Tag Archives: Chemung Speedrome

“Best Modified Race of His Life Puts Zack Knowlden in Chemung’s Victory Lane”

by Carol Houssock” (Chemung, NY) It may have been a little chilly in the grandstand but those who bundled up were treated to some hot racing Friday night at Chemung Speedrome. With the season winding down, some of the division titles are up for grabs and will be decided at the season finale this Friday night (Saturday the 21st is a rain date).

Feature winners on Buckley’s Automotive and Buckley’s Discount Tire and Brake night included Zack Knowlden (Sunoco Modifieds), Mike Nichols (Super Stocks), Joey Bevacqua (4 Cylinders), Kyle Youngs (INEX Legends), Derrick Vogler (Bandolero Bandits.

 A caution-free 40-lap Sunoco Modified feature can easily develop into a yawner. That was not the case Friday night as fans were treated to one fantastic feature and a battle between two determined, but respectful, racers. Charlie Sharpsteen, who has three 2019 feature wins to his credit, won his heat and started third in the feature. Fellow heat race winner Pat Judson led the opening lap from the pole until Sharpsteen got around him. Zack Knowlden and Zach Curren, with six feature wins between them, chased own Sharpsteen and ran nose-to-tail at the halfway point. With ten to go it was a two-man race, with Knowlden looking high then low for a pathway to the lead while Sharpsteen lived up to his reputation as being hard to pass. Hard yes, but not impossible as Knowlden mounted an outside move and cleared the #98 of Sharpsteen and the #4 led the leaderboard on lap 32. Over the final laps Knowlden proved he had the faster car and he pulled away for a very impressive win. Sharpsteen finished second, ahead of Curren, Bryan Sherwood and John Wilber.

“This is the best race I’ve ever run in a Modified,” Knowlden said from the Midstate Basement Authorities Victory Lane. “Charlie is so great to race but I had to be patient and when he went low, I went high and it worked.” Knowlden trailed Curren by just one point when they arrived at the track. Knowlden now has a slight point lead over Curren, and Friday night will result in a track championship for one of them. Mike Nichols has been on a tear, coming off a weekend when he won back-to-back extra-distance features and earned a nice payday for his efforts. Friday night he scored another sweep in the Super Stock division. Ajay Potrzebowski capitalized on his outside pole position start and led the way. The only caution came four laps in but when racing resumed the fans were treated to multiple lead changes between Potrzebowski and Nick Robinson. Lap five Ajay, lap six Nick, lap eight Ajay, lap nine Nick, lap 11 Ajay, lap 12 Nick. Nichols watched all this unfold, as he was right there in third for all of it until he got past both and took over the lead. Once in front he checked out and built a big lead over the final 10 laps of the 25-lap feature. Robinson, meanwhile, lost second to Garrett Zacharias and that’s how they would finish behind winner Nichols. Potrzebowski and Tim Gullo rounded out the top five. Nick Robinson takes a sizeable point lead over Nichols into the season finale. 

Things couldn’t have gone better for rookie Joey Bevacqua on Friday night. He won his heat race, started on the pole for the 20-lap feature, and led almost every lap for a September sweep. The only caution in this one came just a lap into it when Cameron Nichols spun coming off turn four. Point leader Greg Moldt took second from Monica Green on the restart and he shadowed Bevacqua until passing for the lead at the halfway point. Three laps later Bevacqua reclaimed the lead and this time he held on to it. He got his second win of the year and first since the end of May. Moldt was second, followed by Green, Ricky Lane and Mark Taylor. DJ Shaw, who was the point leader coming into the program, had to forego racing the last two weeks due to high school football. While he won’t win the championship, he won the respect of many at the track. 

An anonymous donor put up a $300 bounty on INEX Legends driver Kyle Youngs, who led the division with five feature wins coming in to their 20-lap feature. The bounty was $200 to anyone who could beat him, and $50 each to second and third if they also finished ahead of him. Heat winner Jody Buckley led the first half of the race with Youngs hot on his heels. The only lead change occurred when Youngs passed Buckley for the lead and started to pull away. Buckley then had Gary Ham running close in third. When this one was over it was Kyle Youngs who celebrated his sixth win as he clutched the $200 bounty. “This car has been so strong, the only thing I’ve changed has been the tires,” he said from victory lane. Buckley, Ham, Keith Youngs and Sean Verwys all finished in the top five. 

