Luck Was a Lady for Tony Hanbury, Gets Win #4 in Chemung's Sunoco Modifieds by Carol Houssock
(July 11th 2021 Chemung, NY) Track management tossed a coin, it landed on heads to go for it, and the program went on with just a minor interruption for a light shower midway through the evening. Firehouse Subs was on board to sponsor the evening and they brought with them their food truck as well as three pace vehicles. Winners on this special night included Tony Hanbury (Sunoco Modifieds), Tim Gullo (Chemung Speedrome SS Challenge), Garrett Zacharias (Insinger Performance Super Stocks), Greg Moldt (4 Cylinders), Josh Parker (Marion Decker Hobby Stocks), and Derrick Vogler (INEX Bandoleros). All five divisions will be in action this weekend on Fan Appreciation Night, sponsored by Just in Time Roofing & Gutters.
Friday night the familiar phrase ‘sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good’ played out in the Sunoco Modified 40-lap feature. The event was the third in the four-race Buckley’s Automotive B Mod Challenge Series. Tony Hanbury piloted the Noe #1, which got off to a slow start and didn’t appear to be factor for the win. His talent behind the wheel, along with some good racing luck, enabled him to park the car in victory lane for his fourth win of the season.
Teddy Bowen led the initial laps of the feature, followed closely by TJ Potrzebowski. Once he got around and took the lead, Potrzebowski left Bowen to battle it out with Jesse Kent and then Zack Curren for second. Hanbury slowed to a stop 16 laps in. During the caution period his crew performed service and he restarted at the rear. Potrzebowski prevailed over Curren on the restart, with Bowen and Bryan Sherwood behind them.
Over the next ten laps the caution flew on several occasions, most notably when heat winners Curren and Potrzebowski got together, gave up first and second, and handed the race lead back to Bowen. He held onto the lead for another dozen laps. When newcomer Cameron Ruggiero spun in turn four it gave Hanbury the opportunity he needed to take the lead on lap 33, and he took advantage of that chance. Hanbury held on over the final seven laps for the win, his fourth this season, over Bowen, Gunnar Zeiner, Potrzebowski and Ruggiero. “The motor went in my car, and I hope to have it back before the end of the season,” Hanbury stated. “I have to thank Gary for letting me use this car and I’m glad I was in a position to get this win. I also want to thank Jody Buckley for doing this series and putting up the extra money for us.”
The track addressed some unfinished business. Two weeks ago, the 42-lap Ed Bidlack Memorial event was halted 10 laps short of the scheduled distance due to a serious wreck involving Frank Chapman and the track’s curfew. Prior to that it appeared that this one find either Tim Gullo or Nick Robinson celebrating a victory. Cars running at lap 32 were allowed to finish the race first thing on Friday night. This one turned into an amazing battle between a veteran racer and an up-and-coming young gun. Cameron Nichols, the young gun, led with Tim Gullo, the veteran, virtually locked to his rear bumper. A late caution set up a four-lap run to the checkered flag. Gullo took over but his high exits off turn four set up his last-lap maneuver. Gullo stayed low but Nichols went higher than he had the previous laps. Had he run the same line the outcome may have been different. Gullo went on for the win over Nichols, Lee Sharpsteen, Robinson and Evan Rygielski. “This feels pretty good. People have been racing hard and running that way my whole life,” Gullo said from victory lane. This race was the second in the four-race Chemung Speedrome SS Challenge Series.
Garrett Zacharias, Cameron Nichols and Nick Robinson won the three heats for the regularly scheduled 25-lap Insinger Super Stock feature. While Nichols led the way off turn two on the opening lap, it was Nick Robinson who led lap one. Frank Chapman, running fifth at the time, experienced his second consecutive week of terrible luck. As he came off turn four his motor let go and his night was over. Robinson, meanwhile, remained atop the leader board until the lead started to swap between him and Nichols. Robinson led lap 15, Nichols led lap 16, and Robinson led lap 17. While working lap 18, both top cars spun and handed the lead over to 3rd place runner Garrett Zacharias. He held off Lee Sharpsteen on a trio of restarts over the final laps. Zacharias sailed to his fifth win in nine Chemung starts. This time it was Lee Sharpsteen, Tim Gullo, DJ Shaw and Robinson who made up the top five.
