Honoring Alex: Utica-Rome Season Opens Friday with $6,800-to-win Sunoco Modified Event

Written by Chris Moore

VERNON, NY – The 2022 Utica-Rome Speedway season is set to begin this Friday (April 29) night with the ‘Honoring Alex’ Season Opener.

After a successful open practice last weekend, year No. 2 under the helm of the BD Motorsports Media team commences with a $6,800-to-win Sunoco Modified event honoring Alex Friesen: the former promoter, racer, and visionary whose influence is still felt to this day at the ‘Home of Heroes.’

The 30-lap main event headlines the Season Opener, with defending champion Matt Sheppard leading the field of regulars into the new season at the Route 5 oval.

The Savannah, N.Y., native will be joined by the husband-and-wife duo Stewart & Jessica Friesen, both winners at Utica-Rome last season.

Gloversville, N.Y.’s Rocky Warner and Sheffield, Mass., resident Andy Bachetti are also slated to return in 2022, looking to return to Victory Lane.

A host of others, including new regulars in ‘22, Billy Decker and Alex Yankowski, plan to compete in the lid-lifter at the half-mile clay oval.

Accompanying the Modifieds will be the Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman, Next Generation Graphix Pro Stocks, Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman, and Fonda Fair Four Cylinders to complete the night.

All five divisions will open their 2022 championship points chase, running from Friday’s kickoff all the way through Sept. 2.

The Opening Night will also be the first race under the all-new LED lighting at Utica-Rome Speedway. The new lighting was greeted with high praise among drivers and fans who attended the open practice.

Utica-Rome also kicks off its new partnership with FloRacing on Friday night. The season opener – and every race in the 2022 season – will air live and on-demand on FloRacing (www.floracing.tv).

For the April 29 event, gates open at 4 p.m. with hot laps set to begin at 6:45 p.m. and racing to follow at 7:30 p.m.

Grandstand admission will be $18 for Adults, $16 for Seniors (ages 65 & up) and Kids 11 & Under get in FREE.

Pit admission is $30 for speedway members and $35 for non-members.

Utica-Rome Speedway is located at 5591 NY-5 (Seneca Turnpike) Vernon, NY 13476. The official website is www.uticaromespeedway.com and can be reached by phone at 315.953.4097.  Like Utica-Rome Speedway on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @UR_Speedway.