Derrick Vogler started the 10-lap Bandolero feature last, brought out the only caution when he spun two laps in, and went on to claim the overall win. Chase Sinsabaugh led the first half of the race before losing the lead to Vogler. Sinsabaugh spun with three laps remaining, setting up a restart with 11-time feature winner Josh Duke alongside. Vogler was up to his challenge despite tremendous pressure from Duke on the final lap. He sailed across the finish line for his first overall win, giving bragging nights to the Bandit division. Duke, the Outlaw and heat winner, finished second. Jeffrey Noe was third with Sinsabaugh fourth. 

Championship night is set for this Friday with a regular five-division show.  The Super Stocks will run a Russ Tubbs Memorial 25-lap feature to honor the only driver who lost his life in competition at the Speedrome.

Admission is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors, $5 for kids 5 to 12 and free for kids under 5. Gates open at 5 with racing at 7. Saturday, September 21st is the rain date for this one, with the same times in effect. For information, log on to the track’s website: chemungspeedrome.net, ‘like’ us on Facebook: Chemung Speedrome – Racing at the Drome, or call Ray Hodge, Promoter, at 607-483-3468. 

Of Note:Zack Knowlden, Mike Nichols and Joey Bevacqua won free wings from Buffalo Wild Wings in Horseheads in the ‘Winner Winner Chicken Dinner’ bonus.His 2nd place finish earned Charlie Sharpsteen $25 toward shock dynoing, donated by Eagle One Fabrication and Speed and Down Force Shocks. Each week a random finisher will win this new bonus.Jody Buckley’s grandsons served as honorary starters for two of the features, throwing the green flag to get the races going.Concession stand manager, John Zack, won the 50/50 and shared it with the ticket sellers.Ironically, both Zack Knowlden and Joey Bevacqua earned their first 2019 wins back on May 31st and their second wins Friday night.Buckley’s Automotive and Buckley’s Discount Tire & Brakes

Results: Sunoco Modifieds (40 Laps):  ZACK KNOWLDEN, Charlie Sharpsteen, Zack Curren, Bryan Sherwood, John Wilber, Pat Judson, Gene Sharpsteen, Tim Gullo, Damon Frutchey, Steven Sherwood, Dave Bellis, Scott ReaganHeats: C. Sharpsteen, Judson Super Stocks (25 Laps):  MIKE NICHOLS, Garrett Zacharias, Nick Robinson, Ajay Potrzebowski, Tim Gullo, Jesse Hurley, Frank Chapman, Brian DeMark, Dennis Beardslee, Ed Kelly (DNS)Heats: Nichols, Zacharias 4 Cylinders (20 Laps):  JOEY BEVACQUA, Greg Moldt, Monica Green, Ricky Lane, Mark Taylor, Jason Peck, Alex Brown, Cameron NicholsHeat: Bevacqua INEX Legends(25 Laps):  KYLE YOUNGS, Jody Buckley, Gary Ham, Keith Youngs, Sean Verwys, Raven SchrantzHeat:  Buckley  INEX Bandoleros (10 Laps):  DERRICK VOGLER, Josh Duke (Outlaw winner), Jeffrey Noe, Chase SinsabaughHeat:  Duke 

“Shawn Nye Impressive in Chemung Sportsman Debut, Nichols Pockets Big Cash in Super Stocks”

by Carol Houssock” (Chemung, NY) Two great nights opened the month of September at Chemung Speedrome. Winners on Friday night included Mike Nichols (Super Stocks), Kyle Youngs (INEX Legends), Josh Duke (Bandolero Outlaw) and Derrick Vogler (Bandolero Bandit). Saturday evening winners were Shawn Nye (RoC Sportsman), Mike Nichols (New York Super Stocks) and Nick Robinson (RoC 4 Cylinders). This rare two-day program was possible when several area businesses rallied to boost the payouts and to offer special bonuses on both nights.

