Hossfeld Turns Around Bad Weekend With RoC Victory by Jim Blacroch
Chases Down Catalano at Dunn Tire Raceway Park
Chuck Hossfeld chases down Buck Catalano. (Paul Cooper Photos - reprinted with permission from GATER Racing News)
Chuck Hossfeld of Ransomville, N.Y., had a tough night on Saturday in Mansfield, Ohio, he broke an axle and lost the point lead in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour after finishing 28th. On Sunday afternoon, he regrouped, alongside friends, family and well-wishers. Hossfeld dominated the second half of the 50th Anniversary race at Dunn Tire Raceway Park (formerly Lancaster Speedway) and ran to a much needed victory.
Hossfeld pitted for a right rear tire on lap 25 and worked his way back through the field to wrestle the lead away from Buck Catalano on lap 53. From there, Hossfeld never looked back and drove to a very impressive victory.
“We needed to rebound from last night here today,” stated Hossfeld in victory lane. “And we did. The car was pretty good for the entire race and I just drove it to the front. We worked pretty hard on a setup to come here with and it's paid off. We won the Tommy (Druar) - Tony (Jankowiak) Memorial a week ago and now we backed it up today and that was big.”
In victory lane, Public Address Announcer extraordinaire Mike Paz asked Hossfeld what made him so good at Lancaster.
“My handsome good looks I think,” laughed Hossfeld to the approval of the fans, but the truth is that Hossfeld in-fact developed skills at Lancaster that many veteran drivers still struggle to possess. He possesses all of the talents that make taming the tricky half-mile. Whether it's being smooth when required, drive to the edge - but not over and handling the pressure that comes at such a challenging place.
“No two places on this race track are the same,” stated Hossfeld in a less than joking manner. “It's a tough place because the car has to be set up well and you can't overdrive it and you can't under-drive it. You've got to be right and when you're not, it can be a handful. Today we were fast and I thought we might be pitting a little early, but the cautions fell the right way and here we are in victory lane. I know it took the track a couple of tries to get this race in, but I'm happy we could run the fiftieth anniversary of the track.”
Hossfeld had many people to thank. He reflected on things from the track where his career started.
“Bill Colton, Sr., especially and we really miss him. A lot of folks have helped me out
and it all started here,” explained Hossfeld. “Jerry Gradl Sr., and Jr., just a lot of different
people. My parents, my family, my friends, my crew. It's just neat to come back here
and win with everyone around. That always make it special to come here and win.”
As the rain began to fall a little bit harder in victory lane, Hossfeld focused on the race.
“If we waited a little bit longer, who knows, it may have been raining like it is now,”
offered Hossfeld. “But, it's a combination of everything. The motor, our Troyer chassis
and all of our guys pulling together to give me a great a racecar and then making a
good call when to pit and then not using everything get back through the field. It all has
to come together like it today.”
Following Hossfeld to the strip in the 100-lap event for the DART Race of Champions
Asphalt Tour were Erick Rudolph, Sege Fidanza, Matt Hirschman and Bill Putney
rounded out the top-five. Fidanza, Matt Hirschman and Tom McGrath won the heats
that were held on August 9th, which was the second attempt at running the complete show.
SUPER SEGE RUNS OUT OF LAPS
Typically in any event run at Dunn Tire Raceway Park there are a few more cautions then Sunday's RoC event. It was rare that the laps clicked up on the counter very quickly and for Middleport, N.Y.'s, Sege Fidanza the race finished up too quickly as he may have had the car to beat in the closing stages. A mid-race pit stop (lap 48) for a fresh right rear tire and once the green flag waved, Lancaster's all-time leading winner, began to blast his way back through the field.
Ultimately, Fidanza finished third, but it was classic Lancaster watching him work through the field. He would sling his car deep to the outside of competitors or drive his nose to the bottom on his way back to the front, but when the checkered flag waved he ran out of laps and finished behind Erick Rudolph.
