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Stefanski Caps Off Record Campaign In OCFS ‘Eastern States’ Finale

Pete Stefanski
Pete Stefanski - Bob Armbruster Photo

Middletown, NYOctober 19, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast PR Director
*Bob Armbruster Photo

Pete Stefanski authored a fitting finish to his record-setting campaign as he closed out the 2008 Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series at Orange County Fair Speedway with a flag-to-flag victory to conclude the full-fender portion of the 47th Annual Eastern States Weekend on Sunday afternoon.

Past Mr. DIRTcar champions Joey Ladouceur (2004) and Tom Kuck (1999) sandwiched first-year tour follower Don Carlson in third, while recent Super DIRT Week winner Sean Corr filled out the front-five in the 25-lap finale.

Until Stefanski sewed up his third consecutive crown the week before at Syracuse steering the familiar Sunrise Racing no. 2 San Ter Sewing-Totem Pole Novelties -PJ NFB Auto Sales Chevrolet Monte Carlo entry, no driver had claimed DIRTcar Racing NorthEast’s highest honor more than two straight seasons in any division the previous 32 years. The Wheatfield, New York pilot also established a new career mark of 20 series wins and increased his all-time high total on the DIRTcar NorthEast circuit to 78 since taking his first checkered flag in 2000.

“I have to thank the drivers we raced with week in and week out and in the series,” remarked Stefanski, 38, who led the entire UMP Pro Stock division for the fourth straight year with 12 wins to reach 58 since beginning his roll in 2005. “If it wasn’t for all of those guys running the way they do and like they did here today we wouldn’t be sitting here right now.”

“The track was in great condition for us today, nice and smooth, just your normal little bumps where you cross the track. And the car was absolutely perfect as well. When things go your way its nice to have everything work and get you to the top at the end,” Stefanski added.

The day went just the way Stefanski had hoped at the Middletown oval and he was at the top of his game beginning with practice as lap times determined the qualifying race line-ups. The ’08 Genesee Speedway champion was fifth fastest out of 40 cars running under the clocks and he went on to win the first of four heats. The top-12 qualifiers redrew for positions and Stefanski selected fourth while heat four winner Corr grabbed the pole to help sort out the 31-car feature race field.

When outside front row starter Rob Rowe spun in turn two to begin the main event, Stefanski quickly filled the void on a complete restart with Rowe relegated to the rear. Another yellow flag flew on the second try as Troy Arnold got sideways down the back chute with contact from behind ripping off his hood, but this time the lap was scored and Stefanski moved to the head of the class.

A half-dozen more caution periods kept the pace slow although each time Stefanski was able to take command opening up a comfortable margin back under green flag conditions. Yet with five laps still remaining, seventh-place starter Ladouceur was solidly in second and beginning to mount a serious challenge to the once unflappable leader.

As the last laps clicked off, Ladouceur shadowed Stefanski down the straightaways and often showed the nose of his Sweet Dreams no. 92 Minimax Express/Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS machine as the top-two fought for position in the turns. Continuing to run the low lane, Ladouceur set the stage for a dramatic finish as he moved past Stefanski’s rear bumper on lap 24 and then pulled alongside exiting turn two on the final circuit before crossing the stripe just a car-length behind.

“I knew Joey would run me clean, he always has all year,” added Stefanski, after scoring his sixth series win of the season which stands second only to Dave Schulz’ total of eight taken on his was to the Mr. DIRTcar title in 2002 — the same year Stefanski garnered his first win in tour competition at Orange County. “We just started getting a little loose in turn two, I think that’s where he was gaining on us. Everywhere else I couldn’t ask for much better.”

While Stefanski (1,336 points) was running way with his third straight championship, the battle in his rear-view mirror came down to the last race with Carlson (1,115), Denis Gauvreau (1,092), Ladouceur (1,086) and P.J. Peters (1,059) taking it down to the wire in the 14th Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock title run. Bruno Cyr from Carignan, Quebec advanced from 24th to 14th on Sunday and earned 2008 Motorsports Safety Systems DIRTcar NE Pro Stock Rookie of the Year recognition after placing 11th in the final point standings.

Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Series Race #11 – Orange County Fair Speedway, October 19, 2008 Eastern States Championship Event Summary
FEATURE
(25-laps)
FIN ST CAR# DRIVER / HOMETOWN
1 4 2 Pete Stefanski/Wheatfield,NY($1,200)
2 7 92 Joey Ladouceur/Alexandria,ONT
3 12 26 Don Carlson/Ridgefield,CT
4 3 79 Tom Kuck/Mahopac,NY
5 1 81 Sean Corr/Goshen,NY
6 9 88 Allen Peters/Massena,NY
7 5 29 Mike Dutka/Gardiner,NY
8 14 72 Denis Gauvreau/Gatineau,QUE
9 19 317 Frank Twing/Warren,CT
10 22 17 Nick Hilt Jr./Averill Park,NY
11 26 7 Tim McCarthy/Redding,CT
12 29 6 Stephane Lebrun/Gatineau,QUE
13 31 48 Dion Oakes/Akwesasne,NY
14 24 33 Bruno Cyr/Carignan,QUE
15 8 73 P.J. Peters/Akwesasne,QUE
16 30 37w Ricky Thompson/Hogansburg,NY
17 18 4 Tom Cilurso/Franklin,NJ
18 25 21k Steve Birchwale/Sussex,NJ
19 21 05 Jocelyn Roy/St-Helene,QUE
20 28 54 Steve Shortway/Midland Park,NJ
21 16 41w Kevin Ward/Hyde Park,NY
22 27 11 Eddie Thompson/Castleton,VT
23 17 1 Mike Vigiletti/Stony Point,NY
24 2 09 Robert Rowe/Walden,NY
25 13 73J Troy Arnold/Middletown,NY
26 20 324 Jason Casey/Canaan,CT
27 11 41 Rich Colesanti/Hopewell Junction,NY
28 23 33n Norbert Bracklow/Olive Bridge,NY
29 6 322 Jay Casey/Canaan,CT
30 10 24 Robbie Speed/Mellenville,NY
DSQ 15 442 Scott Kehr/Hillsdale,NJ
EVENT SUMMARY
LAP LEADER: Stefanski (1-25).
CAUTIONS: 9 (lap 1, lap 1, lap 8, lap 8, lap 12, lap 13, lap 13, lap 17, lap 17).
HOLLEY HARD LUCK AWARD: Jay Casey.
HEAT WINNERS: Stefanski, Ladouceur, Rowe, Corr.
CONSI WINNERS: Roy, Hilt.
CARS ENTERED: 40.

QUALIFYING
Heat Races (8 laps, top 5 transferred to feature)
#1: Stefanski, PJ Peters, Dutka, Tr.Arnold, Vigiletti, Bracklow, Birchwale, E.Thompson, Arquette (DNS).
#2: Ladouceur, Kuck, Colesanti, Gauvreau, Cilurso, Roy, Oakes, Lebrun, Schade, R.Thompson, Ru.Nuzzaro,
#3: Rowe, Jay Casey, Carlson, Kehr, Twing, Hilt, McCarthy, Shortway, Weslowski, Vigh.
#4: Corr, Speed, A.Peters, Ward, Jas.Casey, Cyr, Te.Arnold, Swartz, Ro.Nuzzaro, Shadic.
Consolation Round (8 laps, top 3 finishers transferred to feature)
#1: Roy, Bracklow, Birchwale, E.Thompson, Lebrun, Ru.Nuzzaro, Oakes, Schade, R.Thompson (DNS), Arquette (DNS).
#2: Hilt, Cyr, McCarthy, Shortway, Swartz, Shadic, Vigh, Te.Arnold, Ro.Nuzzaro, Weslowski.
Guaranteed: Lebrun, R.Thompson.
Provisional: Oakes.
DID NOT QUALIFY (9)
0-Tom Vigh Jr./Oak Ridge,NJ
jr7-Harvey Arquette/Hogansburg,NY
12s-Matt Shadic/Craryville,NY
24x-Russ Nuzzaro/Hopewell Junction,NY
55x-Ron Nuzzaro Jr./Yonkers,NY
67a-Charlie Swartz/Milton,NY
87-Terry Arnold/Warwick,NY
91-Bobby Schade/Bloomingburg,NY
91m-Mike Weslowski/Warwick,NY

Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship FINAL Series Point Standings (October 19)
Rank No. Driver Total Series Bonus Diff Wins Top-5 Top-10 Starts
1 2p Pete Stefanski 1,336 1,040 296 0 6 11 11 11
2 26 Don Carlson 1,115 847 268 -221 1 6 8 11
3 72 Denis Gauvreau 1,092 800 292 -244 1 5 8 11
4 92 Joey Ladouceur 1,086 786 300 -250 0 5 8 11
5 73 PJ Peters 1,059 805 254 -277 0 5 9 11
6 48 Dion Oakes 977 727 250 -359 0 3 6 11
7 88 Allen Peters 974 686 288 -362 0 2 7 10
8 05 Jocelyn Roy 949 655 294 -387 0 1 4 11
9 6 Stephane LeBrun 904 616 288 -432 0 0 4 11
10 18 Louis Jackson 864 572 292 -472 1 4 4 9
11 33 Bruno Cyr® 863 609 254 -473 0 0 2 11
12 4 Roch Aubin 862 622 240 -474 0 1 5 10
13 37 Ricky Thompson 778 524 254 -558 0 2 2 9
14 99 Mike Martin 670 374 296 -666 0 1 1 7
15 11 Don Barnes 642 362 280 -694 1 1 4 5
16 ba98 Steve Johsnton 635 451 184 -701 0 0 0 9
17 188 David Papineau 602 348 254 -734 0 0 2 6
18 6x Travis Back 595 331 264 -741 0 0 2 6
19 71 Scott Gribben 488 312 176 -848 0 0 2 5
20 27 Gilles Godard 470 198 272 -866 0 0 1 4
21 12g Eric Greenlief 452 178 274 -884 0 1 1 3
22 6z Butch Zimmerman 424 158 266 -912 0 0 0 3
23 2m Brett Martin 385 143 242 -951 0 0 0 3
24 3 Bill Pascual 373 85 288 -963 0 1 1 1
25 09 Robert Rowe 372 84 288 -964 0 0 0 2
26 324 Jason Casey 368 94 274 -968 0 0 0 2
27 322 Jay Casey 366 98 268 -970 0 0 0 2
28 99 Ghyslain Valade 366 104 262 -970 0 0 0 2
29 11x Junior Barnes 360 130 230 -976 0 0 0 3
30 49 Bill Woodward, Jr. 355 101 254 -981 0 0 0 2
31 29 Mike Dutka 348 72 276 -988 0 0 1 1
32 18W Bob Waters Jr. 344 68 276 -992 0 0 1 1
33 69 Jody Swamp 344 56 288 -992 0 0 0 1
34 88 Francois Lecours® 341 101 240 -995 0 0 0 2
35 442 Scott Kehr 340 40 300 -996 0 0 0 1
36 08 Richard Bertrand® 327 85 242 -1009 0 0 0 2
37 29 Daniel Leduc 326 128 198 -1010 0 1 1 2
38 24 Robbie Speed 324 40 284 -1012 0 0 0 1
39 115 Stephane Lemire® 320 54 266 -1016 0 0 0 1
40 1 Mike Vigiletti 313 51 262 -1023 0 0 0 1
41 97 Roland Hebert® 309 45 264 -1027 0 0 0 1
42 XXX Morgan David 306 102 204 -1030 0 0 0 2
43 12s Matt Shadic 300 60 240 -1036 0 0 0 1
44 54 Steven Shortway 298 44 254 -1038 0 0 0 1
45 16 Normand Lemire® 298 62 236 -1038 0 0 1 1
46 73J Troy Arnold 295 85 210 -1041 0 0 0 2
47 55 George Renaud 287 65 222 -1049 0 0 1 1
48 91 Bobby Schade 284 10 274 -1052 0 0 0 0
49 1s Paul Stolzenberg 282 42 240 -1054 0 0 0 1
50 5 Ryan Worthington 269 41 228 -1067 0 0 0 1

