Weedsport, NY — April 28, 2008 — By Tom Skibinski, Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series PR Director
The Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series gets underway the first week in May with a return appearance at Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway on May 1 and as part of the 40th season-opening program at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park on May 4. The Big-Block Modified feature winner on Thursday will collect $10,000 from the $48,000+ purse posted in the 60-lap Paul Sawyer Memorial presented by Thurston Spring Service, Inc. at VMS while winners in the 28th DIRT Challenge Cup Twin 50s presented by Ferris Mowers at RWR on Sunday will each pocket $3,000.
Virginia Motor Speedway is located on U.S. Route 17, eight miles north of Saluda, VA and 25 miles south of Tappahannock, VA in Jamaica, VA. The speedway is just a short drive from Richmond, Fredericksburg, Southern Maryland and the Hampton Roads areas. Rolling Wheels Raceway is centrally located, sitting West of the village of Elbridge at NYS Route 5 just five minutes east of the city of Auburn; also 10 minutes from exit 40 of the New York State Thruway.
VMS pit gates will swing open Thursday at 4pm and grandstands are scheduled to open at 5pm while Integra Shocks Time Trials for the Big-Block Modifieds follow 6:45pm practice with qualifying heats coming immediately afterwards. Rolling Wheels’ pit gates are scheduled to unlock Sunday at 2 p.m. and the main grandstands will open at 3 o’clock. Integra Shocks Modified Time Trials will get underway after warm-ups at approximately 4:30 p.m. followed by qualifying heats.
Adult General Admission grandstand tickets at VMS are $25 for adults, $23 for Seniors and Military, $13 for Students 13 to 17, $10 for Children 7 to 12, Children 6 and Under free and pit passes cost $30 each. For more information, contact Virginia Motor Speedway at 804/758-1867. The cost of adult (15-64 yrs.) general admission tickets at Rolling Wheels are $20 each, Senior Citizens (65 yrs. + over) $18, Students (10-14 yrs) $5 and Children (9 yrs. + under) Free. For additional information, contact DIRTcar NE HQ at 315/834-6606 or call Rolling Wheels at 315/689-7809. All tickets and pit passes will be available at the gate on both race days.
Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series at http://www.superdirtcarseries.com.
Virginia Motor Speedway is at http://www.vamotorspeedway.com.
Rolling Wheels is at http://www.rollingwheelsraceway.com.
Dirtvision is at http://www.dirtvision.com.
All remain accessible 24-hours daily.
ABOUT THE TRACKS
Featuring Victory Lap Late Model, Truckin Thunder Sportsman, Budweiser Modified, New Generation Racing Sprint Car and Limited Stock Car classes each weekend throughout the summer, Virginia Motor Speedway is a true ½-mile track with the turns progressively banked to 14 degrees, making for multiple racing grooves. Last year Tim Fuller (18.305sec/98.334mph) established a new single lap record for Big-Block Modifieds in the Advance Series’ first-ever visit to the track. Rolling Wheels is a spacious 5/8-mile clay oval hosting special events only throughout the season. Alan Johnson set the single lap record in an Advance Series event when he circled the track in 20.029 seconds (112.337 mph) on Sept. 4, 2006. The reigning Rolling Wheels points king is Jimmy Phelps, who finished third in the ’07 DIRT Challenge Cup behind winner Billy Decker and runner-up Brett Hearn, the eventual overall Mr. DIRTcar Modified Champion.
2007 marked the highly anticipated debut of the mighty ground-pounding DIRTcar Big-Block Modifieds at Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway in the first-ever Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series appearance made in the Old Dominion State. VMS joined tracks in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware and North Carolina plus the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec already hosting Advance Series shows since the tour began in 1980, with Virginia becoming the 44th high-profile speedway to stage a Mr. DIRTcar Championship event. The inaugural event attracted 33 race teams from around the Northeast with New York State veteran Danny Johnson capturing the coveted first-place trophy.
Past winners of the DIRT Challenge Cup at Rolling Wheels include many of the biggest names in DIRTcar Racing today. Two-time defending winner Billy Decker (2007, ’06, ‘00, 1989), Brett Hearn (2005, ‘04, ’02, 1998, ’84), all-time DIRTcar Big-Block feature winner Alan Johnson (2003, 1997, ’96, ’82, ’81), Bob McCreadie (1993, ’92, ’90, ’88) and Steve Paine (2001, 1995, ’91) are the only multi-time winners of this event, accounting for 21 of the 29 races run to date (twin 50’s made up the format in 2002 and ‘06). Active drivers Tim Fuller (2006), Gary Tomkins (2002), Danny Johnson (1999), Jack Johnson (1994), Kenny Brightbill (1987) and Kenny Tremont (1985) have posted single victories while retired veterans Charlie Rudolph (1986) and Merv Treichler (1983) also own one each.
