(Chemung, NY) — Friday night racing returned to Chemung Speedrome as the 2014 season nears its conclusion in a few short weeks. Jody Buckley set down another impressive pattern of rubber with his post-race celebration of donuts and tire burning after winning his second Sunoco Modified feature of the year. Tim Gullo also celebrated his second win in the Super Stock division. Other winners included Ken Benjamin and Cody Jackson (Four Cylinder FWD and RWD), Brandon DeBrakeleer (INEX Legends), Chris Clemens (Dirt Crate Sportsman) and David French (Bandoleros).
The 40-lap Sunoco Modified was plagued with caution flags and ended up being a race that was tough on the various leaders, until the last one. Jimmy Zacharias and Connor Sellars won the two heats while handicapping put Randy Brokaw and Sellars on the front row for the start. Brokaw led the way while Andy Jankowiak, Zacharias and Zack Curren got under Sellars when he was trapped on the outside early on.
TJ Zacharias brought out the first caution with his single car spin. Jankowiak took the lead but not for long. Curren took over, leaving Jankowiak and J Zacharias running together for second. Just short of the halfway point Zacharias found an opening and made an inside pass on Jankowiak.
Four laps later the race had a series of caution periods, for spins by Cam Ayres and then Jody Buckley, and then when TJ Zacharias’ #17 slowed with motor trouble. On each of those restarts Curren opted to start on the inside of J Zacharias. Things seemed to be going in favor of Curren until he slowed and brought out the caution. That gave the lead to J Zacharias, with Jankowiak up to second.
The restart was pivotal in this one. Jankowiak got into Zacharias and the pair spun with just two laps remaining. The lead was then handed to Brokaw, with Buckley second. On the restart Brokaw spun after a domino-effect of contact, giving the lead to Buckley. When the race resumed Buckley took good care of his late-race gift and he held on for his second win this year. Jimmy Zacharias charged back up through the field to finish second. Sellars, Jankowiak and Ayres rounded out the top five. Buckley again treated the fans to an impressive burnout near the start/finish line.
It appeared as though the 25-lap Super Stock feature would never get underway. Three cautions led to restarts before a single lap was scored. During those cautions Charlie Sharpsteen’s “S” and the 15 of Nick Robinson both broke while Jody Buckley pulled in with fluid pouring from the #20. This was all before lap one was run.
When they finally did get underway Dan Mathews led the way off turn two but Joe Snell passed him for the lead. Behind Snell Terry Potrzebowski and Lee Sharpsteen were on the move, up to second and third at lap ten. Two laps later Potrzebowski had the lead and Snell dropped to second.
Caution came out at the halfway point when Mike Nichols broke and couldn’t avoid contact with Jake Snell. The restart changed things considerably. It was Potrzebowski and Snell in row one; L Sharpsteen and Tim Gullo in row two. Trouble was imminent as Sharpsteen went three-wide down the front stretch into turn one. That seldom works, and Friday night was no exception. The top three spun and handed the lead over to Jeff Goodwin. He and Gullo lined up beside each other for the restart and Gullo prevailed on lap 15 before losing the lead a lap later to Goodwin.
The final caution came out when Nichols slowed in turn three. It was Goodwin and Gullo lined up ahead of Bob Ripley and Jake Snell for the restart. Gullo reclaimed the lead despite some contact from Goodwin, and he picked up his second win this season. Lee Sharpsteen finished second over Goodwin, Joe Snell and Mathews. Buckley and Mathews won the heats.
For the first time this season a FWD Four Cylinder won their 20-lap feature but it almost didn’t turn out that way. Ryan Purvis dominated the field, as he had done the prior week, but he pulled into the pits on the money lap. The race took three tries to get going but when it did Purvis led down the back stretch and quickly pulled away from everyone else. Cody Jackson and Marcus Wood battled early on but Ken Benjamin made a pass on both and was up to second by the seventh lap. While Purvis added to his advantage, Benjamin and Jackson ran clean and often side by side for the runner up spot. Purvis took the white flag but when he got to turn three he pulled into the infield and the lead went to Benjamin. He held on for the win, followed by Jackson in the highest RWD car. Eric Ellsworth, Nick Morich and Wood rounded out the top five. Purvis and Sam Warren won the two qualifying events.
