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Big-Block Stars Signing Up For Advance Series Stop In Virginia


Weedsport, NYApril 1, 2008 – By Tom Skibinski, Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series PR Director

The date has been circled since track owner Bill Sawyer made his big announcement last October at Super DIRT Week in Syracuse. In exactly one more month that time is up and fans and racers can hardly wait.

When the 2nd Annual Paul Sawyer Memorial arrives at Virginia Motor Speedway on May 1, an unprecedented first-place prize of $10,000 awaits the winner of the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series 60-lapper for Big-Block Modifieds. And that’s no April Fool’s fib — $10 grand on top with $750 guaranteed to start the 30-mile Modified main on the pristine half-miler carved out of the countryside.

“Ever since we left last year we couldn’t wait to come back,” said Cory Reed, DIRTcar Racing NorthEast Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning, recalling the inaugural tour stop in the Old Dominion State. “The facility is second to none and the racing was even better. We talked with the teams in Florida and many are planning to make the trip so we’re expecting a great turnout. Right now our pre-race entry list more than matches the number that showed up to race last spring. There’s a lot on the line in an event of this magnitude and hopefully another solid showing will be a sign of bigger things to come in the Advance Series.”

A growing list of projected entries spanning five states and Canada is already in place for the Advance Series showdown at Virginia with well over 30 drivers currently planning to compete. The formidable field of cars and stars from the NorthEastern Big-Block Modified ranks includes 20 drivers from last year, with the top-seven feature race finishers once again making the haul down south.

Headlining the assault are defending Sawyer Memorial winner Danny Johnson and last year’s runner-up Matt Sheppard, with each boasting new rides for the ’08 edition. Reigning overall overall Hoosier Tire-Sunoco Race Fuels Mr. DIRTcar Modified points king Brett Hearn and DIRTcar NorthEast’s all-time winningest Big-Block Modified driver Alan Johnson join the stellar roster along with Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series standouts Billy Decker, Jimmy Phelps, Steve Paine, Gary Tomkins, Dale Planck, Justin Haers, Tim Fuller and Vic Coffey.

Recent Florida tour winners Billy Pauch and Jimmy Horton will be in competition joining Canadian star Pat O’Brien and upstarts Ryan Phelps, Billy Dunn, Kevin Bates, Sean Beardsley, Larry Wight, Joe Isabell and 2007 DIRTcar Big-Block Rookie of the Year Mike Bowman on the entry list.

Modified teams can direct any questions regarding rule procedures to Cory Reed, DIRTcar NE Director of Competition & Track Sanctioning, at the DIRTcar NE Office (315/834-6606) or log into for additional information. For drivers wishing to add their team to the pre-race roster, please contact DIRTcar NorthEast PR Director Tom Skibinski at DIRTcar NE headquarters (x28) or through e-mail correspondence.

Stay abreast of all the happenings around the Virginia Motor Speedway —and hear from Advance Series drivers as they prepare for the trip south— as VMS Public Relations Director Dave Seay joins co-host Barry Braun in their weekly broadcast of DIRT NATION™ Live! presented by Lucas Oil on from 8-10pm EST every Monday. Archives of previous shows are available for On Demand listening and downloading at

Virginia Motor Speedway (804/758-1867) is located on U.S. Route 17, eight miles north of Saluda and 25 miles south of Tappahannock in Jamaica, Va. The speedway is just a short drive from Richmond, Fredericksburg, Southern Maryland and the Hampton Roads areas.

2nd Annual Paul Sawyer Memorial – Virginia Motor Speedway
Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Driver Roster (April 1)
1 Darwin Greene/Susquehanna,PA
1w Billy Pauch/Frenchtown,NJ
fx1 Frankie Caprara/Watertown,NY
r2 Rusty Smith/Bethlehem,PA
3 Justin Haers/Phelps,NY
5 Jimmy Horton/Neshanic Station,NJ
6 Pat O’Brien/Kingston,ONT
6j Joe Isabell/Pennellville,NY
7j Jeff Isabell/Pennellville,NY
7x Steve Paine/Waterloo,NY
8 Rich Scagliotta/Bound Brook,NJ
9s Matt Sheppard/Waterloo,NY
14 Rick Laubach/Quakertown,PA
14j Alan Johnson/Middlesex,NY
16 Mike Bowman/Baldwinsville,NY
18 Sean Beardsley/Central Square,NY
19 Tim Fuller/Edwards, NY
20 Brett Hearn/Sussex,NJ
27j Danny Johnson/Rochester,NY
29 Jeff Brownell Jr./Waterloo,NY
30/55 Jamie Mills/Milford,DE
32c Vic Coffey/Leicester,NY
37x Tom Scheetz Jr./Boyertown,PA
39w Steve Downs/Georgetown,DE
m40 Mark Forte Jr./Blue Anchor,NJ
42b Kevin Bates/Lake Ariel,PA
43 Jimmy Horton IV/Neshanic Station,NJ
45 Wayne Jelley/Pittsfield,MA
48too Dave Rauscher/Waterloo,NY
49 Billy Dunn/Watertown,NY
56 Vince Vitale/Phoenix,NY
71 David VanHorn/Phillipsburg,NJ
77x Dale Planck/Cortland,NY
83 Brian Swartzlander/Leechburg,PA
84 Gary Tomkins/Clifton Springs,NY
91 Billy Decker/Unadilla,NY
98h Jimmy Phelps/Baldwinsville,NY
99 Ryan Phelps/Fulton,NY
99w Larry Wight/Phoenix,NY
777 Kevin Bolland/New Brighton,PA

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.