When discussing racing, the Sawyer name is synonymous with success. Patriarch Paul Sawyer, with the help of his two sons Bill and Wayne, built what is considered by many the best NASCAR facility for both competitors and fans. Upon selling Richmond International Raceway, Bill Sawyer decided he couldn’t walk away from racing and acted on his passion for dirt racing by buying what is now known as Virginia Motor Speedway in the winter of 2000. Once a relatively unknown race track, VMS has been transformed into one of the countries premier and most respected facilities in the country. Beginning operations in 1970, the track has gone by many names over the last 39 years. With the help of nephew Clarke Sawyer and the track’s dedicated staff, the speedway has undergone a massive transformation over the past eight seasons with the goal of providing fans and competitors the same level of professionalism and amenities enjoyed at the Richmond racing facility. Aluminum grandstands (seating 5700), suites, MUSCO television quality lighting and amenities for the speedways fans are just the tip of the iceberg. Today, the speedway hosts 26 weeks of racing with numerous special events scheduled that include the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series for Big-Block Modifieds plus the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and WoO Late Model Series. Those same events annually attract plenty of out-of-state travelers as they remain among the track’s top draws.
One of three founding-member speedways when DIRTcar Racing was formed in 1976, Rolling Wheels boasts a unique specials-only race format instituted throughout the season that has continued to produce a hotbed of trackside activity for both fans and drivers alike. The “Fast Track” was first mapped out by the late Bob Petrocci, yet just one year following the August 17, 1969 opener, Petrocci lost his life in a freak accident while spectating at a nearby speedway. Sons Robert Jr. and Donald Petrocci inherited promotional duties and eventually signed up the second weekly track to join DIRTcar founder Glenn Donnelly and his fledgling motorsports operation. Rolling Wheels ran regularly every Friday night with Big-Block Modifieds and Late Models until cutting back the summer schedule in 1982. In 2008 a full season of activity includes open-wheel Modified, winged Sprint Car and full-fender Stock Car racing with annual highlights including the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series and World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series.
2007 SAWYER MEMORIAL RACE REVIEW
Danny Johnson continued to be the most dominant figure dotting the Big-Block Modified landscape as he staged a dramatic performance to capture the inaugural Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series ‘Thursday Thunder’ event at Bill Sawyer’s Virginia Motor Speedway. Johnson pocketed $6,000 for his 62nd career Series win in the 60-lap Paul Sawyer Memorial presented by Thurston Spring Service, Inc., improving his early season win total to five on the DIRTcar Racing NorthEast circuit. The 30-mile Modified main was slowed by just four caution periods with Johnson staving off a late race challenge from Series star Matt Sheppard, second-year tour follower Dale Planck, Series points leader Tim Fuller and Central New York standout Jimmy Phelps. Planck sprinted past pole-sitter Billy Decker and set the early pace, then waged a torrid battle with Johnson until the ‘Doctor’ found the needed bite low between turns three and four to forge the winning move on lap 14. Cup star Kenny Wallace made his first-ever start in a Big-Block Modified, finishing 15th aboard a brand new H&H Motorsports no. 98 Mohawk Northeast-New England Race Fuels/Troyer entry with teammate Jimmy Phelps. Tentative plans this year have Wallace steering a Bicknell car supplied by Jeff Brownell out of Geneva, New York.
2007 DIRT CHALLENGE CUP RACE REVIEW
Although not a part of the Advance Series schedule last spring, the 27th Annual DIRT Challenge Cup once again attracted a stellar field of Big-Block Modifieds with touring star Billy Decker reaching victory lane for a second consecutive year. Decker demolished the field of 31 starters on Sunday evening with the Unadilla, New York pilot leading Brett Hearn by over a full straightaway under the checkers after 60 laps. Talented touring driver Matt Sheppard took the initial lead from his pole-position start with Decker and Hearn in close pursuit while a battle for fourth took place between young gun Kenny Stafford and Jimmy Phelps. Decker made the winning move down the backstretch on lap 12 using a lapped car to block Sheppard and Hearn grabbed second following a lap 17 restart. The final yellow flag dropped on lap 24 for a minor mishap and the remainder of the race went green with Sheppard, Phelps and Tim Fuller filling out the final front-five.
NEWS & NOTES
2008 Mr. DIRTcar Championship On The Line: The overall Hoosier Tire-Sunoco Race Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Modified Champion in 2008 will be determined by adding actual points earned in the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series along with bonus points collected at a designated hometrack throughout the racing season. Along with gaining valuable Advance Series points during the year, each driver can now earn a maximum of 300 additional points from their best five hometrack feature race finishes. Using the standard DIRTcar NE weekly points format, a driver winning five features could carry up to 300 extra points (60 per win) into the Mr. DIRTcar Championship when track points are officially tallied after Labor Day.
