(Chemung, NY) Racing under the lights at Chemung is exciting. Part of that light Friday night came came from a nearly full moon, however. Winners included TJ Zacharias (Sunoco Modifieds), Nick Robinson (Super Stocks), Monica Green and Jordan Mathews (4 Cylinders), Alexandria Smith and Anthony Gullo (INEX Legends) and Garrett Zacharias and Bryce Bailey (Bandoleros).
The television show “Survivor” has nothing on Friday night’s Sunoco Modified show. What started off tame gradually evolved into a poor example of following the track’s restart procedures.
The Zacharias brothers and heat winners, TJ and Jimmy, started on the front row. Jimmy was the first to turn one and prevailed. Two early cautions led to restarts, and for both of them J Zacharias chose the outside lane. Tony Hanbury, last week’s winner, got around TJ and was working on closing the big gap between him and the leader.
At the halfway point Jimmy had a comfortable advantage but that all changed when Chris Clemens spun and brought the field together again. Gene Sharpsteen’s night soured when he broke on the restart. With Hanbury alongside Jimmy Z opted for the inside lane, which worked for him. Hanbury was then in a good battle with Zack Curren for second.
A late caution and subsequent restart, with J Zacharias and Tony Hanbury beside each other, turned into multiple attempts at a restart to finish the last four laps. Officials called off several starts and verbally warned both Zacharias and Hanbury to stay side by side until the restart line. Others behind them sustained damage trying to get going based on the line they were in.
What would have been the final try to resume the race resulted in a wreck in turn two involving Zacharias, Connor Sellars and Jody Buckley. While the contact between the leaders did occur, Hanbury was sent to the rear for jumping the start despite those repeated warnings. That brought Curren to the top spot with TJ Zacharias alongside. Curren went around just as the field took the green and Jesse Kent was deemed at fault. Both restarted at the rear.
With just seven minutes remaining until curfew the front row was TJ Zacharias and Tommy Rought. What became the final lap, 36, ended with Ken Hammond hard into the front stretch wall and Curren sliding into the mangled #30. The clock ended this one, but not before a lot of damage to many race cars. Fortunately no one was injured in any of the incidents. TJ Zacharias, from Candor, NY was declared the winner over Rought, Cody Jackson, Zack Knowlden and Nick Morich.
Since a youngster Waverly, NY’s Nick Robinson has called the Speedrome one of his racing homes, winning as a Speedrome Junior but for years in search of that elusive first win in the Super Stock division. The wait is over. Rich Talada got things going in winning the heat race and sitting on the pole for the 25-lap feature. Robinson, who started third, made a beautiful move at the drop of the green and led the way off turn two. The caution-free race could have ended right there, as Robinson pulled away from Frank Chapman. He had a battle going with Talada, who got around him for second but had nothing on this night for Robinson. He sailed across the finish line for his career-first in the Super Stocks, followed by Talada, Chad Lane, Rick Frisco and Tim Gullo. Chapman finished third but was disqualified for a motor infraction. “This was a long time coming,” Robison told the crowd. He went on to thank his crew and sponsors but gave special credit to one individual. “My dad works so hard on this car, harder than anyone and I can’t thank him enough.”
Last weekend Monica Green, from Waverly, NY led all but the last lap in the 20-lap 4 Cylinder feature. Friday night she led all 20 and picked up her first 2016 win as the defending track champion. The race was slowed three times for cautions, and Green hit the pedal and pulled away from Jordan Mathews on the first two. Mathews was involved in the final caution when he and Eric Ellsworth got together with five laps remaining. That brought Zack Jaynes up to the front row and, again, Green took and pulled away. At the stripe Green had the win, followed by Jaynes, J Mathews, Ellsworth and Triston Kline. It was sweep time for Green, who also won the heat.
Twin-15’s for the INEX Legends produced two different feature winners. Qualifying wins went to Chuck Lohmeyer, Kevin Youngs and Alexandria Smith. Lohmeyer and Smith paced the first few laps and their running order shifted on a lap 5 restart. Once in front Smith had to hold on to the lead three times for restarts following cautions. The race ended with a green/white/checker and she proved again that she’s fearless and determined. Smith, from Millerton, PA picked up her second consecutive win, this time over Lohmeyer, Matt Evans, Kevin Youngs and Keith Youngs.
