Weedsport, NY — April 15, 2010 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Northeast PR Director
*Rick Young Photo
The battle for international supremacy will continue to rage on when top full-fender racers from both Canada and the United States lock bumpers in their quest for the coveted 2010 Mr. DIRTcar crown.
This year record-setting Western New Yorker Pete Stefanski will be facing his biggest challenge yet while second-generation Canadian chauffeur Joey Ladouceur has some unfinished business to tend to. The dynamic DIRTcar duo finished 1-2 last season, accounting for eight victories in the nine series stops.
“We’re ready to hit all the big events again but we’ll be without a home track for the first time,” remarked Stefanski, 39, who last season collected valuable bonus points in the combined Canandaigua Speedway/Genesee Speedway mini-series to use toward the overall Mr. DIRTcar Championship. “So another title might just be out of reach unless we can make a few regular shows somewhere. We’ll just have to see how our schedule plays out and go from there.”
The first item on the agenda will be addressed this weekend when Can-Am Motorsports Park hosts round one in the 11-race Pro Stock Series on Sunday, April 18. The 30-lap winner will pocket $1,000 as the 16th annual chase for overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar honors swings into full gear.
Stefanski has already racked up a tour-best 23 victories among his all-time high DIRTcar Northeast total of 88 Pro Stock wins since the start of the new millennium. He will be back aboard the familiar white no. 2 Sunrise Racing-San Ter Sewing-PJ NFB Auto Sales/Chevrolet Monte Carlo, in 2010 sporting a new JACR chassis.
“We’ve won 17 races with that same type (JACR) of car, so we know it will be competitive,” said Stefanski, who has also earned Mr. DIRTcar titles with a proven EMS design, while registering the inaugural tour victory at Can-Am in September of 2005 utilizing a Cannizzaro frame. Syracuse record-holder Louie Jackson won the only other series show staged at Can-Am in 2008, with Stefanski crossing the line third to open that season in April. “We’re just looking forward to getting back out on the track, its been a long winter.”
Only 13 markers separated front-runners Stefanski from Wheatfield, N,Y. and Ladouceur from Alexandria, Ont. in the 2009 final points tally. Ladouceur doesn’t want to take a back seat this time around after watching Stefanski establish a DIRTcar NE standard of four straight Mr. DIRTcar titles last season.
“We’ll have the same car, same team and basically the same program in place this year, but maybe with a different result,” noted Ladouceur, 33, who not only copped a series-high five feature wins steering his black No. 92 Coffrage 20-20-Minimax Express/Cadillac STS/Stinger X entry, he set six fast times in qualifying. The last time he won the series opener was 2004, the same year the two-time reigning Cornwall Motor Speedway points king claimed Mr. DIRTcar distinction.
“I’m expecting much of the same competition to be at Can-Am this year as the first race gives the guys a good feel for where they stand. I also know of a handful of rookies from Quebec that want to be part of the show. With the addition of a couple more tracks this year, hopefully some more new faces will filter over to the tour this season,” Ladouceur added.
Aside from the specials offered in ’09 at Canandaigua and Genesee, Cornwall Motor Speedway, Autodrome Drummond, Lebanon Valley Speedway and Mohawk Int’l Raceway were the core tracks hosting Pro Stocks on a weekly basis. The latter four will remain centerpieces in the DIRTcar Weekly Racing Series while Eastern New York ovals Glen Ridge Motorsports Park and Fonda Speedway, along with Drummond’s sister track Autodrome Granby in Quebec, join the fold to kick off 2010. Keystone State ovals Lernerville Speedway and Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway also run Pro Stock events under the UMP Sportsman classification raising the count to nine.
Expected to join Stefanski and Ladouceur in the Hoosier-VP Mr. DIRTcar points hunt are many of the Top-10 runners from last season, including third-place finisher P.J. Peters, Dion Oakes, Rob Yetman, Stephane Lebrun and Dave ‘Bulldog’ Bissonnette, plus returning veteran Buddy Hencke and past Motorsports Safety Systems Rookies of the Year Bruno Cyr and Jocelyn Roy, along with rookie contenders Guy Viens and Francois Adams.
In 2010, points earned in the Mr. DIRTcar champ trail combined with bonus points issued after Labor Day from a driver’s hometrack will determine the overall titlist. Each licensed track champion will receive 1,000 points, with the 25th-place driver earning 900 at his best track during the year.
Can-Am pit gates are scheduled to open Sunday at 10:00 a.m., grandstand seating begins at 11:30 with practice starting at 1:00 p.m. followed immediately by qualifying. Adult General Admission is $12, Students 10-14 yrs. are $5 each, while 9 and under are free (Canadian money at par). The pit pass fee is $25 for those holding a valid 2010 DIRTcar License and $30 without.
A big Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series doubleheader for 358-Modified and Sportsman racers leads off Can-Am’s season-opening weekend on Saturday, April 17 with race time set for 4 p.m.
For additional tour information, please contact Pro Stock Series Director Brian Mulligan (613/938-6751) or DIRTcar Racing Northast Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning Joe Skotnicki (704/796-4566) during normal business hours. More about the entire circuit is posted on the DIRTcar homepage at www.dirtcar.com.
Further track details can be found at www.canammotorsports.com or by contacting General Manager Chip Burdick at 315/778-3407. Can-Am Motorsports Park is located off NYS Route 411 and can be reached from the east or west by traveling the NYS Thruway to I-81 (Exit 36). Take I-81 North or South to Rt. 411 (Exit 49), then head west four miles.
2010 Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series
*All events subject to change.
DAY-DATE TRACK LOCATION
Sun-Apr 18 Can-Am Motorsports Park LaFargeville,NY
Sun-May 23 Cornwall Motor Speedway Cornwall,ONT
Fri-Jun 25 Autodrome Granby Granby,QUE
Sat-Jun 26 Autodrome Drummond Drummondville,QUE
Sat-Aug 21 Mohawk International Raceway Akwesasne,NY
Sat-Sep 11 Lebanon Valley Speedway West Lebanon,NY
Sun-Sep 12 Glen Ridge Motorsports Park Fultonville,NY
Sat-Sep 18 Canandaigua Speedway Canandaigua,NY
Sat-Sep 25 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Elbridge,NY
Sun-Oct 10 New York State Fairgrounds Syracuse,NY
Sun-Oct 17 Brockville Ontario Speedway Brockville,ONT
DIRTcar Racing Northeast main office is located in Weedsport, New York on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds, home of DIRTcar All-Star Weekend in July. DIRTcar Northeast’s crown jewel event —Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse runs annually in October featuring Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series events for Big-Block Modified, 358-Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions. Ticket and schedule information is available by contacting the Weedsport office (315/834-6606) during the day or logging into www.allstar100weekend.com and www.superdirtweekonline.com anytime.
The Big-Block Super DIRTcar Series is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire www.hoosiertire.com and VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com. Promotional partners include the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and Chizmark & Larson Insurance www.chizmarklarson.com, and contingency sponsors are Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, MSD Ignition www.msdignition.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Vicci Racing Apparel www.vicci.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.