by Carol Houssock
(Chemung, NY) Officials at Chemung Speedrome successfully gambled once again with the weather so that the regular season could come to an end on the track’s terms. It was Championship Night, sponsored by Flynn Energy, and five titles were decided following the five feature events. Those feature winners included Tony Hanbury (Sunoco Modifieds), Garrett Zacharias (Insinger Performance Super Stocks), Greg Moldt (4 Cylinders), Randy Mathews (Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stocks) and Chase Sinsabaugh (INEX Bandoleros). The 2021 champions include Tony Hanbury (Sunoco Modifieds), Garrett Zacharias (Insinger Performance Super Stocks), Greg Moldt (4 Cylinders), Josh Parker (Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stocks), and both Derrick Vogler and Chase Sinsabaugh (INEX Bandoleros, Outlaws and Bandits, respectively).
The Sunoco Modified championship battle was one for the ages. Tony Hanbury led by four points when he arrived. Zack Curren won the heat and the five points that go along with it, so he entered the 30-lap feature leading by one point. Pole-sitter Charlie Sharpsteen had Curren right beside him for the first five laps. When they touched, Hanbury did a bonsai move and dove underneath both, creating a three-wide situation. It worked for Hanbury who took the lead and never gave it up. He used every bit of his experience to withstand the pressure Curren was applying, and when he crossed the start/finish line on lap 30 he knew that the win paid five more points and it was back to a four-point advantage. Ironically, this is the same kind of situation Curren found himself in back in 2019, when his championship boiled down to a few points and that time it went in his favor by one point. Curren finished second, followed to the line by Lee Sharpsteen, Gunnar Zeiner and Charlie Sharpsteen.
The Insinger Performance Super Stock battle was also one for the ages. Tim Gullo led Garrett Zacharias by four points at the start of the evening. Each won his heat race, so they were still separated by four points at the start of their 25-lap feature. Nick Robinson and Zacharias made up the front row for the start. Zacharias powered his way into turn one and led the field off turn two on the opening lap. Once in front, Zacharias knew if he could win his eighth feature the title would be his regardless of where Gullo finished. Gullo, however, had already fought hard to win his heat race after a come-from-behind penalty. He ran third, right behind Robinson for the bulk of the event. After passing him for second he had little time and no cautions to help his cause. Zacharias scored the win, and the championship by a mere one point. Gullo crossed the stripe second, just ahead of Robinson, Charlie Sharpsteen and Derrick Tarbox.
In last week’s Insinger Performance Super Stock feature the flag – the yellow one – waved repeatedly. The 25-lap race was the fourth and final event in the ServiceMaster SS Challenge Series. Entering the race Cameron Nichols led Tim Gullo in points. In the race, Nichols led the first seven laps, Garrett Zacharias led lap eight, and Nichols had lap nine. A big pile-up occurred on the front stretch just short of the halfway point. Nichols and Gullo restarted from row one. Nichols led lap 12 then Gullo took over and he led until Zacharias got around him on lap 15. Over the remaining 10 laps the caution came out five more times, with the most critical taking place with two laps remaining. It involved Nichols and Gullo, with the latter sustaining heavy damage. Track officials parked Nichols and the series chase for the pair was done. The race, however, was not as Zacharias held on and scored his seventh win. Charlie Sharpsteen, Mike Nichols, Robinson and Dennis Beardslee made up the top five. Cameron Nichols won the Series.
The 4 Cylinder division also ran caution-free in their 20-lap feature, something they had done several times this season. Heat winner Monica Robinson had the early lead before being passed by teammate Greg Moldt. He led the division with feature wins and was driving away to another one. Robinson held on for second, followed by Zack Jaynes, Matt Jenkins, and Joey Bevacqua. Dustin Pruyne won the other heat race. Moldt’s solid year resulted in another championship, which he dedicated to Rick Dillon. His longtime friend passed away the day before, making for an emotional speech. Moldt also claimed another 4 Cylinder championship at Chemung.
The Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stocks put on the best race of the night, and it began as the Dave Decker/Luke Nickels show. At the drop of the green the pair ran side-by-side for the first eight of 20 laps. Randy Mathews, who had won the prior week, got around Nickels and then ran with Decker for five laps. He finally cleared Decker’s #11 and won the race. Decker was second, followed by Tyler Harbst, Nickels and Josh Parker. Parker had an insurmountable point lead so he is the 2021 track champion in this growing division.
Chase Sinsabaugh saved his best for the last points race and put an exclamation point on his INEX Bandolero season. He and fellow Bandit racer Cullen Sharpsteen were in the front row for the 10-lap feature and Sinsabaugh led the way. The Outlaw battle between Derrick Vogler and Kalysta DeMark is the one that captured the most attention. Vogler was trailing DeMark and cleared her #5 with one lap to go. Sinsabaugh won the Bandit championship while Vogler got the Outlaw title.
Track promoter, Ray Hodge, thanked the fans, race teams, officials, and staff for the important role each has in the success of the track and weekly racing. “Stay tuned as we will be announcing plans for a two day show on September 17th and 18th. Setting up to be a great weekend at the ‘Drome,” he said.
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.
The Waverly Volunteer Fire Department brought their ladder truck with them and honored the US Service Members killed in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Heavy rain surrounded Chemung, with most tracks in the twin tiers area cancelling, but it never rained at the Speedrome.
The 50/50 winner took home over $350.
Flynn Energy Night Results:
Sunoco Modifieds (30 Laps): TONY HANBURY, Zack Curren, Lee Sharpsteen, Gunnar Zeiner, Charlie Sharpsteen, Keith Youngs, Pat Judson
2021 Champion: TONY HANBURY
Insinger Performance Super Stocks (25 Laps): GARRETT ZACHARIAS, Tim Gullo, Nick Robinson, Charlie Sharpsteen, Derrick Tarbox, Cody Frantz, DJ Shaw, Evan Rygielski, Jim House, Jason Duke, Jr.,Dennis Beardslee, Mark Taylor, JP Harbst
2021 Champion: GARRETT ZACHARIAS
Insinger Performance Super Stocks (August 20th Official Finish): GARRETT ZACHARIAS, Charlie Sharpsteen, Mike Nichols, Nick Robinson, Dennis Beardslee, Mark Taylor, Jason Duke, Jr., Dave Harbst, Tim Gullo, Cameron Nichols, DJ Shaw, Chad Lane, Lee Sharpsteen, Gil Sharpsteen, Jr., Aaron Cornell
Heats: Zacharias, Gullo
ServiceMaster SS Challenge Series winner: Cameron Nichols
4 Cylinders (20 Laps): GREG MOLDT, Monica Robinson, Zack Jaynes, Matt Jenkins, Joey Bevacqua, Dustin Pruyne, Jason Peck, Ricky Lane, Tom Shaffer
Heats: Robinson, Pruyne
2021 Champion: GREG MOLDT
Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stocks (20 Laps): RANDY MATHEWS, Dave Decker, Tyler Harbst, Luke Nickels, Josh Parker, Doug Deekay, Rick Sinsabaugh, Kalysta DeMark
2021 Champion: JOSH PARKER
INEX Bandoleros (10 Laps): CHASE SINSABAUGH, Derrick Vogler, Kalysta DeMark, Joey Allowatt, Devin Gullo, Cullen Sharpsteen, Reese Faulisi, Michael Bast, Alex Tuttle (DNS)
Heats: Vogler, Bast
2021 Champions: DERRICK VOGLER (Outlaw), CHASE SINSABAUGH (Bandit)