"The Action Track of the East "
Why Race at Utica Rome Speedway
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Whelen All-American Series Track
Mark Your Calendar
Opening Night for the 2015 season is
2014 Awards Banquet
On Saturday November 29, the 2014 season will officially be put to rest as the Annual Awards Banquet will be the final event on the Utica-Rome Speedway calendar.
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AFTER 13 SEASONS, THE COLE ERA IS ABOUT TO END AT UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY, LLC AS AN AGREEMENT HAS MADE TO SELL SPEEDWAY
VERNON, NY- There has been a lot of rumors and speculation on the future of the Utica-Rome Speedway, LLC and the possible change in ownership in the past several weeks, and now that can be put to rest. A purchase agreement has been made between Gene and Gloria Cole, the current owners, and Bill and Kim Shea of Oneida. The agreement will have the Shea’s take total control of the speedway just before the 2015 season begins.
Bill Shea has worked at Ferris Industries for 38 year and now is the Vice President of Commercial Sales for Ferris. Bill was a key player in the growth of the company when he used shock technology from his son Justin’s Oswego Speedway Limited supermodified and transferred that to Ferris Mowers. A patent was issued for the innovation which changed the industry. Bill has also sponsored events at local tracks through Ferris including Utica-Rome, Brewerton, and Fulton Speedways plus Super DIRT Week in Syracuse and other DIRT Motorsports events. Additionally, he has been involved in sponsorship in NASCAR events and teams.
Kim Shea’s professional background includes being office manager and book keeper for her family’s business and now is the Deputy Town Clerk for Stockbridge.
Together, Kim and Bill have been involved weekly at Utica-Rome Speedway for years, most recently as car owners for Willy Decker who finished seventh in the 2014 final points with two wins. Bill’s history at Utica-Rome Speedway goes back much further as he started attending as a kid since 1962, making him well aware of the rich history at the Vernon oval.
Bill expects little change for the 2015 season, especially in staffing. “Gene Cole has established one the best groups of officials in the business and I see no reason to change anything,” stated Bill.
Gene and Gloria Cole took over the Utica-Rome Speedway in 2002 and during their tenure the speedway grounds have seen improvements each season. Also, Utica-Rome Speedway has become well known as one of the best paying tracks for Modifieds in the regions with a strong weekly purse, multiple big paying events, and a huge point fund. This year, track champion Stewart Friesen will net over $27,000 in point money between the track’s $10,000 title, NASCAR Whelen All-American Series point money, and NASCAR state title.
When discussing the sale, Gene Cole is pleased to find someone like Kim and Bill Shea to take over the speedway. “They are racing people, are involved in racing, and know the business. More importantly,” Cole continued, “Bill understands the history here as he has seen most of it and knows the importance of keeping that going. How many short tracks in America can say they have someone in the NASCAR Hall of Fame?”
With the contract signed and down payment made, the official signing will be on or shortly before April 1, allowing the Shea’s to prepare for the upcoming 2015 season and begin their marketing plans.
The Utica-Rome Speedway opener is planned for Sunday April 19 and will once again run under the NASCAR banner.