It’s Jankowiak In Lancaster Opener

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A large crowd watched the Race of Champions modifieds at Lancaster (N.Y.) Speedway Thursday night. (Paula Thompson photo)
A large crowd watched the Race of Champions modifieds at Lancaster (N.Y.) Speedway Thursday night. (Paula Thompson photo)

LANCASTER, N.Y. — A near capacity crowd welcomed the 60th consecutive season of stock car racing at Lancaster Speedway @ New York Int’l Raceway Park on Thursday night as Andy Jankowiak won the fifth annual Ol’ Boy Cup 60 Bill Colton Memorial for the Race of Champions Modified Series.

The event was the first stock car race held under the New York International Raceway Park ownership group, which purchased the facility in late April.

Timmy Catalano and Daryl Lewis Jr. were scheduled to lead the field to the opening green flag. Things did not go as planned for Lewis, however, as he pulled out of line just as the field came out of turn four to take the green. He stopped on the track to put the start of the race on hold.

This moved Scott Wylie to the front row for the second attempt to start the race.

Wylie capitalized on this as he grabbed the lead from Catalano when the race got under way. Eric Beers eventually settled into second followed by Patrick Emerling, Catalano and Chuck Hossfeld.

Emerling, a former Ol’ Boy Cup winner, wasted little time as he moved from his seventh starting position to take over second from Beers on lap six. The race continued just past the halfway point without another caution as Wylie and Emerling pulled out to a slight advantage over the field.

Jankowiak started 10th after winning his heat race. He passed Hossfeld for third on lap 14, but was over a second behind the leaders at this point. Jankowiak made up the ground, and was challenging Emerling for second right before the caution came out on lap 31 for a spin by Jake Rought.

The race took a dramatic turn following a restart on lap 34. Wylie and Emerling were racing for the lead in turn two when the pair made contact. Wylie suffered a damaged left front wheel, and lost control of the car. A few cars were caught up in the chaos the ensued. Daryl Lewis, Jr. hit a Thermal Foam block protecting an infield light pole, but was able to drive away. Jack Ely suffered the worst damaged, which ended his night. Wylie’s night was also done after leading the first 34 laps.

Emerling lost momentum when he made contact with Wylie and slipped back to second place. Jankowiak was scored as the leader when the race restarted followed by Emerling, Catalano, Hossfeld and Beers.

Catalano got past Emerling for second on the restart. This allowed Jankowiak to pull away as the pair battled for position. He looked to be on cruise control to an easy victory when a pair of yellow flags on lap 48 bunched the field up one more time.

Emerling regained second on the restart, and then went after Jankowiak to try and take the lead. He hounded Jankowiak throughout the final 10 laps, looking to make an inside move. While Emerling looked to have the stronger car, Jankowiak did a masterful job of not relinquishing the inside line.

Jankowiak held on to capture the Ol’ Boy Cup V for his fourth career RoC Modified win at Lancaster. He has won four of the last ten RoC races at Lancaster dating back to the start of the 2017 season.

While he has done a lot of traveling to other tracks up and down the East Coast this season, Jankowiak was happy to be back in victory lane at the track he grew up at. “It is fun going in the truck to Riverhead, Bowman Gray and Seekonk, but this is home, and I’m glad so many fans came out to support this race tonight at Lancaster,” said Jankowiak.

Emerling had to settle for second followed by Hossfeld, Catalano and Beers. The RoC Modifieds return to Lancaster on August 17 for the 30th annual Tommy Druar/Tony Jankowiak Memorial 110.

Tim Welshans earned his first career Street Stock victory at Lancaster. Josh Schosek captured his first ever win at Lancaster in the 4-Cylinders. In the NYPA TQ Midgets, Kyle Hutchinson won the 20-lap feature.

The finish:

Andy Jankowiak, Patrick Emerling, Chuck Hossfeld, Tommy Catalano, Eric Beers, Amy Catalano, Daren Scherer, Daryl Lewis Jr., Owen Bednasz, John Barber, Chris Ridsdale, Dan Majchrzak, Austin Beers, Mike Leaty, Jake Rought, Bobby Weber, Timmy Catalano, Alan Bookmiller, Chris Finocchario, Scott Wylie, Jack Ely, Karl Hehr, Kevin Miller, George Skora III, Danny Knoll Jr.