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July 27, 2014

By Tom Cummings


Tioga Center, NY  The Race of Champions Pavement Modified Tour made their second stop of the 2014  season at Shangri-La II Motorspeedway on Sunday afternoon. The forecast was for thunderstorms, but the skies were sunny and the temperatures were hot as Chuck Hossfeld  led from the pole position and held off Andy Jankowiak for the majority of the race. Matt Hirschman got past Jankowiak on a late race restart to challenge Hossfeld. A final caution bunched up the field and Hossfeld held off Hirschman the final five laps to collect his second RoC Tour win of the season. Gene Purvis kept his winning streak alive in Four Cylinder Stock competition. The Lowman, NY driver has collected eleven checkered flags so far in 2014. Devon Bailey was the first finishing Front Wheel Drive Four Cylinder for the third week in a row. Steve Shultz last competed at the 2013 Fall Brawl in the Street Stock Division. Shultz withstood light contact in a lap two caution and worked his way to the front, winning his first Street Stock start of 2014 at The Concrete Castle.


The day was dedicated to the memory of the late engine builder, Gail Clark.  Shangri-La II along with Gail's son, Brian unveiled the permanent sign dedicating a section of the track's frontstretch grandstand in memory of the popular engine builder whose passing has affected many who knew him. There were three special awards presented to the modified teams. The Gail Clark pole award was presented to the driver with the fastest lap turned during the heat races. Matt Hirschman won the award with his fourth lap the fastest in qualifying at 17.784 sec, 101.215 mph around the half mile concrete oval.  The Gail Clark Hard Charger award was presented to Brian DeFebo who started 22nd and finished sixth. Rod Spalding was on hand and presented a Rod Spalding Sportsmanship award to Erick Rudolph for his performance on Sunday.

There were nine Four Cylinder Stocks on hand for a fifteen lap feature. Nick Morich and Gene Purvis started in row three and made quick work of the four cars in front of them.  Eight of the cars started the event as the Duane Bailey's car would not make the feature, but in a gesture of sportsmanship John Maynard gave up his seat to Duane Bailey as he is in the points battle at the speedway.  Alan Blackwell snatched the lead in turn one from pole sitter, Devon Bailey.  Blackwell would surrender the top in turn two of lap two. Morich followed Purvis through the pack, and the two broke away from the pack. Burt Maynard, Devon Bailey and Shannon Gresham would lock up in a three way bathe for fourth, but at the end Purvis would collect win number eleven and extend his points lead over Morich who finished second. Blackwell finished third, Devon Bailey finished fourth and was the first finishing front wheel drive for the third event in a row. Burt Maynard held off Gresham for the fifth spot in just his second ever race at Shangri-La II.

Steve Shultz started sixth for his second ever start at the track.  Shultz and Derrick Tarbox worked to bring that third starting row to the front to challenge polesitter Gary Noe and Jason Duke, Jr. The first caution of the event came out as quickly as the green flag came out when Chris Pozzi spun in a single car incident in turn two. The race started again, but caution would fly a second time as Steve Shultz and Brian Bowen got together in turn one. Shultz slid to turn two, and was broadside to Erick Leach and Chris Pozzi. Both Pozzi and Leach got out of their cars by themselves, but both were finished for the day. Shultz would continue after a trip to the pits. After the restart, Noe would lead Duke, Frisbee and Tarbox. Shultz worked his way back up to fourth by lap four and took over second after contact between Noe and Duke sent Noe up the track and Noe dropping four spots. The contact tore the right side sheet metal loose from the Duke car. Duke was leading, with constant pressure from Shults when the final caution flew for Rich Talada as a wheel came off his ride. Officials examined the right side sheet metal on Duke's car and determined it was enough of a hazard to send him pitside for repairs. Shultz inherited the lead, and would hold off Bill Frisbee, Jr for the final seven laps to collect his second win of the season. Frisbee, the current point leader at the track, finished second followed by Tarbox, Duke and Talada. Contact following the race between Bowen and Duke had the Duke car spin into Victory Lane where Bowen and Duke exchanged words. Bowen was disqualified for his actions in the post race incident.

