Weedsport, NY — December 8, 2010 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director
2010 marked the 16th season that DIRTcar Racing recognized an overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Champion, yet it ended like no other before as Louie Jackson from Akwesasne, N.Y. captured the coveted title by a single point with third just two more markers back. Proving that consistency can provide big dividends on the championship trail, action Jackson traded in trips to victory lane for a tour-best eight Top-10 finishes to secure his first career championship. Recording a trio of Top-3 runs in the opening four series events, Jackson put his Adams Marina no. 18 Keegan Smoke Shop/Chevrolet Monte Carlo Black Widow entry in the front-five for the final time on home soil at Mohawk Int’l Raceway —all-time track leading 23 wins— in September leading up to the dramatic conclusion at Brockville’s DIRTcat Northeast Fall Nationals in October. Despite going winless in the ’10 series, four-time tour race winner Jackson racked up valuable track bonus points by finishing 2nd in the standings at Mohawk (4 wins) and 3rd at Cornwall Motor Speedway (2 wins) to highlight his biggest season yet.
Sophomore Series chauffeur Corey Wheeler from Cornwall, Ont. rose to the occasion in 2010 as he battled bumper-to-bumper with the tour veterans in every turn to grab second by just one point in the final Hoosier-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship standings. A runner-up tally at Autodrome Drummond was the best of Wheeler’s five Top-5 finishes on tour, although it was his stirring third-place showing in the Brockville finale that nearly put an exclamation point on a remarkable run to the title. Also settling for second in points at Cornwall, he reached victory lane in his two other special appearances at Drummond, placing eighth in track points at Mohawk steering the Fat Les’s Chip Stand no. 47S Valade Backhoe-RSI Industrial Supply/Cadillac ETS Cannizzaro machine.
In prime position to garner a second career Mr. DIRTcar crown from opening day on, second-generation standout Joey Ladouceur fell just three points shy in his latest effort and wound up third in the 2010 edition. Despite towing to Brockville’s Global Warranty NE Fall Nationals 23 points behind the leader, in a last lap scramble Ladouceur ultimately lost the title by dropping from third to fourth in a move that resulted in third-place race finisher Wheeler vaulting into 2nd-place behind Jackson in the final standings. The Alexandria, Ont. ace posted two tour triumphs, missing the Top-10 just twice at nine series stops, while garnering the most (3) Fast Time awards. The pilot of the potent Coffrage 20-20 no. 92 Minimax Express/Cadillac STS Stinger X car was just as successful in the weekly wars, taking 10 checkered flags during the summer —-now with 82 DIRTcar Pro Stock victories, 2nd all-time— to help clinch his third straight track title at Cornwall.
Distinguished as the Motorsports Safety Systems Rookie of the Year in 2010, Chip Smith Jr. from Durham, N.Y. emerged as the most successful first-year DIRTcar Pro Stock pilot during the millennium with his fourth-place finish in the overall Hoosier-VP Racing Fuels points chase. Shadowing the leaders early with three consecutive Top-5 tour tallies by Labor Day, 40 year-old Smith put his Cricketdale Farm no. 116S Pontiac Grand Prix Cannizzaro mount among the Top-10 in seven of the nine extra-distance series shows. Making his home at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park in Fultonville, N.Y., he used three feature wins to climb into fifth-place on the track points chart, adding a fourth checkered flag in mid-season at nearby Fonda Speedway to cap off the ’10 campaign.
In June becoming only the second true Frenchmen to triumph in Pro Stock competition since the tour’s inception in 1995, Autodrome Drummond record-setter Jocelyn Roy from St-Helene, Que. rounded out the Top-5 in overall Mr. DIRTcar points. Along with registering the biggest victory of his career in decisive flag-to-flag fashion at Drummond, Roy scored seven more feature wins to collect his third successive track points crown at the 60 year-old Quebec oval. Wheeling his LaSalle Ford no. 05 Excavation Michel Bernier-Lettrage Lucy/Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS CRT entry to fast times in qualifying for both series shows at Drummond and Granby, Roy added a ninth win at Granby where he logged his only other front-five finish (3rd) on the 2010 summer tour.
One of the most respected full-fender pilots on tour, veteran racer Dave Bissonnette from Apple Hill, Ont. improved two positions from the previous year to fall in sixth on the final 2010 Hoosier-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar points chart. In just his third season pursuing the elusive overall points title, ‘Bulldog’ raced to runner-up honors at Mohawk and fourth-place at Granby to highlight his four Top-10 finishes on the championship trail. Driving the Totem Pole Novelties no. 47 Sweet Dreams/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro ride on both sides of the border, the three-time DIRTcar track champion added five feature wins (3-Mohawk, 2nd pts; 2-Cornwall, 4th pts) to move him to eighth all-time with 41 on the Northeast circuit.
