Baye Wins First Career Feature In Run Whatcha' Brung At Utica-Rome VERNON, NY -- Twenty-three year old Ryan Baye of Constantia won his first career Modified feature last Sunday at Utica-Rome Speedway in the special Open Competition Run Whatcha'...
Baye Wins First Career Feature In Run Whatcha' Brung At Utica-Rome
VERNON, NY -- Twenty-three year old Ryan Baye of Constantia won his first career Modified feature last Sunday at Utica-Rome Speedway in the special Open Competition Run Whatcha' Brung event after a race long battle with ageless veteran Andy Romano of Johnstown. Baye took the lead for the third and final time from the winged Romano car on lap 25 and rode to a popular hard-earned victory worth $1,500 in his conventional American Auger / Bicknell No. 2 machine.
Other winners were Willy Decker of Vernon in the DIRT Sportsman $500 to win event, Jason Rood of Oneida in the $400 to win DIRT Pro Stock feature, Jeff Pastorella of Westmoreland in the $300 to win Pure Stock event, and Mike Waterman of Lee Center in the Slingshots.
Runner-up in season track points Ryan Baye and Andy Romano led the heads up 30-lap Run Whatcha' Brung Modified event down to Starter Dick Sweet's green flag, with Baye grabbing the early race lead. However, Romano, 63, was still there and mounting pressure on Baye for the top, with Romano jumping out to the lead like a young lion on lap 3. Jim Mahaney, who had his 1993 Tobias chassied Outlaw Circuit Modified complete with sail panels, drag rubber, and alcohol on hand, was closing in on Baye for the second position. Mahaney peeked underneath Baye on lap 10, but Baye held on just as Joel Thomas took over the fifth position.
At the halfway point just as the leaders encountered lapped traffic, Romano was the leader followed by Baye, Mahaney, Pete Taylor, and Joel Thomas. Romano, running a winged and alcohol powered Bicknell No. 72VT out of the Sam and Linda Smith stable, was having a tough time with lapped traffic, with Baye closing in rapidly. Baye was right there on lap 22, and went right by on the outside to take the lead one lap later. However, Romano was still there as was the lapped traffic. The pair went side by side out of turn two and made contact putting Baye into and almost on the top of the outside wall, with Romano taking the race lead once again. However, Baye simply did not give up and appeared to not have any damage from the incident as he set his sights on Romano once again. Baye caught him, and went around to take the race lead on lap 25, and the young driver led the remainder of the thrilling event for his first career victory. Romano held on for second with a souring motor, with Mahaney able to hold on to third with a flat right rear tire on the final lap. Pete Taylor and Joel Thomas completed the top five. The appreciative crowd made a great deal of noise for the top three finishers, and especially for Baye's first career win and Romano's effort at a victory on the dirt.
"We got lucky tonight," said a very happy Baye in victory lane of his winning family operation that has been constantly knocking on the door for their first feature win. "Romano was running well and we got into the wall there, but I kept going and I'm thankful that I'm here. We didn't really change the setup from our regular Sunday night deal, but our car was overheating. It was a fun race."
Two minor cautions slowed the event. Cars with wings included Andy Romano, Shawn Donath, and Jamie Christian, while sail panels were on the cars of Jim Mahaney and Tim Harris. Romano and Baye copped the Modified heat events.
Willy Decker used the outside pole starting position to his advantage and claimed his fifth DIRT Sportsman feature win of the 2001 season. Decker led the entire distance of the 20-lap event, which was the final Sportsman race of the year. Second was track champion Tim Clemons, while Gordy Button, Daryl Hagen, and rookie Tom Denton completed the top five. Jamie Christian was originally third, but was disqualified completely and suspended for an indefinite period of time due to rough riding and fighting during and after the event. He was also disqualified for the Modified feature event. Clemons and Decker won the Sportsman heat races.
