Weedsport, NY — December 6, 2010 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director
With the 2010 trail filled with a dozen extra-distance events, teenager Tim Sears Jr. from Clay, N.Y. dominated like no other as he captured checkered flags in half the shows to end his first full year following the series atop the overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman point standings. Sears was the most consistent from beginning to end despite visiting most tracks for the first time, establishing a new series standard of nine consecutive top-5 finishes that included six trips to victory lane aboard the family-owned no. 83x Total Site Development/Bicknell entry. At the outset looking to gain valuable experience away from home, the second-generation driver fell one victory shy of tying the single-season tour win mark, set fast time in tour qualifying on one occasion, while registering 10 Top-10 tour finishes in 12 events to secure the coveted title by a comfortable 104-point margin. At 18, the ’10 points king ended the year 2nd on the DIRTcar Northeast Sportsman Modified win chart with 16 victories at eight different tracks to increase his DIRTcar career count to 22, finishing 2nd on the final track points chart at Fulton (5 wins) and winning four more mains at Can-Am.
Following the Mr. DIRTcar champ trail for a second straight year, second-generation standout Ryan Susice from Ransomville, N.Y. also secured the runner-up position on the final Hoosier-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar points chart for a second successive season. Recording Top-10 finishes in all 12 series shows, 20 year-old Susice saved his best for last by capturing the prestigious Super DIRT Week Sportsman Championship in October and chasing overall champion Sears across the line in the Global Warranty DIRTcar Northeast Fall Nationals finale at Brockville Ontario Speedway the following weekend. The rising star from the west also racked up a half-dozen feature wins in ’10, piloting the potent CBR Fabrication no. 38 Investor’s Service Company-Philpac Packaging/Bicknell mount and garnering his second consecutive points crown close to home at Ransomville (NY) Speedway.
Despite ending his two-year reign over the field in Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman competition, 2010 third-place finisher Chris Raabe from Napanee, Ontario scorched the area short-track circuit throughout the season establishing a single-season division record of 31 feature wins. Among his seven Top-5 Series finishes were a pair of extra-distance victories at Humberstone Speedway and Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, setting fast time in qualifying at four stops along the 12-race tour. Teamed in ’10 with small-block chauffeur Perry Francis in the C&B Enterprises no. 01 Sunrise Racing-Genesis Shocks/TEO ride, the ‘Teenage Tornado’ claimed individual track titles at Mohawk (track record 15 wins) and Cornwall while increasing his DIRTcar career count to 81 — now only four wins shy of all-time DIRTcar Sportsman winner Steve Hall.
Placing fourth in the Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman title run for the second consecutive season, Justin Wright from Piffard, N.Y. remained among the most consistent contenders with a handful of Top-5 tallies in 12 main events held on tour including third-place in the Brockville curtain closer. Buckled in behind the wheel of the Mercer Milling Company no. 19W Yager Bros. Trucking/Bicknell machine, Wright ended the 2010 campaign just like he did the year prior with third-place in track points at both Ransomville (4 wins) and Cayuga County Fair Speedway (2 wins), this time around adding in checkered flags at Canandaigua (NY) Speedway and Rolling Wheels to total a career best count of eight around the Empire State.
Filling out the front-five on the final Hoosier-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar points chart in his first full season following the series, Jesse Cotriss from Akron, N.Y. was a solid runner posting eight Top-10s in 12 tour starts. The Western New York traveler logged back-to-back 4th-place finishes at Rolling Wheels and on the Syracuse Mile during Super DIRT Week to make his mark after closing out the regular season fifth in points at Ransomville Speedway. Wheeling the Sigma Motor Inc. no. 55C Fearby Auto-Jay’s Auto Sales & Service/Bicknell machine entry, he scored his lone feature win on the ridge in August as he prepared for the final post-season push around the Northeast.
Open-wheel veteran Steve Gray from Middlesex, N.Y. kicked off the series in victory lane at Black Rock Speedway in April yet could only muster five more Top-10s to settle for sixth-place in the 2010 Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman point standings. Claiming the Cayuga County track championship (1 win) for the second time in his career —also 2nd at Canandaigua with 2 wins— and Northeast Central Region accolades for a second straight campaign, Gray added a third at Cayuga Co. and fifth at Mohawk on the series in the Fox’s Auto no. 29G Dar’s Auto-Beck’s Recycling-Proctor Roofing/Bicknell mount, while missing two tour shows.
Making his first full-fledged assault on the Sportsman trail at the age of 16, promising pilot Shane Pecore from Cornwall, Ont. posted a pair of fourth-place series bests at Mohawk and Brockville to climb into 7th-place on the Mr. DIRTcar points chart. Gaining valuable seat time in the Lightning Motorsports no. 15 ESP Auto Parts-St. Andrews Service Center/TEO ride at Can-Am Motorsports Park (4th pts, 1 win) in New York and Brockville (5th, 1 win) and Cornwall (4th, 1 win) in Ontario, Canada, the 4-time karting champion was a model of consistency throughout the season on both sides of the border. Finishing 5th in his first-ever Sportsman race (age 13) at Brockville in 2007, the son of 2005 DIRTcar Sportsman champion at Brockville, Marcel Pecore, scored his first win the following spring at the BOS.
Improving one position from the prior year, Mark Chiddy from Boston, N.Y. moved up to eighth in the overall Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship rankings making all but two shows in the 2010 series. Another among the loyal legion of tour travelers from the Niagara Frontier, Chiddy finished runner-up in the series stop at Rolling Wheels in September aboard the Mullen Industrial Handling no. 54 D&B Motorsports/Bicknell mount, adding four more Top-10s through Super DIRT Week to secure his final place in points. He continued his weekly regular season romps during the summer, reaching 16th in points at Canandaigua and 4th at Ransomville where his logged his lone feature win of the season in May.
