August 28, 2016
Jimmy Zacharias Takes 6th Chemung Sunoco Modified Win; Nick Robinson Claims Super Stock Title
by Carol Houssock

  Friday night Nick Robinson celebrated his first-ever Chemung title and it came in the Super Stock division. The other titles will be officially claimed and recognized in the season finale this Sunday, September 4th starting at 2:15 PM. Winners on the final Friday night show included Jimmy Zacharias (Sunoco Modifieds), Mike Nichols (Super Stocks), Ajay Potrzebowski (4 Cylinders), Mike Alcaro and Kevin Youngs (INEX Legends), and Garrett Zacharias (Bandoleros). Monica Green and Sean Verwys were division winners in the 4 Cylinders and Bandoleros.

  It seems as though Jimmy Zacharias is always chasing something. Strong performances at four NY tracks racing under the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series have him chasing the NY State title, and he’s now the leader for that honor. At Chemung this year he’s chasing his brother, TJ Zacharias, for the Sunoco Modified championship. Jimmy has claimed it five times previously while TJ is seeking his first title at Chemung. That battle intensified on Friday night when Jimmy claimed his sixth win and closed the gap between himself and TJ. It will all be decided this Friday night.

  It took two attempts to get going but Nick Morich powered around pole-sitter Charlie Sharpsteen to lead the opening lap in the 40-lap Sunoco Modified feature. On the second lap Sharpsteen got around him, bringing heat winner Gene Sharpsteen along for second place. Jesse Kent, who initially battled with heat winner Zack Knowlden for fourth, got it and then moved up to third. Connor Sellars and Jimmy Zacharias were also on the move and in the top five by the tenth lap. Lap traffic proved challenging for the leaders, who reached them on lap fifteen. Both Gene Sharpsteen and Zacharias got around Charlie, who slipped from first to third. Over the next ten laps Zacharias looked high and low for a way around Gene Sharpsteen while Sellars did the same with C. Sharpsteen. On the 26th lap Zacharias got to the inside of G. Sharpsteen and took over the lead. Sellars was also successful in moving up to third. Over the final ten laps TJ Zacharias got around C. Sharpsteen as well and he was up to fourth. Gene Sharpsteen was able to stay within four car lengths of J. Zacharias but got no closer. Jimmy Z took the checkered flag in a sweep, this one over Gene Sharpsteen, Connor Sellars, TJ Zacharias and Jesse Kent. “Every week I see how hard it is to win these things but when I unload the best of everything all I have to do is drive,” he said from victory lane.

  A bad initial start of the 25-lap Super Stock feature forced a second attempt. That one worked and Nick Robinson led the way. Mike Nichols was right behind him and took over the lead on lap two. Tim Gullo, meanwhile, was on the move and pressuring Robinson for second. He got it and was running nose to tail with Nichols. Lap after lap the duo ran together with the best action in turn four. Nichols chose the high line while Gullo was below him but not close enough to take the lead. Gullo’s great run ended when he lost power with 16 laps complete. Charlie Sharpsteen, who was running third, spun on the restart and forced another attempt. Nichols picked up where he left off, as did Sharpsteen. Over the final two laps Nichols pulled away and took the win, his first this year. When asked about the car, not the one he’d raced earlier in the year, he said “it was in the garage covered up”. Robinson, Terry Potrzebowski, Jody Buckley and Sharpsteen had top five finishes.

  With that being the final point race of the year Nick Robinson was awarded the 2016 track championship. Robinson has competed at the Speedrome since he was a youngster and things all came together this year after an off-season of hard work. “This is my first championship here at Chemung,” he told the crowd. “We worked hard all year, and this is as much for my father as it is for me.” He thanked his entire crew, family, and his family of sponsors on the car.

  They say the third time is the charm and Ajay Potrzebowski picked a costly way to prove it. In two prior appearances he left with blown motors. Friday night the motor held up and blew away the competition. Triston Kline started second but ran first for nearly half of the race. Early on Ben Perry ran second, followed by heat winner Monica Green. Potrzebowski got around pole winner Ben Perry and the battle for second was on between him and Green. At the halfway point Potrzebowski was the race leader, with Kline, Green, Greg Moldt and heat winner JP Harbst right behind him. Green broke free and was right there with Potrzebowski with five laps remaining. Over those final laps Harbst moved up but Green could get no closer to the leader than a couple car lengths. When it was over Potrzebowski had his first win this season. Green took home another trophy for being the highest finisher among those racing front wheel drive cars. Harbst, Moldt and last week’s winner Zack Bennett all posted top five finishes. Monica Green (FWD) remains the overall point leader over Jordan Mathews (RWD) with one race left to contest.

  The INEX Legends ran a pair of 15-lap races due to a rainout on August 12th. Qualifying heats for the first race went to Alexandria Smith, Mike Alcaro and David French. Pat Judson took the early lead, with Smith and Kevin Youngs right behind him. A pair of spins by Brian DeMark brought the field back together and on each restart Judson led the way. Mike Alcaro, making his first Chemung visit this year, was gradually moving forward and up to fifth at the halfway point. The third, and final, caution came out with five laps remaining. Alcaro was up to second and restarted beside Judson. A lap later Alcaro had the lead, which he never surrendered. “I wasn’t racing for a while but decided to come back, I always ran well here,” Alcaro said from victory lane. Brandon DeBrakeleer got around Judson for third, while Kevin Youngs and French all finished in the top five. Alcaro then drew #10 for the field inversion.

