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Burley Captures Thrilling Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Victory At Ransomville

Todd Burley
Todd Burley - Alex Bruce Photo

Ransomville, NYAugust 1, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast PR Director

Two-time defending track points champion Todd Burley led only five laps but they came at just the right time as the Spencerport, New York native scored the biggest DIRTcar 358-Modified victory of his career Friday night in the 24th Alex Friesen Summer Nationals presented by Coors Light, Mighty Taco & Hard Copy Wholesale at Ransomville Speedway.

Burley ran third with just a handful of circles remaining yet contact in lapped traffic between front runners Vic Coffey and Chad Brachmann catapulted the Ransomville regular into the lead for good on lap 65 and he out-distanced local favorite Scott Kerwin and series points leader Dale Planck to collect $6,800 for his fourth feature win of the year at the Big ‘R.’ Stewart Friesen and Robbie Krull completed the top-five followed by Bert Hard Charger Jeff McGinnis.

“It’s a shame, Vic ran a helluva race and to lead that many laps and get wrecked with four to go …. but I’ll take it any way I can get it,” said Burley, 37, following his third career Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified victory, easily his biggest since registering a pair of tour triumphs at Autodrome Edelweiss in 2000. “I’ve lost this race a couple times and it’s a good one to win.”

“The top was definitely the place to be and Vic was there. I was better than him in one and two and we were about the same in turns three and four. I’d try him and just couldn’t quite get enough. He was running the preferred line getting off and he’d get us by two cars, then we’d make it back up. But it’s a shame, he had a great race car. To run that many laps and get wrecked by a lapper, its just an unfortunate deal. Hopefully, the fans liked it, it was certainly a fun race from my perspective,” said Burley, after pulling to within five markers of Planck in the series standings after just the second of 13 tour events.

Coffey won the third of four qualifying heats to help sort out 34 teams vying for a coveted starting spot, then drew the pole position to file in on the front row to kick off the 68-lap main event. He opened up a commanding lead from the outset aboard his potent CME, Inc. no. 32c Sweeteners Plus/Troyer entry, reaching traffic after just 11 trips around the racy 3/8-miler. Burley, Kerwin and Planck were the early chasers while Brachmann was solidly in the hunt when the first yellow flag flew on lap 16 for a turn tangle that ended with Tim Jones getting his no. 15j Global Warranty-Nu Craft Windows/Bicknell machine towed off the track.

Action remained hot and heavy among the leaders as Danny Johnson joined the fray steering Fred Carleton’s no. 96 Jac-M-Up Race Gear/Troyer machine, suddenly battling Brachmann for a place in the front-five. Canadian invader Todd Gordon parked his car high off the back chute to incur a second caution period a dozen laps later, and on the lap 29 restart second-generation pilot Rich Vinson was forced off the back stretch to slow the pace once more. This delay, however, developed into a rare red flag situation as Vinson’s car remained wedged deep under the guard rail.

Back under green flag conditions, pole-sitter Coffey resumed his steady pace although a minor slip high in turn two sent his mount glancing off the outside retaining wall before the Leicester, New York veteran regained control in front of the oncoming pack with 35 laps scored. The miscue seemed to ignite Burley and he methodically crept up to Coffey’s rear bumper and edged past across the line for a short-lived lead on lap 47. After holding the advantage for the opening 46 circuits, Coffey moved back to the point on the 48th trip around, yet his perch in front of the pack was growing less comfortable with each passing lap.

While the top two continued to play cat and mouse, Brachmann was getting quicker aboard his no. 3 Original Pizza Logs/Bicknell entry, reeling in the leaders as he picked off the front-runners one by one. The Sanborn, New York chauffeur had disposed of fourth-place racer Planck on lap 41, then dove under Kerwin in turn three to take over third three circuits later. When Scott Wood looped his machine on lap 50 to bring out the fourth yellow flag, Brachmann ran right on the tail of Burley as Coffey still clung to the number one position.

