VERNON, NY- During the week prior to the scheduled June 5 event at Utica-Rome Speedway, track owners Bill and Kim Shea stared at another bleak forecast for their normal Sunday race day.  Wanting to get an event in after a month a May that was a total washout, and another impending rainout, they decided to call an audible and schedule a Thursday June 9 race date if June 5 was lost.  Fast forward several days and Mother Nature did in fact claim a sixth consecutive event, which set up a rare “Thursday Night Thunder” event at the Vernon oval.  Charles Tibbitts, Gates-Cole Insurance, and Whelen Engineering will present the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series action which will feature the Gates-Cole Insurance Modifieds, SUNY Canton 602 Sportsman, Broedel Energy Open Sportsman, and G&I Homes of Vernon Pro Stocks. 

Fans will get to see Gates-Cole Insurance Modified stars such as Matt Sheppard, Larry Wight, Tim Fuller, Pat Ward, Danny Varin, Matt Hulsizer, Marc Johnson, Vic Coffey, Mike Mahaney, and more as they take on any potential invaders.  Several teams have inquired about coming in and trying their hand in taking home the $2,000 payday.  This event could also serve as a tune up for the upcoming Super DIRTcar Modified Series event on July 3. 

With the both the King of Dirt 602 Sportsman and Pro Stock Series in action on Sunday June 12 at the Utica-Rome Speedway, Thursday night could give the SUNY Canton 602 Sportsman and G&I Homes of Vernon Pro Stock race teams some valuable track time before Sunday’s festivities.  The Broedel Energy Open Sportsman will also see action. 

Gates open at 4;30 p.m. for the special Thursday Night Thunder event with racing slated to begin at 7p.m.  As with most events, kids 16 and under are free. 

Utica-Rome Speedway, nicknamed the “Action Track of the East”, is located just minutes from the New York State Thruway on Route 5 in Vernon NY.  Complete information including point standings, season schedule, rules, and much more is available at  The speedway can be contacted by calling (315)829-4557.