Weedsport, NY — December 12, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director
After racking up three consecutive series victories in August, Wheatfield, New York standout Pete Stefanski closed out his record-setting campaign winning three of the final four trail races to claim an unprecedented third straight overall Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Championship. Those six tour triumphs aboard the no. 2 Sunrise Racing-SanTer Sewing-Totem Pole Novelties/Chevrolet Monte Carlo EMS entry also vaulted him to the top of the all-time Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Series win list with 20 first-place trophies. Including his first-ever checkered flag at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, a fourth consecutive autumn victory at Fulton Speedway and his initial Eastern States Weekend win in the Orange County Fair Speedway finale, the reigning Genesee Speedway points king registered a division-high win total for the fourth straight year, in 2008 reaching victory lane 12 times at 7 tracks to retain his position as DIRTcar Racing Northeast’s all-time career win leader with 78.
The first full season on tour for popular New Englander Don Carlson paid big dividends as he put his Benziger Winery no. 26 Kleer Trim Board/Dodge Charger EMS mount in victory lane at Canandaigua to highlight a string of six Top-Five finishes in the 11 extra-distance series events. A weekend warrior at Orange County, where he posted his initial Pro Stock feature win in July, the Ridgefield, Connecticut runner logged a second-place finish at Rolling Wheels along with a pair of third-place tallies at Fulton and Autodrome Drummond to highlight his tour debut.
Sitting second on the DIRTcar Northeast win list with 10 in 2008, fast Frenchman Denis Gauvreau from Gatineau, Quebec scored his lone series victory on home soil at Autodrome Edelweiss to secure third in the final standings. Gauvreau posted five Top-Five finishes steering his Gauvreau Top Soil no. 72 Micheline Richard Royal LePage/ Chevrolet Monte Carlo EMS ride, collecting runner-up laurels twice at Rolling Wheels and in the inaugural tour stop at Drummond. A five-time winner at Edelweiss this season, he was crowned points champion in the combined track title chase that involved specials at both Edelweiss and Thunder Alley Speedpark.
Second-generation star Joey Ladouceur rallied late in the season to end up a solid fourth in the Mr. DIRTcar Championship on the strength of five Top-Five tallies. Honored as the series overall champion in 2004, Ladouceur registered three runner-up finishes on both sides of the border behind the wheel of the sleek Sweet Dreams no. 92 Minimax Express/Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Stinger machine. The all-star from Alexandria, Ontario netted a handful of regular-season wins at Cornwall Motor Speedway, the site of one second-place tour finish and where he earned the ’08 season points championship.
A fifth-year follower of DIRTcar Northeast’s top traveling tour for full-fender teams, P.J. Peters from Akwesasne, Quebec climbed the highest ever after rounding out the Top-Five on the series points chart. Placing fourth in the final season standings at Cornwall, Peters finished among the front-five in five of the first six tour events. He scored a series best third-place finish at Cornwall strapped into his familiar Sunrise Bakery no. 73 Jake’s Pit Stop/Chevrolet Impala JACR entry.
Another regular-season campaigner at Cornwall on Sunday nights, ’06 Rookie of the Year Dion Oakes from Akwesasne, New York ended up a career-high sixth in series points with a season-best second-place run recorded at Fulton. Even with two more Top-Five tallies at Cornwall and Rolling Wheels in the Orca Power Boats no. 48 Mohawk Billiards/Chevolet Impala Cannizzaro mount, Oakes was selected as the Holley ‘Hard Luck’ award recipient in 2008 after qualifying for all 11 main events.
On the heels of a runner-up finish in the final ’07 Mr. DIRTcar standings, the second half of the brothers tandem traveling from the north country, Allen Peters out of Massena, New York settled for seventh in this year’s edition. Third at Edelweiss and fifth at Fulton were his best finishes steering the Sunrise Bakery no. 88 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Cannizzaro car, racking up seven Top-10s in the 10 events qualified. The older of the Peters racing clan scored two wins at Mohawk Int’l Raceway over the summer, finishing third in his latest track title bid.
Fresh off his Rookie of the Year accolades received in ‘07, Frenchman Jocelyn Roy improved to eighth-place in the overall Mr. DIRTcar standings with his lone front-five feature finish posted at Fulton to open October. The St-Helene, Quebec chauffeur collected the initial track points title in the first year of DIRTcar Pro Stock sanction at Drummond, putting the Roy Racing Products no. 05 Lettrage Lucy/Chevrolet Monte Carlo CRT machine in victory lane four times to lead all Saturday night regulars.
