Category Archives: Utica Rome Speedway

Stewart Friesen Opens New Utica-Rome Era with $4,000 Sunoco Modified Victory

Written by Chris Moore

VERNON, NY- Dominant.

In the return to racing at Utica-Rome Speedway, Sprakers, N.Y.’s Stewart Friesen dominated the field, lapping everybody but the second-place car in a non-stop, 35-lap Sunoco Modified feature.

Friesen captured his second consecutive Fuccillo Autoplex of Nelliston Thunder on the Thruway Series win, and another $4,000 to go with it. The win also set the mark as Friesen’s 13thdifferent winning season at Utica-Rome, the most in the history of the Speedway.

Following the redraw, Friesen started on the pole alongside Gloversville, N.Y.’s Josh Hohenforst. Stewart quickly jumped to the lead, while his wife, Jessica Friesen, rolled the outside to go from fourth to second on the initial start.

The Friesens would occupy the top two spots, until Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard slid underneath Jessica to take the runner up spot on lap-12. By the time Sheppard had reached the runner-up position, Friesen had already opened nearly a straightaway lead.

From there, Friesen and Sheppard set an unbelievable pace, that nobody else in the field could maintain.

“I knew the one car I wasn’t catching was Sheppard. I kept going as hard as I could because I knew he’d be there if I didn’t,” explained Friesen in Victory Lane.

As Friesen and Sheppard diced thru lapped traffic, Jessica Friesen, Josh Hohenforst, Sheffield, Mass.’ Andy Bachetti, and Johnstown, N.Y.’s Rocky Warner battled at the back half of the top five.

While they continued to trade positions, Friesen was closing in, while maintaining his straightaway lead over Sheppard. By the end of the 35-lap main event, Friesen would put everybody except Sheppard a lap down.

Sheppard kept pace with Friesen, but never could catch the Halmar No. 44, settling for second in his Hurlock Auto & Speed No. 9s.

Andy Bachetti grabbed a podium finish with his Garrity Asphalt No. 4. Jessica Friesen came home fourth in the One Zee Tee’s No. 1z and Rocky Warner rounded out the top five in the Jason Simmons Racing No. JS98.

Sherrill, N.Y.’s Matt Janczuk won the Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman 25-lap feature from his sixth starting position, picking up the adjoining $1,500 check.

After quickly working to second in the opening two laps, Janczuk continued to work the topside of the racetrack. After working Johnstown, N.Y.’s Brian Calabrese over for multiple laps, Janczuk passed Calabrese for good on lap eight.

Calabrese held on to the runner-up spot. Amsterdam, N.Y.’s Mark Mortensen finished on the podium. Dolgeville, N.Y.’s Cody Clark came home fourth and Shawn Frost of Munzville, N.Y. rounded out the top five.

If there was an award for race of the night, the Next Generation Graphix Pro Stocks would win the award hands down.

After a thrilling battle for 13 of the 20 laps in the main event, Nick Stone up-ended Beau Ballard for his second consecutive Thunder on the Thruway win and the $1,000 payday.

Stone worked the top persistently, finally rolling around Ballard to take the lead before getting the two laps to go sign from starter Joe Kriss. Stone would hold off Ballard from there to take the victory.

Ballard held on for second with Ivan Joslin rounding out the podium. Andy Graves and Jim Normoyle rounded out the top-five in the season opener.

Clayton DuMond grabbed his first career Utica-Rome Speedway win, leading every lap of the Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman feature. He was chased to the line by David Hacket Jr., Jeremy Slosek, Matt Backus, and Pat Nolan, who were the top-five.

Justin Pope was the overall winner of the Cool Stuff Antiques Four Cylinder feature event in dominating fashion. Wayne Russell Jr. came home third overall and won the Single Overhead Cam victory.

Racing returns to Utica-Rome Speedway next Friday night. All regular divisions will be in action, plus the Senior Services LLC Slingshots and D&S Landscaping Junior Slingshots will compete for the first time this season.

Gates will open at 5 p.m. and racing will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Utica-Rome Speedway is located at 5591 NY-5 (Seneca Turnpike) Vernon, NY 13476. The official website is www.uticaromespeedway.com. Like Utica-Rome Speedway on Facebook or @UR_Speedway.


GRAND REOPENING RESULTS SUMMARY – UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY MAY 14, 2021

Fuccillo Autoplex of Nelliston Thunder on the Thruway Series Sunoco Modified Event No. 2 Feature Finish (35 laps): STEWART FRIESEN, Matt Sheppard, Andy Bachetti, Jessica Friesen, Rocky Warner, Josh Hohenforst, Brian Gleason, JaMike Sowle, David Schilling, Claude Hutchings Jr., Marshall Hurd, Sean Beardsley, Randy Shantel, Rich Christman, Willy Decker, Tim Mayne, Alan Johnson, Pep Corradi, Aaron Jacobs

Did Not Start: Jeff Rockafeller

Fuccillo Autoplex of Nelliston Thunder on the Thruway Series Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman Event No. 2 Feature Finish (25 laps): MATT JANCZUK, Brian Calabrese, Mark Mortensen, Cody Clark, Shawn Frost, Chad Edwards, Dave Richer, A.J. Miller, Robert Bublak, Payton Talbot, Tucker O’Connor, Tanner Warner, Ed Lukas, Addison Bowman, Rocco Leone, Willy Decker Jr., Brendan Gibbons, Chip Constantino, Kevin Crave, Dana Camenga, Jason Reome, Mark Effner, Joe Williams, David Manchester, Matt Richardson, Tim Falter, Steve Kotary, Ted Starr.

