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Not Even Rain Can Stop Stefanski In Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Romp At Fulton

Pete Stefanski
Pete Stefanski - Rick Young Photo

Fulton, NYOctober 3, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast PR Director

For the past three years Pete Stefanski has maintained a stronghold on the Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series event at Fulton Speedway. Friday night was no different for Stefanski other than the fact that rain shortened an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory to 22 laps as the Schneider Bros. 200 Weekend kicked off for the 23rd successive season at the popular Route 57 raceway.

“To be honest, I never even thought about rain when the race started, didn’t want to put myself in a panic mode” remarked Stefanski, after posting his tour-high fifth series triumph in nine races with only Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds and Eastern States Weekend at Orange County Fair Speedway standing between him and a record third Mr. DIRTcar points crown. No driver has claimed three straight Championships in any division since DIRTcar was established in 1976.

“But once the rain started hitting my (helmet) shield I thought I was in trouble. The first five laps I could barely see yet after things cleared up the track came in great. I just love this place, you got as much room as you want to get the job done. Wish I could come back here every week and race,” added Stefanski, who needs just to start the final two tour shows in Syracuse and Middletown to wrap up the coveted title.

Following in Stefanski’s tire tracks when the race was finally called due to rain were Dion Oakes, Don Carlson, pole-sitter Jocelyn Roy and Allen Peters. Despite falling eight circuits shy of the advertised 30-lap feature race distance, Stefanski still pocketed the $1,200 top prize for his division-high 11th UMP Pro Stock victory of the season, his 10th career triumph at Fulton.

Stefanski opened the show with an apparent checkered flag in the first of two qualifying heats yet an early race incident with P.J. Peters sent him to the back on the scoresheet and the Wheatfield, New York pilot was forced to fill in 17th on the 19-car starting grid come feature time

“It was just the first turn of the first lap and I actually swerved to miss Joey (Ladouceur) and ended up running into my own teammate,” noted Stefanski, who wasn’t penalized until the conclusion as the preliminary event went caution-free. “I couldn’t do much about it and being put to the rear for the feature was pretty severe. I guess that gave me a little more drive because I knew I had to get to the front as quick as I could.”

With the top-six qualifiers from each heat re-drawing, Roy assumed the point alongside Scott Gribben while race winners Ladouceur (11th) and Ricky Thompson (9th) were not as fortunate. Roy jumped out early and held off Gribben until turn four contact sent Thompson spinning to force out the first yellow flag. Gribben’s night came to end following a turn three-four skirmish on the ensuing lap eight restart.

Ladouceur vaulted into fourth back under green, then inched ahead of Travis Back across the line the following circuit. Roch Aubin and Bret Belden tangled in turn four to incur another caution period on lap 11, and at the same time, Ladouceur looped his mount and collected Back and Stephane Labrun in the turn one mishap.

With the green lights back out, Roy was back out front yet after sliding out of the groove in turn four Oakes gained his first lead on lap 13 with Carlson dropping Roy back another position the following circuit. The sprinkles that began to moisten the high-banked 3/8-miler on lap 11 momentarily subsided at the halfway mark with Oakes, Carlson, Roy, Denis Gauvreau and P.J. Peters securing front-five spots.

The third and final yellow flag unfurled on lap 19 for a spinning Morgan David machine in turn four and with the field ready to return under green it was Stefanski suddenly charging into fourth. He stormed into the runner-up slot on lap 20 and the next time around disposed of Oakes on the high side exiting turn four for what would be the final exchange up front.

With rain returning harder than before, a red flag was thrown and the field was brought into the pits as the clock struck 10 p.m. The intermittent rain allowed Pro Stockers to give it one more try at 10:25, yet soonafter were called back off the track. Packer vehicles attempted to save the racing surface but officials had no choice but to pull the plug when the track was deemed unsafe at 11:20.

Stefanski’s fifth tour wins extends his series-high count to 19, all in the new millennium. Dave Schulz still holds the marks for most wins in a season (8) and consecutive victories in one year (4), with both standards established in 2002.

The 2008 Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Series makes its lone stop of the year at the New York State Fairgrounds when the Northeast’s top traveling teams converge on the Syracuse Mile for Super DIRT Week XXXVII and the BNC Motorsports 25 on Sunday, October 12.

Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series Race #9 – Fulton Speedway, October 3, 2008 Event Summary
Feature
FIN ST CAR# DRIVER / HOMETOWN
1 17 2 Pete Stefanski/Wheatfield,NY($1,200)
2 5 48 Dion Oakes/Akwesasne,NY
3 10 26 Don Carlson/Ridgefield,CT
4 1 05 Jocelyn Roy/St-Helene,QUE
5 8 88 Allen Peters/Massena,NY
6 15 73 P.J. Peters/Akwesasne,QUE
7 11 92 Joey Ladouceur/Alexandria,ONT
8 4 4 Roch Aubin/Alexandria,ONT
9 13 33 Bruno Cyr/Carignan,QUE
10 6 81 Bret Belden/West Edmeston,NY
11 3 98t Jack Terrell/Jamesville,NY
12 7 6x Travis Back/Akwesasne,NY
13 16 93 Dick Parkhurst/Fulton,NY
14 9 37w Ricky Thompson/Hogansburg,NY
15 18 xXx Morgan David/Akwesasne,NY
16 12 72 Denis Gauvreau/Gatineau,QUE
17 14 6 Stephane Lebrun/Gatineau,QUE
18 2 71 Scott Gribben/Royalton,NY
19 19 *ba98 Steve Johnston/Ingelside,ONT
*Started in rear driving #10 Todd Raabe Street Stock entry.
EVENT SUMMARY
LAP LEADERS: Roy (1-12), Oakes (13-20), Stefanski (21-22).
CAUTIONS: 3 (lap 8 lap 11, lap 19); 1 RED FLAG (lap 23).
HEAT WINNERS: Ladouceur, Thompson.
SYRACUSE BNC MOTORSPORTS QUALIFIER: Dion Oakes.
HOLLEY HARD LUCK: Denis Gauvreau.
CARS ENTERED: 19.
NEXT EVENT: New York State Fairgrounds “BNC Motorsports 25” – October 12, 2008.
QUALIFYING
Heat Races (8 laps, top 6 went to re-draw)
#1: Ladouceur, Gauvreau, Aubin, Back, Roy, Terrell, Cyr, PJ Peters, Stefanski, David.
#2: Thompson, Belden, Carlson, Gribben, Oakes, A.Peters, Lebrun, Parkhurst, Johnston.

Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series Point Standings (Oct. 3)
Rank No. Driver Total Series Bonus Diff Wins T-5 T-10 Starts
1 2 Pete Stefanski 1,151 855 296 0 5 9 9 9
2 72 Denis Gauvreau 984 692 292 -167 1 5 7 9
3 73 PJ Peters 951 697 254 -200 0 5 9 9
4 92 Joey Ladouceur 951 651 300 -200 0 4 7 9
5 26 Don Carlson 945 677 268 -206 1 4 6 9
6 48 Dion Oakes 881 631 250 -270 0 3 6 9
7 05 Jocelyn Roy 864 570 294 -287 0 1 4 9
8 88 Allen Peters 833 545 288 -318 0 2 5 8
9 6 Stephane LeBrun 803 515 288 -348 0 0 4 9
10 4 Roch Aubin 790 550 240 -361 0 1 4 9
11 18 Louis Jackson 774 482 292 -377 1 3 3 8
12 33 Bruno Cyr® 765 511 254 -386 0 0 2 9
13 37 Ricky Thompson 718 464 254 -433 0 2 2 8
14 11 Don Barnes 642 362 280 -509 1 1 4 5
15 ba98 Steve Johsnton 635 451 184 -516 0 0 0 9
16 99 Mike Martin 624 328 296 -527 0 1 1 6
17 188 David Papineau 562 308 254 -589 0 0 2 5
18 6x Travis Back 554 290 264 -597 0 0 2 5
19 71 Scott Gribben 488 312 176 -663 0 0 2 5
20 12g Eric Greenlief 442 168 274 -709 0 1 1 3
21 6z Butch Zimmerman 424 158 266 -727 0 0 0 3
22 27 Gilles Godard 422 150 272 -729 0 0 1 3
23 3 Bill Pascual 373 85 288 -778 0 1 1 1
24 99 Ghyslain Valade 366 104 262 -785 0 0 0 2
25 49 Bill Woodward, Jr. 345 91 254 -806 0 0 0 2
26 2m Brett Martin 345 103 242 -806 0 0 0 2
27 88 Francois Lecours® 341 101 240 -810 0 0 0 2
28 69 Jody Swamp 334 46 288 -817 0 0 0 1
29 09 Robert Rowe 332 44 288 -819 0 0 0 1
30 08 Richard Bertrand® 327 85 242 -824 0 0 0 2
31 29 Daniel Leduc 326 128 198 -825 0 1 1 2
32 11x Junior Barnes 320 90 230 -831 0 0 0 2
33 115 Stephane Lemire® 320 54 266 -831 0 0 0 1
34 97 Roland Hebert® 309 45 264 -842 0 0 0 1
35 442 Scott Kehr 300 0 300 -851 0 0 0 0
36 16 Normand Lemire® 298 62 236 -853 0 0 1 1
37 55 George Renaud 287 65 222 -864 0 0 1 1
38 24 Robbie Speed 284 0 284 -867 0 0 0 0
39 1s Paul Stolzenberg 282 42 240 -869 0 0 0 1
40 29 Mike Dutka 276 0 276 -875 0 0 0 0
41 18W Bob Waters Jr. 276 0 276 -875 0 0 0 0
42 91 Bobby Schade 274 0 274 -877 0 0 0 0
43 324 Jason Casey 274 0 274 -877 0 0 0 0
44 5 Ryan Worthington 269 41 228 -882 0 0 0 1
45 322 Jay Casey 268 0 268 -883 0 0 0 0
46 XXX Morgan David 266 62 204 -885 0 0 0 1
47 54L Jim Langenback 266 0 266 -885 0 0 0 0
48 98T Jack Terrell 263 225 38 -888 0 0 1 4
49 1 Mike Vigiletti 262 0 262 -889 0 0 0 0
50 29J Pete VanNoordt 256 0 256 -895 0 0 0 0

