JIMMY ZACHARIAS MAKES HISTORY AT PENN CAN SPEEDWAY
History was made Friday night at the Penn Can Speedway as Jimmy Zacharias became the second driver in the speedway’s 65-year history to win both the premier division, SUNOCO and Insinger Performance Modifieds, and the Insinger Performance Sportsman features in the same night. Grant Hilfiger was the first driver to take the prestigious title. Zacharias bested a strong field of 38 Modified competitors and 29 Sportsman competitors to put his name in the record books. With 136 cars in the pits and a beautiful racing surface the stage was set for intense battles in the final week before Championship Night.
With a strong field and heat races already completed last weekend the consolation races saw 18 cars vying for the four coveted consolation spots. The first consolation saw Barry White and Leah Decker on the front row. White would take the lead out of turn 2 leaving Alex Tonkin and Decker to battle for second. A lap 3 caution slowed the action as a hard charging Marshall Hurd spun in turn 3. White elected for the top side on the restart and the next 3 laps would see a great battle for the lead as White and Tonkin worked each other until Mark Goodwin spun around on the backstretch. The single file restart wouldn’t last long as Brad Knapp went around in turn two. Both White and Tonkin would hit their marks well as the two ran side by side for the remaining six laps. White crossed the line first and Tonkin took the second transfer spot.
Consolation race two would follow a different path as the event went caution free. Darwin Green and Ken Sparks set the pace into turn four. Green would hold the lead as the field hit the backstretch and would check out as Sparks and Brad Schaffer battled for second. Soon after falling out of the race for second Schaffer came under fire from last place starter Kevin Harnett for third. Neither would be able to transfer from the consolation however, as Green and Sparks would lock up the final consolation spots.
The winner takes all B-Main guaranteed action with a short 12 lap format. Casey Plummer and Kevin Harnett thundered to green with Plummer getting the jump. An intense battle between Harnett, Marshall Hurd and Plummer would see Harnett come out with the lead. Plummer and Hurd would go door to door as Hurd advanced past Plummer for 2nd and the order began to take shape. Lap 5 completed with top 5 running order Harnett, Hurd, Plummer, Randy Fox and Goodwin. Goodwin would move past Fox and challenge Plummer over the next 5 laps with Plummer hanging on to third. Harnett would easily get past some lapped traffic with two to go and take the win. He would elect for the starting spot in the A-main, forgoing the B-Main winner’s purse. When asked about his decision Harnett said, “my team and I came to race” and with an ear to ear grin it’s clear Harnett truly enjoys the sport.
The crowd was eagerly anticipating the main event of the evening after last weeks’ feature was rained out. Mike Walsh and Jimmy Zacharias leading the front row of the 27 SUNOCO Race Fuels and Insinger Performance Modifieds to the green. However, there was a pile up involving Darwin Green, Ken Sparks, Brad Shafer, Dan Creeden, Nick Petrilak, and Jamie Bedford in turn four and the front straightaway. After being called a no start, Zacharias and Walsh led the field once again to the green and with the 71-car taking the lead. However, right behind the leader Walsh and Alan Rudalavage were battling for the second position. There was a red flag on the track as Barry White, Sparks, Joe Judge and Schafer all collided in turn three and four, meanwhile Creeden and Petrilak were hooked together on the front straightaway. Ray Leonard was taken off the track via tow truck during the red flag as well. Upon the restart, Zacharias gained the lead coming out of turn two, with Rudalavage hot on his tail. Further back in the pack, Richard Smith, Joey Grammes and Walsh all fighting hard to remain in the top five with Grammes moving up to the fourth position.
Lap five started with a caution as Aleia Geisler spun in turn two and Geoff Quackenbush being towed off. On the restart, Zacharias took the inside lane with Rudalavage on the outside, and the inside car took the lead, but the Rudalavage’s 145 machine would stay door to door with Zacharias’s 71 car. Right before the halfway mark of the feature, Rudalavage took the lead away from the 71 machine, but not after a hard-fought battle. The entire race was a hard-contested battle between the 148 and the 71, Rudalavage was working the high line and low line attempting to keep Zacharias in the second-place spot. By lap twenty-two, the leaders were coming into heavy traffic and with Zacharias not able to find a line to make his move, he suddenly found a place to put his car on the outside lane. The 71 ride was side by side with Rudalavage and it was coming down to the wire. With five remaining in the thirty-lap feature, Zacharias made his move to pull away from the field. When the checker flag flew and the 71 ride took the trip to victory lane.
