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Rizzo Bags Mr. DIRTcar Street Stock Series Opener At Canandaigua

Nick Rizzo
Nick Rizzo - Alex Bruce Photo

Canandaigua, NYSeptember 19, 2008 – By Dave Medler, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast Series Correspondent

Two-time defending Cayuga County Fair Speedway Champion Nick Rizzo took advantage of race leader Adam DePuy’s tangle with a lapped car on lap 17 to grab the lead and from there the Wolcott, New York driver was able to hold off challenges from Ron Hawker to claim opening round honors in the Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Street Stock Championship Series Parts Plus 25 on Friday night at the Canandaigua Speedway.

“That happened to me a couple years ago, it’s a bad situation,” Rizzo said about the incident coming out of turn four between race leader DePuy and the lapped car of Bryan Faulkner. The tangle also involved third-place running Nathan Peckham. “(DePuy) just chose the wrong lane. I was committed to the top and got around it. It was one of those things you can’t control.”

Pole-sitter Chris Fisher out-raced Hawker to the first turn to lead the opening laps of the 25-lap main. With the field battling all over the speedway for top spots the first of five yellow flags flew on lap three involving two early favorites, defending race winner Mike Welch and Frank Burnell Jr. Both went pit side before returning at the back of the pack.

On the restart, Fisher was able to slam the door on Peckham and keep control of the race. DePuy, Hawker and Dave Mannise were right there making it a tight top-five battle around the ultra-heavy half-miler.

Coming out of turn two Fisher slipped up the track just enough to allow Peckham to get by and to be scored the leader of lap 7 before a second caution dropped for a multi-car tangle in one. While everyone’s attention was on the yellow, Fisher went to the pits with a flat, the first of four flats on the night for the ’08 Black Rock Speedway points king.

When the green came back out DePuy found the power he needed and blasted by Peckham to take command of the feature.On lap 10 a blanket could have been draped over the top-three of DePuy, Rizzo and Peckham, as Hawker and Welch started gaining on the top trio.

The complexion of the race suddenly changed on lap 17. As the front-three exited turn four, DePuy committed to the bottom and Rizzo went up top with Faulkner the lapped car between them in the middle. Faulkner appeared to come down on DePuy launching the leader over the hood of the Faulkner machine. Rizzo was able to slip by as DePuy shot across the track collecting the third place running Peckham. Amazingly, both DePuy and Peckham went in to finish the race, although wheeling battered machine at the stripe.

One more caution period would slow the race although Rizzo still managed to hold off late race challenges from Hawker and Andy Fisk for a car-length win. Peckham and defending Mr. DIRTcar Street Stock Champion Scott Smith filled out the front-five in Canandaigua’s Street Stock finale while Mannise, Blane Smith, DePuy, Burnell and Mike Vaughn followed to complete the top-10.

“It got hairy there for a little while, I hope I didn’t chop Dave (Mannise) too bad,” added Rizzo. “I got a shove from somebody that upset me, then I started to drive. The racing with guys here is tough, they are the best in the business. Mike Welch and Parts Plus have helped me out a lot. I’m just glad they have stepped up and are sponsoring this deal now.”

Nineteen of the 20 cars entered in the event made the starting grid with Derek Excell the lone driver unable to take the initial green flag. Early race leader Fisher was the Holly Hard Luck Award recipient after being forced pitside four times with flat tires.

Traveling teams return to competition in round two of the 2008 Mr. DIRTcar Street Stock Series, with Rolling Wheels Raceway Park staging the second event on Friday, September 26 as part of the 22nd World Series Weekend.

