Bill and Kim Shea purchase Speedway
A look back at the 2014 season at
"The Action Track of the East".
Check out the Benefits of competing in the Whelen All- American series
UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY CLOSES THE 2014 SEASON AND THE COLE ERA WITH SEASON ENDING BANQUET VERNON, NY- The 2014 season at the Utica-Rome Speedway officially came to a close this past Saturday, November 29, at the Turning Stone Casino and Resort in Verona at the annual Awards Banquet. Nearly 400 attendees looked on as the top 10 were honored in the four weekly divisions of Modifieds, Sportsman, Pro Stocks, and Pure Stocks. Before moving into the awards portion of the night, new track owners Bill and Kim Shea took to the stage with Bill introducing himself and his wife to the crowd and thanked them for supporting the speedway in the past and how much they looked forward to carrying on the rich tradition of the speedway. He also thanked Gene and Gloria Cole building the speedway to what it is today.
Race Director John Tiff was the next on stage and touched a little on the 2014 season before moving on to the plans for the upcoming 2015 season. He stated that the Modifieds will go back to the traditional body without the sail panels on them and said the decision on what tire brand to be used is still pending. He also stated that the 602 Crate Sportsman will be a weekly division along, running separate from the Open Sportsman. The Pro Stocks and Pure Stocks will be a combined division in 2015 and the rules for that division will be released shortly.
MODIFIEDS AND 602 SPORTSMAN WILL BE ON HOOSIER TIRES IN 2015 AT UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY Since 2005, American Racer has been the official tire for the Modifieds at the Utica-Rome Speedway but in 2015 that will change. Hoosier Tire will be the tire brand for the Modifieds and 602 Sportsman for the upcoming season. Since the announcement in mid November of their intention to purchase the Utica-Rome Speedway, Bill and Kim Shea have been hard at work to continue the tradition that outgoing owner Gene Cole set forth and make the Vernon oval a destination for drivers and fan alike. Going back to the traditional body style in the Modifieds was their first step and now going to the Hoosier will align the speedway with other tracks in the region, allowing drivers to go between tracks with few changes. “As a car owner, I appreciate the maintenance that goes into these cars when racing on multiple nights,” stated Bill Shea. “By putting ourselves on the same tire as the other tracks in the area, we hope to make it easier for drivers and crews to give us a try on Sunday nights.” The compound that will be allowed weekly is the D300 tire which is used at the majority of the other tracks that use Hoosiers. “Us switching to Hoosier has nothing to do with the product or service provided by Fred Woodworth and the rest of the staff at Lias Tire,” continued Bill. “It is because of the environment we are in now with the tracks nearest to us and where we draw many of our weekly competitors as they are all on Hoosiers now. Fred and Matt Brandle have been great to deal with and the American Racer was a great program to be a part of but I feel the change was necessary to bolster our weekly program.” Despite the change in Modifieds, and the fact that the 602 Sportsman are also on Hoosiers, the open Sportsman division will remain on American Racers. With every other track that runs an open Sportsman program on the American Racer tire, this will allows competitors in this division to travel with little changes to their cars. The Pro/Street Stock division will be allowed to run the American Racer Pro Stock or Hoosier DIRTcar Pro Stock tires on a weekly basis. For more information call the speedway office at (315)829-4557. All questions concerning rules can be directed to Bernie Lukas at (315)271-3068.
