Curren Again in Chemung Sunoco Modifieds, Career-First in Super Stocks for Garrett Zacharias
by Carol Houssock
(Chemung, NY) It was a night of repeat winners at Chemung, with one notable exception. Fans have watched Garrett Zacharias grow from a dominating factor in the Bandolero division to a talented rookie in the Super Stock class. Friday night he earned his career-first win in a full-bodied car and the crowd was with him every step of the way. Friday night winners included Zack Curren (Sunoco Modifieds), Garrett Zacharias (Super Stocks), DJ Shaw (4 Cylinders), Kyle Youngs (INEX Legends), and both Josh Duke (Outlaw) and Chase Sinsabaugh (Bandit) in the INEX Bandoleros. Finishes for the Sunoco Modifieds and Super Stocks are unofficial until Monday.
Members of the ‘Z Pack’, Zack Curren, Zack Knowlde, and Zane Zeiner, have been on a tear in the Sunoco Modified division in recent weeks. Friday night Curren was searching for his fifth consecutive win, Knowlden was looking for his second, and Zeiner hoped his first win this year was imminent. Add in Charlie Sharpsteen, looking for his fourth, and you have the bulk of the feature winners going at it again. Sharpsteen and Tim Gullo won the two heats, while Gene Sharpsteen had the pole for the 40-lap feature and led the first three laps. Charlie took over on a lap four restart and started to pull away. When John Wilber spun it bunched up the field and brought Zeiner up to the outside of the front row for the restart. Zeiner took the lead on that restart with Curren and Knowlden inching closer to C. Sharpsteen. Curren took over second with a dozen laps remaining and started to reel in Zeiner. When Keith Youngs spun with five to go it set up and opportunity for Curren, who prevailed on the second attempt to resume the race. Once in front he was untouchable once again and held off Zeiner at the stripe for the win. Knowlden was third, followed by C. Sharpsteen and Gullo. “I had no clue early on that we’d have five in a row, but we don’t come here to finish anywhere else,” Curren said. He also gave props to Zeiner. “It’s great running with someone like him, who runs you clean.” The two Zachary’s are taking this one the distance, as Curren now leads Knowlden by just four points.
Nick Robinson and Ajay Potrzebowski got things going in the Super Stock division by winning the two heat races. Handicapping put Garrett Zacharias on the pole for the 25-lap feature. On the opening lap Potrzebowski powered his way into turn three and got into Frank Chapman, bringing out the only caution. The restart again had Zacharias and Jesse Hurley on the front row and Garrett’s #71 led the way. It was a lead he never surrendered, leaving behind a battle for second involving Jim House, Robinson and Mike Nichols, all of whom passed Hurley. By lap 10 Robinson and Nichols were second and third while Zacharias was off in the distance. Over the final half of the race Robinson closed the gap a bit but he ran out of time. Zacharias was consistent and smooth and held on for the very popular win. “Woo”, he yelled to the crowd after jumping down from the hood. “I never thought I’d win this year but wow, this is amazing.” He went on to thank his family, crew, motor man and sponsors for their help. Point leader Robinson, Nichols, House and Chapman finished in the top five.
In 4 Cylinder action rookie DJ Shaw and veteran Greg Moldt, who had a combined half dozen feature wins, won their respective heats. Moldt came into the night leading the points and then won his heat. Things changed as the field worked lap two in their 20-lap feature when Mark Taylor got into him and Moldt hit the wall in turn four. That ended his night and his point lead, as Shaw went on to score his third win of the year. He took the lead from Monica Green on the lap two restart and never looked back. Green tried to stay with him but the gap between them widened as the laps clicked off. When it was over it was Shaw who celebrated the win over Green, Joey Bevacqua, Ricky Lane and Ben Perry. Shaw now leads Moldt by four points.
