Chemung, NY — Memorial races are always packed with emotion. This one took three tries to even happen. Rained out on both June 5th and then again this past Friday night, Chemung and New York Super Stock (NYSS) officials opted to run the entire show on Saturday, June 13th. Family members of the late Gary Marshall, who fell to his death from an 11-story apartment building during a December fire, gathered and took part in touching pre-race ceremonies that included Beth Bailey singing both Amazing Grace and the national anthem. Feature winners included Jimmy Zacharias (Sunoco Modifieds), Tim Gullo (NYSS), Monica Green and Randy Mathews (4 Cylinders), Matt Kurzejewski (INEX Legends) and Lars McElravy (Bandoleros).
With handicapping now in place, defending Sunoco Modified track champion Jimmy Zacharias proved it doesn’t much matter where he starts. He’ll find victory lane. This one ended with a one-two finish for him and his brother TJ.
Connor Sellars capitalized on his pole position start and led the way until a lap five restart. TJ, lined up beside him, took the lead and Sellars then had Nick Morich and Gene Sharpsteen chopping at the bit. Sharpsteen got to second but Jimmy Zacharias was working his way through the field after starting tenth. When he overtook Sharpsteen fans watched the 71 closing in on the leader in the #17.
On the 16th lap Jimmy Z dove to the inside on a restart and became the new race leader. Following a pair of cautions for single car spins he chose the outside lane for the restarts, something he’s done repeatedly this season. He knows his car and knows the drag racing move needed to hold on to the top spot. The formula is one that works for him.
When Chris Clemens spun in turn four with 35 laps complete, track officials notified the drivers that the next flag, caution or checkered, would end the race as curfew approached. Jody Buckley spun on the front stretch at the drop of the green and the race was over. Following Jimmy Zacharias and TJ Zacharias to the line were Sharpsteen, Morich and Sellars. The top three in point coming in to the night (Jimmy, TJ and Gene) all won their respective heat races.
Twenty four Super Stocks passed pre-race tech, conducted by New York Super Stock inspectors, and qualified for the Gary Marshall Memorial 50-lap feature. Family members Tim and Tara Gullo raised a ton of bonus money, and one of the biggest Super Stock races ever at Chemung was set to go.
The top finishers in the four heat races drew for starting positions, resulting in a pole start for Chuck Nichols with Tim Gullo outside. Gullo got the better of Nichols, and he stayed at the top of the leader board for the distance. He had to hold off restart challenges by Nichols, Terry Potrzebowski and eventually Lee Sharpsteen. But the 2014 track champ knows his way around and maintained his line as well as the lead.
The race itself was caution-plagued and forced NYSS Race Director, Bobby Lippa, Jr., to call for several single-file restarts to get some laps run. While many fans cheered on Gullo, due to the nature of the Memorial race, others appreciated the efforts put in by Sharpsteen and Bill Frisbie, Jr. Frisbie, who started eighth got turned around by Chris Vogler and had to restart at the rear of the field. He charged back through and finished third. Sharpsteen started 20th and powered his way up to second.
Despite their valiant efforts both fell short of overtaking Gullo. He’s now perfect in his four appearances at Chemung – four feature wins and this one, a sweep. Frisbie, Potrzebowski and Zack Curren won the other heat races. After 50 laps the checkered flag flew over Gullo, Sharpsteen, Frisbie, Potrzebowski and Curren.
“I owe thanks to Ray Marshall for talking me into racing again and Dave Machuga for the car,” Gullo told the crowd. “It took a year to build and it paid off tonight.” Gullo gave special thanks to Centers Health Care, Buckley’s Automotive, Hazleton Waste Oil, Panosian’s Shoe Store, McCormick Auto Sales and ABG Contracting for their sponsorship.
Monica Green dreamed for weeks about lounging on a beach and sipping on a cocktail or two Saturday night. But when the race program was rescheduled from Friday to Saturday it postponed her vacation for a day. After her 20-lap 4 Cylinder feature she spoke about it from victory lane, a place she’s been on three consecutive race nights. She also padded her point lead in the process. Randy Mathews and Stan Mathews won the two heat races and ran side by side for a couple laps, with Monica watching from third.
By the fourth lap Green was in charge. In this one she didn’t have the advantage she held in the previous two wins, but it was enough to garner racing’s ‘hat trick’ with three wins in a row. Randy Mathews finished second and celebrated as the highest finishing RWD car. Stan Mathews was third, Greg Moldt fourth and Jordan Mathews fifth.
