posted July 06, 2001 12:40 PM
THRILLING DIRT RACING EXCITEMENT RETURNS TO UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY THIS SUNDAY JULY 15 ON FEDERATED AUTO PARTS NIGHT
VERNON, NY – The 40th anniversary season of professional DIRT Motorsports sanctioned stock car racing at Utica-Rome Speedway continues this Sunday July 15 on Federated Auto Parts Night. In thrilling race competition on the ultra fast half-mile clay oval will be the DIRT 358-Modifieds, DIRT Sportsman (Non-Point), DIRT Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Slingshots. Race time at the popular 40-year old track which started the career of late NASCAR great Richie Evans, is set for 6pm.
Five different winners have graced victory lane in the headline DIRT 358-Modified division to date this season, including J.J. Michaels, Danny Johnson, Todd Burley, Jack Johnson, and John Ramsey. The ageless Jumpin’ Jack Johnson leads all competitors with three victories, but "The Tornado" Todd Burley has two victories and the points lead. However, other top drivers such as defending track champion Ron Holmes, plus former champions Mitch Gibbs, Paul Jensen, and Roger Phelps are all winless and looking for their first victories at the halfway point of the season. Other top drivers challenging for the Federated Auto Parts 30-lap main event victory will be John Barker, Gus Schmidt, Jason Barney, Ryan Baye, and Steve Hulsizer. With a talented lineup of some of the best 358-Modified drivers on the DIRT circuit at Utica-Rome, you never know who will end up in victory lane at race end, especially with the points battle as intense as it is.
The DIRT Sportsman division will have a 20-lap non-points affair, due to the Super DIRT Series event at the Gasport Speedway in Ontario. Expect top drivers Jamie Christian, Dan Yankowski, Jim Rothwell, Kevin Crave, Gordy Button, and Mike Button to all be in contention for the win at Utica-Rome this Sunday on Federated Auto Parts Night.
Jerry Holmes and John Pietrowicz have dominated the DIRT Pro Stock division this season, but drivers such as a consistent Bret Belden, Jason Rood, Wayne Archer, and Jim Normoyle are looking for their first victories of the season. Dave Mannise and Jeff Pastorella are the drivers to beat in the Pure Stock ranks, but veterans such as Jim Thomas, George Schulze, and Herm Staats as well as teenager Waylan Wilczek will be tough to contend with as time wears on. The second year Slingshot division has been very competitive this season, with five different winners including J.J. Courcy, Brian Thomas, Randy Marsh, Dave Barrows, and Mike Teachout.
You can be a part of all the family fun and excitement this summer at Utica-Rome Speedway, a Sunday tradition in the Mohawk Valley that produces some of the most-thrilling three and four wide racing on the entire DIRT Motorsports circuit. On average, over 110 cars show up weekly for the action packed five division show, which is completed around 10pm to allow everyone time to go home and prepare for the week ahead.
The track is located just east of the village of Vernon on Route 5 and is easily accessible from New York State Thruway Exit 33. Free parking and overnight camping is allowed on speedway grounds.
The gates this Sunday July 15 at Utica-Rome Speedway on Federated Auto Parts Night will open at 4pm, with racing taking the green from Starter Chip Burdick at 6pm. For more information, contact the speedway office at (315) 829-4557 or log onto the official website at www.newuticaromespeedway.com.