MINERSVILLE, PA – In only his third season racing a modified, teenager Alex Yankowski went out and dominated the Fritz Roehrig Memorial, Jack Rich Inc. Coalcracker 72 leading all but three laps against some of the toughest modified drivers in the northeast. In the companion Coalcracker Savage 61 Crate Sportsman 30 lap main event, it was invader Sammy Martz Jr leading all 30 laps to capture his first ever win at the speedway. Andrew Fayash capped his amazing season off with another victory in the Red White and Blues Auto Roadrunners division.
The 41st running of the Coalcracker 72 got underway with Alex Yankowski and Matt Stangle leading the twenty-five car field to the green flag with Stangle getting the advantage to lead Yankowski into turn one. Stangle was looking strong but on lap three disaster struck for the Neshanic Station, NJ driver as the No. 6 slowed quickly bringing out the first yellow of the race. Back to green and Yankowski lives up to his name “Kid Rocket” as he blasts away from the field to open a big lead over now second-place Duane Howard.
On lap 15 Yankowski had caught the tail end of the pack, starting to put cars a lap down. While Yankowski was slowly navigating his way through, Howard and third place running Jeff Strunk started to close in on the leader. A yellow on lap 23 for Billy Pauch Jr who spun on the backstretch was just what Yankowski needed so it would give him open track once again. The restart was called off when a strong running Frank Cozze backed it into the wall in turn three before a lap could be scored. When the race restarted it was Yankowski again putting some distance between himself and now second place running Dominick Buffalino who had worked his way past Howard on the restart. The last caution of race came on lap 36, exactly halfway when Craig Von Dohren slowed coming out of turn four to head to the pits.
The halfway mark of the race saw the top five as Yankowski, Buffalino, Howard, Strunk and Nick Rochinski. When we went back to green flag racing, Yankowski was gone as he left everyone behind in his wake. While Yankowski was way out front, the racing for the remaining top five spots was intense with Buffalino, Howard, Strunk, Timmy Buckwalter, Rochinski, Max McLaughlin and Anthony Perrego all the way from 22nd. Howard who had faded back to fourth after being passed by Strunk started to come to life again with around ten laps go as he worked his way past Strunk and quickly caught up to Buffalino starting to pressure the driver of the No. 126 for second. All the while, Yankowski was still adding to his big lead as the laps started to wind down. When starter Jeff Merkel threw the double checkers, it was Yankowski by almost a half a track taking the big win and the $17,000 first place money with Buffalino holding off Howard for second. Strunk ended up fourth with Perrego finishing a strong fifth. Finishing sixth through tenth were Rochinski, Buckwalter, Von Dohren, McLaughlin and Mike Gular.
“The past couple of night we were talking about how much this weekend seems to hate me,” cited an overwhelmed Yankowski after winning the biggest race of his career. “I am just so happy; we have worked really hard and were struggling there and we picked it back up and got it going again. I just don’t know what to say. This is biggest race they have here and to win it, I just can’t thank my guys enough. There are a lot of great competitors out the, a lot of them were my idols growing up and I have a great team and I don’t know what I would do without them. I am sure poppa Steve (Alex’s father Steve Yankowski) will be happy with the money tonight and I am just so pumped up.”
Unlike the modified race, the Savage 61 Crate 602 Sportsman race saw an invader come in and steal the money away from the track regulars as Sammy Martz Jr led all 30 laps in dominating fashion to take the Crate Sportsman Coalcracker 30. Martz shot out from his pole position to take the lead but before a lap could be put in the books the yellow was out for Bobby Kupp spinning in turn three and as the field was slowing down, Logan Watt and Dakota Kohler also came together in turn one. Second try at a start was the same result as Joel Smith spun in turn one and yellow was out again. Third time wasn’t a charm as Hunter Iatelese got into the back of leader Sammy Martz Jr causing Martz Jr to get sideways as the field stacked up behind them resulting in another yellow.
As a result of the yellows to get the race started, officials made the call to go single file on the ensuing restart. That proved to be the right call as the race had one lap scored before Beau Drobot stopped in turn three as the yellow appeared once again. Back to racing and Martz Jr is back out front as he starts to put some distance between himself and the rest of the field. While Martz Jr was on cruise control the action was hot and heavy behind him with as many as six cars battled for spots inside the top five. Friday night’s winner Doug Smith was on the move as he moved into third spot just past the halfway mark. With ten laps to go Tyler Peet was on the move as he moved past Smith to takeaway third and with five to go gets past Ray Woodhall to move into second but without a yellow there was no way Martz Jr was going to be caught as his lead was now up to a half a track. Martz Jr led all 30 laps to take the big win and the $1,600 first place prize with Peet coming in second, Woodall, Doug Smith & Ryan Conrad
“You have no idea how this feels,” said a champagne-soaked Martz Jr courtesy of his sister Angelica while talking to co-announcer Barry Angstadt in victory lane. “We have led so many laps here but just couldn’t get the laps done. One time we lost it on the last lap, another time we lost it with ten to go but to finally lead all of them and win this race is just amazing. I have to thank Hannah Korrman for picking me the pole tonight and all my crew for putting this car in victory lane tonight because it was hooked up. I want to give a special thanks to my mom back home, love her.”
