Catalano Takes 3rd of Season

September 06, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Catalano Takes 3rd of Season; '09 Points Champions Crowned on Sept. 5th

A start deep in the field well behind the points leaders did not deter Amy Catalano, as the Ontario, NY driver motored forward to earn her third win of the season in the NASCAR SST Pro Modified main at the Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex on Saturday evening, September 5th. Justin Shepker recovered from a mid-race spin to claim second in the event and lock up his first career points championship.

In other action in the 2009 points finale at the Western New York oval, Eldon King III of Freedom, NY survived a rugged Late Model of Tomorrow race for his fifth win of the year to earn that division’s points title, Dave Krawczyk of Kenmore, NY clinched the Charger crown with his fourth win of the year, Nik Welshans of West Falls, NY earned his fifth Pro Four win in the last six outings to take that divisional championship, and Eric Brown of Holland rolled to his sixth consecutive Thiel Motorsports 4-cylinder Hornet win to leapfrog to the top of the points chart. Sylvia Miszczak of Holland drove to her second consecutive Thiel Motorsports Queen Bees win while Jesse Baker of Buffalo did the same in the M&M U-Pull-It Figure 8 Car race.

At the start of the 40 lap NASCAR SST Pro Modified main, most of the attention was focused on Justin Shepker and Mike Fiebelkorn, Jr. as they would settle the points title from the front row, with all the evening’s events lined up heads up by points. Shepker grabbed the lead at the opening green, but Fiebelkorn battled by underneath on lap seven. Shepker returned the favor five laps later, and began to stretch his lead advantage. In the meantime, Amy Catalano, who had a late start to her Holland points season and consequently started from the 11th slot, was picking her way through the field to lie third when a lap 24 caution slowed the field. On the restart, Shepker, Fiebelkorn, and Catalano commenced a great three-way tussle for the lead, but on lap 27, the rear of the Shepker car came around in turn four with Fiebelkorn scooting high and Catalano diving through the infield grass to avoid the sideways #60 car.

As Shepker moved to the rear of the field for the restart, it appeared as if Fiebelkorn was in a prime position to earn a second career Holland title. On the restart, Catalano drove her Hawk Frame and Axle mount around Fiebelkorn to take the lead, while Fiebelkorn was content to lie second while trying to avoid any trouble - however, trouble would find Fiebelkorn, as three laps later, the engine went sour, forcing him from the action and eliminating him from title contention. Catalano would drive away over the remaining laps for the win, backing up her Friday night points championship clinching run at Spencer Speedway. Shepker, leaving nothing to chance, roared back through the field to slip by Neil Hopkins in the late going to take second and earn the Holland championship title. Hopkins drove a steady race throughout for a third place showing, while young Kevin Miller had the strongest run of his rookie campaign with a fourth place finish.

The 30 lap Late Models of Tomorrow finale was a bruising affair, with virtually every car in the field showing battle scars of some sort when it was over. T.J. Johnson and Eldon King III launched from the front row in this one, again with championship hopes on the line for both. King would take the lead early, with Johnson keeping things close. A series of bump and spins would keep the field tight after the lap 20 mark, and on a lap 23 restart, contact between the leaders in turn four stacked up the field and forced Alan Fisher hard into the turn four wall. Fisher was not injured, but the front of his racer was virtually destroyed. Johnson retired pitside, while King restarted at the rear of the field, and Dave Whittaker assumed the lead. However, a couple of additional caution flags allowed King to keep his D&H Excavating ride in touch with the front end of the field, and he was able to use a late race restart to drive by Whittaker and take the victory and the points title. Mike Ticco came on late to edge Whittaker for the runner-up position. The championship is a first for King, and he joins his father, 1993 Late Model titleist Eldon King, Jr., on the roster of Holland title-holders.

Dave Krawczyk would dominate the Charger field in his WNY Wraps/Ohio Tech Monte Carlo, running away with the 30 lap caution-free event to hold a nearly ½ lap margin of victory en route to his first Charger points title. Any chance defending divisional champ Mark Hoch may have had to outpoint Krawczyk disappeared on lap 23 when the rear end of Hoch’s Malibu broke. While Krawczyk was sprinting away, Jim Loffredo, Ted Welshans, and Jerry Kosmowski were putting on a great race for second, with Loffredo getting the spot just ahead of Welshans and Kosmowski.

The most intriguing points race going into the night was the Pro Four chase, in which the top four drivers were separated by only 15 points. However, Nik Welshans took care of business by continuing his late season hot streak, leading the entire 25 lap caution-free race in his Klispie Motorsports Nissan for his sixth win of the year to earn his first career points title. J.D. Roberts kept the pressure on Welshans throughout, but had to settle for second, with Chad Pusloski crossing the stripe in third.

Though Eric Brown has been Holland’s winningest driver in 2009, he needed help going into the 30 lap points finale for the Thiel Motorsports 4-cylinder Hornets. Brown needed to finish no less than two postions ahead of Jeff Szafraniec to overtake Szafraniec for the title. Brown led early, but Bill Lutz would get by for the lead on lap 10, while Jammer Meuckl and Szafraniec would make it a tight 4-way scrap for the lead. Brown would slip under the Lutz ride to re-take the led on lap 19, while Szafraniec was doing his best to stay within a position. However, Szafraniec would begin to fade in the latter stages, as Brown would race on for his seventh win of the year and his first championship title. Lutz would hold on for second, while George Quintana would race back through the field after an early stop-and-go penalty to grab third.

