July 25th, 2014
Zack Curren Sweeps, Dominates Chemung’s 75-lap Sunoco Modified Feature
By: Carol Houssock

  Chemung Speedrome was the place to be Friday night. The weather was perfect, the food is always good, and the racing produced five repeat winners in some very competitive features. Zack Curren’s second win this year in the Sunoco Modifieds is likely his biggest to date. The young driver held off Jimmy Zacharias in a special 75-lap event and he earned a sweep with his heat win. Terry Potrzebowski had a sweep of his own in the Super Stock Division as he posted win number two this year. Nick Morich got win number seven in the Four Cylinder division, with Justin Hall the FWD winner. In INEX Legends action Brandon DeBrakeleer got his fourth win and second in a row, and it was feature win number six for David French in the Bandoleros.

  Zack Curren provided edge-of-your-seat excitement in the 75-lap Sunoco Modified feature as he held off Jimmy Zacharias for most of the race. Curren and Randy Brokaw made up the front row for the start. Curren led, with Jody Buckley and Jimmy Zacharias right behind him. Zacharias took over second with an inside pass on Buckley then got up behind Curren.

  Caution came out with 13 laps recorded and Zacharias restarted alongside Curren’s #94. Curren won the drag race however the pair remained locked in a great battle. Lap after lap Zacharias peeked to the inside in turn four but was unable to make a pass.

  Sparks developed on the Zacharias #71 and he pitted when Larry Jaynes spun and brought out a caution. The Zacharias crew used wire to hold up his muffler, which had been rubbing on the track. That brought Jody Buckley up to second for the restart, a position he would hold until less than a dozen laps remained. His car appeared to break, he slowed, and the caution came out.

  Zacharias was then up to second again and Curren again held him off when the race went back to the green. Randy Brokaw’s spin brought out the final caution with 8 laps remaining. Over those remaining laps Curren maintained his line and the race lead. He held on for his second win of the year and impressed many in the stands with his confident and consistent driving. Zacharias settled for second, followed by Connor Sellars, Brandon Oltra and Buckley. “I knew he was there and I just ran my line to keep him there,” he told the crowd. Earlier in the evening Buckley and Curren won the division’s two heat races.

  Just two drivers led the 25-lap Super Stock feature, slowed only once for a caution. In qualifying Terry Potrzebowski and Jeff Goodwin won their respective races. Handicapping put Nick Robinson and Dusty Snell on the front row. Robinson led the field off turn two but Goodwin worked his magic and led the way. Potrzebowski was two car-lengths behind then closed within one car length at the lap 10 mark.

  As the field worked lap 14 the only caution came out and brought the leaders together for the restart. Goodwin and Potrzebowski ran beside each other for most of the lap with Potrzebowski having a slight lead at the stripe. He then fully cleared Goodwin’s 05 and left him behind to battle Lee Sharpsteen for the runner-up spot. Sharpsteen had it but lost it again to Goodwin, the track’s defending champion.

  Potrzebowski cruised across the start/finish line to post his second win this year on another double points night. Goodwin, Sharpsteen, Tim Gullo and Dan Mathews all finished in the top five. The point battle is close; Sharpsteen’s three consecutive wins gave him a one-point lead entering the program. That battle remains close and all titles will be decided on the 29th of August.

  Two drivers in the Four Cylinder division learned not to dish out their own discipline when they feel they’ve been wronged. Twice during the race, including the final lap, the same pair got together but track officials had assessed one-spot penalties each time.

  Heat winners Ken Benjamin and Cody Jackson made up the front row for the 20-lap feature. The opening lap saw a four-wide deal down the back stretch. Benjamin led early but Jackson then went three-wide to take over the top spot on lap four. Jason Gleason came along and they ran side by side until Gleason made a rough pass. As officials called for a one-spot penalty, Jackson got into him and brought out the first caution. That handed the lead back to Benjamin but his smoking car retired and Nick Morich was the new leader.

