TJ Potrzebowski Lands Rocketship in Chemung's Sunoco Modified Victory Lane By Carol Houssock (2022-05-17)(Chemung, NY) The 2022 season opener proved worth the wait. Veteran racers demonstrated the value of experience, and a career-first race winner celebrated his victory in the track's newest and growing division. Northeast ATV sponsored the program and some unique trophies that went home with feature winners TJ Potrzebowski (Sunoco Modifieds), Tim Gullo (Insinger Performance Super Stocks), Luke Nickels (Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stocks), Nick Robinson (4 Cylinders), and Kalysta DeMark (INEX Bandoleros). All return to battle this Friday, May 20th.
The 35-lap Sunoco Modified feature got underway with Charlie Sharpsteen leading Gunnar Zeiner. The first of five cautions came out when Zeiner spun, brining Kevin Youngs up to the front row for the restart. TJ Potrzebowski made an incredible three-wide move when racing resumed and ended up leading the race. His nice lead went away just before the halfway point when Kevin spun off turn two. Lee Sharpsteen, who had been on the move, was then up to second and he restated beside Potrzebowski. TJ easily built up another nice lead while Sharpsteen and heat winner Keith Youngs ran together in a battle for second. The fifth caution ended the night for Kevin Youngs who pitted during the yellow for an oil leak. On the final restart Lee Sharpsteen gave it a valiant effort but TJ had the perfect set-up and he stayed out in front over the remaining laps. Potrzebowski got the win over L. Sharpsteen, Zeiner, Keith Youngs and C. Sharpsteen. "This is one of my favorite tracks," Potrzebowski said upon exiting his car. "This new car is a rocket ship and Ray Marshall has it all together." The memorable move to get him the lead came easy to him. "I was comfortable and confident that I could pull that off."
Winning a heat in the Insinger Performance Super Stock division did earn defending track champion, Garrett Zacharias, and Nick Robinson points. But the 12-car inversion had them starting their 25-lap feature from row six. Seth Zacharias and Brandon Mister started on row one but Jason Duke, Jr. went from third to lead lap one over Zacharias. With just one lap in the books, a four-car incident brought out the yellow. A lap later Frank Chapman hit the back stretch wall, sustaining race-ending damage. On the lap four restart Tim Gullo pulled off a beautiful move to put his car in the lead. Robinson and G. Zacharias were also moving forward. At the halfway point, the race was under caution for the eighth time. On every restart Gullo held off Robinson and stayed out front. With six to go G. Zacharias took over second and started to reel in Gullo. He ran out of time, and the win went to veteran racer Gullo. Zacharias finished second, just ahead of Robinson, DJ Shaw and Duke. "My clutch was starting to slip a bit, and with all those restarts I had a little luck tonight," Gullo said from victory lane.
The Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stock division continues to grow in both numbers and excitement. Two heats and an inversion set the field for their 20-lap feature, where Kalysta DeMark and Luke Nickels started on the front row. DeMark led the opening lap before being passed by Nickles. Just two cautions slowed the action but not Nickles. For most of this one he was pursued by defending track champion, Josh Parker, and Randy Mathews. Dan Mathews broke with three laps remaining, setting up a final charge. Nickels held on and scored his career-first race win, something the crowd appreciated. "That was lots of fun, hearing people cheer for me," he said. Regarding that final restart he said that Josh raced him clean like he always has. Randy Mathews was able to finish second, followed by Parker, Tyler Harbst and Mike Lattimer.
"I literally only had to pass one car even though I started eighth," stated 4 Cylinder race winner Nick Robinson. "I survived all the carnage." That carnage resulted from eight caution periods over the course of their 20-lap feature, some for incidents or spins and others due to motor issues. Three cautions in the first four laps slowed any race momentum and had already seen Dustin Pruyne and Zack Jaynes atop the leaderboard. By the fourth lap it was Robinson in the top spot with Pruyne in pursuit. At the halfway point Robinson and Jaynes had a nice lead, cut short by more caution periods. The final restart came with five laps remaining, and the two-way Robinson/Pruyne battle continued from the front row. Robinson prevailed and scored the win over Jaynes, Matt Jenkins, Jason Peck and Joey Bevacqua.
Kalysta DeMark swept the action by winning both the heat race and their caution-free 10-lap feature. The caution-free event began with Michael Bast leading the way. DeMark had the race lead by lap four and, once out in front, pulled away. She left behind a great battle for second between Bast and Chase Sinsabaugh. Last year's Bandit champion, Sinsabaugh, waited until the last minute to overtake Bast. Chemung celebrates both the overall winner and the highest finisher in the other age group, so both DeMark (Outlaw) and Sinsabaugh (Bandit) pulled into Ferrario Auto Victory Lane.
