Hard Earned: Alex Yankowski Breaks Through with Utica-Rome Modified Victory

Written by Chris Moore

VERNON, NY – Hard earned.

After several trials and tribulations, Alex Yankowski parked his family-owned No. 84Y in Victory Lane at Utica-Rome Speedway for the first time since May of 2022.

Yankowski came from the eighth starting position for the 3 Bastards Brewing Modified win on Upstate Spray Foam/Applied Coatings night at the ‘Home of Heroes.’

The Covington Township, Pa., native wrestled the lead away at the completion of the 19th circuit and never looked back for the victory.

“Thanks to everybody who’s put up with me complaining about sucking or having bad luck,” Yankowski said with a laugh. “I’m really proud of our team, how we’ve pushed through the struggles.”

Norwich, N.Y.’s Alan Barker took the early lead from the outside of the front row, while Yankowski quickly went from eighth to fifth on the opening lap.

One lap later Yankowski was up to fourth and set his sights on the lead trio.

The race’s lone yellow flag fell on lap six as point leader Matt Sheppard slowed to a stop after his right-side door nearly ripped off the side of his race car.

Sheppard would subsequently pit and then return with no right-side door or rub rail on his No. 9s machine.

Yankowski would seize the opportunity on the restart, going from fourth to second when the green flag came back out and began to chase Barker.

While the battle for the lead was heating up, another driver’s charge to the front was becoming more apparent.

Oneida, N.Y.’s Matt Janczuk – piloting a second Mike Trautschold owned No. 28 car – was racing forward from the 12th starting position.

Janczuk moved by Jeremy Slosek to take fifth away on the restart, immediately moving into a multi-lap battle with Bobby Hackel IV for the fourth spot.

Janczuk and Hackel were also both reeling in Willy Decker for the final podium spot, setting up a three-car battle for third.

Attention turned to the leaders, however, as Yankowski was beginning to make his move trying to get by Barker for the lead.

Barker held off Yankowski for five laps, protecting the preferred groove up on the outside, but Yankowski was too strong.

‘Kid Rocket’ pulled a slide job on Barker as the leaders completed lap 19 and set sail with a lead he wouldn’t relinquish.

Janczuk emerged from the battle for third and shortly after got by Barker for second, giving Janczuk a successful runner-up finish in his first Modified start of the year.

East Greenbush, N.Y.’s Hackel completed the podium with Barker and Roscoe, N.Y.’s Michael Trautschold rounding out the top five.

Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Vernon, N.Y.’s Willy Decker; Sprakers, N.Y.’s Jessica Friesen; York, N.Y.’s Justin Wright; Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard; and West Winfield, N.Y.’s Jeremy Slosek.

Vernon, N.Y.’s Mike Richmond claimed his first career Taylor’s Trailers Crate 602 Sportsman on Friday night, coming from the 12th starting position to pick up the win.

A late race restart gave Richmond the opportunity he needed, getting by Zack Welch, and pulling away at the end for his first career win.

Payton Talbot, Josh Amodio, Blaine Klinger, and Welch completed the top five.

Newport, N.Y.’s A.J. Walters won his fourth Next Generation Graphix Pro Stock feature of the season in dramatic fashion.

Walters and Devon Camenga both got by Jason Morrison on a restart with just two laps to go. Camenga would have the lead coming to the checkered flag but made a mistake on the cushion in the middle of turns three and four.

Walters took advantage of the chance, rolling the bottom to pick up the victory.

Camenga settled for second with Morrison, Tim Wood, and Ed Kotary rounding out the top five.

Fort Johnson, N.Y.’s Josh Coonradt also picked up his fourth win of the season with the Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman.

Coonradt plotted his way forward from the eighth starting position, taking the lead on a mid-race restart to pick up the win.

Jayden Wust, Carson Rothwell, Eric Jensen, and Lance Hill completed the top five.

Jacob Kimball won his second consecutive Fonda Fair Four Cylinder feature in a photo finish over Jeff Connolly. Wayne Russell Jr. finished fifth, good enough to give him the Single Cam win in the 12-lap affair.

Brett Putnam returned to the winner’s circle with the All-Star Slingshots and Preston Trautschold won his first Junior Slingshot feature at Utica-Rome Speedway.

Racing continues next Friday, June 7 for Clinton Tractor/Ferris Mowers & Wilcox Construction LLC Night at Utica-Rome Speedway. The CRSA 305 Sprint Cars will join the 3 Bastards Brewing Modifieds, Taylor’s Trailers Crate 602 Sportsman, Next Generation Graphix Pro Stocks, Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman, and Fonda Fair Four Cylinders for a full night of racing.

The event will be broadcast live on FloRacing (www.floracing.tv).

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.


