Dunn Tire Raceway Park stole a win from Mother Nature on Saturday night as the races went off without a hitch and rain free despite what the Weather Man had forecast. The Race of Champions Modified Tour rolled into town with 23 Modifieds on hand and at the end of the 75 lap feature event, it was Matt Hirschman taking the checkered flag. Bobby Holmes made it two wins in a row in the Sportsman Division while Mike Nash captured his second win of the season. Kalie Clementi bested the field of 4 Cylinder drivers to record her second career feature win at DTRP.
The final event of the night was the highly anticipated Race of Champions Modified Tour 75 lap feature event. The field boasted the best of the best in local Modified racing and it was a true toss up on who would come home with the feature win. Tommy Cloce had redrawn the number one starting spot and started from the pole, followed by Jim Storace, Chuck Hossfeld, Karl Hehr, and Daren Scherer.
As the 600 horsepower racing machines took the green flag, there was a scramble for the lead. Chuck Hossfeld dove down low, passing both Cloce and Storace to take the top sport. Storace followed Hossfeld and soon the pair had separated from the rest of the field. A yellow flag on lap 14 for debris, saw a number of top competitors pit early for the coveted right rear tire including Hossfeld, Mike Leaty, Matt Hirschman, and Erick Rudolph. The ensuing double file restart had Storace, Cloce, Scherer, and Jimmy Zacharias leading the way. Hossfeld, who was the first of the early pitters back on the track, restarted fourteenth.
Hossfeld wasted no time and immediately set off, picking off cars and passing them at a furious rate. Just eight laps later, Hossfeld was already back up to sixth position and by lap 28 was challenging for third. Up front, Scherer made a move on the outside of Storace for the lead on lap 29, but all eyes were on Hossfeld, who took the second spot from Storace on lap 30 and who was on the bumper of the leader just two laps later. Scherer proved to be a challenge for Hossfeld, although Hossfeld prevailed on lap 37 and took the lead. Just as Hossfeld took the top spot, the caution appeared on lap 38 for a spun car.
The pits were a busy place during the caution as nine cars pitted for a tire including Scherer, Storace, Zacharias, Hebing, and Jan Leaty. Leaty was the first car back out on the track of the cars that pitted. Up front for the single file restart Hossfeld led Tom McGrath, Hirschman, and Rudolph. Hossfeld held the lead but another caution on lap 43 provided Hossfeld with a challenge. McGrath, who had been running second, ducked into the pits for his pit stop, putting Hirschman on Hossfeld’s bumper.
As the green flag waved, Hossfeld held onto the lead, but Hirschman was right there with him, not allowing him to gain any ground. As the top two separated from the pack, M. Leaty began challenging Rudolph for third and fierce battle between Hehr, Kyle Ebersole, J. Leaty, Scherer, Hebing, and Storace played out for positions five on back. With just twenty laps to go, the yellow flag once again appeared, once again setting the stage for a single file restart. Hossfeld had a good start on the ensuing restart, but not good enough to keep Hirschman at bay. Hirschman went under Hossfeld for the lead going into turn one and by the exit of turn two, was the new leader. As the laps clicked off, Hirschman began building a lead over Hossfeld, who in turn was in sole possession of second place with Rudolph and M. Leaty a distance behind him.
Two more yellow flags would appear on lap 68 for the spun car of McGrath and lap 69 for contact between Hehr and Ebersole. With six laps to go, what would be the final restart of the night, saw Hirschman lead Hossfeld, Rudolph, M. Leaty, Hebing, Billy Putney, and J. Leaty to the green flag. Hirschman and Hossfeld stayed one-two, but M. Leaty passed Rudolph for third, taking Hebing and Putney with him, relegating Rudolph to sixth. The car to watch now though was Putney, who benefited from a late race pit stop and the fresher tires that went with it. Putney blew by M. Leaty for third on lap 71 and by Hossfeld for second just two laps later.
Hirschman however had built up enough of a lead that Putney could not chase him down in the few laps that were remaining. Hirschman crossed the finish line first, with Putney second, and Hossfeld, who held off a hard charging Hebing, third.
Dunn Tire Raceway Park will be racing next week after originally having the weekend scheduled off. The rained out Sportsman Summer Slam 100 will be run along with the Super Stocks and two “Dash For Cash” races for the 4 Cylinders and Street Stocks.
Race of Champions Modified Tour Feature Finish (6/11): Matt Hirschman, Billy Putney, Chuck Hossfeld, Wilbur Hebing, Mike Leaty, Jan Leaty, Jim Storace, Daren Scherer, Tom McGrath, Patrick Emerling, Tommy Cloce, Doug Reaume, Kyle Ebersole, Karl Hehr, Erick Rudolph, Jimmy Zacharias, Chris Ridsdale, Scott Conover, Nick Barzee, Dave Wollaber, Kevin Lewis, Rusty Smith, Matt Clemens
Heat Winners: Hehr, Hossfeld, Hirschman