LADY LUCK SHINES DOWN ON MIKE LEATY
IN EXCITING DUNN TIRE RoC FEATURE
Mike Leaty has never had any racing luck when it comes to competing
at the Dunn Tire Raceway Park. On Saturday night in the RoC
sanctioned 75 lap asphalt Modified feature lady luck certainly
shined down on the Williamson, NY driver.
Running a patient third with less than a lap to go in the feature
the top two cars of Chuck Hossfeld and Matt Hirschman tangled going
into turn one racing for the lead. Leaty inherited the lead for a
green, white, and checker finish then another accident occurred with
less than a half a lap to go in the race resulting in a
Under RoC race procedures the field is frozen at that point and
scoring reverts back to the last completed lap for all cars running.
Leaty was credited with the win. Ebersole ended up second with
current point leader Daren Scherer in third, Sege Fidanza running
the Kluth 44 finished fourth and Hossfeld was fifth.
“Yes it is nice to have lady luck on your side but all the credit
for this win goes to my hard working crew“ said a very happy Mike
Leaty in victory lane. “They worked their butts off all day long, I
drew 97 to start the day off, this car wasn’t that good in the heat,
and we they worked even more just to get it dialed in for the
feature. Then we had a great pit stop and came out in second
basically of the cars who pitted and at the end I knew there would
be some fireworks because they (Hossfeld & Hirschman) have a past
where they can’t race together for the win without fireworks and
sure enough fireworks happened and we hung back and got the lead and
Erick Rudolph and Tommy Cloce brought the field to the green of
Larry Woodruff. Rudolph wheeling the Ed McGuire owned car rocketed
into the lead followed by Sege Fidanza, Cloce, Daren Scherer, and
Karl Hehr. The caution flew after one lap was scored when Doug
Reaume and Chuck Hossfeld spun in turn three. Hossfeld restarted at
the rear while Reaume was towed off with front end damage.
After a yellow on lap two the next 30 laps were caution free with
plenty of passing taking place featuring Hossfeld coming from 22nd
to fifth in just 30 laps and using every square inch of the racing
With a yellow coming out on lap 32, eleven of the fifteen cars on
the track pitted for a fresh right rear tire. When the race resumed
Scherer was now in the lead with Matt Hirschman in second, Andy
Walko in third, Bryan Sherwood in fourth, and by being the first out
of the pits with a new right rear Hossfeld in fifth.
Mike Leaty who was running 14th before the yellow came out in second
of the cars who pitted; Mike had this to say about his very quick
tire change pit stop. “My dad called me in the pits and Rick Knapp,
he’s the man who got me back out in second with that fast tire
Hirschman used an inside turn one pass of Scherer for the lead on
lap 34 and at the same time Fidanza suffered a flat tire and
Hossfeld made contact with Sherwood sending him into the turn one
wall to bring the yellow out. For his role in the contact Hossfeld
was sent to the rear for over aggressive driving. Scherer vacated
his second spot as he pitted for a new right rear.
With the race resuming on lap 35 Hirschman stayed out in front with
Walko now in second followed by Leaty, Rusty Smith, and Billy
Putney. Rudolph moved into fifth on lap 36 and at the halfway point
Smith got past Walko for second and set his sights on Hirschman.
Rudolph moved past Walko for fourth on lap 39 with Kyle Ebersole
moving into fifth on lap 40.
Following a lap 47 restart Rudolph showed he had the car to beat by
passing Leaty on the outside for third. Meanwhile Hossfeld came out
of nowhere to move into fifth on lap 48, into fourth on lap 49, and
into third on lap 52.
The large crowd started to stand with 20 laps to go with Hirschman
on old tires leading Rudolph and Hossfeld who both pitted for a new
Exiting turn four on lap 58 Rudolph got under Hirschman to grab the
lead and Hossfeld seizing the opportunity rocketed into second right
on the back bumper of Rudolph.
During a yellow on lap 60 Hirschman ducked into the pits for a new
right rear tire.
On the restart Rudolph easily pulled away into the lead with all
eyes on Hirschman restarting from rear and was using the top groove
exclusively to pass.
During a yellow flag period on lap 63 disaster struck Rudolph as he
coasted to a stop on the homestretch, out of fuel.
Hossfeld then inherited the lead on the restart with 11 laps to go,
he was followed by Leaty, Ebersole, Scherer, and Hirschman.
With ten to go Hirschman moved into fourth and with eight to go he
took third and one lap later he moved into second and was closing in
rapidly on Hossfeld for the lead. The yellow came out with five to
go for Putney who had a flat tire and this set up a five lap dash
for the cash.
