Story By: CHRIS MOORE / UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY – VERNON, NY – Welcome to the Dog Days. Racing returns to Utica-Rome Speedway this Friday night (August 12) as Algonkin Motel and Slade Automotive present the ‘Dog Days of Summer’ Sunoco Modified special.
Friday night’s Sunoco Modified winner takes home a $3,500 check at the end of the 30-lap affair.
Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard has been the man to beat in Sunoco Modified competition having won three features in a row and nine overall for the season.
Sheppard sits atop the 2022 Modified standings by 81 points over Johnstown, N.Y.’s Rocky Warner. Genoa, N.Y., native Pat Ward rounds out the top three, 37 markers behind Warner.
Joining the Friday night contingent will be one of the hottest drivers in Modified racing to chase the $3,500 payday.
Ringoes, N.J.’s Ryan Godown will invade the ‘Home of Heroes’ on Friday to begin his preparation for the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco invasion on September 4.
The STSS visit on Labor Day weekend will pay a whopping $25,000 to the winner of the 50-lap affair. Godown currently leads the Halmar International ‘Elite’ Series standings heading into the ‘New Yorker’ at the Route 5 half-mile oval.
Joining the Sunoco Modifieds on Friday night will be the Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman, Next Generation Graphix Pro Stocks, Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman, and the Fonda Fair Four Cylinders.
The Senior Services Inc. All-Star Slingshots and D&S Landscaping Junior Slingshots will also be in action on the inner oval.
Durhamville, N.Y.’s Matt Janczuk has surged into a 26-point lead in the Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman division with seven consecutive wins to his credit.
Janczuk leads South New Berlin, N.Y.’s Payton Talbot – a five-time winner – with just three points paying races remaining. Rome, N.Y.’s Chris Mackey rounds out the top three, 76 markers behind Janczuk.
Grand Gorge, N.Y.’s Beau Ballard continues to lead the Next Generation Graphix Pro Stocks standings, just as he has all season. Ballard leads by 38 points over Bret Belden and Jay Corbin who sit in a tie for the runner-up spot.
Last Friday night’s winner, Josh Coonradt, is just two markers behind the deadlock for second in Pro Stock points.
Seth Martin and Zack Welch continue their neck-and-neck duel for the Fastline Performance Limited Sportsman championship. Martin leads Welch by just 4 points heading into the stretch run.
Alex Hughes rounds out the top three, 70-points behind leader Seth Martin.
Matt Bukovan continues to lead the Fonda Fair Four Cylinders standings. Bukovan’s lead did shrink to 14-points after David DeNova claimed his first win of the season, bringing him that much closer to Bukovan atop the standings.
Brett Putnam’s three wins have him leading the Senior Services Inc. All-Star Slingshots by 26 points over teammate Chris Darrow.
Blake Banek – just like Putnam – has three wins to his credit and leads by 26 markers in the D&S Landscaping Junior Slingshot division.
For the August 12 program, all gates open at 5 p.m. Hot laps are slated to begin at 6:45 p.m. with racing to follow at 7:30 p.m.
Grandstand admission is $12 for Adults and $10 for Seniors (ages 65 and above). Kids 11 and under get in FREE.
Pit Admission is $30 for Utica-Rome Speedway members and $35 for non-members.