  On the restart Jackson powered his way back to the front and held the lead until the last lap. Coming down the front stretch Gleason got into Jackson and the win, his seventh, was awarded to point leader Nick Morich. “I didn’t think I was gonna win it,” he stated. Justin Hall, second, was the highest finishing FWD car and he echoed Morich’s comment. “I didn’t think I was gonna be here.” Chris Mashewske, Sam Warren and Shaun Gleason rounded out the top five.

  Caution-free, not action-free, sums up the 20-lap INEX Legends feature. Heat winners Alexandria Smith and Gary Ham brought the field to the green. Smith led early before Brandon DeBrakeleer made what was a race-winning pass. That left Smith, Ham and Alex Bowen battling for positions two through five over the lion’s share of the race.

  DeBrakeleer, meanwhile, checked out and built up a big lead. Over the final five laps the top two in points engaged in a great battle. Point leader Smith was often side by side with Bowen, who’s second in Legends points. The checkered flag flew over the 1B of DeBrakaleer, who has now won two consecutive races and four overall this year. “We spend a lot of time during the week on the car to make it faster,” he said from victory lane. Ham’s strongest run to date produced a second place finish, with Smith, Bowen and Chuck Lohmeyer rounding out the top five.

  The 10-lap Bandolero feature was slowed three times for spinning cars, and the first of those restarts enabled David French to take the lead from Lars McElravy. Once in front French built up a nice lead but two more cautions would bunch up the field. On each of those restarts he was untouchable and parked his #53 in victory lane for the sixth time this year. The point leader is on course to successfully defend his 2013 title. McElravy, who won their heat race, finished second with Teddy Bowen, Timmy Bowen and Damon Frutchey all in the top five.

  This Friday it’s Autograph Night at Chemung and fans will get to meet the guys and gals who compete in all of the track's division. On tap are the Sunoco Modifieds (40), Super Stocks (25), Four Cylinders (20), INEX Legends (20) and Bandoleros (08) and double points for the Dirt Crate Sportsman division. Pits open at 4:00, practice and grandstand open at 6:00 and racing gets underway at 7:15 PM. Admission: adults $12; seniors 65 and older $10; kids 6-12 $5; kids five and under free. Fans are reminded that their ticket stub from July 25th is good for $2 off this Friday night.

  Notes: Paul Bennett, owner of Paul Bennett’s Garage in Elmira, was the honorary Veteran of the Race. While in the Army from 1992 to 1995 he was stationed in Germany as a mechanic. During his service time he received a Sharpshooter award. Paul’s business is a sponsor of Zack Curren’s #94 Sunoco Modified, which won the 75-lap feature in dominating fashion.

  Results:

  Sunoco Modifieds (75 Laps)
ZACK CURREN, Jimmy Zacharias, Connor Sellars, Brandon Oltra, Jody Buckley, Gene Sharpsteen, Paul Hartwig, Larry Jaynes, Randy Brokaw, Dylan Zacharias, Cam Ayres (DNS)
Heats: Buckley, Curren

  Super Stocks (25 Laps, Double Points) TERRY POTRZEBOWSKI, Jeff Goodwin, Lee Sharpsteen, Tim Gullo, Dan Mathews, Jody Buckley, Joe Snell, Nick Robinson, Dusty Snell, Wayne Lent, Bob Ripley, Charlie Sharpsteen
Heats: Potrzebowski, Goodwin

  4 Cylinders (20 Laps) NICK MORICH, Justin Hall (1st FWD), Chris Mashewske, Sam Warren, Shaun Gleason, Cody Jackson, Jason Gleason, Eric Williams, Ken Benjamin, Monica Green, Ron Little
Heats: Jackson, Benjamin

  INEX Legends (20 Laps) BRANDON DEBRAKELEER, Gary Ham, Alexandria Smith, Alex Bowen, Chuck Lohmeyer, Cody Frantz, Jason Duke, Wayne Walker, Jimmer Ulrich, Lee DeBrakeleer
Heats: Ham, Smith

  Bandoleros (10 Laps) DAVID FRENCH, Lars McElravy, Teddy Bowen, Timmy Bowen, Damon Frutchey, Nick Morich
Heat: McElravy

 

                               

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