On Friday Matt Kurzejewski finished fifth in the ARCA race in Michigan. On Saturday he was at Chemung, in victory lane once again after winning the 20-lap INEX Legends feature. Twice he charged through the field in the feature with victory on his mind. During a caution he was called to the pits to secure his front bumper.
Defending track champion Alexandria Smith impressed many with her outside power moves that took her from tenth to first on the opening lap. Kurzejewski was equally impressive and got up to second by the seventh after passing both Scherer and heat winner Chuck Lohmeyer. Kurzejewski took the lead but officials called him to the pits to secure his bumper during a caution and he restarted last. Things changed for Smith on a lap 15 restart when she and Scherer, running one and two, got together down the back stretch and her car went out on the hook. That handed the lead to Lohmeyer, who held it until a lap 16 restart. Kurzejewski made his race-winning move in turn three and held on for his fourth feature win this year. It was also his fourth sweep, this time finishing ahead of Lohmeyer, Beth Scherer, Daren Scherer and Anthony Riforgiato.
Lars McElravy had to work for his second Bandolero feature win of the year. But he set up a nice move on Teddy Bowen and had a nice margin of victory after the 10-lap race. A pair of cautions, for spins involving Joey Bernatavitz, Dominick Wood and Joey Bevacqua, slowed the race. Over the final three laps McElravy (Outlaw division) had them covered and took the win. Bowen (Bandit division) finished second, followed to the line by Bryce Bailey, Garrett Zacharias and Timothy Bowen. Zacharias and McElravy won the two heat races.
Racing continues this Friday, June 19th and includes the Sunoco Modifieds (75 Laps), 4 Cylinders (20), INEX Legends (20) and Bandoleros (10). Pits open at 4, grandstand opens and practice begins at 6, and racing gets underway at 7:15 PM. Admission: adults $12; seniors 65 and older $10; kids 6-12 $5; kids 5 and under free. Fans are reminded that their adult or senior ticket stub from June 13th is good for $2 off their admission this week. For additional information call the track office at 607-529-9998, ‘like’ us on Facebook, or check the track’s website www.chemungspeedrome.net.
Sunoco Modifieds (35 Laps) JIMMY ZACHARIAS, TJ Zacharias, Gene Sharpsteen, Nick Morich, Connor Sellars, Alan Bookmiller, Tommy Rought, Cam Ayers, Cody Jackson, Bob Wilson, Jr., Sam Warren, Jody Buckley, Chris Clemens, Corey Mosher, John Wilber, Randy Brokaw, Don Mosher, Ken Benjamin, Terry Zacharias
Heats: T Zacharias, J Zacharias, Sharpsteen
NYSS (50 Laps) TIM GULLO, Lee Sharpsteen, Bill Frisbie, Jr., Terry Potrzebowski, Zack Curren, Chris Vogler, Mitchell Wright, Rich Talada, Nick Robinson, Robert Fink, Jake Snell, Willie Strusz, Jason Dinzler, Terry Cheetham, Chuck Nichols, Dusty Snell, Dale Lazzaro, Gary Noe, Joe Snell, Randy Davenport, Ray Marshall, Chad McDonald, Brad Knapp, Aaron Higgins (DNS)
Heats: Frisbie, Potrzebowski, Gullo, Curren
4 Cylinders (20 Laps) MONICA GREEN, Randy Mathews, Stan Mathews, Greg Moldt, Jordan Mathews, Justin Hall, Tim Marrow, Triston Kline, Trevor Williams
Heats: R Mathews, S Mathews
INEX Legends (20 Laps) MATT KURZEJEWSKI, Chuck Lohmeyer, Beth Scherer, Daren Scherer, Anthony Riforgiato, Jimmy Zacharias, Alex Bowen, Wayne Walker, Kurt Knapp, Charlie Lohmeyer, Cliff Rought, Pat Judson, Kevin Wilkins, Alexandria Smith, Jimmer Ulrich, Kevin Youngs
Heats: Kurzejewski, Lohmeyer
Bandoleros (10 Laps) LARS MCELRAVY, Teddy Bowen, Bryce Bailey, Garrett Zacharias, Timothy Bowen, Joey Bevacqua, Dominick Wood, Joey Bernatavitz, Jade McElravy
Heats: Zacharias, L McElravy
-Chemung Speedrome Press Release