Bowman and Reutzel Take Wins in Friday Night Dirt Double at Utica-Rome Speedway Presented by Clinton Tractor and Turn One LLC
VERNON, NY – Mike Bowman has been so close to winning a Modified feature in the past at the Utica-Rome Speedway, but the former regular was never able to break through. On Friday night in a special Dirt Double featuring the Modifeds and the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All-Star Circuit of Champions Bowman finally got it done in the 30-lap feature presented by Clinton Tractor and Turn One LLC.
“The car was good right from the drop of the green flag,” stated Bowman afterwards. “We blew a tire in hot laps after the first corner so we didn’t know exactly what we had there, but after the heat race I thought we had a pretty good shot tonight.”
Bowman redrew the outside of the front row allowing him to immediately jump to the lead at the start of the feature. He was able to beat track regular Glenn Forward to the number spot.
He remained in front when the only caution flag came on lap six as Teddy Starr slowed in turn two coming to stop. The restart saw Matt Janczuk, in a borrowed ride, pull up next to Bowman for the green. Bowman took off when the race resumed with Janczuk in pursuit.
Bowman caught the tail of the field on lap 13 setting up another challenge. Bowman worked the high and low lanes while Janczuk took advantage of the traffic to close the gap between the pair. Janczuk got close while racing with lapped cars at times, but Bowman continued to pick his way through keeping him at bay.
“I was just trying to stay out of trouble,” mentioned Bowman. “When you get to lapped traffic you just want to hit your marks and not get tangled up with anybody. I thought we had a little bit more if we had to have it. We just kind of bided our time and tried to stay out of trouble.”
Janczuk got close, but it wasn’t enough as Bowman was able to secure the $2,000 win. Janczuk, a Sportsman regular, enjoyed running with the Modifieds on this night.
“We’ll take second,” said Janczuk. “Big thanks to the Heintz family for drive this thing. It was put together at the last minute. We worked on it the last couple of nights to get it here. It was just awesome.”
Forward ended up finishing in the third position with Claude Hutchings Jr., fourth and Randy Shantel finishing in fifth.
(courtesy of the All-Stars) Clute, Texas’ Aaron Reutzel has been on a tear, officially adding Utica-Rome Speedway in Vernon, New York, to his recent success streak that now includes four victories during his last six Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 starts. Impressive enough, Reutzel’s Utica-Rome triumph on Friday night was accomplished from the outside of row two, mastering an uncharacteristic, lightning-fast, Utica-Rome surface while maneuvering around the likes of Justin Peck, Paul McMahan, and three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and recent NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, Tony Stewart.
Utica-Rome’s racing surface was extra saturated due to overnight rain, as well as on and off periods of drizzle that extended through the early afternoon hours.
Reutzel’s All Star victory bumped his season total to six, now with a 22-point advantage over Dale Blaney in the All Star driver title chase.
“Our car was phenomenal tonight,” Aaron Reutzel said in Utica-Rome victory lane, driver of the Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports/Folkens Brothers Trucking/Hollywood Coating and Blasting/Fischer Body Shop/No. 87 sprint car. “We had options tonight. We could drive through the middle of turns one and two which really gave us a boost down the backstretch, or we could rip the top. I was a little nervous coming here tonight because I’ve seen so many videos and noticed how slick the surface was. I’m glad Mother Nature stepped-in and gave us this surface tonight because this was one bad ass race track.”
During only the third Utica-Rome Speedway appearance in All Star Circuit of Champions history, the first since 2012, Aaron Reutzel made his efforts look easy. After being forced to maintain patience through a pair of cautions during the initial start, the defending All Star champion achieved the jump that he needed. With just one circuit recorded, Reutzel was second, next setting aim on the tailtank of Tony Stewart. Although Stewart was able to balance the very top-side of the speedway, maintaining a pace well-under the preexisting track record, it was an early dose of lapped traffic that proved to be Smoke’s downfall.
By lap six, it was apparent that slower cars were going to be an issue, it was just a matter of when. As Stewart and Reutzel were racing into turn one to begin lap seven, Stewart choked up, instantly losing momentum while trying to carefully navigate around a slower roadblock. It was during that period that Reutzel made his winning move, actually driving right by Stewart on the bottom of the speedway as the pair raced off of turn two.
Although action was halted yet again on lap 16, there was no match for Reutzel’s pace, instantly opening up his advantage as soon as green flag action returned. Reutzel would eventually cross under the final checkers with an advantage pushing two seconds, keeping Stewart, Justin Peck, Paul McMahan and Cory Eliason in tow.
“That was my fault for being a little too timid in lapped traffic,” Tony Stewart said regarding Reutzel’s move around him early on during the main event. “I really wasn’t sure where some of those lapped cars were going to go. Having a guy like Aaron Reutzel behind you, you really can’t hesitate or wait too long. A guy like that is going to pounce and that’s exactly what he did.”
“Hats off to this entire track prep team here tonight,” Stewart continued. “It took a little extra work to get this place into shape, but they got it done and it made for an exciting race.”
Peck finished in third followed by McMahan and Eliason.
Next Sunday night, July 21, St. Lawrence Radiology, Marble Hill Inn and Bill Herrig Auto Sales presents NYSSCA Night for the DIRTcar 358-Modified Series, Broedel Fuel Group DIRTcar Sportsman, Ted’s Body Shop DIRTcar Pro Stocks and the Bernie’s Extreme Peformance Rookie Sportsman.
The grandstands admission price for this event is $20 with seniors/military members/students costing $18. Kids 16 and under are $5. Pit prices for the event are $35 for all DIRTcar Members and $40 for non-members. Pit gates will open at 4:30pm while spectator gates open at 5pm. Racing starts at 7pm.
If you can’t make it to the track you can catch all the action on DirtTrackDigest.tv. Nearly every event throughout the 2019 racing season will be broadcast live on pay-per-view.
Those looking for information about the upcoming season at Utica-Rome Speedway can like us on Facebook at Utica-Rome Speedway, find us on Twitter @UR_Speedway or on the web at www.uticaromespeedway.com.
UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY RACE RESULTS (7/12/19) – CLINTON TRACTOR / TURN ONE LLC
MODIFIED OPEN FEATURE FINISH (30-LAPS): 1 MIKE BOWMAN 2 Matt Janczuk 3 Glenn Forward 4 Claude Hutchings Jr 5 Randy Shantel 6 Billy Shantel Jr. 7 Tim Murphy 8 Aaron Jacobs 9 Charlie Tibbits 10 Chris Soltis 11 Mike Ward 12 Brian Hudson 13 Travis Welch 14 Jim Walsh 15 Jim Introne 16 CJ Castelletti 17 A.J. Filbeck 18 Teddy Starr
ALL STAR CIRCUIT OF CHAMPIONS (25-LAPS): 1 AARON REUTZEL 2 Tony Stewart 3 Justin Peck 4 Paul McMahan 5 Cory Eliason 6 Dale Blaney 7 Skyar Gee 8 Chad Kemenah 9 Greg Wilson 10 Gerard McIntyre Jr. 11 Davie Franek 12 George Hobaugh Jr., 13 Matt Tanner 14 John Garvin 15 Jordan Givler 16 Steve Glover 17 Brock Zearfoss 18 Joe Trenca 19 Justin Barger 20 Mark Coldren 21 Chris Kurtz 22 Danny Varin 23 Paulie Colagiovanni 24 Scott Holcomb