Story By: STEVEN PETTY / LANCASTER MOTORPLEX – LANCASTER, NY – The anticipated 2022 stock car season opener at Lancaster Motorplex took place Saturday with beautiful weather to usher in the new era of speedway ownership at the historic ½-mile facility.
Earning the victory in the Sportsman feature was George Skora III from Eden, NY.
Dave Krawczyk from West Seneca, NY won the Street Stock feature. Pennsylvania driver Jake Christman won the New York Super Stock Series feature. Eldon King III from Delevan, NY won the Late Model feature. Kyle Hutchinson from Alden, NY won the Mighty TQ Midget feature. Charles Palmer from Cheektowaga, NY won the 4 Cylinder feature.
George Skora III used his pole position to take the lead early in the 30-lap feature for the Sportsman. Andrew Nye spun, in turn, one on lap six to bring out the race’s first caution. Jake Lutz would slow in turn three to bring out the caution just one lap later. With Skora leading, Tyler Catalano would take over second place from Mislin, and then Trevor Catalano would take over third on lap 13. Andy Jankowiak would start deep in the field and by the halfway mark, he was up to fourth place and then passing Trevor Catalano for third. Jankowiak would take over second on lap 17 and start to go after Skora, who increased his lead over the field. Jankowiak had one of the fastest cars on the track, as he would close in on Skora and was battling for the lead. Skora and Jankowiak would race hard the last few laps, with Skora edging Jankowiak for the win.
Garrett Zacharias and Tommy Krawczyk led the NYSS to the green flag for their 50-lap feature with Zacharias leading. Jimmy Steffenhagen battled with Krawczyk and would take over second place on lap two. As the field went single file at the race’s 1/5th mark, Ryan Lagoda would bring out the first caution of the event after suffering a flat right-front tire on lap 11. Once the field got going, Zacharias and Steffenhagen would start to pull away from the field, as Brian Hallett, Jake Christman, and Tommy Krawczyk raced in the top five. Steffenhagen would use the inside line to take the lead away on lap 28 after passing Zacharias in turn one. The leaders would encounter lap traffic with 20 laps remaining, allowing Zacharias to close right back on Steffenhagen for the lead. Nate Peckham slowed in turn two to bring out the caution on lap 34. Brian Hallett would pass Zacharias off the restart to take over second place, as Steffenhagen showed the way. Zacharias would regain the runner-up position on lap 37 and would go after Steffenhagen for the lead. Jake Christman would take over third place with seven laps remaining. Steffenhagen would spin on the back straightaway on lap 45 after contact by Zacharias. With the top two involved in the caution, that would put Pennsylvania driver Jake Christman in the lead with Hallett now in second. Krawczyk would battle with Hallett and would take over the second position with three laps remaining. Christman would hold off Krawczyk and Jacob Gustafson to score the feature win.
Dave Russell and Danny Knoll were on the front row for the Late Models with Russell showing the way. Bobby Weber and Dave Whittaker got together to bring out the caution on lap two. Russell would once again take off in the lead over Knoll on the restart, but the caution flag would fly one more time as Sam Fullone and Joe Mancuso got together in turn one. Fullone was able to continue, and Mancuso went off on the tow truck. Dave Russell would continue to show the way on the restart as Dave Heitzhaus would move into second place after passing Knoll. Eldon King III was on the move, and he would enter the top three and then would get together with Heitzhaus to bring out the caution near the race’s halfway mark. Eldon King would drive back up through the field and would eventually take the lead away from Dave Russell. King would drive on to score the win.
Tim Garlock and Chris Powers were on the front row for the Street Stock feature, and it was Garlock showing the way. Tim Welshans, Nik Welshans, Mark Hoch, and Dave Krawczyk raced in the top five early on and battled for the runner-up position for several laps. Nik Welshans would pass brother Tim to take over the second position on lap nine. Mark Hoch would pass Welshans for second on lap 13, Nik Welshans spun in turn three to bring out the first caution of the event on lap 14 and Mark Hoch had to stop on the front straightaway for having a fire underneath the hood of his racer. On the restart, Dave Krawczyk would take second away from Tim Welshans and would go after Garlock for the lead, Brian Hoffman would move into third place on lap 16. A late-race restart would bunch the field back up and Krawczyk would challenge and would eventually pass Garlock for the lead on lap 22. Krawczyk would go on to pick up the feature victory.