The Insinger Performance Sportsman did not disappoint the large crowd that still watched on eagerly with Jimmy Zacharias and Ray Leonard commanding the field of 29 cars to the green flag. Zacharias had taken the early lead over Leonard with Alan Komar giving chase in the third position. A first lap caution lead to a restart with Zacharias, Leonard and Komar all fighting for position. However, it wouldn’t last as Brandon Oleski had gotten spun around in turn 2. Off the restart allowed Zacharias, Leonard and Frank Payne to engage in a battle for the lead, but Dale Quackenbush had spun in turn three. Upon the restart, Brett Tonkin was working the high side in the fifth position. On lap five, Ray Reynolds made a left hand turn to the infield bringing the yellow flag out. Zacharias got the lead once again, but for Jeremey Warren, Oleski and Mike Wilcha emotions ran high as they all collided in turn two. The race remained green for another four laps until a yellow was brought out for debris on the track.
Lap ten saw changes in the top five with Zacharias, Leonard, Frank Payne, Tonkin, and AJ Miller. The field saw the next ten laps caution free with the leaders maneuvering around lapped traffic. Lap twenty saw a yellow flag as Dan Soloman spun out in turn four, however right after the restart another caution came out immediately as Wilcha would spin in turn three. The remaining five laps would stay green as Zacharias would pull away allowing Miller the opportunity to challenge Leonard for second. Miller looked to the inside of Leonard and would move into the second position and moving Tonkin back to fourth. With Zacharias winning both the SUNOCO Race Fuels and Insinger Performance Modifieds and the Insinger Performance Sportsman, the driver of the 71 was overwhelmed with excitement at being the second driver to win back to back features in a single night. When asked about the restarts in both features, he said he “only knows what is ahead of me and can’t see what is behind me”. Zacharias loves the challenge of battling hard for position and it showed in both intense features. The 71 car would also like to thank his crew: his brother, Jeff, Jamie, Randy, Doug and Ray, as well as his sponsors: Midstate Basement Authorities, Velocita and Trackside Products.
Leading from flag to flag Shawn Boynton picked up the win for the added Street Stock division. The Outlaw speedway regular picked up the win at Penn Can in only his second appearance at the track. Doug Polhamus completed row one as the field came to green. The top two would go to work as third place starter Abe Rohanik was shuffled back in a melee game of bumper cars. Boynton would take advantage of Polhamus and Decker battling hard for second while Dylan Cecce and Doug Stack Sr. traded fourth. A quick caution slowed the action as Gary Roberts and Josh Butler tangled in turn 3. Contact between Rohanik and Doug Stack Sr. would see the 1S go pit side for a new tire. Decker would lose power from his third-place restart position and a large pileup would ensue in turn 2. Dusty Decker, Eric Beach, Tyler Yeagle, Oliver Gage, and Steve Polhamus were all collected in the incident.
The lap 1 restart saw great battles throughout the top ten as the field fought against each other and dealt with the slower lapped traffic. Doug Polhamus and Doug Stack Jr. settled into a great fight for second as Stack worked the inside of the track searching for the space to slip by. Stack would move to second with Dylan Cecce following in his footsteps to take away third from Polhamus. Tavis Brockner would get past Steve Polhamus for the sixth position on lap 10 before Steve Polhamus brought out the caution. The running order at the halfway restart saw Boynton, Stack Jr., Doug Polhamus, Cecce, and Rohanik in the top 5 positions. Stack Sr. was out to prove he wasn’t done yet as he moved past Brockner and Steve Polhamus for sixth, immediately challenging Rohanik for fifth and taking the spot away. Lap 18 would throw a wrench in everyone’s plans as Mike Stoddard slowed in turn 3. The restart would not go well as Erik Bonham spun in turn 4 leading to a second attempt at a green white checker finish. Boynton, Doug Polhamus and Stack Jr. would run 3 wide out of turn 2 as all three competitors were digging with everything they had for the win. The checkers fell as Boynton took the win followed by Stack Jr, Doug Polhamus, Stack Sr., and Rohanik. Boynton pointed out on the restarts that he felt confident, but towards the end was feeling “nervous with Doug Polhamus and was too cautious”. He would like to thank his sponsors: FOE of Ithica and State Farm. With this being his first career win, it was an emotional night with his car being dedicated to his grandmother, Linda, who passed away.
