Story By: DAVE BUCHANAN / LANCASTER SPEEDWAY – LANCASTER, NY – Mike Leaty of Williamson, N.Y. won the inaugural Midweek Modified Mania 50 Race of Champions Modified Series event on Thursday night at Lancaster National Speedway. Leaty took the lead back from teammate Patrick Emerling on lap 19 to score his first win of the season.
A total of 19 Race of Champions Modified signed in for competition on Thursday with some not-so-regular names in the field. Trans Am Series driver Tony Buffomonte of Chicago, Illinois made his RoC Modified Series debut in a third car for the L2 Autosport team. The Grand Island, N.Y. native was back home trying his hand at short track racing. Super DIRTCar Modified Series driver Billy Whitaker of Central Square, N.Y. piloted a RoC Modified for Rick Kluth and 2-Kwik Racing Chassis as well.
George Skora III and Danny Knoll, Jr. lined up on the front row for the start of the 50 lap feature. Skora grabbed a hold of the lead at the start with Scott Wylie, Knoll and Daryl Lewis, Jr. lined up behind him. Leaty started sixth, and quickly charged to the front. He took over second place on lap 12, and one lap later Leaty edged Skora the start/finish line to take the lead.
The caution flag waved moments after Leaty crossed the stripe ahead of Skora for the stopped car of Andy Short. Skora was able to get the jump on Leaty on the ensuing restart and gained the lead back for two laps. Leaty came back on lap 16 to regain the lead, and brought his L2 Autosport teammate, Patrick Emerling, along with him. Leaty and Emerling took over the top two spots just the yellow flag came out again for Short.
Emerling managed to steal the lead from his teammate after the restart on lap 18, but it would be short lived. He pushed up the track in turn two, and Leaty drove underneath Emerling to take the top spot back just one lap later.
The short distance made for an exciting race as drivers had little time to waste in getting to the front. Andy Jankowiak was one driver that had his work cut out for him as he started deep in the field in 15th. Jankowiak didn’t enter the top five until the 37th circuit. By then Leaty and Emerling had checked out on the field. Luckily a late caution for Alan Bookmiller gave Jankowiak a shot at the win.
The race restarted with nine laps to go and Leaty and Emerling once again took off from the field. Jankowiak was left to battle with Skora and Chuck Hossfeld for third place in the closing laps.
Leaty crossed the finish line first ahead, just ahead of his teammate Emerling, for his first Race of Champions Modified Series win of the season. Skora narrowly edged Jankowiak to finish third for his best result of the season. Hossfeld was fast qualifier earlier in the night, but had to settle for fifth.
In other X-Press Signs Stock Car Series action, Andy Cryan of Buffalo scored his seventh win of the season in the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks. Cryan held off Tommy Wentland for the final 15 laps of the race to secure the win. Mike Dalfonso came home in third place. Dave Vona and Ken Maltby rounded out the top five.
Dan Dressel of Clarence, N.Y. was declared the winner of the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder feature for his fourth win of 2018. Dressel crossed the finish line second behind Jason Anasiewicz, but Anasiewicz was disqualified in post-race inspection. Dave Brunka was credited with second place followed by Kevin Bainbridge, Chris Pennell and Charles Palmer.
Lancaster National Speedway is back in action on Saturday, August 11 for Kids Night plus the Ken Heckler Tribute 51-lap Street Stock race. The Midwest Compact Series will make their Lancaster debut as the 4-Cylinder race cars will tackle the ½-mile oval. The VP Racing Fuels Sportsman will also be in action.
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).
RACE OF CHAMPIONS MODIFIED SERIES
Fast Qualifier: Chuck Hossfeld – 16.906 seconds
Heat Winners: Mike Leaty, Chuck Hossfeld, George Skora III
Midweek Modified Mania 50 Finish: MIKE LEATY, Patrick Emerling, George Skora III, Andy Jankowiak, Chuck Hossfeld, Daren Scherer, Tommy Catalano, Daryl Lewis, Jr., Scott Wylie, Jack Ely, Tony Buffomante, Danny Knoll, Jr., Timmy Catalano, Karl Hehr, Amy Catalano, Billy Whittaker, Alan Bookmiller, Andy Short, Bill Mislin
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS STREET STOCKS
Heat Winners: Nik Welshans, Ken Maltby, Andy Cryan
Feature: ANDY CRYAN, Tommy Wentland, Mike Dalfonso, Dave Vona, Ken Maltby, Tim Welshans, Mark Hoch, Nik Welshans, Jarrod Brown, Brian Rogers, Garrett Cleversley, Chris Powers, Bob Palmer, Jeff Szafraniec, Scott Soos, Rick Meyers, Tim Garlock, Max Northem DNS: Bob Blaszak, Jr.
ROAMING BUFFALO 4-CYLINDERS
Heat Winners: Josh Schosek, Chris Pennell
Feature: DAN DRESSEL, Dave Brunka, Kevin Bainbridge, Chris Pennell, Charles Palmer, Scott Fritz, Bobby Woch, Joe Brunka, Andy Danielwicz, Josh Schosek, Bob Bogner, Dave Evans, Ryan Palmer, John Byrd, Waylon Price DNS: Kenny Hejna DQ: Jason Anasiewicz, Tim Durfy