July 25th, 2014
Zack Curren Sweeps, Dominates Chemung’s 75-lap Sunoco
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Heats: Ham, Smith
Bandoleros (10 Laps) DAVID FRENCH, Lars
McElravy, Teddy Bowen, Timmy Bowen, Damon Frutchey, Nick