VERNON, NY- A beautiful summer evening greeted the fans this past Sunday at Utica-Rome Speedway for the Independence Weekend Spectacular as Todd Burley powered his way to his second win of the season on Nice n' Easy Grocery Shoppes night. Justin...
VERNON, NY- A beautiful summer evening greeted the fans this past Sunday at Utica-Rome Speedway for the Independence Weekend Spectacular as Todd Burley powered his way to his second win of the season on Nice n' Easy Grocery Shoppes night. Justin Barger won his first career Empire Super Sprint main, with Tim Clemons, Bill Knapp, and Chuck Cushman also winning in front of a capacity crowd. A huge fireworks display capped off the action packed evening after the racing activities were completed.
In the DIRT 358-Modified main event, John Ramsey took command of the twenty-two car starting field at the drop of the green and would hold on until lap 2 when the first caution flew for the stopped car of Kevin Crave. Paul Jensen used the restart to his advantage and took over the top spot and would lead the next four circuits when yellow flew again. At this point Jensen was the leader, with Ramsey, Todd Burley, Gus Schmidt, and Dale Planck filling out the top five.
Ramsey regained the lead on the restart with Burley jumping into second, setting his sights on the leader. Once again, Ramsey's lead would only last two laps as Burley grabbed control of the field on lap nine. Burley would open a comfortable lead as the battle for second raged on between Jensen, Ramsey, Planck, and invader Pete Bicknell. Caution flew again at the halfway point of the event with Burley still in control of the event, Planck now in second, and Bicknell, Jensen, and Willy Decker in third through fifth.
Burley would hold on to the lead until the end of the event despite a last lap effort by Planck to take the top spot. Planck would come home second, with Bicknell, Matt Sheppard, and Jensen finishing in the top five.
In the DIRT Sportsman main event, Steve Way jumped out to the early lead from his pole starting position and controlled the field for the first 5 laps until John Scarborough took over the top spot. Way fell to second, with Paul Carey, Tim Clemons, and Bill Shantel Jr. chasing. Scarborough's lead was short-lived however, as Carey took over the lead on lap 8 looking for his first-ever DIRT Sportsman victory at Utica-Rome Speedway. The caution flew on lap 15 for the disabled racer of Bill Trexler, bringing the field on to Carey's bumper. Clemons climbed to second at this point, with Scarborough, Way, and Shantel Jr. following. Clemons took over the lead on lap 17, completing his charged through the field from his 12th starting position. Carey came home second, with Way, Shantel Jr., and Jamie Christian completing the top five.
Bill Knapp led the opening lap of the Pro Stock feature event, and would never relinquish that lead despite heavy pressure from Buddy Hencke and point leader Jerry Holmes. Chasing Knapp across the finish line would Holmes, Hencke, Bret Belden, and Jason Rood. It was Knapp's first career win in the Pro Stock division after ten years of competition.
Chuck Cushman started on the pole in the Pure Stock feature and it would be as close as the rest of the field would get to him for the remainder of the race. Jim Thomas would try to chase him down and make it a race, but would fall short. Following Cushman and Thomas across the line were Rick Condes, Waylon Wilczek, and Art Newman.
Herm Staats took the lead on the restart of the hold ever feature event from the previous week and held on to win his second event of the season. Staats held off the heavy pressure being applied by Rick Trexler. Trexler finished in second with Phil Norman, Art Newman, and Rick Condes filling out the top five.
Erin Crocker grabbed the early in the Empire Super Sprint main event over car owner Mike Woodring and held on until lap 8 when Justin Barger took over. Barger would dominate the rest of the event to capture his first career ESS main. Crocker, Dan Kaszubinski, Woodring, and Chuck Hebing completed the top five at the checkered.
NOTES- 22 358-Modifieds, 18 Sportsman, 16 Pro Stocks, 21 Pure Stocks, and 35 ESS Sprints filled the pits for the night's activities. Heat races were won by Mitch Gibbs and Paul Jensen in the 358-Modifieds, Steve Way and Jamie Christian in the Sportsman, Jim Normoyle and Bill Knapp, Jim Thomas and Chuck Cushman in the Pure Stocks, and Don Sharp, Bubby Kerrick, and Rob Dietrich took the ESS heats. Lance Yonge won the Walt's Hobby Dash for the ESS sprints, while Gordy Button took the ESS B-Main.
Coming up this Sunday July 13, Royce International Eyewear will present a regular show of DIRT 358-Modifieds, DIRT Sportsman, DIRT Pro Stocks, and Pure Stocks plus the Central New York Mini Sprints make their third appearance of the season. Gates will open at 4 p.m. with racing starting at 6 p.m. Utica-Rome Speedway is located in Vernon, just minutes from New York State Thruway Exit 33. For more information on upcoming events at the speedway, log on to www.uticaromespeedway.com, or call the speedway office at (315) 829-4557.
NICE N' EASY GROCERY SHOPPES RACE SUMMARY
DIRT 358-MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)- TODD BURLEY, Dale Planck, Pete Bicknell, Matt Sheppard, Paul Jensen, Mitch Gibbs, Ted Lamb, John Ramsey, Mark Flach, Willy Decker, Dave Rauscher, Gus Schmidt, Jeff Kotary, Jim Rothwell, Mark Tily, Aaron Jacobs, Joel Thomas, Kevin Crave, Scott Brady, RC Faigle, Paul Kinney, and Todd Thomas.
DIRT SPORSTMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- TIM CLEMONS, Paul Carey, Steve Way, Bill Shantel Jr., Jamie Christian, Jessica Zemken, John Scarborough, Brian Murphy, Jim Roberts, Jeremy Vunk, Butch Reiter, Tim Mayne, Bill Price, Tim Nye, Bill Trexler Jr., Josh Flint, Dan Yankowski, and William Fuller.
DIRT PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- BILL KNAPP, Jerry Holmes, Buddy Hencke, Bret Belden, Jason Rood, Tom Kuck, Bob Johnson, Chad Ray, Joe Palmer, AJ Digsby, Stan Clark, Dave Moyer, Brian Belden, Eric Vanderhoof, Ed Ostrander, and Jim Normoyle.
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH FROM 6/29 (15 LAPS)- HERM STAATS, Rick Trexler, Phil Norman, Art Newman, Rick Condes, Dave Janczuk, Don Carlson, Frank Hyatt, Rob Seavy, Chuck Cushman, Waylan Wilczek, Ted Crawford, John Peterson, Dave Pope, Jim Thomas, Don Warner, George Schulze, and Cody Streeter.
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- CHUCK CUSHMAN, Jim Thomas, Rick Condes, Waylan Wilczek, Art Newman, Dana Camenga, John Peterson, Phil Norman, Ted Crawford, Don Carlson, Herm Staats, Rick Trexler, Don Warner, Luke Horning, Dave Pope, Ray Fancher, Rocky Warner, and Dave Janczuk.
ESS FEATURE FINISH TOP 10 (25 LAPS)- JUSTIN BARGER, Erin Crocker, Dan Kaszubinski, Mike Woodring, John Karklin, Chuck Hebing, Mike Lutz, Lance Yonge, Bubby Kerrick, and Rob Dietrich.