Russ Bulger Jr and Tim Durfy brought the 4 Cylinders to the green flag with Bulger showing the way. Charles Palmer would take the lead away from Bulger on lap two, and Bulger would make contact with the backstretch wall. Josh Schosek flipped in turn four to bring out the red flag on lap two. Schosek was okay after the incident. With Palmer leading, David Brunka would take over second place and then go after Palmer for the lead. The top two would pull away from the balance of the field, and Palmer would edge out Brunka for the win.
The Mighty TQ Midgets ran their first points race of their 2022 season and it was Andy Jankowiak and Mark Schulz on the front row, with Kyle Hutchinson taking the lead away from Jankowiak at the end of lap one. Dave Wollaber would catch and battle with Jankowiak for second place at the race’s halfway mark. Wollaber would take over second and then challenge Hutchinson for the lead. Shawn Nye would pass Jankowiak for third with four laps remaining. Hutchinson would go on to score the win.
Stock car racing continues at Lancaster Motorplex on Saturday, June 11 as it will be the makeup 2021 US Open with the highly anticipated return of the Race of Champions Modified Series, plus Late Models and Street Stocks.
At all stock car events, the popular Big Wheel Races will be taking place during intermission. Kids aged 12 and under can sign up at the sign-up table located at the main gate each race night. On opening night, the triumphant return of the Big Wheels with over 30 young race fans taking part. In the 3-5 aged division, Ben Powers won over Levi Rodriguez and Emma Parks. Gianna Powers won the 6-8 aged group over McKenna and Gwendelyn Skora. Joseph Rodriguez won the 9 and over group over Mason Hanel and Kyle Brown.
RACE RESULTS – OPENING DAY 2022
Sportsman: GEORGE SKORA III, Andy Jankowiak, Tyler Catalano, Trevor Catalano, Bill Mislin, Bobby Hanel, Jake Lutz, Kevin Timmerman, Shawn Nye, Alan Bookmiller, Mark Pennell, Andrew Nye, Dave Kozlowski, Bobby Weber, Geoff Sharkey, Tony Carbone, Tim Ruggiero
Qualifying Heats: Shawn Nye, George Skora III, Trevor Catalano
New York Super Stocks: JAKE CHRISTMAN, Tommy Krawczyk, Jacob Gustafson, Brian Hallett, Josh Hunter, Jason Duke, Jason Duke Sr, Cole Hicks, Garrett Zacharias, Jimmy Steffenhagen, Paul Godby, Brandon Oltra, Dave Bailey, Tim Faro, Nate Peckham, Matt Druar, Andy Cocilova, Ryan Lagoda
Qualifying Heats: Ryan Lagoda, Garrett Zacharias, Nate Peckham
Late Models: ELDON KING, Dave Russell, Danny Knoll Jr, Ron Richter, Sam Fullone, Joe Mancuso, Bobby Weber, Dave Whittaker, Jared Shanley (Did Not Start)
Qualifying Heats: Dave Heitzhaus, Dave Whittaker
Street Stocks: DAVE KRAWCZYK, Tim Welshans, Rich Sharpe, James Loveland, Nik Welshans, Jacob Gustafson, Jason Anasiewicz, Garrett Cleversley, Kyle Schosek, Mike Dalfonso, Tyler Day, Mike Rogers, Tim Garlock, Brian Hoffman, Tommy Wentland, Dylan Carbone, Frank Prell, Chris Powers, Mark Hoch, Lou Carbone, Russ Bulger Jr (Did Not Start)
Qualifying Heats: Tim Garlock, Tommy Wentland, Brian Hoffman
TQ Midgets: KYLE HUTCHINSON, Dave Wollaber, Shawn Nye, Andy Jankowiak, Mark Schulz, Jonathan Reid, Nick Groff, Vinnie Christiano III, Ronnie Flaim, Arik McGruder, Erik Musto, Chad Haywood, Brian Schulz, Kevin Wilson, Jamie Pew, Brendan Wallace, Adam Brown, Tony Petrea
Qualifying Heats: Brian Schulz, Mark Schulz
4 Cylinders: CHARLES PALMER, David Brunka, Kevin Bainbridge, Chris Deyoe Jr, Dan Dressel, Bob Palmer, Mason Offhaus, Tim Durfy, Mike Piccirilli, Ryan Hessler, John Byrd, Jon Klamut, Ryan Lent, Evan Reardon, Kyle Casper, Hunter McKay, Russ Bulger Jr, Josh Schosek, Eric Black, Casey Pew, Russ Bulger Sr (DQ)
Qualifying Heats: Kevin Bainbridge, Russ Bulger Jr, Charles Palmer