Jimmy Zacharias has become one of the most recognized racers in all of New York State in the past couple of years. Winning multiple track titles at his hometrack Chemung Speedrome, winning two state titles in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and even competing for the National Championship in 2015. While he has made his name on the hard asphalt, the Zacharias family has a history on the dirt, a lineage that Jimmy is now embracing.
“My dad used to run dirt, my grandpa used to run dirt. I had an off night so I went up to the dirt races and watched, one of my buddies asked if I wanted to drive his car, I drove it and had fun, so the next weekend I bought my own,” Zacharias told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
After purchasing a car from Randy Sherlock in mid-July, Zacharias has run in the Rookie Sportsman class at Thunder Mountain Speedway in Pennsylvania to get experience and have some fun. But all the excitement is not keeping Zacharias away from the asphalt, especially with another title in sight.
“We got RoC left. I’m in the NASCAR New York State points again, I’ll be chasing that around, I’m going to Riverhead in a few weeks driving for somebody there. I’ll do as much NASCAR stuff as I can to finish out the state deal again.”
Once the business of asphalt racing is out of the way for 2016, Zacharias is going on a dirt adventure.
“I’m going to finish off the year with the asphalt stuff, do what I’ve been doing. Dirt will be when I have a free day and want to go play. Towards the end of the year we’ll probably change the motor, go run some bigger shows and see what we can do.”
Not only is fun a major objective for Zacharias on the dirt, but he believes that the experience may just help add to the edge he already has on the blacktop.
“Everybody always says that racing dirt’s good for you. I think coming for the asphalt to the dirt makes you a better driver, when you race dirt you always think you have to be sideways and all over, it helps you be smooth on asphalt and be in control.”
While Zacharias still plans to be on asphalt for the considerable future, barring a huge breakout on dirt, expect him to be slinging a lot more mud throughout the season next year.
“I don’t think the dirt is going to be higher than the asphalt anytime soon unless something drastically changes and I become a superstar at it. I think I’ll still run asphalt more, but you’ll see me running more dirt that’s for sure.”
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, MA, Long Island) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Jimmy Zacharias Twitter