 On Friday night the Super Stocks ran a 42-lap race in memory of the late Ed Bidlack. The former Late Model racer at Shangri-la/Tioga passed away earlier in the summer. Gary Noe led early on, before losing the top spot to Mike Nichols on lap 17 restart. Four laps later Nichols collected the halfway bonus of $100 sponsored by Footes Tire and Auto Service. Over the second half of the race Nick Robinson and Garrett Zacharias got up to second and third but the gap between them and Nichols proved too much to overcome. Nichols picked up the win, which an anonymous donor had increased to $1,000. Mike was also in the best position to capitalize on a $600 bonus if he could win Saturday as well. Robinson, Zacharias, Jesse Hurley and Tim Gullo all posted top five finishes. 

The 25-lap INEX Legends national qualifier got underway with Jody Buckley on the point. Kyle Youngs ran right behind him with Gary Ham in third. The race had a lengthy caution when Raven Schrantz spilled oil in the turn three area. While the track crew cleaned up that mess an even greater mess occurred. Charlie Lohmeyer’s #5L went up in smoke in turn one while under caution but he stayed on the track and put oil down from there all the way to turn four. The race resumed, however it was slowed two more times for two-car spins. The first involved the #4 of Kyle Youngs, who restarted at the rear and quickly took over the race lead. Youngs held on and scored the win over Gary Ham, Jody Buckley, Sean Verwys and Anthony Gullo.

 Josh Duke was Josh does in the INEX Bandolero division and that’s win. The track’s record-holder for season wins, now at 11, made it look easy in the 10-lap national qualifier. Derrick Vogler finished second, followed to the line by Chase Sinsabaugh, Jeffrey Noe and Nolan Baker. Four cars pulled in to victory lane – Duke and Vogler for the Outlaw and Bandit wins, Sinsabaugh and Noe for capturing the Bandit and Outlaw national qualifiers. 

Saturday brought the New York Super Stocks and two of the Race of Champions asphalt divisions, Sportsman and 4 Cylinders, together for a full evening of racing. When you pull in to a track for the first time you wish for the best. Lancaster, NY’s Shawn Nye got his wish when he won his heat race, drew the pole for the 75-lap feature, and then led every lap for the big win. In the early going he faced a tough challenge from Charlie Sharpsteen, who lost second to Tyler Rypkema. Nye saw a nice lead almost evaporate when he caught some lap cars at the lap 30 mark. The race itself was slowed for seven cautions. Each time, Rypkema tried to outrun Nye but was unable to do so. The final caution came with five laps to go. Nye prevailed yet again and took the checkered flag over Tony Hanbury, who nipped Rypkema for second coming off turn four on the final lap. Joe Evans and Sharpsteen rounded out the top five. 

The New York Super Stocks made their third, and final, appearance at Chemung this year. Luck of the draw put Mike Nichols on the outside of row one for the start of the 50-lap feature. It took him just a dozen laps to take over the lead. From that point on he had to survive several restarts following cautions. Early on it was Andy Cryan lined up beside him, while later in the event Zack Willis passed him and it was he who moved into second and alongside Nichols. This one boiled down to a green/white/checkered finish with Nick Robinson and Frank Chapman lined up behind Nichols and Willis. Nichols powered around the track those final two laps, knowing a $600 bonus was his if he could win both Friday and Saturday. He did, and he earned another $1,000-to-win feature plus the bonus money. Robinson was second, followed by Garrett Zacharias, Jesse Hurley and Tim Gullo.

 Nick Robinson did double duty on Saturday, running both the Super Stock and 4 Cylinder features. He had the lead early on while Greg Moldt charged toward the front from his ninth starting position. Moldt took over the lead briefly when Robinson attempted to shift on a restart and fell back four spots, which he reclaimed in two laps. At the halfway point Robinson got around Moldt and led the way once again. Moldt was stuck like glue but could not find an opening or muster a run on the top side. That’s how it ended, with Robinson in victory lane, Moldt second, Bob Bogner third, Kenny Hejna fourth and Jason Anasiewicz fifth. 

A regular five-division show, to replace a July rainout, is scheduled for Friday night. Admission is $13 for adults, $11 for seniors, $5 for kids 5 to 12 and free for kids under 5. Gates open at 5 with racing at 7. For information, log on to the track’s website: chemungspeedrome.net, ‘like’ us on Facebook: Chemung Speedrome – Racing at the Drome, or call Ray Hodge, Promoter, at 607-483-3468. 

