VIC COFFEY HOLDS OFF MATT SHEPPARD TO CAPTURE FIRST CAREER UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY MODIFIED WIN
VERNON, NY-Stampede Steakhouse and Mirabito Fuel Group sponsored the final point night for every division except the Modifieds on Sunday, September 6th, as well as the Empire Super Sprints visiting one week before the Cole Cup on Saturday. September 12th. Vic Coffey was able to hold off both Danny Varin and Matt Sheppard for the win in the Stampede Steakhouse Modifieds. The 602 Sportsman was won by Rocky Warner, who also won the track championship. Steve Way ensured his win of the Open Sportsman championship by winning as well. Chris Carr took the checkered in the Pro Street Stocks, but Glenn Forward was crowned the champion in that division. In the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints, Stewart Friesen visited victory lane for the second time this season at the Utica-Rome Speedway in a 360 Sprint. Refer to the Empire Super Sprints press release for more information.
Vic Coffey and Chris Mackey led the Stampede Steakhouse Modifieds to the initial green flag of their feature, with Coffey taking advantage of his pole starting spot and taking the lead. Mackey fell in line behind, but his position wasn’t stable for long as Danny Varin was charging hard through the top five after starting in fifth. Using the bottom, Varin slowly gained on the second running Mackey and snuck by him as the first third of the feature event was completed.
The only yellow flag of the night came out on the 10th circuit for Jimmy Phelps spinning in the entrance of turn one. To this point, Coffey had been running away with the lead, but Danny Varin was now on his rear bumper when the green flag reemerged to bring back the racing action. Coffey pulled away at the beginning of the restart, but Varin used the moisture on the bottom to inch closer and closer to leader. He caught up to the leader just past the halfway mark of the 30 lap feature, but couldn’t complete the pass due to Coffey’s line, half a line above the very bottom of the speedway. Varin could get a nose underneath Coffey in the corners, but there wasn’t enough room for him to drive by as the two began catching lap traffic. All the while, Pat Ward and Matt Sheppard were catching the top two.
The final ten laps of the race began with Ward and Sheppard pulling up behind Varin and Coffey as they got caught behind a pair of slower cars. Going into turn one, Varin slipped up a bit and Coffey created some space as Ward and Sheppard gained some ground. Going into the west end of the speedway, all three were bunch together behind a lapped car. Coming out of turn four, Sheppard made the power move by stepping up to the top side and driving by both to take the runner up spot away. Now, with only a handful of laps remaining, Sheppard started to reel in the leading Coffey by diving to bottom. With two remaining, he caught up but faced slower traffic in the same line as Coffey slid up the track to put the cars a lap down. Sheppard followed suit as Coffey took the white flag for the last lap. One final time, Sheppard tried the bottom to pull even with Coffey, but Coffey proved stronger and took the win. Varin, Ward, and Rob Bellinger finished in the top five, trailed by Mike Mahaney, Alan Johnson, Matt Hulsizer, Jimmy Phelps, and Mike Bowman.
The 602 Sportsman took the green with Alan Fink and Casey Williams at the head of the field. Fink was able to keep the lead on the first three laps, but a yellow on the third for a spinning Matt Janczuk slowed him down and put the field in line. The restart saw Rocky Warner, the point leader, drive from fourth to first in the span of a lap, pulling away from Fink and giving himself some breathing room before another caution came out halfway through the race. Warner held the lead when the green was displayed again, but Glenn Forward used the restart to his advantage and moved to second, looking to track down Warner. Warner, however, was too strong and took the win, cementing his lead of the point standings and taking the championship. Forward took second, followed by Kyle Kiehn, Jason Rood, and Fink.
