Utica-Rome summary 2003-05-25

Dale Planck wins second of the season on Nice n' Easy Grocery Shoppes night at Utica-Rome Speedway, Tim Clemons, Jerry Holmes, Chuck Cushman, and Mike Lutz also take checkers VERNON, NY- Dale Planck took the lead on the final lap in the ...

Dale Planck wins second of the season on Nice n' Easy Grocery Shoppes night at Utica-Rome Speedway, Tim Clemons, Jerry Holmes, Chuck Cushman, and Mike Lutz also take checkers

VERNON, NY- Dale Planck took the lead on the final lap in the DIRT 358-Modified feature event on Nice n' Easy Grocery Shoppes night, with Tim Clemons, Jerry Holmes, Chuck Cushman, and Mike Lutz also victorious at Utica-Rome Speedway. The show was completed under the threat of rain all evening, with rain holding off until the final checkered flag fell.

When the green flag flew from starter Matt Burdick, RC Faigle jumped to lead from his outside front row starting spot over pole sitter JJ Michaels. Racing action was quickly halted on the first lap when Ray Zemken's mount slowed on the backstretch, causing cars to bottle up behind him. Jim Rothwell, Todd Burley, John Ramsey, Joel Thomas, and Mark Tily were all involved, with Tily the only competitor able to return. Faigle survived another restart and continued to pace the field until Michaels took advantage of a lap 8 restart and grabbed the lead. As the field completed lap 10, Michaels continued to lead with Faigle, Ryan Baye, Dale Planck from his sixteenth starting spot, and Mark Flach trailed. Completing the top 10 at this point were Willy Decker, Matt Sheppard, Paul Kinney, Mitch Gibbs, and Kevin Crave.

A caution at the halfway point brought the field togethere again, and Michaels again jumped to the lead on the restart. It was at this point that Planck made his move, and passed both Faigle and Baye in one sweeping move and took off after Michaels. With ten to go, Michaels led with Planck, Baye, Kinney, and Faigle chasing in the top 5.

Planck pulled even with Michaels on lap 22, and the duo running side by side all around the fast half-mile. Planck ran his patented low groove, with Michaels using the cushion. Michaels and Planck thrilled the large crowd as they continued to run side by side as the laps ticked off, until lap on the final lap, Planck drove it hard into turn one, and he grabbed the lead coming out of the second turn. Planck took his second win of the year, with Michaels, Baye, Kinney, and Decker finishing out the top 5. Faigle held on for sixth, with Flach, Sheppard, Gibbs, and Crave completing the top 10.

Jeremy Vunk took off from his pole position starting spot to grab the lead over Tim Nye in the DIRT Sportsman main event. Green flag racing racing prevailed as at the halfway point the field continued under green with Vunk still leading, Nye was still in second, and Butch Reiter, Tim Clemons charging from twelfth, and Bill Shantel Jr. running in the top five. Tim Mayne, Jamie Christian, Jessica Zemken, John Scarborough, and Paul Carey chased in the top ten.

The caution flag flew on lap 12 when Zemken spun in turn one, bringing the field together. This was the chance that Clemons was waiting for, as he passed both Vunk and Nye and grabbed the lead by the completion of lap 13. Clemons took off from the field to take his second win of the season, with Christian making a charge to second, and Shantel, Vunk, and Carey filled out the top 5 finishing positions. Nye held on for sixth, with Reiter, David Towns, Mayne, and Jim Roberts completing the top 10.

Bill Knapp was the early leader in the DIRT Pro Stocks, leading from his pole starting spot. Knapp survived several caution periods to continue leading at the halfway point, with pressure being applied by Jason Rood, Eric Vanderhoof, Jerry Holmes, and Joe Palmer. In the closing laps, Holmes continued to pressure Knapp until he was able to get him on lap 17. Holmes was able to race away for his third win of the season, with Knapp hanging on for second. Jim Normoyle followed in third, with Rob Yetman in fourth, and Paul Rogers crossing in fifth. Finishing out the top were Wayne Ellison, Bret Belden, Chad Ray, Rood, and Vanderhoof.

