Utica-Rome report 2002-08-25

Todd Burley wins on J+J Yamaha night, Daryl Hagen, Bret Belden, and Chuck Cushman also victorious. VERNON, NY -- Todd Burley, from Spencerport, charged from his 14th place starting position to take the checkered flag on J+J Yamaha this ...

Todd Burley wins on J+J Yamaha night, Daryl Hagen, Bret Belden, and Chuck Cushman also victorious.

VERNON, NY -- Todd Burley, from Spencerport, charged from his 14th place starting position to take the checkered flag on J+J Yamaha this past Sunday. By starting the feature event, Matt Sheppard also clinched the Utica-Rome Speedway DIRT Modified track title in his first year of competition at the track.

John Ramsey and Paul Kinney brought the field down to the green flag with Ramsey taking early control. Gordy Button moved up from his third place starting position to take the lead on a lap 3 restart. After 5 laps, Button led with Ramsey, Gus Schmidt, Jason Barney, and Matt Sheppard chasing. Todd Burley Ryan Baye, Kinney, Jeff Kotary, and Ron Holmes filled out the top ten.

A scary moment in the race occurred on a lap 10 restart when contact was made between Sheppard, Ramsey, and Gus Schmidt. Schmidt's car careened into the infield with a broken front end. An angry Schmidt showed his displeasure with Ramsey while the cars circled under caution. Button continued to lead after the restart, with Burley, Sheppard, Holmes, and Ramsey following.

On lap 12, Burley passed Button for the lead to take control of the field. At the halfway point, Burley still had control of the field with Button, Sheppard, Ron Holmes, and Kotary following. Mitch Gibbs, after recovering from lap 1 spin, Ted Lamb, Barney, Ramsey, Aaron Excell completed the top ten.

Todd Burley opened a wide margin for the checkered over Button, Sheppard, Holmes, and Kotary. Filling the top ten at the finish were Lamb, Gibbs, Barney, Ramsey, and John Barker. Matt Sheppard won his first Utica-Rome Speedway track championship in his first full year of competition the speedway.

In the DIRT Sportsman event, Steve Way took early control of the race on the first lap and continued to lead til lap 5. Fifth place starter Daryl Hagen took over the lead on lap 6, and held on to the lead for the win. Steve Kotary, Paul Carey, Jamie Christian, and John Christian followed Hagen across the line. Jamie Christian clinched his second track championship with his fourth place finish, combined with the bad luck of second place point man Tim Clemons, who finished 18th.

Mark Effner jumped out to the early lead in the DIRT Pro Stock feature event until defending track champion Bret Belden took the lead. Belden paced the event to the finish with Denny Smith, Jason Rood, Jim Normoyle, and Joe Palmer completing the top five. Jason Rood leads the points by one point over Buddy Hencke going into the last point event of the season. Belden sits in third in points, eight points behind.

At the drop of the green in the Pure Stock feature, Les Lewis took the early lead til sixth place starter Jeff Thorp took over the top spot. A big wreck on a lap 4 restart involvong many front runners, including early leader Lewis, Dave Mannise, Ted Crawford, Dave Pope, Rick Trexler, and Claude Hutchings. Chuck Cushman took over on lap 8 and took home the win. Completing the top five were Jeff Thorp, Waylan Wilczek, Art Newman, and Jerry Button.

Coming up this Sunday night Semptember 1st, Utica-Rome Speedway presents the Empire Super Sprints and Central New York Mini-Sprints plus the final point night for the DIRT Sportsman, DIRT Pro Stocks, and Pure Stocks. At the conclusion of the racing event, a huge firework display will end the regular season with a bang. The DIRT 358 Modifieds will not be in action this Sunday night. Utica-Rome Speedway is located in Vernon, just a short trip from the New York State Thruway Exit 33. For more information, call the speedway office at (315)829-4557, or go online at www.uticaromespeedway.com

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Series Stock car
Drivers John Barker