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Dramatic Last Lap Pass Lands Stefanski Pro Stock Series Veach Memorial Win At Genesee

Pete Stefanski
Pete Stefanski - Michelle Mullen Photo

Batavia, NYAugust 2, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast PR Director

Round three of the Hoosier Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series at Genesee Speedway came down to a regular Saturday night shootout between track point leaders Pete Stefanski and Mike Martin. But on this night it was anything but normal as the second and final lead change came with the checkered flag in hand and the leaders trading paint all the way home in the extended 35-lap full-fender finale.

Just like it started, Stefanski led the last trip around —although Martin paced every lap in between— in dramatic fashion to cop the 35-lap Jack Veach Memorial presented by the American Cancer Society, with Martin clinging to second only a few feet behind the winning Sunrise Racing no. 2 San Ter Sewing-Sunrise II Sport Fishing-PJ NFB Auto Sales Chevrolet Monte Carlo entry.

“Mike’s been fast all year and he’s definitely a guy to beat here,” said Stefanski, who turns 38 on Tuesday, following his last lap heroics that netted the Wheatfield, New York driver the $1,000 top prize and increased his lead further in the overall Mr. DIRTcar standings through three of 12 races. “We were better on the green flag laps, we kept getting our nose in there.”

“When you’re gonna leave the door open and kinda come down, there’s a little bit of rubbing but I think I got him on that last corner. I didn’t really move him out of the way too much. I could’ve moved him up sooner but we were consistent with the green laps and just kept working on him,” remarked Stefanski, after posting his first series win of the season to push his career total to 15 and leave him second on the all-time list behind only three-time Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Champion Jipp Ortiz with 17 career tour triumphs.

Steering a former Stefanski ride to finish third was Steve Lewis in owner Brett Martin’s (Mike’s son) no. 2m machine, while Genesee standout Eric Greenlief and Frenchman Denis Gauvreau filled out the final front-five.

Running one-two on the Genesee points chart entering the final month of their title run at the Batavia, New York oval, heat winner Stefanski and Martin sandwiched Canadian invader Gauvreau in the second of three qualifying races. The pre-race draw offered little relief for the top tour travelers as the hometrack heroes selected the top two spots to head the 23-car starting grid.

While Stefanski jumped out early from his pole-position start, Martin bolted past on the second circuit to leave his closest pursuer feeding on the bottom the remainder of the way. With eight caution periods slowing the pace of the race, Martin wavered only once, and that was all the two-time reigning Mr. DIRTcar points king needed to duck under in turn one on the last circuit and pull away for a scant half car-length victory in the closest series race of the season in any division.

“Mike’s a good competitor and I’m sure we’ll be doing this for the rest of the series races,” noted Stefanski, who remains in search of an unprecedented third consecutive Mr. DIRTcar points crown, a feat that no driver in any class has ever pulled off since the nationally recognized organization was established in 1976. “The track was in pretty decent shape tonight, a little bumpy, but you could race on it if you were patient.”

“Some of the guys behind having a bad night definitely helps because we’re gonna have one sometime too, we just take the series races one at a time. What you get is what you get, the end result is gonna be it no matter how hard you try point racing. To come out with a win, our first series race of the season, it certainly helps with momentum. It means even more to me and my family winning on Jack Veach night, we all wish he was still here,” added Stefanski, who has won three of the past four series races at Genesee, including the last one staged in 2006.

As content as Stefanski was with his fifth victory of the season at Genesee, Martin was as disappointed after leading all but two times around in his potent red no. 99 BDK Construction-Able Auto Insurance-Basket Factory/Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

“We had a really good car tonight, just got lifted off the track a little bit there at the end but that’s racing I guess,” figured a dejected Martin, who already captured three feature wins this year at Genesee, yet was geared up for his first career victory in DIRTcar Racing NorthEast’s premier full-fender division right up until the last lap miscue. “The track was real choppy so I just tried to stay on the bottom and take it easy through the corners.”

“We tried ….. we had a good car, a fast one, and passed (Pete) on the top early in the race so we definitely thought we had a car that could win tonight. We’re a little disappointed with the outcome. He didn’t turn me around so I guess I can appreciate the fact that that didn’t happen. Pete’s a good racer, he could’ve taken me out and he didn’t. We were running pretty hard but the track was so choppy, we were just bouncing around all over the place and it was hard to get a hold of the track. We did the best we could, we came out of here with second and with all these top quality drivers we shouldn’t be ashamed of our run tonight,” Martin said.

While Martin and Stefanski led the Pro Stock parade most of the way, tour invader Louie Jackson tried his best to break up their party. The ’06 Syracuse Super DIRT Week winner and ’08 tour opener victor at Can-Am Motorsports Park charged from ninth to third after just a handful of circuits, with the Holley Hard Luck award recipient eventually blasting past Stefanski and setting his sights on Martin until a ball joint failed on lap 28 sent Jackson pitside for the remainder of the night.

