Hossfeld Goes For It And Gets It In Shangri-La II's ROC'n Concrete Rumble
Chuck Hossfeld won Sunday's 75-lap ROC'n Concrete Rumble Race of Champions Modified Tour race at Shangri-La II Motor Speedway by employing the philosophy of a legendary car owner who told his driver, "Bring me a trophy or bring me a basket of parts. Don't bring me any excuses." In other words, he went for the win and didn't worry about the consequences. His boldness brought him that win, to the delight of the largest crowd in the track's two years of operation.
Hossfeld, who started sixth in the 28-car field, used the outside groove to move into second behind pole starter Pete Brittain on the fifth lap. For 60 circuits around the concrete half-mile he dogged Brittain, often trying the high road, but nothing worked. Brittain held his ground and seemed unshakable.lt;p>Hossfeld saw his chance on a restart with 13 laps remaining. "I watched him on those restarts and I saw his first three or four laps weren't his best. I knew I had to get him then," he related in victory lane. As the leaders completed lap 64, Hossfeld drove deeper to the bottom of turn one than he or anyone else had dared to do all day, pulled alongside Brittain, and came away with the lead down the back straight. Despite a final caution with seven laps remaining, Hossfeld held on for the win with a swarm of challengers right behind.
History will always show that Jan Leaty won the final Race of Champions tour modified race at the original Shangri-La Speedway on August 25, 2005. That 200-lapper was the last race ever run at the historic track down in the valley.
Now another Race of Champions event is at hand in Tioga County, and the veteran Williamson, N.Y. driver would like nothing better than to complete the circle with another victory lane celebration, this one on the concrete of Shangri-La II Motor Speedway, George Swansbrough's new facility on top of the ridge three miles away. Jan and his son Mike Leaty were both top-five finishers in the 2009 RoC series standings and both will be in the field for the 75 lap ROC'n Concrete Rumble on Sunday, May 16.
Jan, who won the 1982 Late Model championship and the 1989 Modified title at the old track, admits he has never set foot on the new speedway. Several members of his family race team have, and he's studied it through the internet. "I've gone to some websites and I've watched a couple of videos from there on YouTube," he explained. "While it has more banking, it really looks a lot like the old track in shape and size," he added. He's right, although Shangri-La II is a full, measured half-mile, while the old track was a few yards short of that mark.