Hirschman wins again at Shangri-La II
Matt Hirschman collected the win in the RoC-N-Concrete Rumble at Shangri-La II Motorspeedway on Sunday afternoon. For Hirschman, he is now two for two in 2013 on the RoC Pavement Modified Tour and has let the other competitors know that the drive for a repeat championship is alive and well. Charlie Sharpsteen survived a hard drive in the Pudgies Pizza Street Stocks to claim his second Shangri-La II win, coincidentally both wins came while driving brother Gil's car. Scott Nurmi was the Latemodel winner and Gene Purvis took home the Four Cylinder Stock feature.
Shangri-La II, the ASA Member Track in Tioga Center, N.Y. hosted their season opener following a rain out the week before. The Race of Champions Pavement Modified Tour was featured in their first of three appearances this season. The heat racing for the Modifieds showed that the teams had learned a lot with regard to the American Racer Tires since debuting them one year ago. Kyle Ebersole won that race last year, and looked to be fast right off of the trailer. He won his heat race but started the feature in eleventh spot following the redraw. Tommy Cloce won the second heat and started fourth while Hirschman was the winner of heat three and started eighth after the draw. Mike Leaty drew the pole and started along second generation driver Nick Pecko. Jimmy Zacharias charged from his third starting spot to take the lead in turn four as lap one clicked off on the score board. Zacharias had Brian DeFebo on his back deck as the pair set a blistering pace, pulling away from the rest of the pack. The dominance of the Zacharias ride at Shangri-La II showed as Jimmy opened up a two second lead over DeFebo when the first of three cautions flew. Ebersole spun entering turn two. While keeping the car off of the wall, Ebersole brought the car to the pits to check the tires. The restart had Jimmy Zacharias and DeFebo pull away from the field again, but Mike Leaty, Nick Pecko and T-J Potrzebowski kept the swift pait within seven or eight car lengths. Lap fifteen had Hirschman pass Potrzabowski for fifth. Hirschman's set-up kicked in, and he took fourth position from Pecko on lap twenty three. Hirschman had his work cut out for him with his challenge to Leaty, but wrestled third away from Leaty on lap thirty eight. The second caution of the event came out on lap forty one when Dan Kurzejewski spun in turn four. Four cars pitted for a tire change during the caution, including Ebersole who had worked his way back to fifteenth. Lap forty three saw Hirschman bypass DeFebo for second and the challenge for the lead began. It took fourteen laps for Hirschman to take over the top spot. Zacharias started to lose ground to Hirschman and was running third, behind Leaty, when the third and final caution came out when T-J Zacharias spun coming off of turn four. By the time this last caution flew, Ebersole had worked his way up to fifth after restarting nineteenth on lap forty one. When the green flew for the final time, Jimmy Zacharias began losing ground and had sparks flying out from under the car. He pitted with a flat right rear tire on lap sixty eight and finished eighteenth. Hirschman collected his third ever win at Shangri-La II holding off Mike Leaty. Daren Scherer restarted third, and had his hands full with Ebersole challenging all the way to the checkers. Scherer finished third, Ebersole was fourth and Tommy Cloce ran in the top five all race long, and completed the top five.
Street Stock racing has developed into a "Must See" class at Shangrila II. Pudgies Pizza stepped up their commitment to the track in 2013 and are now the title sponsor to the class. Fourteen cars started the twenty lap feature, and the excitement started at the drop of the green flag. Hank Buchanan and Jake Snell led the field to Gary Folk, Jr's green flag. Snell quickly took over the top spot with Gary Noe following Buchanan into second. Defending track champion, Jeff Goodwin started third, dropped to fourth after lap one, but recovered to take second when the first of four cautions flew on lap four for a two car spin in turn four with Bill Frisbee, Jr and Jason Duke, Sr. Goodwin lined up to Snell's outside on the restart and took the top position a lap later. Caution flew again on lap seven when Duke spun to avoid Chris Conrad. Lee Sharpsteen and Chris Zacharias restarted third and fourth, and went to work getting around Snell. Charlie Sharpsteen made his way up to fifth, and got by Snell to challenge Zacharias and younger brother, Lee. Lee and Zacharias were extremely quick, and got together in turn three on lap thirteen. Lee Spun and Zacharias ended up with a flat tire. The restart had Zacharias and Lee Sharpsteen work through traffic, three wide for some positions, and made their way back to the top five. Gary Noe was also quick, running as high as third with three laps to go. Charlie Sharpsteen took over the lead from Goodwin on lap sixteen and held on for the win. Goodwin was a close second. Zacharias finished third, Snell was fourth and Lee Sharpsteen completed the top five.
The Latemodel feature saw the four competitors run green to checkers with the Nurmi brothers challenging each other while Jim Lamoreaux had his hands full with Joe Berretta making multiple challenges. Scot Nurmi collected the win, his ninth at the speedway tying him with Travis Fischer for second in all time wins at the speedway with nine wins. Defending Champion, Lamoreaux was third and Berretta finished fourth.
Three Four Cylinder Stocks were on hand, but Joe Lane broke in the heat races. Gene Purvis collected the win, his second at the track. Nick Morich ran the ten lap feature and along with finishing second, got some of the all-important "Seat Time" as he makes the transition from Bandolaro and Microd competition to full-bodied racing.
Up Next at Shangri-La II is the switch to the track's traditional Saturday Night racing as we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy today with Memorial Day Madness. The Sportsman Modifieds will compete in their first event of 2013 and will be joined by the Pudgies Pizza Street Stocks and the Four Cylinder Stocks. The wristband discount will be honored at the Shangri-La II ticket booth with fans getting $2.00 off of grandstand admission by returning their wristbands from the RoC-N-Concrete Rumble. The Pit Gate opens at 4:30 p.m. The Grandstand gate opens and Hotlaps begin at 5:30 p.m. Racing begins at 7:00 p.m. The admission price includes admission to Skyview Drags.