VERNON, NY- Race fans were finally greeted to a beautiful evening with no threat of rain, and they were treated to a full night of racing action at the "Action Track of the East". Mitch Gibbs, Todd Burley, Jamie Christian, Bret Belden, Jerry...
VERNON, NY- Race fans were finally greeted to a beautiful evening with no threat of rain, and they were treated to a full night of racing action at the "Action Track of the East". Mitch Gibbs, Todd Burley, Jamie Christian, Bret Belden, Jerry Holmes, Art Newman, and Bryan Howland were all victorious on Wilbur-Duck Chevy/Buick night. Point leader Dale Planck entered the evening with a 42 point lead and left with a 25 point deficit to new point leader Mitch Gibbs.
In the rain delayed 358-Modified feature from August 3, RC Faigle and Jim Rothwell brought the 24-car field to the green flag, with young Paul Kinney charging from his fourth starting spot to lead lap 1. Kinney's lead was short-lived however, as he stopped in turn four a lap later with mechanical problems, bringing out the first caution of the event and handing the lead over to John Ramsey.
Dale Planck and Mitch Gibbs were on the move early, as Planck moved into second by the end of lap 3 from his 11th starting spot, and Gibbs in third after starting 14th. Ramsey was using the high side to perfection, holding off Planck's repeated attempts to take the lead. At the 10-lap mark, Ramsey continued to lead with Planck, Gibbs, Ted Lamb, and Gus Schmidt trailing.
On lap 14, Planck suddenly slowed in the backstretch while running second, and as he attempted to get to the high side and out of the racing lane, Kevin Crave was collected. Neither Planck or Crave were able to return to competition. Planck's early departure handed second over to Gibbs, who is also chasing Planck in the points. At the halfway point, Ramsey still led with Gibbs, Lamb, Schmidt, and Matt Sheppard filling out the top five.
Ramsey, still riding the high side around the fast half-mile oval, was holding off all charges from Gibbs, until lap 23 when jumped the cushion in turn one. Gibbs took advantage of Ramsey's miscue, and slid by Ramsey going down the backstretch and was scored the leader on lap 24. With five laps to go, Gibbs was the leader with Ramsey, Lamb, Sheppard, and Schmidt chasing.
On lap 28, Todd Burley spun going into turn three with a flat tire, bringing out the caution and setting up a two-lap dash to the finish. Willy Decker also dropped from the race with mechanical problems. The green came out, and Gibbs took off and led the remainder of the distance for his second win of the season. Ramsey held on for second, Lamb was third, Sheppard in fourth, and Schmidt crossed in fifth.
The Pro Stocks also had a makeup event, and Bill Knapp grabbed the early lead over pole sitter Ed Ostrander. Knapp successfully held off all challengers until he spun in turn four on lap 5. Brian Belden was handed the lead and surrendered that to his brother Bret Belden two laps later. Bret Belden held off Brian then later point leader Jerry Holmes to win his second feature of the year at the speedway. Holmes crossed in second, with Ostrander, Knapp, and Chad Ray chasing.
In the regularly scheduled 358-Modified main event, Brian Murphy and Paul Jensen led the 27-car starting field to the green flag with Jensen taking the lead at the start. Jensen, a four-time track champion, looking for his first win in five years at the Vernon oval, led the 8 circuits until the first caution flew when Dale Planck's bad night continued when he slowed in the frontstretch. Planck, in the borrowed Ben Bushaw mount because of problems in primary ride, limped into the pits and did not return to the race.
On the restart, Jensen held on to lead with Paul Kinney chasing in second, Todd Burley charging from 12th to third, Sheppard up from 15th to fourth, and Jim Rothwell holding the fifth spot. Burley's charge to the front continued as he passed Kinney on lap 10 and then took the lead from Jensen on the next circuit. At the halfway point, Burley opened at up a half straightaway lead over Jensen, Sheppard, Kinney, and Jeff Kotary.
Burley continued to control the field in during the second half of the event, while Jensen's fine run came to an end on lap 23 when he pulled it pitside with mechanical problems. With five to go in the event, Burley led with Sheppard, Gus Schmidt, Kinney, and Jim Rothwell filling out the top five. Depsite the caution flying on laps 27 and 28, Burley would not be denied the victory in the 30-lap event. Sheppard finished in the runnerup spot, Mitch Gibbs making a late charge into third, Schmidt hanging on to fourth, and Kinney in fifth.
Steve Way took the early lead in the DIRT Sportsman main event and led the first two laps, when Jessica Zemken grabbed the front spot. Jamie Christian charged to the top spot on lap 5 from his 7th starting spot. Christian led the remainder of the 20-lap affair, holding off a late charge by Zemken, who finished in the runnerup spot. Bill Shantel Jr finished third, with Way and Mike Button filling out the top five.
