Szafraniec Wins Hornet 50; Vernon Takes First Pro Mod Win

June 24, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Bobcat of Buffalo, Whelen Engineering and Coca-Cola presented the June 23rd racing program at the Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex on a picture-perfect Saturday afternoon and evening. The Dice Racing Team swept the first four positions in the Hornet 50 as Buffalo’s Jeff Szafraniec picked up his second straight feature win. In a thrilling finish, Hamburg, NY’s “Earthquake” Jake Vernon won his first career Getzoni Nationwide Insurance NASCAR Pro Modified feature event. Eldon King III from Freedom, NY won his second straight McClurg Auto Group Late Model feature. Shawn Lafferty from West Valley won his first career Bank of Holland Charger feature event, leading the race from green to checker. Second generation driver Andy Jankowiak from Tonawanda took the victory in the Casey’s TQ Midget feature while Glenwood’s Jason Adams won his second straight M&M U Pull-It Figure 8 car feature.

Grant Hill and David Warrior led the Hornets to the green flag in their 50 lap affair under the lights with Warrior taking the early race lead. John Blinston and Tim Boyce Jr battled for position as “the Dice Man” Bill Lutz went three wide on lap four to take over the lead. Blinston and Louis Carbone were able to get under Warrior for second place early in the going. Last week’s feature winner Jeff Szafraniec took over third from Blinston on lap six and passed Louis Carbone for second all before the first ten laps were completed.

Szafraniec closed right in on his Dice Racing teammate Lutz going through lap traffic on lap 11 but was unsuccessful passing his teammate. The first yellow came out on lap number 20 as debris was laying on the track. The top ten cars consisted of members of the Dice Racing team and the Dagofast Fabrication team. An overheating issue forced Tony Carbone to end his night early as he was running inside the top ten.

The caution came out again on lap 39 as debris was once again on the track. That set up an 11 lap shootout to decide the winner of the 50 lap special as Jeff Szafraniec jumped out to the lead off the restart. Chris Powers came to a stop on the back straightaway with a right front flat tire. Powers was able to rejoin the field in his Pro Fireplace, Dagofast Fabrication, The Well Bar and Grille number 17.

The lap 42 restart saw Szafraniec back in the lead and Dylan Carbone took over fifth place from Eric Brown as teammates Samantha Lutz and Ben Russo battled for third. Jeff Szafraniec would hold off his teammates to pick up his second straight feature win. Bill Lutz came home across the line in second and was followed to the line by Ben Russo, Samantha Lutz and Dylan Carbone.

Joe Carbone and Mark Hoch led the field of Getzoni Nationwide Insurance Pro Modifieds to the green flag with Carbone getting out to the early race lead over Hoch and David Catalano. Catalano passed Hoch in his CP Ward, PJ Radiatior Power and Construction 45 to take over position number two and began chasing down the veteran Joe Carbone. Mark Hoch brought out the first caution on lap number six, looping his racer off turn two. On the restart, it was Catalano getting the jump over Carbone to take over the lead. The field slowed down for the second time as his son Tommy looped his 54 off of turn number four.

The lap seven restart saw Catalano jump out into a full car length lead over Carbone and Don King brought out the races third caution as his Cleve-Hill Auto and Tire, VSP Marketing Group number 18 had contact and went into the turn one wall. Dave Catalano took command of the field over Joe Carbone while Andy Jankowiak and “Earthquake” Jake Vernon battled for third with Owen Bednasz running in fifth as the field crossed the start-finish line with 15 laps in the books.

Jankowiak passed Carbone in second and after that, Tommy Catalano had mechanical issues and the 54 machine came to a hault in turn four, bringing out the caution. On the lap 18 restart, Andy Jankowiak and Catalano went nerf bar to nerf bar putting on a great battle and contact was made and Jankowiak got spun around and Catalano ended up in the turn two fence, loosing his right front wheel. The lap 22 restart saw Jake Vernon and Joe Evans on the front row and it was Evans out to the lead with Bednasz battling Vernon for second and two laps later, Jeff Ruddy lost the handle on his Schrader Industrial Sales number 9 in turn four, setting up a six lap shootout and Vernon took over the lead on the restart but it was Evans back in the lead with five laps remaining.

Vernon was able to get around Evans and held the Holland native off for his first career open-wheeled victory on the Holland highbanks. Joe Evans finished in second and he was followed to the line by rookie Owen Bednasz, Andy Jankowiak and Joe Carbone completed the top five.

