Charlie Sharpsteen Scores Third Consecutive Sunoco Modified Win; Robinson Wins NYSS at Chemung

By – Carol Houssock

(Chemung, NY) Some say they’ve seen it all at a race track. Damon Frutchey’s wild ride in his Sunoco Modified proved they hadn’t, at Chemung, until Friday night. What they also saw was Nick Robinson parked in the Midstate Basement Authorities victory lane after winning the New York Super Stock 50-lap feature. Other winners included Charlie Sharpsteen (Sunoco Modifieds), Ricky Lane (4 Cylinders) and Kyle Youngs (INEX Legends), along with Josh Duke (INEX Bandolero Outlaw) and Kaden Rogers (INEX Bandolero Bandit).

A week ago, Charlie Sharpsteen turned heads by winning a pair of 40-lap Sunoco Modified features on a night when many of his family members weren’t there to see it. Friday night he won again, capturing his third win in a row, and they were all there. As spectacular as that was, what turned heads Friday night occurred two laps into the 40-lap feature.
Heat winner Pat Judson and Damon Frutchey made up the front row with Judson leading the way. The pair had contact on the front stretch, which damaged Frutchey’s car to the extent that he had no brakes and little steering capability. He headed down the turn one access road leading to the car hauler parking lot not knowing what would stop him. Everyone watched in disbelief as he partially slid off a retaining wall and slammed into Jeff Noe’s pickup. Corner official JD Lewis got there immediately and reported that Damon was ok, but the truck was not. Noe’s bandolero on the attached trailer was also ok.
Racing resumed after a lengthy red, with Judson and Zack Curren on the front row. Curren led lap three but officials showed him the black flag due to gas pouring out of his car. He spun off turn two bringing out the first of four cautions. Gene Sharpsteen inherited the lead with his cousin Charlie Sharpsteen restarting alongside. Charlie’s power move off turns two and four put him atop the leaderboard, a place where he would stay for the remaining 30 laps.
Charlie was near perfect again, putting distance between himself and the battle for second between Gene and Zack Knowlden. Just short of the halfway point G. Sharpsteen and Keith Youngs got together, a situation that brought Zane Zeiner and Judson to the second row for the restart. The final caution came out when Youngs’ car broke. That brought Tim Gullo up to third with Judson beside him in row two.
Knowlden had his final opportunity to get the better of Sharpsteen on the restart but the veteran driver’s car and talent behind the wheel were just too much again for everyone else. Sharpsteen scored his third win in a row, this time over Knowlden, Zeiner, Gullo and Judson.
“We really haven’t changed anything on the car and I’m just glad I have a job running this for another week,” he joked in front of a huge gathering of family and other supporters. Regarding Frutchey’s spin, he said “it’s tough not knowing anything until you get the word over the radio that your fellow competitor is ok.”
In New York Super Stock action 30 cars signed in and ran the four heats, won by Nick Robinson, Frank Chapman, Robert Fink and Lee Sharpsteen. Luck of the draw set the field, which placed Robinson on the outside of the front row with Scott Wylie on pole. Robinson every lap but faced intense pressure from Wylie, who remained in second. The race was slowed by five caution periods, the most impactful coming when Tim Gullo and Jim Steffenhagen hit the front stretch wall coming off turn four. Both had been running in the top five at the time. On the final restart Wylie had his last shot at Robinson, whose car was handling anywhere he chose. Robinson scored the big win of the Gary Marshall Memorial over Wylie, Lee Sharpsteen, Chapman and Zach Willis. The series will return to Chemung on August 16th.
