VERNON, NY- Rookie 358-Modified driver Jamie Christian survived a caution plaqued feature to gain his first ever win in the division on Royce International Eyewear night. Eldon Payne made a last turn pass to win the first leg of the...
VERNON, NY- Rookie 358-Modified driver Jamie Christian survived a caution plaqued feature to gain his first ever win in the division on Royce International Eyewear night. Eldon Payne made a last turn pass to win the first leg of the East Region Sunoco Race Fuels Sportsman Super DIRT Series with Jerry Holmes and Russ Marsden also winning on Sunday June 27.
Jamie Christian and Jim Rothwell would lead the 358-Modified 30-lap main event at the drop of the green, and entering turn 1, Rothwell slipped off the high side, collecting Gus Schmidt and bringing out the quick caution. On the restart, Stewart Friesen clipped the heavy cushion and began a series of quick barrel rolls. Friesen's mount ended up on it's roof but when safety crews righted the car, Friesen buckled back in and drove into the pits. After being penalized for exiting the pits the wrong way, Friesen rejoined the rear of the field. Christian would again take the lead as the field received the green again with John Ramsey, Dave Camara, Mitch Gibbs, and Bobby Varin in tow. A lap 5 restart saw Ramsey gain the top spot and on a lap 12 restart was able to return the favor and take over the lead. At the halfway point it was Christian, Ramsey, Varin, Camara, and Willy Decker.
Lap 16 would see Dave Rauscher try to outdo Friesen, as he flipped off turn 4 and restart the race at the rear. Christian would survive the restart and several more as cautions plagued the later stages of the event. Christian would open up a lead in the end and hang on to win his first ever DIRT 358-Modified feature. Varin would finish second with Camara, Decker, and Weaver trailing. Weaver, Christian, and Camara were the victors in the qualifying heats.
Chad Phelps and Kyle Dingwall would lead the 30 car starting field down to the green to start the first event of the Eastern region Sunoco Race Fuels Super DIRT Series, with Phelps grabbing the early advantage. Phelps would lead the first six circuits until Mike Button would use a restart to take the lead on lap 7. Several cautions for minor incidents would slow the field in the early going but the scariest moment of the night came on lap 9 when Lance Willix would hit the backstretch guardrail and get turned sideways in front of the field. Tim Nye had no where to go and made hard contact with the stopped Willix, collecting Brad Alger and Butch Reiter. Alger caught some serious air while Reiter made hard contact with the wall. Everyone was alright, with Reiter taking a precautionary trip in the ambulance.
Button continued to hold the advantage on the restart, which was the beginning of a long green flag stretch and at halfway of the 30-lap affair it was Button, Phelps, Eldon Payne, Jessica Zemken, and Kevin Bates. With Button out front, Phelps and Payne waged a torrid battle for the second position. Payne made several bids for runner-up spot, but each time Phelps was able to hold him off. Two more caution flags would slow the field in the last third of the event, but each time Button was able to hold on to the lead with Phelps and Payne still fighting for the second spot. But, going into turn three on the last circuit, Payne drove into the turn hard, passing both Phelps and Button in the process to take the lead in the final turn. Even though he slid over the cushion coming off turn 4, Payne was able to hang on for the final 200 feet to take the thrilling win. Button, Phelps, Zemken, and Bates filled out the remaining top five positions. In Sportsman heat action, Phelps, Kyle Dingwall, and Zemken won the heats with Elmo Reckner winning the consolation event.
Bob Mills led the early portion of the 15-lap Pro Stock feature event from his outside front row starting position. Mills bid for his first ever win at the speedway would end on lap 8 as he slowed in turn 4, bringing out the first and only caution of the event. Defending track champion would inherit the lead and run the rest of the event uncontested for his first win of the 2004 season. Chasing Holmes across the line were Jason Rood, Bret Belden, Todd Hurlburt, and Roy Fifield. By winning the race, Holmes became the first driver besides Fifield to win a Pro Stock event at the speedway this season. Pro Stock heats went to Bob Mills and Jason Rood.
