June 27th, 2014
Terry Potrzebowski Proves 60 is the New 30 in Chemung Super Stocks;
J Zacharias Wins Sunoco Mods

 
By: Carol Houssock

  Terry Potrzebowski’s season got off to a rough start. But a true veteran racer fights the car until it’s right. A jubilant Potrzebowski picked up his first win of the season. He chose the right night – 50 laps for the Super Stocks and double points for all divisions. Jimmy Zacharias also got a season-first in the Sunoco Modifieds. Nick Morich finished 3rd but was awarded the 4 Cylinder win following post-race tech. Brandon DeBrakeleer (INEX Legends) and Ray Dann (Dirt Crate Sportsman) also visited victory lane for the first time this year.

  The headline division Sunoco Modified 40-lap feature was a bit of a caution-fest, with 8 yellow flags during the event. Jimmy Zacharias and Jody Buckley won the 2 heat races and each hoped to make it a sweep. Buckley came close but Zacharias made it happen. Buckley started on the inside of row 2 but had the lead as the field exited turn 2 on the opening lap. He, Zack Curren and Jimmy Zacharias took off in a 3-car breakaway, with Curren looking to the inside and Zacharias peeking topside to snag position number 1 from Buckley. Rookie Connor Sellars got around TJ Zacharias with 15 laps complete and he stayed with the lead trio for several laps.

  The pivotal moment in this one came just past the halfway point. As the leaders entered turn 1 Curren tapped Buckley and both spun, handing the race lead to Zacharias. He held off Sellars on restart but the young lion stayed right with him with TJ Zacharias and Curren running right behind him. The final caution, with 15 laps remaining, gave Sellars his final shot at taking the lead on a restart. Jimmy Z was up to the challenge and, over the final dozen laps, padded his lead. Sellars did the same over Curren. At the checkered Jimmy Zacharias had his first win of ’14 at Chemung and it was a sweep of the action. Sellars produced a season-best 2nd place finish, with Curren, Buckley and TJ Zacharias in the top 5.

  For veteran racer Terry Potrzebowski, 2014 didn’t start off the way he would have liked. His newly-built Super Stock had issues that were all corrected Friday night. Winner of his heat race, the determined driver capitalized on his pole position start for the big 50-lap feature and led the way. By lap 10 the Sharpsteen brothers, Charlie and Lee, were engaged in a good battle for 2nd, with heat winner Dan Mathews and Nick Shaw in the top 5. The first of 6 caution periods came when smoke poured from the right rear of Nick Robinson’s car. He pitted, a fire extinguisher put out a fire in the hub, and his crew managed to get him back out. On the restart Potrzebowski prevailed and L Sharpsteen got around his brother for 2nd. The 2nd caution, and its restart, played into the hands of Sharpsteen, who took the lead for the next 6 laps.

  Potrzebowski would reclaim the lead on the next restart and he built up a comfortable advantage over the Sharpsteen brothers. They would bring out the 4th caution when they got together with 10 laps remaining. That brought Nick Shaw up to 2nd. The pair ran side-by-side with Shaw on the outside, Potrzebowski on the inside. Over the final 7 laps the lead changed several times: lap 43 Shaw, lap 44 Potrzebowski. The 6th caution bunched up the field with Jeff Goodwin and point leader Tim Gullo lined up behind the lead duo. Potrzebowski had a great restart and held the lead. As the leaders came off turn 4 on the final lap, Goodwin and Shaw swapped paint, and 2nd place. Potrzebowski emerged from his car and stood on the roof to celebrate one of his most memorable and hard-fought wins at Chemung. The crowd showed their appreciation for what the 60-year old driver had just shown the younger ones. Shaw had to settle for 3rd, followed by Gullo and L Sharpsteen.

  Winning on double points night is huge. What’s bigger is winning or finishing 2nd and then failing post-race inspection. Both apparent winner Joe Lane and runner-up Cody Jackson were disqualified when tech inspectors found illegal heads on their cars. It’s as though both drivers missed 2 races and could have a tremendous impact on the season-ending points. Nick Morich, who crossed the line 3rd, was awarded the win. The 20-lap feature was exciting from the get-go, as they went 5-wide at the drop of the green. Monica Green led the opening lap but Lane quickly dove under the #5 and put his #4 out in front. For his part, Morich battled early on with Justin Hall and then Jeremiah Clonch. He never was able to mount a challenge for 2nd or 1st, as leader Lane and Jackson put a good bit of distance between themselves and the #9. While Lane celebrated in victory lane, the tech crew went to work and altered the outcome. Morich got the win and Clonch had the highest finishing FWD. The revised finish had Hall in 3rd, followed by Sam Warren and Dewain Talada. Clonch was awarded heat race #1 while Morich won the other heat race.

