ESS Race Week: Empire Super Sprints Invade Utica-Rome Friday, August 5

Written by Chris Moore

VERNON, NY – It’s an Empire race week!

Utica-Rome Speedway kicks off the month of August this Friday (August 5) as the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints (ESS) return for their second and final appearance of 2022.

Fonda, N.Y.’s Danny Varin was victorious when the ESS 360 Sprint Cars last visited the Route 5 oval on May 13. Varin used a late race restart to outgun Marcellus, N.Y.’s Paulie Colagiovanni for the victory.

The race was the first appearance by the lightning-fast ESS Sprints at Utica-Rome since 2019.

Canadian Jordan Poirier leads the ESS standings heading into the Utica-Rome visit, ahead of Wantage, N.J.’s Davie Franek and Brewerton, N.Y.’s Jason Barney.

The ESS Sprints will load up and head East on the New York State Thruway Corridor to Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway the following night: Saturday, August 6.

The stretch run of the 2022 season at the ‘Home of Heroes’ also begins for the weekly divisions. The Sunoco Modifieds, Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman, Next Generation GraphiX Pro Stocks, Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman, and Fonda Fair Four Cylinders are all back in action on Friday night.

Matt Sheppard continues his dominance of the Sunoco Modified division, fresh off his eighth win of the season. The Savannah, N.Y., resident maintains a healthy 67-point advantage over Gloversville, N.Y.’s Rocky Warner. Covington Township, Pa.’s Alex Yankowski rounds out the top three, 102 markers behind Sheppard.

Durhamville, N.Y.’s Matt Janczuk has followed in Sheppard’s footsteps, claiming six consecutive Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman victories and seven total on the season.

Janczuk’s streak has given him a 16-point advantage over South New Berlin, N.Y.’s Payton Talbot. Rome, N.Y.’s Chris Mackey sits a distant third in the standings, 72-points behind Janczuk.

Grand Gorge, N.Y.’s Beau Ballard continues to head the Next Generation Graphix Pro Stock class despite a late race issue causing him to finish eighth last Friday night. Ballard holds a 34-point advantage over Averill Park, N.Y.’s Jay Corbin.

Fort Johnson, N.Y.’s Josh Coonradt was victorious this past Friday with the Pro Stocks, his third win of the season.

Seth Martin and Zack Welch continue their back-and-forth battle atop the Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman standings. Martin now holds a two-point advantage over Welch heading into the final month of racing.

E.J. Gallup followed up four consecutive runner-up finishes with his first career Limited Sportsman victory this past Friday night.

Matt Bukovan continues to slowly extend his advantage in the Fonda Fair Four Cylinder division, now holding a 22-point lead over David DeNova.

Donald Kimball (DOHC) and Wayne Russell Jr. (SOHC) were both victorious for the first time this season on Friday night.

For the August 5 program, all gates open at 5 p.m. Hot laps are slated to begin at 6:45 p.m. with racing to follow at 7:30 p.m.

Grandstand admission is $18 for Adults and $16 for Seniors (ages 65 and above). Kids 11 and under get in FREE.

Pit Admission is $30 for Utica-Rome Speedway members and $35 for non-members.

The entire night of racing will air live and on-demand on FloRacing (

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