May 20th, 2017
TJ Potrzebowski Back in Chemung’s Victory Lane; Gullo Takes Marshall SS Memorial
by Carol Houssock

  On a night dedicated to the memory of the late Gary Marshall, many new memories were made as Chemung Speedrome finally held its 2017 season opener. Heavy rains had wiped out the first two shows, but this one offered up great weather, a nice crowd, and some great racing. TJ Potrzebowski (Sunoco Modifieds), Tim Gullo (RoC Super Stocks), Zack Bennett (4 Cylinders), Pat Judson (INEX Legends), and Garrett Zacharias and Shea Bailey (Bowen Racecars Bandoleros, Outlaws and Bandits) picked up the feature wins, and 22 children picked up new bicycles they won during intermission. More fun, and action, returns to the Speedrome this Saturday night at 6 PM.

  While waving the checkered flag following his victory in the 40-lap Sunoco Modified feature, someone jokingly asked TJ Potrzebowski if he remembered what it felt like to do that. It had been a while since ‘the Piranha” last won at Chemung but he proved Saturday night that another drought isn’t likely to happen. And while he didn’t win his heat race, he did win early on as the result of a fan. Until handicapping begins, the top six cars will be inverted for feature starts. A young fan drew that number during intermission, and that put a pair of TJ’s on the front row. TJ Potrzebowski had the pole and defending track champion TJ Zacharias started alongside him.

  The night was a short one for Scott Reagan, who had nowhere to go when the field bunched up entering turn one on the opening lap. Reagan was saved by the foam blocks but still sustained race-ending damage. The race resumed and Potrzebowski led Zacharias. They stayed out in front while Jesse Kent got around Charlie Sharpsteen, Zack Knowlden and Jimmy Zacharias, and he was up to third. Tony Hanbury was also moving toward the front, running fifth.

  The second caution came out after a 20-lap green flag run when Cody Jackson slowed. The restart didn’t go well. Kent entered turn three fast, hit the brakes hard and smoked the tires, and tagged TJ Zacharias. Nick Morich was an innocent victim with nowhere to go except into the spun cars. Kent and Zacharias were able to continue but Morich’s #6 was towed to the pits.

  When the race got underway again Potrzebowski held on to his lead while Hanbury had worked his way up to second. The fourth caution came out when Connor Sellars, whose car had been off most of the night, had contact with TJ Zacharias. Track official Gary May extinguished a rotor fire on the Sellars machine, likely the cause of the contact.

  The race went back under green, but this time Hanbury got the better of Potrzebowski and he led lap 33. That was the only lap he led as Potrzebowski got back in front. The fifth, and final, caution came out when something broke on Charlie Sharpsteen’s car. That set up the final restart and Potrzebowski was more protective of his position and he prevailed. He held on, kept Hanbury at bay, and scored a popular win. Hanbury was second, followed by Knowlden, Jody Buckley and Jimmy Zacharias.

  “I’m lucky to drive for two great car owners, and it was fun racing with Tony,” he said from victory lane. “I appreciate the help from my sponsors and crew and I’m happy to be back here (in victory lane).”

  The third annual Gary Marshall Memorial was another memorable event, this year run as part of the Race of Champions Super Stock series. Eighteen race teams showed up to run the 40-lap feature that had a ton of bonus money, special awards, and five beautiful trophies for the first five across the finish line. Tim Gullo and Gary Noe won the heat races and the top four drivers from each drew for starting positions one through eight. Bobby Schosek and Tim Gullo drew best and started in row one.

  The opening lap saw an incident involving Nick Robinson and Zack Willis. On the restart Tim Gullo took off and cleared Schosek, who was also passed by Frank Chapman. Charlie Sharpsteen was on the move and he also cleared Schosek for third. By lap fifteen the gaps separating the top five - Gullo, Chapman, Sharpsteen, Gary Noe and Schosek - were nearly identical. Just as the field reached the halfway point the second caution came out when a tire went down on Joel Gleason’s #52. During that caution Willis stopped in turn four and had a small fire that turn four official Gary May quickly extinguished but it ended the night for Willis.

  The race resumed and Gullo took off and left behind a side-by-side battle between Chapman and Sharpsteen for second. Sharpsteen got the spot but Chapman reclaimed it a lap later. The race appeared to be headed for a fast finish but the third caution came out for another flat on the Gleason machine.

  Gullo, who won the inaugural race in memory of his cousin, had two laps left and Frank Chapman lined up beside him. Again, Gullo prevailed and held on for the big win. Chapman, Sharpsteen, Noe and Robinson made up the top five and left with trophies for their efforts.

  “This is a special race for sure,” Gullo said from victory lane. “I always have to worry about Frank because he has a fast car, but I never have to worry about him racing me clean. We’ve raced on asphalt and dirt for many years and it’s always been good,” he added. Gullo, this year sporting exclusive sponsorship from Ithaca Gun Company, thanked them for coming on board and for the efforts put forth by his wife, Tara, and cousin, Ray Marshall along with others. Gullo had previously won for the first time at Lancaster Speedway in the opening RoC Super Stock Series race three weeks ago.

  With a nice mix of front- and rear-wheel drive cars, the Four Cylinder division ran a caution-free 20-lap feature. Qualifying races had been won by Zack Bennett and Jacob Gustafson but the invert put the pair in the third row and put Ajay Potrzebowski and Ben Perry on the front row for the start. Potrzebowski led the way on the opening lap but it was Greg Moldt who powered through and led early. Bennett bided his time in his rear-wheel drive Mustang and by the seventh lap was in command. He left behind a great battle for second involving Potrzebowski, Perry and Gustafson. With five laps remaining Gustafson had made his way to second and was looking for more. As the duo came up on a lap car one went high and one went low to close the gap but Bennett was on a mission. When the checked flag waved over his #44 it was mission accomplished and Bennett started the season off with a win. For his efforts, Gustafson also celebrated as the highest-placing FWD car. Potrzebowski finished third, Moldt fourth, and Monica Green rounded out the top five.

