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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            T.J. Zacharias is looking to add his name to those of his brother, Jimmy and Uncle Rick as champions in the Sportsman division. The third generation driver entered the double points mid-season championship night with a one point advantage over Tyler Rypkema. Zacharias started on the outside of the front row, and took over the lead of the race from pole sitter, Mikayla Rypkema. Zacharias, driving the family tribute gold colored number 71 opened a half straightaway lead on Mikayla by lap three. Milayla was passed by her younger brother, Tyler on lap three. Tyler then began his quest to run down the 71 car. Mikayla would lock into a battle with Paul Johnson and Jody Buckley. T.J. Zacharias cruised to a half second advantage over Tyler Rypkema at the checkered flag. Johnson and Mikayla drag raced off of turn four with Johnson narrowly beating her to the line for third. George “The Duke” Kent, making his first start at Shangri-La II, drove the car normally driven by Dan Kurzekewski to a fifth place finish.

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            Gene Purvis continues to dominate the Four Cylinder Stock field, but not quite as handily as he did earlier in the season. Jeremiah Clonch led the first two laps in the ten lap feature, but Purvis held on to the outside lane and challenged Clonch entering turn one. By the time the pair was in turn two, Purvis began stretching out the lead. Clonch and Nick Morich hooked up nose to tail in a battle for second. At the checkers, Purvis made another trip to victory lane. Clonch was second, Morich finished third with Devon Bailey and Alan Blackwell completing the top five.

            The Atlantic Coast old Timers made their first ever appearance at the speedway with a display of cars set up for the fans to get a close up look at the racers rides from years ago. A ten lap feature was held for the club with Bruce Carman from Middleport, NY crossing the stripe first in a 1948 Carman Craft Midget. Dave Craine, also from Middleport finished second driving a 1947 Kurtis Kraft Midget. Bud Hinman from Waterville, NY was third driving a 1980 Gambler Chassis Sprint Car, and the final finisher was Windsor, NY’s Bill Goodfellow in a 1972 Edmunds Sprinter.

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            Racing returns to Shangri-La II Motorspeedway on Saturday night with the first running of the Shirley Zacharias Memorial. This non-points “Open” show will feature the Pudgies Pizza Street Stocks, Sportsman and the Four Cylinder Stocks. A special appearance by the Mid State Vintage Stock Car Club is also scheduled. The cars in competition must meet Race of Champions or Shangri-La II rules. Tracy Zacharias Ferris and Jerry Sinsabaugh have put in a lot of work gathering Bonus Money, Contingency Awards, Prizes, Give-Aways and more. Join us as we honor the memory of a Racer, Racers Wife, Mother, Grandmother and ambassador of local motorsports. Pit Gates open at 4:30 pm, Grandstand Gate opens and Practice begins at 5:30 pm with racing beginning at 7:00 pm. Remember to bring back your wristbands from last week for $2.00 off of Grandstand admission. Show your wristbands at Pudgie’s Pizza in Binghamton or Waverly and receive a discount on your food purchase. There is always plenty of free camping at Shangri-La II Motorspeedway.

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Pudgie’s Pizza Street Stock Finish (25 Laps): Chris Zacharias, Charlie Sharpsteen, Jason Duke, Sr., Jeff Goodwin, Gary Noe, Billy Coyle, Bill Frisbee, Jr., Chris Conrad, Tom Sunderland, Brad Knapp, Lee Sharpsteen, Hank Buchanan     Heat Winners: Charlie Sharpsteen, Jason Duke, Sr.

Sportsman Finish (25 Laps): T. J. Zacharias, Tyler Rypkema, Paul Johnson, Mikayla Rypkema, George Kent, Jody Buckley, Tommy Catalano, Timex Morgan, Tommy Rought, Amy Catalano, Matt Clemens                                      Heat Winners: Paul Johnson, T. J. Zacharias

Four Cylinder Stock Finish (12 Laps): Gene Purvis, Jeremiah Clonch, Nick Morich, Devon Bailey, Alan Blackwell   DNS: Joe Lane     Heat Winner: Gene Purvis

Atlantic Coast Old Timers ( 10 Laps) Bruce Carman, Dave Craine, Bud Hinman, Bill Goodfellow

ASA and Shangri-La II Motorspeedway - We Honor Racers

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