3 Bastards Brewing Modified Feature Finish (30 laps): 1. 84Y-Alex Yankowski[8]; 2. 28X-Matt Janczuk[12]; 3. 97-Bobby Hackel IV[3]; 4. 77-Alan Barker[2]; 5. 28T-Michael Trautschold[5]; 6. 1X-Willy Decker[4]; 7. 1Z-Jessica Friesen[6]; 8. 19W-Justin Wright[13]; 9. 9S-Matt Sheppard[11]; 10. 16S-Jeremy Slosek[1]; 11. 12B-Addison Bowman[10]; 12. 23-Brandon Loucks[14]; 13. 22W-Brandon Walters[7]; 14. 82H-Ron Holmes[16]; 15. 42P-Pat Ward[19]; 16. 97S-Randy Shantel[18]; 17. 76-Jamike Sowle[15]; 18. 8M-Tim Mayne[22]; 19. 369-Jim Walsh[21]; 20. JS98-Rocky Warner[9]; 21. 9J-Jim Becker[17]; 22. 28G-Jim Gould[20]; 23. 44C-Ed Downing[23]

Taylor’s Trailers Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (25 laps): 1. 22X-Mike Richmond[12]; 2. 14T-Payton Talbot[16]; 3. 2K-Josh Amodio[9]; 4. 9K-Blaine Klinger[10]; 5. 67W-Zack Welch[2]; 6. 63-Chip Constantino[14]; 7. 82H-David Hackett[13]; 8. 621-Seth Martin[5]; 9. 44C-Stephen Denton[4]; 10. 69-Blake Sarpriacone[1]; 11. 10-Jim Nagle[19]; 12. 10A-AJ Digsby[7]; 13. 77L-Ed Lukas[6]; 14. 42H-Kadon Hohensheldt[15]; 15. 74-Matt Perry[18]; 16. 7H-Allan Hodge[11]; 17. 117N-Butchie Irwin[23]; 18. 314-Clayton Dumond[25]; 19. 12B-Tyler Bobar[17]; 20. 55-Jonny Feagles[3]; 21. 262-Matthew Richardson[24]; 22. 31J-John Dumond[21]; 23. 90-Brodie Davis[26]; 24. 5EJ-EJ Gallup[22]; 25. 4C-Michelle Courcy[20]; 26. 23-David Dickey[8]

Next Generation Graphix Pro Stock Feature Finish (20 laps): 1. 22W-AJ Walters[8]; 2. 110-Devon Camenga[10]; 3. 715-Jason Morrison[4]; 4. 22-Tim Wood[6]; 5. 101-Ed Kotary[1]; 6. 74N-Jim Normoyle[3]; 7. 13-George Cushman[12]; 8. 81-Bret Belden[5]; 9. 35-Ken Gates[7]; 10. 15K-Mike Kazluaskas[13]; 11. 28H-Johnny Holmes[9]; 12. 14H-Hunter Keith[11]; 13. 94-Ryan Denton[15]; 14. 28G-Gus Gould[14]; 15. 14K-Mike Keith[16]; 16. 81A-Michael Achzet[2]; 17. 44-Ray Richer[17]

Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman (15 laps): 1. 00X-Josh Coonradt[8]; 2. 43J-Jayden Wust[4]; 3. 4-Carson Rothwell[7]; 4. 57-Eric Jensen[9]; 5. 92C-Lance Hill[5]; 6. 24-Kirsten Swartz[3]; 7. 14W-Timothy Wilmot[10]; 8. 10-Andrew MacFadden[6]; 9. 5-Eymarah Bowman[12]; 10. 17S-Ernie Staelens[2]; 11. 44D-Kadyn Depasquale[14]; 12. 0-Kyle Coley[15]; 13. 77N-Bobby Newman[1]; 14. 26-Maddy Broedel[11]; 15. 12-Hayden Coons[17]; 16. 17-Mike Haman[13]

Did Not Start: 60-Brad Poppleton

Fonda Fair Four Cylinder Feature Finish (12 laps): 1. 78D-Jacob Kimball[3]; 2. 31D-Jeff Connolly[2]; 3. 13D-Kyle Simmons[5]; 4. 68D-Mike Matthews[6]; 5. 54S-Wayne Russell Jr[4]; 6. 42S-Hayleigh Gates[11]; 7. 35S-Hank Wedgren[1]; 8. 666D-Rudy King Jr[10]; 9. 212S-TJ Marlitt[7]; 10. H35S-Hank Wedgren Jr[9]; 11. 19TD-Joseph Bouck[8]

All-Star Slingshot Feature Finish (20 laps): 1. 6B-Brett Putnam[4]; 2. 33Z-Justin House[5]; 3. 85X-Jason Dufel[2]; 4. 22A-AJ Albreada[6]; 5. 54-Sullivan Dickey[3]; 6. 8-Tadd Granger[7]; 7. 56-Ayden Goodier[8]; 8. 10-Scott Sprague[10]; 9. 7J-Nicholas Jenkins[12]; 10. 42-Kevin Loveless[11]; 11. 115-Paul Holic[1]; 12. 83-Corbyn White[9]

Junior Slingshot Feature Finish (15 laps): 1. 20-Preston Trautschold[2]; 2. 28RS-Addisyn Roger[4]; 3. 27-Blake Banek[3]; 4. 33X-Brody Janczuk[1]; 5. 22-Parker Fowler[5]; 6. 67X-Jaxx Welch[6]