  Brandon DeBrakeleer is always a contender in his INEX Legends car. Friday night he became the man to beat, and no one could. On the opening lap of the 20-lap feature Mike Bollen, Alexandria Smith and Alex Bowen went 3-wide but Bollen led that lap. Smith, point leader in the division, got around and took the lead on the 2nd lap. DeBrakeleer moved from 4th to 2nd and lined up alongside Smith following the 2nd caution. She led lap 7 but lap 8 belonged to him. Smith uncharacteristically spun with 11 laps complete. On the restart DeBrakeleer prevailed over Daren Scherer and Bowen. He then pulled away while Smith charged back through the field to 2nd. That’s as far as she’d get, and DeBrakeleer parked his 1B in victory lane for the first time this season. Smith finished 2nd, followed to the line by Scherer, Dylan Hoffman and Bowen. Scherer and Smith won the 2 heat races.

  The Dirt Crate Sportsman division continues to thrill the fans. Their 15-lap feature got started with a 3-wide battle for the top spot off turn 2 on the opening lap. Heat winner Chris Clemens, Ray Dann and James Howard all wanted the lead but Clemens had it at the stripe. In turn 2 of lap 2 Dann dove under Clemens and took his lead away. While this one belonged to Dann, fans enjoyed watching Clemens smoke his tires trying to stay with the leader. The race, run caution-free, brought a new face to victory lane this year. Dann celebrated his win over Clemens, Howard, Allison Pierce and Gary Walker.

  This Friday’s program kicks off the 4th of July weekend in style. Chemung welcomes the USAC Ignite Midgets for a special 25-lap feature, along with the Sunoco Modifieds (40), Super Stocks (25), 4 Cylinders (20), INEX Legends (20) and Bandoleros (08). Pits open at 4, practice and grandstand open at 6, and racing gets underway at 7:15 PM. Admission: adults $12; seniors 65 and older $10; kids 6-12 $5; kids 5 and under free. Fans are reminded that their ticket stub from June 27th is good for $2 off this Friday night.

  Notes: Bill Chandler (not the racer) from Owego, NY was the honorary Veteran of the Race. Chandler served in the Marines from 1972 – 1975 and received numerous awards and medals. He has remained active in veterans’ affairs including memorial bike rides and fundraising for fallen heroes. Track announcer Carol Houssock was in attendance following surgery 2 weeks ago and called 2 features with Morgan Colegrove, who will remain at the track to assist for at least another week.

Results:

Sunoco Modifieds (40 Laps)
JIMMY ZACHARIAS, Connor Sellars, Zack Curren, Jody Buckley, TJ Zacharias, Cam Ayres, Matt Clemens, Corey Mosher, Tommy Rought, Randy Brokaw, Gene Sharpsteen
Heats: J Zacharias, Buckley

Super Stocks (50 Laps) TERRY POTRZEBOWSKI, Jeff Goodwin, Nick Shaw, Tim Gullo, Lee Sharpsteen, Gary Noe, Jake Snell, Dan Mathews, Charlie Sharpsteen, Gil Sharpsteen, Rich Talada, Nick Robinson, Dusty Snell, Jody Buckley
Heats: Potrzebowski, Mathews

4 Cylinders (20 Laps) NICK MORICH, Jeremiah Clonch (1st FWD), Justin Hall, Sam Warren, Dewain Talada, Randy Mathews, Jr., Monica Green, Joe Lane (DQ, finished 1st), Cody Jackson (DQ, finished 2nd), DNS: Ron Little and CJ Krapf

INEX Legends (20 Laps) BRANDON DEBRAKELEER, Alexandria Smith, Daren Scherer, Dylan Hoffman, Alex Bowen, Mike Bollen, John Bacon, Beth Scherer, Andrew Bickford, Lee DeBrakeleer
Heats: D Scherer, Smith

Dirt Crate Sportsmen (15 Laps) RAY DANN, Chris Clemens, James Howard, Allison Pierce, Gary Walker
Heat: Clemens

 

                               

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