Chemung, NY — Call it a case of fraternal twins – a pair of 20-lap features with two different winners. Such was the case in Chemung Speedrome’s Sunoco Modified division Saturday night. Those feature wins went to longtime rivals Tony Hanbury and Jimmy Zacharias. Other winners included Mike Nichols (Super Stocks), Jacob Gustafson (4 Cylinders), Kevin Youngs (INEX Legends) and Evan Rygielski (Bowen Racecars Bandoleros).
“The car gets better every week, but we’ve got a long year ahead,” Owego, NY’s Tony Hanbury said in victory lane after leading every lap in the first of two 20-lap Sunoco Modified features.
The six-car field inversion for the feature placed Hanbury alongside pole-sitter Charlie Sharpsteen. Hanbury powered around him and led the way. Jesse Kent and Connor Sellars then got around Sharpsteen and made it a three-way battle for the top spot.
The only caution came with 16 laps complete. Cody Jackson tagged Paul Johnson and Nick Morich, all of whom spun in turn four. Hanbury outdueled Kent when the race resumed, as TJ Potrzebowski and Gene Sharpsteen put on a late-race push up front.
At the double checkered flags, it was Hanbury, Kent, Sellars, Potrzebowski and G. Sharpsteen in the top five. “This (Pete) Morgantini engine is one of the best I’ve ever had,” Hanbury told the crowd.
Hanbury then drew #8 for the race two inversion, which placed Charlie Sharpsteen and Zack Knowlden on the front row for the start. Few could have predicted that the fourth different winner would celebrate in victory lane after four 2017 features, but Jimmy Zacharias established that fact.
A bad start resulted in Jesse Kent restarting at the rear and Knowlden leading the way ahead of Jimmy Zacharias. Cody Jackson stopped in turn four, forcing the second caution with five laps complete. When the race resumed Lee Sharpsteen was deemed at fault for trouble involving TJ Zacharias, Jackson, Gary Coon, Paul Johnson and Nick Morich. All six restarted at the rear.
But up front Zacharias took the lead from Knowlden when the green came back out. TJ Potrzebowski, Connor Sellars and Hanbury were on the move and all of them passed Knowlden, who fell back to fifth.
Over the final few laps Potrzebowski tried to nose underneath Zacharias coming off turn four but never could get beside him on the front stretch. Zacharias, from Candor, NY, held on for his first win of the year, over Potrzebowski, Sellars, Hanbury and Kent.
In Super Stock action Frank Chapman and Jim Lamoreaux won the two heat races. The inversion placed both in row three, with Mike Nichols and Nick Robison in row one, for the start of the 25-lap feature. Robinson led the first two laps before Nichols got around. Once in front he pulled away from Robinson and RJ Zacharias. The field had pretty much thinned out when Jordan Mathews came to a halt on the front stretch. Twice earlier he had spun and got corrected before the yellow had to be displayed but this time it was unavoidable. That caution, however, served as fodder for four additional yellows. The fourth caution, with 22 laps complete came when Chapman and Terry Potrzebowski got together in turn two. The final restart led to a green/white/checkered finish. Over those two laps Nichols remained in charge and he sailed across the finish line ahead of Tim Gullo, RJ Zacharias, Lamoreaux and Potrzebowski. “This is a great car but we were still a little off tonight,” Elmira, NY’s Nichols said. Doesn’t much matter when you’re the race winner that night.
The Four Cylinder division has become the personal playfield for Jacob Gustafson and Zack Bennett. After the first three 2017 races, they’re the only two to have pulled their front- and rear-wheel drive cars into Chemung’s victory lane. It was a sweep for Gustafson who, along with Monica Green, won the two heat races. Kevin May started from pole position and led until Greg Moldt took over. Bennett’s right front flat brought out the first caution. His crew made quick work of the tire change and he rejoined at the rear for the restart. It was a four-wide deal on lap four involving Moldt, Ben Perry, Gustafson and May but Gustafson came away the leader. Once in front he pulled away and left behind a battle for third among Perry, Moldt and Green. Gustafson’s nice lead disappeared when Bob Chilson spun with 12 laps complete. That led to a series of restarts, the last of which came when Ricky Lane’s motor let go. Perry passed Gustafson, who reclaimed the lead with a lap remaining. Bennett was also on the move and passed Perry on the last lap. At the checkers, it was Gustafson, Bennett (RWD), Perry, Tyler Harbst and Moldt.
