Home | Divisions | 358 Modifieds | Tomkins Claims 1st Career Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Main At Coffey’s Expense

Tomkins Claims 1st Career Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Main At Coffey’s Expense

Gary Tomkins
Gary Tomkins - G.T. Smith Photo

Brewerton, NYOctober 9, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast PR Director
*G.T. Smith Photo

A pair of late race yellow flags extended the Leaf Racewear 75 an extra nine laps and that was just what Gary Tomkins needed as he grabbed the lead from Vic Coffey with two to go and cruised home for his first career Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series victory Thursday night at Brewerton Speedway.

Tomkins collected the $3,000 top prize for his first-ever checkered flag during a Super DIRT Week satellite event, with his only other win earned in a Big-Block Triple 20 heat race qualifier on the Syracuse Mile in 2004.

“This really pumps up the boys the for the rest of the weekend, its always good to win no matter what happens,” beamed Tomkins, who had already won eight DIRTcar Big-Block Modified features at Brewerton where he captured the 2004 track points championship. “I just have to thank Mike Payne, this is his car and his motor and the guys put in a lot overtime to let me come out here and have some fun.”

Tomkins finished second to Coffey in the sixth and final qualifying heat to help sort out the 57-car Small-Block field. With just five laps to go in the scheduled 75-lap main event, Coffey blasted by in his no. 32c Sweeteners Plus/Troyer ride and seemed on his way to a fifth career tour win at the D-Shaped DIRT Demon. But a yellow flag for a stray uke tire on lap 71 followed by another caution for the stalled mount of early leader Brett Hearn on lap 76 forced a lap 83 restart which opened the door for Tomkins’ late race heroics aboard the potent Honeoye Auto Parts no. 84 Bicknell machine.

Pete Bicknell extended his Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified points lead with a third-place finish while Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block campaigners Dale Planck and Jimmy Phelps rounded out the front-five. Tomkins mid-week victory also earned him a guaranteed starting position in the 358-Modified Championship scheduled for October 11 of Super DIRT Week XXXVII at the New York State Fairgrounds.

Pole-sitter Planck paced the 31-car grid before ninth-place starter Hearn caught the leader on the low side to make the first exchange up front on lap 17. Tomkins was in position to inherit the lead when Holley Hard Luck Award recipient Hearn suffered a flat right-front tire on lap 60 while Planck, Bicknell and Coffey stayed close in pursuit. Coffey rallied past Tomkins on lap 70 yet the final restart proved to be the difference as only a half car-length separated the top two runners at the line.

“I didn’t know if I had enough to get back by Vic. But for some reason, in the beginning of the race it wasn’t very good on restarts yet at the end it really was. My hat’s off to Vic, he drove a heckuva race. I tried giving him room, if I did (pass) I wanted to make sure it was clean. With Brett having a flat tire, that definitely helped because he was a rocket. Don’t know if I would’ve got back by him. I just had to hit the bottom right and I couldn’t do it for a while. This place isn’t easy to drive, towards the end I got enough laps where I could figure out what to do. Then Vic drove by me like I was parked, but restarts won us another race,” Tomkins added.

With the first-place check seemingly tucked away in his back pocket, a disgruntled Coffey watched an almost sure second victory of the season slip out of his grasp as the late race yellows curtailed his best effort.

“Guys have been coming here for a long time, I don’t really know why they gotta come out here and bring 2-3 yellows out the last couple laps,” remarked Coffey, whose lone DIRTcar victory this season came in the Big-Block ranks at Canandaigua (NY) Speedway in June. “I mean you break, go in the pits and stay there. They came back out here and there’s no money in the back. A guy that’s won 6-700 races gotta stop on the race track and bring out another yellow, I don’t understand it but that’s racing I guess. We got jumbled around early in the race and fought our way back, had to go all over the place to do it. But second pretty much sucks right now.”

While a runner-up tally for Coffey was far from acceptable for the Leicester, New York driver, veteran Canadian chauffeur Bicknell from St. Catharines, Ontario was far more content with the show position.

