VERNON, NY- Brett Hearn again invaded the Utica-Rome Speedway, and once again walked away victorious when he conquered the field in the Turning Stone Casino Super DIRT Series event presented by FX Caprara Car Companies. Orange County Speedway ...
VERNON, NY- Brett Hearn again invaded the Utica-Rome Speedway, and once again walked away victorious when he conquered the field in the Turning Stone Casino Super DIRT Series event presented by FX Caprara Car Companies. Orange County Speedway regular Tom Kuck was the victor in the companion Empire Sports Network Pro Stock Super DIRT Series.
Todd Burley, of Spencerport, took early command of the Turning Stone Casino Super DIRT Series main event from his outside front row starting spot, with pole sitter Tim Fuller falling into 2nd. Caution lights quickly blinked on at the completion of lap 1 for the disabled racer of John Ramsey who left the speedway in turn 3. On the restart, Burley again jumped out on top, only to have the caution fly again on lap 2 for the stopped car of Kevin Crave.
Burley didn't fire on the next restart, allowing Fuller to take the lead, Alan Johnson taking 2nd, Dave Camara slipping into 3rd, Burley recovering from his miscue to fall into 4th, with Dale Planck charging from 14th to take 5th as lap 3 was scored. Yellow lights quickly came on again for debris, closing the field together again.
Fuller didn't waver on the restart, racing out to the front spot with Johnson in tow. Planck took the 3rd spot on lap 7 and took off after the front running duo. Johnson was Planck's next victim, as Planck went around the Johnson on lap 10. Johnson's ride seemed to be faltering, as he fell back to 5th 3 laps later. Randy Chrysler and Justin Haers got together in turn 4 on lap 13, bringing out the 4th caution of the event. Chrysler was towed into the pits, returning several laps later while Haers was able to continue.
Planck stuck to the rear bumper of Fuller on the restart, not allowing the B&F Machine sponsored TEO to get away. Planck dogged the leader and finally got by Fuller by using a classic slide job manuever in turn 4 as lap 19 was scored to take the top spot. Fuller tried to return the favor in turn 1, but the faster Planck sped away. At the 20 lap mark, it was Planck and Fuller out front, with Brett Hearn beginning to make his presence felt, charging from his 12th starting position to sit in 3rd, with Burley and Camara filling out the top 5.
Hearn began to pressure the 2nd place Fuller as Planck began to run away out front and lapping cars at a quick pace. A long green flag period saw Planck stretch the lead to over a straightaway of the Fuller and Hearn machines, which were fighting for position in lapped traffic. The 5th caution of the race flew on lap 41 when Chrysler's disabled mount stopped on the inside of turn 2. Chrysler retired for the evening, with Haers also ending his night a couple laps later.
Planck again raced out to the lead on the restart, and at the halfway point, Fuller still rode in 2nd with Hearn close behind in 3rd, series point leader Matt Sheppard in 4th, and Johnson holding on to 5th. A short cauion period again slowed the field on lap 53, but Planck still maintained his advantage on the restart.
On lap 63, Kevin Crave left the speedway surface to bring out another caution, and the restart was a repeat of the previous two, Planck easily sped away to a good-sized lead. Hearn now slid by the then 2nd place Fuller, and shorty after, the caution again flew for Alex Hoag who had stopped with a right rear flat. This restart saw the Brioschi sponsored machine stay with the leader Planck and at lap 75, it was Planck, Hearn, Fuller, Johnson, and Sheppard making out the top 5. Camara, Chad Brachmann, Mitch Gibbs, Ted Lamb, and Burley filled out the top 10.
Hearn began applying heavy pressure on the 2003 Utica-Rome Speedway 358-Modified track champion. On lap 80, Hearn pulled along side the LYM Motorsports Bicknell of Planck, but Planck used the lapped car of Denny Young as a pick to hold the top spot. A lap later, Hearn again pulled along side the leader with Planck taking the low groove in an attempt to take away Hearn's line. But Hearn swept around the high side of Planck exiting turn 2 and was scored the leader on lap 82.
