“Veteran Chemung Racers, Jimmy Zacharias and Charlie Sharpsteen, Get Wins”

By Carol Houssock

(Chemung, NY)  Chemung Speedrome fans witnessed a regular five-division program, and then some, on Friday night. Track management added a pair of races for team mechanics, and they were very well received. Feature winners on Signworks night included Jimmy Zacharias (Sunoco Modifieds), Charlie Sharpsteen (Insinger Performance Super Stocks), Tim Gullo (Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stocks), Greg Moldt (4 Cylinders), Kalysta DeMark (Bandoleros), Kyle Mortimer (4 Cylinder mechanic) and Daltyn Decker (Hobby Stock mechanic).

Charlie Sharpsteen, doing double duty on Friday night, won the heat in his Sunoco Modified and led the first three circuits in their 35-lap feature. That’s when Jimmy Zacharias got around him and took the lead on lap four. The only caution came with six laps complete when point leader Lee Sharpsteen slowed to a stop on the back stretch. He was done for the night. Zacharias won the drag race to turn one with C. Sharpsteen and he was able to build what became a big lead. Sharpsteen then got chased down by Gunnar Zeiner, who got around him for second with four laps remaining. Zacharias rolled to his third consecutive win and fourth overall in five attempts this season. “I’m not always the fastest, but I have to say I guess I have the fastest 35-lap car,” he said following his win. He finished ahead of Zeiner, Sharpsteen and Jody Buckley.

In the Insinger Performance Super Stock division, Charlie Sharpsteen and Tim Gullo won the heat races, and both went on to be major factors in the 25-lap feature. Frank Chapman III led the field off turn two but, three laps in, caution came out. Dennis Beardslee, Jason Duke, Jr. and Chad Lane got together but Gullo joined them at the rear for causing the incident. On the restart DJ Shaw, Duke, Jr. and Brian DeMark got together in turn three. On the second attempt, Nick Robinson powered around Chapman from the outside of row one. He began to pull away, leaving a battle for second between Sharpsteen and Chapman III. Two more cautions slowed the action as Frank Chapman, Jr. and Gullo were then headed toward the front. While working lap 18, Gullo tagged leader Robinson, who spun. Both restarted at the rear, handing the lead to Sharpsteen with eight laps remaining. He went on to win for the first time in several years. “It’s been too long since I had this car here. I’m trying to shake it down, but I couldn’t do any of it without a lot of help,” he told the crowd.

The Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stock division brought about some special memories, including a sweep by Tim Gullo. While the 20-lap feature included five caution periods, watching the Dave Machuga-owned #78 power around the track drew lots of attention. He took the lead from heat winner Dave Decker on lap 12 and never looked back. Decker kept a battle between Kalysta DeMark and Josh Parker behind him. Gullo’s arrival in victory lane was the medicine Machuga needed as he battles poor health. “What do you expect, it’s a Machuga chassis,” Tim said in victory lane. “But the car stalled when we were under the red for that wreck, but at the last minute it started.” Machuga joined him in victory lane and said “we finally got one, huh? And I can’t think of a better driver to have in the car.”

Except for the opening lap, when Matt Jenkins spun in turn three, the 20-lap 4 Cylinder feature ran from start to finish. Dustin Pruyne led the first lap, with Greg Moldt and point leader Nick Robinson in pursuit. Both got around him, leaving Pruyne in a battle with Zack Jaynes for third. Jaynes got around him and began to close the gap separating him for Robinson. With a handful of laps remaining, Jaynes took over second. Moldt picked up his second win of the season, this time over Jaynes, Robinson, Pruyne and Jenkins. Earlier, Moldt won the heat so it was sweep night for him.

The 10-lap Bandolero race included a nice mix of the two ages groups – Outlaws and Bandits. The heats were won by a driver in each group, Kalysta DeMark (Outlaws) and Chase Sinsabaugh (Bandits). Sinsabaugh led early. The race was slowed for three caution periods, and just a lap before the second one DeMark took the top spot away from Sinsabaugh. For the second week in a row, it was point leader DeMark who got the overall win in a car sporting a ‘for sale’ sign as she focuses more on her Hobby Stock ride. Devin Gullo parked his #71 in victory lane as well after finishing second, but best in the Bandit age group.

Race fans were wildly appreciative of the action they saw as mechanics in the 4 Cylinder division raced for five laps. Kyle Mortimer, part of Robinson Racing, drew the pole for the race, and led all five laps. To say he was excited as he exited the car is an understatement. Leading from start to finish did have one challenge, however. “I didn’t have anyone in front of me to follow,” he said as he clutched his trophy.

Mechanics representing the Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stocks then took to the track for their five-lap feature. What made this one special was having promoter, Ray Hodge, out there. As Daltyn Decker took command, Hodge spun coming off turn four. Following his own instructions to other racers, he got the car turned around and kept the race under green. Decker was also excited when he was interviewed following his win.

The tire shortage has resulted in the cancellation of the program scheduled for this Saturday night. Racing will resume on Friday, August 12thre, with a regular five-division program sponsored by Firehouse Subs. Pit gates open at 4 PM, grandstand gate at 5, practice at 6 and racing at 7. Admission is $14 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6-12 and free for kids 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.

Of note:

A lucky fan from Binghamton, NY went home with $350 from the 50/50.

Signworks Night results:

Sunoco Modifieds (35 laps): JIMMY ZACHARIAS, Gunnar Zeiner, Charlie Sharpsteen, Jody Buckley, Lee Sharpsteen, Danielle Sharpsteen

Heat: C. Sharpsteen

Insinger Performance Super Stocks (25 Laps): CHARLIE SHARPSTEEN, Brian DeMark, Chad Lane, Frank Chapman, Jr., Tim Gullo, Nick Robinson, Frank Chapman III, Jason Duke, Sr., Jason Duke, Jr., Mark Taylor, DJ Shaw, Bradley Mister, Derrick Tarbox, Joey Bevacqua, Dennis Beardslee

Heats: Sharpsteen, Gullo

Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stocks (20 Laps): TIM GULLO, Dave Decker, Kalysta DeMark, Josh Parker, Terry Potrzebowski, Tom Shaffer, Johnathan Gunderman, Tyler Harbst, Mike Lattimer, Ethan Roberts, George Nichols, Jr., Doug DeKay, Cullen Sharpsteen, Chuck Nichols, Luke Nickels, Ben Perry, Randy Mathews

Heats: Decker, Gullo

4 Cylinders (20 Laps): GREG MOLDT, Zack Jaynes, Nick Robinson, Dustin Pruyne, Matt Jenkins, Jason Peck, Ricky Lane, Sidnie Decker, Peyton Shaw

Heat: Moldt

Bandoleros (10 Laps): KALYSTA DEMARK (Outlaw), Devin Gullo (Bandit), Dallas Harbst, Joey Allowatt, Michael Bast, Chase Sinsabaugh, Reese Faulisi (DNS)s

Heats: Allowatt, Sinsabaugh

4 Cylinder Mechanics Race: (5 Laps): KYLE MORTIMER, Justin Millard, Jeff Robinson, Jacob Schuster, Jerry Sinsabaugh, Jr.

Hobby Stock Mechanics Race: (5 Laps): DALTYN DECKER, M.R. Taylor, Randy Matew, Tara Gullo, Kyle Lingerfelt, Wyatt DeKay, Ray Hodge, William Chillson

Photos by Clayton Vargeson: Tim Gullo celebrates with legendary car owner Dave Machuga; Jimmy Zacharias grabs win #4 this year; mechanic Kyle Mortimer reacts to his feature win

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