“It was a good run for us, we don’t come here very often so its always a change for me when we do,” said Bicknell, after the two-time overall champion extending his lead in the Mr. DIRTcar title chase to 35 markers over eighth-place finisher Danny O’Brien, who is still in search of his first 358-Modified points crown. “It’s a fun track to race at, sometimes 2-3 wide at times so it was making things pretty interesting.”

“I had to hope I got a good finish for the points, that was the main thing. Vic found a good top and I saw him out there and wondered if I should try it. But Dale (Planck) wasn’t as fast on the restarts and my car was able to get a good jump on those restarts. I found a nice line running low so I just stayed there the rest of the way and here we are,” Bicknell noted.

Racing in the Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series speeds on in round three of the four-race stint scheduled in four days during the annual Super DIRT Week extravaganza in the Salt City. Rolling Wheels Raceway Park continues the rare quadrupleheader Friday, October 10 on the eve of the headline 150-lap Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Series Championship race slated for Saturday on the Syracuse Mile.
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Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series Race #7 – Brewerton Speedway, October 9, 2008 ‘Leaf Racewear 75’ Event Summary
Feature
FIN STR CAR# DRIVER
1 3 84 Gary Tomkins/Clifton Springs,NY($3,000)
2 6 32c Vic Coffey/Leicester,NY
3 5 42 Pete Bicknell/St.Catharines,ONT
4 1 77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY
5 10 99j Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville, NY
6 7 66x Carey Terrance/Akwesasne,NY
7 15 85 Dan Vauter/Forest City,PA
8 19 17d Danny O’Brien/Kingston,ONT
9 14 b2 Bob Henry Jr./Clay,NY
10 30 74 Frederic Gamache/Granby,QUE
11 28 3b Chad Brachmann/Sanborn,NY
12 21 42b Kevin Bates/Lake Ariel,PA
13 17 124 Pierre DagenaisGatineau,QUE
14 26 99L Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY
15 12 39 Clement Therrien/Victoriaville,QUE
16 13 72t Tommy Flannigan/St.Catharines,ONT®
17 16 13 Greg Monica/North Bangor,NY
18 24 19z Jessica Zemken/Sprakers,NY
19 31 88k Randy Chrysler/Tuscarora,NY
20 18 23 Larry Lampman,Jr./Port Colborne,ONT
21 9 4* Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ
22 25 19L John Lazore/Hogansburg,NY
23 2 38 Scott Wood/Thorold,ONT
24 8 15j Tim Jones/Sanborn,NY
25 20 16 Lance Willix II/Theresa,NY
26 23 22 Mario Clair/St-Edmond,QUE
27 27 9 Mark Smoke/Akwesasne,NY
28 4 5 Todd Burley/Spencerport,NY
29 11 124m Tim McCreadie/Watertown,NY