All-time DIRTcar Pro Stock winner at Autodrome Edelweiss, Stephane Lebrun from nearby Gatineau, Quebec finished ninth using four Top-10s to make the list. The ’08 Mohawk Int’l points king improved from 12th in the Mr. DIRTcar Championship a year ago steering the Mecanotech no. 6 Omax Restaurant/Pontiac Grand Prix Wild Thing ride, with seventh-place bests logged in the Can-Am Motorsports Park April opener and Rolling Wheels World Series Weekend in autumn.
Past Super DIRT Week winner and single-lap record-holder on the Syracuse Mile, Louie Jackson copped the Can-Am lid-lifter to round out the Top-10 in points yet a handful of DNFs thwarted any chance to continue the early pace up front. The Akwesasne, New Yorker followed up with three more front-five finishes aboard the Native Cigarettes no. 18 Action Race Parts-C&B Enterprises/Chevrolet Monte Carlo Stinger entry, reached second in the season standings at Cornwall with one win and placed ninth at Mohawk where he took four of his six checkered flags in 2008.
DIRTcar Northeast’s top full-fender rookie in ’08, Bruno Cyr made all 11 events with Drummond (8th) and Fulton (9th) the best showings in his memorable series traveling debut. The first-year chauffeur from Carignan, Quebec drove his Soudure Boucherville no. 33 Secure Deck/Chevrolet Monte Carlo Stinger special to second-place in the Drummond point standings recording seven Top-Five finishes along the way.
Buckled in behind the wheel of the Home Hardware no. 4 OK Tire-Alain Beaupres Construction/Chevrolet Monte Carlo Cannizzaro car, Roch Aubin claimed the final point fund payoff spot by finishing 12th in the ’08 Mr. DIRTcar standings missing only the last event. Racing out of Alexandria, Ontario, Aubin scored his first career Pro Stock victory at Edelweiss in an August 50-lapper, then settled into sixth-place on the final points chart at Cornwall. His lone tour Top-Five was fifth in Can-Am’s lead-off event.
2008 Overall Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series
Point Standings (FINAL)
Rank No. Driver Points Series Track Diff. Wins T-5 T-10 Starts
1 2 Pete Stefanski 1,336 1,040 296 0 6 11 11 11
2 26 Don Carlson 1,115 847 268 -221 1 6 8 11
3 72 Denis Gauvreau 1,092 800 292 -244 1 5 8 11
4 92 Joey Ladouceur 1,086 786 300 -250 0 5 8 11
5 73 PJ Peters 1,059 805 254 -277 0 5 9 11
6 48 Dion Oakes 977 727 250 -359 0 3 6 11
7 88 Allen Peters 974 686 288 -362 0 2 7 10
8 05 Jocelyn Roy 949 655 294 -387 0 1 4 11
9 6 Stephane Lebrun 904 616 288 -432 0 0 4 11
10 18 Louis Jackson 864 572 292 -472 1 4 4 9
11 33 Bruno Cyr® 863 609 254 -473 0 0 2 11
12 4 Roch Aubin 862 622 240 -474 0 1 5 10
13 37 Ricky Thompson 778 524 254 -558 0 2 2 9
14 99 Mike Martin 670 374 296 -666 0 1 1 7
15 11 Don Barnes 642 362 280 -694 1 1 4 5
16 ba98 Steve Johnston 635 451 184 -701 0 0 0 9
17 188 David Papineau 602 348 254 -734 0 0 2 6
18 6x Travis Back 595 331 264 -741 0 0 2 6
19 71 Scott Gribben 488 312 176 -848 0 0 2 5
20 27 Gilles Godard 470 198 272 -866 0 0 1 4
21 12g Eric Greenlief 452 178 274 -884 0 1 1 3
22 6z Butch Zimmerman 424 158 266 -912 0 0 0 3
23 2m Brett Martin 385 143 242 -951 0 0 0 3
24 3 Bill Pascual 373 85 288 -963 0 1 1 1
25 09 Robert Rowe 372 84 288 -964 0 0 0 2
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 and Sunoco Race Fuels. Promotional partners include AMB i.t., Rite Aid Corporation and the University of Northwestern Ohio and the contingency sponsors are Bert Transmission, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Crane Cams, Integra Shocks, MSD Ignitions, Motorsports Safety Systems, Penske Shocks and Wrisco Industries.