Greg Moldt is on a tear. The 4 Cylinder ace picked up his fifth win this season, and fourth in a row, in another caution-free 20-lap feature. Earlier in the evening Moldt had won the division’s heat race. Moldt took the lead from the get-go with a tap to Monica Robinson. She also put a lot of distance between herself and a battle for third. Tom Shaffer had the spot. Zack Jaynes wanted it and took over third on lap 13. Moldt was on cruise control and was the first to cross the finish line. Robinson finished second, ahead of Jaynes, Shaffer and Joey Bevacqua.
The first half of the Marion Decker Hobby Stock feature belonged to Dave Decker. The second half belonged to eventual winner Josh Parker. Once in front he checked out. Decker, meanwhile, went high in turn four and it cost him two positions. Heat winner Tyler Harbst and Randy Mathews went on by. In the closing laps, Harbst took second from Mathews, but he ran out of time to advance any further than second. That was win #6 for Parker and third in a row.
Derrick Vogler earned his 7th win Friday night. The Outlaw driver was joined in victory lane by Michael Bast, who claimed his second win as the top Bandit. Chase Sinsabaugh led the opening lap before Vogler took over and never looked back. Kalysta DeMark ran second for most of the 10-lap race until a caution with two to go changed things drastically for her. Bast got around and finished second overall, with Sinsabaugh, Cullen Sharpsteen and Joey Allowatt rounding out the top five. Vogler and Bast won their heats.
This Friday is Fan Appreciation Night, presented by Just in Time Roofing & Gutters. During intermission, the race cars will be on the front stretch awaiting fans from the grandstand for their annual meet and greet. The racing card includes the Sunoco Modifieds, Insinger Performance 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.
In addition to boosting the purse in the Buckley’s Automotive B Mod Challenge, Jody Buckley put up $200 for the team that traveled the furthest. That bonus went to Gunnar Zeiner, from Bath, PA.
The 50/50 was unclaimed Friday night. The track posted the winning number on its Facebook page, and it was almost immediately claimed by a woman from Montrose, PA. She provided a photo of her half of the ticket and will pick up her $350 in winnings this Friday.
Firehouse Subs Results:
Sunoco Modifieds (Buckley’s Automotive B Mod Challenge, Race #3, 40 Laps): TONY HANBURY, Teddy Bowen, Gunnar Zeiner, TJ Potrzebowski, Cameron Ruggiero, Bill Chandler, Jr., Zack Curren, Jesse Kent, Brian Sherwood, Charlie Sharpsteen (DQ – ride height violation)
Heats: Curren, Potrzebowski
Insinger Performance Super Stocks (Chemung Speedrome SS Challenge, Race #2, 42-Lap Ed Bidlack Memorial): TIM GULLO, Cameron Nichols, Lee Sharpsteen, Nick Robinson, Evan Rygielski, Frank Chapman, JP Harbst, Jason Duke, Jr., Derrick Tarbox, DJ Shaw, Aaron Cornell, Mark Taylor, Russ Bulger, Sr., Mike Nichols, Gary Noe, Garrett Zacharias, Jason Duke, Sr., Brian DeMark, Cody Frantz (DNS)
Insinger Performance Super Stocks (25 Laps): GARRETT ZACHARIAS, Lee Sharpsteen, Tim Gullo, DJ Shaw, Nick Robinson, Evan Rygielski, Jason Duke, Jr., Aaron Cornell, JP Harbst, Cameron Nichols, Mark Taylor, Nick Bevacqua, Bill Frisbie, Jr., Dennis Beardslee, Derrick Tarbox, Cody Frantz, Jason Duke, Sr., Frank Chapman
Heats: Zacharias, Nichols, Robinson
4 Cylinders (20 Laps): GREG MOLDT, Monica Robinson, Zack Jaynes, Tom Shaffer, Joey Bevacqua, Jason Peck, Ricky Lane, Dustin Pruyne (DNS)
Marion Decker Hobby Stocks (20 Laps): JOSH PARKER, Randy Mathews, Tyler Harbst, Dave Decker, Luke Nickels, Mike Bailey (DNS)
INEX Bandoleros (10 Laps): DERRICK VOGLER, Michael Bast, Chase Sinsabaugh, Cullen Sharpsteen, Joey Allowatt, Kalysta DeMark, Reese Faulisi
Heats: Bast, Vogler