Family commitment to a young driver keeps the Erie County, PA DeBrakeleer family driving over four hours each for Brandon to race his INEX Legends car at Chemung. It’s a formula that works. Heat winner Gary Ham led the way early in the 20-lap feature over Alex Bowen. Matt Kurzejewski, making his first 2014 start, took over second and closed in on the leader. Kurzejewski entered turn three too fast and collided with Ham, whose car went airborne before nearly slamming the outside wall. He was done and Kurzejewski was sent to the rear for rough driving. That put Bowen in command but his lead evaporated on the restart; DeBrakeleer, Bowen and Alexandria Smith were the top three on the next lap. DeBrakeleer took off and left Smith with Bowen, and then Kurzejewski, battling her for second. The final caution came when Jimmer Ulrich spun. Kurzejewski, who had made the pass for second, lined up beside DeBrakeleer but he had nothing for him on this night. DeBrakeleer celebrated his sixth win, this one over Kurzejewski, Bowen, Smith, and Daren Scherer. Smith won the other heat race and remains atop the point standings.
Three of the four Dirt Crate Sportsman cars went three-wide off turn two on the opening lap of their 10-lap feature. Heat winner Ray Dann was on the outside, with James Howard in the middle and Chris Clemens on the inside. Clemens made that move stick and he led into turn three with Dann in second. That’s how they would remain as Howard and Allison Pierce fell back. Clemens held on for his sixth win in seven races, padding his championship point lead.
David French solidified his number one national ranking in the Bandolero Outlaw division with his ninth feature win in eleven races this year. The talented youngster bides his time and drives a smart race. Friday night the only caution came for a single car spin with one lap scored. From sixth on the grid he advanced to second while chasing down leader Rudy Roth. He caught him and made a race-winning pass, leaving Roth to battle with Alex McCollum for second. French took home another trophy after finishing ahead of Roth, McCollum, Nick Morich and Lars McElravy. Roth and French won the two heats.
This week Chemung welcomes back the Big 10 Super Stock Series for a 35-lap feature. They’ll be joined by the Sunoco Modifieds (40), 4 Cylinders (20), INEX Legends (20 laps, double points), and Bandoleros (08). Pits open at 4:00, practice and grandstand opens at 6:00 and racing gets underway at 7:15 PM. Admission: adults $12; seniors 65 and older $10; kids ages 6-12 $5; kids ages five and under free. Fans are reminded that their ticket stub from August 15th is good for $2 off this Fridaynight.
- Donald Fleming, retired Gunnery Sergeant in the US Marines, was the Honorary Veteran of the Race. Fleming served from 1981 to 2003 and had tours of duty in Japan, Puerto Rico as well as several locations in the US. Trained in Small arms repair and marksmanship, Sergeant Fleming developed a new weapon system for Marine Corps vehicles that is still in use today. He received numerous medals and awards for his exemplary service.
- An increased field has placed the Bandolero division on the schedule for the rest of the season.
- Many fans wore orange and the track observed a moment of silence in memory of Kevin Ward, Jr.
Sunoco Modifieds (40 Laps) JODY BUCKLEY, Jimmy Zacharias, Connor Sellars, Andy Jankowiak, Cam Ayres, Randy Brokaw, Larry Jaynes, Zack Curren, TJ Zacharias, Chris Clemens, Corey Mosher, Gene Sharpsteen (DNS)
Heats: J Zacharias, Sellars
Super Stocks (25 Laps) TIM GULLO, Lee Sharpsteen, Jeff Goodwin, Joe Snell, Dan Mathews, Terry Potrzebowski, Jake Snell, Dusty Snell, Mike Nichols, Bob Ripley, Nick Robinson, Jody Buckley, Charlie Sharpsteen, Ron Underwood
Heats: Buckley, Mathews
4 Cylinders (20 Laps) KEN BENJAMIN, Cody Jackson (1st RWD), Eric Ellsworth, Nick Morich, Marcus Wood, Ryan Purvis, Bobby Hall, Travis McDonald, Sam Warren, Monica Green, Justin Hall, Jack Adams (DNS)
Heats: Purvis, Warren
INEX Legends (20 Laps) BRANDON DEBRAKELEER, Matt Kurzejewski, Alex Bowen, Alexandria Smith, Daren Scherer, Brad Lowmaster, Dylan Hoffman, Beth Scherer, Mike Bollen, John Bacon, Jimmer Ulrich, Gary Ham, Lee DeBrakeleer
Heats: Smith, Ham
Dirt Crate Sportsmen (10 Laps) CHRIS CLEMENS, Ray Dann, James Howard, Allison Pierce
Bandoleros (10 Laps) DAVID FRENCH, Rudy Roth, Alex McCollum, Nick Morich, Lars McElravy, Damon Frutchey, Teddy Bowen, Timothy Bowen, Michael Roth
Heats: R Roth, French
-Chemung Speedrome Press Release