Utica-Rome Speedway 2000-08-20


Utica-Rome Speedway 2000-08-20

by Doug Zupan

VERNON, NY - Twenty-year old Jason Barney, from Constantia, outdueled point leader Ron Holmes on his way to his first career victory in a thrilling 30-lap DIRT 358 Modified feature Sunday August 20 at the New Utica-Rome Speedway. Other winners on the evening were New Berlin's Tim Mayne in the DIRT Sportsman, West Edmeston's Bret Belden in the DIRT Pro Stocks, Fulton's Dave Mannise in the Pure Stocks, Utica's David Nimey in the Senior Slingshots, and Fulton's Larry Wight in the Junior Slingshots.

Mike Gillette and Jim Rothwell paced the 25-car DIRT 358 Modified 30-lap feature event down to the flags of Starter Chip Burdick and Rothwell took the lead. Moving up from the fourth starting position to challenge Rothwell in a side by side battle for the lead was Gus Schmidt, who took the lead on lap 3, as Jason Barney took over the third spot. Schmidt very quickly opened up a huge lead on the Utica-Rome half-mile, as Ron Holmes moved from deep in the pack into the top 10 by lap 6. Barney caught Rothwell on lap 8, and a side by side battle for second occurred, with Barney taking the spot a lap later. Meanwhile, Schmidt was still flying on the lead and Holmes was still heading towards the front as was J.J. Michaels, who raced with Rothwell for third, taking the spot on lap 12. At the same time, Holmes was looking to move into the top 5, as he raced alongside Steve Hulsizer until Hulsizer broke and pulled into the infield on lap 14.

At the halfway point, Schmidt was the leader by a straightaway, followed by Barney, Michaels, Rothwell, and Holmes.

With Holmes now in fifth, he set his sights on Rothwell, and raced with him for fourth, until Holmes won out on lap 18. On lap 19, just as Schmidt was moving into lapped traffic, he spun in turn one, forcing the first yellow flag of the race, which totally changed the complexion of the race. Barney was now the leader, and Todd Burley was now in the fifth position.

On the lap 19 restart, Holmes went right to work, racing with Michaels for second. After a quick side by side contest, Holmes moved into the runner up position and set his sights on Barney. On lap 23, Holmes caught Barney, and peeked underneath, but Barney held him off. Burley was flying, and he seemed to have enough for the leaders as he moved into third on lap 24. A few laps later, Burley caught Holmes in turn one and looked underneath, but Holmes was too fast coming out of turn two. With three to go, the tension in the air could be felt as Barney was looking for his first career win and Holmes was looking to pad his points lead. Holmes, who was running the bottom, again looked underneath Barney in turns one and two, but Barney was just too fast off the corner on the high side. Barney held the lead for the next half-lap, but as the two to go sign came from Starter Chip Burdick, Holmes was again putting serious pressure on Barney for the lead. As the pair went down the backstretch side by side, Holmes dove into the third corner, and took the lead, shutting the door for Barney. However, Barney was not going to give up, as he made a tremendous slingshot move off the fourth corner, retaking the lead as they crossed the line for the white flag lap. Barney took the high line in turn one, and Holmes, who was looking underneath once again slammed into the dirt berm down low, causing him to slow slightly, nearly losing second position. Out front, Barney, who started eighth, was gone and not to be denied his first career Utica-Rome Speedway DIRT 358 Modified feature win. Following Barney, the rest of the top five in the crowd-pleasing race was Holmes, Burley, J.J. Michaels, and Mitch Gibbs.

Barney, with his win, became the youngest driver (20) to win a Modified feature event at Utica-Rome Speedway and the third new winner this season. Ironically, Barney won his first Sportsman feature at Utica-Rome in 1996, when he became the youngest driver to win in that division at age 16.

"It's been so long since I've been down here," said an elated Barney. "I'm so excited, and I'd like to thank Eric and Gisele and all my crew guys that have stuck with me. I would also like to thank my sponsors - Stadium International, Pit Stop Convenience Stores, and AVA Heavy Equipment. I saw Ronnie down there a couple times, and he got by me that one time with a great move, but luckily I was able to get it back. I would like to dedicate this win to my father, I'm sure he is really happy for me."

