As Andy Jankowiak was being sprayed by cans of silly string Saturday following the NASCAR Pro Modified season point championship finale at Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex, he thought about the emotions of finally becoming a Holland Champion, including remembrances of his late uncle Bob Druar.
Jankowiak came into Saturday's 50-lap finale sporting a 38 point edge over Dave Catalano. Jankowiak finished fifth and Catalano fourth to give Jankowiak his first Holland championship.
Two years ago Jankowiak came to Holland on a mission, to win the NASCAR Pro Modified title. He came close a year ago, losing the 2011 championship laurels to Amy Catalano by just two points.
Jankowiak returned to Holland this year and matched five timely race wins with good consistent runs to accomplish the task.
While many champions in various forms of motorsports sometimes receive a champagne shower after winning a race or championship, Jankowiak's supporters covered him and his race car with silly string sprayed from several cans. It made for a very fun and unique scene.
"We lost it by two points last year and I wanted it bad this year," said Jankowiak. "That was our goal for the season to come out here and win this championship. We started out strong, had a lot of bad luck in the middle of the season but we point raced all year and got it done.
"I just want to say that I lost my Uncle Bob earlier this year. He was a huge part of my racing career and he's the only reason why I'm here today. I miss him like heck and this championship is for him. We're all thinking about him."
For the second year in a row, NASCAR Charger veteran Jim Loffredo overcame the pressure that comes with a close point battle. Loffredo came into Saturday's NASCAR Charger 50-lapper trailing Dave Wilson Jr., by 11 markers in the double point affair. In order to overcome the deficit, Loffredo had to finish at least three positions in front of Wilson to snatch the title away. He did more then that.
Loffredo took care of business, passing Rich Carnes with 13 laps remaining and then held off Tom Northem to record his fourth Holland race win of the season. Wilson could muster no better then a sixth place run, earning Loffredo the championship.
The title is Loffredo's second consecutive Holland NASCAR Charger championship and third overall. "We worked real hard on the car this year," Loffredo said. "The first half of the year we gave away a little bit because we were trying different things. From midseason on we hit on a few things and everything started working good.
"Tonight my whole philosophy was to finish the best I could and let the chips fall where they may. I know Dave leading the points is very hard because I've done it for quite a few years and I knew that would be hard on him as I had nothing to lose and everything to gain."
Along with Loffredo, three other drivers successfully defended their respective Holland points championship from a year ago including Eldon King III, LAMOT; Camden Barber, TQ Midgets and Jason Adams, Figure-8.
Jeff Szafraniec won his eighth Hornet feature of the season Saturday to lock up his first career Holland Hornet title. King won eight LAMOT races in 2012 including the last six consecutively. He also was LAMOT champion in 2009.
Also this past weekend, Dunn Tire Raceway Park promoter Ralph Galluzzi, won back some of his own purse money at DTRP Friday when he rallied to win the Quick 16 portion of the track's IHRA Weekly Drag Racing Series showdown.
In the Quick 16 class at DTRP, drivers must qualify through time trials to earn one of the 16 spots in the field in order to make the evening's final race eliminations. Following this past Friday night's time trials, Galluzzi was standing in the concession area visiting with people after failing to make the cut. He was the 17th quickest of 17 entries in time trials.
Soon, Galluzzi would get a break when fellow competitor Carl Sciandra suffered mechanical woes and withdrew from the event. Galluzzi, as first alternate, was added to the field.
Galluzzi took full advantage from there, defeating top ranked competitors, Dave Lawler, Andy Gregoire, Brian Hitchcock and then Vito Antonicelli in the final to claim the Quick 16 victory. Galluzzi was driving a car borrowed from his son Tony Galluzzi.