Utica-Rome August 18th preview

VERNON, NY -- The popular One on One Spectator Races return to Utica-Rome Speedway for the final time of the 2002-season this Sunday August 18 on J.M. Uvanni Motors Night. In actual DIRT Motorsports sanctioned stock car racing competition on the...

VERNON, NY -- The popular One on One Spectator Races return to Utica-Rome Speedway for the final time of the 2002-season this Sunday August 18 on J.M. Uvanni Motors Night. In actual DIRT Motorsports sanctioned stock car racing competition on the fast half-mile clay oval will be the 358-Modifieds, Sportsman, Pro Stocks, and Pure Stocks. Race time at the historic "Action Track of the East" is set for 6pm with the regular points season winding down.

Young Matt Sheppard is on the verge of his first ever Utica-Rome track title in the headline 358-Modified division, but the consistent driver has yet to visit victory lane. Could Sheppard finally get the job done in this Sunday's 30-lap main event to solidify his hold on the standings? A host of top drivers including 3-time winner Jack Johnson, Todd Burley, Gordy Button, Ryan Baye, Gus Schmidt, Jason Barney, J.J. Michaels, Mitch Gibbs, Jim Rothwell, and many more will all be in contention in the J.M. Uvanni Motors feature event. Overall, eight different drivers have visited victory lane this season, making it one of the most competitive seasons in track history.

As of August 4, Sheppard leads the standings by 52 points over Gibbs, followed by Baye, Button, and Barney. This Sunday will be the second to last point event, as the points for the 358-Modifieds will end on August 25. The points for all other divisions will end on Sunday September 1.

Jamie Christian of West Winfield is currently the point leader in the Sportsman division, with Tim Clemons, Kevin Crave, Paul Carey, and Jim Roberts holding down the rest of the top five positions. Bret Belden is the current Pro Stock point leader, but the top seven in points are all within twenty-one markers of each other. Jason Rood, Buddy Hencke, Denny Smith, Bill Knapp, and Joe Palmer are all contenders for the title this season. Dave Mannise, Art Newman, Chuck Cushman, Jim Thomas, and Jeff Thorp continue to be the drivers to beat in the Pure Stock ranks.

The final One on One Spectator Races of the year will be held during intermission. Earlier this season, close to thirty spectators raced their cars on the fast half-mile for one lap in elmination rounds. All you need to compete in the popular event is the car you drove to the track, a helmet, and a pit pass.

Utica-Rome Speedway gates this Sunday August 18 on J.M. Uvanni Motors Night will open at 4pm, with exciting race action beginning at 6pm. The track is located on Route 5 in Vernon, just fifteen minutes east of the City of Utica. Free parking and overnight camping is allowed on track grounds. For more information, contact the speedway office at (315) 829-4557 or log onto www.uticaromespeedway.com.

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Series Stock car