During the 30th annual U.S. Open Weekend at Lancaster Speedway on Saturday, Andy Jankowiak won the NYPA TQ Midget 25 to become the first driver to record eight overall career wins on the track's most prestigious weekend. About two hours later, Chuck Hossfeld scored his third consecutive U.S Open victory in the Race of Champions Sportsman Series 75 to also earn his eighth U.S. Open triumph.
With his TQ win, Jankowiak also became the first driver to win a U.S. Open feature race in four divisions. Jankowiak has taken U.S. Open checkered flags by winning in Sportsman five times (2010-2014) and posting single victories in the TQ Midgets (2018), Street Stocks (2006) and Modifieds (2017).
Hossfeld has gone to the U.S. Open Victory Lane on five occasions in Modifieds (2001, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011) and three in Sportsman (2016, 2017, 2018).
Jankowiak came very close to scoring his ninth U.S Open triumph Sunday, this time in the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series 125, but settled for second when he was passed for the lead by eventual victor Matt Hirschman on lap 110.
Jankowiak led every lap to win Saturday's TQ Midget 25. He did so after overcoming a season of mechanical frustrations with the Jim Smith-owned machine.
"I was leading this TQ race five years ago in Trey's (Hoddick) car on the last lap and the steering shaft came off and I never got over it," Jankowiak said. "I wanted this one so bad. I cannot begin to tell you what we've gone through on this car. We've blown engines, broken everything. We haven't finished a race in three months, I think. We had a bunch of problems on it this week. We worked on it every night. My car owner, Jim, he wouldn't give up.
"We went to Chapel Hill Raceway on Thursday. We wanted to shake it down. I went out at Chapel Hill and the throttle hung up and I destroyed this thing. So we've just been fixing it. I can't believe we just won the U.S. Open again."
Hossfeld would wrestle the top spot in the Sportsman 75 on lap 22 from George Skora III. He then held off Skora in an intense battle that ended when Skora was forced to the pits on lap 64 during a late caution period, the victim of a broken pan hard bar. Hossfeld cruised to victory from there.
"I didn't know going into my race tonight that Andy had won his eighth to break the tie he had with me," Hossfeld said. "I just try to do the best I can and Andy is a great competitor. I just can't thank my team enough. The U.S. Open is always a big weekend and something to look forward to."
Hirschman has built quite an impressive U.S. Open winning resume over the years as his victory in the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified 125 on Sunday was the fifth of his career in this event.
"The key was the tire strategy," Hirschman said. "I didn't have the car advantage, but I had the tire advantage."
"I hate finishing second, but it was Matt's day. He brings out the best in me," Jankowiak said.
Patrick Emerling won the inaugural Treichler-Troyer Cup that was awarded to the overall top driver in the five Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series races held in 2018 at Lancaster.
In other U.S. Open action Saturday, the Race of Champions Super Stocks Series put on a late thriller in which Joe Mancuso narrowly beat Tommy Krawczyk and Tim Gullo for his third career U.S. Open Super Stock triumph. Jacob Gustafson claimed his first U.S. Open Race of Champions 4-Cylinder Dash Series 25-lapper.
In other U.S Open competition Sunday, Rich Sharpe lead every lap from the pole to win the 35-lap Street Stock affair. It was Sharpe's third consecutive U.S. Open Street Stock triumph. He was victorious in Sunday's race by half a lap.
Tommy Catalano passed Eldon King III following a midrace restart and went on to score his first career U.S. Open event win in the Race of Champions Late Model Series 30.
The U.S. Open Weekend concluded Lancaster's 2018 stock car season. The drag racing season points finale will be held on Friday.
Story topics: Lancaster Speedway