For the last four seasons, “Flying” Brian Hoffman has been busy flinging dirt into the air while seeking success in the dirt track stock car racing world of the 360 Late Models.
Prior to his recent dirt racing days, however, Hoffman could be found grabbing numerous checkered flags on the high banks of the paved Holland Motorsports Complex.
This is his early asphalt race driving heritage. Now he is putting his dirt driving escapades behind him and returning to his racing roots at Holland this season. Hoffman, of South Wales, will compete in Holland’s headlining NASCAR Pro Modified division.
“You tell everyone that I am working hard in the shop this winter and am coming back to Holland with both my barrels tightly packed,” said Hoffman, who turns 53 on May 2. “I’m looking to have some fun.”
Why the return to the asphalt at Holland from dirt?
“I think Holland is in for a very good year this year,” remarked Hoffman. “In the Pro Modifieds, due to the fact that Lake Erie [Speedway] dropped the Late Models this season, George Skora III and Jeff Brown are joining the Holland Pro Modified class and you already have a lot of good drivers like Neal Dietz Jr. in the Pro Modifieds already so it will be fun and challenging.
“Also, I had a chance to buy the Pro Modified of Daryl Lewis Sr. I’m also looking forward to getting to a few different asphalt tracks like the Race of Champions at Oswego and the US Open Weekend at Lancaster.”
Hoffman is happy with his relatively brief dirt track driving career. He says he enjoyed the opportunity to visit many different tracks, particularly when competing with the BRP Can-Am 360 Late Model Series.
“I was in it for four years and I guess you could say I was happy with the results,” said Hoffman. “I didn’t win any A-Mains but I won a couple B-Mains and a few qualifying races. It’s very competitive. I know that from my first race on dirt to my last, I became a much better driver and the good side of that learning curve showed up.
“I’ve always took a lot of care in keeping my program very professional looking. I was one of the few guys on dirt to show up with a nice wax job always on my car.”
Hoffman passed the learning curve at Holland long ago with flying colors and should not need a refresher course of any kind.
During his prior career at Holland which began in 1989, Hoffman amassed 32 feature wins spread across the NASCAR Charger, NASCAR Pro Truck and NASCAR Pro Modified ranks and won Holland’s NASCAR Pro Truck championship title in 1996 driving for owner Norm Wiedeman.
“I’ve raced a lot of different places and Holland is still a good showcase for racing,” believes Hoffman. “I think it will be a ball for me to be back racing at Holland. I know my way around that place.”
Elsewhere, very few married couples in the local auto racing scene embodied a love, devotion and support for the sport as was exemplified by the North Tonawanda based husband/wife duo of Jack and Bonnie Veach.
Together the well known pairing worked together at many local tracks across the northeastern racing footprint, filling various roles over many years. They were inseparable.
That changed July 11, 2006, when Jack died from cancer at age 63. In the years that followed since Jack‘s death, Bonnie, together with her two children, John and Dawn, have continued working for and supporting the sport.
Now John and Dawn must carry on as Bonnie died March 23, also from cancer, at age 68 leaving a large void similar to Jack’s in the local racing community.
Jack Veach was inducted into the Friends of Auto Racing Fan Club’s Score Hall of Fame in 2009 and also was bestowed with the Lenny J. Sammons Outstanding Contribution to Auto Racing Award from DIRT Motorsports in 2000. In 1999, the entire Veach family was awarded the FOAR Score’s Dick Hammond Dedication to Auto Racing Award.
Bonnie knew most of the northeastern racing media well having worked at the press/media center at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse at Super DIRT Week each October for many years. She was a friend of the media.
While John and Dawn will carry on, memories of their parents’ valuable contributions to racing will burn bright for years to come.
Lancaster has new name
Every few seasons it seems the name of the racing facility in Lancaster, known the last few years as Dunn Tire Raceway Park undergoes a name change. From it’s original opening as Lancaster Speedway in 1959 to the later years where it has been know as Lancaster Speed World, Lancaster Raceway Park and Lancaster Motorsports Park, the name of the duel drag racing/stock car track has been forever changing. It has changed again for 2013 to Elegant Builders Raceway Park or EBRP.
When Dunn Tire did not renew its track naming rights sponsorship agreement, track promoter Ralph Galluzzi searched and found another naming rights sponsor in the form of local businessman/racer Don King and his Elegant Builders company, based in East Aurora .
“Ralph and I were talking a few months ago and I was interested in knowing how I could help the track,” said King. “At first it was kind of weird because I was just thinking about doing some advertising with the track and then the next thing you know the conversation ended up a few months ago with me forming a three-year deal with Ralph to have the track’s naming rights.
“I think it will be a win-win for both of us because I can get much more exposure for my business and Ralph will have some extra money for the track.”
King also will continue to drive this upcoming season. While still competing in the Sportsman on occasion, King will concentrate on his new racing venture, racing on the Race of Champions Modified Tour in a Troyer Race Cars constructed chassis. King received the chassis from Troyer and completed the rest of the car’s construction in his own race shop.