  Kyle Youngs ended up on pole for the second race when two cars ahead of him opted to start at the rear. He led the way off turn two but it was his brother Kevin who took over on lap two. Once in front he put some distance between himself and his brother Kyle, who had his mirror full of Mike Alcaro’s #8. The only caution came out with ten laps complete when Abe Romanik stopped on the track. The Youngs brothers were side by side for the restart. Kevin hugged the inside line and maintained his lead while Alcaro was able to overtake Kyle for second. Over those remaining five laps Alcaro ran out of time, and Kevin Youngs ran over the start/finish line first for his third win this season, second in a row. In this one Alcaro finished second, followed by Kyle Youngs, Pat Judson and Gary Ham. Alexandria Smith is one race away from her third consecutive track title at the young age of 17.

  The 10-lap Bandolero feature paid double points. Jason Duke and Garrett Zacharias won the two heats to set the lineup for the feature. Shea Bailey and Seth Zacharias started in row one and Zacharias used the outside lane to power around Bailey for the lead. Garrett Zacharias was on the move and up to second when the first of two cautions came out, putting the cousins Zacharias on row one. Garrett prevailed, leaving Seth to battle with B. Bailey for second. Bryce slowed and brought out the caution later in the race. Outlaw racer Garrett maintained his lead when the race resumed and he held that spot through the tenth lap for the win. Sean Verwys made some nice moves to end up second, but first among the Bandits. Mike Roth, Seth Zacharias and Joey Bernatavitz rounded out the top five. Garrett Zacharias and Bryce Bailey are looking for ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ to be the 2016 track champions.

  This week’s season finale takes place on Sunday afternoon. The New York Super Stocks headline the action with the second annual Gary Marshall Memorial 50-lapper. The $2,000-to win event also has bonus money throughout the field and special awards. Kids will also love this one, as approximately 15 bicycles will be given away thanks to generous donors. The final points-paying events for the Sunoco Modifieds, 4 Cylinders, INEX Legends and Bandoleros complete the race card. Pits open at 11 AM, grandstand gates open at noon, and practice begins at 1 PM. First race starts at 2:15 PM. Admission is $15 for adults, $13 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 26th will receive $3 off their admission price.

  Of note:
  · Jimmy Zacharias, Nick Robinson and Zack Bennett won the ‘Winner Winner Chicken Dinner’ bonus of free wings at the Horseheads, NY Buffalo Wild Wings.

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  Sunoco Modifieds (40 Laps) JIMMY ZACHARIAS, Gene Sharpsteen, Connor Sellars, TJ Zacharias, Jesse Kent, Charlie Sharpsteen, Zack Knowlden, Paul Johnson, Nick Morich, Zack Curren, Chris Clemens, Joe Lane, Gary Coon, Tim Nies, Tony Gullo, Ed Colliton, Jason Hollinger
  Heats: J. Zacharias, G. Sharpsteen, Knowlden

  Super Stocks (25 Laps): MIKE NICHOLS, Nick Robinson, Terry Potrzebowski, Jody Buckley, Charlie Sharpsteen, Chris Vogler, Ron Underwood, Tim Gullo, Frank Chapman, Chad Lane, Randy Davenport
  Heats: Gullo, Sharpsteen

  4 Cylinders (20 Laps): AJAY POTRZEBOWSKI, Monica Green (FWD winner), JP Harbst, Greg Moldt, Zack Bennett, Triston Kline, Ben Perry, Jordan Mathews, Sarah Gooch, Bob Chilson, Ricky Lane, Paul Platt, James Peck, Jared Sullivan, Jason Peck
  Heats: Harbst, Green

  INEX Legends (15 Lap, Race #1): MIKE ALCARO, Brandon DeBrakeleer, Pat Judson, Kevin Youngs, David French, Kyle Youngs, Alexandria Smith, Timothy Bowen, Gary Ham, Joshua Stark, Charlie Lohmeyer, Brian DeMark, Abe Romanik, Max Evans, Anthony Riforgiato, Matt Evans, Chuck Lohmeyer, Dave Riopelle, Daniel Carter
  Heats: Smith, Alcaro, French

  INEX Legends (15 Laps, Race #2): KEVIN YOUNGS, Mike Alcaro, Kyle Youngs, Pat Judson, Gary Ham, Alexandria Smith, Brandon DeBrakeleer, Anthony Riforgiato, Chuck Lohmeyer, David French, Max Evans, Timothy Bowen, Charlie Lohmeyer, Brian DeMark, Abe Romanik, Joshua Stark, Matt Evans, Dave Riopelle, Daniel Carter

  Bandoleros (10 Laps): GARRETT ZACHARIAS, Sean Verwys (Bandit winner), Mike Roth, Seth Zacharias, Joey Bernatavitz, Joshua Duke, DJ Shaw, Chris Breads, Shea Bailey, Griffin Montfort, Bryce Bailey
  Heats: Duke, G. Zacharias



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