Story By: BRETT DEYO / UTICA-ROME SPEEDWAY – VERNON, NY – Since the most recent event at Utica-Rome Speedway on Labor Day weekend, three prominent members of the historic facility’s racing community were lost.
Dave Lape of Canajoharie, N.Y., a multi-time winner on both the dirt and pavement surfaces and a two-time Modified track champion at the Home of Heroes, passed away on Sept. 7.
Three days later (Sept. 10), Louise Burrows – along with husband Fred, one of Lape’s well-known car owners – passed away. Fred, a prominent local businessman, entered into rest on Sept. 27.
Oriskany, N.Y.-based Fred and Louise Burrows owned Lape’s race cars and engines for 16 seasons, from 1986-2002, enjoying considerable success as a team. Fred was also part owner of Utica-Rome Speedway from 1984-1988 during the track’s five-eighths-mile era as New Venture International Speedway. The Burrows/Lape partnership began at Utica-Rome during that period.
During this Tuesday night’s (Oct. 4) Utica-Rome Speedway season finale, Lape, along with Fred and Louise Burrows, will be honored.
The Utica-Rome Speedway midway area will feature a pair of No. 22 Dave Lape race cars. The Cardamone family plans to show Lape’s final Champ Car from 1996, a race car owned by the Burrows. Joe Rando will display his replica No. 22 ‘Troyer Destroyer’ and pace the Modified field. Photo boards showcasing Lape’s career will be accessible for fans and “50 years against the wind” autograph cards will be distributed.
Jackie Lape, wife of David, will speak before the national anthems about her late husband and their relationship with the Burrows family. Speedway historian Doug Zupan plans to highlight Lape’s accomplishments at the Route 5 oval and beyond.
At Utica-Rome, Lape was one of three drivers winning events on both the original pavement track and dirt surface. He had two victories on pavement and six on dirt for a total of eight wins. In ’81 and ’85, he earned the Modified track championship and topped a series event in the ’85 season, as well. Lape made his last start at Utica-Rome in 2000.
For the final time in ’22, Utica-Rome Speedway roars to life Tuesday with a midweek tripleheader program on Tuesday (Oct. 4).
The Sunoco Modifieds, outfitted with sail panels, compete in the ‘Modern Day Outlaw 50’ paying $5,000 to win and $400 to take the green flag. Lightning-fast 360 Sprint Cars of the A-Verdi Storage Containers Patriot Sprint Tour (PST) race 30 laps with $5,000 going to the Cole Cup winner. Completing the program are the Worthington Industries Crate 602 Sportsman in a 25-lap, $1,000-to-win, $100-to-start program.
All gates open at 4 p.m. on Oct. 4. Hot laps hit the track at 6 p.m. with racing at 7 p.m.
Grandstand admission is $30 for Adults, $28 for Seniors (ages 65 and up) and Kids 11 and under are FREE. Pit admission is $40 for members and $45 for non-members (ages 13 and up). Kids (ages 6-12) pay $10 and Children (ages 5 and under) pay $2.