Sylvia Miszczak would lead the caution-free 15 lap Thiel Motorsports Queen Bee event from start to finish, holding a full straightaway margin of victory at the checkers. Mae Urban edged Samantha Lutz in a great race for second place. However, the third place finish was enough to clinch a first points title for Samantha.

Jesse Baker borrowed the Marty Hughes ride, and survived a splash back into the cockpit from an overheating radiator late in the event, to win the 12 lap M&M U-Pull-It Figure 8 Car race. With his second place finish, "Mad Mike" Eckam became the only 2008 Holland champ to defend his championship title.

Holland’s regular weekly divisions have now completed their seasons. The top drivers will be feted at the annual Awards Banquet, which will be held at the Airport Millennium Hotel on Walden Ave. in Cheektowaga, NY on Friday, November 20th.

The Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex will bring down the curtain on the 2009 season on Saturday, September 12th, with Crash-A-Rama, Round II, the "wildest show on wheels," featuring the popular full-sized School Bus Figure 8 race, Monster Trucks Raminator and Rammunition, a compact car enduro, a compact demolition derby, and many other events of automotive destruction. Pit gates will open at 3:00, with spectator gates opening at 4:00. Crash-A-Rama will get underway at 6:30 PM. Adult admission is $20.00. For more information, contact the Holland office at (716)-537-2272.

RESULTS SUMMARY – September 5, 2009

40 laps: 1. (started 11th) AMY CATALANO, 2. (1) Justin Shepker, 3. (4) Neil Hopkins, 4. (8) Kevin Miller, 5. (3) Joe Evans, 6. (10) Kevin Lewis, 7. (7) Jeff Ruddy, 8. (6) Tim Welshans, 9. (5) Don King, 10. (13) Dick Kluth, 11. (12) Mike Stevenson, 12. (2) Mike Fiebelkorn, Jr., 13. (9) Patrick Emerling.
2009 Champion: JUSTIN SHEPKER

30 laps: 1. (started 2nd) ELDON KING III, 2. (6) Mike Ticco, 3. (3) Dave Whittaker, 4. (5) Nick Crassi, 5. (8) Scott Jarrell, 6. (4) Joe Carbone, 7. (1) T.J. Johnson, 8. (7) Alan Fisher, 9. (9) Jason Gwin.
2009 Champion: ELDON KING III

30 laps: 1. (started 1st) DAVE KRAWCZYK, 2. (3) Jim Loffredo, 3. (5) Ted Welshans, 4. (4) Jerry Kosmowski, 5. (6) Shawn Lafferty, 6. (9) Rich Carnes, 7. (11) Zach Myers, 8. (8) Jim Mallaber, 9. (14) Dave Wilson, Jr., 10. (10) Al Grimmer, 11. (7) Joe Eck, 12. (13) Mark Harsch, 13. (12) Tom Northem, 14. (15) Bill Wise, 15. (2) Mark Hoch.
2009 Champion: DAVE KRAWCZYK

25 laps: 1. (started 1st) NIK WELSHANS, 2. (3) J.D. Roberts, 3. (2) Chad Pusloski, 4. (4) Josh Hathaway, 5. (6) Mike Eckam, 6. (8) George Quintana, 7. (5) Joe Mastrocicco III, 8. (10) Bill Lutz, 9. (7) Bob Marzec, 10. (9) Eric Brown.
2009 Champion: NIK WELSHANS

Thiel Motorsports HORNETS
30 laps: 1. (started 2nd) ERIC BROWN, 2. (4) Bill Lutz, 3. (3) George Quintana, 4. (5) Jammer Meuckl, 5. (1) Jeff Szafraniec, 6. (8) Eric Marzec, 7. (16) Josh Hunter, 8. (13) Ben Russo, 9. (17) Robin Frey, 10. (7) Samantha Lutz, 11. (14) Kyle Skoney, 12. (9) Kim Marzec Skoney, 13. (12) Butcher Palmer, 14. (19) Dave Brown, 15. (6) Mae Urban, 16. (10) Dennis Felton, 17. (15) Jerry Toms, 18. (18) Tony Carbone, 19. (11) Jesse Baker. Did Not Start: Robert Palmer.
2009 Champion: ERIC BROWN

Thiel Motorsports QUEEN BEES
15 laps: 1. (started 2nd) SYLVIA MISZCZAK, 2. (4) Mae Urban, 3. (1) Samantha Lutz, 4. (6) Robin Frey, 5. (3) Kim Marzec Skoney, 6. (5) Elaine Pimpo.
2009 Champion: SAMANTHA LUTZ

12 laps: 1. (started 2nd) JESSE BAKER, 2. (1) Mike Eckam, 3. (3) Bill Lutz, 4. (4) Waylon Price.
2009 Champion: MIKE ECKAM