May 29 & 30, 2011
Bobby Varin Gets Redemption Winning The 2011 Victoria 200
VERNON, NY, May 30, 2011(By Dave Medler)- In 2010 Bobby Varin had the Victoria 200 victory in sight only to have it snatched away with a blown tire. That wasn’t going to happen this year as Varin is the 2011 winner pocketing $10,000 for his efforts backing up his $2,000 win Sunday night at the Utica-Rome Speedway.
Varin started 17th in the 33 car starting field and blasted his way forward taking the lead from Billy Decker on lap 41 of the 100 lap event. With the final 32 laps going caution free it looked like Varin would cruise to the win. Late lapped traffic allowed Decker to draw back in Varin setting up a shoot out to the finish that saw a difference of 0.749 seconds at the checkers. The race was only slowed by 5 cautions that saw no major incidents on the track.
“It was tough sledding get by Billy (Decker) his car wasn’t quite as good as mine but believe me, he never missed a beat, never slipped up. I knew I was going to have to get around him and charge him hard, he really made me work for it, great run for Billy too,” Said an excited Bobby Varin pilot of the Dover Brake, No.00, Bicknell after his winning pass and holding off Decker at the finish.
Larry Wight and Andy Bachetti led the starting field down to the starters green flag to start the Victoria 200 with Wight grabbing the early advantage against an All-Star field in front of a huge Memorial Day crowd.
Wight would lead the first 11 laps before Ronnie Johnson was able to drive past Wight to be scored the new leader. Johnson’s lead would be short lived as one lap later Ryan Phelps would find the speed he needed shooting by first Wight, then Johnson in one lap to take command of the race.
While Phelps was trying to distance himself from the field, teammate Billy Decker was picking off cars as he moved to second place on lap 23 and quickly moved in on Phelps. On lap 24 Decker was able to drive by Phelps to be scored the new leader.
With 30 laps in the books Decker was running the middle and the bottom of the speedway as he maintained lead over Ronnie Johnson, Varin, Phelps and Alan Johnson showed in the top-five on the scoring tower.
Varin moved into second on lap 31 and staged a great battle with Decker over the next 10 laps as the pair worked around back-markers as the battled for the lead. On lap 41 Varin went to the top of the speedway where there wasn’t a lot of bite and drove around Decker and into the lead in front of a cheering crowd for the home track favorite.
By the halfway point Varin had moved back to the bottom groove as he started putting cars between himself and Decker. Ronnie Johnson, Phelps and Jimmy Davis ran nose to tail and side by side for third through fifth.
With 75 laps showing on the scoring tower, Varin and Decker were still the class of the field with Johnson, Phelps and defending track champion Stewart Friesen showing in the top-five.
As the laps clicked off towards the finish it looked like Varin would cruise to the easy win till about 10 to go as lapped cars slowed Varin down, allowing Decker to cut his lead down setting up a shootout to the finish. Decker tried every trick in the book to reel in Varin and get by but it was not to be as Varin didn’t flinch getting to the finish first by less than a second at the checkers. Ronnie Johnson, Stewart Friesen and Ryan Phelps rounded out the top-five.
“What it comes right down to is my guys working their tails off week in week out. Believe me we needed this ten-grand, said the two time New Yorker winner who can now add the Victoria 200 to his impressive win list.
Varin agreed that his car pretty much went where ever he wanted it throughout the 100 laps. “Till the end there when we got behind that lapped car, I just didn’t know where to trust him. He’d hit the rut and bounce out, he’d cover the bottom and I just didn’t know where to go, every time I tried to make a move on him he was there. We came close to wrecking three or four times, we’re just glad it’s over.”
(VICTORIA 200 100 LAPS) - BOBBY VARIN, Billy Decker, Ronnie Johnson Stewart Friesen, Ryan Phelps, Matt Sheppard, Alan Johnson, Jimmy Phelps, Willy Decker, Patt Ward, Jeff Strunk, Jimmy Davis, Chad Brachmann, Larry Wight, Brett Hearn, Vic Coffey, Mitch Gibbs, Rick Laubach, Andy Bachetti, Danny Johnson, Frank Cozze Jr., Ryan Watt, Mark Kislowski, Tim McCreadie, Danny Varin, Elmo Reckner, Brett Tonkin, Justin Holland, Todd Burley, Kevin Bates, Brad Alger, Tim Fuller, Danny Creeden.
A lap 13 caution bunched the field for the final time with Varin choosing the high side for the restart. For Varin, that was the right choice as he again powered to the lead. From that point on, it was all Varin out front as he dominated the rest of the event but the real battle was for the runner up spot. Ward and Friesen ran nose to tail throughout the last 15 laps with Friesen repeatedly trying to get underneath Ward for the spot. Ward was able to fend off any challenges from Friesen as he took second behind Varin with Friesen in third, Johnson in fourth, and Decker in fifth. Andy Bachetti, Burley, Mike Bowman, Jason Rood, and Mitch Gibbs rounded out the top ten.
The Sportsman feature had Jeff Leslie and AJ Filbeck to start their 20 lap main event with Leslie gaining the early advantage. Third place starter Matt Janczuk quickly settled into the second spot in pursuit of the leader Leslie. As the laps clicked off, Leslie opened up a sizable margin while Janczuk begin to slip back into the clutches of third place running Chris Mackey. As the field completed the 18th circuit, Mackey was able to slip by for second. Leslie was too strong however, as he took the win over Mackey, Janczuk, Jim Rothwell, and Filbeck.
Tom Denton and Rocky Warner led the Pro Stock feature field to the green flag, and despite the fact they remained up front throughout the 20 lap event, they entertained the crowd with their race long battle for the win. Denton the first two laps with Warner slipping by on the outside to lead lap three. Denton slid back to fourth at this point with Mark Effner and Glenn Forward making getting by to challenge Warner for the win. Denton regained his composure and regained the runner up spot and immediately set off after Warner. As the laps clicked off, Denton threw everything he had at the rim riding Warner but was too strong as he raced off with the win. Denton had to settle for second with Effner, Bret Belden, and Forward rounding out the top five positions.
The Pure Stock 15 lap nightcap feature event saw pole sitter Ron Hawker lead wire to wire to take the opening night win. Chris Cunningham and then Frank Hyatt took turns chasing Hawker but couldn’t catch the former track champion. Hyatt would finish in the runner up spot followed by Dave Pope, Rob Thieme, and Bill Mason.
For complete Empire Super Sprint results, please visit

MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)- BOBBY VARIN, Pat Ward, Stewart Friesen, Ronnie Johnson, Willy Decker, Andy Bachetti, Todd Burley, Mike Bowman, Jason Rood, Mitch Gibbs, Alan Johnson, Elmo Reckner, Bill Trexler Jr., Mark Kislowski, Paul Jensen, Chad Brachmann, Steve Hulsizer, Dan Vauter, Brad Alger, Jeremy Wilder, Casey Williams, Pete Taylor, Justin Holland, and Matt Delorenzo.
SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- JEFF LESLIE, Chris Mackey, Matt Janczuk, Jim Rothwell, AJ Filbeck, Ricky Quick, Randy Shantel, Claude Hutchings Jr., Joe Harrington, Heath Carney, Craig Pope, Jack Miller, Bobby Heinz, Aaron Jacobs, Brian Lupos, Stephen Denton, Brian Thomas, Darren Keyser, Steve Way, Jim Nagle, and Jeff Gill.
PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)- ROCKY WARNER, Tom Denton, Mark Effner, Bret Belden, Glenn Forward, Ed Ostrander, Chris Carr, Bill Knapp, Jim Normoyle, Jeff Pastorella, AJ Digsby, Dave Moyer, Glenn Weaver, Jeremy Vunk, Ivan Joslin, Dave Arbes, and Dan Lashure.
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)- RON HAWKER, Frank Hyatt, Dave Pope, Rob Thieme, Bill Mason, Ricky Breed, Chris Cunningham, Scott Wheelock, Jim Thomas, Bill Trexler Sr., Mike Kazlawskas, Stan Clark, Brian Owens, and Keith Stevenson.
EMPIRE SUPER SPRINT FEATURE FINISH (25 LAPS)- STEVE POIRIER, Chuck Hebing, Shawn Donath, Kevin Ward, Cory Sparks, Justin Barger, Lance Yonge, Jeff Cook, Michael Parent, Mike Stelter, Alain Bergeron, Josh Pieniazek, Matt Tanner, Dylan Swiernik, Charlie Donk, Tommy Wickham, Tyler Rand, Jared Fink, Anthony Cain, Paul Habeck, Mark Zemcik, and Warren Alexson.

May 29th, 2011
VERNON, NY- The Utica-Rome Speedway 2011 season finally began this past Sunday, May 29, in a big way as an overflowing pit and huge crowd descended to the Vernon oval for the season opener. Bobby Varin kicked off the Victoria 200 weekend with a win in the Modifieds while Steve Poirier to the thrilling win in the Empire Super Sprint win. Jeff Leslie took the Sportsman victory with Rocky Warner the victor in the Pro Stocks. Ron Hawker finished the night off with the Pure Stock win on Gates-Cole Associates night.
The 30 lap Modified came to the green flag with Pat Ward and Bobby Varin leading the 24 car field into turn one with Ward squeezing into the top spot. While Ward showed the way up front, Varin, Todd Burley, Willy Decker, and Ronnie Johnson were battling it out for position in the top five. The first caution of the event came out on lap eight which may have been the deciding factor of the race.

The ensuing restart saw Ward choose the inside line which put Varin to the outside, which Varin used to his advantage. Varin powered by Ward to grab the top spot which put Ward into the clutches of the rest of the pursuers. At this point, defending track champion and 11th place starter Stewart Friesen was making his way to the front. Sixth on the lap eight restart, Friesen charged into the third spot by lap 10 behind Varin and Ward. Johnson and Decker rounded out the top five with 20 laps remaining.
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