MIKE MAHANEY WINS HIS FIRST STAMPEDE STEAKHOUSE MODIFIED FEATURE EVENT OF THE SEASON AFTER AN EXCITING RACE AT UTICA-ROME
VERNON, NY- Whelen Engineering sponsored an exciting night of racing as Mike Mahaney takes home his first victory of the season after holding off a handful of drivers in the closing laps, including defending track champion Stewart Friesen and Matt Sheppard, the winner of last week’s feature. More winners include Claude Hutchings Jr. in the Open Sportsman, Rocky Warner in the 602 Sportsman, Glenn Forward in the Pro Street Stocks, and Joe Isabell in the Mod Lites.
The Stampede Steakhouse Modifieds came to the green with Dave Moyer and Brett Wright at the head of the field. Wright took the early lead, but a caution on the second lap slowed the race down. On the restart, Mike Mahaney took to the high side and took the top spot, looking to put some distance between himself and the rest of the field. Another yellow on lap six paused the race, erasing Mahaney’s lead and putting Larry Wight, who charged up from his 10th starting position, on his bumper. Wight took second and instantly began to put pressure on the leader. Diving to the low side on lap 10, Wright was able to slide up in front of Mahaney and take the top spot. Behind them, Matt Sheppard was looking to take home his third victory of season as he broke into the top five after coming from 12th, with Pat Ward following him.
Sheppard and Mahaney were fighting for second when the third caution of the race brought the entire field together. Mahaney took advantage of his restart on the top side and took the lead back from Wight. Sheppard wasn’t going away, however. With Mahaney on top and Wight down low, Sheppard took to the middle of the racing surface opened up a three way battle for the lead. Another pair of yellow flags slowed the race, but the battle continued up front, with Stewart Friesen joining the fray. On lap 28, Friesen tried to pass Wight on the top side, but contact between the two cars ended with Friesen spinning over the top of turns three and four. Both cars ended up in the pits, with Wight returning to the race. With the race back underway, Mahaney was starting to feel the pressure from Sheppard. Sheppard tried to slide up in front of Mahaney, but Mahaney was able to hold him off and take home his first win of the season. Sheppard took home second, followed by Danny Varin, Ward, and Vic Coffey. The top ten was rounded out by Ryan Bartlett, Erick Rudolph, Mike Bowman, Wright, and Chris Mackey.
John Christian and Aaron Jacobs brought the 602 Sportsman to the green for their feature. Both were passed on the first lap by Stephen Denton, who opened a bit sizable lead on the rest of the field. After a caution on lap five, Rocky Warner fought his way into the top five, navigating the pack from his 13th starting position. He battled his way to second on lap 8, and took the lead away from Denton on the 10th circuit. Warner was able to pull away and take the win, followed by Alan Fink, Matt Janczuk, Denton, and Jacobs.
The Open Sportsman started with Craig Pope and Mike Richmond in the top two spots, with Pope taking off the with advantage. A yellow on the fourth lap slowed the field, and gave Claude Hutchings Jr. a chance to catch up to top duo. With a strong restart, Hutchings took the lead and checked out on the rest of the field, leaving Pope and Richmond to battle for the runner up spot. With Hutchings winning, Richmond finished second, with Pope, Jack Miller, and Jeremy Vunk trailing.
The Pro Street Stocks took the green with Travis Welch and Gus Hollner at the head, but their lead didn’t last long as Glenn Forward passed both from his fourth starting spot. After a caution on the second lap, Forward was able to pull away from the pack with Chris Carr trailing him. The top two fought through lap traffic, but Carr had nothing for Forward and had to settle for second. Behind those two, Mark Effner, Mike Welch, and Ed Ostrander filled out the top five.
Russ Brown and Joe Isabell took the green for the Mod Lite feature event, with Isabell taking the lead after an early caution. Jeff Isabell followed behind, and the two held the top spots for the remainder of the race. A handful of cautions slowed the race down, but the top five stayed largely the same, with the Isabells taking the top two spots. Jim Bogett, Paul Klager, and Derek Wagner took the rest of the spots in the top five.
Next week’s show on Mother’s Day features Twin 20’s for the Stampede Steakhouse Modifieds, along with a regular show of 602 Sportsman, Open Sportsman, and Pro Street Stocks. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. with racing starting at 6 p.m. For more information, go to www.uticaromespeedway.com or call (315) 829-4557.
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES RACE SUMMARY
STAMPEDE STEAKHOUSE MODIFIED FINISH (30 LAPS)- MIKE MAHANEY, Matt Sheppard, Danny Varin, Pat Ward, Vic Coffey, Ryan Bartlett, Erick Rudolph, Mike Bowman, Brett Wright, Chris Mackey, Larry Wight, Dave Rauscher, Dave Moyer, Darwin Greene, Tim Mayne, Stewart Friesen, Dave Bartlett, Pete Taylor, and Tim Fuller. DNS- Mat Williamson.
OPEN SPORTSMAN FINISH (20 LAPS)- CLAUDE HUTCHINGS JR., Mike Richmond, Craig Pope, Jack Miller, Jeremy Vunk, Randy Shantel, Heath Carney, Steve Way, Mike Stiles, Tom Tophoven, and Lucas Heintz.
602 SPORTSMAN FINISH (20 LAPS)- ROCKY WARNER, Alan Fink, Mat Janczuk, Stephen Denton, Aaron Jacobs, Cody Clark, John Christian, Connor Cleveland, Glenn Forward, Dave Rogers, Chris Cunningham, Daryl Nutting, Corey Barker, Brent Joy, Joe Orlando, Rocco Leone, Haiden Burdick, Nick Krause, Jim Thomas, Geoff VanRiper, Kyle Kiehn, and A.J. Filbeck.
PRO/STREET STOCK FINISH (15 LAPS)- GLENN FORWARD, Chris Carr, Mark Effner, Mike Welch, Ed Ostrander, A.J. Digsby, Gus Hollner, Travis Welch, Bill Mason, Ernie Staelens, Bill Trexler III, and Jerry Streeter.
MOD LITE FINISH (15 LAPS)- JOE ISABELL, Jeff Isabell Jr., Jim Bogett, Paul Klager Derek Wagner, Jeff Sykes, Lowell Zehr, Jeff May, Mike Mullen, Brian Meyers, Zach Babcock, Kevin Foster, Sam Usborne, Keith Stevenson, Jason Page, Tim Cady, Harley Brown, and Russ Brown.