PATRICK EMERLING COMPLETES MODIFIED SEASON SWEEP
AT LANCASTER WITH U.S. OPEN 125 WIN
Heitzhaus & Sharpe Collect U.S. Open Victories
Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. completed a season sweep of the Race
of Champions Modified Series events at Lancaster National Speedway
with his win in the 28th annual U.S. Open 125 on Sunday afternoon.
Emerling passed teammate Mike Leaty with eight laps to go to secure
his first career U.S. Open win. It was his fourth Modified win at
Lancaster in 2016 as he won the Queen City Clash 75, Olí Boy Cup 60
and the Tommy Druar/Tony Jankowiak Memorial 110 earlier this season.
In other action on day three of the 28th annual U.S. Open weekend,
Dave Heitzhaus of Strykersville, N.Y. won the 30-lap X-Press Signs
Late Model feature presented by Abbott Rd Pizza. Rich Sharpe of
Lancaster, N.Y. was victorious in the 35-lap Advance Auto Parts
Street Stock feature.
A field of 26 Race of Champions took the green flag in Lancasterís
biggest and longest race of the season. Daryl Lewis, Jr. and Mike
Leaty started on the front row with Lewis taking the lead on the
initial lap of the race.
Leaty ran second to Lewis throughout the opening laps of the race,
but he gave up the track position on lap 27 to pit for a new right
rear tire under caution.
The pit stop by Leaty moved Chuck Hossfeld to second place. The
five-time U.S. Open winner started fourth in the field. Hossfeld
didnít waste any time when the green flag waved again as he passed
Lewis for the lead on lap 32.
Hossfeld controlled the race through a long green flag run that took
the race up to lap 55. The yellow flag waved for the fourth time
when Andy Lewis spun out in turn one to halt the race after 24
consecutive green flag laps. That signaled pit stops for the
majority of the field with most of the top ten cars coming in to
Emerling won the race off pit road while Hossfeld had a much longer
stop as the crew checked on a possible engine issue.
Tyler Rypkema took over the race lead as he stayed out. Rypkema was
followed by Bryan Sherwood, Lee Sharpsteen, Chris Ridsdale and Mike
With Leaty already making his pit stop, he quickly worked his way to
the front of the field. He moved back into the runner-up position on
Emerling also worked his way back to the front as he led the charge
of cars that pitted on lap 59. By lap 88 he was up to third behind
Rypkema and Leaty.
Leaty edged Rypkema at the start/finish line for the lead on lap 100
just before the yellow flag came out again, this time for a crash by
Andy Jankowiak. Emerling moved past Rypkema for second when the race
resumed, putting the teammates in the top two spots.
Defending U.S. Open winner, Matt Hirschman, had a relatively quiet
day as he started 12th and wasnít much of a factor early on in the
race. He finally made his presence felt during the final 20 laps.
The four-time U.S. Open winner moved into the top five around lap
104. He then landed in third place just six laps later.
On lap 117, Emerling worked underneath his teammate, Leaty, going
through turns 1 and 2 to take over the lead. Two laps later
Hirschman was able to pass Leaty for second.
Hirschman tried to chase down Emerling in the closing laps, but he
was unable to close on the leader. Emerling crossed the finish line
first for his first U.S. Open win and seventh win of the season on
the Race of Champions Modified Series trail in 2016.
Hirschman settled for second in his first start of the year at
Lancaster. Leaty finished third followed by Hossfeld and George
Skora III. Rypkema fell to sixth after leading much of the second
half of the race. Erick Rudolph made his first asphalt Modified
start in two years in the Booker Motorsports #40 and finished
seventh. Daryl Lewis, Jr., Daren Scherer and T.J. Potrzebowski
completed the top ten.
Dave Heitzhaus was awarded the X-Press Signs Late Model feature win
after unofficial winner Bobby Weber was disqualified in post-race
inspection. Heitzhaus lined up second alongside Weber at the start
of the 30-lap main event, but he spun out in turn one just after
completing the first lap of the race.
Heitzhaus worked his way back through the field to edge Eldon King
III for second place by raceís end. He earned his fourth career U.S.
Open win with three previous wins in the Late Model Pro Stocks. King
was credited with second place. Tommy Catalano, Terry Weldy and Nick
Crassi completed the top five.