Fuccillo Autoplex of Nelliston Thunder on the Thruway Series Next Generation Grafix Pro Stock Event No. 2 Feature Finish (20 laps): NICK STONE, Beau Ballard, Ivan Joslin, Andy Graves, Jim Normoyle, Kenny Gates, Devon Camenga, Ed Kotary, A.J. Walters, Bill Knapp, Mike Kasluskas, Frank Hoard Jr., Jerry Streeter, John Roese, Kyle Hoard, John Holmes, Brian Wesseldine, Shane Playford, Don Collins.

Did Not Start: Jason Morrison.

Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman Feature Finish (15 laps): CLAYTON DUMOND, David Hacket Jr., Jeremy Slosek, Matt Backus, Pat Nolan, Alexis Jacobs, Lance Hill, Ed Downing, Mike Harman, Max Rose

Did Not Start: Amber Jacobs.

Cool Stuff Antiques Four Cylinder Cruiser Feature Finish (12 laps): JUSTIN POPE (DOHC), Donald Kimball, Wayne Russell Jr. (SOHC), Ray Young, Jean Foster, Corey Valade.

FINALLY, UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY OPENS WITH SUNDAY PRACTICE SESSION

Written by Chris Moore

VERNON, NY – Finally.

After four rainouts, including three practices and the Grand Reopening, racecars finally returned to the Utica-Rome Speedway on Sunday.

An impromptu practice was scheduled for Mother’s Day (Sunday), after racing was rained out last Friday. The shakedown gave an opportunity for both the new management team and competitors to get up to speed in advance of this Friday night’s (May 14) Season Opener.  

Johnstown, N.Y., native Rocky Warner was the fastest Sunoco Modified at practice, turning a lap of 20.169 on a wide and smooth half-mile oval Warner plans to make Utica-Rome his Friday night home track aboard the Jason Simmons-owned No. 98.

Oneida, N.Y. resident Matt Janczuk was consistently the fastest car in each session for the Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman. A 21.022 was Janczuk’s fastest time, coming in the fourth of five sessions for the Sportsman.

Thirty-four cars spanned across seven divisions including the Modifieds, Crate 602 Sportsman, Next Generation Graphix Pro Stocks, Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman, Cool Stuff Antiques Four Cylinders, D&S Landscaping Junior Slingshots and the Senior Services Inc. Slingshots.

On the heels of the successful test and tune, the Route 5 facility has its second shot at a Grand Reopening this Friday.  The Fuccillo Autoplex of Nelliston Thunder on the Thruway Series brings Utica-Rome Speedway back to life in thrilling fashion.

The Sunoco Modifieds will headline the event with a $4,000-to-win, 35-lap feature with $300 reserved to take the green flag.

Also on the card are the Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman ($1,500 to win), Next Generation Graphix Pro Stocks ($1,000 to win), plus the Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman and the Cool Stuff Antiques Four Cylinders.

For the May 14 event, gates open at 5 p.m. Hot laps begin at 6:45 p.m. and racing gets underway at 7:30 p.m.

Grandstand admission is $15 for Adults, $12 for Seniors (ages 65 and up). Kids 11 and under are FREE.

Pit admission is $30 (Utica-Rome Speedway members) and $35 (non-members).


The event will be broadcast live on Dirt Track Digest TV (www.dirttrackdigest.tv).

A rain date of Sunday, May 16 will be in place for the May 14 program.

Utica-Rome Speedway is located at 5591 NY-5 (Seneca Turnpike) Vernon, NY 13476. The official website is www.uticaromespeedway.com. Like Utica-Rome Speedway on Facebook or @UR_Speedway.

GRAND REOPENING OF UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY THIS FRIDAY, MAY 7

Written by Chris Moore

VERNON, NY – The ‘Grand Reopening’ of Utica-Rome Speedway is just days away.


Anticipation has been building since facility owner Gene Cole and BD Motorsports Media LLC announced the agreement for Brett Deyo and his team to take over the half-mile speedway in February.

This Friday (May 7), “full-blown” Modified racing returns to the ‘Home of Heroes’ with the Sunoco big-block/small-block Modifieds representing the headline division all season long.

Joining the Modifieds on the lid-lifter for 2021 will be the Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman, Next Generation Graphix Pro Stocks, Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman and Cool Stuff Antiques Four Cylinders competing on the banked half-mile.

On the inner oval, the Senior Services LLC Slingshots and D&S Landscaping Junior Slingshots will compete along the frontstretch.

This Friday night, gates open at 5 p.m.  Hot laps begin at 6:45 p.m. and racing gets underway at 7:30 p.m.

Grandstand admission is $12 for Adults, $10 for Seniors (ages 65 and up). Kids 11 and under are FREE.

Pit admission is $30 (Utica-Rome Speedway members) and $35 (non-members).

The event will be broadcast LIVE on Dirt Track Digest TV (www.dirttrackdigest.tv) for those unable to attend.

On May 14, the Fuccillo Autoplex of Nelliston ‘Thunder on the Thruway Series’ takes over the Route 5 oval. The dual-track series includes the Modified, Crate 602 Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions between Utica-Rome and neighboring Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway, located at Exit 28 of the New York State Thruway.

All ‘Thunder on the Thruway’ races will pay a minimum of $4,000 to win for the Modifieds, $1,500 to win for the Crate 602 Sportsman, and $1,000 to win for the Pro Stocks. 

A mini-series point fund will also be paid to all three divisions.

Utica-Rome Speedway is located at 5591 NY-5 (Seneca Turnpike) Vernon, NY 13476. The official website is www.uticaromespeedway.com. Like Utica-Rome Speedway on Facebook or @UR_Speedway.