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Raabe Returns To Winning Ways In Humberstone Sportsman Series Show

Chris Raabe
Chris Raabe - Alex Bruce Photo

Pt. Colborne, ONTSeptember 13, 2009 – By Dave Sully, DIRTcar Racing Northeast Series Correspondent

The DIRTcar Sportsman Series completed a three race, three night set on Sunday, September 13 at Humberstone Speedway after competing at Ransomville and Merrittville speedways on Friday and Saturday.

When the final checkered flag flew, 18 year-old defending overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Champion Chris Raabe, from Napanee, Ontario and 19 year-old Ransomville and Canandaigua speedways titlist Ryan Susice were the story of the Trevor Wilkins Memorial 50-lapper, as Raabe took a narrow win over his good friend.

The two started on the front row courtesy of the customary pre-race draw, with Susice holding the early advantage while Raabe was content to stalk his rival. Susice retained the point through three of the six cautions periods, the most serious for a multi-car scrum on lap 12 when third-running Brad Rouse spun in turn one and collected a number of cars. All were able to return.

With more formidable foes moving into contention, notably Greg Panunte and Tyler McPherson, Raabe began to exert serious pressure on Susice, hounding him down low on laps 17-18 before slipping into the lead on the 19th circuit

As the two broke away from the field, traffic entered the picture on lap 26 as Susice took advantage of contact between Raabe and Dave Dykstra to regain the top spot. That lead didn’t last long as Raabe retook the lead following a lap 27 caution, sweeping under Susice on lap 32 after hounding him lap after lap.

From there, Susice tried to mount a challenge on the outside as the two broke away from the field once again. A caution on lap 38 gave Susice one more chance to mount a challenge, but Raabe had the preferred line down low and Susice couldn’t make the outside work well enough.

At the line, it was Raabe by several car-lengths over Susice, followed by McPherson, Panunte, and Brandon Easey, who came from the rear after a penalty, to round out the top-five.

Of his battle with Susice, Raabe commented post-race, “It’s not always great to lead early on, I just kind of sat there saving my tires. I made sure I didn’t lose touch with him, but I definitely could find out where he was weak. He was lipping up a bit in three and four. I was fortunate enough to get a few good runs and able to pounce there.” As for the late push by Susice on the outside, he added, “I knew he was up there, Ryan’s certainly a high side guy. I was going to stay on the bottom there and try to wash up in the middle of the straightaway to take his line away a bit.”

Susice also commented on his battle up front with Raabe, “I was pretty good on the topside when I moved up there. What happened, when I was running the bottom, the car started to get a little push in the apex and I lost my forward bite. I couldn’t keep in right on the rail like Chris, so I had to start floating around the top. I could get good momentum off of one and two, but just about everything I gained there, I’d lose in three and four. I was kind of hoping for lapped traffic there at the end to maybe have a chance to get back by him, but we’ll take a second any time we can get one.”

Sportsman Series action picks up next weekend with a big doubleheader slated in New York State’s western corridor at Canandaigua Speedway on Friday, September 18 and continuing along Routes 5&20 until reaching Genesee Speedway for the Sept. 19 showdown.

Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Championship Series Race #9 – Humberstone Speedway, Sept. 13, 2009 Event Summary
FIN STR CAR# DRIVER
1. (2) 01 Chris Raabe (Napanee, Ontario)
2. (1) 38K Ryan Susice (Ransomville, NY)
3. (8) 777 Tyler McPherson (St. Catharines, Ontario)
4. (12) 99P Greg Panunte (Pt. Colborne, Ontario)
5. (17) 06 Brandon Easey (St. Catharines, Ontario)
6. (13) 3 Jeff Leggett (Pt. Colborne, Ontario)
7. (14) 77 BJ Willard (St. Catharines, Ontario)
8. (28) 26H Luke Carleton (St. Catharines, Ontario)
9. (10) 12 Chad Chevalier (Pt. Colborne, Ontario)
10. (15) 92 Adam Turner (Picton, Ontario)
11. (16) 99C Nick Cupolo (Thorold, Ontario)
12. (24) 55C Jesse Cotriss (Akron, NY)
13. (6) 7 Cody McPherson (St. Catharines, Ontario)
14. (11) 95 Len Dignard (Sherkston, Ontario)
15. (27) 12A Jeff Armstrong (Pt. Colborne, Ontario)
16. (25) 19W Justin Wright (Piffard, NY)
17. (18) 24 Brandon Sweet (Watertown, NY)
18. (4) 66 Dan Weisner (Geneva, NY)
19. (3) 53X Jamie Gilbert (Welland, Ontario)
20. (22) 5S Kevin Sharpe (Pt. Colborne, Ontario)
21. (29) M2 Rob Murray (St. Catharines, Ontario)
22. (30) 73G Gordon Hermanson Niagara Falls, NY)
23. *(7) 0 Jipp Ortiz (Ransomville, NY)
24. (23) 88jr Doug Spiece (Welland, Ontario)
25. (5) 62 Mark Bellante (St. Catharines, Ontario)
26. (9) 18 Brad Rouse (St. Catharines, Ontario)
27. (20) 67G Eric Giguere (Waterloo, NY)
28. (21) 53 Rich Farraway (Hamilton, Ontario)
29. (29) 36D Dave Dykstra (St. Catharines, Ontario)
30. (26) 140 Mark Dixon (Durham, Ontario)
*Ortiz was scheduled to start 7th yet was sent to the rear for being late to the grid.

QUALIFYING
Time Trials:
1. Greg Panunte 16.252 sec.
2. Brandon Easey 16.344
3. Jesse Cotriss 16.418
4. Ryan Susice 16.423
5. Tyler McPherson 16.434
6. Jipp Ortiz 16.448
7. Chad Chevalier 16.451
8. Chris Raabe 16.466
9 . Dan Weisner 16.509
10. BJ Willard 16.524
11. Adam Turner 16.545
12. Justin Wright 16.570
13. Cody McPherson16.574
14. Nick Cupolo 16.586
15. Jamie Gilbert 16.589
16. Len Dignard 16.651
17. Rich Farraway 16.664
18. Rick Bellante 16.667
19. Brandon Sweet 16.683
20. Brad Rouse 16.685
21. Luke Carleton 16.690
22. Jeff Armstrong 16.715
23. Doug Spiece 16.751
24. Jeff Leggett 16.758
25. Eric Giguere 16.846
26. Kevin Sharpe 16.903
27. Dave Dykstra 16.916
28. Mark Dixon 16.954
29. Rob Murray 17.497
30. Gord Hermanson17.684

Heats:
#1: Ortiz, Cody McPherson, Rouse, Leggett, Easey, Farraway , Wright, Armstrong.
#2: Gilbert, Tyler McPherson, Chevalier, Willard, Sweet, Sharpe, Dixon, Carleton.
#3: Bellante, Raabe, Dignard, Turner, Dykstra, Spiece, Murray.
#4: Weisner, Susice, Panunte, Cupolo, Giguere, Cotriss, Hermanson.

UPCOMING EVENTS
Mr. DIRTcar Sportsman Series point chasers double up Friday at Canandaigua Speedway before venturing further west to Genesee Speedway in Batavia to continue their quest for the overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship. Also up for grabs in each feature are guaranteed starting positions for the Super DIRT Week main event on the Syracuse Mile in October.

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 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 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 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.