JD Roberts and Josh Hathaway led the field of McClurg Auto Group Late Models to the green flag with Roberts getting out to the early race lead. Roberts had the lead for the opening few circuits before getting passed by defending track champion Eldon King III. Mike Ticco and Brandon Glover made contact to bring out the caution near the midway mark, setting up a dash for the cash and when it was said and done it was Eldon King III getting his second win of the young season in the McClurg Auto Group Late Models. Last weeks feature winner Nick Crassi came home second and he was followed to the line by Mike Ticco, Brandon Glover and JD Roberts.

Shawn Lafferty and “the Professor” Mike Weston led the field of Bank of Holland Chargers to the green flag for their feature event with Lafferty jumping out into the early lead. Weston, Rich Carnes, and heat winner Tom Northem all got tangled up and Weston ended up hitting the Armco Barrier in turn three. The lap four restart saw Lafferty and Tim Northem on the front row and Lafferty was able take off up front once again.

The battle was on behind the race leader as “the Mad Man” Marty Hughes took over position number three from Eric Brown as last week’s Bank of Holland 50 winner Zach Myers went right to work on the Bruce’s Automotive, Boston Deli 48 ride of Brown for fourth place on lap 10. Myers tried to avoid contact with Brown and Marty Hughes and suffered left front damage to his TW Signs, Napa Auto Parts 17x to the infield for the duration of the event. Dave Wilson Jr took over second from Hughes on lap number 20 and began to chase down race leader Shawn Lafferty. Shawn Lafferty was able to hold off Wilson and company to win his first career Bank of Holland Charger feature event. Marty Hughes would cross the line in third and was followed to the line by Kris Hamann and Tom Northem completing the top five.

Eric Musto and Jim Fleischman led the field of TQ Midgets to the green flag in their 20 lap feature event with Musto getting the early advantage. Holland resident Scott Gleed got loose on his own in turn four and as he was trying to correct his racer, the 03 ride barrel rolled in turn four. Gleed was able to walk away under his own power and his night ended prematurely. On the restart, Musto continued to show the way with heat winner Arik McGruder running in second. Musto lost the handle on his number 77 ride and brought out the races second caution just three laps into the feature go. On the lap three restart, McGruder was joined by Shawn Nye as well as Jonathan Reid and third generation driver Camden Barber in the top four as they checked out on the rest of the field.

At the halfway mark, it was McGruder, Reid, Nye, last weeks feature winner Dave Wollaber and second generation driver Andy Jankowiak running in the top five. Ryan Hessler lost the handle on his Mancuso Designs 55 in turn four and that brought out the third yellow of the night. The lap 11 restart saw a single file restart that saw McGruder and Reid pull away but the race was on behind them as Wollaber, Jankowiak, Barber and Andy Nye were all in position for a top five finish at races end. Jonathan Reid suffered problems and dropped off late in the going, ending his chances on a second Series win.

Andy Jankowiak passed McGruder for the lead with just three laps remaining and he would hang on for his first Casey’s Truck Salvage TQ Midget feature win of the season. Arik “Scooter” McGruder would come home in second and he was followed to the line by Shawn Nye, Camden Barber and Holland Central School graduate Dean McConnaughy.

Kyle Skoney and Bob Marzec led the field of Figure 8’s to the green flag for their feature event with Skoney jumping out to the early race lead. After Sknoey received a stop and go penalty, Bob Marzec took command of the field. With the leader getting caught up in lap traffic, defending champion Jason Adams and 1995 Figure 8 Champion Dale McCool took over the top two spots. As the leaders were about to take the white flag, Bob Marzec and David Warrior made contact and sent Marzec into the boundary implement tire and then hard into the Jersey barrier wall - Marzec was not injured. The race was called complete at this point and Adams was declared the winner.

Keith Griner from the Town of Tonawanda won the Road Warriors race for area Highway Superintendents. Griner edged out many of the area’s Highway Superintendents to grab the win and the glory that goes with it. About 12 superintendents took part in the popular event.