With a clear track ahead on the ensuing restart, Burley never let Coffey out sight, lap after lap bidding to pull alongside until Coffey until the leader could dig in and open a narrow advantage as they crossed under the starter’s stand. Meanwhile, Brachmann finally accepted an invitation to the party and took advantage of the lapped car of Mark Smoke to slide under Burley exiting turn three with just a half-dozen laps remaining.

While traffic aided Brachmann in his move to the runner-up spot, it ultimately cost the Western New York wheelman a chance at the Summer Nationals title just three laps later. With the leaders jockeying for position between the corners, a turn two jam up resulted in Brachmann getting sideways and Burley barely escaping to fill the gap while Kerwin and Planck followed suit. When the dust finally settled, Coffey was forced pitside with a cut right-rear tire to relinquish the point and four laps later Burley was parking the Bashore Trucking no. 5 New York Pizzeria/Bicknell in victory lane for his biggest win ever on the ridge.

“At first that no. 9 car wouldn’t yield to the lap (passing) flag and almost wrecked us, and then Chad got by,” said Burley as he recounted the final laps of his thrilling victory in front of a capacity crowd. “The traffic was real heavy and I knew the fireworks were gonna fly when Chad got there, he was snorting pretty good. At the end he just got in there too hard and turned the no. 11 car (Bob Broomfield) which got into Vic’s right rear and gave him a flat.”

Ready to settle for a solid front-five finish, former Ransomville Sportsman Modified and Bomber Street stock points champion Kerwin inherited the runner-up slot and found himself in second when the checkered flag dropped.

“We were fortunate to get a break there at the end but we’ve been running good all year,” said Kerwin, who already owns six DIRTcar 358-Modified feature wins at Ransomville, with his last registered in August of 2007. “We’ve been fast, just gotta get a couple breaks and we certainly got one tonight.”

“I saw Dale below me a couple times, just held my line in the middle. He said he had nothing afterwards and we were getting pretty loose off the corner. In a 68-lapper you have to set the car up tight enough so you’re not loose at the end. But then you don’t want to be pushing and too tight through the middle in the beginning of the race. We pretty much ran our Friday night set-up here and ended up second. Went with Troyer this year and its been a pretty good car,” Kerwin added.

Traveling across the state after a third-place finish the night before in an Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series show for Big-Block Modifieds at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, Planck was just as content matching the same finishing position in Small-Block competition.

“Seemed like cars were everywhere once we got in lapped traffic, I kinda lost sight of the leaders when I was trying to chase down Scott,” remarked Planck, who captured the ’08 Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Series opener at Merrittville (Ont.) Speedway in April. “We were having a pretty good race on our own so it was hard to tell what the guys at the front were doing. I just know that all kinds of cars were going every which way and on that last restart I said ‘hey, were sitting third here, its not too bad.’”

“I was just telling my son here, third last night and third again tonight, just happy to be on the podium at these big races. Glad to be a part of this race since Alex (Friesen, passed away on Dec. 5, 1996 after a tragic snowmobile accident) was a good friend of mine and all the Friesens remain really good friends. I’m even more happier now to be here at the end of the night,” Planck added.

Despite boasting arguably the fastest car on the track in the closing stages, Brachmann was placed 13th on the final scoresheet after being on the brink of the biggest win of his career. Coffey was scored 19th in the last car on the lead lap.

“Lap cars were horrendous tonight, I just got in there and thought the lap car would stay up higher,” summed up Brachmann, already an owner of one feature win this season at Ransomville, where he is a three-time DIRTcar Sportsman Modified points champion. “After that I just spun around, don’t even think I touched Vic, but it was a great race up until then.”

Commented Coffey, “A lot of people gave their opinions afterwards but I don’t really know exactly what was going on, everything happened so fast. “I just tried to stay low and away from as much of the traffic as I could but got choked off a little bit by some of the lapped cars. Can’t really pinpoint how it all started, who hit me or how I got the flat, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be tonight.”

The 2008 Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series returns to action when Mohawk Int’l Raceway hosts round three of the summer tour on Thursday, August 21 before the month closes out on Sunday, August 31 with the annual trip to Cornwall Motor Speedway in the province of Ontario.

Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series Race #2 – Ransomville Speedway, August 1, 2008 Coors Light, Mighty Taco & Hard Copy Wholesale present Alex Friesen Summer Nationals Event Summary
FIN STR CAR# DRIVER
1 4 5 Todd Burley/Spencerport,NY($6,800)
2 3 28 Scott Kerwin/Newfane,NY
3 8 66 Dale Planck/Cortland,NY
4 15 3x Stewart Friesen/Niagara-o-t-Lake,ONT
5 9 123 Robbie Krull/Cambria,NY
6 21 20 Jeff McGinnis/Ransomville,NY
7 16 72 Tommy Flannigan/St.Catharines,ONT
8 11 42 Pete Bicknell/St.Catharines,ONT
9 5 66x Carey Terrance/Akwesasne,NY
10 22 26 Rick Richner/Niagara Falls,NY
11 14 17d Danny O’Brien/Kingston,ONT
12 18 26g Scott George/Wilson,NY
13 12 3 Chad Brachmann/Sanborn,NY
14 7 111 Kevin Wills/Ransomville,NY
15 25 41 Boyd MacTavish/Ransomville,NY
16 13 7 Sam Crogan/Lewiston,NY
17 6 99 Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY
18 30 80 Chris Steele/Fenwick,ONT
19 1 32c Vic Coffey/Leicester,NY
20 24 19L John Lazore/Hogansburg,NY
21 2 16 Lance Willix II/Theresa,NY
22 26 9s Mark Smoke/Akwesasne,NY
23 27 11 Bob Broomfield/Youngstown,NY
24 20 38 Scott Wood/Thorold,ONT
25 28 9 Jon Miller/Olcott,NY
26 10 96 Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY
27 19 93 Rich Vinson/Sanborn,NY
28 23 1 Todd Gordon/St.Catharines,ONT
29 29 18 Rick Hoctor/Cheektowaga,NY
30 17 15j Tim Jones/Sanborn,NY

EVENT SUMMARY:
GATER NEWS LAP LEADERS: Coffey (1-46), Burley (47), Coffey (48-64), Burley (65-68).
CAUTIONS: 4 (lap 16, lap 29, lap 50, lap 65); 1 RED FLAG (lap 29).
HEAT WINNERS: Terrance, Wight, Coffey, Brachmann.
CONSI WINNER: McGinnis.
BICKNELL RACING PRODUCTS WINNER AWARD: Todd Burley.
SYRACUSE ITT/GOULDS PUMPS 150 QUALIFIER: Scott Kerwin.
HALFWAY LEADER: Vic Coffey.
BERT HARD CHARGER: Jeff McGinnis.
HOLLEY HARD LUCK: Vic Coffey.
PENSKE POWER POSITION (14th): Kevin Wills.
FAST TIME TRIALER: Dale Planck (17.108sec/78.910mph).
TOTAL PURSE: $23,000.
CARS ENTERED: 34.
NEXT EVENT: Mohawk Int’l Raceway – August 21, 2008.
DID NOT QUALIFY(4)
007-Roy Tarbell/Hogansburg,NY
17c-Pete Cosco/St.Catharines,ONT
19-Joe Kubiniec/Lockport,NY
t21-Roger Chrysler/Lewiston,NY

