LANCASTER, N.Y. (September 23, 2016) – Lancaster National Speedway wrapped up its most successful regular season for its stock car program in over a decade on Thursday with Season Championship Night.
The event was originally scheduled for September 10, but was postponed due to rain. Track officials wanted to give its competitors a chance to finish the points season with one final race instead of rain out.
The Sunoco Sportsman title was up for grabs between Jake Lyon and Tommy Catalano, with Lyon holding a 44-point advantage as the night began. Catalano won his heat race, while Lyon finished second in his heat to cut the gap to 42 before the feature began.
Catalano started ninth in the final points race of the season with Lyon rolling off from 12th. Matt Druar and John Barber led the field of 29 cars to the initial green flag.
Barber wrestled the lead from Druar at the start and held it through several caution periods that plagued the first half of the race.
Lyon’s championship hopes hit a speed bump on lap 6 when he banged wheels with Mark Pennell going into turn one. He spun into the infield, but didn’t appear to suffer any significant damage. Lyon did have to go the rear of the field.
George Skora III made just third start of the year in a Sportsman at Lancaster as began the main event from the tenth starting position. He moved into the top five by lap 5, and passed Druar for second on lap 9.
Tommy Catalano was coming through the field with Skora, but his run for a title took a detour to the pits on lap 11. He returned to action, but was in and out of the pits for the remainder of the race.
Barber and Skora were battling for the lead on lap 14 when Barbar sailed high in turns 3 and 4, which allowed Skora to move into first place.
On lap 19, a multi-car incident was triggered when Amy Catalano spun on the frontstretch. Jeff Brown wheel-hopped her car and got airborne before colliding with the wall as several other cars piled in. The lengthy clean up required speedway officials to end the program out of respect for the midnight curfew enforced by the town of Lancaster.
The race was past halfway and was declared official. George Skora III was awarded the win for his first of the season at Lancaster. Barber finished second followed Druar, Sherri Hogan and Shawn Nye.
Jake Lyon finished sixth to earn his first career track championship. The Elma, N.Y. driver won three times this season, including two wins in the final three races of the year.
Rich Sharpe of Lancaster, N.Y. topped the biggest field of the year for the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks. There were 32 cars on hand as several drivers from other tracks took advantage of the weeknight show to get some track time before the U.S. Open. The field was trimmed to 26 after heats and a last chance qualifying race.
Lou Carbone and Rob Pocobello led the impressive field to the green flag. Carbone, Pocobello and Andy Cryan took off from the field from the start of the race. Cryan, however, ran into trouble on lap 4 when the right rear wheel came off of his car.
Rookie Trevor Pettit moved through the field to challenge Carbone for the lead. Pettit got under Carbone racing off of turn 2 on lap 15. Carbone’s car pushed up the race track as Pettit went by to take the lead. When Carbone came back down the track, he did so right in front of Mark Hoch and Dave Wilson. All three cars went sliding through the infield on the backstretch. Carbone and Hoch made it through, but Wilson’s car tagged a jersey barrier and mound of earth that protects one of the infield light poles.
The race resumed with Pettit leading Pocobello and 2015 track champion Rich Sharpe. Sharpe went after Pettit the green flag flew and he took over the lead on lap 16.
Mike Scott had followed Sharpe to the front of the pack from his 18th starting position. The former Super Stock feature winner had hopped aboard the Cochrane Motorsports #76 entry for the evening. A couple of late cautions set up a battle between Sharpe and Scott for the win. Sharpe managed to hold on to score his first win of 2016.
Despite his run in with the concrete barrier in the infield, Dave Wilson managed to finish the race and he passed under the checkered flag to lock up the 2016 Street Stock track title. It was Wilson’s first championship at Lancaster as adds to his previous titles at Holland and Lake Erie. Three early season victories and a consistent second half of the season propelled Wilson to the championship.
Dan Dressel of Clarence, N.Y. captured his first career Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder feature. Dressel passed Joe Brunka for the lead on lap 15 and then pulled away for the final 10 laps to score the win. Brunka settled for second with Jim Dauer, Kevin Bainbridge and Bobby Woch rounding out the top five.
Bainbridge put a period on his 2016 track championship with a solid top five finish. Thanks to his seven win this season Bainbridge had locked up the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder with two weeks remaining in the regular season.
Lancaster National Speedway concludes the 2016 season with the 28th annual U.S. Open this weekend. Event information can be found at www.thelancasterusopen.com.
Feature: GEORGE SKORA III, John Barber, Matt Druar, Sherri Hogan, Shawn Nye, Jake Lyon, Tony Carbone, Jeff Brown, Tony Hanbury, Alan Bookmiller, Owen Bednasz, Mike Rogers, Amy Catalano, Tim Nies, Tommy Catalano, Bobby Lippa, Jr., Scott Stolzenburg, Jayme Thompson, Todd Lorenzo, Dick Kluth, Scott Wylie, Mark Pennell, Neal Dietz, Jr., Kevin Lewis, Jake Wylie, Tim Garlock, Russ Gian, Ricky Knapp, Andy Jankowiak
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS STREET STOCKS
Heat Winners: Brian Hoffman, Mark Hoch, Rob Pocobello, Dennis Londos
Consi Winner: Max Northem
Feature: RICH SHARPE, Mike Scott, Trevor Pettit, Rob Pocobello, Brian Hoffman, Mark Hoch, Jarrod Brown, Kris Hamman, Max Northem, Dennis Londos, Tim Welshans, Keith Flanigan, Don Sitarski, Justin Myers, Dave Wilson, Jerome Hruby, Gary Bartella, Jeff Whalen, Ed Culliton, Lou Carbone, Zach Myers, Garrett Cleversley, Jerry Kosmowski, Tommy Wentland, Andy Cryan, Jim Bryant DNQ: Rick Meyers, Jim Mallaber, Alex Morris, Matt Fleming, Ken Maltby, Dave Vona
ROAMING BUFFALO 4-CYLINDERS
Heat Winners: Kevin Bainbridge, Dan Dressel, Al Piasecki
Feature: DAN DRESSEL, Joe Brunka, Jim Dauer, Kevin Bainbridge, Bobby Woch, Mark Scarpace, Frank Prell, Chris Pennell, Jason Anasiewicz, Al Piasecki, Chris Bugenhagen, Dave Milbrand, Jr., Bob Bogner, Laurie Krol, Donald Palmer, Josh Schosek, Howard Guthrie DNS: Russ Hartke, Dave Evans, Tim Durfy, Kenny Hejna