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WHAT TO WATCH FOR: DIRTcar Pro Stock Series Opens 2024 Season at Albany-Saratoga

Luke Horning Aims to Defend 2023 Championship

DIRTcar Pro Stock Series 4-wide
Brent Smith

The road to Super DIRT Week 52 for the DIRTcar Pro Stock Series begins this weekend with the season-opening race at Albany-Saratoga Speedway.

The “Great Race Place” hosts Race One of the eight-race title chase, with $1,000 up for grabs in a 30-lap Feature.

Joining the DIRTcar Pro Stock Series on Friday’s card are the DIRTcar Big Block Modifieds, DIRTcar Sportsman, Limited Sportsman, Street Stocks and 4-Cylinders.

New in 2024, drivers don’t need to earn Home Track bonus points throughout the season, meaning all the top Pro Stock drivers in the Northeast can contend for a Series title.

For more on the DIRTcar Northeast, follow the DIRTcar Facebook page and the Series’ X/(Twitter) page.

Here’s a look at what to watch for this weekend:

Cousin Luke’s Defense: Luke Horning is back in 2024 to defend his 2023 DIRTcar Pro Stock Series title. He’s also aiming to become the fifth multi-time champion in Series history.

The Gloversville, NY driver dominated the Series in 2023, winning four races, including one at Albany-Saratoga during Malta Massive Weekend and another at Oswego Speedway during Super DIRT Week 51.

Luke Horning in Victory Lane at Oswego Speedway
Luke Horning celebrates his Super DIRT Week 51 victory at Oswego Speedway/Brent Smith photo

Despite being winless at Albany-Saratoga in four starts this season, he’s off to a fast start, collecting two top five finishes. He enters the weekend four points behind Kim Duell in the race for the track championship. 

“Cousin” Luke aims for his 10th Series victory on Friday night. He’s currently tied for ninth on the all-time wins list with Tom Barron.

Aiming For the Throne: A few contenders who battled Horning in 2023 are back to try to knock him off the throne in 2024. 

Pete Stefanski, the all-time leader in DIRTcar Pro Stock Series wins (27), never finished outside the top five in Series action last season. However, with his only win being the non-points race at the World Short Track Championship at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, he lost the points battle to Horning by 22 points.

Pete Stefanski
Pete Stefanski celebrates in Victory Lane at The Dirt Track at Charlotte/Chris Dolack photo

The four-time Series champion will also have to contend with defending Lebanon Valley Speedway track champion Chad Jeseo and Shawn Perez Jr., who finished third and fourth in the Series standings last year.

Jeseo currently leads the points standings at Lebanon Valley on the strength of three top fives, while Perez is currently eighth in points at the track – 34 points behind Jeseo. 

Capital Region Ready: The top four drivers from last season’s DIRTcar Pro Stock Series will have a stout field of Albany-Saratoga Speedway regulars hoping to steal the $1,000 prize on Friday.

Duell, a Pro Stock veteran, has been consistent to start the season. After a ninth on opening night at Albany-Saratoga, the Porters Corners, NY driver has three consecutive podium finishes. 

Kim Duell leads the points at Albany-Saratoga Speedway entering this weekend/Michael Fry photo

Brandon Emigh (two), Jason Casey, and 17-time DIRTcar Pro Stock Series winner Rob Yetman have each won a Feature this season, with Emigh winning last Friday’s battle.

Chucky Dumblewski may also be a factor, as he enters the weekend with three top fives at the Malta, NY, oval this season, including a second to Emigh on opening night.

Playfab Chassis Momentum: While much of the attention was on Luke Horning and his Super DIRT Week victory last October, it was also a milestone night for his fellow Playfab Chassis competitors, Shane Playford and Devon Camenga.

Playfab finished second and Camenga finished third, completing a Playfab Chassis podium sweep at Oswego – the best finishes of their career.

In four Series starts in 2023, Camenga had two top fives and never finished outside the top 10. Playford also scored two top-fives in three starts in 2023 and brings momentum into Friday’s Feature with a win on Sunday at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park.

2024 DIRTcar Pro Stock Schedule
Friday, May 17, Albany-Saratoga Speedway
Sunday, June 9, Glen Ridge Motorsports Park
Monday, Aug. 12, Brewerton Speedway
Saturday, Aug. 24, Lebanon Valley Speedway
Sunday, Aug. 25, Glen Ridge Motorsports Park
Saturday, Sept. 21, Albany-Saratoga Speedway
Friday, Oct. 4, Fulton Speedway
Friday, Oct. 11, Oswego Speedway
Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, The Dirt Track at Charlotte*

*Denotes Non-Points Paying Event

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