For the third consecutive season Mason Fix has emerged as the Street ET drag racing champion at Lancaster Speedway. Fix overcame a major points deficit at midseason and authored a strong late season comeback to secure the championship despite the fact that Lancaster still has their drag racing points final event yet to be contested this Friday.
Fix, 24, of Amherst, and his teammate Joe Busch enter Friday's race with an insurmountable 90-point cushion over the team of Marc Schifferle and D.J. Raiser. Fix has produced an impressive late season surge winning the last four consecutive races at Lancaster.
At one point this season, Fix was out of the lead by around 100 points, suffering through early season mechanical woes in the Jim Bruckman-owned 1966 Plymouth Fury 3. Hard shop work in the first half of this season paid off to get Bruckman's machine competitive.
"I drove the majority of the season for the points and Joe drove in a couple that really helped out," Fix said. "This year was different. Jim's car that I was racing, he put a new motor and a transmission in it. Dave Lawler did the work this past winter. It was pretty much a different car from the last couple of years. It was about a second faster. It took a lot of tuning in the beginning of the season to get it right.
"I actually ran my own car (2002 Camaro) for a couple weeks, once the first week and a second time halfway through the season due to the problems with the Plymouth Fury just to try to get some points. I did win once with my own car.
"For about half the season I wasn't even really competitive with Jim's car. Then we finally got it all tuned up and late in the season I've been able to win four in a row at Lancaster. I'm hoping for five this Friday."
Fix relied on the help of his father, drag racing veteran Jim Fix to help right the ship.
"I think that halfway through the season we were more then 10 rounds out of first place," Mason said. "My dad helped work on the car during the early summer. He did brake work and tuned the engine a little bit to get it where it needed to be. Then it would run consistent.
"Once the problems were fixed and I got my first win with the Plymouth later in this season it's been all uphill from there and I've been able to keep winning with it. I feel real comfortable with the setup we now got going in the Plymouth. This season started out pretty rocky and it took awhile to get things going but it all worked out. We had half of a good season and it was good enough to get the job done."
In other point races to be finalized Friday, Mason, who also competes in Mod ET, and his teammate Ryan Ricketson trail the pairing of Jeff Kerl and Keith Banas in Mod ET by 40 markers. In Top Eliminator Jan Winkowski, 740 points, leads the teams of Dale Eckert/Clay Ricketson and Mike Swinarski/Pete Maduri Jr., 730 apiece. In Bikes/Sleds Mike Peters leads Vic Puglia, 755-705.
ROC set for Lake Erie
Following last weekend's U.S. Open Weekend at Lancaster, the local stock car community will head a little over an hour west on the I-90 in North East Pa., to Lake Erie Speedway for the running of the Presque Isle Downs & Casino Race of Champions Weekend this Friday and Saturday.
The marquee event, the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series 68th Annual Race of Champions 250 will get the green flag at 6 p.m. Saturday. U.S. Open 125 winner Matt Hirschman will be looking to defend his win of a year ago in the Race of Champions 250.
Also featured at 2 p.m. Saturday will be the Race of Champions 4-Cylinder Dash Series 20; Lancaster Street Stock 30, 4:30; Race of Champions Late Model Series 40 at 5 and the Classic Asphalt Modified 15 at 5:30 p.m.. Practice and qualifying races commence Saturday at 11 a.m.
Friday's highlights include: Qualifying races beginning at 7:15 p.m., followed by the Race of Champions Super Stock Series 40 at 8:45 p.m. and the Race of Champions Sportsman Series 75 at 9:15 p.m.
Hall of Fame worthy
Local retired stock car standout, the late John Julicher Sr., will be inducted this weekend into the Race of Champions Hall of Fame. Julicher, of Williamsville, died Aug. 9 after a lengthy illness.
NYPA TQ Midgets: Dave Wollaber