Utica-Rome Speedway releases 2001 schedule

VERNON, NY - Track officials at Vernon's New Utica-Rome Speedway have released an ambitious 21-event schedule of events for the track's 40th anniversary season in 2001. Weekly Sunday night racing at the popular and historic half-mile will begin...

VERNON, NY - Track officials at Vernon's New Utica-Rome Speedway have released an ambitious 21-event schedule of events for the track's 40th anniversary season in 2001.

Weekly Sunday night racing at the popular and historic half-mile will begin on May 6 and continue through September 16. In DIRT Motorsports sanctioned racing action each Sunday will be the DIRT 358 Modifieds, DIRT Sportsman, DIRT Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Slingshots.

Many special events jam-pack the 2001 race schedule, beginning with Mother's Day Sunday May 13. NICE N' EASY GROCERY SHOPPES will present the opening round of the Sunoco Race Fuels 358-Modified Super DIRT Series with a 100-lap event featuring all the top names in the DIRT 358-Modified division. Also scheduled is the 30-lap kickoff of the UFPO "Dig Safely" Sportsman Super DIRT Series, which will serve as a Syracuse qualifier for the Firecracker event on July 3.

Sunday May 27 on Memorial Weekend, Utica-Rome will play host to "WWF Monster Truck Madness" featuring WWF Monster Trucks in a special free-style event and free Monster Truck rides for kids. Also scheduled is a regular program for the DIRT 358 Modifieds, DIRT Sportsman, DIRT Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Slingshots, all sponsored by NICE N' EASY GROCERY SHOPPES and F.X. CAPRARA CAR COMPANIES.

On Sunday July 1, Utica-Rome will celebrate our great nation's birthday and independence with a special holiday show featuring Twin 20 features for the DIRT 358-Modifieds, with the first feature being a Super DIRT Week 358-Modified Championship qualifier. Also scheduled will be the DIRT Sportsman, DIRT Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Slingshots plus a gigantic fireworks display.

Sunday August 19 will serve as the celebration of Utica-Rome's 40th anniversary with an Old Timer's Reunion and N.S.S.C.A. Hall of Fame Night. Scheduled is a regular show for the DIRT 358-Modifieds, DIRT Sportsman, DIRT Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Slingshots.

The only midweek special on the 2001 schedule at Utica-Rome will take place on Thursday August 23, when the Big Block Modifieds roar back to Utica-Rome for their second Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series 100-lap special in two years, sponsored by STADIUM INTERNATIONAL TRUCKS. Time trials will set the all-star field for what should be one of the best races of the year at the speedway. Also scheduled is a regular points show for the DIRT Pro Stocks. The gates will open at 4pm, with time trials at 6:15pm and racing set to take the green flag at 7pm.

On Sunday September 2, the Empire Super Sprints Tour 2001 will return to Utica-Rome for the first time since 1996 in a much-anticipated event dubbed the "ESS Winged Warrior Invasion". The best Sprint Car drivers in the Northeast will be on hand for this much anticipated event, which will also serve as the final night of points for all of Utica-Rome's regular racing divisions. Track champions for the year 2001 will be crowned on this evening, and it will be the last regular show of the year.

Utica-Rome will throw away the rulebook for the Modified division on Sunday September 9, and hold the first Run Whatcha' Brung event at the track since 1994. Sail panels, alcohol, drag rubber, wings, and other things including Big Block engines will all be legal for this event. Also scheduled is a $500 to win special for the DIRT Sportsman, $400 to win for the DIRT Pro Stocks, $300 to win for the Pure Stocks, plus the Slingshots.

Utica-Rome will close out the 2001 season on Sunday September 16 for the second Sunoco Race Fuels 358-Modified Super DIRT Series 100-lap event of the year, sponsored by NICE N' EASY GROCERY SHOPPES and F.X. CAPRARA CAR COMPANIES. Also scheduled is an Automotive Recyclers Association of N.Y. (ARANY) Pro Stock Super DIRT Series 25-lap event plus a Pure Stock feature.

The gates will swing open each Sunday afternoon at 4pm and racing will begin promptly at 6pm, with Slingshot heats taking place at 5:45pm. The complete 2001 schedule is available on the speedway website at http://www.newuticaromespeedway.com/schedule.htm.

-Doug Zupan

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