August 9th, 2014
Hirschman Perfect in RoC Shows at Chemung This Year; Zacharias Get 5th Sunoco Mod Win
By: Carol Houssock

  Chemung Speedrome was the place to be Saturday night – and plenty of race teams and fans did just that. The saw an Andrew Harpell production that was slick and well choreographed from the get-go. When it was over Matt Hirschman had won his fourth RoC, and second at Chemung, on the tour this year. Jimmy Zacharias picked up his fifth win in the track’s Sunoco Modified division and padded his point lead in the process. Other winners included Lee Sharpsteen (Super Stocks), Ryan Purvis and Devon Bailey (Four Cylinders), and Alexandria Smith (INEX Legends).

  Matt Hirschman, whose Race of Champions Modified win in May at Chemung was the first of three consecutive wins, returned with the same winning attitude that has brought him so much success. He put everyone on notice as the winner of heat number one. Brian DeFebo and Chuck Hossfeld won the other 10-lap heats. The top four from each heat then drew for starting spots for the 100-lap feature. With three numbers left in the bucket when it was Jimmy Zacharias’ turn to draw, he pulled out #1 and started on the pole. Andy Jankowiak joined him in the front row.

  A three-wide deal on the opening lap that prevented Hirschman from being in the top two or three; ironically, it was another three-wide deal with 15 laps remaining that moved him up to second. The field ran the first 41 laps caution-free. Zacharias led while Jankowiak started to slip back and barely in the top ten. Mike Leaty and Daren Scherer got around Hossfeld, dropping him to fourth. When Bryan Sherwood spun, first in turn two and 15 laps later in turn 4 it provided a pit stop opportunities. Jankowiak opted to stop, as did Leaty who had fallen back and out of the top 10. The restart also presented an opportunity for Hossfeld to reclaim second and he did. For Jankowiak, the fresher tire gave him greater speed and he was advancing nicely. Up front with Scherer closing and Hirschman running fourth, the trio tried to run down leader Zacharias. What ensued was a three-wide situation that worked into the playbook of Hirschman. He emerged in second and began to run down the #71.

  The third and final caution changed everything. TJ Potrzebowski slowed on the track. As the cars came around turn four the axle on the Zacharias #71 broke and he spun. The crew changed a tire but his issue was far more severe. That handed the lead to Hirschman and he held on for the big win. Scherer, Jankowiak, Hossfeld and Patrick Emerling all finished in the top five.

  In Sunoco Modified action Jody Buckley and Jimmy Zacharias were the class of the field. Just a week prior Buckley repeatedly held off Zacharias to claim the feature win. On Saturday night the tables were turned and Buckley was the pursuer not the pursued. The pair won the two qualifying races and Buckley drew the pole for the 35-lap feature. He started alongside Randy Brokaw and led the way off turn two. Tommy Rought spun with two laps in and this time it was Gene Sharpsteen on the outside of row one for the restart. Two laps later Dylan Zacharias spun in turn two and on that restart Jimmy Zacharias made his race-winning pass on Buckley. The main decision in this one was which lane the leader would choose for the restarts. Zacharias chose the outside, just as Buckley had done the week prior. Over a long green flag run Zacharias built up a nice lead, Buckley held second, and Brokaw was in a three-way battle with Connor Sellars and Corey Mosher. Officials assessed a two-position penalty on Mosher for a rough pass. It was a penalty he would never actually get, as the motor in his #45 blew and brought out the final caution with two laps remaining. Zacharias held on and celebrated his fifth win this season. Buckley crossed the stripe in second, while Sellars, TJ Zacharias and Brokaw all finished in the top five.

  The 25-lap Super Stock feature was good for some and not so good for others. Joe Snell and Charlie Sharpsteen, who won the two heat races, drew first and drew best for starting positions. Lined up side by side Snell prevailed but it was a great battle with Sharpsteen for that top spot. Snell survived several restarts for cautions, each time getting the better of Sharpsteen. Several drivers were on the move and there was action all around the track as they tried to better their positions. Things changed for Joe Snell after the fourth caution period. Lee Sharpsteen continued his march toward the front and made Snell the meat in an all-Sharpsteen sandwich before taking the lead. Once in front the stout #8 pulled way from his brother and Jeff Goodwin, who had worked his way up to third place. The last caution came out with two laps remaining. Tim Gullo broke and gone was his top five finish. When the race resumed Charlie Sharpsteen had one more opportunity to overtake his younger brother but it wasn’t to be. Lee Sharpsteen posted his fifth 2014 win, this time over Charlie Sharpsteen, Goodwin, Snell and Potrzebowski.