Matt Hirschman may have had the fastest lap during qualifying, but he finished third in his heat race, dropping him to eighth in the re-draw. Chuck Hossfeld redrew second, drawing the pole for the seventy five lap feature. Bobby Holmes, driving for Rick Kluth racing, started outside the front row. Drivers with a lot of modified experience at Shangri-La II( Jimmy Zacharias, Daren Scherer, Dean Rypkema and Brian DeFebo) started deep in the twenty two car field and would each take their time marching to the front. For DeFebo, he started twenty second and was the caution on the opening lap of the event, spinning in turn two. The field had just gotten back under the green flag with Hossfeld, Holmes, Nick Pecko, Andy Jankowiak and Sam Fullone occupying the first five positions. The second caution came out when Nick Pecko had a three wide run coming off turn four. The Vandling, Pa driver ran out of racetrack, and had his left side tires on the blacktop apron of the track, sending him on a long slow slide into turn two. Austin Kochenash suffered a left front flat and came to the pits for a new tire. The race ran nineteen laps under the green flag with Jankowiak and Mike Leaty challenging Hossfeld for the lead. The duo locked up in a nose to tail draft and still could not get along side of Hossfeld for him to give up his line. Pecko brought out caution number three with a spin in turn four. Several teams took advantage of this caution to use their one tire change allowed by RoC rules.  Hossfeld fended off the challenge from Jankowiak on the restart, but now had to deal with Leaty hanging on to his rear bumper. This challenge was short lived as another caution flew on lap twenty four as contact was made in turn three between Jim Storace and Patrick Emerling. Both drivers would continue, and ultimately have a good day. The next thirty six laps went green with Hossfeld distancing himself from his challengers by nearly 1 second. Jankowiak and Jimmy Zacharias were in pursuit of Hossfeld, but Zacharias had to find a way around Jankowiak. Two cautions flew on lap sixty one. The first for Erick Rudolph as his car came to a stop down low coming off turn four. The race restarted, but caution flew before the lap was completed for the Zacharias ride after he came to a stop in turn three. Zacharias and Rudolph would retire from the race. The restart saw Hirschman move up from sixth to third due to the attrition. He immediately went to work on Jankowiak, wrestling the spot away, and then went on the hunt for Hossfeld. Hossfeld was a bit better getting off turn four and would hold on for his second RoC win of the year. The win was Hossfeld's second career win at Shangri-La II. Hirschman finished second, Jankowiak was third, Emerling and Leaty completed the top five.

Shangri-La II will be silent the next two weeks, and will return to racing on Saturday August 16th with Family Fun Night and Driver Appreciation Night featuring Double Points in all divisions. The racing action will get underway with the Pit Gates opening at 4:30 pm, Grandstand Gate opens and Practice begins at 5:30 pm with racing beginning at 7:00 pm. Grandstand admission is just $6.00 ages sixteen and above, and those under the age of sixteen are admitted for free.

RoC Modifieds (75 Laps)  1) Chuck Hossfeld, 2) Matt Hirschman, 3) Andy Jankowiak, 4) Patrick Emerling, 5) Mike Leaty, 6) Brian DeFebo, 7) Daren Scherer, 8) Jim Storace, 9) Austin Kochenash, 10) Bryan Sherwood, 11) Bobby Holmes, 12) Nick Pecko, 13) Brandon Oltra, 14) Jimmy Zacharias, 15) Erick Rudolph, 16) Michael LaBresche, 17) Tommy Cloce, 18) George Skora, III, 19) Sam Fullone, 20) Dean Rypkema, 21) Ken Canestrari, 22) Tyler Rypkema

Heat Winners: George Skora, III, Matt Hirschman, Nick Pecko

Gail Clark Pole Award ( to Fastest Qualifier) Matt Hirschman 17.784 sec  101.215 mph

Gail Clark Hard Charger Award :  Brian DeFebo

Rod Spalding Sportsmanship Award : Erick Rudolph

Street Stocks (25 Laps) 1) Steve Shultz 2) Bill Frisbee, Jr. 3) Derrick Tarbox, 4) Jason Duke, Sr., 5) Rich Talada, 6) Gary Noe, 7) Billy Coyle, 8) Chris Pozzi, 9) Erick Leach  DQ: Brian Bowen  Heat Winners: Jason Duke, Sr., Gary Noe

Four Cylinder Stocks (15 Laps) 1) Gene Purvis, 2) Nick Morich,  3) Alan Blackwell, 4) Devon Bailey, 5) Burt Maynard, 6) Shannon Gresham, 7) Josh Bailey, 8) Duane Bailey   DNS: John Maynard  Heat Winners: Gene Purvis, Nick Morich

RWD WINNER: Gene Purvis    FWD WINNER: Devon Bailey