New Winner Expected in 2015, Modifieds Also Compete as Part of the Cole Cup
VERNON, NY – Stewart Friesen is the two-time and defending winner of the Cole Cup. In fact, he’s the only driver to win the event at the Utica-Rome Speedway. The inaugural event in 2013 saw him pass Steve Poirier in the closing laps and in 2014 he held of his wife Jessica Zemken and Poirier to take the checkered flag and the $10,000 top prize. On Saturday, September 12, it looks increasingly likely that someone other than Friesen hosting the Cup as he’s indicated he’ll be racing his Modified elsewhere that night.
Entries have poured in for the 2015 event, sponsored by Gates-Cole Insurance and Bo-Mar & Armstrong Builders, from all realms of the 360 Sprint Car world including recently crowned Empire Super Sprint Canadian Series Champion Jason Barney. He’s joined by five-time ESS champion Steve Poirier and former United Race Club Champion Davie Franek as well as former Patriot Tour champion Bryan Howland.
Former ASCS regular Brad Loyet of Sunset Mills, MO., has made it known to speedway officials that he plans on competing at Utica-Rome Speedway in an effort to bring the Cole Cup to the Show Me State. Loyet has competed all over the country in 2015 including events with the ASCS National Tour and the National Sprint League. He also attempted to qualify for the Knoxville Nationals.
Chuck Hebing, a multi-time winner at Utica-Rome, has entered the event as he looks to take home the big check on Saturday night. Hebing, a former ESS and Patriot Champion, owns seven career ESS wins at the speedway and he won the series event back in May of this past year.
Pennsylvania star Aaron Ott intends to attend the Cole Cup once again in 2015. Ott, a member of the Pennsylvania Posse, has improved each time he’s visited the half-mile and may be able to pull off the upset win over the regular contingent of drivers in Saturday’s main-event.
Joining these drivers is Matt Tanner who won last year’s Kevin Ward Memorial Shootout as well as the finale of 2013 Speedweek at Utica-Rome. Tanner recently won his third career Empire Super Sprint A-Main at the I-88 Speedway. He’s joined by Parker Evans who won his only Empire Super Sprint event this season at the Evans Mills Speedway in the Kevin Ward Memorial Asphalt Assault.
Other drivers entered include Daryl and Alysha Ruggles, David and Scott Just as well as Dave Axton, Danny Varin and Cory Sparks. Look for these drivers to be joined by several of the best 360 drivers in the Northeast as nearly 50 cars have entered each of the first two events.
New for 2015 is that the Stampede Steakhouse Modifieds have been added as the second feature on the night. Matt Sheppard will be in action looking for his first track championship since 2002 and history may be in the making as he recently won his ninth feature of the season on Sunday night. He’s two wins away from tying the current record for wins in a season held by Ed Flemke and with four main-events left in 2015 a new record holder is a possibility. Sheppard is expected to be joined by weekly regulars Larry Wight, Pat Ward, Vic Coffey and more as they all look to cap of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series season with a win.
Gates open on Saturday, September 12 at 4pm with racing set to get underway promptly at 7pm. Qualifying includes group time trials, heat races as well as a B-Main. The feature is scheduled for 30-laps with $10,000 awaiting the winner. Admission is $25 for adults, $20 for seniors/students/military while kids 16 and under are $10. Pit prices for the night are $35 with license and $40 without.
For more information, please log on to www.uticaromespeedway.com or call the speedway office at (315)829-4447.