PERFECT PIT STRATEGY LEADS HOSSFELD TO BUD LIGHT/PARTS PLUS
RoC 200 WIN AT OSWEGO ON BUDWESIDER INTERNATIONAL CLASSIC
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 donít 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 donít 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
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.
ď It seemed to work out perfectly when I came in ď said Hossfeld. ď
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 Iím glad we came out on
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 didnít 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 didnít 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 didnít 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.
ď The car got real bad after the restarts ď answered Chuck when
asked about this problem. ď 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 wasnít 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. ď
That last part of Chuckís 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 Schererís 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.
ď Itís fun to come to the races with friends and have them work hard
for you and have the results like we did tonight, thatís huge ď said
Chuck. ď Itís 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. Weíve been doing things right all year long as a team, itís
been fun running the RoC full time this year as it gets old
traveling seven and eight hours to race all the time. Iím getting to
an age where I enjoy racing and there is only so many hours in a
day. Plus Iíve 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. ď
Second place finisher Daren Scherer of Binghamton, NY was all smiles
after the finish. ď 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 ď said Daren. ď 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 Iím 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
Multi Ė time Tioga Speedway Modified track champion Lee Sherwood
also of Binghamton, NY was also very happy after his third place
finish. ď Not bad for a bunch of part timers ď said Lee. ď We came
here with pretty much the same bunch of guys we came here with for
the RoC back in July. Weíre just coming out here to have a good time
racing, weíre not racing for points, the motor hasnít been freshened
in three years, and we just try to race smart and be there at the
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 didnít 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.
RACE REPORT RACE OF CHAMPIONS ASPHALT
MODIFIED TOUR PARTS PLUS / BUD LIGHT 200
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
LAP LEADERS; Hirschman ( 1 Ė 19 ), Hossfeld ( 20 ), Hirschman
( 21 Ė 47 ), Hossfeld ( 48 Ė 96 ), Putney ( 97 Ė 134 ), Hossfeld (
135 Ė 200 ).
NEXT RoC ASPHALT MODIFIED TOUR EVENT; US OPEN
DUNN TIRE RACEWAY PARK Ė SEPTEMBER 18TH Ė FINAL POINT SHOW
Source: JR Kennerup / RoC Modified Tour