Full frame factory stock action had polesitter Nick Stark and dancing partner Alicia Towner fully on the loud pedal into turn one. Stark would come out of two with the lead as Towner and Stanley Matthews would go side by side for second. A Nate Hill spin in turn two quickly changed the race dynamic as Mathews moved past Stark on the restart. Fifth place starter Tommy Groover didn’t wait around however as he passed Kevin McDonald for fourth. By lap 2 Groover had moved past both Stark and Towner to challenge Matthews for the lead. The two would have a great side by side battle over the next few laps with Groover getting the better of the exchange. A lap 7 caution for Charlie Towner slowing in turn 1 would reset the field and give Matthews another shot at Groover.
Groover would elect for the outside on the restart as he and Matthews were dead even into turns 1 and 2. Groover would make the outside work however on both the lap 7 and lap 8 restarts to power past Matthews out of turn two and down the backstretch. When asked about the restarts and Matthews as a competitor, Tommy admitted he knew he was getting beat into turn one but he fully stayed in the throttle and was confident he had the car to win. Lap 10 action had four cars under a blanket as Alicia Towner, Buck Mills Jr., Kevin McDonald and Justin Slezak put on a great show racing for third. A final caution on lap 13 gave Matthews one more shot at Groover but the high side momentum was just too strong, Groover denied the field the bounty on his head as he brought home the win with Matthews, Slezak, Hill, and Mills Jr. rounding out the top 5. Groover went to victory lane once again and said that the “22M was beating me on the restarts and I driving it wide open on the outside berm”. Tommy Groover has had three bounties on him in three years but says he wouldn’t be in the front without the crew behind. He would also like to his numerous sponsors such as Denny Decker Logging, Customs Home and Buildings, and Jason’s Welding and Fabrication.
A messy start for the 600cc Modifieds had polesitter Doug Lattner and Jared Green, 3 wide with point leader Dana Davis into turn one. The field would be halted quickly by a red flag as Ayden Morgan’s tough season continued. Morgan rolled three times near the wall in turn one before the car came to an abrupt stop. He exited the car under his own power and was okay. The restart would see Green take the lead as the leaders blocked the bottom and kept Davis behind them. The field couldn’t complete a lap however as Tracy Oliver spun in turn 2 leading to another caution and subsequent restart. Davis once again got a good restart as he, Green and Lattner went three wide into turn one. This time the lap would count as a three-car pileup between TJ Smith, Lattner and Brett Gray would put Davis out front for a single file restart.
Davis’ run would be made difficult however as Bretton Miller would arrive to challenge him for the lead. The two cars would give themselves some breathing room as Green fell behind and Casey Plummer and Nick Robinson went at it for fourth. The race would remain consistent until a lap 10 spin by Sheldon Whitman who was battling hard for position. Davis and Miller would pull away on the restart as third place Green battled with Plummer and fifth place Robinson then battled Plummer for fourth. The final laps would remain green as Davis pulled away and easily maneuvered the last few laps for the win. Miller brought home second followed by Green, Robinson, and Plummer. With only the championship race remaining, Davis says the win will cushion their points lead and “confident but will remain on our toes”. He is extremely grateful to be able to drive the car and would like to thank his crew, Ben, his parents and Travis and Tracey. As well he would like to thank a few of his many sponsors: CK General Contracting, Lattner Enterprises and Kithcart Motorsports.
