Zach is Back - Knowlden Wins Chemung Mods After 3-Year Absence by Carol Houssock


Day one of the Chemung Speedrome, Presented by Jim Bronson and Ferrario Auto Team of Sayre, PA, double-header went off without a hitch. On Thursday, it was a certain washout, but the forecast changed overnight and provided a perfect setting for the four-division show. Winners on Skyworks Equipment Rental night included Zach Knowlden (Buckley's Automotive Modifieds), Tim Gullo (Blauvelt Funeral Home Super Stocks), Gene Purvis (Gene's Automotive 4 Cylinders), and Kamden Wheeler (JRC Cleaning Bandoleros).

The headline Buckley's Automotive Modified division got rolling with Lee Sharpsteen and point leader TJ Potrzebowski winning their heat races. Pole-sitter Nick Morich capitalized on that starting spot and led the opening few laps with Jesse Kent in pursuit. On the ninth lap, Kent made a pass for the lead, leaving Morich in a battle with Zach Knowlden for second. A caution on lap 10 shuffled the deck a bit, but Kent held on to his lead. The second, and final, caution came when Sharpsteen tagged Potrzebowski. He pitted but was done for the night. Back up front Kent was holding off Knowlden, with Morich still in third. Jody Buckley and Charlie Sharpsteen were also in the top five. At the halfway point, Knowlden made his race-winning pass and maintained about four car lengths ahead of Kent for the duration.

Knowlden's return to victory lane came after a three-year absence and in just his second race. "This win feels really good. The car wasn't perfect, but it still felt great, and it's good to be back" he said from victory lane. Kent held on for second, ahead of Morich and Buckley.

Veteran racer Tim Gulloís crew has had a busy start this season, but their hard work paid off Friday night with a win in the 25-lap Blauvelt Funeral Home Super Stock feature. Heat winner Bradley Mister led the first two laps but Gulloís powerful #71 drove past him on lap three. Nick Robinson was running second, with heat winner Mike Nichols up to third at the halfway point. The only caution came out when Chad Lane spun in turn four. Ten laps remained, and Gullo never surrendered the lead. Nichols did find his way around Robinson for second, leaving him in a battle with Frank Chapman, Jr. for third. Gullo scored the win over Nichols, Robinson, Chapman, and Brian DeMark. Gullo thanked his crew for their hard work during the first three races this year, all of which has kept him solidly in the championship chase.

Twelve years have passed since Gene Purvis piloted his way around the track in a 4 Cylinder car. He proved to be as strong now as he was then, sweeping the night in Nick Robinson's stout #15. Matt Jenkins and Greg Moldt led early, before Purvis got around both and took over the top spot. As the laps went on in the caution-free 20-lap Geneís Automotive feature, his lead grew and he started to lap cars. Behind him, Jenkins and Moldt ran together, ahead of Jason Peck and heat winner Kyle Mortimer. Purvis got the win over Moldt, Jenkins, Mortimer and Peck. "Nick has given me lots of pointers. I tried to be smooth," he said after his extremely smooth win.

The 8-lap JRC Cleaning Bandolero feature was slowed just once when Leevi Sharpsteen spun in turn four. Throughout the event, the lead swapped several times between Kamden Wheeler and Dallas Harbst. Kamden, who had led the most laps, also led the one that mattered most. She went on to win her second race of the year, followed by Harbst and heat winner Sharpsteen.

The Speedrome is quiet on June 21st but roars back into action on Friday, June 28th. It's a night the youngsters wait for every year, featuring kids race car rides during intermission of the regular five-division program. Pits open at 4:30, grandstand at 5, practice at 6, and racing at 7 PM. Admission is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors ages 65+, $5 for kids ages 6-12, and free for kids ages 5 and under. For information, log on to the trackís website:, "like" us on Facebook: Chemung Speedrome - Racing at the Drome, or call Ray Hodge, Promoter, at 607-483-3468.

Of Note:

A member of the Harbst racing family from Waverly took home the 50/50 proceeds.

Chemung Speedrome í24 apparel (hoodies, t-shirts and hats, along with bumper stickers) are available exclusively at the 07 Collectibles trailer on site.

Skyworks Equipment Rental Night Results: Buckleyís Automotive Modifieds (35 Laps): ZACH KNOWLDEN, Jesse Kent, Nick Morich, Jody Buckley, Lee Sharpsteen, Charlie Sharpsteen, Chase Sinsabaugh, Tom Shaffer, TJ Potrzebowski, JP Harbst
Heats: L. Sharpsteen, Potrzebowski

Blauvelt Funeral Home Super Stocks (25 Laps): TIM GULLO, Mike Nichols, Nick Robinson, Frank Chapman, Jr., Brian DeMark, Frank Chapman III, Charlie Sharpsteen, Abe Romanik, Joe Lane, Bradley Mister, Chad Lane
Heats: Mister, Nichols

Gene's Automotive 4 Cylinders (15 Laps): GENE PURVIS, Greg Moldt, Matt Jenkins, Kyle Mortimer, Jason Peck, Ryan Purvis, Ricky Lane, Chris Deyoe, Ausie Worden, Ron Mainwaring, Herb Green, Joey Bevacqua
Heats: Mortimer, Purvis

JRC Cleaning Bandoleros (8 Laps): KAMDEN WHEELER, Dallas Harbst, Leevi Sharpsteen
Heat: Sharpsteen

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