30 22 1j Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY
31 29 66w Wallace Stacey/Kahnawake,QUE
EVENT SUMMARY:
GATER NEWS LAP LEADERS: Planck (1-16), Hearn (17-59), Tomkins (60-69), Coffey (70-82), Tomkins (83-84).
CAUTIONS: 10 for 30 laps.
HEAT WINNERS: Wood, Hearn, Bicknell, D.Planck, Jones, Coffey.
CONSI WINNERS: D.O’Brien, Willix.
BICKNELL RACING PRODUCTS WINNER AWARD: Gary Tomkins.
SYRACUSE 150 QUALIFIER: Gary Tomkins.
HALFWAY LEADER: Brett Hearn.
BERT HARD CHARGER: Frederic Gamache.
HOLLEY HARD LUCK: Brett Hearn.
PENSKE POWER POSITION (13th): Pierre Dagenais.
TOTAL PURSE: $15,925.
CARS ENTERED: 57.
NEXT EVENT: Rolling Wheels Raceway Park – October 10, 2008.
DID NOT QUALIFY(26)
007-Roy Tarbell/Hogansburg,NY
1-Rick Rogala/Syracuse,NY
5h-Chris Hile/Syracuse,NY
8-Tim O’Brien/Kingston,ONT
8jr.-J.R. Crouse/Nazareth,PA
9jr.-Travis Braun/Jordan Station,ONT
11-Bob Broomfield/Youngstown,NY
12-Brian Sage/Brockport,NY
14-Mitchell Jock/Akwesasne,NY®
16x-Danny Creeden/Middletown,NY
17-Ryan Grim/Laurys Station,PA
17c-Pete Cosco/St.Catharines,ONT
19f-Tim Fuller/Edwards,NY
55j-Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY
Sixty-Bill Gill/Plessis,NY
66d-Dexter Stacey/Kahnawake,QUE
72-Ted Lamb Jr./Clay,NY
73-Alain Boisvert/Pointe-Claire,QUE
77-Steve Planck/Cortland,NY
82s-Roy Shields/King Ferry,NY
90-Martin Roy/Napierville,QUE
94-Ray Hoard/Granville,NY
m96-Brian McDonald/Cornwall,ONT
97-Michel Chicoine/Ste-Cecile de Milton,QUE
112b-Dave Baranowski Jr./Valley Falls,NY
117-Alex Tonkin/Carbondale,PA
Heat Races (10 laps, top 3 finishers transferred to feature, top 2 went to re-draw)
#1: Wood, Terrance, Flannigan, S.Planck, Chrysler, McDonald, Grim, Hoard, Fuller.
#2: Hearn, Burley, Henry, D.O’Brien, Zemken, Wight, Smoke, Bates, Tonkin, Hile.
#3: Bicknell, Phelps, Vauter, Clair, Cosco, Rogala, Lamb, Brachmann, Braun.
#4: D.Planck, Therrien, Monica, Shields, W.Stacey, Jock, Crouse, T.O’Brien, Boisvert.
#5: Jones, McCreadie, Dagenais, Tarbell, Chicoine, Broomfield, Roy, D.Stacey, Lazore.
#6: Coffey, Tomkins, Lampman, A.Johnson, Willix, Creeden, Gamache, Gill, Baranowski, Sage.
Consolation Round (10 laps, top 2 finishers transferred to feature)
#1: S.Planck (DSQ), D.O’Brien, Bates, Clair, Chrysler, Zemken, Fuller, D.Johnson, McDonald, Grim, Wight, Hoard, Braun, Tonkin, Smoke, Rogala, Brachmann, Cosco, Lamb (DNS).
#2: Willix, A.Johnson, W.Stacey, Gamache, Shields, Creeden, T.O’Brien, Boisvert, Tarbell, Lazore, Sage, Broomfield, Gill, Chicoine, Crouse, Baranowski, Jock, Roy (DNS), D.Stacey (DNS).
Guarantees: Clair, Zemken, Lazore, Wight, Smoke, Brachmann.
Provisionals: W.Stacey, Gamache, Chrysler.

Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series Points (thru October 9)
Rank No. Driver Total Series Bonus Diff Wins T-5 T-10 Starts
1 42 Pete Bicknell 836 540 296 0 0 4 6 7
2 17d Danny O’Brien 801 501 300 -35 2 4 5 7
3 3b Chad Brachmann 740 464 276 -96 0 1 3 7
4 5 Todd Burley 713 413 300 -123 1 2 3 7
5 99L Larry Wight® 694 394 300 -142 0 1 2 7
6 66x Carey Terrance 682 398 284 -154 0 0 3 7
7 9s Mark Smoke 599 307 292 -237 0 0 0 7
8 16 Lance Willix II 586 310 276 -250 0 0 0 7
9 19L John Lazore 578 286 292 -258 0 0 1 6
10 19z Jessica Zemken® 557 277 280 -279 0 1 1 5
11 66 Dale Planck 550 446 104 -286 1 4 4 6
12 22c Mario Clair 514 250 264 -322 1 1 2 6
13 72 Tommy Flannigan® 508 284 224 -328 0 0 1 6
14 007 Roy Tarbell 473 223 250 -363 0 0 0 4
15 124 Pierre Dagenais 462 182 280 -374 0 1 1 3
16 23 Laurent Ladouceur 462 178 284 -374 0 1 1 3
17 4* Brett Hearn 444 168 276 -392 0 0 1 3
18 38 Scott Wood 435 143 292 -401 0 0 1 3
19 28 Scott Kerwin 429 155 274 -407 0 1 1 2
20 26 Rick Richner 429 175 254 -407 0 0 2 3
21 39 Clement Therrien 428 164 264 -408 0 0 1 3
22 80 Chris Steele 427 205 222 -409 0 0 1 4
23 22 Eric Gauvreau 424 136 288 -412 0 0 0 3
24 1h David Hebert 417 121 296 -419 0 0 1 2
25 123 Robbie Krull 404 130 274 -432 0 1 1 2
26 23L Larry Lampman Jr. 398 122 276 -438 0 0 1 2
27 90 Martin Roy 398 110 288 -438 0 0 0 2
28 14 Mitchell Jock® 389 125 264 -447 0 0 1 2
29 15J Tim Jones 384 144 240 -452 0 0 0 3
30 46 Kayle Robidoux 376 76 300 -460 0 0 1 1
31 96 Kyle Dingwall 375 95 280 -461 0 1 1 1
32 54 Steve Bernard 374 122 252 -462 0 0 1 2
33 20 Jeff McGinnis 358 86 272 -478 0 0 1 1
34 80 Jeff Marshall 358 72 286 -478 0 0 1 1
35 44 Sebastien Gougeon 356 90 266 -480 0 1 1 1
36 97 Michel Chicione 352 166 186 -484 0 0 0 3
37 93 Richie Vinson 352 100 252 -484 0 0 0 2
38 21 Yan Bussiere 341 85 256 -495 0 0 0 2
39 71 Delbert LeGrow 340 94 246 -496 0 0 0 2
40 40 Joel Doiron 340 60 280 -496 0 0 0 1
41 151 Brian McDonald 334 82 252 -502 0 0 1 1
42 111 Kevin Wills 333 107 226 -503 0 0 0 2
43 96 Danny Johnson 331 261 70 -505 0 1 2 4
44 23b Dany Bilodeau 322 90 232 -514 0 1 1 1
45 M70 Billy Cook 321 95 226 -515 0 1 1 1
46 41 Boyd MacTavish 320 102 218 -516 0 0 0 2
47 9 Ken Cosgrove 320 76 244 -516 0 0 1 1
48 95 Mark Hitchcock 312 42 270 -524 0 0 0 1
49 49 Francois Bernier 310 58 252 -526 0 0 0 1
50 74 Fred Gamache 304 124 180 -532 0 0 1 2

