Chemung, NY) — The 2015 season at Chemung Speedrome will go down as one of the best years ever with a great and supportive fan base, lively competition in the five regular divisions, and weather that enabled all but one race night. The Sunday setting was perfect for the fans and teams on hand for the season finale. Feature wins went to Jimmy Zacharias (Sunoco Modifieds), Mike Nichols (Super Stocks), Randy Mathews (4 Cylinders), Alexandria Smith (INEX Legends) and Teddy Bowen (Bandoleros). The final three track titles were also decided in favor of Terry Potrzebowski (Super Stocks), Smith (Legends) and Bowen (Bandoleros).
Jimmy Zacharias, who had already claimed his fifth Sunoco Modified championship at the Speedrome and leads the NYS points among all NASCAR Weekly Racing Series drivers, wanted to cap off 2015 in victory lane. He started on that mission by winning his heat race, as did Tommy Rought and TJ Zacharias. The final feature, extended from the normal 40 laps to 75, got going with Nick Morich atop the leader board. TJ Zacharias took that spot from him on the second lap but the race then went under the first of five caution periods. By lap 10 Zacharias had a comfortable lead over the battle for second that was underway between Gene Sharpsteen and Jimmy Z. Jimmy took over second and got around his brother on lap 16. TJ stayed with him but then had both Sharpsteen and Connor Sellars chasing his for that spot. At the halfway point the field had spread out somewhat, with the exception of the Sharpsteen/TJ Zacharias battle. Sharpsteen passed TJ on lap 49 and started to close the gap between his #7 and the #71 of leader Jimmy Zacharias. Cody Jackson’s spin with 54 laps complete bunched up the field for a restart. Zacharias kept the lead and put some distance between himself and Sharpsteen, while TJ Zacharias and Sellars resumed their battle for third. Over the final five laps Sharpsteen tried to find an opening that never presented itself. As the checkered flag flew Zacharias got his tenth feature win, more than any driver in any division in 2015. Sharpsteen was second, followed closely across the stripe by TJ, Sellars and Jody Buckley. “Gene ran me clean all year and I can’t thank him enough for that,” Zacharias said from victory lane. He then thanked his crew and sponsors. While he’s #1 in NY State, he’s also in the top five nationally in NASCAR rankings. “I may go south and run some more races to see if I can move up,” he said.
When the Super Stock division rolled out for their 25-lap feature Terry Potrzebowski had a 20 point lead over Mike Nichols for the 2015 championship. Basically all Potrzebowski had to do was finish the race and the title was his. Nichols gained a point on him by winning his heat race. Nick Robinson and Charlie Sharpsteen, who also won his heat, started from the front row. At the drop of the green Sharpsteen powered around Robinson for the lead, leaving Robinson with Potrzebowski and Nichols all over his back deck. Both got around him then Nichols passed Potrzebowski for second. What Sharpsteen didn’t want to see was a caution, but lady luck wasn’t listening. At the halfway point the field regrouped with Nichols and a hard charging Steve Shultz starting on the front row. Potrzebowski and Robinson made up row two. The third, and final, caution came out when the Mr72 of Potrzebowski slowed and wasn’t running when it crossed the start/finish line. The mathematicians then took over, calculating the likely outcome for the title. Nichols and Shultz took over and with five laps to go were the class of the field. Robinson, Robert Fink and Randy Davenport were running together for third over the remaining laps. Nichols got the win, his ninth of the year, over Shultz. Robinson held on for third, finishing ahead of Fink and Davenport. Despite getting points for leading a lap and leading the most laps, Nichols came up two points short for the title. “The car has been a rocket and I’ve been working hard to get it faster for these late season races,” Nichols stated. Potrzebowski accepted the crowd’s appreciation for earning his first Chemung championship. “I figured it was over when I pulled in but I have a lot of people to thank for helping this year,” he told the crowd.
The 4 Cylinder title had been locked up last week by Monica Green. Sunday it was all about the win. And Randy Mathews ended the year the same way he started it – in victory lane. Zach Knowlden started from the pole and led the way early over Jordan Mathews, Justin Hall, Green and R. Mathews. The first caution flag, thrown when Jared Sullivan and Tristan Kline got together in turn one, resulted in a lead change on the restart. Hall got around, but a lap later the same two cars got together in turn four. Randy Mathews restarted outside the front row and led lap seven. He would have to survive one more restart for a spin by Stan Mathews. Over the final six laps Randy pulled away and held on for the win. Jordan Mathews was second, with Hall, Greg Moldt and Knowlden among the top five. Regarding his up and down season Mathews said “I finally got it running better.” Hall, highest finisher among the FWD contingent summed it all up by saying “hard work pays off.” Randy Mathews and Green claimed the two heat races.