A staple in DIRTcar Northeast’s full-fender traveling show, P.J. Peters from Akwesasne, Que. finished among the Top-10 in overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship points for the sixth consecutive season, placing seventh in 2010. Claiming his second career series victory at Mohawk Int’l, he added a pair of fifths in season-ending tour events at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park and Brockville Ontario Speedway to give him three Top-5 finishes qualifying for all nine features. Peters figured 8th in the final standings at Cornwall with one victory while buckled into his familiar Sunrise Racing no. 73 Hair Secrets Salon/Chevrolet Impala JACR ride.
Cracking the Top-10 in points for the first time in his budding career, Ricky Thompson from Hogansburg, N.Y. made all nine shows to fall in eighth on the final Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock chart. After ending up 13th the past two seasons on tour, Thompson logged his lone front-five series finishes this year at Lebanon Valley (3rd) and in the Cornwall opener (5th), adding three more Top-10s behind the wheel of his speedy Brass Horse Grill no. 1R S&L Construction/Chevrolet Camaro Cannizzaro entry. Still in search of his first series victory, he used five feature wins to capture his first DIRTcar track championship at Mohawk and took two more checkered flags at Cornwall to secure 7th in season points.
Bolstered by the advent of the class sanctioning at Glen Ridge Motorsports Park, Buddy Hencke from Sand Lake, N.Y. returned to the Pro Stock ranks in 2010 to earn 9th-place in the Mr. DIRTcar Championship. Contending for the overall title for the first time since ending up fifth in 2004, Hencke made a handful of Top-10 runs in eight main events with a 4th-place best netted on foreign soil at Autodrome Drummond in June. Strapped into the familiar red Refrigerant Solutions no. 10 Chevrolet Monte Carlo Stinger X mount throughout the summer at home and on the road, he reached victory lane at Glen Ridge in May and garnered second in the tracks’ season-long points chase by September.
In his second successive season contending for tour honors, Rob Yetman from Castleton, N.Y. claimed the final point fund payoff spot by finishing 10th in the 2010 overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar standings. Already a 3-time series race winner at Lebanon Valley Speedway where he is also a two-time track champ (2004-05), despite earning bonus points at Fonda he added a fourth tour triumph on the high banks while breaking new ground with his first international victory at Autodrome Granby. Yetman qualified for seven series shows in his Lazzaro’s Auto Body no. 7 Madsen Overhead Door/Pontiac Grand Prix/JACR machine, placing in the Top-10 each time including two more front-fives at Drummond (3rd) and Rolling Wheels (4th).
2010 Overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series Point Standings (FINAL)
Rank No. Driver Total Series Bonus Diff Wins Top 5 Top 10 Starts
1 18 Louie Jackson 1,666 681 985 0 0 4 8 9
2 47s Corey Wheeler 1,665 680 985 -1 0 5 7 9
3 92 Joey Ladouceur 1,663 663 1000 -3 2 4 7 9
4 116s Chip Smith Jr.® 1,597 642 955 -69 0 4 7 9
5 05 Jocelyn Roy 1,590 590 1000 -76 1 2 4 9
6 47 Dave Bissonnette 1,558 583 975 -108 0 2 4 9
7 73 P.J. Peters 1,526 591 935 -140 1 3 3 9
8 1r Ricky Thompson 1,512 512 1000 -154 0 2 5 9
9 10 Buddy Hencke 1,499 514 985 -167 0 1 5 8
10 7 Rob Yetman 1,443 488 955 -223 2 4 7 7
11 48 Dion Oakes 1,428 463 965 -238 0 0 0 9
12 6 Stephane Lebrun 1,386 431 955 -280 0 0 0 9
13 188 David Papineau 1,361 421 940 -305 0 0 1 8
14 79 Rocky Warner® 1,309 309 1000 -357 1 2 3 4
15 99 Ghislain Valade 1,286 331 955 -380 1 2 3 4
16 88 Allen Peters 1,278 352 926 -388 0 0 1 7
17 115 Stephane Lemire 1,219 234 985 -447 0 0 2 4
18 15 Guy Viens® 1,205 265 940 -461 0 0 0 6
19 33 Bruno Cyr 1,201 201 1000 -465 0 0 0 4
20 8 Jay Corbin 1,175 175 1000 -491 0 2 2 2
21 69 Jody Swamp 1,145 215 930 -521 0 1 3 3
22 0 Francois Adam® 1,130 155 975 -536 0 0 1 3
23 17T Rod Tarbell 1,130 185 945 -536 0 0 0 4
24 23 Chuck Towslee 1,112 127 985 -554 0 0 2 2
25 7e Ryan Stabler ® 1,098 166 932 -568 0 0 1 3
The Big-Block Super DIRTcar Series is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire www.hoosiertire.com, VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com and GM Performance Parts www.gmperformanceparts.com. Promotional partners include the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and Chizmark & Larson Insurance www.chizmarklarson.com, and contingency sponsors are Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, MSD Ignition www.msdignition.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Vicci Racing Apparel www.vicci.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.