For the first time in his career cracking the Top-10 in the Hoosier-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman point standings, Canadian Mark Dixon from Durham, Ont. was among the most improved pilots on the ‘10 champ trail recording a sixth-place best at Cornwall Motor Speedway in June and adding a second Top-10 tally at Brockville (9th) in the Global Warranty DIRTcar NE Fall Nationals finale. Recognized in the no. 140 Markdale Tractor Bicknell car during the decade, Dixon vaulted from 50th in the final points last season after finishing 20th in 2007 and 30th in 2008. Still in search of his first feature win on the DIRTcar Racing Northeast Sportsman Modified circuit, he earned home track bonus points from Humberstone Speedway (7th-place) in 2010.
Becoming just the second female pilot in 21 years to finish in the Top-10 in overall Hoosier-VP Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship, hard-charging Christine Martin from Wellesley Island, N.Y. accompanied current sprint car racer Jessica Zemken (6th-2003, 10th-2004) in this exclusive group with her 10th-place finish in 2010. Trading paint trackside with the boys in her patented pink SUNY Canton no. 81 American Traditions-Creative Optical/Troyer machine, Martin qualified for all but one event, finishing a 15th-place best at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in October and crossing the line 21st in the Super DIRT Week special at the New York State Fairgrounds. A Can-Am and Fulton regular this season, in her 2007 DIRTcar Sportsman rookie year at age 14 she was listed tied for 83rd in points before improving to 34th in the Mr. DIRTcar standings last season.
A division rookie two years ago when he placed 19th in the Mr. DIRTcar standings, Dave Marcuccilli from Cayuga, N.Y. has continued to make his name known in the Sportsman ranks despite a limited series schedule, climbing to a career-high 11th on the 2010 Mr. DIRTcar points chart. Finishing fourth in track points with three feature wins at Cayuga County, Marcuccilli copped his first series victory during July’s All-Star Weekend in Weedsport, then closed out the season with a his second tour triumph in the headline 30-lapper at Fulton Speedway to open October. Those two checkered flags amounted to his only Top-10s in the series strapped into the Barbay & Son Construction no. M1 Crew Boyz Racing-Stormin/Bicknell ride.
Dropping one spot from 11th-place reached both of the previous two years, Eric Giguere from Waterloo, N.Y. finished 12th in the 2010 edition of the Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship to salvage the final point fund payoff position. Giguere netted his only front-five in the series lid-lifter at Black Rock, adding 7th and 9th in a pair of tour stops at Rolling Wheels driving the Wiesner Racing no. 66 Monroe Wheelchair-Suttleworth Asphalt Paving entry. Steering his own Safety Awareness Solutions no. 67G WB Automotive-Wayne’s Spa Service/TEO ride on weekends during the summer, he posted two feature wins at Canandaigua Speedway to clinch his first-ever track title at the historic ‘Land of Legends’ oval.
2010 Overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Modified Championship Series Point Standings (FINAL)
Rank No Driver Total Series Bonus Diff Wins Top 5 Top 10 Starts
1 83 Tim Sears Jr. 2,100 1,115 985 0 6 10 10 12
2 38s Ryan Susice 1,996 996 1000 -104 1 7 12 12
3 01 Chris Raabe 1,947 947 1000 -153 2 7 7 12
4 19w Justin Wright 1,814 839 975 -286 0 5 7 12
5 55c Jesse Cotriss 1,727 772 955 -373 0 3 8 12
6 29g Steve Gray 1,680 680 1000 -420 1 3 6 10
7 15 Shane Pecore 1,678 703 975 -422 0 2 2 12
8 54 Mark Chiddy 1,630 665 965 -470 0 1 5 10
9 140 Mark Dixon 1,578 638 940 -522 0 0 2 12
10 81 Christine Martin 1,466 542 924 -634 0 0 0 11
11 m1 Dave Marcuccilli 1,391 426 965 -709 2 2 2 6
12 67 Eric Giguere 1,379 379 1000 -721 0 1 4 5
13 17J Jamie Platt® 1,322 387 935 -778 0 0 0 6
14 55 Matt Hulsizer 1,293 293 1000 -807 0 1 3 4
15 0 Jipp Ortiz 1,276 348 928 -824 0 1 4 5
16 63 Chris Herbison 1,260 275 985 -840 0 2 2 3
17 30 Brent Kelsey® 1,235 260 975 -865 0 0 0 3
18 99p Greg Panunte 1,222 222 1000 -878 0 2 3 3
19 66 Dan Wiesner 1,208 243 965 -892 0 0 2 4
20 1 Travis Back® 1,195 240 955 -905 0 0 2 2
21 7 Cody McPherson 1,191 216 975 -909 0 1 2 3
22 18r Brad Rouse 1,187 222 965 -913 0 0 1 4
23 2 Jenna David® 1,169 224 945 -931 0 0 0 2
24 10 Josh VanBrocklin 1,169 184 985 -931 0 0 0 2
25 6 Brandon Easey 1,160 175 985 -940 0 2 2 2
The Big-Block Super DIRTcar Series is brought to fans across the Northeast by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire www.hoosiertire.com, VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com and GM Performance Parts www.gmperformanceparts.com. Promotional partners include the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and Chizmark & Larson Insurance www.chizmarklarson.com, and contingency sponsors are Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, MSD Ignition www.msdignition.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Vicci Racing Apparel www.vicci.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.