The 6-car inversion for the INEX Legends moved heat winner Kevin Youngs to the sixth starting position. His starting spot was of little significance, as twenty laps later he parked in victory lane for his second consecutive win. Teddy Bowen and Keith Youngs brought the field to the green and Bowen led the way off the second corner. He led the first three circuits before losing the top spot to Mike Alcaro. Heat winner Gary Ham spun entering turn four and brought out the first of two caution periods. On the restart Alcaro and Keith Youngs made contact and it required a second attempt to get going again. The restart brought Kevin Youngs and Chuck Lohmeyer to the front row. Youngs prevailed and led the eighth lap. At the halfway point the best battle was for second, as Pat Judson caught Lohmeyer and they ran together for several laps. Their battle helped Youngs build his race lead while Alcaro was storming back toward the front. With five laps to go Judson was ahead of Lohmeyer but it changed on the final lap. Kevin Youngs, from Pine City, NY, won easily over Judson, but Alcaro nipped Lohmeyer at the stripe for third. Alex Bowen rounded out the top five.
For the second week in a row the Bowen Racecars Bandolero winner came from the Bandits. Evan Rygielski, new to the division this year, swept the action by first winning his heat. The 10-lap race got underway with Josh Duke leading the first three laps. Dominick Wood, who was right with him, made a pass and led the fourth lap. Heat winner Garrett Zacharias and Rygielski were on the move and Zacharias snagged the lead on lap seven. The only caution came out when Bryan Rygielski spun. Three laps remained and Zacharias was hoping to pick up his second win. Evan Rygielski, however, was hoping for a career-first. He stayed with Zacharias and set up his race-winning pass on the final lap. This was the second consecutive week a first-time winner graced victory lane. Zacharias shared victory lane as the winner among the Outlaws by finishing second. Wood finished third, ahead of Duke and Seth Zacharias.
This Saturday night (June 10th) fans will go trackside during intermission for the annual Meet and Greet the Drivers. It’s a regular show of Sunoco Modifieds, Super Stocks, 4 Cylinders, INEX Legends and the Bowen Racecars Bandoleros all beginning at 6 PM. 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.
- Tony Hanbury, Jimmy Zacharias, Mike Nichols and Jacob Gustafson won free wings from Buffalo Wild Wings in Horseheads, NY in their ‘Winner Winner Chicken Dinner’ bonus program.
- Allyson Chapman, the 14-year-old granddaughter of Frank Chapman, sang the national anthem to the delight of the crowd.
- A young fan drew #6 as the feature inversion number for all five divisions.
- The 2+ hour haul from Webster, NY has been worthwhile for Jacob Gustafson, who has three wins in three features as his new favorite track.
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Sunoco Modifieds (20 Laps): TONY HANBURY, Jesse Kent, Connor Sellars, TJ Potrzebowski, Gene Sharpsteen, Jimmy Zacharias, Zack Knowlden, Charlie Sharpsteen, Lee Sharpsteen, Jody Buckley, TJ Zacharias, Nick Morich, Cody Jackson, Paul Johnson, Gary Coon
Heats: Potrzebowski, J. Zacharias, Sellars
Sunoco Modifieds (20 Laps): JIMMY ZACHARIAS, TJ Potrzebowski, Connor Sellars, Tony Hanbury, Jesse Kent, Gene Sharpsteen, Zack Knowlden, Jody Buckley, TJ Zacharias, Nick Morich, Lee Sharpsteen, Paul Johnson, Cody Jackson, Gary Coon, Charlie Sharpsteen
Super Stocks (25 Laps): MIKE NICHOLS, Tim Gullo, RJ Zacharias, Jim Lamoreaux, Terry Potrzebowski, Nick Robinson, Frank Chapman, Jason Duke, John Lane, JP Harbst, Ed Kelly, Jordan Mathews, Chad Lane
Heats: Chapman, Lamoreaux
4 Cylinders (20 Laps): JACOB GUSTAFSON, Zack Bennett (RWD), Ben Perry, Tyler Harbst, Greg Moldt, Monica Green, Kevin May, Andy Speer, Sarah Gooch, Allen Stephenson, Bob Chilson, Triston Kline, Ricky Lane, Paul Platt
Heats: Gustafson, Green
INEX Legends (20 Laps): KEVIN YOUNGS, Pat Judson, Mike Alcaro, Chuck Lohmeyer, Alex Bowen, Daniel Carter, Gary Ham, Teddy Bowen, Keith Youngs, Matt Evans, Timothy Bowen, Max Evans, Charlie Lohmeyer, Jamie Mullen, Kyle Youngs
Heats: Kevin Youngs, Ham
Bowen Racecars Bandoleros (10 Laps): EVAN RYGIELSKI, Garrett Zacharias (Outlaw), Dominick Wood, Josh Duke, Seth Zacharias, Jeffrey Noe, Bryan Rygielski, Griffin Montfort, Steve Mitch
Heats: E. Rygielski, G. Zacharias
-Chemung Speedrome Press Release. Photo credit: Jimmy Zacharias Facebook