Weedsport, NY — August 11, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast PR Director
The DIRTcar Racing NorthEast circuit has hit the halfway point of the summer season, with over 500 feature races already conducted in 2008 at 30 tracks throughout the region.
Including the New York State Fairgrounds, which plays host to Super DIRT Week XXXVII, October 7-12, on the Syracuse Mile, five more tracks are scheduled to host their first DIRTcar events later this season.
Already boasting more than 220 drivers in victory lane through the second weekend in August, the most recent three-day stint resulted in 10 racers cracking the winner’s circle for the first time this season. To date, 68 drivers have taken their first-ever checkered flag in one of five divisions sanctioned by DIRTcar racing in the Northeast this season.
Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series current points leader Billy Decker continues to stand tallest in the Big-Block Modified ranks, registering a personal single-season best 18 feature wins with still two months remaining in the organization’s 33rd consecutive year of operation. On course for the second overall Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Modified Championship of his career, Decker also joins the mix of top-flight drivers engaged in a season-long battle for valuable points used to crown DIRTcar Weekly Racing Series Track and DIRTcar Regional champions.
21 tracks have hosted DIRTcar Big-Block races with 50 drivers scoring victories in the 113 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, Can-Am Motorsports Park Big-Block/Small-Block victor Scott Webb, rookie Mike Storms, and Central New York regulars Rob Bellinger, Bob Henry Jr. and Jim Witko Jr.
Canadian Hall of Famer Pete Bicknell and Frenchman Kayle Robidoux are tied at the top with five DIRTcar 358-Modified feature wins each. A log-jam of eight drivers with four wins apiece is listed next, including first-time winners Jeff Marshall, female star Jessica Zemken and Big-Block/Small-Block Rookie contender Larry Wight. Out of 58 Small-Block winners this season, Airborne Speedway regulars Patrick Dupree, George Foley, Jason Durgan, Matt Woodruff, Mark Lamberton and Richard Tisseur are all first-time entries in the DIRTcar NE 358-Mod record book after their recent success on DIRTcar NorthEast’s only asphalt oval.
Sportsman Modified remains the busiest class running under the DIRTcar NE umbrella, with 29 of the 73 winning drivers in ’08 registering career firsts in this entry-level open-wheel division. Teenage sensation Chris Raabe tops the list with 13 triumphs as first-time winner and third-generation chauffeur James Michael Friesen sits in second with nine checkered flags.
Frenchman Denis Gauvreau has posted a division-high nine feature wins in UMP/DIRTcar Pro Stock competition while reigning overall Hoosier Tire Mr. DIRTcar Pro Stock points king Pete Stefanski has collected seven first-place trophies in the NorthEast’s premier full-fender division. 2007 Motorsports Safety Systems DIRTcar Rookie of the Year Jocelyn Roy (4 wins) leads a group of six drivers scoring their initial feature win, which includes Jason Casey, Steven Shortway, Roland Hebert, Pete VanNoordt and Rick Dempsey.
Seven pilots have added their name to the growing UMP/DIRTcar Street Stock ledger, led by first-time winners Rich Sharpsteen and Ron Wadforth each with five, and Chris Fisher with four. Veteran Dave Mannise (13) heads the list of 24 drivers taking feature race gold while Jay Pepin (3), Rich Talada (2), Steve Woodworth and Jared Hill have 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.
2008 DIRTcar NORTHEAST FEATURE WINNERS (thru 8/10)
|BIG-BLOCK MODIFIED(50)||358-MODIFIED(58)||SPORTSMAN MOD(73)||UMP PRO STOCK(31)||UMP STREET STOCK(24)|
|18||Billy Decker||5||Kayle Robidoux||13||Chris Raabe||9||Denis Gauvreau||13||Dave Mannise|
|8||Brian Swartzlander||5||Pete Bicknell||9||James Friesen||7||Pete Stefanski||6||Mike Welch|
