VERNON, NY - Oneida's Ron Holmes advanced from the ninth starting position to win the 30-lap DIRT 358 Modified feature July 16 on Nice N' Easy Grocery Shoppes Night at the New Utica-Rome Speedway. Other winners on the rainy evening where many...
VERNON, NY - Oneida's Ron Holmes advanced from the ninth starting position to win the 30-lap DIRT 358 Modified feature July 16 on Nice N' Easy Grocery Shoppes Night at the New Utica-Rome Speedway. Other winners on the rainy evening where many thought there would be no racing were Oneida's Paul Kinney in the DIRT Sportsman, West Winfield's Jerry Holmes in the DIRT Pro Stocks, Vernon's Chad Ray in the Pure Stocks, Bridgewater's Todd Land in the Senior Slingshots, and Fulton's Larry Wight in the Junior Slingshots.
Mark Schoonover and Andy Romano led the 24-car starting field out of turn four to the green flag from Starter Chip Burdick, but a quick spin in turn one by Ryan Baye brought out the first yellow of the 30-lap affair. A complete restart then took place, with Andy Romano grabbing the initial lead. Going into turn three on the first lap, Andy Bachetti, who started tenth, barley lifted, and made a bonsai move stick on the high side. He gained several spots with the spectacular move that showed why he is called "The Wildchild" and made Utica-Rome race fans get up from their seats. Bachetti was flying as was Ron Holmes, and they moved up to positions four and five respectively by the second lap, when a yellow came out for a pileup in turn four. Involved were Ted Lamb Jr., Rich Price, Dale Planck, and Todd Burley. Price and Lamb were done for the night.
On the restart, Utica-Rome race fans were again on their feet as a 3-wide battle for second began between Schoonover, Holmes, and Bachetti. Bachetti got the spot, and he moved in on Romano for the lead. Romano and Bachetti went side by side for the lead on lap four, and Bachetti took over control of the race as the lap was scored. However, Ron Holmes was right there, chasing down Bachetti like a cat would chase a mouse. Bachetti went high, with Holmes right alongside him down low, but Bachetti was too strong as he pulled away and opened a small lead. Then, the pace by Bachetti was slowed when polesitter Mark Schoonover slowed, causing a quick yellow flag period.=20
On the lap 8 restart, Tim Clemons was on the move, as he moved up into the top five. Coming out of turn four on lap 10, Bachetti bobbled, which was enough for Holmes to take the lead. Ronnie Johnson was also running fast, and he grabbed fifth by lap 10. J.J. Michaels, the Consi winner, was moving up from deep in the pack, and he took over ninth on lap 11. Holmes opened up a lead, but he was slowed when Pete Taylor spun in turn four, collecting Ted Lamb and Mark Schoonover. All cars were able to continue.
On the restart, Ronnie Johnson put his foot to the firewall, and he took over the third position. Michaels was still on the move, and he became the fifth place car by passing Andy Romano on lap 14.
At the halfway point, the top five was Holmes, Bachetti, Johnson, Clemons, and Michaels.
Michaels and Clemons then began a tremendous battle for fourth, with Michaels winning out and setting his sights on the top three. Bachetti momentarily closed in on Holmes but Bachetti lost ground again when he bobbled on the high side. The yellow came out again on lap 23, when Gus Schmidt went up in a cloud of steam on the frontstretch. He was done for the night with a possible radiator problem, which will hurt him in the point standings.=20
On the restart, Ronnie Johnson, the third place runner, spun in turn one, causing a quick yellow. The next restart saw J.J. Michaels get loose and lose fourth to Clemons, who then moved closer to Bachetti and applied pressure on him for the second spot with four to go.
Holmes led the final three laps and went on to his second DIRT 358 Modified feature of the season at Utica-Rome, and his eight career victory, which moves him in front of the legendary Sonny Seamon on the all-time win list. Holmes was followed by Bachetti, Clemons, Michaels, and Dale Planck, who recovered from an early race spin to take home fifth.
After the race, Holmes commented, "It's not easy beating Bachetti, he is a real die hard racer and he will duke it out to the finish. We had a fun race together and I think the race fans got a good show tonight."
Andy Romano, Ron Holmes, and Mark Schoonover won the 358 Modified heat races, while J.J. Michaels took home the Consi win.