Jason Rood came from the fourth starting position to claim his second DIRT Pro Stock feature win of the season at Utica-Rome. Wayne Archer was a close second followed by Jerry Holmes, Mark Effner, and Gerry Newman. John Pietrowicz led the first nine circuits until a flat right rear tire put him and third place Bret Belden in the pits for a change. Rood took command on lap 10 and led the remainder of the 15-lap distance. Brian Belden and John Pietrowicz were the victors in the Pro Stock heat races.
Jeff Pastorella came from the second starting position to lead the entire 15-lap distance of the Pure Stock feature for his eleventh victory of the 2001 season. John Pietrowicz, Waylan Wilczek, Rusty Marsden, and Art Newman Jr. followed him. George Schulze and Pastorella won the Pure Stock heat races.
Mike Waterman made it a sweep of the Slingshot events, by winning the heat, dash, and the 12-lap feature for his first career win. Waterman was followed by Mike Teachout, Randy Marsh, Jackie Botindari, and track champion Denny Tilison.
Notes -- 13 Modifieds, 22 Sportsman, 23 Pro Stocks, 18 Pure Stocks, and 9 Slingshots were on hand for the evening's racing. Romano has two victories on the former asphalt surface, but has never won on the dirt at Utica-Rome. The Modified chassis win count: Troyer 10, TEO 6, and Bicknell 2. Eight different drivers have won in the headline DIRT 358-Modifieds to date, including Todd Burley (7), Jack Johnson (3), J.J. Michaels (2), Mitch Gibbs (2), Danny Johnson (1), John Ramsey (1), Aaron Excell (1), and Ryan Baye (2). Coming up this Sunday September 16 at Utica-Rome is the season finale featuring the Sunoco Race Fuels 358-Modified Super DIRT Series 100-lap event plus the ARANY Pro Stock Super DIRT Series as well as the Pure Stocks in a feature only. The Nice N' Easy Grocery Shoppes / F.X. Caprara Car Companies sponsored night will kick off at 6pm. For more information, contact the speedway office at (315) 829-4557 or log on to www.newuticaromespeedway.com.
NEW UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY RACE SUMMARY
RACE DATE: SEPTEMBER 9, 2001
Modified Run Whatcha' Brung -- RYAN BAYE, Andy Romano, Jim Mahaney, Pete Taylor, Joel Thomas, Danny Fassett, Shawn Donath, Jim Lavalla, Tim Harris, Pat Sullivan, Todd Thomas, Tom Sears Jr. DQ -- Jamie Christian.
Sportsman -- WILLY DECKER, Tim Clemons, Gordy Button, Daryl Hagen, Tom Denton, Paul Carey, John Christian, Steve Davis, Brian Johnson, Craig Pritchard, Aaron Jacobs, Jessica Zemken, Donnie Wetmore Jr., Kevin Crave, Paul Kinney, Jim Roberts, Ben Novak, Bentley Bellinger, Butch Reiter, Mark Tily, Brian Murphy. DQ -- Jamie Christian.
Pro Stocks -- JASON ROOD, Wayne Archer, Jerry Holmes, Mark Effner, Gerry Newman, Brian Belden, John Roese, Eric Vanderhoof, Joe Palmer, Dave Moyer, Dave Meeks, Bill Knapp, Doug Grimaldi, Bret Belden, John Pietrowicz, Paul Streiff, Chad Ray, Gus Gould, Bob Gloska, Bob Johnson, Ray Fancher.
Pure Stocks -- JEFF PASTORELLA, John Pietrowicz, Waylan Wilczek, Rusty Marsden, Art Newman Jr., George Schulze, Bill Mason, Howie Koegal, Jim Thomas, Rob Seavy, Ted Crawford, Walt Koperda Jr., Cody Streeter, Brett Haman, David Pope, Les Lewis.
Slingshots -- MIKE WATERMAN, Mike Teachout, Randy Marsh, Jackie Botindari, Denny Tilison, Mike Lotito, Brad Belden, Joe DeJohn, Bob Hoffman.