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Holiday Memorable For 1st Time Sportsman Series Winner Wiesner

Dan Wiesner
Dan Wiesner - Bill Moore Photo

Elbridge, NYMay 26, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast PR Director

Last year marked the first time Dan Wiesner penciled out a full touring schedule in the Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series. Just two races into the 2008 championship trail for DIRTcar Racing NorthEast’s entry-level Modified division, Wiesner has proven to be a solid contender after putting the Monroe Wheelchair Racing no. 66 Shuttleworth Asphalt Sealing/Troyer in victory lane Monday night at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park following the Aramark 30.

His second visit to the winner’s circle at Rolling Wheels was the first-ever anywhere in Mr. DIRTcar Series competition for the Geneva, New York speedster, netting the eighth-year Sportsman pilot the $1,000 top prize plus earning him valuable points in his bid for the overall Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Championship.

“I couldn’t do this without everyone here, everybody that helps me out … its been a long road to get a win like this,” said Wiesner, 27, who launched his Sportsman career in 2001 following brief stints in both the Street Stock and Pro Stock ranks. He scored his first Sportsman feature win at his hometrack in Canandaigua (NY) and Sunday’s dash to the checkers at his favorite facility was the 13th since 2003.

“We knew we were fast the last time (4th on May 4) so I told the boys to put in the same set-up. I said just pace myself, then somebody said don’t run the outside. And I said its all about tire management, and I used it well, I think. Again, without everybody down here I would never be here so I really gotta thank them and my sponsors. Hopefully, we’ll be back (victory lane) again,” Wiesner noted.

Canadian traveler Mike Bowman overtook early race leader John Pietrowicz on lap nine before Wiesner powered by on the outside to forge the final lead change with still a six laps to go. A restart on lap 27 did little to affect the outcome as Wiesner opened up a dozen car-lengths over Bowman in his no. 71 Seaway Hose & Hydraulics/Bicknell ride at the stripe, with local favorite Todd Town, Pietrowicz and Western New Yorker Don Spatorico filling out the final front-five.

Fifty-two Sportsman Modified entries helped fill the pits for the Memorial Day special that also featured an annual appearance by the national touring Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. Wiesner won the sixth and final qualifying heat yet despite filing into 10th on the 33-car starting grid following the pre-race draw, he was quickly shuffled back to 17th before he could begin his dramatic charge.

“On a track like this, especially with the Outlaw guys here, you gotta set up for a real dry, slick track and maintain the tires. The only bite I found was on the outside of turns three and four so when I went in there flat-footed, hopefully the car didn’t go over the berm. Obviously I messed up right in the beginning, there just wasn’t as much of a cushion out there as I thought,” Wiesner divulged.

Pietrowicz out-dragged front row partner Bill Hallett with the highest starting of 16 Canadian entries Justin Sharp grabbing second on the initial circuit. Before the leaders could open any kind of advantage, the field was quickly brought to a halt when St. Catharines, Ontario pilot Rick Bellante blew a tire at the end of the back straightaway and rolled his mount to incur a rare red flag situation. No injuries were reported yet Bellante was done for the night with just three laps scored.

The no. 85 Gypsum Express/TEO machine of Pietrowicz resumed its place on the point and held off the early challenges of Bowman while Sharp, Town and Rob Pratt followed with five laps complete as Wiesner navigated the high side of the spacious 5/8-miler Elbridge oval. The first yellow flag flew just three laps later when A.J. Kingsley looped his machine coming out of turn one. Bowman needed just one lap back under green to duck below Pietrowicz in turn two and take his first ever lead at the ‘Fast Track.’

Town from nearby Jordan, New York in his no. 17t Town Mechanical/Troyer entry blasted by Sharp on lap 10 then stole second from Pietrowicz two laps later, with Wiesner storming into the front-five at the halfway point of the 30-lap main event. Coming off his first career win Friday at Ransomville Speedway, any chance for Sharp to double up over the weekend was suddenly foiled when mechanical problems forced him pitside with the second caution period scored on lap 19.

On the ensuing restart Wiesner sat in fourth sizing up the opposition and disposed of Pietrowicz on lap 20 before leaving Town in his dust the following circuit. Cutting the deficit by nearly a half second each lap in the closing stages, Wiesner authored yet another run high out of turn four to make the last exchange for the top spot with Bowman stick on lap 24. The final yellow flag flew three laps later when opening day Rolling Wheels winner James Friesen slowed on the front chute, leaving 26 cars to complete the entire distance in the 28-minute nightcap.

“I didn’t want to see that last caution come out at the end but sometimes the yellow helps when you’re not winning as it gets the field back together. When you’re winning you definitely don’t want to see it. Tire management once again was a big factor, I’m just glad for the crew that works night and day. Some guys work long night hours and others early in the morning … you know what, this is what its all for. I have to thank my wife (Emily), nieces and my uncle and everybody that really supports me, I really appreciate it,” Wiesner added.

