Category Archives: Lancaster National Speedway


Race of Champions management ready to continue relationship based on communication & resolution

ELMA, NY (January 1, 2020) — Since the completion of the 2019 US Open at New York International Raceway Park, home to Lancaster National Speedway, Race of Champions management has continued its attempts to resolve issues with the facility. 

To date finances for purse money due to Race of Champions have still not been paid in full, to date, and caused delayed payouts to various teams that raced that weekend (September 13, 14 and 15, 2019). The continued delays by track management not meeting terms agreed upon with the Race of Champions. Due to these circumstances Race of Champions management has opted to suspend its partnership with New York International Raceway Park, home to Lancaster National Speedway until a resolution has been reached. 

The Race of Champions has paid the teams in full that participated in the event utilizing monies from Race of Champions operational funds.

“There was a meeting with speedway management after the event and the season was completed to address concerns and the terms which were previously agreed upon,” stated Joe Skotnicki, Race of Champions, owner. “It got to the point where we wanted to get teams paid and had to use some of our operational funding to accomplish this. We recognized the time gap of payment was unfair to the competitors who had not received the purse money that was due to them.”

Race of Champions management is open to discussion and would consider all options regarding all racing related items once payment is reconciled and correspondence resumes.

“I would like to work things out with the speedway, however, misinformation and speculation by racers, sponsors and fans is misleading and confusing.” Skotnicki continued, “Race of Champions wants to open all lines of communication with New York Raceway International Park and to communicate to all what is truly taking place, create a resolution, and move forward.”

Race of Champions management will provide updates in regard to this situation as progress is made.

The Race of Champions is a sanctioning body presenting Modified and Stock Car racing on asphalt and dirt surfaces throughout the Northeast, with events in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey with primary marketing partners Hoosier Racing Tire, VP Racing Fuels, US Army, Upstate Automotive Group, Waddell Communications, Pilat Graphic Design, Jerico TDH Refrigeration, Sherwood Racing Wheels, and The 70th annual Race of Champions weekend will take place in 2020 at Lake Erie Speedway in North East, Pennsylvania and is the second longest consecutive auto-racing event in North America, second only to the Indianapolis 500.


Janis, Antonicelli, DeLaney & Salemi inducted into Wall of Fame

LANCASTER, N.Y. (December 7, 2019) – Lancaster Dragway @ New York International Raceway Park (NYIRP) honored the efforts its competitors and teams during the 2019 season on Friday night during the annual awards banquet. 

The Variety Club Banquet Hall in Lancaster was the venue for the sold out affair that recognized track champions, award winners and the induction of the 2019 class of the Lancaster Dragway Wall of Fame.

Topping the list of 2019 track champions was Mallare Trucking Top ET champion Jan Winkowski of Cheektowaga, N.Y. WInkowski has piloted his “Lunatic Fringe” Chevrolet Nova 31 seasons at Lancaster, but never won a title until this season.

Reid Ricketson of Darien Center, N.Y. claimed his second Gianna Mazia’s Mod ET track title out of the last three seasons. Ricketson piled up four class wins while en route to the championship.

In Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds, Lucas Salemi of Amherst, N.Y. won his second career track championship. Salemi and Mike Peters battled all season long with each driver winning five times in 2019, but Salemi prevailed in the points race.

Donny “DJ” Raiser claimed his first track in 24 years by taking top honors in Tread City Tire Street. Raiser, a member of the Lancaster Dragway Wall of Fame, won three times in Street this year.

PJ Marston claimed his first ever Jr. Dragster track title in 2019 during our Tuesday Night racing program.

The fourth ever class of the Lancaster Dragway Wall of Fame was inducted during the ceremonies. Leading the 2019 class was NYIRP track owner, car builder and former racer Vito Antonicelli. Antonicelli and his wife Sylvia, along with Mike Swinarski, purchased the racing facility just weeks before the start of the 2019 racing season. 

Joining Antonicelli was racer and contributor Mike Janis. Janis got his start racing at Lancaster and has gone on to win Pro Modified World Championships in both NHRA and IHRA. He is also the owner of Jan-Cen Racing Engines and Jan-Cen Motorsports, which is located in Elma, N.Y. Jan-Cen builds engines for racers around the world.