Of Note:The track held a moment of silence to remember Don Toal, who passed away earlier in the day. Both the NYSS and RoC honored him with a missing pole position car during their parade laps. Toal, an RoC Hall of Famer and 50-year employee at Spencer Speedway, was a friend to everyone in racing.Jason Duke, who arrives at the track with a pair of Bandoleros for his son Josh, loaned his spare motor to the Sinsabaugh’s so that Chase could run the race. He went on to win the national qualifying spot for the Bandits.Ed Bidlack’s step-daughter, Danielle, was on hand for the trophy presentation Friday night. She also gave race winner Mike Nichols a framed photo of Ed in Victory Lane at Shangri-la Speedway.

A race fan from Elmira, NY won the season’s largest 50/50 pot on Saturday night.Gary Ham led the Legends feature at the halfway point to earn a $100 bonus from Chemung Softwater and owner John Bacon.Track management thanks Valley Collision and Auto, Ferrario Auto Team, Buckley’s Automotive, Buckley’s Discount Tire and Brakes, Goodwin Automotive, Wilber Auto Sales, AMP Contracting, Bobby Osgood Auto Sales, Premier Landscaping, Serendipity Ice Cream, and Ed’s Heads Portable Toilets for stepping up and making the two-day show possible.

Results (Friday): Super Stocks (42 Laps):  MIKE NICHOLS, Nick Robinson, Garrett Zacharias, Jesse Hurley, Tim Gullo, Frank Chapman, Jim House, Joel Gleason, Derrick Tarbox, JP Harbst, Lee Sharpsteen, Ron Underwood, Gary Noe, Brian DeMark, Gil Sharpsteen, Ajay Potrzebowski, James Stanley, Don Archibald, Nate PeckhamHeats:  Nichols, Noe, Hurley 

INEX Legends(25 Laps):  KYLE YOUNGS, Gary Ham, Jody Buckley, Sean Verwys, Anthony Gullo, James Anderson, Charlie Lohmeyer, Raven SchrantzHeats:  Ham, Youngs 

 INEX Bandoleros (10 Laps):  JOSH DUKE, Derrick Vogler, Chase Sinsabaugh, Jeffrey Noe, Nolan Baker, Aiden Gardner, Nial Gardner, Isaiah Anderson, Nial GardnerNational Qualifiers: Chase Sinsabaugh, Jeffrey NoeHeats:  Vogler, Duke 

Results (Saturday):Race of Champions Asphalt Modifieds (75 Laps):  SHAWN NYE, Tony Hanbury, Tyler Rypkema, Joe Evans, Charlie Sharpsteen, Rusty Smith, Gary Noe, Zack Knowlden, Connor Sellars, John Wilber, Cassie Logsdon, Dave Bellis, David Koslowski, Zack Curren, Eddie Hawkins, Daryl Lewis, Jr., Pat Judson, Tim Gullo, Andy LewisHeats: Nye, Smith, Sharpsteen

 New York Super Stocks (50 Laps – top 10):  MIKE NICHOLS, Nick Robinson, Garrett Zacharias, Jesse Hurley, Tim Gullo, Frank Chapman, Jim House, Joel Gleason, Derrick Tarbox, Lee Sharpsteen 

Race of Champions 4 Cylinders (25 Laps):  NICK ROBINSON, Greg Moldt, Bob Bogner, Kenny Hejna, Jason Anasiewicz, Jacob Gustafson, Nick Bevacqua, Dan Dressel, Josh Schosek, DJ Shaw, Bob Palmer, Alex Brown, Joey Bevacqua, Mark Taylor, Adam Killingbeck, John Byrd, M.R. Taylor, Mike Nichols, Tyler Harbst, Stan MathewsHeats: Gustafson, Hejna, Moldt

Curren Again in Chemung Sunoco Modifieds, Career-First in Super Stocks for Garrett Zacharias

by Carol Houssock” (Chemung, NY) It was a night of repeat winners at Chemung, with one notable exception. Fans have watched Garrett Zacharias grow from a dominating factor in the Bandolero division to a talented rookie in the Super Stock class. Friday night he earned his career-first win in a full-bodied car and the crowd was with him every step of the way. Friday night winners included Zack Curren (Sunoco Modifieds), Garrett Zacharias (Super Stocks), DJ Shaw (4 Cylinders), Kyle Youngs (INEX Legends), and both Josh Duke (Outlaw) and Chase Sinsabaugh (Bandit) in the INEX Bandoleros. Finishes for the Sunoco Modifieds and Super Stocks are unofficial until Monday. 

