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Lampman Last To Lead In DIRTcar 358-Mod Series Thriller At Merrittville

Larry Lampman, Jr.
Larry Lampman, Jr. - Alex Bruce Photo

Thorold, ONTMay 18, 2009 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director

It took three extra weeks to find a winner in the Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series opener at Merrittville Speedway, and still one additional lap before officials could finally bestow the coveted crown on Monday.

That was just enough time for local favorite Larry Lampman Jr. to charge past American invader Jimmy Phelps and roll on to capture his first career tour triumph in the ‘Spring Sizzler 50’ to begin his own Victoria Day celebration.

Not only is Lampman the current points leader at the storied Thorold, Ontario third-miler, the two-time Merrittville champion now stands atop the standings after round one of the 2009 Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series.

“Racing here every week definitely helps,” stated Lampman, 33, who stole the lead from Phelps just before the yellow lights flashed for the fifth and final time to produce a green-white-checkered flag finish. “And the lapped traffic definitely helped out tonight.”

“Phelps, Planck, Bicknell and Brachmann … all these guys are some of the best short-track racers in the country. And its always an honor to race against them. Jimmy got me on that one restart high, it was a good race for him. The track was pretty slippery so some of my experience certainly paid off at the end,” remarked Lampman, who finished eighth in this same race last spring after starting at the rear of the field in the borrowed ride of owner Dan Miller’s Players Athletic Lager Co./Bicknell entry.

This time around recognized as the first-string driver in Miller’s yellow no. 22 CMH Leasing/BRP mount, Lampman remained up front throughout the race, overtaking front row partner Phelps on the second circuit and swapping the point four more times before warming the capacity crowd with a dramatic story-book finish. Phelps settled for runner-up honors followed by last year’s race winner Dale Planck, hard charger Stewart Friesen and all-time Merrittville winner Pete Bicknell, who was placed fifth after Frenchman David Hebert was penalized from jumping on the last restart.

Fifty-five 358-Modifieds signed in at Merrittville on April 25 before rain intervened to delay the show until the Canadian holiday. Finishing second in his heat to co-fast time trialer Robbie Krull, Lampman took advantage of the customary pre-race draw to select the pole. He joined Phelps on the front row when activity resumed three weeks later with still 41 cars making the tow to the fan-friendly Highway 50 facility.

While Lampman and Phelps paced the 32-car starting field for the duration, top-10 positions fluctuated behind them as smooth track conditions prevailed to provide plenty of side-by-side battles in every corner. Veteran drivers mired deep in the all-star line-up were among the biggest movers on the day with no less than a half-dozen of the most seasoned chauffeurs improving at least 16 positions in the 33-minute main.

While 20th starter Planck broke the top-10 with 20 laps scored, third-generation standout Friesen made his way from 26th into the first 10 spots by the halfway point. Lampman and Phelps held a commanding lead ahead of Scott Wood —fresh off his recent Saturday night victory at Merrittville— and Hebert while Planck powered his way into the front-five with 30 laps complete.

Just as Lampman had ducked under Phelps for first-place on an earlier lap 13 restart, Phelps nearly mirrored the move on the lap 32 restart yet after just one more lap around the Baldwinsville, New York speedster was out front for the third time. Planck and Wood traded paint in pursuit of the show position while Bicknell and Friesen dialed in their mounts as the final laps clicked off.

The same green flag conditions that allowed Phelps to build up a seemingly comfortable lead with 10 laps to go proved to be the deciding factor as traffic grew thicker in the closing stages. Phelps made a bold move splitting the machines of New Yorker Lance Willix and New Jerseyman Rich Scagliotta on lap 42 to find some room, yet with five laps still to go Lampman was back in his shadow in pursuit of his second win of the season at Merrittville.

With the white flag ready to drop on the lead duo as they exited turn four, Lampman got the needed bite and nosed ahead across the line just as Wood’s day came to an abrupt with a spin out of the third corner to force out the final yellow. The two-lap dash to the checkers was hardly enough for Phelps to challenge the Port Colborne, Ontario pilot with Lampman opening up a two car-length advantage as he crossed the stripe to collect the $4,000 top prize.

“The track definitely fooled us a little bit tonight,” admitted Phelps, who registered his first career 358-Modified Series win last September at Canandaigua (NY) Speedway after dominating the Big-Block tour stop at Merrittville just one month prior. “We should’ve tightened it up for this deal.”

