.Teams and Drivers,
Submit your FREE profile
 for 2010
   The Chrome Horn - RoC Asphalt Modified Tour



Patrick Emerling of Orchard Park, NY unloaded his two race old Troyer Race Cars TA 1 chassis on Sunday afternoon and promptly set quick time in hot laps. That was a sign of things to come as for the remainder of the afternoon Emerling was noticeably the quickest Race of Champion Modified in the season high field of 30 cars.

Emerling drew outside pole for the start of the 75 lap feature and survived a little dirt tracking on the first lap to get the lead away from pole sitter TJ Potrzebowski. Once in front Emerling was literally on a Sunday afternoon drive as he easily won his first career Race of Champions Modified feature win.

Matt Hirschman finished second which was his best finish of the year followed closely by defending Tour champion Chuck Hossfeld in third, Tony Hanbury was fourth and Jimmy Zacharias was fifth.

“It felt nice to be the class of the field today“ said the smiling Emerling in victory lane. “We have been working hard since last year, trying to step up our game, and we have the new TA 1 here and I think that helped us too. We have been working, digging, testing and finally after all of this we really dialed the car in. Me and Jan (car chief) Leaty work well together and the entire Leaty Family who helps us on the car, they are all a class act, we have great chemistry, and that is what we show up to and that is win races.“

TJ Potrzebowski and Patrick Emerling brought the 30 car field to the green of Tour starter Steve Kellogg. The front two raced side by side for nearly the entire first lap which included a little bump in turns three and four which got both drivers sideways as they exited turn four. Emerling outdragged Potrzebowski to the line to lead lap one over Potrzebowski, Andy Jankowiak, Matt Hirschman, and Bobby Holmes.

Patrick spoke about the bump and his early race strategy. “Our tires were cold and I knew we had a really fast car. I was just going to bury it in there on the first lap and it ended up working out for me. I got to thank TJ (Potrzebowski) for racing me clean, I also have to thank Matt (Hirschman) for racing me clean. I feel great beating Matt and Chuck (Hossfeld), they are the guys to beat here and I have a ton of respect for both of them. It’s great to beat them fair and square. It was definitely on my mind to beat TJ into turn one on that first lap and whoever got out front first had the highest probability to win this race.“

Passing was plentiful early on in the race with Hirschman, Holmes, and Nick Pecko all exchanging positions four through six nearly every lap. Jankowiak got past Potrzebowski for second on lap eight while Holmes and Hirschman relegated Potrzebowski back to fifth on lap 12. Hirschman moved into third on lap 16 while Chuck Hossfeld moved into fifth on lap 18.

Up front Emerling was opening up a bigger lead each passing lap while Jankowiak attempted to keep pace, he couldn’t and was left to battle with Hirschman for second. The first yellow of the race came out on lap 28 and that erased a full straightaway lead by Emerling.

On the double file restart Emerling jumped out to the lead while Hirschman stuck his nose under Jankowiak to claim second while Hossfeld moved past Holmes into fourth. With nearly 22 cars running side by side after the restart the potential for the “ big one “ was large.

Unfortunately the “big one“ took place on lap 30 exiting turn four as Tommy Catalano got helped into the outside concrete wall. The resulting carnage involved five other cars which blocked the home stretch and caused a nearly 30 minute delay while the cleanup took place. All drivers were uninjured but the same couldn’t be said for the cars of Catalano, Austin Kochenash, and Daren Scherer.

On the restart Emerling proving that he had the car to beat opened up another big lead. This left Hirschman and Hossfeld to do battle for second while Tony Hanbury and Jimmy Zacharias to set up their own private battle for fourth.

The final last half of the race were basically anti climatic as all that was left to see was how many cars that Emerling would put a lap down. At the checkers Emerling in for the win by 3.21 seconds over Hirschman, Hossfeld, Hanbury, and Zacharias.