The 20-lap Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunner feature race started off with Joe Bassininsky leading the first three laps until 2021 points Andrew Fayash III took over the top spot-on lap three. Fayash started to drive away from the rest of the field only to be slowed down by multiple yellow flags throughout the race. The last restart came on lap 17 with Fayash continuing to lead but he now had to contend with No. 992 of Terry Kramer who was able to stay with the leader until the last lap when Fayash once again started to pull away. Fayash III went on to win his seventh race of the season over Kramer, Dave Schultz, Bassininsky and Matt Ney.
Full results from September 5th, 2021 – Coalcracker Weekend Night #2
Insigner Performance Modified / Coalcracker 72: 1. Alex Yankowski 2. Dominick Buffalino 3. Duane Howard 4. Jeff Strunk 5. Anthony Perrego 6. Nick Rochinski 7. Timmy Buckwalter 8. Craig Von Dohren 9. Max McLaughlin 10. Mike Gular 11. Louden Reimert 12. Jared Umbenhauer 13. Dillon Steuer 14. Rick Laubach 15. Shawn Fitzpatrick 16. Jack Butler 17. Doug Manmiller 18. Mike Lisowski 19. Brett Kressley 20. Dan Hineline 21. Frank Cozze 22. Billy Pauch Jr 23. Kevin Graver Jr 24. Craig Whitmoyer 25. Matt Stangle DNQ: Cole Stangle, Brian Malcolm, Cale Ross, Shawn Light, Scott Albert, Mike Tyson, Ryan Godown, Heath Metzger, Kyle Weiss, Corey Renninger, Kevin Beach Jr, Tanner Vandoren, Dave Hunt, Jesse Leiby, Ryan Watt, Butch Getz & Andy Burkhart
Modified Heat Winners: Duane Howard, Max McLaughlin, Craig Von Dohren and Alex Yankowski
Consi Winners: Mike Gular & Anthony Perrego
Modified Penske Shocks Gift Certificate Winners: Alex Yankowski ($100), Dominick Buffalino ($75), Duane Howard ($50)
Contingency Awards: One Added From the Pound – Dillon Steuer / First Car In from Advanced Auto Parts $100 Gift Card – Matt Stangle / 14th through 24th – $100 Green Money Added from the Dog Pound / Dog Pound Hard Charger Award – Corey Renninger
Savage 61 Crate 602 Sportsman / Coalcracker 30 1. Sammy Martz Jr 2. Tyler Peet 3. Ray Woodall Jr 4. Doug Smith 5. Ryan Conrad 6. Dylan Swinehart 7. Kevin Borden 8. Joey Vaccaro 9. Ryan Graver 10. Logan Watt 11. Ryan Godown Jr 12. Cody Manmiller 13. Steve Davis 14. Jimmy Leiby 15. Matt Yoder 16. Jonathan Swift 17. Josh Mooney 18. Hunter Iatelese 19. Brian Blankenbiller 20. Dakota Kohler 21. Beau Drobot 22. Eric Palmer 23. Joel Smith 24. Bobby Kupp DNQ: Richie Hitzler, Zane Roth, Marc Berzowski, Alan Komar, Tyler James, Joseph Brown, Ryan Grim, Kyle Kania, Doug Snyder, Steve Lyle, Daryl Dissinger, Tim Fitzpatrick, Eric Kocher, Tim Vidal & Marty Shappell
Crate Sportsman 602 Heat Winners: Ryan Conrad, Steve Davis, Dylan Swinehart, Matt Yoder
Consi Winners: Bobby Kupp & Josh Mooney
Crate 602 Penske Shocks Gift Certificate Winners: Sammy Martz Jr ($100), Tyler Peet ($75) & Ray Woodall Jr ($50)
Contingency Awards: WizFab LLC Non-Qualifiers Awards – Richie Hitzler $200 Gift Card, Doug Snyder $200 Gift Card, Zane Roth $100 Gift Card, Steve Lyle $100 Gift Card / $100 Added from Ken Bruce & Bill Brown & Company – Sammy Martz Jr. / $100 Added from Richard East, LLC – Sammy Martz Jr. / Dog Pound Hard Luck Award – Kyle Kania / Competition Carburetor Winner – Sammy Martz Jr.
Red White and Blue Autos Roadrunners / Coalcracker 20: 1. Andrew Fayash III 2. Terry Kramer 3. Dave Schultz 4. Joe Bassininsky 5. Matt Ney 6. TJ Fitzpatrick 7. Jim Kost 8. CJ Ferguson 9. Tod Roth Jr 10. Lou Gara 11. Jesse Krasnitsky 12. Kris Ney 13. Ronny Suhr Jr. DNS: Alex Schoffstall, Tonya Lance, Jarrod Bassininsky
Roadrunner Heat Winners: Joe Bassininsky & Jesse Krasnitsky
Contingency Awards: $100 from K & B Recycling – Andrew Fayash III / Dog Pound Hard Luck Award – Alex Schoffstall
Pro-Shine Auto Detailing Match Races: Match #1 Winner – CJ Ferguson / Match #2 Winner – Matt Ney / Match #3 Winner – Matt Ney / Match #4 Winner – Andrew Fayash III