VERNON, NY- This Sunday, June 26, Utica-Rome Speedway close out the month of June with a huge event for the GRIT 602 Sportsman Series with a big $1,500 paycheck awaiting the victor of the first ever Mike Martin Memorial.  The Gates-Cole Insurance Modifieds will also be in action along with the Broedel Energy Open Sportsman and the G&I Homes of Vernon Pro Stocks.  The evening of high speed action will be presented by Gates-Cole Insurance and Wilber-Duck Chevrolet. 

Thanks to the family of Mike Martin, the GRIT Series 602 Sportsman will be vying for the largest 602 Sportsman purse in the division’s short history at the Vernon oval with the top 10 positions seeing an increase in their pay, along with bonuses for the heat race winners and more.  The winner will take home $1,500 with second getting $850, third $500, fourth $375, fifth $300, sixth $275, seventh $250, eighth $225, ninth $200, and tenth $175.  Each heat race winner will get $50(based on four heat events) and the ninth place driver on lap nine will get a $50 bonus.  The 30 lap main event will pay $100 to start.  No NASCAR license is required to participate in this event, and 25 show up points will be given to any driver attempting to qualify. 

The race is dedicated to Mike Martin who was a lifelong racing enthusiast, engine builder, and consultant to many drivers at the Utica-Rome and Fonda Speedways, most recently AJ Filbeck and Matt Janczuk in the 602 Sportsman division.  His selfless passion for supporting drivers and “joining their families” in the sport will remembered by many.  Aside from his infectious laughter, he was known for his attention to detail and to “do the right thing”, a belief he learned from his family.  The race bonuses and kids club sponsorship for this event was organized by Carole Martin, Jon VanWie, Billy VanWie Jr., and the Martin family. 

With many of the top drivers of the Gates-Cole Insurance Modified division competing in Cornwall for the Super DIRTcar Series, an influx of invaders is expected this Sunday to compete for the $2,000 win.  An open heat draw and feature redraw will give all drivers a chance to start up front without being penalized by the normal weekly handicapping.  Also, the weight break for the 358-Modifieds has been increased, provided they are wet sump motors, to 2,400 lbs, post-race.  Dry sump 358-Modifieds and SB2 head small blocks must remain at 2,500 lbs.  Rob Bellinger is the only driver with a win so far this season expected to be in attendance which means we could see another first time winner this Sunday.  Last season, one of the best car counts of the season came during this event.  A NASCAR license will be required to compete, with temporary licenses available.  25 show up points will go all drivers in attendance at Utica-Rome or Cornwall Speedway.  Full NASCAR Whelen All-American Series National and State points will be awarded. 

A full show of Broedel Energy Open Sportsman and G&I Homes of Vernon Pro Stocks is also scheduled.  Gates open at 3:30 p.m. with racing at 6 p.m.  Children 16 and under are admitted to the grandstands for free. 

Utica-Rome Speedway is located on Route 5 in Vernon NY, just minutes from the New York State Thruway.  For more information, please log on to or call the speedway office at (315)829-4557.