August 13, 2017
Jimmy Zacharias Grabs 6th Sunoco Modified Win at Chemung
by Carol Houssock

  The forecast was iffy on Saturday night but track management went forward with their plan to present a five-division program with six feature events. Twelve drops of rain at 7:30 was of no consequence and the show went on. Winners on this night included Jimmy Zacharias (Sunoco Modifieds), Tim Gullo (Super Stocks), Triston Kline (4 Cylinders), Gary Ham and Kevin Youngs (INEX Legends), and Garrett Zacharias (Bowen Racecars Bandoleros).

  Jimmy Zacharias got his wish on Saturday night, thanks to 17 other drivers who kept the 40-lap Sunoco Modified feature under the green for its duration. Early on in this one it was Gene Sharpsteen who led the way over Charlie Sharpsteen and Zack Knowlden. Zacharias and Connor Sellars, heat winners earlier in the evening, were methodical in their charge toward the front. By the seventh lap Zacharias was up to second and closing on Sharpsteen. As the pair exited turn four it was obvious that Zacharias would attempt a crossover move that had helped him get to where he was then running. It took place on lap 10, when the #71 went to the top of the leader board. Sharpsteen, trapped on the outside lane, was then passed by Sellars and Knowlden, dropping him to fourth. Once out in front this one became a two-man race. Sellars tried several times to get the nose of his #00 underneath Zacharias but the latter would shut down those efforts. He then looked to the high side but he never mounted a serious challenge. Over the final ten laps Zacharias and Sellars were distance images for Knowlden. When the handling on Sharpsteen’s car went away it was Lee Sharpsteen who moved him. He and Jesse Kent both passed the veteran driver. Top five at the line were Zacharias, Sellars, Knowlden, L. Sharpsteen and Kent. “Connor has a good motor and I might have been in trouble if we had a restart,” Zacharias surmised.

  A week ago, the apparent winner’s disqualification handed the win to Super Stock ace Tim Gullo. Saturday night he was out to be the first across the start/finish line following a 25-lap feature. He did just that and swept his heat and the feature. Frank Chapman led the first lap but even more memorable than his lead was watching Gullo maneuver his car in turn two. Gullo went from fifth to second in a spectacular piece of driving. That opening lap completed, the race then went yellow when John Lane and Terry Potrzebowski got together. Trouble came on the restart. Lane, Cody Frantz, Jordan Mathews and Jim Lamoreaux got together in turn four and Lane was done for the night. On the restart Gullo prevailed and began to pull away. Nick Robinson was third, and by the 10th lap had passed Chapman for second. As Gullo increased the gap between himself and Robinson, the gap separating Robinson from Chapman also increased. Chapman then had heat winner RJ Zacharias all over him for third. Gullo was too strong and drove under the double checkered flags displayed by head flagger Allen Mathews for his second 2017 win. Regarding the impressive opening lap move, Gullo recalled what he was thinking. “Do I want the lead now or wait for it?” In victory lane, he spoke of the car and those who help him. “This is last year’s motor but it’s a good piece, a good handling car. Dave Machuga is a good ‘ole boy who’s a huge help.” Robinson was second, with Robinson, Chapman, Zacharias and Jason Duke in the top five.

  Two 4 Cylinder drivers in search of a career-first win is the perfect storm for fans. Sarah Gooch wanted to celebrate on her birthday, while Triston Kline was hoping to reverse a season of bad luck. Both led, but it was Triston who scored the popular win and it was a sweep. Gooch led early, with Kline and Greg Moldt running right with her through the first five laps. Ben Perry was on the move and had second by the eighth lap. Just as lap 10 started Perry made a move for the lead while dealing with lap traffic. Perry, Moldt and Tyler Harbst all got together. Harbst retired while Perry and Moldt pitted. When the race resumed, it was Kline who took the top spot from Gooch, who held onto second. Heat winner Monica Green had passed Jacob Gustafson and Kevin May and was up to third. With five to go, Kline had a healthy lead over Gooch, and he took that advantage through lap 20 for his career-first feature win. “We’ve had to replace just about everything in this car, not once but twice this year,” he said while clutching the checkered flag. “I’m just so happy for this team.” The crowd also showed how happy they were for him. Gooch was a solid second, followed by Green, May (RWD winner) and Perry.

  The third one is the charm. That’s how Gary Ham can sum up his effort in the INEX Legends division after two likely wins got away from him. “We had everything go wrong those couple weeks, but we held it all together tonight,” he said from victory lane following the first 20-lap feature. Ham led from the get-go and was chased early on by Pat Judson and then Kevin Youngs. At the halfway point, Ham led a five-car pack that included Youngs, Mike Alcaro, Judson and Keith Youngs. As the caution-free event rolled on Alcaro and Judson passed Kevin Youngs, who fell to fourth. Noah Korner was also on the move and cleared Keith Youngs for fifth. Ham held it all together for the first time this season and parked it. “The old girl came to life,” he said after his win. “I’m tickled to death because they were putting lots of heat on me.” Alcaro finished second, followed by Judson, Kevin Youngs and Korner. Judson and Keith Youngs had won the two qualifying races.

