Chemung, NY — In racing it’s sometimes said that the fastest car didn’t win the race. On Saturday night at Chemung Speedrome the fastest car did win in the headline event. Jimmy Zacharias took the 75-lap Rod Spalding Classic for the Race of Champions Modifieds, a win he described as very special to him and his team. Other winners included Mike Alcaro (INEX Legends), Seth Zacharias (Bowen Racecars Bandoleros), and Terry Wilson (Classic Modifieds).
Jimmy Zacharias set fast time, nearly won his heat race, and drew number four as his starting position. He and Daryl Lewis Jr. swapped the lead early on but Zacharias led from lap seven through 75. Zacharias chose the inside lane on each restart following cautions for spins. Austin Kochenash ran second to Zacharias for most of the race but he fell to third, then to fourth when Andy Jankowiak and Matt Hirschman passed him. “I kept myself calm, set my own pace, and I guess you could say it was mind games with the others,” he said after climbing from his winning race car. Jankowiak, Hirschman, Mike Leaty and Patrick Emerling followed Zacharias across the start/finish line. Earlier in the evening the four heat races were won by Matt Galko, Matt Hirschman, Jan Leaty, and Emerling.
“These guys are great to race with, and I want to thank the track for having this division on the schedule,” Mike Alcaro said from victory lane following the 20-lap INEX Legends feature. He, Gary Ham and Kevin Youngs got things rolling by winning their respective heat races. Most of the race was a battle of the brothers, with Kyle Youngs leading early and then brother Kevin took over. Alcaro, who started eighth, was methodical in working his way toward the front, up to fifth following a lap six caution and up to third by the halfway point. The race itself was slowed by four cautions, the last of which came with eight laps remaining. Alcaro restarted outside the front row and beside Kevin Youngs, who had won five of the nine races run this year. They ran side by side but Alcaro found an opening on the last lap and became the fourth different feature winner of 2017. Kevin Youngs, Kyle Youngs, Derrick Debbis, and Teddy Bowen rounded out the top five.
The 10-lap Bandolero feature was not only run caution-free but it had an exciting last lap pass for the win. Brian Rygielski, who started outside the front row, powered his way around Seth Zacharias to lead the opening lap. Seth Zacharias was running second with Josh Duke behind him in third. At the halfway point, it was a two-car battle for the lead while Evan Rygielski and Garrett Zacharias got around Duke. Just after taking the white flag, Seth Zacharias dove to the inside of Rygielski and took over the lead. He held it until the checkered flag flew over his car #17. B. Rygielski, E. Rygielski, G. Zacharias and Duke finished behind him. G. Zacharias took the prize for the top finishing Outlaw. Seth’s win confirmed there’s a new Sheriff in town.
Seven Classic Modifieds brought a touch of the past to the present with their beautifully restored machines. Terry Wilson from South Wales, NY won the 15-lap feature but it took 11 laps for him to maneuver his ’38 Chevy Coupe to the top spot. Tom Guiler led early before being passed by Tim Janes. Bob “Rip” Ripley was hoping to take one for the locals and he gave it all he had but came up one spot short. “We have a lot of fun and still put on a pretty good show,” Wilson stated.
This Saturday night starting at 6 PM (August 12th) the track presents a regular show with one exception. The Sunoco Modifieds, Super Stocks, 4 Cylinders, INEX Legends and Bowen Racecars Bandoleros will all be in action but the Legends will run a pair of 20-lap features. 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.
RoC Modifieds (75 Laps): JIMMY ZACHARIAS, Andy Jankowiak, Matt Hirschman, Mike Leaty, Patrick Emerling, Austin Kochenash, Tommy Catalano, TJ Potrzebowski, Brandon Oltra, Tyler Rypkema, Daryl Lewis, Jr., Danny Knoll, Jr., TJ Zacharias, Jesse Kent, Amy Catalano, Matt Galko, Bryan Sherwood, John Markovic, Karl Hehr, Daren Scherer, Tommy Rought, Andy Lewis, Roger Coss, Lee Sharpsteen, Cam Barber
Heats: Galko, Hirschman, Leaty, Emerling
-Chemung Speedrome Press Release
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Rick Ibsen