Patriot Sprint Utica-Rome preview

First Patriot Sprint Group Event Under ASCS Banner This Sunday at Utica-Rome from Rich Vleck, TULSA, Okla. (April 24, 2006) -- A new era commences for the Bobcat of Buffalo Patriot Sprint Group this Sunday afternoon, as the series holds its...

First Patriot Sprint Group Event Under ASCS Banner This Sunday at Utica-Rome

from Rich Vleck, TULSA, Okla. (April 24, 2006) -- A new era commences for the Bobcat of Buffalo Patriot Sprint Group this Sunday afternoon, as the series holds its first event under the American Sprint Car Series banner at Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, NY.

Plenty has changed in the last six months. Over this period, drivers have changed teams; teams have bought new chassis and freshened or bought engines; heck, the entire group even has new ownership and other changes. In all of this time however, some of October 2005 still lingers with the fourth-year organization, a portion that will officially come to an end Sunday at Utica-Rome Speedway.

When the gates open at noon on Sunday, April 30, a new chapter will also open in Patriot Sprint Group history with the inaugural PSG event under the sanctioning and ownership of the American Sprint Car Series.

With racing starting at 2:00 p.m., the stars of the Patriots will one again attempt to complete the first full event at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Because it is a new season, everything from heats, straight on through to the 20-lap A-Main will be restarted, with the exception of one race. Here are some of the new things you will see on Sunday.

- During the middle of the show, the six drivers that finished in the top four of their heat last year before the rains came that were redraw eligible will compete in a four-lap dash for cash and a guaranteed spot in the "A" Main. Rick Wilson, George Suprick, Blake Breen, Rich Swarthout, George Ely and Jared Zimbardi will be the competitors of the dash, with the winner taking a cash award or taking a spot in the "A" Main if he does not already have one. If the winner does not need a spot in the feature event, the top finisher that does need that spot will be granted a provisional for the night.

- Among the other new wrinkles to the ASCS PSG event structure will be the single-pill draw format. All teams will draw one 'pill' at the beginning of the night with a red number on one side and a black number on the other. The black number will be used for heat lineups and the red for the feature lineup; the two numbers will always add up to 101. This should help to ensure that whoever wins will have to do some pass a number of cars throughout the night. This format will only apply to teams that have competed in the prior event but because it is the first race of the season, all teams will be eligible Sunday.

- Also starting in 2006, one buy-in per night will be available for the highest team in points not already in the A-Main. Teams will only get one buy-in per year, so over the course of the season most everyone will get a chance to use a buy-in. Because this is the first race of the season, the buy-in will be based on the final 2005 Driver Point Standings.

- 2006 ASCS registrations will be available on race day, with insurance included, for any team wishing to compete at Utica-Rome or any race this season. Registration forms are also available at

- One final reminder, because of the rain this past Sunday at the "Action Track of the East", the Speedway's practice night has been rescheduled for this Wednesday night from 7-10 p.m., with gates opening at 5:00 p.m. Sprint cars are welcome to attend.

Pumpkin pie can go bad after lying around for six months, but there is no doubt that the leftovers from the Pumpkin Patriots at Utica-Rome will be anything but stale come this Sunday.

The slightly banked, 0x00bd-mile Utica-Rome Speedway clay oval is located in Vernon, NY, 1.2 miles east of State Road 31 on State Road 5, then north.JFor more information, contact the track at 315-829-4557 or 315-822-6336.

The 2006 Bobcat of Buffalo ASCS Patriot Sprint Group schedule consists of 22 nights of racing at fourteen different tracks throughout New York, Pennsylvania and Canada.

In its 15th year of sanctioning Sprint Car racing in the United States, the American Sprint Car Series will present approximately 180 nights of racing in 2006 including the National Tour and its Regional Tours (Gulf South, Mid-South, Midwest, Northern Plains, Patriot Sprint Group, Rocky Mountain, Sooner, Southern and Sprints on Dirt).

More information regarding the ASCS Patriot Sprint Group's season opener is available at or


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