2007 Overall Hoosier Tire-Sunoco Race Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Modified/
Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Point Standings (FINAL Top-50)
Rank No. Driver Points Series Bonus Diff. Wins Top-5 Top-10 Starts
1 20 BRETT HEARN 3,493 2,293 1200 0 7 17 26 32
2 19 Tim Fuller 3,473 2,273 1200 -20 3 20 31 32
3 91 Billy Decker 3,325 2,125 1200 -168 4 16 24 32
4 98H Jimmy Phelps 3,247 2,047 1200 -246 1 16 25 32
5 7x Steve Paine 3,071 1,871 1200 -422 1 7 20 32
6 77x Dale Planck 2,962 1,762 1200 -531 1 4 18 32
7 44s Matt Sheppard 2,881 1,681 1200 -612 1 5 18 31
8 27J Danny Johnson 2,850 1,650 1200 -643 4 9 14 30
9 84 Gary Tomkins 2,730 1,530 1200 -763 3 8 15 31
10 49 Billy Dunn 2,532 1,332 1200 -961 0 1 7 30
11 44c Frank Cozze 2,505 1,305 1200 -988 1 3 8 27
12 3 Justin Haers 2,317 1,217 1200 -1,176 0 1 10 25
13 99 Ryan Phelps 1,984 784 1200 -1,509 0 1 5 19
14 99b Chuck Bower 1,748 548 1200 -1,745 0 0 1 17
15 60 Kenny Stafford 1,741 541 1200 -1,752 0 0 0 15
16 115 Kenny Tremont 1,643 443 1200 -1,850 0 2 3 5
17 32c Vic Coffey 1,642 442 1200 -1,851 1 5 13 23
18 26 Ryan Godown 1,602 402 1200 -1,891 0 1 3 7
19 6 Pat O’Brien 1,588 388 1200 -1,905 1 1 3 8
20 98 Eddie Marshall 1,547 347 1200 -1,946 0 1 3 3
21 45J Wayne Jelley 1,527 327 1200 -1,966 0 0 1 6
22 15 Brett Tonkin 1,522 322 1200 -1,971 0 0 0 10
23 42 Jimmy Horton 1,515 315 1200 -1,978 0 0 1 7
24 16 Mike Bowman® 1,510 310 1200 -1,983 0 0 1 12
25 18 Sean Beardsley 1,494 294 1200 -1,999 0 0 0 10
26 21J Jeff Trombley 1,459 259 1200 -2,034 0 1 2 3
27 24 Chris Shultz 1,447 247 1200 -2,046 0 0 0 5
28 74 J.R. Heffner 1,440 240 1200 -2,053 0 1 1 3
29 43 Keith Flach 1,439 239 1200 -2,054 0 0 1 3
30 56 Vince Vitale 1,432 232 1200 -2,061 0 0 0 7
31 Z Butch Tittle 1,429 229 1200 -2,064 0 0 0 6
32 02 Roy Bresnahan®1,414 214 1200 -2,079 0 0 0 7
33 X Chad Phelps 1,409 209 1200 -2,084 0 0 0 7
34 51m Keith Hoffman® 1,404 204 1200 -2,089 1 2 3 3
35 121 Joe Beyea 1,402 202 1200 -2,091 0 0 0 9
36 21 Derrick Podsiadlo1,398 198 1200 -2,095 0 0 0 7
37 66 Jeff Heotzler 1,394 194 1200 -2,099 1 1 1 2
38 10E Rich Eurich 1,382 182 1200 -2,111 0 1 1 2
39 88 Steve Hulsizer 1,375 175 1200 -2,118 0 0 0 6
40 87 Hector Stratton 1,365 165 1200 -2,128 0 0 1 2
41 60 Brian Berger 1,363 163 1200 -2,130 0 0 1 2
42 8 Rob Bellinger® 1,346 146 1200 -2,147 0 0 0 6
43 42B Kevin Bates 1,344 144 1200 -2,149 0 0 2 20
44 71 David VanHorn 1,342 142 1200 -2,151 0 0 0 4
45 91h Chad Homan 1,340 140 1200 -2,153 0 0 0 5
46 33.3 Tommy Meier 1,338 138 1200 -2,155 0 0 0 3
47 7J Jeff Isabell 1,336 136 1200 -2,157 0 0 0 3
48 5 Chuck McKee 1,321 121 1200 -2,172 0 0 1 2
49 7 Ron Jon Koczon®1,320 120 1200 -2,173 0 0 0 3
50 3 Sam Martz® 1,320 120 1200 -2,173 0 0 1 3
51 20 Matt Quinn 1,320 120 1200 -2,173 0 0 0 2
Hoosier Tire-Sunoco Race Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Champs
YEAR CHAMPION (wins) MSS/G-FORCE ROOKIE of the YEAR
2007 Brett Hearn (7) Mike Bowman
2006 Alan Johnson (6) Kenny Stafford
2005 Tim Fuller (6) Stewart Friesen
2004 Gary Tomkins (4) Justin Hears
2003 Alan Johnson (6) Matt Sheppard
2002 Alan Johnson (5) Joe Beyea
2001 Brett Hearn (7) Frankie Caprara
2000 Steve Paine (4) Jeff Brownell
1999 Danny Johnson (2) Josh Skarzenski
1998 Billy Decker (6) Todd Milton
1997 D.Johnson (7)/B.Hearn (5) Tim McCreadie
1996 Brett Hearn (5) Vic Coffey
1995 Bob McCreadie (6) Tim Fuller
1994 Bob McCreadie (9) Jamie Mills
1993 Brett Hearn (5) Scott Schrader
1992 Danny Johnson (6) Ricky Elliott
