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Stefanski Cops 1st Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Series Win At Rolling Wheels

Pete Stefanski
Pete Stefanski - Alex Bruce Photo

Elbridge, NYSeptember 27, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast PR Director

Already a two-time overall Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Champion and DIRTcar Racing NorthEast’s career win leader during the regular season, Pete Stefanski did something he had had never done before on Saturday night as he finally reached victory lane at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park.

Stefanski’s victory over tour rival Denis Gauvreau catapulted him past three-time Mr. DIRTcar points king Jipp Ortiz with his group-best 18th series wins to further tighten his stronghold in the 2008 title chase. No driver in any DIRTcar division has garnered three straight championship crowns and Stefanski is well on his way to being the first in the organization’s 33 years of operation after a decisive win Saturday at Rolling Wheels in the ‘DTD 30’ feature event.

“Its great to finally get a win here, we’ve been so close so many times and gone home empty handed,” said Stefanski, after registering his fourth tour win in eight outings this season. The Wheatland, New York pilot put his Sunrise Racing no. 2 SanTer Sewing-Totem Pole Novelties/Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the winner’s circle for the 10th time in 2008, adding to his DIRTcar-best total of 76 feature race triumphs netted since 2000. “But there are still three more races to go and a lot can happen.”

Stefanski finished second in his qualifying heat and the luck of the draw put him sixth on the starting grid with tour regular David Papineau and Morgan David in his series debut failing to take the opening green. Ricky Thompson was a front runner all night, copping his preliminary event then drawing the pole to begin the 30-lap finale to help close out World Series Weekend presented by Taylor Rental.

With plenty of moisture evident around the entire Elbridge oval, Steve Johnston slipped low on the opening circuit and rode the turn one inside cement barrier to incur the first caution period. Thompson dashed ahead for an early advantage with Stefanski already occupying third with one lap complete. Two laps later he improved to second and was followed almost immediately by popular Frenchman Gauvreau, who claimed this same event in 2006.

A third of the way through Stefanski was sandwiched between leader Thompson and tour runner-up Gauvreau with the foursome of ’06 rookie of the year Dion Oakes, Roch Aubin, P.J. Peters and 2004 Mr. DIRTcar titlist Joey Ladouceur trading paint a few seconds back.

Ladouceur suddenly looped his Sweet Dreams no. 92 Minimax Express/Chevrolet Monte Carlo mount in turn one to lose valuable ground and signal the second slowdown of the race. With Thompson restarting on the inside lane, yellow lights flashed for a third time immediately after when Stefanski was warned for jumping out front too early once the green flag unfurled. Yet that only delayed the inevitable as the final exchange up front would come seven laps later.

But before Stefanski could make the pivotal move, top points chaser Peters suffered a flat right-front tire to relinquish fifth-place and require another caution on lap 17. Stefanski shadowed Thompson on the ensuing restart and ducked low entering turn two where he emerged as the new leader. And like he had been doing all race long, Gauvreau followed suit and mirrored the maneuver in the second corner on lap 19 to set the stage for a final shootout.

But Stefanski never backed off, posting the fastest lap of the race on lap 23 before encountering traffic with a half-dozen laps still to go. Fifth-place runner and Holley Hard Luck award recipient Aubin lost a right-rear wheel on lap 26 and Roger Levesque looped low out of turn two to force out the final two yellow flags yet under the checkers it was Stefanski by five car-lengths over Gauvreau withThompson settling for the show position ahead of Oakes and a hard-charging Ladouceur.

“It was a little tough to pass out the there with a narrow track most of the way around,” added Stefanski, who left Rolling Wheels with a comfortable 117-point advantage over runner-up Gauvreau after recording his eighth top-five feature finish in as many starts. “I just hung close and waited for Ricky to slide up. Fortunately, that ended up being the case and I just stuck the nose in there and was able to get the job done.”

The 2008 Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Series returns to action in less than one week when Fulton Speedway hosts the Northeast’s top traveling teams in the full-fender portion of the Schneider Brothers 200 Weekend on Friday, October 3. Four-time race winner Stefanski is also the three-time defending champion in Fulton’s 23rd annual season-ending affair.

Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series Race #8 – Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, September 27, 2008 ‘DTD 30’ Event Summary
Feature

FIN ST CAR# DRIVER / HOMETOWN
1 6 2 Pete Stefanski/Wheatfield,NY($1,000)
2 4 72 Denis Gauvreau/Gatineau,QUE
3 1 37w Ricky Thompson/Hogansburg,NY
4 3 48 Dion Oakes/Akwesasne,NY
5 12 92.1 Joey Ladouceur/Alexandria,ONT
6 5 71 Scott Gribben/Royalton,NY
7 13 6 Stephane Lebrun/Gatineau,QUE
8 8 88 Allen Peters/Massena,NY
9 2 98t Jack Terrell/Jamesville,NY
10 9 73 P.J. Peters/Akwesasne,QUE
11 22 33 Bruno Cyr/Carignan,QUE
12 20 05 Jocelyn Roy/St-Helene,QUE
13 19 ba98 Steve Johnston/Ingelside,ONT
14 7 4 Roch Aubin/Alexandria,ONT
15 24 11 Mike Vaughn/Jordan,NY
16 18 11x Junior Barnes/Akwesasne,NY
17 11 6x Travis Back/Akwesasne,NY
18 17 2m Mike Martin/Lockport,NY
19 23 16 Roger Levesque/Kingston,ONT
20 10 26 Don Carlson/Ridgefield,CT
21 14 12g Eric Greenlief/Gasport,NY
22 16 18 Louie Jackson/Akwesasne,NY
23 21 57b Frank Burnell Jr./Waterloo,NY
DNS 15 188 David Papineau/Akwesasne,NY
DNS 25 xXx Morgan David/Akwesasne,NY
EVENT SUMMARY
LAP LEADERS: Thompson (1-17), Stefanski (18-30).
CAUTIONS: 6 (lap 1 lap 11, lap 11, lap 17, lap 26, lap 27).
HEAT WINNERS: Thompson, Back, Gribben.
SYRACUSE BNC MOTORSPORTS QUALIFIER: Ricky Thompson.
HOLLEY HARD LUCK: Roch Aubin.
CARS ENTERED: 25.
NEXT EVENT: Fulton Speedway – October 3, 2008.
QUALIFYING
Heat Races (8 laps, top 4 went to re-draw)
#1: Thompson, Aubin, Terrell, Ladouceur, Lebrun, Jackson, Johnston, Cyr.
#2: Back, Stefanski, Gauvreau, PJ Peters, Greenlief, Martin, Roy, Levesque.
#3: Gribben, A.Peters, Carlson, Oakes, Papineau, Barnes, Burnell, Vaughn, David.

Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series Point Standings (Sept. 27)
Rank No. Driver Total Series Bonus Diff Wins T-5 T-10 Starts
1 2 Pete Stefanski 1,051 755 296 0 4 8 8 8
2 72 Denis Gauvreau 934 642 292 -117 1 5 7 8
3 92 Joey Ladouceur 879 579 30 -172 0 4 6 8
4 73 PJ Peters 875 621 254 -176 0 5 8 8
5 26 Don Carlson 855 587 268 -196 1 3 5 8
6 48 Dion Oakes 786 536 250 -265 0 2 5 8
7 05 Jocelyn Roy 779 485 294 -272 0 0 3 8
8 18 Louis Jackson 774 482 292 -277 1 3 3 8
9 6 Stephanie LeBrun 755 467 288 -296 0 0 4 8
10 88 Allen Peters 753 465 288 -298 0 1 4 7
11 4 Roch Aubin 722 482 240 -329 0 1 3 8
12 33 Bruno Cyr® 700 446 254 -351 0 0 1 8
13 37 Ricky Thompson 664 410 254 -387 0 2 2 7
14 11 Don Barnes 642 362 280 -409 1 1 4 5
15 99 Mike Martin 624 328 296 -427 0 1 1 6
16 ba98 Steve Johsnton 590 406 184 -461 0 0 0 8
17 188 David Papineau 562 308 254 -489 0 0 2 5
18 6x Travis Back 496 232 264 -555 0 0 2 4
19 71 Scott Gribben 442 266 176 -609 0 0 2 4
20 12g Eric Greenlief 442 168 274 -609 0 1 1 3
21 6z Butch Zimmerman 424 158 266 -627 0 0 0 3
22 27 Gilles Godard 422 150 272 -629 0 0 1 3
23 3 Bill Pascual 373 85 288 -678 0 1 1 1
24 99 Ghyslain Valade 366 104 262 -685 0 0 0 2
25 49 Bill Woodward, Jr. 345 91 254 -706 0 0 0 2
26 2m Brett Martin 345 103 242 -706 0 0 0 2
27 88 Francois Lecours® 341 101 240 -710 0 0 0 2
28 69 Jody Swamp 334 46 288 -717 0 0 0 1
29 09 Robert Rowe 332 44 288 -719 0 0 0 1
30 08 Richard Bertrand® 327 85 242 -724 0 0 0 2
31 29 Daniel Leduc 326 128 198 -725 0 1 1 2
32 11x Junior Barnes 320 90 230 -731 0 0 0 2
33 115 Stephane Lemire® 320 54 266 -731 0 0 0 1
34 97 Roland Hebert® 309 45 264 -742 0 0 0 1
35 442 Scott Kehr 300 0 300 -751 0 0 0 0
36 16 Normand Lemire® 298 62 236 -753 0 0 1 1
37 55 George Renaud 287 65 222 -764 0 0 1 1
38 24 Robbie Speed 284 0 284 -767 0 0 0 0
39 1s Paul Stolzenberg 282 42 240 -769 0 0 0 1
40 29 Mike Dutka 276 0 276 -775 0 0 0 0
41 18W Bob Waters Jr. 276 0 276 -775 0 0 0 0
42 91 Bobby Schade 274 0 274 -777 0 0 0 0
43 324 Jason Casey 274 0 274 -777 0 0 0 0
44 5 Ryan Worthington 269 41 228 -782 0 0 0 1
45 322 Jay Casey 268 0 268 -783 0 0 0 0
46 54L Jim Langenback 266 0 266 -785 0 0 0 0
47 1 Mike Vigiletti 262 0 262 -789 0 0 0 0
48 29J Pete VanNoordt 256 0 256 -795 0 0 0 0
49 54 Steven Shortway 254 0 254 -797 0 0 0 0
50 12s Matt Shadic 240 0 240 -811 0 0 0 0

UMP/DIRTcar Pro Stock Entries – September 27 (25)
CAR# DRIVER / HOMETOWN TEAM (Sponsor / Make-Model / Chassis)
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/Chevy Monte Carlo/EMS
2m Mike Martin/Lockport,NY BJNFB Trailer Sales-Creative Customs/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/JACR
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
11 Mike Vaughn/Jordan,NY Motel Thomas-John Vaughn Trucking/Chevrolet Impala/CSC Sidewinder
11x Junior Barnes/Akwesasne,NY Chiefs Tobacco & Gas-Action Race Parts/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro
12g Eric Greenlief/Gasport,NY HFI Hydro Fabrication Inc.-N.E.S. Outlet/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Black Widow
16 Roger Levesque/Kingston,ONT R.L. Asphalt & Sweeping & Line Painting & Sealing/Chevy Monte Carlo/Sparta
18 Louie Jackson/Akwesasne,NY Native Cigarettes-Action Race Parts-C&B Enterprise/Chevy Monte Carlo/Stinger
26 Don Carlson/Ridgefield,CT Benziger Winery-Kleer Trim Board/Chevrolet Monte Carlo-Dodge Charger/EMS
33 Bruno Cyr/Carignan,QUE Soudure Welding-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
57b Frank Burnell Jr./Waterloo,NY FBR Fabrication-Honeoye Auto Parts-Gevo’s/Dodge Avenger/Burnell
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
88 Allen Peters/Massena,NY Sunrise Bakery/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro
92.1 Joey Ladouceur/Alexandria,ONT Sweet Dreams-Minimax Express/Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS/Stinger
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
188 David Papineau/Akwesasne,NY Skidders Garage-Team Papi/Chevrolet Monte Carlo/Cannizzaro

UPCOMING EVENTS:
Racing in the Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Championship Series takes a week off before returning to action as part of Schneider Bros. Weekend at Fulton Speedway on October 3, then moves on to the Syracuse Mile for Super DIRT Week XXXVII, Oct. 7-12.

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 30 Fulton Speedway Fulton,NY
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.