  When they’re hot, they’re hot. And on Saturday night the INEX Legends were hot. The six-car invert put Alex Bowen and Trevor Halladay on the front row for the start of the 20-lap feature. Pat Judson, who started third, prevailed and led the way over Bowen, Chuck Lohmeyer, Daniel Carter and Teddy Bowen. As the laps clicked off Kevin Youngs and Gary Ham pressed hard on the fast pedal and were moving up in the field. Youngs was passing cars high and low on his march toward the front. When up to second it was all about closing the gap between his #2 and Judson’s B13. On lap 13 Youngs had closed that gap and began to challenge Judson for the lead. While that battle waged on Carter and Lohmeyer fought hard for third. With 5 laps to go Youngs got the lead but not for long. Judson passed him and held off repeated challenges over the final laps. At the finish, it was Judson, Youngs, Carter, Lohmeyer and Ham in the caution-free thriller. Earlier in the evening Carter and Lohmeyer won the two heat races.

  Garrett Zacharias picked up where he left off in 2016 and won the Bowen Racecars Bandolero feature for the Outlaw age group. Zacharias took the lead at the drop of the green. He and Bryce Bailey were nearly identical in speed and their line around the track, but with Zacharias out front that is how it stayed in the caution-free race 10-lap race. Josh Duke finished third.

  Bandits in the Bowen Racecars Bandoleros had three cautions in their 10-lap feature. Evan Rygielski took the early lead but spun three laps in and brought out the first caution. Dominick Wood and Seth Zacharias made up row one for the restart and Zacharias prevailed. Just past the halfway point Wood spun and brought Rygielski to the front row with Zacharias. Contact between the pair resulted in a spin that collected Wood and ended the night for Zacharias. That incident put Shea Bailey in the top spot, and he pulled away from the field and soared to his first feature win. Jeff Noe was second, followed by Rygielski, Wood and Zacharias.

  It’s back to a regular show this Saturday night (May 27th) of Sunoco Modifieds, Super Stocks, 4 Cylinders, INEX Legends and the Bowen Racecars Bandoleros. Pits open at 4 PM, grandstand gates open and practice gets underway at 5. First race starts at 6 PM. Admission is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors 65+, $5 for kids 6-12, and free for kids 5 and under.

Of note:
 · Steve Kellogg, the former head flagger for the Race of Champions who passed away unexpectedly a few weeks ago, was remembered at the track in three ways. Announcer Carol Houssock mentioned him during a moment of silence and played an instrumental version of the national anthem, and head flagger Allen Mathews started each feature with double green flags.
 · TJ Potrzebowski and Zack Bennett won free wings from Buffalo Wild Wings in Horseheads, NY in their ‘Winner Winner Chicken Dinner’ bonus program.
· John Zack, who runs the concession stand, said that hot dogs will be $1.13 this week in honor of Pat Judson’s win in the B13 INEX Legend car.
 · Ted Schmidt came on board as the track’s 2017 photographer.

  For more information, log on to www.chemungspeedrome.net or “like” us on Facebook. Chemung Speedrome and NASCAR, Asphalt Racing at its Finest!

  Results:
  Sunoco Modifieds (40 Laps):
TJ POTRZEBOWSKI, Tony Hanbury, Zack Knowlden, Jody Buckley, Jimmy Zacharias, Gene Sharpsteen, Jesse Kent, TJ Zacharias, Paul Johnson, Cody Jackson, Chris Clemens, Charlie Sharpsteen, Connor Sellers, Nick Morich, Don Mosher, Tony Gullo, Gary Coon, Scott Reagan
Heats: J. Zacharias, Kent, C. Sharpsteen

  RoC Super Stocks (40 Laps): TIM GULLO, Frank Chapman, Charlie Sharpsteen, Gary Noe, Nick Robinson, Bobby Schosek, Terry Potrzebowski, Jim Lamoreaux, Dana Novoa, Jason Duke, Ed Kelley, Rob Misczek, Vern Hedderick, Joel Gleason, JP Harbst, Zack Willis, John Lane, Josh Hunter
Heats: Gullo, Noe
Hard Charger: Nick Robinson
Hard Luck: Zack Willis
Best Appearing Car: Joel Gleason

  4 Cylinders (20 Laps): ZACK BENNETT, Jacob Gustafson (FWD winner), Ajay Potrzebowski, Greg Moldt, Monica Green, Ben Perry, Ricky Lane, Kevin May, James Peck, Sarah Gooch, Triston Kline, Jason Peck, Paul Platt, Tyler Harbst
Heats: Bennett, Gustafson

  INEX Legends (20 Laps): Pat Judson, Kevin Youngs, Daniel Carter, Chuck Lohmeyer, Gary Ham, Keith Youngs, Alex Bowen, Teddy Bowen, Timothy Bowen, Trevor Halladay, Cody Frantz, Charlie Lohmeyer, Max Evans, Matt Evans, Brian Schoch, Jamie Mullen
Heats: Carter, Chuck Lohmeyer

  Bowen Racecars Outlaw Bandoleros (10 Laps): GARRETT ZACHARIAS, Bryce Bailey, Josh Duke

  Bowen Racecars Bandit Bandoleros (10 Laps): SHEA BAILEY, Jeffrey Noe, Evan Rygielski, Dominick Wood, Seth Zacharias, Brian Rygielski

 

                               

©2010-2017 Chemung Speedrome / RGeePro



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