MATT SHEPPARD SCORES ANOTHER UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY WIN; ROCKY WARNER AND LUKE HORNING CAPTURE KING OF DIRT VICTORIES WHILE STEVE WAY TAKES HOME OPEN SPORTSMAN WIN
VERNON, NY- SUNY Canton and Wilbur Duck Chevrolet sponsored an intense night of racing action at Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday, June 12th. The day was full of events that were rescheduled from earlier dates that had been postponed due to Mother Nature, including the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints and King of Dirt series for both 602 Sportsman and Pro Stocks. Matt Sheppard found his way to victory lane again in the Gates-Cole Insurance Modified feature, making it three on the year. Joining him in victory lane was Rocky Warner for the King of Dirt 602 Sportsman, Luke Horning for the King of Dirt Pro Stocks, and Steve Way for the Broedel Energy Open Sportsman. For the Empire Super Sprints, Jason Barney won the A-Main after a wild finish. For more details, see the Empire Super Sprints official release.
Tim Mayne and Mike Mahaney were the pair on the front row that took the green to begin the Gates-Cole Insurance Modified feature event. Using the top side, Mahaney was able to dig his right rear into the racing surface and take the lead. Behind him, Vic Coffey was starting to climb through the top five. The fifth circuit saw him catch Mahaney and use the bottom to slip on by and take the top spot. He didn’t have a chance to pull away, however, as defending track champion Matt Sheppard had already navigated the field and worked his way into the top five after starting 13th. On lap 10, Sheppard found some space underneath the leading Coffey and drove by for the lead.
From there, Sheppard had an open track available to build on his lead. As he pulled away, the rest of the top five began to battle for position as the race passed the halfway mark. Coffey started to feel some heat from Marc Johnson, who was looking to improve on his previous second place finish. Fourth became a battle between Mahaney and Danny Varin as the two dueled on opposite lanes on the racing surface with Varin on the bottom and Mahaney on the top. Varin won the battle, and caught up to the fight for 2nd. just in time for the caution to come out on lap 25 for a pair of cars spinning in turn 1, which included top five runner Marc Johnson.
The restart gave the field a chance to reel in the leading Sheppard, who had built a straightaway cushion between him and the rest on the cars on the lead lap. When the green came out once more, Sheppard pulled away again, taking the win five laps later. The victory marked Sheppard’s 250th career win and 28th at the speedway, taking sole possession of 9th on the all-time win list over Jack Johnson. Varin took second, with Mahaney, Coffey, and Larry Wight filling out the top five. Rob Bellinger, Pat Ward, Marc Johnson, Alan Johnson, and Tim Fuller trailed.
The King of Dirt 602 Sportsman feature started with some hiccups as the yellow flag was shown on the first lap. When the face got underway, Dave Marcuccilli took the lead after starting on the outside pole, but he was instantly put under pressure by Rocky Warner, who started one spot behind him. The two battled back and forth for a couple of laps, but Warner eventually pulled away with the lead. A caution on lap 12 gave Marcuccilli a chance to take the lead back, but Warner fended him off to retain his spot. Behind them, Connor Cleveland benefitted from the restart, turning his mid-pack starting position into a top five run, eventually finishing in third behind Warner and Marcuccilli. Chris Mackey and Dave Moyer followed to finish in the top five.
Mike Welch and Travis Welch brought the King of Dirt Pro Stocks to the green, with Mike Welch utilizing his pole position to pull out in front. Dave Bissonnette, after starting in fourth, worked into the runner up spot in time for the first yellow of the race to come out on lap 3. Mike Welch continued to lead when the race got back underway, but, back in the pack, Luke Horning was beginning to charge to the front after starting in 11th. By the halfway point of the race on lap 15, Horning was in second and gaining on the leader. Another caution on the 19th circuit slowed the field again, giving Horning the opportunity he needed. On the restart, Horning went to work on Mike Welch, looking for the lead. With just under 10 to go, Horning completed the pass. A caution would stall the race once more, but Horning maintained the lead and took the win. Pete Stefanski, Welch, Nick Stone, and Rob Yetmen rounded out the top five.
