Story By: DAVE BUCHANAN / LANCASTER SPEEDWAY – LANCASTER, NY – The Catalano family of Ontario, N.Y. had a night to remember on Saturday at Lancaster National Speedway. Brothers Tommy and Timmy Catalano finished first and second in the VP Racing Fuels Sportsman feature with their mother, Amy, coming home in fifth place. Tommy also added a third place finish in the Race of Champions Late Model Series event.
In other X-Press Signs Stock Car Series action, Eldon King III of Freedom, N.Y. narrowly won his second-straight Race of Champions Late Model feature. Andy Cryan of Buffalo grabbed his sixth win of the year in the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks. Chris Pennell of Lancaster scored his first win of the season in the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders.
Tony Carbone and Jayme Thompson led the field to the green flag for the 35-lap main event for the VP Racing Fuels Sportsman. Carbone quickly jumped out to the early lead and pulled away during the opening laps while Thompson was left to defend second place from the likes of Tommy Catalano, Jake Vernon and Mike Fiebelkorn, Jr.
Catalano and Fiebelkorn eventually got past Thompson to fill out the rest of the top three early on. Thompson got tangled up with Patrick Emerling on lap 9 to bring out the first caution of the race. The yellow flag reappeared one lap later when Emerling and Eddie Hawkins made contact in turn three.
Carbone spun his tires on the ensuing restart which bottled up the inside line. This allowed Catalano to take the lead followed by Vernon, Owen Bednasz and Andy Jankowiak. The tire spin by Carbone may have been part of a mechanical issue as he quickly faded through the field. He eventually stopped on the track on lap 17 to bring out the third caution of the race.
Tommy Catalano and Bednasz were the class of the field by the halfway point of the race. Bednasz looked to have the stronger car during the middle stages, and pressure Catalano for the lead.
Patrick Emerling’s night went from bad to worse on lap 21 when he hit the wall off of turn 4, which also caught up his teammate Matt Druar. The drivers walked away, but both cars suffered significant damage.
Catalano’s brother, Timmy, had landed in third place by this point. The younger of the two Catalano brothers in the race started tenth and he slowly climbed his way to the front. Bednasz was sandwiched between the two Catalanos as he tried to go for second-straight Sportsman win.
A spin by Thompson on lap 30 set up a five lap dash to the finish. Tommy Catalano quickly pulled away from the field while Timmy Catalano was able to take over second from Bednasz. The Catalano brothers crossed the finish line 1-2 for the first time at Lancaster.
Bednasz settled for third place, but maintained his points lead in the Sportsman division. Mike Fiebelkorn, Jr. finished fourth, Amy Catalano came home in fifth to give the Catalano family three top five finishes. Carbone rallied from his issues earlier in the race to finish sixth.
The Race of Champions Late Model feature came down to a three lap dash between Dave Russell and Eldon King III. Russell had led the first 27 laps from the pole position and was able to drive away from the field on restarts. King, however, made it count on the final restart of the night as he managed to stay side-by-side with Russell, and eventually took the lead on the outside.
Russell made a last-ditch effort on the final lap to try and steal the win, but came up .094 seconds short at the finish line to give King his second RoC Late Model win in a row. Tommy Catalano finished third behind King and Russell. Bobby Weber and Dave Heitzhaus rounded out the top five.
Andy Cryan bounced back from having his five-race Advance Auto Parts Street Stock win streak snapped two weeks earlier, to score his sixth win of 2018. Cryan passed Tommy Wentland for the lead on lap 4 and then pulled away from the field during a long green flag run.
A couple of late race cautions gave Ken Maltby a shot at Cryan for the lead, but in the end he was no match for the current division points leader. Cryan cruised to his sixth win in the last seven Street Stock races. Dave Vona was credited with second place. Tim Welshans, Mark Hoch and Rich Sharpe completed the top five.
In the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders, Chris Pennell fended off points leader Dan Dressel for his first win of the season. Pennell overtook Andy Danielwicz for the lead on lap 6. He was able to protect the bottom lane to hold off Dressel throughout the second half of the race. Jason Anasiewicz, Kenny Hejna and Joe Brunka placed in the top five.
About 14 drivers across Lancaster’s three X-Press Signs Stock Car Series home track divisions managed to make it to the track after competing earlier in the day at The Track at Hillside in Holland. Lancaster National Speedway officials appreciate the dedication of its competitors and are grateful to the officials at The Track at Hillside for making it possible for the drivers to make both shows.
Race fans were treated to an on-track autograph session during intermission to give them a chance to meet their favorite drivers and/or make some new favorites.
Lancaster National Speedway is back in action on Thursday, August 2 for the Midweek Modified Mania 50 for the Race of Champions Modified Series. The Street Stocks and 4-Cylinders were also be in action on Thursday. Racing starts at 7 p.m.
About Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway: Founded in 1959, Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway, WNY’s Premier Motorsports and Event Facility, is a multi-use facility located on 77 acres just outside of metropolitan Buffalo, N.Y. The facility features a 1/8-mile drag strip, a 1/2-mile oval track and hosts several non-motorsports events such as car shows and concerts. For the latest information on Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway check out our website www.lancasternationalspeedway.com. Additional information for racers and fans can be found on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/LancasterSpeedway) and on Twitter (@LancasterSpdwy).
VP RACING FUELS SPORTSMAN
Heat Winners: Owen Bednasz, Tony Carbone
Feature: TOMMY CATALANO, Timmy Catalano, Owen Bednasz, Mike Fiebelkorn, Jr., Amy Catalano, Tony Carbone, Jake Vernon, Shawn Nye, Eddie Hawkins, Scott Wylie, Dave Kozlowski, Kevin Lewis, Sherri Hogan, Jayme Thompson, Leo Becker, Andy Jankowiak, Patrick Emerling, Matt Druar, Mark Pennell, John Barber
RACE OF CHAMPIONS LATE MODEL SERIES
Heat Winners: Tommy Catalano, Bobby Weber
Feature: ELDON KING III, Dave Russell, Tommy Catalano, Bobby Weber, Dave Heitzhaus, Bob Minacapelli, Dave Whittaker, Sam Fullone, Ron Richter, Terry Weldy
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS STREET STOCKS
Heat Winners: Andy Cryan, Mark Hoch
Feature: ANDY CRYAN, Dave Vona, Tim Welshans, Mark Hoch, Rich Sharpe, Tommy Wentland, Jim Mallaber, Jay Cananico, Mike Rogers, Jerry Kozmowski, Chris Powers, Rick Meyers, Scott Soos, Mike Dalfonso, Garrett Cleverlsey, Jerome Hruby, Bob Palmer DNS: Jeff Szafraneic, John Carlson DQ: Ken Maltby
ROAMING BUFFALO 4-CYLINDERS
Heat Winners: Chris Pennell
Feature: CHRIS PENNELL, Dan Dressell, Jason Anasiewicz, Kenny Hejna, Joe Brunka, Dave Brunka, Charles Palmer, Andy Danielwicz, Briar Dils, Scott Fritz, Josh Schosek, Dave Evans, John Byrd, Michelle Russo