VERNON, NY- With the departure of Dick Sweet as the General Manager of the Utica-Rome Speedway at the conclusion of the 2007 season, track owner Gene Cole was left to look for someone to manage the highly successful Sunday night track. After a short search, Mr. Cole turned to longtime employee Barb Clark to handle many of Sweet's responsibilities for the 2008 season by naming her the Director of Operations of the Utica-Rome Speedway.

Clark has been involved with Utica-Rome Speedway for a decade, joining the staff in Eric Kingsley's last two years of ownership of the Vernon oval. She started by working at the VIP and pit windows and helping the family in the office. When Cole took over the track in 2002, Clark helped with the transition in ownership by training the new staff in the office, before she took over the duties by the end of the 2002 season. Her duties on Sunday nights at that point included being in charge of the finances and employees, a position that she held until the end of the 2007 season.

Professionally, Clark has 30 years of experience in the automotive industry, starting as a Card Desk girl at NAPA in 1972 with local legend Tom Williams being her first boss. Through the years, she made her way up the ranks, eventually serving as a Store Manager for the automotive chain.

Clark's history at Utica-Rome Speedway extends past her employment at the speedway, as she has attended races at the popular oval since its asphalt days. Also, her husband John has raced since the late 70's, and then her son began his career in the late 90's. She has also been on various pit crews.

Clark's new role at the Utica-Rome Speedway will differ from her predecessor Sweet's, as she will have less involvement with the on track activities on race night than Sweet but will be more involved with the financial end. Clark will pick up most of Sweet's weekly duties which include sponsorships, concessions, and maintenance.

Clark officially started her new post on November 12, 2007.

The 2008 season officially begins on April 20 with the Sportsman, Pro Stocks, and the SUNY Canton Street Stock Open Series plus open practice. The remainder of the 2008 schedule is nearly set and will soon be released.

-credit: urs