“It was a fun race out there, could’ve went either way. Larry did a helluva job, he kept digging on those restarts. He just jumped out there on that last one and I couldn’t stay with him. He had the best car and did a great job so congratulations, he deserves it,” added Phelps, after leading 21 laps aboard the potent no. 99J J&B Installations-Town Mechanical/Troyer entry.

Returning to Merrittville after lapping up to the runner-up car of Danny O’Brien in last year’s 100-lap romp, Planck settled for the show position steering the RezX Racing no. 77X Grow It Hydroseeding/TEO mount.

“We knocked out the pan-hard bar and after that all we could do was just hang on for the ride,” noted Planck, who owns four victories on DIRTcar Racing Northeast’s premier tour for Small-Block Modifieds. “So I’m really happy just to be here.”

“The track was super and slickened up which was good because we raced at Cornwall (Ont.) last night and left in the same set-up. We didn’t get any hot laps tonight so its hard to complain about the way things went for us,’ Planck added.

Racing in the Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Series continues back in the states later in the summer when Ransomville (NY) Speedway hosts round #2 of the premier Small-Block Modified tour in the Northeast on Friday, July 31. Coors Light and Hard Copy Wholesale present the 25th Alex Friesen Summer Nationals with $4,000 on the line for the 100-lap feature winner.

SKIDMARKS
Lampman’s second feature win in three outings this year at Merrittville also guaranteed him an automatic starting berth in the 358-Modified Championship on October 10 of Super DIRT Week XXXVIII at he New York State Fairgrounds … Pat O’Brien and Larry Wight were the only two qualified drivers from April 25 that failed to return in May. O’Brien was sidelined after a bone-jarring crash in the Advance Series Big-Block lid-lifter held April 26 at Big Diamond Raceway in Pennsylvania while a late departure for the Gypsum Express curtailed the best laid plans on Monday by Wight, the ’08 358-Modified rookie of the year, who copped the first consi run in April … The 2009 Mr. DIRTcar 358 Series began with two consecutive rain-outs in April. While Merrittville returned on may 18, the tour stop knocked out by precipitation on April 18 at Can-Am Motorsports Park has been rescheduled for Friday, September 18.

Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series Race #1 – Merrittville Speedway, May 18, 2009 2nd Annual ‘Spring Sizzler 50’ Event Summary
Feature
FIN STR CAR# DRIVER
1 1 22 Larry Lampman,Jr./Port Colborne,ONT ($4,000)
2 2 99j Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville, NY
3 20 77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY
4 26 55 Stewart Friesen/Niagara-o-t-Lake,ONT
5 9 42 Pete Bicknell/St.Catharines,ONT
6 22 7* Danny O’Brien/Kingston,ONT
7 4 1 David Hebert/St. Damase,QUE
8 24 28 Scott Kerwin/Newfane,NY
9 27 44 Brian Stevens/St.Catharines,ONT
10 11 80 Chris Steele/Fenwick,ONT
11 28 66x Carey Terrance/Akwesasne,NY
12 18 25 Bobby Herrington/Elginburg,ONT
13 7 23 Laurent Ladouceur/Alexandria,ONT
14 14 6m Mat Williamson/St.Catharines,ONT
15 19 26r Rick Richner/Niagara Falls,NY
16 12 69 Rob Pietz/Gasline,ONT
17 3 17c Bobby Davidson Jr/St.Catharines,ONT
18 23 76 Travis Braun/Jordan Station,ONT
19 13 22c Mario Clair/St-Edmond,QUE
20 25 52 James Friesen/St.Catharines,ONT
21 30 72 Tommy Flannigan/St.Catharines,ONT
22 16 55p Perry Francis/Akwesasne,NY
23 29 16w Lance Willix II/Theresa,NY
24 15 8 Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ
25 31 9 Mark Smoke/Akwesasne,NY
26 6 38 Scott Wood/Thorold,ONT
27 33 96 Fred Carleton/Niagara-o-t-Lake,ONT
28 34 5* Tim Jones/Sanborn,NY
29 5 123 Robbie Krull/Cambria,NY
30 32 71 Mike Bowman/St.Catharines,ONT
31 10 3b Chad Brachmann/Sanborn,NY
32 17 08 Mark D’Ilario/Smithville,ONT
DNS *8 6 Pat O’Brien/Kingston,ONT
DNS *21 99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY
*Did not return after qualifying on April 25.
GATER NEWS LAP LEADERS: Phelps (1), Lampman (2-8), Phelps (9-12), Lampman (13-32), Phelps (33-48), Lampman (49-51).
CAUTIONS: 5 (lap 9, lap 13, lap 24, lap 32, lap 50).
HEAT WINNERS: Wood, Krull, Bicknell, P.O’Brien, Brachmann (run 4/25).
CONSI WINNERS: Wight, D.O’Brien, Braun (1st race run 4//25).
BICKNELL RACING PRODUCTS WINNER AWARD: Larry Lampman Jr.
SYRACUSE SUPER DIRT WEEK QUALIFIER: Larry Lampman Jr.
HALFWAY LEADER: Larry Lampman Jr.
BERT HARD CHARGER: Stewart Friesen.
PENSKE POWER POSITION (17th): Bobby Davidson Jr.
FAST TIME TRIALERS: Robbie Krull & Pete Bicknell (16.017sec/74.920mph) *run 4/25.
TOTAL PURSE: $23,025.
CARS ENTERED: 55.
NEXT EVENT: Ransomville Speedway – July 31, 2009.
DID NOT QUALIFY(21)
xXx-Todd Gordon/St.Catharines,ONT
8s-Justin Sharp/St.Catharines,ONT
13-Tony Steiner/Jamesville,NY
14-Mitchell Jock/Akwesasne,NY
22e-Eric Gauvreau/Chelsea,QUE
22j-Jeremy Wilder/Fort Plain,NY
26h-Luke Carleton/Port Colborne,ONT
33-Mike Mahaney/King Ferry,NY
37s-Wayne Conn Jr./St.Catharines,ONT
40-Joel Doiron/Alexandria,ONT
47-Simon Harvey-Perreault/Longueuil,QUE
m70-Billy Cook/Akwesasne,NY
72g-Denis Gauvreau/Gatineau,QUE
72t-Todd Stewart/Kingston,ONT
75-Boyd MacTavish/Ransomville,NY
82-Ken Winfield/Fort Erie,ONT
91-Travis Cunningham/Grimsby,ONT
95-Alex Boisvert/Drummondville,QUE
95x-Philippe Desgranges/La Presentation,QUE
97-Michel Chicoine/Ste-Cecile de Milton,QUE
108-Bill Bleich/Port Robinson,ONT

QUALIFYING (run April 25)
FAST AVE
TIME MPH CAR# DRIVER
1 16.017 74.920 123 Robbie Krull
16.017 74.920 42 Pete Bicknell
3 16.037 74.827 99j Jimmy Phelps
4 16.090 74.580 3b Chad Brachmann
5 16.149 74.308 17c Bobby Davidson
6 16.221 73.978 23 Laurent Ladouceur
7 16.232 73.928 38 Scott Wood
8 16.250 73.846 6 Pat O’Brien
9 16.284 73.692 80x Chris Steele
10 16.299 73.624 99L Larry Wight
11 16.302 73.611 55 Stewart Friesen
12 16.326 73.502 1 David Hebert
13 16.356 73.368 26r Rick Richner
14 16.370 73.305 6m Mat Williamson
15 16.381 73.256 22e Eric Gauvreau
16 16.432 73.028 91 Travis Cunningham
17 16.440 72.993 08 Mark D’Ilario
16.440 72.993 8 Rich Scagliotta
19 16.442 72.984 22 Larry Lampman Jr.
20 16.451 72.944 44 Brian Stevens
21 16.458 72.913 25 Bobby Herrington
22 16.462 72.895 7* Danny O’Brien
23 16.464 72.886 69 Rob Pietz
24 16.465 72.882 55p Perry Francis
25 16.470 72.860 33 Mike Mahaney
26 16.481 72.811 76 Travis Braun
27 16.497 72.740 66 Dale Planck
28 16.535 72.573 66x Carey Terrance
29 16.566 72.438 40 Joel Doiron
30 16.573 72.407 28 Scott Kerwin
31 16.579 72.381 22c Mario Clair
32 16.625 72.180 72 Tommy Flannigan
33 16.659 72.033 72t Todd Stewart
34 16.681 71.938 95 Alex Boisvert
35 16.696 71.874 97 Michel Chicoine
36 16.709 71.818 108 Bill Bleich
37 16.719 71.775 8s Justin Sharp
38 16.726 71.745 16w Lance Willix II
39 16.736 71.702 96 Fred Carleton
40 16.843 71.246 xXx Todd Gordon
41 16.852 71.208 88 Boyd MacTavish
42 16.866 71.149 13 Tony Steiner
43 16.927 70.893 82 Ken Winfield
44 16.942 70.830 5* Tim Jones
45 16.952 70.788 22j Jeremy Wilder
46 16.966 70.730 26h Luke Carleton
47 16.970 70.713 72g Denis Gauvreau
48 17.026 70.480 m70 Billy Cook
49 17.140 70.012 14 Mitchell Jock
50 17.766 67.545 47 Simon Harvey-Perreault
51 40.267 29.801 71 Mike Bowman
52 -NT- —– 95x Philippe Desgranges
53 -NT- —– 52 James M. Friesen
54 -NT- —– 9 Mark Smoke
55 -NT- —– 37s Wayne Conn Jr.

