Utica-Rome season opener preview

Utica-Rome Speedway Set To Open For An Exciting 2004 Season This Sunday VERNON, NY-An off-season of anticipation will turn into reality when Utica-Rome Speedway opens the gates on the 2004 season for its 43rd season of operation this Sunday...

Utica-Rome Speedway Set To Open For An Exciting 2004 Season This Sunday

VERNON, NY-An off-season of anticipation will turn into reality when Utica-Rome Speedway opens the gates on the 2004 season for its 43rd season of operation this Sunday April 25. Gates-Cole Insurance and Wilber-Duck Chevy/Buick present an $1800 to win 40-lap Sunoco/Aplus 150 358-Modified Championship qualifier plus a regular show of DIRT Sportsman, DIRT Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Four Cylinder Super Stocks. Gates will open at 3 p.m. with racing action slated for 5:30 p.m.

Many of the top 358-Modified drivers in the northeast are expected to compete for the $10,000 prize that will go for the 2004 358-Modified point champion. Many of the 2003 season regulars such as 1996 track champion Mitch Gibbs, 2001 track champion Todd Burley, Willy Decker, John Ramsey, Gus Schmidt, Paul Kinney, and many more are expected to be attendance on a weekly basis. Also, many new faces have decided to make Utica-Rome Speedway their Sunday night home, including Vermont's Dave Camara, young sensation Stewart Friesen, 2003 Eastern States 200 champion Bobby Varin, 2003 New Afton Speedway champion Jeremy Smith, and second generation driver Ronnie Johnson. Camara visited a the speedway late last season, coming away with a victory. Brett Hearn has indicated that he will be in attendance for the season opener with the Vinnie Salerno owned Four Star Trailer & Transmission team. Hearn is 2 for 2 in 2004 since joining the Four Star team, with a victory at Hagerstown (Md.) and The Dirt Track at Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte (NC). Hearn was the victor in the last 358-Modified event of 2003 at the Utica-Rome Speedway, winning the Turning Stone Casino Resort Super DIRT Series event in September. The Four Star Trailers & Transmission team has also seen success at the Vernon speedplant, with Andy Bachetti as the driver and dominating the field for the opening night win in 2000.

Bill Shantel, Jr. will be looking to repeat as the champion in the Sportsman division, as will Jerry Holmes in the Pro Stocks, and Art Newman in the fan favorite Pure Stocks. The Four Cylinder Super Stocks will be running their first event after being added as a regular division for the 2004 campaign.

Many new bonus programs have been set up over the winter months that will be sure to make the events even more exciting. A 358-Modified back to back bonus program, the Halfway Challenge, and the Heat Race Challenge are just some of the incentives that competitors will be striving for.

Utica-Rome Speedway is located on Route 5 in Vernon, NY just a few short miles from New York State Thruway Exit 33. For information on the "Action track of the East" including directions, schedule of events, point standings, and more you can log on to www.uticaromespeedway.com. You can also contact the speedway by phone by calling (315) 829-4557.

-urs-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Brett Hearn , Jeremy Smith , Bobby Varin