RoC Dirt Modified Series Kicks Off with Prestigious Victoria 200 at Utica-Rome
VERNON, NY – The Ferris Mowers Race of Champions Series fueled by Sunoco is ready to kick off the dirt portion of the series with the “Victoria 200” on tap at the Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday night May 22. The 2016 edition of the historic race is scheduled to be a 55-lap feature with a $5,500 payday going to the winner.
The first “Victoria 200” took place at the Utica-Rome Speedway in 2008 after then track owner Gene Cole purchased the naming rights to the race. Danny Johnson, of Rochester, N.Y., pulled off the win driving for JIR Motorsports in the 200-lap affair. Gary Tomkins topped a stellar field in year two as he also won a 200-lap race. The final 200-lap feature distance event was run in 2010 with Tim McCreadie putting Vinnie Salerno’s No. 4* ride in Victory Lane.
Bobby Varin, a multi-time Fonda Speedway champion, won the first 100-lap Victoria event in 2011 and then backed it up with another victory the following year. Varin figured out the sail panel setup making him nearly unbeatable in longer distance events at Utica-Rome for those two seasons.
The 2013 edition was highly contested with invader Jimmy Phelps scoring his only win of the race at Utica-Rome. One year later multi-time track champion and the all-time winner in the Modified ranks at Utica-Rome Speedway Stewart Friesen parked his ride on the frontstretch as the winner for the first time.
Last season Matt Sheppard was the victor while on his way to his second career track title at Utica-Rome. So far in 2016 Sheppard has been the driver to beat earning two wins in the three events run with the last three weeks of action falling to Mother Nature. Long range forecast call for temperatures in the 70’s with sunshine.
Pit gates open at Utica-Rome Speedway open on Sunday at 3:00 pm with the grandstand gates opening at 3:30pm. Racing begins at 6:00pm. The full competition format is available by visiting either www.rocmodifiedseries.com or www.uticaromespeedway.com.
Past Victoria 200 Winners
5/11/2008 – Danny Johnson (200 laps)
5/10/2009 – Gary Tomkins (200 laps)
5/31/2010 – Tim McCreadie (200 laps)
5/30/2011 – Bobby Varin (100 laps)
5/28/2012 – Bobby Varin (100 laps)
5/27/2013 – Jimmy Phelps (100 laps)
5/26/2014 – Stewart Friesen (100 laps)
5/25/2015 – Matt Sheppard (100 laps)
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The Race of Champions is a