LANCASTER, N.Y. — official RoC release — Joe Grabianowski photo —
Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. swept the open-wheeled divisions at Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway on Saturday night as he captured the Race of Champions Modified Series “Queen City Clash 75” and the 35-lap Sunoco Sportsman feature. Emerling had to hold off Chuck Hossfeld in both races to earn the dual checkered flags.
The Race of Champions Modified Series made its first appearance of the season at Lancaster with 24 cars in the pits. John Wilber and Brian DeFebo led the field to the initial green flag for the Queen City Clash 75. Wilber grabbed the early lead, but DeFebo would keep close tabs on him early in the race.
DeFebo ducked under Wilber off of turn four on lap 16 to take over the lead. Shortly after that Emerling moved into the second spot after he started fourth.
The first 22 laps of the race went caution free, but Daryl Lewis, Jr. would bring out the yellow flag on lap 22 when he spun out in turn two. The yellow flag flew again on lap 26 when Austin Kochenash stopped on the backstretch with a mechanical issue. Emerling took the lead from DeFebo on the ensuing restart from the outside of the front row.
By this point Chuck Hossfeld had made his way up to third place. Hossfeld set quick time during time trials with a lap time of 16.651 seconds, which established a new track record at Lancaster. He won his heat race, but redrew 12th for the main event. Hossfeld passed DeFebo for second just before halfway, and then he looked to go after Emerling.
Hossfeld chased Emerling around the Lancaster ½-mile oval for the second half of the race, but could not find a way around the leader. Emerling poured it on in the closing laps as he ran his fastest lap of the race on lap 73 of 75 and crossed the finish line ahead of Hossfeld by three-quarters of a second.
Emerling earned second career win Modified win at Lancaster and his second in a row on the Race of Champions circuit. Hossfeld settled for second. Jimmy Zacharias completed the podium after starting fifth. Tyler Rypkema and Mike Leaty rounded out the top five.
In the Sunoco Sportsman feature, Emerling would start last in the 24-car field after a post heat race altercation with John Barber. He gained some positions early in the race when a lap one pileup in turn one involved nearly half of the field.
Hossfeld started seventh and passed pole-sitter Tommy Catalano for the lead on lap 9. Shortly after that there was a multi-car pileup on the frontstretch. Mike Ramos hit the wall hard and suffered the worst damage out of the five cars involved.
When racing resumed Hosseld was leading with Emerling running fifth. Emerling picked his way to the front and was up to second by lap 15. One lap later he ran to the outside of the leader in turn two and Hossfeld went up the track to throw the block. Emerling ducked low went as Hossfeld went high and passed “The Hotshoe” for the lead as they exited the turn.
Emerling appeared to develop a push as the race wore on, which gave Hossfeld a glimmer of hope. He was all over Emerling in the closing laps, but Emerling held on for his second-straight Sunoco Sportsman win at Lancaster.
Billy Burd recorded his third-straight top three finish with a third place run. Mike Fiebelkorn, Jr. and Neal Dietz, Jr. rounded out of the top five.
The pair of victories extended a hot streak for Emerling that has seen him take the win in his last four starts overall. He won the Sportsman feature at Lancaster on May 7, and then won on the RoC Modified race at Oswego on May 14 before sweeping the open-wheeled classes.
Dave Wilson was credited with the win in the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks after unofficial winner, TJ Cochrane, was disqualified in post-race inspection. That makes three different winners in three races for the Street Stocks. Dennis Londos finished second followed by Mark Hoch, Tommy Wentland and Keith Flanigan.
The NYPA TQ Midgets made their first visit to Lancaster’s ¼-mile inner oval. Dave Wollaber picked up the win in the 20-lap feature. Wollaber passed Kyle Hutchinson for the lead on lap 3 and never looked back. Hutchinson finished second. Bobby Holmes, Andy Nye and Erik Musto rounded out the top five.
Kevin Bainbridge won his third Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder feature in a row. Bainbridge started last after missing the heat race because he was attending his daughter’s dance recital. He passed Bobby Hanel for the lead on lap 18 of 25 to score the win. Bainbridge remains undefeated in 2016.
Lancaster National Speedway’s stock car program will take off for the Memorial Day weekend, but will be back in action on Saturday, June 4. That is First Responders night at Lancaster with all police, fire and EMT personnel receiving $5 admission with valid ID. The RoC Big 10 Super Stocks join Lancaster’s three weekly home track classes on the race card.
CREDIT: Race of Champions Modified Tour PR