Utica-Rome preview 2001-06-10

VERNON, NY - The thrill and excitement of professional stock car racing action sanctioned by DIRT Motorsports returns to Utica-Rome Speedway this Sunday June 10. In race competition at the ultra fast half-mile clay oval will be the DIRT ...

VERNON, NY - The thrill and excitement of professional stock car racing action sanctioned by DIRT Motorsports returns to Utica-Rome Speedway this Sunday June 10. In race competition at the ultra fast half-mile clay oval will be the DIRT 358-Modifieds, DIRT Sportsman, DIRT Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Slinghots plus One on One Spectator Races. Race time is set for 6pm.

J.J. Michaels and Todd Burley have scored victories in the two regular DIRT 358-Modified features to date, with Danny Johnson taking the win in the Super DIRT Series 100-lapper. However, other top drivers such as defending track champion Ron Holmes, plus former champions Mitch Gibbs, Paul Jensen, Roger Phelps, and the legendary Jack Johnson are all looking for their first victories of the young season. Also challenging for the huge win in the 30-lap main event will be other top drivers including John Barker, Gus Schmidt, Jason Barney, Ryan Baye, and Steve Hulsizer. With such a talented lineup of some of the best 358-Modified drivers at Utica-Rome, you never know who will end up in victory lane at race end.

Tim Clemons has won all three DIRT Sportsman features to date and leads the point standings, but other top drivers Willy Decker, Jamie Christian, Bill Shantel Jr., Bill Trexler, and newcomer Mike Button are all hungry to knock Clemons off the top spot.

Jerry Holmes has dominated DIRT Pro Stock action at the speedway this year. However, former champions Bret Belden and Wayne Archer are running in top form and should see victory lane before too long. Other challengers for victory lane include young drivers Jason Rood, and rookie Mark Effner, who recently finished second in only his second Pro Stock event.

Jeff Pastorella and Dave Mannise have one victory each in the Pure Stock division, however Mannise will not be running the full season. So, this leaves the door wide open for drivers like Pastorella, Jim Thomas, Waylan Wilczek, Herm Staats, and Bill Mason to reach victory lane or even championship form.

During intermission, One on One Spectator Races will be held on the speedway racing surface. Spectators, with a pit pass and helmet will drag race their vehicles on the speedway from turn four to the start finish line in elimination rounds, with the finals featuring a whole lap around the speedway! Last year, this event was rained out, but in 1999 it was very popular with Utica-Rome race fans.

You can be a part of the "Fastest Family Fun in Central New York" this summer at the Utica-Rome Speedway, a Sunday family tradition in the Mohawk Valley that produces some of the best three and four wide racing on the entire 26-track DIRT Motorsports circuit. The gates this Sunday June 10 will open at 4pm, with racing taking the green from Starter Chip Burdick at 6pm. The track is located just east of the village of Vernon on Route 5 and is easily accessible from New York State Thruway Exit 33. Free parking and overnight camping is allowed on speedway grounds.

For more information, contact the speedway office at (315) 829-4557 or visit the official internet website at www.newuticaromespeedway.com.

-Doug Zupan

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Series Stock car
Drivers John Barker