Steve Way took the initial lead of the caution filled 20-lap DIRT Sportsman feature event, but quickly on the move from his sixth place starting position was 17 year old Oneida High School student, Paul Kinney. On a lap 2 restart, Kinney took over second from Jim Roberts and set his sights on Way. Kinney then stole the lead from Way on the lap 3 restart. On the move from deep in the pack were point contenders Kevin Crave, Willy Decker, and Jamie Christian. However, Christian, Crave, Greg Doust, Steve Kotary, and Donnie Wetmore Jr., were knocked out of contention when a pileup on the backstretch necessitated a red flag. All drivers were uninjured, but the point leader, Christian, was done for the night, which will shake up the standings.
On the restart, Way got a good start and took over the top spot from Kinney, but Kinney kept the pressure on Way. Ron Richardson moved up into fourth on lap 12, and seemed to have enough for the leaders. Kinney moved alongside Way, just as the yellow came out for a slowing Steve Kotary, and Kinney was scored as the leader. Way stayed on Kinney's bumper, but Ron Richardson was flying, as he took second from Way with two to go. On the final lap, Richardson closed within a car length to Kinney, and coming to the checkers Richardson looked high, but Kinney had the groove and went on to his first career DIRT Sportsman feature win at Utica-Rome. Kinney is the second youngest driver to win a Sportsman event at Utica-Rome, with Jason Barney being the youngest at age 16.
After the race, Kinney autographed Track Announcer Shane Andrews' bald head in celebration of his big win to the huge cheers of the UR race fans. Andrews promised Kinney a few weeks ago that if he had won at UR, he would let him sign his hairless head.
Sportsman heat races were won by Brian Murphy, Kevin Crave, and Jamie Christian, while Craig Pritchard won the Sportsman Consi.
Stan Clark took the lead at the start of the 15-lap Pro Stock feature, but on the move was Jerry Holmes, who was trying to make it a double win for the Holmes brothers on the evening. Point leader Tom Denton was caught up in a lap 4 mishap with Eric Vanderhoof, but Denton returned after a quick pitstop, losing no laps in the process. On a lap 5 restart, Holmes took the lead from Clark and opened up a sizable margin over the rest of the drivers on the way to his first win of the season at Utica-Rome. Following Holmes, it was Clark, Bret Belden, Jason Rood, and John Kiskiel.
Pro Stock heat wins went to John Kiskiel and Ed Kotary.
George Schulze took the early lead in the 15-lap Pure Stock feature, but Jim Thomas took over the top spot on the second lap. When Thomas got loose on the topside, Schulze took the lead for one lap. Chuck Cushman Jr. was right there, and he took the lead from Schulze a lap later. Dave Mannise then brought out a yellow with a flat tire, and during the yellow, Cushman went to the pits with an undisclosed problem on his car. This handed the lead to Chad Ray, who led the rest of the way for his first Pure Stock feature win on the 2000 season at Utica-Rome. After Ray, it was Thomas, Jeff Pastorella, Mark Effner, and Herm Staats.
Dave Mannise, Dave Arbes, and Jeff Pastorella won the Pure Stock heats.
The New York State Slingshot Tour visited Utica-Rome for the first time ever, and Todd Land won his first ever 30-lap feature event. Jackie Botindari pressured Land in lap traffic in the late going, but Land was too strong and held of Bontindari. Third was Steve Gowe, fourth was Brian Thomas, and fifth was J.J. Courcy.
Seven year old Larry Wight, a Microd racer, won his first career 10-lap Junior Slingshot feature event over A.J. Kingsley.=20
Todd Land and Randy Marsh won the Slingshot heat races.
Notes - 32 Modifieds, 31 Sportsman, 20 Pro Stocks, 27 Pure Stocks, and 13 Slingshots filled the Utica-Rome pit area with 123 cars on a rainy night with. Speedway management would like to thank all race teams who helped to pack in the track before warm-ups and during the rain delay. Also, a big thank you goes out to all race fans who showed up to support the speedway on the rainy evening and after the handful of rainouts this season. Fabius, NY's R.J. Windhausen brought his Late Model out for some hot laps to show the fans what will be in action at NUR on Thursday August 17 during the first ever ULMS Late Model Showdown. Windhausen turned some lap times comparable with the 358 Modifieds, and should be back once more before the ULMS race for another shakedown and possibly an exhibition with several cars. Dave Lape, former Big Block Track Champion, returned to the speedway as a spectator and to promote the LAPCO show at Can-Am Speedway on Thursday. Lape indicated that he could soon be behind the wheel of a 358 Modified at Utica-Rome.
