.Teams and Drivers,
Submit your FREE profile
 for 2010
   The Chrome Horn - News



at Dunn Tire Raceway Park, Lancaster, NY
by Dave Meredith

This race has a special meaning for me as Tommy Druar was my childhood neighbor, and his sisters, Peggy and Debby, were schoolmates of mine. Tommy was friendly and well-liked. He was a skillful wrench and very good racecar driver.

Druar, who was the NASCAR Modified Track Champion at Lancaster Speedway (now known as Dunn Tire Raceway Park) in 1987-1988, was leading the championship mid-season in 1989 when he suffered a life-ending encounter as he ballooned over another competitor’s wheel on June 10th. Tommy’s wife, Mickey, was on hand tonight as were his daughter Ashley and his son Matt, who competes in the #37 Sportsman Division at DRTP. Matt finished second in tonight’s feature. The Druars lost another brother, Robert, earlier this year. According to Debby Druar Jankowiak, Bobby was a big fan of the “the Tommy and Tony Memorial Race.”

In less than a year the Druar and Jankowiak families would suffer another devastating loss as Debby’s husband, Tony, suffered a life-ending injury on the NASCAR Modified Tour event at Stafford Motor Speedway in the Spring Sizzler on April 22, 1990. Tony was driving the #99 Pots/Riggs machine and was passing a lap down car. They touched wheels, sending Tony nose first into the turn one wall.

Tony was survived by his wife Debby Druar Jankowiak, and two sons. Son Andy is the leading the points at Holland Speedway with four wins going into tonight’s event at Holland. Tommy Jankowiak is not a motorsports enthusiast - he is into other sports and athletics.

In attendance tonight in addition to Debby Jankowiak, were Ashley Druar, Peggy Druar and Mickey Druar. The event would pay $3000.00 to win and $300.00 to start. Howie Markel and Lori Ovedorf also collected lap money for the racers. I’m not sure of the exact amount collected, but I believe I heard over the PA system that $5800 was raised. The event offered $370 for the leader of lap 37 and $730 dollars to the lap 73 leader. Both laps were led by Erick Rudolph of Ransomville, NY.

The event was run under Race of Champions Asphalt Modified rules as far as the weight, motors, and shocks allowed. Lap 73 was a mandatory caution. For the last 37 laps only the green-flag laps were scored - which was a good thing as many cautions came after lap 73, including a green-white-checker finish.

Many of the laps sponsored were in the memory of other racers who have passed. Hazel and I sponsored lap 99 in memory of John Blewett III (lap 66 was taken). There were just too many people to remember and I couldn’t hear all of the announcements.

Qualifying for the “Tommy and Tony” was done with heat races.
Heat 1 winner: Jimmy Zacharias; Heat 2 Winner: Austin Kochenash; Heat 3 winner: T.J. Zacharias.

The race drivers were introduced on the front stretch with Debby Jankowiak and Mickey Druar wishing each competitor good luck. They gave the command to “start your engines.”

Jimmy Zacharias and Mike Leaty started on the front row and Leaty scooted to front on the star with Zacharias in hot pursuit. Leaty lost his challenger on lap 24 when the caution came out. The leaders were Leaty, Zacharias, Storace, Erick Rudolph and Sege Fidanza in the top five. On the lap 24 restart Zacharias and Storace made contact and Zacharias’ nose ended up against the front stretch wall coming out of turn four. He made nice recovery by not hitting the big foam blocks. He took the #71 to the pits to be looked at and returned. The #47 of Storace was sent to the rear for the incident. On the restart Billy Putney in the #88 made contact with the #71 and right front control arm damage caused an early end to the night for Jimmy Zacharias.

On lap 37 Erick Rudolph took the lead from Leaty and held it until the lap 73 break. On the lap 74 restart Matt Hirschman took the lead and was challenged by Hossfeld in the #22 over the last 36 laps. On lap 90 caution came out again. Hossfeld’s car appeared to be stronger on the long run, but no matter what line or tactic he tried, he just couldn’t catch the speedy Hirschman on the numerous restarts. The green-white-checkers was a nice finish with the win going to Matt Hirschman in the #60. Hirschman hails from Northampton, PA, and he thanked the fans for supporting the event. Hossfeld also thanked the fans for the support.

Tommy Druar & Tony Jankowiak Memorial Modified 110 Feature Finish:
Matt Hirschman, Chuck Hossfeld, Patrick Emerling, Rusty Smith, Billy Putney, Erick Rudolph, Mike Leaty, Jan Leaty, Austin Kochenash, Sege Fidanza, Jim Storace, Doug Reaume, TJ Zacharias, Kevin Lewis, Karl Hehr, Dick Kluth, Kevin Miller, Daren Scherer, Jimmy Zacharias, Mike Odwazny, Tom Weist, Tim Neis, Tommy Cloce.

Lap Leaders: 1-36 M. Leaty; 37-73 Rudolph; 74-110 Hirschman
Heat Winners: J. Zacharias, Kochenash, TJ Zacharias

Source: Dave Meredith / TheChromeHorn.com
Posted: August 19, 2012

©2012 GeeLaw Motorsports/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.