August 17, 2014-
Tioga Center, NY Drama becomes a player as the season winds down in sports, and there was plenty of drama Saturday night at Shangri-La II. Gene Purvis entered the night undefeated in feature wins in 2014. A 100 dollar bounty was up for grabs in the four cylinder stocks for a driver who could defeat Purvis. The bounty went unclaimed, however, as Purvis held on to claim win number twelve for 2014. Paul Johnson struggled with his set-up during hotlaps and his heat race, but made the right adjustments before the feature to claim his second Sportsman Modified win of the season. Gary Noe crossed the finish line first in the Street Stock division for what appeared to be his second win of the year, but an illegal carburetor discovered in post-race technical inspection resulted in a disqualification for Noe. Jason Duke, Sr. was credited with the win, his fourth in 2014.
The racing program opened with Mother Nature threatening to open up the skies with showers, so the decision was made to move the program along and move the driver appreciation activities to next week. The excitement meter was ratcheted up on the opening lap in the Four Cylinder Stock feature. Duane and Devon Bailey led the field to the green flag. Nick Morich and Gene Purvis started in row three, and were quickly moving forward as the field entered the first turn. Alan Blackwell and Joe Lane started third and fourth respectively. Lane and Purvis hooked up and worked the outside lane to the front. Duane Bailey’s ride washed up the track in turn two, making contact with Purvis. Purvis had a flat left rear tire which was changed by his crew. Duane Bailey retired from the event, and Purvis restarted from the tail of the field. Alan Blackwell took the lead on the first completed lap and was leading when the second and final caution flew on lap three when Ryan Purvis spun in turn two. Blackwell, Lane and Morich contended for the lead on the restart and that gave Purvis the opening he needed. Purvis was running second on lap four and worked the traffic to take the lead from Blackwell on lap six. At this point, Lane was running fourth, locked in a battle with Morich for third. With two laps remaining in the fifteen lap feature, Lane caught Purvis, and the chase was on. Purvis and Lane have challenged each other for wins at many tracks over the years. Purvis held off a last lap, last turn pass attempt by Lane to win by a half a car length over Lane. Blackwell finished third, Morich was fourth and Devon Bailey finished fifth and was the first finishing Front Wheel Drive competitor for the fourth straight event.
A pair of rookies paced the Sportsman field to the green flag with the championship contenders starting immediately behind them in row two. Nick Morich and Connor Sellars were the front row starters with Paul Johnson and T.J. Zacharias starting third and fourth. This starting foursome ran nose to tail for the first seven laps. Jimmy Zacharias was running fifth, but fell to sixth when Tony Hanbury got by him on lap four. Lap eleven saw the Johnson make a move to take the lead, trapping Sellars on the outside, backsliding to fifth. Hanbury got by Morich with ten laps to go, and set his sights on Johnson. Jimmy Zacharias, Sellars and Morich would exchange positions several times over the closing laps. Johnson’s pre-race adjustments hit on the set-up which saw him collect his first career win back on June 21st and was no match for Hanbury as he collected his second win of the season and his career. Hanbury finished second, followed by T.J. Zacharias, Jimmy Zacharias and Sellars. When asked about his chances for the championship in victory lane, he answered, “That gold number 71 is hard to beat here. You just never know”.
The Street Stock division saw two competitors driving cars which they acquired during the week and had been previously been driven by someone else. Gary Noe bought the number 99 from Brian Nalepa. Nalepa sold the car previously driven by Chris Zacharias to Noe earlier in the week, all Noe needed to do was add his motor. Brad Knapp bought the former number 33 car on Friday. All Knapp had time to do was change the numbers and crank up the motor to get out and try to get back into the top five in points. Noe started on the pole, flanked by Jason Duke, Sr. The pair would lead the field to the green flag, with Noe leading going into turn one. A three car tangle in turn two involving Billy Coyle, Steve Shultz and Eric Leach brought out the first of three cautions on lap three. The restart had Noe continue as the leader followed closely by Frisbee, Duke and Rich Talada. The caution flew for the second time when Eric Leach spun in turn four on lap twelve. Leach would pit the car and not return to the action. Noe resumed the lead on the green flag followed by Duke, Shultz, R.J. Zacharias and Frisbee. The third and final caution flew for Frisbee as he came to a stop under the flaggers stand against the outside wall. Noe would cross the finish line as the leader, but would be disqualified in post-race technical inspection due to the use of an illegal carburetor. Jason Duke, Sr would be awarded the win due to Noe’s disqualification. Second through fifth finishes went to R.J. Zacharias, Shultz, Talada and Chris Pozzi.