1991 Doug Hoffman (5) Lenny Boyd
1990 Brett Hearn (7) Scott Prentice
1989 Danny Johnson (7) John Ventura
1988 Jack Johnson (2) Mike Jeffery
1987 Jack Johnson (2) Steve Behrent
1986 Charlie Rudolph (1) Jim Ruston
1985 Jack Johnson (1) Rich Burgess
1984 Jack Johnson (3) Ray Underwood
1983 Alan Johnson (4) Jimmy Begolo
1982 Jack Johnson (2) Randy Glenski
1981 Alan Johnson (2) Craig Keel
1980 Jack Johnson (5) Roger Phelps
1979 Will Cagle Jim Jarvis
1978 Will Cagle Jerry Knox
1977 Dave Lape Rick Martell
1976 Will Cagle —–
Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified Winners: 1980-2007 (593 events / 44 tracks / 66 drivers)
WINS DRIVER FIRST WIN LAST WIN
98 Brett Hearn Lebanon Valley, 7/15/81 Rolling Wheels, 9/22/07
65 Danny Johnson Fonda, 9/25/82 Cayuga County, 8/19/07
51 Bob McCreadie Ransomville, 9/10/82 Rolling Wheels, 9/4/00
47 Alan Johnson Ransomville, 6/27/80 Cayuga County, 9/2/07
39 Billy Decker Lebanon Valley, 9/18/88 Rolling Wheels, 9/22/07
28 Jack Johnson Cayuga County, 7/16/80 Orange County, 6/14/01
27 Steve Paine Canandaigua, 9/7/85 Can-Am, 8/18/07
26 Doug Hoffman Orange County, 10/25/87 Lowe’s, 4/6/02
18 Tim McCreadie Rolling Wheels, 9/26/99 Drummond, 8/23/04
17 Tim Fuller Rolling Wheels, 9/21/03 Cayuga County, 8/19/07
16 Jimmy Horton Lebanon Valley, 7/8/80 Susquehanna, 6/15/06
15 Gary Tomkins Hagerstown, 3/30/02 Rolling Wheels, 9/22/07
13 Kenny Tremont Lebanon Valley, 7/9/92 Lebanon Valley, 7/7/05
9 Kenny Brightbill Fonda, 10/18/87 Bridgeport, 6/19/97
7 Billy Pauch Flemington, 7/27/89 New Egypt, 6/22/05
7 Frank Cozze Orange County, 10/22/89 Orange County, 5/31/07
7 Jeff Heotzler Orange County, 7/26/89 Orange County, 10/21/07
6 Dave Lape Rolling Wheels, 7/5/82 Fonda, 7/24/91
6 Joe Plazek Brewerton, 6/28/94 Rolling Wheels, 9/1/97
5 Will Cagle Erie County, 9/20/80 Rolling Wheels, 9/27/81
5 Pete Bicknell Humberstone, 8/23/84 NYS Fairgrounds, 7/3/02
4 Carl Reynolds Five Mile Point, 7/12/80 Five Mile Point, 10/17/81
4 Merv Treichler Cayuga County, 9/20/81 Lebanon Valley, 8/9/84
4 C.D. Coville Fonda, 4/19/80 Devil’s Bowl, 8/29/84
4 Kevin Collins Fonda, 7/25/90 Fonda, 8/16/94
4 Bobby Varin Fonda, 8/16/95 Orange County, 10/26/03
4 Matt Sheppard Drummond, 7/12/04 New Egypt, 10/13/07
3 Charlie Rudolph Fonda, 10/16/83 Ransomville, 9/5/86
3 Chuck McKee Orange County, 8/16/98 Orange County, 8/1/02
3 Pat Ward Can-Am, 7/16/98 Cayuga County, 9/4/05
3 Jimmy Phelps Brewerton, 8/30/06 Rolling Wheels, 9/3/07
2 Mike McLaughlin Canandaigua, 9/6/80 Rolling Wheels, 9/28/80
2 Don McGinnis Merrittville, 9/11/83 Canandaigua, 9/17/83
2 Tommy Corellis Lebanon Valley, 9/14/80 Lebanon Valley, 9/14/86
2 Davey Moore Ransomville, 8/4/81 Humberstone, 9/10/87
2 Rich Ricci Jr. Lebanon Valley, 7/28/94 Lebanon Valley, 9/7/97
2 Andy Bachetti Lebanon Valley, 8/5/04 Lebanon Valley, 9/11/04
2 J.R. Heffner Lebanon Valley, 8/10/00 Lebanon Valley, 9/9/06
2 Pat O’Brien Can-Am, 7/17/90 Brockville, 7/10/07
2 Dale Planck Cornwall, 7/9/06 Brewerton, 8/3/07
2 Vic Coffey NYS Fairgrounds,10/13/02 NYS Fairgrounds, 10/7/07
1 Bernie Griffin Five Mile Point, 7/12/80
1 Lou Lazzaro Canandaigua, 7/23/80
1 Chuck Akulis Five Mile Point, 10/18/80
1 Harvey Hainer Ransomville, 9/11/81
1 Dick Larkin NYS Fairgrounds, 9/6/82
1 Gary Iulg Rolling Wheels, 9/6/82
1 Ken Brenn Jr. NYS Fairgrounds, 7/3/83
1 Larry Brolsma Orange County, 9/10/83
1 Freddy Brightbill New Venture, 9/29/85
1 Rich Eurich Orange County, 10/23/88
1 Kenny Schrader Sanair, 7/9/89
