Jesse Kent Grabs Second Mod Win at Chemung on Sweeps Night By Carol Houssock
Grab the brooms. It was a night of sweeps at the Speedrome, as all four feature winners also won their heat races. Chemung welcomed the New York Super Stock Series to complete the race card on a beautiful Friday night. Winners included Jesse Kent (Buckley's Automotive Modifieds), Anthony Gullo (Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stocks), Joey Bevacqua (4 Cylinders), and Mike Nichols (NYSS). Chemung returns to action this Saturday, August 19th at 6:30 PM, with a show presented by the Race of Champions.
Jesse Kent (Horseheads, NY) got his sweep in the Buckley's Automotive Modified division after winning both the heat and 30-lap feature. Kent started outside Nick Morich in the front row, and he powered around to take the lead. The race itself went caution-free, which allowed Kent to pull away and build up a comfortable lead. The battles behind him were for second and fourth, involving Morich, point leader Lee Sharpsteen, and the Youngs brothers, Kevin and Keith. At the halfway point, Sharpsteen passed Morich, who also lost third to Kevin Youngs. As the laps clicked off, Sharpsteen tried to reel in Kent, but his lead was sizeable and he cruised to his second win of the season. He had an interesting take on his overall performance this year, after having been absent for a few years. "The car has been really fast for most of the year. I'm finally catching up to it," he said from victory lane. Sharpsteen finished second, with Kevin Youngs, Morich and Keith Youngs posting top-five finishes.
The next sweep came in the Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stock division. Once again, it was Anthony Gullo who took wins in his heat and the 20-lap feature. Point leader and two-time/defending champion Josh Parker and Tom Shaffer won the other heats to set the field. Mike Lattimer started second but led the way for the first three laps. Gene Purvis got around him, leaving Mike Nickels and Gullo in chase mode toward the front. At the halfway point Gullo was right there, and a caution gave him the restart opportunity he capitalized on. Over the remaining nine laps Parker was the show, taking third and then second from Purvis. He ran out of time and had to watch Gullo celebrate his seventh win of the year. Parker, Purvis, Shaffer and Lattimer completed the top five.
Sweep number three belonged to Joey Bevacqua in the 4 Cylinder division. After winning the heat, he started the 20-lap feature from outside the front row and wasted no time leading the way. Greg Moldt, with the most wins in the division, took over the lead on the third lap and pulled away. Kyle Mortimer and Matt Jennings engaged in a close battle for third over the first 15 laps. When Joey Allowatt spun, things changed with the field doubled up for a green/white/checkered restart. Allowatt spun again on lap 19, forcing another attempt to end the race. On both restarts, Moldt chose the outside lane. That proved costly, as Bevacqua regained the lead and protected his position. He got the win, his fourth, over Moldt, Mortimer, Jenkins and Ricky Lane. "Those restarts helped me. I needed the car to cool down," he said.
And then there was sweep number four. The 50-lap NYSS race, sponsored by Ferrario Auto Team of Sayre, had a bit of everything - exciting racing throughout the field, a fire, contact that forced the eventual winner to the rear, drama in the tech barn, debris on the track, and a pair of lengthy clean-ups. But the racing itself was great, with Brian DeMark the early leader. Josh Hunter took over just before Aaron Higgins lit things up, literally, with a fiery oil leak down the front stretch. Nick Robinson and Mike Nichols were gaining on Hunter, and Robinson passed him on lap 14. Contact forced Nichols to pit and restart at the rear. While he worked his way back to the front, it was Jake Christman who got to Robinson first. Following a late-race restart, Christman took the top spot from Robinson, with Nichols passing for second with five to go. Christman, Nichols and Robinson made up the top three. However, in post-race tech Christman was disqualified, and the win went to Mike Nichols. Robinson was second, followed in the rundown by Hunter, DeMark, and Jacob Gustafson. Heat winners included Nichols, Hunter, and Terry Potrzebowski.
This weekend the Race of Champions runs their show, consisting of the 75-lap Rod Spalding Memorial for the Modifieds, the ROC Late Models, and the ROC FOAR Score 4 Cylinders. Pits open at 2 PM, grandstand at 4 PM, and racing starts at 6:30 PM. Grandstand admission is $27 for adults, $25 for seniors 65+ and Military, $15 for kids ages 6 to 11 and free for kids ages 5 and under.
For information on Chemung Speedrome, log on to the trackís website: chemung-speedrome.com, go to Facebook, go to Chemung Speedrome - Racing at the Drome on Facebook, or call Ray Hodge, Promoter, at 607-483-3468.
* Patrick Bowman from Waverly won $607 in the 50/50.
* Young racers with the Southern Tier Microd Club conducted a helmet drive that generated over $631 for their program. Several microds were on display and several youngster were interviewed during intermission.
Buckley's Automotive Modifieds (30 Laps): JESSE KENT, Lee Sharpsteen, Kevin Youngs, Nick Morich, Keith Youngs, Charlie Sharpsteen, Scott Reagan, Jody Buckley
Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stocks (20 Laps): ANTHONY GULLO, Josh Parker, Gene Purvis, Tom Shaffer, Mike Lattimer, Mike Nickels, Brandon Ameigh, Cullen Sharpsteen, Bubba Peters, Sidnie Decker, Luke Nickels, Ray Dann, Dave Decker, Doug DeKay, Ashton Pritchard, George Nichols, Jr., Ben Perry, Ethan Roberts
Heats: Gullo, Parker, Shaffer
Four Cylinders (20 Laps): JOEY BEVACQUA, Greg Moldt, Kyle Mortimer, Matt Jenkins, Ricky Lane, Joey Allowatt, Jason Peck
NY Super Stocks (50 Laps): MIKE NICHOLS, Nick Robinson, Josh Hunter, Brian DeMark, Jacob Gustafson, Charlie Sharpsteen, Aaron Cornell, Frank Chapman, Jr., Abe Romanik, David Bailey, Jason Duke, Sr., Matt Druar, Nate Peckham, Kalysta DeMark, Tim Faro, Bradley Mister, Aaron Higgins, Chris Batorski, Terry Potrzebowski, Jake Christman (DQ - finished 1st)
Heats: Nichols, Hunter, Potrzebowski