VERNON, NY- Despite Mother Nature's attempt to steal another event at the Utica-Rome Speedway, racing action prevailed on a clear Sunday evening with a new face gracing victory lane in the DIRT 358-Modifieds. North Norwich Motors and Rothwell's...
VERNON, NY- Despite Mother Nature's attempt to steal another event at the Utica-Rome Speedway, racing action prevailed on a clear Sunday evening with a new face gracing victory lane in the DIRT 358-Modifieds. North Norwich Motors and Rothwell's Used Auto Sales presented the night action, with Pete Taylor grabbing his first career win in the 358-Modifieds, Jamie Christian repeating in the Sportsman, Tom Denton returning to victory lane in the Pro Stocks, and Dave Pope taking the Pure Stock main.
Pete Taylor and Ray Zemken led the 25-car starting field to the green flag, with Taylor grabbing the early advantage. Taylor showed some early muscle early, pulling away from the field. The first caution of the event flew on lap 3 for the spun car of Chris Ostowsky.
On the restart, Taylor again led the way, easily pulling away. A third of the way through the race, Taylor was still the leader, with the hard charging Chuck Hebing now in second, Mark Flach in third, Matt Sheppard in fourth, and Zemken in fifth. Green flag racing prevailed, with a hard fought battle being waged for the fourth position, with Todd Burley, Sheppard and Dale Planck. Dave Rauscher slowed on lap 17, bringing the yellow out and eliminating Taylor's large lead. Another caution again slowed on lap 20 for a hard crash, with Zemken sitting sideways on the frontstretch and taking a hard hit from Paul Jensen. Zemken was sore, but alright, however his 72vt numbered Bicknell was severely damaged.
The final restart on lap 20 saw Taylor jump out to the lead again with Hebing, Sheppard, Flach, and Burley in tow. With Hebing and Sheppard battling for second, Taylor's advantage grew larger. Sheppard grabbed second on lap 25, bringing Burley to third with Hebing falling to fourth. The battle for second continued as Burley grabbed the runnerup spot on lap 28. Taylor pulled away with the cars behind him battling, and held on to win his first 358-Modified feature event in his nine years of trying. Burley came home in second, with Sheppard, Hebing, and Planck filling out the top five.
In the Sportsman main event, Jessica Zemken, starting fourth on the grid, grabbed the early lead at the completion of lap 1 over Tim Nye, Billy Price, Jamie Christian, and Paul Carey. By the end of lap 4, Christian had climbed his way into the runnerup spot and took off after Zemken. The only caution of the race flew on lap 9, bunching the field up behind Zemken. Running behind the leader were Christian, Carey, Tim Clemons charging from twelfth, and Tim Nye. On the restart, Christian made short work of the leader Zemken, ending her hopes of winning her first Sportsman feature event. Clemons then moved up to second, holding that position for laps 10 and 11, with Zemken regaining the runnerup spot on lap 12. Clemons and Zemken ran side by side for the remainder of the event, with Zemken hanging to finish second behind Christian. Clemons crossed in third, John Scarborough charging to fourth, and Carey finishing in fifth.
Tom Denton grabbed the early lead in the Pro Stock feature event from his pole starting spot, looking for his first win several years. Despite several early cautions and pressure from Chad Ray and Jerry Holmes, Denton managed to hang on to the lead until the checkered. Holmes crossed in second, with Ray, Bret Belden, and Joe Palmer filling out the top five.
Dana Camenga took the early lead in the Pure Stock event and held that position until Dave Pope took over on lap 4. Pope would lead the rest of the way with Jim Thomas a close second, Waylan Wilczek in third, Camenga in fourth, and Herm Staats charging from sixteenth to fifth.
NOTES- 32 DIRT 358-Modifieds, 18 DIRT Sportsman, 20 DIRT Pro Stocks, and 17 Pure Stocks signed in for the night's event. Pete Taylor, John Ramsey, and Chuck Hebing took the 358-Modifieds qualifying heats while Chris Ostrowsky won the consolation race. Paul Carey and Tim Clemons won the Sportsman heat events, with Tom Denton and Buddy Hencke taking the Pro Stock heats and in the Pure Stock heats, Dave Pope and Chuck Cushman were the victors.
Next Sunday, June 29, Nice n' Easy Grocery Shoppes presents a full night of racing action, with the 4th annual "Night of Legends Reunion", plus the Sunoco Race Fuels Super DIRT Series for the Sportsman and a regular show for the 358-Modifieds, Pro Stocks, and Pure Stocks. The Midstate Vintage Stock Car Club will also be in action. The New York State Stock Car Association (NYSSCA) will also be on hand for their Safety Awards Night. Legends from Utica-Rome Speedway's past will be honored at intermission. Gates will open at 4 p.m., with racing starting at 6 p.m. For more information, please call the speedway office at (315) 829-4557, or log on to the website at www.uticaromespeedway.com.
NORTH NORWICH MOTORS/ ROTHWELL'S USED AUTO SALES NIGHT
DIRT 358-MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)- PETE TAYLOR, Todd Burley, Matt Sheppard, Chuck Hebing, Dale Planck, Mark Flach, Mitch Gibbs, Willy Decker, Kevin Crave, John Ramsey, JJ Michaels, Gus Schmidt, Paul Kinney, RC Faigle, Keith Shoemaker, Kory Gurney, Chris Ostrowsky, Joel Thomas, Jeff Kotary, Paul Jensen, Jeremy Mathies, Ray Zemken, Ted Lamb, Jim Potts, and Dave Rauscher. DNQ-Dave Baranowski, Mark Tily, Todd Thomas, Ken McGuire, Jim Rothwell, Aaron Jacobs, and Ansell Collins.
DIRT SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- JAMIE CHRISTIAN, Jessica Zemken, Tim Clemons, John Scarborough, Paul Carey, Billy Shantel Jr., Billy Price, Tim Nye, Jim Roberts, Bill Trexler Jr., Butch Reiter, Josh Flint, John Johnson, George Dyer, Mike Button, Steve Way, and Tim Mayne. DNS- Jeremy Vunk.
DIRT PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- TOM DENTON, Jerry Holmes, Chad Ray, Bret Belden, Joe Palmer, Bill Knapp, Eric Vanderhoof, Buddy Hencke, Brian Belden, Paul Rogers, AJ Digsby, Ed Ostrander, Dan Rickard, Mark Effner, Eric Nelson, Chris Palmer, Jim Normoyle, John Kiskiel, and Stan Clark. DNS- Dave Moyer.
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- DAVE POPE, Jim Thomas, Waylan Wilczek, Dana Camenga, Herm Staats, George Schulze, Rick Condes, Zeke McKeown, Dave Janczuk, Phil Norman, Ted Crawford, Frank Hyatt, Rob Seavy, Chuck Cushman, Don Warner, Rick Trexler, and Art Newman.