Pat Ward holds off Billy Dunn to take the 358-Modified win, Kevin Root scores DIRTcar Sportsman Series victory

VERNON, NY- Mother Nature finally cooperated with Utica-Rome Speedway this past Sunday June 17 as sunny skies greeted racers and fans alike on Federated Auto Parts and Pioneer Window Manufacturing night. Four of the five main events went caution free with Pat Ward scoring the win in the 358-Modifieds and Shawn Donath holding off the late race charge of Bryan Howland to take the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint A-Main win. Kevin Root too the DIRTcar Sportsman Series win with Travis Welch scoring the Ted’s Body Shop Pro Stock win. Ted Starr was the Rookie Sportsman main event.

Steve Way took the initial lead in the 358-Modifieds 30-lap main event as he beat fellow front row starter Jack Miller to turn one. Sixth place starter Pat Ward made an early race charge to grab the runner-up spot by the completion of lap one. Ward made short work of Way as he made his bid for the lead stick as the was shown as the leader by lap three. Way continued his strong run as he continued to hold on to second as Ward drove away from the field. Bobby Herrington slipped by Way to gain the second spot by lap nine. By the halfway point, Ward had built up over a five second lead with Billy Dunn up to second with Herrington, Erick Rudolph, and Way rounding out the top five.

With lapped traffic and the handling going away on his mount, Ward’s once huge lead began to shrink lap after lap as Dunn closed in. With five circuits left, Dunn was beginning to apply pressure on Ward to gain the lead, but Ward was able to hold off the repeated challenges from Dunn. Despite pulling alongside on a couple occasions in the closing laps, Dunn would have to settle for second as Ward took the checkered flag. Rudolph came across in third ahead of Herrington, Way, Marc Johnson, Jack Lehner, Rocky Warner, Lance Willix, and Jeremy Wilder.

Multi-time Sportsman Utica-Rome Speedway champion Matt Janczuk and Will Shields led the 32-car DIRTcar Sportsman Series field to the green flag with Janczuk gaining the early advantage. As the race continued under green, Janczuk opened a huge advantage as the rest of the field battled for position, with fifth place starter Kevin Root making an early move to grab second by the second lap. With the race going non-stop, Janczuk continued to run away and hide for the field and as the field reached the halfway point it was Janczuk over Root, Kyle Inman, Dave Marcuccilli, and Will Shields.

Heavy lapped traffic started to come into play as Janczuk struggled to negotiate through the slower cars, allowing Root to close in. With 10 to go, Root was on his bumper and a lap later, Root swept around the outside on Janczuk to lead lap 21. After completing the pass, Root steadily pulled away to take his first career Utica-Rome Speedway win in the non-stop feature event with Janczuk, Marcuccilli, Kyle Inman and Alan Fink filling out the top five positions. Rounding out the top 10 was Will Shields, Zach Sobotka, Jackson Gill, Robert Bublak, and Andrew Buff.

The Ted’s Body Shop Pro Stock 20-lap main event had Travis Welch showing up as the leader on the scoring pylon at the completion of the first circuit after starting sixth on the grid. Defending track champion Mike Welch vaulted from his eighth starting spot to gain the runner-up spot by lap two as he set off after the leader. For the next eight laps Mike Welch stalked Travis Welch and as the lead duo took the halfway signal, they were side by side for the lead. Mike Welch completed the pass to lead lap 11, but Travis Welch wasn’t giving up. Travis regained the lead in lap 14 and would hold off all challenges from Mike to capture his first ever Utica-Rome Speedway feature win. Shane Henderson, Bill Knapp, and Ernie Staelens rounded out the top five.

The Rookie Sportsman feature ran non-stop with pole sitter David Boisclair leading the first 11 circuits until Ted Starr made the pass to take control of the field on lap 12. Starr would hold off the late race charge of Robert Gage to take his first ever win. Gage, Boisclair, Carl Inman, and Casey Cunningham chased Starr to the checkered.

For full Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints results and story, please see the official ESS release.

Exciting racing action will continue on Sunday, June 24, when Community Car Wash and Wilber Duck Chevrolet presents a full slate of King of Dirt Series racing as the 358-Modifieds, Sportsman, and Pro Stocks will all compete in series action. The Rookie Sportsman will also be in action. Gates will open at 3 p.m. with racing starting at 6 p.m. For more information, log on to or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


DIRTTRACKDIGEST.COM MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)-PAT WARD, Billy Dunn, Erick Rudolph, Bobby Herrington, Marc Johnson, Jack Lehner, Rocky Warner, Lance Willix, Jeremy Wilder, Mike Mahaney, Mike Bowman, Billy Whittaker, Bobby Varin, Tyler Trump, Demetrios Drellos, Jack Miller, Eldon Payne Jr., Lucas Heintz, Randy Shantel, and Billy Shantel Jr. DQ-Steve Way.

DIRTCAR SPORTSMAN SEREIS FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)-KEVIN ROOT, Matt Janczuk, Marcuccilli, Alan Fink, Will Shields, Zach Sobotka, Jackson Gill, Robert Bublak, Andrew Buff, Kyle Kiehn, Jessica Power, Mark Effner, Dave Moyer, Chris Cunningham, Brian Hudson, Stephen Denton, Tyler Thompson, Brian Calabrese, AJ Miller, Jeff Taylor, Dylan Zacharias, Charlie Tibbitts, Rocco Leone, Dan Ferguson, CJ Castelletti, Taylor Lamb, Matt Steffenhagen, Tyler Corcoran, AJ Digsby, Mike Button, and AJ Filbeck. DQ-Kyle Inman. DNQ-Jeremy Nestved, Aaron Jacobs, Ricky Thompson, and Joe Williams.

TED’S BODY SHOP PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-TRAVIS WELCH, Mike Welch, Shane Henderson, Bill Knapp, Ernie Staelens, Jerry Streeter, Mike Kazlauskas, and Aaron Page.

ROOKIE SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)-Ted Starr, Robert Gage, David Boisclair, Carl Inman, Casey Cunningham, Josh Amodio, Erica Bowman, Jeff Fesko, Alexis Jacobs, and Scott Mallette.

LUCAS OIL EMPIRE SUPER SPRINTS A-MAIN FINISH (25 LAPS)- SHAWN DONATH, Bryan Howland, Matt Tanner, Danny Varin, Bobby Varin, Billy VanInwegen, Paulie Colagiovanni, Chuck Hebing, Matt Billings, Mike Mahaney, Jonathan Preston, Parker Evans, Dylan Swiernik, Jason Barney, Coleman Gulick, Cory Sparks, Josh Pieniazek, Paul Kinney, Kelly Hebing, Scott Holcomb, Denny Peebles, Mike Kiser, Jeff Cook, Chad Miller, Sammy Reakes IV, and Dave Axton.