The Broedel Energy Open Sportsman came to Matt Burdick’s green flag with Jim Rothwell and Mark Effner at the head of the field. Rothwell used his advantage of starting on the pole to lead the first handful of laps until a yellow flag came out of lap 6. On the restart, Steve Way, who was in second after battling to the front from eighth, used his spot on the outside to take the lead from Rothwell. He began to pull away as Randy Shantel broke into the podium positions after starting a row in front of Way. Shantel tried to track down the leader, but Way had created too much distance for Shantel to make up and crossed the line to take his first win of the season. With Shantel in second, Jack Miller, Claude Hutchings Jr., and Craig Pope filled out the top five.
Quality Manufacturing and Parks Paving & Sealing will present the action next Sunday, June 19, at the Utica-Rome Speedway as the CRSA 305 Sprints will join the Gates-Cole Insurance Modifieds, SUNY Canton 602 Sportsman, Broedel Energy Open Sportsman, and G&I Homes of Vernon Pro Stocks for another night of high speed entertainment. The rain delayed G&I Homes of Vernon Pro Stocks feature from May 15 will begin the night’s events. Gates will open at 3:30 p.m. with racing at 6 p.m. For more information, please log on to www.uticaromespeedway.com or call the speedway office at (315)829-4557.
SUNY CANTON & WILBER-DUCK CHEVROLET RACE SUMMARY
GATES-COLE INSURANCE MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)- MATT SHEPPARD, Danny Varin, Mike Mahaney, Vic Coffey, Larry Wight, Rob Bellinger, Pat Ward, Marc Johnson, Alan Johnson, Tim Fuller, Vinnie Vitale, Alan Barker, Tim Mayne, Pete Taylor, Cory Pike, Jessey Mueller, Rusty Smite, Billy Dunn, and Scott Batzing. DNS- Matt Hulsizer.
KING OF DIRT 602 SPORSMAN SERIES FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)- ROCKY WARNER, Dave Marcuccilli, Connor Cleveland, Chris Mackey, Dave Moyer, JaMike Sowle, Jeremy Pitts, Glenn Forward, Michael Sabia, Beth Bellinger, Chris Schaffer, Jason Rood, David Schilling, Robert Bublak, Brent Joy, Tim Hartman Jr., Taylor Lamb, Cody Bleau, Brad Alger, Hunter Bates, Cody Hunt, Will Shields, Kevin Chaffee, Cody Clark, Kyle Kiehn, John Christian, Joey Scarborough, Chad Edwards, Casey Williams, Stephen Denton, Andrew Buff, and Daryl Nutting (DQ).
BROEDEL ENERGY OPEN SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- STEVE WAY, Randy Shantel, Jack Miller, Claude Hutchings Jr., Craig Pope, Jim Rothwell, Mark Effner, Tom Tophoven, Lucas Heintz, John DeForest, Harold Humphreys, Todd Fey, Raymond Carey, Heath Carney, Jeremy Vunk, and Anthony Cardamone.
KING OF DIRT PRO STOCK SERIES FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)- LUKE HORNING, Pete Stefanski, Mike Welch, Nick Stone, Rob Yetmen, Robbie Speed, Dave Bissonnette, Byron Westcott, Rusty Marsden, Dean Charboneau, Jim Normoyle, Walt Brownell, Mike White, Chuck Dumblewski, Jason Casey, Terry Ladouceur, Todd Hoffman, A.J. Walters, Gus Hollner, Dan Older, Brent Tardy, Aaron Page, Andy Lashure, Jerry Streeter, James Kiah, Jim Normoyle Jr., Chris Carr, Danny Wood, Jason Morrison, Bill Knapp, Ernie Staelens, Jon Routhier, Jay Casey, Kim Duell, and Frank Hyatt. DNS- Travis Welch.
LUCAS OIL EMPIRE SUPER SPRINTS FEATURE FINISH (25 LAPS)- JASON BARNEY, Shawn Donath, Lucas Wolfe, Larry Wight, Danny Varin, Chuck Hebing, Dylan Swiernik, Paul Kinney, Jeff Cook, Sammy Reakes IV, Bryan Howland, Cory Sparks, Matt Tanner, Jonathan Preston, Justin Barger, Paulie Colagiovanni, Chad Miller, Mike Stelter, Keith Granholm, Tommy Wickham, Pete Richardson, Dave Axton, Parker Evans, and Davie Franek.