Joe Skok is a member of the Gargoyles at Lancaster Motorsports Park. He is hoping to be the best in the Northeast when he travels to Delmar, Del., this week for the annual NHRA Division I Sears Craftsman ET Series Championship.
Skok is one of 37 drivers who will represent Team Lancaster and challenge 19 teams from NHRA's Division I at U.S. 13 Dragway in Delmar. Drivers from each dragstrip will race in eliminations, earning points for their respective teams with each round won. The team with the most overall points after eliminations wins.
"This is my first season racing for points at Lancaster," Skok said. "I just started racing about two years ago. This will also be my first time traveling with Team Lancaster.
"I formed a team with five other guys this year to race in the Heavy class at Lancaster. They are guys that I hang around with. They let me name our team and I've had a longtime addiction to gargoyles, so I named our team Gargoyle Racing."
Wayne Cleveland, Roger Kiefer, Bill Ostwald, Shawn Beatty and Charlie Tripi are the other Gargoyles.
Based on points, Skok has been the most successful Gargoyle at Lancaster this season. He led the Heavy class points for 12 straight weeks until Friday night.
The Depew driver had starter motor problems and lost in Round One. He is tied for third in points with Mike and Gary Maycock at 93, trailing Gary Kerl (97) and Jamie Pappaceno (95). With two races left, he could rebound.
Skok has made one final in 1998, collecting the majority of his points with quarterfinal and semifinal appearances.
"I've had a good year no matter how it turns out," Skok said. "To be right in the thick of this close Heavy points battle is great.
"I've never traveled to the Sears ET championships but have asked a lot of the other guys who have gone about it."
Others representing Lancaster at Delmar will be:
Super class: Sammy Christian, Andy Mikula, Paul Cochi, Jeff Fisher, Mike Owczarczak, Dave Kulik Jr., Jim Green, Sharon Hughes, Ken Staschak, Rick Thurnherr II, George Pease, Nelson Rappold, Jeff Gregoire, Zell Gaymon, Don Raiser and Greg Kerl.
Heavy: Gary Kerl, Kevin Maras, Mark Przybylski, Kevin Stanley, Paul Lumadue, Jennifer Hackett, Louie Martina, Carey Hodge, Greg Speck, Keith McKeller, Joe Passero, Joe Donavan and Diane Bitterman.
Bikes: Alan Fletcher, Mike Nearhoof, Fred Gayles, Pat Vaughan and Joshua Seyler.
Street: Mike J. Owczarczak and Bill Parsons.
Time trials at Delmar are 9 a.m. Thursday and Friday. The Race of Champions, in which Christian, Skok and Fletcher will participate, is Friday night. Eliminations begin at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Winners at Lancaster Friday were: Christian, Super Pro; Duane Lafleur, Super Gas; Pat Williams, Pro; Gary Kerl, Heavy; Dave Weller, Street; Nearhoof, Bikes; and Bill DiFranco, Sleds.
In action at other tracks:
Sege Fidanza won the 48th annual Sunoco Race of Champions Modified 200 at Oswego Speedway Saturday. It is the first time the veteran driver has won the event.
Fidanza, a multi-time Lancaster champion, also won the New York State Modified championship Series special at Oswego on Aug. 1.
"It's a dream come true for me," Fidanza said after the ROC. "I've been trying to win this race for a very long time."
Fidanza took the lead about midway through the 200-lap grind and beat Tim Mangus to the line by a car length. The win was worth $12,000. Ryan Holland, Daryl Lewis and Todd Burley completed the top five.
Other Oswego winners were: John Julicher, Late Model; Buck Catalano, Sportsman; Frank Reaks Jr., Street Stock; and Bob Gautermout, Supermodified.
Empire Super Sprint champion Mike Woodring won the ESS 20-lapper Saturday at Merrittville.
Starting 14th, Woodring charged to the lead on lap 10.