Brian Weaver and Paul Carey Take First Ever Wins at Utica-Rome Speedway While Sean Lias Takes Empire State Series Checkers VERNON, NY- Dominating performances by Brian Weaver in the 358-Modifieds and Paul Carey in the Sportsman would land them...
Brian Weaver and Paul Carey Take First Ever Wins at Utica-Rome Speedway While Sean Lias Takes Empire State Series Checkers
VERNON, NY- Dominating performances by Brian Weaver in the 358-Modifieds and Paul Carey in the Sportsman would land them both their first-ever wins at Utica-Rome Speedway in their respective division on C-Weaver and Parts Plus night. Sean Lias would put on another impressive performance in the IMCA-Modifieds to win the Empire State Series event.
Jim Rothwell and Willy Decker brought the field to the green flag to begin the 50-lap battle for the 358-Modifieds. Decker took command of the race early on, grabbing the lead by the end of the first lap and began to pull away. Behind Decker, Paul Jensen slid into second and was having his finest run of the 2004 season at the half-mile speedplant. Further behind, the only two feature winners thus far in the season, Todd Burley and Stewart Friesen, were working their way to the front. By the lap 10 point of the event, it was Decker, Friesen marching into second, Jensen falling to third, Gus Schmidt up to fourth, and Burley climbing to the fifth position.
The first caution of the race flew on lap 14, and on the ensuing restart, Friesen quickly took over the lead, but the caution quickly flew again. Dale Planck, in his first visit to the speedway since claiming the 2003 track championship, made hard contact with the backstretch guardrail which ended his night early. At that point, Burley retired his mount for the event with a broken rear end. Once again on the restart, Friesen took command of the race again, but that was short-lived as he slowed with a down with mechanical woes.
The lap 17 restart saw Brian Weaver take over the top spot over Decker only to lose it Decker on another restart a lap later. Decker would hold off Weaver's challenges for the next two circuits, but it would be in vain as Weaver would slip by lap 21. When the crossed flags were shown to signify the halfway point, it was Weaver in control with Decker, Mark Flach, John Ramsey, and Jamie Christian chasing. Although there were a couple of cautions in the second half to slow the field, Weaver would lead the rest of the way with little challenge from the rest of field. At the finish, it was Weaver crossing the line for his first ever Utica-Rome Speedway win and the $2500 payday, with Decker, Flach, Ramsey, and Bobby Varin following. Qualifying heats were won by Mitch Gibbs, Decker, and Dave Rauscher.
Butch Reiter would jump from his fifth starting spot to lead the opening lap of the DIRT Sportsman event and would remain the leader for the first 10 laps despite heavy pressure from Bill Shantel, Jr., Mike Button, and Kenny Stafford. Shantel's night would end on lap 11, and Stafford's would drop out on lap 12 just as he took over the top spot. The caution would fly for Stafford's disable mount on lap 12, and Paul Carey would take advantage of the restart to gain the top position. As Carey opened a large lead, 3-time winner Jessica Zemken would grab the runner-up position on lap 16. Zemken could not keep pace with fast moving Carey and at the end of the 25-lap affair, it was Carey taking the $1000 top prize, with Zemken, John Cunningham, Reiter, and Steve Way. Despite always being a top runner in the Sportsman division and winning many races in the Pro/Street Stocks, Carey had never managed to find victory lane since making the move to Sportsman. That all ended on this night however, as he dominated the competition to win his first Sportsman event. Carey and Reiter took the heat race wins.
Steve Bidwell and Dale Caswell led the IMCA Modified field down the green flag for start of the Empire State Series and battled tooth and nail for the top spot for the first 6 circuits. Bidwell would hold off Caswell to lead the duo to the line to lead the opening 6 laps, but on lap 7 Sean Lias blasted by the both of them for the lead. At that point, Lias left the rest of the field to battle for second spot, as he opened up a huge lead. Bidwell would attempt to hold of George Catanzano and Lyle Smith, but they both proved to be too strong in the late going. Both Catanzano and Smith would get by Bidwell just after the halfway point as the leader Lias lapped cars by the handful. In the end, it was Lias with an impressive performance, with Catanzano, Smith, Bidwell, and Rob Keller filling out the top 5. In heat action, it was Lyle Smith, Bidwell, and Lias taking the wins.
Coming up next Sunday on July 4, Mirabitio "The Energy Leader" and C-Weaver Chevrolet present the Independence Weekend Fireworks Spectacular featuring the Empire Super Sprints. Also in action will be the DIRT 358-Modifieds, DIRT Sportsman, DIRT Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Central New York Mini Sprints. The Four Cylinder Super Stocks will not see action on this evening. Gates will open at 2:30 p.m. with racing starting at a special time at 5 p.m. For more information, please log to www.uticaromespeedway.com or call the office at (315) 829-4557.
C-WEAVER CHEVY/PARTS PLUS RACE SUMMARY
DIRT 358-MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (50 LAPS)- BRIAN WEAVER, Willy Decker, Mark Flach, John Ramsey, Bob Varin, Paul Jensen, Tony Ross, Gus Schmidt, Mitch Gibbs, Jamie Christian, John Lazore, Jim Rothwell, Ken McGuire, Dave Rauscher, Dave Camara, Stewart Friesen, Cass Bennett, Todd Burley, Dale Planck, Joel Thomas, and Todd Thomas. DNS- Paul Kinney.
DIRT SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (25 LAPS)- PAUL CAREY, Jessica Zemken, John Cunningham, Butch Reiter, Steve Way, Jeremy Vunk, Joe Williams, Mike Button, Bill Price, Darryl Hagen, Terry Knoblach, Matt Janczuk, Kyle Lewis, Kenny Stafford, Mike Zimmerman, Bill Shantel, Jr., Pat O'Hanlan, and Tim Nye.
IMCA MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (25 LAPS)- SEAN LIAS, George Catanzano, Lyle Smith, Steve Bidwell, Rob Keller, Aaron Jacobs, Bob Banks, Jr., Mark Webb, Shawn Simmons, Brad Wall, Bill Anderson, Kevan Cook, Neal Edgar, Mike Smith, Skip Pabis, Mike Stoddard, Brian Evenden, Calvin Painter, Eric Stumpf, Tom Funk, Don Reeves, Jim Rajczi, Dale Caswell, and Carol Parker.