Hirschman Riding the Wave – Wins ROC Tour Event at Shangri-la II; Coyle Ends Winless Streak

August 4, 2013

by Carol Houssock


(Tioga Center, NY)     Shangri-la II Motor Speedway had to postpone by one week their second of three Race of Champions Modified Tour events. That postponement kept some of the top cars away as a few of the competitors were on vacation. Matt Hirschman didn’t take a vacation, even though he said ‘wave riding’ was involved. The all-time leader in ROC race wins grabbed yet another with his methodical driving style. Billy Coyle ended a 5-year winless streak at the Concrete Castle and claimed the Street Stock feature, while Brandon Ameigh went 2-for-2 in the 4 Cylinder


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Matt Hirschman had to work for this one. But a little hard work never hurt anyone, especially a young man who’s on top of his game. The second generation driver from Northampton, PA prevailed in the 75-lap Race of Champions Modified Tour event, the 2nd of 3 this season at Shangri-la II Motor Speedway.

The top 4 finishers from the 3 heat races (Brian Defebo, Daren Scherer and Bobby Holmes) drew for starting positions 1-12. Hirschman wasn’t among them. Tommy Cloce drew the pole and Defebo started beside him. Based on his finishing position in qualifying, Hirschman started 15th.

Defebo got a good run off turn 2 and led the field into turn 3. Cloce had his hands full with Holmes, who took over 2nd early on. On the 19th lap Hirschman made an inside pass on Jim Storace and an outside pass on Austin Kochenash and he was up to 7th. The first caution came out for a tangle involving Matt Kurzejewski, Dean Rypkema and TJ Potrzebowski in turn 3. Top 4 on the restart were Defebo, Holmes, Scherer and Cloce, but 2 laps later the caution came out again when Storace slid into the infield on the back stretch.

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On the lap 22 restart Defebo led the way while Holmes lost 2nd to Scherer. Three laps later Hirschman, who was running 6th, got to the inside of Patrick Emerling’s #07 and the #69 of Cloce and he was up to 4th. While Defebo pulled away from those behind him, Hirschman wasn’t done. On lap 34 he took over 3rd with an inside move on Holmes; 3 laps later he passed Scherer on the outside for 2nd.

Read more: Hirschman Riding the Wave – Wins ROC Tour Event at Shangri-la II; Coyle Ends Winless Streak



July 13, 2013

By Tom Cummings


            The first Shirley Zacharias Memorial event was hosted by the ASA Member Shangri-La II Motorspeedway on Saturday night. Racers and fans turned out to honor and show respect to the late matriarch of a local racing family which, over the course of the past six decades, has become synonymous with pavement racing throughout the northeast. Four generations of the Zacharias family were on hand to greet fans, thank them for their support through difficult times and to pass out items to the fans which were generously donated by a host of contributors as well as hand out over $7,000 in bonus lap money to the racers in the speedway’s three regular divisions. Bill Fitzsimmons claimed his second victory in the MidState Vintage Stock Car Club feature as the club made their annual visit to “The Concrete Castle”. Brandon Ameigh, in just his second start of the season at the track, had the set-up just right to snap the perfect streak of Gene Purvis claiming the win in the Four Cylinder Stocks. Bill Frisbee, Jr brought a new car to the track, and dominated the Pudgies Pizza Street Stock feature leading all thirty laps for his first ever win in any type of motorsports. Current point leader, Chris Zacharias (one of Shirley’s sons) made his way up from an eight place start to finish second. Shirley Zacharias’ grandson, Jimmy, was back behind the wheel of his gold colored Sportsman. He was driven by desire and emotion as he led every lap in the Sportsman feature for his second win of the year. Jimmy’s brother, T.J. finished second after battling “The Duke”, George Kent for the second spot for the first twenty one laps of the thirty lap feature.

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             Overcast skies cleared just before the grandstand gates opened on Saturday night resulting in a beautiful, hot summer night for racing. The first Shirley Zacharias Memorial night was coordinated by Tracy Zacharias Ferris and Jerry Sinsabaugh. Sinsabaugh, the pit steward at Shangri-La II, said “Tonight is all about family and fun. There is something for everybody here tonight”. “We are a racing family” said Tracy Ferris. “The best way to honor Mom is being at the track. We can’t thank those who donated money, prizes and contingency awards enough. We especially want to thank George Swansbrough and Shangri-La II for making this night possible”. An honor which the Zacharias family did not know about was unveiled just prior to the start of the evening’s activities. Track owner George Swansbrough, Sinsabaugh and Jim Zacharias unveiled a banner at the top of the grandstands naming the section as the Shirley Zacharias Memorial section. This is the first time a section of grandstand has been dedicated at the speedway.

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July 5, 2013

By Tom Cummings


            Chris Zacharias utilized a late race caution to get by team mate, Jason Duke, Sr. and claim his third Pudgies Pizza Street Stock feature of the season at the ASA member Shangri-La II Motorspeedway. With the win, Zacharias reclaims the points lead in the division. T.J. Zacharias took the lead entering turn one from his outside pole position and dominated the Sportsman feature for his second win of the year. Gene Purvis continued his undefeated streak in the Four Cylinder Stocks collecting his sixth feature and heat wins.

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            A hot sun filled day turned into a warm and dry summer night as Shangri-La II Motorspeedway celebrated Independence Day, and their fifth anniversary of the opening of the high banked concrete oval. The only mid-week program of the season was part of a massive program shared with Skyview Drags. Monster Trucks and a Motorcycle Stunt Jumper entertained the crowd at Shangri-La II while Jet Cars and Jet Trains thrilled fans up at the IHRA member Drag Strip. A huge fireworks display lit up the sky following the on track activities at both facilities. “We really put together a huge event and had a very large crowd” said George Swansbrough who owns and promotes both facilities. “I think everybody enjoyed themselves. I saw groups of people reuniting, talking, telling stories and enjoying the competition on track at both places. The tracks worked together so the fans could watch the added attractions at both tracks”.

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            Billy Coyle and Jason Duke, Sr. led the field of Pudgies Pizza Street Stocks to Ray Robins’ green flag. Duke quickly snatched the top spot away from Coyle, who was immediately challenged by Charlie Sharpsteen. Chris Zacharias started seventh, and made his way up to fourth by the time the first of two cautions slowed the pace of the race at lap three. The caution flew when Bill Frisbee, Jr spun in turn two. On the restart, Zacharias grabbed third away from Coyle, and began his challenge of Sharpsteen. With Zacharias and Sharpsteen battling for second, Duke escaped to a six car length lead. Once Zacharias got by Sharpsteen, he quickly ran down Duke. Zacharias could not get by his teammate, and it appeared Duke would make his first trip to victory lane at Shangri-La II. The final caution flew on lap nineteen when Coyle spun in turn two following contact with Chris Conrad while the pair battled for fifth place. Zacharias worked the high side on the restart, and claimed the lead for good as he and Duke exited turn four on lap twenty. It was win number three for Zacharias in 2013. Charlie Sharpsteen got by Duke on lap twenty two to finish second. Duke was third followed by Jeff Goodwin and Gary Noe.



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