LANCASTER NATIONAL SPEEDWAY HITS THE GROUND RUNNING WITH STOCK CAR PRACTICE

Over 70 cars registered for 2017 season

Lancaster National Speedway hosted a successful preseason practice session for the X-Press Signs Stock Car Series on Saturday afternoon.

Early afternoon rains held up the proceedings by about an hour, but conditions turned favorable once the precipitation moved out of the area. Sunshine and a strong breeze assisted track crews in getting the racing surface ready.

A total of 38 cars were on hand across six different divisions. The Sunoco Sportsman were well represented led by the Thompson Racing team cars of Mark Pennell and Jayme Thompson plus veterans George Skora III, Neal Dietz Jr. and John Barber.

Kevin Miller of Rochester was on hand with his #45 Sportsman. Miller has spent the last couple years working in North Carolina with former NASCAR crew chiefs Tony Eury Sr. & Jr. at Fury Race Cars, but will once again be a regular at Lancaster in 2017.

Kevin & Sue Lewis are turning over the driving duties of their #41 Sportsman to former track champion Andy Jankowiak. Jankowiak will pilot the Lewis Racing entry when he’s not busy competing in the Modified ranks. He has partnered up with fellow former track champion, Tom McGrath, for the Race of Champions Modified Series season.

A couple Sportsman newcomers were shaking down their cars as well. Former Street Stock driver Dave Kozlowski returns to racing in the Ortner’s Overhead Doors #36. Mike Meyers has moved up from racing 4-Cylinders into the open-wheeled division.

The Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks had the largest turnout with nine cars pitside. The Street Stocks are shaping to be highly competitive divisions with 31 drivers registered for 2017.

Defending track champion, Dave Wilson, was among the drivers that took laps during practice. The rest of the veteran presence in the pits included Mark Hoch, Lou Carbone, Don Sitarski, Tommy Wentland, Jarrod Brown and Ken Maltby.

There’s also a strong crop of new faces in the Street Stocks for this season. The father-son duo of Tom and Max Northem were on hand getting used to Lancaster’s fast 1/2-mile. Sportsman driver Mike Rogers plans to do some double duty driving this year as debuted a sharp looking #8 Street Stock that sported a retro-looking paintscheme that pays tribute to Geoff Bodine’s NASCAR Cup car from the 1980s.

The list of registered of Street Stock drivers feature some additional new names, including Steve DeCapua, Dave Garr, Christopher Handley, Jeremiah Krentz, Gino Pinto and Frank Prell.

A handful of Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders made laps on the 1/4-mile inner oval. Returning veterans included Bobby Woch, Chris Bugenhagen, Chris Pennell and Dave Milbrand Jr.

Second-generation driver Casey Pew debuted his #03 car. Pew’s father, Dennis, raced Super Stocks in the 1980s & 90s. He was sporting a purple and pink paintscheme similar to what his dad used to run. Pew’s brother, Jamie, competes in the NYPA TQ Midgets.

Fellow rookie competitor, Dave Brunka, also acclimated himself to racing in the 4-Cylinders. He also has family ties in the sport as his brother, Joe, is a former feature winner in the 4-Cylinder division.

Some of the other competitors that were on hand included the Late Models of Dave Russell, Dave Rigan and Nick Crassi and the Super Stocks of Josh Hunter, Joel Gleason and Jim Steffenhagen Jr.

The stage is now set for the opening of the 59th season of stock car racing at Lancaster. It begins on Saturday, April 22 at 2 p.m. with the Queen City Clash. The Sunoco Sportsman, Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks and Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinders will be joined by the NYPA TQ Midgets for the lid lifter to the 2017 season.

About Lancaster National Speedway & Dragway: Founded in 1959, Lancaster National Speedway and Dragway 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).

LNS0415-1: THE STREET STOCKS OF DON SITARSKI (24) & TOMMY WENTLAND (55) SIT PITSIDE AWAITING THE START OF PRACTICE

LNS0415-2: DEFENDING STREET STOCK CHAMPION DAVE WILSON (21) IS AMONG THE CARS ON HAND FOR PRACTICE

LNS0415-3: MIKE ROGERS DEBUTED A NEW STREET STOCKS WITH A GEOFF BODINE-TRIBUTE PAINTSCHEME

LNS0415-4: SPORTSMAN ROOKIE DAVE KOZLOWSKI SHOOK DOWN HIS SPORTSMAN.

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