Claiming two wins this season at Genesee and winner of round two of the ’08 Mr. DIRTcar Championship trail at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park on July 3, Don Barnes was never a factor as a pair of broken front shocks kept him exactly where he started (7th) and solidified his fifth-place rank in the current standings.

Traveling teams return to competition in the 2008 Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Series, with Autodrome Drummond hosting its first ever tour event on Saturday, August 23.

Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series Race #3 – Genesee Speedway, August 2, 2008 American Cancer Society presents Jack Veach Memorial Event Summary
FIN ST CAR# DRIVER / HOMETOWN
1 1 2 Pete Stefanski/Wheatfield,NY($1,000)
2 2 99 Mike Martin/Lockport,NY
3 11 2m Steve Lewis/Ransomville,NY
4 5 12g Eric Greenlief/Gasport,NY
5 12 72 Denis Gauvreau/Gatineau,QUE
6 4 71 Scott Gribben/Royalton,NY
7 7 28 Don Barnes/Gasport,NY
8 18 188 David Papineau/Akwesasne,NY
9 21 4 Roch Aubin/Alexandria,ONT
10 13 73 P.J. Peters/Akwesasne,QUE
11 10 26 Don Carlson/Richfield,CT
12 20 05 Jocelyn Roy/St-Helene,QUE
13 14 37w Ricky Thompson/Hogansburg,NY
14 19 33 Bruno Cyr/Carignan,QUE
15 22 ba98 Steve Johnston/Ingelside,ONT
16 15 6 Butch Zimmerman/Burt,NY
17 23 6x Stephane Lebrun/Gatineau,QUE
18 8 48 Dion Oakes/Akwesasne,NY
19 3 88 Allen Peters/Massena,NY
20 9 18 Louie Jackson/Akwesasne,NY
21 6 92.1 Joey Ladouceur/Alexandria,ONT
22 16 1s Scott Stolzenberg/Lockport,NY
23 17 5 Ryan Worthington/Batavia,NY
LAP LEADERS: Stefanski (1), Martin (2-34), Stefanski (35).
CAUTIONS: 8 (lap 1, lap 2, lap 8, lap 18, lap 24, lap 27, lap 28, lap 30).
HEAT WINNERS: Barnes, Stefanski, A.Peters.
SYRACUSE QUALIFIER: Pete Stefanski.
HOLLEY HARD LUCK: Louie Jackson.
CARS ENTERED: 23.
NEXT EVENT: Autodrome Drummond – August 23, 2008.

QUALIFYING
Heat Races
#1: Barnes, Lewis, Carlson, Oakes, PJ Peters, Stolzenberg, Cyr.
#2: Stefanski, Gauvreau, Martin, Gribben, Thompson, Worthington, Johnston (DNS).
#3: A.Peters, Ladouceur, Jackson, Greenlief, Zimmerman, Papineau, Roy, Aubin, Lebrun (DNS).

Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series Point Standings (Aug. 2)
Rank No. Driver Total Diff Wins Top-5 Top-10 Starts
1 2 Pete Stefanski 280 0 1 3 3 3
2 72 Denis Gauvreau 247 -33 0 2 3 3
3 26 Don Carlson 231 -49 0 1 2 3
4 73 PJ Peters 227 -53 0 2 3 3
5 11 Don Barnes 222 -58 1 1 2 3
6 4 Roch Aubin 210 -70 0 1 3 3
7 71 Scott Gribben 190 -90 0 0 1 3
8 92 Joey Ladouceur 187 -93 0 0 2 3
9 18 Louie Jackson 184 -96 1 1 1 3
10 6 Stephane LeBrun 182 -98 0 0 2 3
11 05 Jocelyn Roy 176 -104 0 0 0 3
12 33 Bruno Cyr 160 -120 0 0 0 3
13 48 Dion Oakes 160 -120 0 0 1 3
14 ba98 Steve Johnston 152 -128 0 0 0 3
15 99 Mike Martin 138 -142 0 1 1 2
16 12g Eric Greenlief 125 -155 0 1 1 2
17 188 David Papineau 124 -156 0 0 1 2
18 88 Allen Peters 123 -157 0 0 1 2
19 6z Butch Zimmerman 110 -170 0 0 0 2
20 37 Ricky Thompson 107 -173 0 0 0 2
21 49 Bill Woodward, Jr. 91 -189 0 0 0 2
22 2m Steve Lewis 90 -190 0 1 1 1
23 3 Bill Pascual 85 -195 0 1 1 1
24 14 Mitchell Jock 65 -215 0 0 1 1
25 99s Roy Seavey 50 -230 0 0 0 1
26 93 Dick Parkhurst 48 -232 0 0 0 1
27 69 Jody Swamp 46 -234 0 0 0 1
28 2m Brett Martin 45 -235 0 0 0 1
29 27 Gilles Godard 45 -235 0 0 0 1
30 4 Dean Charbonneau 44 -236 0 0 0 1
31 09 Robert Rowe 44 -236 0 0 0 1
32 1s Scott Stolzenberg 42 -238 0 0 0 1
33 11 Mike Vaughn 42 -238 0 0 0 1
34 5 Ryan Worthington 41 -239 0 0 0 1
35 98T Jack Terrell 40 -240 0 0 0 1