1 Geoff Bodine Thompson, 8/6/89
1 Mike Romano Fonda, 10/15/89
1 Reggie Ruggiero Thompson, 7/29/90
1 Walt Mitchell Woodhull, 7/31/91
1 Doug Worthing Five Mile Point, 8/14/91
1 Ron Smoker Merrittville, 8/5/92
1 Richie Tobias Jr. NYS Fairgrounds, 10/11/92
1 Danny O’Brien Can-Am, 8/30/95
1 Jimmy Hauser NYS Fairgrounds, 7/7/96
1 Eddie Marshall NYS Fairgrounds, 9/6/99
1 Steve Poirier Drummond, 7/8/02
1 Kevin Bolland Lowe’s, 4/5/03
1 Ricky Elliott Lowe’s, 4/3/04
1 Keith Hoffman New Egypt, 10/13/07
Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modified Integra Shocks Fast Timers 1983-2007 (219 events / 32 tracks / 45 drivers)
EVTS DRIVER FIRST FAST TIME LAST FAST TIME
38 Brett Hearn Orange County, 10/24/86 Orange County, 10/21/07
32 Billy Decker NYS Fairgrounds, 7/3/01 Lebanon Valley, 8/11/07
21 Tim McCreadie Rolling Wheels, 7/4/00 Cayuga County, 5/29/05
17 Tim Fuller New Egypt, 6/20/02 New Egypt, 10/13/07
14 Steve Paine Canandaigua, 9/1/99 Rolling Wheels, 9/22/07
9 Chuck Bower Cayuga County, 5/28/00 Lernerville, 8/3/05
9 Matt Sheppard Drummond, 7/12/04 Ransomville, 7/6/07
8 Bob McCreadie NYS Fairgrounds, 10/7/90 Fonda, 10/20/02
8 Gary Tomkins Drummond, 7/10/00 Rolling Wheels, 5/7/06
7 Alan Johnson Cayuga County, 5/26/02 Rolling Wheels, 9/4/06
5 Frank Cozze Orange County, 6/10/04 New Egypt, 8/15/07
4 Jimmy Phelps Drummond, 7/11/05 NYS Fairgrounds, 10/7/07
3 Billy Pauch NYS Fairgrounds, 10/12/86 NYS Fairgrounds, 10/9/88
3 Kenny Brightbill NYS Fairgrounds, 10/13/96 New Egypt, 8/2/00
3 Doug Hoffman NYS Fairgrounds, 10/11/87 Tri-City, 8/5/01
3 Andy Bachetti Orange County, 10/24/99 Lebanon Valley, 7/7/05
2 Jack Johnson NYS Fairgrounds, 10/7/84 Orange County, 10/28/84
2 Dave Blaney NYS Fairgrounds, 10/9/94 NYS Fairgrnds, 10/10/99
2 Jimmy Horton NYS Fairgrounds, 10/11/92 Big Diamond, 6/18/03
2 Bobby Varin NYS Fairgrounds, 10/11/98 Fonda, 7/17/03
2 Pat Ward Fonda, 7/19/00 Rolling Wheels, 9/23/06
2 Dale Planck Drummond, 7/10/06 Brewerton, 8/3/07
1 Merv Treichler NYS Fairgrounds, 10/9/83
1 Rich Eurich Orange County, 10/30/83
1 Sammy Swindell NYS Fairgrounds, 10/13/85
1 Anthony Ferriauolo IV Orange County, 10/27/85
1 Joe Plazek NYS Fairgrounds, 10/10/93
1 Jeff Heotzler Orange County, 10/27/96
1 Chuck McKee Orange County, 10/25/98
1 Scott Prentice Rolling Wheels, 4/30/00
1 Danny Johnson Lebanon Valley, 8/10/00
1 A.J. Romano Rolling Wheels, 8/20/00
1 Ricky Elliott New Egypt, 6/21/01
1 Eddie Marshall Lebanon Valley, 8/2/01
1 Ron Smoker NYS Fairgrounds, 9/3/01
1 Frankie Caprara Lowe’s, 4/6/02
1 Todd Burley Cornwall, 7/7/02
1 Bucky Kell Hagerstown, 3/27/04
1 Justin Hears Rolling Wheels, 5/2/04
1 J.R. Heffner Lebanon Valley, 9/10/05
1 Rick Grosso Jr. New Egypt, 9/24/05
1 Pierre Berthiaume Brockville, 7/4/06
1 Rick Mill Orange County, 10/22/06
1 Duane Howard Grandview, 7/18/07
1 Ryan Phelps Cayuga County, 9/2/07
2008 Advance Series Points Chase Finally Getting Underway: The Advance Auto Parts Series non-point lid-lifters during the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in February already featured numerous top touring drivers along with many more announcing plans to compete at Virginia Motor Speedway. Brett Hearn and Dale Planck each scored a win with Hearn clinching a tie with Billy Pauch (1 win) for his seventh Florida Tour title ahead of Series stars Alan Johnson (3rd), Dale Planck (5th), Matt Sheppard (6th) and Jimmy Phelps (7th). Back up north, Hagerstown Speedway was scheduled to host the first points event in March before unseasonably cold temperatures and wet conditions foiled the much anticipated ’08 Series lid-lifter in Maryland.
