Utica-Rome Speedway preview 2000-08-13

VERNON, NY - After the last two Sundays being rained out, professional DIRT Motorsports sanctioned racing action will return to the New Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon on Sunday August 13. Scheduled in a regular program sponsored by PEPSI-COLA are...

VERNON, NY - After the last two Sundays being rained out, professional DIRT Motorsports sanctioned racing action will return to the New Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon on Sunday August 13. Scheduled in a regular program sponsored by PEPSI-COLA are the DIRT 358 Modifieds, DIRT Sportsman, DIRT Pro Stocks, and Pure Stocks plus the New York State Slingshot Championship Tour and New York State Stock Car Association (NYSSCA) Night. Race time is slated for 6pm.

Oneida's Ron Holmes, who has a comfortable forty-two point lead over defending track champion, Dale Planck, could be the man to beat for the remainder of the season at Utica-Rome in the DIRT 358 Modified division. However, recent new feature winner Ronnie Johnson is fast, and he could be tough as the season winds down. Other drivers looking for the big 30-lap feature win are Tim Clemons, Todd Burley, J.J. Michaels, Roger Phelps, Andy Bachetti, and Billy Wilcox.

West Winfield's Jamie Christian has four feature wins so far this season in the DIRT Sportsman division, but current high point man, Willy Decker from Vernon, is running strong and could be a threat to win on any given night, as could other top runners Kevin Crave and Craig Pritchard.

Bridgewater's Tom Denton is the current DIRT Pro Stock points leader and has been the dominant car this year at Utica-Rome. He is ready to debut an all-new chassis, which could mean more bad news for the rest of the competitors. However, Frank Twing, who has won in both appearances at the track this summer, has informed speedway management he will be returning to try to win another feature. Jerry Holmes is the only other driver to win a feature, but knocking on the door are Bret Belden, Jason Rood, and Wayne Archer.

Westmoreland's Jeff Pastorella and Vernon's Chad Ray have recently won a feature each and put an end to Dave Mannise's dominance in the Pure Stock division. Other drivers close to wins are Jim Thomas, Herm Staats, and Mark Effner.

The New York State Stock Car Association (NYSSCA) is having their special night at the speedway this coming Sunday as well. NYSSCA has been a long time supporter of stock car racing in the state, and New Utica-Rome has been a member track for many years. NYSSCA will give their special safety awards to each division at NUR, but each division must have at least five members to participate. The first NYSSCA member to cross the finish line in each division will receive an extra $50 for their racing efforts and membership in the club. In addition, a wild card drawing will be held for the members that did not receive an award in their divisions. NYSSCA representatives, Ed and Betty Biittig along with John Keegan, will be on hand at the speedway to present the awards and to sign up new members.

NYSSCA is a dedicated organization for the betterment of local stock car racing. Fans, drivers, crews, media, and even sponsors may be in the club, and there are definitely many benefits to being a member. For more information on NYSSCA, check the NYSSCA website out at www.nyssca.com.

The New Utica-Rome Speedway is a Sunday family tradition in the Mohawk Valley, and you can be a part of it this summer. The gates on Sunday August 13 will open at 4pm and racing will begin at 6pm. The speedway is located on Route 5 in Vernon, NY, and it is easily accessible from NYS 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 by Doug Zupan

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Series Stock car