Shawn Nye of Lancaster, N.Y. captured the Race of Champions Sportsman Series Fans in the Stands 35 presented by Wilbert’s U-Pull It on Friday night at Spencer Speedway. Nye survived a late race challenge from Andy Jankowiak to secure his first Race of Champions Sportsman Modified win of 2021.
Joining Nye in victory lane were: Tommy Barron of Ontario, N.Y. who scored his third Race of Champions Super Stock win of the season. Bob Palmer of Buffalo topped the Wilbert’s 4-Cylinder field while Ashley Schoonmaker of Williamson won the Super Sixes feature and Andrew Lewis, Jr. won the Tribute to Troy Pratt Rocket Performance 602 Sportsman Modified feature.
A stellar field of 26 RoC Sportsman took the green flag in front of a packed Spencer Speedway crowd. Pole sitter Andy Lewis grabbed the opening lead with Nye sliding past outside pole sitter Eddie Hawkins for second place.
Nye drove by Lewis to grab the lead on lap 6 with a power move down the back straightaway. This happened just before the caution flag was displayed for the first time for a spin down the frontstretch by Jody London who was driving for Ricky Knapp.
Andy Jankowiak was fast right off the trailer as he set fast time in qualifying and then won his heat race. However, his luck took a turn in the redraw for the top 12 qualifiers from the heats, as he drew the 12th starting position. Jankowiak was up to eighth by the first caution of the feature and lined up on the outside of the fourth row for the restart. Jankowiak followed that outside row to land inside the top five behind Nye, Hawkins, Daryl Lewis, Jr. and Kevin Timmerman. He continued to pick his way to the front of the field, getting by Lewis, Jr. for third place just past the halfway point. Jankowiak then wrestled the runner-up spot away from Hawkins with 10 laps to go.
A caution on lap 31 for Timmy Lewis set up a four-lap dash to the finish between Nye and Jankowiak. Nye survived the final restart and held off Jankowiak to secure the victory.
“It was a crazy day, we had a flat tire on the trailer on the way to the track and then had transmission issues,” said Nye. “I’m just glad we were able to battle through that to get a win at Spencer.
Jankowiak finished second followed by Hawkins, Lewis, Jr. and Timmerman. Lewis remains the series points leader with his third place run.
Tommy Barron started on the pole and led all 30 laps of the Race of Champions Super Stock feature as he returned to the dominant form that carried him to wins in the first two races of the season. Barron ended a tough streak of back-to-back DNFs that took him out of the series points lead, but he now finds himself back on top.
Frank Chapman battled back from a spin on lap 7 to finish second after starting on the outside pole. Barrett Schenk, Dale Lazzaro and Billy Coyle rounded out the top five.
Bob Palmer has now won in three-straight weeks at three different tracks in 4 Cylinder competition with the Race of Champions. Palmer answered his back-to-back RoC FOAR Score Dash Series wins at Chemung and Holland with a win in the Wilbert’s 4-Cylinders at Spencer. He grabbed the lead on the opening lap of the 15-lap feature with a three-wide pass of Jacob Gustafson and Corey Copeland. A mid-race penalty for improper restart procedure sent Palmer to the rear of the field before passing Copeland again for the lead with five laps to go.
Gustafson and Copeland followed Palmer across the line with Dave Heimes and Paul Flye rounding out the top five.
Ashley Schoonmaker dominated the Super Sixes feature for her third win in a row after leading all 15 laps. Brandon Allen and Frankie Parsons completed the podium.
The Rocket Performance 602 Modifieds took part in the Tribute to Troy Pratt presented by Daryl Lewis, Sr. and Curt Tooley. Pratt played a major role in the Lewis Racing teams. Andrew Lewis, Jr. took advantage of Alyssa Leaty tagging the backstretch wall while leading on lap 6 of the event. Leaty’s misfortune gave Lewis the top spot and set him up to win his fourth race in a row. Andrew Cook and newcomer Kaden Rogers completed the top three.
Leaty returned to the race to finish fourth. She scored her first career heat win and led her first ever feature laps in the 602 Sportsman class. Alyssa Leaty is daughter of RoC Modified Series driver Mike Leaty and granddaughter of RoC Hall of Fame driver Jan Leaty.
Detailed results for the Race of Champions “Fans in the Stands 35” can be found at rocmodifiedseries.com
Racing returns to Spencer Speedway on Friday, September 3 for the Maynard Troyer Classic II presented by F/A Products for the RoC Modifieds, Sportsman and Rocket Performance 602 Sportsman. The Wilbert’s 4-Cylinders and Super Sixes will also be in action.