QUALIFYING
FAST AVE
TIME MPH CAR# DRIVER
1 17.108 78.910 66 Dale Planck/Cortland,NY
2 17.277 78.139 99 Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY
3 17.286 78.098 5 Todd Burley/Spencerport,NY
4 17.339 77.859 3 Chad Brachmann/Sanborn,NY
5 17.344 77.837 66x Carey Terrance/Akwesasne,NY
6 17.373 77.707 123 Robbie Krull/Cambria,NY
7 17.391 77.626 32c Vic Coffey/Leicester,NY
8 17.394 77.613 007 Roy Tarbell/Hogansburg,NY
9 17.410 77.542 28 Scott Kerwin/Newfane,NY
10 17.411 77.537 16 Lance Willix II/Theresa,NY
11 17.449 77.368 3x Stewart Friesen/Niagara-o-t-Lake,ONT
12 17.509 77.103 96 Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY
13 17.522 77.046 7 Sam Crogan/Lewiston,NY
14 17.543 76.954 1 Todd Gordon/St.Catharines,ONT
15 17.546 76.941 42 Pete Bicknell/St.Catharines,ONT
16 17.584 76.774 9 Jon Miller/Olcott,NY
17 17.586 76.766 15j Tim Jones/Sanborn,NY
18 17.613 76.648 17d Danny O’Brien/Kingston,ONT
19 17.616 76.635 80 Chris Steele/Fenwick,ONT
20 17.620 76.617 72 Tommy Flannigan/St.Catharines,ONT
21 17.623 76.604 26 Rick Richner/Niagara Falls,NY
22 17.721 76.181 9s Mark Smoke/Akwesasne,NY
*23 17.746 76.073 93 Rich Vinson/Sanborn,NY
24 17.763 76.001 111 Kevin Wills/Ransomville,NY
25 17.819 75.762 11 Bob Broomfield/Youngstown,NY
26 17.821 75.753 41 Boyd MacTavish/Ransomville,NY
27 17.827 75.728 19L John Lazore/Hogansburg,NY
17.827 75.728 20 Jeff McGinnis/Ransomville,NY
17.827 75.728 38 Scott Wood/Thorold,ONT
30 18.090 74.627 26g Scott George/Wilson,NY
31 18.180 74.257 18 Rick Hoctor/Cheektowaga,NY
32 18.181 74.253 17c Pete Cosco/St.Catharines,ONT
33 18.203 74.164 19 Joe Kubiniec/Lockport,NY
34 18.407 73.342 t21 Roger Chrysler/Lewiston,NY

Heat Races (8 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to feature, top 3 went to re-draw)
#1: Terrance, Planck, Kerwin, Crogan, Jones, McGinnis, Richner, Kubiniec, Broomfield.
#2: Wight, Krull, Willix, O’Brien, George, Gordon, Smoke, MacTavish, Chrysler.
#3: Coffey, Burley, Bicknell, Friesen, Vinson, Lazore, Steele, Hoctor.
#4: Brachmann, Johnson, Wills, Flannigan, Wood, Tarbell, Miller, Cosco.
Consolation Round (10 laps, top 9 finishers transferred to feature)
#1: McGinnis, Richner, Gordon, Lazore, MacTavish, Smoke, Broomfield, Miller, Hoctor, Cosco, Chrysler, Steele, Tarbell, Kubiniec.
Provisional: Steele.

Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series Point Standings (August 1)
Rank No. Driver Points Diff Wins Top-5 Top-10 Starts
1 66 Dale Planck 190 0 1 2 2 2
2 5 Todd Burley 185 -5 1 2 2 2
3 28 Scott Kerwin 155 -35 0 1 1 2
4 42 Pete Bicknell 148 -42 0 1 2 2
5 3b Chad Brachmann 146 -44 0 1 1 2
6 26 Rick Richner 134 -56 0 0 2 2
7 123 Robbie Krull 120 -70 0 1 1 2
8 72 Tommy Flannigan 112 -78 0 0 1 2
9 66x Carey Terrance 111 -79 0 0 1 2
10 80 Chris Steele 111 -79 0 0 1 2
11 17d Danny O’Brien 108 -82 0 1 1 2
12 41 Boyd MacTavish 102 -88 0 0 0 2
13 38 Scott Wood 102 -88 0 0 1 2
14 26g Scott George 100 -90 0 0 0 2
15 99 Larry Wight 100 -90 0 0 0 2
16 111 Kevin Wills 97 -93 0 0 0 2
17 15J Tim Jones 94 -96 0 0 0 2
18 16 Lance Willix II 88 -102 0 0 0 2
19 3x Stewart Friesen 85 -105 0 1 1 1
20 9s Mark Smoke 83 -107 0 0 0 2
21 20 Jeff McGinnis 76 -114 0 0 1 1
22 9 Ken Cosgrove 76 -114 0 0 1 1
23 23L Larry Lampman Jr. 68 -122 0 0 1 1
24 37 Kyle Jacobs 58 -132 0 0 0 1
25 1h David Hebert 56 -134 0 0 0 1
26 7 Sam Crogan 50 -140 0 0 0 1
27 1 Todd Gordon 50 -140 0 0 0 1
28 56 Derek Lemyre 48 -142 0 0 0 1
29 32 Vic Coffey 45 -145 0 0 0 1
30 19L John Lazore 44 -146 0 0 0 1
31 22c Mario Clair 44 -146 0 0 0 1
32 11 Bob Broomfield 41 -149 0 0 0 1
33 96 Danny Johnson 40 -150 0 0 0 1
34 18 Rick Hoctor 40 -150 0 0 0 1
35 9 Jon Miller 40 -150 0 0 0 1
36 93 Richie Vinson 40 -150 0 0 0 1
37 23 Laurent Ladouceur 40 -150 0 0 0 1
38 22e Eric Gauvreau 40 -150 0 0 0 1
39 108 Bill Bleich 40 -150 0 0 0 1
40 1F Fred Carleton 40 -150 0 0 0 1
41 5Jr. Travis Braun 40 -150 0 0 0 1
42 91 Travis Cunningham 40 -150 0 0 0 1
43 22 Dan Miller 40 -150 0 0 0 1
44 17c Pete Cosco 10 -180 0 0 0 0
45 007 Roy Tarbell 10 -180 0 0 0 0
46 T21 Roger Chrysler 10 -180 0 0 0 0
47 19 Joe Kubiniec 10 -180 0 0 0 0
48 1p Darren Peters 10 -180 0 0 0 0
49 16w Derek Wutzke 10 -180 0 0 0 0
50 31 George Bosse 10 -180 0 0 0 0
51 37s Andrew Sittler 10 -180 0 0 0 0
52 44 Brian Stevens 10 -180 0 0 0 0

