A packed house was on hand at Dunn Tire Raceway Park for the annual Tommy Druar and Tony Jankowiak Memorial Modified 100. The best of the best Modified drivers were on hand and Matt Hirschman used the luck of the draw, pit strategy, and an incredible set up in his car to capture the prestigious win. Charles Buchanan and John Hewson continued their winning ways in the 4 Cylinder and Street Stock division while Jake Vernon bested the field in the visiting Legends feature.
The night’s action began on DTRP’s ¼ mil inner oval with the Legends. Brad Salatino led the field to the green flag but was quickly disposed of from the top spot by Jake Vernon on lap three. Vernon and Salatino set the pace as the top two runners began to distance themselves from the rest of the field. A yellow flag on lap seven brought the field back together and Adam Depuy took advantage of the opportunity, dispatching Salatino from the second spot. Vernon put the cruise control on and let Depuy and Salatino battle it out for the second spot as the laps clicked off. In the end, it was Vernon crossing the finish line first, followed by Depuy and Salatino.
The 4 Cylinders were up next and a season high car count was on hand to take the green flag. Kalie Clementi and rookie driver Dan LeBarron led the field to the green flag with Dean Siminski and Ken Hejna on their bumpers. After a quick yellow and double file restart, Clementi took control of the lead. Her time out front was short lived however as Mike Maggiore, who had started fifth, made his way past the leader on lap two. Clementi got hung out on the outside and Dan Roesch, Siminski, and Tim Durfy went by. Maggiore held the lead while chaos reigned behind him. Contact between Siminiski and Roesch resulted in Roesch spinning but recovering and continuing. Siminski was later penalized for the contact during a caution period. The penalty vaulted Durfy up to Maggiore’s bumper, with Charles Buchanan right behind him in third. Maggiore and Durfy began to wage a fierce battle for the lead, although both wound up losing as Buchanan used the wide open outside lane to pass both Durfy and Maggiore at the same time to take the lead on lap eleven. Buchanan held onto the lead for the rest of the feature and gained his sixth DTRP 4 Cylinder win of the season.
The Street Stocks took to the 5/8th mile outer oval for their 25 lap feature event and Kris Hamann lead the field to the green flag. After two quick cautions, Hamann still held a sizable lead over Joe Light, Gary Bartella, Matt Druar, Mike Nash, and John Hewson. Hewson was on the move though and by lap seven was in second position. Just five laps later, Hewson had cut down Hamann’s lead to nothing and was on his bumper looking for the lead. At the halfway point of the feature, Hamann and Hewson had decent lead over Nash, Nate Straus, and Bartella. On lap fourteen, Hewson made his move for the lead, going to the outside of Hamann and taking the top spot. Behind the leaders, a fierce battle was being waged by Nash and Straus for the third running position, as they raced side by side, door handle to door handle. Straus was the ultimate victor and claimed the third place spot, setting off to catch the leaders. With the laps winding down, Hewson had a decent lead over Hamann, while Straus floored it trying to catch up and challenge for the first and second position. Without a caution flag, the race stayed green till the end and Hewson cruised home to capture his fifth win of the season at Dunn Tire Raceway Park.
The final event of the night was the highly anticipated Tommy Druar & Tony Jankowiak Memorial Modified 100. A stout field of 21 Modifieds were on hand, with over half the field considered in the running for the prestigious win. After qualifying heats and a top twelve redraw, Matt Hirschman sat on the pole for the race. Billy Putney, Matt Alix, Karl Hehr, and Jim Storace rounded out the top five starters. A few quick yellow flags dotted the beginning of the race, but Hirschman held onto the point position. Storace charged up from his fifth place starting spot into second and kept pace with the leader, while the rest of the pack sorted themselves out single file. The top two of Hirschman and Storace built a considerable lead over the field but a yellow flag appeared on lap twenty, erasing it. The only two cars to head pitside for an optional pit stop were Karl Hehr and Danny Knoll Jr. Hehr only made adjustments and did not take an extra tire, while Knoll retired his car for the evening. The race was restarted and at the 25 lap mark, Hirschman and Storace again led the field and were followed by Hossfeld, McGrath, Putney, and Alix. Hossfeld and McGrath soon joined the top two cars and the pack of four began to distance themselves from fifth place Putney. However, Hossfeld developed some sort of mechanical issue and dropped through the field and retired the car to the infield for the night. With Hossfeld out, McGrath took over the third spot and on lap 32 passed Storace for second. McGrath was a man on a mission and four laps later was on the bumper of the leader. While McGrath looked for a way around Hirschman, the fight was on for positions seven on back as Erick Rudolph, Wilbur Hebing, Rusty Smith, and Alix battled for any advantage over the other.