|6||Brett Hearn||4||Larry Wight||8||Todd Henderson||5||Joey Ladouceur||5||Rich Sharpsteen|
|6||Kevin Bolland||4||Jessica Zemken||4||Rob Pratt||4||Jocelyn Roy||5||Phillip Walker|
|6||Matt Sheppard||4||Carey Terrance||4||Mike Ruggiero||4||Gilles Godard||5||Ron Wadforth|
|6||Jerem. Shingledecker||4||Mike Bruno||4||Sammy Reakes IV||4||Louie Jackson||4||Josh Verne|
|5||Alan Johnson||4||Laurent Ladouceur||4||Steve Gray||3||Scott Kehr||4||Adam DePuy|
|5||Dale Planck||4||David Hebert||4||Brandon Sweet||3||Don Barnes||4||John Aumick|
|4||Jimmy Phelps||4||Todd Burley||3||Brian Sage||3||Mike Martin||4||Chris Fisher|
|3||Gary Tomkins||4||Jeff Marshall||3||Brady Fultz||2||Bill Pascual||4||Frank Burnell Jr.|
|2||Steve Hulsizer||3||Danny O’Brien||3||Brad Rouse||2||Jay Corbin||4||Emerson Cargain Sr.|
|2||Frankie Caprara||2||Pierre Dagenais||3||Justin Sharp||2||Jody Swamp||3||Jay Pepin|
|2||Ryan Larkin||2||Mark Hitchcock||2||Mike Bowman||2||Jim Langenback||3||Ron Hawker|
|2||Kenny Tremont||2||Rick Richner||2||Shane Pecore||2||Robbie Speed||2||Rich Talada|
|2||Steve Paine||2||Chad Brachmann||2||Shane Jablonka||2||Mike Dutka||2||Dave Bruno|
|2||Jeff Heotzler||2||Scott Wood||2||Jipp Ortiz||2||Stephane Lebrun||2||Nick Rizzo|
|1||Billy Pauch||2||Eric Gauvreau||2||Dan Wiesner||2||Allen Peters||2||Andy Fisk|
|1||Jimmy Horton||2||Martin Roy||2||John Pietrowicz||2||Bobby Waters Jr.||1||Nate Peckham|
|1||Andy Bachetti||2||Dale Planck||2||Todd Town||1||Jay Casey||1||Steve Woodworth|
|1||Paul Gilardi||2||Joel Doiron||2||Don Spatorico||1||Jason Casey||1||Al D’Antonio|
|1||Justin Haers||1||Brett Hearn||2||Darren Peters||1||Steven Shortway||1||Wayne Ellison|
|1||Chuck McKee||1||Kyle Jacobs||2||Tim Currier||1||Paul LaRochelle||1||Tim McCarthy|
|1||Bruce Kline||1||Patrick Dupree||2||Cole Dingwall||1||Sean Corr||1||Jared Hill|
|1||Gary Smoker||1||Perry Francis||2||Tom Juhl||1||Ricky Thompson||1||Dave Pope|
|1||Scott Webb||1||George Foley||2||Luke Carleton||1||Kevin Arnold||79||Events / 8 Tracks|
|1||Lorne Browe||1||Larry Lampman Jr.||2||Eric Giguere||1||Don Carlson|
|1||Jerry Higbie||1||Steve Poirier||2||Jeremy Pitcher||1||Roland Hebert|
|1||Del Rougeux Jr.||1||Brian Stevens||1||Sam Reakes III||1||Pete VanNoordt|
|1||Rex King||1||Tim Fuller||1||Larry Wight||1||Rick Dempsey|
|1||Vic Coffey||1||Tim Hindley||1||Kevin Ridley||1||Rob Rowe|
|1||Jeff Trombley||1||Kyle Dingwall||1||Dave Marcuccilli||1||Chris Crews|
|1||Chris Shultz||1||Jason Durgan||1||Matt Hitchcock||73||Events / 10 Tracks|
|1||Wayne Jelley||1||Brian McDonald||1||Jeff Stevenson|
|1||Michael Storms||1||Tim Jones||1||Craig Gardner|
|1||Rick Mill||1||Jerry Higbie||1||Brandon Hagan|
|1||Pat O’Brien||1||Matt Woodruff||1||Stubby Pangrazio|
|1||Todd Burley||1||Dany Bilodeau||1||Daryl Hilkert|
|1||Jim Witko Jr.||1||Yan Bussiere||1||Chad Chevalier|
|1||Eddie Marshall||1||Mark Smoke||1||Billy Clark Jr.|
|1||Jim Weller||1||Clement Therrien||1||Rob Knapp|
|1||Rich Eurich||1||Chris Steele||1||John Ferrier|
|1||H.J. Bunting III||1||Gage Morin||1||Jason Parkhurst|
|1||Bob Henry Jr.||1||Tommy Flannigan||1||Justin Wright|
|1||Rob Bellinger||1||Tom Dakake||1||James Henry|
|1||Willy Decker||1||Todd Stewart||1||Randy Gaudet|
|1||Don Ackner||1||Steve Bernard||1||Mike Mandigo|
|1||Martin Roy||1||Mitchell Jock||1||Jordan Bennett|
|1||Scott Parliament||1||Chris Shultz||1||Tyler McPherson|
|1||Steve Hough||1||Mark Lamberton||1||Rich Coons|
|1||Mike DePalma||1||John Lazore||1||Derek Smith|
|113||Events / 21 Tracks||1||Robbie Krull||1||Josh Van Brocklin|
|1||Craig Mitchell||1||Greg Panunte|
|1||Alex Fortier||1||Jesse Cotriss|
|1||Alain Boisvert||1||Mark Davison|
|1||Mari Clair||1||B.J. Willard|
|1||Richard Tisseur||1||Chris Hile|
|1||Stephane LaFrance||1||Nick Guererri|
|1||Jeremy Markle||1||Joe Conklin|
|101||Events / 13 Tracks||1||Mark D’Ilario|
|1||Bob Richmond Jr.|
|138||Events / 16 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.