August 21, 2016
Connor Sellars, Jimmy Zacharias Split Chemung’s Sunoco Modified Twin Bill
by Carol Houssock

  Last week’s rainout led to a night of twin 20-lap features for the headline Sunoco Modifieds at Chemung Speedrome. The night belonged to Connor Sellars, whose win in the first race and second place finish in the second demonstrated his increasing power and performance. Jimmy Zacharias claimed the second feature. Other winners included Nick Robinson (Super Stocks), Zack Bennett (4 Cylinders), Kevin Youngs (INEX Legends), and Garrett Zacharias (Bandoleros). Greg Moldt and Joey Bernatavitz took division wins in the 4 Cylinders and Bandoleros, respectively.

  The Sunoco Modifieds in attendance were split into three heats, won by Nick Morich, Connor Sellars and Jimmy Zacharias. Cody Jackson and Morich made up the front row for the start of the first 20-lap race. Morich used momentum to sweep around the outside and take the lead with Zack Knowlden joining him. Gary Coon’s early spin, the only caution, bunched up the field and it was then that Connor Sellars showed his strength and he took the lead on the eighth lap. Once in front he checked out and was in a class of his own. Behind him TJ Potrzebowski and Zack Curren worked their way around Knowlden and Jesse Kent and that pair was running together for second. Sellars went on to score the win over Curren, Potrzebowski, Knowlden and TJ Zacharias. “We’ve worked all year to get the car to do what I know it can do and I’m ready for the next race,” he said from victory lane just after drawing #8 for the inversion.

  That 8-car inversion put Nick Morich and Jesse Kent on the front row for the second 20-lap Sunoco Modified feature, just ahead of the brothers Zacharias, Jimmy and TJ. Kent led early but lost the top spot to Jimmy Zacharias on the sixth lap. When Zacharias checked out Kent and Zack Curren had a great battle going for second. Connor Sellars was on the move again, running fourth at the halfway point. The only caution came out when Joe Lane spun in turn two. J. Zacharias prevailed on the restart but the battle was for second between Kent and Sellars. Sellars got around him and with five laps to go he had whittled away at Zacharias’ lead but time ran out. Zacharias picked up his fifth win this season over Sellars, Kent, TJ Zacharias and TJ Potrzebowski. “It’s getting tougher to win. Everyone is getting better every week,” Zacharias stated.

  Frank Chapman has had both really good and really bad luck in the track’s Super Stock division. Friday night he experienced both. Chapman won the heat and started the 25-lap feature from the pole. The first attempt at a start was called off when Jim House got into Charlie Sharpsteen. Chapman led the opening lap when the race resumed but just as quickly his #41 went up in smoke and he was done after one lap. That gave the lead to Robinson, who restarted next to Chad McDonald. Sharpsteen’s night went sour when officials used radios and black flags to get him to pit as he was racing with no window net secured. He lost two laps in the pits but did return. This one, however, was a runaway for Robinson who led every lap and lapped all but second and third place. When it was over he had his sixth win, this time over McDonald, Chad Lane, Charlie Sharpsteen and Randy Davenport.

  Zack Bennett had won a trophy earlier in the year for finishing highest among the RWD drivers in the 4 Cylinder division. What he lacked, an overall win, came Friday night in the form of a sweep. After winning his heat race he started the 20-lap feature outside the front row and went three-wide with heat winner Monica Green and Kyle Lingerfelt coming off two on the opening lap. He emerged the leader, a position he held until Ajay Potrzebowski passed him on lap nine. Two laps later Potrzebowski retired with a blown motor, handing the lead back to Bennett. The only caution came out when JP Harbst and Lingerfelt got together coming off turn four. Over the final seven laps Greg Moldt was the one working his way up to third, putting pressure on Triston Kline for the top FWD spot. He muscled his way around Kline and followed Bennett across the finish line. Kline was third, followed by Ben Perry and Jordan Mathews.

  Yellow fever hit the INEX Legends division big-time on Friday night. The 20-lap race was slowed seven times for cautions, two of which came while attempting to restart the race. Pat Judson led early but was pressured heavily by Kevin Youngs, who got around him on the fifth lap. The pair swapped the lead while Matt Evans and heat winner Brandon DeBrakeleer were closing in on them. DeBrakeleer took over second just before the fourth caution. Youngs prevailed on the restart and the pair swapped the lead several times. With a rapid succession of caution periods the race went single file for what became the final restart. Youngs was the leader, with DeBrakeleer hot on his heels for the scheduled green/white/checkered finish. When another caution came out for a scary flip by Jamie Mullen the race was called. Kevin Youngs celebrated his second feature win, this one a sweep over DeBrakeleer, Evans, heat winner Carl Vilardo, and Anthony Riforgiato.

