Leaty Stops Emerling At Lancaster

Mike Leaty (25) leads Patrick Emerling at Lancaster (N.Y.) Speedway. (Paula Thompson photo)

LANCASTER, N.Y. — Mike Leaty won the inaugural Midweek Modified Mania 50 Race of Champions Modified Series event on Thursday night at Lancaster National Speedway.

Leaty took the lead from teammate Patrick Emerling on lap 19 to score his first win of the season.

Nineteen modifieds signed in for competition on Thursday with some not-so-regular names in the field. Trans-Am Series driver Tony Buffomonte made his RoC Modified Series debut in a third car for the L2 Autosport team. The Grand Island, N.Y. native was back home trying his hand at short track racing.

Super DIRTCar Modified Series driver Billy Whitaker piloted a RoC Modified for Rick Kluth and 2-Kwik Racing Chassis as well.

George Skora III and Danny Knoll, Jr. lined up on the front row for the start of the 50-lap feature. Skora grabbed a hold of the lead at the start with Scott Wylie, Knoll and Daryl Lewis Jr. lined up behind him. Leaty started sixth, and quickly charged to the front. He took over second place on lap 12, and one lap later Leaty edged Skora the start/finish line to take the lead.

The caution flag waved moments after Leaty crossed the stripe ahead of Skora for the stopped car of Andy Short. Skora was able to get the jump on Leaty on the ensuing restart and gained the lead back for two laps. Leaty came back on lap 16 to regain the lead, and brought his L2 Autosport teammate, Patrick Emerling, along with him. Leaty and Emerling took over the top two spots just the yellow flag came out again for Short.

Emerling managed to steal the lead from his teammate after the restart on lap 18, but it would be short lived. He pushed up the track in turn two, and Leaty drove underneath Emerling to take the top spot back just one lap later.

The short distance made for an exciting race as drivers had little time to waste in getting to the front. Andy Jankowiak was one driver that had his work cut out for him as he started deep in the field in 15th. Jankowiak didn’t enter the top five until the 37th circuit. By then Leaty and Emerling had checked out on the field. Luckily a late caution for Alan Bookmiller gave Jankowiak a shot at the win.

The race restarted with nine laps to go and Leaty and Emerling once again took off from the field. Jankowiak was left to battle with Skora and Chuck Hossfeld for third place in the closing laps.

Leaty crossed the finish line first ahead, just ahead of his teammate Emerling, for his first Race of Champions Modified Series win of the season. Skora narrowly edged Jankowiak to finish third for his best result of the season. Hossfeld was fast qualifier earlier in the night, but had to settle for fifth.

Andy Cryan scored his seventh win of the season in the Advance Auto Parts Street Stocks. Cryan held off Tommy Wentland for the final 15 laps of the race to secure the win. Mike Dalfonso came home in third place. Dave Vona and Ken Maltby rounded out the top five.

Dan Dressel was declared the winner of the Roaming Buffalo 4-Cylinder feature for his fourth win of 2018. Dressel crossed the finish line second behind Jason Anasiewicz, but Anasiewicz was disqualified in post-race inspection. Dave Brunka was credited with second place followed by Kevin Bainbridge, Chris Pennell and Charles Palmer.