Richards Teams With Hearn: Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series star Brett Hearn and World of Outlaws Late Model Series standout Josh Richards have joined forces to pose a double threat when the Sawyer Memorial takes center stage in Virginia. With a first-place prize of $10,000 on the line, Richards has no intention of just riding around in Hearn’s back-up Madsen Motorsports no. 20 Wentworth Custom Homes-Kruger-WLR/TEO Pro entry despite the Shinnston, West Virginia chauffeur making his first-ever appearance in a mighty Big-Block Modified. “I never just ride around, that’s not racing,” stated Richards, who will also be steering a super late model on the same card. “I never really knew what the Modifieds were all about until a couple of years ago but with this kind of money at stake I hope I can learn fast. In the Modified you sit up higher and in the middle right over the driveshaft but with the late model its like getting down low in a recliner and you’re buckled in on the left. Guys like (Tim) Fuller and (Tim) McCreadie have told me how hard you can run the Big-Blocks. I’m looking forward to finally getting the chance to find out in Virginia. I’ve only run there a handful of times but every race the conditions have been different.”
Sawyer Family Boasts Record Purse: Leading up to the inaugural Paul Sawyer Memorial run last spring, VMS Owner/President Bill Sawyer bolstered the feature race starting prize to $400 and followed up by offering every non-qualified driver $100 just for making the tow. This time around Sawyer is preparing to deliver an unprecedented first-place prize of $10,000 with a whopping $750 just to start the 60-lap headline event. And in between lies an additional $38,000, something that is certain to attract both quality and quantity as the Sawyer Family has created a truly unparalleled event in the history of DIRTcar Big-Block Modified racing. “This is easily the biggest single-day event in Advance Series history for the Big-Blocks,” declared Cory Reed, DIRTcar Northeast Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning. “Right now only Super DIRT Week at the Syracuse Mile and Eastern States Weekend at Orange County can rank ahead of this one. With $10-grand on the line for 60 laps of green flag racing it’s already attracted the top racers from up and down the coast. We can’t thank the Sawyer Family enough for giving our teams this great opportunity to participate in such a special show and kick off the tour in the most grandiose fashion.”
Early Season Winners: With inclement weather affecting the DIRTcar Racing NorthEast circuit in the early going, heading to Virginia Motor Speedway for ‘Thursday Thunder’ eight tracks have hosted DIRT-sanctioned Big-Block Modified races with 11 drivers scoring victories in the 15 features run. Defending Mr. DIRTcar Modified Champion Brett Hearn and 1998 Mr. DIRTcar Big-Block titleholder Billy Decker are the only repeat winners with three apiece, including two at Orange County for Hearn and a pair for Decker at Brewerton to top the current list. Tour regulars Dale Planck, Matt Sheppard and Alan Johnson along with Alltel DIRTcar Nationals Florida Tour winners Billy Pauch and Jimmy Horton, Andy Bachetti, Kevin Bolland, Kenny Tremont and Jeremiah Shingledecker have each reached victory lane once as the month of April came to a close.
