HEARTBREAK ALLOWS CHRISTOPHER TO WIN FIRST
CAREER OSWEGO & RoC FEATURE BY INCHES OVER HIRSCHMAN
Saturday night at the Oswego Speedway in the Modified portion of the Port
City 150 that was sponsored by Parts Plus and Gater Racing News. Billy
Putney of Easy Aurora, NY was on his way to a very special win in the Richie
Evans Memorial if it was a 72 lap race.
Unfortunately for Putney the race was 75 laps in length as during a
yellow flag period on the 72nd lap a bolt holding the right front brake
caliper came out. The result was the brake caliper moving and jamming itself
inside the right front rim and this locked the right front up completely and
Putney had to pit and retire from the race.
The heartbreak suffered by Putney was gladly accepted by Ted
Christopher of Plainville, CT who inherited the lead. Christopher driving a
car prepared and owned by Terry Zacharias of Candor, NY knew the last three
laps were going to be tough. As defending RoC Champion Matt Hirschman of
Northampton, Pa. was now in second and Matt who was undefeated at Oswego in
2008 was looking to keep his streak intact.
Following another yellow on lap 72 a three lap shootout was set and
everyone in attendance knew it was going to be an exciting finish.
Christopher a multi time NASCAR National Modified Champion used plenty of
different driving strategies to keep Hirschman at bay. However entering turn
three on the final lap Hirschman got on the outside of Christopher and the
two exited turn four side by side with the crowd standing on their feet.
Christopher moved up the track just a hair but left Hirschman enough room to
stay alongside of him. As the two drivers drag raced to the start finish
line Christopher in his Ron Hutter powered Troyer chassis car had just
enough to hold off Hirschman by inches for the $2,800 win.
Jan Leaty of Williamson, NY who started 11th ended up in third with
Eric Beers of Northampton, Pa. in the DeLange Racing entry in fourth after
starting 21st and Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, NY finishing fifth after
“It’s part of this game sometimes as I’ve been on the other end of
that stick“, said race winner Christopher, who started fourth when talking
about inheriting the lead with only three laps to go. “I think there was one
chance that I could have gotten Billy (lap 63) there in turn two when he
almost put it in the fence. I was paying more attention to him and when I
saw him lift I lifted too because I didn’t want to hit him. I could have
made the shot under him at that time, but I wasn’t ready for that. He
definitely had the car to win tonight.“
The driver known by many as T.C. notched his first career Oswego
and Race of Champions Dart Asphalt Modified Tour win on this night. “That’s
cool but I like winning it more for the Zacharias guys as they support this
Series “ said Ted. “They called me and asked me to drive it, some people
made some comments about they didn’t have good stuff. But I knew right off
that bat when I first got in the car that the car is first class stuff, it’s
got a Hutter Motor and that thing has some steam for sure. Right off the bat
the car went good with old tires on it and then we put new tires on it, made
some changes to it but this is a good car. I’ve haven’t been here in six
years and driving a car for the first time I kind of had to be the crew
chief and driver and I don’t like doing that kind of stuff anymore, but I
had fun and I’m happy for the Zacharias gang.“
Second place finisher Matt Hirschman who started 14th was asked if
he felt he used his car up too much coming to the front. “I did, but I set
it up to be able to do that, it was the right way to go“ answered Matt.
Hirschman actually got to second on a lap 28 restart and he felt
the key point of the race happened on a lap 35 restart when he lost second
back to Christopher. “I got by Teddy before and that restart with Putney he
moved me right out into the dirt and I lost that spot to Teddy. From that
point on when you go single file it’s really tough to pass. We got Teddy and
it would have been nice to get Putney on that start when I was next to him.
