Weedsport, NY — May 8, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast PR Director
The mighty Big-Block Modifieds are ready for their return to the pavement at Airborne Speedway and Oswego Speedway as the two asphalt ovals host DIRTcar Racing NorthEast’s premier class of race car in a special two-race mini series for a second straight summer. Big-Block teams arrive in the Port City for a stop at Oswego on Wednesday, June 18 then travel northward to Airborne in the Adirondack Region on Wednesday, August 6.
Both events at Airborne and Oswego will be governed by the 2008 Official DIRTcar NorthEast Rule Book outlined for the Big-Block Modified division with special consideration regarding minimum weight once again given to those Small-Block teams interested in participating. New this year is that only DIRT Hoosier Hard or Extra Hard tire compounds will be allowed.
“We’re looking to spice things up a little with a national touring driver appearance or maybe attract another big name DIRT Modified team but things were good last year and I’d be happy with that same kind of support,” said Airborne Promoter Mike Perrotte, who lured a solid 26-car field in the DIRTcar/Asphalt experiment conducted last July. Mike Bruno collected a $3,000 top prize after leading the entire 40-lap main event that featured a mix of both Big-Block and Small-block Modifieds, showcasing a sweep of the top-three spots by Airborne regulars George Foley and Patrick Dupree.
“I thought Big-Blocks had an advantage but it didn’t turn out that way in the end. Now that the Big-Block guys have been there once they have an idea of what to expect and will probably do better,” noted Perrotte, after witnessing the on-track exploits of Big-Block invaders Wayne Jelley (finished 4th), Kenny Tremont (6th) and Frank Cozze (7th). Danny Johnson (23rd) began 14th and worked his way into the top-10 before the rear-end blew out in his borrowed ride.
2008 marks the return of Airborne to the DIRTcar NorthEast family, with the Plattsburgh (NY) track last holding membership in 1989 when the surface was dirt. Airborne opens for the 57th season Saturday, May 10 while Oswego kicked off its 58th consecutive campaign May 4.
“This is all relatively new to us but so far everybody thinks (DIRT) is great,” added Perrotte, himself a four-time DIRTcar 358-Modified points champion at Frogtown Int’l Speedway (recently renamed Mohawk Int’l Raceway) with 26 career DIRTcar Modified feature wins. “The response among our race teams has been overwhelmingly positive. Only a handful of our guys have run DIRT events but with the added exposure, insurance benefits, regional points, a chance to run Syracuse and an invitation to the awards banquet there’s a lot more rewards at stake this time around.”
Oswego co-owner Steve Gioia Jr. also knows a lot more is on the line this summer and hopes a successful show in June may lead to even more before the season ends.
“DIRT cars on pavement is a whole different animal, we’re still working on ways to make them a big attraction around here,” said Gioia, who divulged that hosting a DIRT/Asphalt Modified race once a month could be in the cards sometime down the road. Last summer Patrick Dupree needed just 10 minutes to claim the DIRTcar-sanctioned Big-Block/Small-Block special in August after leading flag-to-flag in the 25-lapper that was slowed by just one yellow flag.
“We’re willing to do whatever it takes to be successful. It’s a combination of working a little bit harder promoting and getting the right timing down. We hope the deal works out well for everybody and we’ll certainly do more if the interest is there. I know DIRT has a strong fan base close to here and enough quality cars to put on a good show. If we can start building some momentum in June it will be easier to push forward the rest of the summer,” added Gioia, himself a former Oswego Supermodified track points champion and Classic winner at the ‘Steel Palace.’
Added incentive for DIRTcar Modified teams is that Regional points for 358-Modifieds making the field are good for all regions at both tracks and Regional points for qualified Big-Blocks are also good for all regions at both tracks.
In addition, the top finishing Big-Block driver in each event will receive a preferred starting position for the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Rite Aid 200 during Super DIRT Week XXXVII in October at the New York State Fairgrounds while the highest Small-Block finishers earn guaranteed starting berths in the headline ITT Corporation/Goulds Pumps “Salute To The Troops” 150 that same weekend.
For further information, please contact the DIRTcar NorthEast office (315/834-6606) during the week or visit www.dirtcar.com 24/7. For specific track information, check out Airborne’s web site at www.airborneparkspeedway.com or call 518/561-3208 and log into www.oswegospeedway.com or phone 315/342-0646. E-mail is received at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
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.