DIRTcar 358-Modified Entries – August 1 (34)
CAR# DRIVER / HOMETOWN TEAM (Sponsor / Chassis / Engine)
007 Roy Tarbell/Hogansburg,NY Street Wise Fight Gear-Chiefs Tobacco Outlet/TEO/Kevlar
1 Todd Gordon/St.Catharines,ONT Blue Moon Potatoes-Barry Toth Trucking/Bicknell/ERD(Terry Vince)
3 Chad Brachmann/Sanborn,NY Original Pizza Logs/Bicknell/Honest Abe’s
3x Stewart Friesen/Niagara-o-t-Lake,ONT Original Pizza Logs/Bicknell/Honest Abe’s
5 Todd Burley/Spencerport,NY Bashore Trucking-New York Pizzeria/Bicknell/JanCen
7 Sam Crogan/Lewiston,NY Smokin’ Joe’s-Jay’s Place/Bicknell/Larry Czinege
9 Jon Miller/Olcott,NY Granite Engraving-Spina’s Engine Shop/Bicknell/Spina
9s Mark Smoke/Akwesasne,NY Thompson Motorsports-Peters Motorsports/Bicknell/West Carleton Automotive
11 Bob Broomfield/Youngstown,NY Ridgeway Environmental-Pardee’s Automotive/Bicknell/Zappy Race Engines
15j Tim Jones/Sanborn,NY Global Warranty-Nu Craft Windows/Bicknell/ERD(Vince)
16 Lance Willix II/Theresa,NY Nor-Shir Construction-APP Inn-Bennett’s Car Care/Bicknell/Morrison
17c Pete Cosco/St.Catharines,ONT Cosco Haulage-Brian’s Tire Repairs-Humberstone Spdway/Bicknell/Brian & Jeff
17d Danny O’Brien/Kingston,ONT 1000 Islands RV Centres-Stover Bus Lines-Pat’s Radiator/Bicknell/Morrison
18 Rick Hoctor/Cheektowaga,NY Able Agency Insurance-AA-1 Auto Parts/Hoctor/Hoctor
19 Joe Kubiniec/Lockport,NY Adam Zac Brokers Ltd.-Kubiniec Racing/TEO/C.C. Performance
19j John Lazore/Hogansburg,NY Street Wise Fight Gear-JL Motorsports-G&R Auto Parts/TEO/Enders
20 Jeff McGinnis/Ransomville,NY No Blanket Smoke Shop-Wendt’s Propane & Oil/Bicknell/Jeff Sheehan
t21 Roger Chrysler/Lewiston,NY Iroquois Water-Randy’s Smoke Shop-Joey’s Sneaks/Bicknell/JanCen
26 Rick Richner/Niagara Falls,NY National Vacuum Corp.-Lazy Lakes Camping Resort/Bicknell/Gor-Den
26g Scott George/Wilson,NY Global Warranty-Reichel Welding/Bicknell/ERD(Vince)
28 Scott Kerwin/Newfane,NY Flexcare-Tim Horton’s/Troyer/Enders
32c Vic Coffey/Leicester,NY Sweeteners Plus-CME,Inc./Troyer/C.C. Performance
38 Scott Wood/Thorold,ONT Henderson’s Pharmasave-Investors Group/Bicknell/Fioravanti
41 Boyd MacTavish/Ransomville,NY Smith’s Speed & Pro Shop-Pine View Drywall/Bicknell/Motor Clinic
42 Pete Bicknell/St.Catharines,ONT Lucas Oil Products-Merrittville Speedway/Bicknell/Morrison
66 Dale Planck/Cortland,NY Akwesasne Filter Manufacturing-REZ Racing/TEO/Kevlar
66x Carey Terrance/Akwesasne,NY Akwesasne Filter Manufacturing-REZ Racing/TEO/Kevlar
72 Tommy Flannigan/St.Catharines,ONT Kane’s Vending-CMH Leasing/Bicknell/Enders
80 Chris Steele/Fenwick,ONT Central Collision Serv-Mac Outpost Computers-Niagara Dental/Bicknell/Fioravanti
93 Rich Vinson/Sanborn,NY No Blanket Smoke Shop-Sanborn Shipping Service/Bicknell/Ralph Vinson
96 Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY Turn 4 Collision-Brian’s Tire-Jac-M-Up Race Gear/Troyer/New Generation
99 Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY Gypsum Express Ltd-Gypsum Wholesalers-Tracey Road Equip./Bicknell/Enders
111 Kevin Wills/Ransomville,NY Wills Dairy Farm-Smith’s Speed & Pro/Bicknell/Tom Mahar
123 Robbie Krull/Cambria,NY Krully’s General Contracting-Krull’s Heating & Cooling/Bicknell/Bob Krull

2008 Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series Schedule
*All events subject to change.
DAY-DATE LAPS TRACK LOCATION/WINNER
Sat-Apr 26 100 Merrittville Speedway Dale Planck
Fri-Aug 1 68 Ransomville Speedway Todd Burley
Thr-Aug 21 100 Mohawk Int’l Raceway Akwesasne, NY
Sun-Aug 31 100 Cornwall Motor Speedway Cornwall, ONT
Sat-Sep 6 75 Brockville Ont Speedway Brockville, ONT
Sat-Sep 13 150 Autodrome Drummond Drummondville,QUE ($15,000 to win)
Fri-Sep 19 75 Canandaigua Speedway Canandaigua, NY
Fri-Sep 26 75 Rolling Wheels Raceway Elbridge,NY
Wed-Oct 8 75 Can-Am Motorsports Park LaFargeville, NY
Thr-Oct 9 75 Brewerton Speedway Brewerton, NY
Fri-Oct 10 100 Rolling Wheels Raceway Elbridge, NY
Sat-Oct 11 150 New York State Fairgrnds Syracuse,NY ($20,000 to win)
Sat-Oct 18 100 Orange Co Fair Speedway Middletown,NY ($7,500 to win)

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