Rt 5 Vernon, NY
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VERNON, NY- Stewart Friesen won a hard fought battle with Ronnie Johnson and Alan Johnson this past Sunday night to take home the $2,000 payday at the Utica-Rome Speedway on Gates-Cole Associates night to become the first repeat winner of the season.  In the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints, it was Justin Barger making the pass of Michael Parent in the final turn to score the win while Matt Janczuk was the Sportsman main event.  Jim Normoyle dominated the Pro Stock feature for his first win of the season while Bill Mason made it two wins in a row in the Pure Stocks.

Pole sitter Jason Rood took off from the field at the drop of starter Matt Burdick’s green flag to begin the 30 lap Modified feature event as he was looking to score his first career win in the division.  Willy Decker slid from his fifth starting spot to the runner up position by lap two to begin his pursuit of the leader.  While Decker was chasing Rood, veteran Alan Johnson was also moving towards the front as he grabbed third on lap eight.  Using a lap eight restart, Alan Johnson bolted to the lead, and with 10 complete, it was a pair of Johnsons up front as eighth place starter Ronnie was up to second.  Rood was in third with Stewart Friesen and Decker rounding out the top five spots.

On lap 11, Friesen made his move to third and began to run down the leaders and by the halfway point, the top three were nose to tail and side by side on every lap, with Ronnie Johnson and Friesen swapping positions lap after lap.  With 20 laps complete, Alan Johnson was still the leader with Ronnie pressuring and Friesen also keeping pace.  Decker and Jim Davis filled out the top five spots.

Lap 22, Ronnie Johnson finally made the pass for the lead dropping Alan into second with Friesen pressuring.  As lap 24 went into the record books, Friesen was finally able to slip by Alan Johnson and start his pursuit of the leader.  Friesen completed his charge to the front on lap 26 as he was able to get by Ronnie Johnson to take the lead.  Ronnie made several attempts to regain the point but when the checkered flag flew, it was Friesen becoming the first repeat winner of the 2012 season at Utica-Rome Speedway.  Ronnie Johnson held on for second over Alan while Pat Ward and Chris Hile rounded out the top five.  Larry Wight, Mike Mahaney, Casey Williams, Jim Davis, and Jason Rood filled out the top ten positions.  The win was Friesen’s 35th career win at the Vernon oval.

Outside pole sitter Mike Stiles led the opening circuit of the Sportsman 20 lap main event, only to give up the top spot up on the following to fifth place starter Brian Thomas.  Ninth place starter Chris Mackey was the next to take a turn up front as he took the lead from Thomas on lap five.  The big mover at this point was point leader Jeremy Vunk as he charged from the 16th spot and was at the point on lap seven.  Vunk would set a quick pace while Matt Janczuk methodically picked his way to the front after starting 11th.  On lap 13, Janczuk slipped by Mackey to gain the second spot and went off after Vunk.  By lap 16, Janczuk had reeled in the leader Vunk and a circuit later, he completed the pass to grab the lead.  Janczuk, despite a late race caution, would go unheeded to his third win of the season with Vunk, AJ Filbeck, Chris Mackey, and Claude Hutchings, Jr. chasing.

Jim Normoyle erased a season’s worth of bad luck with a dominating performance in the Pro Stock 20 lap feature as he rocketed from his front row starting spot and easily ran off to his first win of the season.  While Normoyle ran away up front, several drivers including Bill Knapp, Mark Effner, Tom Denton, Pete Stefanski, Bret Belden, and Glenn Forward put on a thrilling battle for the runner up spot throughout the main event.  Denton was able to grab the position by the time the checkered flag flew with Stefanski, Effner, and Forward chasing.

The Pure Stocks put on their usual exciting show to cap off the night’s racing activities as Bill Mason authored a charge from the 16th starting spot to the lead in seven laps.  Mason charge to the point was completed he slid by on the outside of race long leader Rob Thieme who had led the first six laps.  Thieme held on for second over Rick Breed, Chris Cunningham, and Tim Janczuk.

Please see official Empire Super Sprint release for complete details of their event.

On Sunday July 8, weekly action continues at the “Action Track of the East” as Bill Cole presents a regular show of Modifieds, Sportsman, Pro Stocks, and Pure Stocks.  Gates for the exciting show open at 3:30 p.m. with racing starting at 6 p.m. For more information, log on to www.uticaromespeedway.com or call the speedway office at (315) 829-4557.

GATES-COLE ASSOCIATES RACE SUMMARY

MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)-STEWART FRIESEN, Ronnie Johnson, Alan Johnson, Pat Ward, Chris Hile, Larry Wight, Mike Mahaney, Casey Williams, Jimmy Davis, Jason Rood, Alan Barker, Shannon Whaley, Johnny Hill, Chris Busta, Dave Moyer, Todd Burley, Aaron Jacobs, Mike Ward, Willy Decker, Steve Hulsizer, Ryan Phelps, Phil Burkart Jr., Adam Roberts.

SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-MATT JANCZUK, Jeremy Vunk, AJ Filbeck, Chris Mackey, Claude Hutchings, Jr., Heath Carney, Steve Way, Brian Thomas, Jack Miller, Mike Stiles, Bobby Heintz, Craig Pope, Stephen Denton, Chris McCoy, CJ Castelletti, Toby Klish, Tim Murphy, Kyle DeMetro, and Tye-Scott Rood.  DNS-Randy Shantel.

PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-JIM NORMOYLE, Tom Denton, Pete Stefanski, Mark Effner, Glenn Forward, Bret Belden, Bill Knapp, Chris Carr, Jeff Pastorella, Ed Ostrander, AJ Digsby, Jim Money, Dana Camenga, Corie Locke, Andy Lashure, and Shawn Frost.  DNS-Glenn Weaver.

PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)-BILL MASON, Rob Thieme, Ricky Breed, Chris Cunningham, Tim Janczuk, Stan Clark, Jim Thomas, Chuck Cushman, Ron Hawker, Andy Szewczyk, Bryan Owens, Cale Hoffman, Brian Johnson, Chris Watkins, Frank Hyatt, and Scott Wheelock.

EMPIRE SUPER SRINT FEATURE FINISH (25 LAPS)-JUSTIN BARGER, Michael Parent, Lance Yonge, Larry Wight, Paul Kinney, Shawn Donath, Dylan Swiernik, Chuck Hebing, Kevin Ward Jr., Tim Kelly, Matt Tanner, Jason Barney, Jessica Zemken, Mike Stelter, Patrick Vigneault, Jeff Cook, Jami Russell, Kory Gurney, Sam Reakes IV, Cory Sparks, Jeff VanDusen, Etienne Girard, Kramer Williamson, and Charlie Donk.  DNS-Brandon Greene.

July 1st.
STEWART FRIESEN BECOMES FIRST REPEAT WINNER OF THE SEASON AT UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY WITH THRILLING WIN