When Andy Jankowiak and Briar Dils emerged victorious Saturday at "Shootout at the Bullring" season finale at Wyoming County International Speedway, it marked the second consecutive weekend that the pair visited Victory Lane following prestigious races.
Jankowiak earned the victory in the Jim Pierce Memorial SST Modified 100 while Dils was best in the 4-Cylinder 30.
One week prior, during the Presque Isle Downs and Casino Race of Champions Weekend at the Lake Erie Speedway in North East, Pa., Jankowiak, of Tonawanda, captured the ROC Sportsman special while the Derby-based Dils claimed the checkered flag in the ROC 4-Cylinder race.
"It's good to have these recent race wins in our back pocket," Jankowiak said. "We still have a lot of racing left to do at different places before this season ends."
Jankowiak was running near the front of the 27-car field in the early going of the Pierce Memorial when he and Camden Barber had contact, sending Jankowiak spinning in the third turn resulting in a yellow flag period.
Jankowiak made a quick pit stop to have his car tended to and returned at the back of the pack for the restart. Barber also restarted at the rear.
Like a surgeon, Jankowiak impressively drove back through the field as did Barber. Just past the halfway mark, Barber was leading but a determined Jankowiak dove low on the front stretch and grabbed the lead and was never passed after that.
"It's 100 laps," Jankowiak said. "The early race incident actually helped me because he (Barber) was the car I really had to beat and he kind of knocked his toe out when he contacted me there. I was just too tight and once you're in the back we pitted and freed the car up. You never know how it's going to shake out, but the fast cars usually find their way to the front. In the end, I think we had the best car."
As it turned out Jankowiak's car was just good enough as he developed problems in the final few circuits.
"My car was losing something electrical, and it literally wasn't going to last one more lap," Jankowiak said. "I guess it's a 100-lap car!"
When Dils won at Lake Erie, the race was decided when original victor Dave Milbrand was disqualified for failing to report to postrace technical inspection. Dils, who finished second, reported, and when he proved legal, Dils was elevated to the official winner status.
On Saturday at Wyoming County, however, Dils passed leader Greg Moldt with five circuits remaining to get to the checkered flag first over the 30-car, 4-Cylinder field.
Dils led early but was passed by Moldt on a lap 23 restart. Dils fought hard and returned the favor a few laps later to score the win.
"It's a good way to end the season," Dils said. "It's been an up and down season and with all the issues that I've had in the middle of the season, I can't complain. I was in a Saturn earlier this season, and it wasn't working out so I went out and found this new car during the season and it's been going good ever since.
"I just kept driving tonight and I kept telling myself to just let the car do what it's supposed to do. After a few laps, it finally came around and I was able to get to him (Moldt) and pass him."
At Lake Erie, because of the tech situation, it took awhile to declare Dils the winner. The wait was worth it.
"Last week at Lake Erie after they tore the motor apart, it was probably at least an hour after the race was over that I found out that I won and than it was time to celebrate," Dils said. "It was unfortunate last week in that I would have liked to win that race another way, but a win's a win. I was able to go out and do it different this week by getting to the checkered flag first."
Dils was a regular campaigner in 2019 at Wyoming County.
In other racing at Wyoming County Saturday, Eric Brown captured the New York Super Stock Series Sandra Vogler Memorial 51.
A-Jay Potrzebowski crossed the line first but was disqualified after the race for a tech infraction, handing the win to Brown.
"I had the pressure on (Potrzebowski) during the final laps and I gave him a heck of a run for his money," Brown said. "I ran strong. We'll take this."
Rip Ripley won in Vintage Cars.
Winner son Friday were Troy Williams in Wyoming County Super Stocks; Brian Hallett in 6-Cylinders and Jacob Gustafson in 4-Cylinders.
Story topics: Wyoming County