<pre> NEW UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY RACE SUMMARY NICE N EASY GROCERY SHOPPES NIGHT RACE DATE: SUNDAY JULY 16, 2000
DIRT 358 Modifieds (30 Laps) - 1)RON HOLMES, 2)Andy Bachetti, 3)Tim Clemons, 4)J.J. Michaels, 5)Dale Planck, 6)Andy Romano, 7)Roger Phelps, 8)Jason Barney, 9)Billy Wilcox, 10)Ryan Baye, 11)Steve Hulsizer, 12)Mark Schoonover, 13)Ronnie Johnson, 14)Jim Rothwell, 15)Ted Lamb Jr., 16)Bill Shantel Sr., 17)Pete Taylor, 18)Mike Hulsizer, 19)John Barker Jr., 20)Rich Scagliotta, 21)Gus Schmidt, 22)Jeremy Smith, 23)Todd Burley, 24)Rich Price.
Lap Leaders - Romano (1-3), Bachetti (4-9), Holmes (10-30).
Did Not Qualify - Tim Murphy Jr., Mike Fusco, Dave Sargent, Mike Jacobs, Danny Fassett, Nick Vatalaro Jr., Mike Gillette, Joel Thomas.
Current DIRT 358 Modified Points - 1)Ron Holmes 320, 2)J.J. Michaels 300, 3)Dale Planck 288, 4)Gus Schmidt 275, 5)Andy Bachetti 270.
DIRT Sportsman (20 Laps) - 1)PAUL KINNEY, 2)Ron Richardson, 3)Steve Way, 4)Jim Roberts, 5)Paul Carey, 6)Butch Reiter, 7)John Christian, 8)Dan Yankowski, 9)Mike Ketchum, 10)Craig Pritchard, 11)Brian Murphy, 12)Jessica Zemken, 13)Donnie Wetmore Jr., 14)Ron Cettner, 15)John Kinsella, 16)Geoff VanRiper, 17)Kevin Crave, 18)Dave Bargabos, 19)Steve Kotary, 20)Willy Decker, 21)Jamie Christian, 22)Greg Doust, 23)Steve Davis, 24)Tim Mayne, 25)Mike Frasier. Lap Leaders - Way (1-3), Kinney (4-9), Way (10-13), Kinney 14-20).
Did Not Qualify - Jason Potter, Jim Lavalla, Darryl Hagen, Brian Johnson, Bill Shantel Jr., John Powers.
Current DIRT Sportsman Points - 1)Jamie Christian 254, 2)Willy Decker 247, 3)Kevin Crave 220, 4)Craig Pritchard 198, 5)Paul Carey 190.
DIRT Pro Stocks (15 Laps) - 1)JERRY HOLMES, 2)Stan Clark, 3)Bret Belden, 4)Jason Rood, 5)John Kiskiel, 6)Gerry Newman, 7)Dave Moyer, 8)Joe Jackson, 9)Ed Kotary, 10)John Roese, 11)Doug Grimaldi, 12)Richard Stevenson, 13)Jason Doxtader, 14)Tom Denton, 15)Gus Gould, 16)Mike Dickquist, 17)Dave Meeks, 18)Bill Knapp, 19)Wayne Archer, 20)Eric Vanderhoof.
Lap Leaders - Clark (1-5), Holmes (6-15).
Pure Stocks (15 Laps) - 1)CHAD RAY, 2)Jim Thomas, 3)Jeff Pastorella, 4)Mark Effner, 5)Herm Staats, 6)Rob Seavy, 7)Walt Koperda, 8)Dan Hatch, 9)Mike Kirk, 10)Jeremy Bargabos, 11)Dave Arbes, 12)Ray Fancher, 13)Dave Mannise, 14)Dan Poland, 15)Bill Lashen, 16)George Schulze, 17)Les Lewis, 18)Billy Gibson, 19)Dave Pope, 20)Waylan Wilczek, 21)George Wright, 22)Cali Hall, 23)Chuck Cushman Jr., 24)Matt Spisak, 25)Bob Gloska, 26)Art Newman Jr. DNS - Bobby Newman.
Lap Leaders - Schulze (1), Thomas (2-3), Schulze (4), Cushman (5-6), Ray (7-15).
Senior Slingshot NYS Tour (30 Laps) - 1)TODD LAND, 2)Jackie Botindari, 3)Steve Gowe, 4)Brian Thomas, 5)J.J. Courcy, 6)Bob Hoffman, 7)Mike Waterman, 8)A.J. Bigsby, 9)Ryan Phelps, 10)Denny Tilison, 11)Randy Marsh. Lap Leaders - Land (1-30).
Junior Slingshots (10 Laps) - 1)LARRY WIGHT, 2)A.J. Kingsley. Lap Leaders - Wight (1-10).