This Friday night Skyworks presents 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.
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 night began with an emotional tribute to Marie Hodge, daughter of Promoter Ray Hodge, who passed away unexpectedly from an arterial dissection at the age of 39. She, along with others lost to the racing family over the off-season, were remembered with a moment of silence. Hodge thanked the track's staff for stepping up in his and Ellen's absence.
The 50/50 from Elmira pocketed $421, enough to fill up his two vehicles and not much else, he said.
Northeast ATV Night Results:
Sunoco Modifieds (35 Laps): TJ POTRZEBOWSKI, Lee Sharpsteen, Gunnar Zeiner, Keith Youngs, Charlie Sharpsteen, Paeyton Arthofer, Kevin Youngs, Danielle Sharpsteen
Heat: Keith Youngs
Insinger Performance Super Stocks (25 Laps): TIM GULLO, Garrett Zacharias, Nick Robinson, DJ Shaw, Jason Duke, Jr., Seth Zacharias, Jody Buckley, Frank Chapman, Jr., Jason Duke, Sr., Aaron Cornell, Bradley Mister, Cody Frantz, Mark Taylor, Joey Bevacqua, Chad Lane, Frank Chapman, Sr.
Heats: G. Zacharias, Robinson
4 Cylinders (20 Laps): NICK ROBINSON, Zack Jaynes, Matt Jenkins, Jason Peck, Joey Bevacqua, Peyton Shaw, Sterling Kepner, Dustin Pruyne, Gene Purvis, Greg Moldt, Ricky Lane
Heats: Robinson, Jaynes
Marion Decker Hobby Stocks (20 Laps): LUKE NICKELS, Randy Mathews, Josh Parker, Tyler Harbst, Mike Lattimer, Cullen Sharpsteen, Kalysta DeMark, Dan Mathews, Chuck Nichols, Fred Mathews, DQ: Tom Shaffer
Heat: D. Mathews
INEX Bandoleros (10 Laps): KALYSTA DEMARK, Chase Sinsabaugh (Bandit winner), Michael Bast, Devin Gullo, Dallas Harbst
Chemung Loses Season Opener, ROC Show Postponed By Carol Houssock (2022-05-06)
(Chemung, NY) Race teams, fans, and track employees were ready to roll on Saturday, May 7th for the 2022 season opener at Chemung Speedrome. Uninvited guest, Mother Nature, spoiled the party, saturated the grounds, and promised more of the same on Saturday. Track officials had no choice but to cancel the event on Friday afternoon.
We're talking with Joe Skotnicki from the ROC to come up with a date that will work and not conflict with the race teams, many of whom race at other tracks or another series, Promoter Ray Hodge stated. We hate to lose an event, but we want our teams to be able to compete and put on a great show for our fans here at the "Drome." That new date will be released once it has been determined.
The opener will now take place on Friday, May 13th on Northeast ATV Night. The track's five regular divisions will now all kick off their season on the same night. The program this Friday now includes the Sunoco Modifieds (35 laps), Insinger Performance Super Stocks (25 laps), Marion Decker Hobby Stocks (20 laps), Four Cylinders (20 laps) and Bandoleros (10 laps).
"Based on two weeks of open practice and private testing, all five championships will be hotly contested this year," Hodge added. Many veteran drivers are returning to mix it up with some rookies. Tony Hanbury (Modifieds), Garrett Zacharias (Super Stocks), Josh Parker (Hobby Stocks) and Greg Moldt (Four Cylinders) and Chase Sinsabaugh (Bandoleros) will return in defense of their 2021 titles, leaving one of the two titles open for a new face this year. Derrick Vogler has moved up to a Super Stock and plans to run closer to home.
Pit gates open this Friday at 4:30 and grandstand opens up at 5:00. Practice gets underway at 6 PM, with the first competitive heat race taking the green at 7 PM. Anyone wanting more information can find it on the track's Facebook page (Chemung Speedrome - Racing at the Drome) or website (chemung-speedrome.com). Or, call the track at 607-483-3468.
Calling All Race Fans - Chemung Speedrome's Big Opener is This Saturday Afternoon! (2022-05-01)(Chemung, NY) They've practiced the past two Saturdays. Now it's for real, and it all starts this Saturday, May 7th at 2:15 PM. The 2022 season opener at Chemung Speedrome is set to go with a big show for the fans. On tap, four of the track's five regular divisions and the season opener for the Race of Champions 2022 Tour. Just a few months ago they capped off their season and crowned Austin Beers as the 21 champion. A good, solid finish at Chemung can set up a team for a successful season.