At the halfway point Hirschman and McGrath held a sizable lead over Mike Leaty, Putney, and Jan Leaty, Rudolph, Hebing, and Smith, all of whom were spread out over the track. On lap 52 the yellow flag appeared and marked the beginning of pit stops. Almost the entire field pitted for a new right rear tire, while Smith and Hehr stayed out on the track. The single file restart saw Smith and Hehr lead Hirschman, M. Leaty, J. Leaty, Rudolph, McGrath, Storace, Putney, and Jeff Hamman to the green flag. Two caution flags waved in the next few laps, as John Ramsey hit the wall in turn two on lap 58 and Alix broke on lap 64. When the field went back to green, Hirschman now sat in the second spot behind Hehr, as Smith had headed pitside for his pit stop. Hirschman wasted no time in regaining the lead as he passed Hehr on lap 70 for the top spot. Behind the leader, with just 25 laps remaining, it was a dog fight for position between Hehr, Rudolph, M. Leaty, J. Leaty, McGrath, and Hamman. A yellow flag on lap 78 and lap 85 brought the field together for a single file restart with Hirschman, Rudolph, Hehr, J. Leaty, McGrath, M. Leaty, and Hamman leading the way. Hirschman held his lead as Rudolph tried to track him down. McGrath, who had moved up to third, began making his way towards the front as well. With the laps winding down, the battles for position intensified as Jan Leaty tried every which way to get around Hehr for fourth, finally succeeding and taking Hamman with him. Hamman tried pushing his car just a bit too much and spun out, bringing out the caution with just six laps remaining. After two tries of getting lap 94 started again, the field was finally under the green flag. With just five laps to go Hirschman had gained some breathing room as Rudolph now had to contend with a hard charging McGrath. McGrath was unable to get around Rudolph however in the laps that remained. Matt Hirschman grabbed the checkered flag and was crowned the victor of the Tommy Druar and Tony Jankowiak Memorial Modified 100.
Next week at Dunn Tire Raceway Park is the season finale and Fabulous 50’s Night. Fifty lap features will be held for the Modifieds and Street Stocks while 4 Cylinders will race Twin 15 lap events. The Sportsman return with a double event – the completion of the 50 lap event that was postponed due to rain on August 21st and a 35 lap feature event. It is also Autograph Night, with a front stretch Autograph Session planned. For more information visit www.dunntireracewaypark.com or contact Director of Stock Car Events Lori Overdorf at 716-207-2824.
Tommy Druar & Tony Jankowiak Memorial Modified 100 Feature Finish (8/28/10): Matt Hirschman, Erick Rudolph, Tom McGrath, Jan Leaty, Billy Putney, Karl Hehr, Rusty Smith, Zach Shove, Dave Wollaber, Wilbur Hebing, Jeff Hamman, Mike Leaty, Jim Storace, Matt Alix, John Ramsey, Danny Knoll Jr., Chuck Hossfeld, Patrick Emerling, Doug Reaume, Rick Kluth, Ed Weber
Lap Leaders: 1-54 Hirschman; 55-67 Smith; 68-70 Hehr; 71-100 Hirschman
Heat Winners: Hehr, McGrath, Putney