2015 season Kicks off Sunday April 19
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 6, 2015) – Stewart Friesen is no stranger to historical feats. If your name is ahead of NASCAR Hall of Famer Richie Evans on any list, you’ve had a remarkable career. The all-time feature wins leader in Utica-Rome Speedway’s famous history added yet another feather in his cap in 2014 when he captured the seventh track championship of his still-young career. Friesen, from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, posted seven wins and 18 top fives in the 358 Modified division at Utica-Rome to edge Matt Sheppard by 10 points in what was his fifth-consecutive title campaign. This one was not like the others, however. It was his first Utica-Rome title under the NASCAR banner. And it also netted his first career NASCAR Whelen All-American Series New York state crown. Utica-Rome has a storied history with NASCAR, but the half-mile dirt oval in Vernon, New York, hadn’t been sanctioned by the governing body since 1998. The track’s return to NASCAR in 2014 provided a fresh perspective for Friesen. “The national recognition racing under the NASCAR banner was pretty awesome,” Friesen. “And there was a little added incentive in racing up to the New York state title too.” Although he had another Utica-Rome title in hand, Friesen figured he was going to have to settle for second place in state standings until it was suggested he could run on the last Sunday of Airborne Park Speedway’s NASCAR points season and make one last push. He was able to secure a ride and registered an eighth place finish at the Plattsburgh, New York, asphalt oval, which was enough to take home the NASCAR state title by nine points over Airborne track champ Nick Heywood. The first milestone the 31-year-old Friesen reached in 2014 came on June 30 when he notched career feature win No. 50 at Utica-Rome. He passed previous track record-holder Dale Planck’s total of 42 toward the end of the 2013 season. The late Evans’ 33 wins from the asphalt era still rank third on Utica Rome’s list. “To be up there with those guys is a tremendous accomplishment, and it’s something that our team is very, very proud of,” Friesen said. Modified legends Evans and Jerry Cook, a NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee, both hailed from nearby Rome and called Utica-Rome their home track. Their impact is still at the forefront of weekly competition at the facility. “They fly the [Evans] orange No. 61 flag in the infield there every week, there’s the big Richie Evans event there every year, and obviously they do stuff to recognize Jerry Cook as well,” Friesen said. “It’s a very historic track.” Friesen’s 2014 success came behind the wheel of his No. 1 Westmoreland Golf Club Chevrolet, which is owned by Tom Cullen and led by crew chief Loren Ward. Erick Mack and Mike Thurston were also integral parts of the championship team, which received associate sponsorship from C.C. Performance Engines, Teo Pro Car and Fox Shocks. Friesen’s team remains intact and ready to continue the run of championship in 2015. “We’ll be back at Utica-Rome every week, just trying to keep on going,” Friesen said. “We’ve got a great team, everybody is still together and morale is high, and we’re going to try and come out and defend the best we can.”
Friesen Adds To Upstate New York Legacy
Utica-Rome Champ Also Takes Home NASCAR State Title
Countdown to the First
Green Flag of 2015
STAMPEDE STEAKHOUSE IN VERONA BECOMES TITLE SPONSOR OF THE WEEKLY MODIFIED DIVISION
A local business, the Stampede Steakhouse, is joining the Utica-Rome Speedway as a marketing partner in 2015. The partnership will include becoming the title sponsor for the weekly Modified division, which will now be known as the Stampede Steakhouse Modifieds.
Located on the corner of Routes 31 and 365 in Verona, the Stampede Steakhouse is easily recognizable by its iconic Bull out front, and is known as being one of the best dining experiences in the region. A family friendly atmosphere, daily lunch and dinner specials, drink specials, and weekly bands featuring some of the top local talent are just some of things you can expect at the Stampede Steakhouse. They are also available for corporate events and parties and also offer local business lunch deliveries. For more information, visit their official website at www.stampedesteakhouse.com or find them on Facebook.
The Stampede Steakhouse Modifieds will again race as part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series in 2015, giving competitors an opportunity to compete for lucrative State and National titles. Last season, track champion Stewart Friesen not only took home $10,000 home for the Utica-Rome Speedway title, but another $17,000 in NASCAR money for winning the track and New York State NASCAR Whelen All-American Series title.
The 2015 season is slated to begin on Sunday April 19 with Twin 20 lap features for the Stampede Steakhouse Modifieds plus a regular show of 602 Sportsman, Open Sportsman, and Pro Street Stocks.
Countdown to the First Green Flag of 2015
UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY CANCELS PRACTICE SESSION, PREPARES FOR APRIL 19 OPENER
With the wet weather that moved into the region today and the forecast calling for more rain the next couple of days, officials decided to cancel the practice session that was scheduled for this Saturday April 11. After some consideration, it was decided to not reschedule it to another day.
“The recent warm weather has worked wonders with the grounds,” stated new track owner Bill Shea. “But with our season opener just over a week away, we decided to take full advantage of the good forecast to start next week and let the speedway dry out some more. The last thing we want to do is chase track conditions for the first few weeks of the season because we got on it to early.”
The 2015 season at the “Action Track of the East” kicks off on Sunday April 19 with an exciting night of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing presented by Tri Valley Beverage. The Stampede Steakhouse Modifieds will compete in Twin 20 lap features, each paying $2,000 to win while the 602 Sportsman, Open Sportsman, and Pro Street Stocks will round out the action with regular events. Gates will open at 3:30 p.m. with racing at 6 p.m. For more information call the speedway office at (315) 829-4557.