Todd Burley Holds Off All Challenges to Take Modified Win at Utica-Rome

VERNON, NY- Another beautiful day greeted the fans at Utica-Rome Speedway this past Sunday evening, May 5, and they were once again treated to another exciting night of racing action on Williams Tire & Auto night.  Todd Burley was able to hold off the late race challenges of Matt Sheppard and Stewart Friesen to score his first win of the 2013 season while Heath Carney dominated the Sportsman feature for the win.  Ed Ostrander survived a late race caution to take career win number one in the Pro Stocks while Ricky Breed took another win in the Pure Stocks.
Darwin Greene and Matt Hulsizer led the 27 car strong Modified down the green flag at the start of the 30 lap Modified with Hulsizer gaining the early advantage.  Hulsizer looked strong early, but he was unable to hold off the advance of ninth place starter Todd Burley.  Burley, using the extreme bottom groove of the speedway, slipped underneath Hulsizer to take the lead on lap seven.  Another driver on the move early was Matt Sheppard, after starting 15th, was up to second on lap eight as he was also able to get by Hulsizer.  With 10 circuits complete, it was Burley, Sheppard, Hulsizer, Mike Bowman, and Willy Decker in the top five spots setting the pace.
The leaders enter lapped traffic on lap 15, giving Sheppard a chance to close in on Burley but he was unable to complete the pass.  As Sheppard continued his pursuit of Burley, Willy Decker and Stewart Friesen were putting on a crowd pleasing battle for third as they battle back and forth for the position.  As lap 20 was scored, it was still Burley with Sheppard chasing and Decker, Friesen and Pat Ward trailing.
Friesen was able to slip by Decker for third on lap 21 to begin his chase of the top two, which was made easier when the only caution of the event flew on lap 22.  With the field now on his back bumper, Burley was still able to hold off the challenges of Sheppard, and then Friesen, by refusing to leave the bottom lane.  Friesen and Sheppard waged an intense battle for the runner-up spot as the laps wound down and at the checkered it was Burley scoring the win with Sheppard nipping Friesen at the line for second.  Decker and Ward rounded out the top five with the rest of the top ten spots going to Mike Mahaney, Larry Wight, Ryan Phelps, Dale Planck, and Jimmy Davis.  The was Burley’s 32nd career win at Utica-Rome Speedway, tying him with Lou Lazzaro on the all time win list.
Robert Barker led the opening lap of the Sportsman 20 lap feature from his pole starting spot but after that, it was all Heath Carney.  Carney, from his sixth spot, raced by for the lead as the second lap was being scored and was dominant for the rest of the green to checkered event. As he pulled away to comfortable margin, the battle on the track was for second as Mike Stiles held it early with Jeremy Vunk putting on the pressure for the position.  Vunk was finally able to wrestle the position away from Stiles on lap 13 with Matt Janczuk following him through for third.  For the rest of the event, Vunk and Janczuk battled for the runner-up position with Janczuk slipping by for the spot with two laps to go. Carney was too far out front at this point as he took his first win of the season with Janczuk, Vunk, AJ Filbeck, and Stiles rounding out the top five.
Ed Ostrander launched from his third starting spot to the lead at the drop of the green in the Pro Stock 20 lap feature event as he was searching for his first ever win.  Early on, it was Mark Effner taking shots at getting around Ostrander for the lead and then in the later stages it was Glenn Forward going attempting to get by.  Despite a caution with a lap to go, Forward was unable to pass Ostrander for the lead as Ostrander raced off with the win.  Forward, Chris Carr, Bret Belden, and Tom Denton filled out the top five spots at the checkered flag.
Ricky Breed won his second consecutive 15 lap Pure Stock main event, this time he passed early leader Bill Mason on lap eight and went unchallenged the rest of the way. Nathan Peckham made a late race pass of Mason to score second while Mason survived a back and forth battle with Frank Hyatt to get the third spot at the line.  Hyatt settled for the fourth spot with Ron Hawker filling out the top five.
The first big on the 2013 Utica-Rome Speedway is this coming Sunday, May 12, with the annual Mothers Day Special featuring a big 50 lap affair for the Modifieds which will pay the winner $5,000 to win.  A regular show of Sportsman, Pro Stocks, and Pure Stocks will join the Modifieds with racing at 6 p.m.  The gates will open at 3:30 p.m. with more information available at www.uticaromespeedway.com.  The track phone number is (315)829-4557.
MODIFIED FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)-TODD BURLEY, Matt Sheppard, Stewart Friesen, Willy Decker, Pat Ward, Mike Mahaney, Larry Wight, Ryan Phelps, Dale Planck, Jimmy Davis, Ronnie Johnson, Robby Bellinger, Matt Fink, Rocky Warner, Casey Williams, Mike Bowman, Jason Rood, Chris Hile, Dave Allen, Mike Ward, Aaron Jacobs, Phil Burkart Jr., Adam Roberts, Alan Johnson, Matt Hulsizer, Darwin Greene, and Jim Walsh.
SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-HEATH CARNEY, Matt Janczuk, Jeremy Vunk, AJ Filbeck, Mike Stiles, Chris Mackey, Steve Way, Claude Hutchings Jr., Randy Shantel, Craig Pope, Bobby Heintz, Chad Ray, Jack Miller, Stephen Denton, Robert Barker, Chris McCoy, Brandon Kuhn, and Tye-Scott Rood. DNS-Toby Klish.
PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (20 LAPS)-ED OSTRANDER, Glenn Forward, Chris Carr, Bret Belden, Tom Denton, Pete Stefanski, Mark Effner, AJ Digsby, Ken Hamm, Joe Palmer, Corie Locke, Dana Camenga, Dan Lashure, Gus Hollner, Shawn Frost, Jim Money, Andy Lashure. DNS-Bill Knapp
PURE STOCK FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)-RICKY BREED, Nathan Peckham, Bill Mason, Frank Hyatt, Ron Hawker, Chris Watkins, Tim Janczuk, Chris Cunningham, Jim Thomas, Andy Sczewczyk, Bryan Owens, Brian Johnson, and Stan Clark.