Shocking Results For Series Fast Qualifiers: For a third straight year Integra Shocks will play an active role in point fund sponsorship of the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series during the upcoming race season. The fast driver during 2008 Advance Auto Parts Series qualifying will once again earn the ‘Integra Shocks Fast Time Award’ and the driver winning the most Integra Shocks Fast Time awards during the season will collect a bonus set of four Integra Shocks ($1,400 value) at the DIRTcar Racing NorthEast Banquet in November. The Advance Auto Parts Series has recognized fast time trialers since 1983, with 1999 marking the first year the awards program included every tour event scheduled during the year. All-time Advance Series race winner Brett Hearn is also a leader when it comes to speed, earning a series-best total of 38 Integra Shocks Fast Time awards during the past two decades.
Drivers will continue to draw for their order in the ‘Integra Shocks Time Trials’ at nearly every Advance Series stop, with the fast timer once again selecting a second pill to determine how many cars (0, 2, 3 or 4) will be inverted to start each preliminary heat race. The ‘Integra Shocks Fast Time Award’ winner will collect $100 and five (5) bonus points and the top-three heat race finishers will earn additional bonus points as follows: 1st-5 pts, 2nd-3 pts, 3rd-1 pt. With this inversion format in place, a driver can now earn a maximum of 10 more points being the fast timer as well as a heat race winner.
Grand Slam Showcases Series : The customary pre-race re-draw among top heat race qualifiers will continue to be in effect throughout the summer, with season-ending events at the New York State Fairgrounds and Orange County Fair Speedway the only Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series stops awarding fast timers with pole-position starts (heat points will not be awarded at these shows). Lebanon Valley Speedway and Rolling Wheels Raceway Park host the initial “200s” to make up the high-dollar Advance Series ‘Grand Slam’ in 2008.
Continuing to rank among the most prestigious races in the country, the Rite Aid 200 at the N.Y.S. Fairgrounds in Syracuse on Oct. 12, Eastern States 200 at Orange County on Oct. 19, Coors National 200 at Lebanon Valley on Sept. 6 and World Series Weekend 200 at Rolling Wheels on Sept. 27 are the only 200-lap races on the annual tour. In 2008 these four signature events on the Advance Auto Parts Series formulate the prestigious ‘Grand Slam’ in DIRTcar Racing for Big-Block Modifieds. In addition, the Rite Aid 200 winner automatically earns seventh-place on the Eastern States 200 starting grid.
This unique ‘Grand Slam’ features the $50,000-to-win Rite Aid 200 in the Salt City, $20,000-to-win Eastern States 200 in Middletown (NY), $10,000-to-win Coors National 200 at the West Lebanon (NY) oval with another $10-grand on the line for the Rolling Wheels National 200 winner. Syracuse and Orange County are the only Advance Auto Parts Series stops where the fast timers start on the pole and the top-six are locked into front three row starting positions while heats will be aligned in heads-up fashion. A special points system was implemented for these prominent races last season with each winner receiving 150 Series points and 50 points awarded to start.
Syracuse SDW Starters Guaranteed Through Series Success: Guaranteed starting berths in the Rite Aid 200 are once again up for grabs and in 2008 more drivers than ever before will be able to earn preferred starter status throughout the season for the richest DIRTcar Big-Block Modified event in the world. Winners of the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series races and those among the top-12 in overall Hoosier Tire-Sunoco Race Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Modified Championship points heading into Super DIRT Week comprise the core group of drivers receiving guaranteed starting positions in the Rite Aid 200. Preferred starters are the next eligible drivers finishing behind an Advance Auto Parts Series race winner that is already locked into the Rite Aid 200 starting grid, as well as all three DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Regional point champions and every licensed Big-Block Modified track champion crowned this year.
In order to take advantage of their guaranteed starting positions in the Rite Aid 200, Advance Series race winners and top-12 Mr. DIRTcar point-getters must run time trials. Any guaranteed driver that fails to qualify through time trials or a Triple 20 will be added to the Rite Aid field in order of heat race results. Those drivers holding preferred status are afforded up front starting positions in the Dig Safely New York last-chance qualifier on Sunday, Oct. 12 if unable to qualify while running under the clocks or in heat race competition. The balance of the Rite Aid 200 line-up is filled in from the Dig Safely New York Shootout with the 45th starting spot going to the best overall finisher in Cayuga County Fair Speedway’s ‘Win & You’re In’ Twin 25s on Sat., Oct. 11.
