LANCASTER, N.Y. (May 25, 2019) – It was the start of a new season and a new era on Friday night at the facility known as Lancaster Speedway & Dragway. The New York International Raceway Park ownership group led by Vito & Sylvia Antonicelli and Mike Swinarski held their first IHRA points race just a month removed from officially taking ownership of the 60-year-old racing facility. The drag racing community responded in a big way with 177 cars supporting the opening night show.
The Buffalo Street Outlaws and TNT Super Series were on hand along with Lancaster’s five weekly classes of racing. Chris Scarlatra of Bergen, N.Y. swept the Buffalo Street Outlaws (BSO) Street Limited classes, winning both Street Limited 5.50 and Street Limited 6.60. Scarlata defeated Mike Gwynn in the Street Limited 5.50 final on a holeshot as Gwynn had the faster elapsed time, but Scarlata had a better reaction time. Scarlata then beat Brian Krawkowski in Street Limited 6.60.
Moe Alfaqih of Cheektowaga, N.Y. chalked up another Buffalo Street Outlaw win at Lancaster as he defeated Terry Doyle in a battle of Ford Mustangs.
In the TNT Super Series, Pete Maduri, Sr. of North Tonawanda, N.Y. scored the win after Larry Pulver red lighted the race away. Joe Passero of Stevensville, Ontario picked up the win in Top 8. Passero faced Mark Talmadge in the finals, but Talmadge left the starting line too soon to trigger a red light on the starting tree.
Eight-time track champion Alan Fletcher of Lancaster took the opening night win in Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds. Fletcher defeated the snowmobile of Lucas Salemi in the finals after catching him at top end. Derrick Kovach of Lancaster picked up the win in Tread City Tire Street.
Mallare Trucking Top ET and Gianni Mazias Mod ET were unable to declare a winner due to curfew. Top ET had three cars remaining in competition. Mason Fix and Jeff Kerl were the final two cars remaining in Mod ET.
Racing continues next week at Lancaster Dragway @ NYIRP with Test & Tune on Tuesday night, Cruise Night/Grudge Drags on Wednesday and IHRA Drag Racing on Friday night.
The opening festivities went off smoothly with just few hiccups as the new ownership group and staff get acclimated. “Its trial and error and we will get there,” said Sylvia Antonicelli, NYIRP owner. “Everyone has been great, and we appreciate the many people thanking us, but we couldn’t have done it without everyone who came.”
A special thank you goes to Carl Russo of 97 Rock for filling in as track announcer on Friday night. Russo is a former racer and longtime supporter of racing at Lancaster.
RESULTS (Driver, hometown, vehicle, reaction time, dial-in, elapsed time and top speed)
Top 8 Eliminator
Winner: Joe Passero (Stevensville, Ontario) Rear Engine Dragster .503 4.70 4.710 seconds, 146.60 mph
Runner-up: Mark Talmadge (Fairport, N.Y.) .493 FOUL
Buffalo Street Outlaws (“Clocks Off”)
Winner: Moe Alfaqih (Cheektowaga, N.Y.) 1988 Ford Mustang
Runner-up: Terry Doyle (Grand Island, N.Y.) 1988 Ford Mustang
BSO Street Limited 5.50
Winner: Chris Scarlata (Bergen, N.Y.) 1994 Pontiac Firebird .463 5.556 seconds, 120.33 mph
Runner-up: Mike Gwynn (Syracuse, N.Y.) 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle .566 5.526 seconds, 124.68 mph
BSO Street Limited 6.60
Winner: Chris Scarlata (Bergen, N.Y.) 1994 Pontiac Firebird .463 6.879 seconds, 83.80 mph
Runner-up: Brian Karkowski (Buffalo, N.Y.) 1995 Ford Mustang .519 7.782 seconds, 70.66 mph
TNT Super Series (7.00 Index)
Winner: Pete Maduri, Sr. (N. Tonawanda, N.Y.) Chevrolet Monza .520 7.521 seconds, 81.05 mph
Runner-up: Larry Pulver (Palmya, N.Y.) 1967 Chevrolet Camaro .499 FOUL
Hebeler’s Sales Bikes & Sleds
Winner: Alan Fletcher (Lancaster, N.Y.) Kawasaki .562 5.62 5.642 seconds, 109.78 mph
Runner-up: Lucas Salemi (Clarence Center, N.Y.) Arctic Cat .567 6.48 6.539 seconds, 99.31 mph
Tread City Tire Street
Winner: Derrick Kovach (Lancaster, N.Y.) 2011 Dodge Charger .512 8.42 8.407 seconds, 83.17 mph
Runner-up: Dan Knab (Elma, N.Y.) Saturn .476 FOUL