VERNON, NY- Bobby Varin held off a late race charge of Stewart Friesen to win a thrilling 358-Modified feature on Mirabito Fuel Group and Bishop Printshop, Inc. night. Mike Button was the Sportsman victor as Roy Fifield took the Pro ...
VERNON, NY- Bobby Varin held off a late race charge of Stewart Friesen to win a thrilling 358-Modified feature on Mirabito Fuel Group and Bishop Printshop, Inc. night. Mike Button was the Sportsman victor as Roy Fifield took the Pro Stocks, Russ Marsden won the Pure Stocks, Kevin Buff in the IMCA Modifieds, and Jim Money in the Four Cylinder Super Stocks.
Dave Rauscher and Tony Ross took the 24-car starting field to the green flag at the start of the 30-lap 358-Modified affair with Rauscher out front early. Rauscher would lead the field around until a lap 4 restart saw Gus Schmidt take over the top spot. The caution would quickly fly again on lap 5 when John Ramsey and Paul Jensen came together in turn 2 after contact with another competitor. As the caution flew, Stewart Friesen spun off the racing surface in turn 4 and came to a stop. This put Friesen at the rear of the field again, as he started scratch after switching to a backup machine after the heat races. Schmidt would again take the lead on the restart as he was in search of his 1st win of the year at the speedway. Schmidt was being hounded by a handful of other racers at the top 8 cars were tightly bunched together. Right behind Schmidt it was Willy Decker, Bobby Varin, Dave Camara, Brian Weaver, Mitch Gibbs, Todd Burley, and Friesen. As the halfway signal was being given, Varin made his move to the top spot, moving from 3rd to the lead on one circuit with Decker following him into the 2nd spot. Schmidt fell back to 3rd with Friesen up to 4th and Weaver filling out the top 5.
Green flag racing continued until lap 17 when Don Mattison spun off turn 4, bringing the field back together. The restart saw Varin jump back out front with Camara now up to the 2nd spot as he attempted to wrestle the lead away. Two laps later, the final caution of the event flew for the slowed car of Joel Thomas, again bringing Varin back to the rest of the field. The restart again saw Varin out front as Camara attempted to hold off the hard charging Friesen. Camara's sped by on lap 21 and set off after the leader. As the race neared the end, Varin was slowed by heavy lapped traffic which allowed Friesen to gain some ground, but it wasn't enough as Varin captured his 2nd win of 2004 at Utica-Rome Speedway. Friesen, Camara, Gibbs, and Weaver finished in the top 5 positions.
Jeremy Vunk would lead the opening lap of the DIRT Sportsman 20-lap main with Steve Way, Pat O'Hanlan, Billy Price, and Kenny Stafford chasing. Way would grab the top spot on the next circuit from Vunk and would off a hard charging Price until the halfway point of the race. Price would get by on lap 10 to lead the halfway point with Way, Mike Button, Vunk, and Hanlan rounding out the top 5 positions.
Price opened a slight margin in search of his 2nd career Sportsman victory as Button slid into the runner-up position on lap 12. Button immediately began to pressure the leader, and on lap 14, Button was scored as the leader. Button would lead the remainder of the race as Price would hold on for 2nd, Jessica Zemken would cross in 3rd, and Way and Vunk in the 4th and 5th, respectively.
Eric Vanderhoof took advantage of his pole starting position to lead the opening lap of the 15-lap Pro Stock feature but that was short-lived as Roy Fifield blasted to the front by lap 2. Fifield set a blistering pace at the front as Tom Denton, Bob Mills, Jason Rood, Jerry Holmes, and Dave Moyer battled for position behind him. Denton gained the advantage first as he moved into the runner-up position by lap 6. At halfway, it was Fifield, Denton, Moyer, Mills, and Rood. As the race continued under green, Denton was able to pull up to the leader Fifield on several occasions, but was never able to complete the pass. Fifield went on to win his 6th win of the season. Denton, Rood, Holmes, and Moyer followed across the line.
