Weedsport, NY — June 9, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast PR Director
With temperatures on the rise and weather conditions starting to grow more conducive to outdoor activity across the region, the DIRTcar Racing NorthEast circuit is now fully underway with all 22 weekly tracks in operation as the long-awaited summer season approaches.
Rolling Wheels Raceway Park continues to follow a specials-only format with two of its nine race dates already accounted for, while Super DIRT Week XXXVII at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse is slated for October 7-12, 2008.
Already boasting more than 130 drivers in victory lane through the first weekend in June, the most recent three-day stint resulted in 21 racers cracking the winner’s circle for the first time in 2008. To date, 37 drivers have taken their first-ever checkered flag in one of five divisions sanctioned by DIRTcar this season.
Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series current points co-leader Billy Decker paces all drivers with nine Big-Block Modified feature wins as he is also in the thick of the battle for valuable points used to crown DIRTcar Weekly Racing Series Track and DIRTcar Regional champions in the organization’s 33rd successive season of operation.
A dozen tracks have hosted DIRTcar Big-Block races with 24 drivers scoring victories in the 50 features run. First-time winners making the list are second-generation pilot Ryan Larkin and fellow Lebanon Valley Speedway racer Lorne Browe, Tri-City Speedway BRP Tour upsetter Gary Smoker and recent Can-Am Motorsports Park Big-Block/Small-Block victor Scott Webb.
Big-Block and Small-Block Rookie contender Larry Wight is tied with Canadian Hall of Famer Pete Bicknell and Frenchman Kayle Robidoux with three DIRTcar 358-Modified feature wins. Wight joins female sensation Jessica Zemken, Jeff Marshall and Airborne Speedway asphalt winners Patrick Dupree, George Foley and Jason Durgan as first-time entries in the DIRTcar NE 358-Mod record book.
The busiest class of race car under the DIRTcar NorthEast umbrella remains Sportsman Modified, with 18 of the 45 winners in ’08 drivers registering career firsts in this entry-level open-wheel division. Triumphant teenager Chris Raabe tops the list with six wins from the total of 62 events staged since April.
Defending overall Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock Champion Pete Stefanski is tied with Denis Gauvreau from Quebec atop the list with four wins in UMP/DIRTcar NorthEast’s premier full-fender division. 2007 Motorsports Safety Systems DIRTcar Rookie of the Year Jocelyn Roy joined Jason Casey and Steven Shortway this season after all three recently captured their inaugural checkered flags.
A half-dozen pilots have added their name to the growing UMP/DIRTcar Street Stock ledger, led by first-time winners Rich Sharpsteen (4), Ron Wadforth (3) and Chris Fisher (2). Veteran Dave Mannise (6) heads the list of 19 drivers taking feature race gold while Steve Woodworth, Jay Pepin and Rich Talada also made their first-ever trips to victory lane in DIRTcar’s grassroots division.
To find links to every DIRTcar Racing track affiliate hosting events during the season, log into http://www.dirtcar.com and select ‘Tracks’ at the top and follow the instructions provided. Bookmark each track selection for quick review at a later time.
|BIG-BLOCK MODIFIED(24)||358-MODIFIED(32)||SPORTSMAN MOD(45)||PRO STOCK(18)||STREET STOCK(19)|
|9||Billy Decker||3||Larry Wight||6||Chris Raabe||4||Pete Stefanski||6||Dave Mannise|
|4||Brett Hearn||3||Pete Bicknell||4||Todd Henderson||4||Denis Gauvreau||4||Rich Sharpsteen|
|4||Kevin Bolland||3||Kayle Robidoux||4||James Friesen||3||Joey Ladouceur||3||Ron Wadforth|
|3||Dale Planck||2||Mike Bruno||3||Rob Pratt||2||Louie Jackson||2||Mike Welch|
|3||Alan Johnson||2||Jessica Zemken||2||Mike Ruggiero||2||Scott Kehr||2||Emerson Cargain Sr.|
|3||Matt Sheppard||2||Pierre Dagenais||2||Mike Bowman||2||Bill Pascual||2||Phillip Walker|
|3||Brian Swartzlander||2||Mark Hitchcock||2||Steve Gray||2||Jocelyn Roy||2||Ron Hawker|
|3||Jerem. Shingledecker||2||David Hebert||2||Justin Sharp||2||Gilles Godard||2||Adam DePuy|
|2||Gary Tomkins||1||Brett Hearn||1||Eric Giguere||1||Jay Corbin||2||Josh Verne|
|2||Steve Hulsizer||1||Dale Planck||1||Kevin Ridley||1||Jay Casey||2||Chris Fisher|
|1||Billy Pauch||1||Kyle Jacobs||1||Brady Fultz||1||Jason Casey||2||Frank Burnell Jr.|
|1||Jimmy Horton||1||Patrick Dupree||1||Dave Marcuccilli||1||Steven Shortway||1||Nate Peckham|
|1||Andy Bachetti||1||Perry Francis||1||Matt Hitchcock||1||Paul LaRochelle||1||Steve Woodworth|
|1||Kenny Tremont||1||George Foley||1||Jeff Stevenson||1||Don Barnes||1||John Aumick|
|1||Paul Gilardi||1||Laurent Ladouceur||1||Craig Gardner||1||Mike Martin||1||Al D’Antonio|
|1||Justin Haers||1||Rick Richner||1||Brandon Hagan||1||Jim Langenback||1||Wayne Ellison|
|1||Chuck McKee||1||Larry Lampman Jr.||1||Sammy Reakes IV||1||Jody Swamp||1||Jay Pepin|
|1||Frankie Caprara||1||Danny O’Brien||1||Sam Reakes III||1||Sean Corr||1||Rich Talada|
|1||Ryan Larkin||1||Carey Terrance||1||Stubby Pangrazio||31||Events / 9 Tracks||1||Tim McCarthy|
|1||Bruce Kline||1||Steve Poirier||1||Brad Rouse||37||Events / 7 Tracks|
|1||Gary Smoker||1||Eric Gauvreau||1||Shane Jablonka|
|1||Scott Webb||1||Brian Stevens||1||Shane Pecore|
|1||Lorne Browe||1||Tim Fuller||1||Daryl Hilkert|
|1||Jerry Higbie||1||Tim Hindley||1||Tom Juhl|
|50||Events / 12 Tracks||1||Kyle Dingwall||1||Chad Chevalier|
|1||Todd Burley||1||Jipp Ortiz|
|1||Jason Durgan||1||Brandon Sweet|
|1||Brian McDonald||1||Billy Clark Jr.|
|1||Tim Jones||1||John Pietrowicz|
|1||Jeff Marshall||1||Brian Sage|
|1||Jerry Higbie||1||Rob Knapp|
|1||Chad Brachmann||1||John Ferrier|
|43||Events / 11 Tracks||1||Larry Wight|
|62||Events / 13 Tracks|
Headquartered in Roanoke, Va., Advance Auto Parts, a leading automotive aftermarket retailer of parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items in the United States, serves both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets As of April 19, 2008, the Company operated 3,291 stores in 40 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Additional information about the Company, employment opportunities, customer services, and on-line shopping for parts and accessories can be found on the Company’s web site at www.advanceautoparts.com.
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, Hoosier Racing Tire and Sunoco Race Fuels. Promotional partners include AMB i.t., Rite Aid Corporation and the University of Northwestern Ohio and the contingency sponsors are Bert Transmission, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Crane Cams, Integra Shocks, MSD Ignitions, Motorsports Safety Systems, Penske Shocks and Wrisco Industries.