Dave Janczuk would hold the early lead in the 15-lap Pure Stock main event with Jim Thomas taking over on lap 4. Thomas would stay up front, fending off the challenges of the hard charging Russ Marsden and Dave Pope. Marsden was able to sneak by Thomas on a lap 13 restart and sped away for his 4th win of the season. Thomas, Pope, Chris Cunningham, and Chuck Cushman chased Marsden across the line. Marsden and Pope were the first across the line in heat action.
Chuck Powelczyk took the lead from Jack Hill on lap 2 in the Four Cylinder Super Stock feature event and would never look back for the remainder of the event. Following Powelczyk across the stripe would be Doug Farnsworth, Jim Money, Jack Hill, and Claude Hutchings.
Next Sunday on July 4, Mirabito "The Energy Leader" and C-Weaver Chevrolet will present the Independence Weekend Fireworks Spectacular featuring the Empire Super Sprints. The DIRT 358-Modifieds, DIRT Sportsman, DIRT Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Central New York Mini-Sprints will fill out the schedule for the evening. A special starting time will be in effect for this weekend as the gates will open at 2:30 p.m. and racing starting at 5 p.m. For more information, log on to the speedway website at www.uticaromespeedway.com or call the speedway office at (315) 829-4557.
ROYCE INTERNATIONAL EYEWEAR SUMMARY
DIRT 358-MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)- JAMIE CHRISTIAN, Bob Varin, Dave Camara, Willy Decker, Brian Weaver, Stewart Friesen, Todd Burley, John Ramsey, Tony Ross, Jim Johnson, Kory Gurney, Joel Thomas, Todd Thomas, Mitch Gibbs, Mark Flach, Gus Schmidt, Dave Rauscher, Paul Jensen, Jim Rothwell, Cass Bennett, and Mark Tily. DNS- Ken McGuire and Jeremy Smith.
SUNOCO RACE FUELS SPORTSMAN SDS FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)- ELDON PAYNE, Mike Button, Chad Phelps, Jessica Zemken, Kevin Bates, Joe Williams, Jim Dallett, Ken Stafford, Jeremy Vunk, Bill Price, Kyle Dingwall, Elmo Reckner, Kyle Lewis, Matt Janczuk, Paul Carey, Darryl Hagen, Jason Potter, Loren Lincoln, Steve Way, Marcel Pecore, John Cunningham, Pat O'Hanlan, Stewart Garrison, Bill Shantel, Jr., Mike Zimmerman, Bob Henry, Lance Willix, Tim Nye, Brad Alger, and Butch Reiter.
DIRT PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- JERRY HOLMES, Jason Rood, Bret Belden, Todd Hurlburt, Roy Fifield, Ed Ostrander, Tom Denton, Brian Belden, Mark Effner, Dave Moyer, Jim Normoyle, Ryan Lund, AJ Digsby, Dave Fox, Scott Johnson, Craig Hale, Bob Mills, Eric Vanderhoof, and Bill Knapp.
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- RUSS MARSDEN, Jim Thomas, Dave Pope, Chris Cunningham, Chuck Cushman, Art Newman, Phil Norman, Dave Arbes, Rick Condes, Dave Janczuk, Frank Hyatt, Ted Crawford, Michael Barney, Bob Bird, Steve Delano, Shawn Dunn, Ricky Marshall, and Andy Szewczyk.
FOUR CYLINDER SUPER STOCK FEATURE FINISH (8 LAPS)- CHUCK POWELCZYK, Doug Farnsworth, Jim Money, Jack Hill, Claude Hutchings, Joey Delacruz, Lorraine Birmingham, and Lee Hartzog.
MIDSTATE VINTAGE STOCK CAR CLUB 50'S WINNER- Bill Kisselstein. 60's- Pat Sonnenberg. 70's- Gary Beverly.