TJ Potrzebowski Holds Off Zack Curren For 2nd Chemung Sunoco Modified Win by Carol Houssock(June 27th 2021 Chemung, NY) It was one of those nights when things were going along pretty smoothly and then everyone spotted the strawberry moon rising in the eastern sky. It was at that point that everything changed and what had been a great night of racing turned in the other direction. Drivers who had a great night included feature winners TJ Potrzebowski (Sunoco Modifieds), Greg Moldt (4 Cylinders), Josh Parker (Marion Decker Hobby Stocks), and Derrick Vogler (INEX Bandoleros). The 42-lap Ed Bidlack Memorial, race #2 in the Valley Auto & Collision Super Stock Challenge, came 10 laps short of completion and will be finished when racing resumes at Chemung on Friday, July 9th.
“There wasn’t much on the outside, but it stuck when I needed it,” said TJ Potrzebowski following his second win this season in the Sunoco Modified division. It was a sweep for the “Piranha” who, along with Zack Curren, won the heat races.
The 40-lap feature got underway with pole-sitter Teddy Bowen out in front for two laps. Curren passed him and started to pull away from the field. Tony Hanbury and Jimmy Zacharias were in chase mode, trying to reel him in. They had a chance on a lap 29 restart. Curren held on to his lead while Potrzebowski moved to third. With 10 to go it appeared the Curren could win the race. What he didn’t need, but got, was the second caution with seven laps remaining. Curren and Potrzebowski lined up side-by-side on the front row, and it was Potrzebowski who used the outside to power around and lead lap 34. From then on, he was on a mission that he accomplished when lap 40 clicked off. Curren had to settle for second in this one. Pat Judson was flawless and had his best finish, third, this year. Zacharias and Bowen rounded out the top five.
The Insinger Performance Super Stocks set out to run race #2 in the Valley Auto & Collision SS Challenge. The race was nearing completion, but several incidents occurred that kept the red flag out for an extended period. Promoter Ray Hodge issued a statement Saturday morning. “Due to the turn two accident and being past track curfew, the 42-lap Ed Bidlack Memorial race was stopped on lap 32 of 42. The sponsor of the race, Valley Collision & Auto Body have stepped up to give us this great 4-race series and we want to run these 4 races to completion. The Bidlack family also deserves to see a 42-lap memorial. With that said, the race is not over. The final 10 laps of that race will be run and decided on the track, not by us. The fans deserve it as much as the sponsor and drivers. On Friday night July 9th, the final 10 laps of the race will be run as the first race of the night. Only the cars running at the time we stopped the race will be allowed to run. We will start the race according to the lap 32 restart and run 10 laps to the checkered. We feel strongly that this is the right thing to do to give everyone what they paid for.”
The accident referred to in Hodge’s statement took place in turn two and resulted in an ambulance ride for Frank Chapman. He was hit hard by a lapped car that had not slowed down in time to avoid the cars involved in the tangle. As of Saturday morning, Chapman reports that he is ok but feels today like he went 10 rounds with a professional boxer last night.
The track’s 4 Cylinder division provided some pure, down to the last drop, excitement in their 20-lap feature. While run caution-free again, this one was not free of thrilling moments. Joey Bevacqua led early before losing the top spot to Greg Moldt. By lap five the lead had switched over to Bob Palmer, who had Moldt literally glued to his rear bumper. The two pulled away from Zack Jaynes and a battle for fourth between Bevacqua and Monica Robinson. She won that battle and began to reel in Jaynes, who held third. As the leaders circled the track for the final times it was Moldt who led off turn two but Palmer who led coming off four. Moldt gave it all he had on the final lap, gambled a bit in turn four, and beat Palmer to the checkered flag. “Bob Palmer is a great racer and we raced clean, it was a good win for us,” Moldt stated. Jaynes was third, followed by Robinson and Bevacqua.
Josh Parker scored his fifth win in the Marion Decker Hobby Stock division by proving you never give up until it’s over. Early on it was Dave Decker who led, he and swapped the lead once with Parker before reclaiming position number one. With five laps to go it looked as though Dave might win this one and celebrate with his division-sponsoring wife in victory lane. It wasn’t to be as Parker got by him on lap 18 of 20. From there he held on for the win, followed to the line by Tyler Harbst, Randy Mathews, Decker and Cliff Miller. “Dave ran a fantastic race, but I had a chance to pass him late and took it,” Parker stated.
The 10-lap INEX Bandolero feature was slowed by four caution periods, the first of which ended the night for heat winner Devin Gullo. Kalysta DeMark took the lead from Cullen Sharpsteen and held it for just a lap when Derrick Vogler charged to the top of the leaderboard. Once in front he built up a nice lead, only to lose it when caution came out and set up a green/white/checkered finish. DeMark stayed with him but watched Vogler take his seventh win in eight races. She had to settle for second in this one. Chase Sinsabaugh’s third place finish was best among the Bandit age group. Sharpsteen and Reese Faulisi completed the top five.
Racing returns Friday, July 9th on First Responders Night. Anyone showing an ID card or license as a First Responder will be admitted for $5. The program includes race #3 in the Buckley’s Automotive B Mod Challenge (40 laps), along with the Insinger Super Stocks, 4 Cylinders, Marion Decker Hobby Stocks and the INEX Bandoleros. Pit gates open at 4 PM, grandstand gate at 5, practice at 6 and racing at 7. Admission is $13 for adults, $10 for seniors, $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.
The 50/50 winner from Elmira, NY left with $466. Get that man a lottery ticket, as he also won the 50/50 three weeks prior.
Coaches Pizza in Waverly, NY provided a $50 bonus to the driver who drew the pole position. Makenzie Hanbury drew #1 for Gary Noe, who handed her the $50 bill.
Ed and Lia Brown Converters provided a $100 bonus to the drivers finishing first and second in their feature. TJ Potrzebowski and Zack Curren pocketed those bonuses.
Sunoco Modifieds (40 Laps): TJ POTRZEBOWSKI, Zack Curren, Pat Judson, Jimmy Zacharias, Teddy Bowen, Bill Chandler, Jr., Bryan Sherwood, Gunnar Zeiner, Tony Hanbury, Charlie Sharpsteen
Heats: Potrzebowski, Curren
Insinger Performance Super Stocks: Final 10 laps of the 42-lap feature to be completed July 9th
Heats: Lee Sharpsteen, Tim Gullo, Mike Nichols
4 Cylinders (20 Laps): GREG MOLDT, Bob Palmer, Zack Jaynes, Monica Robinson, Joey Bevacqua, Tom Shaffer, Russ Bulger, Jr., Matt Jenkins, Jason Peck, Dustin Pruyne, Alex Spencek, Ricky Lane
Heats: Moldt, Robinson
Marion Decker Hobby Stocks (20 Laps): JOSH PARKER, Tyler Harbst, Randy Mathews, Dave Decker, Cliff Miller, Mike Bailey, Chuck Nichols, Luke Nickels
Heats: Parker, Harbst
INEX Bandoleros (10 Laps): DERRICK VOGLER, Kalysta DeMark, Chase Sinsabaugh, Cullen Sharpsteen, Reese Faulisi, Joey Allowatt, Devin Gullo
Heats: Vogler, Gullo