(Chemung, NY) Friday night’s racing resulted in several repeat winners along with one who snagged a career-first in his division. TJ Zacharias held off Connor Sellars in the 40-lap Sunoco Modified feature for his 2nd win of the year. Other winners on Whelen Engineering Night included Nick Robinson (Super Stocks), Monica Green and Jordan Mathews (4 Cylinders), Chuck Lohmeyer (INEX Legends), and Garrett Zacharias and Bryce Bailey (INEX Bandoleros).
The premier Sunoco Modified division didn’t disappoint, even though it became a two-man race between heat winners Connor Sellars and TJ Zacharias. The pair was side by side for the first two laps, exchanging the lead. Sellars got the lead but couldn’t shake free from the clutches of Zacharias. Despite battling for the top spot they were able to pull away from Charlie Sharpsteen, Kenny Hammond and a battle for fifth involving Nick Morich and Zack Curren. Zacharias was better turning in the center of the turns. On lap 22 he was able to claim the inside lane and take over the lead. The only caution flag came out when Chris Clemens slowed to a stop in turn two. Zacharias prevailed on the restart. Curren, meanwhile, began to slow and lost many positions. Morich, who had passed Curren for fifth, held the spot and kept Gene Sharpsteen behind him. Back up front there was no change and Zacharias took the checkered flag for his second 2016 win over Sellars, C. Sharpsteen, Morich and Hammond.
Nick Robinson credits the car, and all of the fresher parts purchased over the winter, for his strength this year. That dedication to detail led to his third consecutive win in the Super Stock division. He won his heat race and was handicapped to the outside of the front row for the start. Frank Chapman, who won on opening day, was missing from the lineup due to damage sustained in the heat race. Robinson led the way off turn two in the 20-lap feature and very quickly pulled away from pole-sitter Rich Talada. The race went caution-free and became less of a race and more of an appreciation of all that Robinson has done over the past year. He easily picked up the win over Talada and Chad Lane. “I’ve said it before, this car is amazing,” he said while clutching the trophy. “Our next race will be totally different, though, and I look forward to racing with the drivers in the New York Super Stock Series this Friday night.”
Kool and the Gang sang it, and drivers in the 4 Cylinder division are living it – oh yes, it’s ladies night and the feeling’s right. Female drivers have won the three features run so far this year. Monica Green, the defending track champion, put on another dominating performance in the 20-lap feature. The final heads-up start of the year put heat winners, Green and Eric Ellsworth, on the front row. Green led the way into turn one and began an impressive run that had her a full straightaway ahead of Jordan Mathews, who got around Ellsworth for second. Five laps into the race Green began to lap cars. When the first caution flag flew with 14 laps complete she had lapped everyone up to `the fifth place car. Green was flawless on the restart, again pulled away, and picked up her second win of the year. Maddy Virts won the second opener. Mathews, second, celebrated again as the highest finisher among the rear wheel drive contingent. Ellsworth, Triston Kline and Ricky Lane rounded out the top five.
Since switching from a Super/Street Stock to an INEX Legend several years ago, Chuck Lohmeyer has been on a mission to win. Friday night goes down in his racing history as a sweep – he won his heat race and the 20-lap feature. Handicapping determined the feature line up, which placed Kevin Youngs and Max Evans on the front row. Youngs took off and brought heat winner Pat Judson along in a tight battle for the top spot. The first of three cautions came with eight laps complete. Lohmeyer started outside the front row but Young prevailed. While the first half of the feature belonged to Youngs, the second half was Lohmeyer’s. The final caution came with 12 laps complete, setting up an opportunity for Judson to take the lead. Lohmeyer prevented that and, as the race was winding down, Judson’s #13 broke and ended his great run. Lohmeyer held off Youngs, but the battle for third on back was as intense as it gets. At the stripe Brandon DeBrakeleer had third, Dylan Hoffman fourth, and heat winner Alexandria Smith fifth.
Bandolero action was pretty much the same as it’s been all season. Outlaw Garrett Zacharias smoked them again as the overall winner and Bryce Bailey was the highest among the Bandits. The race was exciting from the get-go as the drivers went three-wide off turn two. Sean Verwys led the first lap, Bowen led the next lap, and Verwys reclaimed the top spot on the third lap. Zacharias was right there and took over P1 and held off Verwys on two restarts. Bryce Bailey had another sold run and ran third for the lion’s share of this one. The checkered flag signaled win #4 for Zacharias, this time over Verwys, Bailey, Dominick Wood and Joey Bernatavitz. It was the fourth time in four weeks that Zacharias and Bailey, or Smokey and the Bandit, parked in victory lane.
This Friday night Chemung welcomes the New York Super Stocks for a 30-lap race that was to have been run on opening day last month. They’ll join the Sunoco Modifieds, 4 Cylinders, INEX Legends and the Bandoleros. Pits open at 4 PM, grandstand gates open at 5:30 and practice begins at 6. First race starts at 7 PM. Admission is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors 65+, $5 for kids 6-12, and free for kids 5 and under. Fans who bring their adult or senior grandstand ticket stub from May 28th will receive $3 off their admission price this Friday.
· TJ Zacharias, Nick Robinson and Monica Green won free wings from Buffalo Wild Wings in Horseheads, NY for their ‘Winner Winner Chicken Dinner’ bonus.
· Speed51.com will give away a pair of 20 inch bicycles to two lucky kids this weekend, with Mojo Photos making that presentation.
For more information, log on to www.chemungspeedrome.net or “like” us on Facebook. Chemung Speedrome and NASCAR, Asphalt Racing at its Finest!
Whelen Engineering Night Results:
Sunoco Modifieds (40 Laps): TJ ZACHARIAS, Connor Sellars, Charlie Sharpsteen, Nick Morich, Kenny Hammond, Gene Sharpsteen, Zack Knowlden, Jesse Kent, Chris Clemens, Paul Johnson, Tommy Rought, Zack Curren, Larry Jaynes, Joe Lane (DNS)
Heats: Sellars, Zacharias
Super Stocks (20 Laps): NICK ROBINSON, Rich Talada, Chad Lane, Frank Chapman (DNS)
4 Cylinders (20 Laps): MONICA GREEN, Jordan Mathews, Eric Ellsworth, Triston Kline, Ricky Lane, Bob Chilson, Ben Perry, James Peck, Zack Jaynes (DNS), James Harbst (DNS)
Heats: Green, Ellsworth
INEX Legends (20 Laps): CHUCK LOHMEYER, Kevin Youngs, Brandon DeBrakeleer, Dylan Hoffman, Alexandria Smith, Matt Evans, Kyle Youngs, Gary Ham, Max Evans, Cody Frantz, Zack Bennett, Timothy Bowen, Anthony Riforgiato, Jamie Mullen, Pat Judson, Daniel Carter, Charlie Lohmeyer, David French, Keith Youngs, Michael Riforgiato
Heats: Smith, Judson, Chuck Lohmeyer
Bandoleros (10 Laps): GARRETT ZACHARIAS, Sean Verwys, Bryce Bailey, Dominick Wood, Joey Bernatavitz, Seth Zacharias, Connor McCarthy, Teddy Bowen, Shea Bailey
Heats: G. Zacharias, Wood
By Carol Houssock Press Release. Photo credit: Chemung Speedway Facebook Page