In Pure Stock action, Shawn Dunn led the opening circuit of the 15-lap Pure Stock feature with Chuck Cushman taking over the top spot on lap 2. Lap 3 would see the 3rd and final leader of the event as Russ Marsden continued his mastery of the Pure Stock division at Utica-Rome Speedway. Cushman kept it a close second for half the race but faded near the end as still held onto 2nd at the end with Chris Cunningham, Art Newman, and Phil Norman following.
Lyle Smith took early command of the IMCA Modified 15-lap A Main with Sean Lias in tow. Kevin Buff, who started in the 6th position, made a move on the second lap that took him from the 3rd position to the lead. Despite a couple of caution periods that put Lias and the rest of the field on Buff's bumper, Buff would never relinquish the lead for the remainder of the race. Following Buff across the line would be Lias, George Catanzano, Smith, and Aaron Jacobs.
Chuck Powelczyk led the early portion of the Four Cylinder Super Stock feature event until Jim Money slipped by to lead lap 4. Powelczyk would never lose sight of the leader and his last ditch effort to retake the lead on the final lap fell short as Money went on to the victory. Powelczyk would finish second with Jeff Leslie, Joey Delacruz, and Lee Hartzog in tow.
Notes- Brian Weaver bested at previous track best lap in 358-Modified once held by Stewart Friesen when he clicked off a fast lap of 19.1 seconds in heat competition. The final checkered flag flew at a very fan friendly 8:45 p.m.
Next week Utica-Rome Speedway will host two events starting with a regular show of DIRT 358-Modifieds, DIRT Sportsman, DIRT Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, IMCA Modifieds, and Four Cylinder Super Stocks presented by Rothwell's Used Auto Sales and North Norwich Motors & Trailer Sales. Gates open at 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Then on Thursday August 22, Tracey Road Equipment presents the 100-lap Turning Stone Casino 358-Modified Super DIRT Series plus Pro Stocks and Pure Stocks. Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m. Time trials will begin at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit the speedway website at www.uticaromespeedway.com or call the speedway office at (315) 829-4557.
MIRABITO FUEL GROUP/BISHOP PRINTSHOP, INC RACE SUMMARY
358-DIRT MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)- BOBBY VARIN, Stewart Friesen, Dave Camara, Mitch Gibbs, Brian Weaver, Willy Decker, Todd Burley, Gus Schmidt, Mark Flach, Jeremy Smith, Tony Ross, Dave Rauscher, David Orr, Ben Bushaw, Mark Tily, Ken McGuire, Don Mattison, Kory Gurney, Jamie Christian, Joel Thomas, John Ramsey, Paul Jensen, Paul Kinney, and Todd Thomas. DNS- Joe August.
SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- MIKE BUTTON, Billy Price, Jessica Zemken, Steve Way, Jeremy Vunk, Kyle Lewis, Kenny Stafford, Bill Shantel Jr., Butch Reiter, JJ Courcy, Daryl Hagen, Paul Carey, Pat O'Hanlan, Matt Janczuk, and Tim Nye.
PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- ROY FIFIELD, Tom Denton, Jason Rood, Jerry Holmes, Dave Moyer, Bob Mills, Ryan Lund, Bret Belden, Mark Effner, Jim Normoyle, Dale Guernsey, Ed Ostrander, Brian Belden, Craig Hale, AJ Digsby, Dan Rickard, Todd Fey, Chris Palmer, John Pietrowicz, Eric Vanderhoof, and Bill Knapp.
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- RUSS MARSDEN, Chuck Cushman, Chris Cunningham, Art Newman, Phil Norman, Bob Bird, Dave Pope, Rick Condes, Dave Janczuk, Shawn Dunn, Walter Koperda, Jim Thomas, Brent Tardy, Frank Hyatt, Rob Seavy, George Wright, and Steve Delano.
IMCA MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- KEVIN BUFF, Sean Lias, George Catanzano, Lyle Smith, Aaron Jacobs, Rich Riggs, Dale Caswell, Ken Klinkowsky, JoJo Donato, Rick Reed, Skip Pabis, andTom Delaney. DNS-Mark Chrzanowski.
FOUR CYLINDER SUPER STOCK FEATURE FINISH (8 LAPS) - JIM MONEY, Chuck Powelczyk, Jeff Leslie, Joey Delacruz, Lee Hartzog, Lorraine Birmingham, and Doug Farnsworth.