  In Bandolero action Garrett Zacharias and Bryce Bailey set the stage for the 10-lap feature in winning the two heat races. And while Garrett went on to win the race, this night belonged to Joey Bernatavitz. Each race week his improvement was obvious, and on Friday night he took full advantage of his pole position start and finished as the top among the Bandits for a career-first division win. Early on G. Zacharias dove underneath Bernatavitz for the lead. He would have to survive two restarts but that was not an issue. Bernatavitz, on the other hand, ended up in a terrific battle with Teddy Bowen for second and, on the final lap, with Bailey for third. When it was over it was G. Zacharias, Bowen, Bernatavitz, Seth Zacharias and Joshua Duke in the top five.

  This week marks the final Friday night program featuring a regular show of Sunoco Modifieds, Super Stocks, 4 Cylinders, INEX Legends (twin 15-lap features) and the Bandoleros (double points). The season finale takes place on Sunday, September 4th. Pits this Friday open at 4 PM, grandstand gates open at 5:30 and practice begins at 6. First race starts at 7 PM. Admission is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors 65+, $5 for kids 6-12, and free for kids 5 and under. Fans who bring their adult or senior grandstand ticket stub from August 19th will receive $3 off their admission price.

  Of note:
  · Connor Sellars, Jimmy Zacharias, Nick Robinson and Zack Bennett won the ‘Winner Winner Chicken Dinner’ bonus of free wings at the Horseheads, NY Buffalo Wild Wings.
  · George Bowen was the Veteran of the Race in honor of his service in the Navy during the Korean War (1952-1956). He served about the USS Columbus and received the good conduct award. Bowen’s son, daughters, and grandchildren accompanied him on the special night, capped off by the singing of the National Anthem by his daughter, Beth Bailey.
  · INEX confirmed that both of the 15-lap features this Friday will count for national points.

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  Sunoco Modifieds (20 Laps, Race 1)
CONNOR SELLARS, Zack Curren, TJ Potrzebowski, Zack Knowlden, TJ Zacharias, Jimmy Zacharias, Jesse Kent, Nick Morich, Gene Sharpsteen, Patti Pruitt, Cody Jackson, Joe Lane, Chris Clemens, Charlie Sharpsteen, Kurt Knapp, Gary Coon, Ed Collan, Tim Nies
Heats: Morich, Sellars, J. Zacharias

  Sunoco Modifieds (20 Laps, Race 2) JIMMY ZACHARIAS, Connor Sellars, Jesse Kent, TJ Zacharias, TJ Potrzebowski, Nick Morich, Zack Knowlden, Gene Sharpsteen, Patti Pruitt, Chris Clemens, Cody Jackson, Joe Lane, Kurt Knapp, Zack Curren, Ed Collan, Gary Coon, Tim Nies, Charlie Sharpsteen

  Super Stocks (25 Laps): NICK ROBINSON, Chad McDonald, Chad Lane, Charlie Sharpsteen, Randy Davenport, Jim House, Ron Underwood, Frank Chapman
Heat: Chapman

  4 Cylinders (20 Laps): ZACK BENNETT, Greg Moldt (FWD winner), Triston Kline, Ben Perry, Jordan Mathews, Monica Green, Sarah Gooch, Kyle Lingerfelt, JP Harbst, Ajay Potrzebowski, Jared Sullivan, Zack Jaynes
Heats: Green, Bennett

  INEX Legends (20 Laps): KEVIN YOUNGS, Brandon DeBrakeleer, Matt Evans, Carl Vilardo, Anthony Riforgiato, Chuck Lohmeyer, Max Evans, Alexandria Smith, David French, Pat Judson, Joshua Stark, Daniel Carter, Breanne Gilligan, Cody Frantz, Patti Pruitt, Kyle Youngs, Jamie Mullen, Teddy Bowen, Abe Romanik, Dalton Rombough, Anthony Gullo
Heats: Riforgiato, Kevin Youngs, DeBrakeleer

  Bandoleros (10 Laps): GARRETT ZACHARIAS, Teddy Bowen, Joey Bernatavitz (Bandit winner), Seth Zacharias, Joshua Duke, Griffin Montfort, Shea Bailey, Bryce Bailey, Connor McCarthy, Chris Breads
Heat: G. Zacharias, B. Bailey



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