“I just needed more laps today,” offered Fidanza, who ran the race with a back panel on his car that highlighted nearly 70 different cars that raced at Lancaster through the years, including many of his own. “I thought we could get Erick (Rudolph) at the end, but we just couldn't do it and one time I got into turn one and it was drizzling so the track may have been wet and I went up the track and almost hit the foam, so I came back around to finish third. It was a pretty good run for us, but we needed a few more cautions and we may have had a chance to win it.”
Erick Rudolph (#45) at Dunn Tire Raceway Park.
YOUNG RUDOLPH FINISHES OFF GOOD WEEKEND
Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, N.Y., is turning into quite a young racer. On Saturday night at Mansfield in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race he posted his best finish to date, with a solid seventh place finish. On Sunday he backed that up utilizing the same pit strategy as Hossfeld to come home second.
“We had our best finish with the NASCAR Tour last night at Mansfield,” explained the young Rudolph. “And today, we just had a good run, but not enough to beat Chuck (Hossfeld). We'll take it though because the car is one piece and we needed to finish a race. My Grandfather and Father and all of the guys did a great job this weekend. We're doing our best for our car owners Dave and Laura DeLange they provide us with a great team and everything we need.”
Each of the 28 starters that intended to start the race following qualifying on August 9th made it back for the 24th and competed in the event. Doug Reaume was the only driver not to return.
Ricky Kluth was having a good run as he ran behind Matt Hirschman in 4th for a great deal of the late stages of the race before he slipped back to 8th at the finish.
As luck would have it, a busy day of racing at DTRP was halted immediately after the Modified feature with several features left to go in the Sunday card. The 50th Anniversary event, which was originally scheduled for June 28th, moved to August 9th and was finally concluded on the 24th. Three attempts to run a show of that magnitude produces no real winners in the financial categories.
The next DART Asphalt Race of Champions Modified Tour event is this Saturday night at Oswego Speedway with the running of a 125-lap event, the second Championship event of the season with an event starting time of 4:00pm.
The Race of Champions Dart Asphalt Modified Tour is sponsored by; Dart Machinery, Gater Racing News, Hoosier Racing Tire, Sunoco Race Fuels, PBM Performance Products, Total Seal Piston Rings, Dura - Bond, Competition Engineering by Moroso, Dynatech, Xceldyne, Afco, CV Products, and LA Sleeve.
BOX SCORE – Dunn Tire Raceway Park – DART Asphalt Race of Champions Modified Tour Final Regular Season Event
1.)Chuck Hossfeld 2.)Erick Rudolph 3.)Sege Fidanza 4.)Matt Hirschman 5.)Bill Putney 6.)Darren Scherer 7.)Tom McGrath 8.)Rick Kluth 9.)Mike Leaty 10.)Jan Leaty 11.)John Markovic 12.)Terry Cheetham 13.)Brett Scherer 14.)Pete Brittain 15.)Todd Smith 16.)T.J. Potrzebowski 17.)Mark Tychoniewicz 18.)Karl Hehr 19.)Buck Catalano 20.)Jimmy Zacharias 21.)Chris Risdale 22.)Tommy Weist 23.)Jim Storace 24.)Dave Wollaber 25.)Kevin Lewis 26.)TJ Zacharias 27.)Matt Clemens
DNS; Doug Reaume
Top 30 in DART Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour Point Standings following completion of Regular Season Events (Including one Championship Event – Chemung Speedrome):
RACE OF CHAMPIONS DART ASPHALT MODIFIED TOUR POINT STANDINGS
After 5 Regular Season races and 1 Championship Series race * denotes feature win
1. MATT HIRSCHMAN **782 9. TJ POTRZEBOWSKI519 17. TOMMY FARRELL,III413 24. MARK TYCHONIEWICZ249 25. RICK KIRKENDALL *220 26. CHUCK HOSSFELD *220
72 DIFFERENT DRIVERS IN 6 RACES
NEXT RoC EVENT; Saturday August 30th – Oswego Speedway - 4:00 start – Classic Weekend – 125 laps – Race #2 of Championship Season.
Chuck Hossfeld in victory lane .