Michaels, Holmes, and Barney won the Modified heat races, while Ted Lamb Jr. took home the Modified consi win.

Tim Mayne used the outside pole starting position to his advantage and took the lead at the beginning of the 20-lap Sportsman feature event. After several caution periods, Mayne still held his lead and went on to his first win of the season. Following Mayne, the rest of the top five was John Kinsella, Willy Decker, Steve Davis, and Kevin Crave.

Sportsman heat races were won by Daryl Hagen, Willy Decker, and Steve Davis.

John Kiskiel took the initial lead of the Thomas Gould Memorial 15-lap DIRT Pro Stock feature event. On the move from seventh starting position was Bret Belden, who began challenging Kiskiel for the lead on lap 3. After a fantastic 3-lap side by side battle for the lead, Belden took over the top spot on lap 6, and he went on to his first Utica-Rome Pro Stock feature win of the season. Following Belden across the line, it was Kiskiel, Dave Moyer, Wayne Archer, and Tom Denton.

Jerry Holmes and John Kiskiel won the Pro Stock heat events.

Ray Fancher lead the first lap of the 15-lap Pure Stock feature event, but Jim Thomas took command on lap 2. When Thomas went over the berm in turn one, Dave Mannise, who started thirteenth, took the top spot on lap 3. Jeff Pastorella was right behind Mannise, and he put some pressure on Mannise, going side by side several times as Chad Ray closed in on the fray. On lap 9, Pastorella spun in turn one, and he continued with no yellow, as Ray set his sights on Mannise. Mannise led the final six circuits and went on to his fifth win of the season at Utica-Rome. After Mannise, it was Ray, followed by 14-year old Bobby Newman, Jim Thomas, and Art Newman Jr.

Jeff Pastorella, Billy Gibson, and Chad Ray won the Pure Stock heat races.

John's Mobile Homes from Oriskany Falls sponsored Pro Stock and Pure Stock Dashes for Cash, and the winners were Jerry Holmes in the Pro Stocks and Jeff Pastorella in the Pure Stocks.

David Nimey won the 15-lap Senior Slingshot feature over Randy Marsh, J.J. Courcy, Jackie Botindari, and Todd Land. Larry Wight led every lap and beat A.J. Kingsley to the finish of the 12-lap Junior Slingshot feature event.

The Slingshot heat races were won by Botindari, Nimey, and Kingsley.

The Rollover Contest was won by Gordy Barrett.

Coming up this Thursday August 24, NICE N' EASY GROCERY SHOPPES will present the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRT Series 100-lap event for the DIRT Big Block Modifieds. Also in action will be the DIRT Sportsman in a 20-lap $500 to win track points event. The gates will open at 4pm, with time trials beginning at 6:15pm, and racing beginning at 7pm.

Coming up this Sunday August 27, Utica-Rome will play host to the UFPO "Dig Safely" Sportsman Super DIRT Series for a 30-lap special Syracuse Qualifier. Also in action with a regular program are the DIRT 358 Modifieds, DIRT Pro Stocks, Pure Stocks, and Slingshots. The gates will open at 4pm and racing will begin at 6pm.

For more information, contact the speedway office at (315) 829-4557 or visit the official internet website at www.newuticaromespeedway.com.

Notes - 32 Modifieds, 27 Sportsman, 22 Pro Stocks, 28 Pure Stocks, and 12 Slinghots filled the Utica-Rome pit area. It was Old Timer's Night at the speedway, and many of the past veterans of the asphalt and early dirt eras at Utica-Rome were on hand for an evening of memories and recognition of their accomplishments. Jon Button had his three antique midget racers on hand, and there was also an old Bill Wimble No. 33 Modified on hand for the festivities. Paul Jensen and Tom Kinsella made their returns to the Modified wars at the speedway.




DIRT 358 Modifieds (30 Laps) - 1)JASON BARNEY, 2)Ron Holmes, 3)Todd Burley, 4)J.J. Michaels, 5)Mitch Gibbs, 6)Jim Rothwell, 7)Billy Wilcox, 8)Roger Phelps, 9)Ronnie Johnson, 10)John Barker Jr., 11)Tim Clemons, 12)Dale Planck, 13)Tom Kinsella, 14)Ted Lamb Jr., 15)Andy Romano, 16)Gus Schmidt, 17)Mark Schoonover, 18)Jeremy Smith, 19)Mike Fusco, 20)Mike Gillette, 21)Paul Jensen, 22)Joe Slawiak, 23)Joel Thomas, 24)Bob Utter, 25)Steve Hulsizer.

