by Carol Houssock
(Chemung, NY) Race fans at Chemung Speedrome witnessed some great racing on Friday night with a 5-division program sponsored by ServiceMaster of the Tri Counties. This new sponsor also took on sponsorship of the 4-race Super Stock Challenge, with event #3 held on Friday. The Midstate Basement Authorities-sponsored victory lane was visited by winners Zack Curren (Sunoco Modifieds), Cameron Nichols (Insinger Performance Super Stocks), Monica Robinson (4 Cylinders), Josh Parker (Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stocks), and Derrick Vogler (INEX Bandoleros). All of Chemung’s regular divisions will be idle this week as the Race of Champions takes over the track for their own 3-division program of Modifieds, Super Stocks and 4 Cylinders on Saturday evening.
His fans knew it was just a matter of time when they’d celebrate another Zack Curren feature win in the Sunoco Modified division. To do so he had to put an end to the win streak that Tony Hanbury had going. To do so on Friday he had to keep Hanbury behind him. “Everybody raced clean,” he said after exiting his car. It was a Zack sweep, as he had won the heat earlier in the evening. In the 30-lap feature, he chased early lead Charlie Sharpsteen for the first five laps but got ahead of him on lap six. He pulled away and left Sharpsteen to deal with both Hanbury and TJ Potrzebowski, both of whom passed him over the next four laps. The only caution came out a lap short of halfway for a solo spin by Lee Sharpsteen. Curren had Hanbury alongside for the restart, but he was able to keep his lead and, by lap 20, had a bit of breathing room. Curren held on and picked up his first win this year over Hanbury, Potrzebowski, Keith Youngs and C. Sharpsteen. “We can run side by side as long as everyone races clean, and we did,” Curren added.
Many knew it was just a matter of time when Cameron Nichols, Mike’s son, would win. He earned it, passing veteran racer Lee Sharpsteen for his career-first win. The 25-lap race represented event #3 in the ServiceMaster of the Tri Counties Super Stock Challenge. Cameron first showed his muscle when he won his heat, then started fifth in the 25-lap feature. Lee Sharpsteen started from pole position and quickly put some distance between himself and the rest of the field. That distance was wiped out when the only caution flag came out. That brought Nichols, who had worked his way up to second, to the outside of Sharpsteen for the restart. Sharpsteen led the next lap, but Nichols made his race-winning pass on lap 16 and he, then, put distance between himself and a three-way battle for third. Sharpsteen had heat winner Nick Robinson and Tim Gullo right behind him. As the crowd reacted to Cameron’s win, they also watched the trio finish in that same order, with Mike Nichols rounding out the top five. “This feels great. We work long and hard and I can’t even explain it. I’m speechless,” Cameron told the crowd.
Fans have seen Monica Robinson win many 4 Cylinder races and a pair of track championships. What they saw Friday night was one of her toughest wins ever as she had to hold off two of her teammates. “I tried to make sure I held my line. There’s a lot of respect out there,” she said after winning for the third time this season. Greg Moldt and Tom Shaffer won their heats to help set the field for the 20-lap race. Joey Bevacqua started second but led early over Robinson and Moldt. Robinson fought hard and took the lead on lap eight. A lap later Moldt took over second and the intense race was on. With no caution to reset the field, it was up to Robinson to do exactly what she said and hold her line. She got the win over Moldt, Bevacqua, Zack Jaynes and Shaffer.
The Marion Decker Hobby Stocks hit the track for their 20-lap feature. Earlier in the evening Dave Decker won the heat, started the feature from pole position, and looked as though it might be his night to celebrate. Josh Parker, the winningest driver in the division brought out the only caution when he tapped the wall and flattened a tire. When racing resumed Decker’s car drifted high coming off turn. It was there that Parker made his race-winning move with two to go. “I got through after that flat. Everyone helps here,” he said. Decker was second with Randy Mathews third.
Derrick Vogler returned to victory lane in the INEX Bandolero division after a rough start in their 10-lap feature. A lap into the race he, Kalysta DeMark and Cullen Sharpsteen got together and brought out the first of two cautions. Vogler worked his way back to the front, passed Chase Sinsabaugh for the lead, and left him in a battle for second with DeMark. When it was over, Outlaw racers Vogler had the win, followed by Sinsabaugh (Bandit winner), DeMark, Devin Gullo and Joey Allowatt.
This week Chemung runs on Saturday evening for the annual Night Before the Glen event. The big race card includes the Race of Champions Rod Spalding Classic, a 75-lapper run in Rod’s memory. This year’s race will feature Ryan Preece, who will make the short haul from Watkins Glen International to run in one of Eddie and Connie Partridge’s cars. Also on tap are a 51-lap Ed McGuire memorial for the ROC Super Stocks and a 25-lapper for the ROC 4 Cylinder Dash Series. Gates open at 4, practice gets underway at 5:15 and opening ceremonies begin at 6 PM. Admission is $23 for adults, $20 for seniors and Military, $10 for kids ages 5-11 and free for kids ages 5 and under.
For information, log on to the track’s website: chemung-speedrome.com, ‘like’ us on Facebook: Chemung Speedrome – Racing at the Drome, or call Ray Hodge, Promoter, at 607-483-3468.
A fan from Spencer, NY held the winning 50/50 ticket and took home $537.
Wayne Wilcox, announcer at Antioch Speedway in Antioch, California, knocked Chemung Speedrome off his bucket list with a visit Friday night. A native of the Smithfield, PA area, he had also never called a race on a paved track. He can no longer say that, as he announced the INEX Bandolero feature. Catch his podcast, Wylie’s Race Report, on YouTube.
ServiceMaster of the Tri Counties Night Results:
Sunoco Modifieds (30 Laps) ZACK CURREN, Tony Hanbury, TJ Potrzebowski, Keith Youngs, Charlie Sharpsteen, Lee Sharpsteen, Scott Reagan
New York Super Stocks (ServiceMaster of the Tri Counties SS Challenge Race #3, 25 Laps) CAMERON NICHOLS, Lee Sharpsteen, Nick Robinson, Tim Gullo, Mike Nichols, Garrett Zacharias, DJ Shaw, Brian DeMark, JP Harbst, Jason Duke, Jr., Dennis Beardslee, Aaron Cornell, Chad Lane, Jason Duke, Sr.
Heats: Robinson, C. Nichols
4 Cylinders (20 Laps): MONICA ROBINSON, Greg Moldt, Joey Bevacqua, Zack Jaynes, Tom Shaffer, Matt Jenkins, Dustin Pruyne, Jason Peck, Ricky Lane
Heats: Moldt, Shaffer
Marion Decker Hobby Stocks (20 Laps): JOSH PARKER, Dave Decker, Randy Mathews, Luke Nickles, Rick Sinsabaugh, Tyler Harbst, Chuck Nichols
INEX Bandoleros (10 Laps): DERRICK VOGLER, Chase Sinsabaugh, Kalysta DeMark, Devin Gullo, Joey Allowatt, Reese Faulisi, Michael Bast, Cullen Sharpsteen
Heats: Vogler, Sinsabaugh