  It was like night and day, the difference between the first 20-lap INEX Legends race and the second. This one had more cautions than the other five features combined, and ended with a win under protest. Kevin Youngs survived to apparently claim his sixth win this year, but it was messy from the start. His brother Kyle led the opening lap but with one lap in his brother Keith spun and brought out the first caution. The fragile bumpers on the cars were being put to the test, and the 10-car field began to shrink. The most serious incident occurred with seven laps complete. Kyle Youngs had a solo spin coming off turn three. With the field running in proximity, Keith Youngs locked bumpers with Mike Alcaro and both went hard into the foam blocks. The final restart had Noah Korner lined up beside Kevin, who prevailed and left Korner in a battle with Gary Ham for second. When this one was over Kevin Youngs parked in victory lane. “We try to run everyone clean but when they give we give back,” he said. Korner was second, followed by Ham, Daniel Carter and Teddy Bowen.

  Garrett Zacharias also had a sweep in the Bowen Racecars Bandolero division. Evan Rygielski (Bandit) took off from row one and led the first lap in their 10-lap feature. Garrett Zacharias (Outlaw) was right there and took over on lap two. Behind them Seth Zacharias and Brian Rygielski ran together in a battle for third. Brian was patient and waited for the right moment to pass and took over third position. Up front, heat winner Zacharias maintained an advantage over Evan and, after crossing the start/finish lines one-two, both parked in victory lane as the night’s ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ winners. Brian Rygielski, Seth Zacharias and Jeffrey Noe rounded out the top five in the caution-free race.

  This Saturday night starting at 6 PM (August 19th) the track presents a regular 5-division program of Sunoco Modifieds, Super Stocks, 4 Cylinders, INEX Legends and Bowen Racecars Bandoleros. Pits open at 4 PM, grandstand gates open and practice gets underway at 5. Admission is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors 65+, $5 for kids 6-12, and free for kids 5 and under.

  Of note:
  · Jimmy Zacharias, Tim Gullo and Triston Kline won the “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” bonus for free wings at Buffalo Wild Wings in Horseheads, NY.
· Qualifying races and five features had been completed in less than three hours, largely due to three caution-free races.
  · Due to a terrible issue involving a baby in nearby Elmira, NY earlier in the week, announcer Carol Houssock held a moment of silence for all children who are victims of abuse prior to the singing of the national anthem by Beth Bailey.
  · Andrew Legare, a sports writer for the Elmira Star-Gazette, was on hand gathering interviews and photos for an upcoming article on teenage drivers.

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  Sunoco Modifieds (40 Laps):
JIMMY ZACHARIAS, Connor Sellars, Zack Knowlden, Lee Sharpsteen, Jesse Kent, Gene Sharpsteen, Paul Johnson, Gary Noe, Charlie Sharpsteen, TJ Zacharias, Nick Morich, Gary Coon, Corey Mosher, Chris Clemens, Damon Frutchey, Jason Duke
  Heats: J. Zacharias, Sellars

  Super Stocks (25 Laps): TIM GULLO, Nick Robinson, Frank Chapman, RJ Zacharias, Jason Duke, Terry Potrzebowski, Jim Lamoreaux, JP Harbst, Cody Frantz, Jordan Mathews, Chad Lane, John Lane
  Heats: Gullo, Zacharias

  4 Cylinders (20 Laps): TRISTON KLINE, Sarah Gooch, Monica Green, Kevin May (RWD), Ben Perry, Jacob Gustafson, Allan Stephenson, Ricky Lane, Jason Peck, Paul Platt, Alexander Browne, James Peck, Greg Moldt, Tyler Harbst, Zack Bennett (DNS)
  Heats: Green, Kline

  INEX Legends (20 Laps, #1): GARY HAM, Mike Alcaro, Pat Judson, Kevin Youngs, Noah Korner, Kyle Youngs, Keith Youngs, Daniel Carter, Teddy Bowen, Max Evans
  Heats: Judson, Keith Youngs

  INEX Legends (20 Laps, #2): KEVIN YOUNGS, Noah Korner, Gary Ham, Daniel Carter, Max Evans, Teddy Bowen, Kyle Youngs, Mike Alcaro, Keith Youngs, Pat Judson

  Bowen Racecars Bandoleros (10 Laps): GARRETT ZACHARIAS, Evan Rygielski (Bandit), Brian Rygielski, Seth Zacharias, Jeffrey Noe, Josh Duke, Griffin Montfort-Balfour
  Heat: G. Zacharias



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