By – Carol Houssock
(Chemung, NY) Driver confidence and good car control were key words at Chemung Speedrome on Friday night. Mid-Season Championship races, awarding double points, found many repeat winners in the Midstate Basement Authorities victory lane. Only Derrick Vogler earned a career-first win, while the others backed up earlier wins in the double points-paying features. Winners included Zack Curren (Sunoco Modifieds), Mike Nichols (Super Stocks), Greg Moldt (4 Cylinders), Kyle Youngs (INEX Legends), Josh Duke (Bandolero Outlaw) and Derrick Vogler (Bandolero Bandit).
Confidence is a powerful tool, as demonstrated in the 40-lap Sunoco Modified feature. “I was confident after last week, figured we had a shot at it, and here we are,” Zack Curren said after climbing from his car in victory lane for the second consecutive time.
Earlier in the evening Tim Gullo and Zane Zeiner won the two heats that set the field for the feature. Getting it going was tough as the front row starters, Pat Judson and Gullo, got tangled and others stopped to avoid contact. Judson and Dave Bellis were done but the restart had Zeiner and Curren moving up to the front row. Curren took the lead.
As the field worked the second lap, sparks flew when John Wilber and Charlie Sharpsteen touched. Sharpsteen was up against the wall, while Wilber took evasive action and headed down the turn one access road. Both were able to continue.
Curren held off Zeiner on the restart but Zeiner had yet another opportunity when Keith Youngs and Judson got together on the front stretch, ending the race for both drivers. Once again Curren kept Zeiner at bay and started to build up a lead when point leader Zack Knowlden caught and tried to overtake Zeiner. Their battle was classic. Knowlden led lap 33, Zeiner led 34. So it went, as Curren got further away from their battle for second.
The final lap was a dandy. Curren took the checkered flag and Knowlden nipped Zeiner for second. Bryan Sherwood and Gullo rounded out the top five.
“Zane is one of the best there is and to hold him off was huge,” Curren told the crowd. “We did change the car a little from last week even though most people don’t think we did. And we may make a few more changes this week.”
When pole-sitter Brian DeMark went high in turn two it handed the lead to Jesse Hurley on the opening lap of the Super Stock feature. Over the course of the 25-lap feature the caution flag came out three times. Hurley led until Mike Nichols got the better of him.
One of two significant moments came while working lap 12. DeMark spun in turn two, but Jason Duke’s car went up in smoke just after the yellow waved. Duke was done for the night. Racing resumed, and Nichols continued atop the leaderboard.
The other significant moment came when Dennis Beardslee and Derrick Tarbox got together coming off turn four. The damage was severe for Beardslee but Tarbox was able to continue.
Over the final four laps Nichols had to hold off Nick Robinson, who had been lurking for most of the race. When it was over Nichols had earned his second win this season. Heat winner Robinson held on to the point lead with his second-place finish, followed to the stripe by Frank Chapman, Hurley and Garrett Zacharias. “The car was getting tight on me. I was a little worried, but it worked out ok,” Nichols stated.
In 4 Cylinder action, Greg Moldt’s car was hooked up from the moment he arrived at the track. He won his heat and started the 20-lap feature from the outside of the front row. He wasted no time taking the lead, with Joey Bevacqua in pursuit. The caution came when Brett Bourdette spun between turns three and four. On the restart lap Monica Green and DJ Shaw tangled in turn four. The race went red for Green, whose wrist got injured when it got stuck in the steering wheel. She was done for the night, but Shaw was not. He restarted last and worked the traffic until he was running fourth. As the laps clicked off, Moldt’s lead got bigger and bigger. Finally, when lap 20 clicked off, he took the checkered flag for his second win of the year. Bevacqua finished second, with Kevin May, Shaw and Ricky Lane all in the top five. “The car was tight then it got loose so I may have something coming apart, but I’m so happy my daughter was here to see Daddy win” Moldt said.