Jimmy Johnstone, new Sportsman Series points leader Jeremy Pitcher, DIRTcar NorthEast Regional point leaders Chris Raabe and Tyler McPherson, and Canandaigua Speedway top points-getter Kevin Ridley rounded out the top-10. Pitcher, who placed fourth in the April 5 tour lid-lifter at Black Rock Speedway, leads Wiesner by 16 markers followed by Eric Giguere, Bowman and Pietrowicz.

Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series contenders won’t get another chance to improve in the standings until the Independence Day celebration begins at Rolling Wheels on July with a pair of 20-lap tour races headlining the evening card.

Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship Series Race #2 – Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, May 26, 2008 ‘Aramark 30’ Event Summary
FIN STR CAR# DRIVER
1 10 66 Dan Wiesner/Geneva,NY($1,000)
2 3 71 Mike Bowman/St.Catharines,ONT
3 5 17t Todd Town/Jordan,NY
4 2 85 John Pietrowicz/Phoenix,NY
5 7 21h Don Spatorico/Ransomville,NY
6 16 21jj Jim Johnstone/Niagara-o-t-Lake,ONT
7 12 14 Jeremy Pitcher/Fulton,NY
8 6 01 Chris Raabe/Napanee,ONT
9 19 777 Tyler McPherson/St.Catharines,ONT
10 14 20x Kevin Ridley/Geneva,NY
11 8 p38 Rob Pratt/Brockport,NY
12 15 4 Daryl Hilkert/Potter,NY
13 13 19w Justin Wright/Piffard,NY
14 24 08 Mark D’Ilario/Smithville,ONT
15 25 6 Mat Williamson/St.Catharines,ONT
16 17 67g Eric Giguere/Waterloo,NY
17 30 24 Brandon Sweet/Watertown,NY
18 20 51 Josh Hefti/Elbridge,NY
19 18 2kh Chris Hile/Syracuse,NY
20 33 6x Chad Chevalier/Port Colborne,ONT
21 1 1h Bill Hallett/Byron,NY
22 29 77x Brandon Planck/Cortland,NY
23 27 70 Brady Fultz/Dundee,NY
24 26 06j Jordan Bennett/Pennellville,NY
25 22 11 Mike Mandigo/Wegatchie,NY
26 32 140 Mark Dixon/Durham,ONT
27 11 10 Tim Currier/Auburn,NY
28 28 2k Rob Knapp/St.Catharines,ONT
29 31 52 James Friesen/St.Catharines,ONT
30 4 8s Justin Sharp/St.Catharines,ONT
31 9 99p Greg Panunte/Port Colborne,ONT
32 21 3k A.J. Kingsley/Fulton,NY
33 23 62 Rick Bellante/St.Catharines,ONT

DID NOT QUALIFY(19)
1-Matt Smith/Canandaigua,NY
m1-David Marcuccilli/Cayuga,NY
jvs1-Jim Spano/Skaneateles,NY
3-Fran Hilton/Waterloo,NY
8-Joe Cook Jr./Seneca Castle,NY
9r-Tyler Rand/Ottawa,ONT
12-Brandon Hagan/Plessis,NY
17-Marcus Dinkins/Watkins Glen,NY
17d-Tom Juhl/Weedsport,NY
18h-Todd Henderson/Canandaigua,NY
25g-Nick Guererri/Waterloo,NY
26h-Luke Carleton/Port Colborne,ONT
38-Ryan Susice/Ransomville,NY
51x-Cody McPherson/St.Catharines,ONT
55-Matt Hulsizer/Bridgeport,NY
57s-Beth Schneider/Cicero,NY
74x-Jim Evans Jr./Memphis,NY
76-Rob Bussey/Canandaigua,NY
84-Rick Quick/Scotia,NY
LAP LEADERS: Pietrowicz (1-8), Bowman (9-23), Wiesner (24-30).
CAUTIONS: 3 (lap 8, lap 19, lap 27); 1 RED FLAG (lap 4).
HEAT WINNERS: Panunte, Pitcher, Bowman, Spatorico, Raabe, Wiesner.
CONSI WINNERS: Williamson, Bennett, Fultz.
SYRACUSE TOWN MECHANICAL 30 QUALIFIER: Danny Wiesner.
HOLLEY HARD LUCK: Rick Bellante.
CARS ENTERED: 52.
NEXT EVENT: Rolling Wheels Raceway Park – July 3, 2008.