Lucas Heintz and Craig Pope led the Open Sportsman to the start, with Pope using the outside to take the lead for the first three laps before a yellow flag came out for Mike Richmond spinning in turn one. Pope once again led on the restart, but Steve Way was on the move and charging into the top five by the time a second yellow flag was waved on lap 10. The restart allowed Way to start working on Jack Miller for the runner up position, completing the pass on the 14th circuit. He quickly tracked down the leading Pope and swung around on the outside of turns three and four to take the lead with five laps left. Another caution with two to go slowed the race a final time, but Way led the rest of the way and won the race and the point championship.
A handful of cautions plagued the start of the Pro Street Stock feature and at the end of it all on lap three; Ed Ostrander was on the point of the field. He led until lap five, when Chris Carr, coming from 11th, took the lead after quickly navigating the field. The final yellow was thrown on lap 12, but it didn’t stop Chris Carr from pulling away from the rest of the top five. Behind him, Glenn Forward was driving to the front after coming from all the way in the back of the pack, starting in 19th. He battled with Ed Ostrander for a few laps before taking the second spot, but Car was too far in front for Forward to pose a challenge. Carr took the win, with Forward taking the track championship. The top five was rounded out by Ostrander, Mike Welch, and Matt Parkhurst.
Next Saturday, September 12th, Utica-Rome Speedway hosts the third annual Cole Cup, a $10,000 to win race for 360 sprint cars. The Stampede Steakhouse Modifieds also join the docket in their final point race of the season. Gates open at 4 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.uticaromespeedway.com or call (315) 829-4557.
NASCAR WHELEN ALL-AMERICAN SERIES RACE SUMMARY
EMPIRE SUPER SPRINTS A-MAIN FEATURE FINISH (25 LAPS)-STEWART FRIESEN, Mike Mahaney, Curt Michael, Bryan Howland, Larry Wight, Shawn Donath, Paul Kinney, Jason Barney, Matt Tanner, Chuck Hebing, Danny Varin, Sammy Reakes IV, Steve Poirier, Alysha Ruggles, Steve Glover, Mike Stelter, Dylan Swiernik, Jeff Cook, Daryl Ruggles, Charlie Donk, Rob Dietrick, Cory Sparks, Paulie Colagiovanni, Dave Axton, and Pete Richardson.
STAMPEDE STEAKHOUSE MODIFIEDS FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)-VIC COFFEY, Matt Sheppard, Danny Varin, Pat Ward, Rob Bellinger, Mike Mahaney, Alan Johnson, Matt Hulsizer, Jimmy Phelps, Mike Bowman, Stewart Friesen, Tim Fuller, Larry Wight, Chris Mackey, Tim Mayne, Joe August Jr., Pete Taylor, C.G. Morey, Greg Atkins, Joel Thomas, and Kyle Fink.
602 SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-ROCKY WARNER, Glenn Forward, Kyle Kiehn, Jason Rood, Alan Fink, Corey Barker, James Michael Friesen, Cody Clark, Casey Williams, Beth Bellinger, Brent Joy, Daryl Nutting, John Christian, Rocco Leone, Chris Cunningham, Tyler Singleton, A.J. Filbeck, Stephen Denton, Jake Dgien, Brandon Kuhn, Joseph Buonagurio, Aaron Jacobs, and Matt Janczuk.
OPEN SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-STEVE WAY, Claude Hutchings Jr., Craig Pope, Jack Miller, Tom Tophoven, Randy Shantel, Rocky Warner, Nick Nye, Lucas Heintz, Mike Richmond, Aaron Jacobs, Randy Green, Todd Fey, Heath Carney, and Jeremy Vunk. DNS- Raymond Carey.
PRO STREET STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-CHRIS CARR, Glenn Forward, Ed Ostrander, Mike Welch, Matt Parkhurst, Russ Marsden, Gus Hollner, Travis Welch, Joe Palmer, Frank Hyatt, Jim Thomas, Bill Mason, Mike Kazlauskas, Dwight Johnson, Jerry Streeter, Bill Trexler III, Mark Effner, Vance Vanderwall, Ernie Staelens, AJ Digsby, and Marc Minutolo.