Smith then drew the number 10 for the race two inversion. That put Jimmer Ulrich and Max Evans on the front row, but the opening lap led to the first of three caution periods. Gullo worked around Evans and took the lead on the restart and the pair remained up front. The most serious caution came when David French got turned around and went hard into the backstretch wall. He was ok but his night was over. Elmira, NY’s Gullo held on and picked up his first win in the Legends division. Evans was second, ahead of Dylan Hoffman, Lohmeyer and Pat Judson.
Third generation racer Garrett Zacharias from Candor, NY backed up last week’s Bandolero feature win with another. This time he had to pass last year’s track champion, Teddy Bowen, to do so. Bowen led the first half of the race, taking off from his pole position starting spot and bringing Zacharias along. Four cautions slowed the race and it was following a lap 7 restart that the lead exchanged hands. Once in front the pair pulled away and, for Zacharias, it was his second-ever Bandolero win. Bowen, Bryce Bailey, Joey Bernatavitz and DJ Shaw all had top five finishes. Bowen and Bailey won the two heat races. For the second week in a row Zacharias and Bailey parked in victory lane as the Outlaw and Bandit winners.
- TJ Zacharias, Nick Robinson and Monica Green won the “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” bonus, offering free wings at Buffalo Wild Wings in Horseheads, NY.
- Marcus Wood was injured when his son’s Bandolero fell off the jack stand and onto his foot at the end of the night. He was treated onsite then transferred to a local hospital.
It’s a rare Saturday afternoon program at the Speedrome this weekend. The May 28th lineup includes the Ferris Mowers Race of Champions Series along with the track’s Super Stocks, INEX Legends and the Bandoleros. Pits open at 11 AM, grandstand gates open and practice begins at 1 PM, and racing begins at 3 PM. Admission is $22 for adults, $20 for seniors 65+, $6 for kids 6-12, and free for kids 5 and under. Fans who bring their adult or senior grandstand ticket stub from May 20th will receive $3 off their admission price this Saturday.
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Sunoco Modifieds (40 Laps) TJ ZACHARIAS, Tommy Rought, Cody Jackson, Zack Knowlden, Nick Morich, Chris Clemens, Jody Buckley, Jesse Kent, Tony Hanbury, Jimmy Zacharias, Zack Curren, Ken Hammond, Paul Johnson, Connor Sellars, Gene Sharpsteen, Randy Brokaw, Joe Lane, Patti Pruitt, Charlie Sharpsteen
Heats: TJ Zacharias, J Zacharias
Super Stocks (25 Laps) NICK ROBINSON, Rich Talada, Chad Lane, Rick Frisco, Tim Gullo Frank Chapman (DQ, finished 3rd)
4 Cylinders (20 Laps) MONICA GREEN, Zack Jaynes, Jordan Mathews (1st, RWD), Eric Ellsworth, Triston Kline, RJ Mathews, James Howard
INEX Legends (15 Laps, #1) ALEXANDRIA SMITH, Chuck Lohmeyer, Matt Evans, Kevin Youngs, Keith Youngs, Gary Ham, Dylan Hoffman, Anthony Gullo, Max Evans, Jimmer Ulrich, Daniel Carter, Rob Ulrich, Timothy Bowen, Brian DeMark, Zack Bennett, Brian Payne, Kyle Youngs, Pat Judson, Bill Chandler, David French, Tony Hanbury (DQ)
Heats: Lohmeyer, Kevin Youngs, Smith
INEX Legends (15 Laps, #2) ANTHONY GULLO, Kevin Youngs, Dylan Hoffman, Chuck Lohmeyer, Pat Judson, Gary Ham, Matt Evans, Alexandria Smith, Max Evans, Zack Bennett, Jimmer Ulrich, Timothy Bowen, Rob Ulrich, Brian DeMark, Brian Payne, Keith Youngs, David French, Daniel Carter, Kyle Youngs (DNS), Bill Chandler (DNS), Tony Hanbury (DQ)
Bandoleros: GARRETT ZACHARIAS, Teddy Bowen, Bryce Bailey (Bandit winner), Joey Bernatavitz, DJ Shaw, Connor McCarthy, Shea Bailey, Joshua Duke, Dominick Wood, Griffin Montfort, Nathan Musso, Gage Michael
Heats: Bowen, B Bailey