ESS: Utica-Rome: Labor Day weekend preview

Empire Super Sprints invade Utica-Rome Speedway on September 1st. VERNON, NY- The Empire Super Sprints(ESS) will return to Utica-Rome Speedway this Labor Day weekend for only the second time since 1996. In addition, the Central New York ...

Empire Super Sprints invade Utica-Rome Speedway on September 1st.

VERNON, NY- The Empire Super Sprints(ESS) will return to Utica-Rome Speedway this Labor Day weekend for only the second time since 1996. In addition, the Central New York Mini-Sprints, DIRT Sportsman, DIRT Pro Stocks, and Pure Stocks are also in competition on the fast half-mile speedway. Track champions will be crowned in DIRT Sportsman, DIRT Pro Stocks, and Pure Stocks. Race time is at 6pm.

The alcohol-powered winged warriors of ESS are surely to thrill race fans with their blazing speeds and all out driving style that only sprint cars can provide. ESS point leader Mike Woodring will look to hold off contenders Lance Yonge, Ryan Coniam, Bill Coffey, Mike Stelter, Rob Dietrick, and teammate Erin Crocker just to name a few. Steve Dow is the defending champion of this event. Also, the CNY Mini-Sprints will be in competition on this evening. The CNY Mini-Sprints are a scaled down version of their fire-breathing brothers, and also put on a very competitive show.

In the DIRT Sportsman ranks, Jamie Christian of West Winfield has a comfortable lead over Tim Clemons, Kevin Crave, Paul Carey, and Jim Roberts. Jamie Christian has been a model of consistency all season while gaining the point lead with 4 wins, 11 top fives, and 12 top tens. Tim Clemons hopes for a little luck this Sunday to prevent Christian from securing his second championship in the DIRT Sportsman division.

The competition has been heated in the DIRT Pro Stock division. As of August 21st, a mere 21 points separated the top 3 of Buddy Hencke, Jason Rood, and defending DIRT Pro Stock champion Bret Belden. Denny Smith and Joe Palmer round out the top five. A newcomer to Utica-Rome Speedway this season, Hencke hasn't been a stranger to victory lane with 7 wins. Jason Rood stands just five points back, so this point chase will surely go down to the last lap this Sunday.

Eight-time Pure Stock champion Dave Mannise has survived a late season slump to cling onto the Pure Stock point lead. The point chase seemed to be a Mannise runaway, but late season surges by Chuck Cushman and Jim Thomas have tightened the race for the championship. Art Newman sits in fourth while Rick Trexler currently stands in fifth.

Utica-Rome Speedway gates will open at 4pm with racing beginning at 6pm. The speedway is located on Route 5 in Vernon, several miles from the New York State Thruway Exit 33. For more information, call the speedway at (315)829-4557 or visit the website at www.uticaromespeedway.com.

-ess/urs-

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Erin Crocker , Bill Coffey