Clean Sweep: Friesen Honors Bill Shea with Double Utica-Rome Victories

Written by Chris Moore

VERNON, NY – A clean sweep.

Stewart Friesen paid homage to his late friend, Bill Shea, in the best Friesen knows. The Sprakers, N.Y., native was victorious in both the ESS Sprint Car A-Main and the 3 Bastards Brewing Modified feature at Utica-Rome Speedway.

The Independence Day celebration known as the ‘Bill Shea Memorial’ presented by Dirt Track Digest awarded Friesen a total of $6,500 for his efforts between the two victories.

Friesen fired from the pole starting position in the ESS 360 Sprint Car Main following the redraw, piloting the Glenn Styres-owned No. 0x machine.

Defending champion of the series Jordan Poirier rolled alongside Friesen and the duo paced the field for the entirety of the 25-lap main.

The pair traded the lead on a pair of early yellow flags, but it was Friesen leading when the field reached lap traffic for the first time just five laps in.

The yellow flag flew once again one lap later, however, and put Poirier back alongside Friesen for another restart.

Poirier seized the opportunity when Friesen missed the bottom groove and would lead the next stretch of green flag racing.

Friesen had begun reeling in Poirier as the leaders approached the tail of the field once again, but another caution reset the field.

Friesen pounced, beating Poirier into the first turn and taking the top spot away from Poirier.

Friesen never relinquished the top spot from there, lead the final 13 laps of the affair for his first Utica-Rome Speedway Sprint Car win since 2015.

“That was a blast, big thanks to Glenn Styres and all his guys,” Friesen smiled. “Second big thanks goes to Jess (Friesen) for letting me get back in this thing tonight.”

Three Rivers, Quebec, Canada’s Jordan Poirier took home the runner-up spot and Fonda, N.Y.’s Danny Varin complete the podium.

Port Jervis, N.Y.’s Billy VanInwegen came home fourth and Wantage, N.J.’s Davie Franek completed the top five.

Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Clay, N.Y.’s Joe Trenca; Harding, Pa.’s Jordan Thomas; Brewerton, N.Y.’s Jason Barney, who rebounded from an early yellow; Fultonville, N.Y.’s Chase Moran; and South Onondaga, N.Y.’s Shawn Donath.

Friesen quickly jumped from the Sprint Car to his Ferris Mowers, Bill Shea tribute 3 Bastards Brewing Modified, where he would start from the fourth position.

Norwich, N.Y.’s Alan Barker and Johnstown, N.Y.’s Rocky Warner occupied the front row at the drop of the green flag.

Warner raced out to the early lead and Friesen quickly moved to second in the opening set of corners and chased Warner from there.

The opening 17 laps clicked off caution free, with Warner pacing Friesen. Friesen never trailed by more than a second, including getting side-by-side with Warner as the pair crossed the line on lap 15.

The race would change however when Warner made a mistake in lap traffic, coming in contact with Stacy Jackson and sending Jackson over the turns three and four embankment for the races only yellow.

Friesen then replayed exactly what he did in the Sprint Car, using the outside groove to beat Warner into turn one and take the lead for good.

“I just felt like there was strip in the center of the track,” Friesen explained. “I was able to get my left rear tire in it and really helped the launch I had to get the lead.”

Friesen collected $4,000 for his 3 Bastards Brewing Modified victory, on top of the $2,500 for his ESS Sprint Car victory, totaling $6,500 on the Fourth of July.

“It’s so cool to do this on Bill Shea night,” Friesen smiled. “I had a lot of fun times with Bill… glad to have the whole Shea family here for this awesome night.”

Watertown, N.Y.’s Tim Fuller raced to the runner-up spot from fifth and Guilderland, N.Y.’s Marc Johnson came from ninth to round out the podium.

Rocky Warner came home fourth and Baldwinsville, N.Y.’s Michael Maresca came home fourth and fifth.

Finishing sixth through 10th, respectively, were Covington Township, Pa.’s Alex Yankowski; East Greenbush, N.Y.’s Bobby Hackel IV; Genoa, N.Y.’s Pat Ward; Schnecksville, Pa.’s Tanner Van Doren; and Unadilla, N.Y.’s Brandon Walters.

South New Berlin, N.Y.’s Payton Talbot continued his hot streak, claiming the $1,500 top prize with the Taylor’s Trailers LLC Crate 602 Sportsman.

Talbot came from the sixth starting position, racing by Brian Calabrese on a restart and picking up his third win of the season at Utica-Rome Speedway.

Brian Calabrese, Matt Janczuk, Chip Constantino, and John DuMond completed the top five.

The Next Generation Graphix Pro Stocks put on the race of the night, with Luke Horning coming out on top of a three-wide battle for the win at the start finish line.

Horning, A.J. Walters, and Bret Belden all had the lead at one point in the second half of the race.

In the end, Luke Horning had the outside groove and momentum off the fourth turn to best the other two for the $1,000 victory.

Walters was second and Belden finished third. Michael Achzet and Ed Kotary completed the top five.

