Hot Memorial Day Weekend Racing Kicks Off Summer
May 26, 2012 - The Late Models ran their first race of the 2012 season at the ASA member Track, Shangri-La II Motorspeedway on Saturday night. Jim Lamoreaux dominated the event collecting the opening night checkered for the third time in the track's four seasons. Tony Hanbury moved around the outside of rookie teammate, Tyler Rypkema for his first win of the young season in the Sportsman ranks. Lee Sharpsteen and Jeff Ameigh each scored their second wins of the year with dominating performances in the Street Stocks and Pudgie's Pizza Four Cylinder Stocks.
ASA Late Models
The Late Model division made their 2012 season debut on Saturday night with Jerry Dineen winning the heat race in his brand new Ford Mustang. Following the re-draw for starting position, Jim Lamoreaux found his potent number 37 Chrvrolet on the pole for the 25 lap feature with 2011 champion, Joe Brown starting to his outside. Gary Folk Jr. dropped the green flag, and the battle was on with Lamoreaux taking the lead in turn one, bringing Dineen along from his third starting spot up to second place and sending Brown back to third. The field ran single file, eventually breaking into two groups. Scott Nurmi got around the Ford of Joe Beretta for the fourth spot on lap eleven, and joined the lead pack of cars. Dineen and Brown were locked up in a nose to tail battle for second until Dineen slipped up slightly in turn four on lap 20. The slip up gave Brown the opening he needed to capture second and challenge the 2009 champion, Lamoreaux. The lone caution of the event flew on lap 21 as Scott Nurmi spun in turn four. Billy Coyle slowed on lap 21 and went to the pits. Lamoreaux nailed the re-start and captured his ninth Shangri-La II victory. Brown finished second, Dineen was third, Beretta finished fourth and Nurmi rallied to finish fifth.
Sportsman rookie, Tyler Rypkema shook off some of the bad luck he had been experiencing early in his rookie season as he led the first competitive laps in his young open wheel career. Tyler started outside in the front row. His teammate, Tony Hanbury started on the pole. Tyler swept around Hanbury exiting turn two and grabbed the lead. Hanbury dropped into second with fourth place starter, Zach Curren moving up to third. John Wilber quickly moved up to fourth from his sixth place start by the end of lap one. By the end of the second lap, Wilber had gotten by Curren for third. The effort for Wilber, however would not be rewarded as he experienced mechanical problems and retired from the twenty five lap feature on lap five.
Jody Buckley started seventh, and had moved up to fourth by the fifth lap. Sportsman rookie, Dylan Terry started eighth and moved up to sixth by lap four, challenging Paul Johnson for fifth. Johnson had started fourth. Tyler Rypkema held the composure of a veteran as Hanbury continuously challenged Rypkema over the course of the first twenty laps. Curren and Buckley would swap third and fourth positions on lap eleven only to swap back again on lap eighteen. The lone caution of the race came on lap 20 when Buckley spun in front of the field in turn four. Everyone avoided Buckley and all cars got ready for the restart. Hanbury powered around Rypkema to claim his first of the season at Shangri-La II. Tyler Rypkema came home an impressive second. Curren finished third with Terry and Jeff Frisbee completing the top five. Buckley recovered to finish sixth.
Guy Somers is a true rookie to racing in 2012, and started on the pole in just his third ever feature in the Street Stock division. R. J. Zacharias started outside the front row, and quickly took the top spot as the field charged into turn one on the first lap. The excitement was happening behind R.J. with his brother, Chris locked in a three wide battle with Glenn Lippolis and Lee Sharpsteen. This battle took place over two laps with Lippolis a slim second place over Chris Zacharias and Lee Sharpseen. Sharpsteen passed Chris Zacharias for third on lap three. He and Chris Zacharias got by Lippolis on lap four when Lippolis washed up the track just enough exiting turn two for Sharpsteen to hold the door open. Two laps later, Lee took over the lead. Once out front, he pulled away from the field.
