CHEMUNG, N.Y. – Andy Jankowiak captured the Race of Champions Modified Series main event on opening night at Chemung Speedrome Saturday.
The 75-lap RoC Modified season opener drew a field of 26 cars. Qualifying wins went to Mike Leaty, Tyler Rypkema, Zane Zeiner and Chuck Hossfeld. The top 3 in each heat drew for the top 12 starting spots during intermission and the field was set for the feature.
Tyler Rypkema drew the pole and led the way, chased early on by Mike Leaty and Chuck Hossfeld. The race itself was slowed by 14 cautions, most of which were for spins in turns three and four. Jankowiak, who broke into the top five about 20 laps into the race, gradually worked his way to the front of the pack and took the lead from Rypkema on lap 46.
While just two drivers led, running among the top-five proved to be risky behavior Saturday afternoon. Mike Leaty, Matt Hirschman and Zane Zeiner all learned that the hard way, and restarted at the back after being involved in cautions.
Jankowiak took the lead from Rypkema on lap 46 and never looked back. He held on and picked up the win over Zack Curren, Bryan Sherwood, Zeiner and Hirschman.
“I didn’t have the fastest car, but I avoided the trouble,” Jankowiak said. “I didn’t pass anyone until I got to third.”
Other winners Saturday included Nick Robinson (super stocks), Bob Borger (RoC 4 cylinders), Josh Duke (bandolero outlaw) and Chase Sinsabaugh (bandolero bandits).