For many years, the winner of the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Tour race, the headline event of the US Open Weekend at Dunn Tire Raceway Park, was determined on a Sunday.
It appeared that tradition was gone as a month ago DTRP track management changed the event schedule, opting to run the final day of this year's US Open, including the ROC Modified 100, on Saturday.
Due to a marathon day Saturday on which eight divisions raced for nearly 12 hours, that tradition stayed intact, although not by design.
Saturday's Modified 100-lap race, the final event on the day's card, did not start until around 11 p.m. Saturday and concluded when Matt Hirschman crossed the finish line to win the ROC Modified 100 at 12:15 a.m. Sunday.
The day was lengthened when qualifying heats Friday were rained out and management compressed the entire event schedule into Saturday.
The heats commenced at 1:17 p.m. Saturday, the features at 4:30. Due to the number of classes, extra length of feature races, brief intermissions many yellow and red flags, the event produced perhaps the area's longest one-day stock car show in many years.
In a race that was run in late-night cool and damp conditions, Hirschman passed T.J. Potrzebowski on lap 83 and went on to the victory in the ROC Modified 100. On the race's first lap, Doug Reaume flew at full speed into the foam-protected front stretch wall but emerged uninjured.
"I was trying to be more cautious than normal just because we had cold tires on this cold track tonight," Hirschman said. "It was difficult for everyone. I just wanted to get some heat in the tires and get comfortable. It was just too late with the cold, damp conditions so I'm glad we had a good clean run because some guys weren't as fortunate."
The most entertaining race was the Late Model 50, which ran caution free. George Skora III and Bobby Weber engaged in an intense multi-lap, intense battle in which Skora beat Weber to the finish line by inches.
"Bobby was definitely good tonight but we were a tick better and that's what it took to get the job done," Skora said.
Holland NASCAR Motorsports Complex 2012 NASCAR Pro Modified champion Andy Jankowiak dominated the Sportsman 75 Saturday, besting Jimmy Zacharias and Bobby Holmes.
Joe Mancuso had a strong run to win the Super Stock Dave London Memorial 50 over Mike Scott. Jake Lyon passed 2012 DTRP Street Stock champion T.J. Cochrane going down the backstretch with just over a lap remaining to emerge victorious in the Street Stock 40.
Lyon overcame an early trip to the pits to change a flat tire to pick up the victory.
Matt Druar was involved in a vicious accident during the Street Stock 40 when he spun into the front stretch inside wall and then spun down the track, winding up disabled in the groove. Mike Dalfonso Jr. struck Druar's machine at nearly full speed. Neither driver was injured.
The Casey's TQ Midget Series had a day of twisting fortunes. A huge field of 26 TQ Midgets started the 25-lap Gail Barber Memorial but the race was plagued by two red flags caused by flipping cars and numerous cautions.
Jonathan Reid drove the Harry Macy-owned TQ Midget to victory. On the race start, Dave Wollaber spun in Turn 2 of DTRP's inner oval and Brandon Zavarella got caught up in the aftermath, flipping into the second turn jersey barrier.
When the race was restarted, Jared Turnbull went flipping side-over-side at least four times but walked away unscathed. It's been a tough season for the Turnbull family. Turnbull's father, Wayne Turnbull, was involved in a violent accident at Holland in July that put him in the Erie County Medical Center for nearly two months.
Wayne is rehabbing at the family's home in Paris, Ont.
John Julicher Jr. won the Four-Cylinder 25-lapper and then announced his retirement. Jeremy Haudricourt was triumphant in the 20-lap INEX Legends race.
A total of 165 cars, encompassing the eight classes, competed at DTRP.
Larry Woodruff has worked at DTRP for 14 years but announced Saturday that he is leaving DTRP to join the World Racing Group.