ZEINER, BRITTAIN, ROGGIE, AND GARLOCK
CLAIM 60TH SUNOCO RoC VICTORIES ON FRIDAY NIGHT
calendar said it was fall, but it was more like mid - summer
conditions for the Friday night portion of the 60th Sunoco Race of
Champions at the Oswego Speedway. With the weather being hot the
racing was even hotter with feature wins going to Zane Zeiner in the
Sportsman, Pete Brittain who claimed the Modified All – Star event,
Andre Roggie in the Mini Stocks, and Tim Garlock in the Factory
Eddie Hawkins and Jonathon Price brought the 30 car Sportsman field
to green for 100 laps of action with Hawkins taking the lead
followed by Andy Jankowiak, Jerry Gradl, Jr. Price, and Tom McGrath.
McGrath moved into fourth and Nick Cappelli into fifth on lap two
just before a multi car tangle in turn two took place.
On the restart the outside row in the double file start took off
with Jankowiak getting the lead followed by McGrath, Hawkins, Buck
Catalano, and George Skora, III. The yellow would fly once again on
lap four for a single car spin.
The restart was called off by officials as the front row of
Jankowiak and McGrath jumped the restart and these two bitter rivals
were seen motioning to each other under the caution. Fireworks
erupted between the two on the restart as McGrath clearly got the
lead entering turn one however going into turn three Jankowiak spun
McGrath out causing a multi car accident.
The decision was made after all of the crashing and banging to go to
single file restarts for the remainder of the race. On the restart
Catalano inherited the lead over Hawkins, Skora, Cappelli, and 20th
place starter Zane Zeiner who was in the Dan Kurzejewski owned car.
Now with everyone settling into racing mode Zeiner made quick work
of the cars in front of him as he moved into fourth on lap six,
third on lap nine, and second on lap ten. It seemed that Zeiner
could put the car any place he chose on the track and that was
proved with a strong outside turn four move to get the lead from
Catalano on lap 15. Once in the lead Zeiner opened up a big lead
with Cappelli moving into second on lap 20.
But all eyes were now focused on former two time event winner Tony
Hanbury who was involved in the lap two accident. Hanbury was forced
to pit with front end tow out damage from the contact in the Dean
Rypkema owned car. Hanbury charged back to take fifth on lap 20 and
gained one spot each for the next two laps.
A yellow on lap 22 bunched up the field and as the race resumed
under green flag conditions Zeiner opened up his large lead over
Cappelli who was holding off Hanbury for second with Catalano and
Skora rounding out the top five.
Hanbury took second on lap 39 and set sail after Zeiner as the two
veteran drivers dueled for the lead. Just past the halfway point
Hanbury after a restart almost walled the car exiting turn two after
some contact and this put him into defensive driving mode as he let
his tires cool down. This allowed Cappelli to start chewing on
Hanbury’s back bumper as the battle for second intensified.
With 25 laps to go and Zeiner holding a comfortable lead it appeared
that his car started losing some grip while in lap traffic. Hanbury
now with his tires back under him took up the battle for the lead
and reeled Zeiner back in. The scene was now set for a fantastic
finish as the top two were in heavy lap traffic with less than 20
laps to go.
Just as things were about to get interesting the final yellow of the
race on lap 83 came out and stole the thunder from the remainder of
the race. Zeiner easily cruised to his second Sunoco Race of
Champions in the last four years. Hanbury ended up a close second
with Cappelli in third, Skora in fourth, and Jankowiak in fifth.
Qualifying heat races were won by Gradl, Jankowiak, Price, and Skora.
Zeiner in victory lane commented on his win. “ It wasn’t easy at all
as I knew Tony was coming like a house of fire. Plus my car would
get tight the longer we ran under green. “
“ I have to really say thank you to Ed McGuire who loaned us a rear
end so we could run this race tonight. If it wasn’t for him we would
have never been here to race tonight “ said Zane.
Zeiner is competing in three different divisions on the weekend had
this to say about all of the racing he was going to be involved in.
“ This is a good way to start the weekend and I think no one has
ever won three races in a weekend. But I have really good equipment
in the Late Model and Modified so we’re going to give it a shot. “
Hanbury had this to say after the feature. “ The car wasn’t that
good all day long, but we kept working on it and it was getting
better. But it seemed after the tow got knocked out and we reset it
the car got better. The car is all bent up right now but we’ll take
a second. “
Rusty Smith and Pete Brittain brought the 13 car Modified field to
green for the 30 lap All – Star feature. Brittain jumped out to the
lead over Rick Kluth who was driving the Jamie Wolff owned entry,
Smith, Billy Putney, and Chuck Hossfeld.
Putney was the car on the move early as he stormed into third on lap
three. Soon after taking third the left front brake caliper started
to turn cherry red and this hampered the effort of the defending
Modified race winner.
Erick Rudolph was the car on the move as the race continued as he
took fifth from Hossfeld on lap five and fourth from Smith on lap 17
and moved into third by passing Putney one lap later.
