LARRY WIGHT SCORES SECOND MODIFIED WIN AT UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY IN DOMINATING FASHION
VERNON, NY- Wilber-Duck Chevrolet and Kingwater Chiropractic / Ber-Mor Gas presented a night this past Sunday, August 2, that saw Larry Wight put on a dominant performance in the Stampede Steakhouse Modifieds to tighten the points race and close in on the leading Sheppard, putting himself 39 points back. The other winners included Rocky Warner in an exciting 602 Sportsman feature, Jeremy Vunk in the Open Sportsman, and Ed Ostrander in the Pro Street Stocks.
The Stampede Steakhouse Modifieds took the green for their feature event with a front row composed of Pete Taylor and Tim Mayne. The first lap, however, belonged to Chris Mackey, who passed the front two from third. His lead was short lived, as Larry Wight fought his way to the front early after starting in seventh. Vic Coffey followed him closely and took the runner up spot. With an open track in front of him, Wight powered away from the rest of the pack. A caution with 10 laps complete slowed him down and bunched him with the rest of the field, but he pulled away again on the restart using the bottom of the speedway. Matt Hulsizer used the restart the best, breaking into the top three and closing in on Coffey with half the race remaining.
The yellow flag flew once more on the 18th circuit, yet it still didn’t slow Wight down at all. He again created some distance between himself and the field. Hulsizer had another good restart and put pressure on Coffey as he utilized the high side of the race track, only to take the spot a lap later. He tried to reel in the running away leader, but he had to turn his attention instead to defending his position as the points leader, Matt Sheppard, was closing in on the bottom. Sheppard was able to pull alongside Hulsizer in the turns, but he did not have enough to make the pass as Hulsizer pulled away down the stretches. Trying to switch it up, Sheppard tried to slide up the track and find a lane to work with, but Hulsizer proved to be the stronger car. With Wight taking the victory with ease, Hulsizer and Sheppard filled out the podium. Rob Bellinger and Coffey finished in the top five. Danny Varin, Pat Ward, Mike Mahaney, Stewart Friesen, and Alan Johnson trailed.
Brandon Kuhn and Daryl Nutting brought the 602 Sportsman to their green flag for their feature event, with Kuhn using his pole position to take the lead. Rocco Leone, starting on the outside of the second row, battled up to second, followed by Nick Krause. Krause, however, spun on lap four, bringing out a yellow. The restart saw Leone lose his position to Cody Clark, who was reeling in the leading Kuhn. Behind him, Rocky Warner, Matt Janczuk, and Leone were all fighting for the third spot while still near the leaders. Kuhn was on the top side when Clark dove below him to pull alongside, trying to take the top spot. Yet, when they pulled away from the corners and crossed the line, Kuhn had the edge. Clark still stayed on Kuhn’s right, but could not muster enough to take the lead. Warner finally won the battle for third, but both Janczuk and Leone were still side by side and nearby.
Warner, catching the top two, looked for any line to get by the side by side battle for the lead. He finally decided on the top side and gained some momentum down the backstretch. He was on the bumper of Clark as they went into turn three, and he was able to dive below the top two and slide up in front of both to take the lead on lap 11, just before a caution for a spinning machine in turn three slowed the field. The restart allowed Warner to use a clean track in front of him and pull away. Janczuk, who watched Warner pass for the lead, used the restart to his advantage and took second, but he didn’t have anything for Warner, who took the win. With Janczuk in second, Clark, Stephen Denton, and Jason Rood took spots in the top five.
Tom Tophoven and Randy Shantel took the green for the Open Sportsman feature event, which saw Tophoven take the early lead. Jeremy Vunk was quick to take second after making a pass from his third starting position. Vunk put pressure on Tophoven for the lead, finally winning the battle on lap four. A yellow slowed the field, however, and Tophoven used the caution to retake the lead. Vunk didn’t go away, still hanging around and putting pressure from the bottom. He regained his lead on lap eight and finally put Tophoven behind him. Heath Carney wouldn’t allow him to stay in the top two, as he made the pass for the runner up spot a lap later. Both Vunk and Carney started to pull away from the pack, leaving Tophoven to defend the final podium spot from Claude Hutchings Jr., who was slowly closing in as the laps ticked away. With five to go, Hutchings completed the pass. The race ended with Vunk taking home his third victory of the season. Carney, Hutchings, Steve Way, and Tophoven followed.
The Pro Street Stocks were led to the green by Jim Thomas and Gus Hollner, with Hollner leading the first lap before a caution came out. He led the lap of the restart, but Chris Carr was making moves and drove all the way to second from his tenth starting spot on lap two. Carr took the lead on lap three, leaving Hollner to trail behind. Further back, Ed Ostrander was navigating to the front, starting one row back from Carr. A couple of cautions at the halfway mark put Ostrander on the rear bumper. Carr was able to hold him off for a few laps, but Ostrander powered by with five to go and never looked back. Carr took second, followed by Glenn Forward, Hollner, and Marc Minutolo.
Next Sunday night, August 9, Dick Waterman presents a regular show of Stampede Steakhouse Modifieds, 602 Sportsman, Open Sportsman, and Pro Street Stocks. Gates open at 3:30 p.m. and gates open at 6 p.m. For further information, visit www.uticaromespeedway.com or call (315) 829-4557.
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES RACE SUMMARY
STAMPEDE STEAKHOUSE MODIFIEDS FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)-Larry Wight, Matt Hulsizer, Matt Sheppard, Rob Bellinger, Vic Coffey, Danny Varin, Pat Ward, Mike Mahaney, Stewart Friesen, Alan Johnson, Tim Mayne, C.J. Castelletti, Andrew Ferguson, Bob Henry Jr., Chris Mackey, Pete Taylor, Joel Thomas, and Mike Bowman.
602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-ROCKY WARNER, Matt Janczuk, Cody Clark, Stephen Denton, Jason Rod, Rocco Leone, Kyle Kiehn, Casey Williams, Earl Rudy, A.J. Filbeck, Ala Fink, Daryl Nutting, Glenn Forward, Geoff VanRiper, Chris Cunningham, Brent Joy, John Christian, Aaron Jacobs, Beth Bellinger, Brandon Kuhn, Tony Komuda, Corey Barker, and Nick Krause.
OPEN SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-JEREMY VUNK, Heath Carney, Claude Hutchings Jr., Steve Way, Tom Tophoven, Mike Walton, Jack Miller, Mike Stiles, Randy Shantel, Craig Pope, and Lucas Heintz.
PRO STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-ED OSTRANDER, Chris Carr, Glenn Forward, Gus Hollner, Marc Minutolo, A.J. Digsby, Mark Effner, Mike Welch, Travis Welch, Jim Thomas, Frank Hyatt, Chuck Cushman, Bill Trexler III, Mike Kazlauskas, Ernie Staelens, Jerry Streeter, and Dana Camenga.