Fall Brawl Wraps Up Third Season at Shangri-La II

fall_brawlSunday, September 25th ended up being Day 2 of the Fall Brawl at Shangri-la 2 Motor Speedway due to the Friday night rainout. It was also the day the curtain came down to end the track's 3rd season. Under summerlike conditions, fans watched a 3-division program, with feature races won by Matt Kurzejewski (Sportsman Modifieds), Jeff Goodwin (Street Stocks) and Travis Edwards (Empire Super Trucks).

The Sportsman Modifieds competed in a 65-lap feature event. Jimmy Zacharias and Dean Rypkema won the 2 qualifying races, where the top 4 finishers in each drew for starting spots 1-8. Jeff Frisbie and Zacharias drew best, and the pair made up row 1 for the start. Zacharias powered his way around Frisbie and led early. The first of 5 cautions came with 8 laps completed. Scott Wylie and JR Kent both came to a halt on the front stretch. An on-track incident by Wylie led to his disqualification, but Kent was able to continue following pit service. When racing resumed Tony Hanbury, Rusty Smith, Andy Jankowiak, and Matt Kurzejewski were moving forward while Zacharias lost his lead and began to fall back. Jankowiak became the race leader on lap 17 but he gave it up when he pitted under caution. The lead then went to Kurzejewski, who held off Hanbury on 2 subsequent restarts. At the halfway point Zack Curren slowed on the back stretch, forfeiting 5th place at the time. When the race resumed it was the battle for 2nd that became intense. Lap after lap Rusty Smith tried to find a way around Hanbury. He was successful on the 45th lap and he began to close the gap separating him from Kurzejewski. A spin by Zacharias with 52 laps complete set up what became the final restart. Kurzejewski was up to the challenge but Hanbury got the better of Smith. Rusty regrouped, reeled in Hanbury, and made an outside pass on lap 57. What he needed was more laps that wouldn't happen. What Matt Kurzejewski needed he got – the checkered flag. Smith settled for 2nd, with Hanbury, Dean Rypkema and Kent all in the top 5. "We lost the power steering so I had to really work for this one," Kurzejewski said. "I have to thank my Dad, Zane Zeiner for setting up the car, and Tom Gush and the whole crew for the work they do."

Charlie Sharpsteen got almost everything he sought in the Street Stock division. Winner of heat #1, he drew the pole for the 50-lap feature. It was a race he'd lead 49 of the 50 laps, and not the one that ultimately counted. Fellow heat race winner, Randy Brokaw, drew #2, putting a pair of fast machines on the front row. Trouble came on the opening lap. Several cars got together in turn 3, ending the day for both Milton Price and John Lane. Following a lengthy clean-up, the race got underway with Sharpsteen leading the way. Early on Jeff Goodwin joined Sharpsteen and Brokaw for a 3-car breakaway. As the trio worked some lap traffic 20 laps into the race Brokaw went low while both Sharpsteen and Goodwin went high. The high groove was the place to be, and Goodwin took over 2nd. Ten laps later Lee Sharpsteen got around Brokaw and he started to reel in the lead duo. The third Sharpsteen brother, Gil, was also on the move. Up to 4th, he was glued to Lee's rear bumper for several laps. With 2 to go it was back to a 2-man race. Goodwin continued to look high and low but it wasn't until the final lap that he got the nose of his car under Sharpsteen in the final corner. They touched slightly, and officials ruled that it was nothing more than a racing incident that resulted in Sharpsteen's car up against the front stretch wall, and Goodwin's car doing burnouts prior to parking in victory lane. Lee Sharpsteen ended up 2nd, followed to the line by Gil Sharpsteen, Brokaw and heat winner RJ Zacharias.

The Empire Super Trucks competed in their inaugural race at the track. Randy Mooney won the heat race, but field inversion put Trevor Halladay and Bob Schroy in the front row for the start of their 20-lap feature. Schroy led the first 3 laps before being passed by Mooney. At the halfway mark Travis Edwards had worked his way up to 2nd. Over the last half dozen laps Mooney and Edwards swapped the lead several times, often running side-by-side around the track. Edwards, winless for 4 years, edged Mooney at the stripe in the caution-free feature. He credited Mooney for getting him there in the first place. The rest was up to Edwards.

The only remaining item of business on the calendar is the annual banquet and awards ceremony, scheduled for November 12th.


Sportsman Modifieds: (65) MATT KURZEJEWSKI, Rusty Smith, Tony Hanbury, Dean Rypkema, JR Kent, Jody Buckley, Jeff Frisbie, Bryan Sherwood, Jimmy Zacharias, Zack Curren, Andy Jankowiak, Matt Clemens, Lee Sharpsteen, Chris Clemens, Carl Silvernail, Don Wilson, Scott Wylie (DQ – on track incident under caution)

Street Stocks: (50) JEFF GOODWIN, Lee Sharpsteen, Gil Sharpsteen, Randy Brokaw, RJ Zacharias, Robert Fink, Charlie Sharpsteen, Terry Potrzebowski, Matt Visingard, Chris Bennett, Danielle Buchek, Mikayla Rypkema, Brad Knapp, Dusty Snell, Mike Nichols, Hank Buchanan, Bob Ripley, Milton Price, John Lane, Chris Zacharias (DNS)

Empire Sport Trucks: (20) TRAVIS EDWARDS, Randy Moore, Trevor Halladay, Bob Schroy, Matt Johnson, Dan Wood, Steve Argus (DNS)