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Defending Mr. DIRTcar Champ Raabe Snags 4th Sportsman Series Show At Genesee

Chris Raabe
Chris Raabe - Mike Johnson Photo

Batavia, NYSeptember 19, 2009 – By Dave Medler, DIRTcar Racing Northeast Series Correspondent

It doesn’t matter on what side of the border “Teenage Tornado ” Chris Raabe shows up on, he can find Victory Lane at just about any track.

Saturday night at the Genesee Speedway Raabe had a hard fought battle with Don Spatorico before finally grabbing the lead at the halfway point of the 30-lap feature. Once out front, the current Mr. DIRTcar points leader had to battle lapped traffic and hold off Spatorico for a five-car length win, his fourth win of the year, two in the United States and two in Canada for the Napanee, Ontario native.

Outside pole-sitter Spatorico outran Raabe to lead the opening circuit in the 30 lap Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman feature before the most serious incident occurred on lap two involving some of the tour’s heavy hitters.

Caught up in the turn one mishap were ’09 series race winners Ryan Susice, Jipp Ortiz and Justin Wright, along with Brandon Aradine. All cars were able to continue except for Ortiz, who captured Friday night ‘s tour finale at nearby Canandaigua Speedway.

On the ensuing restart Spatorico chose the outside lane and was able to bolt away from Raabe and the rest of the field to set the early pace. With five laps in the books, Spatorico held a three-car length advantage over Raabe while track points champion Brian Sage, who had already charged from 7th starting spot into 3rd, and second-generation pilot Rob Richmond Jr. joined the fray at the front of the pack.

A quick yellow flew on lap nine for an implement tire that found it’s way on the speedway in turn two.

When the green lights came back on, Spatorico moved to the top and Raabe used the extreme bottom, running nose-to-tail then side-by-side on the tight confines of the Genesee Speedway. Raabe grabbed the lead for the first time at the halfway point, with runner-up Spatorico followed by Richmond, Sage and Dave Marcuccilli in a distant third through fifth with 15 laps scored.

With 10 laps still to go, Raabe opened up a five-car length margin over Spatorico as Richmond, Sage and Marcuccilli still showed in the top-five. With Raabe quickly approaching lapped traffic and a handful of laps to go, that gave Spatorico a chance to close in for one last shot at the win.

Yet Raabe was able to dispose of lapped cars at will and go on to post the five-car length victory in convincing fashion over Spatorico, Richmond, Sage and Marcuccilli. In the customary post-race inspection, both Sage and Marcuccilli were penalized their points and money after illegalities were determined with their distributors.

“It took us five hours to get here,” said a smiling Raabe after getting out of his no. 01 Scott Industrial Services-Kingston RV Centre-Tyroute Communications/TEO Pro entry. “I was looking forward to coming to this place. Everyone was saying how rocky it was but I was excited to come here. It’s a bottom feeder track and that’s what I like. The track was really good.”

Teams chasing points towards the overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar 358-Modified Championship Series return to action next week as DIRTcar Racing Northeast charter member Rolling Wheels Raceway Park hosts round #13 of the 2009 tour on Saturday, September 26 as part of the 23rd World Series Weekend.

Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship Series – Genesee Speedway, September 19, 2009 Feature Event Summary (30 Laps): Chris Raabe, Don Spatorico, Rob Richmond Jr., Brian Sage (dsq.), Dave Marcuccilli (dsq.) Ryan Susice, Justin Wright, B.J Willard, Luke Carleton, Steve Schumacher, Rob Pratt, Dan Wiesner, Adam Turner, Ricky Newton, Amos Andrews, Tim Downs, Ross Vleck, Henry Maier, Mark Chiddy, Jipp Ortiz, Brandon Aradine.

QUALIFYING (Heats 8 laps, 6 qualified)
# 1: Don Spatorico, Rob Richmond Jr., Ryan Susice, Dave Marcuccilli, Justin Wright, Rob Pratt, Adam Turner, Amos Andrews.
# 2: Brian Sage, Chris Raabe, Luke Carlton, Dan Wiesner, B.J Willard, Henry Maier, Brandon Aradine.
# 3: Jipp Ortiz, Steve Schumacher, Tim Downs, Ross Vleck, Rick Bellante, Mark Chiddy, Ricky Newton.

2009 Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship Series Schedule
*All events subject to change.
DAY-DATE LAPS TRACK WINNER/LOCATION
Sun-Apr 5 75 Black Rock Speedway Sammy Reakes IV
Fri-Apr 17 30 Can-Am Motorsports Park Chris Raabe
Thr-Jul 2 25 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park rain-cancelled
Fri-Jul 3 30 Brewerton Speedway Tim Sears Jr.
Sun-Jul 5 50 Cornwall Motor Speedway Chris Raabe
Sat-Jul 18 30 Cayuga County Fair Speedway Justin Wright
Mon-Sep 7 25 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Jipp Ortiz
Fri-Sep 11 50 Ransomville Speedway Don Spatorico
Sat-Sep 12 50 Merrittville Speedway B.J. Willard
Sun-Sep 13 50 Humberstone Speedway Chris Raabe
Fri-Sep 18 33 Canandaigua Speedway Jipp Ortiz
Fri-Sep 18 33 Canandaigua Speedway Ryan Susice
Sat-Sep 19 30 Genesee Speedway Chris Raabe
Sat-Sep 26 30 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Elbridge,NY
Fri-Oct 2 30 Fulton Speedway Fulton,NY
Wed-Oct 7 30 Can-Am Motorsports Park LaFargeville,NY
Fri-Oct 9 30 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Elbridge,NY
Sat-Oct 10 30 New York State Fairgrounds Syracuse,NY
Sat-Oct 17 30 Brockville Ontario Speedway Brockville,ONT
Sat-Oct 24 50 Black Rock Speedway Dundee,NY
@Driver’s (2) worst finishes dropped through September; last (6) events count.

DIRTcar Racing Northeast main office is located in Weedsport, New York on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds, home of DIRTcar All-Star Weekend in July. DIRTcar Northeast’s crown jewel event —Super DIRT Week at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse— runs October 7-11, 2009 featuring Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series events for Big-Block Modified, 358-Modified, Sportsman and Pro Stock divisions. Ticket and schedule information is available by contacting the Weedsport office (315/834-6606) during the day or logging into www.superdirtweekonline.com anytime.

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 and VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com. Promotional partners include Rite Aid Corporation www.riteaid.com, Dig Safely New York www.digsafelynewyork.com and the University of Northwestern Ohio www.unoh.com and the contingency sponsors are Bars Leaks www.barsproducts.com, Bert Transmission www.berttransmission.com, Bicknell Racing Products www.bicknellracingproducts.com, Bilstein Shocks www.bilstein.com, Brodix Cylinder Heads www.brodix.com, Ferris Industries www.ferrisindustries.com, Integra Shocks www.integrashocksandsprings.com, Intercomp www.intercomp-racing.com, KSE Racing Products www.kse-racing.com, Motorsports Safety Systems www.motorsportssafetysystems.com, Penske Shocks, www.penskeshocks.com, Racing Electronics www.racingelectronics.com, Rislone Oil Stabilizer www.barsproducts.com and Wrisco Industries www.wrisco.com.