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Rookies Run Rampant On DIRTcar Northeast Circuit In 2008

2008 Rookies
2008 Rookies

Weedsport, NYDecember 23, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director

Headed by Motorsports Safety Systems/G-FORCE Rookie of the Year award winners Larry Wight (Advance Auto Parts Big-Block Modified and 358-Modified), Dave Marcuccilli (Sportsman) and Bruno Cyr (Pro Stock), the DIRTcar Racing Northeast circuit boasted an influx of new talent during the 2008 season.

Those same four divisions accounted for 77 first-time feature winners in 578 events, meaning after every eight races there was a new face for fans to see in victory lane during the past season. And 22 individuals from that same list of drivers made a return trip to the winner’s circle, becoming even more familiar with solid showings in their respective home track point standings.

Of the 12 first-time DIRTcar Big-Block winners, second-generation standout and Lebanon Valley (NY) Speedway regular Ryan Larkin was the lone driver to repeat in the Northeast’s premier Modified division. The mighty Mod Squad staged 148 events at 26 tracks with 63 drivers taking checkered flags.

Contending in the north country, female sensation Jessica Zemken and Jeff Marshall, and Airborne (NY) Speedway pavement pilots Patrick Dupree and George Foley joined Wight among an elite group of 19 first-timers in the DIRTcar 358-Modified ranks. Seventeen tracks ran off 138 main events with 62 more drivers joining the finish line celebration.

Including 11-time winner James Michael Friesen, a grand total of 35 new drivers graced victory lane in DIRTcar Sportsman Modified competition with more than a dozen promoters handing out trophies to at least one first-time winner. In all, 84 different drivers showed their prowess in 191 features contested at 18 tracks around the Northeast.

101 main events were charted for the DIRTcar Racing Pro Stocks in ’08 and 11 of the 37 winners made their maiden voyage to victory lane at the 13 host tracks. Autodrome Drummond flew the DIRTcar banner over its top full-fender division for the first time ever with points champion Jocelyn Roy and fellow Frenchman Jacques Robert the only first-timers to return to the winner’s circle.

For their own accomplishments, ‘08 DIRTcar NE rookies Wight, Marcuccilli and Cyr collected Motorsports Safety Systems prize packages worth in excess of $1,000 each at the season ending awards banquet in November 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. Wight was also awarded a ButlerBuilt Racing Seat valued at $2,000.

2008 Motorsports Safety Systems/G-FORCE Racing Gear
DIRTcar Northeast Rookies of the Year
LARRY WIGHT – Phoenix, N.Y. (16 yrs.)
– driver of the no. 99 Gypsum Express-Gypsum Wholesalers-Tracey Road Equip/Bicknell entry;
– competed at Cayuga Co. (13th pts/1 win, 1 top-5, 2 top-10), Brewerton (11th/2 top-5, 6 top-10);
– finished 14th in overall Mr. DIRTcar Modified points (8th-place best at Virginia Motor Speedway);
$3000 award; G-FORCE Helmet, 6-Pt Safety Belts/Driving Gloves; $225 HANS gift certificate;
and Extreme Muffler package ….. plus $2,000 ButlerBuilt Racing Seat!

LARRY WIGHT – Phoenix, N.Y. (16 yrs.) …..
– driver of the no. 99 Gypsum Express-Gypsum Wholesalers-Tracey Road Equip/Bicknell entry;
– competed at Can-Am (1st pts/4 wins 9 top-5, 9 top-10);
– finished 4th in overall Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified points (1 top-5, 2 top-10 finishes);
$1500 award; G-FORCE Helmet, 6-Pt Safety Belts/Driving Gloves; $225 HANS gift certificate; $500 cash; and Extreme Muffler package.

DAVE MARCUCCILLI – Cayuga, N.Y. (32 yrs.)
– driver of the no. M1 Barbay & Son Construction-Crew Boyz Racing-Stormin/Bicknell entry;
– competed at Cayuga Co. (8th pts/1 win, 5 top-5, 7 top-10 finish), Rolling Wheels (19th pts);
– finished 19th in overall Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman pts (1 top-5, 1 top-10 finish);
$1250 award; G-FORCE Helmet, 6-Pt Safety Belts/Driving Gloves; $225 HANS gift certificate; $250 cash; and Extreme Muffler package.

BRUNO CYR – Carignan, QUE (28 yrs.)
– driver of the no. 33 Soudure Boucherville-Secure Deck/Chevrolet Monte Carlo entry;
– competed at Drummond (2nd pts/7 top-5, 11 top-10), Cornwall (17th pts/2 Top-5);
– finished 11th in overall Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock pts standings (2 top-10 finishes);
$1250 award; G-FORCE Helmet, 6-Pt Safety Belts/Driving Gloves; $225 HANS gift certificate; $250 cash; and Extreme Muffler package.

Headquartered in Roanoke, Va., Advance Auto Parts, a leading automotive aftermarket retailer of parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items in the United States, serves both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets As of April 19, 2008, the Company operated 3,291 stores in 40 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Additional information about the Company, employment opportunities, customer services, and on-line shopping for parts and accessories can be found on the Company’s web site at www.advanceautoparts.com.

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, Hoosier Racing Tire and Sunoco Race Fuels. Promotional partners include AMB i.t., Rite Aid Corporation and the University of Northwestern Ohio and the contingency sponsors are Bert Transmission, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Crane Cams, Integra Shocks, MSD Ignitions, Motorsports Safety Systems, Penske Shocks and Wrisco Industries.