UMP/DIRTcar Pro Stock Entries – August 2 (23)
CAR# DRIVER / HOMETOWN TEAM (Sponsor / Chassis / Engine)
05 Jocelyn Roy/St-Helene,QUE Roy Racing Products-Lettrage Lucy/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/CRT
1s Scott Stolzenberg/Lockport,NY Teez To Pleez Embroidery/Pontiac Grand Prix/Black Widow
2 Pete Stefanski/Wheatfield,NY Sunrise Racing-SanTer Sewing-Sunrise II Sport Fishing/Chevrolet MC/EMS
2m Steve Lewis/Ransomville,NY BJNFB Trailer Sales-Creative Customs/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/JACR
4 Roch Aubin/Alexandria,ONT Home Hardware-OK Tire-Alain Beaupres Construction/Chevrolet MC/Cannizzaro
5 Ryan Worthington/Batavia,NY O’Ryan’s Tree Service-Team Newton/Chevrolet Camaro/Worthington
6 Stephane Lebrun/Gatineau,QUE Mecanotech-Omax Restaurant/Pontiac Grand Prix/Wild Thing
6z Butch Zimmerman/Burt,NY T&R Corner Store-Able Auto Wrecking/Pontiac Grand Prix/Stefanski
12g Eric Greenlief/Gasport,NY HFI Hydro Fabrication Inc.-N.E.S. Outlet/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Black Widow
18 Louie Jackson/Akwesasne,NY Native Cigarettes-Action Race Parts-C&B Enterprises/Chevrolet MC/Stinger
26 Don Carlson/Richfield,CT Benziger Winery-Kleer Trim Board/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/EMS
28 Don Barnes/Gasport,NY Original Pizza Logs-Action Race Parts-CNFX Designs/Pontiac GTO/Black Widow
33 Bruno Cyr/Carignan,QUE Soudure Welding-Secure Deck/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Stinger
37w Ricky Thompson/Hogansburg,NY 37 West Steakhouse & Lounge-Forbs Copy Centre/Chevrolet MC/Cannizzaro
48 Dion Oakes/Akwesasne,NY Orca Power Boats-Mohawk Billiards/Chevolet Impala/Cannizzaro
71 Scott Gribben/Royalton,NY Gerry’s Service-Top Shop Collision/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Stinger
72 Denis Gauvreau/Gatineau,QUE Gauvreau Top Soil-Micheline Richard Royal LePage/Chevrolet MC/EMS
73 P.J. Peters/Akwesasne,QUE Sunrise Bakery-Jake’s Pit Stop/Chevrolet Impala/JACR
88 Allen Peters/Massena,NY Sunrise Bakery/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro
92.1 Joey Ladouceur/Alexandria,ONT Sweet Dreams Racing-Minimax Express/Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS/Stinger
ba98 Steve Johnston/Ingelside,ONT Snap Trucking-Bub’s Auto/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Stinger
99 Mike Martin/Lockport,NY BDK Construction-Able Auto Insurance-Basket Factory/Chevrolet MC/JACR
188 David Papineau/Akwesasne,NY Skidders Garage-Team Papi/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Exactly three weeks stand until traveling teams return to competition in the 2008 Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Series, with Autodrome Drummond hosting its first ever tour event on Saturday, August 23. Cornwall Motor Speedway stages its annual stop on Aug. 31 to close out the month with track bonus points issued after Labor Day. *NOTE: The series event originally listed at Thunder Alley Speedpark on Friday, August 22 has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled.

2008 Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Series Championship Schedule
*All events subject to change.
DAY-DATE LAPS TRACK LOCATION/WINNER
Sat-Apr 19 25 Can-Am Motorsports Park Louie Jackson
Thr-Jul 3 25 Rolling Wheels Raceway Don Barnes
Sat-Aug 2 35 Genesee Speedway Pete Stefanski
Sat-Aug 23 30 Autodrome Drummond Drummondville,QUE
Sun-Aug 31 50 Cornwall Motor Speedway Cornwall,ONT
Fri-Sep 5 100 Autodrome Edelweiss Hull,QUE
Sat-Sep 6 30 Mohawk Int’l Raceway Hogansburg,NY
Sat-Sep 20 30 Canandaigua Speedway Canandaigua,NY
Sat-Sep 27 30 Rolling Wheels Raceway Elbridge,NY
Fri-Oct 3 30 Fulton Speedway Fulton,NY
Sun-Oct 12 25 New York State Fairgrnds Syracuse,NY
Sun-Oct 19 25 Orange Co Fair Speedway Middletown,NY

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 and Hoosier Racing Tire. Rite Aid Corporation is a promotional partner and the contingency sponsors are Bars Leaks, Bert Transmission, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Crane Cams, Dig Safely New York, Holley HP Carburetors, Integra Shocks, Intercomp, KSE Racing Products, Motorsports Safety Systems, Penske Shocks, Rislone Oil Stabilizer and Wrisco Industries.