Utica-Rome race summary 2003-06-08

VERNON, NY- When Todd Burley of Spencerport returned as a regular at Utica-Rome Speedway in 2003, he probaly never figured it would take this long to land in victory lane after dominating at the speedway in 2001. But Burley temporarily put the...

VERNON, NY- When Todd Burley of Spencerport returned as a regular at Utica-Rome Speedway in 2003, he probaly never figured it would take this long to land in victory lane after dominating at the speedway in 2001. But Burley temporarily put the hard crashes and bad luck of 2003 behind him, taking the win on Dig Safely New York and Cottontail Website Design night. Bill Shantel Jr., Jerry Holmes, George Catanzano, and Jim Thomas also won on this beautiful Sunday evening.

John Ramsey grabbed the early lead in the DIRT 358-Modified feature event from outside front starting spot, until an early caution involving point leader Dale Planck, Jim Rothwell, and Ray Zemken. Only Planck was unable to continue. When racing resumed, Ramsey again took off from the rest of the field.

As lap ten was counted, Ramsey had built up a full straightaway lead, with Dave Rauscher having a fine run in second. Willy Decker, Pete Taylor, and Todd Burley chased in the top five. Rauscher's top-five run came to an end when he spun in turn four, collecting Matt Sheppard, Kevin Crave, Pete Taylor, and RC Faigle. Sheppard, Taylor, and Faigle were not competitive for the remainder of the evening. This put Burley up to second behind Ramsey, with Decker, Mitch Gibbs, and Paul Kinney filling out the top five.

Burley took advantage of the restart, taking the lead from Ramsey looking to grab his first win of the season. Despite the caution flying again on lap 23 for a spinning Gus Schmidt, and another on lap 28 for the disabled Kinney, Burley was not going to be denied on this evening. Mitch Gibbs moved up to second at the checkers, with Decker, Ramsey, Ted Lamb crossing in the top five. Finishing in positions six through ten were Jeff Kotary, Schmidt, Crave, Kory Gurney, and Chuck Hebing.

In DIRT Sportsman action, Jessica Zemken took the lead at the start from her third place starting position, hanging on until lap 10, when Bill Shantel Jr. grabbed the lead on a restart. Shantel would hang on until the end, despite late race pressure from second place finishing Tim Clemons. Jamie Christian crossed in third, with Zemken and John Scarborough finishing in fourth and fifth. Filling out the top ten were Tim Mayne, point leader Paul Carey, Jim Roberts, Elmo Reckner, and Josh Pieniazek.

Brian Belden took the lead on the initial start of the DIRT Pro Stock event, but his lead was short lived as Chad Ray was the new leader by lap two. Ray survived several cautions to continue to lead, but was unable to survive Jerry Holmes' charge from his 14th place starting spot. Holmes took the lead on lap 11, and never looked back, taking his fourth win at the fast half-mile. Eric Vanderhoof, Ray, Bret Belden, and Paul Rogers finished in the top five, while Brian Belden, John Roese, Chris Palmer, Dave Fox, and Bill Knapp crossed in the top ten.

In the inaugural event for the North East Affordable Racing Association Challenge Series, Joe Price Jr. took the lead on the start from outside the front row. Price held the lead until a scary multi-car crash on lap 4 involving eleven cars slowed racing action. Only two of the cars involved were unable to continue. Price once again led the field on the restart, and held that postion until George Catanzano, from 11th starting position got by him to take the lead on lap 7. Catanzano cruised to the win in the series opening win, with Rich Keller, Steve Bidwell, Price, and Dale Caswell finishing in the top five. Jeff Cleveland was sixth, with Neil Edgar, George Proctor, Jeff Davis, and Skip Pabis filling out the top ten.

Dave Janczuk was the early leader in the Pure Stock feature event, with George Schulze taking the lead from him on lap 2. By the completion of lap 4, Rick Trexler became the third leader of the the highly competitive event. Trexler would hold his advantage over the field until he lost a wheel and Jim Thomas, who started 12th, would take the lead. Thomas took the popular victory with Art Newman, Waylan Wilczek, Shulze, and Darren Kelso crossing in positions two thru fifth. Ted Crawford, Phil Norman, Rick Condes, Janczuk, and Cody Streeter finished out the top ten.