Hearn's night almost came to an end 4 laps later when several lapped cars got together and spun, temporarily blocking Hearn's path. Hearn went around the cars on the extreme high side to maintain his lead. The restart saw Hearn race away from the rest of the field, leaving Planck to battle with Fuller for 2nd. Despite a late race caution on lap 97, Hearn easily led the remainder of the event, which ran to 101 laps due to the late caution. Planck survived for 2nd, Fuller crossed in 3rd, Johnson in 4th, Sheppard in 5th. It was Hearns 2nd win of the season, as he won the Advance Auto Parts series event in July. Heats were won by Chuck Hebing, Gibbs, and Fuller, with the consolation event going to Pete Taylor.
Kenny Gates and Tom Kuck brought the 32-car Pro Stock to the green in the 25-lap Empire Sports Network Super DIRT Series with Kuck jumping out to the early lead. The caution flag flew on both lap 1 and 2, but Kuck was able to hold back the field until 2003 Utica-Rome Speedway track champion Jerry Holmes slipped by to lead lap 3. The lead was short-lived however, as Kuck regained the lead on lap 5 with a pass on the high side. The top 5 at that point was Kuck, Holmes, Chris Morris, Buddy Hencke, and Bret Belden.
Holmes would continue to pressure the front running Kuck, with a battle for third being contested between Morris and Belden, with Belden getting by Morris on lap 11 for the position. At the halfway point, Kuck continued to hold the top spot, with Holmes close behind, Belden in 3rd, Morris in 4th, and John Lazore in 5th.
Despite several cautions putting Holmes on to Kuck's back bumper, Kuck was able to hold off all challenges from Holmes and take the victory. Morris was able to regain 3rd at the end, Belden crossed in 4th, and Lazore came home in 5th. Lazore was later penalized in post race inspection, moving Jeremy Clark to fifth. Heat wins went to Kenny Gates, Kuck, Morris, and Holmes. Eric Vanderhoof won the consolation race.
NOTES- Brett Hearn and Kevin Crave were the top 2 in the time trial event, putting them directly into the pre-race draw. Hearn's time was a quick 19.833 with Crave timed at 19.938. A brief rainshower near the end of time trials may have helped Crave. The moisture was quickly dried up, and the track was extremely tacky afterwards. 32 DIRT Pro Stocks and 30 358-Modifeds signed in for competition. Track regulars Matt Sheppard and Dale Planck occupy the top 2 point positions in the Turning Stone Casino Super DIRT Series point standings with Planck victorious the previous evening's tour event at the Can-Am Motorsports Park.
The final event of the 2003 will be on November 15 with the 2003 Awards Banquest that will be held at the Turning Stone Casino Resort. Tickets are available for $30 apiece by calling Barbara Clark at (315) 893-1822, Brenda Belden at (315) 855-7688, Deb Christman at (315) 363-3306, or Connie Plows at (315) 822-6336. For more information, call the speedway at (315) 822-4557 or visit the website at www.uticaromespeedway.com.
FX CAPRARA CAR COMPANIES RACE SUMMARY
TURNING STONE CASINO 358-MODIFIED SUPER DIRT SERIES FINISH (100 LAPS)- BRETT HEARN, Dale Planck, Tim Fuller, Alan Johnson, Matt Sheppard, Dave Camara, Mitch Gibbs, Chad Brachmann, Ted Lamb, Pete Bicknell, Todd Burley, Danny Johnson, Willy Decker, Ryan Phelps, Denny Young, Dave Rauscher, Chuck Hebing, Paul Kinney, Dan Mattison, Chris Ostrowsky, Kevin Crave, Paul Jensen, Alex Hoag, Pete Taylor, Justin Haers, Ben Bushaw, Randy Chrysler, Ron White, and John Ramsey. DNS- Tom Juhl
EMPIRE SPORTS NETWORK PRO STOCK SUPER DIRT SERIES FINISH (25 LAPS)- TOM KUCK, Jerry Holmes, Chris Morris, Bret Belden, Jeremy Clark, Roy Fifield, Kenny Gates, John Pietrowicz, Eric Vanderhoof, Jody Swamp, Buddy Hencke, Pat Hobbs, Todd Raabe, Dan Rickard, Casey Swamp, Louie Jackson, AJ Digsby, Brian Belden, John Lazore, Joel Herne, Dave Moyer, Mark Therrien, Mitchell Jock, Bill Knapp, Dave Bruno, Dan Jalbert, Ed Ostrander, Joey Ladouceur, Bill Pascual, Matt Smith, William Adams, and Dave Tiedman.