Weedsport, NY — November 23, 2008 – Tom Skibinski, DIRTcar Racing Northeast PR Director
National Speed Sport News has announced that recently crowned Advance Auto Parts Series Mr. DIRTcar Big-Block Modified Champion Billy Decker is among an elite group of 23 deserving drivers in contention for the 2008 Economaki Champion of Champions Award presented by Speedway Motorsports, Inc.
The sixth Economaki Champion of Champions Award presented by SMI, annually given to the North American racing champion judged to have had the best season on and off the race track, will be announced at the PRI Trade Show in Orlando, Florida on December 11.
Steering the Enders-powered LJL Racing no. 91 Gypsum Wholesalers-Stadium Int’l-Quality Hardwoods/Bicknell entry in ’08, Decker wrapped up his 23rd season of Big-Block competition atop the DIRTcar Racing Northeast list with 22 feature wins. He matched an Advance Series single-season win mark of 10, figuring in 18 top-5 and 24 top-10 finishes in the 26 tour races staged along the way.
Decker, now 44, won at 10 different tracks in 2008 and garnered the points title at Brewerton (NY) Speedway. The Unadilla, New York star ranks 5th all-time on the Advance Series win chart with 49 extra-distance Modified victories with seven more logged in the Mr. DIRTcar Small-Block Champ Trail.
Decker joins three former Economaki award winners presented by SMI, with the 10 finalists scheduled to be announced Dec. 3.
Previous winners Donny Schatz (2007), Jimmie Johnson (2006) and Tony Schumacher (2005) headline the star-studded list from drag racing, dirt-track, oval-track and road racing that are in contention for the prize. Decker captured his second Advance Series Mr. DIRTcar Championship in 2008, Schatz won his third straight World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series title, while Johnson secured his third consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup crown. Schumacher won 15 races en route to his fifth successive NHRA Top Fuel championship.
Other contenders for the Economaki Champion of Champions Award presented by Speedway Motorsports, Inc. are:
? Justin Allgaier (ARCA RE/MAX Series)
? Johnny Benson (NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series)
? Dale Blaney (All Star Circuit of Champions)
? Clint Bowyer (NASCAR Nationwide Series)
? Ted Christopher (NASCAR Whelen Modified Series)
? Jerry Coons, Jr. (USAC Silver Crown, USAC National Sprint Car Series)
? Jeg Coughlin (NHRA Pro Stock)
? Scott Dixon (IndyCar Series)
? Benny Gordon (Hooters Pro Cup Series)
? Tracy Hines or Cole Whitt (USAC Midgets, undecided)
? Eric Holmes (NASCAR Camping World West)
? Jason Johnson (American Sprint Car Series)
? Matt Kobyluck (NASCAR Camping World East)
? Darrell Lanigan (World of Outlaws Late Model Series)
? Lucas Luhr and Marco Werner (American Le Mans Series)
? Raphael Matos (Indy Lights)
? Earl Pearson, Jr. (Lucas Dirt Series)
? Cruz Pedregon (NHRA Funny Car)
? and the duo of Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas (Grand Am Rolex Series).
Besides Schatz, Schumacher and Johnson, the other previous Economaki award recipients are inaugural winner J.J. Yeley (2003) and Steve Kinser (2004).
Celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2009, National Speed Sport News has been edited since 1950 by the legendary Chris Economaki. Covering every series and every track every week since its inception in 1934, NSSN has been a must-read for serious fans, drivers, crew members and industry leaders alike. The newspaper is the only motorsports periodical on Library of Congress microfilm.
For more information or to subscribe, contact National Speed Sport News, P.O. Box 1210, Harrisburg, NC, 28075, call 704/455-2531; toll-free at 866/455-2531; fax: 704/455-2605, or visit the website at: www.nationalspeedsportnews.com.
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 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.