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Raabe Captures Career 1st Sportsman Modified Series Main At Brockville

Chris Raabe
Chris Raabe - Rick Young Photo

Brockville, ONTJuly 10, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast PR Director

Canadian runner Chris Raabe has been improving ever since opening the 2008 Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship Series in April at Black Rock Speedway. Following a rare DNQ at Black Rock, Raabe followed up immediately with eighth, fifth, third and second-place finishes.

The ‘Teenage Tornado’ from Napanee, Ontario can go no further anymore after dominating the 30-lap Series show Thursday night for his first set of checkers on home turf at Brockville Ontario Speedway.

“There’s no better spot that I’d like to win than here at Brockville, it was a great run in front of our home crowd and things couldn’t have ended any better,” said Raabe, after not only becoming the sixth different winner in six events but the fifth driver to record his first career triumph in the Sportsman Series. “The guys were joking about winning won of these so its good to finally get one.”

Raabe got the last laugh in the ‘Coca-Cola/BOB FM 30’ after charging from eighth to first in just seven laps around the fast Brockville 3/8-miler, then outdistancing runner-up and current Series points leader Dan Wiesner to score the convincing $1,000 victory. Tyler McPherson emerged from mid-pack with a gallant charge to come through in the third spot followed by Central New York tour runners Loren Lincoln and Eric Giguere.

Brockville weekly contender Luke Whitteker started on the pole and led the first lap and had a solid run ending up finishing in sixth position. Raabe grabbed the lead away from invader Wiesner on the seventh circuit then showed his usual driving precision pulling away for over a two-second victory with the final half of the event run completely caution-free.

“The car got a little bit tight at the end, just had to slowly pick our way through traffic,” noted Raabe, who increased his DIRTcar Racing NorthEast win count to a division-best 11th with his fifth victory of ’08 at Brockville easily his biggest. From 2005-07, Raabe had taken 12 checkered flags in Sportsman Modified competition. “Its pretty tight racing out here at Brockville so I just took my time making it up through. Have to thank the crew for giving me such a great car to work with tonight, it makes my job that much easier.”

Wiesner was a late arrival at Brockville yet a good draw for his heat resulted in a qualifying heat race victory before grabbing the pole-position to start the feature. Whitteker forced the Geneva, New York pilot to wait until lap two to secure his first advantage although heat two winner Raabe was already waiting to pounce after climbing into second with just four laps scored.

At the halfway mark Raabe roamed out to a 10 car-length lead over Wiesner as Lincoln, McPherson and Giguere settled in for the second segment. Despite facing lapped cars in every corner, Raabe performed flawlessly to post the convincing win with 21 cars completing the entire distance.

Raabe returns to Rolling Wheels Raceway Park on Labor Day second in points as the ‘Fast Track’ hosts the seventh stop in the 18-race series that concludes with the 47th running of Eastern States Weekend at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown, New York.

Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship Series Race #6 – Brockville Ontario Speedway, July 10, 2008 ‘Coca-Cola/BOB FM 30’ Event Summary
FIN STR CAR# DRIVER
1 8 01 Chris Raabe/Napanee,ONT ($1,000)
2 1 66 Dan Wiesner/Geneva,NY
3 12 777 Tyler McPherson/St.Catharines,ONT
4 5 2 Loren Lincoln/South Bristol,NY
5 10 67g Eric Giguere/Waterloo,NY
6 2 38 Luke Whitteker/Iroquois,ONT
7 4 24 Brandon Sweet/Watertown,NY
8 24 14 Jeremy Pitcher/Fulton,NY
9 15 23 Chris Herbison/South Mountain,ONT
10 16 99p Greg Panunte/Port Colborne,ONT
11 22 83 Dylan Evoy/Brockville,ONT
12 3 15x Shane Pecore/Cornwall,ONT
13 29 9r Tyler Rand/Ottawa,ONT
14 6 74 Matt Billings/Brockville,ONT
15 26 85 John Pietrowicz/Phoenix,NY
16 27 96 Cole Dingwall/Ottawa,ONT
17 21 19w Justin Wright/Piffard,NY
18 23 32 Randy Gaudet/North Augusta,ONT
19 18 08 Mark D’Ilario/Smithville,ONT
20 25 10 Tim Currier/Auburn,NY
21 20 6 Mat Williamson/St.Catharines,ONT
22 9 140 Mark Dixon/Durham,ONT
23 19 92 Adam Turner/Picton,ONT
24 11 6v Roger Varacalli/Brockville,ONT
25 30 27 Sheldon Hoogwerf/Prescott,ONT
26 14 k12 Rod McDonald/Wolf Island,ONT
27 17 71 Mike Bowman/St.Catharines,ONT
28 7 88 Eric Lefebvre/St-Cyrille,QUE
29 13 6m Mike Mainse/Kingston,ONT
30 28 28 Pete Stapper/Brockville,ONT
DID NOT QUALIFY(7)
7-Kenny Polite/Spencerville,ONT
10x-Derek Spellan/Massena,NY
11-Brian Copp/North Gower,ONT
19z-Zeke McKeown/Havelock,ONT
22-Dave Wilgosh/Lyn,ONT
66t-Tabatha Murphy/Prescott,ONT
86-Adam Trickey/Mallorytown,ONT

EVENT SUMMARY:
LAP LEADERS: Whitteker (1), Wiesner (2-6), Raabe (7-30).
CAUTIONS: 3 (lap 3, lap 6, lap 7).
HEAT WINNERS: Wiesner, Raabe, Dixon, Pecore.
CONSI WINNERS: Wright,Evoy.
SYRACUSE TOWN MECHANICAL 30 QUALIFIER: Chris Raabe.
HOLLEY HARD LUCK: Mike Bowman.
CARS ENTERED: 37.
NEXT EVENT: Rolling Wheels Raceway Park – September 1, 2008.

QUALIFYING
Heat Races (8 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to feature, top 3 went to re-draw)
#1: Wiesner, Billings, Sweet, Mainse, Bowman, Gaudet, Dingwall, Copp, Murphy, Trickey.
#2: Raabe, Varacalli, Giguere, McDonald, D’Ilario, Pietrowicz, Stapper, Hoogwerf, Polite.
#3: Dixon, McPherson, Lincoln, Herbison, Turner, Wright, Currier, Rand, Spellan.
#4: Pecore, Lefebvre, Whitteker, Panunte, Williamson, Pitcher, Evoy, McKeown, Wilgosh.
Consolation Round (8 laps, top 5 finishers transferred to feature)
#1: Wright, Gaudet, Currier, Dingwall, Rand, Spellan, Murphy, Copp.
#2: Evoy, Pitcher, Pietrowicz, Stapper, Hoogwerf, McKeown, Trickey, Wilgosh, Polite (DNS).

Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series Point Standings (Through July 10, 2008)
Rank No Driver Total Series Bonus Diff Money Wins T-5 T-10 Sts
1 66 Dan Wiesner 405 405 0 0 $2,220 1 4 4 6
2 01 Chris Raabe 373 373 0 -32 $2,140 1 4 5 5
3 14 Jeremy Pitcher 345 345 0 -60 $1,005 0 1 4 6
4 6 Mat Williamson 326 326 0 -79 $945 0 2 3 6
5 85 John Pietrowicz 320 320 0 -85 $940 0 2 3 6
6 777 Tyler McPherson 313 313 0 -92 $950 0 1 3 6
7 67g Eric Giguere 309 309 0 -96 $1,025 0 2 2 6
8 99p Greg Panunte 298 298 0 -107 $730 0 0 3 6
9 08 Mark D’Ilario 294 294 0 -111 $1,050 1 2 2 6
10 71 Mike Bowman 292 292 0 -113 $1,125 0 1 2 6
11 2L Loren Lincoln 276 276 0 -129 $925 0 2 3 5
12 19w Justin Wright 261 261 0 -144 $500 0 0 0 6
13 10 Tim Currier 241 241 0 -164 $505 0 0 0 6
14 4 Daryl Hilkert 204 204 0 -201 $410 0 0 0 5
15 140 Mark Dixon 194 194 0 -211 $440 0 0 1 5
16 2x Rob Knapp 194 194 0 -211 $430 0 0 1 5
17 38w Luke Whitteker 187 187 0 -218 $440 0 0 1 4
18 410 Chris Hile 185 185 0 -220 $1,200 1 1 1 3
19 17T Todd Town 176 176 0 -229 $815 1 2 3 3
20 20x Kevin Ridley 163 163 0 -242 $350 0 0 1 4
21 12 Chad Chevalier162 162 0 -243 $220 0 0 1 4
22 24 Brandon Sweet150 150 0 -255 $300 0 0 1 2
23 17k Sam Reakes IV148 148 0 -257 $340 0 0 1 4
24 jvs1 Jim Spano 140 140 0 -265 $335 0 1 1 3
25 21JJ Jim Johnstone 126 126 0 -279 $325 0 0 1 2
26 26h Luke Carleton 112 112 0 -293 $200 0 0 0 3
27 70 Brady Fultz 109 109 0 -296 $280 0 0 1 2
28 M1 Dave Marcuccilli104 104 0 -301 $200 0 0 0 3
29 58 Steve Gray 104 104 0 -301 $250 0 0 1 3
30 99 Larry Wight 100 100 0 -305 $5,000 1 1 1 1
31 17D Tom Juhl 98 98 0 -307 $180 0 0 1 1
32 52 James Friesen 98 98 0 -307 $210 0 0 0 2
33 3k A.J. Kingsley 90 90 0 -315 $200 0 0 0 2
34 12x Dan Sellen 83 83 0 -322 $120 0 0 1 2
35 18h Todd Henderson83 83 0 -322 $150 0 0 0 2
36 25g Nick Guererri 82 82 0 -323 $130 0 0 1 2
37 06 Jordan Bennett 80 80 0 -325 $200 0 0 0 2
38 21h Don Spatorico 80 80 0 -325 $275 0 1 1 1
39 17b Scott Prentice 80 80 0 -325 $275 0 1 1 1
40 9R Tyler Rand 76 76 0 -329 $100 0 0 0 1
41 3a Fran Hilton 76 76 0 -329 $100 0 0 0 2
42 74 Matt Billings 74 74 0 -331 $100 0 0 0 1
43 38p Jason Parkhurst72 72 0 -333 $275 0 1 1 2
44 12z Ray Bliss 72 72 0 -333 $200 0 0 1 1
45 17 Marcus Dinkins 70 70 0 -335 $100 0 0 0 1
46 51 Josh Hefti 66 66 0 -339 $100 0 0 0 1
47 23 Chris Herbison 65 65 0 -340 $160 0 0 1 1
48 00 Boyd MacTavish65 65 0 -340 $160 0 0 1 1
49 83x Tim Sears Jr. 64 64 0 -341 $100 0 0 0 1
50 57s Beith Schneider 63 63 0 -342 $100 0 0 0 1

Pot Holes: Brockville offered a race for the ages as 14 year-old Luke Whitteker and 17 year-old Chris Raabe led all but five of the 30 laps making up the finale. Also making the starting grid was 55 year-old ‘rookie’ Rod McDonald, who finished 26th one lap down to the leaders ….. Of the 37 drivers that signed into the BOS, 18 were first-timers on this year’s Sportsman Modified tour with all hailing from the province of Ontario ….. Of the top-10 point earners through the initial six races, six reside in Canada while the remaining four call the Empire State home including front runner Wiesner.

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 EVENT
Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series race chasers get a nearly two-month layoff from tour activity with the next scheduled appearance back in the states when Rolling Wheels Raceway Park hosts its annual Labor Day special on September 1. Valuable points towards the overall Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship will once again be on the line along with a guaranteed starting position 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 20 Rolling Wheels Raceway Mark D’Ilario
Thr-Jul 3 20 Rolling Wheels Raceway Todd Town
Fri-Jul 4 30 Brewerton Speedway Chris Hile
Thr-Jul 10 30 Brockville Ont. Speedway Chris Raabe
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.