STSS Race Day at Utica-Rome: Richie Evans Remembered Storylines, Stars & Sleepers
Written by Chris Moore
VERNON, NY– It’s another historic Race Day!
For the second consecutive race, the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco visits a new facility.
Utica-Rome Speedway hosts the ‘Richie Evans Remembered 61’ in a 61-lap, $6,161.61-to-win headliner for the STSS big-block/small-block Modifieds.
The ‘Richie Evans Remembered 61’ is Round No. 6 of the Hurlock Auto & Speed North Region for the STSS Modifieds.
Utica Rome Speedway becomes the 26th different track to host the STSS Modifieds. The STSS has been to Utica-Rome Speedway before, in July of 2016 when the STSS Open Sportsman division visited the ‘Home of Heroes.’
Tonight’s 61-lap main event is the longest of the STSS season thus far, eclipsing the 50-lap mark at several other STSS races.
Now, the Modifieds take center stage as Utica-Rome becomes the fourth ‘new’ racetrack for the STSS in the 2021 season. Erick Rudolph (Bubba [Fla.] Raceway Park), Andy Bachetti (Selinsgrove [Pa.] Speedway), and Jeff Strunk (Bloomsburg [Pa.] Fair Raceway) have picked up wins at new facilities this season.
Following his runner-up finish at the ‘Battle at Bloomsburg,’ Middletown, N.Y.’s Anthony Perrego once again leads the Hurlock Auto & Speed North Region by a mere 10 points over Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard as the Tour heads to Sheppard’s Friday night home track.
There is nowhere else to start but with ‘Super’ Matt Sheppard. Sheppard has won the last four Modified races at Utica-Rome Speedway, after finishing second in the first three races of the season. Now, Sheppard attempts to fend off the stars of the STSS and grab his fifth consecutive Utica-Rome win.
Sprakers, N.Y.’s Stewart Friesen is currently the all-time winningest driver at Utica-Rome Speedway, with 55 total wins, including the Season Opener this year. Friesen, who sits third in STSS North Region points, looks to use one of his favorite tracks as an opportunity to close in on the top two.
Billy Decker visited the ‘Home of Heroes’ for the first time in 2021 this past Friday. It didn’t take long for Decker to announce his presence, driving from last to first to win his heat, and finishing second from the 12th starting position and challenging for the win. The Unadilla, N.Y., native looks to do one better, and vault himself into contention for his second STSS North Region championship.
Johnstown, N.Y.’s Bobby Varin heads to the ‘Home of Heroes’ for the first time in 2021 tonight. Varin sits fifth on the all-time Modified wins list, with his most recent coming in 2018. Varin will look to steal the show and add to his win total in tonight’s 61-lapper.
Middlesex, N.Y.’s Alan Johnson has made Utica-Rome his regular Friday night track and has done so with success. Johnson sits fourth in points, including a runner-up finish this season in which he started way back in 21st. Now ‘AJ Slideways’ aims for his 14th career Utica-Rome win and his first since 2013.
Bobby Hackel has joined the STSS for the first time this season, with considerable success as a rookie. Now, the big-block powered team gets a chance at a fast half-mile to strut their stuff. The East Greenbush, N.Y., driver hopes to climb back into the top-10 in STSS North Region points.
ALSO IN ACTION
The Crate 602 Sportsman will run Round No. 4 of the Precision Hydraulic & Oil North Region in a 25-lap, $1,561-to-win feature event.
2019 North Region champion Tim Hartman Jr. of Niskayuna, N.Y., holds a slim nine-point lead over South New Berlin, N.Y.’s Payton Talbot.
Joey Bruning, the Accord (N.Y.) ‘Battle at the Bullring’ Crate 602 Sportsman winner, sits third, just 12 points out of first.
GATES AND PRICES
For the July 22 event, pit gates open at 4 p.m. with the grandstand gates following at 5 p.m. Hot laps begin at 6:30 p.m. with racing following at 7:15 p.m.
Adult grandstand admission is $24. Senior (ages 65 and over) admission is $22 and Kids 11 and under get in FREE.
Pit Admission is $35 for Utica-Rome Speedway Members and $40 for Non-Members.
HOW TO WATCH
The ‘Richie Evans Remembered 61’ will be streamed live on FloRacing (www.floracing.tv).
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.
To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, check out ‘Short Track Super Series’ on Facebook or @ShortTrackSS on Twitter or Instagram.
The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, FloRacing, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Hurlock Auto & Speed, Velocita-USA, Design for Vision/Sunglass Central, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, Penske Racing Shocks, Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz, Algonkin Motel, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, Belmont’s Garage, Superior Remodeling, Spyder High Performance Filters, Fastline Performance, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, WELD Racing & Wilwood.