The final points paying feature of the night saw 4-cylinder drivers Andy Bolles and Nick Kennedy pick up the pace in turn 4 as the green cut through the air. Kenny Underwood looked to make things interesting early on working Jeff Sterling and Josh Wilder for third. Kennedy would find the field early on as lap 3 saw him finding and passing lapped traffic. By lap 6 it was Underwood and Bolles fighting for second as Sterling and Wilder duked it out for fourth. Kennedy continued to work traffic while until a lap 8 caution for a slowing Underwood brought the field back together. Bolles would head for the pits as Kennedy and Wilder brought the field back to green. Rich Wagner found a ride in the 7F machine this week and battled Sterling for third. Wagner would advance and challenge Wilder, taking second with only a few laps remaining. With lapped traffic impacting leader Kennedy, Wagner would begin to reel him in. The white flag flew as Kennedy advanced past Cheyenne Bump and saw only a clear track to the checkers. In what has been a rough month for the championship contender the feature win felt like a bit of redemption. In a spectacular 4 Cylinder career Kennedy has over 70 feature wins and was quick to thank sponsors Country Town Auto, Wildside graphics and his awesome and loving Wife.
The young racers of the Junior division had an exciting night of racing with four racers taking the green of their feature. With a tough battle between Josh Landers and Evan O’Hara for the second-place spot with Liam Jackson leading the pack. Jackson headed to victory lane with his 82 ride.
With Championship Night rapidly approaching on September 11th, the point standings are getting close in some divisions The Modified division top five are being led by Brett Tonkin, Brian Malcom, Nick Petrilak, Mike Loney and Butch Getz. Insinger Performance and Stone Brother Automotive Sportsman is a close battle with only two points separating the leader and the second-place position, Mike Schane leads the points followed by Jimmy Zacharias, AJ Konopka, Ray Leonard and AJ Miller rounding out the top five. The Insinger Performance Street Stocks is another tight battle with points with less than eighty points separating the top two, Tyler Yeagle is the leader followed by Doug Polhamus, Steve Polhamus, Travis Brockner and Dusty Decker in the fifth position. Tommy Groover is leading the Factory Stock division next is CJ Swanson, Alecia Towner, Amanda Brigham and Stan Matthews. 600cc is another tight battle with Dana Davis, Jared Green, Brett Gray, Adam Mudge, and Doug Lattner are the top five leading the division. With only fifty points between the top two in the Four Cylinder division, Josh Wilder and Nick Kennedy are battling this one out to the end. The rest of the top five are: David Fox Jr., Andy Bolles and Cheyenne Bump. This is a night no one will want to miss, but after the champions have been crowned, the following week September 18th the Patriot tour will be back at the Speedway for another amazing night of sprint racing. The excitement continues as September 25th and 26th will be the King of the Can race weekend, several drivers are attempting to take the coveted title and will be great shows to watch. The mighty modifieds will try to win the $5555 on the line for Saturdays portion of the weekend. New for this year will be on Saturday when the modifieds will run a Match Race instead of a Dash for Cash with $500 going to that winner. To stay current on all the upcoming events, follow Penn Can Speedway on Facebook.