Emerling’s corner speed was the biggest difference on this day as he was so much quicker than anyone else to which Patrick spoke about. “Me and Jan worked hard on the setup coming into this race and from the first lap in hot laps my car was on point, it never fell off. I was just very comfortable with the car all day and it never fell off during the day. It feels great to have a car like this under you.“

Patrick who has been so close to winning his first RoC feature spoke about now being a feature winner of the RoC Modified Tour. “I felt like I had a little bit of a monkey on my back. I felt that I had some cars that were capable of winning a race and something would happen and we didn’t win. So now it feels great to finally get that win and it will help raise my confidence for the future.“

Emerling with the win is now the new point leader after three races finished up by saying, “Hopefully we can do this (winning) a lot more.“

Many racers say that second place means that you are the first loser, but following his subpar performances to start the year. Matt Hirschman who finished second with a racecar that went forward was happy with a second on this day.

“Finally a good run, even a top five would have been a good day“ said Matt. "I can’t remember starting a season out this poor like we have this year. Nothing is a win unless you’re sitting in victory lane, but for us it is a good morale boost, it was a good run for us. Obviously the Leaty team with back to back wins have really stepped up their program this year, congrats to them on the last two weeks.“

Matt was asked what was wrong with Matt Hirschman this year? “We haven’t even come close to hitting out stride where we have been in years past. I think our program we just need to get on track.“

Qualifying for season high 30 car field saw American Racer Tire heat races captured by Pecko, Zacharias, Hirschman, and Jankowiak while the Insinger Performance Products / Sunoco Race Fuels B Main was captured by Brian DeFebo.

CONCRETE CASTLE NOTES; the Race of Champions would like to send their condolences to the family of Mike Harris of Cortland, NY. Mike was a former writer for the racing newspapers and a huge supporter of auto racing and the Race of Champions. Mike passed away on Friday evening after battling cancer for the past year. Andy Jankowiak was driving the Kluth Motorsports entry while TJ Zacharias wheeled the Matt Clemens Memorial Modified on this day. Roger Coss had an oil cooler line break after his heat race, with help from the McGuire Motorsports gang Coss was able to take a provisional to gain entrance into the feature. In the feature Coss pulled off once again with the same issue. Tommy Cloce and his team had a long day as they fought with a misfiring motor right from the start of hot laps through the heat race. Tommy and his crew literally changed everything in the electrical department and got the problem fixed in time to take a provisional for the feature and ended up 12th after starting 30th. Due to the high heat and high tire temperatures siphing of the tires was allowed for the day. A unique double took place on this day as the IHRA Drag Racing Series was running a Regional Event at the same time as the races. The Drag Track is located behind turns one and two on the hill at the facility and anyone could attend either facility by paying just one admission price. It appeared that the car of Mike Leaty was damaged severely during the big one on lap 30, he ended up on top of the cars of Daren Scherer and Austin Kochenash. But Leaty was able to drive the car back to the pits after being removed from the other two cars, where Jeff DeMinck and crew went to work and got the car back to racing condition and at the end of the race Leaty was the fastest car on the track as he came back to finish eighth.


FINISH; Patrick Emerling, Matt Hirschman, Chuck Hossfeld, Tony Hanbury, Jimmy Zacharias, Bobby Holmes, Andy Jankowiak, Mike Leaty, George Skora, III, Jim Storace, Rusty Smith, Tommy Cloce, Brian DeFebo, Brandon Oltra, TJ Potrzebowski, Bryan Sherwood, Nick Pecko, Kirk Totten, Amy Catalano, Chris Ridsdale, Zack Curren, Tyler Rypkema, Lee Sharpsteen, Tommy Catalano, Daren Scherer, Austin Kochenash, Karl Hehr, Roger Coss, Ken Canestrari, TJ Zacharias.

LAP LEADERS; Emerling ( 1 – 75 ).

PROVISIONALS; Ridsdale, Canestrari, Coss, Cloce.

NEXT EVENT; Friday June 5th Apple Blossom 75 at Spencer Speedway.
  Source: JR Kennerup / Race Of Champions Modified Tour
Posted: May 25, 2015

2007-2015  © GeeLaw Motorsports/RGeePro/Wolf Pack Ventures, Inc.   Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form without written prior consent