VERNON, NY- A full grandstand was treated to an action packed night as Butch Reiter, Bret Belden, Russ Marsden, Justin Barger, and Doug Norrie collected the wins on Hanifin's Tire and Service Center night. Bill Shantel, Jr., Jerry Holmes, and Art...
VERNON, NY- A full grandstand was treated to an action packed night as Butch Reiter, Bret Belden, Russ Marsden, Justin Barger, and Doug Norrie collected the wins on Hanifin's Tire and Service Center night. Bill Shantel, Jr., Jerry Holmes, and Art Newman were named Utica-Rome Speedway champions in their respective divisions on the final point night of the 2003 season.
In the final point race of the season for the DIRT Sportsman, Matt Janczuk and Butch Reiter brought the field to starter Matt Burdick's green flag with Reiter grabbing the early advantage. A caution for a spun Sam Reakes, Jr. on lap 1 bunched the field up, but Reiter was up to the challenge, remaining the leader when the race was restarted. The caution flew again when Tim Mayne spun exiting turn 2, again bringing the field on to Reiter's bumper.
The title picture changed on the the restart, when third place point man John Scarborough's front end collapsed in the frontstretch while he was running in third. Scarborough's mount slid across the track, collecting second place point man Jamie Christian and Steve Way. Scarborough and Christian were done for the evening, ending their title chances. Way was able to continue to action.
Reiter again raced out to the lead, and held off the late race challenges of Bill Price and Jessica Zemken to collect his first career Sportsman main. Price, Zemken, Bill Shantel, Jr., and Mike Button made out the top five finishers. Shantel collected his first ever Utica-Rome Speedway Sportsman point title with his fourth place finish. Heat wins went to Way and Zemken.
Ed Ostrander and Chad Ray led the field down the green flag with Ostrander taking the early lead. Otrander would lead the first three circuits until Eric Vanderhoof took over the top spot at the completion of lap 4. Vanderhoof's lead was shortlived however, as Bret Belden, coming from the 8th starting position, took over on lap 6. Belden would hold off the late race charge of John Pietrowicz and Vanderhoof to win his 4th win of the season. Vanderhoof, Brian Belden, Kenny Gates, and Jeremy Clark filled out the top five. By taking the green flag, Jerry Holmes collected second Utica-Rome Speedway track championship in the Pro Stock division. Holmes first championship came in 1997. Jason Rood and Vanderhoof took the heat wins.
When the green flag dropped on the Pure Stock feature event, Jim Thomas took the lead at the outset and leading until the halfway point. Russ Marsden, making a rare visit to the speedway, grabbed the lead from Thomas going into turn 1 at the halfway point and raced away unchallenged for the remainder of the caution free 15-lap event. Thomas, Waylon Wilczek, Chuck Cushman, and Phil Norman chased Marsden to the checkered. Art Newman captured the Pure Stock championship, his first career track title. Cushman and Marsden captured the qualifying heat wins.
Lance Yonge grabbed the early lead in the Empire Super Sprint main, leading the field until lap 13, when Justin Barger slid by him exiting turn 2. Barger would motor away from the field to collect his second career win, both coming at Utica-Rome Speedway. Erin Crocker's late race charge came up short as she finished second, with Dan Kaszubinski, Mike Lutz, and Jeff VanDusen filled out the top five positions.
In Central New York Mini Sprint action, Doug Norrie took the feature win, his second this season at the speedway, after taking the lead at the start of the race. Bryan Howland, Blake Breen, Don Harvey, and Cory Sparks followed Norrie across the line. Howland became the 2003 Utica-Rome Speedway Mini Sprint champion with his second place finish.
Coming up at "The Action Track of the East" this Sunday, September 7 is Prism Enviromental night featuring a 40-lap feature for the DIRT 358-Modifieds, paying $1800 to the winner. A starting spot will also be awarded to the highest finishing driver who is not already guaranteed for the September 14 Turning Stone Casino Super DIRT Series 100-lap event to be held at the speedway. Also on tap is the Battle of the Street Stock/ Pure Stock Series with $300 going to the victor of the Pure Stock special. The WWE Monster Trucks are also scheduled to make their return to thrill fans with their freestyle events. The first 50 kids to arrive at the speedway will also get a free Monster Truck ride in a specially prepared truck. To finish the evening off, a demolition derby will be held on the frontstretch to entertain the fans in smash n' crash style. Gates will open at 4 p.m. with racing slated to begin at 6 p.m. Utica-Rome Speedway is located on Route 5 in Vernon, just minutes from New York State Thruway Exit 33. For more information, call the speedway office at (315) 829-4557 or log on to the speedway website at www.uticaromespeedway.com.
HANIFIN'S TIRE AND SERVICE CENTER RACE SUMMARY
DIRT SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- BUTCH REITER, Billy Price, Jessica Zemken, Bill Shantel, Jr., Mike Button, Jeremy Vunk, Steve Anderson, Josh Pieniazek, Tim Mayne, Pat O'Hanlan, Tim Nye, Steve Way, Matt Janczuk, John Scarborough, Jamie Christian, Jim Roberts, and Sam Reakes, Jr.
DIRT PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- BRET BELDEN, Eric Vanderhoof, Brian Belden, Kenny Gates, Jeremy Clark, AJ Digsby, John Pietrowicz, Ed Ostrander, Ken Hotaling, Steve Marshall, Jerry Holmes, George Kiskiel, Jason Rood, Dave Moyer, and Chad Ray.
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- RUSS MARSDEN, Jim Thomas, Waylan Wilczek, Chuck Cushman, Phil Norman, John Phillips, Ted Crawford, Rick Trexler, Herm Staats, Rick Condes, Art Newman, Zeke McKeown, Greg McMullin, Dave Janczuk, Frank Hyatt, Rob Seavy, and Rick Marshall.
EMPIRE SUPER SPRINT FEATURE TOP 10 FINISH (25 LAPS)- JUSTIN BARGER, Erin Crocker, Dan Kaszubinski, Mike Lutz, Jeff VanDusen, JR Stewart, Doug Emery, Mike Stelter, Nick Fratto, and Bubby Kerrick.
CENTRAL NEW YORK MINI SPRINT FEATURE TOP 10 FINISH (15 LAPS)- DOUG NORRIE, Bryan Howland, Blake Breen, Don Harvey, Cory Sparks, Jared Fink, Eric Cartier, Mike Emhoff, Jamie Kaiser, and Bob Seargent.