Members of the ‘Z Pack’, Zack Curren, Zack Knowlde, and Zane Zeiner, have been on a tear in the Sunoco Modified division in recent weeks. Friday night Curren was searching for his fifth consecutive win, Knowlden was looking for his second, and Zeiner hoped his first win this year was imminent. Add in Charlie Sharpsteen, looking for his fourth, and you have the bulk of the feature winners going at it again. Sharpsteen and Tim Gullo won the two heats, while Gene Sharpsteen had the pole for the 40-lap feature and led the first three laps. Charlie took over on a lap four restart and started to pull away. When John Wilber spun it bunched up the field and brought Zeiner up to the outside of the front row for the restart. Zeiner took the lead on that restart with Curren and Knowlden inching closer to C. Sharpsteen. Curren took over second with a dozen laps remaining and started to reel in Zeiner. When Keith Youngs spun with five to go it set up and opportunity for Curren, who prevailed on the second attempt to resume the race. Once in front he was untouchable once again and held off Zeiner at the stripe for the win. Knowlden was third, followed by C. Sharpsteen and Gullo. “I had no clue early on that we’d have five in a row, but we don’t come here to finish anywhere else,” Curren said. He also gave props to Zeiner. “It’s great running with someone like him, who runs you clean.” The two Zachary’s are taking this one the distance, as Curren now leads Knowlden by just four points.

 Nick Robinson and Ajay Potrzebowski got things going in the Super Stock division by winning the two heat races. Handicapping put Garrett Zacharias on the pole for the 25-lap feature. On the opening lap Potrzebowski powered his way into turn three and got into Frank Chapman, bringing out the only caution. The restart again had Zacharias and Jesse Hurley on the front row and Garrett’s #71 led the way. It was a lead he never surrendered, leaving behind a battle for second involving Jim House, Robinson and Mike Nichols, all of whom passed Hurley. By lap 10 Robinson and Nichols were second and third while Zacharias was off in the distance. Over the final half of the race Robinson closed the gap a bit but he ran out of time. Zacharias was consistent and smooth and held on for the very popular win. “Woo”, he yelled to the crowd after jumping down from the hood. “I never thought I’d win this year but wow, this is amazing.” He went on to thank his family, crew, motor man and sponsors for their help. Point leader Robinson, Nichols, House and Chapman finished in the top five. 

In 4 Cylinder action rookie DJ Shaw and veteran Greg Moldt, who had a combined half dozen feature wins, won their respective heats. Moldt came into the night leading the points and then won his heat. Things changed as the field worked lap two in their 20-lap feature when Mark Taylor got into him and Moldt hit the wall in turn four. That ended his night and his point lead, as Shaw went on to score his third win of the year. He took the lead from Monica Green on the lap two restart and never looked back. Green tried to stay with him but the gap between them widened as the laps clicked off. When it was over it was Shaw who celebrated the win over Green, Joey Bevacqua, Ricky Lane and Ben Perry. Shaw now leads Moldt by four points. 

Kyle Youngs won the 20-lap INEX Legends feature, but it was Chuck Lohmeyer who won everyone’s concern Friday night. After leading lap one and falling to second, he came off turn four and slammed the front stretch wall on the driver’s side. Fortunately, he was ok but the #89 was towed to the pits. The race resumed with Jody Buckley and point leader Gary Ham in row one. Ham prevailed but lost the lead on lap six to Youngs. Once in front he checked out. With 14 laps in, James Anderson’s motor let go and set up a restart. Youngs maintained his lead and sailed across the finish line to record his fifth win of the year. Heat winner Ham, was second, followed by Buckley, Chris Chilson and Charlie Lohmeyer. 