Next up on Father's Day at the Utica-Rome Speedway is Triple B Welding night, with a regular show for the DIRT 358-Modifieds and DIRT Pro Stocks. The DIRT Sportsman and Pure Stocks will both compete in non-point events, with the Sportsman going for $500 to win. The Central New York Mini Sprints will also return for their second visit of the season to the "Action Track of the East". The speedway is located just minutes from the New York State Thruway Exit 33, on Route 5 in Vernon, NY. Gates open at 4 p.m., with racing action starting at 6 p.m. For more information, call the speedway office at (315) 829- 4557 or visit the official speedway website at www.uticaromespeedway.com.

NOTES-29 358-Modifieds, 27 Sportsman, 25 Pro Stocks, 19 Pure Stocks, and 27 NEARA Modifieds signed in on a beautiful Sunday evening. Scott Brady, John Ramsey, and Kevin Crave won the 358-Modified heats, while Jessica Zemken, Tim Clemons, and Paul Carey took the Sportsman heats, in the Pro Stock heats were won by Jason Rood, Jerry Holmes, and Tom Denton, and George Schulze and Chuck Cushman won the Pure Stock qualifiers. George Catanzano, Mike Chilson, and Rob Keller won the NEARA Modified heats. Josh Pieniazek took the Sportsman consolation race, with RC Faigle taking the 358-Modified last chance qualifier. Keith Williams won the Rollover contest held during intermission. Randy Meachum took the demolition derby that was rain delayed Demolition Derby.


DIRT 358-MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)- TODD BURLEY, Mitch Gibbs, Willy Decker, John Ramsey, Ted Lamb, Jeff Kotary, Gus Shmidt, Kevin Crave, Kory Gurney, Chuck Hebing, Loren Browe, Paul Kinney, Ray Zemken, Mark Flach, Dave Rauscher, RC Faigle, Matt Sheppard, Pete Taylor, Ryan Baye, Joel Thomas, Scott Brady, JJ Michaels, Jim Rothwell, and Dale Planck. DNQ- Mark Tily, Aaron Jacobs, Dan Humes, Tony Ross, and Jack Johnson.

DIRT SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- BILLY SHANTEL JR., Tim Clemons, Jamie Christian, Jessica Zemken, John Scarborough, Tim Mayne, Paul Carey, Jim Roberts, Elmo Reckner, Josh Pieniazek, Jeremy Vunk, John Johnson, Billy Price, Mike Button, Jason Memrick, Bill Trexler Jr., Robert Perry, Butch Reiter, Tim Nye, Mark Mortonson, Steve Way, Josh Flint, Allen Powell, and Brian Murphy. DNQ-Tim Cornell, George Dyer, and Walter Cook.

DIRT PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- JERRY HOLMES, Eric Vanderhoof, Chad Ray, Brett Belden, Paul Rogers, Brian Belden, John Roese, Chris Palmer, Dave Fox, Bill Knapp, Brian Keough, Jerry Button, Buddy Hencke, Erik Nelson, John Kiskiel, Nick Stone, Ed Ostrander, Mark Effner, Erik Yager, Larry Megan, Jim Normoyle, Tom Denton, Jason Rood, and Kenny Gates.

PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- JIM THOMAS, Art Newman, Waylan Wilczek, George Schulze, Darren Kelso, Ted Crawford, Phil Norman, Rick Condes, Dave Janczuk, Cody Streeter, Herm Staats, Michael Barney, Dana Aikens, Dave Pope, Dana Camenga, Rick Trexler, Chad Oldick, Rob Seavy, and Chuck Cushman.

NEARA CHALLENGE SERIES FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- GEORGE CATANZANO, Rich Keller, Steve Bidwell, Joe Price Jr., Dale Caswell, Jeff Cleveland, Neil Edgar, George Proctor, Jeff Davis, Skip Pabis, Aaron Jacobs, Steve Vroman, Ron Root, Kevan Cook, John Thayer, KC Cole, Rob Keller, Joe Williams, Mike Chilson, Mike Stoddard, Dan Ody, Dan Ballard, Ken Klinkowski, Randy Moore, Shawn Simmons, and Tom Funk. DNS-Jojo Denato


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Series Stock car
Drivers Jim Roberts , Pete Taylor , John Johnson , Brian Murphy
Teams Williams