Concrete Kicks Asphalt Notebook: Jimmy Zacharias' Marathon Race Day

Not many drivers race in three top-line classes during a season. Even fewer attempt to race in all three on the same race program. That was the task Jimmy Zacharias set for himself in last Saturday's "Concrete Kicks Asphalt" event at Shangri-La II. He did it with impressive results, leading two of his three features and recording two heats wins. His feature logbook showed a second, a third, and one DNF.

sm_71_jz_32_th_4638Jimmy has been a two-class performer since the Concrete Castle opened last July, driving his father Terry's equipment. In 2009, he was second to uncle Rick Zacharias in the Sportsman points and tied Rick for second in the Modifieds. A couple of weeks ago the Zacharias garage opened its doors to a pair of ASA Late Models purchased from Roland Teed. Both Jimmy and uncle Chris were fast the first time out on Race of Champions day, with Jimmy leading until fuel starvation sent him to the pits. Here' a quick look at Jimmy's long day at the office last Saturday.

Sportsman- Heat win, led laps 4-17 in the feature, finished second to Tony Hanbury.

Late Model- Led laps 12-18, pitted with smoke from under the car.

Modified- After a practice incident with his intended ride, he switched to the gold No. 71 "Mr. Jim  Tribute Car" painted in his grandfather's colors, won his heat, and finished a charging third in the main event.

It's safe to say no one has ever won three features on the same day at either Shangri-La track. That milestone might not be far away.

It's not enough for Dean Rypkema to field the unbeaten Sportsman entry of Tony Hanbury, to assist the rookie Sportsman effort of Bryan Sherwood, and to mentor his daughter Mikayla Rypkema in her rookie season in the Street Stock division. In his spare time at the track, the Owego electrical contractor races his own Modified. Saturday he came up with a career-best second place finish, sandwiched between Rick Zacharias and Jimmy Zacharias.  Ironically, Rypkema and the Zacharias family both played a major role in keeping the original track alive in the early 2000's, setting the stage for George Swansbrough to build Shangri-La II.

J.R. Kent looked much stronger on Saturday than in his previous Shangri-La II appearances, reportedly after fuel system problems were discovered and corrected. He ran third for much of the Sportsman feature before losing the position to Dan Kurzejewski by a bumper. Both Kent and Kurzwjewski are Modified veterans and both were champions at the original track.

OOPS! Department.. The "Quick Results" from Saturday showed no 13th place finisher. We're not superstitious, we just left out Chris Ostrowsky. Apologies to the popular dirt track veteran who was making his second Shangri-La II start. Also Danielle Buchek should have been listed in the results although she did not start due to engine problems in practice.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery and return to competition for Bill Weichert, the Chatham, N.J. driver who has competed several times at the Concrete Castle. Weichert, a regular at Wall Stadium. suffered a heart attack a few weeks ago at work. He is making a satisfactory recovery and plans to be back on the track as soon as he receives medical clearance to race.

A heads-up on big plans for the Fourth of July weekend at Shangri-La II. We're planning a Good Old Boys Reunion and Classic Car Show as part of the racing activities. If you have a classic car to show (street or race car) or if you raced at the original Shangri-La and you would like to be part of the reunion, please e-mail the track This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call Lora Kresge at 607-330-2622.