With Season Championship Night this Saturday Night (August 23rd), the championship picture is becoming clearer. Gene Purvis has clinched the 4 Cylinder Stock championship for the second year in a row. T.J. Zacharias leads Paul Johnson by 22 points in the Sportsman Modified division. Rookies Nick Morich and Connor Sellars are separated by 30 points in the battle for third in Sportsman points. Bill Frisbee, Jr leads Jason Duke, Sr by just 9 points in the Street Stock Division. Noe had been a contender for the points title trailing Frisbee by 38 points entering the action on Saturday night, but the disqualification now finds Noe trailing Frisbee by 83 points going into Season Championship Night.
Concrete Nuggets: Thanks go out to Huckles Body Shop, Coach’s Pizza, Croft Lumber and Wyalusing NAPA for their sponsorships on Saturday night. Gary Ham filled in as the Head Flagger on Saturday night as regular Head Flagger Ray Robbins was away on business. Teddy Bowen had his number 47 Bandolero Car on display. Teddy was signing autographs and handing out candy to the race fans. The Bounty on Gene Purvis continues this week. Brian Bowen has added to the Bounty making it now worth an extra $200.00 going to a 4 Cylinder Stock driver who can defeat Purvis. Purvis must finish the feature on the lead lap in order for the bounty to be claimed. Turn four flagger Scott Brind and wife, Heidi celebrated their 1 year anniversary on Saturday night.
This Saturday night is Season Championship Night for all divisions. The held over Drivers Appreciation activity will be held with drivers bringing their cars out to the homestretch at intermission. The crossover gate will open and the fans can go out on the track to see the cars and talk to the drivers. There will be a post-race pit party following the final victory lane celebration. Saturday August 30th will be the rain date for Season Championship night should it be needed. Grandstand admission price is only $ 6.00 for adults age 16 and above. Youth under age 16 are admitted free. Pit Gates open at 4:30 pm, Grandstand Gate opens and Practice begins at 5:30 pm with racing beginning at 7:00 pm. Keep up with what is happening at Shangri-La II by visiting us on the web at: www.shangrila-2.com .
Street Stocks (25 Laps) 1) Jason Duke, Sr. 2) R.J. Zacharias., 3) Steve Shultz, 4) Rich Talada, 5) Chris Pozzi, 6) Billy Coyle, 7) Bill Frisbee, Jr., 8) Eric Leach, 9) Brad Knapp DQ: Gary Noe – Illegal Carburetor in Post Race Tech Heat Winners:Bill Frisbee, Jr, Jason Duke, Sr.
Sportsman Modifieds (25Laps) 1) Paul Johnson, 2) Tony Hanbury, 3) T. J. Zacharias, 4) Jimmy Zacharias, 5) Connor Sellars, 6) Nick Morich , 7) Tommy Rought, 8) Matt Clemens, 9) Chris Clemens Heat Winners: Tony Hanbury, Nick Morich
Four Cylinder Stocks (15 Laps) 1) Gene Purvis, 2) Joe Lane, 3) Nick Morich, 4) Alan Blackwell, 5) Ryan Purvis, 6) Devon Bailey, 7) Ken Benjamin, 8) Duane Bailey Heat Winner: Gene Purvis
RWD WINNER: Gene Purvis FWD WINNER: Devon Bailey