Tommy “the Rocket” Catalano from Ontario, NY won his first career Getzoni Nationwide Pro Modified qualifying event. The Hornets had a couple familiar faces back in action as defending track champion Eric Brown used the backup Jeff Szafraniec ride and this week also featured the return of “Chico” Joe Mastrocicco III. Wayne Turnbull who last week cleared the turn three fence, returned to action this past Saturday night after spending 70 man hours during the week repairing his Casey’s Truck Salvage number 88 TQ Midget. The Staff and Management of the Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex would like to congratulate everyone who graduated and are members of the class of 2012 and best of luck in all of your future endeavors.

Holland returns to action next Saturday night June 30th as it makes the much anticipated return of the Race of Champions Modified Tour to the highbanks in a 100 lap shootout. The RoC Modifieds will be joined by the McClurg Auto Group Late Models, Bank of Holland Chargers, NASCAR 4 Cylinder Hornets and the Casey’s TQ Midget Series. Pit gates will open at 2:30pm while the grandstands will swing open at 4:30pm and qualifying will get underway at 6:00pm. The green flag for the Holland 100 will wave at 8:15pm sharp. This is a leased event, Season Passes and Gold Passes will not be accepted for gate or pit admission. Holland staff and management appreciates your understanding. Discounted admission is available for fans that have ticket stubs from Holland, Dunn Tire Raceway Park, Spencer Speedway, Oswego Speedway, Shangri-La II Motor Speedway and Wall Stadium.


Getzoni Insurance NASCAR Pro Modifieds: JAKE VERNON (Started 10th), Joe Evans (7th), Owen Bednasz (4th), Andy Jankowiak (9th), Joe Carbone (1st), Eddie Hawkins (11th), Jeff Ruddy (5th), David Catalano (3rd), Ed Schueler (12th), Tommy Catalano (6th), Mark Hoch (2nd) and Don King Jr (8th)
Qualifying Winners: Joe Evans, Tommy Catalano

McClurg Auto Group Late Models: ELDON KING III (Started 5th), Nick Crassi (4th), Mike Ticco (6th), Brandon Glover (3rd), JD Roberts (1st), Josh Hathaway (2nd), Corey Glover (7th), Kris Hamann (DNS)
Qualifying Winner: Eldon King III

Bank of Holland Chargers: SHAWN LAFFERTY (Started 1st), Dave Wilson Jr (10th), Marty Hughes (5th), Kris Hamann (9th), Tom Northem (6th), Jerry Kosmowski (13th), Jim Loffredo (11th), Rich Carnes (4th), Ted Welshans (7th), Jason Adams (14th), Tim Northem (3rd), Eric Brown (8th), Zach Myers (12th) and Mike Weston (2nd)
Qualifying Winners: Tom Northem, Dave Wilson Jr

NASCAR Hornets: JEFF SZAFRANIEC (Started 15th), Bill Lutz (11th), Ben Russo (12th), Samantha Lutz (14th), Dylan Carbone (13th), Louis Carbone (10th), Chris Powers (16th), Tim Boyce Jr (5th), Eric Brown (21st), David Warrior (2nd), Timmy Swatsworth (7th), John Blinston (4th), Josh Hill (3rd), Waylon Price (19th), Grant Hill (1st), Jennifer Termer (8th), Destiny Koningisor (22nd), Kyle Skoney (9th), Joe Mastrocicco III (18th), Tony Carbone (17th), Eric Rich (6th), Jay Canonico (20th), Bob Marzec (DNS), Justine Zink (DNS)
Qualifying Winners: Louis Carbone, Bob Marzec

Casey’s TQ Midget Series: ANDY JANKOWIAK (Started 9th) Arik McGruder (4th), Andy Nye (8th), Camden Barber (10th), Dean McConnaughy (6th), Shawn Nye (13th), Kyle Hutchinson (11th), Vinnie Christiano Jr (5th), Hayden Newcomb (7th), Jim Fleischman (2nd), Charlie DiRosa (14th), Ryan Hessler (18th), Nelson Rung (15th), Cody Mullno (16th), Gordie Steffan (19th), Eric Musto (1st), Joe Brzezowski (21st) Jonathan Reid (3rd), Dave Wollaber (12th), Wayne Turnbull (20th) and Scott Gleed (17th)
Qualifying Winners: Andy Jankowiak, Arik McGruder

M&M U Pull-It Figure 8’s: JASON ADAMS (Started 5th), Kyle Skoney (1st), Dale McCool (7th), Butcher Palmer (4th), Eric Rich (8th), Bob Marzec (2nd), Bill Lutz (3rd), David Warrior (9th), Joe Mastrocicco III (6th)