Ricky Lane celebrated a career-first win in the 4 Cylinder division, becoming the third driver in the class to do so this year. Lane started the 20-lap feature in second but powered his way around Alex Brown to lead the opening lap. This one was slowed just once when DJ Shaw got tapped and turned by Ben Perry. During that caution Greg Moldt made a quick pit stop and started last when racing resumed with five laps to go. Lane stayed in front of Mark Taylor, who got passed by Moldt late in this one. Lane celebrated his first win, over Moldt, Taylor, Shaw and Perry. “Third isn’t so bad, this feels pretty good” is about all he said from victory lane before recognizing those who help him. Lane ran third and crossed the stripe third, but apparent winner and runner up, Monica Green and Joey Bevacqua, came up light on the scales after the race ended.
Kyle Youngs swept the action in the INEX Legends division. Daniel Carter started from the pole, but caution came out before the lap was completed. Both Jody Buckley and Youngs spun and the field was reset for a second attempt to get going. This time, when the field hit turn two Gary Ham and Youngs went three-wide with Carter in the middle. Youngs emerged with the top spot. He pulled away while Ham and Carter ran together battling for second. That’s how it stayed for the final 15 laps and when it was over Youngs had his second win of the season. “I haven’t touched the car since the first day and this race really wasn’t much different from my win two weeks ago,” he said. Ham finished second, followed by Carter, Chelsea Sellars and Buckley.
Josh Duke scored his fifth feature win in a row In the Carpenter’s Karts INEX Bandolero division. Chase Sinsabaugh led early, however his spin coming off turn four with four laps complete brought out the only caution. Duke and Kaden Rogers made up the front row for the restart and it was classic Duke, who pulled away and was never challenged. Noe took second from Rogers but that’s as far as he would go. Duke got the win as an Outlaw, followed by Noe, Bandit winner Rogers and Sinsabaugh.
This Friday Chemung closes out the month of June with Fan Appreciation Night, sponsored by McDonald Contracting. All five regular divisions will be in action. Admission has been cut to $10 for adults, $8 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:, ‘like’ us on Facebook: Chemung Speedrome – Racing at the Drome, or call Ray Hodge, Promoter, at 607-483-3468.
Of Note:
During intermission 21 boys and girls won bicycles.
The 50/50 winner said this was a first, after buying tickets for 40 years! He left with $386.
Two lucky fans won pizzas donated by Coach’s Pizza in Waverly. Another fan won a prize package for having the lucky number in the program book.
Sunoco Modifieds (40 Laps):  CHARLIE SHARPSTEEN, Zack Knowlden, Zane Zeiner, Tim Gullo, Pat Judson, Gene Sharpsteen, Bill Chandler, Steven Sherwood, Keith Youngs, Zack Curren, Damon Frutchey, Teddy Bowen (DNS)
Heats:  Curren, Judson
New York Super Stocks (50 Laps):  NICK ROBINSON, Scott Wylie, Lee Sharpsteen, Frank Chapman, Zach Willis, Robert Fink, Joel Gleason, Josh Hunter, Dylan Bancroft, Jesse Hurley, Bill Frisbee, Jason Dinzler, Dennis Beardslee, Amber VanOrden, Jimmy Steffenhagen, Aaron Higgins, Ron Underwood, Tim Gullo, JP Harbst, Nate Peckham, RJ Zacharias, Jake Wylie, Andy Cryan, Brianna Dinzler, Cole Hicks, Garrett Zacharias. DNS: Brian Hallet, Jim Lamoreaux, Jason Duke, Tim Faro
Heats:   Robinson, Chapman, Fink, Sharpsteen
4 Cylinders (20 Laps):  RICKY LANE, Greg Moldt, Mark Taylor, DJ Shaw, Ben Perry, Tyler Harbst, Jason Peck, Alex Brown, Brett Bourdette, DQ – Monica Green, Joey Bevacqua
INEX Legends (15 Laps):  KYLE YOUNGS, Gary Ham, Daniel Carter, Chelsea Sellars, Jody Buckley
Heat:  Youngs
Carpenter’s KARTS INEX Bandoleros (10 Laps):  JOSH DUKE (Outlaw), Jeffrey Noe, Kaden Rogers (Bandit), Chase Sinsabaugh
Heat:  Duke