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Rain Delays Mr. DIRTcar 358-Mod Series Opener To May 18 At Merrittville

Merrittville SpeedwayThorold, ONTApril 25, 2009 – By Dave Sully, DIRTcar Racing Northeast Series Correspondent

With time trials, heat races and one consi in the books, rain reared its ugly head and forced track officials to reschedule the remainder of the Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series ‘Spring Sizzler 100’ at Merrittville Speedway.

Saturday marked the second hit by rain in two tries to start the series as early season precipitation also kayoed the April 18 show at Can-Am Motorsports Park. The remainder of Merrittville’s show has been re-scheduled for Monday, May 18 as part of a Victoria Day doubleheader with the distance shortened to 50-laps for the holiday special.

Fifty-five 358-Modifieds made the tow to Merrittville on a day that was warm and sunny until just before race time when the clouds rolled in. There were five qualifying sessions with Jimmy Phelps, Robbie Krull, defending Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar 358 Champion Pete Bicknell, Laurent Ladouceur and defending track champion Chad Brachmann the fast timers in their respective groups. Each earned pole position starts in their heats as the inversion number came up zero.

There were co-fast timers as Krull and Bicknell both carded 16.017-second laps around the fast 1/3-miler to top the field. It was Krull’s second fast time in two nights as he turned the trick at Ransomville Speedway the night before.

Heat winners came from the front row with Scott Wood, Krull, Bicknell, Pat O’Brien and Brachmann collecting the checkers.

Sixteen year-old Larry Wight won the first consi as rain began to fall, with Ransomville regular Scott Kerwin capturing the second qualifying spot. As the second consi was being staged the rain started falling in earnest, forcing officials to send the cars to the pits. From there it soon became apparent that the rain was not going to abate and the show was called, forcing the re-scheduling.

All qualifying previous to the postponement is locked in for the May 18 event. Highlighting the qualifiers were several drivers who have moved up from the DIRTcar Sportsman division this season. A big surprise was Bob Davidson, the General Manager of Humberstone Speedway, who piloted the No. 17C of his father-in-law Pete Cosco to a strong second-place finish in the fifth heat behind Brachmann. Davidson has not competed in several years.

Other impressive runs were turned in by young Mat Williamson, a former Sportsman driver, who came from sixth to finish third in the fourth heat and Mark D’Ilario, another 358-Modified rookie who out-dueled Danny O’Brien for the final qualifying spot in heat two.

The redraw for the top two finishers in each heat resulted in former Merrittville champion Larry Lampman on the pole, flanked by Jimmy Phelps. Positions three through ten will be manned by (3) Davidson, (4) David Hebert, (5) Krull, (6) Wood, (7) Laurent Ladouceur, (8) Pat O’Brien, (9) Bicknell and (10) Brachmann.

Following the make-up at Merrittville in May, 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.

2009 Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series Schedule
*All events subject to change.
DAY-DATE LAPS TRACK LOCATION/WINNER
Sat-Apr 18 Can-Am Motorsports Park Rain-Postponed, TBA
Mon-May 18 Merrittville Speedway Thorold,ONT
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)
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.