The 10-lap INEX Bandolero feature resulted in victory lane interview with the leaders in the Outlaw and Bandit divisions once again. Each had also previously won his heat race. Josh Duke used the outside lane to power around and take the lead. A caution three laps into the event didn’t deter Duke or Sinsabaugh, who picked up where they had been and led through lap 10. For Duke it represented win #10 this year, with Sinsabaugh celebrating his sixth division win. Derrick Vogler was third, followed by Jeffrey Noe and Nolan Baker. 

The Classic Asphalt Modified Series rolled into Chemung for a heat and feature. Terry Wilson’s Pinto won the heat, but he broke in the 10-lap feature. Local racer Bob “Rip” Ripley parked his Geoff Bodine lookalike Valiant in Victory Lane after beating Tim Janes, Tom Guiler, Shiloh James and Willie Miller. 

The schedule all season has had Chemung idle this Friday night due to the Classic at Oswego. Racing will resume with a two-day event on Friday, September 6th and Saturday, September 7th. The Friday lineup includes a 42-lap event for the Super Stocks, in memory of Ed Bidlack. Also on the card are National Qualifiers for the INEX Legends (30 Laps) and INEX Bandolero (20 Laps) divisions.

Admission is just $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and free for kids ages 12 and under. Gates open at 5 with racing at 7. On Saturday the 7th Chemung welcomes two touring series’ on the same day. That one includes the RoC Sportsman Modifieds (75 Laps), RoC 4 Cylinders (25 Laps) and the New York Super Stocks (50 Laps). Gates on that Saturday will open at 3 with racing at 5 PM. Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and free for kids ages 12 and under. For information, log on to the track’s website: chemungspeedrome.net, ‘like’ us on Facebook: Chemung Speedrome – Racing at the Drome, or call Ray Hodge, Promoter, at 607-483-3468. 

Of Note:His 3rd place finish earned Zack Knowlden $25 toward shock dynoing, donated by Eagle One Fabrication and Speed and Down Force Shocks. Each week a random finisher will win this new bonus.Zack Curren, Garrett Zacharias and DJ Shaw won free wings from Buffalo Wild Wings in Horseheads, NY in the “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner” bonus.The pace vehicle driver from Ferrario Auto Team won the 50/50.With Zack Curren’s fifth consecutive win, his Uncle will again offer $.94 hot dogs in the concession stand at our next event on Friday, September 6th.

Results: 

Sunoco Modifieds (40 Laps – Unofficial):  ZACK CURREN, Zane Zeiner, Zack Knowlden, Charlie Sharpsteen, Tim Gullo, Bryan Sherwood, Gene Sharpsteen, John Wilber, Keith Youngs, Steven Sherwood, Pat JudsonHeats:  Gullo, C. Sharpsteen 

Super Stocks (25 Laps – Unofficial):  GARRETT ZACHARIAS, Nick Robinson, Mike Nichols, Jim House, Frank Chapman, Jesse Hurley, Dennis Beardslee, Dave Harbst, Jason Duke, Ajay Potrzebowski, Brian DeMark (DNS)Heats:  Robinson, Potrzebowski 

4 Cylinders (20 Laps):  DJ SHAW, Monica Green, Joey Bevacqua, Ricky Lane, Ben Perry, Jason Peck, Alex Brown, Mark Taylor, Ken Evans, Jr., Brett Bourdette, Shannon Raezer, Greg Moldt, Shane McCormickHeats:  Shaw, MoldtINEX

Legends(20 Laps):  KYLE YOUNGS, Gary Ham, Jody Buckley, Chris Chilson, Charlie Lohmeyer, Mark Taylor, James Anderson, Chuck LohmeyerHeat:  Ham Carpenter’s

KARTS INEX Bandoleros (10 Laps):  JOSH DUKE, Chase Sinsabaugh (Bandit winner), Derrick Vogler, Jeffrey Noe, Nolan Baker, Isaiah Anderson, Aiden Gardner, Nial GardnerHeats:  Sinsabaugh,

Duke Classic Asphalt Modifieds (10 Laps): BOB ‘RIP’ RIPLEY, Tim Janes, Tom Guiler, Shiloh Janes, Willie Miller, Terry WilsonHeat: Wilson