New on the Audio Page from Utica Rome Speedway:
After the heat races:
David Schilling won the first Sportsman heat race of the night and talked about his season at Malta.
John Christian explained how he adjusted his ill handling hot lap car and got it to win his heat race.
Jason Barney told Allie how he lost the lead only to get it back later and how he chipped away at it.
Matt Tanner was fast leading every lap to win his ESS heat and talked with Allie about the key thing.
Mark Smith spoke about his ESS heat win, what’s different about NY and his win on Saturday night.
Danny Varin lost the lead when his right rear was packed with clay and described how it felt to him.
Chuck Hebing would start eleventh on the ESS A-Main and told me what he learned in his heat win.
Larry Wight found something on the bottom to win his heat and told me why he decided to be busy.
Matt Sheppard talked to Allie about the racetrack he saw, his championship and getting it with a win.
Heath Carney described how bad his car was in hot laps and some things they found on the scales.
Jeremy Vunk lost the lead briefly leading all but 1 lap in his win and talked about being a little tight.
Pete Stefanski ran down the 2 changes he was planning for the night and how the track was for him.
After the A-Main and the features:
Danny Varin explained how he lost the lead and got it back to win a big ESS race on his 26th birthday.
Matt Tanner ran out of gas while leading and told me when he knew he was in trouble with 2 to go.
Matt Janczuk won the race and championship while describing some tough luck for a fellow driver.
Matt Sheppard won the Modified championship for the second night in a row with a feature win.
Claude Hutchings Jr. picked up his second win of the season and talked about falling 2 points shy.
Steve Way became the Open Sportsman champ and spoke about his fourth place feature finish.
The Labor Day finale at Utica Rome was a hotly contested night with all the drama you could want both on the track and in the pit area. The ESS A-Main was crazy with Danny Varin doing a Danny Sullivan type thing as he drove off the track while leading and took the top spot back with then leader Matt Tanner ran out of fuel during the final caution of the race. Wow! What a heartbreaker. And considering he broke his hand the night before and was at the Emergency Room till 5 in the morning, this would have been quite the story right?
But Danny Varin was quite a story too! Earlier in the night he drove a bucking bronco as clay got in his right rear causing his car to shake so violently that his front wing supports broke. Then he looked to have things well in hand in the feature, just he did in his heat, and he drove off track in turns 3 & 4 falling back to third and giving Tanner the lead.
Now he holds off Steve Poirier to get the win, his second in a row, and the bolts at the rear of his wing fall out and his wing collapses on the backstretch as he is on his way to victory lane. Could have been from all the shaking in the heat right? Sure sounds that way.
Matt Sheppard won the Modified race and championship just like every driver hopes to it. So did Matt Janczuk although some tough luck to Kyle Kiehn gave Janczuk the lead and the championship while Kiehn has a lot of work to do on his car. Man…what a tough break for a young driver who really showed a lot of improvement this year.
Claude Hutchings Jr. won the Open Sportsman race and fell just two points shy of Steve Way who raced his way back up to fourth to win the championship. It was a great night but unfortunately we missed the end of it.
There was some extra track prep at the break and it took a little more work with the real high humidity than anticipated to get it right but once they did the feature races were really good. There were some issues with the public address system too so for a while the fans chatted amongst themselves as we all helped each other with details. It was actually kind of cool, certainly different but we missed hearing the announcers.
These things happen and I hope people understand. I am sure they’ll get all that stuff ironed out for this big weekend with The Cole Cup topping it all off on the final day. Allie and I had a ball and she is doing more interviews and getting better. I’m not sure what I am doing today as I have work and family obligations plus we are temporarily down to one car but if all goes well I may make it to Weedsport. Don’t forget the have the ESS Hall of Fame ceremony, a full ESS show and the Super DIRTcar Series as well. Racing starts at 6 p.m.