UMP/DIRTcar Pro Stock Entries – October 19 (40)
CAR# DRIVER / HOMETOWN TEAM (Sponsor / Chassis / Engine)
0 Tom Vigh Jr./Oak Ridge,NJ Xtreme Scapes-Fuel Economy Fuel Cells/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Vigholator
05 Jocelyn Roy/St-Helene,QUE Roy Racing Products-Lettrage Lucy/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/CRT
09 Robert Rowe/Walden,NY HSC Motorsports/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro-JACR
1 Mike Vigiletti/Stony Point,NY Think Fiberglass/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Stinger
2 Pete Stefanski/Wheatfield,NY Sunrise Racing-SanTer Sewing-Totem Pole Novelties/Chevy Monte Carlo/EMS
4 Tom Cilurso/Franklin,NJ Cilurso Racing/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/CSC
6 Stephane Lebrun/Gatineau,QUE Mecanotech-Omax Restaurant/Pontiac Grand Prix/Wild Thing
7m Tim McCarthy/Redding,CT New England Sheet Metal/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/EMS
jr7 Harvey Arquette/Hogansburg,NY 37 West Steakhouse&Lounge-Forbs Copy Ctr/Chevy Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro
11 Eddie Thompson/Castleton,VT Crean Equipment-3DDD’s Café/Pontiac Grand Prix/Cannizzaro-EMS
12s Matt Shadic/Craryville,NY Paul’s Lawn & Landscape-Jim’s Auto/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Shadic
17 Nick Hilt Jr./Averill Park,NY N&L Auto Body/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro
21k Steve Birchwale/Sussex,NJ WNNJ 103.7 Radio-Century 21-Hardyston Collision/Pontiac Grand Prix/EMS
24 Robbie Speed/Mellenville,NY Speed’s Garage-Morgan RV Resorts-UPS Stores/Pontiac Grand Prix/EMS
24x Russ Nuzzaro/Hopewell Junction,NY RNR Towing/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/JACR
26 Don Carlson/Ridgefield,CT Benziger Winery-Kleer Trim Board/Dodge Charger/EMS
29 Mike Dutka/Gardiner,NY Active Automotive-Orange County Vietnam Vets/Chevrolet Impala SS/EMS
33 Bruno Cyr/Carignan,QUE Soudure Boucherville-Secure Deck/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Stinger
33n Norbert Bracklow/Olive Bridge,NY Benson Steel & Fab.-JACR Chassis/Chevy Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro-JACR
37w Ricky Thompson/Hogansburg,NY 37 West Steakhouse & Lounge-Forbs Copy Centre/Ford Fusion/Kenyon
41 Rich Colesanti/Hopewell Junction,NY Carmine Labriola Contracting Corp./Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Stinger
41w Kevin Ward/Hyde Park,NY Carmine Labriola Contracting Corp./Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Stinger
48 Dion Oakes/Akwesasne,NY Orca Power Boats-Mohawk Billiards/Chevolet Impala/Cannizzaro
54 Steve Shortway/Midland Park,NJ Tarvin Realtors-Jack Shortway Trkng-City Wide Tow/Chevy Monte Carlo/EMS
55x Ron Nuzzaro Jr./Yonkers,NY RNR Towing/Pontiac Grand Prix/Cannizzaro
67a Charlie Swartz/Milton,NY Millen’s Recycle-FCD/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/EMS
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
73J Troy Arnold/Middletown,NY Tool Factory Outlet-The Trans Group-Extreme Graphics/Chevrolet Impala/EMS
79 Tom Kuck/Mahopac,NY Turner Constuction-Turner Interiors-Tri State Demo/Chevrolet Impala/EMS
81 Sean Corr/Goshen,NY The Trans Group-Northeast Fabricators/Pontiac Grand Prix/EMS
87 Terry Arnold/Warwick,NY ECS Auto Stores-Gemini Auto/Ford Fusion/Gemini
88 Allen Peters/Massena,NY Sunrise Bakery/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro
91 Bobby Schade/Bloomingburg,NY ECS Auto Stores/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Gemini
91m Mike Weslowski/Warwick,NY Schade Motor Sports/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/ES
92 Joey Ladouceur/Alexandria,ONT Sweet Dreams-Minimax Express/Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS/Stinger
317 Frank Twing/Warren,CT RTS Supply & Excavating/Pontiac Grand Prix/Spraker
322 Jay Casey/Canaan,CT Jay’s Lawn Care-Dave’s Tire/Pontiac Grand Prix/EMS
324 Jason Casey/Canaan,CT Jay’s Lawn Care-Dave’s Tire/Pontiac Grand Prix/EMS
442 Scott Kehr/Hillsdale,NJ Bob McGannon Excavating/Chevrolet Monte Carlo

UPCOMING EVENTS:
The 33rd annual DIRTcar Racing NorthEast ‘Night of Champions’ Banquet is scheduled for Saturday, November 15 at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York. The banquet will honor the 2008 series champions in the Advance Auto Parts Big-Block Modified, 358-Modified, Sportsman Modified, UMP Pro Stock and UMP Street Stock divisions. Track promoters and operators will convene on Friday, November 14 for the annual DIRTcar track meetings at the Turning Stone entertainment complex, ranked among the top-five largest tourist attractions in New York State and drawing over 4.5 million visitors annually.

2008 Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Series Championship Schedule
DAY-DATE LAPS TRACK 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 Sean Corr
Sun-Oct 19 25 Orange Co Fair Speedway Pete Stefanski

The DIRTcar Advance Auto Parts Modified Series 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., F.X. Caprara Car Companies and the University of Northwestern Ohio and the contingency sponsors are Bert Transmission, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Integra Shocks, MSD Ignitions, Miller Electric Manufacturing Company and Wrisco Industries.