VERNON, NY – After a winter of uncertainty, the 2021 plans for Utica-Rome Speedway have become much clearer.
Speedway owner Gene Cole has turned over operations of the half-mile clay oval, motocross track and adjacent speedway club to Brett Deyo of BD Motorsports Media LLC. Cole had reassumed ownership of the Vernon facility following a six-year run by Bill and Kim Shea as the speedway’s promoters.
The historic ‘Home of Heroes’ will now operate on Friday nights in lieu of the longtime Sunday niche. Friday night racing is expected to get underway at 7:30 p.m., with hot laps at 6:45 p.m. to allow travel time for teams and fans leaving work.
“Mr. Cole wants nothing more than to see Utica-Rome continue as a speedway,” Deyo said. “There were certainly other lucrative offers received which would have effectively ended auto racing at Utica-Rome. Mr. Cole put the legacy of auto racing at Utica-Rome first and afforded us this opportunity.”
Cole hopes the new promoters can carry the speedway into the future.
“I want this group to be around long enough to write the 75th anniversary book,” he said, referencing the ‘Home of Heroes’ 50th anniversary book written by Mark ‘Bones’ Bourcier following the 2010 season.
Utica-Rome will operate in conjunction with Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway, located approximately one hour east, mirroring rules and pay structures with the historic Track of Champions also operated by BD Motorsports Media LLC.
Both American Racer Tires, through Lias Tire of Indiana, Pa., and Sunoco Race Fuels via Insinger Performance of Dushore, Pa., will service the speedway.
The new Utica-Rome Speedway management team will consist of Jamie and Denise
Page of Bainbridge, N.Y., the current General Managers at Fonda Speedway and past promoters of I-88 Speedway in Afton, N.Y., and 25-year-old Chris Moore of Smyrna, Del., who will relocate to Vernon for race season. Moore will also serve as the announcer at both Fonda and Utica-Rome.
Regularly featured divisions will include Modifieds, Crate 602 Sportsman, Limited Sportsman, Pro Stocks and Four Cylinders with other classes expected to be included during selected events.
The ’21 season will get underway in May following a pair of Open Practice sessions.
Weekly racing will continue through Labor Day weekend with several special events penciled in.
In addition to Utica-Rome Speedway points, a ‘Thunder on the Thruway’ mini-series will be contested between Utica-Rome and Fonda speedways in the Modified, Crate 602 Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions.
Both the Modified and Crate 602 Sportsman divisions will be eligible to compete for the American Racer Cup presented by Sunoco cash awards and complimentary tire certificates.
Weekly payouts will match those offered at Fonda, including $2,400 to win, $500 for 10th and $250 to start for the Modifieds, $1,000 to win and $100 to start for the Crate 602 Sportsman and $800 to win, $75 to start for the Pro Stocks.
A tribute to the late Richie Evans and a return of the New Yorker event are expected to highlight the ’21 Utica-Rome schedule, which will be released in the coming weeks.
Look for additional information in the coming days as the ’21 season approaches. Details will be finalized quickly with the race season approaching.
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.