New Winners: JaMike Sowle & Alex Payne Break Into Utica-Rome Win Column
Written by Chris Moore
VERNON, NY – Utica-Rome Speedway saw two brand-new winners on Friday night in NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly competition in the 3 Bastards Brewing Modified division on Moteloc LLC Night.
Fultonville, N.Y.’s JaMike Sowle and Canandaigua, N.Y.’s Alex Payne each claimed their first career victories at the ‘Home of Heroes.’ Payne’s win was a historic one, becoming the youngest Modified winner in Utica-Rome Speedway history at 17 years and nine months.
Sowle’s win was the first for him aboard the Carole and Alton Palmer owned No. 76 ride, and the first for the Palmer Racing team since Jeff Heotzler won on June 27, 2020 at Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway.
The first of the two Twin 20’s went green-to-checkered with Sowle starting on the outside of the front row and leading wire-to-wire for the victory.
“It means everything, I couldn’t be here without (Carole and Alton Palmer),” said an elated Sowle in Victory Lane. “They’re the biggest helpers and supporters I’ve ever had.”
Sowle and Geneva, N.Y.’s Kevin Root occupied the front row at the drop of the green flag in the first feature event.
Sowle quickly raced to the lead with Alex Payne stalking him in the runner-up spot. The car on the move for the first half of the opening Twin 20 was East Greenbush, N.Y.’s Bobby Hackel IV.
Hackel, who started eighth, cracked the top five just six laps into the event after raced around Kevin Root at the completion of the sixth circuit.
Hackel’s charge wasn’t done, however. One lap later he circled around Roscoe, N.Y.’s Michael Trautschold for fourth and then around Unadilla, N.Y.’s Billy Decker before the halfway mark.
At the halfway point, Hackel appeared to be the fastest car on the racetrack. The second half of the twenty-lap affair saw the top three cars race nose-to-tail while navigating lap traffic.
The trio all filed in line until the final corner when Payne threw a slide job at Sowle for the win in the final corner. Sowle was ready, crossing Payne over and driving underneath Payne and taking the win.
“Stewart (Friesen) did that to me a couple years ago for a win,” recalled Sowle in Victory Lane. “I learned from that and wasn’t going to have that happen again.”
Payne settled for second, followed by Bobby Hackel, Johnstown, N.Y.’s Rocky Warner, and Billy Decker rounded out the top five.
Following an inversion of the top four finishers in the opening Twin 20, Rocky Warner and Bobby Hackel took over the front row at the beginning of Twin 20 No. two.
Hackel would use the outside front row starting position, just as Sowle did before him, to grab the early race lead.
Payne quickly worked around Warner and was once again in the chase position, staring at the back bumper of the leader.
While Payne ran down Hackel, Warner and Billy Decker settled into a side-by-side duel for the final podium spot while Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard searched for racing room on the duo in front of him.
Things began to change up front on lap nine, when Hackel just slipped over the turn two embankment losing valuable ground on his advantage over runner-up Payne.
Hackel settled back into a rhythm but was no longer pulling away from Payne. With just five laps to go, the turn embankment would again bite Hackel, this time costing the lead.
Payne seized the opportunity darting between Hackel and a lap car as Hackel tried to regain traction.
With the lead in hand, Payne never made a mistake, racing away to become the youngest winner in Modified history at Utica-Rome Speedway.
“We had a really good car all night and the driver made a little bit of an error in the first race,” proclaimed an overjoyed Payne in Victory Lane. “I learned from it and gave it everything I had in this one.
“I was trying to be patient and save the tires and everything just worked out,” he continued.
Hackel would settle for second in Twin 20 No. two. The pair of top-three finishes moved Hackel into second in the 3 Bastards Brewing Modified standings.
Rocky Warner rounded out the podium with Billy Decker and Matt Sheppard making up the remainder of the top five.
Durhamville, N.Y.’s Matt Janczuk avenged the heartbreak of last week’s loss with an impressive win from his 11th-place starting position.
Janczuk used a pair of early race yellows to climb through the field before racing by Ed Downing to take the lead and ultimately the win.
Payton Talbot took the runner-up spot and Perth, N.Y.’s Chip Constantino finished third in just his second race of the season at the ‘Home of Heroes.’ Willy Decker Jr. and Blaine Klinger rounded out the top five.
Andy Graves was another first-time winner on Moteloc LLC Night with the Next Generation Graphix Pro Stocks. Graves raced to the lead in the early going and never lost it with a five-car battle going on behind him for the runner-up spot.
Graves’ advantage was nearly five seconds by the time the checkered flag flew. Jason Morrison emerged from the slugfest for the second spot with Bret Belden, A.J. Walters, and Jim Normoyle rounding out the top five.