Mr. DIRTcar Street Stock Championship Series Race #1 – Canandaigua Speedway, September 19, 2008 Parts Plus 25 Event Summary
FIN ST CAR# DRIVER / HOMETOWN
1 6 115 Nick Rizzo/Wolcott,NY($500)
2 2 14 Ron Hawker/Jordan,NY
3 10 33 Andy Fisk/Williamson,NY
4 3 90 Nathan Peckham/Seneca Falls,NY
5 13 75 Scott Smith/Rushville,NY
6 5 8x Dave Mannise/Fulton,NY
7 12 55b Blane Smith/Canandaigua,NY
8 4 99 Adam DePuy/Macedon,NY
9 8 57b Frank Burnell Jr./Waterloo,NY
10 15 11 Mike Vaughn/Jordan,NY
11 19 17j Chris Jacobs/Rochester,NY
12 14 9 Phil Norman/Canastota,NY
13 7 00 Mike Welch/Lyons,NY
14 9 6x Patrick Hobbs/Rochester,NY
15 17 83 Bryan Faulkner/Naples,NY
16 1 37 Chris Fisher/Penn Yan,NY
17 20 47 Pete Kowaleski/Liverpool,NY
18 16 93 Jared Hill/Dundee,NY
19 11 28 Larry Bezner/Rodman,NY
DNS 18 18 Derek Excell/Geneva,NY
EVENT SUMMARY:
LAP LEADERS: Fisher (1-6), Peckham (7), DePuy (8-16), Rizzo (17-25).
CAUTIONS: 5 (lap 3, lap 7, lap 8, lap 17, lap 19).
HEAT WINNERS: Welch, Burnell, Rizzo.
HOLLEY HARD LUCK: Chris Fisher.
CARS ENTERED: 20.
NEXT EVENT: Rolling Wheels Raceway Park – September 26, 2008.
QUALIFYING
Heat Races (10 laps, top 4 went to re-draw)
#1: Welch, B.Smith, Bezner, Mannise, S.Smith, Hill, Jacobs.
#2: Burnell, Hawker, DePuy, Peckham, Norman, Faulkner, Kowaleski.
#3: Rizzo, Fisk, Fisher, Hobbs, Vaughn, Excell.

Mr. DIRTcar Street Stock Championship Series Point Standings (Sept. 19)
Rank No. Driver Points Bonus Diff Wins Top 5 Top 10 Starts
1 115 Nick Rizzo 384 284 0 1 1 1 1
2 14 Ron Hawker 383 288 -1 0 1 1 1
3 33 Andy Fisk 382 292 -2 0 1 1 1
4 8 Dave Mannise 376 300 -8 0 0 1 1
5 90 Nathan Peckham 367 282 -17 0 1 1 1
6 99 Adam DePuy 356 288 -28 0 0 1 1
7 00 Mike Welch 356 300 -28 0 0 0 1
8 37 Chris Fisher 342 292 -42 0 0 0 1
9 93 Jared Hill 312 266 -72 0 0 0 1
10 75 Scott Smith 304 224 -80 0 1 1 1
11 19 Em.Cargain Sr. 300 300 -84 0 0 0 0
12 38 John Aumick 300 300 -84 0 0 0 0
13 14NY Phillip Walker 300 300 -84 0 0 0 0
14 27 Dave Pope 288 288 -96 0 0 0 0
15 63 Jay Pepin 288 288 -96 0 0 0 0
16 7 Tim McCarthy 288 288 -96 0 0 0 0
17 11 Mike Vaughn 286 224 -98 0 0 1 1
18 44 John Dore 264 264 -120 0 0 0 0
19 07 Leroy Lewis 264 264 -120 0 0 0 0
20 10 Todd Raabe 264 264 -120 0 0 0 0
21 18 Wayne Ellison 260 260 -124 0 0 0 0
22 2 Steve Woodworth 256 256 -128 0 0 0 0
23 00r Mike Rasbeck 248 248 -136 0 0 0 0
24 50 Nicole Barzee 248 248 -136 0 0 0 0
25 16 Stan Vishinski Sr. 228 228 -156 0 0 0 0
26 23 Eddie Wright 226 226 -158 0 0 0 0
27 33 Jay Pepin Jr. 224 224 -160 0 0 0 0
28 4 Mike Durham 216 216 -168 0 0 0 0
29 45R Scott Kocher 212 212 -172 0 0 0 0
30 41 Daryl Krebs 206 206 -178 0 0 0 0
31 6x Deb Whalen 206 206 -178 0 0 0 0
32 ws7 Ray Smith 206 206 -178 0 0 0 0
33 78 Buck Barrett 202 202 -182 0 0 0 0
34 113 Frank Guererri Jr. 180 180 -204 0 0 0 0

UPCOMING EVENT:
Traveling teams return to competition in the 2008 Mr. DIRTcar Street Stock Series next week with Rolling Wheels Raceway Park staging the 22nd Annual World Series Weekend with the Street Stock program slated for Friday, September 26.

2008 Mr. DIRTcar Street Stock Championship Series Schedule
*All events subject to change.
DAY-DATE TRACK LOCATION/WINNER
Fri-Sep 19 Canandaigua Speedway Nick Rizzo
Fri-Sep 26 Rolling Wheels Raceway Park Elbridge,NY
Fri-Oct 3 Fulton Speedway Fulton,NY
Fri-Oct 10 Cayuga County Fair Speedway Weedsport, NY
Sat-Oct 25 Black Rock Speedway Dundee, 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.