July 2, 2018 John Tiff

VERNON, NY – It was a hot night both with the weather and on the track on Wilber Duck Chevrolet and Gene Kotary Memorial Night at the Utica-Rome Speedway. Billy Dunn captured his first ever track victory in the 40-lap King of Dirt 358-Modified Series feature while Dave Marcuccilli dominated the King of Dirt Sportsman Series 30-lap main while Pete Stefanski was on rails in the Gene Kotary Pro Stock feature event. David Boisclar dominated the Rookie Sportsman feature.

By luck of the draw, Dunn started on the outside of the front row and quickly jumped to the lead on the opening lap of the Modified feature. Dunn stayed at the front as the race heated up for the runner-up with Rocky Warner taking the position a lap later.

Dunn and Warner battled at the front of the field with one low and the other on the top. They came to the line side-by-side several times with Warner finally taking over the lead on lap nine. On the following circuit Warner hopped the cushion in turns one and two allowing Dunn regain the lead.

By lap 16 Dunn had caught the tail of the field forcing him to make the moves necessary to remain in the top spot. He continued at the front until lap 19 when caution was needed for a spinning Lucas Heintz in turn four.

Warner pulled up alongside of Dunn the ensuing green flag and went right to the top trying to get the lead. Dunn was able to keep pace. He kept the top position as the race reached the halfway point.

Dunn used multiple lanes on the speedway to spread the gap on his competition. Warner now had to content with Bobby Herrington as he worked up to his rear bumper. Warner as able to keep him at bay.

With Dunn’s pace unmatchable, the race for second was now the focus as Warner and Lance Willix fought for the position. Willix eventually got by Warner as he went over the bank in turns one and two a second time on lap 27.

Pat Ward moved onto the podium with eight laps remaining with Dunn back in traffic. Dunn mastered the traffic to come home with his first ever win at the track and the $2,000 payday. Willix ended up finishing in second while Ward crossed the line third. Warner came home fourth and Alan Johnson completed the top five.

In the King of Dirt Sportsman Michael Sabia started on the point which helped put him in front of the field for the first two laps. Before a third lap could be completed a red flag was necessary as Chris Mackey flipped in turn one. Several other cars were involved. Luckily all drivers were uninjured.

The green flag brought a new leader as Dave Marcuccilli went to the outside of turns one and two to pass Sabia for the lead. It’s a spot he would stay the next few laps before another yellow was necessary on lap eight. Marcuccilli led the way on the green as 10th starting Matt Janczuk began his charge.

Janczuk moved to third on lap 10 then a lap later took over the second position. He now had to chase Marcuccilli as he opened up a considerable advantage on the field. Marcuccilli and Janczuk were both able to distance themselves from everyone at this point.

One final caution was necessary with 10 laps left as Joe Williams bounced off the wall in turn one causing him to slow. This gave Janczuk a shot at Marcuccilli. The green came and it didn’t matter as Marcuccilli again proved to be the top car in the field. He pulled away for his first King of Dirt Sportsman feature.

Janczuk came home second while Kyle Inman finished in the third spot. Connor Cleveland crossed the line fourth while AJ Filbeck finished fifth.

Marc LaLonde and Justin Knight brought the Gene Kotary Memorial 30-lap feature Pro Stock main-event to the green. LaLonde went to the bottom of turn one to and took the lead off of the second corner. LaLonde was able to control the pace for a couple more circuits.

LaLonde made a mistake in the first corner which allowed Knight to take the lead putting him back to second on lap four. He followed through by eighth starting Stefanski.

Stefanski hounded Knight before making his move on lap eight. Stefanski ended up going to the top of the speedway in turns one and two to take wrestle the top spot away from Knight.

From there Stefanski was unbeatable. He hunkered it down on the bottom with Knight chasing him on the bottom. It was to no avail. Stefanski picked up the Gene Kotary Memorial win with Knight ending up second. Kim Duell finished third followed by Shane Henderson and Nick Stone.

The Rookie Sportsman were the nightcap event. David Boisclar started third and moved to the lead at the start. He made a three wide move to take the lead in turns one and two with Casey Cunningham falling in line behind him. Those two raced away with Boisclar earning his first win of the year. Cunningham finished second followed by Scott Mallette, Jeff Fesko and Alexis Jacobs.

Another huge week of short track excitement is slated for next Sunday, July 8, when Clinton Tractor and Broedel Energy presents the Central New York Speedweek finale for the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprints and the “Freedom Fighter 100” for the Super DIRTcar Modified Series. The Broedel Energy DIRTcar Sportsman will be in action as well. Gates will open at 4 p.m. with racing starting at 7p.m. For more information, please log on to www.uticaromespeedway.com for visit us on Facebook and Twitter. To contact the speedway directly, call (315) 829-4557.


KING OF DIRT 358-MODIFIED SERIES FEATURE FINISH (40 LAPS)-BILLY DUNN, Lance Willix, Pat Ward, Rocky Warner, Alan Johnson, Bobby Herrington, Demetrios Drellos, Jessey Mueller, Marc Johnson, Billy Whittaker, Mike Mahaney, Bobby Varin, Jeremy Wilder, Jack Lehner, Lucas Heintz, Allison Ricci, Matt Pupello, Steve Way, Billy Shantel Jr., Randy Shantel, Don Ronca, Brian Murphy, and Brad Godshalk.

KING OF DIRT SPORTSMAN SERIES FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)-DAVE MARCUCCILLI, Matt Janczuk, Kyle Inman, Connor Cleveland, AJ Filbeck, Kyle Kiehn, Michael Sabia, Andrew Buff, Chad Edwards, Taylor Lamb, Brian Calabrese, Dave Moyer, AJ Miller, Mark Effner, Rocco Leone, Tyler Thompson, Brian Hudson, Stephen Denton, Jeff Taylor, Marty Kelly III, Rob Maxon, Ricky Quick, Chris Cunningham, Joe Williams Jr., Alan Fink, Charles Tibbitts, David Schilling, Corey Barker, and Chris Mackey.

GENE KOTARY MEMORIAL TED’S BODY SHOP PRO STOCK FEATURE FINISH (30 LAPS)-PETE STEFANSKI, Justin Knight, Kim Duell, Shane Henderson, Nick Stone, Travis Welch, Mike Welch, Frank Hyatt, Marc LaLonde, Aaron Page, Jim Normoyle, Kenny Gates, Mike White, Ernie Staelens, Jerry Streeter, and Andrew Walters.

ROOKIE SPORTSMAN FEATURE FINISH (15 LAPS)-DAVID BOISCLAIR, Casey Cunningham, Scott Mallette, Jeff Fesko, and Alexis Jacobs.