Carson Rothwell was victorious for the first time ever in Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman competition. Rothwell raced from his fifth starting position to get by Nick Zielinski prior the halfway mark and topped the 20-car field.
Connor Prokop and Zielinski rounded out the top three.
Nathan Power was a first-time winner in Fonda Fair Four Cylinder action as a Dual Cam and Wayne Russell Jr. took home the Single Cam victory.
Racing resumes next Friday, June 2 when the Friendly Family of Dealerships of Hamilton & Geneva present a full night of racing. The program will be led by the 3 Bastards Brewing Modifieds. The Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman, Next Generation GraphiX Pro Stocks, Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman and Fonda Fair Four Cylinders all join the program along with the Senior Services Inc. All-Star Slingshots and Junior Slingshots on the inner oval.
Gates open at 5 p.m., with hot laps at 6:45 p.m. and racing at 7:30 p.m.
Grandstand admission is $15 for Adults, $11 for Seniors and Kids 11 and under admitted FREE. Pit admission is $40 (ages 13 and up), $35 (NASCAR or Utica-Rome Members), $10 Kids (ages 6-12) and $2 for Children ages 5 and under.
The event – and all Utica-Rome 2023 races – will be broadcast live on FloRacing (www.floracing.tv) as part of the $150 annual subscription.
Utica-Rome Speedway is located at 5591 NY-5 (Seneca Turnpike) Vernon, NY 13476. The official website is www.uticaromespeedway.com and the speedway can be reached by phone at 315.953.4097. Like Utica-Rome Speedway on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @UR_Speedway.
‘MOTELOC LLC NIGHT’ RESULTS SUMMARY – UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY FRIDAY, MAY 26, 2023
3 Bastards Brewing Modified Twin 20 No. 1 Finish (20 laps): JAMIKE SOWLE, Alex Payne, Bobby Hackel IV, Rocky Warner, Billy Decker, Matt Sheppard, Michael Trautschold, Alex Yankowski, Alan Barker, Andy Bachetti, Alan Johnson, Pat Ward, Jessica Friesen, Erick Rudolph, Kevin Root, Justin Wright, Eric Leet, Addison Bowman, Ron Holmes, Michelle Courcy, Tim Mayne, David Schilling, Randy Shantel, Willy Decker, Brad Poppleton.
3 Bastards Brewing Modified Twin 20 No. 2 Finish (20 laps): ALEX PAYNE, Bobby Hackel IV, Rocky Warner, Billy Decker, Matt Sheppard, Alan Johnson, Alex Yankowski, Andy Bachetti, Pat Ward, Michael Trautschold, Alan Barker, Erick Rudolph, JaMike Sowle, Jessica Friesen, Kevin Root, Justin Wright, Eric Leet, Ron Holmes, Addison Bowman, Michelle Courcy, Randy Shantel, Tim Mayne, Willy Decker, Brad Poppleton.
Did Not Start: David Schilling
Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (25 laps): MATT JANCZUK, Payton Talbot, Chip Constantino, Willy Decker Jr., Blaine Klinger, Joe Toth, Jeremy Slosek, Ed Lukas, Stephen Denton, Mike Richmond, Blake Sarpriacone, David Hackett, Teddy Clayton Jr., Shawn Frost, Seth Martin, David Dickey, Bobby Heintz, Jim Rothwell, Ed Downing, Alex Hughes, Joey Buonagurio, Allan Hodge, Josh Amodio.
Did Not Start: Matthew Richardson
Did Not Qualify: Jim Nagle
Next Generation Graphix Pro Stock Feature Finish (20 laps): ANDY GRAVES, Jason Morrison, Bret Belden, A.J. Walters, Jim Normoyle, Josh Coonradt, Tim Wood, Ken Griffin, Hunter Keith, Johnny Holmes, George Cushman, Gus Gould, Don Collins.
Did Not Start: Jerry Streeter
Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman (20 laps): CARSON ROTHWELL, Connor Prokop, Nick Zielinski, Zack Welch, E.J. Gallup, Dalton Doyle, Tyler Bobar, Bobby Newman, Eric Jensen, Dylan Piersall, Kirsten Swartz, Ernie Staelens, Andrew MacFadden, Stephen Winsor, Hunter Tarbania, Matt Bukovan, Savannah Simmons, Eymarah Bowman, Mike Haman, Eric Winsor.
Did Not Start: Maddy Broedel, Jeff Bobilin, Kyle Dingman.
Fonda Fair Four Cylinder Feature Finish (12 laps): NATHAN POWER (DOHC), Rudy King Jr., Kyle Coley, David Denova, Wayne Russell Jr. (SOHC), Keith Tesiero Jr., Sophia Denova, Hank Wedgren, T.J. Marlitt, Hank Wedgren Jr.