  Ryan Purvis, sporting a different car number but the same winning attitude, swept the night in the track’s Four Cylinder division. Burt Maynard and Devon Bailey brought the field to green. Bailey used his momentum on the outside to power around Maynard for the lead. Purvis, who started seventh, was up to third but wasted no time passing John Maynard for second and then passed Bailey for the lead. The only caution came with five laps scored when Jennifer Dennie spun on the back stretch. That brought the leaders side by side but not for long. Purvis took off and built up a huge lead that he would never surrender. The best battle at the halfway point involved Monica Green and Sam Warren. Warren got the spot and when Green’s car went away she fell back. Purvis sailed across the finish line to record his second win of the season, this time over Bailey, John Maynard, Warren and Nick Morich. Morich won the other heat race. Bailey, the highest finishing FWD car, was also a winner on this night.

  A two-car tangle is all that slowed the action in the 20-lap INEX Legends feature. Luck of the draw put Daren Scherer and Alex Bowen on the front row, but the race went yellow on the opening lap when Gary Ham and Wayne Walker got together on the back stretch. When the race resumed point leader Alexandria Smith made an inside move on Scherer to claim the top spot. She drove away and left Scherer to battle it out with Chuck Lohmeyer. Lap after lap Lohmeyer was right on his tail until finally taking second as they worked turns three and four with five laps remaining. Smith, meanwhile, was comfortably out in front and held on for her second win of the season. Lohmeyer was second, followed to the line by Scherer, Bowen and Beth Scherer. Earlier in the evening Smith and Bowen won the two heat races.

  This week it’s back to Friday night racing at the Speedrome. The Sunoco Modifieds headline the program with a 40-lap feature. Joining them on the race card are the Super Stocks (25), Four Cylinders (20), and INEX Legends (20) and 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.

  Notes:
  Don Reynolds, who served in the US Coast Guard from 1983 to 1988 and remained in the Coast Guard Reserves through 2011, was the Honorary Veteran of the Race. Reynolds was a Damage Control Chief while enlisted. His son, Ben, drives his #47 in selected RoC events.

  Todd Bodine was on hand to shake hands and mingle on the grounds of the track originally built by his father and grandfather. Youngest of three, Todd is the only Bodine brother who never competed in a scheduled event at the track.

  Several photographers and others covering motorsports were on hand, including Bob Dillner from Fox Sports and Speed51.

  The Spalding Foundation for Injured Drivers held a fundraiser that was well supported. Fans had two auction options – a Chinese Auction for numerous collectibles or a Silent Auction for autographed sheet metal representing several of the RoC teams. The latter even included a bidding war representative of what fans see on the track from the likes of Matt Hirschman and Chuck Hossfeld.

  During intermission several kids competed in Box Car Races, with trophies and prizes provided by several of the RoC teams.

  Results:

  Race of Champions Modifieds (100 Laps)
MATT HIRSCHMAN, Daren Scherer, Andy Jankowiak, Chuck Hossfeld, Patrick Emerling, Austin Kochenash, Brian DeFebo, Mike Leaty, Nick Pecko, Brandon Oltra, Doug Ruane, TJ Potrzebowski, Daryl Lewis, Jr., Bryan Sherwood, Terry Cheetham, Donnie Hartzell, Jimmy Zacharias, Tommy Cloce
Heats: Hirschman, DeFebo, Hossfeld

  Sunoco Modifieds (40 Laps) JIMMY ZACHARIAS, Jody Buckley, Connor Sellars, TJ Zacharias, Randy Brokaw, Gene Sharpsteen, Brandon Oltra, Cam Ayres, Tim Lewis, Corey Mosher, Dylan Zacharias, Tommy Rought, Chris Clemens
Heats: Buckley, TJ Zacharias

  Super Stocks (25 Laps) LEE SHARPSTEEN, Charlie Sharpsteen, Jeff Goodwin, Joe Snell, Terry Potrzebowski, Dan Mathews, Jody Buckley, Ron Underwood, Tim Gullo, Jake Wylie, Bob Ripley, Mike Nichols, Derrick Tarbox, Nick Robinson, Dusty Snell
Heats: J Snell, C Sharpsteen

  4 Cylinders (20 Laps) RYAN PURVIS, Devon Bailey (1st FWD), John Maynard, Sam Warren, Nick Morich, Ken Benjamin, Burt Maynard, Jennifer Dennie, Justin Hall, Monica Green, David Cooke, Eric Williams
Heats: Purvis, Morich

  INEX Legends (20 Laps) ALEXANDRIA SMITH, Chuck Lohmeyer, Daren Scherer, Alex Bowen, Beth Scherer, John Bacon, Jimmer Ulrich, Wayne Walker, Gary Ham, Charlie Lohmeyer (DNS)
Heats: Smith, Bowen

 

                               

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