Story By: CAROL HOUSSOCK / CHEMUNG SPEEDROME – CHEMUNG, NY – Chemung Speedrome’s season opener was everything a track would hope for – a nice turnout of race teams and fans, competitive racing, and beautiful weather to boot. This marked the first race under the promotional team of Ray and Ellen Hodge.
Capitalizing on all the good were feature winners Andy Jankowiak (RoC Modifieds), Nick Robinson (Super Stocks), Bob Borger (RoC 4 Cylinders), Josh Duke (INEX Bandoleros – Outlaw) and Chase Sinsabaugh (INEX Bandoleros – Bandits). Racing resumes this Friday night at 7 PM.
The 75-lap RoC Modified season opener drew a field of 26 cars. Qualifying wins went to Mike Leaty, Tyler Rypkema, Zane Zeiner and Chuck Hossfeld. The top 3 in each heat drew for the top 12 starting spots during intermission and the field was set for the feature.
Tyler Rypkema drew the pole and led the way, chased early on by Mike Leaty and Chuck Hossfeld. The race itself was slowed by 14 cautions, most of which were for spins in turns three and four. Andy Jankowiak, who broke into the top five about 20 laps into the race, gradually worked his way to the front of the pack and took the lead from Rypkema on lap 46.
While just two drivers led, running among the top five proved to be risky behavior Saturday afternoon. Mike Leaty, Matt Hirschman and Zane Zeiner all learned that the hard way, and restarted at the back after being involved in cautions
Andy Jankowiak took the lead from Rypkema on lap 46 and never looked back. He held on and picked up the win over Zack Curren, Bryan Sherwood, Zeiner and Hirschman. “I didn’t have the fastest car, but I avoided the trouble,” Jankowiak said following the win. “I didn’t pass anyone ‘til I got to third,” he said regarding the many wrecks he avoided. Staying out of trouble was key for Curren and Sherwood as well. Both mentioned how that contributed to their podium finishes.
Nick Robinson drew number five and started the 25-lap Super Stock feature from inside the third row. Pole-sitter Mike Nichols led early over Jim Lamoreaux but Robinson moved up nicely and passed Nichols for the lead seven laps in. The pair ran together for several laps, while Frank Chapman and RJ Zacharias fought for third. Nichols reclaimed the lead on lap 18, but Robinson reclaimed it a lap later and he held on through lap 25. Robinson held on for the win over Nichols, Chapman, Zacharias and Robert Fink. “It’s great starting the season off with a win and this crew helped me do it,” he said from victory lane.
The 25-lap RoC 4 Cylinders ran a pair of heats, won by Bob Borger and rookie Joey Bevacqua. The feature was a great battle between Borger and Jacob Gustafson. Several cautions slowed the action. One of those incidents included Dan Dressel, who fought back and worked his way back up toward the front. When this one was over Borger had the win over Gustafson, Dressel, Josh Schosek and Bob Palmer.
The INEX Bandolero division ran a caution-free 10-lap feature. Earlier in the day Josh Duke won their heat race and he started the feature from the pole. Duke made some beautiful moves while lapping cars mid-race and went on to score the win. When asked about those moves that scared some observers, Duke said it had scared him as well. Duke, the overall winner, is running in the Outlaw age bracket while Chase Sinsabaugh made his first-ever appearance in victory lane. He finished second but was the top runner among the Bandits. Jeffrey Noe finished third, followed by Aiden Gardner and Nial Gardner.
Chemung moves to Friday night racing this week for Northern PA Notary Night. The race card includes the track’s five regular divisions – Sunoco Modifieds, Super Stocks and 4 Cylinders, along with the INEX Legends and Bandoleros. It’s also Pack the Track night, with admission slashed to $8 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for kids ages 6 to 12, and free to kids ages 5 and under. Pits open at 5 PM this Friday, with practice and grandstand gates at 6 PM and racing starting at 7 PM.
RoC Modifieds (75 Laps): ANDY JANKOWIAK, Zack Curren, Bryan Sherwood, Zane Zeiner, Matt Hirschman, TJ Potrzebowski, Tyler Rypkema, Chris Finocchairo, Daren Scherer, George Skora III, Scott Wylie, Daryl Lewis, Jr., Mike Leaty, Donny Hartzell, Jake Rought, Austin Beers, Owen Bednasz, Eric Beers, Chuck Hossfeld, Kevin Miller, Kyle Ebersole, Brian DeFebo, Austin Kochenash, Chris Ridsdale, Karl Hehr, Ken Canestrari (DNS)
Heats: Leaty, Rypkema, Zeiner, Hossfeld
Super Stocks (25 Laps): NICK ROINSON, Mike Nichols, Frank Chapman, RJ Zacharias, Robert Fink, Jim House, Jesse Hurley, Jim Lamoreaux, Cody Frantz, Ron Underwood, Brian DeMark, JP Harbst, Derrick Tarbox, Jason Duke, Bill Frisbee, Jr., Dennis Beardslee, Garrett Zacharias (DNS)
Heats: Frantz, Nichols, Lamoreaux
RoC 4 Cylinders: BOB BOGNER, Jacob Gustafson, Dan Dressel, Josh Schosek, Bob Palmer, Mark Taylor, Tyler Harbst, DJ Shaw, Alex Brown, Allison Montgomery, Adam Killingbeck, Brett Bardette, Joey Bevacqua, Jody London
Heats: Bogner, Bevacqua
INEX Bandoleros: JOSH DUKE, Chase Sinsabaugh, Jeffrey Noe, Aiden Gardner, Nial Gardner, Nolan Baker