June 1 - Saturday Night Shootout Wins for Zacharias' & Purvis
June 1, 2013 - Sometimes you get your wish - just ask TJ Zacharias, winner of the 25-lap Sportsman Modified feature at Shangri-la II Motor Speedway on Saturday night. TJ's uncle, Chris Zacharias, also tasted victory in the Street Stocks and celebrated in unusual fashion, while Gene Purvis continues his domination in the 4 Cylinder division.
TJ Zacharias and Tony Hanbury got things going in the Sportsman Modified division by winning their respective heat races. After the feature, however, one experienced joy and the other disappointment.
Zacharias, the first to draw for position, got the pole and Mikayla Rypkema drew the 2nd best starting spot. Zacharias led the way while Paul Johnson, John Wilber and Hanbury all got around Rypkema and broke away early. While working lap 8, Johnson lost the handle unassisted coming off turn 4. He collected Hanbury and they ended up against the wall near the start/finish line. Tyler Rypkema had nowhere to go and he ended up an innocent victim of the mishap. Tom Shiner spun to avoid the trio and landed backwards in Victory Lane. Hanbury and Rypkema were done for the night.
Racing resumed with John Wilber next to Zacharias for the restart. Just a week ago fans watched TJ's brother, Jimmy, go lap after lap in a clean battle with Wilber. This time it was TJ's turn, and he also kept Wilber at bay while running side-by-side for several laps. Wilber found an opening on the 17th lap and took over the top spot. Once in front he built his lead from 1 car length to about 6.
It appeared that Wilber would score his 2nd consecutive feature win. Fate – or possibly something else – then took over. Wilber sustained a mechanical failure and spun in his own fluid in turn 3 of the 23rd lap. That caution put the lead back in TJ's capable hands, and he held off Johnson over those final 3 laps to notch his first win of the '13 season over Johnson. Mikayla Rypkema got a career-best 3rd place finish, followed by Randy Brokaw and Matt Clemens.
"When we were coming around to get 2 to go, I was wishing John would have a mechanical problem," TJ said from Victory Lane. "Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for me, it happened." TJ thanked his parents, grandfather, and the whole crew for their efforts. "Tonight is a whole lot better for us than it was last night."
Pudgies Pizza Street Stock
Following the Pudgies Pizza Street Stock feature Chris Zacharias treated the fans to a most unusual Victory Lane celebration. Earlier, Jake Snell and Jeff Goodwin got things going by winning the 2 heat races.
Robert Fink and Joe Snell started on the front row and Fink had the early lead. Behind him Snell was engaged in a battle for 2nd with Jason Duke, and behind them Jeff Goodwin and Chris Zacharias were running together for 4th. As the Goodwin/Zacharias duo approached Duke's #13, Zacharias saw a slight opening and went for it. With that move he was up to 2nd and he started reeling in the leader.
On the 9th lap Zacharias had his car on the outside of Fink's #78. He took over the lead and left Fink to do battle with Goodwin for 2nd. The drivers raced for 22 laps before seeing yellow, a caution period that would see Goodwin give up 3rd and head to the pits for service. Nick Robinson spun on the restart and the field made its 2nd attempt to finish the final 3 laps. That restart worked, as did Zacharias in keeping Fink behind him.
Over the final laps Jake Snell used the outside lane to get around Fink. Others followed and he lost several positions. Zacharias picked up his 2nd consecutive feature win, followed by Jake Snell, Joe Snell, Glenn Lippolis and Duke. Officials assessed a 1-spot penalty on Goodwin for a last lap inside pass that was well below the track surface, and that dropped him to 6th in the rundown.
No one ever knows what Zacharias will do in Victory Lane, and this time it appeared as though he was going to kiss the racing surface. Rather, he was about to prove that losers are winners. After shedding nearly 40 pounds and exercising regularly, Zacharias did several push-ups with ease. He then thanked his car owner and crew for a car that gets the job done. He also thanked Pudgies Pizza for sponsoring the division. "I grew up on Pudgies, this is great". Pudgies had delivered a sheet pizza for the feature winner, the 2nd in a row for Zacharias. That gives new meaning to the phrase '2 sheets to the wind'.
Gene Purvis said in Victory Lane that he'd never been perfect at anything growing up. Perfection defines Purvis this year and his stout #88. He now has the maximum points available, 195, after winning every heat race and feature run so far this year. In Saturday's 10-lap race Jeremiah Clonch led the first two laps but Purvis got a run off turn 2 on the 3rd lap and took over the top spot with an inside move. He never looked back and cruised to his 3rd win in as many races, this time over Clonch.
Fans are reminded to bring their wristbands from June 1st for a $2.00 discount on grandstand admission for this week's Burning Rubber Night. Admission price includes admission to Skyview Drags. Pits open at 4:30, grandstand at 5:30. Hot laps get underway at 5:30, with the first heat race taking the green at 7:00.
Sportsman Modifieds (25 Laps): TJ ZACHARIAS, Paul Johnson, Mikayla Rypkema, Randy Brokaw, Matt Clemens, Chris Clemens, John Wilber, Tony Hanbury, Tyler Rypkema, Tom Shiner
Heats: Zacharias, Hanbury
Pudgie's Pizza Street Stocks: (25 Laps) CHRIS ZACHARIAS, Jake Snell, Joe Snell, Glenn Lippolis, Jason Duke, Sr., Jeff Goodwin, Robert Fink, Charlie Sharpsteen, Nick Robinson, Chris Conrad, Hank Buchanan, Dusty Snell, Billy Coyle, Scott Weiderman (DNS).
Heats: J Snell, Goodwin
4-Cylinders: (10 Laps) GENE PURVIS, Jeremiah Clonch, Nick Morich, Alan Blackwell.
ASA and Shangri-La II Motor Speedway - We Build Champions!