LARRY WIGHT CAPTURES HIS FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON AT UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY
(Time-Out Sports Photography) VERNON, NY- Larry Wight took home his second win of the weekend with a victory at Utica-Rome Speedway on Wilber-Duck Chevrolet and Certified Auto Outlet night after a hard fought battle for the lead for a majority of the race. It was Wight’s first win of the season, and tightened the race for the points lead in the Modified division. Connor Cleveland took home his first career win in the 602 Sportsman, and Steve Way and Glenn Forward also coming away as victors in the Open Sportsman and Pro Street Stocks.
Darwin Greene and Tim Mayne were the duo that took the green flag at the front of the Modified feature event, with Mayne using his position on the top to take the lead in the opening lap. Vic Coffey, starting in third, was able to get by Greene as well and took the runner up spot. A couple of early cautions slowed the field, but Mayne was able to hold onto the top spot with Coffey hot on his heels. Their battled continued until lap 10, when a red flag came out for a five car pileup on the top side of turn one. At the restart, Mayne and Coffey were followed by Larry Wight, Pat Ward, and Erick Rudolph.
Mayne and Coffey fought back and forth at the front of the field, with Mayne sticking to the top, the line he had used the entire race. Coffey pushed his machine to the bottom of the speedway, and seemed to be the stronger car in turns one and two, but Mayne fought back on the other side of the speedway, keeping the two side by side. Wight closed in on the top two, but he couldn’t find a line where he could make it stick. On the 22nd circuit, Mayne bobbled just a bit coming out of turn two and Coffey took advantage, driving by on the bottom. He tried to create distance, but Wight wasn’t giving up. When Coffey tried to slide up in front of Wight to take his line away, Wight dropped low and took the top spot away. The final of the race ended the five runs of both Coffey and Mayne and on the restart, Wight pulled away from the field, taking the win. Ward, Matt Sheppard, Tim Fuller, and Mike Mahaney rounded out the top five. Rudolph, Matt Hulsizer, Jimmy Davis, Coffey, and Chris Mackey trailed.
The 602 Sportsman came to the green with Joe Orlando and Rocco Leone at the head of the field. A yellow on the first and second lap stalled the race, but when the dust cleared, Connor Cleveland was the leader at the end of lap three, followed by Nick Krause and Cody Clark. Clark and Krause traded positions in the following laps, but the top three stayed the same for the remainder of the race. Cleveland took home his first career win at the speedway. Behind Clark and Krause followed Daryl Nutting and Kyle Kiehn.
Tom Tophoven and Mike Stiles took the Open Sportsman to the start of their feature, with Tophoven retaining his lead at the beginning of the race. The early charger was Randy Shantel, who took the top spot on lap four after starting in the fourth position. He led up until the 15th circuit, when he had to pull off due to engine problems. He relinquished his spot to Steve Way, who lead for the rest of the race. He was followed across the line by Heath Carney, Jeremy Vunk, Tophoven, and Claude Hutching Jr.
The Pro Street Stocks, led to the green by Kevin Winton and Travis Welch, completed the first lap with Chris Carr at the head of the field. He was able to pull away at the beginning, but a couple of yellow flags stalled his effort. After the second caution on lap eight, Carr was chased by Glenn Forward, who passed for the top spot on the tenth circuit. Forward was able to take off with the lead, trailed by Mike Welch. The two finished that way, with A.J. Digsby, Carr, and Ed Ostrander rounding out the top five.
Next weekend, Utica-Rome Speedway holds its annual Victoria 200 Weekend with a two day show. On Sunday, the track welcomes the Empire Super Sprints to join a regular show of Modifieds, 602 Sportsman, Open Sportsman, and Pro Street Stocks. On Monday, the Modifieds will race 100 laps for $10,000 to win, with the Upstate Sportsman Alliance Series/ GRIT Series Sportsman racing 30 laps for $1000 to win and $100 to start. For more information, visit uticaromespeedway.com or call (315) 829-4557.
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES RACE SUMMARY
STAMPEDE STEAKHOUSE MODIFIED FINISH (30 LAPS)- LARRY WIGHT, Pat Ward, Matt Sheppard, Tim Fuller, Mike Mahaney, Erick Rudolph, Matt Hulsizer, Jimmy Davis, Vic Coffey, Chris Mackey, Darwin Greene, Tim Mayne, Jim Walsh, Adam Ellis, Mike Bowman, Andrew Ferguson, Pete Taylor, Dave Moyer, and Billy Whittaker.
OPEN SPORTSMAN FINISH (20 LAPS)- STEVE WAY, Heath Carney, Jeremy Vunk, Tom Tophoven, Claude Hutchings Jr., Mike Stiles, Jack Miller, Brandon Walters, Craig Pope, Lucas Heintz, Mike Richmond, and Randy Shantel.
602 SPORTSMAN FINISH (20 LAPS)- CONNOR CLEVELAND, Cody Clark ,Nick Krause, Daryl Nutting, Kyle Kiehn, A.J. Filbeck, Matt Janczuk, Alan Fink, Rocky Warner, Geoff VanRiper, Stephen Denton, Rocco Leone, Brent Joy, John Christian, Glenn Forward, Jimmy Morton, Jim Thomas, Aaron Jacobs, Alan Barker, Chris Cunningham, Joe Orlando, Corey Barker, and Mike Button.
PRO/STREET STOCK FINISH (20 LAPS)- GLENN FORWARD, Mike Welch, A.J. Digsby, Chris Carr, Ed Ostrander, Mark Effner, Bill Mason, Travis Welch, Frank Hyatt, Kevin Winton, Ernie Staelens, Jerry Streeter, Gus Hollner, Dana Camenga, and Bill Trexler III.