R.J. Zacharias would continue to run second with Chris in third. Jeff Goodwin got by Lippolis for fourth on a lap eleven restart following a caution for Brad Knapp. Knapp is in the midst of a sophomore jinx as he has suffered mechanical problems each of the first three weeks. Caution flew for the second time when Chris Conrad spun in turn four. On the restart, Chris Zacharias made a move inside of R.J. moving Chris up to second as he entered turn three. The final caution flew when Jeff Goodwin got out of shape in turn four. He was running with Charlie Sharpsteen at the time of the spin. Charlie got by on the outside. Gil Sharpsteen tried to avoid the Goodwin ride as he made a move to the bottom of the track, but the opening he momentarily had closed quickly. Gil and Goodwin got together, and the contact straightened out both cars. Goodwin would drop to eighth on lap 21 and would get by Mike Nickels with two laps left to race and finish eighth. Lee Sharpsteen would win for the second week in a row. Chris Zacharias had his second runner-up finish in as many weeks. R.J.Zacharias finished third with Lippolis finishing fourth. Gil Sharpsteen finished fifth.
Pudgie's Four Cylinders
Jeff Ameigh started on the pole in the Pudgie's Goodtime Pizza, Pasta and Subs Four Cylinders. Frank Morich would start, run and finish second. Brandon Ameigh started third and fell out of the ten lap event on lap six. Jeff Ameigh collected the win for the second week in a row.
The win by Lee Sharpsteen was his sixteenth in a Street Stock at Shangri-La II. He leads all competitors for wins in a single division at the track. He trails only Jimmy Zacharias for total wins. Zacharias has fourteen wins in the Sportsman and six in the Modifieds for a total of twenty career wins at Shangri-La II. Two of the three Sportsman rookies had career best finishes - Tyler Rypkema with a second place finish and Dylan Terry with his fourth place finish. Mikayla Rypkema finished ninth after scoring a pair of sixth place finished in her first two outings in the Sportsman. Jim Lamoreaux broke a two way tie with Travis Fisher for most wins in a Late Model at The Concrete Castle. The pair were tied with eight wins each until Lamoreaux's win on Saturday night. Kyle Ebersole, who was the winner of the RoC Modified feature one week ago, is off to a great start as he backed up that win with a win in the Richie Evans Memorial RoC Modified race at the Oswego Speedway on Saturday night. The Shangri-La II Kids Club made flags for their Memorial Day activity. Post-Race inspection of the Street Stocks took longer than normal as Clutches and Flywheels were pulled and inspected.
Up Next at Shangri-La II is Saturday Night Shootout on Saturday night June 2nd. The Late Models will headline a program which includes Sportsman, Street Stocks and Four Cylinder Stocks. Pit Gates open at 4:30 pm. Grandstand Gates open and Hot Laps begin at 5:30 pm. Racing gets underway at 7:00 pm. Wristbands from last Sunday's Race of Champions race which are brought back will receive a $2.00 discount at the Shangri-La II ticket window on Saturday night.
Late Model Finish (25 Laps):
1) Jim Lamoreaux, 2) Joe Brown, 3) Jerry Dineen, 4) Joe Beretta, 5) Scott Nurmi, 6) Lorin Arthofer, 7) Josh Lloyd, 8) Billy Coyle
Sportsman Finish ( 25 Laps):
1) Tony Hanbury, 2) Tyler Rypkema, 3) Zach Curren, 4) Dylan Terry, 5) Jeff Frisbee, 6) Jody Buckley, 7) Paul Johnson, 8) Mikayla Rypkema, 9) Matt Clemens, 10) Chris Clemens, 11) John Wilber
Street Stock Finish ( 25 Laps):
1) Lee Sharpsteen, 2) Chris Zacharias, 3) R.J. Zacharias, 4) Glenn Lippolis, 5) Gil Sharpsteen, 6) Charlie Sharpsteen, 7) Joe Snell, 8) Jeff Goodwin, 9) Mike Nickels, 10) Dusty Snell, 11) Chris Conrad, 12) Guy Somers, 13) Jake Snell, 14) Brad Knapp
Pudgies GoodTime Pizza, Pasta and Subs Four Cylinder Stocks ( 10 Laps)
1) Jeff Ameigh, 2) Frank Morich,, 3) Brandon Ameigh
- Recap by Tom Cummings
- Race photos by MoJo Photos
ASA - Where Champions are born !!!