Rt 5 Vernon, NY
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JIMMY DAVIS PASSES PAT WARD ON LAST LAP TO TAKE WIN AT UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY
VERNON, NY-This past Sunday, August 4, Utica-Rome Speedway fans were treated to another exciting night of racing on Bill Herrigs Auto Parts Night that saw great racing in all divisions. A last lap pass by Jimmy Davis in the Modifieds gave Davis the big $2,000 win and making him the ninth different winner of the season. Matt Janczuk collected another Sportsman win with Pete Stefanski standing in victory lane at the conclusion of the Pro Stock feature. In the Pure Stocks, Dave Bruno was the winner of the $500 to win Pure Stock Summer Championship main event.
Dave Moyer and Mike Bowman were the two on the front row at the beginning of the Modified feature event and Bowman would take the lead when the first lap was completed, with Moyer and Willy Decker trailing. Former track champion Decker then went past Bowman for the top spot the following lap as he was looking to get his first win of the season. Pat Ward, who had begun the race in third, snuck underneath Bowman for second on lap seven, setting his sights on the leader.
A yellow flag waved on the eighth lap as Moyer slowed on the raceway. With twenty two laps remaining, Decker had Ward on his bumper when the field came to the restart. Decker tried to take it up high, but Ward found some speed on the bottom and completed the pass for first. Jimmy Davis, working from his starting spot on the outside of row four, followed Ward and a lap later and took the runner up spot.
Meanwhile, the top two drivers in the point standings were fighting for position toward the middle of the pack. Matt Sheppard battled with Mike Mahaney, Mike Bowman and Bobby Varin for position number six. Behind them, point leader and defending champion Stewart Friesen searched for a line to join the fray. Bowman would drop back behind the Friesen, and the group split as Sheppard went back and forth with Mahaney as Varin and Friesen drove side by side. Sheppard would eventually shake Mahaney, with Friesen following.
By lap 18, Davis caught Ward, who had built a strong lead on the rest of the field. Davis tried the bottom turn after turn, trying to slide up in front, but Ward had found a line in the center of the track and held off the advance. Davis slipped up a bit in lap twenty two, nearly slipping off the top of turn two, but he recovered and began the chase again.
Ward had been passing lap traffic since the battle for the lead had begun, but Adam Roberts was running the same line as the leader. Ward attempted to pass underneath, but he had trouble making the car stick. Seeing the opportunity, Davis caught up and on lap twenty eight, he was right on the bumper of the leader. Ward finally cleared Roberts with one to go, but it had broken his momentum. Going into turn one, Davis dove to the bottom and took the lead, pulling away in the back stretch. Ward tried to regain the lead, but Davis would hold and took home the checkered. Ward settled for second with Todd Burley coming in third. Sheppard found his way to fourth, with Alan Johnson, Friesen, Mahaney, Decker, Ryan Phelps, and Varin rounding out the top ten. The race for the top spot in the point standings got a little tighter, with Sheppard now only four points behind Friesen.
The 20 lap Sportsman main event kicked of the feature portion of the night and Randy Shantel led the first two laps of the event, launching himself from the fifth spot to the point by the end of lap one. Lap three saw seventh place starter Heath Carney slip by to pace the field, and while he was leading, 11th place starter Claude Hutchings Jr. and 14th place starter Matt Janczuk were charging towards the front of the field. On lap seven, Hutchings was able to make the pass for the lead for the lead with Janczuk moving into the runner-up spot a lap later. Over the next few circuits, Janczuk would pressure Hutchings for the lead to no avail, but on lap 17, Janczuk was able to charge by on the high side to gain the lead. Janczuk would run off to take his fourth win of the season with Hutchings, AJ Filbeck, Jeremy Vunk, and Shantel rounding out the top five.
The first two laps of the 20 lap Pro Stock main saw front row starters Bill Knapp and Joe Palmer swap the lead, but on lap three, Knapp was able to wrestle it away and begin to pull away. Eighth place starter Pete Stefanski was on the move early as he was into the second spot on lap three. Stefanski then started to track down the leader Knapp, and with just a handful of circuits left on the scoreboard, he was applying heavy pressure for the lead and was able to slip by to take over the lead as lap 17 clicked on the scoreboard. Stefanski would hold off the Knapp to score the win with Tom Denton, Dave Rogers, and Bret Belden trailing.
Andy Szewczyk would pace the Pure Stock feature field for the first of the 15 lap event from his third starting spot, with ninth place starter Bill Mason leading the way by the end of the second circuit. Mason looked tough early as he was looking for the big $500 payday as he continued to show the quick way around the Vernon oval, but another driver was making a charge through the field. 16th place starter Dave Bruno, making a rare visit, was into the top five by lap four and into second on lap six. Once in the runner up spot, Bruno would chase down Mason and would make his bid for the lead on lap nine. Bruno would complete the pass for the lead and then he dominated the rest of the race to take the win with Russ Marsden, Mason, Ron Hawker, and Ricky Breed rounding out the top five.
Schachtler Contracting and Quality Manufacturing will present the action next Sunday August 11, which will feature a regular show of Modifieds, Sportsman, Pro Stocks, and Pure Stocks. Gates will open at 3:30 p.m. with racing at 6 p.m. More information can be found at www.uticaromespeedway.com or by calling the speedway office at (315)829-4557.
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