VERNON, NY- Sunny skies would greet fans and competitors for the first time of the 2004 season at the Utica-Rome Speedway, but the results would remain the same as they were on opening night. Stewart Friesen, Jessica Zemken, Roy Fifield would...
VERNON, NY- Sunny skies would greet fans and competitors for the first time of the 2004 season at the Utica-Rome Speedway, but the results would remain the same as they were on opening night. Stewart Friesen, Jessica Zemken, Roy Fifield would repeat from opening night as Dave Pope and Jack Hill would win both the weather delayed events from opening night and the regularly scheduled mains on Parks Trucking & Paving and Canastota Kart Speedway night.
Chris Ostrowsky and Mike Ward led the charge to the green in the 30-lap 358-Modified main, with Brian Weaver, from sixth, sweeping around the outside of turns 1 and 2 to take the lead down the backstretch. Weaver took off from the rest of the field as the opening night victor, Stewart Friesen, was slicing through the field from 14th. When lap 5 was scored, it was Weaver out front, Friesen up to second, Mitch Gibbs, Paul Jensen, and Paul Kinney rounding out the top 5. Friesen made quick work of Weaver, shooting out to the lead on lap 6. The lead was short-lived however, as Weaver took back the top spot 3 laps later.
Weaver began to show sparks from the rear end while running up front, and when the cautions blinked on for the spun car of Bobby Varin, many begun to wonder if Weaver could hold off the Madsen Overhead Doors driver. The question was answered on the restart when Friesen took over the lead once again. Friesen then sped away from rest of the field and at one point, built up a 10-second lead. Even though several caution periods slowed the race near the end, Friesen was the class of the field. The battle for second was heated however, as John Ramsey and Willy Decker were swapping the position every lap. When the checkered flag flew, Friesen was the victor, with Ramsey in second, Decker in third, Dave Camara in fourth, and Weaver fading to fifth. Heat wins went to Ramsey, Kinney, and 358-Modified rookie Jamie Christian.
Rookie driver Ken Stafford and veteran Paul Carey led the Sportsman main to speed with Carey racing off to the early lead. Carey, searching for his first-career Sportsman win, seemed to have a handle on the field during the early stages of the event. Opening night winner Jessica Zemken immediately made her presence felt, charging through the field from 10th. On lap 5, Carey maintained his lead with Jeremy Vunk, Zemken, Steve Way, and Mike Button trailing. Zemken continued her charge to the front, grabbing second on lap 7 and set her sights on the leader Carey. As lap 8 was scored, Zemken took the top spot and at the halfway point, it was Zemken, Carey, Vunk, Way, and Butch Reiter in the top five. Carey made several spirited attempts to regain the lead, even pulling ahead several times coming off turn 2, but the 18-year old sensation was up to the challenge. She crossed the line in first for her second consecutive victory with Carey, Vunk, defending champion Bill Shantel Jr., and Way chasing across the line. Heat wins went to Vunk and Carey.
Mark Effner led lap 1 of the Pro Stock main from his outside front row starting spot until Eric Vanderhoof swept into the lead on lap 2. Vanderhoof would lead for the next 3 laps, until Roy Fifield took over looking for his second consecutive win at the Vernon oval. Fifield would hang on to win the 15-lap affair with Dave Moyer nipping Vanderhoof for second at the line. AJ Digsby would finish in fourth and Bill Knapp in fifth. Qualifying heat wins went to Vanderhoof and Fifield.
In the makeup Pure Stock feature from May 2, Jim Thomas led the field to the green flag, quickly yielding the lead to Chris Cunningham. Cunningham's lead was short-lived however as Dave Pope grabbed the top spot by the time lap 2 was scored. Pope would continue to lead at the halfway point, with heavy pressure coming from Chuck Cushman, who had charged from 15th. Cushman's charge continued on lap 13 when he took over the lead from Pope. A yellow fl ew for the disabled car of Art Newman, setting up a two-lap dash to the checkered. On the ensuing restart, Pope began to pressure Cushman for the lead, and coming out of turn 2 on the final lap, Pope regained the lead and held on to the top spot. Cushman held on for second, Cunningham in third, Thomas in fourth, and Frank Hyatt crossing in fifth.
