Zacharias Survives Fall Brawl
TIOGA CENTER, N.Y. – The fourth edition of The Fall Brawl closed out the 2012 racing season at Shangri-La II Motor Speedway, headlined by a 100-lap Race of Champions Modified Series race.
Tommy Cloce and Billy Putney led the Race of Champions Modified field to the green flag. Cloce held the lead while Daren Scherer and Bobby Holmes put on the challenges by lap 20.
The first of four cautions came out when Brian DeFebo broke in turn three on lap 32. Several teams pitted for fresh rubber including Erick Rudolph and Billy Putney. Rudolph would become a factor later in the race.
Matt Hirschman and Kyle Ebersole, the combatants for the title ran with each other back in ninth and tenth place. Hossfeld and Rudolph were back in 13th and 14th when the second caution flew for Austin Koshenash as he came to a stop on the backstretch.
Jimmy Zacharias remained the man to beat, but was penalized two spots for utilizing a team car to block when he took the lead. When racing resumed, Bobby Holmes took the and was pulling away from the field until he broke while leading, and landing in the foam blocks in turn one on lap sixty one.
Zacharias re-assumed the lead on the restart with Chuck Hossfeld, Daren Scherer and Erick Rudolph in tow. Rudolph would bypass Scherer on lap 68 and then got by Hossfeld on lap 69. The final caution flew in lap seventy one when Dean Rypkema and Tommy Cloce would spin coming out of turn two.
Zacharias retook the top spot and fended off constant pressure by Rudolph and Hossfeld down the stretch run. Zacharias finally got his first Race of Champions win in a close finish with Rudolph and Hossfeld finishing second and third.
Matt Hirschman was considering getting into the mix for the win, but settled on the bigger picture, and finished fourth; clinching his fifth Race of Champions Pavement Modified Series title.
Andy Walko ran all six modified event at Shangri-La II in 2012, and finished fifth in the season finale.
Zacharias also won the 75-lap sportsman feature on Sunday. Other winners at Shangra-La included Charlie Sharpsteen (street-stock), Glenn Lippolis (street-stock silver dollar race and late-model), Mike Alcaro (Legends car), Jason Brigham (four-cylinder) and Scott Shafer (four-cylinder RWD).