Utica-Rome race notes 2002-10-09

VERNON- On the last racing event of the 2002 season, Dave Pope, Bret Belden, Doug Emery, and Doug Norrie took home the checkered flag. The Pure Stock win was worth $400 for winner Dave Pope. Chuck Cushman jumped to the early lead at the drop of...

VERNON- On the last racing event of the 2002 season, Dave Pope, Bret Belden, Doug Emery, and Doug Norrie took home the checkered flag. The Pure Stock win was worth $400 for winner Dave Pope.

Chuck Cushman jumped to the early lead at the drop of the green flag from his pole starting position. John Pietrowicz, coming from the fourth starting position, chased down Cushman and ran side by side for several laps as they battled for the lead.

Pietrowicz gained the advantage on lap 6 when he finally passed Cushman. By lap 10, Pietrowicz began to run away from the rest of the field. At that point, Cushman was in second, with Jim Thomas, Waylan Wilczek, and Dave Pope trailing.

Coming out of turn four for lap 11, Pietrowicz suddenly slowed with mechanical problems, handing the lead back to Cushman. The lead was short-lived however, as Thomas powered around him in turn four coming to lap 12. Pope, who was running fourth on lap 12, took the lead on lap 13 and held on to the checkered. Thomas, Wilczek, Dave Mannise, and Nathan Peckham rounded out the top 5.

Mark Effner grabbed the advantage from his outside front row starting spot from pole sitter Dave McCready on the start. Effner continued to lead until Bret Belden passed him for the lead on lap 4.

When lap 5 was completed, Belden still held the lead over Effner, AJ Digsby, Mark Lighthall, and Dave McCready. Belden began to pull away until Lighthall grabbed second and started to reel him in.

Several cautions bunched the field up and put Lighthall right on Belden's rear bumper. Each restart, Belden was able to keep the advantage to the end. Lighthall, Effner, Bill Knapp, and Eric Gauvreau filled out the top 5.

The Empire Super Sprint feature event went green to checkered, with Doug Emery taking the win. Emery took the lead on lap 12 from Mike Lutz.

In the CNY Mini-Sprint feature event, Doug Norrie took the lead from John Iantelli on lap 7 and held on to the end to the 15 lap affair.

NOTES: Car counts for the final night of racing at Utica-Rome Speedway stood at 38 Empire Super Sprints, 33 Central New York Mini-Sprints, 19 DIRT Pro Stocks, and 19 Pure Stocks. Mike Woodring set fast time of the night in the Walt's Hobby Dash when he circled the track at a clip of 17.061 seconds, for an average speed of 105.504 mph. The quick pace continued in the ESS A main, when the event ran off in 6 minutes and 16 seconds. Empire Sports Network DIRT Pro Stock Series director Dave McCready traded in his official uniform for a driver's suit for the Pro Stock event.

Next event on the Utica-Rome Speedway calender is the Awards Banquet on November 16th. Tickets are still available for $30, and can be purchased by calling Connie Plows at (315) 822-6336, Brenda Belden (315) 855-7688, Debi Christman (315) 363-3306, or Barb Clark (315) 893-1822. Tickets for the banquet must be be purchased by November 2nd, and will not be available at the door.

With the conclusion of the 2002 season at Utica-Rome Speedway, speedway management would like to thank all the fans, drivers, and officials for making the season a success. To keep up to date with what is going on during the off season at Utica-Rome Speedway, log on to the website at www.uticaromespeedway.com.

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Series Sprint , Stock car