Nurmi Dominates Late Model While Street Stock Rivalries Boil
June 30, 2012 - Scott Nurmi, piloting his back-up car, owned the night in Late Model competition at Shangri-La II Motorspeedway on Saturday night claiming a win in the heat race and collecting his first win since July 30, 2011. Tony Hanbury starts scratch on the field and worked his way to the front to claim his second Sportsman Modified win in a row, and third win overall this season. Brandon Ameigh claimed the win in the Pudgies Pizza Four Cylinder Stocks, tying his younger brother Jeff with three wins apiece. Lee Sharpsteen overcame two spins and worked his way to the lead with two laps to go and claimed his fourth Street Stock win of the year.
A driver pulls out his back-up car, wins his heat and dominates the feature. Sounds like a Hollywood movie script, but for Scott Nurmi it was reality on Saturday night at "The Concrete Castle." "I will have my primary car back next week," is what the Lakeview, NY driver kept saying in victory lane where he was joined by his son, Ryan. Nurmi celebrated his first win in a year, but in doing so, he missed a great race. Nurmi started on the outside of the front row, and quickly snatched the lead away from Billy Coyle. The start would have to be re-done, however as Jerry Dineen spun on the opening lap. Restart goes off with the same result. Nurmi bolts into the lead chased by Jim Lamoreaux. By the third lap, Lamoreaux trailed Nurmi by three car lengths and he had defending track champion Joe Brown and Dineen on his back bumper. Dineen took over third position on lap four and put the pressure on Lamoreaux. Nurmi built a three and a half second lead over the field and claimed the checkers. While Nurmi ran away, Lamoreaux, Dineen and Brown separated themselves from Coyle and Josh Lloyd. That threesome ran each other hard. So hard that Coyle overcame a one second deficit to them and made the threesome a foursome with seven laps to go. Lamoreaux, Dineen, Brown and Coyle finished second through fifth and all coming to the line bumper to bumper.
Brandon Ameigh owned the night in the Pudgies Pizza Four Cylinder Stocks, collecting his fourth heat race win and third feature win. Brandon tied his brother, Jeff at three wins apiece and holding on to their family's claim to victory lane. Brandon started on the pole and grabbed the lead from outside front row starter, Frank Morich. The three cars ran single file for the first five laps until caution flew when Jeff Ameigh spun in turn four. The restart bunched everyone up, but Brandon was up to the challenge reclaiming the lead. Jeff overtook Morich in turn two on lap seven. Brandon crossed the line with a ten car length advantage over Jeff. Morich was third.
Two of the track's "Young Guns" started on the front row in Sportsman Modified action. Tyler Rypkema and Zach Curren led the field to the green flag. A spin in turn four before the completion of the first lap reset the field for an original restart. The incident was in the front of the field as it appeared that Tyler Rypkema checked up, Jeff Frisbee was running third, just behind Rypkema. Frisbee hit the brakes and pushed up just enough to send Curren around. Rypkema would claim the lead on the restart and was quickly pursued by John Wilber. Frisbee was running third with Tony Hanbury running fourth after starting scratch on the field. Curren rebounded from the earlier spin and was in fifth. Hanbury moved past Frisbee on lap seven. Chris Finocchario made his first ever start at Shangri-La II and was running seventh at lap seven. Hanbury made a strong pass coming to the completion of lap ten, getting past Wilber and Rypkema in the same pass in turn four and claimed the lead. Caution flew on lap fifteen when slight contact sent Jeff Frisbee on a long spin into the turn two wall. Frisbee was removed from the car complaining of back pain, and was transported to a local hospital for evaluation. Once the track went green once again, Hanbury set the pace. The final caution flew on lap eighteen when Finocchario, Tom Shiner and Rypkema went three wide in turn one. Finocchario spun and restarted at the back of the pack. Curren made his way past Wilber with an inside move in turn one on lap nineteen. Hanbury collected his third win of the season, and his second win in a row. Curren crossed the line in second place but was penalized one spot at the finish for passing too low and making contact in turn one with Wilber in the battle for second place. Wilber was credited with a second place finish, Curren third, Rypkema was fourth and Finocchario completed the top five.