The third member of the 2019 class was former racer and graphic designer Den DeLaney. DeLaney competed for a number of years at Lancaster, but is best known for his artwork. Dan “The Sign Man” DeLaney has designed and hand painted numerous race cars that have competed around the country.

The final inductee into the Wall of Fame was former racer and car builder Jim Salemi. Salemi owns and operates G-Force Racing Cars, which is an industry leader in building “doorslammer” style drag racing cars. Salemi is also the father of Bikes & Sleds champion Lucas Salemi.

A few individuals were also recognized for their efforts during the 2019 season with specialty awards. Wayne Cleveland was honored as the Sportsman of the Year. Diane Frank received the Libby Gaymon Award for her support of the Bracket Finals team that traveled to Pittsburgh this past September. Top ET racer Ann Marie Nugent was given the Most Improved Driver Award. She was the only driver to rack up two wins in Top this season.

With the 2019 season now in the books the staff and management of NYIRP will reflect on their first season as the stewards of Lancaster Dragway & Speedway during the holiday and Christmas season, and then turn their attention to preparing for 2020. The NYIRP ownership group thanks the Western New York racing community for their support during these past months, and looks forward to continuing the tradition of racing at Lancaster.


Patrick Emerling wins U.S. Open 125 at Lancaster Speedway

LANCASTER, N.Y. (September 15, 2019) – Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. won the 31st annual U.S. Open 125 Race of Champions Modified Series event on Sunday afternoon at Lancaster Speedway @ New York International Raceway Park. It was the second career U.S. Open win for Emerling, after winning the event back in 2016. 

In supporting action from the final day of the U.S. Open, Eldon King III of Freedom, N.Y. won the Race of Champions Late Model Series feature. Rich Sharpe of Lancaster won the U.S. Open Street Stock feature for a fourth-straight year, and for the fifth time in the last six years. 

Andy Jankowiak and Timmy Catalano led the field of 24 Modifieds to the opening green flag of the U.S. Open 125. Jankowiak led the opening lap before giving way to Catalano. Catalano controlled the pace through the first 20 laps of the event. The yellow flag was displayed for the first time on lap 20 when Chris Ridsdale spun. 

Mike Leaty started fourth after setting fast time in qualifying and winning his heat race. He moved into second behind Catalano when the race restarted on lap 27, and then took the lead on the following restart 11 laps later. 

Catalano did not let Leaty get away without a fight, however, as he chased Leaty for 15 laps before recapturing it on lap 53. His brother, Tommy Catalano, was running third until a mechanical issue took him out contention on lap 57. The caution flag was displayed again when Catalano stopped on the race track, which set off the first round of pit stops. Timmy Catalano, Emerling, Jankowiak, Scott Wylie and Owen Bednasz were among the ten cars that decided to pit. 

Leaty was handed back the lead as Catalano made his pit visit. He was joined at the front of the field by Eric Beers, Matt Hirschman, George Skora III and TJ Potrzebowski when the race restarted just after the halfway point. 

The misfortune for the Catalano family continued on lap 76 when Amy Catalano stopped on the track with an issue to bring out the yellow flag again. Leaty and Skora came to the pits during this caution period, which gave the lead to Beers and moved Hirschman to second. 

Hirschman, the defending and five-time U.S. Open winner, didn’t waste time on the restart as he took off when the green flag came back out to take the lead from Beers. It looked like Hirschman could be on his way to a sixth win on lap 87 when Chuck Hossfeld and Timmy Catalano made contact in turn one to signal the final caution period of the race. Hirschman and Beers pitted at this time to try and set themselves up for about a 30-lap dash through the field.

Emerling inherited the lead when Hirschman and Beers made their stops, which were the final two cars in the field to pit. Jankowiak lined up second followed by Hossfeld, Kevin Miller and Timmy Catalano. 

The race restarted with 31 laps to go, amd Emerling and Jankowiak took off from the field as they turn things into a two car battle for the win. Jankowiak appeared to have the stronger car early in the stretch run as he pressed Emerling especially on the outside through turns one and two. Emerling ran that outside line to block the advances of Jankowiak. 

