Weedsport, NY — August 20, 2009 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director
Recent full-fender feature results at Autodrome Drummond on June 13 read Pete Stefanski first, Joey Ladouceur second … June 26 at Autodrome Edelweiss: Ladouceur-1st, Stefanski-2nd … July 4 at Genesee Speedway: Stefanski-1, Ladouceur-2 … July 5 at Cornwall Motor Speedway: Ladouceur & Stefanski, 1-2. Is there a series showdown in the works?
So far in the 2009 Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series only Stefanski has come out on top, passing Ladouceur on the final lap to score a thrilling opening round victory on Independence Day at Genesee. In the second series stop won by Stefanski at Mohawk Int’l Raceway two weeks later, a rock in the radiator squelched any chance for the Alexandria, Ontario pilot to reach victory lane, dropping him to 22nd on the final scoresheet.
When tour activity resumes this weekend for rounds three and four in Canada at Drummond and Cornwall, second-generation standout Ladouceur will be looking to redeem himself and put into motion his own streak closer to home.
“The problem with Pete is he’s just too darn consistent,” remarked Ladouceur, 33, referring to the current string of 13 straight top-five tour finishes for Stefanski that took root at the start of last season. “He’s got a knack for turning his bad nights into successful outings.”
“Pete’s definitely a good driver with a lot of patience, and even more preparation when it comes to getting his car ready for every big show. He’s smooth, doesn’t overdrive and is easy on equipment. Being a clean driver, he rarely bangs up his car and always seems to save his best for the end of the race. It’s a tough combination to beat lately for everybody else,” said Ladouceur, who remains at the top of a very small list of drivers able to out-run Stefanski in ’09.
Ladouceur will get two more chances to better Stefanski on the Mr. DIRTcar champ trail when Drummond kicks off the DIRTcar doubleheader on Saturday, Aug. 22 and Cornwall follows up with a second 50-lapper on Sunday, Aug. 23. Both events boast a $1,000 winner’s share and valuable points toward the overall Hoosier-VP Mr. DIRTcar title, along with guaranteed starting berths in the Super DIRT Week Pro Stock Championship at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse on Oct. 11.
“I’m expecting some similar outcomes with Pete, hopefully we’ll end up on top one of those nights,” said Ladouceur, the Mr. DIRTcar champion in 2004, who owns eight career series wins including back-to-back triumphs at Cornwall in 2003-04. He is also a three-time and defending track champion at Cornwall and leads all drivers with 26 career DIRTcar wins at Hall of Fame promoter Ron Morin’s racy quarter-miler.
“After we cooked our motor in the Mohawk tour race (July 17) we’ve gone three for three with a new crate engine so I’m confident going into the weekend. Getting ready for Drummond last week we won Saturday and grabbed another one at Cornwall on Sunday. That’s good for us but Pete knows how to win at both places, too,” noted Ladouceur, who registered his last tour win at Autodrome Edelweiss in September of 2005. Stefanski is not only the three-time reigning Mr. DIRTcar points king, the Wheatfield, N.Y. star is also the defending series race winner at both Drummond and Cornwall.
“We set out this year only to do better than the previous one, making goals gets a little disappointing if you have trouble early and can’t make all the shows. Right now the season has already been a lot better. At this time a year ago we re-built the engine five times so a lot of time and money was spent and we were still behind. Instead of trying to make the car better and looking for ways to improve, we were worried more about just getting a car to the track to run. Definitely less stress this time around,” said Ladouceur, who will be buckled into his fully-loaded black Coffrage 20-20 no. 92 Minimax Express Cadillac STS/Stinger X mount for the weekend stint in Ontario and Quebec.
While Ladouceur will have one eye on Stefanski at each stop, the other will be staring at a stellar crop of full-fender title contenders waiting to fill the leader’s void if there’s any miscue. Sandwiched between Stefanski and Ladouceur on the current points chart through two of the nine scheduled tour events are P.J. Peters, Don Carlson and Jody Swamp, with Sean Corr, Ricky Thompson, Roch Aubin, Dion Oakes, Mike Martin, Louie Jackson, rookie William Chubb, Rob Yetman and Buddy Hencke also qualifying for the first two shows.
“Pete is certainly the one to focus more attention on but I’m sure a couple others will be in the hunt at the end, we’ll just have to see who makes the trip north this week to get a better picture,” figured Joey, who joined his father Laurent as the eldest Ladouceur was inducted into the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday (Aug. 19) evening. The popular pair became the first father/son duo to capture DIRTcar Northeast’s coveted Mr. DIRTcar crowns, with Laurent claiming the 1989 overall title in the 358-Modified ranks. “I hope I can be one of those near the top at the end, we did well last year on tour in the races I finished.”