QUALIFYING
Heat Races (8 laps, top 4 finishers transferred to feature, top 2 went to re-draw)
#1: Panunte, Sharp, Wright, T.McPherson, Knapp, C.McPherson, Hagan, Rand, Smith (DNS).
#2: Pitcher, Pratt, Ridley, Hefti, Williamson, Friesen, Marcuccilli, Henderson, Dinkins.
#3: Bowman, Hallett, Hilkert, Kingsley, Planck, Chevalier, Dixon, Carleton, Quick.
#4: Spatorico, Town, Johnstone, Mandigo, Bennett, Susice, Bussey, Evans, Guererri.
#5: Raabe, Pietrowicz, Giguere, Bellante, Fultz, Schneider, Hulsizer, Cook.
#6: Wiesner, Currier, Hile, D’Ilario, Juhl, Spano, Sweet, Hilton.
Consolation Round (8 laps, top 2 finishers transferred to feature)
#1: Williamson, Knapp, Henderson, Friesen, Marcuccilli, Hagan, C.McPherson, Carleton, Dinkins, Rand (DNS), Smith (DNS).
#2: Bennett, Planck, Susice, Bussey, Chevalier, Guererri, Dixon, Quick, Evans.
#3: Fultz, Sweet, Hulsizer, Schneider, Hilton, Cook, Juhl, Spano (DNS).
Guarantees: Friesen, Dixon.
Provisional: Chevalier.

Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series Point Standings (Through May 26, 2008)
Rank No Driver Total Series Diff Wins Top 5 Top 10 Starts
1 14 Jeremy Pitcher 157 157 0 0 1 2 2
2 66 Dan Wiesner 141 141 -16 1 1 1 2
3 67g Eric Giguere 140 140 -17 0 1 1 2
4 71 Mike Bowman 135 135 -22 0 1 1 2
5 85 John Pietrowicz 125 125 -32 0 1 1 2
6 99p Greg Panunte 116 116 -41 0 0 1 2
7 19w Justin Wright 112 112 -45 0 0 0 2
8 6 Mat Williamson 112 112 -45 0 0 0 2
9 70 Brady Fultz 109 109 -48 0 0 1 2
10 777 Tyler McPherson 105 105 -52 0 0 1 2
11 4 Daryl Hilkert 102 102 -55 0 0 0 2
12 140 Mark Dixon 102 102 -55 0 0 1 2
13 17t Todd Town 100 100 -57 0 1 1 1
14 99 Larry Wight 100 100 -57 1 1 1 1
15 08 Marl D’Ilario 99 99 -58 0 0 0 2
16 52 James Friesen 98 98 -59 0 0 0 2
17 12 Chad Chevalier 94 94 -63 0 0 0 2
18 2x Rob Knapp 94 94 -63 0 0 0 2
19 10 Tim Currier 92 92 -65 0 0 0 2
20 410 Chris Hile 85 85 -72 0 0 0 2
21 21h Don Spatorico 80 80 -77 0 1 1 1
22 17b Scott Prentice 80 80 -77 0 1 1 1
23 01 Chris Raabe 78 78 -79 0 0 1 1
24 21JJ Jimmy Johnstone 76 76 -81 0 0 1 1
25 12z Ray Bliss 72 72 -85 0 0 1 1
26 00 Boyd MacTavish 65 65 -92 0 0 1 1
27 20x Kevin Ridley 62 62 -95 0 0 1 1
28 p38 Rob Pratt 60 60 -97 0 0 0 1
29 24 Brandon Sweet 58 58 -99 0 0 0 1
30 18h Todd Henderson 58 58 -99 0 0 0 1
31 3k A.J. Kingley 50 50 -107 0 0 0 1
32 8s Justin Sharp 50 50 -107 0 0 0 1
33 11 Mike Mandigo 50 50 -107 0 0 0 1
34 62 Rick Bellante 50 50 -107 0 0 0 1
35 51 Josh Hefti 46 46 -111 0 0 0 1
36 17k Sammy Reakes IV 46 46 -111 0 0 0 1
37 1H Bill Hallett 43 43 -114 0 0 0 1
38 2L Loren Lincoln 43 43 -114 0 0 0 1
39 77x Brandon Planck 42 42 -115 0 0 0 1
40 11x Donie Lawson 42 42 -115 0 0 0 1
41 06 Jordan Bennett 40 40 -117 0 0 0 1
42 58 Steve Gray 40 40 -117 0 0 0 1
43 m93 Mike Entwistle 40 40 -117 0 0 0 1
44 0 Jipp Ortiz 40 40 -117 0 0 0 1
45 14s Brian Swarthout 40 40 -117 0 0 0 1
46 1 Matt Smith 20 20 -137 0 0 0 0
47 3a Fran Hilton 20 20 -137 0 0 0 0
48 17 Marcus Dinkins 20 20 -137 0 0 0 0
49 19J Tom Juhl 20 20 -137 0 0 0 0
50 26h Luke Carleton 20 20 -137 0 0 0 0
51 38 Ryan Susice 20 20 -137 0 0 0 0
52 84 Rick Quick 20 20 -137 0 0 0 0
53 55 Matt Hulsizer 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
54 57s Beith Scheinder 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
55 8 Joe Cook Jr. 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
56 76 Rob Bussey 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
57 M1 Dave Marcuccilli 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
58 12 Brandon Hagen 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
59 25g Nick Guererri 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
60 51x Cody McPherson 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
61 74x Jim Evans 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
62 vs1 Jim Spano 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
63 9R Tyler Rand 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
64 1J Joe Dgien 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
65 2k Mike Button 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
66 3 Laslow Hollyfeld 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
67 7x Tom Flannigan 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
68 12x Dan Sellen 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
69 19 Dave Yehl 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
70 20J Tony Cowell 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
71 44 Russ Hefti 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
72 74 Matt Billings 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
73 83x Tim Sears Jr. 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
74 92 Adam Turner 10 10 -147 0 0 0 0
75 v28 Billy VanPelt 0 0 -157 0 0 0 0