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 Mario Clair
Sun-Aug 31 100 Cornwall Motor Speedway Danny O’Brien
Sat-Sep 12 75 Brockville Ont Speedway Rain-Cancelled
Sat-Sep 13 152 Autodrome Drummond Danny O’Brien
Fri-Sep 19 75 Canandaigua Speedway Jimmy Phelps
Fri-Sep 26 75 Rolling Wheels Raceway Rain-Cancelled
Wed-Oct 8 75 Can-Am Motorsports Park Rain
Thr-Oct 9 84 Brewerton Speedway Gary Tomkins
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)

2008 358-MODIFIED SYRACUSE CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS
(+)-denotes Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series event.
DAY-DATE TRACK WINNER/QUALIFIER
Sat-Apr 19 Orange County Fair Speedway Brett Hearn
Sat-Apr 26+ Merrittville Speedway Dale Planck
Sat-May 10 Airborne Speedway Patrick Dupree
Fri-May 16 Autodrome Edelweiss Pierre Dagenais
Sat-May 17 Brockville Ontario Speedway Jessica Zemken
Mon-May 19 Merrittville Speedway Larry Lampman Jr.
Fri-May 23 Ransomville Speedway Pete Bicknell
Sat-May 24 Lebanon Valley Speedway Tom Faxon
Sat-May 24 Mohawk Int’l Raceway Tim Fuller
Fri-May 30 Autodrome Granby Kayle Robidoux
Sat-Jun 7 Autodrome Drummond David Hebert
Sat-Jun 21 Lebanon Valley Speedway Kenny Tremont
Sun-Jun 22 Cornwall Motor Speedway Carey Terrance
Sun-Jun 22 Humberstone Speedway Chad Brachmann
Thr-Jul 3 Ransomville Speedway Robbie Krull
Fr-Jul 4 Autodrome Edelweiss Mitchell Jock
Sat-Jul 5 Can-Am Motorsports Park Billy Decker/Larry Wight(9th)
Thr-Jul 10 Brockville Ontario Speedway B.Decker/Danny O’Brien(9th)
Fri-Jul 11 Autodrome Granby B.Hearn/Alain Boisvert(12th)
Sat-Jul 12 Autodrome Drummond D.Planck/Dany Bilodeau(13th)
Sat-Jul 12 Canandaigua Speedway Todd Burley/Rich Vinson(8th)
Sat-Jul 12 Lebanon Valley Speedway J.R. Heffner
Sat-Jul 19 Autodrome Drummond D.Hebert/Clement Therrien(2nd)
Fri-Jul 18 Ransomville Speedway Todd Burley
Sat-Jul 19 Orange County Fair Speedway Craig Mitchell
Thr-Jul 31 Mohawk Int’l Speedway D.Hebert/Joel Doiron(4th)
Fri-Aug 1+ Ransomville Speedway T.Burley/Scott Kerwin(2nd)
Fri-Aug 1 Autodrome Edelweiss Mario Clair
Sun-Aug 3 Cornwall Motor Speedway D.Planck/Yan Bussiere(5th)
Mon-Aug 4 Merrittville Speedway Jimmy Phelps/Scott Wood(10th)
Wed-Aug 6 Airborne Speedway Martin Roy
Fri-Aug 8 Ohsweken Speedway P.Bicknell/Bill Bleich(2nd)
Sat-Aug 9 Lebanon Valley Speedway Matt Quinn
Sat-Aug 9 Autodrome Drummond K.Robidoux/Francois Bernier(2nd)
Sat-Aug 16 Can-Am Motorsports Park Gary Tomkins/Lance Willix II(14th)
Sat-Aug 16 Orange County Fair Speedway Jerry Higbie
Sun-Aug 17 Cornwall Motor Speedway G.Tomkins/Kyle Dingwall(6th)
Sun-Aug 17 Humberstone Speedway C.Brachmann/Brian Stevens(3rd)
Thr-Aug 21+ Mohawk Int’l Raceway M.Clair/Danny Johnson(2nd)
Sat-Aug 23 Lebanon Valley Speedway Andy Bachetti
Fri-Aug 29 Ransomville Speedway T.Burley/Jeff McGinnis(5th)
Sat-Aug 30 Orange County Fair Speedway Tommy Meier
Sat-Aug 30 Merrittville Speedway L.Lampman,Jr./Tim Jones(6th)
Sat-Aug 30 Mohawk Int’l Raceway John Lazore
Sat-Aug 30 Airborne Speedway P.Dupree/Mark Lamberton(2nd)
Sun-Aug 31+ Cornwall Motor Speedway D.O’Brien/Laurent Ladouceur(3rd)
Mon-Sep 1 Northern Region Champion Kayle Robidoux
Mon-Sep 1 Eastern Region Champion Jerry Higbie
Mon-Sep 1 Western Region Champion Pete Bicknell
Fri-Sep 5 Autodrome Granby M.Clair/Frederic Gamache(6th)
Sat-Sep 7 Lebanon Valley Speedway(2) Corey Sandstedt, Ray Hoard(11th)
Sat-Sep 7 Lebanon Valley Speedway(2) Art Collins, Kale Groff(9th)
Sat-Sep 13+ Autodrome Drummond(2) D.O’Brien/Pat O’Brien(2nd), Sebastien Gougeon(3rd)
Fri-Sep 19+ Canandaigua Speedway Jimmy Phelps
Sun-Sep 21 Airborne Speedway K.Tremont/Mike Bruno(2nd)
Sat-Oct 4 Fulton Speedway D.Johnson/Pat Ward(3rd)
Thr-Oct 9+ Brewerton Speedway Gary Tomkins
Fri-Oct 10+ Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Elbridge,NY
Sat-Oct 11+ New York State Fairgrounds Syracuse,NY

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