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Ortiz & Susice Take Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series Checkers At Canandaigua

Ryan Susice

Ryan Susice - Mark Marquart Photo

Canandaigua, NYSeptember 18, 2009 – By Dave Medler, DIRTcar Racing Northeast Series Correspondent

Friday night Canandaigua Speedway played host to a pair of Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series 33 lap features. Jipp Ortiz and recently crowned track points champion Ryan Susice found themselves in victory lane, with Ortiz holding off Steve Gray to win by less than a half a car-length in round one, while Susice dominated that night cap winning by four seconds over defending Mr. DIRTcar Chris Raabe.

Ortiz outran front row partner Dave Marcuccilli to lead the opening lap of the “Land Of Legends 33” that was rain-delayed from July 21. The first yellow of the race flew on lap two for a multi-car tangle exiting in turn four.

Entering the event as the tour point leader. Greg Panunte sat at the top of turn four when it looked like all the cars would get by him. All that changed in a blink of an eye as Tom Keyes drilled the No.99p Bicknell. Panunte was somehow able to drive pit side for quick repairs, although his car was never the same as he headed to the pits late in the event.

When the green came back out, Ortiz still led with Marcuccilli and Justin Henderson giving chase. With five laps in the books Ortiz and Marcuccilli ran nose to tail with Ryan Susice who had closed in on the top two, while Henderson and Luke Whitteker showed in the top-five.

By lap 10 Ortiz still ran the bottom side and opened a 10 car-length lead as Susice and Marcuccilli ran side-by-side for second. Henderson and Whittteker were still a distant fourth and fifth.

A slowing Mark Chiddy in turn two brought out a caution period on lap 16. Just before the yellow, Susice had cut down Ortiz’s lead from three seconds to less than one, yet on the ensuing restart Ortiz pulled away once again to build up more than a second lead as he continued to widen his strangle hold on the field.

With 20 laps showing on the scoreboard Ortiz ran almost a full straightaway ahead. Susice and Chris Raabe were in a tight fight for second as Steve Gray and Marcuccilli ran fourth and fifth. A quick yellow waved on lap 25, once again erasing the lead Ortiz built up of 2.5 seconds.

Before the field could get back up to speed the yellow quickly appeared again on lap 25 for a five-car tangle in turn four. All cars continued except for Matt Billings and Randy McCulloch, who was towed to the pits.

This time when the green came back out Ortiz didn’t pull away as Raabe moved into the runner-up slot and kept pace with the leader.

A late-race yellow dropped on lap 32 setting up a final shootout. Gray, who started 17th, was able to find bite on the top of the speedway, pulling even with Ortiz as the two drag-raced to the finish out of turn four. Ortiz held on for the win by less than a car-length over Gray as Raabe, Marcuccilli and Dan Wiesner rounded out the front-five.

“They sure made it exciting out there tonight,” said Ortiz, after exiting his Pizza Logs no.0 Bicknell entry. “I was a little loose and the track was a little funny out there for me. I don’t run here as much as I’d like to but I really consider this my home track. This was a tough win for us.”

When asked about a run at Syracuse in October, Ortiz said he wants to concentrate more on the tour and will put Kevin Wills in his car for Super DIRT Week. “I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to run, it’s a real brain drain. We’ll see how I’m doing, we still have a lot of tour races to go.”

In the 33-lap nightcap, track champ Susice took advantage of a front row starting spot, blasting into the lead at the drop of the green and easily opening up a lead on the rest of the field. Alan Fink and Daryl Hilkert both went around front row starter Loren Lincoln to join in the early chase.

The first caution flew on lap four as Rob Bussey spun in turn four but would continue. With the field back up to speed, Susice once again pulled away from the pack as 10th-place starting Raabe moved into second. With 10 laps in Susice opened a two-second lead over Raabe as the rest of the field fought for positions.

At the halfway point Susice was easily slicing through lapped traffic as he built up a half straightaway lead over Rabbe. Gray moved into third with Hilkert and Fink running in the top-five.

When the starter gave the 10 to go sign and still no yellows, Susice was on cruise control a full straightaway out front leaving Raabe, Gray, Hilkert and Wiesner to settle in for top finishes.

Over the final laps and no yellows to tighten up the field, Susice was the first under the checkers four seconds ahead of runner-up Raabe with Gray, Hilkert and Wiesner remaining in order to complete the front-five.

“All night long we have had carburetor problems,” Susice remarked in victory lane alongside his Investors Service Company,no. 38s Bicknell machine. “The thing was missing and I was just not very good. But we got it fixed and changed the gears right before the feature. I’ve never had a car turn so good here. If it wasn’t for my crew I wouldn’t go this good so I really have to thank them.”

Susice also wanted to apologize to Greg Panunte for the accident in the first feature. He said it was just a racing deal as he said Panunte saw him under him and neither was going to lift. He finished by saying he wouldn’t intentionally take out anyone.

Top Hoosier-VP Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series point chasers return to action tomorrow at Genesee Speedway for round #12 of the 2009 champ trail.

Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship Series – Canandaigua Speedway, September 18, 2009 ‘Monster Energy 33’ Event Summary
(33 Laps): (1) Ryan Susice, (2) Chris Raabe, (3) Steve Gray, (4) Darryl Hilkert, (5) Dan Wiesner, (6) Jipp Ortiz, (7) Alan Fink, (8) Loren Lincoln, (9) Justin Wright, (10) Tom Juhl, (11) Justin Henderson, (12) Sammy Reakes IV, (13) Eric Gugiere, (14) Matt Hulsizer, (15) AJ Lewis, (16) Mark Chiddy, (17) BJ Willard, (18) Luke Whitteker, (19) Greg Cool, (20) Rob Bussey, (21) Adam Turner, (22) Bob Buono, (23) Rob Mullen, (24) Tom Keyes, (25) Dave Marcuccilli, (26) Randy McCullock, (27) Rob Humphreys, (28) Donnie Lawson, (29) Nick Guererri.
Heats (8 laps, 5 qualified)
#1: Alan Fink, Greg Panunte, BJ Willard, Tom Juhl, Dave Marcuccilli, Rob Bussey, Dan Wiesner, Gary Hotelling.
#2: Justin Wright, Loren Lincoln, Nick Guererri, Justin Henderson, Eric Giguere, Rob Humphreys, Mark Chiddy, Joe Cook.
#3: AJ Lewis, Daryl Hilkert, Steve Gray, Randy McCulloch, Greg Cool, Adam Turner, Rod Mullen, Steve Crouse, Greg Birosh.
#4: Jipp Ortiz, Ryan Suscie, Chris Raabe, Sammy Reakes IV, Luke Whitteker, Matt Hulsizer, Donnie Lawson, Bob Buono.
Consis (4 qualified)
#1: Rob Bussey, Dan Wiesner, Rob Humphreys, Mark Chiddy, Matt Billings, Gary Hotelling, Kane Bristol, Joe Cook.
#2: Matt Hulsizer, Adam Turner, Donnie Lawson, Bob Buono, Tom Keyes, Rod Mullen.

‘Land of Legends 33’ Feature Rain-Delayed from July 21
FEATURE (33 Laps): (1) Jipp Ortiz, (2) Steve Gray, (3) Chris Raabe, (4) Dave Marcuccilli, (5) Dan Wiesner, (6) Ryan Susice, (7) Luke Whitteker, (8) Justin Henderson, (9) Justin Wright, (10) Rob Bussey, (11) AJ Lewis, (12) Eric Gugiere, (13) Adam Turner, (14) Loren Lincoln, (15) BJ Willard, (16) Gary Hotelling, (17) Kane Bristol, (18) Sammy Reakes IV, (19) Nick Guererri, (20) Matt Billings, (21) Randy McCulloch, (22) Greg Panunte, (23) Mark Chiddy, (24) Donnie Lawson, (25) Alan Fink, (26) Darryl Hilkert, (27) Tom Keyes, Mark Olmstead Jr. (DNS), Anthony Rizzardo (DNS), Kevin Ridley (DNS), Brandon Sweet (DNS)
3-Fran Hilton/Waterloo,NY
16-Billy Brown/Cheshire,NY
17-Marcus Dinkins/Watkins Glen,NY
18j-Joe Gwilt/Cicero,NY
20-Chris Mangiarelli/Canandaigua,NY
22-Greg Cool/Geneva,NY
29ny-Greg Birosh/Horseheads,NY
30-Steve Pesarek/Geneva,NY
85h-Rob Humphreys/Elbridge,NY

2009 Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship Series Schedule
*All events subject to change.
Sun-Apr 5 75 Black Rock Speedway Sammy Reakes IV
Fri-Apr 17 30 Can-Am Motorsports Park Chris Raabe
Thr-Jul 2 25 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park rain-cancelled
Fri-Jul 3 30 Brewerton Speedway Tim Sears Jr.
Sun-Jul 5 50 Cornwall Motor Speedway Chris Raabe
Sat-Jul 18 30 Cayuga County Fair Speedway Justin Wright
Mon-Sep 7 25 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Jipp Ortiz
Fri-Sep 11 50 Ransomville Speedway Don Spatorico
Sat-Sep 12 50 Merrittville Speedway B.J. Willard
Sun-Sep 13 50 Humberstone Speedway Chris Raabe
Fri-Sep 18 33 Canandaigua Speedway Jipp Ortiz
Fri-Sep 18 33 Canandaigua Speedway Ryan Susice
Sat-Sep 19 30 Genesee Speedway Batavia,NY
Sat-Sep 26 25 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Elbridge,NY
Fri-Oct 2 30 Fulton Speedway Fulton,NY
Wed-Oct 7 30 Can-Am Motorsports Park LaFargeville,NY
Fri-Oct 9 30 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Elbridge,NY
Sat-Oct 10 30 New York State Fairgrounds Syracuse,NY
Sat-Oct 17 30 Brockville Ontario Speedway Brockville,ONT
Sat-Oct 24 50 Black Rock Speedway Dundee,NY
@Driver’s (2) worst finishes dropped through September; last (6) events count.

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 October 7-11, 2009 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 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 and VP Racing Fuels Promotional partners include Rite Aid Corporation, Dig Safely New York and the University of Northwestern Ohio and the contingency sponsors are Bars Leaks, Bert Transmission, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Ferris Industries, Integra Shocks, Intercomp, KSE Racing Products, Motorsports Safety Systems, Penske Shocks,, Racing Electronics, Rislone Oil Stabilizer and Wrisco Industries

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