MIKE MAHANEY WINS AT UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY TO KICK OFF NASCAR ERA
VERNON, NY- After a long off season, the hearty fans at Utica-Rome Speedway was treated to a fast paced show that didn’t disappoint them. Despite the chilly temperatures, the action on the track was heated and saw young Mike Mahaney take the checkered flag in the his NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified event of the season. Other winners on this night were AJ Filbeck in the Sportsman, Tom Denton in the Pro Stocks, and Ron Hawker in the Pure Stocks.
The first Modified feature of the season came to the green flag with a pair of Phelps on the front row with Jimmy Phelps starting on the pole position while Ryan Phelps was on the outside. Jimmy would jump out into the lead on lap one, with Mike Mahaney passing two cars and taking control of the runner up position.
The first third of the race would be plagued by three cautions; all caused by cars slipping over the top of the banking in turns three and four. Mahaney used the restarts to his advantage and was able to dive below Jimmy Phelps to take the lead with 22 laps remaining. Behind the front two, a battle between Matt Sheppard and Larry Wight was brewing for the final podium spot. While the two of them went back and forth, the 2013 champion Stewart Friesen dove to the bottom of the speedway and passed them both. He then set his sights on second place running Phelps, who had lost the Mahaney after a lap six restart. Friesen once again used the bottom of the racing surface, passing Jimmy Phelps to take second on lap 16.
Another yellow flag flew on lap 20, as Willy Decker’s car slowed on the back stretch with a mechanical problem. The field reset with Mahaney leading Friesen, Jimmy Phelps, Tim Fuller, and Wight. When the green flag was shown again, the front duo began to pull away from the rest of the top ten. A tussle for third started between Jimmy Phelps and Fuller, while Sheppard, Wight, and Billy Decker all fought for the fifth position. Meanwhile, at the front, Mahaney was pulling farther and farther away from Friesen, who was trying every line on the speedway to try and catch the leader. Mahaney, however, was too fast and he took the checkered flag with Friesen following in second. Sheppard would finish third, while Jimmy Phelps and Billy Decker were close behind. Wight, Pat Ward, Anthony Perrego, Danny Varin, and Erick Rudolph would round out the top ten.
The Sportsman feature saw Brandon Walters take the initial lead from his outside front row starting spot with fourth place starter Mike Walton in tow. Fifth place starter AJ Filbeck starting to make his presence felt on lap six as he moved into the top three, and after a lap seven restart, he had moved into the lead. Filbeck would go the rest of the 20 lap main event unchallenged as he took the win. Vunk would recover to finish second after fading early in the event with Jack Miller, Steve Way, and Walters rounding out the top five. The event was marred by a horrific crash and flip by Nick Krause on lap seven, who was uninjured in the incident.
Tom Denton continued where he left off in 2013 as he dominated the 20 lap Pro Stock main event. Denton started the feature on the pole position, and would never be challenged throughout the event. Chasing Denton to the checkered in the caution free event was Bret Belden, Mark Effner, Glenn Forward, and Chris Carr.
In the Pure Stocks, Frank Hyatt would find himself leading the field for the initial three circuits from his pole starting spot. On lap four, 2013 champion Ron Hawker would gain the top spot only to lose it a circuit to second place starter Tim Janczuk on lap five. Janczuk would set the pace for the next two laps until Hawker would slide up in front of Janczuk coming off turn four to regain the lead on lap eight. Hawker would then race to the checkered flag first to start his defense of his title with Janczuk, Rob Thieme, Bill Mason, and Russ Marsden would round out the top five.
Coming up on May 4 will be another exciting night of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing when Williams Tire and Auto presents a regular show of Modifieds, Sportsman, Pro Stocks, and Pure Stocks. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. with racing at 6 p.m. For more information, please log on to www.uticaromespeedway.com or contact the speedway office at (315)829-4557.
MOBIL ONE RACE SUMMARY
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES MODIFIED FINISH (30 LAPS)- MIKE MAHANEY, Stewart Friesen, Matt Sheppard, Jimmy Phelps, Billy Decker, Larry Wight, Pat Ward, Anthony Perrego, Danny Varin, Erick Rudolph, Ryan Phelps, Adam Roberts, Matt Janczuk, Tim Fuller, Jason Rood, Tye-Scott Rood, Aaron Jacobs, Mike Bowman, Willy Decker, Dave Moyer, and Rusty Smith.
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES SPORTSMAN FINISH (20 LAPS)- A.J. FILBECK, Jeremy Vunk, Jack Miller, Steve Way, Brandon Walters, Andrew Ferguson, Craig Pope, Randy Shantel, Stephen Denton, Mike Walton, Claude Hutchings Jr., Heath Carney, Daryl Barrett, Kyle Kiehn, Chris Hulsizer, John DeForest, Mike Richmond, Lucas Heintz, Mike Stiles, Mark Weaver, Nick Krause, and Chad Ray.
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES PRO STOCK FINISH (20 LAPS)- TOM DENTON, Bret Belden, Mark Effner, Glenn Forward, Chris Carr, Ed Ostrander, A.J. Digsby, Dana Camenga, Chris Cunningham, Corie Locke, and Jim Money.
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES PURE STOCK FINISH (15 LAPS)- RON HAWKER, Tim Janczuk, Rob Thieme, Bill Mason, Rusty Marsden, Ricky Breed, Keith Stevenson, Jim Thomas, Frank Hyatt, Chris Watkins, Bryan Owens, Ernie Staelens, Jerry Streeter, and Chuck Cushman Jr.