BOBBY VARIN SCORES RACE OF CHAMPIONS VICTORY AT UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY VERNON, NY (MAY 8)- Bobby Varin erased the memory of letting the 100-lap Super DIRT Series event slip away last August when he scored the victory in Race of Champions Dirt ...
BOBBY VARIN SCORES RACE OF CHAMPIONS VICTORY AT UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY
VERNON, NY (MAY 8)- Bobby Varin erased the memory of letting the 100-lap Super DIRT Series event slip away last August when he scored the victory in Race of Champions Dirt Modified event this past Sunday at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Varin took the lead on lap 20 of the 66 ½ lap special Mother's Day event and took home $4,000 for his efforts. Ken Stafford, Tom Denton, Bill Anderson, Russ Marsden, and Joey Delacruz were all also victorious on Mirabito The Energy Leader night.
Second generation driver Ronnie Johnson and Utica-Rome Speedway's opening night winner Jamie Christian led the 27 car starting field to the green flag with Johnson taking the lead early. As Johnson was leading, a dogfight ensued behind him for the top 5 positions between Christian, Todd Burley, John Ramsey, and Willy Decker. The positions swapped lap after lap with Gibbs, Burley, Ramsey, and Bobby Varin filling out the top 5 spots behind Johnson at lap 10. By lap 19, Varin had put himself in the runner up spot and was running down the front running Johnson.
Varin would take the lead on lap 21 and began to steadily pull away. Johnson would fall back into the grips of the 358-Modifieds of Decker and Gibbs with Gibbs gaining the 2nd spot by lap 23. Johnson would regain 2nd on lap 25 with Gibbs and Decker still in hot pursuit. At the halfway point, it was Varin, Johnson, Gibbs, and Jeff Trombley in the top 5.
As Varin continued to set the pace out front, Decker again made his presence felt in his small block powered mount as he again marched through the top 5, taking 2nd on lap 39. Jason Barney also was driving a steady race, slipping in to the 3rd spot on lap 41. The top 3 would remain unchanged for the rest of the event but the father and son duo of Ronnie Johnson and Jack Johnson battled for the 4th and 5th spot. Ronnie would hold the advantage over his father for most of time. Gibbs recovered from a lap 42 spin steal the 5th spot at the end of the 66 ½ lap affair. Jack Johnson was 6th, with Burley, Ted Lamb, Don Mattison, and Ryan Bartlett rounded out the top 10.
John Cunningham led the opening circuit of the 20-lap Sportsman feature, only to quickly lose it to Mike Zimmerman on the 2nd circuit. Like Cunningham, Zimmerman would only hold to the lead for 1 lap. Paul Carey would take to the top spot on lap 3 after starting 12th on the grid. Carey was strong early and looked as though he would run off for his first win of the season, but 2nd year Sportsman driver Kenny Stafford had other ideas. Stafford would slip by Carey on lap 9 and speed off. Stafford would hang on for the remainder of the event with Carey, Kyle Lewis, Jeremy Vunk, and Bob Mills chasing at the checkered.
Pole sitter Eric Vanderhoof would hold the top spot for 1 lap of the Pro Stock feature event with Dave Moyer the leader by lap 2. Moyer would lead through the early part of the 20-lap main until former track champion Jason Rood slipped by lap 8. Rood and Moyer would go nose to tail as they battle for the top spot over the next 7 circuits until contact between the leaders left Rood facing the wrong way and Moyer penalized for rough riding on lap 15. After the penalty, Tom Denton was the leader with opening night winner Bret Belden in 2nd, Bill Knapp in 3rd, Roy Fifield in 4th, and Mark Effner in 5th. When the race resumed, Denton would hold on for the remaining 5 circuits to win his first feature of the season. Knapp took 2nd from Belden at the end with Effner and Fifield rounding out the top 5.