“All the guys that have followed the tour will do okay with all their experience. I think Corr is strong but he’s new and every track he’ll hit will be for the first time. Likewise for Yetman and he’s a solid runner too. Louie (Jackson) is also a threat to win and P.J. is consistent every time out while Carlson won on tour last year. It’s a really good series with a lot of guys running close, we just have to figure out what to do with Pete now,” smiled Ladouceur, who finished fourth last season in the final points tally between current DIRTcar 358-Modified rookie Denis Gauvreau (3rd) and Peters (5th) with Carlson settling for runner-up honors more than 200 markers behind Stefanski.
For additional tour information, please contact Pro Stock Series Director Brian Mulligan (613/938-6751) or Cory Reed (cell 315/224-9009), DIRTcar Racing Northeast Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning, at the Weedsport office (315/834-6606) during normal business hours. More about the entire circuit is posted on the DIRTcar homepage at www.dirtcar.com.
Autodrome Drummond (819/474-2222) http://www.autodrome-drummond.com can be reached by traveling Auto Route 20 to exit 177, then going 1.2-miles west on Route 143. Cornwall Motor Speedway (613/938-3945) http://www.cornwallspeedway.com is located off Highway 401, Eastbound using exit 786 to Power Dam Drive and West bound taking exit 789 to Brookdale Avenue, then following the posted signs from both directions.
Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series Point Standings (July 17)
Rank No. Driver Total Diff Wins Top-5 Top-10 Starts
1 2 Pete Stefanski 200 0 2 2 2 2
2 73 P.J. Peters 162 -38 0 1 2 2
3 26 Don Carlson 156 -44 0 1 2 2
4 69 Jody Swamp 151 -49 0 1 1 2
5 92 Joey Ladouceur 137 -63 0 1 1 2
6 8 Sean Corr 130 -70 0 1 1 2
7 1 Ricky Thompson 124 -76 0 0 1 2
8 4 Roch Aubin 117 -83 0 0 1 2
9 48 Dion Oakes 115 -85 0 0 1 2
10 99 Mike Martin 112 -88 0 0 0 2
11 18 Louie Jackson 111 -89 0 0 1 2
12 78 William Chubb 104 -96 0 0 0 2
13 7 Rob Yetman 102 -98 0 0 1 2
14 10 Buddy Hencke 102 -98 0 0 1 2
15 47 Dave Bissonnette 80 -120 0 1 1 1
16 49 Bill Woodward Jr. 68 -132 0 0 1 1
17 08 Richard Bertrand 65 -135 0 0 1 1
18 6z Butch Zimmerman 60 -140 0 0 0 1
19 71 Scott Gribben 58 -142 0 0 0 1
20 48T Rod Tarbell 56 -144 0 0 0 1
21 04 John Yandoh Jr. 54 -146 0 0 0 1
22 11 John Zimmerman 54 -146 0 0 0 1
23 33 Bruno Cyr 46 -154 0 0 0 1
24 188 David Papineau 44 -156 0 0 0 1
25 98T Jack Terrell 43 -157 0 0 0 1
26 3J John Gagner 42 -158 0 0 0 1
27 1s Scott Stolzenberg 41 -159 0 0 0 1
28 62 Andrew Northrup 40 -160 0 0 0 1
29 7d Gene Tarbell 10 -190 0 0 0 0
2009 Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series Schedule
*All events subject to change.
DAY-DATE TRACK WINNER/LOCATION
Sat-Jul 4 Genesee Speedway Pete Stefanski
Fri-Jul 17 Mohawk Int’l Raceway Pete Stefanski
Sat-Aug 22 Autodrome Drummond Drummondville,QUE
Sun-Aug 23 Cornwall Motor Speedway Cornwall,ONT
Fri-Sep 11 Autodrome Edelweiss Hull,QUE ($1,500-to-win)
Sat-Sep 12 Lebanon Valley Speedway West Lebanon,NY
Sat-Sep 19 Canandaigua Speedway Canandaigua,NY
Sat-Sep 26 Rolling Wheels Raceway Elbridge,NY
Sun-Oct 11 New York State Fairgrds Syracuse,NY
The Big-Block Modified Super DIRTcar Series is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire www.hoosiertire.com and VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com. Promotional partners include Dig Safely New York www.digsafelynewyork.com and the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and the contingency sponsors are Bars Leaks www.barsproducts.com, Bert Transmission www.berttransmission.com, Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, Brodix Cylinder Heads www.brodix.com, Ferris Industries www.ferrisindustries.com, Integra Shocks www.integrashocksandsprings.com, Intercomp www.intercomp-racing.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Rislone Oil Stabilizer www.barsproducts.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.