JAMIE CHRISTIAN OPENS 2005 SEASON AT UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY WITH HARD FOUGHT VICTORY VERNON, NY (MAY 1 A new chapter started this past Sunday night at the Utica-Rome Speedway when the 2005 season started. After a 5 year stint under the DIRT ...
JAMIE CHRISTIAN OPENS 2005 SEASON AT UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY WITH HARD FOUGHT VICTORY
VERNON, NY (MAY 1 A new chapter started this past Sunday night at the Utica-Rome Speedway when the 2005 season started. After a 5 year stint under the DIRT Motorsports sanctioning, the Vernon oval opened as an independent with over a 130 cars jamming the pits. Jamie Christian won a hard fought battle with numerous challengers to take the 358-Modified main, Jeremy Vunk won his first ever Sportsman feature and Bill Anderson continued his winning ways in the IMCA Modifieds. In the full fendered divisions Bret Belden was victorious in the Pro Stocks,
Jamie Christian and Mark Flach brought the 26 car 358-Modified field to the green flag with Christian taking the early lead. Flach hung close until the Mitch Gibbs 2g snuck by on lap 4. Gibbs applied heavy pressure to the front running Christian, but the former Sportsman champion was up to the task and continued to hold the top spot. Todd Burley began to make his presence felt as cracked the top 3 on lap 9 and on lap 11, he slipped by Gibbs to take the runner-up spot. At the halfway point, it was Christian, Burley, Willy Decker, Gibbs, and Brian Weaver.
Decker went to the high side of Burley on lap 16 and went by to take the 2nd spot and then went after Christian. Decker was all over the leader until spinning on lap 20. With 10 laps to go, it was Christian still out front, with Burley, Paul Kinney in a strong 3rd, Bobby Varin in 4th, and Gibbs rounding out the top 5. Kinney's strong night continued as he took over 2nd on lap 21 immediately pressured Christian for the lead. As Christian and Kinney battled for the lead, Burley drove by the front duo coming off turn 4 as lap 23 was being scored. Lap 26 saw Keith Flach go over several times in turn 4, bring the field to a stop. The restart gave Christian new life as he was going after Burley as the green flag waved again. Christian was scored the leader on lap 29 as the yellow waved again for a stopped car in turn 2. Christian held on for the final green flag lap to win the hard fought event with Camara getting by Burley for 2nd, with Burley falling to 3rd. Kinney finished a fine 4th with Gus Schmidt rounding out the top 5.
Kenny Stafford led the opening lap of the Sportsman 20 lap main event with Jeremy Vunk taking over on lap 2. Vunk would hold off a host of challengers that included Stafford, Jessica Zemken, and Alan Barker. Vunk was up to the task however; as he held on to win his 1st Sportsman main event. Zemken finished in 2nd with Kyle Lewis coming from deep to finish a competitive 3rd. Paul Carey and Stafford filled out the top 5.
In Pro Stock action, Jerry Holmes was the early leader of the 20 lap main until Bret Belden took over on lap 2. A dogfight ensued for the lead with Belden, Holmes, Roy Fifield, and Jeremy Clark swapping positions lap after lap. Fifield took over the top spot at the halfway point with Belden continuously pressuring him in an attempt to regain the lead. Belden's efforts would succeed as he would take over the lead again on lap 15. Belden would hold on for the remaining laps to win with Clark, Fifield, Jason Rood, and Holmes rounding out the top 5.
Dale Caswell led the opening lap of the IMCA Modified event with Bill Anderson in tow. Anderson, who has been on a tear in the early part of 2005, would gain the top spot on lap 2. Sean Lias would quickly make his move for the lead as he went by Anderson for the lead on lap 4. Anderson and Lias would battle side by side for numerous laps with Anderson again gaining the advantage on lap 5, only to lose it again to Lias on lap 7. Lias and Anderson would set a torrid pace up front as they battled through lapped traffic. Anderson would again get the lead on lap 11, and negotiated the lapped traffic to perfection to lead the rest of the 15 lap feature. Lias finished in 2nd, with Bob Banks, Caswell, and Dan Ballard.
After dominating the 2004 in the Pure Stocks, Russ Marsden came back to defend his title to find the competition was a little bit quicker. Dan Hoffman Sr would lead the opening 2 circuits with Dave Emmons leading lap 3. Marsden would finally take the lead on lap 4 despite starting in the 3rd spot. Buck Mills, a southern tier Pure Stock standout, would pressure Marsden in the early part of the 15 lap feature. Mechanical woes would take out many of the front runners, leaving Marsden up front by himself. Marsden led the remainder of the event with Chris Cunningham finishing a very competitive 2nd, Ron Hawker in 3rd, Dave Emmons, and Rocky Warner in 5th.
