Bridesmaid No More, Lee Sharpsteen Wins Chemung Sunoco Modified Feature By Carol Houssock

(Chemung, NY)  Week three at Chemung Speedrome included a season-first winner, a pair of repeat winners, an undefeated winner, and a career-first winner. It also offered fans the opportunity to meet and greet the drivers, with cars on the front stretch and drivers ready with goodies and hero cards. Winners included Lee Sharpsteen (Sunoco Modifieds), Garrett Zacharias (Insinger Performance Super Stocks), Doug Dekay (Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stocks), Nick Robinson (4 Cylinders), and Michael Bast (INEX Bandoleros). The track is quiet this Friday night but roars back into action on Friday, June 17th.

Heat winner Keith Youngs, in the #5 car, drew number five for the invert following his heat race win in the Sunoco Modifieds. Pat Judson and Lee Sharpsteen made up the front row and it was Sharpsteen who led the way off turn two. By the fourth lap Zack Curren was knocked on the door trying to take the lead. Youngs, who had won their last feature, was behind Charlie Sharpsteen and eventually got around him. Things got a bit crazy with 25 laps complete. Caution came out for an incident involving C. Sharpsteen and Damon Frutchey. On the restart a three-wide attempt failed, and officials sent L. Sharpsteen, Curren and Youngs to the rear for either causing or stopping during the failure. Another caution, for trouble between L. Sharpsteen and Curren, led to the final restart. Pat Judson had inherited the lead and Bryce Bailey joined him in the front row for the restart. Bailey led the next lap, but Lee was on the move and passed him in turn one for the lap 27 lead. He held on, despite heavy pressure from Curren. Lee had finished second in the first two races this year, but he got the win on this night. "That was a good show for the fans. This is a war machine," he said as he stood in front of the Matt Jilson-owned #17 and surrounded by the entire team. This represented a season-first for the MOB team.

The Zacharias cousins won both heats for the Insinger Performance Super Stocks and when Seth drew number eight it put them in the fourth row for the 25-lap feature. Josh Duke, Jr. powered around Aaron Cornell and took the early lead. DJ Shaw got into Cornell with three laps in, and that brought Jason Duke, Sr. up alongside his son for the restart. Junior prevailed but lost the top spot to Nick Robinson on lap five. Defending track champion Garrett Zacharias was on the move and up to second by lap seven. He and Robinson put some distance between themselves and provided some exciting action, while the Duke's ran together in third and fourth. The second, and final, caution came out when Cornell spun on the back stretch with nine laps remaining. Zacharias got around Robinson on the outside and took over the lead, which he maintained until the checkered flag flew over the #71z. "That was a tough one. I like the way we raced; it was a clean race but I had to bide my time. This thing was rolling," he said following his second feature win in a row.

The Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stock class continues to grow. Heat winner Josh Parker and Dave Decker started beside each other back in the sixth row following a 12-car inversion. The 20-lap race went under yellow just a lap in when pole-sitter Rick Sinsabaugh spun. Early on no one wanted to lead, as Mike Lattimer spun and put Doug Dekay in the top spot for the restart. He had to survive three more restarts, for spins and a flat tire that slowed Tom Shaffer. The caution for Shaffer was the last one and it took away a nice lead Dekay had built. However, he outraced Tyler Harbst and led the way. Harbst gave it a good fight but during the green/white/checkered finish he was unable to make a pass on the determined leader. Dekay, who had never won a race, was a bit speechless in the Ferrario Victory Lane. "I don't know what to say", but he did say thank you to those who support him.

Undefeated, three-peat, hat trick. That's the scenario for Nick Robinson in the track's 4 Cylinder division, where he's doing double-duty this year. Dustin Pruyne won the heat then drew six for the inversion. That put Peyton Shaw and Joey Bevacqua on the front row. Shaw got into Bevacqua on the opening lap, forcing a complete restart. That brought Robinson to the outside of row one and he took off, leaving teammate Zack Jaynes in a battle with Bevacqua for second. He got that spot but broke on the second lap and pulled in for a quick repair. As Robinson approached Jaynes to lap him, Zack tagged the inside wall in turn one and put the race under caution. Robinson chose the outside for his front row restart, and it worked. He went on to win the 20-lap race and has now claimed all three features in the division. "The worst part of that race was watching my teammate wreck," he said from victory lane.

The caution-free Bandolero feature was light in car count but not in action. The invert put Michael Bast on the outside of row one for the start. While pole-sitter Joey Allowatt was the first into turn one, Bast powered around him in turn two for the lead. A lap later heat winner Kalysta DeMark and Chase Sinsabaugh passed Allowatt for second and third. At the halfway point Bast, Sinsabaugh and DeMark were running tight. With two to go it was a battle between the top two and Bast hung on for the Outlaw win. Sinsabaugh, a Bandit, finished second but first among his age group.

On June 17th, the next race night, Just in Time Roofing is sponsoring a full 5-division program of Sunoco Modifieds (35 Laps), Insinger Performance Super Stocks (25 Laps), Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stocks (20 Laps), 4 Cylinders (20 laps), and INEX Bandoleros (10 laps). Pit gates open at 4 PM, grandstand gate at 5, practice at 6 and racing at 7. Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, $5 for kids ages 6-12 and free for kids 5 and under.

Of Note:
The 50/50 winner from Elmira pocketed $360.
Dave Decker celebrated his Hobby Stock win from two weeks ago when the apparent winner was disqualified.
Sunoco Modifieds (35 Laps):  LEE SHARPSTEEN, Zack Curren, Keith Youngs, Bryce Bailey, Charlie Sharpsteen, Pat Judson, Damon Frutchey, Danielle Sharpsteen, Kevin Youngs (DNS)
Heat: Keith Youngs
Insinger Performance Super Stocks (25 Laps):  GARRETT ZACHARIAS, Nick Robinson, Jason Duke, Jr., Jason Duke, Sr., Seth Zacharias, Joey Bevacqua, Chad Lane, JP Harbst, Aaron Cornell, Mark Taylor, DJ Shaw, Bradley Mister
Heats: Seth Zacharias, Garrett Zacharias
Marion Decker Hobby Stocks (20 Laps):  DOUG DEKAY, Tyler Harbst, Kalysta DeMark, Dave Decker, Mike Lattimer, Josh Parker, Cullen Sharpsteen, Luke Nickles, Tom Shaffer, George Nichols, Jr., Randy Mathews, Rick Sinsabaugh
Heats: Parker, Decker
4 Cylinders (20 Laps):  NICK ROBINSON, Joey Bevacqua, Dustin Pruyne, Sidnie Decker, Peyton Shaw, Zack Jaynes, Matt Jenkins (DNS)
Heat: Pruyne
INEX Bandoleros (10 Laps):  MICHAEL BAST, Chase Sinsabaugh (Bandit winner), Kalysta DeMark, Joey Allowatt, Dallas Harbst
Heat: DeMark

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