SUNOCO RACE FUELS INSINGER PERFORMANCE MODIFIEDS
WINNER - 71 – JIMMY ZACHARIAS
2)145-Alan Rudalavage 3)5J-Joey Grammes 4)16R-Richard Smith 5)119-Brian Malcolm 6)9-Brett Tonkin 7)16X-Danny Creeden 8)29-Leo McGurrin 9)15G-Butch Getz 10)6-Kevin Harnett 11)42-Nick Pecko 12)D9-Dennis Clapperton 13)72-Nick Petrilak 14)44-Aleia Geisler 15)111J-Jamie Bedford 16)17D-Mike Loney 17)49-Ken Sparks 18)63-Byron Worthing DNF 19)713-Mike Walsh 20)1-Darwin Green 21)7M-Mike Nagel Sr. 22)53-Jeff Quackenbush 23)3R-Ray Leonard 24)131-Barry White 25)3J-Joe Judge 26)014-Brad Schaffer DQ – Alex Tonkin
SUNOCO RACE FUELS INSINGER PERFORMANCE MODIFIEDS B-MAIN
WINNER – 6 – KEVIN HARNETT
2)58M-Marshall Hurd 3)M64-Mark Goodwin 4)73-Casey Plummer 5)957-Randy Fox 6)15JR-Chris Hunsinger 7)189-Leah Decker 8)71Z-TJ Zacharias 9)M14-Moose Gulley 10)26BK-Brad Knapp 11)80-Duane Hiller 12)16-Ned Fitch
INSINGER PERFORMANCE & STONE BROS. AUTOMOTIVE 602 CRATE SPORTSMAN
WINNER - 71 – JIMMY ZACHARIAS
2)14AJ-AJ Miller 3)3R-Ray Leonard 4)27K-Brett Tonkin 5)B17-Randy Brokaw 6)M1-Mike Schane 7)3F-Frank Payne 8)M14-Moose Gulley 9)57-Dusty Decker 10)51-Grant Hilfiger 11)27-Kyle Redner 12)44-Jim O’Hara 13)88-Alan Komar 14)32-Eddy Rudrako 15)33G-Mike Grover 16)14A-Brian Franko 17)35-Dale Quackenbush 18)544J-Jeremy Warren 19)M16-Kolyn Schane DNF 20)4-Dan Soloman 21)14K-Alan Konopka 22)84-Mike Wilcha 23)30+-Brandon Oleski 24)M16-Ned Fitch 25)23T-Tyler Stoddard 26)61-Dave Rosa 27)125-Ray Reynolds 28)8-Billy Lasko 29)Brandon Fritsch DNS – 88B-Unknown
INSINGER PERFORMANCE STREET STOCKS
WINNER – 3L – SHAWN BOYNTON
2)34-Doug Stack Jr. 3)KP1-Doug Polhamus 4)15-Doug Stack Sr. 5)85-Abe Rohanik 6)77-Dylan Cecce 7)98P-Steve Polhamus 8)167-Eric Beach 9)151-Travis Brockner 10) U2-Gary Roberts 11)0J-Oliver Gage 12)89D-Dylan Decker DNF 13)Erik Bonham 14)23-Mike Stoddard 15)42-Josh Butler 16)20JR-Dusty Decker 17)00-Don Reeves 18)33-Tyler Yeagle 19)89-Damon Decker 20)81-Shane Wolf Jr.
WINNER - 7R - TOMMY GROOVER
2) )22m-Stanley Matthews 3)35-Justin Slezak 4)11-Nate Hill 5)187X-Buck Mills Jr. 6) 9x-Alecia Towner 7)98-Lynn Highhouse 8)9&3/4-Amanda Brigham 9)3-CJ Swanson 10)27M-Kevin MacDonald DNF 11)89-Ryan Brockner 12)Charlie Towner 13)00-Don Reeves 14)60-Nick Stark 15)60E-Dylan Eaton
WINNER - 138 - DANA DAVIS
2)29-Bretton Miller 3)35-Jared Green 4)8R-Nick Robinson 5)42-Casey Plummer 6)28-Brett Gray 7)1-Josh Mudge 8)101-Doug Lattner 9)31-Gene Sharpsteen 10)134-Tracy Oliver 11)0-Jeff Baldwin 12)4MK-Sheldon Whitman 13)1TJ-TJ Smith DNF 14)343-Mike Frye 15)99A-Ayden Morgan
WINNER - X – NICK KENNEDY
2)7F-Rich Wagner 3)5-Josh Wilder 4)56-Jeff Sterling 5)2-Scott Miller 6)17Z-Mike Ferris 7)72-JT Havens 8)77-Brian Salmini 9)74C-Dave Nixon 10)17B-Cheyenne Bump 11)RC2-Phil Clapper 12)16-Kenny Underwood 13)8X-Jessica Velez 14)61-Andy Bolles DNS 427, 98B, 20 DQ 7-Phil Burns
WINNER – LIAM JACKSON