Four Cylinder Super Stock action saw Chuck Powelczyk start 2005 the way he ended the 2004 season, up front and in victory lane. By virtue of the heads up start, Powelczyk started on the pole and was never was headed. Mike Stringer, Ken Carson, Jack Hill, and Doug Farnsworth rounded out the top 5.
NOTES- Mother Nature tried threw a curve at speedway officials when a rain storm hit the track hit that track just before hot laps. Overall the program started 45 minutes late. 131 cars registered for competition.
"The Action Track of the East" will roar back to life on May 8 with the Annual Mother's Day Special. Mirabito "The Energy Leader" will present the Race of Champions Dirt Modified Tour featuring a combined Big Block/Small Block 66 ½ lap, $4,000 to win feature event. Also on tap will be a regular show of Sportsman, Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, IMCA Modifieds, and Four Cylinder Super Stocks. Gates open at 3 p.m. with racing at 5:30 p.m. For more information, log on to www.uticaromespeeway.com or call the speedway at (315) 829-4557.
GATES-COLE INSURANCE RACE SUMMARY
SPORTSMAN (20 LAPS)- JEREMY VUNK, Jessica Zemken, Kyle Lewis, Paul Carey, Kenny Stafford, Mike Button, Steve Way, Jim Rothwell, Tim Nye, Bob Mills, Bill Price, Michael Teachout, Mike Zimmerman, Jack Meeks, John Scarborough, John Cunningham, Jason Potter, Tim Mayne, Todd Town, Pat O'Hanlan, Alan Barker, Casey Williams, Butch Reiter, and Shawn Donath. DNQ- Waylan Wilczek, Jeff Leslie, Matt Janczuk, John DeForest, Brad Alger, and Dave Donath.
IMCA MODIFIED (15 LAPS)- BILL ANDERSON, Sean Lias, Bob Banks, Dale Caswell, Dan Ballard, Aaron Jacobs, Lyle Smith, George Catanzano, Jeremy Bargabos, Mark Webb, Shawn Simmons, Eric Stumpf, JoJo Donato, Ken Rogers, Bob Ridgeway, Jimmy Roberts, Jeremy Cramer, Kevin Buff, Nate Jacobs, Skip Pabis, Mark Chrznowski, and Don Alvord.
358-MODIFIED (30 LAPS)- JAMIE CHRISTIAN, Dave Camara, Todd Burley, Paul Kinney, Gus Schmidt, Mitch Gibbs, Willy Decker, Mark Tily, Tim Clemons, Ken McGuire, Keith Flach, Don Mattison, David Orr, Darren Keyser, Ron Holmes, Mark Flach, Bobby Varin, John Ramsey, Elmo Reckner, Brian Weaver, Justin Mason, Jeff Kotary, Josh Pieniazek, Dave Baranowski, Derrick McGrew, and Vern Lawson.
FOUR CYLINDER SUPER STOCK (15 LAPS)- CHUCK POWELCZYK, Mike Stringer, Ken Carson, Jack Hill, Doug Farnsworth, Kevin Fassett, Joey Delacruz, Steve Randall, Chris Kranz, George Crippen, and Rich Murtaugh.
PRO STOCK (20 LAPS) -BRET BELDEN, Jeremy Clark, Roy Fifield, Jason Rood, Jerry Holmes, Bill Clark Jr., AJ Digsby, Tom Denton, Mark Effner, Ed Ostrander, Dale Guernsey, Lori Carey, Scott Tifft, Chad Ray, Bill Knapp, Dwight Johnson, Dave Moyer, Eric Vanderhoof, Chris Carmen, and Stan Clark.
PURE STOCK (15 LAPS) -- RUSS MARSDEN, Chris Cunningham, Ron Hawker, Dave Emmons, Rocky Warner, Dave Janczuk, Art Newman, Dave Pope, Glen Forward, Phil Norman, Jim Thomas, Rick Condes, Chris Mackey, Mike Harrison, Keith Stevenson, Buck Mills, Shawn Dunn, Abbey Thorp, George Schulz, Herm Staats, Mike Walters, and Dan Hoffman Sr.