Hossfeld and Matt Hirschman started their charge to the front with
ten laps to go as both finally cleared Putney to take third and
Up front Brittain was on a Sunday afternoon drive but Rudolph wasn’t
giving up just yet as he reeled Brittain in for the lead. The full
straightaway lead was now cut to single car lengths with a handful
of laps remaining.
Rudolph ran out of laps as Brittain claimed the $2,000 win over him
with Hossfeld, Hirschman, and Kluth rounding out the top five.
After the race the top five had a choice of either picking for their
starting spot for the 200 tomorrow or run time trials and see where
they line up from there. Brittain drew the pole for the 200 on
Saturday with Rudolph, Hossfeld, and Hirschman all passing on the
draw. Kluth decided to draw and ended up drawing 12th for the 200
The Mini Stock 25 lap feature saw Gene Purvis and Barry Christman,
Jr. bringing the 14 car field to green. Purvis got the jump to lead
the race over Tim Dunn, Christman, Archie Haner, and Scott Shaffer.
Haner and Shaffer got tangled up on the next circuit bringing out
On the restart the top three positions remained the same with Andre
Roggie now moving into fourth and Ryan Purvis in fifth. Roggie who
has owned this event in years prior moved into third on lap four and
then executed a four wide pass for the lead on lap five. Once in the
lead Roggie opened up a huge lead as he left the remainder of the
field to battle among themselves.
The remainder of the race saw Shaffer become the story and without
the aid of a yellow he picked off the competition one by one. In the
end his bid to unseat Roggie came up short as Roggie claimed his
fifth Sunoco RoC win over Shaffer, Christman, Dunn, and Purvis.
Roggie was the overall winner with Shaffer being the first rear
wheel drive car to cross the line and Zak Petrie was the dirt car
Qualifying races were won by Roggie and Christman.
The final event of the evening saw Mike Odwazny and Howard Bott
bring the four car Factory Stock field to green for their 20 lap
feature. Odwazny led the first lap followed by Tim Garlock, Bott,
and Tom Casagrande.
Defending race winner Garlock took advantage of a slip up the track
by Odwazny on lap two to take the lead. At the same time Casagrande
moved into third and one lap later he took second.
Garlock by now opened up a huge lead but Casagrande who won this
race two years ago didn’t give up and he started to chop into the
lead. With the white flag waving Casagrande was now knocking on the
back bumper of Garlock. But Garlock didn’t waver and held on for the
win over Casagrande, Bott, and Odwazny.
The qualifying race was captured by Garlock.
NOTES; the warm bright sunshine day turned cloudy just after
hot laps and radar indicated that rain was heading toward the track.
The schedule was shuffled along with the racing program starting ten
minutes early to try and get the entire program in before rain hit.
The rain went north of the track and the entire racing program was
completed in just over three hours. Zeiner won in the car that
Kurzejewski drove to an apparent victory two years ago in this same
event. But the win was taken away in post race tech due to a rules
infraction, tonight the car passed tech with flying colors. All
Sportsman heats were won by Western New York State cars. Former
Chemung Speedrome Track Manager Jody Buckley back racing as he
purchased the Bobby Osgood car that raced at Chemung all year long.
TJ Toyota and Waite Toyota supplied the pace vehicle.
60TH SUNOCO RACE OF CHAMPIONS SPORTSMAN FINISH; Zane Zeiner,
Tony Hanbury, Nick Cappelli, George Skora, III, Andy Jankowiak,
Kevin Timmerman, Buck Catalano, Eddie Hawkins, Amy Catalano, TJ
Potrzebowski, Bryan Sherwood, Ryan Beeman, Daryl Lewis, Jr., Andy
Lewis, Jody Buckley, Zack Curren, Patrick Emerling, Don King, Jr.,
Toad Bradshaw, Jonathon Price, Tom McGrath, Eric Stritzel, Lexi
Wilson, Mark Cline, Jake Boerman, Fred Taylor, Russ Brown, Jerry
Gradl, Jr., Keith Gilliam, Jake Rought.
MODIFIED ALL – STAR RACE FINISH; Pete Brittain, Erick
Rudolph, Chuck Hossfeld, Matt Hirschman, Rick Kluth, Billy Putney,
Rusty Smith, Jan Leaty, Earl Paules, Daren Scherer, Wilbur Hebing,
Karl Hehr, TJ Potrzebowski.
60TH SUNOCO RACE OF CHAMPIONS MINI STOCK FINISH; Andre Roggie,
Scott Shaffer, Barry Christman, Jr., Tim Dunn, Gene Purvis, Otis
Bradshaw, Ryan Purvis, Archie Haner, Zak Petrie, Greg Turner, Dale
Lazzaro, Marshall Bradshaw, Matt Dawson, Russell Peets.
60TH SUNOCO RACE OF CHAMPIONS FACTORY STOCK FINISH; Tim
Garlock, Tom Casagrande, Howard Bott, Mike Odwazny.
Source: JR Kennerup / RoC Modified Tour