Kyle Youngs won the 20-lap INEX Legends feature, but it was Chuck Lohmeyer who won everyone’s concern Friday night. After leading lap one and falling to second, he came off turn four and slammed the front stretch wall on the driver’s side. Fortunately, he was ok but the #89 was towed to the pits. The race resumed with Jody Buckley and point leader Gary Ham in row one. Ham prevailed but lost the lead on lap six to Youngs. Once in front he checked out. With 14 laps in, James Anderson’s motor let go and set up a restart. Youngs maintained his lead and sailed across the finish line to record his fifth win of the year. Heat winner Ham, was second, followed by Buckley, Chris Chilson and Charlie Lohmeyer.
The 10-lap INEX Bandolero feature resulted in victory lane interview with the leaders in the Outlaw and Bandit divisions once again. Each had also previously won his heat race. Josh Duke used the outside lane to power around and take the lead. A caution three laps into the event didn’t deter Duke or Sinsabaugh, who picked up where they had been and led through lap 10. For Duke it represented win #10 this year, with Sinsabaugh celebrating his sixth division win. Derrick Vogler was third, followed by Jeffrey Noe and Nolan Baker.
The Classic Asphalt Modified Series rolled into Chemung for a heat and feature. Terry Wilson’s Pinto won the heat, but he broke in the 10-lap feature. Local racer Bob “Rip” Ripley parked his Geoff Bodine lookalike Valiant in Victory Lane after beating Tim Janes, Tom Guiler, Shiloh James and Willie Miller.
The schedule all season has had Chemung idle this Friday night due to the Classic at Oswego. Racing will resume with a two-day event on Friday, September 6th and Saturday, September 7th. The Friday lineup includes a 42-lap event for the Super Stocks, in memory of Ed Bidlack. Also on the card are National Qualifiers for the INEX Legends (30 Laps) and INEX Bandolero (20 Laps) divisions. Admission is just $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and free for kids ages 12 and under. Gates open at 5 with racing at 7. On Saturday the 7th Chemung welcomes two touring series’ on the same day. That one includes the RoC Sportsman Modifieds (75 Laps), RoC 4 Cylinders (25 Laps) and the New York Super Stocks (50 Laps). Gates on that Saturday will open at 3 with racing at 5 PM. Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and free for kids ages 12 and under. 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.
His 3rd place finish earned Zack Knowlden $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, Garrett Zacharias and DJ Shaw 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 fifth consecutive win, his Uncle will again offer $.94 hot dogs in the concession stand at our next event on Friday, September 6th.
Sunoco Modifieds (40 Laps – Unofficial): ZACK CURREN, Zane Zeiner, Zack Knowlden, Charlie Sharpsteen, Tim Gullo, Bryan Sherwood, Gene Sharpsteen, John Wilber, Keith Youngs, Steven Sherwood, Pat Judson
Heats: Gullo, C. Sharpsteen
Super Stocks (25 Laps – Unofficial): GARRETT ZACHARIAS, Nick Robinson, Mike Nichols, Jim House, Frank Chapman, Jesse Hurley, Dennis Beardslee, Dave Harbst, Jason Duke, Ajay Potrzebowski, Brian DeMark (DNS)
Heats: Robinson, Potrzebowski
4 Cylinders (20 Laps): DJ SHAW, Monica Green, Joey Bevacqua, Ricky Lane, Ben Perry, Jason Peck, Alex Brown, Mark Taylor, Ken Evans, Jr., Brett Bourdette, Shannon Raezer, Greg Moldt, Shane McCormick
Heats: Shaw, Moldt
INEX Legends (20 Laps): KYLE YOUNGS, Gary Ham, Jody Buckley, Chris Chilson, Charlie Lohmeyer, Mark Taylor, James Anderson, Chuck Lohmeyer
Carpenter’s KARTS INEX Bandoleros (10 Laps): JOSH DUKE, Chase Sinsabaugh (Bandit winner), Derrick Vogler, Jeffrey Noe, Nolan Baker, Isaiah Anderson, Aiden Gardner, Nial Gardner
Heats: Sinsabaugh, Duke
Classic Asphalt Modifieds (10 Laps): BOB ‘RIP’ RIPLEY, Tim Janes, Tom Guiler, Shiloh Janes, Willie Miller, Terry Wilson