Heat Races (8 laps, top 4 finishers transferred to feature, top 2 went to re-draw) *run April 25
#1: Wood, J.Phelps, Steele, Francis, Kerwin, Doiron, F.Carleton, Bowman, Flannigan, MacTavish, Desgranges.
#2: Krull, Lampman, Pietz, D’Ilario, D.O’Brien, Mahaney, Chicoine, Willix, Sharp, L.Carleton, Harvey-Perreault.
#3: Bicknell, Hebert, Clair, Herrington, Braun, J.Friesen, Conn, Jones, Jock, D.Gauvreau, Smoke (DNS).
#4: P.O’Brien, Ladouceur, Williamson, Richner, Wight, S.Friesen, E.Gauvreau, Bleich, Steiner, Gordon, Cook.
#5: Brachmann, Davidson, Scagliotta, Planck, Cunningham, Stevens, Terrance, Stewart, Wilder, Winfield, Boisvert.
Consolation Round (8 laps, top 2 finishers transferred to feature)
#1: Wight, Kerwin, Bowman, Stevens, Mahaney, Bleich, Sharp, Wilder, D.Gauvreau, Cook, Desgranges, Conn (run April 25).
#2: D.O’Brien, J.Friesen, F.Carleton, Willix, Cunningham, Gordon, MacTavish, Smoke, E.Gauvreau (NS), Stewart (NS), Jock (NS), Harvey-Perreault (NS), Boisvert (NS).
#3: Braun, S.Friesen, Jones, Terrance, Flannigan, Chicoine, Winfield, L.Carleton, Doiron (NS), Steiner (NS).
Provisionals: Stevens, Terrance, Willix, Flannigan, Smoke, Bowman, F.Carleton, Jones.

Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series Point Standings (May 18)
Rank No. Driver Points Series Diff Wins Top-5 Top-10 Starts
1 22 Larry Lampman Jr. 100 100 0 1 1 1 1
2 99J Jimmy Phelps 95 95 -5 0 1 1 1
3 66 Dale Planck 90 90 -10 0 1 1 1
4 55 Stewart Friesen 85 85 -15 0 1 1 1
5 42 Pete Bicknell 80 80 -20 0 1 1 1
6 7* Danny O’Brien 76 76 -24 0 0 1 1
7 1 David Hebert 72 72 -28 0 0 1 1
8 28 Scott Kerwin 68 68 -32 0 0 1 1
9 44 Brian Stevens 65 65 -35 0 0 1 1
10 80x Chris Steele 62 62 -38 0 0 1 1
11 66x Carey Terrance 60 60 -40 0 0 0 1
12 25 Bobby Herrington 58 58 -42 0 0 0 1
13 23 Laurent Ladouceur 56 56 -44 0 0 0 1
14 6m Mat Williamson 54 54 -46 0 0 0 1
15 26R Rick Richner 52 52 -48 0 0 0 1
16 69 Rob Pietz 50 50 -50 0 0 0 1
17 17c Bobby Davidson 48 48 -52 0 0 0 1
18 76 Travis Braun 46 46 -54 0 0 0 1
19 22c Mario Clair 45 45 -55 0 0 0 1
20 52 James M. Friesen 44 44 -56 0 0 0 1
21 72 Tommy Flannigan 43 43 -57 0 0 0 1
22 55p Perry Francis 42 42 -58 0 0 0 1
23 16w Lance Willix II 41 41 -59 0 0 0 1
24 38 Scott Wood 40 40 -60 0 0 0 1
25 96 Fred Carleton 40 40 -60 0 0 0 1
26 71 Mike Bowman 40 40 -60 0 0 0 1
27 123 Robbie Krull 40 40 -60 0 0 0 1
28 08 Mark D’Ilario 40 40 -60 0 0 0 1
29 5* Tim Jones 40 40 -60 0 0 0 1
30 9 Mark Smoke 40 40 -60 0 0 0 1
31 3b Chad Brachmann 40 40 -60 0 0 0 1
32 8 Rich Scagliotta 40 40 -60 0 0 0 1
33 40 Joel Doiron 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
34 88 Boyd MacTavish 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
35 95X Philippe Desgranges 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
36 33 Mike Mahaney 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
37 97 Michel Chicone 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
38 8s Justin Sharp 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
39 26h Luke Carleton 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
40 47 Simon Harvey-Perreault 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
41 72g Denis Gauvreau 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
42 14 Mitchell Jock 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
43 37s Wayne Conn 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
44 6 Pat O’Brien 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
45 99L Larry Wight 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
46 22e Eric Gauvreau 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
47 108 Bill Bleich 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
48 XXX Todd Gordon 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
49 13 Tony Steiner 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
50 M70 Billy Cook 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
51 91 Travis Cunningham 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
52 72T Todd Stewart 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
53 95 Alex Boisvert 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
54 82 Ken Winfield 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0
55 22J Jeremy Wilder 10 10 -90 0 0 0 0

2009 Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series Schedule
*All events subject to change.
DAY-DATE LAPS TRACK LOCATION/WINNER
Mon-May 18 Merrittville Speedway Larry Lampman Jr.
Fri-Jul 31 Ransomville Speedway Ransomville,NY
Sun-Sep 6 Cornwall Motor Speedway Cornwall,ONT
Fri-Sep 11 Mohawk International Raceway Akwesasne,NY
Sat-Sep 12 Brockville Ontario Speedway Brockville,ONT
Sun-Sep 13 Autodrome Granby Granby,QUE ($10,000 to win)
Fri-Sep 18 Can-Am Motorsports Park LaFargeville,NY
Sat-Sep 19 Autodrome Drummond Drummondville,QUE ($10,000 to win)
Fri-Sep 25 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Elbridge,NY
Wed-Oct 7 Can-Am Motorsports Park LaFargeville,NY
Thr-Oct 8 Brewerton Speedway Brewerton,NY
Fri-Oct 9 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Elbridge,NY
Sat-Oct 10 New York State Fairgrounds Syracuse,NY ($20,000 to win)
Sat-Oct 17 -TBA-

DIRTcar Racing Northeast main office is located in Weedsport, New York on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds www.cayugacountyfairspeedway.com, home of the 2009 DIRTcar All-Star Weekend, July 17-19, featuring Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series events for Sportsman and Big-Block Modifieds in the richest short-track show of its kind in the nation — the $20,000-to-win Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series “DIRTcar All-Star 100” on Sunday, July 19.

Headquartered in Roanoke, Va., Advance Auto Parts, a leading automotive aftermarket retailer of parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items in the United States, serves both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets As of April 19, 2008, the Company operated 3,291 stores in 40 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Additional information about the Company, employment opportunities, customer services, and on-line shopping for parts and accessories can be found on the Company’s web site at www.advanceautoparts.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, Hoosier Racing Tire www.hoosiertire.com and VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com. Promotional partners include Rite Aid Corporation www.riteaid.com, Dig Safely New York www.digsafelynewyork.com and the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and the contingency sponsors are Bars Leaks www.barsproducts.com, Bert Transmission www.berttransmission.com, Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, Brodix Cylinder Heads www.brodix.com, Ferris Industries www.ferrisindustries.com, Integra Shocks www.integrashocksandsprings.com, Intercomp www.intercomp-racing.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Rislone Oil Stabilizer www.barsproducts.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.