Utica-Rome May 11th preview

VERNON, NY- On Mother's Day, May 11th, one of the most anticipated events of the early DIRT Motorsports season will take place at Utica-Rome Speedway when FX Caprara Car Companies presents the Turning Stone Casino Resort 358-Modified Super DIRT ...

VERNON, NY- On Mother's Day, May 11th, one of the most anticipated events of the early DIRT Motorsports season will take place at Utica-Rome Speedway when FX Caprara Car Companies presents the Turning Stone Casino Resort 358-Modified Super DIRT Series(100 laps), and the Sunoco Race Fuels Super DIRT Series for the DIRT Sportsman. Gates will open at 3 p.m., with time trials set to begin at 5:30 p.m. and racing set to begin at 6 p.m. A raindate of June 19th has been set for this event, if needed.

Dale"The Natural" Planck set an early season notice out to the rest of the competition that he will be a force to reckoned with, when he easily outdistanced the opening night field at Utica-Rome Speedway. Planck has so far been in contention for victory at every event in the young season, including an impressive run in the series opener at Lowes Motor Speedway. He was running in second competing for the victory until a late race mishap with another competitor eliminated him from the event.

2002 Utica-Rome Speedway DIRT 358-Modified track champion, Matt Sheppard of Waterloo, NY, looks to rebound from an opening night crash and return to the consistency that led him to the Utica-Rome Speedway track title. Matt finished second in the overall points for the 2002 Turning Stone Casino Resort Super DIRT Series title. Matt finished second only to car owner Steve Paine.

North Norwich's Mitch Gibbs is another contender hoping to rebound from an opening night crash and take the victory. Although Mitch is approaching 150 career wins, most of which are in a small block powered Modified, he has yet to bag a victory on the Super DIRT Sereis. Look for the Nice n' Easy Grocery Shoppes sponsored #2g to be near the front this Mother's Day.

Dominating was the word often used when Todd Burley won the 2001 Utica-Rome Speedway DIRT 358-Modified track championship. Flashes of that dominance were seen last season when Todd competed part-time as a track regular, when he won 3 times. Now as a full time regular again, Todd is looking to return to his 2001 dominance of the speedway and collect his 3rd DIRT 358-Modified Super DIRT Series victory.

"Jumpin" Jack Johnson continues to add achievements to his already legendary career. Jack comes to Utica-Rome Speedway as the point leader in the Turing Stone Casino Resort DIRT 358-Modified Super DIRT Series after taking the victory in the series opener at Lowes Motor Speedway. After finishing second in the Utica-Rome Speedway opener, Jack looks to improve on that finish and make it two wins in a row on the tour.

Other track regulars hoping for a breakthrough with an upset victory include Ryan Baye, John Ramsey, Gus Schmidt, JJ Michaels, Willy Decker, and many others.

The 2002 Turning Stone Casino Resort DIRT 358-Modified champion Steve Paine leads a strong contingent into Utica-Rome Speedway looking to steal the victory from the track regulars. After a strong season in the 358-Modified division driving for the Sweeteners Plus team, Steve has gone back on his own and is looking as strong as ever, winning 3 in a row at his Friday night home, Black Rock Speedway. The "Hurricane" hopes to use to the Utica-Rome Speedway event as a springboard to vault him towards a second straight tour championship.

Alan Johnson has proven to be Mr. Consistency over the years, never seeming to be in contention for the win until the end of race. After finishing fourth in overall Turning Stone Casino Resort DIRT 358-Modified points in 2002, Alan will be looking to improve on that in 2003, and Utica-Rome Speedway could be where he starts his charge for the title.

The "Doctor" begins the 2003 with some uncertainty, as he doesn't have a regular ride for either touring Modified series except his own Saturday night equipment. Despite lacking the high dollar backing, Danny is still the man to beat for this event. Danny has won the last 3 Spring 358-Modified Super DIRT Series events at Utica-Rome Speedway.

Winner of the Fall tour event at Utica-Rome Speedway, Brett Hearn comes in trying to put a late season penalty behind him which stripped him of tour points, and challenge for the Turning Stone Casino Resort 358-Modified championship in 2003. Once again driving the potent Brioschi TEO #20, Brett will be near the front when the checkered flag drops.

Many more invaders are expected, which could include Pete Bicknell, Billy Decker, Justin Haers, Pat Ward, Frankie Caprara, Tim Fuller, and many more. With no other DIRT sanctioned events scheduled, this will be a star-studded event.

Also on the schedule is the first event of the Sunoco Race Fuels Super DIRT Series for the DIRT Sportsman. Track regulars Tim Clemons, Jamie Christian, Paul Carey, Bill Shantel Jr, Jessica Zemken, Jim Roberts, and more will try and fend off the tour regulars of Mike Button, Eldon Payne, Scott George, Kevin Wills, Donnie Wetmore Jr, and many others for win. With many of last year's Sportsman tour stars moving on, this season's point chase should be wide open. This event is also the first to be run under the new East/West format, with this event falling into the East region.

Utica-Rome Speedway is easily located just minutes from the New York State Thruway Exit 33, on Route 5 in Vernon, New York. For more information, log onto the official website at www.uticaromespeedway.com, or call the speedway office at (315) 829-4557.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Jim Roberts , Brett Hearn