Joe Palmer grabbed the lead at the drop of the green in the second Pro Stock main, and would maintain the top spot until lap 12, when point leader Jerry Holmes passed him for the lead. Holmes held on for his sixth win of the year, with Jason Rood in second, Mark Effner in third, Buddy Hencke in fourth, and Eric Vanderhoof in fifth.
Ted Crawford led the first four laps of the Pure Stock feature event, until Herm Staats grabbed the top spot at the conclusion of the fifth circuit. Staats bid for his third victory of the season came up short as Art Newman took the lead as lap 13 was scored. Newman held off a late bid for the win by Staats to capture his second win of the year. Staats held on for second, Waylan Wilczek was third, Rocky Warner fourth, and Jim Thomas was fifth.
In the companion Central New York Mini Sprint feature event, Don Harvey grabbed the early lead and took his first Utica-Rome Speedway main event over Bryan Howland, Mike Emhoff, Matt Norrie, and Blake Breen.
NOTES- Heat wins for the 358-Modifieds went to Jim Rothwell, John Ramsey, and Paul Kinney while John Scarborough and Jessica Zemken won the Sportsman qualifying heats. Joe Palmer and Jason Rood were the victors in the Pro Stock heats with Rick Trexler and Waylan Wilczek took the Pure Stock heats. In Central New York Mini Sprint heat action, Bryan Howland and Blake Breen were victorious.
The next event at the Utica-Rome Speedway is on Sunday August 24, when J&J Yamaha presents Twin 20-lap features for the 358-Modifieds, the Sunoco Race Fuels Sportsman Super DIRT Series, and a regular show for the Pro Stocks and Pure Stocks. Also, the rain delayed Pure Stock feature event from August 3 will be contested at the beginning of the event. This will be the last point event for the 358-Modifieds and Pro Stocks because they have tour events scheduled elsewhere on the following weekend. Gates will open at 4p.m., with racing at 6 p.m.
WILBUR-DUCK CHEVY/BUICK RACE SUMMARY
RAIN DELAYED DIRT 358-MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)- MITCH GIBBS, John Ramsey, Ted Lamb, Matt Sheppard, Gus Schmidt, Jim Rothwell, Pete Taylor, Mark Flach, RC Faigle, Dave Rauscher, Joel Thomas, Jim Potts, John Bellinger, Willy Decker, Todd Burley, Aaron Jacobs, Brian Murphy, Dale Planck, Kevin Crave, Mark Tily, Paul Kinney, Jeff Kotary, Todd Thomas, and Heath Carney. DNS- Paul Jensen and Chris VanBuren.
RAIN DELAYED DIRT PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- BRET BELDEN, Jerry Holmes, Ed Ostrander, Bill Knapp, Chad Ray, Joe Palmer, Eric Vanderhoof, Chris Palmer, Brian Belden, Buddy Hencke, Jason Rood, and Mark Effner. DNS- AJ Digsby, Jerry Button, Dan Rickard, Todd Fey, and Geoff VanRiper.
DIRT 358-MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)- TODD BURLEY, Matt Sheppard, Mitch Gibbs, Gus Schmdt, Paul Kinney, John Bellinger, John Ramsey, Mark Flach, Jim Rothwell, Pete Taylor, Kevin Crave, RC Faigle, Willy Decker, Mark Tily, Jeff Kotary, Jim Potts, Dave Rauscher, Joel Thomas, Kory Gurney, Todd Thomas, Paul Jensen, Aaron Jacobs, Brian Murphy, Ted Lamb, Heath Carney, and Dale Planck. DNS- Ben Bushaw.
DIRT SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- JAMIE CHRISTIAN, Jessica Zemken, Bill Shantel, Jr., Steve Way, Mike Button, Tim Mayne, John DeForest, Jim Roberts, Butch Reiter, Matt Janczuk, Jeremy Vunk, John Scarborough, Tim Nye, Tom Perrego, and Bill Price. DNS- Neil Dixon and Tim Clemons.
DIRT PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- JERRY HOLMES, Jason Rood, Mark Effner, Buddy Hencke, Eric Vanderhoof, Bret Belden, Roy Fifefield, Brian Belden, Joe Palmer, Chad Ray, Dave Moyer, Chris Palmer, and Bill Knapp.
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- ART NEWMAN, Herm Staats, Waylan Wilczek, Rocky Warner, Jim Thomas, Rick Condes, Don Warner, Rob Seavy, Phil Norman, Rick Trexler, Ted Crawford, Frank Hyatt, and Dave Janczek. DNS- Jeff Waterman.
CNYMS FEATURE FINISH TOP 10 (15 LAPS)- DON HARVEY, Bryan Howland, Mike Emhoff, Matt Norrie, Blake Breen, Jarred Fink, Doug Norrie, Dennis Fink, Barry Virts, and Gary Moore.