LARRY WIGHT ROCKETS TO SECOND UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY VICTORY OF THE SEASON
VERNON, NY – Pathfinder Village and Gates-Cole Insurance presented an action-packed show on Sunday, July 10th, which saw Larry Wight get his 10th career victory at the speedway after a strong performance in the Modified feature. He shared victory lane with Rocky Warner after he won the SUNY Canton 602 Sportsman, Claude Hutchings Jr. in the Broedel Energy Open Sportsman, and Mike Welch in the G&I Homes of Vernon Pro Stocks.
The Gates-Cole Insurance Modifieds came to their feature event with Matt Hulsizer and Tim Mayne at the head of the field. Hulsizer beat Mayne to the top side of the speedway to take the lead on lap one. Using the cushion, Hulsizer began to pull away from the rest of the pack. In second, Mayne dueled with Larry Wight for the rights to the runner up spot, the two staying glued together as they travelled around the speedway. Hulsizer had all but checked out on the field when a caution came out on lap nine as Mike Mahaney slowed with a flat, bringing him in line with the rest of the top five. The return of the green saw Hulsizer spin his tires, allowing Tim Mayne to sneak by and take Hulsizer’s line on the top side. Hulsizer hung on in second until lap 15, when both Wight and Matt Sheppard got by to take spots on the podium. A lap later, another yellow was shown.
On the restart, Mayne continued to use the top, but Wight stuck with him, using a ling one step lower. Lap after lap, Wight and Mayne continued to battle side by side for the top spot. Another yellow on lap 18 slowed the field as Sheppard pulled in with a flat tire, but the return of green still saw Mayne hold off Wight using the top. With ten to go, Mayne continued to use the high side, but in turns one and two, Mayne carried too much momentum into the turn and hopped over the cushion, allowing Wight to finally take the lead after battling for ten laps. The final yellow flag of the race was shown on lap 23, but nobody had anything for Wight, and he drove off to take his tenth career victory at the speedway. Alan Johnson topped off a strong run with a second place finish. Both Mahaney and Sheppard recovered from their flat tires and finished in third and fourth, respectively. Pat Ward rounded out the top five. The next five cars across the line were Danny Varin, Vic Coffey, Mayne, Rob Bellinger, and Pete Taylor.
Charlie Tibbitts and Jimmy Moyer brought the SUNY Canton 602 Sportsman feature to the green, but it took a few tries to get the race fully underway due to multiple cautions at the start. When the race got its first caution free lap on the 3rd circuit, John Christian found himself in the top spot. He was put under siege by Rocky Warner, who had worked his way into the top two with the help of the cautions. Christian held him off until the 6th circuit, when Rocky completed the pass. He started to pull away, but another yellow on lap 7 slowed his advance. He retried on the restart, with Janczuk in tow. The leader did begin to create some distance, but another yellow on the 13th lap stopped him again. Janczuk tried to use a different line on the restart, but to no avail. His final chance came with two to go, when the final caution slowed the field, but Warner held him off for the win. Janczuk settled for second, followed by Brent Joy, A.J. Digsby, and Rocco Leone.
Heath Carney and Raymond Carey headed the Broedel Energy Open Sportsman feature, with Carney taking the early advantage. He held on for four laps, until Steve Way navigated to the front from his tenth starting spot, taking the lead from the pole sitter. The race was slowed two laps later for a caution, allowing Claude Hutchings Jr. to slide into second on the restart. He began to work over Way, trading spots back and forth with the leader. The two battled until lap 16, when Hutchings completed the pass for the lead. From there, Hutchings was able to seal the deal four laps later. With Way in second, Carney, Randy Shantel, and Jack Miller trailed.
The G&I Homes of Vernon Pro Stocks started with Ernie Staelens and Jerry Streeter as the duo on front. On the first lap, Gus Hollner drove by the first two for the lead from his fourth starting spot. As he drove away, Mike Welch starting to drive through the field, getting to the runner up spot from seventh on the second lap. From there, he began to track down the leader. Hollner held onto the lead until the halfway mark, when Welch caught and passed him for the lead. Welch began to pull away from the rest of the field, leaving the rest to battle for second. Hollner fought with Pete Stefanski and Jim Normoyle for the runner up spot, with Hollner holding on for second. Stefanski took third, followed by Normoyle and Luke Horning.
Next Sunday, July 17th, Wilbur-Duck Chevrolet and Joe’s Jerky present a 35 lap Short Track Super Series Open Sportsman, plus a full show of Gates-Cole Modifieds, SUNY Canton 602 Sportsman, and the G&I Homes of Vernon Pro Stocks. For more information, call (315) 829-4557 or visit www.uticaromespeedway.com.
PATHFINDER VILLAGE & GATES-COLE INSURANCE CHEVROLET RACE SUMMARY
GATES-COLE INSURANCE MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)- LARRY WIGHT, Alan Johnson, Mike Mahaney, Matt Sheppard, Pat Ward, Danny Varin, Vic Coffey, Tim Mayne, Rob Bellinger, Pete Taylor, Jim Nagle, Ray Hoard, Marc Johnson, Alan Barker, Tim Murphy, Matt Hulsizer, and Lance Willix.
SUNY CANTON 602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- ROCKY WARNER, Matt Janczuk, Brent Joy, A.J. Digsby, Rocco Leone, Casey Williams, Daryl Nutting, Kyle Kiehn, Jason Shipclark, A.J. Miller, Aaron Jacobs, Glenn Forward, Dave Manchester, Bobby Gage, Stephen Denton, John Christian, Joe Wilcox, Jimmy Moyer, Billy Trexler III, Charlie Tibbitts, Chris Mackey, David Schilling, Beth Bellinger, Jason Rood, and A.J. Filbeck.
BROEDEL ENERGY OPEN SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- CLAUDE HUTCHINGS JR., Steve Way, Heath Carney, Randy Shantel, Jack Miller, Craig Pope, Lucas Heintz, Aaron Shelton, Todd Fey, Mark Effner, and Raymond Carey. DNS- Tom Tophoven and Jeremy Vunk.
G&I HOMES OF VERNON PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- MIKE WELCH, Gus Hollner, Pete Stefanski, Jim Normoyle, Luke Horning, Chris Carr, Bill Knapp, Frank Hyatt, Jerry Streeter, Ernie Staelens, Aaron Page, and Andy Lashure.