Story By: DAVE BUCHANAN / LANCASTER SPEEDWAY – LANCASTER, NY – History will be made when the green flag waves at Lancaster National Speedway on Thursday, June 28 for the fourth annual Ol’ Boy Cup 60 Bill Colton Memorial presented by Thermal Foams. It will mark the 250th race in the history of the Race of Champions (RoC) Modified Series as well as the 50th time the RoC Series will compete at Lancaster.
This year’s edition of the Ol’ Boy Cup will take place just four days shy of the 24th anniversary of the first-ever RoC race held at Lancaster on July 2, 1994. That event, the NYS 150, was just the third race in the history of the series originally known as the New York State Modified Series. Modified legend Rick Fuller of Auburn, MA won the inaugural NYS 150 for his second career victory at Lancaster.
The series was created, in part, by former Lancaster National Speedway owner, Alex Friesen, to help promote a schedule of races in conjunction with the Race of Champions. Friesen and partners purchased the Race of Champions from the Gerber family in 1994 and moved it to the Oswego Speedway. Only Oswego has hosted more RoC Series events than Lancaster with 56 races contested at the “Steel Palace”.
The New York State Modified Series eventually changed its name to the Race of Champions Modified Series as it began to branch out into other areas of the Northeast. The series was purchased by Joe Skotnicki in 2015. Lancaster National Speedway has become the cornerstone facility of the RoC Modified Series, cementing its place as the home of Modified racing in Western New York. In 2018, Lancaster made its strongest commitment to date with the RoC Series by agreeing to host five races.
The list of drivers to win the 48 races that came after that night in 1994 is a who’s who of WNY Modified racing from the last 24 years. The “Hotshoe” Chuck Hossfeld of Ransomville, N.Y. leads all drivers with nine career RoC Modified wins at Lancaster, including the inaugural Ol’ Boy Cup 60 in 2015. Hossfeld enters this year’s event second in the RoC Modified Series point standings, and is coming off a huge win in the Joe Reilly Sportsman Summer Slam last Saturday.
Second on the RoC all-time win list is Sege Fidanza, the winningest driver in the history of Lancaster Speedway, with seven feature victories. Six of “Super” Sege’s win came from 1995-1999, with his final RoC victory at Lancaster coming in 2005.
Tied for third place all-time are two of the top active Modified drivers in the Northeast, Matt Hirschman and Patrick Emerling. Both drivers have six career wins, and the pair have combined to win 10 of the last 16 RoC races at Lancaster. Hirschman’s first RoC Series win at Lancaster came in June 2007, and four have come in the U.S. Open 125. Emerling racked up four RoC wins in 2016 when he swept all four races at Lancaster that year. He opened the 2018 season with a win in the Queen City Clash 75 on May 12.
Last season Tyler Rypkema of Owego, N.Y. became the 19th driver to win a RoC Modified event at Lancaster when he held off Chuck Hossfeld to win the Ol’ Boy Cup. Rypkema will defend his title next Thursday against a stacked field of competitors.
Grandstands gates will open at 5 p.m. on Thursday, June 28 for the Ol’ Boy Cup with racing starting at 7 p.m. The Race of Champions Super Stocks, Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks and Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders will also be in action. Adult general admission tickets are $22, kids 12-17 are $10 and children 11 and under are free.