Hirschman immediately jumped to the outside when the race resumed in
an attempt to pass Hossfeld for the lead. But each attempt made by
Hirschman at both ends of the race track was blocked by Hossfeld,
who ran a tad higher line on the track. Just after receiving the two
to go signal entering turn one Hirschman tried to fake high dive low
move on Hossfeld.
The move almost worked as Hirschman got under Hossfeld in turn two
but ran out of real estate to get the lead. With the white flag
waving Hirschman dove low exiting turn four and entering turn one
contact between Hossfeld and Hirschman saw both drivers spin out in
turn one to bring out the yellow.
By RoC rules the race must finish green, white and checker and the
lap counter was turned back to lap 73 with Leaty now in front
followed by Ebersole, Scherer, TJ Potrzebowski, and Fidanza.
Now a two lap shootout was set and all was calm until exiting turn
two after receiving the white flag. Scherer and Potrzebowski got
together with JR Kent jumping over the right rear tire of
Potrzebowski and nearly going out of the ball park instead making
hard contact with the outside concrete retaining wall.
The yellow came out immediately and with a potential of a long
cleanup RoC officials called for a yellow checker finish with
scoring frozen at the last completed lap for all cars running at
Leaty was the winner followed by Ebersole, Scherer, Fidanza, and
“This place has never been good to me" recalled Mike. “I’ve been in
position to win here before but Chuck Hossfeld is so good here and
Hirschman is always good here and my dad had always been fast here.
So if you came out of here with a third or fourth place finish
typically you’re doing pretty good. There’s been twice here where I
come out of the pits in second, looks like I have a shot for the win
and have the right front roll off the rim. I’ve never had any good
luck here but I think it all came back to me today.“
Second place finisher Kyle Ebersole had this to say about his second
place finish. “I went from the middle to the back to the front
during the race. I held my line and let stuff happen all around me
and ended up second, we’ll take that.“
Qualifying events for the 24 car field saw heat wins go to Reaume,
Scherer, and Hirschman.
By finishing ninth Bobby Holmes won the Gater Racing News $500 cash
bonus for being the highest finishing B Modified in the feature.
NOTES: The large gathering of race fans were treated to a
very exciting feature with plenty of passing taking place. Current B
Modified point leader TJ Zacharias blew an engine in the first hot
lap session. Tom Wiest offered his B Modified to use for the
remainder of the racing program to retain his lead in the B Modified
points. Once again another strong run by Rusty Smith was ended this
time by a broken rear end on lap 51 and he was in second. Bryan
Sherwood was transported and admitted to a Buffalo, NY hospital for
a suspected compound fracture of his arm following his lap 34
accident after contact between him and Chuck Hossfeld saw the second
generation racer receiving a broken left front wheel assembly and
the contacting the outside turn one wall. RoC would like send wishes
for a speedy and full recovery to Bryan who was expected to be
operated on at 7 am Sunday morning. TDH Refrigeration awarded a $100
cash bonus to the top three finishers in the feature while huge race
fan Howie Markel awarded cash bonuses of $300, $200, and $100 to the
top three drivers at lap 38. The RoC Mods are right back at it this
Saturday night at the Holland Speedway for a 100 lap feature with
all laps being sponsored with a minimum of $20 per lap with half of
the money going to the leader and the other half going to a another
driver on that lap. The other driver receiving the lap money will be
determined by draw.
RACE REPORT - DUNN TIRE
RACEWAY PARK 75
FINISH; Mike Leaty, Kyle Ebersole, Daren Scherer, Sege
Fidanza, Chuck Hossfeld, Billy Putney, Matt Hirschman, TJ
Potrzebowski, Bobby Holmes, JR Kent, Andy Walko, Erick Rudolph,
Rusty Smith, Karl Hehr, Jimmy Zacharias, Byron Sherwood, Jim
Storace, TJ Zacharias, Tony Hanbury, Tommy Cloce, Mike Fiebelkorn,
Jr., Mike Odwazny, Doug Reaume.
LAP LEADERS; Rudolph (1-32), Scherer (33), Hirschman (34-57),
Rudolph (58-63), Hossfeld (64-73) Leaty (74 -75).
AMERICAN RACER TIRE HARD CHARGER AWARD; Leaty (18th to 1st).
AMERICAN RACER TIRE HARD LUCK AWARD; Cloce (2nd to 20th)
HOWIE MARKEL HALFWAY BONUS; $300-Hirschman, $200-Smith,
TDH REFRIGERATION TOP THREE FINISHERS BONUS $100 EACH; Leaty,
GATER RACING NEWS $500 CASH BONUS HIGHEST B MODIFIED FINISHER;
Source: JR Kennerup / RoC Asphalt Modified Tour