DIRT Radio Network Heard World-Wide In May Series Openers: If fans can’t make the trip to Virginia Motor Speedway or Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, the DIRT Radio Network presented by BUTLERbuilt will be presenting flag-to-flag coverage of both Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series stops. Listeners will be able to tune in and hear LIVE audio feeds from host and SPEED personality Shane Andrews as he brings you all the action generated by the ground-pounding 800-horsepower Big-Block Modifieds. From Integra Shocks Time Trials to victory lane, LIVE audio from Virgina starts Thursday at approximately 6:00 p.m. ET with qualifying and follows up Sunday using the same format at Rolling Wheels beginning at 4:30 p.m. Cheer for your favorite driver, along with the 20,000 registered members who enjoy LIVE Racing coverage on the DIRT Radio Network.
To tune in visit www.dirtvision.com, click on the LIVE Advance Auto Parts Modified link, and you’re off to the races. If you are unfamiliar with Dirtvision.com, click on the “Help/FAQ” menu for tips and requirements for viewing the Live Events. Make sure that you register well in advance of our next show to help troubleshoot any problems you may encounter. Your basic tools will be a DIRTVision.com account, Internet Explorer 5 or higher, and Windows Media Player 9; both of which are FREE. For technical support or questions, e-mail email@example.com. The Dirt Radio Network is presented by BUTLERbuilt professional seat systems. BUTLERbuilt is the leader in custom seating. Call 704/784-1027 and let BUTLERbuilt build you an advantage!!!
Get Out The Word First: RACEceiver is the Official Driver Communicator of DIRTcar Racing NorthEast. A compact radio receiver that conveniently fits into a driver’s pocket, a RACEceiver allows each driver to hear directions from series officials, which greatly enhances the safety and timeliness of events. A similar version available to fans will allow RACEceiver users to hear what information series officials are relaying to the drivers. For more information about RACEceiver, visit www.raceceiver.com, call 866-301-7223, or look for their sales trailers at various events.
Tracks Know The Score: In DIRTcar Racing’s ongoing effort to assist every member track affiliate with presenting the best possible race programs, World Racing Group has teamed with AMB i.t. which continues to be recognized as the Official Timing System of DIRTcar NorthEast. AMB i.t. is the world’s leader in automatic race timing and scoring systems and WRG is proud to retain the company as a valued partner in the timing and scoring of all sanctioned events.
Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series race chasers return to action closer to home at charter member track Cayuga County Fair Speedway with the 17th Annual Hall of Fame 76 slated for Sunday, May 25 during Memorial Day Weekend.
2008 Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Schedule
*All events subject to change.
DAY-DATE TRACK WINNER/RITE AID 200 QUALIFIER
Wed-Feb 13 Volusia Speedway Park-NP Billy Pauch
Thr-Feb 14 Volusia Speedway Park-NP Brett Hearn
Fri-Feb 15 Volusia Speedway Park-NP Dale Planck
Sat-Feb 16 Volusia Speedway Park-NP Jimmy Horton
Sat-Mar 22 Hagerstown Speedway Weather-Cancelled
Thr-May 1 Virginia Motor Speedway Jamaica,VA
Sun-May 4 Rolling Wheels Raceway Elbridge,NY
Sun-May 25 Cayuga Co Fair Speedway Weedsport,NY
Sat-Jun 7 Fulton Speedway Fulton,NY
Thr-Jul 3 Ransomville Speedway Ransomville,NY
Thr-Jul 10 Brockville Ont Speedway Brockville,ONT
Fri-Jul 11 Autodrome Granby Granby,QUE
Sat-Jul 12 Autodrome Drummond Drummondville,QUE
Sun-Jul 13 Cornwall Motor Speedway Cornwall,ONT
Wed-Jul 16 Grandview Speedway Bechtelsville,PA
Thr-Jul 31 Orange Co Fair Speedway Middletown,NY
Mon-Aug 4 Merrittville Speedway Thorold,ONT
Fri-Aug 8 Brewerton Speedway Brewerton,NY
Sat-Aug 9 Canandaigua Speedway Canandaigua,NY
Sat-Aug 16 Can-Am Motorsports Park LaFargeville,NY
Sun-Aug 31 Cayuga Co Fair Speedway Weedsport,NY
Mon-Sep 1 Rolling Wheels Raceway Elbridge,NY
Sat-Sep 6 Lebanon Valley Speedway West Lebanon,NY
Fri-Sep 12 Lernerville Speedway Sarver,PA
Sat-Sep 20 Canandaigua Speedway Canandaigua,NY
Sat-Sep 27 Rolling Wheels Raceway Elbridge,NY
Sun-Oct 12 New York State Fairgrounds Syracuse,NY
Sun-Oct 19 Orange Co Fair Speedway Middletown,NY
Headquartered in Roanoke, Va., Advance Auto Parts is the second-largest retailer of automotive aftermarket parts, accessories, batteries, and maintenance items in the United States, based on store count and sales. As of October 6, 2007, the company operated 3,228 stores in 40 states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The company serves both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets.
ADVANCE AUTO PARTS MODIFIED SERIES SPONSORS
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.