Patrick Emerling Sweeps Lancaster’s Thursday Night Thunder

Story By: DAVE BUCHANAN / LANCASTER SPEEDWAY – LANCASTER, NY – Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, N.Y. pulled off a rare feat on Thursday night at Lancaster National Speedway as he swept both of the VP Racing Fuels Sportsman features. Emerling won the rain delayed feature from May 19, and then won the regularly scheduled 35-lap main event to complete the twofer.

The X-Press Signs Stock Series midweek special at Lancaster started with the continuation of the VP Racing Fuels Sportsman feature that was rained out after 14 laps on May 19. The race picked up on lap 15 with Mike Leaty leading Emerling, Neal Dietz, Jr., Mark Pennell and Andy Jankowiak.

Leaty and Emerling quickly pulled away from the field when the race resumed. There was only one brief on caution on lap 19 when Matt Druar spun out in turn four. The rest of the race went caution-free with Emerling chasing his Race of Champions Modified Series teammate, Leaty.

Emerling appeared to have the stronger car late in the race and he took the lead with seven laps to go. Leaty, however, came right back to recapture the lead one lap later before resigning it away for good on lap 30. It was Emerling first Sportsman win of the season at Lancaster. Leaty held on for second over a hard-charging Neal Dietz, Jr. Mike Ramos and Owen Bednasz rounded out the top five.

The second half of the Sportsman doubleheader started with a stacked lineup at the front of the field. The top 12 qualifiers redrew for their starting position following the three heats. Emerling drew the pole with Leaty alongside on the front row. Former track champion Chuck Hossfeld lined up third after sitting out the first feature because he was not hand for the initial start of the race.

Emerling and Hossfeld took off from the field at the drop of the green flag, but the race was halted on lap four when Jeremy Haudricourt plowed in to the Thermal Foam in turn three. The lead duo blasted away again when the race restarted and went on a 21-lap green flag run that saw them pull away by more than a straightaway over the rest of the field.

The leaders were working through lapped traffic on lap 25 when Jayme Thompson spun on the front straightaway just ahead of them to bring out the yellow flag. On the ensuing restart, Emerling pushed up high into Hossfeld in turn two to set off a chain reaction that saw several cars pileup, including Mark Pennell and John Barber.

That set up a final restart for Emerling and Hossfeld. Hossfeld hounded Emerling for the final ten circuits, but Emerling was able to hold off the challenge. He held on to pick up his second victory of the night. Hossfeld settled for second. Mike Leaty scored his top three finish of the night in third place. Jake Vernon and Amy Catalano rounded out the top five.

In the Advance Auto Street Stocks, Andy Cryan of Buffalo picked up his second-straight win. Cryan passed polesitter Mark Hoch down the back straightaway on lap seven to take the lead for good. He pulled away during the rest of the caution-free feature to lock up the win. Dave Vona finished second. Hoch, Ken Maltby and Mike Dalfonso rounded out the top five.

Charles Palmer of Cheektowaga, N.Y. scored his first career win in the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders. Palmer led all 25 laps from the pole, but he was shadowed by Chris Pennell for most of the race. He protected the low lane while Pennell tried to sneak under Palmer several times.

Palmer held on for his first ever 4-Cylinder checkered flag. Pennell finished second, followed by Joe Brunka, Dave Brunka and Dan Dressel.

Jan Carlson won the 10-lap Ladies Race 4-Cylinder exhibition. Taylor Mittner finished second, followed by Sam Hockwater and Mariah Reilly.

The X-Press Signs Stock Car Series is in back action on Saturday, June 16 with the Joe Reilly Sportsman Summer Slam 75. The Summer Slam 75 is the longest regular season race of the year for the VP Racing Fuels Sportsman. The Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks, Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders and NYPA TQ Midgets 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 Additional information for racers and fans can be found on our Facebook page ( and on Twitter (@LancasterSpdwy).



May 19 Feature (resumed from lap 14) – PATRICK EMERLING, Mike Leaty, Neal Dietz, Jr., Mike Ramos, Owen Bednasz, Tommy Catalano, John Barber, Andy Jankowiak, Matt Druar, Dave Kozlowski, Leo Becker, Jake Vernon, Jayme Thompson, Zach Knowlden, Scott Wylie, Tony Carbone, Mike Rogers, Shawn Nye, Timmy Catalano

Heat Winners: Chuck Hossfeld, Owen Bednasz, Shawn Nye

Feature: PATIRCK EMERLING, Chuck Hossfeld, Mike Leaty, Jake Vernon, Amy Catalno, Mike Ramos, Owen Bednasz, Tommy Catalano, Shawn Nye, Andy Jankowiak, Tony Carbone, Matt Druar, Jayme Thompson, Alan Bookmiller, Dave Kozlowski, Neal Dietz, Jr., John Barber, Mark Pennell, Scott Wylie, Mike Rogers, Dave Catalano, Jeremy Haudricourt DNS: Leo Becker


Heat Winners: Dave Vona, Andy Cryan

Feature: ANDY CRYAN, Dave Vona, Mark Hoch, Ken Maltby, Mike Dalfonso, Jr., Tommy Wentland, Garrett Cleversley, Chris Powers, Jeff Szafraneic, Josh Schosek


Heat Winners: Chris Pennell, Charles Palmer

Feature: CHARLES PALMER, Chris Pennell, Joe Brunka, Dave Brunka, Dan Dressel, Scott Fritz, Bobby Woch, Jason Anasiewicz, Andy Danielwicz, Casey Pew, Dave Evans, Jimmy Pierce