Pot Holes: A solid turnout of 52 cars signed in at Rolling Wheels nearly matching the fine field of 56 that arrived for the ’08 Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series opener at Black Rock in April. Maybe more impressive was the fact that 19 new faces were visible in the holiday special at the ‘Fast Track’ with the grand total of 71 now comprising the current roster for DIRTcar Sportsman touring teams through two events. Beth Schneider from Cicero, N.Y. became the first female to register yet failed in her first attempt to qualify on Monday…..Dan Wiesner is the 2nd first-time Sportsman Series race winner in ’08 —joining Larry Wight— and even before he added his first feature win of the year, 17 Sportsman drivers in the Wheels’ field already accounted for 25 victories including division leaders James Friesen, Todd Henderson and Chris Raabe with three apiece. Wiesner became the 35th different driver to take a checkered flag this season in the 44th Sportsman race spread over 13 tracks in New York and Canada…..On this occasion steering a team car with Mat Williamson, Canadian invader Chad Chevalier started last after using his provisional status yet improved to finish 20th and collect a $50 bonus posted by Currier Plastics…..Reigning Ransomville points champion Don Spatorico is still without a crate engine in his own car so he borrowed James Henry’s ride in time to make his first Series show of the season and scored a respectable 5th-place finish….

Get Out The Word First: RACEceiver is the Official Driver Communicator of DIRTcar Racing NorthEast. A compact radio receiver that conveniently fits into a driver’s pocket, a RACEceiver allows each driver to hear directions from series officials, which greatly enhances the safety and timeliness of events. A similar version available to fans will allow RACEceiver users to hear what information series officials are relaying to the drivers. For more information about RACEceiver, visit www.raceceiver.com, call 866-301-7223, or look for their sales trailers at various events.

Tracks Know The Score: In DIRTcar Racing’s ongoing effort to assist every member track affiliate with presenting the best possible race programs, World Racing Group has teamed with AMB i.t. which continues to be recognized as the Official Timing System of DIRTcar NorthEast. AMB i.t. is the world’s leader in automatic race timing and scoring systems and WRG is proud to retain the company as a valued partner in the timing and scoring of all sanctioned events.

UPCOMING EVENTS
The 19th Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series returns to action at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park during the Independence Day Holiday with the ‘Fast Track’ hosting Twin 20s on Thursday, July 3 and each feature offering valuable points towards the overall Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship as well as guaranteed starter status for the Super DIRT Week main event in October.

2008 Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship Series Schedule
*All events subject to change.
DAY-DATE LAPS TRACK LOCATION/WINNER
Sat-Apr 5 50 Black Rock Speedway Larry Wight
Mon-May 26 30 Rolling Wheels Raceway Dan Wiesner
Thr-Jul 3 2-20 Rolling Wheels Raceway Elbridge,NY
Fri-Jul 4 30 Brewerton Speedway Brewerton,NY
Thr-Jul 10 30 Brockville Ont. Speedway Brockville,ONT
Mon-Sep 1 30 Rolling Wheels Raceway Elbridge,NY
Fri-Sep 5 50 Ransomville Speedway Ransomville,NY
Sat-Sep 6 50 Merrittville Speedway Thorold,ONT
Sun-Sep 7 50 Humberstone Speedway Pt.Colborne,ONT
Sat-Sep 13 30 Genesee Speedway Batavia,NY
Sat-Sep 20 45 Canandaigua Speedway Canandaigua,NY
Sat-Sep 27 30 Rolling Wheels Raceway Elbridge,NY
Fri-Oct 3 30 Fulton Speedway Fulton,NY
Wed-Oct 8 30 Can-Am Motorsports Park LaFargeville,NY
Fri-Oct 10 30 Rolling Wheels Raceway Elbridge,NY
Sat-Oct 11 30 New York State Fairgrounds Syracuse,NY
Sat-Oct 18 50 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.