Late Saturday evening, an elated yet reflective Chuck Hossfeld took time while savoring victory at Elegant Builders Raceway Park in Lancaster, to remember a fallen friend Mac Myers. Moments earlier Hossfeld had prevailed in a down-to-the-wire battle with Erick Rudolph to win in the Sunoco Race of Champions Modified Tour Mac Myers Memorial 75.
Saturday’s victory was a reversal of fortune for Hossfeld’s team because it was racing with its second engine after blowing another the ROC event Friday at Spencer Speedway near Rochester.
In other area open-wheel events over the weekend, Jared Zimbardi of Little Valley held on to win the Patriot Sprint Tour 25-lap main event Friday over a Stewart Friesen at Ransomville Speedway and at Holland Motorsports Complex on Saturday, Jake Vernon took the win in the NASCAR Pro Modified Budweiser 100.
Rudolph, who also races a DIRT.car 358 Modified at Ransomville and is the current series points leader there, chased down Phil Vigneri Jr., to win his first 358 race of the year at Ransomville.
The Mac Myers Memorial 75 honors the race official and tow truck operator who died May 1 at age 66 after working at the Lancaster track for 43 years. Myers’ family and friends joined track officials and drivers in a pre-race tribute, which included a moment of silence as the pace car slowly circled the track once in his honor.
Hossfeld began from the pole but succumbed lost the lead to Austin Kochenash on lap 36. Hossfeld went to the pits during a lap 41 caution period. Rudolph passed Kochenash a few laps later. On lap 46, Kochenash came in contact with Andy Jankowiak, sending Jankowiak hard into the backstretch wall. Jankowiak was not injured and Kochenash was disqualified by ROC officials.
As the race wound down, Rudolph tried to hold back Hossfeld, who had fresher tires. However, Hossfeld got by on lap 71 to score the narrow win.
“He did a heck of a job racing,” said Hossfeld of Rudolph. “We ran hard and side-by-side, and he kept it safe. This race was a memorial race for Mac and I also know a lot of other great people who passed away recently. So it’s sad, but it is so special to win this race that honors Mac. I miss him.”
Rudolph was pleased with his weekend accomplishments — the win at Ransomville and the runner-up finish against Hossfeld.
“I always have high expectations for the year,” said Rudolph. “Getting that win at Ransomville Friday in our dirt car and being the point leader there is big. To back iy up tonight with a good run in the asphalt car is great.”
Elsewhere, Zimbardi came into the race at Ransomville as the Patriot Sprint point leader and the most recent PST race winner, having won last weekend in Mercer, Pa. Zimbardi started from the pole Friday. A first lap accident among other competitors brought out the red flag. Once the race resumed Zimbardi took off and built a large half straightaway advantage.
Meanwhile Friesen, after stopping for quick repairs following the early red-flag period, restarted 14th and was on his way to the front. With three laps to go Friesen was three seconds behind Zimbardi and finally caught up on the final lap. But he was thwarted by a lapped car, and Zimbardi held on for a narrow victory.
Friesen could only regret how close he came to pulling off the win.
“Once we pushed back off after getting our linkage fixed on that first lap I was trying to watch him and keep him in sight because he was pretty far out there,” said Friesen. “I knew without a caution it was going to be tough. I was able to get right there but the lapped traffic on the bottom gave him just enough to win.”
Vernon’s victory in the Budweiser 100 at Holland on Saturday was the biggest of his young career. He beat former Holland NASCAR Pro Modified champion Amy Catalano, getting lead from her for good with just three circuits remaining.