Lap Leaders - Rothwell (1-2), Schmidt (3-19), Barney (20-30).

Did Not Qualify - Rob Hughes, Rich Price, John Ramsey, Dave Sargent, Mike Jacobs, Mike Hulsizer, Bill Shantel Sr.

Current Unofficial Point Standings (Top 5) - 1)Ron Holmes 448, 2)J.J. Michaels 425, 3)Billy Wilcox 399, 4)Tim Clemons 396, 5)Dale Planck 385.

DIRT Sportsman (20 Laps) - 1)TIM MAYNE, 2)John Kinsella, 3)Willy Decker, 4)Steve Davis, 5)Kevin Crave, 6)Butch Reiter, 7)Steve Way, 8)Jim Roberts, 9)John Christian, 10)Ron Richardson, 11)Paul Carey, 12)Tony Ross, 13)Pete Lyon, 14)Geoff VanRiper, 15)Dan Yankowski, 16)Shawn Donath, 17)Jessica Zemken, 18)Brian Johnson, 19)Donnie Wetmore Jr., 20)Craig Pritchard, 21)Rob Seavy, 22)Daryl Hagen, 23)Paul Kinney, 24)Derek Loonan, 25)Brian Murphy, 26)Jamie Christian, 27)Mark Tily.

Lap Leaders - Mayne (1-20).

Current Unofficial Point Standings (Top 5) - 1)Kevin Crave 380, 2)Willy Decker 359, 3)Paul Carey 328, 4)Jamie Christian 324, 5)John Christian 300.

DIRT Pro Stocks (15 Laps) - 1)BRET BELDEN, 2)John Kiskiel, 3)Dave Moyer, 4)Wayne Archer, 5)Tom Denton, 6)Bill Knapp, 7)Stan Clark, 8)Doug Grimaldi, 9)Richard Stevenson, 10)Gerry Newman, 11)John Roese, 12)Eric Vanderhoof, 13)Harold Humphrey, 14)Ed Kotary, 15)Jerry Holmes, 16)Mike Watkins, 17)Chuck Mathews, 18)Chuck Jones, 19)Gus Gould, 20)Jason Rood.

DNS - Jason Dockstader, Dave Meeks.

Lap Leaders - Kiskiel (1-4), Belden (5-15).

Pure Stocks (15 Laps) - 1)DAVE MANNISE, 2)Chad Ray, 3)Bobby Newman, 4)Jim Thomas, 5)Art Newman Jr., 6)Jeff Pastorella, 7)Ray Fancher, 8)Zig Kellum, 9)Les Lewis, 10)Chris White, 11)Marty Collmer, 12)Mike Kirk, 13)Matt Spisak, 14)Cali Hall, 15)Dan Poland Jr., 16)Bob Gloska, 17)Rob Seavy, 18)David Pope, 19)Jeremy Bargabos, 20)George Schulze, 21)Mark Effner, 22)Billy Gibson, 23)Waylan Wilczek, 24)Dennis Kelly, 25)Dan Congden, 26)Dan Hatch.

DNS - Bill Lashen, Chuck Cushman Jr.

Lap Leaders - Fancher (1), Thomas (2), Mannise (3-15).

Senior Slingshots (15 Laps) - 1)DAVID NIMEY, 2)Randy Marsh, 3)J.J. Courcy, 4)Jackie Botindari, 5)Todd Land, 6)Ryan Phelps, 7)A.J. Digsby, 8)Dennis Tilison, 9)Bob Hoffman.

Lap Leaders - Marsh (1), Phelps (2-5), Nimey (6-15).

Junior Slingshots (12 Laps) - 1)LARRY WIGHT, 2)A.J. Kingsley.

Lap Leaders - Wight (1-12).

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Series Stock car
Drivers Jim Roberts , Billy Gibson , Brian Johnson , John Barker , Jeremy Smith