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September 19, 2018

Mother Nature Pause on Modified 200 – Racing to Resume Sunday Morning


Fans and race teams will have to wait until Sunday to find out who will win the 60th edition of the Sunoco Race of Champions Modified 200. Just before 10 p.m. on Saturday evening, a light drizzle began to fall upon the Port City of Oswego as Eric Beers led the field back to racing on the 63rd lap following a caution. However, a mechanical failure on the Beers No. 76 machine prevented him from getting up to speed, setting off a chain-reaction behind him.

Bryon Chew, Daryl Lewis, Jr., Matt Hirschman, Doug Reaume, Mike Speeney and Erick Rudolph were all involved. The red flag was flown and during the clean-up, the drizzle turned into a light shower before finally coming down as a steady rain. Attempts to dry the track proved fruitless as additional rains began coming in off of Lake Ontario. The call was made to officially postpone the remainder of the event to 11 a.m. on Sunday.

The race had begun with Pete Brittain taking the initial. Following a race restart on lap No. 23, Rudolph and Brittain banged wheels a few times, resulting in Rudolph assuming command. Lockport, NY’s Chuck Hossfeld pressured Rudolph for the top spot up until the duo decided to make their mandatory one-time pit stop during a caution period just after the 50-lap mark.

That gave Beers the lead. Beers continued to pace the field until his aforementioned mechanical mishap led to the final caution period. That’s when the skies opened up.

At the point of postponement, Tony Hirschman led Mike Stefanik, Rick Kluth, Daren Scherer and Ryan Preece. Rusty Smith, Patrick Emerling, Tony Hanbury, Zane Zeiner and Jan Leaty round out the top 10. The leader board is tentative pending any potential scheduling conflicts some drivers may have.

Earlier in the evening, Clarence Center, NY’s Bob Weber survived the caution-infested Late Model feature event to claim victory in the 125-lapper. Weber was chased much of the way by second-place finisher Tommy Cloce, who Weber passed to take the lead early on in the race. Zane Zeiner completed the podium finish.

Oswego’s David Cliff won the 35-lap NORA Small Block Supermodified feature. Starting in the front row, Cliff filed in behind early race leader Dave Danzer. However, on a lap No. 13 restart, Danzer shredded a tire on his No. 52 SBS racer, falling pit-side.

Cliff took command and wasn’t challenged the rest of the way. Tim Barbeau wore out Mike Bond’s challenges for the runner-up position to come home second. Bond crossed the checkered stripe in third, followed by Kreig Heroth and Rob Pullen.

Waverly, NY’s Lee Sharpsteen inherited the lead on the final circuit of the 75-lap Super Stock main event after second-place running Chris Daugherty turned around race-long leader Kyle Sharpe. Sharpe and Daugherty continued their racing feud in the pits while Sharpsteen put his No. 8 in victory lane. Glenn Lippolis, Jim Steffenhagen, Jr., Steven Schultz and Jeff Goodwin rounded out the top five.

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