Rich Sharpe won the Advance Auto Parts Street Stock U.S. Open
feature for the second time in three years. Sharpe started third and
passed Trevor Pettit on the raceís third lap to secure the lead for
Sharpe had to hold off 2016 track champion, Dave Wilson, in the
closing laps to earn the victory. Wilson finished second with Pettit
in third. Ken Maltby and Mark Hoch completed the top five. A total
of 32 cars attempted to qualify for the 28-car starting field.
A scary incident took place on lap 22 when Jim Bryant hit the end of
the inside retaining wall on the front straightaway. Bryantís car
hit the tire that protects the end of the wall to send it airborne.
The car did a flip in the air before landing on its roof. Thankfully
Byrant walked away from the accident.
A total of 184 race cars took part in the 28th annual U.S. Open
weekend. While wet weather hampered Friday nightís practice session,
there was gorgeous sunny conditions for racing on Saturday and
Sunday. The parking lot was full both days with over 140 campers in
the Camping World Village.
Track president Tim Packman announced the 2017 stock car season at
Lancaster will open on Saturday, April 22. The Race of Champions
Modified Series will once again have four dates at Lancaster with
the Queen City Clash on Saturday, April 29, the third annual Olí Boy
Cup 60 on Thursday, June 29, the 28th annual Tommy Druar/Tony
Jankowiak Memorial 110 on Saturday, August 19 and the 29th annual
U.S. Open weekend September 22-24.
Packman also announced that the International Supermodified
Association (ISMA) will return to Lancaster on Saturday, June 3. The
exciting winged ISMA Supermodifieds havenít raced at the facility
since 2003. The ISMA series hosted its first ever race at Lancaster
back in 1974.
The U.S. Open marks the end of the 2016 stock car season at
Lancaster National Speedway. The season awards banquet will be held
on Saturday, November 12 at the Variety Club Banquet Hall on
Broadway in Lancaster.
The final event of the year Lancaster will be the season finale for
the Francoís Pizza IHRA Drag Racing program this Friday, September
RACE OF CHAMPIONS MODIFIED SERIES
Heat Winners: Patrick Emerling, Chuck Hossfeld, Daren Scherer
U.S. Open 125 Finish: PATRICK EMERLING, Matt Hirschman, Mike
Leaty, Chuck Hossfeld, George Skora III, Tyler Rypkema, Erick
Rudolph, Daryl Lewis, Jr., Daren Scherer, T.J. Potrzebowski, Cam
Barber, Tommy Catalano, Amy Catalano, Andy Lewis, Matt Alix, Karl
Hehr, Kirk Totten, Calvin Carroll, Tommy Rought, Lee Sharpsteen,
Jeff Hamman, Bryan Sherwood, Chris Ridsdale, Andy Jankowiak, Rusty
Smith, Keith Flanigan
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS STREET STOCKS
Heat Winners: Brian Hoffman, Mark Hoch, Rich Sharpe, Jim Bryant
Consi Winner: Eric Brown
Feature: RICH SHARPE, Dave Wilson, Trevor Pettit, Ken Maltby,
Mark Hoch, Zach Myers, Eric Brown, Kris Hamman, Nik Welshans, Kris
Hamman, Keith Flanigan, Andy Cryan, Lou Carbone, Don Sitarski,
Jarrod Brown, Matt Fleming, Jim Mallaber, Heather Weber, Gary
Bartella, Alex Morris, Rick Ortwein, Jr., Justin Myers, Dave Vina,
Rob Pocobello, Brian Hoffman, Jim Bryant, Tommy Wentland DNS:
Jerry Kosmowski DNQ: Ed Culliton, Jeff Whalen, Anton
Anderson, Mike Scott
X-PRESS SIGNS LATE MODELS PRESENTED BY
ABBOTT RD PIZZA
Heat Winners: Bobby Weber, Dave Rigan
Feature: DAVE HEITZHAUS, Eldon King III, Tommy Catalano,
Terry Weldy, Nick Crassi, Dave Whittaker, Bill Osborn, Bob
Minacappelli, Jeff Ruddy, Ron Richter, Frank Batista, Jr., Scott
Nurmi, Sam Fullone, Ron Nurmi DQ: Bobby Weber DNS:
Dave Buchanan /
Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway
September 25, 2016