BREAKING NEWS Woman killed as she was walking across Seneca Turnpike in New Hartford Full Story

Utica-Rome Speedway hosts Conquer Corona 30 as first DIRTcar race in state since pandemic began

The Utica-Rome Speedway held races without fans in attendance to open up the 2020 racing season in New York State.

Posted: Jun 4, 2020 12:59 AM

VERNON, N.Y. - It was an event fitting of its name.

The Utica-Rome Speedway became the first track to host an official DIRTcar race in New York State since the coronavirus pandemic began with the Conquer Corona 30, Wednesday.

No fans were present at the races and everyone on the premises was required to wear a mask, and adhere to social distancing guidelines as much as possible, due to New York State mandate and CDC guidelines.

Drivers competed in two different divisions, the Broedel Fuel Group DIRTcar Sportsman division and the Ted's Body Shop DIRTcar Pro Stock division. Each division had a 30-lap feature race with the winner of both earning $1,000 purses.

Both divisions compete in the Hoosier Tire Weekly Racing Series.

There was also a 20-lap B-Main race in the Sportsman division for those not qualifying for the feature. The payout for the winner there was $200.

Luke Horning won the feature race in the Pro-Stock division, Kevin Root took the checkered flag in the Sportsman division and Alan Fink placed first in the B-Main race.

Prior to the main events, there were four qualifying heats in the Sportsman division, and two in the Pro Stock. There was also two consolation heats and a rookie heat to determine the final qualifying racers for the feature race.

"We're really excited to be the first track in New York to do this," said Bill Shea, owner of the Utica-Rome Speedway, along with his wife Kim. "I'm happy about it, all our crew that works here is pretty happy about it and the drivers are happy about it."

Shea said that along with wearing masks and limiting attendance, the track also implemented structured parking for teams in the pit area, separating car haulers by 10-feet to ensure social distancing. Only four crew members plus the driver were allowed in the pit area.

Utica-Rome Speedway worked closely with the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo in order to obtain permission to hold the event. Not having fans in attendance made for an unusual setting, but it didn't take away from the excitement of having cars on the track.

"We're happy to have racing back, said Shea. "We'd really like to have the fans here [eventually] because there's a lot of folks that we see all the time and they become part of the racing family. Hopefully in a few weeks we can do that."

The next event at Utica-Rome Speedway is still to be determined.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1323312

Reported Deaths: 42134
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens1651787958
Kings1622028176
Suffolk1340572677
Nassau1199332604
Bronx1105945327
Westchester884041836
New York791053490
Erie540971409
Richmond468611405
Monroe45706816
Rockland32948821
Orange30012661
Onondaga28797547
Dutchess17623336
Oneida17540369
Albany17287270
Niagara12718253
Broome11804270
Saratoga984289
Schenectady9131137
Ulster8129200
Rensselaer7349110
Putnam682476
Chautauqua594772
Chemung5782111
Oswego512375
Ontario490483
Steuben4740132
Cayuga465575
Sullivan399451
St. Lawrence393864
Herkimer389670
Wayne384556
Genesee3834102
Cattaraugus358162
Jefferson347629
Madison328876
Livingston284442
Tompkins281125
Cortland273855
Columbia269374
Allegany244275
Montgomery240078
Clinton236018
Tioga231354
Wyoming230344
Fulton229156
Warren224542
Greene217863
Orleans202471
Chenango188845
Otsego184324
Washington164427
Lewis161325
Seneca129847
Franklin12979
Delaware110027
Essex102521
Schoharie9606
Yates87522
Schuyler75110
Hamilton1611
Unassigned71110
Out of NY0168
Rome
Partly Cloudy
12° wxIcon
Hi: 17° Lo: 0°
Feels Like: 3°
Binghamton
Partly Cloudy
15° wxIcon
Hi: 18° Lo: 6°
Feels Like: 6°
Rome
Partly Cloudy
12° wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: 2°
Feels Like: 3°
Rome
Partly Cloudy
12° wxIcon
Hi: 11° Lo: -9°
Feels Like: 3°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
2021 Golfer's Paradise Card - 21 Courses for only $99.99
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve