setting up a restart with Jankowiak and Barney on the front row. Jimmy Zacharias would take over second and Skora would work into third with 17 laps remaining. Timmy Lewis Jr would work into the top ten after starting 23rd and Jake Vernon did as well after starting 20th on the grid. Skora and Zacharias would battle for second with Barney right behind, Jankowiak would hold off Zacharias and Skora to claim the victory.  

Joe Mancuso and Tim Welshans brought the Super Stocks to the green flag for their 31-lap tribute to Gene Stevenson with Mancuso showing the way. Mancuso would start to pull away from the field as Eric Brown raced in second. Ryan Lagoda would take over second from Brown and would quickly reel in Mancuso. Mancuso’s strong run would end on lap ten as the motor blew entering turn three. On the restart, Josh Hunter would challenge Lagoda for the lead, as Travis Montgomery moved into third place and would challenge Hunter for second place. Montgomery would take over second with ten laps remaining. Montgomery started dead last on the field after changing transmissions after practice earlier in the afternoon.  

Dave Wollaber and Vinnie Christiano III brought the Jerry Gradl Motors NYPA Midgets to the green flag for their feature event with Wollaber showing the way. After a lap one caution for a spinning Andy Nye, Kyle Hutchinson quickly moved into the top three after starting seventh on the grid. Hutchinson would then take over second place and would go after Wollaber for the lead. Andy Jankowiak would move into fourth place on lap seven. Wollaber would pull away from Hutchinson to earn his sixth career US Open weekend victory, and 30th career win in a TQ Midget at Lancaster.

Casey Pew and Kevin Bainbridge was on the front row for the 25-lap 4 Cylinder feature event with Pew in the lead with Bainbridge, Russ Bulger Jr, Kyle Casper, and Dan Dressel in the top five. Russ Bulger spun in turn four to bring out the caution on lap three, as Bainbridge and Casper made contact. Pew would lead Dressel on the restart, as track champion David Brunka took over second on lap five. Dressel would regain the second position on lap eight and would challenge Pew for the lead, as Charles Palmer, Brunka, and Bainbridge raced in the top five. Brunka would regain the runner up position with ten laps remaining and would challenge Pew for the lead. The duo would make contact with two laps remaining, giving the lead to Bainbridge. Bainbridge would go on to pick up the victory, his first of the season.  

The Saturday portion of the US Open began with a patriotic ceremony to remember, honor, and reflect on the events that took place recently in Afghanistan, but the events of September 11, 2001. The American Legion Post 362 from East Aurora’s color guard presented our nation’s colors and American Idol contestant Jocelyn Grimaldi performing the national anthem. The speedway also remembered longtime team owner and friend of the speedway Gene Stevenson by having his Sportsman entry campaigned by Tony Carbone lead the field in a salute to Gene, with the missing man formation.

Day two of the 33rd edition of the US Open Weekend will take place on Sunday, September 12. The Tour-Type Modifieds return and will take center stage for the US Open 125. The Late Models and Street Stocks will also be on the card. Pit gates will open at 9:00 am, grandstands open at 12 noon, and racing will get underway at 1:30 pm. Grandstand admission will be $30 for adults, students 8-12 $10, and kids aged 7 and under will be admitted FREE.

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SPORTSMAN: ANDY JANKOWIAK, Jimmy Zacharias, George Skora III, Blake Barney, Camden Barber, Mike Fiebelkorn Jr, TJ Potrzebowski, Shawn Nye, Timmy Lewis, Jake Vernon, Scott Wylie, Bobby Hanel Jr, Tom MacLeod, Joe Evans, Tony Carbone, Neal Dietz Jr, Todd Lorenzo, Neil Hopkins, Bobby Weber, Mark Pennell, Chris Ridsdale, Gary Noe, Jay Withey Jr, Kyle Hutchinson

Qualifying Heats: Shawn Nye, Neal Dietz Jr, Tony Carbone

SUPER STOCKS: RYAN LAGODA, Travis Montgomery, Josh Hunter, Nik Welshans, Eric Hadley, Tim Welshans, Paul Godby,Eric Brown, Joe Mancuso

Qualifying Heat: Ryan Lagoda

JERRY GRADL MOTORS NYPA TQ MIDGETSDAVE WOLLABER, Kyle Hutchinson, Mark Schulz, Brian Schulz, Andy Nye, Moose Rutherford, Vinnie Christiano III, Erik Musto, Vinnie Christiano Jr, Arik McGruder, Kevin Wilson, Chet Haywood, Adam Brown, Ronnie Flaim, Andy Jankowiak, Jonathan Reid

Qualifying Heats: Andy Nye, Kyle Hutchinson

4 CYLINDERSKEVIN BAINBRIDGE, Casey Pew, Charles Palmer, Dan Dressel, Tim Durfy, Russ Bulger Sr, Matt Friend, Ryan Lent, David Brunka, Russ Bulger Jr, Kyle Casper, Mason Offhaus

Qualifying Heats: Charles Palmer, Dan Dressel