Their 75-lap feature event isnít the only race on tap this Saturday. Four of the track's regular divisions will also be in competition. They include the Insinger Performance Super Stocks, Marion Decker Agency Hobby Stocks, 4 Cylinders, and INEX Bandoleros. The Sunoco Modifieds get their season rolling on Friday, May 13th.
The track's 2021 champs will look to defend their titles. Garrett Zacharias won his first Super Stock title by a single point last season in what became a dream season for the third-generation racer. He'll be debuting a new car on Saturday afternoon. Josh Parker will likely face a lot of competition this year in the Hobby Stock class, based on the number of new drivers who showed up for the two practice sessions.
Greg Moldt put together another fabulous season a year ago in his stout 4 Cylinder. Some of his tough competitors have moved up while others will likely sit out the season. Heís sure to have a fast car, though. And in the INEX Bandolero division, Derrick Vogler is moving up and will not be defending his title, which opens it up to a field of others.
As previously announced, the track is going silent one week in May, June, July and August. This has been welcomed by race teams facing increases in the costs of tires, race fuel, parts, and all aspects of their operations. In May the off night will be the Friday of Memorial Day weekend (May 27th).
Sam's Bar & Grill in Sayre, PA is again sponsoring the opening day event. The pit gate opens at 11 AM, with the grandstand opening at 12 Noon. Fans can then enjoy practice, which will get underway at 1 PM. Race time is set for 2:15 PM. Admission is $24 for adults, $22 for seniors, $5 for kids ages 6 to 12, and always free for kids ages 5 and under.
Fans and racers can keep up to date at the track's website (chemung-speedrome.com) and on the official Facebook page (Chemung Speedrome - Racing at the Drome). Race teams with questions can contact Ray Hodge at 607-483-3468 or Jerry Sinsabaugh at 607-738-8829.
Chemung Gearing Up for 2022 Season By Carol Houssock (2022-03-28)Track officials are displaying the white flag lap in preparation for the 2022 season at Chemung Speedrome. Teams can test their rides during an open practice to be held on Saturday, April 16th from 3 PM to 7 PM. Admission to the pits is $25 while fans can watch from the grandstand free of charge.
Engines roar to life for competition on Saturday, May 7th when Chemung welcomes the Race of Champions Modified Tour for their season opener. They'll be joined that day by the Insinger Performance Super Stocks, Marion Decker Hobby Stocks, 4 Cylinders and INEX Bandoleros. The Sunoco Modifieds, the track's headline division, will debut in '22 the following weekend when the track moves to its popular Friday night program, on May 13th.
This year the track is running a slightly different schedule. "We have cut back the schedule, with one week off each month," said Promoter Ray Hodge. "Right now we're looking at a 12 race schedule but we could add some races on at the end."
While the track will run fewer races for its regular divisions each month, they'll preserve popular specials from years past. They'll also introduce some exciting new events. "We're adding at least one Powder Puff race and a Mechanic's race," stated Operations Manager Jerry Sinsabaugh. "These were always popular in the past and we're bringing them back. We're also keeping Big Wheel races for the kids, our Fan Appreciation Night, Veterans' Night, and kids' rides in the cars."
Hodge has also added a couple more, new events to the schedule. "In July we'll host the Antique Modified Club as well as the Oswego Limited Super Modifieds. We're really excited to have the Limited Supers here, as they've worked hard to expand their schedule and up their purse," he stated.
The track's newest division, the Marion Decker Hobby Stocks, has grown in popularity and numbers as was the hope. "This year we're looking at a 15 to 20 car field," Hodge stated. Toward the end of the 2021 season the numbers in this division were on the rise, and that trend is continuing.
The business community has stepped up again this year through signage and by sponsoring race nights. Zack's Grill will continue to run the main concession stand, but two other businesses will be present this year. "We'll have Serendipity Ice Cream in our souvenir building, and Coaches Pizza in the pits," Sinsabaugh added.
Two important details remain uncertain. "We're not sure of increases in fuel and tires for competitors, but we'll let everyone know about those prices just as soon as we clarify them," Hodge added. Given the rising costs of everything, however, Chemung will raise the price of general admission by $1 this year.
The track is available for rentals beginning on Friday, April 15th and again on April 23rd. Anyone interested in renting the track should contact either Ray Hodge (607-483-3468) or Jerry Sinsabaugh (607-738-8829) for dates, times, and pricing.
More information is available on the track's Facebook page (Chemung Speedrome – Racing at the Drome), and it will be updated on the website (www.chemung-speedrome.com). "We'll be posting all new prices and the final schedule, in detail, in both places," Hodge explained. Hodge and Sinsabaugh are also available to answer general questions by phone at the numbers provided above.