Emerling began to pull away in the final 15 laps as Jankowiak’s car started to fade. He pulled out to over a one second advantage as Emerling worked through lapped traffic. Emerling cruised to the checkered flag for his second win in the U.S. Open 125. His victory, combined with a second place run in Friday’s Tommy Druar/Tony Jankowiak Memorial 110, has allowed Emerling to close within two points of Jankowiak for the RoC Modified Series points lead. 

Jankowiak finished second after a strong showing. Leaty came home third to give his L2 Autosport team two cars in the top three. Hirschman finished fourth after his strategy to pit late did not go as well as he had hoped. He got hung up in traffic, and wasn’t able to move through the field until very late. Chuck Hossfeld finished fifth in what could be his final U.S. Open start as he has announced he will retire from driving full-time at the end of this season. 

Eldon King III held off Danny Knoll, Jr. to clinch his first win RoC Late Model Series win at the U.S. Open. King took the lead from Terry Weldy on lap four, and then survived 29 lap green flag run to the finish to pick up the win. Knoll was right on King’s tail throughout most of the race, but was unable to overtake him. Weldy finished third behind King and Knoll. Dave Whittaker and Bobby Weber rounded out the top five. 

Rich Sharpe continued his domination of the Street Stocks at the U.S. Open as he won for the fifth time in six years. Sharpe did have his work cut out for him, however, as he started 12th in the 24-car field. 

Nik Welshans and Chris Powers led the field to green, and Welshans took the lead at the drop of the green flag. Welshans held the lead until lap 16 when Mike Scott drove between him and a lapped car down the front straightaway to take over first place. 

The start of the Street Stock feature went caution free for the first 17 laps until Brian Hoffman spun out in turn two. Rain began to fall during the caution period, which caused about a 30 minute delay to dry the track. 

When the rain stopped and the race resumed, Sharpe moved into second place behind Scott followed by Nik and Tim Welshans and Tommy Wentland. Debris on the track brought the yellow flag out again on lap 21. Sharpe lined up on the front row with Scott on the restart, and he took over the lead when the race went back to green. 

Sharpe drove away for the final eight laps to pick up his fourth win in a row at the U.S. Open. Scott held on to finish second followed by Tim and Nik Welshans and Wentland rounding out the top five. 

The U.S. Open brings an end to the 2019 Stock Car season at Lancaster Speedway. The NYIRP ownership group and the Race of Champions have already announced that they will be working together again to present a schedule of stock car events in 2020. The 32nd annual U.S. Open will take place September 11-13, 2020. The full schedule will be released in November. 



Fast Qualifier: Mike Leaty – 17.041 seconds

Heat Winners: Mike Leaty, Andy Jankowiak, Patrick Emerling

U.S. Open 125 Finish: PATRICK EMERLING, Andy Jankowiak, Mike Leaty, Matt Hirschman, Chuck Hossfeld, George Skora III, Eric Beers, Timmy Catalano, Kevin Miller, Owen Bednasz, Scott Wylie, Tyler Rypkema, Daren Scherer, Amy Catalano, Dan Majchrzak, T.J. Potrzebowski, Chris Ridsdale, Austin Beers, Tommy Catalano, Daryl Lewis, Jr., Mark Tychoniewicz, Dave DiPietro, Jake Rought, Andy Lewis


Heat Winners: Terry Weldy, Eldon King III

Finish: ELDON KING III, Danny Knoll, Jr., Terry Weldy, Dave Whittaker, Bobby Weber, Dave Heitzhaus, Tommy Catalano, Sam Fullone, Ron Richter, Jeremy Haudricourt, Frank Batista, Dave Rigan


Heat Winners: Rich Sharpe, Lou Carbone, Mike Scott

Feature: RICH SHARPE, Mike Scott, Tim Welshans, Nik Welshans, Tommy Wentland, Chris Powers, Brian Hoffman, Tyler Day, Mike Dalfonso, Lou Carbone, Jim Dauer, Frank Prell, Scott Gleed, Garrett Cleversley, Scott Chaplin, Scott Soos, Mike Rogers, Bob Palmer, Michele Russo, Max Northem, Wes Labar, Ken Maltby, Jay Canonico DNS: Dylan Carbone