In the INEX Legends division Kyle Youngs picked up his third win of the season. This time he had to get past both Chuck Lohmeyer and Gary Ham to get the job done. The 20-lap race went caution-free and it was on lap number four when Youngs, in car number four, took the lead. Once in front he built a nice lead over heat winner Ham and early leader Chuck Lohmeyer. The second half of the race saw James Anderson running in fourth in a tight group. When this one was over Youngs parked in victory lane. “The car is hooked up, it’s fast. But so are Gary and Chuck,” he said. They finished second and third, followed by Jody Buckley and Anderson.
Josh Duke won the Carpenter’s Karts INEX Bandolero heat and started the 10-lap feature third. Jeffrey Noe led the opening lap before losing the top spot to Duke. Noe’s spin in turn four brought out the caution. On the restart fans witnessed some great moves by Derrick Vogler as he missed the trouble that developed between Noe and Chase Sinsabaugh. Over the final six laps Duke pulled away while Vogler held on to second. Duke scored the overall win, followed by first-time winner Vogler in the Bandit class. “I saw they were starting to wreck on the inside, so I went to the outside and was lucky to get through,” Vogler said of the restart incident.
This Friday Chemung salutes veterans and those serving in the military. Anyone showing his or her military ID will be admitted to the grandstand free. All five regular divisions will be in action. Admission is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors, $5 for kids ages 6 to 12, and free to kids ages 5 and under. Pits open at 5 PM, with practice and grandstand gates at 6 PM and racing starting at 7 PM.
For information, log on to the track’s website: chemungspeedrome.net, ‘like’ us on Facebook: Chemung Speedrome – Racing at the Drome, or call Ray Hodge, Promoter, at 607-483-3468
During intermission former Chemung standout Tommy Gush presented Keith Tubbs with a trophy he won many years ago in a memorial run in Keith’s father’s memory. Russ Tubbs is the only person to lose his life while competing at the track.
A fan won a prize package of collectibles for having the lucky number in the program book, whose proceeds go to the Spalding Foundation for Injured Drivers.
Rear wheel drive 4 Cylinders were welcomed back to run with the FWD cars. Kevin May was one who returned and produced a third-place finish in the feature.
His 5th place finish earned Tim Gullo $25 toward shock dynoing, donated by Eagle One Fabrication and Speed and Down Force Shocks. Each week a random finisher will win this new bonus.
Zack Curren, Mike Nichols and Greg Moldt won free wings from Buffalo Wild Wings in Horseheads, NY in the “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” bonus.
The pace vehicle driver from Ferrario Auto Team won the 50/50.
With Zack Curren’s second consecutive win, his Uncle will again offer $.94 hot dogs in the concession stand this Friday.
Sunoco Modifieds (40 Laps): ZACK CURREN, Zack Knowlden, Zane Zeiner, Bryan Sherwood, Tim Gullo, John Wilber, Charlie Sharpsteen, Gene Sharpsteen, Steven Sherwood, Bill Chandler, Jr., Damon Frutchey, Keith Youngs, Pat Judson, Dave Bellis
Heats: Gullo, Zeiner
Super Stocks (25 Laps): MIKE NICHOLS, Nick Robinson, Frank Chapman, Jesse Hurley, Garrett Zacharias, Ron Underwood, Derrick Tarbox, Dennis Beardslee, Brian DeMark, Jason Duke, RJ Zacharias
Heats: Nichols, Robinson
4 Cylinders (20 Laps): GREG MOLDT, Joey Bevacqua, Kevin May, DJ Shaw, Ricky Lane, Ben Perry, Mark Taylor, Jason Peck, Brett Bourdette, Cameron Nichols, Shane McCormick, Cody Bennett, Monica Green, Carson Nichols (DNS)
Heats: Moldt, Bevacqua
INEX Legends (20 Laps): KYLE YOUNGS, Gary Ham, Chuck Lohmeyer, Jody Buckley, James Anderson, Chelsea Sellars, Charlie Lohmeyer
Carpenter’s KARTS INEX Bandoleros (10 Laps): JOSH DUKE, Derrick Vogler (Bandit winner), Isaiah Anderson, Jeffrey Noe, Chase Sinsabaugh, Kaden Rogers