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   The Chrome Horn - RoC DART Asphalt Modified Tour




When to pit in a 200 lap feature is always the big question as every driver wants to have something left at the end of the race. If you pit too soon you don’t have enough for the end, if you pit around the halfway point you wonder if you have enough left at the end or if you pit too late you don’t leave yourself enough time to get back to the front. These pit strategies were used Saturday night at the Oswego Speedway in the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour sanctioned event.

Current RoC point leader Chuck Hossfeld of Ransomville, NY picked the right time to make a pit stop during a lap 97 yellow as he gave up the lead to pit for fuel and two new tires. The quick pit work by Hossfeld team enabled Chuck to return to the track in fifth position when the race resumed on lap 101.

Hossfeld then methodically worked his way to the lead by making an outside turn three pass of Billy Putney on lap 135. Hossfeld then had to hold off Daren Scherer over the final 37 laps including a last lap, last ditch turn three outside pass effort by Scherer to claim the $6,500 win by .244 seconds. Lee Sherwood was third with Kyle Ebersole in fourth and Earl Paules in fifth.

“ It seemed to work out perfectly when I came in “ said Hossfeld. “ The field followed me in with the exception of Putney and Hirschman. I thought Hirschman had a good plan but I love the 200 lap races. I know it gets expensive but the crew gets involved with the pit stops and they did a great job tonight by getting me back out before anyone else. Also you get some strategy involved in the running of the race and I enjoy that type of racing and I’m glad we came out on top. “

Hossfeld who started fourth ran in the top two positions the entire race until he pitted on lap 97. He led lap 20 and once again led laps 48 until he pitted showed some patience after his pit stop. With new leader Billy Putney and second place runner Tony Hirschman not pitting yet and the third and fourth place cars of Tommy Cloce and Kyle Ebersole already on newer tires that were at least 50 laps older than the fresh ones on the Hossfeld Troyer Chassis car. Hossfeld didn’t charge to the front right away as he bided his time before making his move.

During a lap 107 caution Cloce pitted and this moved Hossfeld into fourth and on the restart he used Hutter power to get past Ebersole for third. Following an epic five lap battle with Hirschman for second Hossfeld drove his car deeper into turn one to grab second on lap 122. Hirschman didn’t give up as he battled right back to challenge Hossfeld for second for the next four laps.

Current leader Billy Putney who had not pitted yet started to slow his pace trying to conserve fuel and this allowed Hossfeld to close right in on his back bumper. Entering turn three on lap 134 Hossfeld pulled the exact same move he made to pass Hirschman 12 laps prior by driving deeper into the turn to make the pass.

Once in front Hossfeld still didn’t have an easy time of it as Hirschman remained glued to the back bumper of the Jerry Gradl Motors sponsored car. The top two stayed that way until lap 157 when the Putney machine ran out of fuel to bring out the yellow, Putney and Hirschman both pitted and returned.

On the restart sixth place starter Daren Scherer started applying some serious pressure on the lead car of Hossfeld as it appeared that Hossfeld was having difficulty getting his car to exit the turns with the speed that it had before the yellow came out.

“ The car got real bad after the restarts “ answered Chuck when asked about this problem. “ I pitted early and when we were here earlier this year ( late May for Evans Memorial ) track position was so important. But today with the Classic going on there was a lot of rubber on the track and track position wasn’t as big of a deal today. My crew had the car right today and all I needed was to get heat back into the tires after the restarts. “

That last part of Chuck’s statement proved to be true as after three laps he would stretch his lead out to a comfortable advantage.

Yellow flag conditions would take place on laps 188, 192, and 197 with the final one setting up a green, white, checker finish.

After each restart Scherer would be right there knocking at the door looking for his first career Oswego Speedway win. But each time Hossfeld had just enough to hold back Scherer with Scherer’s final attempt at a pass for the win taking place in turns three and four coming down for the finish.

Hossfeld and his crew took a victory lap around the speedway in the pace truck following the conclusion of the feature.

“ It’s fun to come to the races with friends and have them work hard for you and have the results like we did tonight, that’s huge “ said Chuck. “ It’s special to win here and especially on Classic Weekend you pull in here and there are so many campers in the parking lots as it is a extra special weekend. Not to cry over spilled milk but we also had a great car back here in July for the RoC but we fell out. We’ve been doing things right all year long as a team, it’s been fun running the RoC full time this year as it gets old traveling seven and eight hours to race all the time. I’m getting to an age where I enjoy racing and there is only so many hours in a day. Plus I’ve started my own business ( Jerry Gradl Motors ) so you need to spend time at that instead of working on the racecar all the time, sacrifices have to be made sometimes. “

Second place finisher Daren Scherer of Binghamton, NY was all smiles after the finish. “ The car was the best it has ever been here and I could have done something stupid on that last lap to try and get the win “ said Daren. “ My crew was telling me not to do anything stupid there late in the race and bring the car home in one piece. But I was pushing it as I saw he ( Hossfeld ) was getting really loose. But I’m happy as we were at the back and came up through the field and the car was strong the entire race and I got a Bud Light at the end. “

Multi – time Tioga Speedway Modified track champion Lee Sherwood also of Binghamton, NY was also very happy after his third place finish. “ Not bad for a bunch of part timers “ said Lee. “ We came here with pretty much the same bunch of guys we came here with for the RoC back in July. We’re just coming out here to have a good time racing, we’re not racing for points, the motor hasn’t been freshened in three years, and we just try to race smart and be there at the end. “

Qualifying for the 22 car field saw time trials set the field with the top 12 in times redrawing for the feature Tony Hirschman set fast time with a lap of 17.549.

STEEL PALACE NOTES; pit stops were not mandatory for the event which saw many drivers use different strategies of when to pit, all cars did pit at least once. Eddie Hawkins was in the car normally driven by Patrick Emerling, Emerling had a prior commitment to attend. Jimmy Zacharias was in the former Ling Trucking sponsored car that was driven by Pete Brittain who is recovering from back surgery. Matt Clemens drove the second Zacharias racing entry while Mike Odwazny drove the Clemens car. Jake Rought returned to the RoC Tour after an absence of several years however Jake didn’t start the feature due to a medical condition that happened to him just before time trials. Jake was transported from the track to a Syracuse area hospital where he was resting comfortably later Saturday evening. Jim Storace had another strong Oswego run curtailed on this night with a blown motor.


FINISH; Chuck Hossfeld, Daren Scherer, Lee Sherwood, Kyle Ebersole, Earl Paules, Mike Leaty, Jimmy Zacharias, Tony Hirschman, Doug Reaume, Billy Putney, Tommy Cloce, Rusty Smith, Nick Barzee, Jan Leaty, Wilbur Hebing, Chris Ridsdale, Eddie Hawkins, Jim Storace, Andy Walko, Mike Odwazny, Matt Clemens. DNS; Jake Rought.

LAP LEADERS; Hirschman ( 1 – 19 ), Hossfeld ( 20 ), Hirschman ( 21 – 47 ), Hossfeld ( 48 – 96 ), Putney ( 97 – 134 ), Hossfeld ( 135 – 200 ).


  Source: JR Kennerup / RoC Modified Tour
Posted: September 4, 2011

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