Robinson Victorious at Chemung Speedrome

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(Mark Ranalletta Photo)

By Colleen and Meghan D’Hondt

The NYSS series invaded the Chemung Speedrome on July 24th for their first race of the 2020 season sponsored by Midstate Basement Authorities. A stout field of 35 competitors came to put on a spectacular show for the fans and they did not disappoint!

Drivers of all ages were ready to battle it out in the heats for one of the coveted 26 spots in the feature. The 5 heat races were won by Jimmy Steffenhagen, Andy Cryan, Tim Gullo, Cameron Nichols and Garrett Zacharias. The top 20 were now qualified for the A-main! The 12 lap B main provided some excitement for the fans. At the checkers, it was Mike Hyman collecting the win. Nik Welshons, Derrick Tarbox, and Josh Hunter followed him across the line. Keeping with NYSS procedures, regular competitors of the series, Amber VanOrden and Cole Hicks, were given the nod for the 2 provisional starting spots on the field.

The line up for the A-main which is usually determined by a redraw had a new and exciting twist for the NYSS series. On Facebook Live, series director Bobby Lippa Jr. had a Chemung County Sheriff draw a popsicle stick from the cup which inverted the top 15 cars of the starting grid! This allowed drivers who would have started in the middle of the pack to start closer to the front of the field.

Before the start of the race, the NYSS leadership and drivers decided to do something special to honor our country. When the field began its pace laps, the crowd erupted into cheers and gave a standing ovation as the drivers proudly carried American flags. It was a moment to never be forgotten! When the green flag dropped, Barrett Schenk and Brian Hallett led the field into turn one. Jacob Gustafson drove to the lead from his 5th position starting spot to take the lead and would remain there until lap 21 when the first caution waved for Charlie Sharpsteen spinning. Throughout those 21 laps, the heat winners were passing cars and making their way to the front. Side by side racing all around the track made for a very exciting race! The top 3 on the restart were Jacob Gustafon, Nick Robinson, and Tim Gullo. They would only get as far as lap 24 before the caution flew again for a spinner on the backstretch.

On the ensuing restart, Jacob Gustafson spun his car around coming out of turn four in front of the field. Garrett Zacharias was the only car that could not make it through and crashed hard into the inside wall on the front stretch. As the tow trucks were working to remove both cars from the track, the track went dark. It was determined that someone intentionally turned off the power button on the generator effectively cutting off all power to the track. It would be the deciding factor to end the race. Nick Robinson was the winner at the end of the shortened 27 lap feature. The 2018 NYSS Champ gets bragging rights for winning the first race of the 2020 season.

Congratulations to Nick and his entire team on bringing home the trophy!

(Mark Ranalletta Photo)
(Mark Ranalletta Photo)

The final results were Nick Robinson(15), Jimmy Steffenhagen(3), Tim Gullo(71x), Andy Cryan(09), Dylan Bancroft(91), Cameron Nichols(72c), Evan Rygielski(27), Robert Fink(23), Nate Peckham(90), Frank Chapman Jr.(89), Josh Hunter(7), Anthony Gullo(51x), Jason Duke Sr.(13), Charlie Sharpsteen(34), Trevor Catalano(54PJ), Barrett Schenk(51), Brian Hallett(36), Jacob Gustafson(5), Garrett Zacharias(71), Mark Spencer(23), Nik Welshons(41), Cole Hicks(46), Derrick Tarbox(42), Mike Hyman(87), Bob Palmer(32) and Amber VanOrden(54).