Utica-Rome postponed due to rain 2002-06-16

Rain showers postpone Utica-Rome Speedway race action on Pepsi-Cola night. VERNON, NY -- All the heat races, consis, and four laps of the Pro Stock feature were completed last Sunday before the rains fell at Utica-Rome Speedway on Pepsi-Cola ...

Rain showers postpone Utica-Rome Speedway race action on Pepsi-Cola night.

VERNON, NY -- All the heat races, consis, and four laps of the Pro Stock feature were completed last Sunday before the rains fell at Utica-Rome Speedway on Pepsi-Cola Night. The rains stopped and track management attempted to save the track, but more showers began shortly thereafter forcing the postponement of the scheduled feature events.

Eric Vanderhoof, back after a major fire in his Pro Stock machine last week, was the leader of the Pro Stock feature when the rains began falling. Defending track champion Bret Belden was in second, with Denny Smith in third, Gerry Newman in fourth, and Jason Rood in fifth. The entire field has been frozen and the 15-lap event will be completed as the first event this Sunday June 23. The Pure Stock feature has been postponed to this Sunday as well and will be run before the heat races.

The 358-Modified feature has been postponed to Sunday June 30, while the Sportsman division feature has been set back to July 21. This sets up the fan favorite double features for those race nights, with the delayed features to be completed right at 6pm before the heats for the regularly scheduled racing.

Aaron Excell, Rich Price, and Willy Decker won the 358-Modified heat races, while Jim Rothwell claimed the consi. Victorious in the Sportsman heats were Tim Mayne, 16-year old Jessica Zemken, and Jamie Christian. Billy Shantel Jr, last week's Sportsman feature winner, won the Sportsman consi. The Pro Stock heat wins went to Joe Gould and Denny Smith, while Dave Mannise and Dave Pope won the Pure Stock heat races.

The next event on the Utica-Rome Speedway schedule is this Wednesday June 19. Featured will be the rained out Mother's Day Special, with the 100-lap Turning Stone Casino 358-Modified Super DIRT Series all-star event plus a 30-lap Sunoco Race Fuels Sportsman Super DIRT Series affair on F.X. Caprara Car Companies Night. Gates for the midweek show this week will open at 4pm, with time trials for the 358-Modifieds beginning at 6:30pm, and racing taking the green flag from Starter Matt Burdick at 7pm.

Coming up this Sunday June 23 is Skip's Trailer Sales / Rothwell's Used Auto Sales Night featuring the rained out Pro Stock and Pure Stock features from June 16 plus a full program of 358-Modifieds, Sportsman (Non-Point), Pro Stocks, and Pure Stocks. Gates will open at 4pm, with racing set for 6pm. Regular admission prices will be in effect for the special bonus race program.

The speedway is located on Route 5 in Vernon, just minutes off New York State Thruway Exit 33 in Verona. Free parking and overnight camping is allowed for every event. For more information, contact the speedway office at (315) 829-4557 or visit www.uticaromespeedway.com.

PIT NOTES -- 33 Modifieds, 27 Sportsman, 20 Pro Stocks, and 19 Pure Stocks were on hand on a day when it looked like there would be no racing period at Utica-Rome. Rain was in the area all day long, but no rain fell until just after the Pro Stock feature began. Race fans were happy just to see racing period, after the entire weekend at all the area tracks was washed out. The legendary Jumpin' Jack Johnson posted the quick time of the night with a 20.805 during the third Modified heat while running down rookie Willy Decker, who bested Johnson at the line for the heat race win.

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