Weedsport, NY — March 22, 2009 – By Tom Skibinski, Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series PR Director
The 2009 Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series opener, 7th Annual North-South Shootout at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway on Saturday, March 28 is just six days away.
Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Series partnership with Advance Auto Parts based in Roanoke, Virginia, those top-10 drivers in the final 2008 Advance Auto Parts Series Mr. DIRTcar Big-Block Modified will be profiled for each of the 10 days leading up to the event.
This talented group of drivers has accounted for 207 Advance Series race victories from the list of 67 drivers taking checkered flags in 619 tour events held at 45 speedways around the Northeast since 1980. Along with 870 DIRTcar Northeast Big-Block feature wins and 63 track point titles, these same 10 drivers have amassed nine overall Mr. DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Championships and all are expected back to compete full-time with the ’09 Advance Auto Parts Series, beginning with the Spring lid-lifter at Hagerstown.
Nine front-five and 18 top-10 finishes carried Matt Sheppard to sixth-place in the final overall 2008 Mr. DIRTcar Modified Championship, improving one position from the previous year. This second-generation upstart from Central New York captured the Advance Auto Parts Series opener at Virginia Motor Speedway in dramatic fashion, and ‘Super Matt’ led 49 laps in the Rite Aid 200 Super DIRT Week showdown at Syracuse steering the potent JB Motorsports no. 9s Seneca Auto Sales-BPG-Chad Sinon Motorsports/Bicknell ride.
Since garnering his first-ever Advance Series victory at Autodrome Drummond in July of 2004, ’03 Rookie of the Year Sheppard has solidified his name in the Modified mainstream with a surprising last turn-last lap pass at New Egypt Speedway in ’05 and a late-race charge in last year’s tour thriller in Virginia. He has figured into the top-10 of the overall Mr. DIRTcar Big-Block point standings four straight years, earning nine career Integra Shocks Fast Time awards, two of which stand as track records today.
The Waterloo, New York chauffeur has qualified for the last four ‘North-South Shootouts’ at Hagerstown Speedway beginning in 2004, posting all Top-10 finishes with a third-place best registered in ‘05.
2008 Overall Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Modified/
Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Point Standings (Top-10)
Rank No. Driver Points Series Bonus Diff. Wins Top-5 Top-10 Starts
1 91 Billy Decker 2,495 2,195 300 0 10 18 24 26
2 98h Jimmy Phelps 2,293 2,019 274 -202 1 14 23 26
3 77x Dale Planck 2,251 1,959 292 -244 3 16 21 26
4 84 Gary Tomkins 2,204 1,908 296 -291 2 11 21 26
5 20 Brett Hearn 2,164 1,876 288 -331 2 9 20 26
6 9s Matt Sheppard 2,143 1,859 284 -352 1 9 18 26
7 FX1 Frankie Caprara1,904 1,612 292 -591 0 2 14 26
8 7x Steve Paine 1,852 1,560 292 -643 0 9 11 25
9 99 Ryan Phelps 1,795 1,539 256 -700 0 1 8 26
10 3 Justin Haers 1,738 1,480 258 -757 0 2 14 25
The 11th Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series season begins on March 28, 2009 with the 7th North-South Shootout at Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway. Further track information is available at http://www.HagerstownSpeedway.com and the DIRTcar Northeast Office (315/834-6606) is open during weekdays. Log into the homepage at www.superdirtcarseries.com anytime to find out more about the entire circuit.
DIRTcar Racing Northeast main office is located in Weedsport, New York on the Cayuga County Fairgrounds www.cayugacountyfairspeedway.com, home of the 2009 DIRTcar All-Star Weekend, July 17-19, featuring Hoosier Tire-VP Racing Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Championship Series events for Sportsman and Big-Block Modifieds in the richest short-track show of its kind in the nation — the $20,000-to-win Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series “DIRTcar All-Star 100” on Sunday, July 19.
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 www.hoosiertire.com and VP Racing Fuels www.vpracingfuels.com. Promotional partners include Rite Aid Corporation www.riteaid.com, 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.