MATT SHEPPARD IS SUPER AGAIN AT UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY AS HE RACES TO HIS NINTH WIN OF THE SEASON
VERNON, NY-This past Sunday night, August 30, Matt Sheppard collected his ninth NASCAR Whelen All-American Series win of the season on Williams Tire and Auto night, collection a $2,000 paycheck. Matt Janczuk was the victor in the 602 Sportsman while Jack Miller took his second consecutive win in the Open Sportsman while Glenn Forward was victorious for the eighth time in the Pro Street Stocks.
Mike Bowman and Tim Mayne led the Stampede Steakhouse Modified field to starter Matt Burdick’s green flag with Bowman grabbing the early advantage over Mayne. During the first handful of laps, ninth place starter Mike Mahaney was on the charge as moved into the third spot by lap four. On lap six, Mahaney used the high side of the speedway to drive around Mayne to take second. At this point, 12th place starter Matt Sheppard was into the mix as well as moved into third behind Mahaney and the leader Bowman. As lap 11 was being scored, point leader Sheppard drove underneath Mahaney to take second and then set his sights on the leader Bowman. It took just two laps for Sheppard to track down Bowman and make the pass for the lead as he was scored as the leader on lap 13. With 15 laps of the 30 lap main event completed, it was Sheppard out front with Bowman, Mahaney, Larry Wight, and Pat Ward chasing.
On lap 16, Mahaney finally was able to get by Bowman to take second but by this time, Sheppard was pulling away. Lap 17 saw Wight grab the third spot from Bowman and then he started his pursuit of runner up Mahaney. Wight was able to catch Mahaney, and for the next five laps they would battle in a crowd pleasing battle with Wight slipping by on lap 22. Wight was then tried in reeling in Sheppard and was able to close the gap with two to go, even diving underneath Sheppard in turns one and two on a couple of occasions but Sheppard proved to be too strong as he raced to his ninth win of the season. Wight, Mahaney, Ward, and Bowman filled out the top five spots at the line followed by Rob Bellinger, Danny Varin, Matt Hulsizer, Mayne, and Vic Coffey.
The 602 Sportsman main event saw pole sitter Daryl Nutting take the lead at the drop of the green with outside front row starter Chris Cunningham settling into the runner up spot. Nutting set a quick pace as he pulled away from the field as some of the usual drivers were beginning their march to the front. Jason Rood was the first one to reach the top five, charging from 12th, as he broke into the top five on lap four. By lap nine, Rood was pressuring second place driver Beth Bellinger and they would battle for the next four circuits until Rood had an off track excursion in turns three and four to bring out the lone yellow of the 20 lap feature. On the restart, 14th place starter Matt Janczuk was now into the second spot as he was able to clear Bellinger for the position. A lap later, Janczuk was now the leading the field as he was able dispose of then leader Nutting. Janczuk would go unchallenged for his third win with Nutting, Bellinger, Rocky Warner, and Cunningham trailing.
After a couple aborted starts, third place starter Heath Carney found himself at the front of the field to start the 20 lap Open Sportsman feature event. Carney would hold on to the top spot for the first three circuits until seventh place starter Jack Miller drove by to take the lead. Carney battled back on a couple occasions but was unable to mount serious challenge to take the lead back. Steve Way started to show some speed at the halfway point of the event as he was able to slip by Carney for second. As the front running duo entered lapped traffic, Way began to close in on the front running Miller but unable to get close enough to mount a charge. Miller would collect his second consecutive victory while Way, Claude Hutchings Jr., Bill Shantel Jr., and Tom Tophoven rounded out the top five.
Mark Effner led the Pro Street Stock opening lap from his sixth starting spot and would hold that position until eighth starting Mike Welch slipped by on lap five. 10th place starting Chris Carr was also on the move as he followed Welch to the front and as soon as Welch took the lead, Carr was there also to challenge him for the lead. Carr took the lead at the line to be scored as the leader on lap six with Welch staying with him on the outside. For the next five circuits, Carr and Welch would battle side by side for the lead with Carr able to hold Welch off. While they battled for the win, Glenn Forward was charging from his 12th starting spot and by lap nine, he was making his presence felt as he was into third and pressuring the leaders. Lap 11, Forward made his move to capture the point with Welch and Carr giving chase. A caution with one to go would give Welch one last shot to regain the but Forward was too strong as he took his eighth win of the season and unofficially took the point lead. Welch, Carr, Effner, and Ed Ostrander chased Forward to the finish.
Next Sunday, September 6, the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints join a full show of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing with the Stampede Steakhouse Modifieds, 602 Sportsman, Open Sportsman, and Pro Street Stocks in action on Stampede Steakhouse and Mirabito Fuel Group night. The point titles for 602 Sportsman, Open Sportsman, and Pro Street Stocks will decided on Sunday night. Then on Monday September 7, it is the annual New Yorker that will pay $10,000 to the winner of the 100 lap Race of Champions Modified Series winner. The Upstate Sportsman Alliance/Grit Sportsman Series will also be in competition as they battle for 30 laps for $1,000 to win. For more information, please log on to www.uticaromespeedway.com or call the speedway office at (315)829-4447.
WILLIAMS TIRE AND AUTO NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES RACE SUMMARY
STAMPEDE STEAKHOUSE MODIFIEDS FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)-MATT SHEPPARD, Larry Wight, Mike Mahaney, Pat Ward, Mike Bowman, Rob Bellinger, Danny Varin, Matt Hulsizer, Tim Mayne, Vic Coffey, Ryan Arbuthnot, Chris Mackey, Jessey Mueller, Pete Taylor, and Joel Thomas.
602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-MATT JANCZUK, Daryl Nutting, Beth Bellinger, Rocky Warner, Chris Cunningham, AJ Filbeck, Stephen Denton, Kyle Kiehn, Glenn Forward, Corey Barker, Jason Rood, John Christian, Rocco Leone, Casey Williams, Tye-Scott Rood, Geoff VanRiper, Alan Fink, Brandon Kuhn, and Aaron Jacobs.
OPEN SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-JACK MILLER, Steve Way, Claude Hutchings Jr., Billy Shantel Jr., Tom Tophoven, Mike Richmond, Heath Carney, Jeremy Vunk, Craig Pope, Lucas Heintz, Aaron Jacobs, Todd Fey, Raymond Carey, and Rocky Warner.
PRO STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-GLENN FORWARD, Mike Welch, Chris Carr, Mark Effner, Ed Ostrander, Marc Minutolo, AJ Digsby, Dana Camenga, Joe Palmer, Frank Hyatt, Dwight Johnson, Jim Thomas, Bill Mason, Bill Trexler III, Travis Welch, Ernie Staelens, Jerry Streeter, and Gus Hollner. DNS-Andy Lashure.