Pope would also look to repeat in the regularly scheduled Pure Stock main, grabbing the early lead over Cushman. Pope would never relinquish the lead for the second main of the evening. Cushman would recover from a pit stop midway through the race to finish in second with Cunningham in third, Jim Thomas in fourth, and Dave Janczuk in fifth. Pope and Cushman were the heat race winners.
Jack Hill grabbed the early lead in the holdover Four Cylinder Super Stock main from May 2, and maintained the advantage until two laps to go when Jack Hill slipped by. Hill held on to record the inaugural feature for the Four Cylinders, with Hotaling, Ken Clark, Lee Hartzog, and Joey Delacruz chasing.
The night of repeat of winners would continue into the last feature event of the night, as Hill would again win in the Four Cylinder Super Stock nightcap. Chuck Powelczyk, Ken Klinkowsky, Lee Hartzog, and Tom Mackey rounded out the top five.
Next Sunday on May 23, Cushman's Automotive will present a regular show of 358-Modifieds, Sportsman, Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Four Cylinder Super Stocks. Gates will open at 3 p.m., with racing starting promptly at 5:30 p.m. The "Action Track of the East" is located on Route 5 in Vernon NY, minutes from Exit 33 of the New York State Thruway. For more information, visit us on the web at www.uticaromespeedway.com or call the speedway office at (315) 829-4557.
PARKS TRUCKING & PAVING/CANASTOTA KART SPEEDWAY EVENT SUMMARY
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH FROM MAY 2 (15 LAPS)- DAVE POPE, Chuck Cushman, Chris Cunningham, Jim Thomas, Frank Hyatt, Rick Trexler, Art Newman, Dave Janczuk, Ted Crawford, Rob Seavy, Bob Bird, Dave Arbes, Dan Hill, and Rick Condes. DNS- Dave Mannise.
FOUR CYLINDER SUPER STOCK FEATURE FINISH FROM MAY 2 (8 LAPS)- JACK HILL, Ken Hotaling, Ken Clark, Lee Hartzog, and Joey Delacruz.
DIRT SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- JESSICA ZEMKEN, Paul Carey, Jeremy Vunk, Bill Shantel Jr., Steve Way, Butch Reiter, Tim Nye, Mike Button, Kenny Stafford, Bill Price, Tim Mayne, John DeForest, Mike Zimmerman, Dan Yankowski, Matt Janczuk, and Jordan Bennett.
DIRT 358-MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)- STEWART FRIESEN, John Ramsey, Willy Decker, Dave Camara, Brian Weaver, Jamie Christian, Don Mattison, Mark Flach, Gus Schmidt, Chris Ostrowsky, Ben Bushaw, Mark Tily, Joel Thomas, Mike Ward, Paul Kinney, Bobby Varin, Bob Bennett, Cass Bennett, Mitch Gibbs, Jeff Kotary, Jim Rothwell, Ron Holmes, Ken McGuire, Justin Mason, Paul Jensen, and Todd Burley.
DIRT PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- ROY FIFIELD, Dave Moyer, Eric Vanderhoof, AJ Digsby, Bill Knapp, Jerry Holmes, Tom Kuck, Brian Belden, Ryan Lund, Dan Rickard, Chad Ray, Ed Ostrander, Tom Denton, Buddy Hencke, Mark Effner, Matt Smith, and Chris Palmer.
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- DAVE POPE, Chuck Cushman, Chris Cunningham, Jim Thomas, Dave Janczuk, Dave Arbes, Rob Seavy, Rick Condes, Bob Bird, Frank Hyatt, Phil Norman, Art Newman, Shawn Dunn, George Wright, Ray Fancher, Ted Crawford, and Rick Trexler. DNS- Dan Hill.
FOUR CYLINDER SUPER STOCK FEATURE FINISH (12 LAPS)- JACK HILL, Chuck Powelczyk, Ken Klinkowsky, Lee Hartzog, Tom Mackey, Ken Hotaling, Joey Delacruz, Ken Clark, and Jeff Herbert. DNS-Claude Hutchings.