Weedsport, NY — April 2, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast PR Director
Brady Fultz had two chances to show his worth on home turf in tour competition last season at Black Rock Speedway. Instead, the local favorite from down the street in Dundee, New York settled for the 2007 track points title with his first Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series event at Black Rock now just days away.
“We caught a break as it turned out it, after the tour race was cancelled we found out the next week in the opener that the fuel filter was put in backwards,” recalled Fultz, 20, who will have his red, white & blue no. 70 Suzuki Motorcycles & ATVs-Paine Motorsports-Barney Moravec Water Wells-Cluster Pines Convenience Store/TEO entry ready this weekend when the 2008 Hoosier Tire-Sunoco Race Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship gets underway at Black Rock on Saturday, April 5. “Then I had to miss the October race for a wedding. The weather is never too reliable around here this time of year but I’m planning to do well if we can get it in.”
Fultz hopes to make history with a feature win in Black Rock’s 50th Anniversary lid-lifter, the first ever Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series event mandating the use of crate engines only. Heat races get underway Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. sharp with gates for both the pits and grandstands slated to open at 1 p.m.
Not only will Fultz be looking for the fast way into victory lane at Black Rock, he’ll be attempting to qualify for just his second career Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman tour race. On the heels of failing to make the starting grid at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park on Labor Day, he won a heat before finishing 15th at Canandaigua Speedway last September, relegating him to 76th on the final Mr. DIRTcar points chart in his rookie campaign.
“I’m looking forward to the show, maybe I’ll have an advantage against the tour guys that are used to running the open motors. I got the (Black Rock) title last year but I’m actually feeling less pressure coming back, definitely more comfortable and not that nervous to drive knowing what to expect this time around. Hopefully, I can have a good run and come away with a top-five,” said Fultz, a student at SUNY Alfred majoring in Motorsports Technology.
The field will be stacked for the 2008 Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series lid-lifter, led by pre-season favorites Dan Wiesner and Jeremy Pitcher from the Central New York circuit along with Canadian standouts Mark D’Ilario (4th), Tyler McPherson (5th) and Greg Panunte (7th), each of whom finished among the top-10 in overall points last season. Other drivers expected to contend for the Series crown from north of the border are Mat Williamson, Chad Chevalier, Rob Knapp, Chris Raabe and third-generation chauffeur James Michael Friesen.
“Last season I knew I’d be competitive using the same equipment as everybody else, just never expected to come out on top in (track) points,” added Fultz, who began racing in Black Rock’s Bandit division in 2002 and moved into a Super Stock for ’05 before graduating into the open-wheel ranks one year ago. To date, two wins have been registered in each class at the popular Yates County oval. “Todd Henderson always seemed to be the one to beat every week.”
“If it wasn’t for the crate motor program I probably wouldn’t be racing a Sportsman car right now, its such an easy class to get into and have a chance to run competitively right from the start. I’d like to race a Big-Block Modified full-time but I’ll make that decision after I finish out the season. Right now my only goals are to be consistent and keep finishing in the front five …. and try to beat Todd again,” Fultz noted.
For additional tour information, please contact Sportsman Series Competition Director Michael Sanchelli (cell 862/432-3597; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) or DIRTcar NE Competition Director Cory Reed at the Weedsport office (315/834-6606) during normal business hours. Be sure to log into the homepage at www.dirtcar.com to find out more about the entire circuit. For specific track information please contact the Black Rock Speedway office at 607/243-8686 or visit www.blackrockspeedway.com.
Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship Series Opening Day Top-5s
*Overall Mr. DIRTcar Champion highlighted in bold.
DATE TRACK FIRST – SECOND – THIRD – FOURTH – FIFTH
7/6/07 Brewerton Alan Fink – Chris Hile – Joe Williams – Shawn Donath – Chris Raabe
9/4/06 Rolling Wheels Russ Hefti – Scott Schrader – Mark Potter – Chris Higgins – Brian Sage
5/6/05 Thunder Alley Greg Doust – Marcel Pecore – Russ Hefti – Sean Carman – Jordan Bennett
5/24/04 Merrittville Adam Ferri – Boyd MacTavish – Scott George – Bobby Davidson Jr. – Wayne Conn Jr.
6/15/03 Cayuga County Tim Sears – Tim Clemons – Stewart Friesen – Tim Dwyer – Eldon Payne Jr.
6/19/02 Utica-Rome Mike Button – David VanHorn – Tim Sears – Randy Chrysler – Tim Clemons
5/13/01 Utica-Rome Tim Clemons – Joe Beyea – Tom Juhl – Ryan Odasz – David VanHorn
6/25/00 Cayuga County Matt Sheppard – Chad Brachmann – Tom Collins,Jr. – Jim Spano – Chris Shultz
6/3/99 Canandaigua Chris Shultz – Karl Comfort – Paul Guererri – Steve Hall – Howie Albrecht
6/4/98 Canandaigua Jerry Haers Jr. – Steve Hall – Vince Vitale – Mike Button – Scott Flammer
7/2/97 NYS Fairgrounds Steve Hall – Rich Hall – Alton Palmer – Rick Miller – Jim Spano
7/7/96 NYS Fairgrounds Vince Vitale – Rusty VanTassel – Alex Friesen – Jim Gabriel Jr. – Jason Barney
7/3/95 NYS Fairgrounds Steve Hall – Stan Jablonka – Wayne Jelley – Steve Hulsizer – Chuck Bower
7/3/94 NYS Fairgrounds Bobby Paine – Alton Palmer – Bernie Pangrazio – Darryl Ruggles – Tim Dwyer
7/4/93 NYS Fairgrounds Guy Sheldon – Bobby Paine – Alex Friesen – Jim Stevers – Dave Franek
7/2/92 NYS Fairgrounds Tommy Meier – Troy Griffin – Guy Sheldon – Donnie Corellis – Mike Button
9/6/91 Genesee Bernie Pangrazio – Greg Hixson – Alton Palmer – Mike Logsdon – Cliff Warner
9/8/90 Lebanon Valley Rick Mill – Guy Sheldon – Chris Moore – Greg Clark – Mike Dolan
The Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series for Big-Block Modifieds is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Advance Auto Parts and Hoosier Racing Tire. Rite Aid Corporation is a promotional partner and the contingency sponsors are Bars Leaks, Bert Transmission, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Crane Cams, Dig Safely New York, Holley HP Carburetors, Integra Shocks, Intercomp, KSE Racing Products, Motorsports Safety Systems, Penske Shocks, Rislone Oil Stabilizer and Wrisco Industries.