Zacharias Family Dominates Victory Lane

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July 12, 2014

By Tom Cummings


Tioga Center, NY The Zacharias family honored the memory of the late Shirley Zacharias by dominating Shangri-La II's victory lane at the 2nd annual Shirley Zacharias Memorial on Saturday night. T.J. Zacharias charged from his fourth place starting spot to the front to take the lead on the opening lap and completed a dream he has carried for a year – winning his grandmother's memorial race. He finished second one year ago to his brother, Jimmy who was driving the same gold number 71 Sportsman Modified T.J. has now driven to six wins in 2014. Out of respect for Shirley and the Zacharias family, Chris Pozzi turned his Street Stock over to Tommy Zacharias for the night. Tommy, Chris and R.J., three of Shirley and Jim's six sons were racing in Street Stock competition. R.J has been close to victory many times at Shangri-La II, and he finally broke through the barrier and found Victory Lane for the first time at The Concrete Castle holding off Bill Frisbee, Jr. Gene Purvis started fifth, but had the lead in the Four Cylinder Stock feature in turn two of the first lap and cruised to his ninth win of the year. Devon Bailey collected the trophy for being the first Front Wheel Drive across the line.


The Four Cylinder Stock competitors are trying to figure out how to beat Gene Purvis at Shangri-La II, but none have accomplished that task in 2014. Perhaps that is because Purvis is constantly tinkering with the orange number 88 as he feels there is still a better set-up and more speed in the car. Purvis started mid pack on Saturday night and weaved through the combination of front and rear wheel drive rides in turns one and two and found himself at the front of the pack as they hit the backstretch for the first time. Pole sitter, Alan Blackwell fell in to second spot as the field entered turn three. Nick Morich used the outside groove to move past Blackwell for second on lap four. The lone caution of the night fell on lap three with the 117 of Josh Bailey pulled down to a stop on the inside of the frontstretch. The remainder of the racing Baily trio had Devon in fifth spot and Duane in seventh on lap five. Joe Lane started ninth and was up to fourth by lap five passing Devon Bailey. Purvis extended the lead to a full straightaway by lap ten. Joe Lane got wide exiting turn two with five laps to go, and was passed by Devon and Duane Bailey. At the end, Purvis collected win number nine of 2014. Morich was second, Blackwell finished third and The Bailey's, Devon and Duane, completed the top five. Devon was the first finishing front wheel drive car.

T.J. Zacharias wasted no time in executing his plan for victory. From his fourth place starting spot, he moved around Nick Morich and then to the inside of polesitter Tommy Rought to take the lead. Third place starter, Paul Johnson followed Zacharias past Rought on the inside of turn two. Zacharias would hold Johnson off by four car lengths during the first twelve laps. At the halfway point, Zacharias began to extend his lead to as much as twelve car lengths. Gene Sharpsteen competed in his first Sportsman event and was locked in a three-way battle for fifth in the closing six laps of the race with Connor Sellars and polesitter Tommy Rought, Sellars was borrowing a ride from Zacharias racing for the night. With four laps to go, Johnson erased T.J.'s lead and was pressuring him as they worked the slower traffic. The checkered flag had Zacharias across the line first, by a carlength. Johnson was second, Morich finished third, Jason Duke and Sharpsteen completed the top five.

R.J. Zacharias and Bill Frisbee, Jr. led the Street Stocks to the green flag after R.J., Chris and Tommy Zacharias paced the field in a three wide salute to their mother. R.J. and Frisbee pulled away from Jason Duke and Gary Noe by lap three. Frisbee began to fade by lap seven, and Duke got by Frisbee to take over second place. Chris Zacharias lost his right front brake, but managed to get by Brad Knapp and Frisbee. Chris Zacharias challenged Duke for second briefly, but with no right front brake, his corner entry was different every time and made handling difficult. R.J. Zacharias was finally able to overcome all of the mechanical failures which have plagued him at the track and finally found his way to Victory Lane at Shangri-La II. Duke finished second, Chris Zacharias was third. Frisbee and Noe completed the top five.

Concrete Nuggets; The Zacharias Family donated the trophies and plaques to the winners along with a bottle of champagne. The plaques had a clock on them, and Shirley's likeness was on the trophies. Joe Lane donated hats from is sponsor, NAPA which were randomly handed out at intermission. The Kiddie Rides were an overwhelming success thanks to the cooperation of the drivers and race teams and the track officials. There was a Bandolero exhibition with Bandit division driver Teddy "TC" Bowen and Outlaw division driver Damon Frutchey showing their rides and capabilities to the fans at Shangrila II. The pair put on a five lap exhibition race which was very evenly matched. Sportsman drivers Nick Morich, Connor Sellars and Tommy Rought age graduates from the Bandolero class.

This Saturday night will feature Crazy Jerry's Concrete Craziness featuring Cone Races for all classes and Double Points for all divisions. Grandstand admission price is only $ 6.00 for adults age 16 and above. Youth under age 16 are admitted free. Pit Gates open at 4:30 pm, Grandstand Gate opens and Practice begins at 5:30 pm with racing beginning at 7:00 pm. Keep up with what is happening at Shangri-La II by visiting us on the web at: . There is always plenty of free camping at Shangri-La II Motorspeedway.

Street Stocks (20 Laps) 1) R.J. Zacharias 2) Jason Duke, Sr. 3) Chris Zacharias, 4) Bill Frisbee, Jr., 5) Gary Noe, 6) Brad Knapp, 7) Tommy Zacharias Heat Winner:R. J. Zacharias

Sportsman Modifieds (25 Laps) 1) T. J. Zacharias, 2) Paul Johnson, 3) Nick Morich, 4) Jason Duke, Sr. 5) Gene Sharpsteen, 6) Connor Sellars , 7) Tommy Rought, 8) Chris Clemens Heat Winners: Paul Johnson, T.J. Zacharias

Four Cylinder Stocks (15 Laps) 1) Gene Purvis, 2) Nick Morich, 3) Alan Blackwell, 4) Devon Bailey, 5) Duane Bailey, 6) Joe Lane, 7) Sam Warren, 8) Chris Kokesh, 9) Josh Bailey Heat Winners: Gene Purvis, Devon Bailey
RWD WINNER: Gene Purvis FWD WINNER: Devon Bailey