The largest field of INEX Legends, 29, signed in for the final 20-lap race of the season. Gary Ham, Brandon DeBrakeleer and Alexandria Smith claimed their heat races and helped set the lineup for the feature. Matt Evans and Cliff Rought brought the field to Troy McDonald’s green. Evans led but a pair or back to back cautions bunched up the large pack for restarts. On each of them Evans prevailed and, by lap five, led Pat Judson, Chuck Lohmeyer and Anthony Riforgiato. Defending track champion Smith was working the traffic and up to fourth by the tenth lap. As the field worked lap eleven, Mick Peterson spun his camouflage-detailed #5M. Smith charged to the front and had the lead when caution came out yet again with twelve laps complete. Smith maintained the top spot on that and two more restarts over the final five laps. When it was over Smith had the win, her fifth this season. Carl Vilardo, a hard charger over the final few laps, made his way to second. He was followed by Lohmeyer, Alex Bowen and Evans. Her win sealed the deal for the 2015 championship, which she earned this year over Lohmeyer. “The car was fantastic,” she said from victory lane. The fearless 16 year old successfully defended last year’s championship, but she has her eye on a bigger prize. “I want to run a modified.”
The Bandoleros hit the track for a 10-lap feature after qualifying races went to Garrett Zacharias and Damon Frutchey. The race took two tries to get going when Zacharias spun in turn four on the opening lap. For attempt number two it was Timothy Bowen on pole and Teddy Bowen on the outside. Teddy led and left Timothy behind and in a good battle with Matt Addona. The second, and final, caution came out when DJ Shaw and Joey Bernatavitz spun in turn four. The Bowens, Teddy and Timothy lined up ahead of Addona and Zacharias with three laps remaining. Teddy took off and would sail across the finish line for his third feature win of the season. Timothy finished second, followed by Zacharias, Addona and Frutchey. Teddy Bowen also won the 2015 track championship, something he described as “really cool.”
Information on the 2015 banquet will be posted on the track’s website www.chemungspeedrome.net and Facebook page.
‘Winner Winner Chicken Dinner’ gift certificates for a dozen wings at Buffalo Wild Wings in Horseheads, NY were earned by Jimmy Zacharias, Mike Nichols and Randy Mathews.
Fans can still text IRTOOLSCHE to 313131 for a chance to win prizes from Ingersoll Rand, the official tools of NASCAR. The Speedrome is also eligible for prizes when fans text IRTOOLSCHE.
-Chemung Speedrome Press Release. Photo credit:
CHEMUNG SPEEDROME UNOFFICIAL RESULTS – SEPTEMBER 6, 2015
Sunoco Modifieds (75 Laps) JIMMY ZACHARIAS, Gene Sharpsteen, TJ Zacharias, Connor Sellars, Jody Buckley, Paul Johnson, Paul Hartwig, Jr., Corey Mosher, Randy Brokaw, Nick Morich, Geoffrey Sutton, Cody Jackson, Sam Warren, Chris Clemens, Jordan Siri, Tim Nies, Tommy Rought, Brian Sones, Gerald Brzezowski, Zack Curren (DNS)
Heats: J. Zacharias, Rought, TJ Zacharias
Super Stocks (25 Laps) MIKE NICHOLS, Steve Shultz, Nick Robinson, Robert Fink, Randy Davenport, Ron Underwood, Terry Potrzebowski, Chuck Nichols, Charlie Sharpsteen, Bill Frisbee, Jr.
Heats: Sharpsteen, Nichols
2015 Track Champion: Terry Potrzebowski
4 Cylinders (20 Laps) RANDY MATHEWS, Jordan Mathews, Justin Hall, Greg Moldt, Zach Knowlden, Monica Green, David Cooke, Stan Mathews, Robert Chilson, Jared Sullivan, Triston Kline
Heats: R. Mathews, Green
INEX Legends (20 Laps) ALEXANDRIA SMITH, Carl Vilardo, Chuck Lohmeyer, Alex Bowen, Matt Evans, Gary Ham, Brandon DeBrakeleer, Matt Mead, Anthony Riforgiato, Pat Judson, Raven Schrantz, Cody Frantz, Jimmer Ulrich, Cliff Rought, Max Evans, Vern LaFave, Wayne Walker, Kevin Youngs, Kyle Youngs, James Holland, Zachary Bennett, Robert Ulrich, Andrew Bickford, Charlie Lohmeyer, Ryan Stermer, Keith Youngs, Tyler McArdle, Mick Peterson, Kyle Hafemann
Heats: Ham, DeBrakeleer, Smith
2015 Track Champion: Alexandria Smith
Bandoleros (10 Laps) TEDDY BOWEN, Timothy Bowen, Garrett Zacharias, Matt Addona, Damon Frutchey, Bryce Bailey, Dominick Wood, Joey Bevacqua, Joey Bernatavitz, DJ Shaw, Alivia Lunger, Shea Bailey (DNS)
Heats: Zacharias, Frutchey
2015 Track Champion: Teddy Bowen