Honoring A Legend: Legacy of Richie Evans in Utica-Rome Spotlight Thursday, July 21

Written by Chris Moore

VERNON, NY – Honoring a legend.

On Thursday, July 21, the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco heads to Utica-Rome Speedway to honor one of the speedway’s greatest heroes.

The ‘Richie Evans Remembered 61’ salutes Richie Evans, a 33-time winner at the ‘Home of Heroes’ during its days as an asphalt venue and a Rome, N.Y., native.

Evans won four Utica-Rome track championships (1972-1974, 1978) and recorded three victories in the famed ‘New Yorker’ event (1971, 1972 & 1978).

Evans went on to win nine NASCAR national Modified championships, including eight in row from 1978 to 1985.

Evans was just 44 years old when he tragically passed away after an accident during a practice session at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

Evans’ legacy lives on; in 2012 he was the first ‘short-track’ icon inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. He was also named one of NASCAR’s ’50 Greatest Drivers’ in 1998.

Sprakers, N.Y.’s Stewart Friesen claimed the ‘21 ‘Richie Evans Remembered’ affair and the $6,100-plus top prize.

“Winning this for the Evans family and Richie, his granddaughter there is best buds with Parker (Stewart’s son) … it’s pretty darn special to win this race,” proclaimed Utica-Rome’s all-time winningest Modified driver in Victory Lane a season ago.

Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard was the runner-up in that race, following Friesen throughout the 61-lap affair after the pair drew the front row in the Beyea Custom Headers Redraw.

This year Sheppard leads the way at the ‘Home of Heroes’ with six feature wins to his credit to go with his series leading five STSS triumphs in the 2022 season.

Sheppard tops the River Valley Builders North Region contingent entering Round No. 7 of the $15,000 championship chase at his Friday night home track.

Sheppard leads by a comfortable-but-not-insurmountable 45 points over St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada’s Mat Williamson. Wurtsboro, N.Y.’s Danny Creeden continues to hang tough, rounding out the top three, 92-points off Sheppard’s pace.

Sheffield, Mass. star Andy Bachetti sits fourth in the standings, 136 markers behind Sheppard and Middletown, N.Y.’s Anthony Perrego rounds out the top-five sitting just seven points behind Bachetti.

Cream Ridge, N.J.’s Steve Davis meanwhile heads the Precision Hydraulic & Oil North Region for the STSS Crate 602 Sportsman by 37 markers over Wallkill, N.Y.’s Travis Green. South New Berlin, N.Y.’s Payton Talbot rounds out the top three, 47-points behind Davis. Talbot is a Utica-Rome regular and multi-time winner this season.

The entire night of racing, along with every STSS race in 2022, will be broadcast 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 and can be reached by phone at 315.953.4097.  Like Utica-Rome Speedway on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @UR_Speedway.

To learn more about the Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco, visit www.shorttracksuperseries.com, e-mail bdmotorsportsmedia@gmail.com, 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, FloSports, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Halmar International, River Valley Builders, Hurlock Auto & Speed, Velocita-USA, St. Lawrence Radiology, Design for Vision & Sunglass Central, Belmont’s Garage, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, Prime MAC Tools, F.X. Caprara Car Companies, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, EIBACH, Elite Welder Testing & Training, Flach Performance Products, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, Penske Racing Shocks, Schultz Racing Fuel Cells, Spyder Filters, Superior Remodeling, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, Wegner Automotive & Wilwood.