In the exciting Pure Stock division, Chuck Cushman led from the drop of the green, sped away from the rest of the field to claim his first checkered of the year. Jim Thomas charged from tenth to claim second, with Art Newman, George Schulze, and Russ Marsden crossed in positions third through fifth. Completing the top 10 was Mark Barker, Dana Camenga, Dave Janczuk, Jay McGillicuddy, and Dave Pope.

In the companion Empire Super Sprint feature event, Mike Lutz grabbed the lead from Dan Kazubinski on lap 15 to grab the win. Justin Barger, John Karklin Jr., Gordy Button, Bill Bailey, Lance Yonge, Alain Bergron, RC Faigle, and Don Sharp completed the top 10.

NOTES- 28 DIRT 358-Modifieds, 19 DIRT Sportsman, 22 DIRT Pro Stocks, 21 Pure Stocks, and 36 ESS Sprint Cars signed in for competition. Qualifying heats for the 358-Modifieds were won by Ryan Baye, Ray Zemken, and JJ Michaels, while Tim Nye and Bill Shantel, Jr. took the Sportsman heats, Eric Vanderhoof and Mark Effner won the Pro Stock heats, and Chuck Cushman and Jim Thomas were victorious in the Pure Stock heats. The ESS heats were won by Don Sharp Jr, Mike Stelter, and Mike Lutz. Both RC Faigle and Chuck Hebing did double duty, with both competing in the DIRT 358-Modified and ESS divisions. Planck's win marked 42nd win at the speedway.

Next event at "Action Track of the East" is this Sunday June 1st, when JM Uvanni and John's Auto Restoration present a regular show for the DIRT 358-Modifieds, DIRT Sportsman, and DIRT Pro Stocks plus the first race of the Battle of the Street Stocks/Pure Stocks. Also scheduled is a crowd favorite demolition derby and a rollover contest. For the latest information, call the speedway office at (315) 829-4557, or log on to the official speedway website at www.uticaromespeedway.com.

Nice n' Easy Grocery Shoppes night

DIRT 358-Modifieds Feature finish (30 laps)-DALE PLANCK, JJ Michaels, Ryan Baye, Paul Kinney, Willy Decker, RC Faigle, Mark Flach, Matt Sheppard, Mitch Gibbs, Kevin Crave, Scott Brady, Dave Rauscher, Jeff Kotary, Gus Schmidt, Ray Zemken, Mark Tily, Dan Humes, Aaron Jacobs, Chuck Hebing, Heath Carney, David Orr, John Ramsey, Todd Burley, Jim Rothwell, and Joel Thomas. DNQ- Todd Thomas, Pete Taylor, and Kory Gurney.

DIRT Sportsman Feature finish (20 laps)- TIM CLEMONS, Jamie Christian, Bill Shantel Jr., Jeremy Vunk, Paul Carey, Tim Nye, Butch Reiter, David Towns, Tim Mayne, Jim Roberts, John Scarborough, Jessica Zemken, Darren Keyser, Josh Flint, Billy Price, Steve Way, George Dyer, Rick Quick, and Tony Farrone.

DIRT Pro Stock Feature finish (20 laps)- JERRY HOLMES, Bill Knapp, Jim Normoyle, Rob Yeetman, Paul Rogers, Wayne Ellison, Bret Belden, Chad Ray, Jason Rood, Eric Vanderhoof, Frank Guererri, Mark Effner, Ed Ostander, Joe Palmer, Gus Gould, Buddy Hencke, Dan Rickard, Tom Denton, Bob Johnson, and Mark Lighthall.

Pure Stock Feature finish (15 laps)- CHUCK CUSHMAN, Jim Thomas, Art Newman, George Schulze, Russ Marsden, Mark Barker, Dana Camenga, Dave Janczuk, Jay McGillicuddy, Dave Pope, Rocky Warner, Ted Crawford, Rick Condes, Michael Barney, Ricky Trexler, Herm Staats, Phil Norman, Nathan Peckham, Cody Streeter, Waylan Wilczek, and Ron Warner.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Jim Roberts , Pete Taylor , Justin Barger