Racing continues Friday, July 12 as Standard Heating & Cooling presents $5 Friday. The 3 Bastards Brewing Modifieds headline the Friday night affair with the Taylor’s Trailers LLC Crate 602 Sportsman, Next Generation Graphix Pro Stocks, Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman, and Fonda Fair Four Cylinders all on the half-mile. The All-Star Slingshots and Junior Slingshots complete the program on the inner-oval.

The event will be broadcast live on FloRacing (

Utica-Rome Speedway is located at 5591 NY-5 (Seneca Turnpike) Vernon, NY 13476. The official website is 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. 44-STEWART FRIESEN[4]; 2. 19-Tim Fuller[5]; 3. 9J-Marc Johnson[9]; 4. JS98-Rocky Warner[2]; 5. 7MM-Michael Maresca[3]; 6. 84Y-Alex Yankowski[7]; 7. 97-Bobby Hackel IV[10]; 8. 42P-Pat Ward[6]; 9. 27-Tanner Van Doren[14]; 10. 22W-Brandon Walters[15]; 11. 34-Dave Constantino[8]; 12. 1Z-Jessica Friesen[13]; 13. 0-Glenn Styres[12]; 14. 63-Adam Roberts[18]; 15. 121-Will Shields[17]; 16. 8M-Tim Mayne[16]; 17. 97S-Randy Shantel[19]; 18. 91-Billy Decker[21]; 19. 1-Stacy Jackson[20]; 20. 77-Alan Barker[1]; 21. 1X-Willy Decker[11]

Empire Super Sprints Feature Finish (25 laps): 1. 0F-STEWART FRIESEN[1]; 2. 28-Jordan Poirier[2]; 3. #01-Danny Varin[4]; 4. 10V-Billy VanInwegen Jr[3]; 5. 28F-Davie Franek[11]; 6. 98-Joe Trenca[10]; 7. #79-Jordan Thomas[8]; 8. 87-Jason Barney[5]; 9. 4P-Chase Moran[9]; 10. 53-Shawn Donath[13]; 11. #17-Sammy Reakes IV[16]; 12. 21T-Alex Therrien[21]; 13. 0-Glenn Styres[19]; 14. #89-Robbie Stillwaggon[18]; 15. #5H-Chris Hile[25]; 16. 17J-Kyle Smith[20]; 17. 36-Logan Crisafulli[15]; 18. 13T-Trevor Years[26]; 19. 10-Kelly Hebing[14]; 20. 3-Parker Evans[23]; 21. #7NY-Matt Farnham[12]; 22. 90-Matt Tanner[22]; 23. 21-Jonathan Preston[7]; 24. #41-Dalton Rombough[6]; 25. #9-Josh Pieniazek[17]; 26. 13-Keith Granholm[24]

Did Not Qualify: 46-Ryan Coniam; 5H-Chris Hile; 13T-Trevor Years; 4-Emily VanInwegen; 84-Tyler Rand; 88C-Chad Miller; 11J-Chris Jones; 6K-Kyle Dutcher; 33-Lacey Hanson; X-Dan Bennett13E-Evan Reynolds; 23-Eric Cartier; 29-Dylan Menditto

Taylor’s Trailers Crate 602 Sportsman Feature Finish (25 laps): 1. 14T-PAYTON TALBOT[6]; 2. 21C-Brian Calabrese[1]; 3. 33X-Matt Janczuk[11]; 4. 63-Chip Constantino[5]; 5. 31J-John Dumond[2]; 6. 00X-Josh Coonradt[8]; 7. 621-Seth Martin[3]; 8. 23-David Dickey[20]; 9. 8-Kevin Chaffee[14]; 10. 82H-David Hackett[7]; 11. 22X-Mike Richmond[19]; 12. 74-Matt Perry[16]; 13. 10-Jim Nagle[23]; 14. 16S-Jeremy Slosek[18]; 15. 77X-Zack Welch[17]; 16. 12B-Tyler Bobar[25]; 17. 9K-Blaine Klinger[13]; 18. 77L-Ed Lukas[4]; 19. 262-Matthew Richardson[24]; 20. 2K-Josh Amodio[22]; 21. 57-Eric Jensen[21]; 22. 08-Dalton Doyle[10]; 23. 10A-AJ Digsby[9]; 24. 113JR-Frank Guererri[15]; 25. 4-Carson Rothwell[12]

Did Not Qualify: 28J-Joey Buonagurio; 06-Tim Guild; 90-Brodie Davis; 12P-Connor Prokop; 55-Kyle Weiler; 60-Brad Poppleton; 11-Josh Persse

Next Generation Graphix Pro Stock Feature Finish (20 laps): 1. 2H-LUKE HORNING[7]; 2. 22W-AJ Walters[1]; 3. 81-Bret Belden[6]; 4. 81A-Michael Achzet[4]; 5. 101-Ed Kotary[3]; 6. 6-Shane Playford[8]; 7. 74N-Jim Normoyle[5]; 8. 22-Tim Wood[2]; 9. 63-Matt Rose[14]; 10. 14H-Hunter Keith[13]; 11. 28H-Johnny Holmes[11]; 12. 13-George Cushman[16]; 13. 25Y-Ken Griffin[9]; 14. 14K-Mike Keith[12]; 15. 17-Ernie Staelens[15]; 16. 44-Ray Richer[17]; 17. 57-Chuck McSpirit[10]