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Andrew Buff Wins Championship Series Season Opener at Land of Legends With DIRTcar Sportsman

  • / Updated:
  • Kyle Evans 

CANANDAIGUA, NY (Aug. 16, 2023) – Andrew Buff continued to turn Land of Legends Raceway into his personal playground Wednesday night for the DIRTcar Sportsman Series’ Championship Series kick off.

After dominating a Central/West Region event at the Canandaigua, NY track in July, he returned with the same swagger for the SummerFAST event. Buff, of Latham, NY, set Quick Time, won his Heat Race and then took home the $1,500 check.

However, his cruise to the victory wasn’t as simple as the July race.

Buff started sixth in the 30-lap Feature, which saw Mike Fowler on the pole and Frank Guererri to his outside. When the race commenced, Fowler cleared the field for the lead on the first lap. But Guererri hung to his coat tail.

While Fowler ran low, Guererri went high, gaining inches every corner. By the third lap he was side by side with the #410 Sportsman and the two stayed like that for another three laps.

Fowler always got a better run off the bottom than Guererri could up top and edged ahead. That was until Lap 7 when Guererri put together a strong enough run to pull ahead of Fowler off Turn 4 and down the front stretch.

Before he could try to pull away, the first caution of the night came out a lap later. When the race resumed, Guererri ran away while Buff was on the attack, going from sixth to third.

Two laps later, another caution.

On the following restart, Fowler had enough of second. Perfecting the bottom line, Fowler pulled side by side, again, with Guererri, and this time got the better run off Turn 4 to reclaim the lead on Lap 12. Once Fowler cleared the #113JR car, Buff filled the hole underneath it.

Buff took his turn at putting on a side-by-side show with Guererri, eventually winning on Lap 15.

By that point, Fowler had more than a second lead over Buff. And lap after lap, he maintained it. Until the race hit about seven laps to go. Buff’s gain on Fowler became more apparent every time they entered Turn 1.

From two car lengths to one car length to at Fowler’s bumper.

“I was able to roll the center through Turns (1 and 2) and hit the patch of brown through the center of (Turn) 2, off, and get a hell of a run down the backstretch,” Buff said. “That’s where I think I gain a lot, because around the bottom of (Turn) 4 was where running, so I knew I had to make my pass in one and two.”

With three laps to go, Buff stole the lead from Fowler and tried to create distance. And while he made distance from Fowler, a new second-place contender kept in his tire tracks. Matt Janczuk had been on the move all race and got by Fowler shortly after Buff did.

However, with only two laps to go, Janczuk ran out of time to see if he could run down Buff.

“I think we were getting faster as the race went on,” Janczuk said. “In the traffic it slowed down a little bit. We got stuck on the bottom for a couple restarts and that’s not the place to be. That’s where Andrew (Buff) made up a lot of ground on that one restart… We were good. Nothing to be disappointed about. A lot of good cars and Andrew runs good. We were there. We were with him. I just think we need some more time.”

Buff had time and glory on his side when the checkered flag was waving over him for the second time this year at Land of Legends – placing him as the early points leader in the Championship Series.

“We hit on something when we came here (in July),” Buff said. Been racing a lot. Been taking a lot of notes. I think it is just all showing here with all the different tracks we go to. Feels good to have it all come together here.”

UP NEXT: The DIRTcar Sportsman Series Championship Series continues at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park on Sunday, Aug. 20.