We had an exciting finish there, which is good for the fans, it was fun, and
I would have liked to win. We won three in a row here last year so we’ll
come back later this year here and be set up well for the last two races
“I’m not disappointed with a third as I had a goal tonight to
finish every lap here tonight “ said third place finisher Jan Leaty, who
started 11th. “I thought if I met my goal we would have a shot at a top five
finish and if the breaks went our way maybe we could have gotten a win. But
it was really about finishing this first race as opening nights are really
Qualifying for the 36 car filed saw heat races go to Earl Paules,
Rusty Smith, TJ Potrzebowski, and Daren Scherer while Beers won the B Main.
STEEL PALACE NOTES; New on the
RoC Tour this year at Oswego is double file restarts in the feature until
the halfway point. This new procedure certainly helped increase the passing
potential for the feature and was very popular and exciting with a majority
in attendance. Tommy Farrell, III who finished third in this race last year
was slated to drive the Jamie Wolfe owned entry again this year lost an
engine in the final hot lap session ending his day. Zacharias Racing brought
five cars with them for the show with four of them seeing action during the
racing program. Former RoC Champion Pete Brittain now has Zane Zeiner
maintaining his racing machines for this season. Tommy Cloce debuted a new 2
Kwik chassis that had some interesting body work on it. Despite the beauty
of the car Tommy’s luck was awful during the program and he failed to
qualify. Adam Horwith clipped the inside turn one wall in the heat ending
his day. Kyle Ebersole clipped the same inside wall not once, but twice,
during the program but did transfer into the feature. Clipping the inside
turn two wall in the feature shot Steven Reed into the outside wall doing
significant damage. John Markovic debuted a new color scheme this year and
was running in the top six until lap 28 when his car broke loose on a
restart and he slammed the outside turn four wall doing plenty of damage.
Mike Leaty was in a heat race qualifying spot until the car just shut off
and lost power. The bugaboo that caused this to happen was never found and
Mike was the last car to transfer into the feature. Chuck Hossfeld broke a
heim end on the opening lap in the feature. All DNQ’s from this night will
receive a free Hoosier Racing Tire is they show up at the next RoC race in
June at Spencer. The next Modified appearance at Oswego is Saturday
The Race of Champions Dart Asphalt Modified Tour is sponsored by;
Dart Machinery, Hoosier Racing Tires, Gater Racing News, Sunoco Race Fuels,
TJ Toyota, Waite Toyota, PBM Performance Products, Dura – Bond, Total Seal
Piston Rings, Competition Engineering by Moroso, Dynatech, Xceldyne, CV
Products, Afco, and LA Sleeve.
RACE REPORT RACE OF CHAMPIONS DART ASPHALT MODIFIED
REGULAR SEASON RACE # 1
OSWEGO SPEEDWAY RICHIE EVANS MEMORIAL 75 LAPS
FINISH; Ted Christopher, Matt Hirschman, Jan Leaty, Eric Beers, Erick
Rudolph, Rusty Smith, TJ Potrzebowski, Daren Scherer, Earl Paules, Mike
Leaty, Brian DeFebo, Chris Zacharias, Dean Rypkema, Rick Kluth, Jim Storace,
Kyle Ebersole, Billy Putney, Pete Brittain, Andy Walko, Mark Tychoniewicz,
Steven Reed, Doug Reaume, Wilbur Hebing, John Markovic, Matt Kurzejewski,
DNQ’s; David Silvernail, Matt Clemens, Adam Horwith, Tommy Cloce,
Marc Rogers, Tommy Farrell, III, Ken Canestrari, TJ Zacharias, Terry
LAP LEADERS; ( Putney 1 – 72 ), Christopher ( 73 – 75 ).
DART MACHINERY AWARD, SET OF $1,500 DART HEADS; Christopher.
GATER RACING NEWS DRIVER BONUS DRAWING $500; C. Zacharias.
HOOSIER RACING TIRE HARD CHARGER AWARD; M. Leaty ( 26th to 10th ).
HOOSIER RACING TIRE HARD LUCK AWARD; Markovic ( 1st to 24th ).
NEXT RoC TOUR EVENT; Friday June 19th Spencer Speedway, Regular
Season Race # 2.
Source: JR's Motorsports
Media / RoC Dart Asphalt Modified Tour