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First Year Success Found In 2010

2010 DIRTcar Rookies
2010 DIRTcar Rookies - Bill Moore Photo

Weedsport, NYDecember 10, 2010 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director

Highlighted by Motorsports Safety Systems/G-FORCE Rookie of the Year award recipients Lance Willix II (Big-Block Modified), Luke Whitteker (358-Modified), Jamie Platt & Brent Kelsey (co-Sportsman Modified) and Chip Smith Jr. (Pro Stock) that were each honored at the annual ‘Night of Champions’ awards celebration in November, the 35th consecutive season of operation for DIRTcar Racing recognized a healthy number of first time feature winners in 2010.

Within the DIRTcar Northeast sector’s four top series, 59 first-time winners were entered in the World Racing Group record book after 656 main events grabbed headlines at 34 storied speedways around the region — amounting to a new face in victory lane every 11 shows. A return trip to the winner’s circle was made by 26 newcomers, with two full-fender drivers even rising to the top in their home track point standings.

From the list of seven first-time DIRTcar Big-Block winners, Eastern New York veteran Ray Hoard at Lebanon Valley Speedway accompanied capital district counterpart Jim Davis from Glen Ridge Motorsports Park as the only drivers to repeat in the Northeast’s premier Modified division. The mighty Mod Squad staged 160 events at 27 tracks with 48 drivers taking checkered flags.

An elite group of 10 first-time winners reached paydirt in the ’10 DIRTcar 358-Modified ranks, with rookie Whitteker and 2009 Super DIRT Week Sportsman champion Matt Billings scoring three wins while Niagara Frontier front runner Chad Chevalier added two of his own. An even 10 tracks ran off 155 main events with 62 small-block drivers joining the finish line celebration.

Headed by an influx of Glen Ridge runners Mike Tholin (3 wins), Brian Pessolano (2), Justin Boehler (2) and Derrick McGrew (2) among the 18 drivers taking their first Sportsman division trophies were Canadian chauffeurs Cody McPherson (5) and Rob Murray (2) from St. Catharines, Ont., along with north country racer Dana Aikens (2) and second-generation pilot Allan Wills (2). In all, 63 different drivers displayed their talents in 189 features contested at 15 tracks around the Northeast.

Sparked by the first year of class sanction at Autodrome Granby and Glen Ridge, exactly two dozen (24) drivers from the list of 52 collected their first feature win in 152 DIRTcar Pro Stock events held at 12 tracks over the seven-month season. Glen Ridge and Fonda Speedway points champion Rocky Warner (11) was joined by Glen Ridge winners Walt Brownell (5), rookie Smith (4) and Jeremy Pitts (2), while Alain Brochu (4), Bruno Cyr (3), Stephane Lemire (3) and Guy Viens (2) were victorious during the year at Granby. Pete Broderson scored a pair at Fonda, where Syracuse Super DIRT Week champion Warner and Smith also won, while Victor Hopkins and Chad Jeseo doubled up at Lebanon Valley Speedway, Corey Wheeler matched Lemire with two at Drummond, and rising second-generation star A.J. Flick repeated at Lernerville Speedway.

Commemorating their greatest career accomplishments to date, DIRTcar NE rookies Willix, Whitteker, Platt, Kelsey and Smith collected lucrative Motorsports Safety Systems prize packages at the season ending banquet that included a new G-FORCE helmet, set of six-point G-FORCE safety belts, pair of G-FORCE driving gloves, and a $225 gift certificate toward the purchase of a HANS device. Willix was also rewarded with a ButlerBuilt Advantage Seating System following his first season chasing Big-Block points.

2010 Motorsports Safety Systems/G-FORCE Racing Gear
DIRTcar Racing Northeast Rookies of the Year
LANCE WILLIX II – Theresa, N.Y. (37 yrs.) ….. $4,000 Big-Block Modified award
– driver of the no. 16 SUNY Canton-TRC-Nor-Shir Construction/Bicknell entry;
– competed at Can-Am (4th pts/5 top-5), Cayuga County (17th pts/2 top-10, 10 starts);
– finished 16th in overall Mr. DIRTcar Modified pts (10th-place best at Orange Co. Fair Speedway);
– G-FORCE Helmet, 6-Pt Safety Belts/Driving Gloves; a $225 HANS gift certificate; $1000 cash ….. plus a Butler Built Advantage Seating System.

LUKE WHITTEKER – Iroquois, Ont. (17 yrs.) ….. $1,750 358-Modified award
– driver of the no. 38 Rust Check-Toy Storage Boat Transport/Bicknell entry;
– competed at Edelweiss (3rd pts/2 wins, 10 top-5), Cornwall (5th pts/1 win, 5 top-5;
– finished 10th in overall Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified points (9 series race starts);
– G-FORCE Helmet, 6-Pt Safety Belts/Driving Gloves; a $225 HANS gift certificate; $750 cash.

JAMIE PLATT – Watertown, N.Y. (33 yrs.) ….. $1,500 Sportsman award
– driver of the no. 17J Clarence Center Coach-Husky Property Management/Troyer entry;
– competed at Can-Am (8th pts, 3 top-5, 17 starts);
– finished 13th in overall Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman pts (6 series race starts);
– G-FORCE Helmet, 6-Pt Safety Belts/Driving Gloves; a $225 HANS gift certificate; $250 cash.

BRENT KELSEY – Plantagenet, Ont. (36 yrs.) ….. $1,500 Sportsman award
– driver of the no. 30 Rockland Ford-Castrol-A&W Restaurant Rockland/Bicknell entry;
– competed at Mohawk (3rd pts, 11 top-5, 16 starts), Cornwall (1 Top-5, 5 starts);
– finished 17th in overall Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman pts (3 series race starts);
– G-FORCE Helmet, 6-Pt Safety Belts/Driving Gloves; a $225 HANS gift certificate; $250 cash.

CHIP SMITH JR. – Durham, N.Y. (40 yrs.) ….. $1,250 Pro Stock award
– driver of the no. 116s Cricketdale Farm/Pontiac Grand Prix entry;
– competed at Glen Ridge (5th pts/3 wins, 11 top-5), Fonda (7th pts/1 win);
– finished 4th in overall Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock pts standings (4 top-5 finishes in 9 starts);
– G-FORCE Helmet, 6-Pt Safety Belts/Driving Gloves; a $225 HANS gift certificate; $250 cash.

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.