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Pro Stock Grad Jipp Ortiz Learning History Lesson In Sportsman Ranks

Jipp Ortiz
Jipp Ortiz - Alex Bruce Photo

Weedsport, NYSeptember 10, 2009 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director

Jipp Ortiz can accomplish something no one else before him has ever done – capture overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championships in both open-wheel and full-fender classes during his short-track career.

Yet to pull off such an extraordinary feat, the second-generation driver from the Western New York town of Ransomville will first have to survive a tough stretch of three straight Sportsman Series races this weekend. Then last another six weeks traveling around the Northeast to complete the monumental task.

“I’ve always been competitive, probably more for fear of defeat, so I’m confident right now and looking forward to whatever this weekend brings,” remarked Ortiz, who turns 49 on Saturday, right in the middle of the ’09 Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman trail tripleheader that opens Friday, Sept. 11 on home soil at Ransomville Speedway and closes Sunday, Sept. 13 at Humberstone Speedway in Pt. Colborne, Ont. The three-time Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock titlist hopes to do more than just blow out the candles when the checkered flag falls over the feature field at Merrittville Speedway in Thorold, Ont. on Sept. 12.

“My goal since I started has been to win the Mr. DIRTcar Championship. Its just been such a tough learning curve the past couple years but we’re finally starting to understand the cars better and making the right adjustments. I also like the new format with time trials, we’re able to start closer to the front and avoid some costly wrecks,” noted Ortiz, who has time trialed among the top-six on five occasions, including the Labor Day special at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park where he earned his first Xtreme Lubricants Fast Qualifier Award en route to scoring his first career tour victory.

Recognized as often for his DIRTcar Pro Stock titles garnered three times in the new millennium, Ortiz is becoming just as successful steering his familiar blue Pizza Logs No. 0 Bicknell entry around the Northeast Sportsman circuit. He reached victory lane three times in his 2006 rookie campaign and returned to the winner’s circle twice each of the past two seasons — with all seven victories scored at Ransomville.

“For me, racing in both classes has been fairly similar,” stated Ortiz, who has collected three feature wins in ‘09, yet oddly enough none have come at the ‘Big R.’ He is undefeated going two-for-two at Rolling Wheels while copping the Fourth of July special at Can-Am Motorsports Park.

“It takes just as much time when it comes to preparation and you still have to pay a lot of attention to detail to be successful. There’s a lot of competition in both classes and that’s what makes winning either one a challenge to do just once,” Ortiz said.

Less than a dozen Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman title contenders have qualified for the initial six main events, with defending overall champion Chris Raabe already posting a pair of victories. Recent Cayuga County ‘All-Star Weekend’ winner Justin Wright, ’07 Super DIRT Week winner Sammy Reakes IV and 17 year-old Tim Sears Jr. join Ortiz with one series win apiece heading out to the Niagara Frontier.

“I’m hoping to do well at Ransomville but I’m giving he edge to Greg (Panunte) at Merrittville and Humberstone where he’s won a lot this season,” figured Ortiz, who raced half the season at Ransomville to finish 20th on the final points chart. “But guys like (Ryan) Susice, Reakes and Raabe have proven to be just as capable and all the locals will be giving it their best shot.”

“We began the season with five DNFs in the first seven races, just a lot of bad luck and being in the wrong place too many times. Instead of getting down and dropping out of sight, we all took a short break, regrouped and came back fresh and ready to go. Its paid off lately with some solid finishes and now everybody believes we can do what we set out to. The motivation is back and when you’re doing well everyone keeps moving in a positive direction,” Ortiz added.

Despite racing just a couple miles from home on Friday, Ortiz will find recently crowned Ransomville points king Susice among the biggest obstacles on the ridge. Once he crosses the border, ’09 track champions Chad Chevalier (Merrittville) and Tyler McPherson (Humberstone) will be two of the early favorites to defend Canadian territory, along with current Mr. DIRTcar points runner-up Panunte, himself a seven-time winner at both sites this season.

Additional series information can be obtained by contacting the DIRTcar Racing www.dirtcar.com Northeast office in Weedsport (315/834-6606) during normal business hours. Please visit www.ransomvillespeedway.com, www.merrittvillespeedway.com and www.humberstonespeedway.com for specific track information.

Ransomville Speedway is located northwest of the village at 2315 Braley Road, and accessible from every direction. Centrally located in the heart of the Niagara Region, Merrittville Speedway sits off Merrittville Highway, easily accessible from all sides while Humberstone Speedway is located at 1716 Highway 3.

Overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock
Point Standings
(Thru Sept. 7, 2009)
No. Driver Total Series Bonus Diff Home Track Wins Top-5 Top-10 Strts
0 Jipp Ortiz 811 451 $360 0 Ransomville 1 2 4 6
99p Greg Panunte 801 441 $360 -10 Humberstone 0 2 4 6
01 Chris Raabe 789 429 $360 -22 Thunder Alley . 2 2 4 6
11Jr Justin Wright 777 417 $360 -34 Cayuga County 1 2 3 6
38k Ryan Susice 769 409 $360 -42 Canandaigua 0 3 4 5
17K Sammy Reakes 769 409 $360 -42 Can Am 1 2 3 6
24x Brandon Sweet 752 392 $360 -59 Thunder Alley 0 1 3 6
92 Adam Turner 719 359 $360 -92 Brockville 0 1 2 6
74 Matt Billings 693 333 $360 -118 Brockville 0 1 2 6
54 Mark Chiddy 692 332 $360 -119 Canandaigua 0 0 1 6
M1 Dave Marcuccilli 689 329 $360 -122 Cayuga County 0 2 2 5
66 Dan Wiesner 688 328 $360 -123 Canandaigua 0 1 1 6
67G Eric Giguere 686 326 $360 -125 Canandaigua 0 1 2 5
77Jr B.J. Willard 629 269 $360 -182 Humberstone 0 0 0 5
83x Tim Sears Jr 625 265 $360 -186 Fulton 1 2 2 4
38s Luke Whittaker 608 248 $360 -203 Brockville 0 0 0 5
9m Mark Olmstead Jr. 585 225 $360 -226 Fulton 0 2 2 3
14 Jermey Pitcher 563 203 $360 -248 Fulton 0 0 1 4
17D Tom Juhl Jr. 562 202 $360 -249 Cayuga County 0 1 2 3
20x Kevin Ridley 560 200 $360 -251 Canandaigua 0 0 0 4
29g Steve Gray 528 168 $360 -283 Cayuga County 0 0 1 3
28 Alan Fink 520 160 $360 -291 Fulton 0 0 2 2
21JJ Jim Johnstone 514 154 $360 -297 Merrittville 0 0 1 3
55 Matt Hulsizer 513 153 $360 -298 Can Am 0 1 1 2
06J Jordan Bennett 512 152 $360 -299 Can Am 0 0 2 2
1s James Spano 485 125 $360 -326 Cayuga County 0 0 0 3
17 Marcus Dinkins 480 120 $360 -331 Cayuga County 0 0 0 2
777 Tyler MacPherso 476 116 $360 -335 Humberstone 0 0 1 2
15 Shane Pecore 470 110 $360 -341 Brockville 0 1 1 1
2L Loren Lincoln 470 110 $360 -341 Black Rock 0 0 0 2
62 Rich Bellante 468 108 $360 -343 Humberstone 0 0 0 2
85 John Pietrowicz 464 104 $360 -347 Fulton 0 0 0 2
5 Don Spatorico 454 94 $360 -357 Ransomville 0 0 0 2
11 Ben Wheeler 450 90 $360 -361 Cayuga County 0 0 0 2
70 Brady Fultz 448 88 $360 -363 Black Rock 0 0 0 2
85H Rob Humphreys 446 86 $360 -365 Cayuga County 0 0 0 1
22 Greg Cool 442 82 $360 -369 Canandaigua 0 0 1 1
410 Mark Fowler 435 75 $360 -376 Fultom 0 0 1 1
76 Rob Bussey 432 72 $360 -379 Canandaigua 0 0 1 1
5 Dave Wilgosh 425 65 $360 -386 Brockville 0 0 1 1
24a A.J. Lewis 423 63 $360 -388 Canandaigua 0 0 0 1
8a Dana Atkins 422 62 $360 -389 Brockville 0 0 0 1
81 Christine Martin 420 60 $360 -391 Can Am 0 0 0 1
11n Ricky Newton 418 58 $360 -393 Genesee 0 0 0 1
2kH Chris Hile 415 55 $360 -396 Cayuga County 0 0 0 1
18h Justin Henderson 414 54 $360 -397 Canandaigua 0 0 0 1
84 Claude Hutchings 414 54 $360 -397 Fulton 0 0 0 1
3 Fran Hilton 413 53 $360 -398 Black Rock 0 0 0 1
12 Brandon Hagan 411 51 $360 -400 Can Am 0 0 0 1
57s Beth Schneider 411 51 $360 -400 Can Am 0 0 0 1
11 Donnie Lawson 411 51 $360 -400 Black Rock 0 0 0 1

2009 Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship Series Schedule
*All events subject to change.
DAY-DATE 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 Ransomville,NY
Sat-Sep 12 50 Merrittville Speedway Thorold,ONT
Sun-Sep 13 50 Humberstone Speedway Pt.Colborne,ONT
Fri-Sep 18 33 Canandaigua Speedway Canandaigua,NY(2)
Sat-Sep 19 30 Genesee Speedway Batavia,NY
Sat-Sep 26 25 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 Super DIRTcar Series for Big-Block Modifieds 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.