In the 15-lap IMCA Modified A Main, Dale Caswell led the opening lap only to give it up next circuit to the division's hottest driver. 72 year old Bill Anderson quickly took over on lap 2 and would never be challenged for the remainder of the event. The team cars of George Catanzano and Bob Banks would race each other throughout the event for the runner-up position with Catanzano nipping Banks for the position at the checkered. Caswell would come home in 4th with Aaron Jacobs in 5th. This was Anderson's 2nd win of the season at the speedway and his 5th overall in 2005.
In the 15-lap Pure Stock main, Dan Hoffman Sr. led the first 2 laps until the much expected pass for the lead from Russ Marsden on lap 3. Marsden would easily lead the remainder of the race as Hoffman, Dave Janczuk, Charlie Gilbert, and Phil Norman filled out the top 5.
Joey Delacruz went quickly from his 3rd starting position to the by the end of lap 1, and would never give up the top spot in the 15-lap Four Cylinder Super Stock feature event. Ken Carson, Mike Stringer, Chuck Powelczyk, and Kevin Fassett chased Delacruz across the line.
The "Action Track of the East" will be in competition again this Sunday, May 15, when Pro Tire Service and Parts Plus Auto Stores presents a regular show of 358-Modifieds, Sportsman, Pro Stocks, Pure Socks, and Four Cylinder Super Stocks. The Central New Mini-Sprints will also be on hand to compete in first leg of the Pro Tire and Parts Plus Super Series. Gates open at 3 p.m. with racing at 5:30 p.m. For more information, please call (315) 829-4557 or visit us at www.uticaromespeedway.com.
MIRABITO FUEL GROUP RACE SUMMARY
SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- KENNY STAFFORD, Paul Carey, Kyle Lewis, Jeremy Vunk, Bob Mills, Mike Button, John Scarborough, Tom Juhl, Matt Janczuk, Jim Rothwell, Bill Price, John Cunningham, Tim Mayne, Jessica Zemken, Tim Nye, Casey Williams, Brad Alger, Jeff Leslie, Steve Way, Michael Teachout, Michael Zimmerman, John DeForest, Pat O'Hanlan, and Michael Barney.
IMCA MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- BILL ANDERSON, George Catanzano, Bob Banks, Dale Caswell, Aaron Jacobs, Mark Chrzanowski, Sean Lias, Don Alvord, Nate Jacobs, Rodney True, and Kevin Buff.
RACE OF CHAMPIONS FEATURE FINISH (66 ½ LAPS)- BOBBY VARIN, Willy Decker, Jason Barney, Ronnie Johnson, Mitch Gibbs, Jack Johnson, Todd Burley, Ted Lamb, Don Mattison, Ryan Bartlett, Brian Weaver, Jamie Christian, Tony Pepicelli, Jerry Pennock, Jerry Higbie, David VanHorn, Chris Ostrowsky, Paul Kinney, Paul Jensen, Jeff Trombley, Dave Camara, John Ramsey, Billy Osta, Jeff Kotary, JR Crouse, Tim Clemons, and Alton Palmer. DNQ-
PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- TOM DENTON, Bill Knapp, Bret Belden, Mark Effner, Roy Fifield, Jason Rood, AJ Digsby, Dave Moyer. Eric Vanderhoof, Scott Tift, Jerry Holmes, Ed Ostrander, Jerry Pepper, Dwight Johnson, and Chad Ray.
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- RUSS MARSDEN, Dan Hoffman Sr, Dave Janczuk, Charlie Gilbert, Phil Norman, Art Newman, George Schulze, Glen Forward, Chris Mackey, Rick Condes, Brent Tardy, Mike Harrison, Frank Hyatt, Herm Staats, Abbey Thorp, Tim Janczuk, and Chris Cunningham. DNS-Keith Stevenson.
FOUR CYLINDER SUPER STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- JOEY DELACRUZ, Ken Carson, Mike Stringer, Chuck Powelczyk, Kevin Fassett, Doug Farnsworth, Chris Kranz, Todd Williamson, Rich Murtaugh, Lorraine Powelczyk, and Ralph Kranz.