The Street Stocks were the final feature, and like all of the Street Stock features this season, if you looked away for a split second you missed a lot. Gil Sharpsteen and Joe Snell led the field to the green flag. R.J. Zacharias quickly moved into second place and put the pressure on Gil. The first caution of the event flew on lap five when rookie, Guy Somers spun in turn four. On the restart, the caution flew again with Chris Zacharias getting into Lee Sharpsteen turning Lee in front of the field. Their contact involved first time runner at Shangri-La II, Aaron Higgins. The caution flew again on lap six when Lee Sharpsteen spun in turn one following slight contact with Brad Knapp. A stern warning was relayed to the drivers from Head Flagger, Gary Folk, Jr. by Race Director, Jason Waibel. Gil Sharpsteen and R.J. Zacharias ran side by side until R.J took over the lead coming out of turn four on lap seven. The race ran green until Bob Ripley spun to bring out the final caution on lap twenty three. During the green flag run, Lee Sharpsteen and Chris Zacharias moved up through the pack and found each other once again. The pair moved past Jeff Goodwin and Charlie Sharpsteen and continued to race each other hard. Lee Sharpsteen claimed the lead for the first time on lap twenty four on an outside pass on R.J. Zacharias coming off of turn four. The action heated up for the runner-up position with three cars on the move. The checkers flew over Lee Sharpsteen for his fourth win of the year. R.J. Zacharias, Gil Sharpsteen and Chris Zaharias crossed the line three wide for second through fourth place. Jeff Goodwin, the only other Street Stock winner this season, finished fifth.
Concrete Notes: A strong rivalry has developed between Lee Sharpsteen and Chris Zacharias. The two cars inevitably find each other on track, and race each other extremely hard. Jeff Goodwin has often been the "meat" in the middle of this feuding sandwich. Danielle Buchek ran her second Street Stock feature in a McDonald Motorsports entry, and lettered nearly identical to Lee Sharpsteen's car. Brad Smales drove the Al Slavick owned Late Model. Smales has been working with Slavick to bring the car out of its three year hibernation. Zach Curren and his crew finished the repairs to the number 94 Sportsman just three hours before the cars hit the track for practice. Curren was involved in a vicious spin during his heat race on June 16th severely damaging his car.
In six events this season, three divisions have seen only two winners. Street Stocks have had Lee Sharpsteen and Jeff Goodwin as winners. Sportsmen have had Jimmy Zacharias and Tony Hanbury. Pudgies Pizza Four Cylinders have had Brandon and Jeff Ameigh claiming the checkers. Sportsman competitor, John Wilber has claimed four runner-up finishes out of the six events completed. Lee Sharpsteen claimed his eighteenth Street Stock win at Shangri-La II, the most overall wins in a single division. Jimmy Zacharias leads all drivers in overall wins at Shangri-La II with fifteen Sportsman and six Modified wins for a total of twenty one wins.
Up Next at Shangri-La II is Must See Racing Night this Thursday July 5th. The Must See Xtreme Sprint Series will make their first ever start at Shangri-La II. The Vintage Modifieds will also make their first ever appearance at The Concrete Castle. The ultra-competitive Sportsman and Street Stocks will also see action in the program. Pit Gates open at 4:30 pm. Grandstand Gates open and Hot Laps begin at 5:30 pm. Racing gets underway at 7:00 pm. The wristband discount will not be valid for this program.
Late Model Finish (25 Laps)
1.) Scott Nurmi, 2.) Jim Lamoreaux, 3.) Jerry Dineen, 4.) Joe Brown, 5.) Billy Coyle, 6.) Josh Lloyd, 7.) Lorin Arthofer, 8.) Brad Smales
DNS: Dave Schneider
Sportsman Modified Finish (25 Laps)
1.) Tony Hanbury, 2.) John Wilber, 3.) Zach Curren, 4.) Tyler Rypkema, 5.) Chris Finocchario, 6.) Curtis Cowles, 7.) Matt Clemens, 8.) Chris Clemens, 9.) Tom Shiner, 10.) Jeff Frisbee
Street Stock Finish ( 25 Laps)
1.) Lee Sharpsteen, 2.) R.J. Zacharias, 3.) Gil Sharpsteen, 4.) Chris Zacharias, 5.) Jeff Goodwin, 6.) Charlie Sharpsteen, 7.) Joe Snell, 8.) Robert Fink, 9.) Mike Nickels, 10.) Danielle Buchek, 11.) Chris Bennett, 12.) Brad Knapp, 13.) Bob Ripley, 14.) Aaron Higgins, 15.) Chris Conrad, 16.) Guy Somers, 17.) Dusty Snell
DNS: Jake Snell, Jeff Frisbee, Jr.
Pudgies GoodTime Pizza, Pasta and Subs Four Cylinder Stocks (10 Laps)
1.) Brandon Ameigh, 2.) Jeff Ameigh, 3.) Frank Morich
- by Tom Cummings
-Photos by MoJo Photos
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