concrete_turnThe truth is as plain as black and white- the concrete surface at Shangri-La II Motor Speedway may be a novelty, but it's also a great place for great stock car racing. That's why the four-division ASA Member Track racing program this Saturday, May 22, is titled "Concrete Kicks Asphalt" in honor of owner and builder George Swansbrough's bold decision to take the hard and fast road to success with his new track.

The Modifieds return to regular competition this Saturday so they should begin to get a grip on their championship battle. Since there has been only one point race so far in 2010, the current standings are the same as the opening day finish. Opening day winner Brian Defebo is expected to be racing in Pennsylvania most of the year, which paves the way for John Markovic, runner-up on May 1, to make a clean run at another title. Rick Zacharias is currently close behind Markovic, as he was most of 2009.

Read more: "Concrete Kicks Asphalt" this Saturday.. It's Not Just for Patios Anymore

  • Jim Storace was transported to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pa. with pain in the shoulder and back following his crash in Sunday's Race of Champions event. He was released that evening after a thorough examination showed no fractures or internal injuries. He is recuperating from the bumps and bruises at home in Kingston, N.H. and hopes to return to racing as soon as possible.
  • Wilbur Hebing's second place was special for car owner Ed McGuire of nearby Rome, Pa., who is recovering from multiple bypass surgery. Going back to his late model days of the 1970's, Ed's cars have always looked sharp, but the current machine takes race car graphics to another level. Playing off McGuire's traditional No. 51, the theme is a P-51 Mustang fighter plane in chrome silver with USAF markings and those bullet hole decals that look much more realistic on a modified than on the tailgate of a pickup.
    Hebing said he and Chris Zacharias evolved the design, which Chris executed in vinyl. Wilbur Hebing, by the way, is the brother of sprint car star Chuck "The Cobra" Hebing.
  • It wasn't a great day for Jan Leaty or Matt Hirschman, as both saw late-race moves to the front aborted by pit stops. Jan's son Mike Leaty managed a tenth place finish, but he pulled off a great outside pass to take the final redraw spot in his heat race. Then he pulled 10th out of 12 drivers in the redraw and fell behind with an early-race spin. 

    Read more: ROC'n Concrete Rumble Notebook: Jim Storace Examined and Released


Hossfeld Goes For It And Gets It In Shangri-La II's ROC'n Concrete Rumble

RocNRumbleChuck 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.

Read more: Hossfeld Goes For It And Gets It In Shangri-La II's ROC'n Concrete Rumble


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.

SH5Now 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.

Read more: Jan Leaty Aims To Complete The Circle When The Race Of Champions Modified Tour Visits Shangri-La II For Sunday's ROC'n Concrete Rumble


The saying "The acorn doesn't fall very far from the tree" definitely applies to Matt Hirschman, the defending champion of the Race of Champions paved track modified tour that arrives at Shangri-La II Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 16, for its premier showing on the concrete half-mile oval.

His father, Tony Hirschman, is a five-time champion of NASCAR's open-wheel division, and one of the talents he passed on to his son was the ability to "read" a new race track. That is, the knack of looking at the track, deciding how it is similar and how it differs from well-known tracks, and setting up the race car to go fast the first time it rolls off the truck.

Many of the rivals Hirschman will face in the 75-lap ROC'n Concrete Rumble, which is also the opening race for the series in 2010, have experience on the unique layout. Some, like track champion John Markovic, are weekly regulars at the Concrete Castle and have hundreds of laps under their belt, even though the track just opened last July. Others, including former series title winner Pete Brittain, have made only scattered appearances, but their crew chiefs have the invaluable setup notes on file. Hirschman's closest encounter has been sitting in the stands at Shangri-La II's Concrete Duals season opener on May 1.

Read more: Matt Hirschman Makes First Appearance at Shangri-La II In ROC'n Concrete Rumble on Sun., May 16, But The ROC Series Champion Is No Rookie


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