UMP/DIRTcar Pro Stock Entries – October 3 (19)
CAR# DRIVER / HOMETOWN TEAM (Sponsor / Chassis / Engine)
xXx Morgan David/Akwesasne,NY Totem Pole Novelties-Sweet Dreams/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro
05 Jocelyn Roy/St-Helene,QUE Roy Racing Products-Lettrage Lucy/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/CRT
2 Pete Stefanski/Wheatfield,NY Sunrise Racing-SanTer Sewing-Totem Pole Novelties/Chevry Monte Carlo/EMS
4 Roch Aubin/Alexandria,ONT Home Hardware-OK Tire-Alain Beaupres Constr./Chevy Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro
6 Stephane Lebrun/Gatineau,QUE Mecanotech-Omax Restaurant/Pontiac Grand Prix/Wild Thing
6x Travis Back/Akwesasne,NY Thompson Motorsports/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Raptor
26 Don Carlson/Ridgefield,CT Benziger Winery-Kleer Trim Board/Chevrolet Monte Carlo-Dodge Charger/EMS
33 Bruno Cyr/Carignan,QUE Soudure Boucherville-Secure Deck/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Stinger
37w Ricky Thompson/Hogansburg,NY37 West Steakhouse&Lounge-Forbs Copy Ctr/Chevy Monte Carlo/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/Chevy Monte Carlo/EMS
73 P.J. Peters/Akwesasne,QUE Sunrise Bakery-Jake’s Pit Stop/Chevrolet Impala/JACR
81 Bret Belden/West Edmeston,NY Water Safari-Keith Pylinski Appraisals/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Slosek
88 Allen Peters/Massena,NY Sunrise Bakery/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro
92 Joey Ladouceur/Alexandria,ONT Sweet Dreams-Minimax Express/Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS/Stinger
93 Dick Parkhurst/Fulton,NY Commercial Painting-Rumetco/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/GRT
ba98 Steve Johnston/Ingelside,ONT Snap Trucking-Bub’s Auto/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Stinger
98t Jack Terrell/Jamesville,NY Terrell’s Potato Chips-Bachmann-Labatt/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Slawiak

UPCOMING EVENT:
Racing in the Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series takes more than a week off before returning to action as part of Super DIRT Week XXXVII, Oct. 7-12, in the Salt City. Pro Stock inspection, practice and time trials are slated for Saturday before the consolation round and BNC Motorsports Championship run off on Sunday, October 12.

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 50 Autodrome Drummond Pete Stefanski
Sun-Aug 31 50 Cornwall Motor Speedway Pete Stefanski
Sat-Sep 6 30 Mohawk Int’l Raceway rain-cancelled
Sat-Sep 13 100 Autodrome Edelweiss Denis Gauvreau
Sat-Sep 20 30 Canandaigua Speedway Don Carlson
Sat-Sep 27 30 Rolling Wheels Raceway Pete Stefanski
Fri-Oct 3 22 Fulton Speedway Pete Stefanski
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.